Chicago’s The Escape Pod Promotes Celia Jones to CEO

By Patrick Coffee 

This week Chicago-based multimedia agency The Escape Pod announced that it has promoted former brand manager Celia Jones to the role of CEO.

She now reports to Norm Bilow, former DDB agency executive and agency founder who currently serves as managing director of The Escape Pod Group, a network formed just under a year ago when the agency bought a stake in experiential shop OutCold (the group also includes digital agency ORA Interactive, experiential agency OutCold, Gravity Well editorial and creative staffing service

“As soon as Celia joined The Escape Pod, she made an immediate impact on our brand and business. Her insights and diverse expertise, blending corporate strategy, branding, and two decades of experience at both traditional and digital agencies, helped us crystallize our story,” said Bilow, who said the organization occupies “a very advantageous position in the marketplace as a strategic partner to fast-growing challenger brands.”

Before moving to Escape Pod in 2016, Jones worked at a number of Chicago-area agencies including DesignKitchen, Critical Mass, Havas and Rightpoint. According to the release, she has played a crucial role in expanding its digital, social and experiential offerings.

“Both clients and employees are hungry for an alternative. What we stand for as an agency is an escape—from ineffective advertising that fails to stand out, and from the waste, layers and politics of the bigger shops,” Jones said. “I’m excited to shape the future of The Escape Pod—there is no place I’d rather be.”

Last year, the Chicago shop was AdAge’s Midwest Small Agency of the Year. Its current client roster includes KIND Snacks, Toys R Us, Whole Foods and Wheat Thins.