Associate Director of Project Management

Partner Services · Portland, Oregon
Department Partner Services
Employment Type FT Exempt
Minimum Experience Experienced


Who are we?

Thesis, a digital agency in Portland, OR. We're hell-bent on humanizing the relationship between people and brands, which starts with our teams: real people making real work. 

Come as you are. Bring what you bring. We’ll all be better for it. 

The name is new-ish to us, but we've been around for 20 years. In contrast to our former identity that reflected what we do, we chose the name Thesis as it better represents how we do it: a full-service agency that believes our strength is in our approach—that the work we make is only as strong as the thought—and data—we put behind it. 

That sounds intense. But we also understand and respect boundaries you may have.

The Job

We’re looking for a dynamic, personable Associate Account Director with seasoned Project Management and Marketing Operations expertise who can run the defined cross-functional, seasonal marketing process. The ideal candidate has meaningful experience in the brand marketing profession and prides themselves on their ability to provide operational leadership that, in turn, enables teams to focus on their work, not the process. This person not only understands process and can galvanize teams against it, but can evaluate what is working, what is not, develop and implement changes that improve the process.  

As a member of the APLA Brand Marketing Operations team, this person will work closely with their functional teammates to help orchestrate the downstream seasonal process - how we take global marketing concepts and translate them to the needs for our teams in APLA Territories. Working along strategic partners from Brand Management and Consumer Direct Marketing teams, this person will lead the operations of the downstream seasonal process, ensuring it is effective and efficient and clearly understood by the teams participating in it. They will think about the work and the people delivering it and find ways to support them through operational excellence.  They will actively solicit feedback and seek out ways to improve the way we operate - be it meeting structure, the way we communicate expectations, organize critical information to the tools we use to support all of it.


We look for Associate Account Directors who have a proven track record of establishing and maintaining client relationships that grow and profit and can develop and guide a team of Project Managers through Director level and above, both with our clients as well as a with a cross-functional Nike teams within the greater CDM organization. The Associate Account Director supports client partnerships with a keen eye on work volume, administrative detail and partnership health. You’ll act as the translator of client specific goals, business models and issues that arise to the other Director’s on the team and help foster understanding and belief of true partnership from this group. 


You should care intensely about your work without conflating work ego with personal ego. While you’ll be working closely with clients, our agency’s integrated teams collaborate equally and share accountability, in failure and success alike.

Tactically, they will:

  • Ensure broad understanding of the process by APLA Marketing teams (in both Territory and HQ).
  • Communicate regularly upcoming dates, gates and expectations
  • Track our overall progress towards our dates and gates, adjusting them as necessary, based on scheduling realities and workload realities.
  • Manage central operational tools that facilitate the streamlined seasonal planning process
  • Organize and track an immense amount of detail related to projects and their timelines
  • Ensure everyone in APLA Marketing and our Territories is on the same page in regard to our seasonal planning processes
  • Represent APLA's needs in order to inform and influence our Global partners
  • Ensure alignment in seasonal processes / tools / communications across marketing functional teams in partnership with BMO teammates
  • Relentlessly seek opportunities to improve our processes and related communications & tools

The Work

The specific area of focus will be on weeks -33 through -0, the period in which we develop the plans for our seasonal projects. They will interpret the strategic framework and align it to clear tracks of work, aligned with global and territory teams. They'll support our seasonal strategic leaders and broader marketing team in the operations of each season - aggregating and synthesizing information from across teams; setting up key meetings, ensuring expectations are clearly understood by all participants; facilitating the key gates in an efficient manner that keeps the work moving forward; tracking the progress, identifying red flags and helping to manage towards solutions. 


Key Deliverables / Actions

  • Represent APLA through Worldwide Resource alignment activities (-33) alongside the Seasonal Brand Planning director. 
  • Own post-worldwide resource alignment activities within APLA:
    • Worldwide resource alignment readout – confirming what projects will originated, extended and adapted to meet our objectives across the network of APLA.
    • Work hand-in-hand with the APLA Marketing Leadership Team and Seasonal Squad to enable the commencement of their building the Seasonal Brand Direction (Territory Brief) though the APLA Pre-Season Kickoff (-32)
  • Own the following tools throughout the process:
    • Seasonal Overview One-Pager - summarizing APLA's key projects within a season
    • Seasonal Workstream overview
    • Seasonal Airtable Project Tracker
    • Seasonal Slack Channel Management
    • Seasonal Box Folders

Critical Strengths / Skills

  • Operational thinker, synthesizer & communicator. Able to bring their own point of view but also hear that of others and able to
  • Collaborative Facilitator. Taking inputs from many, distilling it down to central themes, tools, etc.
  • Detail and Process Oriented. An aggregator of many details, the ability to be precise and organized will be critical to drive efficiency
  • Resiliency to thrive in ambiguity. This role will be NEW and represents the potential of new ways of working. We have a new process mapped, have been running it but need someone to come in to own it consistently and be its champion
  • Mastery of Airtable, Slack and Keynote
  • Ability to identify the needs for new tools, identify and implement them effectively
  • Strong communication skills - especially the ability to clearly communicate process

As a person, you are:

An experienced leader of projects and teams, obsessed with every detail of the client's needs. You are at the forefront of communicating ideas, and you’re willing to start anywhere, with anything, and iterate your way to the right image. You set the bar high and show your team how to aspire to that level too. Whoever works with you is inspired to bring their best game. Your influence comes through your knack for working with people first and foremost. You are there to elevate the work of the entire team through active mentorship. You don’t shy away from difficult situations and conquer challenges head-on.

  • Adept at anticipating and proactively solving challenges and remaining composed, assured, and effective under pressure.
  • A compelling and approachable communicator.
  • Highly experienced in digital marketing initiatives across brand, email, web, and social.
  • Skilled in creating healthy relationships with clients with whom you don't interact with on a day to day basis.
  • Able to inspire teams and bring enthusiasm to your client’s initiatives, big and small.
  • Skilled at leading individuals/teams whose work differs across platforms/ channels/industries ect. 
  • Confident in your ability to have hard conversations, you know when to push back and when to give.
  • A long-term strategic thinker capable of planning for how Thesis can evolve to meet the client's needs.
  • Aware of and planning for the bigger picture both with accounts and for Thesis, while in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment.
  • Highly personable, able to relate to grow and develop internal team members while matching those individuals' skill sets to the needs of the client and in the agency.

As a worker, you will:

  • Helping to create strong and effective internal partnerships with client, brand and design teams.
  • Collaborate across the business to ensure client needs are met and projects stay within scope, budget, timeline, quality, and other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Manage strategic priorities, raise risks and offer productive solutions.
  • Lead discovery opportunities to grow the Project Management team strategically with the Nike BMO business.
  • Work with other directors at Thesis to drive constant growth to the Partner Services department.
  • Work to drive growth in current client relationships and build new ones.
  • Partner with fellow Director’s to provide constant oversight of operational health to identify opportunities for increased efficiency.
  • Be responsible for organic growth and development of the accounts that you manage.
  • Being sufficiently informed and personally involved, ensuring strategic planning, good service and a solid client/agency relationship.
  • Articulate client needs and work collaboratively with the Director’s Team to employ best practices, push boundaries, and drive client goals.
  • Develop and approve large-scale proposals, scopes of work (SOWs), and briefs to align internal and client teams.
  • Present compellingly both internally and externally, advocating on behalf of the client while supporting your team members and preserving agency work.
  • Report to the Account Directors regarding partnership health, financial health and new business opportunities.
  • Keep the Directors Team informed of the status of accounts, problems, plans and meetings, as well as involving Management personnel at key times.
  • Effectively communicate, both in-person and digitally, to provide clear direction and enable collaboration between Thesis and client partners.
  • Manage and mentor team members ensuring adherence to Thesis values and processes, including oversight of on-boarding, training, performance reviews and growth plans.

As for experience, you need:

  • Bachelor's degree, preferably in Advertising/Marketing, Communications, or a related field
  • 3+ years of account management experience, and passion for, working with brands in a digital agency environment.
  • 3+ years experience supervising others. 
  • Experience leading multidisciplinary teams including digital strategists, creative teams, and data analysts.
  • Accomplished business driver with strong record of client engagement, retention, and growth. 
  • Experience building relationships, confidently interacting with all levels of leadership and understanding and valuing cultural differences.
  • Proven managerial skills and the ability to develop staff and teams.
  • Willingness to occasionally travel (less than 5% of time) and attend industry events.

 But even better, you have:

  • Experience integrating with enterprise-level client teams.
  • A passion for operational excellence and ability to mobilize large teams toward efficiency
  • Experience working with technical solutionists.
  • A background working in Airtable, Keynote, and Slack.

Above all, be hungry to learn and grow beyond this job description. 

Still with us? 

Cool! Let's talk.

Workplace equity is not a single checkbox.

It's a new way of thinking, of working, and of moving through the world. At Thesis, we prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion. You'll see this in our hiring practices, growth plans, and workplace programs—because our agency, our work, and our society are better when diverse perspectives come together.

EEO/AA Employer/Vets/Disabled/Race/Ethnicity/Sex/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/Age

Thank You

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  • Location
    Portland, Oregon
  • Department
    Partner Services
  • Employment Type
    FT Exempt
  • Minimum Experience