Birmingham-based Big announced changes to its leadership today, promoting Mark Ervin, chief strategy officer and partner, to president.

Founder and current president, John Montgomery, will transition to chairman and CEO to focus on business development for the company. “Our goal is to be a national agency that just happens to be in Birmingham,” Montgomery said. “As partners, we’ve always said our collaborative skillset is our best asset, and I can’t think of a more strategic move than to make your chief strategy officer the president.”

Montgomery cited the agency’s recent growth as the reason for the change in seats. “It was clear we needed to make some changes to get all of us in the right seats on the bus to drive additional growth; this move was an obvious conclusion to help us achieve our goals.”

Since Ervin joined the company in 2010, Big has experienced strong growth. Ford Wiles, partner and chief creative officer, says that Ervin’s influence has been an undeniable catalyst for that growth. “Creative and strategy are core to our DNA. Mark has been an essential part of weaving that perspective throughout our culture,” Wiles added, “When you layer that with his experience in research, data, digital media, content, brand architecture and leadership, you see exactly why John and I wanted him in that seat.”

“Whether we’re five or 55 people, Big has always had a challenger mindset. We want to work with brands and people that have something to prove, and for us, that means finding companies and people that share our desire to use technology and data to innovatively solve hard problems,” Ervin said. “The canvasses and tactics that brands use to tell their stories will always evolve, but the one thing that never changes is the need to be authentic.”

The new president cited the agency’s work on behalf of brands like Valvoline, the Alabama Department of Commerce and Birmingham Legion FC as key examples of when the 55-person company’s work perfectly aligns to help a company tell great stories digitally. Next on their list are major assignments from America’s First Federal Credit Union and Redmont Distilling.

Since joining Big in 2010, Ervin has served as chief brand officer and chief strategy officer. In 2015, Ervin became a partner in the agency alongside Wiles and Montgomery.

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Niki Lim

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