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mcgarrybowen Names Lucia Grillo as Head of US Operations

Advertising Agency
New York, USA
Grillo joins from Droga5 in new role to oversee operations for agency's US offices

Pat Lafferty, US President, mcgarrybowen (mb), announced today that Lucia Grillo has been named as the agency’s US head of operations. Grillo joins the Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) agency from Droga5. In this new role, she will oversee operations across the agency’s three US-based offices - New York, Chicago, and San Francisco - to create innovative workflow systems to drive excellence throughout the creative process in support of developing a world-class creative product for clients. The creation of the role comes as mb has experienced a surge of new business and expansion with the acquisition of digital innovation agency Swirl last year.

As the production development director at Droga5 since 2016, Grillo was a key member of the management team, working across departments and with new business, helping kick start new disciplines and create processes and working models for new and existing clients. Through her role as managing director of Second Child, Droga5’s in-house production company, she developed new revenue streams to help meet and exceed growth goals. Grillo also served as operations and production lead on the fast-paced Sprint business, which she helped run for the past two+ years.

Prior to Droga5, Grillo worked at 360i, another Dentsu Aegis Network agency. At 360i, she was head of integrated production, VP, leading operations and resourcing for all of production and project management, and supervision of the digital, content, social, print, and broadcast disciplines. Before 360i, Grillo enjoyed a stint at VICE Media as a group account director. Prior to that, she spent 10 years at Psyop in New York, most recently serving as managing director. She started out her career in advertising in the production departments of JWT and McCann.

mcgarrybowen’s US president, Patrick Lafferty, has made a number of strategic business hires in recent weeks, including another Droga5 alum, Matt Ian, as chief creative officer for mcgarrybowen New York; Mike Wente, from VML, as chief creative officer for San Francisco; and promoting Greg Johnson to US chief innovation officer. “We are thrilled to have Lucia join the team. She is an incredibly skilled operational leader with a strong track record of championing great work and enabling teamwork,” Lafferty explained. “Lucia gets it. Excellence in how we work drives excellence in what we create.”

Grillo said: “What we sell as agencies is our strategic thinking and our creative product. Our processes and management structure, everything we do within an agency, should service that, not get in the way of it or make it feel arduous. My goal is to look at what we are doing well at mcgarrybowen across offices and think about what best serves the work, the culture, the people, and optimize that, so we can make great work seamlessly. It’s a very simple mission.”

“The success of the agency is initially what drew me there, with the incredible momentum demonstrated through its streak of business wins and the acquisition of Swirl. What they have accomplished is very impressive, but what convinced me to make the move was the people. Everyone I met with at mcgarrybowen has that sense of hustle, and I found myself among like-minded people who are focused on what’s next for the agency and our industry.

"Being future-proof isn’t without effort, so I’m excited to join the agency at this time and do my part in making it easier to drive success for the agency and its clients.”

Grillo will report to Lafferty and will begin her new role in January 2019.

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