Seattle-based agency DNA is now a minority-owned and led agency, with Chris Witherspoon becoming one of the few Black agency CEOs and Alan Brown one of the few gay agency chairmen. This marks a significant move in an industry where diversity is sadly lacking. A recent survey by The 4A’s of 165 agencies representing more than 40,000 employees found that only 4% of Blacks and African Americans in the industry hold titles of VP or higher.
Witherspoon, a founding member of the advocacy group 600 & Rising, and board chair of Building Leaders and Creators, a coalition of agencies that encourages inclusion in the business through student internships, says that DNA is “making sure that it is as diverse as possible, and that we're setting up a place and culture where folks can bring their whole selves to the office, no matter their background and where they're from.”
With clients such as Rainier beer, Tableau, and Twitch, to name a few, DNA has just had its most profitable year ever. Brown’s focus will be on expanding the business, while Witherspoon’s will be focused on maintaining this momentum, retaining and hiring talent, and overseeing day-to-day operations.
Congratulations to DNA for being recognized as leaders in change and diversity. We look forward to seeing what’s next in store for the new CEO and Chairman.