2021 has been a tremendous year of growth for Direct Agents. We feel fortunate that we’ve been able to scale our agency and continue to break the industry mold, even amid difficult times. From major business moves, culture events, award wins, and top tier-thought leadership, here are our highlights from the year.

Growth Across Coasts

We’re at a pivotal point in our company growth story. 2021 has allowed Direct Agents to scale and innovate to new and exciting heights.

Direct Agents staff

  • New Hires: 40 new team members were hired this year. Our commitment to diversity is stronger than ever with our agency now consisting of :
      • 42% People of Color (68% new hires in 2021)
      • 34% 1st & 2nd generation immigrants
      • 59/41 female/male ratio
  • New LA Office: Direct Agents continued to grow its West Coast team with the addition of a brand new office space just outside of Los Angeles. Located in downtown Culver City, the office has beautiful California views and is steps away from restaurants and cafes.
  • New NYC Office: We also expanded our NYC headquarters. Located on Fifth Avenue and 22nd Street, the new office named the Acceleration Hub, is the penthouse of a luxury office building and has 360-degree views, including views of the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building, and Hudson Yards.
  • 72 Culture Events: Our team was able to balance work and play with the help of our HR team. Our cultural initiatives include the below.
        • WoDA – Direct Agents’ women-powered employee resource group which works to pave the path to leadership for all women through monthly workshops
        • State of the World – helps provide an open forum to discuss the social movements of our time and how we can have an impact on them
        • NXTGEN – Culture champions ideate and lead interactive and unique social events weekly
        • FitFam – For those who crush HIIT and steps challenges, you’ll thrive in weekly fitness class opportunities
        • MyHeritage – Social events curated to showcase and celebrate a particular culture with stories, games, and delicious food
        • Opportunities to get involved with the community through mentorship, community service, and pro bono marketing services
        • Dog-friendly office!
  • Work Travel: Team members traveled to San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles for various work opportunities and got to bond with colleagues across the coasts. From client video shoots to our annual Field Day, there were so many fun work trips throughout 2021!

Agency Awards

Our culture offers more than just happy hours; we’re fueled by excellence, collaboration, and growth opportunities. At Direct Agents, you are empowered to create your own career journey through cross-channel learning opportunities and mentorship. Our culture is fueled by a core belief in the power of people and the impact that diversity, education, and innovation have in finding purpose and joy. This year, our agency has received the below awards honoring our culture and creativity.

Digiday worklife awards winner

be:cause outframe winner

Crain's best places to work in NYC

      • 2021 Digiday Worklife Award for Best Workplace for Young Careers
      • Crain’s Best Places to Work – 4th year in a row
      • Outframe Creative Contest by Outfront Media – A collaborative team effort by our in-house creative team, Future First Studio, that culminated in a winning art piece that raises awareness about food insecurity in NYC. The prize includes billboard coverage, a national campaign, and a donation for one month of digital billboard media space to a charity of FFS’ choice.

EOY Team Awards

Events at Direct Agents

At Direct Agents, we’re fired up about seeing our team members succeed. Despite the challenges of the last year and a half, our dynamic work culture has endured and grown. Even during the toughest parts of this year, team members continued to demonstrate grit, perseverance, and commitment to success. Our EOY awards recognize employees who have gone above and beyond in various categories. See below for this year’s EOY award winners across NY and LA.


      • Best Dressed – Nyah Bonilla, Account Manager
      • Best Self – Sechel Vicens, Senior Account Manager
      • Culture Builder – Soleil Nagoda, Senior Account Manager, Performance Marketing
      • Scholar – Khari Motayne, Director of Inclusive Strategy
      • Impact – Josh Schulman, Business Development Manager, Performance Marketing
      • Driven – Shea Mercado, Business Development Manager, Performance Marketing & Trevor Clune, Paid Media Strategist
      • Collaborator – Monnica Farag, Strategic Account Director & Maddie Quevedo, People & Culture Manager
      • Innovator – Tim Bachman, Senior Analyst, Paid Media & Technology
      • Rookie of the Year – Maria Corner, Graphic Designer & Karsha Bhartia, Paid Media Analyst
      • Fearless Leader – Jessica Emanuele, Strategic Account Supervisor
      • Entrepreneur – Ronnie Andrade, Director of Paid Media
      • Best Overall Team – Performance Marketing


      • Best Dressed – Bridget Menne, eCommerce Client Success Coordinator, Amazon
      • Best Self – Sara Rosenberg, eCommerce Strategist, Amazon
      • Scholar – Anuj Thaker, Associate Director, Data Engineering
      • Impact – RT Zhang, Director of Paid Media
      • Entrepreneur – Valentina Elegante, Creative and Content Marketing Manager
      • Innovator – Katherine Grabowsky, Creative and Content Marketing Specialist
      • Fearless Leader – Emily Lease, Associate Director of eCommerce, Amazon
      • Culture Builder – Amira Desai, Search Analyst
      • Poised for Greatness – Amazon Team

Thought Leadership

Our agency has been consistently sharing fresh thought-leadership content from all channel perspectives. We’re committed to sharing our knowledge and keeping our audience on the pulse of what’s happening in the ever-changing marketing landscape.

Illuminate by Direct Agents

      • Illuminate – We released the third issue of our in-house publication, Illuminate. In 2022, we’ll be publishing quarterly to share our top-tier thought-leadership covering strategy, creative, inclusive marketing, eCommerce, and more.
      • Webinars – We held 7 webinars featuring DA leaders as well as external industry leaders. Our webinars covered hybrid work, holistic marketing strategies for peak periods, and specific optimization hacks.
      • Trend Reports – DA released 7 trend reports covering creative, holiday trends, Amazon, and more.
      • Podcast Episodes – We’ve produced 20 podcast episodes across three series spearheaded by DA exec leaders. Guests included industry leaders at Google, Wacoal, Carhartt, Mastercard, MetLife, Bugaboo, Refinery 29’s Unbothered, and more.
      • Town Hall – Our recent EOY Town Hall meeting was a great opportunity for rising leaders across all teams to showcase new trends and upcoming projects for Q1
      • FB Training – In 2022 we’ll be expanding our external Polycultural partnerships. This year, our team kicked off initiatives with Meta during an expert session with 200+ Account Managers in attendance.

2021 was a year full of laughs, wins, and plenty of learning opportunities. We look forward to continuing to create, innovate, and thrive together in 2022.

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and prosperous new year!

– Shay Roman, Content Marketing Coordinator