Global independent marketing and communications agency FINN Partners announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement with the Winston Agency (WA), a Beltway-based boutique purpose, sustainability advocacy, and communications firm with global-service reach, to join its ranks. WA founder and CEO Bess Winston will become a FINN senior partner championing global Purpose and Social Impact efforts from the nation’s capital.
FINN is ranked by O’Dwyer’s as #1 in Purpose/CSR category. The addition of WA strengthens FINN’s position as a leading voice in corporate social responsibility, sustainability, environmental affairs, and ESG communications. The move also increases the FINN Purpose and Social Impact Practice headcount to almost 100 professionals worldwide focused on social-impact issues. There are no staff redundancies or client conflicts. The Stevens Group, led by Art Stevens, represented the Winston Agency. The terms of the agreement are not disclosed.
Bess Winston and her senior team will work closely with two FINN Global Practices: the FINN Global Public Affairs Practice, led by Jessica Berk Ross, managing partner and Global Public Affairs Practice Leader, and Global Health and Purpose, led by Gil Bashe, managing partner and Chair Global Health and Purpose. Winston will join the Agency’s Global Purpose and Social Impact Practice leadership team, and WA will now be branded as “The Winston Agency, a FINN Partners Company.” WA will move to the FINN Washington, DC office in early 2023.
“The Winston Agency has been a leader in providing clients with counsel and support in environmental affairs, ESG communications and public policy. Joining another agency wasn’t necessary, but the prospect of uniting with FINN, a community equally dedicated to the purpose and social impact sector with values that mirror our own, was compelling,” said Bess Winston. “Becoming part of FINN enables us to share our deep expertise with a committed team of like-minded colleagues, expanding what we can achieve for our clients through a collaboration that makes the world a better place,” she said.
Winston is a 2022 global Women in Sustainability Leadership Awards (WSLA) winner. She launched her agency in 2013 after holding executive positions at Golin and Ogilvy PR public relations agencies. Before entering the agency world, Winston served as Director of Public Relations, Portfolio of Finance and Economics, Government of the Cayman Islands, and senior adviser to U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush. She studied Business Strategies for Environmental Sustainability at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and holds a Masters from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a Bachelors degree from Tufts University.
“We are proud to welcome Bess and her team into FINN,” said Peter Finn, founding partner and CEO, FINN Partners. “Both agencies were launched a decade ago based on the desire to use our talents to make a difference in the world. The Winston Agency is a mighty boutique agency with demonstrated global ability owing to their belief – an appreciation that we share – that the world realizes its greatest achievements through collaboration. Growth relies on amazing people rallying together to advance clients’ needs; we are thrilled that Bess and the Winston Agency have joined FINN,” he added.
“Our Global Public Affairs and Purpose and Social Impact Practices have tremendous synergies and the Winston Group joining FINN brings added depth and strength to all,” said Jessica Berk Ross. “Bess Winston and the Winston Agency team bring great expertise to our client efforts in global economic development, travel, and in igniting conversations that create the conditions for thoughtful policies and actions. We are excited that our new colleagues unite with FINN and will be part of our growing DC community.”
“Regardless of approach, it’s evident that environment, social and governance mandates are pressing C-suite communications issues and the challenges securing sustainable business are here to stay,” said Gil Bashe. “Companies globally are looking to implement manufacturing processes that reduce waste, engage employees, build an inclusive and diverse workforce, and address issues around climate change. FINN is increasingly at the forefront of these discussions and the addition of The Winston Agency allows us to help clients better tackle these issues and provide sustainable solutions.”
“After getting to know Peter and the FINN team, it was clear that our values and approach align,” continued Bess Winston. “It’s not often that you meet agency leaders with a vision to become the agency with a heart and conscience that any client would want as their partner. Joining this type of agency – and working with leaders who share our passion for using our talents and knowledge to help clients create a better world – makes this move exciting and beneficial for our people and current and future clients.”