Pam Hamlin

Arnold Worldwide

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Photo: Anthony Shea
When Pam Hamlin was named president of Arnold Worldwide in 2006, it was three months after the Boston-based agency suffered one of the biggest blows in its history: the unexpected departure of its marquee Volkswagen account despite a nearly decade-long relationship.

But as she'd done so many times in the past, Ms. Hamlin -- a breast-cancer survivor -- put on a brave face and confronted the problem head-on.

Her triumph over the disease "has had a very significant effect on me in terms of my perspective, drive and confidence," says Ms. Hamlin, 43. "Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. ... I emerged from that whole experience as a much stronger person and somebody who could prioritize what was really important in life."

And to Ms. Hamlin, what's really important is the balance she's found between her two loves: family and career.

The mother of two -- Katie, 8, and Jack, 10 -- makes time to indulge in her passion for the outdoors, enjoying summer weekends on Cape Cod, as well as a commitment to healthy living as an avid skier and a runner in the Boston Marathon.

But visit her offices at Arnold, where she recently played host to a roving keg party, and it's not pictures of Ms. Hamlin's children that hang from this proud mother's walls. Rather, she has on display large gilded frames containing stills of the agency's best work and results charts for clients.

Practically custom-built for a career in advertising as the daughter of a Wall Street stockbroker father and interior-designer mother, Ms. Hamlin has been instrumental in turning the ship around at Arnold, colleagues say.

Havas-owned Arnold is back in the car business with Volvo, after being named global creative agency of record last year. Other major brands on Arnold's roster include ESPN, Brown-Forman Corp.'s Jack Daniel's, Ocean Spray Cranberries and the "Truth" anti-smoking campaign.

Ms. Hamlin joined Arnold 10 years ago from the now-defunct Rhode Island agency Leonard/Monahan. Before that, she worked for Boston shops HBM/Creamer and Ingalls, Quinn & Johnson, where she launched her career. All in all, Ms. Hamlin has been helping to market brands for nearly two decades.

"She climbed the ladder at Arnold over the last decade by inspiring people to reach high," says Arnold CEO Fran Kelly. "And in the process, she led us to important new-business wins, impressive work and, most importantly, results for our clients. She exemplifies Arnold at its best."
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