As you know, Gerry Graf is moving on to start a new creative venture. I want to join with you in thanking Gerry for his memorable work, and to wish him the very best for the future. When it’s farewell time we will be sure to have a toast with him to great times ahead.
We have moved quickly to appoint a successor, and I am excited to announce that Conway (Con) Williamson will be the new Chief Creative Officer of Saatchi & Saatchi New York. I asked Con to take the position because I believe he will be an inspirational creative and sisomo leader, a team builder and partner, and a new business winner. He has accepted because he says Saatchi & Saatchi has a belief system that runs deep, people who have compelling talent, and a brand that is iconic.
Over the last decade in New York Con has been with Fallon, JWT, his own agency Lodge212, and Euro/RSCG where he was most recently Chief Creative Officer, responsible for Dos Equis, Heineken, Jaguar (Global ECD), Kraft, Reckitt, and The Atlantic. In 2009 the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign won Cannes Titanium and Effie Gold. He led new business efforts which included wins on Heineken and the New York Stock Exchange, and podium finishes on UPS and Ikea. Con has also had creative responsibilities during his career on Jet Blue, Royal Caribbean, Cadbury, Macy’s, LL Bean and ESPN.
Prior to agency life, Con served in the US Army as a paratrooper and communications specialist stationed in Germany. He studied advertising at the University of South Carolina and the Creative Circus in Atlanta.
Of his working style, Con says “I love it vibrant and loud. I love making stuff and love to do it with smart people. I’m a big believer in the collective, which is where ideas come from. My approach to problem-solving is the big Italian family dinner where you get everyone around the table, it’s rowdy and chaotic, and you get all the ideas out on the table. Ideas come first, and great ideas can come from anyone. You can’t have a pre-conceived notion of what an idea looks like. You do have to be open for it and up for it.”
On moving to Saatchi & Saatchi, Con says “My family motto is “Luceo non Uro” – “I Shine not Burn” – and Saatchi & Saatchi has offered a big platform from which to lead people creatively and give them an inspired space in which to shine.”
There is a lot more of Con’s story to tell, but you will all have the opportunity soon enough to meet him. This transition calls for a resurgence of our collective energy, growth, and success. Prepare yourselves for an exuberant new era together at Saatchi & Saatchi New York!