Interpublic Group agency Golin announced the promotion of Ellen Ryan Mardiks to global chairman. Fred Cook, who assumed the role of chairman in 2017, becomes chair emeritus. Both roles were effective on January 1, 2021.
As chairman, Mardiks will work with CEO Matt Neale and Gary Rudnick, president & COO, to lead and shape the agency where she has worked for more than three decades. Mardiks’ principle focus will be to foster the agency’s most significant global client relationships and oversee the strategic work to innovate those accounts. As leader of the Golin Group’s Top Client Leaders (TCL) program, Mardiks empowers and inspires the leaders of the agency’s largest partnerships, introducing them to evolved services and incentivizing organic growth. Mardiks also will serve as an executive consultant to C-suite leaders for some of the agency’s largest client partners, including Humana, Nestlé and Walmart.
“Ellen is one of the most gifted and talented client counsellors in Golin’s history,” said Neale. “She helps clients, from our oldest to our newest, understand the value of earned-first ideas to drive business. There is no better time to recognize and extend Ellen’s influence and make it possible for more clients and more of our people to benefit from her sage guidance.”
Mardiks is a key new business driver as Golin has welcomed new clients General Mills, Micron and Johnson & Johnson NA Skin Health just last year.
In addition to global client management, Ellen will be responsible for shaping work products and agency IP. This will include her role in adapting and enhancing The Playbook, Golin’s internal step-by-step planning process, which was designed to produce better earned-first, data-driven creative.
“The public relations discipline has never been more strategically important. It’s a privilege and an honor to take on this role at such an exciting time in our business at the agency that I’ve loved for more than 30 years,” said Mardiks.
Mardiks also will drive Golin’s reputation externally and work to advance the PR industry through her involvement in the Arthur Page Society, the PR Council, PRSA, and the 4As.
“Having worked with Ellen for more than 30 years, I can think of no one more qualified or deserving of this important position,” said Cook. “She embodies the values that have defined our continued success, and she serves as a role model for all of us.”
As chair emeritus, Cook will remain on Golin’s global executive leadership team and continue to oversee key legacy accounts. Based in Los Angeles, Cook will have special responsibility to work with managing director, Deanne Yamamoto, to evolve the firm’s LA office to be a beacon of progressive public relations in the global hub of culture. He also continues his role at the University of Southern California as the director of the Annenberg’s Center for Public Relations.
“Fred is the architect of Golin’s success as a world-class agency in the modern era,” said Neale. “He has been Golin’s North Star for the past two decades and I’m thrilled to be working with him in this new role.”