Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mary Baglivo – Advertising Woman Of The Year

Great business is about creating powerful emotional partnerships. Not as easy as it seems. Egos, misunderstandings and jostling for position can all get in the way. When I see someone who can create a great partnership, I know I’ve found an Inspirational Player. Mary Baglivo is the CEO of our New York office and Mary is an Inspirational Player. Her partnership with New York's Chief Creative Officer, Tony Granger, is so in tune they share a business card. Mary is on one side, Tony is on the other, with both of them claiming they are on the front!

Mary came to Saatchi & Saatchi from an outstanding career in advertising. Her challenge was simple: make New York the flagship office of our global network. In under three years, she has done just that - she has led the charge for new business, she has reinvigorated every team, she has given her people new focus and commitment. This week her peers at Advertising Women of New York recognized her spirit and accomplishments by naming her Advertising Woman of the Year. At a memorable lunch, we celebrated Mary with her family and friends, colleagues and mentors, and many of the clients she has worked with. Lynne Boles VP of Global Advertising at P&G, Mark Addicks, CMO for General Mills and Mike Boylson CMO of JC Penney all spoke about Mary’s inspired leadership, warmth and dynamism. Saatchi clients Novartis, Alcoa/Reynolds, Pay By Touch, Ameriprise and Cold Stone Creamery were there and so were our Publicis partners. My thanks to the Advertising Women of New York for making it happen.
Maurice Levy, CEO of Publicis Groupe and my boss, summed up the mood. He sent a message from Paris asking why Mary was New York’s advertising woman of the year when she was clearly Advertising Woman of the World!
To attract such enthusiasm from so many people, Mary brings great personal depth. She is certainly inspirational to work with, but she says that she has never bought into the idea that life has to be a balancing act between family and work. She's always wanted what she calls 'one big life' in which she didn't have to measure how much of herself she could afford to give at any moment. I love that idea and Mary is living proof that it works. Her personal purpose is to be The Mother of CEOs! She’s a fantastic hands-on mom (she never misses a soccer game and claims to make the best peanut butter sandwiches in the world), she has loyal and loving friends and she is committed to making a difference for underprivileged kids.
Where does she get the time? If you ask her, she just gives that puzzled look people do who live life to the full. I love that attitude, and I love the energy and creative spirit that glows inside it.