Leading independent agency Venables Bell + Partners announced today that Che-Na Stephenson has joined the agency and its leadership team as Group Creative Director. Stephenson’s hire comes at a time of significant growth and momentum for VB+P with the recent addition of eight new client partnerships as well as a number of large scale efforts for legacy clients including Chipotle, 3M, and Audi. Stephenson’s primary focus will be spearheading creative efforts for the agency’s newest clients, as well as partnering with leadership team peers in developing agency talent, culture and growth initiatives.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Che-Na to VB+P,” said McGinness. “She brings fantastic experience crafting and transforming outstanding brands, and has an impeccable eye for design. She also brings amazing energy and fresh perspectives to our approach, and she’s quickly becoming a great role model and leader for our team, and an invaluable partner to our clients. I can’t wait to see all that she will accomplish ahead.”
Stephenson joins a number of exceptional female leaders at VB+P including Partner/President Kate Jeffers, Head of Growth and Marketing Brittni Hutchins, Head of Talent and Operations Mary Johnstone, Head of Integrated Production Hilary Coate, and Head of Integrated Content Studios, Raquel Bedard. Prior to VB+P, she was a Creative Director at Grey NY, where she led the Downy business. During this time and in her quest to find a healthy cocktail option, Stephenson founded and developed a vitamin cocktail mix and brand called, Solie, and she continues to build this burgeoning business today. Before her stint at Grey, she spent six years at 72&Sunny NY where she grew into a Creative Director role and oversaw creative efforts for clients including Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s, 23andMe, Cheerios, Nature Valley, Seventh Generation, and Circus by Sam Edelman. Additionally and while at 72&Sunny NY, she took on mom-shaming in the development of Yoplait's “Mom On” brand platform, and inspired young entrepreneurs through Ciroc’s, “Let’s Get It” brand campaign. Stephenson also did freelance stints throughout her career at DDB, SS+K and SID LEE. She is passionate about developing and advancing the next generation of female creative leaders and has mentored several young women through Where Are The Boss Ladies? initiatives.
“I’ve long admired VB+P both for its breakthrough work, as well as its special and supportive culture,” said Stephenson. “It’s especially exciting to work with a leading independent firm where we have the opportunity to truly push the boundaries of what is possible in terms of our capabilities and creative solutions, and really be innovative in our approach. I’m fortunate to be joining an amazing team and wonderful new clients and know that we’ll do great things together!”