Tracey Pattani Named BSSP CEO; Nicole Michels McDonagh Comes Aboard As Group CD
Tracey Pattani
  • SAUSALITO, Calif.
  • --

Independent creative agency Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners (BSSP) has appointed Tracey Pattani as its CEO.  A boomerang employee, Pattani worked at BSSP as a group account director earlier in her career. She returns now to oversee day-to-day operations and leadership of the agency, bringing over 20 years of experience with her. As CEO, she will work closely with agency founders and current co-chairs Greg Stern and John Butler.  

BSSP has also brought on board Nicole Michels McDonagh as its newest group creative director. She will partner with group creative director Sinan Dagli to co-lead creative teams. This marks McDonagh’s second stint at BSSP as well, previously working within the creative department as a sr. writer. Both women helped to shape the agency’s culture and creative output during their respective tenures, returning now at a pivotal time for BSSP as the agency looks to capitalize on recent growth and momentum, and further build out its integrated offering. Pattani and McDonagh officially start today (3/2).

An accomplished industry veteran with deep roots in digital marketing and brand strategy, Pattani has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands throughout her career, including Microsoft, IBM, Diageo and eBay. She rejoins BSSP from Digitas San Francisco where she has served as SVP, head of account management since 2016, overseeing successful programs for Amway, Pandora and PlayStation, helping to grow Digitas’ business and improve overall effectiveness of the agency’s work. She also helped expand the agency’s offering, building out CRM, social and content services to better serve client needs.

A global business leader, she has built teams and operations that have created profitable, healthy businesses and led client programs across 84 countries. During her first stint at BSSP, Pattani helped to foster a deep partnership with Diageo Wines. Following that, she started her own marketing consultancy, then spent several years leading accounts like Levi’s and Ghirardelli for FCB Global before joining Digitas. 

Michels McDonagh rejoins BSSP by way of Wunderman Thompson (formerly POSSIBLE) where she worked her way up through the creative department over the last eight years--serving as group creative director most recently--touching brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Coca-Cola, Bacardi, Microsoft and ZICO Coconut Water. Prior to that, she enjoyed a freelance career that stretched from Seattle to Seoul with stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Over the course of her career, Michels McDonagh also had stints at Kirshenbaum, Bond & Partners, Cole & Weber and FCB Seattle. Her work has been recognized by Cannes Lions, The One Show, Effies and D&AD, among others. She will report to Pattani and Butler in her new role at BSSP.

“Tracey and Nicole are returning home and we couldn’t be happier,” said Butler. “When they were here during the early days of the company, they oversaw some terrific work. Then they went away, grew in their careers and evolved as marketers. Now, they’re back to make us smarter.”

BSSP works with brands and companies including Mitsubishi Motors, Blue Shield of California, FootJoy, Sovos Brands, City of Hope Cancer Centers, Traditional Medicinals, ESPN, and Parallel. 


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