We’re pleased to announce our first class of ThinkNW Marketing All-Stars. Chosen by the ThinkNW board and executive team, this program kicks off a tradition of recognizing the unique marketing talent that drives our industry and region forward.
We asked our honorees to share a bit about their work, lives and what the Pacific Northwest means to them.
Here’s what Chris Witherspoon, partner and CEO of DNA Seattle, had to say.
How long have you been in your current role?
I was recently named CEO, but was in a previous role for four years.
What do you value most in your work in this role, and what do you consider your biggest accomplishment in your current role?
What I value most in my current role is the ability to make a genuine connection with people. Whether within our agency, our clients, or the volunteer work I do around racial equity, I’m fortunate to foster and grow enduring relationships.
I’d say my most significant accomplishment, along with DNA, is the work we’ve done on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Over the last year, 100% of our hires were either BIPOC, women and/or those who identify as LGBTQ+. We set a goal as an organization, and we’re on a good path forward. There is no finish line or final accomplishment, but we’re being the change we want to see in our industry.
What do you like to do outside of your work?
I’m an avid sports fan. I love watching college and pro football, basketball, baseball—you name it. When I’m not watching, I’m either on the golf course trying to lower my handicap or watching my daughter play soccer.
Beyond my work in our industry around DEI, I’m also on the Seattle Sports Commission Board of Directors and the Foundation Board for Western Washington University. It’s my opportunity to give back to both the city and University I love.
What impact does the Pacific Northwest have on your work?
I’ve worked in other markets, and there’s something different about the Pacific Northwest. Most people here are looking for balance in life. They work hard, but they also want to give out and experience all the PNW offers: outdoors, food, arts & culture, etc.
I think this is important to a creative agency. The ability to get inspired and be creative can come from anywhere, and the PNW is fuel for this creativity. It’s why once someone moves here, they never want to move away.
How would you characterize the Pacific Northwest marketing/creative community? In your mind, what makes it unique?
I would describe the PNW marketing and creative community as diverse. The diversity of thought, experiences, and perspectives is what makes us unique. The mixture of cultures. The influence of technology. The innovation of companies. All of these play a significant role in what can be characterized as the PNW marketing community. There’s no other region like us.