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DDB Chicago
Office Employees201-500
Total US500+
Total Worldwide500+
Discretionary Comments:
Account Services: 20% Creative: 20% Digital: 20% Production: 20% Public Relations: 0% Strategy, Planning, Research and Analytics: 15% Direct and CRM: 2% Media Planning/Buying: 0% Other (Operations/Administration): 3%
Paul Gunning, President/CEO, DDB Chicago
Paul Gunning, a 13-year veteran of DDB Worldwide, is President & CEO of DDB Chicago, where he leads a staff of nearly 400 integrated advertising specialists. The agency prides itself on long-term client partnerships, innovative award-winning work and building deeper consumer connections to brands such as Capital One, McDonald’s, State Farm, and Mars, Inc.

Prior to assuming the DDB Chicago role, Paul served as DDB Worldwide’s Chief Digital Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Tribal Worldwide since 2008. As CEO of Tribal Worldwide, he headed a global network of over 60 offices and was very hands on with senior clients helping to guide them in the changing dynamics of the digital world. As Chief Digital Officer for DDB, Paul helped the agency expand its services and incorporate digital skills sets into DDB offices. In both roles, he maintained senior-level relationships with the Internet’s most powerful brands including Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Apple, and more.

Paul is an experienced and sought after speaker with a notable presence at international advertising, mobile and social media conferences and often quoted as a digital expert in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Businessweek. In 2012, Business Insider named him one of the top 20 most important people in Mobile Advertising. Additionally, he was a member of the first-ever, Mobile Jury at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. In 2009, Paul was featured on the cover of Advertising Age when Tribal Worldwide was named to the Top 10 Global A-List. That same year, he was celebrated in Crain’s Business "40 Under 40" issue.

Before joining Tribal, Paul held a variety of positions at interactive advertising agencies, hi-tech merchandising companies and promotions agencies. In addition to his professional experience, Paul earned an MBA in Marketing from DePaul University in 1999.
John Kottmann, Chief Strategy Officer
John joins the agency from Ogilvy New York where he was Senior Partner, Managing Director of New Business, working on new business and key clients including American Express and Gap.

Prior to joining Ogilvy, John was EVP, Chief Strategy Officer for McCann where he co-managed a group of 40 planners and was best known as the global planning head for the award-winning MasterCard “Priceless” campaign and winning the U.S. Army business – twice.

In addition to his strategic roles, throughout his career he has been instrumental on the new business front, contributing to wins such as Lowe’s, Marriott, Wendy’s, Burger King, Bacardi, Staples, Nasdaq, Applebee’s, Nikon, Major League Baseball, Smith Barney and more.
Mark Hansen, EVP, Director of Account Management
Prior to joining DDB, Hansen was at TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles where he led the day-to-day operation of the Visa account. Most recently he led Visa’s 2012 Global Olympics initiative, with the “Go World” campaign and “cheer” platform implemented in more than 70 countries. Prior to Visa, Mark led the Gatorade REPLAY campaign which was recognized by the most prestigious award shows including Effies, Cannes Lions, One Show, Clios, D&AD, Andy’s and was nominated for a sports Emmy.

Prior to joining TBWA, Mark was Sr. Partner, Group Management Director with JWT, where he led the Nestlé business.
Diane Jackson, SVP, Executive Director of Integrated Production
Diane Jackson is one of the top production executives in the U.S., responsible for broadcast, print, and digital production for leading, award-winning brands such as Mars Wrigley, McDonald’s, State Farm, and Capital One Bank. She is recognized for being decisive, passionate, and driven about both creativity and Italian footwear.

During her first stint at DDB from 2000 to 2003, Diane produced TalkValue work for Energizer, McDonald’s, Anheuser-Busch, JC Penney, and Exxon Mobil. Then, for four years, Diane worked at BBDO in Chicago as Head of Production.

In 2007, Diane was named Executive Director of Integrated Production at DDB Chicago, which represented a return to an agency and client brands that she loved. In this role, she has expanded the agency’s production department across multiple platforms and she also sits on the agency’s management committee. Diane is still an active producer and in 2010 she was the Executive Producer for the groundbreaking reality show Bud House that represented Budweiser’s integrated sponsorship of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. She was called upon to executive produce work for Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics and to produce two films for The Clinton Foundation’s ten-year anniversary celebration.

Diane has served twice on the AICP Curatorial Panel at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and has received the Institute Practitioner in Advertising (London) Distinction in Advertising.

A Brit by birth and in spirit, Diane graduated with honors from Brighton University with a BA in Library and Information Sciences, also majoring in Video and Film Production. She and her artist/musician husband, Michael, live in Chicago with their son, Spike, and daughter, Alfie.
Azher Ahmed, SVP, Director of Digital Operations
For over 14 years, Azher has spearheaded digital efforts revolving around marketing, community build, branding and promotion across dozens of big brands including Comcast, Tyson, Abbott Labs and Mars. Azher originally started out as a Creative Designer, and brings a good mix of creative thinking and usability to traditionally cut-and-dry technical approaches.

He has led development of award-winning mobile, web, experiential and social platforms for numerous top-tier clients. His experience also includes pioneering real-time web marketing optimization platforms for DeVry and Discover Card as well as e-commerce platforms for clients including Dell, Wells Fargo and AOL.

Azher is an online community enthusiast, and possesses deep knowledge and experience in building social applications such as blogs, discussion forums, wikis and online collaboration engines—applications that play a key role in online & guerilla marketing.
Valerie Bengoa, Chief Operations Officer
Valerie Bengoa is a strategically oriented finance and operations professional who has been part of the DDB team since 1998. During her career she occupied financial roles at Tribal DDB, Downtown Partners, Matrix and DDB Seattle. In March of 2008 she relocated from DDB’s Seattle office back to her hometown of Chicago – the city where it all began - to occupy the role of SVP, Chief Financial Officer at DDB’s flagship office. She's now added the position of Chief Operations Officer to her role at DDB Chicago.

Prior to her homecoming, Valerie acted as the primary architect in restructuring operations and process for DDB’s Seattle office. A member of the four person Executive Team, she was personally responsible for overseeing finance, human resources, information technology and office services. During her time in Seattle, the institution of new process resulted in efficiencies and increased profit margins. Additionally, she co-authored several original automated agency systems that streamlined workflow. Several of these programs are now being rolled out to the other DDB offices in the U.S.
Jamie McGarry, VP, Director of Business Development
Jamie is a business development professional leading the charge for new business at DDB Chicago. Previously Jamie was Director of Business Development at O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul, a creative start-up agency in Chicago, where she was responsible for building the agency’s roster by winning and onboarding clients including Big Lots, Orbitz and Turtle Wax. Prior to her role at OKRP, Jamie spent more than 10 years at FCB Chicago, where she moved up the ranks in business development and successfully led teams to win and retain some of the agency's most substantial clients.