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TBWA Chiat Day Los Angeles strengthens leadership team with hiring and promotion of unused executives

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With more than 100 unused employees in 2021 alone, TBWA Chiat Day LA has seen a significant upswing, driven by organic growth, recent unused business gains and investment in key areas across the agency from a capabilities, talent and diversity perspective. Hempe, Nelson and Thorburn assembled the agency’s executive leadership team, working alongside the CEO Erin RileyChief Strategy Officer Jane Costello Head of the creative department Renato Fernandez.

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“Wayne and Kourtney have distinguished experience and big hearts,” Riley said. “I am confident that this powerful mix, added to an already deep pool of agency leaders, will add to our momentum while also enriching our culture.”

With a financial career spanning over 23 years, Hempe has spent 14 years in the TBWA Group, and previously held senior leadership positions at Nissan United, TBWAWorldwide, TBWASouth Africa and TBWANEBOKO in AmsterdamA testament to the company’s commitment to talent mobility and advancement. Most recently, Hempe served as Vice President of Finance for TBWA’s North American subsidiary Nissan United. In his unused role as CFO, Hempe will be integral to the development of its business plans for growth and will be responsible for the agency’s overall financial performance, client negotiations and other stakeholders. Through her passion for people, Hempe will also engage in agency culture and DEI initiatives.

“I have forever loved Chiat Day LA and am thrilled to be joining the team during this exciting time in their journey,” Hempey said. “I am passionate about creating an environment in which we nurture our employees to deliver the best product to our customers, and take us from success to importance among our peers.”

Nelson comes to TBWA Chiat Day LA following spending more than a decade at Wieden + Kennedy Portland, where he rose to the rank of Brand Manager for the global group, creating influencer campaigns for brands including Nike, Levi’s, Instagram, P&G and Trolli, Secret Deodorant, and TurboTax, among others. The move marks a return to Chiat, having previously worked for TBWAChiatDay from 2005 to 2008. Throughout her 22-year career, she has spent time at other leading agencies, including Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Deutsch. As Managing Director, Nelson will oversee operations, branding, business management and production to streamline agency systems as they persevere to grow.

“Chiat Day LA has forever been a creative force. It’s part of its DNA,” said Nelson. “What has drawn me again is the leadership’s commitment to driving creative excellence in a way that is fueled by empathy and transparency. This combination is rare in our industry and is my passion point. I look forward to doing my part to aid write the agency’s next chapter.”

Thorburn joined ChiatDay LA in 2017 and has been integral in developing training programs including Disabling Hiring to eliminate unconscious bias in the hiring process, creating affinity groups, assigning key positions, and maintaining performance management systems implemented to nurture and talent. As part of the leadership team, Thorburn has been instrumental in implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across the agency. Its leadership approach rooted in trust and transparency has continued to transform and shape the agency’s unique culture.

Riley added, “Sherry is the most dimensional partner in talent I have ever experienced, perfectly balancing empathy with analytical rigor. She is a strategic force, a human force, and a cultural force within the agency. She has raised the bar for discipline and has been instrumental in stimulating the agency’s growth, ensuring we have the best Diverse talents in its class to respond to it.”


TBWA Chiat Day LA is the original Disability® company. ChiatDay began moving away from the conventions of Madison Avenue, at the start of the West Coast advertising boom in 1968 and has been disrupting for more than fifty years. As brand stewards, TBWA Chiat Day LA has produced some of the world’s most recognized brands by finding the white space through disruptive methodology and driving the results of dramas through heroic creativity. Specializing in Brand Strategy, Creative Strategy, Design, Social Networking, Data & Analytics, Multiculturalism, Purpose, User Experience and Production, TBWA’s Chiat Day Gatorade client list includes Discover, Blue Diamond, QuickBooks, Principal Financial, Behr Paint, The Recording Academy and more. In 2021, 2020, and 2019, TBWA was selected as one of the most innovative Fast Company

Source: TBWA Chiat Day


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