Brendan Ward, a creative strategist with 15 years of experience helping organizations refine their vision, joined APCO Worldwide as creative director, Courtney Crowder, managing director, Raleigh, announced.
“Brendan’s expertise in the creative industry has consistently driven innovative branding and dynamic solutions, fostering design-oriented leadership and thinking,” Crowder said. “His entrepreneurial background and fearless spirit truly capture our four core values—boldness, curiosity, inclusivity and empathy—approaching creative content with humility and dedication to explore new areas. I am honored to welcome Brendan to the creative team and greatly look forward to seeing what ideas he will bring to life.”
Prior to joining APCO in January, Ward founded two creative firms—the first being Harbor Studio, a creative strategy firm in Durham, North Carolina where he oversaw marketing and branding campaigns across diverse industries. While running Harbor Studio, Ward also cofounded Kaleida, a self-funded, member-owned arts and activism collective offering creative workspaces for residents of Durham.
“I am very excited to be joining APCO at a time of such incredible growth and momentum not just in the Triangle but worldwide,” said Ward. “There is an undeniable trend within the PR industry toward new, creative solutions that further blurs the line separating PR and ad agencies. I am thrilled to be a part of that change, but more so to join a global team of deep thinkers that continue to humble me every day.”
Ward joins an experienced group of industry veterans in APCO’s creative team around the world who know their home markets but are global in their thinking, including Howard Pulchin, Tracy Mathews, Flor Marenco-Adelberg, Imad Lahad, Steve Salvador and Dave Burke. “There’s a growing demand from clients for creative to be at the center of their brand strategy and integrated campaigns,” Mathews, creative director, North America, said. “Brendan’s highly sought-after skills and sage insight, founded on years of experience and penchant for creativity, will enhance our skillsets and ability to help clients conceptualize and execute ideas to achieve their desired outcomes in the most demanding markets—locally, regionally and globally.”
The addition of Ward follows the recent naming of Crowder as the managing director of APCO’s Raleigh office and Karen Hagens as senior director. Since its opening in 2014, APCO’s Raleigh office has quickly established itself in the region as a bold leader delivering exceptional results grounded by strategic insights and creative execution. The Raleigh office’s ability to create impactful, individualized approaches for its clients is founded on the deep bench of industry professionals—including Kelly Williamson, Crowder, Hagens, Travis Bullard, Hannah Morecraft, Leanne High, Mary Alice Rose and Devyn McDonald—who help clients navigate difficult business and policy issues in North Carolina and beyond.
Ward is joining APCO during a landmark time for the company, which recently celebrated the 35th anniversary of its founding. Founded by Margery Kraus as a single-person operation in 1984, APCO has grown to a global advisory and advocacy communications consultancy with nearly 800 employees based in more than 30 global markets.