DDB Chicago Finds a New Pitch Leader

Jamie McGarry shifts from O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul

The Chicago office of DDB has filled its top new business role with an executive from a smaller, crosstown rival.

Jamie McGarry, former new business chief at O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul, is now director of business development at DDB in Chicago. She fills a vacancy created by the December exit of Isabel Schuler, who held the role for 17 months. (Schuler left to become a vp at public relations shop Edelman.)

At DDB, McGarry becomes part of a Chicago leadership team that includes CEO Paul Gunning, chief creative officer John Maxham and chief strategy officer John Kottmann. Top accounts in the office, which employs about 350, include McDonald's, State Farm, Mars, Safeway and Capital One credit cards.

Before O'Keefe Reinhard, McGarry worked in new business at Draftfcb, also in Chicago, meaning she brings big agency experience. But it was her understanding of DDB's business strategy that ultimately distinguished her from other candidates, Gunning said. In short, the office covets more big brands like McDonald's and State Farm that have mainstream American appeal.

"She really understood that about us," Gunning said, adding, "Her tonality will fit very well with those corporations that we go after."

Interestingly, McGarry wasn't seeking a job when DDB came calling, based on her credentials. In fact, she had just joined O'Keefe Reinhard last summer. But an initial chat led to more meetings and an offer that McGarry accepted. 

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