BCW picks Sam Myers to lead grassroots shop Direct Impact

Myers worked at agencies Huge and OutCast and on the Obama for America campaign.

WASHINGTON: BCW Group has named Sam Myers as president of grassroots firm Direct Impact.

Myers, who is based in Washington, DC, started just after Labor Day, reporting to Chris Foster, president of BCW North America. Myers will lead the Direct Impact office in Washington, DC, as well as a New York presence and field teams in key congressional districts. 

Direct Impact had been without a president since January, when former leader Michael Fleischer was named EVP, MD and market lead of BCW’s DC office.

"[Myers] has been a friend of [Direct Impact] for a while," Foster said. "We connected in the last few months and things started picking up speed from there. Then everything sort of converged in the last few weeks and his official start day was right after Labor Day."

Myers’ career includes time at agencies and on political campaigns. Prior to BCW, he worked at Huge in Washington and the OutCast Agency, as well as the Obama for America and Hillary for America campaigns. He also worked in the Commerce and Education departments during the Obama administration. 

"Having quite literally grown up in campaigns -- my father worked in the Carter administration, so I’ve been in this my entire life -- I’ve been able to effect change at multiple levels," Myers said. "After the Obama [administration], I made the transition to the agency world. I found it interesting, but I didn’t feel I had the ability to move the needle and to make change. When this special opportunity opened up, I could see I would have the real scope and ability to be able to combine the two worlds."

Direct Impact is part of WPP’s BCW Group, which also includes Burson Cohn & Wolfe as well as shops including AxiCom, Benenson Strategy Group, Palisades Media Ventures, PSB Research, Prime Policy Group and Y&R PR.

BCW’s revenue grew 3% in 2018 to $711 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report. WPP’s Q2 revenue for its PR division, which includes BCW, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Finsbury and Buchanan, declined 2.6% on a like-for-like basis.

"We wish [Myers] much success with an opportunity that he could not turn down. Tarek Rizk will continue his leadership of our DC office as SVP, with more than four years with our team based there," OutCast said in a statement. "[Rizk] will oversee and grow our services across digital, development, design, content and communications with clients including Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Aspen Institute, NASPA and the WK Kellogg Foundation."

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