Imports For Mckinney, Crumbley

Two Southeast agencies moved to bolster their human resources last week as McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C., recruited Janet Northen as senior vice president and director of communications, and Rich Wakefield was named creative director at Crumbley & Alba/MRA in Atlanta.
Northen comes from Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, where she was the shop’s first director of communications from 1993 until the present. Prior to that stint, she held the same title at The Martin Agency from 1981 to 1989.
McKinney president and chief executive Don Maurer referred to Northen as “the best in the industry.” The hiring concludes the agency’s search for someone to handle its public relations function.
Wakefield is leaving his post as associate creative director at Goldberg, Moser, O’Neill in San Francisco to assume creative control over the $16 million Crumbley & Alba/MRA. The move is a homecoming for Wakefield, who began as an art director at Aydlotte & Cartwright and later worked at Fahlgren here. He was also at Fahlgren in Tampa, Fla., and BBDO in Vancouver. He replaces Bill Shirk, who left the shop at the end of 1998.
“I had reached the point where I wanted to be a creative director and have an opportunity some day to be a partner in an agency,” Wakefield said. “I was looking for a long-term relationship and I wanted to get back to Atlanta. We never sold our house there.”
Wakefield has good credentials, having worked on Edy’s Ice Cream and KIA Automotive at Goldberg. He comes to an agency that was created in 1995 via the merger of Crumbley & Associates and Alba Communications. Last year the venture scored its biggest win by securing The Athlete’s Foot retail chain. In November, the agency became part of MRA Group of Syracuse, N.Y.
“All my friends [in the ad business] have grown up and are in key positions with agencies in Atlanta,” Wakefield said. “I think Atlanta is getting ready to change. It used to be a place where big agencies put creative people out to pasture, but there’s a new breed of people there.”