UPDATE: Burrell CCO Lewis Williams to join Weber Shandwick

(Lewis Williams)

Yesterday, Reel Chicago broke the story that award-winning Chief Creative Officer, Lewis Williams, had resigned from Burrell Communications. He will join Weber Shandwick as EVP, head of Brand Impact early next year.

Terrence Burrell will take the helm as Interim Chief Creative Officer. In this role, Terrence will lead the agency’s creative teams in developing strategic and impactful work that moves clients’ business forward.

Williams began his career at Burrell as an Art Director. He then joined Leo Burnett in 1991, where he became a Senior Vice President/Creative Director. While there, Williams worked on such brands as The U.S. Army, Allstate, Budweiser, Miller Lite and Walt Disney World.

In 2005, Williams joined Burrell and was tasked with overseeing creative strategy and execution for the $135MM leading multicultural full-service advertising agency, whose accounts include McDonald’s, Proctor & Gamble and Toyota.

Williams is also credited with co-designing and building Burrell’s first-ever digital marketing department, recruiting talent and integrating processes to win new business under highly competitive conditions, including the acquisition of the $4MM Comcast account.

While it has always been historically challenging for multicultural agencies to be recognized in more general market-oriented awards shows, such as Cannes and The One Show, Williams managed to lead Burrell to awards from the ADDYS, One Show, Hugos, New York Festivals and Communication Arts awards.

The mentor and leader led the agency to Super Bowl spots in 2008 and 2012, reaching 111mm viewers. Again, this is a feat for a multicultural agency to achieve.

The agency vet, and marathon runner, is a distinguished alumnus of The Kent State School of Design. In 2006 he established the Lewis and Dona Williams Scholarship Fund. The funds are dedicated to those students needing financial assistance.

“It’s bittersweet saying goodbye to a close colleague and friend. Lewis has made a significant impact on our client work. He will be missed, and we wish him the best of luck in his new role,” said Fay Ferguson, Co-CEO, Burrell Communications.

Terrence Burrell named Interim Creative Creative Officer

A veteran advertising executive with nearly 25 years of experience, Terrence most recently served as Executive Creative Director at Burrell Communications servicing the Comcast account. Since joining the agency in 2002, he has developed award-winning and business-driving creative for major brands including Comcast/Xfinity, Toyota, McDonald’s, The Ad Council, Allstate, Coca-Cola, P&G, and Walmart, among others.

Terrence Burrell

“Terrence is a passionate creative storyteller who has probably touched more of the agency’s accounts than anyone else in the creative department during his nearly 20-year tenure at Burrell,” said McGhee Osse, Co-CEO, Burrell Communications. “We are excited about the strategic thinking, problem solving and passion he’ll bring to this role to build upon our agency’s legacy as a leading multicultural agency.

Terrence has garnered several awards for his work including Hugo Excellence Awards for TV Commercials, American Advertising ADDY Awards, and the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) Award. His most recent win is a 2020 National Gold ADDY for the agency’s work on Comcast.

“I am both honored and thrilled at the opportunity to help author the next chapter of the Burrell story,” said Terrence. “I look forward to counseling our clients on creatively and authentically connecting with Black consumers in today’s ever-changing and digital-first marketing environment.”

“Terrence is that rare leader, always willing to jump in, always prepared when needed, and always committed to seeing our clients and agency win. We’re excited to watch Terrence move our creative team and agency forward,” Ferguson added.

Terrence Burrell is committed to helping Black creatives find their rightful place in the industry. He volunteers his time with Chicago’s One Club for Creativity where he has served as a speaker and is the Co-Course Director and Tutor for One Club’s ONE School Portfolio Program. He is also active in fundraising for Bradley University, his undergraduate alma mater.

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Terrence has no familial relation with Tom Burrell, the agency’s founder.


Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at colin@reel360.com or follow him on Twitter at @colinthewriter1