Leeann Leahy came to The Via Agency as president in December from Translation, New York, to help CEO John Coleman take the Portland, Maine, hotshop up a notch further by improving creative and client service.
She arrived just as Via won its biggest client yet, Sam's Club, which meant adding about 20 new staffers, bringing the total to 117. Via also recently added Republic Wireless, a value-oriented provider, and launched efforts for Perdue Farms and Unilever's Klondike.
She describes Via's clients as "huge brands with complicated issues," but she's had experience with that, working on Bud Light at Translation and running the worldwide Johnson & Johnson business at Lowe.
If new hires are gunning for her job, she's happy. Among the best advice she ever got: "Don't be afraid to hire your replacement, because that's how you get the best people and it encourages you to go to the next level."
Sons 13 and 7, daughter 10
What was your first job?
Child actress (at 6 months, in Ivory Snow commercials)