Partners + Napier Expands Creative Department Leadership

Mike Baron and Dan O’Donnell Named Agency’s First Group Creative Directors; Baron Also Appointed SVP

Rochester, NY (July 31, 2017) – Citing increased creative momentum that has contributed to Partners + Napier’s continued growth, Executive Creative Director Pete VonDerLinn is reinforcing the agency’s creative chops with the addition of two group creative directors, a brand-new role at the Rochester-based shop.

Creative Director Mike Baron, who started at Partners + Napier in 2005, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director. Meanwhile, Dan O’Donnell, most recently Creative Director at MARC USA in Pittsburgh, and a veteran of Arnold, MullenLowe and Hill Holliday, has joined the agency as a Group Creative Director. Both report to VonDerLinn.

“At Partners, we believe creating brave work drives positive change for our clients, our people and our world. We are constantly seeking opportunities to improve our creative work, and both Mike and Dan have the talent, the track record and the leadership skills to fuel agency growth,” said VonDerLinn. “Their #1 focus is to keep work quality high and client relationships strong.”

In recognition of his many contributions to Partners + Napier over the years, Baron has also been elevated to senior vice president. In his newly expanded role, Baron will oversee creative work for Highmark Health Inc., BMW and MINI Financial Services, and Delta Vacations.

O’Donnell will oversee creative development for Keurig Green Mountain, BurgerFi, Conduent, Excellus BlueCrossBlueShield, Gannett, Friendship Dairies, Xerox, Bausch + Lomb, and Rochester Regional Health.

Over the course of his career, Baron has won many creative awards, including One Show, Tellys, Addys and recognition in Lurzers Archive. Starting as a copywriter and now an experienced director, he has helped some of the world’s best-known brands connect with their customers in their respective industries, including financial services, healthcare, higher education, fashion and outdoor sports. A graduate of St. John Fisher College, his agency experience also includes stints at Saatchi & Saatchi, Young & Rubicam, and Hill Holliday.

At MARC USA, O’Donnell’s primary focus was the Rite-Aid account. Other big brands that have benefited from his creative and business-building expertise over the years include Anheuser-Busch, Dunkin’ Donuts, Samsonite, Ocean Spray and Tyson. O’Donnell has received creative recognition that includes such awards as One Show, CA, and Hatch. An art director by trade, he is a graduate of Boston University.

About Partners + Napier
Partners + Napier is an integrated advertising agency based in Rochester, NY. With a 125-person team, we’re an agency for people and brands with something to prove. For 13 years, we’ve been proving that resisting the status quo is the path to incredible return on marketing investment. We’ve done great work for clients like Constellation Brands, BMW and MINI Financial Services, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Bausch + Lomb, Delta Vacations, Highmark Health, Inc., Saputo and Gannett. As the first creative agency to join Project, an independent global network of agencies in service of creativity, we collaborate closely with like-minded agencies around the world to deliver scale, resources, and ROI for brands like Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Tribe Hummus, AT&T, and Jeep. To learn more, visit

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