NEW YORK, USA // As the CEO of Havas New York, Laura Maness leads the North America flagship Creative agency of Havas Group, where she drives a culture of creativity and innovation, and creates deeper meaning for some of the most recognized companies in the world including 3M, TD Ameritrade, ADP, Barnes & Noble, IBM, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Reckitt Benckiser, conEdison and Rite Aid.
Since taking the helm in early 2016, Laura has been a catalyst for growth, steering an enterprise-wide turnaround and transformation of Havas New York that earned the agency Digiday's Most innovative Culture and Ad Age's 2019 Best Places to Work, while earning her clients recognition as Ad Age's CMO of the Year and Adweek's Women To Watch that same year. By boldly breaking the traditions of advertising to create deeper meaning on every level, Laura and the executive leadership team she built from the ground up have been collectively raising creative consciousness and cultivating people's personal passions to make a meaningful difference in the world.
An empathetic leadership approach coupled with impactful programming that consistently balances people, planet and profit has led to unprecedented growth and results for the agency—a greater than 70% win rate, 20-30% organic growth across existing business, a near 20% lift in employee engagement, a significant decrease in operating costs, an increase in employee retention (twice the industry norm), and an increase in overall performance and profitability. The agency ended 2019 on Campaign's US Agency Network of the Year shortlist.
Motivated to create meaningful change and committed to taking ongoing action to create a more just and equal company and world, in 2018 Laura championed and piloted the first Havas Femmes Forward program, a 6-month women's leadership accelerator designed to promote Havas women at a faster pace. The program, now spanning more than 30 countries around the world, has led to a 65% spike in promotions of women in one year.
Laura also formed a Women's Group that has sent over 100 Havas women through Fast Forward Group's workshop for high performance living, and gathers this sisterhood together frequently for 'whole life' workshops with inspiring leaders, authors and experts spanning a range of personal and professional development topics. As one of the first agencies to take the 3% Pledge for Pay Equity and one of the first agencies in the U.S. to commit to becoming a certified B Corp, Laura continues to take action on equality and sustainability and uses business as a force for good.
Prior to joining Havas New York, Laura served as U.S. Chief Growth Officer for Havas Worldwide North America and Managing Director of Havas Chicago. With over 20 years of strategic marketing and leadership experience ranging from digital pure-play agencies to globally integrated ad networks, Laura spearheaded growth resulting in three consecutive years of more than 35% revenue growth and a >300% increase in profitability all while becoming a first-time mom.
Before Havas, Laura was SVP and CMO of Propane Studio, one of the fastest growing independent digital agencies with offices in SF and NY. Prior to that, Laura led a period of explosive growth for IPG-owned FCB West across SF, Seattle and LA, and previously held management positions with Chicago-based digital shops including WPP/Wunderman-owned Designkitchen (now Blast Radius), Black Dog Interactive and Publicis-owned Giant Step (now Arc Worldwide).
Laura ignites meaningful change as a Board Member of the 4A's, ACT Responsible, GNB and Alembic. She's also a Village Global advisor to early stage VC-backed companies, a founding member of Chief, an executive mentor of SheRunsIt, Adweek and one of the first agency leaders to take 3% Conference's Pledge for Pay Equity. She's also an original signer and Steering Committee member of TIME'S UP/ADVERTISING, and a recognized industry voice speaking at CES, S.H.E Summit, USACE Women in Business, Allyship & Action and more.
A proud alum of Loyola University (where she delivered the 2020 Commencement Address) and Board Member, Laura was recently named a Working Mother of the Year by She Runs It, and named a Campaign US Female Frontier honoree for Championing Change.
Laura currently resides in the historic Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan with her husband and young son—her passions include SoulCycle, Pilates, yoga, lattes, pop-up shops and big, bold California reds.