'Like a homecoming': Inizio Evoke Comms welcomes back alum Stephanie DeViteri as North American president

After a short stint away from Inizio Evoke’s family of health marketing agencies, Stephanie DeViteri has returned to head up the North American branch of Inizio Evoke Comms.

As president of the segment, DeViteri will oversee the region’s portfolio of communications clients, business development, executive leadership team and staff of more than 150, Inizio Evoke Comms announced Tuesday.

DeViteri returns to the company after a nearly two-year posting at PR firm MSL, where she served as managing director of the agency’s health practice beginning in August 2022. Prior to that, she’d spent almost two full decades at agencies now housed under the Inizio Evoke umbrella.

She first put in 13 years at Tonic Life Communications, which was rebranded alongside its many Evoke Group sister agencies in 2018 to become the streamlined Evoke. She then spent nearly six years—starting in early 2017 and culminating in a term as North American head—at Evoke Kyne, which was integrated with a handful of other Evoke brands earlier this year to become Inizio Evoke Comms, as part of its parent company’s latest rebrand to Inizio Evoke.

In her return, DeViteri is replacing Maureen Byrne, who’d served as president of Evoke Kyne since 2022 and North American president of Inizio Evoke Comms since the start of this year, and who left the company in March, per this week’s announcement. DeViteri will report to Inizio Evoke Comms Group President Maryellen Royle.

In an interview with Fierce Pharma Marketing, DeViteri described her first week on the job as feeling “like a homecoming.” Connecting with colleagues old and new has been “really amazing,” she said, noting that making those connections is at the top of her to-do list for her new role.

“I’m doing what I’m calling a ‘listening and learning tour’ right now—so, just trying to understand what some of the great work is, what some of the challenges are and how I can help them, or how our whole company, with the breadth of the resources we have, can help them show up in different ways for our clients,” she said.

Alongside looking for ways to make her employees’ workflows smoother, DeViteri said she’s “most excited” to begin digging into all the ways that Inizio Evoke can better serve its clients, especially as she settles into what she described as a “definitely different” company from the one she left two years ago.

Namely, she’ll be exploring “how do we bring our new connected offerings to clients, and how do we really grow the business in a way that is innovative, that’s smart, that is connecting,” she said—essentially, “really understanding right now all the resources at our disposal, and how each of our clients can benefit from them in different ways, and how I can really help to support that.”

Overall, DeViteri said her core priorities for her new role will center on clients, culture and growth. That’ll entail, respectively, looking for areas of the client-facing work “where we can optimize or bring in a bit of a different perspective, or maybe get even more creative or creative in a different way”; helping her team feel “energized” by Inizio Evoke’s recent changes and like they’re part of a “collective journey to make health more human”; and continuing the “momentum” of the company’s strong first quarter, while also “seeing what new and different things we can offer to our clients.”

DeViteri also discussed her short break from Inizio Evoke, saying that alongside the agency’s recent changes, she too “changed as a leader” during her time away, which she spent building up MSL’s health practice.

“I absolutely loved my time there and really learned so much and met incredible people and just had different perspective,” she said. “Coming back, I really want to bring a lot of that. I have fresh ideas and different energy, high energy—maybe too much at times!—and I feel like I want to bring some of that back and the learnings back, and hopefully I can add different thoughts and perspectives than I had even before I left here.”

She added that one thing that made her decision to leave MSL “a little bit easier” is Inizio Evoke’s sole focus on the “very meaningful work” of healthcare communications.

“Healthcare communication has had its ups and downs over the years, but I think in particular, the last few years have shown in times of public health crisis, especially, you really do need people to have access to health information that helps them and that helps their loved ones,” DeViteri said. “I’m really excited to return to where healthcare is at the core of all that we do. It’s the only thing that we do, which I think is particularly unique for this time, and when you’re working with an agency that is all healthcare, we also understand the clients in a unique way, too. So I’m very much excited about that.”