AgencySpy posted on the latest Chief Diversity Officer appointments at White advertising agencies. Kansas City-based Barkley and New York/San Francisco/Detroit-based Organic gushed over their hires. Of course they did. Why, the shops aim to redefine diversity, inclusion, equity, belonging and whatever kumbaya qualifier they can imagine. Of course they will. Based on the leadership depicted at the company website, Barkley has a long way to go. Organic doesn’t show its personnel—or anything of value, for that matter—at its website. Adland is displaying a diversity of diversion. Of course it is.
Revolving Door Roundup: Barkley … and Organic
By Erik Oster
Last week was a busy one in the ad industry, including hires we didn’t around to covering at Barkley and Organic…
Kansas City-based independent agency Barkley hired Adam Miller as director, diversity and inclusion.
Miller will be responsible for recruitment and overseeing diversity, equity and belonging across the agency.
“Recruitment is more than just offering a referral program. Attracting a diverse population of talent starts with creating a space for people to bring their authentic selves to work every day,” Miller said in a statement. “At Barkley, we will be reverse engineering the model of recruitment, retention, and culture.”
A Kansas State University grad and Fulbright Scholar, Miller arrives at Barkley from the world of education. He was previously a postsecondary coach at Kauffman Scholars and director of the Green Fellowship program at Teach for America, a position he instrumental in elevating to the national level. Also active in the Kansas City community, Kansas City community, Miller promotes diversity through The BrandLab and as a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters. He’s also co-owner of The AV Collection, a virtual winery which utilizes winemaking to give back to the community through various charities and drives inclusion in the winemaking industry.
“By embracing everything that makes our partners who they are and what makes them unique to the world around them, we create the conditions and capacity to help creative, original thinking thrive,” Barkley CEO Jeff King said in a statement. “As an agency, we believe that equity and belonging are essential to the changes we want to make and the agency culture that we want to foster, and we believe that Adam is the person to help us make those changes.”
Organic, part of the Omnicom Precision Marketing Group, also invested in supporting its DEI efforts with a new hire.
The agency hired Danielle Sherman as director of people and culture. Sherman will focus on the agency’s employee experience, acting as an employee advocate to ensure Organic employees feel represented and empowered, while bolstering the agency’s existing emotional intelligence-based training. She will serve as part of Organic’’ female-led leadership team, reporting directly to CEO Cathy Butler.
“Danielle brings a wealth of experience where it matters most — the intersection of our employee experience, DE&I and agency culture,” Butler said in a statement. “She embodies all of our core values — relentless, curious, optimistic and kind — and I can’t wait to see how she continues to shape Organic into an agency we are all proud to call ours.”
Sherman joins Organic with over a decade of experience, most recently climbing the ranks at Barbarian from manager of HR and talent to director of people and culture. While at Barbarian, she helped lead the agency to 3%-certification and increase representation to include nearly 50% of employees from diverse backgrounds.
“Being a part of a company that truly leads from the lens of the employee experience and leans into culture, is devoted to diversity, equity and inclusion and the wellness space is like striking gold for any People leader. In my new role, I am excited to build upon the incredible foundation that Cathy and the leadership team at Organic have cultivated over the last 18 months,” Sherman said in a statement. “Looking into the future, as COVID follows us into the new year, organizations that focus on supporting their employees during these challenging times is a clear differentiator in the industry. Our goal is to make sure that Organic is the gold standard.”