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Title: Executive Creative Director
Company: Fingerpaint Marketing (Conshohocken, Pa.)
Education: BA, Communication, Arts and Graphic Design, Mount Mary University
Family: Mom, Gemman, for her open-mind and her free spirit to think outside the box; Dad, Ditmar, for keeping her focused and teaching her to never waver from her feelings
Hobbies: Painting, sculpting, skiing, kayaking, hiking, listening to music and playing with her dog, Jackson Cowboy McGee
Bucket List: Run her own business, go to geothermal pools in Iceland, jump out of a plane, drive a race car on a race track, cliff jump, spend a week in a tree house, travel all around the world to every country and continent, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, go on a wild safari in Africa, get lost in Yosemite National Park for a month, get lost in Yellowstone National Park for a month, get lost in Glacier National Park for a month, Heli-ski (anywhere), go to the Australian Open, see the Northern Lights, ride a gondola in Venice, take a trip with her Mom wherever she wants to go, take a trip with her Dad wherever he wants to go, volunteer at a wildlife reserve, go whale watching, teach little kids art, create 20-foot paintings of color, have a gallery showing of all her paintings
Awards/Honors: Rising Star, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association; Gold and Silver, Addy award; Gold award, Rx Club; and two Honorable Mention Communicator Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards; Designer of the Year and Rock Star award,
For more than 15 years, Fingerpaint Executive Creative Director Stephanie McGee has invigorated creative efforts across a wide array of disease states and treatment categories. The varied disease states she has worked on include oncology, cardiology, COPD and respiratory conditions, anaphylaxis, pain and migraine management, dermatology, sleep, blood disorders, diabetes, medical devices, and rare diseases. While the categories are diverse, Ms. McGee’s body of work has had a singular focus: memorable campaigns backed by a greater purpose to improve lives and augment the health of those who need it most.
Colleagues say Ms. McGee is untiring in her pursuit of creative excellence and she brings a palpable electricity that brings out vitality in others and the best in creative teams.
Her distinct voice was recognized in 2009, when she was named a Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Rising Star. Since then, she has steered the expressive course of almost 20 different pharmaceutical brands, averaging one to two launches or relaunches per year for clients such as Pfizer, Sanofi, BMS, Genzyme, Meda, Pernix, Covidien, Purdue, Biogen-Elan, AstraZeneca, and CardioNet.
More specifically, Ms. McGee’s portfolio reveals her considerable versatility and dexterity as a creative bellwether. She has worked on such blockbuster drugs as EpiPen, Lovenox, and Tysabri; orphan drugs such as Kynamro; professional campaigns for Torisel and Astepro; consumer campaigns such as EpiPen, Silenor, and Treximet; and unbranded initiatives for NSAIDilemma for Iroko Pharmaceuticals, among others.
Her efforts have not only won awards, they have garnered the respect of industry leaders and peers.
Colleagues say Ms. McGee’s willingness to question the status quo and hold the agency’s creative teams to impeccable standards have contributed to several significant new business wins. Her vigor has not only sparked change within the creative department, it has effected new ways of thinking across the agency.
This impulse to elevate and transform also lies at the core of one of her greatest passions: mentoring creative leaders of tomorrow.
“I am constantly mentoring, from the creative team, to my nieces and nephews,” she says. “Mentoring is incredibly important because I feel our perception as humans can be off at times and a good mentor will help you connect the dots between abilities and potential.”
She actively develops team members at all levels, bringing to bear her expertise in digital and nondigital media. Ms. McGee regularly creates noteworthy opportunities and experiences for up-and-coming staff, ensuring that team members enhance their potential in ways that are relevant, goal-oriented, and self-driven. These guiding principles have engendered great fervor and loyalty among teams fortunate enough to have worked with her.
“It is all about giving back,” Ms. McGee says. “It is a rewarding experience to see the person being mentored feeling fulfilled and focused.”
Such an intense focus on interaction and collaboration is, in some ways, quite unique for agency environments that have become increasingly focused on output and not on how work is put out.
“At the end of the day, this is about people helping people,” Ms. McGee says. “Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to make a positive impact on people’s lives — the lives of people who see what I create and the lives of people who help me create what I create.”
This belief that the creation of goodwill among teams is not only possible but necessary is central to understanding how Ms. McGee approaches her current role at Fingerpaint.
Energy, intuition, and humanism are the signatures of the “McGee style,” and they extend to the hidden corners of every project she touches, no matter how large or small, no matter how simple or complex. They are the signs of a truly distinctive leader who approaches every person and problem with a boundless optimism that, like the greatest advertising, cannot only be seen but felt. (PV)
Pushing Boundaries for Patient Choice
Title: Creative Director
Company: BBK Worldwide
Family: His parents, David and Sharon Jones; his wife, Jennifer
Hobbies: Songwriting, reading, and sports
Bucket List: Visit Australia
Ten years ago, Justin Jones started his career at BBK as a receptionist and thanks to the company’s investment in young employees, he has worked his way up to being the creative director.
Today, he is considered a mastermind of creative executions, having developed award-winning campaigns for outreach and informational materials that have resonated with those seeking a clinical trial as a treatment option.
Always looking beyond traditional messaging, Mr. Jones pushes sponsors, clinical teams, and others to look at clinical trial advertising through the eyes of patients. He asks clients to imagine they or a family member are living with a condition, look at traditional posters and see whether those would inspire them to learn more.
“The answer is usually no,” he says. Rather, Mr. Jones begins with the needs and concerns of patients and translates that understanding into impactful messaging that connects patients with clinical research as treatment options.
His prowess in the art of the written word has helped to populate dozens of clinical studies bringing new choices to cancer patients, migraine sufferers, and children with debilitating disorders.
The creative gene is very firmly entrenched in Mr. Jones. Five years ago, BBK was at the annual Drug Information Association (DIA) meeting where the agency gave away clinically themed T-shirts. Among the ones he wrote were: “I screen on the first date,” and “These HIPAAs don’t lie.” The response was huge and by the second day of the conference every shirt had been taken.
“All these years later, people still come up to our DIA booth and ask us if we have any of those shirts left over,” he says. “It’s both amazing and extremely gratifying.”
His greatest challenge is transforming complex protocols into compelling, well-rounded advertising campaigns that command attention and motivate large numbers of patients to take action to enroll in a clinical study — all within a week or two.
He says the job demands a weird mix of fearlessness and intense discipline, but he and his colleagues wouldn’t have it any other way.
One of the most exciting developments in clinical research, Mr. Jones believes, is the advent of wearable mHealth devices and how the ability to capture and track quantitative and qualitative data in real time will revolutionize the clinical trial experience for patients by reducing the number of study visits they must attend and enabling doctors to remotely access their patients’ health data.
To Mr. Jones, success is doing meaningful work that accomplishes or exceeds the goals of clients and is creatively self-satisfying.
“Developing great creative should push you to the edge of your abilities and leave you a little uncomfortable because the next great idea has no road map or template to follow,” he says.
In creative, the biggest challenge is always searching for the illusive “big idea.” It requires each player to dig for it, and sometimes it can’t be found alone. Mr. Jones says as a team he and his staff keep motivated, picking up the ball and pushing one another’s ideas until they realize the vision.
As a leader, he manages his group by inspiring and galvanizing enthusiasm, rather than dictating direction.
He equates being a creative director with being a major-league baseball catcher, saying his job is to help call the game and manage the pitching staff to help them perform to the very best of their ability.
“I work with a diverse group of immensely talented individuals, each of whom bring their own unique gifts, tastes, and opinions on the best way to execute a campaign,” he says. “My role is to help our creatives understand the job, listen, and offer advice when necessary, and help shape their work so it’s in the best position to succeed.”
He credits his mentors at BBK — Joan Bachenheimer, Bonnie Brescia, Matthew Stumm, and Rob Laurens — who took a chance on a young kid, realized he could write, and turned him into something he never knew he could be. (PV)