Y&R NY's new Chief Creative Officer Leslie Sims started at the agency this month. The ex-McCann executive creative director will now oversee creative for clients including Land Rover, Dell, Campbell Soup Co., Xerox, Special Olympics and Partnership for a Healthier America.
Though she's handling all of this creative responsibility, it seems Ms. Sims could have pursued quite a few other professions. She shared a few of them with us for this edition of "Six Things."
1. She could have been a (science) contender. Her ninth grade science fair project won third place in the state. She, falsely, claimed she'd trained sow -- also known as roly-poly -- bugs to consistently turn right in a maze using lights and temperature variations. "It was my first recognized creative writing piece," she said. To be fair, these were pre-internet and, apparently, pre-fact-checking days. She realized she was out of her depth upon hearing about the guy who won the Westinghouse scholarship with a robotic arm that could detect chlorophyll in outer space.
2. Her maternal grandfather, Harold Welch, was on the team behind the Chrysler Hemi engine. He was chief engineer of vehicle planning at Chrysler until 1974. Still, "he was the most humble man," said Ms. Sims. "He never ever spoke about his job, he just channeled it all into how proud he was of us."
3. The first song she ever paid for was Randy Newman's "Short People." She was in the fourth grade, it was a vinyl 45 and she'd saved up her babysitting money. "That someone trusted a 9-year-old to babysit their kid both terrifies me and makes me miss the '70s," she said.
4. She quit her advertising job to work on a guest ranch in Wyoming. That first gig didn't work out, so she nailed a phone interview to mow the golf course at A Bar A Ranch, slaughtered the first three greens and was moved to ranch hand before eventually making her way up to dining room staff. It was just for a summer and she used the time to settle on moving to New York to give adland another shot. "It was fantastic. I recommend it to everyone," she said.
5. Fun fact: her birthday was the 15th anniversary of Bob Dylan's Bar Mitzvah. Okay, maybe not so fun. "It was such a slow news day and I couldn't have been more cookie-cutter-living-in-suburbia," she said. To this day, people wish her a happy Bob Dylan's Bar Mitzvah
6. She ran the 100th anniversary Boston Marathon on a dare. Her best friend Brian didn't want to run it alone and played on how susceptible she is to being dared to do "stuff he thinks I don't want to do." Turns out it's one of the harder marathons. She learned this after falling behind a man smoking a cigar, a 14-person wedding party -- that stopped at the halfway point for the ceremony -- and a guy dressed as an 8-foot replica of the Wesleyan Chapel on Heartbreak Hill. Ms. Sims finished in 5 hours and 28 minutes, but takes comfort in being able to say "Well, I know that when I ran the Boston..."