Power Moves: Matt McDermott joins Harvey Agency as chief creative officer

Plus, Protenus adds a VP of Engineering, and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore appoints a new chair of the board.

Matt McDermott.

(Courtesy photo)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, new gig or promotion? Tell us:

Longtime Baltimore creative industry leader Matt McDermott recently moved to a new role: At the beginning of April, he became chief creative officer at Harvey Agency, a Hampden-based marketing agency which is currently marking its 35th anniversary. It’s a move within Baltimre, as McDermott previously worked as creative director at Bolton Hill-based agency idfive.

“idfive is an amazing place filled with the kindest humans. They really gave me a chance to cut my teeth in higher-level leadership there. But I need to keep scaring the shit out of myself with new challenges and new unknowns,” McDermott told “Harvey has given me a chance to jump into categories and industries that I’ve never really touched before and work with global brands like CoverGirl that aren’t typically tapping agencies in the Baltimore market.”

With the C-level role, McDermott’s responsibilities go beyond the creative department. He’ll be helping to guide organizational strategy, including looking for ways to make it nimbler, and plotting out what the agency will look like in the future.

“Working with the longest-running female-founded agency in Baltimore history is thrilling,” he said. “I see a huge opportunity to lean into that ethos, to celebrate our scrappy roots, and to attract diverse talent. I’m also excited because we have a chance to leverage our global client roster to make big impacts in familiar categories like [consumer packaged goods], beauty, and hospitality but also venture into tech, large nonprofits, startups, and more.

McDermott has been more than 20 years of experience in the local industry. And he’s active in the wider ad community, having until recently served as president of the American Advertising Federation of Baltimore‘s board. He said he’ll still be a champion for the city.

“This region has so much to offer in terms of talent and agencies,” he said. “My goal will always be to help keep people and agencies right here, while making the case to a new generation of talent from all over that this is a place where they can thrive without all of the big city bullshit. I’m not going anywhere.”



In April, Protenus welcomed Jay White as vice president of engineering. Before joining the Fells Point-based healthcare compliance analytics company, White worked at well-known DC edtech company at Blackboard, spending 14 years leading global software engineering teams.

At Blackboard, the Loyola University Maryland alum led a transformation to Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) methodologies, and a re-imagining of its data and analytics product suite. White also championed an OKR-based management system in Blackboard’s 700+ member engineering organization, and sat on the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion steering comittee.

“Jay has a deep appreciation for what it takes to successfully scale enterprise-ready engineering teams, which is exactly what Protenus needs as our growth continues to accelerate,” Nick Culbertson, CEO of Protenus, said in a news release.


Laura Meyer

Laura Tester Meyer.

Laura Tester Meyer is the new chief financial officer of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore (DPOB). This marks the last hire to fill out the executive board of the economic development org under recently-appointed president Shelonda Stokes.

“Finding the right CFO was critical for us as we look to expand funding streams, identify grant and COVID relief funds, and deliver taxpayer-funded stakeholder services,” Stokes said in a statement.

Before this position Meyer worked as CFO of the Obesity Society and she’s excited to bring her expertise to DPOB.

“My job is to be entrepreneurial when looking for new funding streams while at the same time ensuring the highest accounting and management standards,” Meyer said.


Stephen J. Woerner

Stephen J. Woerner

Stephen J. Woerner is now the chair of the board of directors of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore. Woerner is the president and chief operating officer of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE).

Woerner is succeeding previous chair Rick Kohr, CEO of Evergreen Advisors, and is eager to assist Baltimore in overcoming the challenges of the pandemic.

“EAGB has continued to draw attention to the region’s deep bench of industry and economic assets and convene leaders to coordinate our efforts for the benefit of the Region,” Woerner said in a statement. “I look forward to working with our board and staff to continue to build an inclusive, diverse and economically healthy region.”

It comes after EAGB has added the following board members of the last year:

  •  Jacob Hsu, CEO,  Catalyte
  • William Pellington, EVP, CBRE
  • Neil Meltzer, CEO, LifeBridge Health
  • Paul Mauritz, CEO, NetCraftsmen
  • Kim Schatzel, Ph.D., president, Towson University

For those seeking a new full-time role, we also spotted an opening at EAGB for a research and data specialist this week.


The Maryland Department of Commerce made appointments to multiple senior staff positions this week, including the promotion of Signe Pringle to deputy secretary. Since 2019, Pringle has served as the assistant secretary for the state economic development department’s Division of Business and Industry Sector Development, a role which included overseeing international trade and investment.

Other senior staff appointments include:

  • Kyle McColgan as chief of staff, overseeing day-to-day operations of the department. He was previously a senior advisor to Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz.
  • John Papavasiliou as chief operating officer, overseeing the department’s Division of Administration & Technology. He brings more than 21 years in state government, including roles with the health and labor departments.
  • David McDaniels as chief internal auditor, who will complete audits for businesses seeking tax credits and compliance reviews for grant applications.

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. -30-
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