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The year started with surprising news. In January, Gil Bashe joined Catalyst Communications Inc. as president and CEO. Mr. Bashe, 47, had served as CEO of Health!Quest Global Communication Partners, a private equitysponsored communications network, which was funded by GTCR Golder Rauner LLC, since January 2000. The role of CEO at Catalyst is new. At the same time, Rod Mehling, 53, one of the agency’s cofounders and former president, became chairman and chief operating officer. Mr. Mehling, a pioneer in integrated health care communications and an early believer of the Health!Quest concept, encouraged Mr. Bashe to continue pursuing his ideas in the con text of Catalyst Communications. Mr. Bashe continues to assist GTCR as a limited partner in the privateequity group’s Fund VII. “Gil joins a group of almost 100 special ized communicators with backgrounds in the sciences, healthcare advertising, education, and now healthcare public relations and pub lic affairs.,” Mr. Mehling says. “We are thrilled to add this proven brandbuilder to our superb team, a signal that we are clearly taking things to the next level.” Nearly 20% of Catalyst’s client service staff hold M.D., Ph.D., and Pharm.D. degrees. “Catalyst was among the first to recognize that establishing `brand value’ with physicians and patients required harnessing the power of sciencedriven communications and integrat ed positioning services,” Mr. Mehling says. From the beginning the core value of the South Plainfield, N.J., agency, which was founded in 1996, has been “science drives medicine.” With the appointment of Mr. Bashe, Cata lyst also is expanding its services portfolio into the arena of healthcare public relations/public affairs. This discipline is led by Steven Immergut, M.P.H., 35, who joins Catalyst as senior VP for professional and public relations 48 M a r c h 2 0 0 2 PharmaVOICE from the Health!Quest Public Relations unit, where he was managing partner. Before joining Catalyst and before heading Health!Quest Public Relations, Mr. Immergut was an executive with CPR Worldwide, a U.K. firm focusing on global healthbrand commu nications, issues, and campaigns. He also is an alumnus of Hill and Knowlton Inc., where he served in executive posts in the New York and Santiago, Chile offices. “Clients face a magnitude of challenges that require creative collaboration toward one cen tral goal — maximizing a brand’s potential in the marketplace,” Mr. Mehling says. “At Cata lyst, our passion for client excellence and science has resulted, through 6 years, in consistent Gil Bashe joins a Catalyst group of specialized communicators with backgrounds in the sciences, healthcare advertising, education, and now healthcare public relations and public affairs. The industry’s top guns ARE REVOLVING Several of healthcare advertising’s elite agencies — Catalyst, Cline, Davis &Mann,Dudnyk,Hyphen, InChord, Lowe, and Sandler Communications — have undergone significant changes. With new leadership,agency restructuring,new names,and the closing of one venerable agency — the only constant within the sector remains change. LEFT TO RIGHT: Top row:Tom Clark,Vic Runowicz, Jeff Lipman,Steven Immergut Bottom row:Kathleen Wickman,Gil Bashe, Rod Mehling,Susan Nemeth TOP guns 49 PharmaVOICE M a r c h 2 0 02 client retention, a surge in new clients, attraction of top talent, expansion of core services and, most recently, bring ing on industry leadership sharing our vision. This all symbolizes that Cata lyst is focused on the desires of our clients, and we’re taking things to the next level to respond to these needs.” “A healthcare brand’s competitive advantage is rooted in its science, iden tification of a core value, and its com munication through consistent posi tioning,” Mr. Bashe says. “That said, people are the most important resource in making big things happen. Cata lyst’s large pool of talented people and warm atmosphere enable the agency to help clients master today’s pharmaceu tical industry challenges.” According to Mr. Mehling, Cata lyst’s clients enjoy working with a team of pro fessionals who have great ideas that are sup ported by a strong creative product and integrated advertising, education, professional and publicrelations services. Before GTCR, Mr. Bashe was group com pany CEO of CommonHealth, WPP Group’s network of global healthcare communications companies. He also has served as executive VP and worldwide health practice director at Hill and Knowlton, another WPP company. Earli er in his career, he was an executive at the Sut ton Healthcare Group, one of the health sec tor’s first integrated marketing agencies. Across the river in New York, Cline, Davis & Mann, Inc., is another agency that has undergone topmanagement change. Two founders of the agency, Morgan E. Cline, chairman and CEO, and Clyde P. Davis, president and executive creative director and former CFO have stepped down. Each will maintain a continuing presence at CDM for the foreseeable future. Jack Slonaker, 51, has been named to suc ceed Mr. Cline as chairman. Mr. Slonaker was formerly executive VP/director of operations. He is now chairman and chief operating officer. Edward V. Wise, 42, has succeeded Mr. Davis as president. Previously executive VP, creative director, Mr. Wise also assumes the title of CEO. Both Mr. Slonaker and Mr. Wise began their association with Mr. Cline, Mr. Davis and Fred Mann 20 years ago at another agency and both joined CDM at its inception in 1984. “This succession plan has been in place from the day that we were acquired by Omnicom five years ago,” Mr. Cline says. “It’s a rare and pleasant experience in this business to be able to hand over the leadership to seasoned and trust ed managers who have been part of the agency culture from the beginning.” In its 17 years of operation, CDM has grown from the original founders and a single assignment from Pfizer to a fullservice health care agency with more than $300 mil lion in billings. The agency now employs more than 350 peo ple across four operat ing divisions — CDM, CDM at Princeton, CDMi (the agency’s interactive arm) and Com pany X. Dudnyk Healthcare Group, Horsham, Pa., began the year without a president. Nina Goodheart, who joined the agency in 1994, left to pursue other opportunities. Without missing a beat, agency veterans Carleen Niemiec, senior VP, creative director, Barry Schmader, VP, creative director, copy, and Ed Dudnyk, founder and CEO, are moving the agency forward. Hyphen, a new name for Omnicom Group’s Harrison Wilson & Associates, has a new executive tier and a new vision. The agen cy is headed by the veteran triumverite of Marc Weiner, president and CEO; Peter Niemi, chief information officer and manag ing partner; and Brett Schnittlich, chief tech nology officer and managing partner. The agency’s new name — Hyphen — speaks vol umes to its mission: bridging all phases of communications, from earlyphase develop ment to launch and beyond. Other key agency personnel include: Marci Piasecki, executive VP, director of client ser vices; Howard Nagelberg senior VP and chief financial officer; Brett Nichols, VP, creative director — art; and Beverly Williams, VP, director of human resources. inChord Communications Inc., the parent company of Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer (GSW), one of the largest independent health care advertising agencies in the world, has appointed Phil Deschamps as GSW president. Mr. Deschamps formerly served as executive VP and general manager. In his new role, Mr. Deschamps is charged with overseeing the operations of all business divisions within the agency as well as main taining client relationships and overseeing business development. Mr. Deschamps reports directly to Blane Walter, chairman and CEO of inChord Communications Inc. Mr. Deschamps joined GSW in 1998 as a VP with account responsibilities for Eli Lilly and Co.’s flagship brand, Prozac. He was later promoted to senior VP and then executive VP/general manager. Mr. Deschamps also led GSW’s expansion into Europe in 1999 with the establishment of an office in the U.K. Mr. Deschamps replaces Ken Stevens, for merly president and chief operating officer, who left the agency last fall to pursue other opportunities. Lowe Healthcare is another agency with new top guns. Sal Perreca, chairman and CEO of Lowe Healthcare announced the promotions of Larry Iaquinto to chief operating officer for all units of Integrat ed Communications located in Parsippany and Lawrenceville, N.J., and London, England, and Steve Viviano to general manager of Inte grated Communications, Parsippany. Mr. Iaquinto continues in his role as presi dent of Interlink, a unit of Integrated Com munications. His additional duties of chief operating officer include new business devel opment, esolutions, and internal technology. In addition to his operations duties, Mr. Viviano’s responsibilities include strengthen ing and expanding core business and leading explorations into new business opportunities. “These promotions are particularly appro priate and gratifying because both of these exceptional individuals are `homegrown’,” Mr. Perreca says. “Steve and Larry have a com bined experience with Integrated of nearly 20 years and have been instrumental in maintain ing our overall growth and stability.” Mr. Iaquinto and Mr. Viviano report to Mr. Perreca, who in turn reports to Jerry Judge, chief executive of Lowe & Partners World wide, which is a unit of the Interpublic Group of Companies. Sandler Communications, a fullservice healthcare marketing communications organi zation, which was founded in New York in 1984, is closing its doors. Ken Sandler, founder, will continue to be active in the industry as a consultant. His partner, Dave Recht, who heads up Sandler & Recht Com munications in Durham, N.C., continues operations. For more information on executive promotions throughout the healthcare industry, please turn to page 90. F PharmaVoice welcomes comments about this article. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s a rare and pleasant experience in this business to be able to hand over the leadership to seasoned and trusted managers who have been part of the agency culture from the beginning,says Morgan Cline. Jack Slonaker