One of Baltimore’s larger homegrown digital agencies had a leadership change in late June, when Jennifer Quinlan became the new CEO of R2i. In an interview this week, Quinlan said conversations about taking the top job at the Inner Harbor-based digital marketing agency unfolded over several months, and the opportunity to take the helm became more and more interesting over time. Eight weeks into the role, Quinlan said she sees an existing culture and track record at the 14-year-old agency that can serve as the basis for further growth.
“There’s a great foundation with R2i that we will be able to leverage and build from,” she said.
The Baltimore-based agency saw growth in recent years through acquisition, and now has additional offices in New York, Seattle and Silicon Valley. It also has established work implementing marketing technology and building a digital presence for companies and organizations in sectors including B2B, nonprofits, healthcare and higher education.
Quinlan sees growth opportunities in those areas. She spoke of strengthening the national footprint between the East and West Coast offices.
“Over time, we definitely see our growth will be centered in offices on both coasts,” she said.
The team is also expected to grow. Quinlan said the company will continue to hire, and potentially look at further acquisitions. R2i received a majority investment from Baird Capital last year that was aimed at scaling the business.
Quinlan succeeded cofounder Matt Goddard, who is no longer with the company but helped with the transition. Cofounders Dave Taub and Chris Chodnicki are remaining in leadership roles.
She comes to the role with leadership experience in marketing and tech, as well as working in the “middle market.” Before joining R2i, Quinlan worked as North American Digital Practice Leader for IBM Global Business Services, Distribution Sector. Prior to that, she was a senior vice president at Columbia data-based marketing agency Merkle for 18 years.
She’ll continue to work on a national scale as the company continues to expand. Being from the area, the fact that the company is based in Baltimore was also important to her. She talked about the importance of building ties to local universities, and hiring here.
“Building business here is incredibly important to me,” she said.
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