As chief creative officer and managing partner at Omnicom Group's 180LA, William Gelner has steered standout work for clients like Expedia, Adidas, Sony, Mitsubishi and more. For example, many months before the history-making DOMA decision went down, the agency launched Expedia's moving viral hit "Find Your Understanding," which chronicled one father's journey to acceptance of his daughter's marriage--to another woman.
But outside of the agency world, Mr. Gelner has tucked a number of unique accomplishments under his belt, as you'll see in this week's installment of Six Things.
1) He lives in a trailer park. For the creative, home is a fancy revamped 1970's trailer in a well-known Malibu trailer park called "Paradise Cove'", where he resides with his wife, two daughters, two cats, three rabbits and a dog. Luckily, it's a triple wide.
2) About 14 years ago he discovered surfing was a great way to clear his head and recharge. He was living in New York, driving to Montauk every weekend in hopes of finding waves. Even in the winter. The coldest session was on his birthday one January when the water temp was 39 degrees. He moved to L.A. not long after.
3) He could have had a very unfortunate name. His mom, Joyce, is an avid Elvis fan and if he had been born two days earlier she would have named him after the music legend. Luckily he came later, his dad intervened and he got beat up a lot less in school.
4) He can roll his stomach like a belly dancer. Gross but true. He has been known to break this out at intimate gatherings and parties. (See below)
5) He ran track all through high school, pole vaulted, even went to state one year. But the whole time his right leg nagged him. Coaches thought it was shin splints. But he soon found out it was a tumor in the bone of his leg, which are usually cancerous. They operated immediately, cut it out and it was benign. And here he is, 20 years later.
6) One rule he likes to live his life by is, in any situation, he asks himself how lucky he feels at any given moment. Right now he feels very lucky.
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