Headhunter Becomes Rainmaker

Cole Henderson Drake has hired Creative Search’s Mike Palma as senior vice president and marketing director, a new position.

“He’s going to take the lead in developing new business, creating leads and getting us into pitches,” said Chris Jacobs, executive creative director at the Atlanta shop.

Jacobs described Palma as a better student of advertising than a lot of agency presidents.

“When you’re talking to a power company, he knows the last three campaigns and the people who worked on it,” Jacobs said. “That knowledge of work and agencies and campaigns will help us.”

A former basketball coach at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Mass., Palma turned his recruiting skills to the advertising business while living in Raleigh, N.C. He moved the business to Atlanta in 1994.

As a recruiter, Palma, 44, found McKinney & Silver’s David Baldwin his first stint as creative director at Leonard/Monahan in Providence, R.I. He also placed creatives regionally on TBWA\Chiat\Day’s Nissan account.

“I’ve built a lot of great teams. It’s time for me to be on one,” said Palma, who will retain a stake in Creative Search. “My goal was to make $3 million in fees. I’ve done that, now I can move on.”