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La Comunidad Taps Bassell

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A year-long search for a president at la comunidad in Miami led partners José and Joaquin Mollá to Gary Bassell, who launched BatesSouth's office in Florida about a decade ago.

Bassell, 42, will lead account management and new-business efforts, as well as handle day-to-day financial responsibilities for the Hispanic agency. His appointment frees José Mollá, who is based in Miami, to return to creative duties. His brother, Joaquin, will continue as president and creative director at the shop's Buenos Aires, Argentina, location.

"We wanted to find someone who was strong from a client side," said José Mollá. "Gary, because of his experience and knowledge and his style, is a good match for us."

Bassell, a good-humored, energetic man who was raised and educated in Spain and the U.S., holds an MBA and two undergraduate degrees from Boston University. As president of BatesSouth in Miami, Bassell was credited with bringing in clients such as Mercedes-Benz, MTV and Miller Brewing. His former position as founding associate publisher of LatinFinance helped BatesSouth land Hispanic accounts from The Wall Street Journal and Time. (Bassell's literary credentials also include a novel, which he wrote last year and plans to revise this summer.)

Bassell said 10 years in one place had him feeling dated and ready to move on. "I was approaching one of those junctures where you have to push yourself to a transformative change," he said.

La comunidad's Miami office primarily handles U.S. Hispanic assignments. The Mollá brothers, however, often trade projects between the shop's two offices because, said José Mollá, it is helpful to have a perspective on work created in Latin America, where consumers are not treated differently.

La comunidad has 30 staffers. Its clients include MTV, Sony and Nordstrom. —ALICIA GRISWOLD