Dare Vancouver hires Shorkey as SVP, managing partner

After months of senior-level flux, Dare brings it talent from overseas

After months of senior-level flux, Dare brings it talent from overseas

Dare Vancouver has named Derek Shorkey as its new senior vice-president and managing partner, concluding a search that began last October.

Shorkey was a partner and president of the Vancouver-based Pineapple Group from 2002 until it were bought by McLaren McCann in 2007 and Shorkey was appointed managing director. After that he began honing his managerial talents overseas, becoming CEO of Publicis Russia in Sept. 2008, and then CEO of Grey South Africa last June.

The hope is that Shorkey will bring some stability to Dare, the 48-person agency that has seen a relatively high turnover of senior staff. Agency heads Sandy Fleischer and John Hall left for Pound & Grain Digital and McLaren McCann, respectively, leaving management of the agency in the hands of Dick Hadden, president and chief creative officer, and Colin Schleining, president of the Vision 7-affiliated EDC North America.

Moreover, in January, executive creative directors Rob Sweetman and Bryan Collins announced that they were leaving to form their own company, and Addie Gillespie and Mia Thomsett stepped in as co-creative directors in May.

“There has been a lot of change over recent years at Dare, and people need to feel like there is a very involved, engaged, participative management in place,” said Shorkey. “One of my strengths is with people and relationships and establishing trust and confidence and giving people a reason to believe in something.”

Although just a few hours on the job, Shorkey said his first priority will be to make sure the agency’s current clients are happy and well served. He’ll then look to expand into different types of clients inside and outside of the Vancouver market.

“New business will be critical for the next phase of growth for Dare,” he said. “We need to do a combination of farming and creating organic growth as well as hunting and defining ourselves in this marketplace.”

Current Dare Vancouver clients include Destination BC (formerly known as Tourism BC), the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, BCLC, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Manitoba Telecom Services and McDonald’s USA.

“We’ve spent time looking for the right candidate,” said Schleining of Shorkey’s hire, in a news release. “Derek has a history of success and a wealth of leadership experience both in Canada and around the world. His global perspective coupled with local market knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit is a great fit for the Dare brand.”

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