Deutsch/LA Taps Ross

Brenda Ross credits a stint as a senior sales executive with a cellular phone company in her native South Africa with many of the skills she brings to her new job as director of client services at Deutsch/LA.

“I learned to interact with people of all levels, from the small shop owner to the top executive,” said Ross, 39, most recently a group account director at TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., working on Masterfoods brands like Whiskas and Uncle Ben’s. “It was good human interaction, human reading.”

In her new job, Ross “won’t be working on individual accounts, but acting as a catalyst for bigger thinking and broader leadership for our clients,” said Mike Sheldon, the Interpublic Group agency’s general manager and managing partner, to whom she reports. Ross replaces Kristin Bloomquist, who in May left the Marina del Rey, Calif., agency to become svp of marketing at one of Deutsch’s clients, TGI Friday’s. About 30 account managers report to Ross.

Armed with a degree in marketing and communications from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, Ross worked at several agencies in that country, including TBWA\Hunt Lascaris in Capetown, where she served as managing director and then CEO.

In between agency jobs, she worked for cell-phone company Nashua. “I’d told myself in college that I would try to be well rounded by getting experience in all facets of business, and that was my sales stint,” she said. Ross’ experience also includes working as vp of brand communications at Virgin Mobile USA in San Francisco.

A world traveler who counts Japan and the Maldives Islands among her favorite destinations, Ross said she believes Deutsch offers “a more challenging job [than TBWA\C\D], perhaps even a more stimulating one, as an executive contributing to account management.”