Another Top Hire at Fahlgren

Fahlgren has appointed Philip Wilson creative director.

Wilson, 38, joins managing director Chris Perkins as part of a revitalized executive team at the Columbus, Ohio-based agency’s Tampa, Fla., office.

“Philip and Chris joining us indicates our commitment to bring top talent to the table,” said Fahlgren chief executive Steve Drongowski. “We know the only way to build our brand is to bring in people who have done outstanding work.”

Raleigh, N.C.-based creative search consultant Kem Sutphin recruited Wilson.

Wilson’s resume includes copywriting stints at J.Walter Thompson and Ammirati & Puris, both in New York, Leo Burnett in Chicago and Foote, Cone & Belding in San Francisco. Most recently, he was freelancing for DDB in New York.

He has worked on brands such as Budweiser, Compaq and Levi’s.

“Chris Perkins and I have al-ways wanted to start our own agencies,” said Wilson, a native of Danville, Va. “Neither of us could ever pull the trigger. Fahlgren has given both of us a chance to create an agency, its culture and its personality.”

Perkins arrived at Fahlgren last year from Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco.

Perkins’ charge is to generate business in what Wilson admitted is a “very entrepreneurial venture.” Wilson will oversee a six-person creative department. Another new hire, art director and associate creative director Kevin Raich, arrives this week from Citron Haligman Bedecarré in San Francisco.

“Our biggest challenge right now is getting our name out there,” said Wilson. “We need to let people now that there are some highly talented, highly qualified people in Florida.”

Atlanta’s WestWayne, which maintains a co-headquarters in Tampa, remains the dominant player in the area.

Perkins’ main charge will be to refine and revitalize the agency’s principal account, Visit Florida, a private-public partnership established to promote tourism throughout the state.

Florida’s vital hotel and convention business was particularly hard hit after Sept. 11. Fahlgren was tasked with driving the state legislature’s $20 million tourism recovery package.

“The agency had to work day and night,” said Wilson. “We responded in dramatic fashion.”

The resulting bilingual television and radio PSA campaign featured Governor Jeb Bush encouraging Floridians to travel within their own state.