Agency Updates

MERGE Hires Candace Graham to Lead U.S. West Business Development and Strategic Growth

Effie Award-winning industry veteran joins as SVP, Group Business Development Leader to ramp up new business activity.

PUBLISHED: 3/23/2021

MERGE, a premium storytelling technology company, announced today that Effie Award-winner Candace Graham joined the agency as Senior Vice President, Group Business Development Leader. She will lead MERGE’s business development in the West region, including Chicago, Kansas City and Orange County and the company's mission to bring health, wealth and happiness to the world. Graham will be based in Chicago.


“Candace is a powerhouse with a proven track record for strategic business development and has the type of passion for growth planning that MERGE has been looking for,” said Jean May, President of MERGE West Region. “She brings an impressive knowledge of building high-impact relationships on both the client and agency sides of business. This expertise, as well as her optimistic and driven approach toward new business growth, will help us solidify meaningful national partnerships for a diverse client base and further establish MERGE as a leading independent agency.”


In her role, Graham will be responsible for leading the MERGE West Leadership Team to drive strategic business wins and diversification of the company’s roster of clients. She will establish engaging brand-building strategies to externally communicate MERGE’s capabilities that include strategy, experience engineering, creative communications, media and technology platform development to manage and build business relationships.


Graham brings to MERGE more than 20 years of game-changing experience in new business development on both the client and agency sides, including founding and operating her own agency. She has been awarded two Effie awards for marketing effectiveness when she led the Alltel Wireless account while at Campbell Ewald, priming it for purchase by Verizon for $7 billion. Simultaneously, she ran business development to drive diversification at Campbell Ewald agency, allowing the business to sustain and thrive after it lost an anchor client of 100 years. Graham has a track-record for successfully pitching and winning national and global accounts, including Microsoft, Intuit,, Kohler, Ghirardelli, PIMCO and many others.


She also previously led the rebrand of 50-year-old New Orleans-based agency PETERMAYER, while improving business development metrics on the national stage, leading to the company’s 2019 Ad Age Small Agency of the Year Award. Most recently, she helped Fancy NYC, a creatively driven agency dedicated to elevating what’s important to women, with its business and growth planning. 


“I first noticed the differentiating position MERGE presents as an agency with its clearly defined brand identity of merging technology, storytelling and technology for health, wealth and happiness,” said Candace Graham, Senior Vice President, Group Business Development Leader. “That clear direction of purpose, combined with its integrated agency model and strength in blending creative, technology and media solutions, has laid the foundation for MERGE as the strong agency partner that businesses are looking for. I am eager to focus on solidifying new national clients for the agency to further grow its robust portfolio.”



MERGE promotes health, wealth and happiness in the world by merging storytelling with technology and offers marketing and technology clients full-service capabilities including strategy, creative communications, experience engineering, media, digital platform development and more. MERGE has enduring client partnerships with American Express, T-Mobile, LG, Fidelity, Eaton Vance, BlueCross BlueShield, Abbott, Takeda, Boston Scientific, Advocate Aurora Health, Brigham Health, Indiana University Health and Marco’s Pizza. With 550+ employees across offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, New York City and Orange County. MERGE uses a talent-to-task process that enables clients to think higher and feel deeper about their customers. For more information, visit