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Saracino named Erwin Penland president

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by Matthew Clark
Published Nov. 23, 2015

A week after Joe Erwin, president of the Greenville-based advertising agency Erwin Penland, announced he was leaving the company on Dec. 31, Hill Holliday, Erwin Penland’s parent company, picked a successor.


Chief Client Officer Joe Saracino was named new president of the agency today and will assume the new role Jan. 1.

“It was one of the reasons why I came here … with this being part of the plan,” Saracino said. “We have been working toward it for a few years now.”

Joe Erwin, who started his own agency in 1986, announced last week he was leaving the company following a round of 30 layoffs and an agency reorganization between its Greenville and New York City offices. The layoffs, according to Saracino, were part of a shift the agency is making toward digital marketing and advertising.

“I don’t think there is a silver bullet, but what we have been working on collectively is the plan and that is making sure our offerings are what our clients are asking for,” Saracino said. “I think our mission will be to transform the offerings but do it the Erwin Penland way.

“There has always been that spirit of getting it done and getting it done right. We just want to make sure the machine is a modern machine.”

Saracino joined Erwin Penland in 2011 and has helped the agency secure new business such as L.L. Bean, The UPS Store, Disney XD and Califia Farms. Those clients joined Denny’s Corp., Verizon and CIT Bank. As part of a four-year growth plan, the company also added Chief Creative Officer Con Williamson and Chief Planning Officer Jessica Navas to the company to join COO Allen Bosworth.

“This succession plan has been rolling out over several years, and I believe this final move will bring a fresh, new perspective to Erwin Penland leadership and their clients,” said Karen Kaplan, Chairwoman and CEO of Hill Holliday. “I have tremendous confidence that Joe and the team will move our joint vision for Erwin Penland forward successfully.”

The company recently broke ground on a new headquarters in downtown Greenville. The new building will be a five-story, multitenant, mixed-use building complete with a skywalk to connect it to one of the firm’s two existing buildings.

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Matthew Clark can be reached at 864-235-5677, ext. 107 or @matthewclark76 on Twitter

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