Sosh names Balda president

Expands geographic focus and forms client teams


Milwaukee social media marketing agency Sosh has named Al Balda its president.


Balda, who joined Sosh in June, most recently was a strategic partner at Milwaukee-based branding agency Mindspike Design, where he planned and executed marketing strategies for small businesses. He also previously worked as concept and development partner at SU Entertainment Group, helping to develop and market Umami Moto and Mikey’s restaurants in Milwaukee, and owned now-shuttered restaurant Vivo Urban Grill on Milwaukee’s East Side.

In his new role, Balda will be tasked with growing Sosh and expanding its focus to include global clients.

“The Internet levels the playing field,” Balda said. “We were recently approached by a group in Brazil that found us on the Internet based on the work that we’ve done and recommendations.”

Sosh has also reorganized its marketing strategy to assign teams to each of the firm’s more than a dozen clients instead of a single person. The realignment will allow the firm’s 15 employees to cross-train and assure someone is always available for client needs, Balda said.

“The reorganization is something that’s been in progress for about two or three months and we felt that it was necessary for growth to have a structure in place that allows us to scale more on a national, if not global, level,” he said. “We do have clients from (Los Angeles), Las Vegas and New York and we felt that we may need to employ others outside of the area to sustain that.”

Michelle D’Attilio, a 2015 BizTimes Media Bravo! Entrepreneur Award winner who founded the firm as Corporate Identity Solutions in 1999, will continue to serve as chief executive officer of Sosh. The company did not previously have a president.

“I’ve known Michelle for some time,” Balda said. “It really is about her. She’s a dynamic individual. She, in my mind, is a superstar at what she does.”

“I feel so lucky to have not only another rockstar, but a friend, on our team,” D’Attilio said in a statement. “Al’s new position here will allow us to grow on a more national scale, which I couldn’t be more excited for.”

D’Attilio said the newly reorganized Sosh will help clients stay ahead of consumer shopping trends by using new technology such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

Sosh in 2014 expanded outside social media marketing to include a public relations and communications division, which was headed by chief communications officer Wendy Strong. That work will continue, though Strong is no longer with Sosh, Balda said.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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