Rapid growth marks major expansion in capabilities
R/GA has announced 22 new additions to R/GA LA in departments spanning brand design, media and connections, strategy, consulting, and integrated studios. The additions, reflecting a major expansion in capabilities, will fuel the transformational work that is attracting a growing portfolio of clients that includes Hollywood Foreign Press, Nike, Pepsi, Quaker, and Western Digital.
“Over the past year we’ve evolved our LA offering by adding incredible new talent to the team. Their expertise reflects our focus on leveraging design, technology, and entertainment to transform brands and businesses across the agency’s clients. We’re excited to see what this group of talented thinkers and makers will create,” said Nicky Bell, SVP, Managing Director, R/GA LA.
To fuel its expansion, the agency has tapped into R/GA’s global network of talent. Many of the new additions have transferred from other offices, a sign that employees across the network are excited about the new clients and work coming out of R/GA LA.
The office’s Brand Design practice is led by Lars Hansson, Executive Creative Director, who transferred from R/GA’s New York office to build and oversee a team of experience, product, and brand designers who are integral to each step of the agency’s Connected Brands work. Design Directors Everett Pelayo and Cam Diamond join Lars on the brand design team with combined experience from companies like Herman Miller, Square, Funkhaus, and Hello Design.
Albert Kim, Director of Connections, has been charged with guiding and growing the Media and Connections department. Joining Albert is Christine Song, Senior Connections Planner, and Gina Chang, Associate Director of Connections, another recent transfer from R/GA New York.
The Consulting team has been strengthened with the addition of Taylor Halsted as Senior Consultant. Formerly at Windfall, Taylor joins Stalyn Almanzar, Senior Consultant, to accelerate the growth of the Consulting practice in Los Angeles.
Director of Studios Jocelyn Birsch comes to LA from R/GA London to help expand the office’s integrated studios model. She will work alongside the US broadcast production leadership team led Diego DelaMaza, Director, US Content Production.
Christian Jang joins as Senior Visual Designer contributing to the Nike business along with Experience Design Director Aldo Padilla, who recently transferred from the New York office.
The latest addition to Executive Strategy Director Adrian Barrow’s integrated team is Strategy Director Jessica Friedman. Jessica returns to R/GA after senior roles at Publicis and Deutsch. She was previously a senior Strategic Planner in the R/GA New York office from 2011 to 2013.
Chris Einhauser, Group Account Director, has joined the agency to head up the client service team. Chris is focused on leading the PepsiCo business, and will play a key role in securing new clients. Chris joined from Zambezi, and prior to that held senior positions at Droga5, Grey Group, and Venables Bell & Partners.
Paul Szymankski joins as Account Director leading the Western Digital, SanDisk, and G-Technology accounts. Paul previously held senior positions at POP, PRISM, and POSSIBLE. Austin Tatum and Paige Poulson join Szymanski on the client services team as Management Supervisor and Account Manager, respectively.
Jannica Robertson, Executive Producer, has transferred from R/GA New York along with Leslie Raymond and Bryant Vu to join Executive Operations & Production Director Jai Tedeschi on her team.
Jeanne Nicastro joined R/GA LA as Director of Recruitment and has helped the agency continue to attract the best talent in the industry. Jeanne was previously US Business Development Director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
Also working with the office’s talent are Jeremiah Bual, Senior Resource Manager, who joins with experience from the Marketing Arm, Arquent, and Wieden + Kennedy. Finally, Megan Gunther, HR Business Partner, has transferred from R/GA New York in time to support the team during this important expansion of the office.