Art Directors Club Hires Ihaveanidea Founder

New executive director intends to bring organizations closer together

The Art Directors Club has hired Ignacio Oreamuno, founder and president of advertising organization Ihaveanidea as its new executive director.

Oreamuno—also president of Giant Hydra, a "mass collaboration" service he created to help agencies find talent for projects—is making the move from Montreal to New York City, where the 92-year-old ADC is based., launched in 2001 as a site by creatives for creatives, has since expanded and runs events for the industry. That programming includes Portfolio Night—a gathering that provides aspiring creatives with an opportunity to meet and share their work with creative directors—and the Tomorrow Awards, which honors technologically innovative advertising. The next Portfolio Night, the 10th since the event's inception in 2003, will be staged May 23 in 18 cities around the world, hosted by agencies like Grey, Ogilvy and Y&R.

While Oreamuno and the ADC have yet to hammer out the details of how intertwined the two organizations will become, "it will be clear and visible" within the first two months, Oreamuno said. Interviews, profiles and other items Ihaveanidea produces will be cross-posted to the ADC's site. "For the moment, we're sharing the content," he said.

Benjamin Palmer, the president of the nonprofit ADC's board of directors and CEO of Cheil-owned agency The Barbarian Group, described Oreamuno's new job to Adweek as a "pretty huge moment for the ADC, because we're not just hiring somebody to fill a role. We're bringing on a whole lot of stuff at once, so we're really hoping this can be a transformative moment—that we can be more than the other annual shows, and have even more events year round and content 24/7, and really [become] kind of a social hub that's sorely lacking in the industry."

Or, as Oreamuno put it, "It's not just me coming along. It's a big history of initiatives and things that I've been doing for a long time." He aims to expand the club's schedule of events and turn it into more of an international networking hub. "I live on a plane, so this month I'll go to Brazil, and we're going to bring the Brazilians to New York and try to teach the New Yorkers what's happening in Brazil."

These changes, he hopes, will make the club stand out more from other, similar trade groups. "There's basically an awards show that's the core essence of all these organizations," said Oreamuno. "A club should be creating content almost like a magazine; we are the ones that need to be raising questions and doing more documentaries." 

Giant Hydra will remain completely independent from the ADC, Oreamuno said, and he's currently looking for a candidate to take over as its president. The exact succession at ADC, meanwhile, is a little more byzantine. Longtime ADC employee Olga Grisaitis has been running the club as acting director since 2009 and formally assumed the director title in January 2011. The last person to hold the executive director title was Ami Brophy, who was promoted to CEO in 2008 and reportedly resigned in 2009 after the club eliminated the CEO position. Grisaitis will remain at the club as director of operations, working with (and reporting to) Oreamuno.