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The strategic development and execution of exceptional brand assets requires vision and creative flair as well as strong agency-client partnerships.

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The strategic development and execution of exceptional brand assets requires vision and creative flair as well as strong agency-client partnerships.

Passionate. Creative.
Creating Breakthrough Campaigns

Jody Van Swearingen
Title: Senior VP, Creative Director
Company: AbelsonTaylor Inc.
Industry Awards: Clio; MAN Ad of the Year; Rx Club Golds and Grand Global awards; PM360 Elite
Community Awards: Crain’s Chicago Business 2019 Influential Woman
Associations: AIGA; Girl Scouts of America, various political and community groups
Twitter: @jvanswearsalot

During her 25 years at AbelsonTaylor, Jody Van Swearingen has led her creative teams forward on dozens of groundbreaking and award-winning product launches, relaunches, and global campaigns — in all areas of healthcare.

As senior VP, creative director, Jody is always challenging the status quo and tirelessly works to create breakthrough creative. She looks at marketing briefs and client wishes as opportunities, not roadblocks. She’ll push for just the right script, or actor, or music track to make a good commercial great.

And Jody is one of the few creative directors who equally excels in brand strategy. She knows her brands inside and out, and she takes the idea of feeling the data to heart.

At the center of Jody’s drive is a desire to develop great creative work through teamwork and client partnerships. This is evidenced by her award-winning work for AbbVie, Amgen, and TAP. She balances her imaginative approaches with a practical, business-smart sense that grounds her and ultimately separates her from the crowd of creative leaders.

She is admired for her willingness to put people and human experience at the center of her work. This core principal was evident in #MyEpilepsyHero, a social media campaign created for Sunovion, in association with the Epilepsy Foundation and actor Greg Grunberg, to generate a better understanding of epilepsy and create more openness to discuss the disease. The campaign, which provides a platform for people with epilepsy to publicly recognize their personal heroes, has earned 12 industry honors to date, making it one of the most award-winning campaigns in Sunovion’s history.

Jody says a career highlight was creating and implementing the first Facebook page for healthcare professionals — Night Nurse Nation.

Jody exhibits the perfect balance of a strategic mindset and emotional intelligence. She can quickly extract the critical insights from masses of data, then generate game-changing creative that’s strategically on target and that resonates on a very personal level. Her mix of logic, empathy, and responsiveness to others helps her build strong relationships with clients, colleagues, and vendors.

Jody’s work ethic can be summarized in one word — tireless. She demands from herself a very high standard of quality and leads by example. Often, leaders who fit this description exhaust their teams, but Jody understands the importance of work-life balance.

Jody is a role model to others at AbelsonTaylor. She facilitates discussions that challenge all key stakeholders’ thinking to ensure every possible strategy has been thoroughly thought through before aligning on the most efficacious approach in bringing the brand or disease state to life. Her leadership in guiding these dialogues has produced novel strategies that lead to exceptional creative execution — capturing the core insight in a distinctive, activating, engaging, relevant, emotional, and campaignable way.

Jody is an excellent mentor and fierce advocate of social parity in all spheres of life. She has helped numerous staffers — many of them women — advance at AbelsonTaylor or go on to successful careers elsewhere.

Those who have worked with Jody say she’s observant, listens well, and constantly looks for ways to help members of her team expand their experiences and develop new skills. She strives for boldness and innovation in her own work and inspires her creative team to develop equally strong and compelling work.

“I lead the training committee at the agency and am a Girl Scout leader so I love mentoring and seeing people grow and achieve as much as they can,” she says.

Jody’s faith in the talent and value of others demonstrates a strength and confidence of vision. It encapsulates her leadership, sharp intelligence, strength, humanity, and kindness. Jody has a willingness to trust the creative potential she sees in others.

That trust in others is a big part of Jody’s leadership style, but it doesn’t keep her from being fully engaged throughout a project. Her leadership approach is both hands on and trusting of her teams’ potential contributions.

She always looks to build team camaraderie outside of the work they do, finding unique and fun “field trips” for her team and holding special and creative team events for various holidays and important events.

“I try to inspire people by example,” she says. “Handling multiple projects and brands through fun and hard work. I will always work, brainstorm, and provide critiques to the team. And I guide through humor, creativity, and navigating problems directly.” (PV)


Entertaining. Expressive.
Winning Combination: Creative Mentor

Chet Moss
Title: Chief Creative Officer
Company: QBFox Healthcomm
Industry Awards: MedAdNews, Manny Awards, MM&M Awards, The Global Awards, Clio Awards, RxClub Highlights: #convincemetovax Grand Prize Winner; Manny Best Philanthropic Award, RxClub OTC Gold
Company Awards: Agency of The Year, Category 1, MM&M Awards (ICC Lowe); Agency of The Year, Category 1, MedAdNews Manny Awards (ICC Lowe); multiple awards for best pharmaceutical campaign, philanthropic campaign, launch campaign, visual aid, etc.
Community Awards: New Orleans Outreach: community promotion
Associations: Frederick Douglass Council; New York Historical Society; Ivy League Health and Wellness Network; Daily Pennsylvanian Alumni in Business; Pollinator-Pathway.org
Twitter: @douglassmusical

Chet Moss is good at what he does, and he comes by it naturally. His parents were prodigiously creative. His father was an art director and writer; his mother a painter and designer. When he was 4 months old, his dad gave him a set of markers, setting him up for a lifetime of constant doodling. In high school, he drew elaborate designs on a pair of jeans, and his mother suggested he use them as part of his portfolio for college. Chet says the best advice he ever received was from his parents: “Don’t erase all your pencil lines: they’re the basis of great work.”

And great work is what Chet brings to his role as chief creative officer at QBFox Healthcomm, a company that he named and branded. He joined former ICC Lowe colleagues Steve Viviano and Stacy Patterson as a partner.

Chet named the new agency QBFox Healthcomm after the phrase, “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” The agency’s first client launch was a success, and it has been smooth-sailing ever since. Just one year after opening their doors as a full-service healthcare agency, QBFox is expected to double in size and move to larger digs.

QBFox was named an “agency to watch” in 2018 based on the fact that the three former powerhouse colleagues were back under the same agency roof. To that point, in May, the agency won the Grand Prize in the recent MM&M #convincemetovax contest, based on the strength of Chet’s “A Call to Arms” entry.

Chet says developing this campaign, which was designed to increase awareness about the positive individual and societal impact of vaccinations, was one of his biggest career highlights to date.

While at ICC Lowe, Chet won creative accolades from a number of industry publications, including MedAdNews, MM&M, and PharmaTimes. And if the list of awards is not enough of a testament to his talent, colleagues rave about his inspired leadership and his mentoring style. They say Chet is honest, thoughtful, and working with him means learning from him. They add he is an award winner because he pushes the envelope for newer and better ways to tell a story.

“I inspire others by encouraging their greatness, by respecting their wildest ideas and deepest concerns, and by sharing big ideas from disparate disciplines,” he says. “I believe that everything is personal. The more I know about who I work with and where their ideas come from, the more I can create a lively, stimulating environment where people want to contribute and be part of something very special.”

His willingness to share and the ability to communicate his knowledge in fresh and exciting ways is what makes him a great leader. Plus, he comes from three generations of comedic entertainers and for Chet, humor is a big force behind connecting with people.

On both the consumer and healthcare side, he’s worked with — and mentored — several of the top creative names in the communications industry, all of whom are better for having worked with Chet.

Colleagues say Chet is a rare breed, someone who is just as dedicated to the development of people as he is to the perfection of the product. “Ideas don’t stop with a nice comp,” Chet says. “They require flawless execution, which requires constant examination of how to produce something as smartly, as expertly, and as inventively as possible. So I look for progressive techniques and creators to get the raw idea to customers in unexpected ways.” (PV)


Motivated. Inspired.
A North Star of Creativity

Bonnie Overton
Title: Group Associate Creative Director
Company: MicroMass Communications Inc.
Industry Awards: 2019 DTC National Advertising Awards Silver, Best Disease Education Digital or Social Media, Atopic Dermatitis, Insider: Teen Story Podcasts; 2018 DTC National Advertising Awards Silver, Best Disease Education, Atopic Dermatitis; 2018 Digital Health Awards Gold, Web-Based Digital Health Portal, Physician, Clinician, Lexicon Stripes Pharma Choice Awards; Gold, Consumer Website, Asthma Insider PM360 Elite Awards; Winner, Patient Marketing Team, Dupixent
Company Awards: Learn to Fly Award; Innovator Award
Associations: Very Creative People, Triangle AdFed, Raleigh AIGA

According to colleagues, Group Associate Creative Director Bonnie Overton is the North Star at MicroMass Communications. And Bonnie — although modestly — accepts the role.

“Titles like this can make a girl blush, but they also keep me motivated to continue to lead and motivate others,” she says. “Rarely is there a challenge that feels impossible and I’ve encountered quite a few.” In her more than 25-year career Bonnie has worked on campaigns for dozens of therapeutic categories and for just as many clients.

Bonnie empowers, motivates, and inspires, and, in the words of her colleagues, they follow. Even when work gets challenging, Bonnie is always positive. She provides her team with all of the resources and support they need to achieve their objective and own the solution.

“I push everyone to be their best self and their most creative self, even when there’s a hurdle or a challenge,” she says. “I encourage my team because I know they can accomplish anything with the right attitude and mindset. Every day, I am all in. I show up with confidence and conviction — ready to get everyone excited about what is possible in their work and in themselves.”

Bonnie guides multi-disciplinary teams to focus on a common goal: the execution of creative solutions that are effective and surprising to clients. Bonnie believes that good ideas can become great when people challenge each other to go further. She inspires her team to go against the grain and ask questions that help them focus: Is this the best way? Why does it matter? What if? How does this truly impact the patient?

Innovation is not an end goal for Bonnie; it’s just her way. She encourages her team and her clients to go beyond expectations and make an impact.

A behavior-change approach is central to Bonnie’s creative ideation and the heart of her company, MicroMass.

The results are one-of-a-kind solutions that improve patient outcomes and help clients differentiate their brands.

An example is the KEY+YOU support program for patients prescribed Merck’s
Keytruda. Bonnie and her team challenged conventional thinking and developed a powerful whole patient experience to address both the clinical and psychosocial needs of patients. Now, KEY+YOU is generating a great deal of buzz in the pharma landscape. The program was recently shortlisted as a Most Valuable Patient Initiative finalist by eyeforpharma.

Bonnie says over and above winning awards, helping patients and hearing their feedback are the most rewarding parts of her job.

“I often talk to patients on our accounts and we learn what we’ve done that works,” Bonnie says. “Maybe we helped a patient to cope better, to get through a difficult day, to set a goal, to talk to a family member, or to know how to plan out his or her day. Hearing feedback such as this fuels me, fills my cup, and makes me ready to do more. I love that our clients are doing more than just selling a product. They care about patients and all facets of their treatment. This sums up success pretty well to me.”

Bonnie is just as compassionate about her volunteer work. She is involved in VocaliD a project aimed at designing personalized synthetic voices so that people with speechlessness can develop a voice that fits their body and personality. The idea is to uplift others with the power of a collective voice. Bonnie is donating her voice — as is her whole family — to the
VocaliD voice bank.

She is also heavily involved in Girl Scouts, as well as running a reading program for the past six years at her daughters’ elementary school. (PV)

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