Tom Bernardin has seen plenty of change in the advertising and marketing industry over the past three decades, including the past 10 years at the helm of Leo Burnett Worldwide. But there has been at least one constant: his overarching belief that creativity is the most important asset in business.
“Never has that been more true than today,” Tom says. “Creativity now commands the worldʼs attention, itʼs our cultural connective tissue — and it can give businesses the advantages they need in the marketplace.”
Since 2005, Tom has guided Leo Burnett to consistent year-on-year growth, and with his creative focus helped the agency become the second most-awarded creative network in the world. He led the most significant restructuring in the companyʼs history and played a key role in bringing HumanKind, our creative and strategic philosophy, to life.
Overseeing the evolution of leadership brands has been a trademark of Tomʼs success over the past 30-plus years. Throughout his tenure, Tom has fostered a culture committed to understanding human behavior and clientsʼ businesses. Today, his relentless focus on building strong cross-disciplinary teams inspires Burnetters throughout the network on world-class clients such as Philip Morris, P&G, Kelloggʼs and Coca-Cola.
“For 80 years, Leo Burnett has laid claim to many of the worldʼs strongest creative ideas,” Tom says. “My job is to ensure that we never think weʼve ʻarrived,ʼ that we keep reinventing ourselves and, in todayʼs world, that we all know there is no time to rest.”
Outside of the agency, Tom devotes his time and energy to several Chicago-based and national institutions.