Mike Doyle, Chairman of RDW Group, Announces His Retirement
Mike Doyle, chairman of RDW Group, Inc. and Portsmouth resident, has announced his retirement from the Providence full-service communications agency he founded.
James Malachowski, RDW’s Chief Operating Officer, was elevated to succeed Doyle as chairman. Jim Pontarelli will remain president of the 75-employee company with three offices, 12 partners and a robust portfolio of clients competing in national and international arenas.
Said Doyle, "It was a great ride, and it will be difficult to step away from a life that has been a beloved passion of mine for so long. Also, it’s gratifying to know that I’m leaving the agency in very capable hands. It has been a pleasure to work alongside an incredibly talented staff and with a wide range of clients to produce award-winning work throughout the years.”
“We appreciate and honor Mike’s leadership of the agency, and we will carry on his legacy of outstanding client relations and commitment to community service,” said Jim Pontarelli, president of RDW Group. “Mike’s formidable talent will surely be missed. We thank him for his unwavering dedication to this institution and to the impressive body of work he accomplished during his tenure.”
Said Chairman Malachowski, “Mike leaves the agency poised to make major growth investments in social media, digital media and other emerging capabilities, and we look forward to a highly successful future.”
RDW Group is known nationally in the industry as a leader in the higher education, energy and healthcare markets, with an award-winning interactive services division and a recently divested publishing division that was leading the industry in digital services for the world’s best-known publishers.
”Mike has earned the reputation as a go-to man for his reasoned counsel and strategic mind,” said Phil Rivers, a co-founding partner, also retired. “He has served as a trusted advisor to clients and a mentor to his employees. His financial acumen and understanding of communications trends and adaptability helped the agency weather several recessions and thrive during the economic upticks.”
Doyle is best known as a trusted public affairs counselor for dozens of high-profile projects including the establishment of the Providence Place Mall, the rebranding of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, the expansions of T.F. Green Airport and the Central Landfill, and numerous referendum campaigns, including the most recent effort to expand gaming at Twin River. He grew the agency from a five-employee start-up housed in a three-tenement apartment on the East Side of Providence to one of the largest independently owned advertising and public relations agencies in New England. In addition to spearheading the agency’s organic growth, Doyle acquired companies that expanded the agency’s capacity and geography, including Fern Hanaway, Dubois Patch and
Doyle has been a long-time supporter of the communications profession. He established the RDW Minority Scholarship Fund, awarding scholarships to minority students interested in entering the profession. Additionally, he and his employees have fostered long-standing relationships with the Publicity Club of New England, Public Relations Society of America, American Association of Advertising Agencies, Worcester Ad Club, Boston Ad Club, American Marketing Association, and the former Ad Club of RI.
He is the recipient of the Publicity Club of New England’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Crystal Bell; the Ad Club of Rhode Island’s Person of the Year Award; and dozens of awards for communications excellence earned on behalf of clients. Most significantly, in 2006 Doyle won the Super Bell Award for the “Call Your Rep” campaign in which the agency had 13 days to convince the General Assembly to reconvene after it had adjourned in order to vote on one piece of legislation affecting the fate of Twin River. Super Bell is the best-of-show award of the Publicity Club of New England’s Bell Ringer competition.
Prior to founding RDW Group, Doyle was a director of administration for the State of Rhode Island and chief of staff to U.S. Congresswoman Claudine Schneider and Governor Edward DiPrete. He was Chairman of the Statewide Planning Commission, Cranston Planning Commission and a member of the State Investment Commission, Retirement Commission, Rhode Island Housing and Finance Corp. and many others. Doyle was graduated from Assumption College with honors and earned a master’s degree in communications from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Long active in community affairs, Doyle served on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Rhode Island; the Over The Rainbow Foundation; the RDW Minority Scholarship Fund; the Citizens Advisory Group of the Rhode Island Juvenile Drug Court; and many more.
RDW Group, Inc. specializes in integrated communications, offering clients a full menu of services including advertising, public relations and public affairs, direct marketing, interactive, and research. With employees in Providence, Worcester and Boston, the firm concentrates on developing communications programs for clients in consumer goods and services, education, energy, heath
care, business-to-business, and insurance.