Laura Maness is CEO of Havas New York’s flagship office. In this role, Laura is tasked with driving culture, talent and innovation, while servicing some of the most recognized companies and brands in the world including IBM, TD Ameritrade, Liberty Mutual Insurance, The Hershey Company, NetJets, Keurig Green Mountain, Heineken’s Dos Equis, Edible Arrangements, Dream Bed by Mattress Firm and more.
Since taking the helm in Spring of 2016, Laura has continued to transform the New York office through the acquisition of new talent (including an entirely new executive leadership team), new business, and championing the group’s unrivaled ‘Together’ strategy and Village model #ToBetterTogether. Leveraging competitive offerings in cognitive, performance media and data science to further fuel radical collaboration and rapid idea formulation, the agency is gaining greater visibility and positive momentum, evidenced by the return of RB’s iconic Air Wick and Clearasil brands to it roster (from Droga5), as well as an appointment to the Civic Nation’s Creative Alliance Board as one of the pioneering agencies tasked to create positive change amongst communities around the world. One of the first Creative Alliance initiatives included launching a new marketing campaign for the US Digital Service (a startup within the White House) with a familiar face: Steve Jobs. Consistent with Havas New York’s storied history of firsts, it’s the first marketing material to ever feature footage of the late Apple co-founder outside of the Cupertino company’s own advertising. 2016 also marks the year Havas New York delivered the industry’s very first cognitive marketing campaign (TD Ameritrade “Most Confident Fan”) that took advantage of IBM Watson’s computing power to determine the confidence level of football fans.
Prior to her role as CEO of Havas New York, Laura served as U.S. Chief Growth officer for Havas Worldwide North America and Managing Director of Havas Worldwide Chicago Group. With over 20 years of strategic marketing and leadership experience, ranging from digital pure-play agencies to globally integrated ad networks, Laura spent three years there spearheading new business development, organic agency growth and strategic brand building across Havas North America resulting in two consecutive years of more than 35% revenue growth and a >300% increase in profitability in Chicago, with new business wins that included Sears Holdings, DISH Network, RJR, Ragu, Bertolli and Moen, all while becoming a first-time mother.
Before Havas, Laura was SVP and chief marketing officer of Propane Studio, one of the fastest growing independent digital agencies with offices in San Francisco and New York. Prior to that, Laura oversaw a period of explosive growth for FCB West across their San Francisco, Seattle, and LA offices, and previously held management positions with Chicago-based digital shops including WPP/Wunderman-owned Designkitchen, Black Dog Interactive. She began her career as an early pioneer in the 90’s digital “pure play” era and worked on one of the first hybrid (traditional and digital) teams for Publicis/Leo Burnett’s interactive marketing arm, Giant Step (now Arc Worldwide), servicing the agency’s largest account at the time, General Motors/Oldsmobile.
Laura earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and marketing from Loyola University Chicago, and attended Hyper Island’s Master Class executive program. She enjoys providing industry guidance through her affiliations with the 4A’s and Mirren and championing women in leadership as a 3% Conference mentor, TedWomen supporter and committee member of She Runs It (formerly AWNY).
In her time away from the office, Laura currently resides with her husband and young son in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood and enjoys pilates, river walks, pop up shops and bold California reds.