JMU alumna is Virginia Business Person of the Year

JMU Headlines

Global advertising CEO Kristen Cavallo (’91) is the 2023 Virginia Business Person of the Year.

Kristen-Cavallo-VB-cover-310pxCavallo, chief executive of both the Richmond-based advertising firm The Martin Agency and the international marketing communications network MullenLowe Global, was recognized by Virginia Business for her leadership and successes as well as for championing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. She oversees nearly 5,000 employees across 20 offices in 13 countries, according to the publication.

The Martin Agency was named Ad Age’s 2023 Agency of the Year. Its clients include CarMax, DoorDash, Geico, Hanes, Old Navy, Royal Caribbean and UPS. Martin was also the creative force behind rapper Snoop Dogg’s recent “Go Smokeless” ad for Solo Stove fire pits.

In addition to Cavallo, Martin employs more than two dozen Dukes.

“JMU taught us to see our skills as ambidextrous and transferable, and not to depend on one or two muscles,” Cavallo said in an interview for earlier this year. “And that has been helpful in my professional life as problems come at you from all sides. Good leaders know how to ask the right questions, not just answer them. They think about how to set ambitious goals, not just measure against them.

“JMU taught us how to play ‘total football’ to quote Ted Lasso. And we are the better for it,” she said.

Cavallo’s son, Matt, is a 2019 JMU graduate.





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Published: Thursday, December 14, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2023

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