Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based Merit Marketing this week announced the launch of its Milwaukee-based Merit Midwest division, and the addition of three Milwaukee-based employees.
Denise Kohnke joins Merit's executive leadership team as chief strategy and growth officer. Kohnke was previously executive vice president of strategy and business development at Laughlin Constable and was a founding partner of Kohnke Hanneken.
Steve Drifka joins Merit's executive leadership team as the chief creative officer. He most recently served as the executive creative director at Traction Factory.
Susan Hoeft joins Merit as an account director. She previously served as vice president of account management at Laughlin Constable.
"Establishing Merit Midwest marks an operational shift by our company to continue adapting to the ever-changing landscape created by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Alexandra Rhodes, chief operations officer of Merit. "While other companies may be scaling back, we’re focused on targeted growth in new markets that provide broader access to top, senior-level talent like Denise, Steve and Susan that can guide our global clients and their businesses."Merit Midwest will join Merit's existing locations, newly branded as Merit East which is comprised of employees based in cities like Harrisburg and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Merit Midwest will also serve the company’s active clients located in the Pacific Northwest."Merit has known for some time that the industry of marketing and advertising as we know it today is broken. Coupled with the economic and cultural turbulence we're all living in, our clients are seeking a company that thinks beyond marketing tactics and media channels to drive real transformation within their businesses," said Adam Vasquez, founder and chief economics officer of Merit. "Denise, Susan and Steve all have proven track records of being industry trailblazers and I'm grateful they have chosen to join us at Merit to bring their experience and brainpower to our company and clients."