Joyce King Thomas Quits McCann

By Kiran Aditham 

McCann New York CCO Joyce King Thomas is ending her tenure at the IPG shop’s Big Apple branch after six years in the post. King Thomas, who had spent 16 years at the agency in total, will officially bow out at the end of August. According to Adweek, McCann has been searching for a new creative lead for over a month while King Thomas is voluntarily leaving and had been plotting it for a while. Tipsters tell us that King Thomas sent a company-wide email earlier this morning confirming the news. McCann isn’t responding to inquiries as of yet.

Update: A rep for McCann has provided us with this statement: “Joyce sent out a memo this morning announcing that she was going to leave. She made it clear that she’ll be here until the end of August so she can wrap up all ongoing client business and oversee client initiatives. The two biggest projects she’s been involved with is the Passion Project, where five staffers took a sabbatical to pursue their passions and The Ad Lab. Her oldest son, Aidan, taught at a school in Harlem about the ad business. From our perspective, that’s one thing that Joyce was known for: everything inside and outside the ad business.”


The source continues, “Joyce is going to India to spend some time with her other son. We all wish her joy and success and we love her. She said in the staff memo that 16 years is a long time in dog years.”

As for King Thomas’ replacement: “We’re looking for a new chief creative officer and it’s in the earlier stages rather than the latest stages. We expect it to be an A-list name.” Just don’t expect any sort of announce before July or August, our source says.

After the jump, check out McCann’s internal memo about the Passion Project and the winners.

More: “McCann Seattle: The Agency With a Thousand Names

The 2010 McCann NY Passion Project Award Winners

We’re going to delay the big news for a few moments, so please bear with us. (Or you can skip to the end, if you just can’t help yourself.)

The six of us, who pored over the approximately 130 Passion Projects you submitted, want to extend our gratitude to all of the McCann staffers who shared their ideas with us. Your submissions were an embarrassment of riches, with projects that were all wildly passionate, but as a group they represented an astounding and complex diversity of thought, life experience, ambition, creativity and personal philosophy.

We felt privileged to read submissions that were about deeply-felt family issues, from coping with tragedy to overcoming adversity to exploring family history and genealogy to sharing a love of traveling or cooking, with fathers, mothers, grandparents, sisters, brothers and children all included in the mix.

We were overjoyed to see and feel the incredible bounty of creative passions that drive so many of you, across every conceivable art form, from painting and photography to industrial design, from novel- and screen-writing to blogging, filmmaking and Internet production.

We were thrilled to read of your passion for traveling the world, from scaling distant mountains to visiting holy sites to trekking through harsh wilderness to taking to the open road via every possible mode of transportation.

We were proud to read of your intense devotion to animals, and your efforts to save, rescue, advocate for and care for them.

And we were humbled and inspired to read your richly detailed, thoughtful and innovative ideas for charity and volunteer projects. Your passion for helping others, for making a difference, for giving back, for wanting to make the world a better place, struck all of us with the clarity of a church bell.

And so we faced the nearly impossible task of choosing five winning projects.

In narrowing down the finalists, and choosing the five winners, we were pulled toward those projects which moved us most strongly. Each of the winning projects are unique from all the others in some way; each one is creatively expressed, personal, and deeply passionate; and they each express an idea that struck us as universal to the human condition.

Many hours were spent debating the merits of your submissions, and many more of them deserve to be recognized. We intend to continue the Passion Project next year, so while we express our regret at not being able to grant more of you a well-deserved sabbatical, we urge you to keep pursuing your passions, and to please come back to us again next year.

And now, the winners of the 2010 Passion Projects:

1. Michael Whittenberger. Mike, who works in IT support, was given a Passion Project so that he can spend three weeks working on graphic novel, A Ninja Named Stan, which he sold last year to a medium-sized comics publisher. He and an artist friend (Mike writes; his friend inks and draws) will use the time to finish and deliver the book (which is now overdue) to the publisher, and then launch their next graphic novel project.

2. Subira Williams. Subira, who works in our finance department, will use her time to create and run a dance workshop for children in Harlem. Subira has been volunteering her weekends for four years at The Harlem Hospital Dance Leadership program, which serves at-risk youth in Harlem, ages 3-18, via a philosophy of “discipline through dance,” which instills self-esteem, dedication, responsibility and life lessons. Subira’s program will be offered to children who do not have access to summer camp.

3. Catherine Patterson, Christine Cattano & Stuart Shapiro. These three, all of whom work in the production department, will share one Passion Project award. They will spend one week together on the road, working with a grassroots organization and the National Park Service, to build a social media platform to support the creation of an on-site memorial for United Flight #93, which went down, after passengers fought back, in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11. They will spend their own vacation time prepping the project, and following up, to see it through to completion. (Historical note: Cat Patterson was booked on Flight #93, but she developed strep throat and had to cancel.)

4. Tracey Smith. Tracey, an art director and associate CD, is going to spend her 3 weeks producing a documentary about Angel’s Gate, a hospice for wounded, abused and abandoned animals located in Delhi, NY. The animal hospice, the first of its kind, needs $50,000 to build a fence so all of the 400 or so of the animals in residence can roam freely. The documentary will be the primary tool to help raise those funds.

5. Theresa Maranzano. Theresa, a manager in our broadcast department, will spend her 3 weeks volunteering at the “Bounce out the Stigma” Mighty Mike Basketball Camp. The “Mighty Mike” of the camp title is her nephew, Michael, who began suffering epileptic seizures when he was only 2 years old. Theresa helped raise Mike, and his lifelong dream was to open a camp to help children overcome by the emotional and social difficulties of epilepsy and autism. He opened his camp several years ago. While Theresa has volunteered there on weekends, it has been her dream to spend a dedicated chunk of her summer working directly with the kids.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to all our 2010 winners. Thank you for sharing your passions with us. We will be in touch soon to discuss details and logistics.

With great admiration, your judges,

Kirk Campion
Bruce Stockler
Devika Bulchandani
Jeff Geisler
Thom Gruhler
Joyce King Thomas