Dear Classmates and Friends/Family of the Consuming Class of ’71,
In our May 2023 class zoom, Jane Gardner and Jim Heekin answered that question as well as:
1. Where did the California Raisins come from?
2. How do advertising firms actually make money?
3. How did Jane capture the Amazon account as young account manager?
4. How did Jim get the creative and business sides to work together at 3 huge Madison Ave. firms?
This session promised to be the perfect blend of entertainment and education. Jane and Jim’s impressive bios are below. So “Just Do It” and “Have it Your Way” with “All the News [ about advertising] that’s Fit to Print.”
If you missed it, you can watch the video.
Jane Gardner is a partner at Gardner Rodriguez, which helps social impact ventures plan strategically and tell their stories effectively. The Big Lift was a major recent initiative to help low-income kids in San Mateo County read proficiently by third grade, funded by The White House Social Innovation Fund.
Previously she had a 20-year career in advertising at Foote, Cone & Belding. An Executive Vice President, she developed successful marketing communications strategies for Amazon, Janus Mutual Funds, and Pacific Bell.
Jane served on the Board of Trustees at Williams College and San Francisco University High School, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors at Children Now, where she was Board Chair for 11 years. She also served on the Board of Directors of ARCS, an organization that provides financial awards to outstanding science graduate students, and is currently a member of the Stanford Graduate School of Education Advisory Council.
She holds a B.A. degree from Williams College and an M.B.A. degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her daughter, Sarah, earned a PhD in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz and teaches at Portland State University and UC Santa Cruz.
James R. Heekin III, the adman who steered Grey through its impressive turn-around stage over the past decade-plus is hanging up his spurs after a 45-year career effective today.
Heekin led Grey Group, as Chairman and CEO from 2007 until August of 2017 when he was succeeded in the CEO slot by Michael Houston. He then took on the role of Executive Chairman to help ensure a smooth transition. That hand-off nearly two years ago came on the 100th Anniversary of the agency.
Heekin has been in Adland’s big leagues for most his career having served in leadership roles at Havas Group’s Euro RSCG, McCann and JWT prior to joining Grey. The ad biz is something of a family tradition—his dad was an executive at Ogilvy and DDB and a son (Jim IV) is also in the business.
In a recent note to company employees, he recalled that when he joined the company “It was a big, good, slightly stodgy agency with blue-chip clients competitors would die for. But it needed a jump start.”