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Martians Moving Up and In

21 Dec 2021

As growth through new business wins and expanded work for existing clients continues, The Mars Agency has kept busy over the last month adding new Martians across our many practices and offices.

In addition to hiring more than 30 new staffers, the agency also recognized the outstanding contributions of existing Martians through more than 20 promotions and role changes. This evolving wealth of talent will be a force in shaping the direction and continued growth of The Mars Agency in 2022.

Recent executive promotions and role transitions have included:

Brian Higdon, who leads the Cincinnati office and Kroger team, was promoted from VP to SVP of Customer Development, which gives him additional responsibility for the overall grocery channel. Higdon will also support the evolution of our Marilyn commerce marketing platform to more deeply inform retailer-specific intelligence.

Dan Westendorf was promoted to VP, Customer Development on the Kroger team, where he’ll continue leading the Campbell’s and Mars Wrigley businesses at the retailer while also supporting Higdon in developing new business and the Marilyn capabilities. Westendorf joined the agency three years ago as Director on the Campbell’s business and has been successfully leading the Mars Wrigley Kroger team for the last year as Senior Director.

Micheline Vaughan (at right) was promoted to VP, Client Leadership on the Campbell’s Canada business.

Vaughan has been the driving force in building the agency’s relationship with Campbell’s in Canada as well as leading the development and implementation of numerous programs for the client.

Brian Hutchinson was promoted to VP, Production Services. Since joining Mars 18 months ago, Hutchinson has expanded the department’s capabilities beyond standard print into emerging print techniques, digital integration and augmented reality. The work he led on the Sanpellegrino “Virtual Bartender” at Sam’s Club won a Path to Purchase Institute OmniShopper Award this fall.

Kim Pawlak was named VP on the People & Culture team to lead newly established Mars U, a structured hub for all current and future employee learning and development initiatives. For the last year, Pawlak has led business operations for the developing Mars Wrigley team.

Meanwhile, the agency’s ranks have been bolstered by the following new employees:

Jim Fuqua (right) joins the Walmart Canada team as VP, Retail Partner Integration & Strategy.

He brings 30 years of experience working in retail marketing for retailers, brands, and vendors on shopper marketing strategy, advertising product and data monetization, and in-store marketing.

Fuqua will provide thought leadership for retailer clients, assisting them in building and managing their retail networks and collaborative marketing initiatives.

Tiffany Dockery (right) was named VP, Client Leadership on the Mars Wrigley Canada team.

With a wealth of experience in marketing and advertising across retail, CPG, tech, finance, and hospitality brands, she will work closely with the agency’s Canadian and U.S. cross-functional teams to deliver impactful programs for Mars Wrigley.

The Walmart Canada team was further bolstered with the hires of Shona Hart as Account Manager-Strategic Accounts, Prabhpreet Sidhu as MarTech Director, Mackenzie Kryska as Project Manager, and Hamza Sheikh as Performance Media Specialist.

The Mars Wrigley team also grew with the addition of Sarah Black as Senior Copywriter, Mariah Arnold as Senior Account Executive, Jamie Menary as Senior Retoucher, Annie Fugate as Senior Account Executive, and Caroline Michniak as Associate Project Manager. Earning promotions on the team were Dan Olson to Associate Creative Director and Paige Daniele to Director of Operations. At Mars Pet, Diane Bollig was promoted to Director, Client Leadership and Phoebe Fox was hired as Manager, Client Leadership.

Elsewhere in Client Leadership, Evan Helfrich was promoted to Senior Business Analyst on the Campbell’s team to oversee a growing lineup of analysts supporting the business.

Recent new hires included Evan Kneisel as Project Manager for Bacardi, Jim Pressman as Senior Broadcast Manager on the Big Y team, and Joseph Mallory (right) as Assistant Account Executive on the Hallmark and Samsung businesses.

Promotions included Jen Senerius to Senior Director of Client Leadership overseeing the Samsung and Conagra Brands businesses, Jon Shroyer to Senior Project Manager for Conagra, and Bridget Lynn and Sneha Shekar to Senior Directors of Project Management with cross-agency responsibilities.

Our Customer Development teams have been strengthened with the following hires: Patrick McAdams as Manager of Customer Development on Regional Grocery, Paul Weitzel (right) as Director of Customer Development on the Sanofi and BlueTriton businesses at Target, Char Kershaw as Senior Manager of Customer Development on Sanofi and BIC at Walmart, Caroline Taylor as Director of Customer Development on BIC and Sanofi at Walmart, Stacey Helcher as Manager of Commerce Media on the Target team, and Erica Kipnis as Director of Customer Development for Drug/Value.

Recent promotions have included Jansen Connor to Senior Account Executive on the Walmart team.

Finally, the agency’s internal Support Services have grown with the hiring of Dominic Gaudino as Senior Financial Associate, Stefanie Burton as Director of People & Culture, Christie Fowler (right) as Director of Creative Operations, Grayson Joa as Systems Administrator on the Information Systems team, and Marie Gubbe as Executive Assistant.

Promotions have included Beverly Miller to Manager of Payroll, Corie Baker to Art Director, Kelsea Siler to Manager of Commercial Development on the Marilyn team, Alexandria Machasic to Manager of Integrated Media Production, and Sarah Soranno to Senior Manager of Media Activation.

The Mars Agency continues to look for the best talent to fill an ever-growing number of roles. Interested in joining? Current job openings can be found here.

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