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Collaboration Event - An OfficeMax Case Study

We can all agree that client happiness is the name of the marketing game. Getting there, however, is always a unique task. Pushing a project through from start to finish can be complex – and even more complex is the relationship between an agency and their client partners. Seasoned marketers have spent years in the throes of complicated projects and as young professionals, we look up to and learn from those who have paved the way.

Listen in as Kim Feil, Former EVP and Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at OfficeMax and her agency partner Carolyn Gerard, Principal of Gerard Agency discuss a typical project (if such an adjective can be used) from start to finish – fully engaging several departments and at least 2 companies. See how it takes a village for a project to begin, get approved and finally launch.


Kim Feil leads in transformations by identifying profitable consumer, channel and marketing directions to tap unrealized competitive advantage. 

She has been a retailer, general manager,  consultant and ecommerce leader in marketing, sales and strategy at OfficeMax, Walgreens, Sara Lee, Kimberly-Clark, Information Resources Inc, Cadbury Schweppes and Frito-Lay, giving her a unique 360-degree and multichannel perspective.

As EVP, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for OfficeMax, she led marketing and innovation growth strategies for this $6 billion multi-channel retailer as it merged with Office Depot in 2013, including the national launch of its new business Services platform. 

As the first Chief Marketing Officer for Walgreens, she created a new marketing center of excellence to position the company as a leading community health and daily living destination for the company’s six million daily customers, delivering new retail, pharmacy, health and cause-based growth programs.  The “Arm Yourself” flu campaign earned the 2011 Grand Reggie and recognition as the 2011 top global retailer campaign by Oracle World Congress. 

As President of Marketing for Information Resources, Inc., she directed the global innovation practice and launched the company’s ecommerce business,, leading multi-channel best practices as a consultant to manufacturers, retailers, trade associations and Wall Street analysts.  As CEO of IRI’s in-store merchandising venture, she launched new services to measure shoppers’ exposure to brands at the point of purchase.

She has been named a “Woman to Watch” by Ad Age, Crain’s Chicago Business, Consumer Goods & Technology and Diversity Journal magazines; dubbed a “futurist” by Fortune Magazine in its nomination of her to their 2011 “Executive Dream Team”; recognized by Advertising Women of New York in 2010 for “Changing the Game” and inducted into the In-Store Marketing Institute Hall of Fame.  She is president of the CMO Club Chicago chapter, serves on the Global Retail Marketing Association Advisory Board and is active in the American Heart Association Go Red for Women campaign and the Network of Executive Women.


Carolyn Gerard is one of the principals of Gerard, a strategic branding and marketing communications agency located in the Chicagoland area. Gerard specializes in print, interactive and environmental branding, and their “Brand. Market. Measure.” approach is being used by Fortune 500 companies as well as start-ups, including OfficeMax, Navistar, Juniper Networks, Itentive and Inverom. 

Carolyn has worked in the design industry since she was 16, co-founding Gerard at 19. Carolyn’s philosophy in life is “do what you love, and love what you do,” and it shows. Under her leadership, Gerard has assembled a team of strategists, creatives, marketing specialists and interactive gurus to help clients create powerful, integrated campaigns that deliver lasting results.

Carolyn was named one of the “25 Most Influential Women in Business” and received the Entrepreneurial Excellence Award for Growth by The Business Ledger. Under her direction, Gerard was named “One of the Best Places to Work in Illinois” and has been recognized as one of the Chicago area’s fastest-growing private companies by Inc. magazine in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012. In addition, Carolyn was recently profiled in a feature insert in Forbes magazine, which documents her company’s “do more with less” business philosophy and perspectives on client success. 


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