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Hires, Wins & Business

DDB SF Expands Leadership Team with Marla Ulrich and Denise Esterkyn

DDB North America, 5 days, 21 hours ago

New heads of production and talent to further agency’s transformation

DDB SF Expands Leadership Team with Marla Ulrich and Denise Esterkyn

DDB San Francisco, part of Omnicom Group Inc., announced today the appointment of Marla Ulrich as Head of Production effective immediately. Ulrich brings 16 years of varied, creative-focused production experience and expertise. In her role, Ulrich will be responsible for transforming and accelerating DDB San Francisco’s production model. Additionally, experienced Bay Area recruiter Denise Esterkyn joins as Head of Talent and will lead the agency’s talent operations. Both Ulrich and Esterkyn will be part of DDB San Francisco’s leadership team.

These leadership appointments follow DDB’s recent business momentum on the West Coast and advance President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Grantham’s plan to expand DDB San Francisco’s capabilities and talent. In July 2016, Grantham named Kevin Drew Davis Chief Creative Officer of DDB San Francisco. Ulrich and Davis will work closely to design a production process that capitalises on efficiency and maximises creativity. Most recently, Energy Upgrade California selected the agency to be its lead marketing partner.

“We’re focused on making DDB San Francisco a place where creative innovation thrives,” said Grantham. “This requires the right leadership, talent and agency structure working in sync to challenge the conventions of creativity. Marla and Denise bring the expertise we need to continue to transform and build for the future.”

Internationally known for encouraging talent to explore beyond their limits, Ulrich is able to develop creatively driven strategic content in multiple media, including film, photography, digital and exhibitions. As Head of Production, she will oversee DDB San Francisco’s integrated production team and manage the agency’s in-house production studio.

Davis said, “We’re very excited to have Marla join us because of the depth and breadth of her experience. She’s worked in a variety of environments, from large-scale global productions to lean digital projects. Marla brings knowledge and a skill set to DDB that will integrate our production and creative capabilities even further.”

Ulrich taps into a worldwide network of talent and artistic inspiration to create truly integrated, cross-disciplinary content. Shunning silos and traditional divisions of labour, she views each project holistically, integrating platforms, departments, continents and media.

Throughout her career, Ulrich has applied her tenacity and unconventional methodology to a range of creative projects. Most recently, Ulrich was a Creative Producer for Anomaly on campaigns for Google and Budweiser, among others. In connection with DAVID The Agency, she produced Coca-Cola’s global broadcast campaign for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, as well as a holiday spot for the brand.

“In my experience, creative is only ever as good as the production,” Ulrich says of her intuitive approach. “I think it’s notable that a traditional agency is giving me the chance to lead their production department with a modern approach.”

As DDB San Francisco’s Head of Talent, Esterkyn will be a champion for the agency’s culture. She’ll lead recruitment and oversee talent development for the agency. Throughout her 20-year career in human resources and recruiting, Esterkyn’s passion for talent development has always been evident. Having worked in San Francisco’s ad industry for the last 15 years (five of which were spent as an HR consultant for Bay Area agencies), Esterkyn is well known in the local creative community. Prior to that, she was the San Francisco Director of the Miami Ad School, where she managed and grew the school’s reputation on the West Coast.