Performance Art adds a new group CD in Toronto

IPG's data-driven agency has added several creative and strategic talents in response to new assignments and expanding work.
Jess Willis

Interpublic-owned Performance Art has added new leadership to its North American team, including a new group CD in its Toronto office.

Jess Willis has been appointed into the aforementioned role, and will be responsible for driving creativity, growth and cross-functional collaboration for the agency’s Canadian clients. She enters the role with 20 years of creative experience; most recently, Willis served as CD at John St., where she worked for a little more than a year and a half, leading on the KFC, Tangerine and No Frills accounts.

“Jess has a unique ability to balance high creative with high performance, and traditional with digital,” says Ian Mackenzie, Performance Art’s CCO. “She’s a talented, versatile and forward-thinking creative. Having her on board will be a huge asset to our agency and clients alike.”

Willis’ appointment is one of several additions and promotions made across the agency’s North American team in recent months. The agency also hired Jory Edmunds as chief strategy officer earlier this year, charging him with oversight of global strategy for the agency.

Edmunds had served in strategic roles at a wide variety of agencies, most recently including Isobar, where he worked for three years as EVP of strategy.

“We were looking for a strategic leader who is incredibly data-driven and tech-savvy, as well as someone with a love for creative and a track record of informing business-driving, award-winning work,” says Andrea Cook, CEO at the agency. “[Edmunds] brings the requisite data knowledge and expertise to the role, and more importantly, he’s able to see the picture behind the numbers while simultaneously using data to tell a compelling story. He’s the ideal fit for us as we are in a period of remarkable growth.”

Along with Willis and Edmunds, Performance Art has hired Paul Fung as a creative director in its New York office, and promoted Benson Ngo to the same post in New York, as well.

These hirings and promotions follow a period of rapid growth for the agency, which IPG launched last July. The additions support its growing relationships with clients including BMW, CIBC and Kijiji, as well as new assignments with Lyft, Veterans United Bank and Clutch.ca.