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Shawna Ross
Chief Strategy Officer, Chicago
Shawna Ross is the Chief Strategy Officer of mcgarrybowen’s Chicago officer, where she is a cultivator and passionate champion of big, culturally inspired ideas.

She loves building conviction-driven brand narratives that birth great work and smart acts. She is known for leading Clients, motivating cross-discipline teams, and fostering fun along the way. She takes great pride in the team of agency planners and ensuring they are growing and thriving.

Shawna began her career on the account side at Young & Rubicam Chicago where she worked on large national brands including Sears, Kraft and Jim Beam Brands. From there she moved to Chicago Creative Partnership where she leveraged her energy for strategy and consumer insights to build a planning department.

From there, Shawna joined Energy BBDO where she successfully led planning efforts across multiple Bayer Healthcare brands, Shedd Aquarium, and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Shawna joined mcgarrybowen in 2010 to lead the planning team on key Kraft brands. After influencing almost every major account in the agency, Shawna was promoted to Executive Director to oversee the strategic planning department in the Chicago office. She has led strategy for mcgarrybowen’s Kraft Heinz and Clorox accounts, helping to develop smart strategies and compelling work. She is also passionately involved with pro-bono clients, including Howard Brown Health.

Shawna’s experience and enthusiasm around activating brand behavior have landed her speaking engagements at Cannes, the ANA’s Masters of Marketing, and a regular guest lecturer at Northwestern’s Medill School of Communications. She also gives back to the industry as a member of the 4A’s Strategy Committee and as regular juror for the Effie awards.

Shawna prides herself in her ability to see the big picture, find the humanity, and to create great work. It’s a superpower that’s invaluable to our agency, and coveted by our clients.