Los Angeles-based creative shop Mistress, has hired industry veteran Steve Orenstein as Chief Operating Officer, a new position at the agency.
The appointment comes amid significant expansion at the five-year old independent shop. In 2014 the agency’s staff grew by 70% to 53, amid a burst of new business wins including new assignments from Brown-Forman, PayPal and Spinmaster Games.
Most recently Orenstein served at MDC’s 72andSunny as both CFO and COO. He joined the agency in 2008 and left last month. He helped manage that shop’s rapid growth. When Orenstein started at 72andSunny, the independent agency’s headcount was approximately 30. By the time Orenstein left there were about 500 employees. MDC bought a majority stake in the agency in 2010.
“Steve has been where we are right now, successfully navigating the whitewater of growth,” said Christian Jacobsen, Partner at Mistress. “And he’s not just an ops guy or a CFO, he’s another colorful character in an industry built on characters. Ask anyone who he’s worked with in the past and they’ll say his greatest contributions are cultural.”
Orenstein started his career at Y&R in New York in 1971 and was later transferred to LA to be the Western Regional Finance Director for the agency network. On the West Coast, Orenstein worked for a number of shops including McCann Erickson where he was SVP Finance and Administration. Other stops included Davis Elen, Kern Organization, Wong Doody and Gorilla Nation.
“I’ve been married 40 years and this is my first Mistress and I have to say I’m in love,” quipped Orenstein. “My goal with Mistress is not just to establish processes, procedures and best practices, but I will also help the agency build its culture and make it an iconic agency, attracting top creatives and leading consumer brands.”