NEW YORK: Denise Vitola is leaving her role as Makovsky’s managing director after one year to launch her own New York-based consultancy.
Called Vitola Strategies, the shop will focus on helping health and wellness brands with consumer research, PR and communications, social media, influencer relations, branding, brand development, and messaging. She declined to name clients it is working with at its launch.
"I am also going to provide some health and wellness coaching to companies to help them either be well on the inside of their company with their employees or communicate wellness messages to external audiences," Vitola said.
Vitola is initially running the consultancy alone, but she plans to bring on an intern and may hire staff based on growth.
Vitola worked at Makovsky since last September, managing the agency alongside founder, president, and CEO Ken Makovsky. Her responsibilities included overseeing the practices, staffing, and agency operations. Last December, Makovsky launched a consumer brand marketing practice with Vitola at the helm.
Her last day at the firm will be November 10.
"The more senior I felt I was getting at companies, the more I felt I was moving away from the client work and being more of an operational type person," Vitola said, about why she decided to leave the firm. "I wanted to get back in touch with the clients and do the work and solve their biggest business issues. That is why I got into this career in the first place."
Makovsky said he wishes Vitola well and is searching for her replacement.
Before Makovsky, Vitola worked at MSLGroup, which she joined in 2010 as personal care deputy practice director before she was promoted to practice director for consumer health and personal care in 2012. For the next three years, she served as deputy MD of the firm’s Atlanta office and later as North America consumer practice director.
Prior to MSL, Vitola, one of PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 honorees in 2012, worked at Ogilvy Public Relations and MWWPR.
This story was updated on November 7 with comment from Makovsky.