Sussman Names Cathy Shaffner President of North America

SUSSMAN Names Cathy Shaffner President of North America

Detroit based Agency turns to industry titan to help drive growth!


(Farmington Hills, MI – January 10, 2024)  After five decades of building category dominance for its clients, Michigan based SUSSMAN will turn to 30-year advertising veteran Cathy Shaffner to guide the firm as the company’s first female President.


Cathy was recently the Chief Investment Officer for Empower Media where she helped build one of the largest independent media agencies in the country.  Shaffner’s appointment comes at an opportune time as founder Alan Sussman transitions day-to-day responsibilities to an all-new management team headed by 40-year marketing executive Dino Rotondo as CEO.


“Alan built one of the best retail agencies in the country, delivering unprecedented results for his clients,” said Rotondo.  “Continuing that dominance will demand savvy leadership.  Adults, who understand retail and bring innovative, impactful marketing solutions to our clients.  Cathy checks all the boxes and then some.”


Shaffner’s category experience is deep in retail including Hospitality, Home Goods and Services, Consumer Goods and Financial.  “After a transformative run at Empower, I was looking for the next big thing,” said Shaffner.  “SUSSMAN has deep retail roots and a proven track record for providing extraordinary results for clients.  They have a sales DNA in their creative solutions that drives market velocity combined with a client first focus that creates a winning combination.”


In the retail sector, results are hard to come by these days.  Retail experience is at a premium, because without it, the industry is finding it more difficult to generate sales volume and growth.  “Retail is facing so many challenges,” said Shaffner.  “I found SUSSMAN’s tried and tested retail chops to be an attractive and desired capability in today’s market.  Brands are looking for sales growth and improved profits through better solutions. Now, with SUSSMAN, I can help companies who are looking for answers.”


In addition to Shaffner’s appointment, the agency also announced that Ashleigh Hollowell, a seven-year executive at SUSSMAN is being promoted to Chief Client Officer and will be responsible for all client activities.   “Ashleigh has guided our automotive division with a steady hand and unmatched client service standards,” said Rotondo.  “The combination of Ashleigh and Cathy gives our agency a dynamic female executive one-two punch.”


“I’m excited to work along-side an industry pro, like Cathy,” said Hollowell. “Together, we will drive our client’s business with real perspective, fresh thinking and innovative solutions that work.  We both pride ourselves in getting things done.  Talk is cheap …  it’s all about delivering.”


After five decades of building some the biggest retail brands in the country with disruptive and memorable campaigns like “Sexy Specs” for optometrist D.O.C. or “Eat the foods you love and lose the weight you want” for Weight Watchers, Alan Sussman will ascend to Chairman.


He will continue to provide leadership to some of the agency’s key clients and serve as an advisor to the management team.  “Alan Sussman has proven that he’s one of the top retail marketing minds in the country,” said Rotondo.  “This is not retirement for Alan, but another chapter in his historic career.  The new management team at SUSSMAN is humbled that Alan has entrusted us with the future direction of the agency.”



About The Sussman Agency

The agency was founded in 1987 by Alan Sussman, who guided the company to become one of the top retail marketing firms in the country. We specialize in building, sustaining and growing brands that drive top line sales volume. Sussman’s job is to win every day for our clients. The mission never changes, we are focused on selling products and services that result in category leaders. For decades, Sussman has built a reputation of delivering bold, disruptive creative that out-performs the market.


Clients include Mitsubishi Motors, Gardner White, Feldman Automotive Group, The RoomPlace Furniture & Mattress, Morris Furniture & Mattress, Ashley Furniture (Morris), Fieger Law, Mark Wahlberg Automotive Group, Refloor, Savvy Sliders, Safe Airbags.


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For all inquiries, please contact:

Dawn Kelley

C: 734-765-1429

E: [email protected]

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