Post-Katrina Growth at Zehnder

DALLAS Nearly a year after fleeing New Orleans in the face of Hurricane Katrina, Zehnder Communications is bolstering its executive ranks and expanding its Baton Rouge, La., office, the shop said.

Account director Ann Edelman, former head of Edelman Advertising, will now head the Baton Rouge location, which provided temporary refuge for some New Orleans staffers last summer. Also joining Zehnder from Edelman’s former agency is account executive Allison Stiel, a Zehnder representative said.

In New Orleans, Tom Martin was hired to fill the new position of president, reporting to CEO Jeff Zehnder, the agency said. Martin will oversee account services, public relations and media for the 10-year-old agency, Zehnder said.

Before joining Zehnder, Martin co-founded Brandmarken, a consumer insight-planning firm where he worked for more than four years in the New Orleans area. He has also served as director of insight at Keating Magee and vice president of business development at Peter A. Mayer Advertising, another New Orleans agency. Martin has worked with regional, national and international clients such as American Airlines during his time at Temerlin McClain Advertising in Dallas, now TM Advertising.

“Zehnder’s coupling of strategic planning and commitment to creating compelling work led to my decision to join Zehnder,” said Martin.

Edelman had previously worked as a partner with Zehnder on some projects, the agency said. Edelman and Stiel will bring their clients into the Zehnder fold. They include Portable on Demand Storage (PODS), based in 12 markets across the country, and Howell Place, a 200-acre multi-use business park in North Baton Rouge. They will continue to work with Zehnder’s Baton Rouge clientele, including LUBA Workers’ Comp.

“I’ve worked with Jeff and many members of the Zehnder team for two decades so this seems a natural culmination of a relationship I greatly value. I’m proud to contribute my experience to an agency that consistently sets new standards,” said Edelman.

After floodwaters subsided and services were restored to New Orleans, Zehnder returned to its hometown headquarters last November.

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