BAERING (Formerly MMI Public Relations) Hires VP, Brand Strategy and Graphic Designer
BAERING has expanded its brand services group with the addition of two new team members skilled in brand strategy and graphic design. Ann Whitehurst joins the team as vice president of brand strategy and Hannah Soule as graphic designer. Under Whitehurst’s leadership, this expanded team will plan and execute strategic brand positioning, launches and campaigns for the agency’s clients.
“With growing client demand for our strategic advisory and creative services, we are very pleased to welcome our newest colleagues – Ann and Hannah – who bring tremendous talent and insights to help our clients navigate their brand and stakeholder interests,” said Alfred Leach, president and chief strategy officer at BAERING. “Our agency of record status for many leading Research Triangle-based middle market brands is fueling demand for our brand advisory and creative services.”
As vice president, Whitehurst leads the growth strategy and development of the firm’s brand services group. She is an award-winning writer, creative director and strategist whose 16-year career spans healthcare to technology to consumer goods.
Whitehurst earned her industry chops as a contract writer working with brands such as UNC-Rex Healthcare, Allscripts, the U.S. State Department and Wake County Economic Development. In 2005, she joined forces with Raleigh-based tech startup MediPlay to help design and build a first-of-its kind, patient education subscription network on behalf of the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, the largest specialty medical organization in the U.S.
In 2010, Whitehurst moved into the agency world where she has continued to serve as a key creative lead and strategist for multi-million dollar pharmaceutical and technology product launches, brand launches, corporate communications initiatives and consumer campaigns for brands including IBM, GE, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Samsung and AARP North Carolina. Her campaign and creative work have been recognized with multiple industry awards, including Gold ADDY and Stevie awards, and Platinum AVA Digital and MarCom awards. She was also a key collaborator on the Sunday Supper NC, a Hurricane Matthew flood-relief event that received a PRSA Silver Anvil award.
As graphic designer, Soule brings great creative insights and graphic design expertise to deliver the brand narrative through a unique and visually engaging lens. As class valedictorian at North Carolina State University College of Design, Soule honed her broad creative and design skillsets in methodologies that help her unpack a brand’s unique value proposition to its key stakeholders. Having lived in Okinawa, Japan for six years and studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, she brings a global mindset and perspective to her work. Soule joined BAERING from North Carolina State College of Design where she worked as a graphic design production assistant in its Design Lab for K-12 Education.