Tenne Signs On With Stinson

George Tenne has two new gigs. For one, he will call on his four decades of experience in advertising to guide him. For the other, it’ll be his Bronx accent.

Recently named director of creative innovation at Stinson Brand Innovation, a Chicago startup that specializes in life sciences, Tenne also has landed a role as “Paulie Walnuts” in a suburban Chicago production of The Sopranos’ Last Supper. The spoof of the TV series represents his first stab at acting, but the 61-year-old New Yorker has had a long career in advertising—most recently working as director of creative services with Omnicom Group’s BBDO in Chicago.

At Stinson, “my role will be the creative resource, to pull in all [the shop] needs for creative,” Tenne said.

The agency was launched earlier this year by Mark Stinson, formerly president of healthcare specialist Hamilton Communications in Chicago. Including Tenne, Stinson has enlisted about seven senior execs representing different disciplines, and he said he’s pursuing work on pharmaceutical products that are early in development—”hopefully when they’re still a number.”

The two met when Tenne was at BBDO, which he joined in 1997 in a role that involved recruiting and project management. Tenne held a similar job toward the end of his 18-year stint at D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in St. Louis, where he earlier served as a group creative director working on accounts such as Anheuser-Busch.

Tenne began his advertising career as an art director with N.W. Ayer in New York. In July 2003, he started a creative-services consultancy, the 10eGroup, out of his suburban Chicago home.

As for his new acting role, for which he began rehearsals last week, Tenne’s still getting into character. As yet, he was unsure if Paulie Walnuts would be whacking anyone onstage. “If I do, at least he’ll get up when it’s over,” he joked.