'Shop Set to Explode,' Exec Makes Her Move

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Kyle Daley has a flair for getting into the right place at the right time, but not by chance.

She is willing to make a move on the spot if she thinks she can make an impact.

Last May, after only eight months as managing director at the New York office of recruitment agency Kendall Tarrant, Ms. Daley abandoned the sexy title and company equity to rejoin the ad world as director of creative services at Merkley Newman Harty, New York.

The 37-year-old says she joined Merkley thinking, "Here's somewhere I can go where it's really going to make a difference, where I'm really going to matter." Merkley is a "a small agency about to explode," she says and her love for the creative process brought her back to the agency side after her stint as a full-time headhunter at Kendall.

In 1998, she left her post as director of creative services at Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, to join Kendall. She had spent 12 years at Messner Vetere after following Walter Carey from Leber Katz to his start-up venture, then called Messner Vetere Berger Carey. She helped the shop move from the minors to the big league, starting as office manager.

She made the move to Merkley when it won the Mercedes-Benz USA account last year and, along with it, three new partners, renowned creative leaders Andy Hirsh, Marty Orzio and Randy Saitta.

These changes make the agency "poised for huge success," Ms. Daley says.

She plans to "apply everything I learned at Messner" to her Merkley role.

From Ron Berger, CEO of Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, and Partner Tom Messner, she learned about advertising and, specifically, about what makes good creative.

"She spent so much time observing and listening that she was able to absorb and apply what she saw," recalls Mr. Berger.

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