1o8 adds top creative talent Jen Bills as EVP/ECD

Jen Bills

Chicago-based 1o8, the evolved performance marketing agency, attracts top creative talent Jen Bills in the new role of Executive Vice President / Executive Creative Director. Bills comes directly from O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul (OKRP) where she was Group Creative Director. 

1o8 is a minority owned agency founded by Aalap Shah in 2018. Shah is mindfully building out a robust leadership team, recently recruiting Joe Valentine as President from OKRP where he was Director of Digital Strategy, and Stephen Gaither as EVP/Growth & Strategy from C.A. Fortune where he was CMO.

In 2021, 1o8 grew by 116% winning four major new clients including Ty®, O-Cedar, Mason Dixie Foods and MUSH (ready-to-eat oats). The vibrant agency is looking to reinvent consumer brands with their modern, evolved approach to all-things-performance marketing.

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“Attracting top talent has been pivotal to 1o8’s growth over the last year and Jen’s arrival signals a transition from a focus solely on performance marketing to making a commitment to bigger brand storytelling,” stated Aalap Shah, Founder, 1o8. “This agency has huge ambitions and Jen is the perfect person to get us where we’re going.”

“Responsible, playful, inclusive, daring creative is my passion and 1o8 is where the rubber meets the road, the rubber being big brand thinking and the road being performance marketing. Every creative wants their work to connect with audiences and 1o8 leverages data to inspire more efficient and effective delivery,” stated Jen Bills, Executive Vice President / Executive Creative Director, 1o8. “Making the work environment assertively inclusive is massively important to inspire team members to bring their best work. Setting people up to succeed is good business. Part of establishing good culture is acknowledging that, historically, advertising has unfairly made white men the main character, literally and figuratively. Aalap and the 1o8 leadership team walk the walk. I was, like, ‘sign me up.’”

Bills was one of the first 10 employees at OKRP, joining the agency in 2013 as Creative Director and rising to Group Creative Director. During her tenure, she co-founded and led the agency’s lauded “Writers Table” and worked for many clients including Big Lots, Chili’s, Illinois Tourism, Nike Chicago, Home Chef and P&G’s Joy & Glee. Before lending her voice to advertising, Bills had a successful career in Chicago comedy that landed her a spot in Second City’s National Touring Company finally as a resident company member. She brings a thoughtful and playful voice to every brand she touches.

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