In continuing recognition of Renetta McCann, chief inclusion experience officer at Publicis Groupe, whom the Chicago Advertising Federation (CAF) honored with its 25th Silver Medal Award earlier this year, advertising industry leaders kicked off a special, three-part virtual event last week to highlight McCann and her important role in the community.
The CAF Legacy & Leadership Series began on October 21 at 9:00 a.m. (CDT) with a powerful leadership roundtable featuring a discussion on today’s rapid changes viewed through the lens of the ongoing pandemic and focused on diversity and inclusion. The conversation was led by McCann herself and moderator Teri Arvesu, vice president of content, Univision Chicago. They were also joined by panelists Esther (E.T.) Franklin, president of global strategy, Cultural Fluency at Spark Foundry; and previous CAF Silver Medal Award honorees Kathy Ring, CEO, Starcom USA; and Carla Michelotti, president, Carla Michelotti, Inc. Together, the group provided advice for future generations and delivered inspiring call to actions to thought leaders in the field.
Parts two and three, to be held on October 28 and 29, will include a celebration of McCann and the aspects of her work that make her an integral part of the industry and the world at large, in addition to an intimate coffee chat with her and Univision National News Anchor Ilia Calderón on McCann’s passion and current area of focus, diversity and inclusion.
“It’s impossible to quantify Renetta McCann’s influence on our industry and the people within it, but immense, game-changing, enduring and human would be a good way to start describing it,” said Richard Roche, president, Chicago Advertising Federation. “Awarding her the CAF Silver Medal is a chance for the Chicago ad community to honor her immense contributions. And, in true Renetta style, she’s using the moment to pay forward some of her leadership wisdom.”
Renetta McCann has been recognized as one of the leading innovators and most influential executives in the advertising, marketing, and media industries, with a reputation for not only building brands, but also the organizations and leadership to sustain them.
She began her career at Leo Burnett, and, after a long tenure, she became the CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group Worldwide. Under her leadership, client billings exceeded $26 billion, and the global workforce rose to over 6,000 people. Most recently, she served as the Chief Talent Officer for Leo Burnett, as well as at Publicis Communications N.A.
“I’ve had the great privilege of working for and with Renetta for more than two decades,” said Andrew Swinand, CEO of Leo Burnett Group. “Leo Burnett is driven by a belief in creating the ‘best in the world, bar none’ in all that we do—and there’s no one who embodies that spirit more than Renetta.”
Among numerous achievement throughout her career, McCann has been a volunteer and contributor to many industry and civic organizations. Currently, she serves on the Executive Committee of the Chicago Community Trust, the Marketing Committee of the Robert and Ann Lurie Children’s Hospital, and the Legacy Giving Committee of the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago.
Lauded with various accolades for her excellence in the industry, McCann was named Ad Woman of the Year by CAF in 2002, and she received a Matrix Award in 2006 from NY Women in Communications. She has also appeared on the pages of Ad Age, Business Week and Chicago magazine. In 2014, the American Advertising Federation honored her with a Diversity Achievement Award for her contributions as an Industry Influential, and she was recently featured on Adweek‘s list of “Inspiring Women Who Have Broken Down Advertising’s Most Persistent Barriers.”
McCann joins a number of other CAF Silver Medal Award recipients since 1983, including most recently Kathy Ring, Starcom USA; Fay Ferguson, Burrell Communications; Chris Boothe, Spark Foundry; Tony Weisman, Snap Point LLC; and David W. Selby, Schafer Condon Carter.