Agency Head of the Year 2020: Lynn Lewis, UM

Lewis was recognized last year by Campaign US as the top Head of Agency/Media. In 2019, she had been promoted from running UM’s New York office to overseeing all U.S. operations and had overseen memorable campaigns and solid 15% growth. This year, Lewis faced a test to see whether she is as effective during difficult periods. The answer is clearly yes, helping secure her the title of this year’s outstanding Agency Head.  

After COVID-19 forced an abrupt transition to remote work, Lewis increased the number of town halls, agency-wide check-ins and other opportunities for staff to communicate their needs. Working with HR, Lewis created UM WFH Toolkits with best practices, tips and tricks. Regular well-being and sentiment surveys have allowed UM to monitor employees and bonus holidays, Better You Days and Better Breaks (daily 30-minute health breaks) have counteracted the impulse of some staffers to work all the time while working from home. 

Lewis had repeatedly expressed her commitment to diversity at UM and the events of last summer only increased her resolve. In 2020, her address to UM staff at a George Floyd Town Hall, the designation of Juneteenth as a company holiday and the establishment of a UM Cultural Resource Library and Safe Space sessions were just a few of many measures taken to assure that BIPOC employees can thrive at UM. 

Lewis’s leadership style built on candor, feedback and communication is to be commended in any climate. In a difficult year such as 2020, it proved key to UM’s success. 

Return to the Campaign US Agency of the Year 2020 landing page

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