Michel, who had a key role in the decision to merge the Manchester-based Cheetham Bell with JWT in 2001, will continue with her planning responsibilities. She said: "I am chuffed because this is a lovely agency with great spirit. We are number one in JWT's European creative league and are a good complement agency to JWT London." She added: "We have shed blood, sweat and tears to get where we are and we will continue to do so."
David Bell, the agency's chief executive, commented: "Katrina is the perfect blend of huge brain and boundless energy. We wouldn't be where we are today without her."
Cheethambell JWT is the biggest regional agency in the country with billings of £55.9 million. However, two significant losses in 2004 (Phones4U and Tussauds) could see it lose that title to BDH\TBWA by the end of 2005.
Before joining Cheetham Bell in 1998, Michel worked at Ogilvy & Mather as the head of planning. While at O&M, she worked on Lever Brothers Europe, Guardian Media Group, Kimberly-Clark Worldwide and Ford.
She also worked at Publicis between 1991 and 1993, where she helped develop the "Nicole, Papa" campaign for Renault Clio.
Before moving into advertising, Michel worked as a junior diplomat in HM Diplomatic Service.