Changes at the top at Giant

Steven Gold has been selected as CEO and Jeffrey Nemy has joined the company as chief financial officer.

Gold, who is one of Giant’s co-founders, has served as an agency principal since its start 13 years ago. In the CEO role, Gold provides leadership and oversight to the company’s financial, human resources, and business operations, along with other key responsibilities within the agency.

“I am eager to take on these additional responsibilities leading Giant while we continue to grow and evolve as an agency,” Gold says. “Our Giant partnership wanted to establish this integral senior leadership post as we look to significantly expand our East Coast footprint and clearly deliver upon our vision to clients, the industry, and our team.”

Gold has a long history in healthcare communications and held VP positions at Harrison Wilson and Associates, FCB Healthcare, and Medicus before starting Giant.

Nemy, a seasoned financial executive, is based in the San Francisco office and reports to Gold. Nemy will help establish strategic direction for the company, in addition to providing guidance for the internal service departments, including finance and accounting, information technology, and human resources.

“Jeff has a tremendous amount of experience in the agency space, and he brings a new level of financial and operational acumen to Giant,” Gold says. “We will continue to expand our business, and Jeff’s proficiency in building large-scale fiscal initiatives will be key to our long-term strategy.”

Nemy has more than 30 years of experience in the financial field. Before Giant recruited him, Nemy had been consulting for a variety of marketing services and e-commerce companies on their strategic initiatives. Previously, Nemy was chief operating officer for Eveo Communications Group Inc. and McCann Erickson, and was CFO at Northern California Public Broadcasting.
“Giant’s solid vision for growth and its position in the industry make it an exciting time to be joining the agency,” Nemy said.

Havas NY gets new co-managing directors

In a promotion from within, Allison Ceraso and Michael McNamara have been chosen to lead Havas Life NY. McNamara will have responsibility for account services and strategy, while creative and creative operations will report to Ceraso.

“Allison and Michael are an inspiration. Having spent more than 16 years each exclusively at Havas, they truly represent opportunity, optimism and the next generation of leadership,” says Donna Murphy, Global CEO of Havas Health. “Michael grew up in account services, Allison in creative and experience design, and as a team they have the youthful energy and savvy it takes to lead Havas Life NY. Allison and Michael are a testament to how we nurture talent at Havas; they have been exemplary as motivated employees who drive brands and bring new ideas.”

Ceraso, whose new title is managing director, chief creative officer, and McNamara, as managing director, replace Dorothy Gemmell, who served as president of Havas Life NY for two years.

“Our partnership is 16 years in the making, and I couldn’t be happier to work with Michael,” Ceraso says. “We complement each other in our backgrounds and our experiences, but we synergize in our prioritization of creative thinking and collaboration. Together, with the fresh, incredible talent on our team, we will push HLNY to lead the next generation of agencies.”

According to McNamara, Havas Life New York has the best strategic and creative talent in the business. “HLNY is breaking new ground outside of traditional pharma communication to consumer health and wellness brands,” he says. “I am very excited to be engaged with such a special group.”
McNamara has led many multichannel campaigns that feature DTC, social media, retail, pharmacy, and CRM. Executives say Ceraso knows that – from concept to mobile, site to social – brands need consistent communication across channels for a seamless brand experience. To that end, she deploys fully integrated teams to create a user experience, online and off, that maintains a consistent presence in people’s minds and hearts.

New creative leadership at Palio

Palio’s Guy Mastrion, chief creative global officer, left the agency in April. In the year before his departure, President Kim Johnson and Mastrion worked to chart the next phase of the agency’s evolution, including strengthening the executive team and expanding the services it provides to health and wellness companies to accelerate brand performance.

“The success of the agency was always my top priority,” Mastrion says. “It wasn’t until Kim joined the agency that I was comfortable enough to make this transition.”

Mastrion founded Palio to transform the healthcare industry for the future by fusing art and science with technology and imagination. Now entering its 16th year, the agency is considered a premiere healthcare advertising agency driven by an innovative culture, largely as a result of Mastrion’s creative force.

“Guy had a strong vision for a different kind of agency – one that can tackle the hard challenges, pioneer new paths, and lead the industry,” Johnson says. “His passion for the craft and ‘never give up’ attitude is infused in the energy and thinking of the employees who have created campaigns that have won more than 700 awards for the agency.”

Since January, Mastrion worked side-by-side with the agency’s new executive creative directors, Michael Austin and Louis Massaia. They are charged with leading Palio’s bicoastal creative teams in Irvine and Santa Monica, Calif., and New York City and Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Before coming to Palio, Austin and Massaia worked together for years at top-tier agencies, most recently as senior VPs/creative directors at The CementBloc. Together, they have led integrated creative strategy for both niche and blockbuster drugs for some of the largest healthcare companies in the industry.

“Michael and Lou have a track record of consistently connecting brands at critical moments with the people who need them,” Johnson says. “They bring a competitive lens to the creative vision that will optimize success for our clients’ brands.”

Austin was a senior VP/creative director at The CementBloc before joining Palio. At The CementBloc his award-winning creative focused on brands for Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, oncology, rheumatoid arthritis, and hemophilia.

Massaia joined the Palio team from The CementBloc, where as senior VP/creative director, he led his division on a variety of brands. He did the same as VP/associate creative director at Cline Davis & Mann. As VP/associate creative director at GSW, Massaia was responsible for all new business creative efforts at the NY office – as well as lead creative teams on various brands.

“Lou and I share a similar philosophy on what it takes to get to great,” Austin says. “We’re excited to execute that vision amongst so many brave and talented thinkers here at Palio. In this environment, ignition is inevitable.”

Massaia adds, “It’s not just about having a clear understanding of what great work is, but knowing how to get there quickly, brilliantly, and often. It’s our mission to seed this philosophy into our various offices and teams.”


Beth Clark has been appointed to the account service team of Fingerpaint. She will be based in the agency’s Villanova, Pennsylvania office. Clark comes to Fingerpaint with nearly 20 years of pharmaceutical marketing experience working with blockbuster brands such as Lyrica, Prevacid, Cymbalta and Cialis, among others.

Tiffany Lillegard was hired as the agency’s newest designer, and Raymond Peraino was made a copywriter. Lillegard has done work for clients including Crayola, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and C.F. Martin Guitar & Co. Peraino has worked with clients such as MasterCard, Chase, and IHOP.

Sarah Blank was picked for the lead administrative role at Fingerpaint’s Villanova, Pa., office. Before joining Fingerpaint, Blank served as an editorial assistant at JTE Multimedia LLC.

Elizabeth Rooney

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Agency Update — Intouch Solutions

Brent Scholz and Elizabeth Rooney are promoted to VPs, executive creative director, at Intouch Solutions. Rooney was interactive experience director at Callahan Creek. Scholz was group creative director at VML.

Jim Haupt was promoted to VP, Intouch Science, . Haupt joined Intouch in 2013 as medical director. Michael Blake is now VP of quality services. Blake came to Intouch 10 years ago as a software developer.

Rachael Breidenthal was promoted to senior art director, having worked as an art director at Intouch for more than six years. After starting as a contract employee, Breidenthal was hired on full-time in 2009. Kevin Gauntt is now marketing analytics manager, after joining Intouch in 2012 as a marketing analytics associate. Braydon Medlin has been promoted to search analyst. He joined Intouch in April 2013 as an associate search analyst. Lauren Smith, now group account director, joined Intouch in 2007 as a contractor, and was hired on full-time to the account team in 2008. Tyler Thompson, promoted to business systems analyst, joined Intouch in 2012 as an intern and was hired on full-time in 2013 as an associate business systems analyst. Megan Yartz has become account manager. She was hired in 2012 as an account administrator.