Our friends at VMLY&R announced the expansion of its people division with the addition of two new executive roles in the global leadership team.
Aimee Pagano joins the agency from McCann Worldgroup as global head of talent acquisition and Tasha Gilroy is promoted to global chief equity, inclusion, and belonging officer. Both roles will report to Ronnie Felder, global chief people officer of VMLY&R.
The appointments follow substantial business growth for the agency in 2021; VMLY&R grew by more than 2,500 hires globally as a result of 12% year-over-year growth of its multibillion-dollar business and the addition of new clients, including Coca-Cola and Walgreens Boots Alliance. The agency’s health practice alone saw a year-over-year growth rate of 21% in the past year.
The new global executive talent trio composed of Felder, Gilroy, and Pagano represents an enhanced talent strategy, and further commitment to building the most inclusive and integrated agency where DEI is central to the entire life cycle of the talent and employee experience.
“We are at a moment of opportunity and responsibility to reimagine the employee experience and future workforce potential of our business. The time is now to ensure that our DEI strategy is not separate, but a fully integrated aspect of every part of the employee journey. Bringing our talents together as executive people leaders unlocks our ongoing commitment to reaching untapped and diverse talent in every respect, and aligns to evolving client strategies and needs,” Felder said. “Aimee and Tasha are outstanding leaders with innovative spirit and hearts for shaping the future of our company, and I am thrilled to welcome them into these new roles.”
In recent years, VMLY&R has invested heavily in its talent strategy, including the expansion of the agency’s learning, growth, and experience program; leadership development; and DEI infrastructure across LATAM, EMEA, Asia, and the U.S.
Pagano will join VMLY&R as global head of talent acquisition after five years with McCann Worldgroup, where she served as global head of talent acquisition. She brings 20 years of experience in talent, 12 of those in the advertising industry leading recruiting for top agencies. She will be responsible for leading and reimaging the global acquisition function that aims to attract and connect with the best talent for VMLY&R. With the future of work in mind, Aimee will be developing an inclusive, innovative, and transformative talent strategy that supports the growth of our business and the needs of our clients and people.
“VMLY&R has received impressive recognition over the last few years,” Pagano said. “In these unprecedented times, I’m excited to help the agency attract, develop and retain top talent as it continues its growth. I am beyond excited to join an agency whose leadership not only recognizes this opportunity, but also whose mission of harnessing creativity, technology, and culture aligns perfectly with what we aspire to do in talent acquisition: attract and hire the best and brightest in new innovative ways.”
During her career, Pagano has worked with some of the industry’s best and brightest creative and strategic minds, building an innovative talent acquisition function to enable companies to attract and hire unique, diverse talent at scale across consumer, creative, and health.
She has supported talent needs across many clients, including Coca-Cola, Mondelez, Pernod Ricard USA, Toyota, and HBO. Earlier experiences include executive recruiting, leading internal corporate recruitment teams, and recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) programs for contingent and full-time recruitment across multiple industries for clients such as Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse, 1-800-Flowers, Estée Lauder, ADP, and Chase.
Tasha Gilroy is promoted to global chief equity, inclusion, and belonging officer and will spearhead VMLY&R’s efforts to create measurable and sustained outcomes across diversity, equity, and inclusion. In response to business growth, coupled with the competitive talent market, Gilroy will work closely with Pagano to drive a diverse talent strategy.
“As a DEI leader, I have been focused on reaching talent communities across the full spectrum of DEI,” Gilroy said. “It’s not just about having a set number of people from different groups or communities. Any agency can and should do that. We’ve evolved. It’s time to fully embrace what it really means to belong. Working with Aimee and Ronnie will help me expand my focus and measure the full impact DEI has across the agency, our work, and our culture.”
Gilroy is an esteemed HR practitioner and leader in the industry’s DEI community, having served in culture and inclusion roles for the past 16 years. In her prior role as co-director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Gilroy led talent and partnership commitments that built VMLY&R’s pipeline of top talent in North America and globally. In this role, she guided the vision and execution for equitable talent recruitment and retention strategy across the network; maintained the agency’s many existing relationships with partner organizations such as the 4A’s MAIP, the AAF Mosaic Center for Multiculturalism, the One Club for Creativity, and the 3% Conference; and cultivated new relationships with Asians in Advertising and 100 Roses from Concrete.
She previously served as director of inclusion and community for Y&R. Over the years, she has introduced a range of high-impact programs, including unconscious bias workshops, Ujima, and VMLY&R’s mentoring program for Black employees, and connected employees to membership programs that have forged access and opportunities for women, people of color, and the industry’s most underrepresented groups.
Gilroy is a member of ColorComm, 100 Roses from Concrete, and We All Rise Together. She sits on the AAF Mosaic Committee and the Cannes Can Diversity Collective advisory board. Tasha also served as the executive sponsor for the WPP Elevate leadership program for Black women from its launch in 2020 through February 2022. She is based in New York City and is a proud mother and grandmother, music enthusiast, and novice quilt maker.
Reel 360 wishes both Aimee and Tasha the best of luck in their new roles.