Since Some Say We Don’t Cover GSD&M Enough, Let’s Finish Off Tuesday with This

By Kiran Aditham 

Soooo, a friend forwarded a memo sent to staff from Duff Stewart, CEO at Austin-based, Omnicom-owned GSD&M (the Idea City part, by the way, was dropped like third-period French in early 2011; the sign on the building, though, is another story). Anyhow, changes are now afoot specifically in GSD&M’s communications department, mainly that SVP of said division John McGrath, who’s been with the agency for well over six years, and senior manager, comms Adele Hazan, are striking out on their own. As a result, eight-year GSD&M vet Melanie Mahaffey is moving up the ranks. Why spoil it all, though, read on for Stewart’s explanation, verbatim:

“Over the past few years, our GSD&M Communications team has been at the center of some of the most innovative and entrepreneurial activities at the agency. From expanding our digital properties to live-event production including regular music showcases, the SXSW Industry Party and other major events, they have consistently created and championed new ways to build our agency brand, business and culture.


That entrepreneurial spirit is now leading to some big changes on the team. John McGrath and Adele Hazan are creating an independent communications agency called Brand Community Strategies and Autumn Rich is leaving to start Autumn Rich Consulting with a focus on live events. We wish them good luck with their new endeavors.

While John, Adele and Autumn are off to pursue new adventures the agency remains committed to music, integrated digital solutions and innovation across all platforms. “GSD&M Presents” and our music showcases will continue.

So what’s next for Communications?

I’m happy to announce that Melanie Mahaffey will become our new head of Communications with a well-deserved promotion to vice president. Over the past eight years, nobody has done more than Melanie to ensure the GSD&M reputation is strong. Her many contributions have touched every part of GSD&M and we’re fortunate to have her step up and lead Communications.

David Rockwood will continue to guide our community-relations function as well as our PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR SUPERSTORE accounts. We look forward to more of his many contributions across the agency.

Please join me in congratulating all of our Communications team members on their next chapters. And note that you’ll still be seeing John and Adele around the agency for a while longer. We’ve asked them to continue to support some of our communications functions for the balance of the year.