Chairman, swirl mcgarrybowen San Francisco
John believes strongly that an agency can, and should, be comprised of people who were both extraordinarily talented and genuinely compassionate. You might hear him say, “we are, after all, in the business of serving”. It's a notion that's remained with him from his days as an Assistant Account Executive to his current role as President.
Before joining the mcgarrybowen team, John held the Co-CEO and President title at Swirl. During his tenure, Swirl grew to become the largest independent agency in San Francisco. The agency's explosive growth and prosperity caught the attention of mcgarrybowen and led to its acquisition. Prior to joining swirl, John held CEO positions at venerable agencies including: DDB, EURO RSCG, TAXI and Y&R. Helping clients achieve their business goals, transforming agency capabilities and high levels of employee satisfaction characterize his time leading those agencies.
John got his start in the DDB New York account management training program. Soon after, Omnicom was formed, and he saw an opportunity to move over to sister agency BBDO, where he stayed for 13 years. At BBDO, he ultimately became an EVP and at his board inception, the youngest director in the company's then 100-year history. John has deep experience in the package goods, retail, fast food, automotive, beverage and B2B categories. He has also led several large global accounts, feeding his frequent flyer account while learning to appreciate various cultural nuances.
Outside of work, John has chaired the board of the San Francisco Association YMCA for the past four years. It's an organization that touches 11,000 of the neediest children in San Francisco every day and is deeply committed to social justice. John and his wife Carol are avid skiers and cyclists and are empty-nesters as their daughter Annika enjoys life at the University of Colorado in Boulder.