Matt Casey joined gyro Manchester as creative director. He joins the agency from Origin, where he was creative director, working with clients including Manchester United, Brother, Superdrug and Westfield Health. Prior to that, he worked at TBWA\Manchester for 10 years as head of design on Brother, Nissan, Cussons and Westfield Horticulture. "Throughout his career, Matt has excelled at delivering powerful humanly relevant ideas," said Danny Turnbull, managing director of gyro Manchester. "His passion, collaborative approach and energetic personality are a great fit for us as we continue to expand and drive our creative excellence forward."
Assembly, MDC's full-service media agency, named Jeff Liang as chief digital officer. He will lead a team responsible for digital client programs, tools and platforms and report to Martin Cass, CEO of both Assembly and MDC Media Partners. Liang will be based out of the agency's New York office. Liang has more than 16 years of strategic media and marketing experience, having led and developed digital practices for Publicis, Omnicom, WPP and IPG. Most recently, Liang was senior vice president, media lead at Starcom Mediavest Group. While there, Liang led the Samsung investment teams responsible for the award-winning creation of the "Oscars Selfie" moment and Programmatic Search. Prior to that, Liang was the U.S. director of digital investment for PHD. "It is my honor to welcome Jeff on board. He possesses the skills and vision to build best-in-class agency organizations, and we're eager for him to work his magic here at Assembly as we continue to create a leading digital ecosystem," said Cass.
Big Spaceship promoted Rob Thorsen to president, up from managing director. He is the first person to hold this title at the agency. Thorsen will continue to be accountable for all day-to-day operations of the agency: overseeing business development, mentoring the agency's talent and managing relationships with client partners. His expanded duties will include helping define and lead the future vision for Big Spaceship and spearheading initiatives across the agency's different disciplines. Thorsen joined the agency in 2013. He started out as one of the original Bartle Bogle Hegarty US employees back in 1999. From there, he joined Mother NY as its first strategist and eventually grew into the role of global business director for the agency's AB/InBev business. From there, he spent five years at BBDO NY where he worked as executive vice president, global business director and managed Best Buy, Hyatt, Starbucks and the American Red Cross. "Rob is an integral part of our executive team, consistently focused on pushing the business forward while tenaciously maintaining our culture -- this promotion is an acknowledgement of his significant contribution with a title appropriate to it," said Michael Lebowitz, founder and CEO.
autoGraph.me appointed Stacey Anklam as chief operating officer and Paul Cook as business development director.
LiveRamp named Jeff Smith as chief marketing officer.
Global digital marketing agency, Jellyfish, named Mario Schiappacasse as head of display, US.
Definition 6 added Diana Lochridge as executive producer/creative director of its Entertainment Division.
Flashtalking tapped Jason Swider to drive the company's Midwestern expansion, as regional vice President for the Great Lakes.
Environics Communications promoted Mimi Carter to senior vice president and general manager in the Washington, DC office.
Nicholas Dudich joins Upworthy as YouTube producer.
WWE named Jay Li as vice president & general manager, greater China based in Shanghai.
Cohn & Wolfe added Candace McCaffery as managing director of its Atlanta office.
Tilted Chair hired Anna Mejia and Jenna Bixler as creative leads.
GMR hired Tania Dsouza as digital technology director - Ideation.
PublicisLive opened an Eurasia hub in Istanbul, Turkey, to be led by Selcuk Kiper.
MediaMax Network recently added two members to its sales team. Kelly Galligan Brewster returns to the company as advertising director, overseeing the company’s NYC-based agency efforts. She most recently worked in sales at Real Simple. As Midwest account director, Scott Fowler is in charge of building strategic relationships with agencies and clients in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Michigan. Prior to MediaMax, Fowler was a sales leader at Eagle Publishing, USA Today, Time4 Media and the Tribune Company.
WP Engine named Lisa Box as vice president of business development & strategic alliances.
Rhea + Kaiser added seven new staff members: Dustin Gerdes as manager of analytics and customer engagement; Patrick Barkley to lead R+K’s new video production unit; Pam Caraway as account supervisor, public relations; Steve Knapp as a copywriter; Emily Johnson as account manager, public relations; Chris Oakland as an assistant account manager; and Alex Greer as an assistant account manager, public relations.
500px launched a marketplace in Germany, to be led by Dittmar Frohmann. Kimberly Potvin joined the office in San Francisco as director of content.
TEN: The Enthusiast Network hired Jonathan Anastas as chief marketing officer.
The Butler Bros hired Jane McVey as project manager.
Emily Akhtarzandi, managing director of AtlanticLIVE, The Atlantic's events division, has been tapped to oversee The Atlantic's newly-created Washington sales office. In this expanded role, Akhtarzandi will lead the company's D.C.-based media sales team, as well as continue to oversee the business ambitions for AtlanticLIVE. As part of this, two Washington-based sales managers were promoted: Patrick Garrigan is now senior director, and Melodie Thomas is director of business development, both for AtlanticLIVE.
Karen Forgy Hicks joined Siteworx in the newly created position of executive vice president, operations.
Tierney added Michael Lander and David Lan as senior vice president, creative directors.
David&Goliath tapped Peter Bassett as director of digital production.
Kinetic Worldwide named Marley Kaplan as head of innovation in the U.S., and Gianmarco Prizzi as head of innovation for office in Italy.
Kimball Communications added Eileen Coyne as public relations manager.
Midnight Oil named Eric Abromson as executive creative director.
Alkemy X added Scott Ross to its directorial roster.
Marchex named Ziad Ismail as chief product officer.
Maxus is naming Kevin McCarthy as its newly created head of effectiveness to develop the agency's data and analytics capabilities. "The end goal is to use data as effectively and efficiently as possible to make more time for ideas and creativity," says the agency. McCarthy joins Maxus from MediaVest, where he served as the senior vice president, group client director of business intelligence. Previously, McCarthy spent time at PHD and GroupM's MEC. He will be based in New York and report to Maxus' chief planning officer David Gaines. "We've spent this past year developing a technology-based platform to better harness data, ultimately aimed at expediting our decision-making framework and allowing more time for creativity," says Gaines. "Kevin's hire is a pivotal next step in furthering this mission -- allowing us to bring even more groundbreaking and data-backed ideas to our clients."
Fallon hired Mandana Mellano as chief media officer and Matt Benka as director of digital. Mellano joined the agency from Neo@Ogilvy where she served as partner and director. Prior to that, she worked at RAPP, GroupM: Mindshare + MEC and Kastner & Partners. Mellano has worked with brands such as Red Bull, Activision, Qualcomm, Hot Wheels, Nestle and Porsche. In her new role, she will oversee the agency's media strategy and activation, building upon Fallon's digital practice. Benka joined the agency from Space150, where he served as executive vice president of account service. "Building out our tech offering is something that we've been working hard to establish, and I think Mandana and Matt are the perfect people to lead the way as we embark upon this next chapter of growth at Fallon," said Mike Buchner, CEO of Fallon.
Wunderman New York named Sami Thessman as chief creative officer. He joins the agency from Havas Worldwide where he served as executive creative director. Thessman will lead the United Airlines, Coca-Cola, E*TRADE and Isle of Capri accounts, partnering with Jamie Gallo, president of Wunderman New York, and working with Lincoln Bjorkman, Wunderman's global chief creative officer. Prior to joining Havas New York in 2015, Thessman was global executive creative director for TBWA Hong Kong, where he led Infiniti and was a member of TBWA's global Digital Arts Network. Prior to that, Thessman worked at TBWA Helsinki as executive creative director and a member of the management team. While there, Thessman led Nissan in the Nordics and Baltics and worked with brands including Asuntomessut, Instrumentarium, Tieto, Turvatiimi and Valio. "Sami is a proven leader able to combine technology, data and storytelling in order to help brands build innovative campaigns, with particular expertise in the technology and financial sectors," said Gallo. "His entrepreneurial mindset and technology expertise will help our clients push the boundaries of consumer engagement, and build Wunderman's business."
Deutsch New York hired Dan Kelleher as chief creative officer and partner. In addition, Deutsch Los Angeles added Jason Bagley as chief creative officer and partner. Kelleher most recently served as co-chief creative officer at KBS, where he worked on BMW. He also worked at Grey, BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi and Cliff Freeman & Partners on brands like FedEx, MillerCoors and General Mills. Bagley has worked at Wieden+Kennedy since 2004 and has created work for EA Sports, NIKE, Samsung, Oreo and CareerBuilder. Since 2010 he has worked on the Old Spice brand, creating "The Man Your Man Can Smell Like." "You can't just win the game any more, you've got to change it," said Pete Favat, chief creative officer of Deutsch NA. "We do this by being in constant construction and adding to our arsenal of creative firepower. With Jason and Dan, plus our world class digital and production capabilities, we're firing on all cylinders. Jason and Dan have a history of creating work that goes beyond marketing -- it becomes a part of culture, and creates brands that people love."
Carat USA promoted Michael Epstein from chief client officer to president. Epstein will oversee all U.S. client and product teams and will continue to report to Doug Ray, U.S. CEO. He joined Carat in 2013 as its first chief strategy officer. Under his leadership, Carat launched its Catalyst innovation group, which pairs communication strategists with media technologists to deliver different and better solutions for clients. In 2014, Epstein was promoted to chief client officer, responsible for Carat's entire client portfolio, including Pfizer, Disney, Red Bull, The Home Depot and Macy's. Prior to Carat, Epstein was president of strategic resource and client services at Mindshare, where he was responsible for overseeing all digital media services for North America. "Michael has shown an unparalleled ability to not only drive our product agenda, but do so with our clients' business interests front and center. This has made him a trusted partner for our internal teams and clients alike," said Ray. "I am delighted that he will now have an even greater ability to leverage our resources in the most effective way to help our clients win in the digital economy."