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Partners + Napier names new agency leadership team with Courtney Cotrupe becoming CEO

Rochester-based agency Partners + Napier has made several changes to its leadership team, elevating president Courtney Cotrupe to chief executive officer and hiring Rob Kottkamp as chief creative officer. Agency founder and chief executive officer Sharon Napier now assumes the role of chair and founder and will continue to play an active role in the agency.

The changes were made after three consecutive years of double-digit growth for the agency. “Growth always brings change – good change,” said Napier. “Courtney has been by my side every step of this journey, and now is the time to take what we’ve built and position the agency for more success. Courtney has the vision, ideas and smarts to lead the agency we’ve become, and Rob is her perfect complement. Together, they’ll take us to new heights.”

In her previous role as president, Cotrupe oversaw the acquisition and integration of another agency and deepened Partners + Napier’s capabilities in content, social media, PR, analytics and digital. She also launched the agency‘s media division, which is now its highest growth area. Cotrupe serves on the national board of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and as chair of the New York State Council of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s).

“I am extremely proud to take on the role of CEO,” said Cotrupe. “Sharon started this agency with a fundamental belief that business is personal, and that’s been the foundation of our success. Now, Rob and I have the incredible opportunity to further evolve and grow the agency in a way that champions our agency's values and meets the dynamic needs of our clients.”

Under Napier and Cotrupe’s combined leadership, the agency has grown over the last several years, with gross revenue passing the $30m mark in 2018 (up 29%), and nine new clients joining in the last 12 months, including Instant Pot, Rakuten, Conduent, Pyrex, The Strong National Museum of Play and CoreLife Eatery.

Kottkamp joins Partners + Napier from MullenLowe in Boston, where he oversaw a $30m book of business with accounts such as Royal Caribbean, Google Cloud and US Cellular. Prior to his role at MullenLowe, Kottkamp spent eight years at Arnold Worldwide, where he worked on Volvo, Timberland and Santander Bank, among others. His work as an art director and creative director has been recognized by Cannes, D&AD, the Effies, One Show, and two of his campaigns reside in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. He is also known for his work on the iconic Truth anti-smoking campaign.

“Partners + Napier is results-driven, it’s insight-driven and it’s data-driven – but great creative ideas are at its core. That’s why I’m here,” said Kottkamp. “My favorite part about this business is the process of bringing an idea to life and making something out of nothing. It’s even better when you get to do it alongside good humans, who share that simple desire to do great work. I see that in Partners + Napier, and I’m excited to be part of it.”

Added Napier: “Rob is the puzzle piece we’ve been hunting for. He leads and inspires by doing, and I can already see his chemistry with the team is something special. I look forward to working with him and Courtney in this next chapter.”

As agency chair and founder, Napier will focus on growth by helping to deepen client relationships, cultivating talent and furthering the agency’s voice in the industry. She will continue to serve on parent company Project Worldwide’s global strategic leadership team, as vice chair of the 4A’s, as a trustee of the Rochester Institute of Technology and as a fellow of the Culinary Institute of America, among other roles.

Featured by The Drum

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