LOS ANGELES: Porter Novelli’s New Zealand MD, Strahan Wallis, has been named Southern California MD.
Wallis started in his new role on Monday and reports to North America president Jennifer Swint. He is replacing Linda Martin, who is transitioning to a new role supporting the agency’s global client leaders and leading accounts in the food and nutrition practice.
Wallis is overseeing about 20 people in the Southern California region. He is responsible for overseeing business in the firm’s Los Angeles, Irvine, and San Diego markets, including building out the client roster and staff.
"It’s a really interesting opportunity and challenge going from being a large agency in a small market to jumping into a much larger market," Wallis said.
In Southern California, Porter has clients in a range of sectors, and Wallis is looking for more opportunities in food, nutrition, health, digital, new media, and tech.
Sarah Williams is replacing him as New Zealand MD.
"The big goals are to get to know everyone our team and standout clients deeply and figure out how I can add value," Wallis said. "How do we build our capability to pursue more opportunities in this market? The potential is unlimited in this market."
Wallis has been with Porter Novelli for seven years, starting off as GM in New Zealand before becoming MD. Prior to joining Porter, he worked in communications for KPMG, Credit Suisse, and Morley Fund Management.
Earlier this year, Porter’s parent company Omnicom PR Group shifted Cone Communications under Porter to expand its reach into new regions. Omnicom also brought on Porter’s global health lead Paul George for a dual role leading global business development in health for the parent company in May.