Evoke North America has recast its leadership group, appointing five veteran execs to oversee operations at Evoke New York, Evoke Philadelphia and Evoke San Francisco.
Steven Frank has been promoted to serve as president, New York/Philadelphia and chief client officer, North America. He’s joined on the leadership team by Adam Gelling (president, San Francisco), Rachel McCready (chief creative officer, North America), Alexis Penty (chief strategy officer, North America) and James Ewing (EVP, operations).
The team will report to global president, marketing Amar Urhekar, who will continue to oversee agency brands added in the wake of Evoke’s merger with Ashfield Health. They include Evoke MicroMass, Evoke Mind+Matter, Evoke Galliard, Evoke Incisive Health, Evoke Canale and Evoke Create.
Urhekar described the newly assembled group as “very cohesive, very succinct” and praised the “osmotic relationship of talent and experience” among its five members. He characterized the changes as a response to both market trends and client demand.
“Across the Evoke platform, North America is our largest entity — in terms of size, scale, stature, everything. It’s the Big Kahuna, for lack of a better way to put it,” he said with a laugh. “What this does is make us less specifically geography-oriented. It’s a really pivotal moment.”
The changes were communicated internally and to clients at the end of August. “They see the benefits in this more agile way of working,” Urhekar added.
Evoke’s decision to evolve the North American leadership team was influenced in no small part by the company’s experiences during the pandemic.
“We partnered with clients to solve difficult problems, despite all the constraints, and this galvanized our talent,” Urhekar said. “It taught us to keep challenging the status quo and well-established norms.”
The appointments come in advance of the imminent departure of president, North America Jen O’Dwyer. The highly regarded O’Dwyer is said to be leaving for a leadership post at another large network agency.
“It’s always sad to see people go, and Jen is a well-liked, well-respected leader,” Urhekar said. “But what this shows is that we have incredible bench strength in people like Steven Frank, who has been Jen’s partner the last three years.”
According to MM+M’s 2022 Agency 100, Evoke grew revenue 15%, to $304.4 million, in 2021.