After a year of growth in 2020, Klick Health is looking to continue the momentum in 2021 with the announcement of two new practice areas (Klick Intelligence and Scientific Innovation); the expansion of several of its existing practices (Strategy, Analytics, Technology, People, and Policy & Advocacy); and to top it off the appointment of the company’s new Co-Presidents.
Just over six months after officially announcing the transition of Lori Grant from President to CEO, Grant is now proud to announce that veteran Klick Managing Directors Ari Schaefer and Greg Rice have been appointed as Co-Presidents. While Schaefer and Rice have been acting in their new roles since Grant’s own promotion, the company only announced it internally in December 2020 and now to the public.
“In our continued journey of scaling our magic, one of the things that has really differentiated us is the experience advantage that we bring to the table, and the appointment of Greg and Ari allows us to maintain that experience advantage for both of our teams and our clients.” Grant told PM360 during an interview. “I am super excited by everything these two tremendous leaders have done and look forward to what they will continue to contribute moving forward.”
Rice has over 25 years of healthcare experience, starting his career as a pharmacist, practicing in both retail and hospital environments. He then switched to the pharmaceutical industry by joining Eli Lilly, taking on roles in sales, brand marketing, and new product planning, before moving to Havas Life where he served in several management roles. He joined Klick in 2011, and for the past seven years he was Managing Director of Katalyst, one of Klick’s large multi-disciplinary Client Success Teams responsible for helping a wide range of clients drive impactful commercialization efforts.
“Klick is a different type of agency built around an ecosystem of right-sized teams that are dedicated to our client business,” Rice told PM360. “Ari and I will work in a complementary way to help provide close support to our internal teams and to our client business without the lag that comes from traditional hierarchies. That will help us to effectively scale the magic, which to me means amplifying the incredible culture that we have and expanding the depth and breadth of offerings and value that we can offer and create for our clients. Additionally, this model allows us to nurture our next generation of leaders, which is key to our continued growth.”
Schaefer has 15 years of healthcare marketing experience with a background in engineering and consulting and extensive work in large-incidence and rare conditions across consumer, caregiver, and HCP marketing. A recipient of the 2019 DTC Perspectives Agency Vanguard Award, in recognition of his contribution to driving innovation and improving patient communications, Schaefer has been with Klick for almost a decade. He most recently served as Managing Director of another Klick Client Success Team responsible for driving a multitude of client success as well as the introduction of several novel offerings and partnerships.
“Greg and I have a partnership and a friendship, so we don’t just work well together—we genuinely like each other,” Schaefer told PM360. “That allows us to collaborate on things without getting caught up in an explicit demarcation lines of responsibilities. We can bring divergent viewpoints to problems and operate in an ecosystem way to take on any challenges the company faces. Overall, we’re focused primarily on continuing to be a commercialization partner for our clients as they grow and scale without losing the specialness that has brought us to this point and given us such tremendous exponential growth year over year.”
New Practice Areas
Klick also announced the launched of Klick Intelligence to provide clients with a competitive advantage through enhanced knowledge of markets and customers. Klick Intelligence leverages unique and creative approaches to understand impactful cultural forces and changing market dynamics, expand competitive assessments, elevate audience insights, and identify undiscovered data signals. Keri Hettel was hired as Senior Vice President, Intelligence to lead the new practice and Meredydd Hardie was also added as Vice President, Intelligence. They will report to Chief Brand Strategy Officer Carl Turner.
Hettel most recently led Razorfish Health’s Research, Data, and Analytics practice and served on the agency’s leadership team. And Hardie most recently led the intelligence practice at Gravity Partners where she helped clients such as Coca-Cola and Toyota better understand the impact of culture and how brands can lean into change to better connect with consumers.
The company is also launching a Scientific Innovation practice to develop unique, new ways to target, reach, and communicate with healthcare professionals. This practice builds on the commercial innovation success that Klick Applied Sciences and Klick Labs have had over the past eight years. Reporting to Chief Medical Officer Holly Henry, industry veteran Tim Mitchell, PhD was brought on as Senior Vice President, Scientific Innovation to lead the practice. Mitchell brings 15 years’ experience in U.S. and UK leadership roles, including Head of Strategy & Innovation and Chief Medical Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness and the co-founder of London-based medical communications startup Real Science (now part of Langland).
“Klick has one of largest medical groups integrated across a single agency, so adding Scientific Innovation to the mix will complement that wide range of medical strategy and communications offerings that we have,” Grant says. “This practice will allow us to lean into our hacker roots, which is one of our core principles, and bring clinical innovation to the forefront within our medical group.”
Expanding Current Practice Areas
Klick launched its Policy & Advocacy practice in 2020 with former Deputy Director for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CEO of Malaria No More, and staff director for the Senate health committee Dr. David C. Bowen serving as the leader. Now it is adding Brandi Hight Bank and Randi Goeckeler to its growing team.
Bank takes on the role of Vice President, Policy and Public Health and brings 15 years of experience planning and executing national public education campaigns and novel approaches that spark behavior change. Previously, she held a number of public affairs roles at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the National Vaccine Program Office, which leads and coordinates federal vaccine policy. There, Bank provided strategic counsel and communications support for the H1N1 influenza pandemic, seasonal influenza initiatives, and advisory committees.
Meanwhile, Goeckeler joins as VP, Stakeholder Coalitions with over 25 years of industry experience in conceiving, developing, and executing strategic frameworks that enable key external experts, patient advocacy, professional medical societies, payers, and C-Suite executives to deliver impactful outcomes that foster long-term, successful partnerships. Previously, she served as Executive Director, Stakeholder Relations at Allergan, where she built a global team and focused on implementing pre-launch, launch, and post-launch stakeholder engagement plans across the Allergan portfolio.
“Everything in healthcare today is deeply affected by government decisions, whether that’s reimbursement or access, scientific research, or even regulatory approvals, so there is an increasing demand for policy and advocacy in an integrated fashion, which is something we are uniquely doing,” Grant says. “Currently, the work Randi, Brandi, and David are doing on the policy and advocacy side in addition to our work supporting vaccine launches, our involvement in supporting various clinical trial related initiatives, and the work that we’re doing on vaccine competence initiatives has put us at the epicenter of many vaccine-related initiatives and activities to get us to the other side of this pandemic.”
Klick has also expanded the teams within its Strategy, Analytics, People, and Technology practices with the addition of hundreds of new Klicksters over the past six months. Some of those new leaders include January Coyle, Senior Vice President, Strategy; Jonathan Arsenault, Vice President, Technology; Brandon Grant, Vice President, Technology; Peter Kulupka, Vice President, Technology; and Lennie Kwan, Vice President, Technology/CRM.
“The reality is that clients are looking for integrated solutions,” Grant explains. “They’re looking for a partner who can draw the red thread all the way through their business. So when you look at our expanded practices you begin to see the power of end-to-end integration for our clients as they commercialize, and the ability for us to understand their business from the multiple perspectives that are required to make sure we are creating a seamless experience for all stakeholders involved.”