Minneapolis-based Olson today named former Wachovia Chief Marketing Officer Jim Garrity and former Zurich Financial Services Chief Marketing Officer Arun Sinha to its board of directors. They are expected to help steer the digitally driven independent agency, which offers digital, advertising, loyalty, public relations, and mobile capabilities to a roster of blue-chip clients that includes Target, General Mills, MillerCoors, Wrigley, Best Buy, Northwestern Mutual, Amtrak, and others. “Having access to marketers with the experience and perspectives of Jim and Arun is a wonderful advantage for our growing agency,” said CEO John Partilla. “These are people who have succeeded at the highest levels, and who are committed to helping us deliver the same levels of success to our clients.”
Garrity’s resume includes senior marketing and advertising stints at IBM, Compaq, and Wachovia, where he spent 10 years as EVP and CMO and lead a successful overhaul of the marketing organization that cut costs and increased performance. Today, he serves as founder and CEO of BridgeTwoWorlds, LLC., a marketing consultancy helping advertisers, agencies, and digital media companies bridge the gap between the worlds of traditional and digital communications. Sinha, a Lecturer and Senior Faculty Fellow at the Yale School of Management, brings substantial CMO perspective to the Olson board, having held that position at Zurich Financial Services and Pitney Bowes, transforming that company from a mailing company to a software, services, and solutions provider. He has also held senior executive positions in marketing, business development, and brand management at Philip Morris and Young & Rubicam. His work has earned a number of marketing accolades, including the “Chief Marketing Officer of the Year” award by the CMO Institute in 2011 and “Marketer of the Year” honors from the Direct Marketing Association in 2009.
Garrity and Sinha are joining Olson at a moment when the agency is enjoying new-business momentum, having added agency-of-record duties for brand such as TiVo, Saucony, and the Belize Tourism Board since November. They will join a group of directors that includes Partilla, agency founder John Olson, former Campbell-Mithun CEO Howard Liszt, and KRG Capital Managing Director Bruce Rogers.