Moving to Texas wasn't high on Ann Pichette's list of priorities when a recruiter told her that an agency in Austin was looking for someone with her credentials in direct marketing.
Even so, Pichette decided to pay a visit to Yvonne Tocquigny, founder and CEO of Tocquigny Advertising. She instantly "clicked" with Tocquigny and fell in love with Austin.
"I really liked her," said Pichette, who had previously worked at Ryan Partnership in Columbus, Ohio. "I thought she was a really cool lady. And most of my mentors have been women."
As Tocquigny's new president, Pichette, 50, is putting together a management team designed to "reposition" the agency around the concept of a "measured approach" to client services. That means "providing the tools, expertise, processes and creativity to demonstrate overall improved business performance," said Tocquigny.
Ranked 22nd on Adweek's 2005 Top 50 Interactive Agencies list, Tocquigny's clientele includes Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Ignite Learning. The shop is also moving to a new space in the Frost Bank building in downtown Austin, where the staff will work in a more open environment, Pichette said.
"We've been blown away by the talent we've been able to attract," Pichette said. "We're building a class-A team."
Pichette, a native of Washington, D.C., has a bachelor's in psychology from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA from Boston College. She started her ad career as an account executive with Ogilvy & Mather Direct in New York. Over her 20-year career, she has served in executive roles with Draft Worldwide (New York and Chicago), Harte-Hanks Direct (New York) and Leo Burnett (Chicago). In addition, Pichette is a certified life coach.
"People like Ann could work in top positions anywhere in the world," said Tocquigny. "The Austin business community will be richer and more sophisticated because of Ann's move."