Join our Team!

Esrock Partners is the premier food agency. Based in the suburbs of Chicago, the firm has 45 years of experience developing, nurturing, and growing food and foodservice brands. Our expansive knowledge of the food and foodservice industry landscape, best practices, and emerging trends make us an ideal partner for foodservice brands. We are a high-paced entrepreneurial environment where independent thinkers thrive and are successful. We’re a curious collection of artists, storytellers, brand fanatics, and number nerds who take our work seriously, but not ourselves. Learn more about our team and how we work on our Culture Page.

Client Services Director

Esrock is searching for an experienced B2B leader to add to our growing team. The primary role of the client services director is to provide leadership, management, and accountability to the Client Engagement function of the agency. In addition to the primary function, there are several other areas of responsibility that a client services director needs to be comfortable with.

Vision and leadership: Ability to manage the team, processes and procedures, and how the account machine works. Provide leadership to the team by example of expertise, in best practices and guide ethical decisions. Establish trust and confidence in your team by establishing quality standards, accepting, and delegating responsibility and fostering a culture that allows for accountability. Be available to and know your team's hopes and dreams, and ensure everyone is trained, mentored, inspired, happy, and growing. You need to have passion, dig deep, have a plan, and have a point of view to future-proof the team.

Account management: Ability to lead and manage all agency account management efforts, and responsible for the overall health, financial, brand management, and strategy for assigned client accounts. Reviews major media and public relations plans, and creative strategies and campaigns, and oversees the implementation of approved plans and strategies through account directors.

Relationships: Ability to cultivate strong strategic relationships with internal stakeholders, clients and outside strategic partners. Ensures client relations are positive and stable, collaborating and communicating regularly to ensure their goals, wants and needs are met while coming to the table with effective business-impacting ideas, strategies and plans. Consistently work with others and work to strengthen relationships, support inclusion, and navigate conflict in the workplace.

Talk khaki: Ability to speak business, financials, strategy, sales, and not just marketing speak. You need to know the client’s business, brands, products, services, their industry and competitive landscape ensuring all our work strategically aligns. Comfortable navigating complex environments and able to adapt to change.

Entrepreneurial: Ability to align client needs with agency services that provide results to clients and profitable business opportunities to the agency. Actively providing new solutions and ideas for additional new business from clients. Keep an eye on the future and anticipate what might impact the agency.

Presenting and selling: Ability to prepare winning proposals, SOWs, and presentations that display strong communication skills, integrating strategy with viable execution. Present, guide, and defend the agency's ideas and work. Be a master of meetings – read the room, own the room, and have a presence.

Relevant curator: Ability to understand and speak in an educated way about current trends in marketing, industry and digital technologies. Have an understanding of what’s new, on-trend and relevant in our world and how it might be applied to our client’s work.

Resourcing: Ability to balance team accounts workloads including how to get the work done, who is best to do it. Know where the work is going, why, and how to use the account process work to make the agency profitable.

Expertise: Demonstrates a thorough understanding of the industry landscape including segment, sales and distribution dynamics. Understands the nuances of the segments – their challenges, opportunities and the roles within the channels.

Mentor: Ability to coach and mentor your team. Demonstrates care and concern for others and helps employees meet their goals and grow. You need to have an understanding of where empathy meets anger management, and managing individual personalities and egos. Consistently work with others and work to strengthen relationships, support inclusion, and navigate conflict in the workplace.

Key Responsibilities and Tasks
Lead a Center of Excellence (CoE) that is tasked with maintaining a tight relationship with agency accounts, identifying needs, and selling profitable agency services and talents to meet those needs. Partner with other agency CoE Directors, pooling agency collective skills to craft dynamic campaigns that impact our clients’ bottom lines. This role's job – and that of its direct reports’ – is to make sure projects stay on strategy, manage expectations, and keep communication flowing. As such, the ability to nurture and build relationships with current and potential clients is paramount.

Account management & client leadership:

  • Provide strategic thought leadership and expertise to expand business relationships
  • Act as the account team lead both internally and externally
    • Educate clients on agency philosophy and processes, and set the tone of the partnership
    • Conduct extensive research on the client’s business and competitors
    • Regularly communicate with clients to understand their long-term goals and make recommendations for/against certain strategies/tactics as appropriate
    • Help client define the role the agency can play in helping meet business objectives
    • Maintain agency/client relationship; arrange and lead meetings with clients both virtual and in-person
  • Lead and manage your team on client planning initiatives
  • Collaborate with all agency CoE’s to develop effective marketing strategies
  • Develop client, product and/or brand positioning statements, goals, strategic imperatives, critical success factors and key performance indicators
  • Review strategic plans, account planning and business processes/proposals submitted by account team members on relevant client accounts
  • Lead and work with account managers on client brand planning initiatives
  • Develop client, product and/or brand positioning statements, goals, strategic imperatives, critical success factors and key performance indicators
  • Conceptualize and work with clients and vendors to execute market research
  • Understand, analyze and develop client personas and consumer journeys
  • Assist with the development of creative briefs and other foundational items
  • Negotiate with clients and agency staff regarding details of campaigns and projects
  • Secure all client approvals and maintain careful records
  • Review and approve all work before it moves into final production

Team leadership:

  • Set the tone for team vision and management while providing leadership, accountability and mentorship to overall account strategy
  • Help communicate expectations of each role within the team
  • Ensure proper agency processes are followed by the team
  • Understand how/when to work with agency resource centers, external partners, etc.
  • Mentor/assist the team with internal and account troubleshooting
  • Manage team performance and growth
  • Guide team in career and professional development
  • Maintain team morale through positive reinforcement

Team profitability oversight:

  • Lead agency/client contract negotiations in coordination with Vice President
  • Develop proposals and present project plans/estimates, especially for larger initiatives, to clients for approval or modification
  • Review/manage account retainers (and/or advanced fees), scopes of work, by partnering with the Project Management CoE
  • Report on client campaigns and project financial details
  • Monitor the effectiveness of campaigns/projects and work with appropriate team members to optimize accordingly
  • Review/manage financial reports, including estimates vs. actuals and projections

Business development:

  • Help to secure new business, and constantly monitor existing accounts for growth opportunities
  • Assume a leading role in new business presentations and proposals
  • Contribute to onboarding new accounts

Knowledge and skill set requirements:

  • Strong leadership experience that balances transformational and servant styles
  • Strong personnel management skills and ability to motivate team members
  • Ability to lead and influence those not in a reporting relationship
  • Flexibility and adaptability in client relationships and team management
  • Ability to work in a dynamic environment, combining strategizing, planning and problem-solving skills
  • Advanced oral, written, and presentation communication skills
  • Foodservice and B2B and marketing and industry knowledge and expertise
  • In-depth knowledge of B2B marketing strategies, trends and overall pulse on how to utilize the right mix in the foodservice channel
  • In-depth knowledge of traditional and digital media and their competitive landscape
  • Knowledge of sales activities, including lead generation, prospecting, qualifying, new business pitches, preparation of sales materials and communications, client interaction and entertaining, and other duties required to successfully manage and develop key accounts
  • Ability to identify key opportunities and develop value propositions and sales strategies
  • Solid understanding of business terminology and contract negotiations
  • Excellent organization skills, attention to detail and follow-through to resolve any outstanding issues
  • Excellent time-management skills, with the ability to meet strict deadlines and work under pressure
  • Strong professional appearance and persona
  • A knack for problem diagnosis and creative problem-solving
  • A thirst for knowledge and innate curiosity
  • Highly proficient in use of Microsoft Office products, social media platforms and internet browsers

Additional Work Requirements:

  • Occasional overtime is required and may work odd hours.
  • Occasional travel required.
  • Physical demands include standing for a period of time, walking, bending, and the ability to lift 15lb.

Key Relationships:

  • Reports to: Vice President
  • Supervises: Account Directors, Senior Account Managers, Account Managers
  • External relationships: Clients, Vendors, Contractors, Media, other Client Agencies


Medical, dental, vision, short-term disability, and life insurance

401(k) program with employer match

Flexible spending account (FSA) and dependent care FSA

Agency bonus program

Perpetual learning

Flexible scheduling and remote working days

Paid time off

Fridays close early all year

Apply Today!

We are always eager to meet unique talent or expertise that can help grow our agency and our client's brands.