AgencySpy Revolving Door Roundup: Barkley, Grey, Hush and More

By Kyle O'Brien 

Revolving Door

Just like the clocks this weekend (save for Hawaii and Arizona), it’s time to spring forward in the ad world. New starts, fresh moves and sprouts of client wins are all blooming this week.

So let’s jump right into the clover and take a big whiff of this week’s Revolving Door Roundup.

Astound Commerce


Astound Commerce has promoted chief client success officer Vanessa Cartwright to chief operating officer, North America.

In this newly created role, Cartwright will oversee all financial and business planning, client services, business development, operations, people management and the company culture.

Barking Owl

Music and sound company Barking Owl has added Gus Koven as sound designer. Based in Los Angeles, Koven will develop sound and music for global brand clients, including Pepsi, Nike, Reebok and Facebook.


Barkley defended its territory and has won AOR duties for the Missouri Lottery after a pitch. Barkley has been AOR for the state’s lottery since 2010. The agency previously pitched and defended the account in 2015.


Birmingham, Ala., agency Big today has made several promotions. Ashley Foster has been promoted to director of strategic communications and will serve as a member of the agency’s management team. Laura Wright has been promoted to account director; Jess Brown has been promoted to content director; Paul Prudhomme has been promoted to senior art director; Chris Seagle has been promoted to senior art director; and Mary Reynolds Lipscomb has been promoted to media planner/buyer.


Digital consultancy Envoy has launched Envoy Ventures, an investment arm. Through its initial $10 million fund, Envoy Ventures has already invested in three companies, including Kapsul connected air conditioners, Kopari Beauty and Violux UV-C light cleaning.

The Envoy Ventures management team includes Kevin Bauer, CEO of Envoy, and Bob Allison, managing partner and founder, Innovate Partners. Bauer and Allison are joined by operating partners Russ and Ryan Rommelfanger and Michael Bennett, co-founders of Envoy.

FCB Brasil

FCB Brasil has landed the Aurora Foods account. After a bidding process, the agency will now handle all of the brand’s communications.

Headquartered in Chapecó, Aurora is the largest cooperative in Brazil’s food industry, and the third largest meat producer in the country.


Performance marketing agency GainShare has appointed Matt Kelley as senior vice president of customer experience. Kelley will lead consumer integration efforts across various digital channels and UX working to optimize client marketing programs.

Kelley previously held svp of consumer experience positions at Dentsu’s iProspect and Leapfrog Online.


Grey London has hired Bee Pahnke as its head of voice, a new role for the agency. Pahnke helping to set the tone of voice for the agency, looking at the words used by clients and the agency to better communicate to target audiences. Pahnke was formerly head of voice at London’s Dragon Rouge.

Grey New York has hired Andre Gray as executive creative director. He was formerly ecd at Eleven, and before that was at TBWA\Neboko in Amsterdam.


Design agency Hush has hired human resources professional Karl Stewart as its talent and people manager.

Stewart worked previously for exhibition and media design firm Local Projects, and as the human resources manager for digital healthcare SaaS pioneer Noteworth. He has also worked for online luxury goods and jewelry auction house, WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS.

Stewart will also join Hush’s diversity, equity and inclusion task force.


Digitally focused creative agency Instrument has promoted Kara Place to president. In her new role, Kara will oversee delivery, staffing and recruiting, new business and community partnerships to achieve consistent growth for the organization.

Place joined Instrument in 2013 as an executive producer and most recently led marketing and business development for the 270 person shop with offices in Portland and New York.

Instrument has also promoted Stephanie Lanning to vp of business development, and elevated Nishat Akhtar to associate vp of creative.

McCann Health

McCann Health has promoted Adriano Botter to chief digital officer. In this role, Botter, who was previously digital director for McCann Health Brazil, will lead the transformation of McCann Health’s digital offering across the global network.

Throughout his 14 years in advertising, Botter has worked for various agencies within WPP and IPG, implementing digital projects for local and global brands, such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Apple, WWF, AstraZeneca, Nestle, Novartis, Bayer and GSK.

John Cahill, global CEO of McCann Health, said: “Adriano’s ability to meld the power of digital with data, strategy and creativity will bring to life our bold vision of the future of McCann Health.”

Preston Kelly

Brand building agency Preston Kelly has added to its leadership team, hiring Laura Silverman as public relations director and Sharmila de Silva as vice president group account director. The move brings Preston Kelly’s leadership to 68% women.

Silverman was most recently communications director for Feld Entertainment. De Silva recently was director of marketing at BrandPoint Services.

Silverman will spearhead public relation efforts for key accounts including Paisley Park, Lifespark, NoDoz and Wings Financial Credit Union. De Silva will provide leadership for accounts including Lifespark and UCare.


San Francisco marketing accelerator and consultancy has named Brian Hovis senior partner and head of performance marketing.

Hovis was previously vice president of marketing for Nordstrom, svp and global head of digital marketing for Citi, vp of marketing for Experian, and held digital leadership roles for Intuit and Sony Electronics.

“Brian was our client at Intuit and was hands down one of the best clients we ever had. I’m so excited to be able to offer this level of talent to our performance marketing clients,” said Traction CEO Adam Kleinberg.


Translation LLC, the creative arm of UnitedMasters Translation, has expanded its senior leadership team by hiring Alison Hill as head of production and promoting Joel Rodriguez to executive director of engagement planning.

Hill will drive the production strategy for the agency across all clients, and Rodriguez will oversee the context planning and social engagement departments.

Hill joins from Wieden+Kennedy New York. Rodriguez started as an intern at Translation in 2011.


Healthcare marketing and communications company has shifted focus and renamed to Real Chemistry. Healthcare has transformed since the outbreak of Covid-19, and Real Chemistry is designed to address the forces driving this disruption, including digitization, consumerization and value-based care.

Real Chemistry bills itself as a unified “health innovation company” that combines services in digital marketing, creative and communications with clinical trial, health economics and outcomes, and value, pricing and access advisory expertise.

“For 20 years, our work and our passion have been about making the world a healthier place for all,” said Jim Weiss, CEO and founder of Real Chemistry. “The pandemic has shown us that communications plays a more vital role than ever to ensure life-changing healthcare solutions get to the right person at the right time and place. That is why this moment is about so much more than a new name or approach.”


Boutique post-production shop Wax has added New York-based, multifaceted commercial and film editor Alex Pirrone.