The Creatives

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Taren Grom, Editor

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Todd LaRoche Palio Abby Mansfield Topin & Associates Josh Prince The CDM Group The Creatives Making Creative?Magic These vanguards of creativity are finding new ways to create meaningful messages for a whole range of stakeholders and for a multitude of channels. Todd LaRoche Sage Insights Todd LaRoche was once the guy in a big, fan-inflated Skippy Peanut Butter jar outfit in a Queen’s grocery. The definition of savant is: learned person. This is Todd LaRoche. Everyone at Palio will attest to the fact. He can converse as intelligently on particle physics as he can on the Dow’s plummet, or on the hidden insights behind a patient’s disease state as the implications of the FDA’s stance on NDAs. Mr. LaRoche came to Palio in 2001 and immediately the agency felt his influence. He embodies the Harry S. Truman quote: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” His selfless, silent, and brilliant contributions at work are his trademark. Those who work with him say he presents a different perspective to problems and ideas, including some that seriously challenge the intellect and comfort level of those around him. He leads a team of independent, clever, industry-savvy souls and he knows when to let his colleagues lead and when to step in for support. Mr. LaRoche also has the uncanny ability to project himself into the world and mindset of a target audience as well as clients. This skill allows him to lead the agency to develop deeper and better contextual understandings of disease states as well as strategically nuanced creative executions that truly connect. He understands the complex relationship between risk and innovation, noting that one of the big challenges for the industry is how to leverage social media without incurring risk. A quiet thinker, Mr. LaRoche will lean back in his chair, fingers steepled, gaze locked on a distant object no one else can see. And thinking is where he excels; his Yale education actually does come in handy. He describes himself as both old and young, saying on any given day he’ll feel one or the other. As for mentoring, he simply says it is his duty to help others avoid the mistakes he has made. But going into advertising was far from a mistake, even though he says he finds it ironic that he ended up there after years of trying to avoid it. Old. Young. Name: Todd Barnard LaRoche Current position: Executive VP, Managing Director, Creative, Palio Date and place of birth: June 1956; New York Education: B.S., Yale College; M.A., CUNY First job: Fuller Brush salesman First industry-related job: Copy intern, Al Paul Lefton Alternative profession: Professional surfer Professional mentors: Father and grandfather Awards and honors: New York ADDY — Silver; DTC National; The Globals; Cannes Lions Festival; Web ­Marketing Association; New York Festivals ­International Print; London International Advertising Awards; PhAME Awards; Rx Club Award of Excellence; NORI Award; Telly Award Giving back: PETA; Humane Society Words to live by: The road is wider than it is long Twitter address: @toddlaroche Connected via: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blog writer for Palio, Chatter, Yammer, Pinterest, Foursquare, ­Instagram, Bambuser Selfless, silent, and brilliant contributions are Todd LaRoche’s trademarks. Joshua Prince Breaking Creative Boundaries There aren’t too many agency executives who can lay claim to helping create an entirely new therapeutic category. Josh Prince, chief creative officer at The CDM Group is one of those few. He cites launching Viagra and creating the ED category with Pfizer as a highlight in a career punctuated with many memorable achievements. The experience also had a lighter side. When Mr. Prince’s (then) young children saw the Viagra commercials, he had to try to explain what Daddy was doing at work. Mr. Prince’s Pfizer connection goes beyond the brand. His father, a physician, worked for the pharmaceutical company for many years. It was no doubt the influence of his father, who made medicine interesting, compelling, and human that led Mr. Prince to achieve a successful career in the creative world of healthcare advertising. The other driving force in Mr. Prince’s 25-plus years in the agency world is Ed Wise, chairman and CEO of CDM; in fact, Mr. Prince says he would follow Mr. Wise into a fire. Colleagues say if you have the chance to meet Mr. Prince, you will likely never forget him: he is energy and humility, personified. He’s not just raw energy and “ah shucks” humility, his energy is channeled by intellectual, strategic, empathetic, and creative purpose fueled by insight and inspiration. As the worldwide creative leader of The CDM Group — the agency group that oversees creative agencies in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Brazil — Mr. Prince is making an indelible impact on the industry. He is credited by his peers and colleagues for taking the company from being a traditional healthcare advertising agency, where the focus was on producing groundbreaking print and TV advertising, to becoming an idea agency, an idea in and of itself that was before its time. It was Mr. Prince’s strategic direction that helped pave the way for The CDM Group’s success today. Mr. Prince’s focus has always been to direct the agency’s creative energy around building big brand ideas. These ideas tend to be more malleable and can travel across the appropriate media, digital and otherwise, that are most suitable to reaching a given customer in the most powerful way. Today, Mr. Prince leads more than 200 creative people across eight countries. Those in the agency world may be familiar with Pharmapalooza, the four-year old industry battle of the bands competition. Mr. Prince, along with CDM colleagues Chris Palmer and Mark Friedman, have grown this innovative and industry-uniting fundraiser into a must-attend event. Pharmapalooza has raised more than $350,000 to help support child-life programs at the Children’s Hospital of Montefiore. Under Mr. Prince’s creative leadership, this fund-raising event has inspired some of the most creative and artistic talent in the industry to lend a hand for the kids. Whether he is leading a global creative team, helping to raise money for a worthy charity, or helping to guide the careers of junior team member with his no-nonsense approach, Mr. Prince gives his thinking, his sweat, his heart, and his soul to the people he works with and to the clients who seek his creative counsel. Joshua Prince has authored a ­children’s e-picture book called I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track. Josh Prince gives his thinking, his sweat, his heart, and his soul to the people he works with, and to the clients who seek his creative counsel. Curious. Energetic. Name: Joshua S. Prince Current position: Chief Creative Officer, The CDM Group Date and place of birth: June 1964; New Jersey Education: B.A., University of Vermont ­University College London First job: Writer, Vermont Vanguard Press First industry-related job: Junior Copywriter, CDM Alternative profession: Author Professional mentors: His father, a physician who worked for Pfizer; Ed Wise, CDM Professional associations: American Academy of Digital Agitators & Creative Evangelists Awards and honors: Clio awards Giving back: Fisher House; Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Words to live by: In the end, all they really ­remember is the work; so do great work Twitter address: @cdmnevergeneric Connected via: LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ Abby Mansfield Champion of the Creative Brief Abby Mansfield is a talented creative professional as well as a perceptive manager and an insightful thinker. In high school, Abby Mansfield appeared on AM Chicago, which was hosted by Oprah Winfrey. Abby Mansfield joined Topin & Associates as copy writer, despite her hesitation about moving to a smaller agency. But in typical Topin, meaning Al, fashion the agency made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Mr. Topin said: “Join us for a year and if it doesn’t work out, we’ll help you find a great situation at a bigger shop.” Fast forward 18 years, and Ms. Mansfield is not only still at the agency, but she is senior VP, creative director, leading the agency’s creative department, directing all new business efforts, and driving strategy for clients. Ms. Mansfield is noted for being a talented creative professional as well as a perceptive manager and an insightful thinker. She has raised the bar for Topin’s creative efforts, challenging the entire agency to think differently. She remains calm and composed in difficult situations and in meetings with clients, and with a few sentences, she can change everyone’s thinking. Ms. Mansfield manages a very diverse group, and her leadership style ensures that those working with her are successful in achieving not only client goals but personal goals as well. Her door is always open for anyone who is experiencing a creative challenge. Her team members say their creative output is always better with Ms. Mansfield’s involvement, and her input always helps to crystallize and focus their ideas to embody their best possible form. She is the champion of the creative brief, and her influence extends beyond the creative department. She pushes the account group to provide more insights, better information, and tighter, more focused creative briefs, thereby making campaigns stronger. As one of the most trusted and respected members of the agency’s management team, Ms. Mansfield’s contributions drive Topin’s own strategies, planning, and growth, including integrating the agency’s digital resources throughout all departments. Her thought leadership can be seen in the numerous industry articles she has had published and or contributed to and her continuing participation as part of an industry publication board. Walk into a client meeting and it’s obvious that clients respect and require Ms. Mansfield’s input. Her colleagues say Ms. Mansfield has many admirable qualities, and the one that particularly stands out for them is her ability to stay humble even though she has earned through hardwork and determination immense success. Even while balancing a husband, two children, and a revolving menagerie of pets — a dog, a lizard, and a cat — with the demands of a senior management position and a full share of business travel, Ms. Mansfield still finds the time to take part in community service projects and participates in several local races, including half marathons. As the head of the writing and editing staff at the midsized healthcare marketing agency, Ms. Mansfield has worked with individuals with many years of experience under their belts as well as young talent just out of college, and she treats everyone with equal care and respect as she continues to help them develop their skills and talents. A generous leader, Ms. Mansfield never shies away from helping young creatives and account executives learn about the business and grow professionally. Level-Headed. Solutions-Oriented. Name: Abby Mansfield Current position: Senior VP, Creative Director, Topin & Associates Date and place of birth: June 1965; Bloomington, Ill. Education: B.S., communications, University of Illinois First job: JC Penney First industry-related job: Copywriter in a direct response ­advertising agency Alternative profession: Teaching Professional mentors: Peter Siegel; Al Topin Giving back: Local services that help families in need Words to live by: Happiness is a decision Connected via: LinkedIn Abby Mansfield Packing a Creative Punch Abby Mansfield has been a driving creative force Topin & Associates for almost two decades. Her leadership skills have brought to fruition many successful brands, including that of her own agency. She was one of the creatives behind Topin’s iconic pepper. She is a brilliant writer, an inspiration, a delight to work with, and she works fast on her feet, which is a definite asset in the deadline-oriented agency world. Through it all — deadlines, reviews, traveling, and presentations — Ms. Mansfield remains positive, strong, and professional. She consistently looks for new ways to help Topin grow its business and still maintain its identity in the healthcare market, and the many awards she has won over the years reflect her success. Those who don’t know her well may be surprised by the creative impact this unassuming and humble executive packs but it doesn’t take long for them to recognize the talent and leadership skills Ms. Mansfield brings to the table. Colleagues, peers, partners, and team members alike say Ms. Mansfield’s creative influence continually impacts brands, and her strategic insights help elevate results to the next level, whether the assignment is to launch a new product, reposition a company, or push the creative envelope to address a complex market challenge. Ms. Mansfield’s positive influence is felt by all at Topin. She is an extraordinary boss and treats each employee as if he or she were the most important person at the agency. Ms. Mansfield leads by example. She expects excellent work from everyone and is happy to help each individual achieve success. Ms. Mansfield brings out the personal best from her team members, while allowing them to be true to their creative selves and still serving the best interests of the agency’s business and its clients. Ms. Mansfield’s ability to laugh and enjoy what she does shines brightly through her strategic abilities, creative details, and how she relates to the people around her on a daily basis. She inspires her direct reports as well as everyone she meets with her intelligence, creativity, and commitment. Her capacity to balance heavy work loads, management, and family life all with extraordinary graciousness and good humor has earned her the utmost respect and affection from all those fortunate enough to work with her. In a deadline-driven agency environment, it’s not always easy to maintain a constant life/work balance, but Ms. Mansfield does just this with integrity, a sense of humor, and compassion as she meets the agency’s expectations while making sure her title as Mom is clearly the priority. Abby Mansfield’s creative ­influence continually impacts brands, and her strategic insights help ­elevate ­results to the next level. Getting Personal with Abby Mansfield Family: Husband John; daughter Hannah, 15; son Sam, 12 Hobbies: Reading; running Reading list: Insurgent by Veronica Roth; State of Wonder by Anne Patchett; Half Broke Favorite book: A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines Favorite movie: Shawshank Redemption Bucket list: Run a marathon; vacation in Hawaii; see the Grand Canyon; write a book Favorite smartphone app: The Weather ­Channel Inspired by: Teachers because they dedicate their lives to something truly worthwhile; her kids because they are working so hard to grow into really good people; people who struggle with disabilities Life lessons: Don’t ever present work you wouldn’t want the client to buy Most unusual place visited: Helsinki, Finland under the cloak of invisibility: Oval Office Time travel: To the past to the Revolutionary War era — but with better housing and ­medical care, of course Todd LaRoche Respect, Risk, and Reward Todd LaRoche speaks up for the everyman, and he wants to know what the implications and ­importance are for the ­individual suffering from a condition. It’s often believed that the humanity of the situation is sometimes missed in the healthcare marketplace. There’s so much aversion to risk, so much focus on the negative, and so much vanilla-flavored noise, that the human side of the issue is ignored or pushed aside— but not if Todd LaRoche is in the room. He speaks up for the everyman, and wants to know what the implications and importance are for the individual suffering from a condition. And he pushes everyone to remember why he and his colleagues at Palio come to work every day, and the reason is simple: to genuinely help people who need it. That compassion extends to animals. Mr. LaRoche is a strong supporter of PETA and the Humane Society, arguing that humanity is inhumane to animals. Mr. LaRoche has more than 30 years of experience in the creative industry. He has directed creative development from the concept stage through final production in all media for both professional and consumer audiences across numerous industries, including pharmaceutical, financial, packaged goods, automotive, and food and travel. This experience fits perfectly in his role at Palio. Adventure is close to Mr. LaRoche’s heart, and he lives by the motto: “the road is wider than it is long.” He once flew to California, picked up a new Harley, then rode to the granddaddy of all motorcycle rallies in the Black Hills region of Sturgis, South Dakota. After hanging out with a few fellow bikers, he then rode home to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Mr. LaRoche thrills at hang gliding, white-water kayaking, blue-water sailing, skiing, and sports cars, and he engages in all activities thoughtfully and flawlessly. It’s this ability to combine a high tolerance of danger and risk with a supreme level of confidence and skill that sets him apart. In addition, he plays guitar and has been persuaded to jump on stage at a few holiday parties to jam with the band. Getting Personal with Todd LaRoche Family: Wife Hobbies: Music — playing guitar, mandolin, banjo, and writing songs; motorcycling; skiing; kayaking; hang gliding Reading list: Billy Budd and Benito Cereno by Melville; Baked In by Alex Bogusky and John Winsor Favorite book: The Crying of Lot 49 by Pynchon Favorite movie: Providence Bucket list: Produce a movie, a play, and a music album Favorite smartphone apps: Pandora, Star Walk Inspired by: Ted Turner Life lessons: Don’t touch that Most unusual place visited: Bone Museum, Prague Time travel: To the future to see if humankind meets another life form in the universe Josh Prince A Creative Evolutionist The vital, evolutionary nature of The CDM Group has been driven in no small part by Josh Prince, a dynamic industry force. Quite simply colleagues say Mr. Prince represents everything that is good and decent and exciting about the healthcare industry — an industry that he has devoted his creative career to, and proudly calls home. In addition to the 200-plus creative talents he is responsible for as chief creative officer of The CDM Group, Mr. Prince recently led the digital transformation of the agency so that digital was completely infused as a way of doing business and not just a bolt on trick. To accomplish this, it should be no surprise to learn that Mr. Prince was the engine behind Digital Foundations, the online training tool that was created by his team to educate employees on the rapidly changing, multichanneled world. The tool, which has been rolled out to the 1,200 employees of CDM, is intended for use by all Omnicom Group company employees, almost 70,000 people worldwide. Mr. Prince has also taken a leading role in many of the industry evolutions that the agency has helped drive forward. His work was responsible in large part for bringing DTC into the consumer mainstream, thanks to the groundbreaking Viagra consumer launch, among others. Mr. Prince also worked with PhRMA to create the Partnership for Prescription Assistance program, an initiative he is particularly proud of because of the good work that it does for so many people. As a natural next generation to DTC advertising, Mr. Prince saw a gap in how drugs were being promoted to consumers, and launched the joint venture BBDO/CDM HealthWork to the industry, an agency collaboration that unites the best consumer and healthcare minds to speak directly to patients. Josh Prince ­represents ­everything that is good and ­decent and exciting about the healthcare industry — an ­industry that he has ­devoted his creative ­career to, and proudly calls home. Getting Personal with Josh PriNce Family: Wife, Emily; three children, Noah, Ivy, Maisie Hobbies: Scooters; newspapers; surfing; cycling; New York Times Crosswords Reading list: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by ­Rebecca Skloot; The Sot Weed Factor by John Barth Favorite book: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail ­Bulgakov Favorite movie: Brazil Bucket list: South Georgia Island Shackleton Tour; to write and publish a third book; become a ski patroller; ride the TransLabrador Highway on his BMW F800GS Favorite smartphone app: TiltShiftGen Inspired by: Maurice Sendak; Robert Pollard; David Brooks; Benjamin Netanyahu Life lessons: This above all: to thine own self be true Most unusual place visited: Moscow’s subway system Time travel: To the past to postwar Zurich to see his ­parents meet

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