Oct 12, 2021
Daisy Pack joins HUNTER to lead London office
New York, NY – October 13, 2021—HUNTER CEO, Grace Leong, announced today the details of an expanded leadership team. The enhanced structure will support every aspect of the firm’s growing business – by practice areas, specialized expertise, geographically, and operationally – to drive continued integration, innovation and growth.
Gigi García Russo has been elevated to the newly created position of Chief Innovation and Growth Officer. In this role, García Russo will help the firm’s practice leaders enhance their services and offerings to new and existing clients, especially those who are looking to connect with multicultural audiences. She will also lead diversity and inclusion efforts at the agency, as well as drive the integration of the expertise of the agency’s creative services team, which includes creative directors, content creators, graphic and digital media designers, programmers, illustrators, photographers, copywriters and video producers/editors who bring the agency’s work to life.
A 19-year veteran of HUNTER and founder of the firm’s multicultural practice, García Russo steps into this role after building the agency’s successful wine, retail, tech and fashion practices from single brands into multi-client business units, and integrating multicultural insights, strategy and program execution into more than 50-percent of the client roster. In 2017, García Russo established HUNTER’s Amazon relationship and evolved it into one of the agency’s largest clients by offering traditional PR along with influencer marketing, digital, social and experiential services. In the past three years, García Russo also helped expand HUNTER’s expertise in fashion securing Vera Bradley and Victoria’s Secret PINK as anchor clients in the firm’s growing fashion practice.
“Gigi’s ability to attract and retain clients by offering creative solutions and a multicultural perspective has greatly improved our offerings as a full-service consultancy and has inspired our staff to think differently and with a more diverse and inclusive mindset,” shared Leong. “A dynamic leader with keen insight into culture, consumer behaviors and media trends, Gigi has helped the firm grow beyond foundational strengths in food, health and home care and has been instrumental in the double-digit growth we have experienced, particularly in the past two years.”
“We are growing at a momentous pace thanks to the synergies between our clients’ evolving marketing needs and our staff’s passion to hunt for insights, problem-solve and create thoughtful, integrated campaigns with measurable impact,” said García Russo. “I’m focused on ensuring we grow purposefully with client partners who appreciate our high-touch approach and continue to be a rewarding place for today’s best talent to foster their careers.”
HUNTER’s consumer-focused consultancy grew more than 30 percent in 2020 and continues to record double-digit revenue growth from legacy clients and a stream of new business wins in 2021.
Also announced today, Jon Lyon has assumed the position of Chief Operating Officer. As one of HUNTER’s founding partners, Lyon has led the agency’s culinary and spirits practices for more than 25 years, which include a 32-year relationship with McIlhenny Company (TABASCO pepper sauce) and more than 15-year relationship with DIAGEO. Lyon will now oversee business operations and finance, specialized services including entertainment, media, digital and the insights and analytics function, and has oversight of the London and Los Angeles offices.
Leong also announced that a group of eight practice leaders with a combined 85 years of service to HUNTER’s consumer-focused clients have been elevated to Managing Directors of the firm. In their expanded roles, Julie Sternberg, Alex Conway, Jennifer Mestayer, Dominic Benigno, Blair Baumwell, Melissa Rooney, Elizabeth Mitolo and Becky Brand will drive best-in-class work for the agency’s impressive roster of legacy clients which include DIAGEO, Johnson & Johnson, Church & Dwight, Smithfield, The Wine Group, 3M and Amazon as well as new clients including MilkPep, Sub-Zero Group, and Abbott Diagnostics. As experts in their respective industries of food and beverage, wine, spirits, health and wellness, beauty and personal care, home and lifestyle, and retail, fashion and consumer technology, these seasoned leaders are poised to continue growing their practice areas and creating opportunities for emerging talent within the firm to grow and enhance their expertise.
Daisy Pack is joining HUNTER as Managing Director, HUNTER: London, overseeing the agency’s UK practice. Daisy is an award-winning leader with over two decades of experience on behalf of some of the world’s most famous brands, spanning a mix of consumer lifestyle and B2B thought leadership. Formerly a Director at Citizen Relations, Pack is focused on supporting HUNTER’s existing client needs in this dynamic market and driving continued growth.
The agency has also augmented its most senior leadership ranks to include a C-suite of specialists in social and digital media, influencer and entertainment marketing, and insights and strategy.
Donetta Allen has been named as the agency’s first Chief Influencer and Social Media Officer, focusing on expanding service offerings in the influencer landscape, leveraging social media trends and insights. Michael Lamp has been promoted to the newly created role of Chief Digital and Social Media Officer, overseeing HUNTER’s innovation and expansion of digital services and social media offerings. Over the past 12 years, Donetta and Michael built the agency’s digital capabilities and in their new roles will further develop the HUNTER’s expertise and talent in these specialized areas while providing on-going senior counsel and expertise to the agency’s clients.
Heddy DeMaria, will continue to serve as HUNTER’s Chief Insights Officer and has added Strategy to her title to reflect the full level of service HUNTER provides to clients in need of global consumer insights and business strategy, powered by quantitative data and analytics. DeMaria, a 25-year veteran of CPG marketing, will also continue to spearhead the agency’s Measurement Center of Excellence, which offers HUNTER’s proprietary approach to measuring the impact of marketing communication efforts.
Samantha Turtle has been promoted to Chief Entertainment and Media Officer to continue to drive growth and expertise in these two crucial disciplines. Joining the agency in 2008, Sam has spent the last 13 years building and overseeing a team of experts who consistently deliver authentic entertainment marketing partnerships and help secure major national media coverage for HUNTER’s clients. Sam will also lead the expansion and day-to-day operations of HUNTER: Los Angeles, and has relocated back to her hometown.
Additionally, Alice Turner has been elevated to Senior Creative Director, Content and Experiences. A former owner of her own experiential agency, Alice brought her inexhaustible creativity, unfailing resourcefulness and client-first service to HUNTER more than four years ago and has upgraded the firm’s capabilities in delivering bespoke brand experiences and award-winning video content that have become HUNTER’s hallmark.
Louisa Caragan, Creative Director, continues to lead the agency’s in-house, award-winning team of talented graphic and digital designers, illustrators, and photographers who create the visual assets and vocabulary that are central to the agency’s dynamic work product.
“These specialized services are in high demand across our entire client portfolio,” said Leong. “We are fortunate to have subject matter experts with great experience in these areas driving the integration of these modern communication practices across the work we do.”
Reporting to García Russo, Daniela Acosta has been named to the newly created position of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager, charged with supporting and evolving HUNTER’s DE&I initiatives both internally in the culture the agency fosters and externally in the work HUNTER produces. Acosta joins the agency from New York University, where she most recently served as Department Administrator of the Leadership Initiative focused on diverse recruitment, training, and community building practices.
Also in support of HUNTER’s leadership and operations are Michael Loretta, Chief Financial Officer and Dena Martini Toms, Senior Vice President of Talent and Operations, who stepped into the role after serving as an SVP in the agency’s healthcare practice.
Samara Farber Mormar has been elevated to the agency’s first Chief Marketing Officer, working alongside García Russo on driving the growth, client experience and reputation of the agency. The agency’s long-time EVP of strategy and partnership, Mormar will continue in her role of matching prospective clients with teams and sharing HUNTER’s impressive story and capabilities.
“With this enhanced leadership structure now in place, we are well positioned to earn positive consumer attention, enduring client relationships and valuable staff dedication for decades to come,” concluded Leong.
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Founded in 1989, HUNTER is an award-winning consumer marketing communications firm with offices in New York, Los Angeles and London and a footprint across North America. Beginning with research-driven consumer insights, Hunter executes strategic, integrated programs that build brand equity, increase engagement and drive measurable business results for consumer products and services. The 200-person firm employs a powerful blend of marketing solutions including strategic planning, social and digital media, talent and influencer engagement, media relations, experiential and multicultural marketing, and content creation and distribution for all platforms and channels to consumer attention on behalf of some of the world’s best known and most beloved brands. The agency is a member of Stagwell Inc. (NASDAQ:STGW).
Samara Farber Mormar