DALLAS-GSD&M in Austin, Texas, promoted four longtime staffers and formalized their roles in deciding agency management issues.
Adding the senior vice president designation to their existing titles are media director Gwyn David, director of marketplace planning James Martin, director of business development Alicia Kriese and director of operations Duff Stewart.
The team joins a handful of other GSD&M staffers that are senior vice presidents. David, Martin, Kriese and Stewart, however, will take a more active role in determining the direction and growth of the agency, Kriese said, as they work with founding partners Roy Spence, Judy Trabulsi and Steve Gurasich.
The promotions are part of Spence's ongoing efforts to lay the groundwork for a future management hierarchy. In an internal memo, Spence cited the team's growing role in addressing "the critical leadership issues that affect the entire agency" as the main reason for the promotions. He also acknowledged that the agency has "begun to lean on people to build GSD&M to last" in the past several years.
David, who added the media director title last year, has been with the agency 17 years and was instrumental in landing the MasterCard media account and, more recently, the Bank of America media business.
Martin joined GSD&M on a full- time basis 10 years ago and heads its account planning department, as well as working directly with clients including Fannie Mae and Wal-Mart. Martin said he viewed the team's role "not just as helping to set agency direction, but being the ones that make sure the plans are implemented."
In addition to her account director duties on Wal-Mart, 10-year veteran Kriese heads a new business group that has helped boost the agency to $480 million in billings in 1996.
Stewart, with GSD&M for six years, oversaw the agency's move last year to its new Idea City headquarters. He also serves as account director on the Fannie Mae business.