Catalyst Taps New-Business Head

Jason DeLand has joined Catalyst in the newly created post of svp, business development—the first hire of note for the three-principal ad agency, which opened in January.

DeLand, 26, will oversee Catalyst’s business development and work on some accounts.

He most recently was svp of sales and marketing at Pacific Century Cy berworks, a Hong Kong-based telecommunications company.

Prior to that, he held several new-business posts during a two-year period at TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, including new business director. While there, he helped bring in accounts such as Circuit City, Seagram’s and Kmart.

After deciding not to renew his contract with Pacific Century Cyber works in late 2001, DeLand returned to New York with the intent of taking time off, but was intrigued by Catalyst’s agency model. The New York shop works with clients on a project basis, mainly by using freelancers.

“Very few companies have that unique model to offer clients,” he said.

DeLand approached co-founding partner James Feeney in early February about working for the agency. Catalyst had received about 10 similar calls, and Feeney interviewed four other people. But he was impressed by DeLand’s new-business work at TBWA\C\D and his comprehension of the agency’s mission.

“He so much understands what we’ve put together, I think we’re lucky to have found him,” Feeney said. “I’m always looking for someone with that kind of energy.”

Catalyst has two undisclosed cli ents, including one in the healthcare industry.