Jessica Henrichs is working to lead brands through a time of disruption while doing the same for Colle McVoy, the full-service creative agency in Minneapolis where she is taking on the new role of managing director, head of client growth.

Henrichs, a member of Colle McVoy's executive-leadership team, leads the agency's brand partnership group with a focus on "future-proofing" client businesses as brands face potential challenges from startups, new technologies and the economy.

The group's mission includes "making sure that the work we do is not only award-winning creative but also even more importantly effective in driving their business results," Henrichs said.

Henrichs also is strengthening digital and data science offerings at Colle McVoy. The agency's other services include advertising, brand strategy and experience, design and public relations. Clients include 3M, Land O'Lakes, Target and CHS.

"Jessica is an amazing brand and business transformation specialist, trusted strategic adviser and dynamic leader," Colle McVoy CEO Christine Fruechte said in a news release. "As we continue to create industry-defining work, Jessica is a pro at helping clients find groundbreaking solutions that change consumer and customer behavior."

Henrichs joined Colle McVoy in December after more than a decade in the Chicago office of Digitas, a marketing and technology agency. She most recently was executive vice president, head of account management, overseeing accounts including Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Bank of America and General Motors.

Henrichs previously spent nine years leading marketing and sales promotions for CBS television stations, rebranding local markets, launching social and digital strategies and promoting programs in new ways.

Henrichs said she was happy at Digitas but that she and her husband, whose family lives in Woodbury, re-evaluated their priorities with the birth of their second child.

"The opportunity to move closer to family and work for an amazing company was impossible to pass up," Henrichs said.

Q: What appealed to you about Colle McVoy?

A: When I got to know Christine and the Colle McVoy family, I was inspired by the agency's brand purpose, "Leading brands to their next." To do that well we really have to live our next as an agency, we have to disrupt ourselves. These are challenges that we shouldn't shy away from. They're opportunities for us to change how we operate and to dig into our strengths.

Q: Where do clients need help in future-proofing?

A: They're overwhelmed by data and technology. They've made huge investments in (marketing technology) and other infrastructure but haven't found ways to extract value from those investments. They have to mobilize teams internally, hire new expertise, figure out what's worth measuring, what data can be monetized and how to connect disparate systems to make things run smoothly. It's an overwhelming task for many clients but it's an opportunity for us to make sense out of that chaos.

Q: What are your priorities?

A: Helping the agency to connect the dots across all the capabilities that we have internally to drive meaningful solutions for our clients through data, through technology, through experiences. Bringing more data science and digital savvy to the team is another key priority. If we're going to lead clients to their next we have to make sure that we're ahead to bring them along and get them there. To do that we have to evaluate how we work, the kind of work that we deliver and the expertise that we have internally.

Todd Nelson is a freelance writer in Lake Elmo. His e-mail is