LOS ANGELES Independent RPA has elevated key executives Pete Imwalle and Brett Bender (shown).
Vice president and management supervisor Bender will replace Chuck Valentine as svp, account director on the Santa Monica, Calif.-based agency's flagship American Honda Motors business. The transition will take place at year's end, when Valentine is expected to retire after 22 years at the agency.
"Brett has been working under Chuck for many years, and has earned the confidence of everyone he's worked with at RPA," said Larry Postaer, founding partner. "He's the perfect guy for the job."
Imwalle has been raised from vp, gm of RPA's interactive division to svp, director of brand integration. He will now oversee integrated efforts across all disciplines. "I wanted to get back to the traditional side of advertising, like holistic media planning, not because of the traditional media, but because it gets more to the core of clients' business," he said.
Imwalle's new position will let him get more "involved in the strategic, creative and media communications that help articulate how clients put it all together," he said.
The shop's interactive department has grown from 25 to 90 staffers and from a "miniscule to a big share of the agency's billings" since its launch more than a dozen years ago, Imwalle said. His former position will not be filled, he said, because most of the managers in the department have worked under him for 10 years and are capable of taking over.