Hager Sharp drops 'interim' from CEO Doner Lotenberg's title

Lynne Doner Lotenberg had spent nine months leading the agency on an interim basis.

Lynne Doner Lotenberg
Lynne Doner Lotenberg

WASHINGTON: Hager Sharp has named Lynne Doner Lotenberg as CEO, dropping the interim from her title after more than nine months. Jim Healy was appointed president.

Doner Lotenberg and Healy will co-manage the agency, working with EVP Debra Silimeo, the firm said in a statement, adding that Doner Lotenberg will focus on the firm’s "core competencies" of health and wellness, education, and community transformation.

Doner Lotenberg was named interim CEO last September after the resignation of former chief executive Garry Curtis from the role. She joined the firm in 2011 after running her own consultancy, The Doner Lotenberg Group, for more than 15 years. Doner Lotenberg is also co-editor of Social Marketing Quarterly.

Healy joined Hager Sharp in August 2013 as EVP. In his new role, he will lead the agency’s business development and client service. Healy previously worked in EVP positions at Lipman Hearne and Porter Novelli, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The president position is new. The firm will explore filling Healy’s former EVP role in the next quarter.

Healy said that he and Doner Lotenberg have worked together in the past, and they can "continue to foster the sense of teamwork with the motivation being our clients."

Doner Lotenberg said dropping the interim from her title and making Healy president formalizes their working relationship.

"You take lessons from everything you have done," she said, adding that the months she spent as interim CEO will allow her to have a deeper knowledge of how things work as well as a greater comfort level with the staff.

In the past year, Hager Sharp has appointed Mike Gallagher as creative director, Aaron Murphy as the agency’s digital lead, and Christina Nicols as head of strategic planning and research. It also named Shelly Spoeth as VP, who is working to expand the firm’s footprint in Atlanta. Former Hager Sharp VP Siobhan Mueller left to join Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners Company, as SVP in March.

Hager Sharp bought the Washington, DC, office of Lipman Hearne last August in its first acquisition in more than two decades. Hager Sharp reported revenue of $10.5 million in 2013, up 48% compared with 2012. Its headcount at the end of last year was 66.

This story was updated on July 7 with quotes from Doner Lotenberg and Healy.

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