LA-based Walton Isaacson is stepping up recruitment and retention efforts across multiple disciplines, marketing specializations and cultural expertise.
Walton Isaacson CEO Aaron Walton noted, “Over the last eleven months, the agency and its people have demonstrated their exceptional talents and resiliency in the face of all challenges. We are growing, both literally and in every sense of the word. As we emerge from the storm, we are excited to announce a number of new hires as well as the well-deserved promotions of some of our WI rock stars.”
Jon Renner has rejoined the agency as SVP Director of Agency Services, a new position that will be based out of New York. “Jon’s return speaks to new, powerful beginnings in a new world filled with change and opportunity,’ said Walton. “I couldn’t be more excited about how Jon’s talents and innovative spirit will impact our future growth.” Renner, who will report directly to Walton, worked at WI from 2008-2012 during which time he was Account Director on clients such as Unilever and Avion.
He brings with him extensive experience in agency management and operations including the management of Creative Services, Account Management, Project Management, Omnichannel Marketing and New Business development.
He subsequently spent six years at Marketsmith as EVP of Business Development and Account Management, overseeing the New Jersey Lottery, Remington Men’s Grooming, Sherwin Williams and several government accounts. Prior to rejoining WI, he was Partner and Managing Director of Position A, a new business consultancy.
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His notable career includes five years at McCann-Erickson on Coca-Cola and Nabisco, and also a seven-year stretch at Ogilvy, where he managed blue chip clients Kraft and Miller Brewing. Working with Publicis for six years, he drove global appliance giant Whirlpool to new heights. It was during this time that Jon first worked with Walton Isaacson in partnership on the Whirlpool account.
Jon’s arrival follows that of several key additions, including:
Ayanna Williams who joined WI last fall as Group Creative Director. Prior to joining WI, Williams spent five years at Burrell as Creative Lead on their beauty portfolio for P&G brands: Pantene, Head & Shoulders, and My Black is Beautiful. Throughout her career, Williams has worked in both general market and multicultural spaces, shaping narratives and leading creative across automotive, beauty, CPG, telecommunications and tourism for world-class brands such as Comcast, McDonald’s, P&G, Toyota, and Unilever.
Erica Walker who recently joined WI as a Group Account Director on the Lexus account. An accomplished marketing leader, Walker reports to EVP Client Services Ayiko Broyard, working out of WI’s Dallas office She comes to WI from EG+ Worldwide where she was a Global Associate Account Director for three years. Previously, she worked on the account side for agencies such as Greenfield Group, Leo Burnett, and the Marketing Arm.
Along with Walker, Kenethia Jackson joined WI as a Senior Account Director. Most recently, Jackson served as VP, Engagement Marketing at Bandy Carroll Hellige, an integrated marketing agency based in Indianapolis. In this role, she was responsible for developing the annual public relations, social media and experiential strategy for three regional McDonald’s co-ops. She also served as the multicultural lead for the agency.
Michael DeJesus assumed a full-time position at WI as Creative Director – Art. A super car enthusiast and once a part time auto journalist, DeJesus freelanced for WI for seven months. Prior to WI, he was a Creative Director at República Havas where he led the development and execution of some of the agency’s most awarded work. His brand experience includes McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, P&G, Mercedes, Infinity, and Toyota.
In addition to the aforementioned hires, several notable promotions occurred along with departmental expansions and leadership changes. These include:
Raul Rios has been promoted to SVP of Strategy. Rios has been leading research, insights, analytics, and strategic planning on a variety of brands including Lexus, McDonald’s, Macy’s, Facebook, Pepsi, Verizon, Unilever, Constellation Brands, Pernod Ricard, Wells Fargo, and Intel. Additionally, Rios has grown into a respected speaker on the subject of multiculturalism, with an emphasis on LGBTQ consumer insights, advertising, marketing and promotion. Representing WI, he has become a prominent voice as a guest lecturer at top universities such as USC and UCLA and as a panelist at leading industry forums.
Keisha Dixon, who has been promoted to Director of Experiential, leading the effort for the agency across all brands. Dixon began as a full time Events Manager for WI in 2013.In 2017 she moved to Texas to anchor WI’s newly opened Dallas office where she continued to expand and evolve the execution of Lexus events across Black, Hispanic, LGBTQ and General Market segments.
In early 2020, WI had begun an expansion of its media department which also saw a leadership change. Media Manager Tony Aguilar was promoted to VP, Group Media Director. Aguilar joined WI in early 2019, bringing with him over 25 years of experience managing various advertising campaigns and an expertise in Multicultural Marketing, in-depth knowledge of all forms of media channels and programming and brand experience that includes American Honda, Verizon, Allstate Insurance, Wells Fargo, Staples, Toshiba, Epson, Time Warner Cable, TWC Sports, Shell Oil, among others. Prior to Joining WI, Tony was the Chief Integration Officer at Acento Advertising where he spent 18 years planning and buying media.
Tony went on to recruit Adria Ross as Group Media Director. Most recently, she was a Retail Media Manager & Multi-Cultural Specialist with the Martin Retail Group leading the western region Chevy planning team. Prior to MRG, she spent six years at Universal McCann developing and implementing the multicultural national media strategy across all FCA brands (Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat).
The team also added Madeline Beniflah as Senior Media Director. A 25-year veteran most recently at Mediabrands and a former senior leader at Identity, she has led strategy and execution for brands like Microsoft, Hyundai/Kia, Dr Pepper, 7UP, Home Depot and many others. Beniflah is a subject expert in multicultural marketing and also served in a number of roles at Acento Advertising, dRM (now Alma), and La Agencia de Orcí.
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Reel 360 wishes the WI team the best of luck in their new roles.
SOURCE: Walton Isaacson