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DURHAM – McKinney enters 2021 with its eye on growth, both internally and externally. After a slew of new business wins in 2020, including four in Q4 alone — People’s United Bank, Netflix, and Stop & Shop among them — McKinney is taking advantage of its momentum by moving key leaders into roles best suited to their talents.

As part of this initiative, McKinney is announcing four big changes.

  • Jasmine Dadlani has been promoted to the role of Chief Strategy Officer
  • Walt Barron will be taking on a new role as Managing Director
  • Gretchen Walsh will assume the newly created role of Chief Client Officer
  • Jenny Nicholson, in another newly created role at McKinney, has been named Executive Director, Brand Experience


“As we lean into a growth mindset — especially in terms of empowering our people to play to their strengths — we’ve made a number of shifts to ensure that our talent is in the best position to contribute to the agency’s success,” said CEO Joe Maglio. “I’m very excited for Jasmine, Walt, Gretchen, and Jenny to continue to add value for our clients as well as our people in their expanded roles.”

Dadlani, who joined McKinney in 2018 as Director of Strategy in New York, will now oversee McKinney’s strategic offering across all of McKinney’s offices. Dadlani has played a central role in McKinney’s success since joining the agency, from her insights that informed Pampers’ #ShareTheLove movement to most recently serving as the driving strategic force behind Little Caesars “Big Pizza” — a truly cohesive campaign that will live and breathe in true 360-degree fashion, encompassing TV, social, merch, activations, and more. Dadlani has been a juggernaut.

Dadlani assuming the CSO role will allow Barron, who served as the agency’s Chief Strategy Officer for the last 5+ years, to move into his new role as Managing Director for the agency as he helps further define McKinney’s presence in Durham, New York, and Los Angeles.

Walsh, who was serving as Managing Director of McKinney’s Durham office, will step into the newly created role of Chief Client Officer. In this role, she’ll utilize the client-relationship chops she wielded in a previous stint as a Group Account Director for McKinney, where she strengthened existing client relationships and forged new ones, most notably in helping the agency land and run the Choice Hotels account.

Nicholson will lead McKinney’s latest client offering as Executive Director, Brand Experience. Nicholson, McKinney’s most awarded creative lead, has been recognized for thinking and creativity beyond traditional advertising. From SPENT, the online game that viscerally demonstrates what it’s like to live life on the brink of homelessness and has racked up a decade’s worth of accolades in the process to the creation of a suite of highly awarded financial education games developed for Next Gen Personal Finance that are now a go-to teaching tool in classrooms across America to developing the centerpiece of the Ad Council’s latest “End Family Fire” campaign, “No Extra Life” — which was created not on film but by using Unreal Engine, the game development engine created by Epic Games of Fortnite fame — there’s nothing Nicholson can’t reimagine or reinvent. Her role will be to formalize the agency’s BX offering and create new opportunities for existing clients as well as prospective ones.