Duncan Channon Hires Eleven Vet as First Chief Integration Officer

By Erik Oster Comment

San Francisco independent agency Duncan Channon hired Gary Stein as its first chief integration officer.

The hire follows Duncan Channon’s acquisition of experiential and social media-focused Los Angeles agency A2G back in March.

“As our agency has grown, we’ve recognized the need to make sure everything we do furthers a singular creative vision that drives results for clients. So, we’d been considering this position for a while. Our acquisition of A2G created a reason to hire for the role now. Duncan Channon now has an integrated offering with depth that no one else our size has, so adding Gary as chief integration officer is part of our commitment to bring the best of our diverse expertise to bear for clients,” Duncan Channon CEO Andy Berkenfield told AgencySpy. “Gary brought a unique background in both media and strategy, as well as a desire to find this type of role at a creative independent shop. The timing was serendipitous for both of us.”

Stein will be responsible for ensuring the agency optimizes its creative output for clients by employing diverse points of view and a cross-disciplinary approach tailored to each client, assessing the effectiveness of cross-discipline integration and finding opportunities to further integrate the agency’s offerings.

“For each client, he’ll be responsible for optimizing integration at two levels: collaboration between people, and creativity and effectiveness of integrated ideas for clients,” Berkenfield said. “He’ll also be responsible for helping to bring the best of what DC has to offer—across creative, experiential, influencer, social and media—to new business.”

Berkenfield explained the creation of the role also comes on the heels of its “first piece of truly integrated business” since acquiring A2G (which it can’t yet disclose), which he said neither Duncan Channon or A2G could have previously won on its own.

Stein joins Duncan Channon following around four and a half years at Eleven, most recently as associate partner, head of activation, overseeing media, planning and data insights. Before joining Eleven as director, marketplace insights, he held a series of strategy and planning leadership roles at agencies including Isobar, iCrossing and Sterling Brands.

Stein told AgencySpy that while it was hard to leave Eleven, after spending time to get to know the leadership team at Duncan Channon he realized the agency’s values and priorities aligned strongly with his own, adding, “They have an ambition to impact brands and culture in bigger ways, and see integrated creativity as key to that. DC is an independent agency poised to pop and to be honest, I wanted to be a part of that and add to that growth.”

“Here at Duncan Channon, I have the chance to work across the different practices, pulling them together into a single, focused force to unleash on client challenges,” he explained. “Over the course of my career, I’ve worked in client services, led a strategy team, and built a media and comms planning practice. I even was a producer (way back). I have a pretty good understanding of how each of the disciplines contribute and have always tried to pull them close together to build something greater than the sum of its parts. This role is all about doing that: integration to make campaigns that give great ideas the chance to grow across channels.”

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