Tony Cregler, 29

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It's not just anybody who can talk numbers to creative types.

But Tony Cregler is used to crossing over. Initially interested in finance, he ended up in marketing. Once in advertising, he migrated from the account side to planning, and from package foods to automobiles.

The 29-year-old senior brand planner at Havas' Arnold Worldwide, Boston, works on Volkswagen of America. He helped develop positioning on the Touareg SUV by identifying cultural contexts, economic factors and consumer wants. Mr. Cregler says his job lets him "keep a pulse on what is going on in the minds of consumers," which is vital so that "we don't end up talking to ourselves."

"He's brainy and creative at the same time," says Fran Kelly, president-chief operating officer.

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