NEW YORK: WE, which rebranded from Waggener Edstrom in September, has hired Alyssa Garnick as MD of the firm’s New York office.
Garnick joined WE on November 30. She is reporting to EVP and consumer sector lead Tiffany Cook, with a dotted line to North America president Kass Sells. Garnick is overseeing the firm’s New York office, which has 30 staffers.
The role is new, but its responsibilities were previously handled by John Baird, who served as WE’s VP of marketing and New York GM. He departed the firm in June.
Garnick is focused on helping clients with work, strategy, and creativity, as well as prospecting and pitching for new business, marketing, and "being an ambassador" for the agency in New York.
"As a leader here, you can choose whether you want to do something on your own or if you want to use the support and leverage of the larger global brand and system," she explained. "[WE] is allowing me to figure that out and play with that, and they are encouraging me to use the best of both worlds to do the job."
WE has four areas of expertise: consumer, technology, healthcare, and social innovation. The New York office takes the lead on the agency’s consumer offering. However, Garnick noted that technology is particularly important across all sectors.
"Consumer and healthcare brands may have very technical stories to tell; they might have innovations of their own and they need to tell those stories in a simple and compelling way," she said. "All brands reach targets using technologies. How brands need to navigate and apply that is something we are familiar with but we can apply in different ways and make it even more relevant now."
Before joining WE, Garnick was an MD at Marina Maher Communications for three years; she departed that role in the spring. Before that, she served as EVP in Ogilvy Public Relations’ consumer marketing practice, SVP and group manager at Ketchum, and director in Burson-Marsteller’s brand marketing practice.
Garnick has worked with brands such as American Express, Gillette Venus, P&G's Secret, Philips Norelco, and Old Navy. She was on PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 list in 2009.
Last month, WE also hired Caroline Boren as EVP of social innovation; Martin Pearce as SVP for agency marketing and brand; and Anne Alo as creative director.