Evoke announced the addition of Will Reese as global chief innovation officer, part of a trifecta of senior-level hires that includes Rachel McCready and Alexis Penty as chief creative officer and chief strategy officer for North America, respectively. All three are new roles.
Reese, who had been consulting the past two years but spent the bulk of his career at Cadient, will report to Evoke founder Reid Connolly. McCready, formerly an executive creative director at Klick Health, will report to North American president Jen O’Dwyer – as will fellow Klick alum Penty, who joins Evoke after a brief stint as SVP of strategic planning at The Bloc.
The primary driver of bringing in a clutch of senior-level talent was the promise of gaining fresh perspective at a time when the healthcare industry finds itself at an inflection point.
Evoke’s revenue rose 18% to $168.2 million in 2020, per MM+M’s latest Agency 100 issue. Head count grew 6%, to 706 at the end of 2020 from 663 at the end of 2019.
Formerly chief innovation officer for life sciences at consultancy Cognizant and president of Cadient, its life sciences marketing agency, Reese got a taste of working with the Evoke team last year through his consultancy.
“The space we’re in gets a little redundant and stale,” he said. “I’m a change-friendly person. This organization had that personality and leans into that change.”
McCready has logged two decades in health and has held creative leadership posts in independent and network shops. Asked what kind of creative thinking she may look to apply in her new role, she noted that people harbor an intense desire for real connection after having spent the past two years communicating remotely.
“I’m thinking, ‘How can we create experiences that are much more real, whether in people’s homes, on the street or through events?’” she said. “Realness will be a huge theme in 2022.”
Penty, who also brings 20 years of experience, was head of strategic planning at The Bloc and spent five years at Klick building its brand strategy practice and AOR portfolio.
One of her key goals, she said, is to offer clients “the most advanced approaches and ways of thinking and to be industry leaders who are known for excellence in craft.”