Harnessing the power of data, technology and creativity to build meaningful American brands through craft and culture, Havas Chicago Group has hired three key executives to enhance the agency’s leadership team. Former Facebook executive Liz Roche joins Havas Helia, a digital agency that uses data to create optimised customer experiences, as managing director. In addition, the creative agency has appointed Dan Baldino and Marianna Ruiz as managing director and group creative director, respectively.

“The forces shaping our clients’ business are constantly changing, especially now in the new economy post-COVID-19; it is our first priority to have the best and most modern talent in our agency,” said Paul Marobella, chairman and chief executive officer, Havas Creative North America. “Adding Liz, Dan and Marianna to the Havas Chicago family solidifies our commitment to being creative consultants combining craft, culture and commerce to help our clients grow their brands.”

As managing director of Havas Helia Chicago, Roche will lead the data-driven strategies, CRM strategy and implementation, loyalty programme management and marketing technology consulting for the Chicago group’s clients. She will report directly to Michael Kaushansky, president of Havas Helia and chief data officer of Havas in the US.

With experience at some of Chicago’s leading technology companies, Roche joins from Facebook, where she worked in Global Marketing Solutions and managed and grew the company’s largest CPG retail portfolio. Prior to Facebook, Roche served as client development lead at Epsilon-Conversant and led the company’s B2B vertical growth strategy. Earlier in her career, she spent time as an account lead at LinkedIn and Groupon.

Together with the Helia team, Roche and Kaushansky will collaborate with the Havas Chicago Village to further integrate data and technology with creative, strategy and media capabilities for clients. Havas Chicago works with iconic American brands such as Citi, Hefty, Moen, National Association of Realtors, Pillsbury Baking, Ragu Pasta Sauce and Reynolds Consumer Products, amongst others.

A former consultant and company founder, Baldino brings more than 30 years of brand strategy experience on both the agency and client-side to his new role as managing director at Havas Chicago. Prior to Havas, Baldino founded Youtility, a consultancy that helps companies create stronger brands by providing results-oriented marketing consulting and strategic facilitation.

Previously, Baldino was a senior vice president at Leo Burnett International in Chicago and London, where he worked with clients including Kellogg, Harrah’s and Nintendo. Baldino also founded and was director of Leo Burnett Innovations, Leo Burnett’s in-house brand strategy and design group specialising in new product innovation.

Ruiz boomerangs back to Havas Chicago as group creative director, after serving in a senior creative leadership role at FCB Global. In her new role, Ruiz will work on the agency’s Moen and Mizkan (Bertolli and Ragu Pasta Sauce) accounts. Previously in her career, she worked as a copywriter at Havas Worldwide, concepting for brands such as Hefty and Jim Beam.

Ruiz then went on to serve as vice president and creative director at FCB Global. There, she pitched, won and worked on multiple client accounts, including T Mobile, GE Appliances and Michelob Ultra Pure Gold. Ruiz helped to create Michelob Ultra Pure Gold’s first Super Bowl commercial in 2019, “The Pure Experience” featuring actress Zoë Kravitz.

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