Fallon Builds Its Next Generation of Leaders With 2 Digital-Savvy Hires

Brings in chief media officer and digital director

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Fallon Worldwide is expanding its management team with two young, digitally savvy hires—Mandana Mellano is now chief media officer, and Matt Benka is director of digital. The agency said it's a step toward modernizing its creative work on the heels of a Super Bowl spot for Quicken Loans and several new business wins.

Mellano, who said she has long admired the shop since seeing its Porsche work years ago, joins Fallon from Neo@Ogilvy, where she was a partner and director. Before that, she gathered experience at agencies including GroupM, RAPP, Mindshare + MEC, and Kastner & Partners, working on brands from Red Bull to Nestle.

Her main task as the new chief media officer will be to continue growing Fallon's media offering for clients and leveraging her contacts with publishers like Google and Facebook.

"It felt so right, and it was an incredible opportunity for me not only to be a part of this culture but for me to help them transition and really expand into a more modern approach for media," Mellano told Adweek.

Benka comes to Fallon from the full-service digital agency Space150 where he served as evp of account service. In the role of director of digital, Benka has already begun working on a few WhiteWave Foods brands, which the agency added to its roster at the beginning of the year.

In the new role, Benka said he hopes to define how brands "should use digital to live within culture. Digital is real-time; creative is the differentiator. I will help facilitate this conversation, moving away from platforms and directly toward ideas," he said.

Mellano and Benka will both report directly to Fallon Worldwide CEO Mike Buchner, who said he sees these two latest hires as a step in the right director for the future of the agency. Late last year, the agency's founder, Pat Fallon, passed away at the age of 70, leaving the agency with huge shoes to fill. Buchner said he's confident this new team will carry Fallon in the right direction.

"I'm starting to see a next-generation management team emerge before my eyes, and I'm very pleased with that," Buchner said. "Everything I'm doing right now is with an eye toward the future."

@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.