Winning is everything, said Vince Lombardi. Anne Bologna, who grew up across the street from the legendary football coach in Green Bay, Wis., will need a similar determination if she is to jump-start Fallon's downsized New York operation.
Bologna, 46, was tapped last week to succeed Alison Burns as president of Fallon's New York office. Burns, who has led New York since 1998, is leaving to start a consultancy.
Bologna has spent her entire 19 years in Minneapolis, first at Campbell-Mithun and, since 1995, at Fallon, where she was named planning director in 1999. So her learning curve—about the largest U.S. mar ket and Fallon's New York staff—figures to be steep.
A former colleague did not expect Bologna's Midwestern roots to be an impediment in New York. "She's more New York 'can do' than 'Minnesota nice,' " said Mary Van Note, a partner at Red consultancy, who worked for Bologna at Fallon for seven years.
Bologna described her management approach as "be[ing] open about what you want."
The office peaked in 2000, when it won six of seven pitches, bringing its billings to about $300 million. However, promising accounts, such as the $40 million GovWorks.com, dried up, and the $50 million MindSpring was acquired by Earthlink.
Today, the East Coast outpost has billings of about $125 million and roughly 50 staffers.
"I think that office is destined for very great things" given Bologna's and Fallon North America president David Lubars' abilities, said Brad Jakeman, director of worldwide ad ver tising for Citibank. Bologna has led that client's $100 million account at Fallon for the last few months.
Bologna and Burns will work together through January, with the former taking control on Feb. 1.