R/GA Names the First Managing Director of Its Portland Office

By Patrick Coffee 

R/GA’s office in Portland’s “thriving Pearl District” has named an account vet as its first general manager amidst a series of larger expansion moves.

Alex Schneider joins the connected agency in the City of Roses after serving as CMO for Windy Hill Spirits, a Nashville-based startup dedicated to providing the public with “authentic moonshine whiskey.”

The Portland office, which opened its doors way back in 2013, has been growing quietly as of late in staffing terms. Two of its more prominent additions were those of top creatives on the Nike account: ECD Ben Williams moved from New York in May after working on the business since 2012 and group creative director/Nike lead Sammi Needham followed him the next month. Office co-founder Patricia Choi will retain her title as VP of technology after a March promotion.

For the past two-plus years, the Portland office has been managed by R/GA’s team in Manhattan. But since the western operation has been expanding recently, the agency saw a need to boost its creative team and hire Schneider to run the operation more independently. In that new gig (which started over the summer), he reports directly to North American President Sean Lyons.

Bob Greenberg explains:

“Alex is joining us at an exciting time as we are seeing phenomenal growth in our Portland office, which supports our award-winning work for Nike. As part of this, we have moved some of our best and brightest out there, where they will also work with our offices in our west coast region, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.”

Before diving into the world of high-proof spirits, Schneider worked in accounts at several agencies including kbs+, Ogilvy and New York “guerrilla marketing” shop Renegade. He then spent nearly six years as Director of Brand Management at 72andSunny, leaving in 2012 to co-found Deutsch L.A.’s branded entertainment operation while serving as SVP and group account director.

Regarding his return to the agency world, Schneider writes:

“R/GA is setting the bar on what it means to be a business partner and ensure that our clients are connecting with consumers in the strongest way. I’m excited to be working with our Portland team as they have already demonstrated tangible results, which reflect a deep knowledge of how to combine creativity and technology.”

The cause of all this growth in Portland beyond the Nike account is unclear at the moment.

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