Confidant, the creative and strategic communications agency, announced the appointment of three celebrated communications and advertising industry veterans to join its senior leadership team. Each of the new hires will further develop, operationalize and scale the agency’s core services, which span those of public relations and advertising agencies in support of owned, earned and paid creative, consumer PR and corporate communication campaigns. Each new leader brings decades of experience spanning sectors that will give current clients access to fresh insights while also deepening and broadening the agency’s expertise.
Bringing more than 25 years of corporate and crisis communications, social impact, community engagement and public affairs experience to Confidant in his new role as Executive Vice President, Corporate Reputation, Andy Izquierdo most recently served as Chief Communications Officer for Sound Transit, where he led marketing, communications and community engagement for the nation’s largest transit expansion. Prior to Sound Transit, he served as Chief Communications Officer for Waste Management, Vice President of Communications and Social Impact for Belk department stores and Vice President of Corporate Affairs for PetSmart. Izquierdo will bring new expertise to the agency in the areas of public affairs and government relations, building off of prior experience as Vice President of Global Public Affairs at KFC (Yum! Brands), and having also worked as a Congressional press secretary and a spokesperson for the Embassy of Ethiopia in D.C. A longstanding leader of diversity, equity and inclusion programs and a first-generation Cuban American, Izquierdo is fluent in Spanish and has considerable policy experience on issues affecting the nation’s Latino community.
Marie-Sophie Lantin, who joins Confidant as EVP, Consumer PR, is a seasoned brand marketer who brings to her new role more than 20 years of U.S. and global experience building and protecting brands across a variety of sectors, with a deep focus in food & beverage, CPG, beauty & personal care, and lifestyle. Most recently, she was EVP, Brand Solutions at BCW, where she led the development of integrated communications strategies for some of the world’s biggest consumer brands, including E. & J. Gallo Winery, Hellmann’s, Colgate, Tom’s of Maine, Walgreens, P&G @Walgreens, and No7. Prior to BCW, Lantin was the Marketing Director for the French bakery and café chain, Maison Kayser, overseeing the marketing mix to fuel the brand’s expansion in the U.S. She has also held senior agency roles at Marina Maher Communications, Edelman and Hill & Knowlton, where she focused on building consumer awareness and engagement for brands such as P&G, Dannon, Kellogg’s, Merck and BBC World, among others.
“We continue to see established and challenger brands drawn to the way we staff our teams to complement theirs and blend creative, consumer PR and corporate communications,” said Confidant Co-Founder Garland Harwood. “Marie-Sophie and Andy bring such a range of great expertise to our team and clients. I couldn’t be happier to have them join us as we prepare for a new season of growth.”
Additionally, Suzy Sammons, an award-winning brand storyteller with 25 years of major ad agency experience, overseeing brand relationships at world-renowned agencies like TBWA\Chiat\Day, BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi, began collaborating with Confidant’s creative studio in Nashville and was hired late last year as a Group Account Director. Sammons was brought on to help expand Confidant’s creative client base and bring greater strategic integration to all areas of the business. She has managed client relationships and brand oversight for national accounts in luxury automotive, consumer electronics and higher education, as well as stints in nonprofit, entertainment and publishing. Sammons joins Confidant as its creative studio account lead to help expand the business and bring greater strategic integration to all areas of the business.
“As a growing young agency, we’re so lucky to find a kindred big agency defector like Suzy, who brings vast experience running agencies, growing core accounts, attracting new business and mentoring and building teams,” said Confidant Co-Founder Ken Byers. “We learn time and time again that ideas and creative may be what we do, but Suzy is helping us redefine how we do it, which is ultimately the measure of how we build trust with the brands we serve.”
Recent new client wins for Confidant include Perfect Day, the celebrated consumer biology company and creator of the world’s first animal-free dairy protein, and LimeWire, which is returning to the world later this year as a NFT digital collectibles marketplace.
Confidant is a creative and strategic communications agency bringing deep & authentic stories to life in owned, earned and paid media. A collective of big agency defectors with a vision for serving clients better through smaller, more dedicated teams of experienced and well-cared for professionals, Confidant is built to serve strong in-house teams with more integrated storytelling. With offices in NYC (PR Studio) and Nashville (Creative Studio), clients include Amazon, Sony, Shake Shack, BarkBox, Birchbox, Getaway, Banza, Perfect Day, LimeWire and a large global beverage alcohol company. Confidant has been recognized at industry awards, including Inc.’s Best Workplaces, PRWeek’s Best Boutique Agency 2021 (Honorable Mention); PRovoke’s Outstanding Boutique Agency (Finalist); PRovoke’s Top 5 Micro Boutique Agencies to Work For (2021 and 2022) and PRNews Agency Elite Top 100. The firm also recently named a 2022 SABRE Award Finalist for its work on the “Can’t Fly, Have a Fry” campaign for client Shake Shack.