Creative agency Swift starts the new year with a renewed mission to deliver best-in-class creative and an evolved leadership team to put Swift on the best path toward achieving its long-term goals. The executive leadership changes are key to guiding the agency’s strategic priorities:
Meredith Chase is promoted to Chief Strategy Officer, bringing deep strategic thinking and rigor to help map Swift's long-term future. Chase joined Swift in 2015 as VP of Strategic Planning.
Marni Beardsley joins as Chief Production Officer, to oversee studio and operational production across all projects. Beardsley comes to Swift after a 25-year run at Wieden+Kennedy, where she most recently was Director of Integrated Art/Content Production, supporting the global Wieden+Kennedy network.
These moves reinforce Swift’s imperative to deliver smart, resonant work that leverages its talents in data science, strategic planning and creative.
Meredith Chase, Chief Strategy Officer
In the new position of Chief Strategy Officer, Meredith Chase will be integral in uncovering new ways for Swift to land those big ideas and make groundbreaking work. In partnership with Swift CEO Liz Valentine, Chase will craft a long-term vision for the agency and advance Swift’s business priorities. She will identify untapped potential within the agency and help determine where to invest, partner and build new capabilities.
Extensive experience on both the agency and brand side have prepared Chase well for the role of Chief Strategy Officer. Since joining Swift more than three years ago, Chase has built a world-class strategy team that originates smart integrated marketing solutions for clients and robust inspiration for creatives; and led intensive primary research projects to inform brand and business strategy for Swift’s roster of global brands.
Previously, Chase was founder and principal of the strategic marketing firm Guidance Counsel, which partnered with Under Armour to help reposition its women’s business and developed the strategy that drove the company’s most successful campaign of all time: “I Will What I Want.” Regarded as one of the most outstanding brand campaigns of 2014, “I Will What I Want” won the Jay Chiat Grand Prix for Strategic Excellence, 11 Cannes Lions including Cyber Grand Prix, Effie Gold, four One Show Golds and 2014 Marketer of the Year.
“My background has given me a firm understanding of different agency models and the challenges both clients and agencies face in the rapidly changing world of marketing,” Chase says. “I’m optimistic about our future and I am thrilled to develop a strategic plan that charts the course for Swift’s next phase of growth.”
Chase will continue to lead on business development efforts and direct large primary research projects that help Swift’s clients stay on the leading edge of consumer behaviors in social.
Marni Beardsley, Chief Production Officer
Taking on the newly created role of Chief Production Officer, Marni Beardsley brings to Swift deep expertise in overseeing a full spectrum of content, experiential and event productions. She will provide vision, leadership and management for Swift’s Production and Studio teams, helping further Swift’s mission to deliver best-in-class creative.
Beardsley spent 25 years at Wieden+Kennedy, where for the last 17 years she lead the agency’s world-class integrated art production team. While there, she was instrumental in transforming the range of studio expertise from a focus on still photography and illustration to an expanded skill set that included film, animation, events, experiential and activations. Her client list at W+K included Nike, Shiseido, Target, Levi’s, Samsung, Verizon, Coca-Cola, P&G, Chrysler/Fiat and Delta Airlines, among others.
Beardsley cites Swift CEO & Co-founder Liz Valentine’s vision, and her approach to fostering an agency culture rooted in empathy and collaboration, as key reasons for joining the team. A fierce advocate of mentoring and empowering talent, Beardsley prides herself on championing an inclusive, inspiring environment where people can do their best work.
“I look at my entire business approach through a lens of diversity. I’m committed to bringing in outside voices and perspectives, to ensure representation is honored and incorporated into the agency and the work we create,” Beardsley says. “Above all, I’m here to listen. No one wants to be told what to do. What I want is to bring in some fresh fire, to stoke up people’s excitement and engagement.”
Beyond the award-winning work she’s overseen for the past two decades, Beardsley is a direct conduit to an international creative community, having forged long-standing relationships with world renowned artists, photographers and directors. Her passion and expertise help position Swift to hone and expand their offerings for a wide range of client work.
“I see a big part of my role as being a protector of high-quality visuals, no matter what medium they take,” Beardsley says. “I’m excited to collaborate with the Swift studio and creative teams, to keep building on the amazing work and culture they’ve created, and to help push it to new heights.”