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5.3.24 / By Nadine General



ROCHESTER, N.Y. — As a marketing company in the business of storytelling and specializing in providing creative strategy, media planning and data analysis to companies across the U.S., Dixon Schwabl + Company shares the next chapter in its story as it announces a leadership transition.

Effective immediately, DS+CO President Jessica Savage is president and CEO, as Kim Allen steps away from her role as CEO. Managing Director of Media + Ad Technology Malorie Benjamin also has been promoted to chief transformation officer — a new role on the executive leadership team that will work to innovate and bring business, technology and operations more closely together.

After a successful 22 years with DS+CO, and upon deep reflection on her current position, Allen made the decision to follow her passion and pursue an opportunity in strategic communications. She will begin the duties of an offboarding CEO to support Savage and the C-suite through the transition while she concludes her time at the agency.

This is an exciting opportunity for Savage in her tenure with the agency. She is a poised and proven leader with 22 years at DS+CO. She has co-led the agency since 2020, when owners Lauren Dixon and Mike Schwabl handed her (and Allen) the baton to become president (and CEO). During one of the most trying times for all businesses and leaders alike, Savage helped steer the business through a significant hardship. Not only was she successful in keeping the business and workforce strong and steady, but she also maintained DS+CO’s unmatched culture, and today the company is poised for continued success.

Savage will lead the agency as she has with the executive leadership team. Before her appointment as president, Savage built her career in account service and ultimately led the account leadership team at DS+CO. In addition to her leadership duties, Savage oversees diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives at DS+CO. The agency recognizes the importance of integrating diversity and inclusion initiatives into marketing and continues to seek ways to thread DEIB into everything DS+CO does inside and outside the company.

Under Savage’s tutelage, DS+CO makes it a priority and a strategic initiative to combat inequality and focuses on this important work via IDEA: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity + Action, a diverse review panel for creative work that fuels our pursuit of inclusive marketing, helping us best represent unbiased thinking in our strategies and creative. Nearly 20 employees make up internal committees that steer DEI and run IDEA through the company’s strategic plan, operating across four workgroups: Workforce Diversity, Community Engagement, DEIB Education + Training and DS+CO Sales + Marketing.

Savage sits on the SUNY Geneseo Foundation Board and is a member of the Levine Center to End Hate Corporate Council.

“I’m excited to take on the expanded leadership role as president and CEO of Dixon Schwabl + Company and am feeling prepared and ready to do so,” Jessica Savage, president and CEO of Dixon Schwabl + Company, said. “I have enjoyed working alongside and co-leading with Kim. We collaboratively led the agency since 2020, when Lauren and Mike handed us the baton, which makes for a seamless transition of my evolved role. Surrounded by our incredible colleagues and passionate leadership team, we will continue to move our organization forward with enthusiasm for our work together and the impact we create for our clients and their businesses.”

Adding the role of chief transformation officer to the executive leadership team is a timely and progressive step for DS+CO. It’s critical for companies to adapt to change and proactively evolve at a pace that progressively fosters growth and innovation.

Benjamin is a visionary and proven leader who has built one of the strongest media and ad technology teams in the region at DS+CO. She’s curious, dedicated and committed to the company’s advancement. As the leader overseeing media, technology, data, visualization and analysis at the agency, she will provide support and guide the business in her expanded role, seeking ways of working that optimize changes in performance and capabilities, ensuring DS+CO remains operationally effective, efficient and competitive.

About DS+CO

DS+CO combines keen research and analysis with a passion for developing brands that truly connect. Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Rochester, New York, we’re a certified Women Business Enterprise that unites the contributions of our people with purpose and promise. Questioning norms. Defying old ways. Inviting new perspectives. And driving meaningful progress for our clients and our community. DS+CO has been ranked one of the 25 Best Small & Medium Workplaces in America by Great Place to Work more than a dozen times. Visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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Nadine General

Nadine’s expertise in executive and crisis communications, strategy, and reputation management helps her lead our PR team. She joined DS+CO from the American Red Cross, where she deployed to national disasters to support disaster and crisis communications. She’s certified in HubSpot inbound marketing and holds degrees from St. John Fisher University and Monroe Community College. She lends her talent as past president of the Public Relations Society of America Rochester Chapter, and is on the diversity committee, she’s a Forty Under 40 recipient and a Rochester Business Journal Woman of Excellence.