Abend Joins Via as CD

BOSTON David Abend has joined Via as creative director, reporting to chief creative officer Rich Rico and ecd Greg Smith.

Abend, 44, will oversee three associate creative directors and lead several key accounts, including Analog Devices and Banknorth. “I just hope I can continue to help them do well,” Abend said. He will split time between the agency’s headquarters in Portland, Maine, and its Boston outpost, which opened last year.

Abend spent three years as creative director of technology-driven agency Harpell in Maynard, Mass., crafting mainly print-based campaigns for clients such as Oracle’s e-Travel, LavaStorm and Best Software before his departure in September 2000. He has also worked as an acd at Havas’ Arnold, Boston, and most recently led his own creative boutique operation Windray in Burlington, Mass.

Via stands as New England’s No. 2 independent with billings and revenue each improving 18 percent to $130 million and $13 million, respectively, last year. (Only Allen & Gerritsen, Watertown, Mass., is larger among regional indies.)

Abend came to Via’s attention through longtime friend and former co-worker David Jackson, a strategic principal in the shop’s Boston office, who had spoken with Abend in recent months about freelancing for Via. Those talks led to Abend’s addition to the agency’s staff, he said.

Ken Dec, also a strategic principal at Via, said Abend’s creative track record and temperament make him a good addition for the shop.