After changing its company name, location and client focus during the past year, Sedgwick Rd.'s management is reflecting on 2001 with a sense of ac complishment. Perhaps that's why the Seattle agency's recent holiday celebration, the first to be held in the new digs, included a number of new faces.
The 85-person shop, known as McCann-Erickson prior to a name change in April, has added five senior employees to help build the image of the shop's top client: Washington Mutual Bank. Although the agency remains an outpost of McCann-Erickson, the name change was designed to re flect its boutique nature.
Following a series of acquisitions that extended the bank's reach well beyond its Seattle base, the client appears poised to extend its advertising commitment. It spent nearly $55 million in 2000 and another $44 million during the first eight months of this year, according to CMR.
In August, the agency also picked up the est imated $10 million Washington State De partment of Health business.
Jim Walker, president of Sedgwick Rd., said he added staffers because of the increased workload. "They will absolutely elevate our clients across the board, and they will help establish Washington Mutual Bank as the next great brand," he said.
Although the industry has been "decimated by layoffs this year," according to Walker, Sedgwick Rd. "looked at the glass as half full and [decided] to hire some extraordinary talent." Ten additional hires are expected after the first of the year.
Most recently, the agency brought in Steve Payonzeck as senior copywriter and Dave Sak amoto as senior art director.
Payonzeck, a seven-year veteran at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, said he was attracted to Sedgwick Rd. by "the opportunity to help grow an agency."
Sakamoto also hails from San Francisco, where he most recently worked for Odiorne Wilde Narraway + Partners.
Jane Jacobsen and Monica Pasternak have joined the broadcast-production department, and Debra Bednar was hired as an account super visor.
Sedgwick Rd. reports billings of approximately $110 million. Additional agency clients include Continental Mills, Recreational Equipment Inc., Seattle Art Museum and the Seattle International Film Festival.