Catherine Marcolin named president of Union, replacing departing Subtej Nijjar

Catherine Marcolin has been named president of Toronto agency Union, replacing the agency’s founding president Subtej Nijjar, who is leaving for a new project. He can’t say what it is yet (maybe next week), but said that while the pandemic has been a period of enormous disruption, the timing of the change is coincidental.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with what is happening in the industry and the world,” he said. ”I’ve been [working with] Union for quite some time and it’s been absolutely great, one of the greatest things I’ve accomplished in life… I was just looking to change it up and to do something different.

“It’s been a completely thrilling ride,” he added. “We got to start the agency with 12 people and three clients, and we’ve built it up to a nice roster of very progressive, integrated clients with an amazing 60 plus person team.”

Nijjar credits much of Union’s success in recent years to his creative co-founder Lance Martin, who stays on as partner and chief creative officer, and Marcolin, who joined the MDC-owned agency as executive vice-president and managing director in 2017.

“I’ll miss working with Sub—we’ve been working close together over the past three years,” said Marcolin. The priority in the short term, she said, is seeking out “new opportunities where we can grow in the marketplace working within the Doner Partner Network.”

Late last year, MDC announced it was reorganizing some of its agency operations to create a Doner network. In Canada, Union, along with Veritas, KWT and 6Degrees, were all brought under that umbrella, with Veritas CEO Krista Webster named vice-chair.

“While I am sad to say good-bye to Sub, I am thrilled to see an incredibly talented and committed female leader step into this position, working alongside one of the most lauded and award-winning creative leaders in the business. It’s a powerful match,” said Webster in a release.

Being part of the Doner network is about “strength in numbers,” said Marcolin. “When we have a client that has a specialized need we go to our sister agencies and have them help… it helps us be experts in our field and also cross-pollinate when we need additional expertise in other fields.”

David Brown