Klick Health names co-presidents, adds intelligence practice and expands policy, labs groups

Klick Health co-presidents Ari Schaefer and Greg Rice credit a close working relationship in the new shared role. (Alpha Stock Images)

Klick Health has tapped two presidents to take over the role formerly held by Lori Grant—who's now CEO—while rolling out a new intelligence unit and expanding both its policy and its lab practices.

Managing directors Ari Schaefer and Greg Rice were named co-presidents officially last week, though they have actually been in their new roles “for a very long time,” Grant said. She took the Klick reins as CEO in December 2019.

Rice, who began his career as a pharmacist, was most recently managing director of Klick's Katalyst, while Schaefer was a managing director and most recently headed one of Klick's internal clients' teams.

Schaefer, Rice and Grant declined to specify the co-presidents’ division of duties, but the two pointed to their strong working relationship of almost a decade as key to sharing the role.

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The close relationship “gives us the capacity to bring new perspectives to problems and do so in a way that isn’t problematic,” Schaefer said. Rice added that the “non-traditional hierarchy” allows them to support the internal teams and stay close to clients’ business "in a way that a traditional hierarchy with one president would not enable.”

Along with the new co-chiefs, Klick announced an intelligence practice under the guidance of Chief Brand Officer Carl Turner and two new practice leaders, Keri Hettel and Meredydd Hardie. The group will focus on market dynamics—such as cultural trends, competitive assessments and audience and data insights—to help give its clients a competitive edge.

Klick also has expanded its policy and advocacy practice led by David Bowen, a former deputy director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The year-old practice added two executives—Brandi Hight Bank and Randi Goeckeler—as its business has grown rapidly in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased demand for policy expertise.

Klick's clinical and labs practice also got a boost with a new scientific innovation specialty launch intended to find new ways to target and communicate with healthcare professionals.

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The pandemic proved busy for Klick with double-digit business growth in 2020, Grant said. It's currently working on “many vaccine launches” as well as supporting “various vaccine trial initiatives” and vaccine confidence efforts, she said.

The new business practices and ongoing hires fall in line with Klick Health's aim to be more than just a one-note agency.

“Our worldview is if you can label an agency with a single word and say this is a digital agency or this is a creative agency or this is an analytics shop or this is a strategy shop … you’ve got a big problem,” Leerom Segal, Klick's chairman and group CEO, said. Those capabilities and crafts instead need to “dance really well together” to be successful for clients, he added.