Jennifer Zimmerman: Global Chief Strategy Officer, mcgarrybowen

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My NativeAdVert: Popeye said it best: “I am what I am.”

Jennifer Zimmerman has a lot of things to think about. Things like clients, brands, marketing challenges, and consumers. Which is why she loves her daily commute on Metro-North. It gives her quality time to think about those very things, and as a result, the seeds of many of mcgarrybowen’s biggest ideas have taken root somewhere between Westport, Connecticut and Grand Central Station. As Global U.S. Chief Strategic Officer, Jennifer oversees the planning and strategy teams in mcgarrybowen’s offices around the world, and is responsible for the strategic thinking and product for all of our North American and global clients. In addition, Jennifer is charged with spearheading mcgarrybowen’s proprietary strategic process across our network and continues to serve as executive lead on some of our most important client partnerships. 

After joining mcgarrybowen in 2003, as employee number 8, she quickly became an integral part of the senior leadership team that has helped fuel our incredible growth and unprecedented success. The architect of the agency’;s masterbranding process, Jennifer has created a refreshingly unique and simple strategic philosophy designed to get to big, iconic ideas that have the power to transform client brands and businesses. A 25-year industry veteran, Jennifer spent a large part of her career at Y&R Advertising and Wunderman NY where she served as EVP, Director of Strategy. There, she oversaw strategic work for clients like AT&;T, American Express, Citibank, Merck, Sears, and Sony, among many others.

My Goal of the Day:  Resist the new plane movies and get stuff done on this flight.

My Thought of the Day:  We’re seeing a shift in how people view wealth.  People once lived FOR money; now people live THROUGH money. 

My Action of the Day: Productive meetings with mb San Francisco   

My Deed of the Day:  Call my mother.  Every day.

My Tip of the Day:  There’s nothing more annoying than a backseat driver.  If you want to drive, then shut up and drive.

My Pic of the Day: Speaking at Cannes

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A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City? The best part of NYC is the people.  I love that everyone is hard and tough and selfish until someone needs help—and then the city lets its guard down and shows how good and kind it can be. Always reminds me that—sometimes, despite appearances --people are fundamentally good.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

A free banana and blueberry Nutrigrain bar, courtesy of my employer.  Thanks, mcgarrybowen. 

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Driving into the city from Westport CT.  New life-changing Sirius station:  Pop Rocks.  Record for number of times I’ve gotten and received the finger on one commute:  5

10:00 AM – On a good day, in a creative review.  On a bad day, on a conference call.  Almost always in a meeting.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?   

Americano Hotel.  Outside patio on a summer day.  Kale salad, side of French fries and a Chardonnay.  It really confused the waiter the first time, but now they’re used to it.  Everything in moderation.

7:00 PM - Glass of wine in my hand, either home with my hubby, or somewhere with one of my work spouses.

11:00 PM – nighty night

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Coffee and vino.  Probably too many of each.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Waze, although it’s not as good as it used to be.  And I stalk my kids on Instagram.  They hate it, but whatever.

What should everyone try at least once?

Ballroom dancing.  We did a mcgarrybowen version of ‘dancing with the stars’ one holiday party.  I was paired with a professional dancer/choreographer.  Practiced my butt off.  Was one of the most adrenaline producing and utterly joyful moments I’ve had in a long time.  And I won the mirror ball trophy ☺

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