As CEO of Havas New York, Laura Maness leads the North American flagship agency of Havas Group, driving a culture of creativity and innovation and creating deeper meaning for some of the most recognized companies in the world including ADP, TD Ameritrade, Barnes & Noble, IBM, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Reckitt, BNY Mellon and Rite Aid.
Laura also oversees Havas-owned, Annex88, a modern content-led group of creators designed to help brands like Adidas, Hyatt, Hugo Boss, Courvoisier, L’Oréal, and Treasury Wine Estates.
Since 2016, Laura has been a catalyst for Havas’ growth, earning the agency Digiday’s Most innovative Culture and Ad Age’s Best Places to Work in 2019 and 2021 and shortlisted for Campaign US Agency Network of the Year. She was recently named a Working Mother of the Year by She Runs It, Campaign US Female Frontier honoree for Championing Change, Creativepool’s Annual Top Influencer of the Year and Digiday’s ‘Top Boss’ for Worklife. By boldly breaking the traditions of advertising, Laura is raising consciousness and as the first major U.S. agency to become a certified B Corp, she’s committed to making a meaningful difference by placing equal balance on people, planet and profit and using business as a measurable force for good.
Prior to her role as CEO of Havas NY, Laura served as U.S. Chief Growth Officer for Havas Worldwide North America and Managing Director of Havas Chicago. Laura boasts over 20 years of strategic marketing and leadership experience at agencies like Propane Studio, IPG-owned FCB West across SF, Seattle and LA, WPP/Wunderman-owned Designkitchen (now Blast Radius), Black Dog Interactive and Publicis/Leo Burnett-owned Giant Step (now Arc Worldwide).
Laura ignites positive change as a Board Member of the world’s largest NGO for abandoned children (SOS Children’s Villages), private companies (Alembic and GNB), ad industry nonprofits (4A’s and ACT Responsible) and her alma mater (Loyola University Chicago, where she delivered the 2020 Commencement Address). Laura is a Village Global advisor to early-stage VC-backed companies, a founding member of Kindred and Chief, a Co-Chair of the 50/50 Women on Boards NYC Leadership Committee, and one of the first agency leaders to take 3% Conference’s Pledge for Pay Equity.
A recognized industry voice, Laura is taking action to create a more just and equal company and world. She has spoken at ANA, Adweek, Brand Innovators, CES, Digiday, Time’s Up/Advertising, S.H.E Summit, USACE, Women In Retail Leadership Circle, Mirren, Allyship & Action, HBR and more.
Passionate about giving back, building community and helping others grow, Laura is also the founder of This Is Wholehearted—completely and sincerely devoted, determined and enthusiastic consulting, advising and investing in ideas designed to make the world better.