Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism

Ray Gillette

Chicago, IL


IMC 636 - IMC Campaigns
Ray Gillette

Ray Gillette joined DDB Chicago in 1978 as an account executive and over the next 25 years he worked on many of DDB’s largest accounts, ranging from Anheuser-Busch, State Farm, Discover Card, Dell, General Mills, Dial and The Home Depot.  In addition, Gillette was a visionary in integrated marketing, bringing its benefits to DDB clients long before it became standard industry practice.  For his efforts, in 1996, he was named president of Beyond DDB, North America, DDB’s integrated marketing company and given the responsibility to grow the agency’s non traditional resources. In 2000, he was appointed president of DDB Chicago, DDB’s largest office.

In 2004, Gillette, with the support of DDB and its parent Omnicom, started Downtown Partners Chicago, an integrated marketing communications agency. Under his leadership, Downtown Partners, became the agency of record for a number of leading, brands: Walgreens, Northern Trust, Northwestern Mutual, Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau and the Kellogg School of Management.

On January 1, 2008, Gillette retired from Downtown Partners so that he could spend more time working with nonprofit organizations that benefit the disadvantaged.

Gillette serves on the Board of StreetWise – a newspaper for the homeless, Salvation Army’s Harbor Light, drug rehab facility and he is a member of the Advisory Board of West Virginia University’s P.I. Reed School of Journalism.  He also volunteers as an afterschool tutor and urban gardener at Chicago Mercy Housing. He has lectured on integrated marketing at Northwestern University, Thunderbird, the School of International Management, University of Michigan and West Virginia University.  In 2001, he was inducted into the West Virginia University Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

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