NYC-based digital shop Firstborn brought on some new staffers before the close of 2010 including Leigh Whipday and David Vale as art directors. Vale (pictured) was most recently a senior AD at Grupo W in Mexico and spent some time at Sao Paulo’s Grafikonstruct. During his career, he’s worked on brands including Pepsi, Rexona, Dove and Volkswagen.

Whipday, meanwhile, has skipped across the pond after spending 10+ years doing digital work in the U.K. for Tronic Studios and Code Computerlove (hell of a name) and was part of award-winning efforts for Nike, The BBC, Eurosport, TopShop and The Saatchi Gallery.

On the writing tip, SapientNitro alum Ivonne Azurida joined Firstborn as a senior CW. Azurida penned projects for HBO, Powerade and Adidas during her career. Finally, Thomas Longo, most recently interactive project manager at Ogilvy Interactive, has signed on to Firstborn as a producer. Whipday, Vale and Azurida’s client assignments at their new digs includes Wrigley, Sobe, Ford and AT&T.