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Chicago

CAF Honors Renetta McCann with Prestigious Silver Medal Award

Publicis Groupe’s industry veteran and DE&I champion was celebrated with a virtual, three-part Legacy & Leadership Series by the Chicago Advertising Federation.

“There are leaders who create families of leaders—even generations of leaders. When you think about the media industry, Renetta’s family of leaders is vast and wide,” said Andrew Swinand, CEO of Leo Burnett, at the 2020 Chicago Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Celebration. “Some of the strongest leaders of our industry were born from Renetta.”

Andrew Swinand kicks off the 2020 CAF Silver Medal Award Celebration as the official emcee.

This week, Renetta McCann, chief inclusion experience officer at Publicis Groupe, was honored with the Chicago Advertising Federation’s (CAF) 25th Silver Medal Award—one of the industry’s most illustrious achievements. To celebrate, the CAF orchestrated a special, three-part virtual event called the Legacy & Leadership series.

The series kicked off with a leadership roundtable featuring a discussion on today’s rapid changes viewed through the lens of the ongoing pandemic and focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. McCann was joined with other powerful industry players: Esther (E.T.) Franklin, president of global strategy, Cultural Fluency at Spark Foundry; and previous CAF Silver Medal Award honorees Kathy Ring, CEO, Starcom USA; and Carla Michelotti, president, Carla Michelotti, Inc. Together, the group provided advice for future generations and delivered inspiring call to actions to thought leaders in the field.

Renetta's roundtable.

After the roundtable, McCann was showered with bottomless toasts and inspiring stories from her colleagues, friends and family at the virtually hosted 2020 Chicago Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Celebration.

“If it weren’t for Renetta McCann, I wouldn’t be here today. Before Renetta knew me and so many of our Black colleagues, she knew what she could do. She introduced us to a career path we never knew existed,” said Corey Richardson, former VP, Cultural Learning & Insights at fluent360; and one of McCann’s former hires.

The award ceremony ended with a surprise tribute video from McCann’s closest colleagues, allies and family, and a speech from McCann herself.

“The one thing that’s been truly remarkable throughout my career is the people I’ve gotten to meet, work with, mentor and introduce to this industry,” explained McCann. “I am grateful for the community of people who made it possible for me to have the career I have.”

Renetta and Edna Uribe

To conclude the series, McCann hosted a coffee and chat, where she led an intimate discussion about Diversity and Inclusion, following your dreams, overcoming prejudice and embracing your identity with famous Univision reporter, Ilia Calderón. After a week of celebration and looking back on Renetta’s storied career, this candid conversation focused on how these women continue to pave the way for rising talent and future generations.

Renetta's coffee and chat.

Congratulations, Renetta!

About Renetta McCann Renetta McCann has been recognized as one of the leading innovators and most influential executives in the advertising, marketing, and media industries, with a reputation for not only building brands, but also the organizations and leadership to sustain them.

She began her career at Leo Burnett, and, after a long tenure, she became the CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group Worldwide. Under her leadership, client billings exceeded $26 billion, and the global workforce rose to over 6,000 people. Most recently, she served as the Chief Talent Officer for Leo Burnett, as well as at Publicis Communications N.A.

Among numerous achievement throughout her career, McCann has been a volunteer and contributor to many industry and civic organizations. Currently, she serves on the Executive Committee of the Chicago Community Trust, the Marketing Committee of the Robert and Ann Lurie Children’s Hospital, and the Legacy Giving Committee of the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago.

Lauded with various accolades for her excellence in the industry, McCann was named Ad Woman of the Year by CAF in 2002, and she received a Matrix Award in 2006 from NY Women in Communications. She has also appeared on the pages of Ad Age, Business Week and Chicago magazine. In 2014, the American Advertising Federation honored her with a Diversity Achievement Award for her contributions as an Industry Influential, and she was recently featured on Adweek’s list of “Inspiring Women Who Have Broken Down Advertising’s Most Persistent Barriers.”

McCann joins a number of other CAF Silver Medal Award recipients since 1983, including most recently Kathy Ring, Starcom USA; Fay Ferguson, Burrell Communications; Chris Boothe, Spark Foundry; Tony Weisman, Snap Point LLC; and David W. Selby, Schafer Condon Carter.