Roy Spence is Co-Founder and Chairman of GSD&M, a leading marketing communications and advertising company.
He is also Co-Founder and CEO of The Purpose Institute, a consulting firm that helps people and organizations discover and live their purpose. Along with Haley Rushing, Roy co-authored the Wall Street Journal bestselling book, “It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business is Driven by Purpose.” And, more recently he authored “The 10 Essential Hugs of life,” a collection of heartwarming reminders about the need for gratitude, love and goodness.
Under Roy’s leadership, his agency has helped grow some of the world’s most successful brands like “Don’t Mess with Texas,” Southwest Airlines, WalMart, DreamWorks, the PGA TOUR, BMW, the U.S. Air Force, L.L.Bean and the Clinton Foundation. Roy has been a trusted advisor to legendary leaders including Sam Walton and Southwest Airlines founder, Herb Kelleher. His counsel has also been sought by U.S. presidents and leaders in the State Department.
Roy has received a lifetime achievement award from the Austin Advertising Federation and was named Adman of the Century by Texas Monthly magazine. He was inducted into the McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame in 2012. Most recently, Roy was inducted into the American Advertising Federation (AAF)’s 67th Annual Advertising Hall of Fame®. The Advertising Hall of Fame recognizes the most accomplished and legendary figures in advertising, bringing together the industry to celebrate in one of the biggest nights in advertising. With this honor, Spence becomes the first inductee from Austin and the second-ever from Texas.
Roy is also a Gallup Senior Adviser working with their teams on global strategy and on the mission and purpose of the most important companies and institutions in the world. He is Gallup’s expert on Purpose. In addition, Roy is a marketing and communications advisor of the National Advisory Council for the Trust for the National Mall.
Roy’s passion is entrepreneurship. He deeply believes that entrepreneurship is the miracle of America. His mantra is “Don’t Do Mild” in work or life; follow your dreams, follow your passion, and follow your purpose.
Roy is a member of the board of directors of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation and the recently formed Markle Initiative for America’s Economic Future in a Networked World initiative. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin. Roy and his wife Mary have three children, Courtney, Ashley and Shay.
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