People unfamiliar with DeVries have been known to ask one of two questions:
Are you the technical institute?
Is there an actual person named DeVries?
To be clear, we are not the technical institute, and there most certainly is an actual person named DeVries.
Madeline DeVries, to be specific.
The founder of the agency and its visionary CEO until its acquisition by the Interpublic Group in 2001, Madeline has long been one of the most highly-regarded leaders in the PR industry. The growth of DeVries as an agency mirrors the professional path of Madeline herself, rooted in the world of luxury retail and fashion where she got her start, and evolving over the years to the arena in which the agency plays today — powerhouse consumer marketers and iconic global brands. Thus, the DeVries philosophy of dedication is in our DNA and anchored by core principles that define luxury retail and high fashion marketers: attention to detail, craftsmanship, focus, and the pursuit of excellence.
Madeline’s career began in the PR department of Bergdorf Goodman, where in addition to generating store publicity her responsibilities included fashion shows, department openings and arranging the Goodman family’s public and private receptions for visiting dignitaries and celebrities. After seven years she left to start a family, and in 1978 she opened her agency.
A montage of early DeVries clients
While the agency’s origins are in beauty and fashion (early clients included Karl Lagerfeld, Halston, Donna Karan and Gucci) Madeline gradually broadened its scope to encompass industries such as retail, food and beverage, wine and spirits, personal wellness and household care. Under her watch the agency’s relationship with Procter & Gamble grew from one small beauty assignment in 1983 to a cross-category roster of iconic brands including Tide, Pantene, Olay and Vicks.
Retired since 2005, Madeline remains our guiding light and inspiration. Many of us had the good fortune to work at her side and benefit from her wisdom, and we are proud to work in the agency that still bears her name.