Stephen Rogers, new evp and director of business development at gkv communications, is a self-described "generalist"—and has the résumé to back it up.
The 52-year-old Welshman, formerly president of Chess Communications in Baltimore, started out as an art director and also has been an account executive, a media buyer and an agency owner. "Having my roots in creative has made me a better advertising person," Rogers said. "The successful client-agency relationship is one where there's no barrier between media, account management and creative."
Rogers reports to Roger Gray, president and CEO of gkv in Baltimore. The job was last held by Scott Deutschman, who passed away a year ago.
"Stephen has developed a lot of contacts over the years," said Gray. "He knows how to go out and get business."
Besides overseeing new business, Rogers also will work on Auntie Ann's Pretzels at the approximately $100 million, 70-staffer ad agency, whose other accounts include Lance snack foods and Maryland Tobacco Prevention.
The son of a British Foreign Service officer, Rogers was born in North Wales and spent part of his childhood in Tanzania and Uganda. The family later moved to Shreveport, La., where he finished high school.
Rogers left Chess in late September following its loss of key account Best Western Hotels ($25 million). Before joining Chess in 2001, Rogers, a graduate of Louisiana Tech, was president of Bates Southwest and president and chief creative officer of Black Rogers Sullivan Goodnight, both in Houston.
He began his career in 1973 as an art director at Bozell in Los Angeles. It was when he transferred to Bozell's Newport Beach, Calif., office that he realized he liked overseeing accounts and chasing new business.
"I couldn't give [the creative] the attention it needed," he said. "Also, there were a lot better creative directors [out there] than I!"