43. Melissa Waggener Zorkin, WE

The independent firm's CEO and founder steered her company to year-over-year gains that any agency would be thrilled with.

Melissa Waggener Zorkin has been a busy woman over the past year or so, and the changes at WE reflect that. In 2018, the firm bought a majority stake in Avian Media, India’s second-largest independent agency. Then, in early January of this year, the firm acquired content marketing agency Codeword.

Later that same month, WE promoted Kass Sells to global COO and president, international, and Dawn Beauparlant to North American president. At the same time, the firm said goodbye to international president Alan VanderMolen.

The changes have paid off. The firm was ranked 21st in the latest PRWeek Agency Business Report and listed a 15% increase in revenue for 2018. Zorkin was pleased organic growth made up 7.7% of that.

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