Lisa Donohue and her clients have experienced great success during her 20 years in the media agency business, simply because it’s always been her strategy to make it so. Now as CEO of Chicago-based Starcom – as of June 2009 – Donohue’s formidable strategic talent empowers her company to meet and exceed challenges on behalf of some of the country’s mightiest marketers, connecting them with their desired audiences through thoughtful media relationships and inspired communications models.

Prior to tackling the top job at Starcom, Donohue served as President, Truth & Design Group at Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) sister agency MediaVest. In this strategic planning-centric role, she was charged with ensuring that all consumer contact disciplines work together, synchronizing message and media across communications channels. It was Donohue’s re-imagination and overhaul of planning that yielded Truth & Design’s revolutionary methodology – transforming the historically linear process into an ideas-based approach that best unearths insights and connects brands with consumers through proprietary tools and approaches. A member of the MediaVest Executive Team, Donohue also oversaw the agency’s digital practice, as well as its Sight, Sound and Motion unit – which is the agency’s P&G-dedicated investment group. She also led the agency’s product development team, helping MediaVest garner 25 award winners and finalists in her last 12 months there – including Emmy, EFFIE, Creative Media Award, Adweek BUZZ and Reggies accolades. A proven champion for talent development, Donohue helped create and sponsor MediaVest’s Impact Circle, an innovative next-generation initiative designed to leverage talent in new ways and activate future agency leadership. Since launching her career in 1987, Donohue has exhibited strong strategic media thinking on a variety of accounts including Kellogg’s, General Motors, Miller, NYSE, Samsonite and Sony. Prior to her time at MediaVest, Donohue started her career at Starcom, working her way up to EVP/managing director on accounts including Morgan Stanley, Discover Card, Nintendo and Philip Morris Corporate.

Donohue is also a vital contributor to the global SMG network, active in its Leadership Board and its Global Product Committee. Further, she’s a board member for SMG Exchange (SMGX), the network’s initiative to better steward market intelligence, digital acceleration and client ad spend across its American agencies. In 2006, Advertising Age recognized Donohue as a “Women to Watch” in the advertising and marketing industry. Additionally, she has participated as an active member in AWNY, the Advertising Women of New York. Her other career accolades include: the Chicago Magazine Association’s prestigious Bill Harmon Award for creatively and aggressively leading the print media industry; two Mediaweek “Plan of the Year” honors (1995, 2001); and two Cannes Media Lion victories (2001) for work on Nintendo.

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