Michelle Roufa has been named creative director, broadcast at Eisner Communications.
Roufa, 32, joins the Baltimore agency after being an associate creative director at M&C Saatchi in New York.
"Michelle will be front and center," said Eisner CD Steve Etzine, who is now executive creative director in the shop's 14-person creative department. "I'm bringing someone in to challenge me and raise the level of the work."
Roufa arrives with a solid resume and a long list of creative achievements, including six national Addy Awards.
At Saatchi, she worked on the British Airways and Travel Channel accounts, winning an Effie award for her airline advertising.
Prior to Saatchi, Roufa was at Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York for six years, advancing from a freelance slot to vice president, senior copywriter and group leader.
At Cliff Freeman, she worked on the Little Caesars Pizza, Sauza Tequila, Fanta, Cherry Coke and Staples accounts. She won a bronze Lion at Cannes for her Staples advertising; a Mercury award for Little Caesars.
"Broadcast is where her greatest strength lies," said Etzine. "She combines an incisive strategic ability with an intuitive understanding of comedy."
Roufa, a Yale graduate born in Skokie, Ill., and raised in Lancaster, Pa., arrives at an agency with$220 million in annual billings. Eisner's accounts include the Nature Conservancy, Johns Hopkins Medicine and the National Education Association.
"Eisner is the perfect-sized agency—small but growing," said Roufa, who is already working on the shop's Maryland Lottery and AMF Worldwide bowling accounts. "You want to be part of something going forward ... to get attention and to get attention going."
She came to Etzine's attention after relocating to the Baltimore area when her husband, oncologist Mark Kayton, was awarded a two-year fellowship at the National Cancer Institute. She was freelancing when he contacted her.
"We need to raise the standard of our work as quickly as possible," said Etzine. He was referring, perhaps, to the fact that one of the agency's signature accounts, The Go RVing Coalition ($45 million in billings over six years), will begin a review next spring. Competitors are lining up.
"Short term, we're a serious regional contender," Etzine added. "We'll be a national contender in 18 months."