NEW YORK: DiGennaro Communications has brought on Maxine Winer as president and COO.
Winer started in the role on January 2, reporting to Samantha DiGennaro, founder and CEO of the 40-person firm.
The agency has been without a president since Howard Schacter, the first person to hold the role, left in 2017. Schacter is now VP of communications for cannabis company Acreage Holdings.
Winer is managing operations, talent, client service and business development for DiGennaro. She had been consulting for the firm for three months starting last September before joining the agency.
"[Samantha] and I first connected in early December 2018," Winer said. "We were talking for a long time in a very thoughtful and intentional way. We talked a lot and met several times. We felt great about each other but wanted to make sure we both felt 100% certain."
Winer was a senior partner and GM for FleishmanHillard in Chicago until 2018. Moving to a small agency wasn’t on her radar as she reviewed opportunities last year while consulting, Winer said.
"Honestly, it’s the one thing I hadn’t done," she explained. "I just assumed I would naturally go to a large shop or potentially in-house, and I had conversations with both, but the more I talked to Sam, the more I became excited about the opportunity to come to a boutique."
Winer is mostly based in New York, but she is also developing a DiGennaro presence in Chicago, where she has spent most of her career. DiGennaro also has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, as well as a footprint in London.
"I built my career in my Chicago, and that’s part of the excitement of this," she said. "We’re looking to develop a footprint in Chicago, though obviously, I’ll be spending a great deal of time in New York."
Winer’s other goals include boosting the agency’s presence in the health and wellness and consumer spaces and attracting talent.
"We do have some exciting plans," she said. "This is the agency’s 15th year, and we do have some exciting initiatives we are looking to announce later this year."