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Their Kind of Town

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The Creative Alliance has upped the ante in the Chicago market, hiring Jennifer LeMay as executive creative officer and stationing her here with the directive to build business.

LeMay's move to the Louisville, Ky.-based agency was not unexpected. She follows Bob Welke, who hired her for her last two jobs and who took over as chief creative officer of CA in May.

LeMay said she was drawn to CA by the opportunity to be on the ground floor of an office while playing a part in an effort to build a regional player into a national one.

"It's the best of both worlds," LeMay said of joining an established shop while also having the chance to be "very entrepreneurial."

Creative Alliance has a subsidiary in Chicago called the January Group that is staffed largely by former employees of the defunct Lois/EJL.

The main client of the shop, which claims $20 million in billings, is the Chicago area's KFC co-op account. LeMay will work out of the January Group's offices on Michigan Avenue.

CA chief executive officer Debbie Scoppechio said she expects to have a full-service Chicago office under the agency's main banner by year's end. She said the ability to recruit talent was a key to CA's expansion in the market.

LeMay first worked with Welke at Leo Burnett, then joined him at Tatham as an executive creative director. Welke left the top creative post at Tatham in March following a power struggle with president and CEO Gary Epstein. LeMay was among several creatives to follow him out the door.