In any market around the country, especially outside of the majors, there are agency leaders who are key players in driving the industry in their city. In Portland, North’s Rebecca Armstrong very much fits that description and, even in the land of Wieden + Kennedy, has carved out her own place among the greats.
Armstrong, one of the indie agency’s co-founders along with chief creative officer Mark Ray, has been elevated to the first-ever CEO of the shop. She will be tasked with guiding North through its next evolution and business development in light of the rapid and changing dynamics of the industry. Ray will retain his role as CCO.
“Rebecca is an amazing partner, and I can’t think of a better person to help guide North into the future as the role of an agency changes and expands,” Ray said.
Jordan Delapoer, a W+K Portland alum, will take over Armstrong’s role as managing director and will home in on the agency’s operations and client services. He joined the agency in 2011 and, in his previous role, led North’s strategy team as its director.
“Jordan already has the implicit trust of our clients and our team for his strategic and leadership skills, so this move just makes sense,” said Armstrong, who has been principal at North for 13 years and accumulated three decades of experience in both Portland and Seattle.
North has carved out a unique place in the lifestyle, organic and natural, and food and beverage categories. Perhaps its most high-profile client was Columbia Sportswear, which North snapped up in 2014 from Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners. The account then went to McCann at the end of 2018.
More recent standout work includes a Peet’s campaign starring Iliza Schlesinger as the brand entered the highly competitive ready-to-drink espresso market.
Other clients have included Keen Footwear, Clif Bar, Hydro Flask, Anchor Brewing Company and, most recently, Hood River Distillers.
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