Ad agency the community has brought Love Whelchel and Jen Patterson on board, respectively, as EVP/chief people officer and head of mindfulness. Their roles sprung from a lesson learned during the pandemic--that we need to support and look out for each other, which for a company entails committing to people not as a group of employees but as individuals, with mental health, balance and holistic support among the priorities.
Luis Montero, CEO of the community, said, “People are what make a company and, more importantly, what make a community. We’re always evolving, in our work and ideas but also in how we run the agency. It’s been a hard year and a half, and we knew we needed to rethink how we take care of our people and make real changes. Love and Jen are one of the ways we’re doing that. The idea of a head of mindfulness and our first elevated chief people officer is big for us. We’re confident that Love and Jen will bring a fresh perspective to our culture and the evolution of how we support our community every day, both at work and at home.”
Whelchel joins the community with more than 15 years of experience developing talent and leading people and culture teams. He’s worked across entertainment, advertising, and technology, bringing a keen understanding of process, commitment to ethical management, and enthusiasm for people. Prior to joining the community, Love spent time as the global chief talent officer of DeVries Global/IPG, as chief human resources officer for Sean “Diddy” Combs of Combs Enterprises/Bad Boy Worldwide, as well as in recruiting and HR roles across the industry, including TBWA\Chiat\Day and Young & Rubicam.
“The community is truly that: a group of people who are passionate, creative and who want what’s best for each other and the group as a whole. I could not be more excited to join something so special,” said Whelchel. “In each of my roles over the years, the through line for a successful company, and a successful HR and talent team, has been heart. Supporting people as humans, as individuals, and providing balance so they can thrive at work and in life. The creative ideas come first, but it’s the people who come up with those ideas that matter most.”
Patterson is joining the community as its first head of mindfulness. In her role, she serves as an executive coach who spends one-on-one time with individuals and teams. Her approach is based on reframing limiting beliefs and using mindfulness and meditation as tools to create balance. She’s available every week for appointments with anyone in the agency’s global community. The focus for her work is to be a mental health resource, while also helping to push to create better boundaries and balance both as an agency and for every individual within the agency, worldwide.
Prior to joining the community as head of mindfulness, Patterson spent over 20 years in advertising, including a four-year stint at the community as head of planning back in 2005. Her last role in advertising was as chief strategy officer. She’s spent the past five years as an executive coach.
“What I always loved about strategy was talking to people and listening for that aha moment. That served as a natural gateway to coaching, and I’m so excited to be joining the community again,” said Patterson. My goal comes down to showing people different ways of being. We spend a lot of hours at work. But often the way we work takes away the energy we need to be fully present in important areas of our lives--with our partners or children, or in our creative pursuits. My coaching is all about getting you out of your head into your heart and body through mindfulness and meditation. It’s about showing people how to create boundaries and balance in a time when those are especially hard to find.”
Joaquin Molla, founder and chief creative officer of the community, explained, “Change comes from within, and we knew we needed to think differently. We wanted to give everyone at the agency the right tools and decided a head of mindfulness was what we needed. But as always, what matters is the person. The right person makes the title. And we knew Jen was that person. Her sensibility to understand, her ability to listen, and her knowledge make her the right person for all of us to open up to. Starting at the core of who we are. Helping each of us find the right balance. Jen’s adding a new layer of support at the most important level. She knows us, likes us, and wants each of us to shine as individuals and as a community.”