40 Under 40 2019 | Abby Ryan

Abby Ryan is the embodiment of Dan Edelman’s famous adage that "every executive should be an account executive." As an EVP and group head of digital at Edelman, she is deeply involved in both engaging with clients and working directly with multiple teams across the agency. 

Since joining Edelman in 2006 as an intern, Ryan has continued to prove her mettle and worth. Today, she oversees a unit of 40 people in Atlanta, a team that has grown significantly under her leadership and is responsible for driving the transformation of paid, social, creative and analytics on behalf of the region’s client base. 

Her work for clients speaks for itself: Ryan spearheaded strategy for Zagg that won Edelman’s first performance marketing award, a recognition of her ability to integrate efforts between organic search engine optimization and paid search. More recently, she and her team overhauled Florida Department of Citrus’ digital marketing work, resulting in a 13-point uptick in sales and $300 million in additional revenue for the state of Florida. One client called her "the glue" of the team, while another described her as the "magician" behind the delivery of what they expect from a firm such as Edelman.

As agencies continue to navigate the evolving digital landscape, Ryan has positioned Edelman for success by building an in-house platform that connects creatives with real-time analytics and business performance metrics. For clients, who can shift strategies around content, social media and audience to maximize positive impact, this has been a game changer. In an industry constantly seeking ways to prove value, Ryan consistently knocks it out of the park. 

  • Ryan is a leader in Edelman’s GWEN initiative, which includes mentoring women across the office to help them advocate for their own success. 
  • She and her team at Edelman directly contributed to the agency’s pro-bono support of the One Orlando Alliance, which was created after the Pulse nightclub shooting. The initiative included building social platforms to connect disparate nonprofit groups with one another and helping expedite contributions and donations to those in need following the tragedy.
  • She is a member of the Lynwood Park Civic Association board, on which she advocates for safety and community improvements to help maintain the historic neighborhood.

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