Porter names Cusick global business development lead

Porter Novelli has appointed Kate Cusick, formerly a project-management director at ad agency Gardner Nelson + Partners, as EVP and global director of business development.

NEW YORK: Porter Novelli has appointed Kate Cusick to the newly created role of EVP and global director of business development.

Cusick, previously partner and director of project management at advertising agency Gardner Nelson + Partners, is reporting to Karen van Bergen, CEO of Porter Novelli. She started in the role earlier this month.

“In line with our strategic priorities, and the focus on various areas and disciplines, such as health and wellness, food, drinks, and nutrition, technology, corporate, brand PR, and public affairs, we needed somebody at a sufficiently strategic level to help us build new business and organic growth,” explained van Bergen.

While the position is new, business-development responsibilities were previously handled by members of the agency's executive committee, as well as client-relationship leaders.

Van Bergen added that Porter brought on Cusick because of her experience in new business roles and integrated communications. She also previously served as SVP and director of integration at Team Omnicom/BBDO from 2005 to 2007, so she is familiar with Porter's holding company, which van Bergen said is important because the firm often partners with sister agencies.

“My remit is to take a strategic approach to new business and grow business here through fully integrated campaigns across the network,” explained Cusick. “I'll take a leadership role when dealing with new clients and work as a partner to our client-relationship leads for organic or existing client growth.”

She added that she will work to drive growth across the firm's disciplines and also to promote the Porter brand overall.

The agency's staffers have a “real visceral enthusiasm for new business,” said Cusick, adding that she is looking forward to tapping into that passion to get more high-profile accounts and larger portions of existing client work.

Prior to her three years at Gardner Nelson + Partners, Cusick served as director of brand and integrated marketing at Red for about two years. She also previously held a marketing role at the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

Porter is also searching for a new leader of its Washington DC office after former GM Catherine "Kiki" McLean stepped down at the end of June. 

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