Noelle Weaver, who has joined SS+K as its first vp of business development, originally intended to pursue a career as a freelance magazine writer. But after entering the ad industry and being introduced to new business, she "fell in love" with the discipline.
"There is an energy there that you don't find anywhere else," said the 32-year-old native of Goshen, Ind., most recently assistant director of new business at Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners in New York. "Some people call it stress. I call it a rush."
Weaver, who reports to partner Rob Shepardson, will aim to expand SS+K's client roster into new categories. The 75-staffer independent's clients include Time Warner, The Bill and Melinda Gates Association, and Unicef.
Weaver has a "rare combination of creativity, brainpower, elbow grease and tenacity," said partner Lenny Stern, who founded the New York-based shop in 1993 with Shepardson, Mark Kaminsky and David McCall (who died in 1999).
Weaver said she was attracted to the shop's "asymmetric communications" strategy, which entails finding the right medium for clients based on their audiences instead of the competition. "So many agencies are selling integration, but they still have separate teams, separate processes, separate P&Ls," said Weaver. "And there's always a TV ad in the mix."
A graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, Weaver began her career as an administrative assistant at J. Walter Thompson in New York. After six years there, she moved to Publicis in New York and in 2002 joined MVBMS.
Weaver, a self-described fast talker who lives in a converted sweater factory in artsy Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said she keeps her eyes open for nascent trends that could impact advertisers. "[New business] really just encompasses everything—it's constant learning," she said.