40 Under 40 2016: Jody Sunna

Deputy MD, Havas PR North America, 36

If Havas were giving out an award for the person most likely to run the world, Jody Sunna would run away with it. Promoted four times since joining Havas PR seven years ago, she’s now running both the New York office and the consumer marketing practice as deputy MD.

She’s "surefooted," always strategic, and steeped in every aspect of agency management, from finance to account handling to strategic marketing communications. She gleans learnings wherever she goes, says a peer, be it a foodie trade show or a donation drive at her daughter’s preschool, churning out smart, stealthy decisions to drive her agency and clients forward. With a New England work ethic and working-mom hustle, she’s known as the firm’s "number one can-do and go-to person."

"Jody is an organizer, motivator, and all-around PR professional whose enthusiasm and energy have contributed greatly to the success of Havas PR," says Ravi Sunnak, the agency’s EVP, corporate, executive branding and global.

After taking over consumer practice, she quadrupled it with the addition of Coty Fragrances and Godiva, among other clients. Most recently, she more than doubled the Ruby Rockets business while securing more than 61 million media impressions for it, along with an increase in Facebook followers of 661% in just five weeks. That work helped secure another client, Revelator Coffee. A savvy streamlining of the new-business process, executed by Sunna, has converted more pitches than ever for Havas.

Her drive and creativity are bringing in awards. And since she took the reins in New York City, the agency has won, or been named a finalist, for more than two dozen industry awards.

- After college, in the Midwest, she returned home to Vermont and kicked off her PR career with Kelliher Samets Volk. She then moved to Stanton Crenshaw Communications in New York.

- The ambitious but team-first exec was a competitive equestrian and figure skater in her youth.

- Her leadership on the 2015 #GivingTuesday PR campaign helped the charitable movement smash all previous records, raising $116.7 million in donations, from $45.7 million in 2014.

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