Phelps Group in Santa Monica lost one of its top employees when Chief Operating Officer Glenn Schieke died due to complications from pneumonia.

Schieke handled many of the human resources and workload management duties at the integrated advertising and PR agency. He had worked at the company 26 years. He was 56 and died March 30.

Chief Executive Joe Phelps said that the agency is rethinking the functions of the COO position, but for now, he, Chief Financial Officer Myles Watling and Vice President Ed Chambliss are absorbing the work Schieke formerly performed.

In addition to his advertising career, Schieke worked as a musician. He studied piano with Vladimir Horowitz and played one of the 84 grand pianos featured in the opening ceremony at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics.

He also played the French horn on Barbra Streisand’s recording of “Evergreen,” the theme song for the movie “A Star Is Born.” The song won an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe.

When Schieke joined the Phelps firm in 1984, he handled the advertising accounts for more than a dozen musical instrument manufacturers. Music was a major category for the agency at the time, but that sector has since faded and the firm currently doesn’t represent any musical clients.

“Glenn’s job had evolved more into general agency management,” Phelps said. “We had a memorial slide show at our 30th anniversary party April 2 and dedicated the party to Glenn. He would have loved seeing the many past and current clients and associates who came to celebrate.”

Orci Replaces Orci

The new chief executive of Orci Advertising is Andrew Orci, son of the Hispanic agency’s co-founders, Hector and Norma Orci.

Andrew Orci has worked at the agency for 14 years, including three as chief operations officer. In that position, he led the agency’s move into digital advertising. Before joining the family company, he founded Nectar Media, a digital media and postproduction company.

Andrew Orci will replace his father as CEO. Hector and Norma Orci will retain their titles of chairman and vice-chairwoman, respectively, at the West L.A. agency they founded in 1986.

Orci Advertising clients include Honda, Jack-in-the-Box, Splenda and Sempra Energy.

Staff reporter Joel Russell can be reached at jrussell@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 237.

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