GARY HOLMES has joined independent marketing, advertising, and public-relations agency Mower as VP, director of public relations and public affairs. Holmes brings more than 20 years of senior management, government, and news experience to his post, most recently as assistant commissioner, public affairs for the New York State Department of Health. During his four-and-a-half-year tenure with the Department of Health, Holmes acted as the chief liaison to the press office for the governor of New York. His achievements included managing the daily press response for the agency at the apex of the COVID-19 pandemic. Holmes entered public service in 2015 as director of communications for the New York State Department of Transportation. A broadcast journalist by trade, he served as news director at Time Warner Cable News Albany/Hudson Valley from 2007-2015. Before that, Holmes was senior executive producer at YNN Albany, where he launched the nightly political/public-affairs program “Capital Tonight.” His early career included stints at ESPN (in Connecticut), Harbour Media Relations (Saratoga Springs), and WRGB (Schenectady). Holmes is a graduate of Ithaca College, where he studied video production and corporate communications.