Allen & Gerritsen Taps Glass

Bill Glass has joined Allen & Gerritsen as senior vp of business development; he will now serve as the new-business person for the region’s largest independent agency.

A&G’s new-business efforts had been overseen by six-year agency veteran Tom Holmes, who signed with Kelliher Samets Volk, Burlington, Vt., as senior brand manager [Adweek, July 22].

Leveraging A&G’s added depth and increased bulk following its recent acquisition of Boston agency GSO/Davis is one of Glass’ top priorities, said Andrew Graff, president of Watertown, Mass.-based A&G. “The combination of Bill’s agency leadership experience, client-side and consulting backgrounds made him the ideal candidate,” Graff said.

“Bill’s focus is [to] continue to build A&G’s business with both business-to-business and consumer clients,” said Graff. “With the GSO/Davis acquisition, there are a lot more opportunities [for an agency this size] inside and outside of the New England marketplace.”

Glass most recently served at Roswell, Ga.-based consulting company Tenacity, where as a partner he focused on helping large corporations retain clients. Hiring a new-business director with such a pedigree could prove to be a sensible move, said Chris Colbert, an industry consultant and former agency executive. “After agencies merge, the vulnerability [of accounts] is pretty high. Retention is job one,” he said.

Glass also had a stint as president of marketing and promotions shop PRG (sold to Atlanta’s Adair Greene in 1995) and he founded FloraVision, a direct marketing service acquired by 1-800-Flowers. He began his career in the late 1970s at IBM, where he spent 11 years in various positions.

A&G in June agreed to buy GSO/Davis for an undisclosed amount, boosting total billings to about $160 million and staffing to 120. Key clients include Spalding Sports Worldwide, sister grocery chains Shaw’s and Star Market, TJX’s HomeGoods, State Street Corp. and Kronos. A&G ranks behind only Arnold; Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos; and Mullen—all owned by holding companies—among the region’s traditional ad shops.

The new-business vision of A&G has so expanded in terms of its desire—and, senior management believes, ability—to pitch national accounts, that Glass fills essentially a new position at the agency, Graff said.