R/GA Austin Welcomes Eleven, Continues Growth Spurt

New wave of all-star talent adds to the office’s diverse skillsets and offerings

(From left to right: Top - Alejandro Larramendi, Kyle Ackerman, Marie Graw, Kelsey Lewis, Carla Smith, Sarah Yellen; Bottom - Maria Pendergast, Kaitlyn Hieb, Grace Liu; Not pictured: Mary Frances Buoyer, Jennifer Diep)  

AUSTIN – June 20, 2019 – R/GA, the company that creates transformation at speed, today announced that its Austin office has added eleven people to round out strategy, creative, production and business growth needs for the office and clients. As one of R/GA’s 17 global posts, the Austin office continues to exceed growth projections as a result of accelerated business development and account growth within the last year. Current client partners are Frito Lay North America for the Red Rock Deli, SunChips, Fritos, Off the Eaten Path, and Smartfood, as well as The Home Depot, Sonic Drive-In, Crocs, and RaceTrac.

The list of new talent includes:

Social Strategist Sarah Yellen supports R/GA’s growing strategy team to track culture and tech trends that influence social media habits. Before R/GA, she spent time with the San Antonio Spurs where she oversaw the implementation of paid strategy efforts across all brands under the Spurs’ umbrella.

Kaitlyn Hieb is a strategist working across several R/GA clients, primarily RaceTrac. She is certified in survey design, programming, and analysis on Qualtrics, the leading research and experience software. Prior to R/GA, Kaitlyn she served in strategy roles at T3 Austin on the Staples, Waste Management and Enterprise accounts.

Kyle Ackerman is a manager on the marketing sciences team at R/GA. After having spent three years at the R/GA New York office, he relocated to Austin to help expand the marketing sciences department and offering. His expertise in evaluating proprietary, audience, and industry data in addition to generating in-depth insight reports have helped to strengthen social media strategy development and overall campaign effectiveness for numerous clients.

Marie Graw joins the R/GA client services team as an account supervisor. Between her time at GSD&M/Austin and BI Worldwide/Minneapolis, she brings nearly a decade of experience in building and improving customer experiences--from loyalty product development for UnitedHealthcare to integrated brand campaigns for Southwest Airlines.

Mary Frances Buoyer joined R/GA Austin as a producer on the Crocs and Red Rock Deli accounts. Mary Frances formally held production roles at AKQA in Atlanta where Delta Air Lines was her primary client focus.

Carla Smith was brought on as an art director earlier this year. Born and raised in the Northeast, Carla went to school at SCAD before she moved to Boulder, then eventually Austin to team up with her creative partner, Junior Copywriter Kendra Bergman.

Creative team Grace Liu, junior art director and Jennifer Diep, junior copywriter both joined R/GA full time in early 2019 after serving as interns for a semester. Both are also recent graduates from The University of Texas at Austin and lend their creative vision to the RaceTrac, and various Frito Lay brands.  

A R/GA boomerang, Senior Designer Alejandro Larramendi joined the office in May and will drive design thinking, with a focus on Visual Design and Branding across the office’s client roster. Most recently with PREACHER in Austin, Alejandro’s other agency experience has included Deutsch, Saatchi & Saatchi, Droga5 and Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Los Angeles.

Maria Pendergast relocated to Austin from the east coast to serve as the growth manager for both R/GA Austin and Chicago offices. She has served in other global business development and marketing roles at IPG Mediabrands, 360i and PHD Worldwide in New York.

Production Assistant, Kelsey Lewis, joined R/GA Austin’s content studio team in June. She is a recent graduate from The University of Texas at Austin’s Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations, and she brings a passion for production along with, editing experience to the office.

“This infusion of talent is a microcosm of R/GA’s culture, combining years of experience across the network with new, bright talent from some of the best in the business,” said SVP, Managing Director Candice Hahn. “This group will position us well to support the growth we’ve enjoyed and keep our momentum towards continued expansion.”

 

About R/GA

R/GA is the company that creates transformation at speed. An innovation leader for more than 40 years, R/GA has expanded and evolved to offer business transformation, experience transformation, and marketing transformation through its award-winning consulting, ventures, technology, design, marketing communications, and IP practices. Its work spans web, mobile, and social communications, retail and e-commerce, product innovation, brand development, and innovation consulting. The company has more than 2,000 employees globally with 18 offices across the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia-Pacific. R/GA is part of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG), one of the world’s largest advertising and marketing services organizations. For more information about R/GA, please visit www.rga.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

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Press Contact: 

Allison Mertzman

VP, Global Marketing and Communications

t: +1-212-714-5877

e: allison.mertzman@rga.com