Tricia Ewald: 40 Under 40 2015

EVP, Olson Engage

Tricia Ewald’s meteoric rise to an agency EVP is marked by award-winning work for top consumer brands and a whole lot of praise from bosses and direct reports alike.

"Tricia’s leadership has been a critical part of building our business and growing our leaders from within that business," says Olson Engage president Bryan Specht.

"She constantly challenges herself and our people to grow and ensures they are in a position to succeed."

Ewald joined Chicago-based Olson when it acquired scrappy boutique Dig Communications and along with it a Windy City prize: Wrigley.

The account consisted of project work for just two brands when Dig tasked her as a recently joined SAE with growing it. She delivered. Wrigley named Olson as its AOR two years later and the work has expanded to the confectioner’s entire brand portfolio, including Skittles, Orbit, Life Savers, and Juicy Fruit, along with internal communications, corporate affairs, and crisis and issues. It is now one of the firm’s two largest accounts.

"Tricia is one of the smartest people I have ever worked with," explains Caroline Sherman, senior manager of US external affairs, Wrigley. "She is strategically minded, has an invaluable gut instinct, and offers a holistic perspective that I and our business’ senior leaders rely on. With her input and collaboration, we have created and launched better, more effective programs that have an impact on our business."

Ewald also led the wildly successful 2015 Skittles Super Bowl campaign, which featured Seattle Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch, a well-known Skittles fanatic. That effort drew notice everywhere from USA Today to Saturday Night Live to the Super Bowl game broadcast.

Ewald began her career at Golin, where she worked for several years on one of the agency’s most storied brands: McDonald’s.

At one point, the fast food company embedded her in an in-house role. A savvy account leader known for her creativity, Ewald fully embraces the integrated mindset. Olson tapped her to lead an advertising campaign for Whole Foods and a digital video effort for Sears.

Just last year, Olson put Ewald in charge of account management across the agency as an SVP. She was promoted again this year to her current role.

- A well-liked mentor, it’s not uncommon to hear "What would Tricia do?" in the halls of the firm, says a colleague

- She holds a BA from the University of Dayton, where she majored in political science and communications

- In her spare time, Ewald likes to get her hands dirty refurbishing tables and chairs. And she often mines local farmer’s markets for fruits and vegetables for canning

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