Ad Vet de Maio Joins Burrell Amid Restructuring

Burrell Communications has restructured its top management and named veteran adman Mike de Maio its managing director.

De Maio was with Eisaman Johns & Laws and its successor agencies from the mid 1980s until the shop’s owners went bankrupt last year. After that he joined the Creative Alliance in Louisville, Ky., as president.

He follows another Chicago ad vet, Mike Faems, to Burrell. Faems, longtime head of Young & Rubicam’s creative operation in Chicago, last month was named executive vice president and managing director of creative operations, teaming with Alma Hopkins to oversee that end of the agency.

De Maio is one of five executive vice presidents who report to CEO Tom Burrell under the agency’s new structure.

De Maio said the African American owned shop’s challenge is to “leverage [its talents] beyond a particular niche.”

“You ought to preserve the brand advantage,” he said. But Burrell now wants to use its brand to grab more general market business.

Burrell, 61, said last week he has no plans to retire and the new structure is not designed as a succession plan. The agency’s president, Sarah Burroughs, stepped down in September.

In addition to de Maio’s appointment and new titles for Faems and Hopkins, Burrell made the following changes to its management team:

• Fay Ferguson becomes executive vice president and managing director of marketing operations. She was formerly executive vice president and director of account management.

• McGhee Williams becomes executive vice president, managing director of marketing innovations. Williams will continue as general manager of Burrell’s Atlanta office.