Zeno Group poaches Alison DaSilva from Porter Novelli for global role

DaSilva is working to grow the agency's purpose work around the world.

BOSTON: Zeno Group has named longtime Porter Novelli executive Alison DaSilva to the newly created position of MD of purpose and impact.

Based in Boston, DaSilva started in the role on January 31. She is reporting to Mark Shadle, MD of global corporate affairs. 

DaSilva’s responsibilities span Zeno’s practices and geographies. She is tasked with expanding the purpose practice and supporting clients’ purpose initiatives. 

"After being at the same organization for more than 20 years, I think it is natural to think of what’s next," DaSilva said. "It wasn’t something that I was actively pursuing, but when the opportunity presented itself, it was very exciting and too good to pass up."

Previously, DaSilva was Porter Novelli’s EVP of purpose and CSR and co-creator of its global purpose practice. She started at Cone Communications in 1998 and became a Porter employee when Cone was merged into the firm in 2017

"We wish [DaSilva] nothing but the best as she embarks on this next adventure and are grateful for her 22 years of service and commitment to the field of CSR," a Porter spokesperson said via email. The Omnicom Group agency has not decided if it will directly replace her. 

DaSilva was one of the key drivers of Porter’s transformation to a purpose consultancy model that began in 2018, helping it win Agency of the Year at PRWeek’s 2019 Purpose Awards.

Former Porter CEO Brad MacAfee, also a strong champion of purpose, stepped down in December. A Porter spokesperson said neither departure signals a shift away from purpose. 

"DaSilva was one of a key few who had a hand in launching the purpose practice that has now permeated through the entire organization," the spokesperson said. "Our positioning and strategic vision have not changed." 

Zeno hired Kevin Davidson in November as EVP, leading its health practice in New York and Washington, DC. The DJE Holdings agency has been shortlisted for Outstanding Midsize Agency at the 2020 PRWeek Awards U.S.

Zeno posted 14% revenue growth in 2018 to $73.4 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report.

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