NEW YORK — GolinHarris has poached Tony Telloni to grow its New York office into a size that's comparable to the agency's Chicago and West Coast operations. 

Telloni, an MD at Burson Marsteller, will join GolinHarris in June as MD of its New York office, a position that has been vacant since Jennifer Cohan departed the firm in December to become global practice chair of Edelman’s consumer marketing practice. Telloni will report to Gary Rudnick, president of GolinHarris Americas.

“The number one priority for me and the company is to have our New York office be a force,” Rudnick told the Holmes Report. “We have a solid foundation to work with - a great client and talent base in New York. It’s one of our top five offices, but we’d like it to be a top one or two.” 

He adds, "it's a lofty goal, but I would love to see New York grow four or five times” over the next several years to be more competitive with the large agency players. Golin’s New York office currently has about 50 people.

Chicago is Golin’s largest office, followed by Los Angeles. New York currently ranks with Dallas and Washington DC as the firm’s third largest office. 

“Tony has the ability to crossover multiple practices like issues management, crisis work and healthcare,” Rudnick said. “He has a more diverse background than we’ve previously had in this position. This balance will help make us a more competitive force in New York.”

He said the agency opted not to name an interim office lead during the six-month search and did not experience “a dip in clients or talent. [Telloni is joining] at a point of strength.” 

Golin has recently made several senior investments in the New York office. Mark O’Connor joined this week as executive director of national media from Zeno and Alan Danzis was hired six months ago as the office’s consumer media lead.

“It’s no secret that New York is one of the biggest PR hubs in the world,” Rudnick added. “And we have a presence there, but not the size and scope that we want it to be. Our entire executive team wants to change that.”

Anchor clients for Golin’s New York office include Unilever, Discover Financial Services, Hartford and Vivus.

The agency recently reported 5.6 percent organic growth in Q1 2013 over the same period last year, making it the highest-performing PR agency in the Interpublic Group for the quarter.