Karen Sauder – 2009 Ad Woman of the Year

The 2009 Advertising Woman of the Year is Draftfcb’s managing director Karen Sauder. She is the latest on a lengthy list of agency leaders who were named to the top honor by the by the Chicago Advertising Federation.

Sauder is an integral part of the management team that leads the single largest concentration of ad talent in Chicago and the Midwest, said the CAF.

As such, she has helped to create unprecedented momentum for the agency that was formed in 2006 following the merger of Draft and Foote Cone & Belding.

Said CAF president Anne O’Malley, “Karen Sauder personifies the many contributions women have made to the Chicago and global ad communities. She’s a woman with vision and business acumen that has brought new flair and valuable benefits to her agency and the advertising industry.”

A St. Louis native, Sauder’s career started in 1990 in Anheuser-Busch’s marketing creative services department at Anheuser-Busch. She then worked as a Frito-Lay regional manager. In 1998 she joined advertising and promotions agency, Zipatoni, and rose from account director to partner to president.

Joining Draftfcb in 2007, Sauder took charge of a huge, diverse office, commented agency president Mark Modesto.

“She’s one of the strongest voices on our senior management team, and is looked to by our entire agency ? especially women ? as a strong and inspirational, yet humble leader,” Modesto said.

Sauter will be honored at a CAF luncheon later this summer.

Since 1957, the Women’s Ad Club of Chicago (WACC), along with the CAF in the past several years, have bestowed this prestigious award on outstanding Chicago women who have made significant contributions to the advertising and marketing fields.

The selection criteria include: significant contributions to her company and to the greater advertising community, individual accomplishments both personally and professionally, and noteworthy impact on the development of others.

Women honored in recent years include: Lisa Cochrane, VP/marketing, Allstate; Dolores Kunda, president/CEO, Lapiz; Fay Ferguson, Co-CEO, Burrell; Yvonne Furth, President/COO, Draft; Marlena Peleo-Lazar, chief creative officer, VP/McDonald’s; Carol H. Williams, president, Carol H. Williams and Ruth L Ratny, president/publisher, ReelChicago.com.