Michael Girts

Michael Girts

Business Development Director at VSA Partners
United States

About me

This profile was created because Michael Girts has been referenced on AdForum.


Director of Business Development
Chicago, United States
June 2017 - Present (1 year 7 months)
Business Development Director
Chicago, United States
June 2008 - Present (10 years 7 months)
Michael worked to grow Leo Burnett through new business pitches, thought leadership initiatives and agency marketing programs. Recognized as one of the agency's best storytellers, he built pitch strategies, proposals, credentials presentations, case studies, pitch documents, RFI/RFP responses, press releases, award submissions and more as Pitch Lead on the Business Development and Growth Team.

Michael led pitch efforts for agency wins including UnitedHealthcare, RE/MAX, Pfizer, KraftHeinz, Marshalls, Brooks Running, ACH Foods and Invesco PowerShares.

As the Growth Team's most senior member, Michael oversaw all active pitches and was responsible for managing resources on pitch teams ranging from four to 10+ members.

Michael worked closely with the agency PR and communications team to build Leo Burnett's reputation. He also collaborated and consolidated efforts across all business units, including Arc (shopper marketing), DoD (the Department of Design), Personifi (CRM), Lapiz (multicultural), Greenhouse (production) and Farmhouse (innovation).

Michael created a proprietary prospect identification tool and helped roll out across Leo Burnett's global offices.

For three consecutive years, Michael ran Leo Burnett's intern pitch project. He oversaw 70+ interns and helps them develop campaigns for real life prospects, such as Ferrara Candy, KraftHeinz and Radio Flyer.

During the summer of 2010, Michael led a direct marketing campaign to bring LeBron James to the Chicago Bulls. The effort brought national attention to Leo Burnett when it was featured in the Chicago Tribune as well as on NBC, Fox, WGN and ESPN's Sportscenter. The campaign won Gold at the 2011 National ADDY Awards.
VP Business Development Director
Chicago, United States
July 2016 - June 2017 (11 months)
Michael led FCB Chicago's business development efforts. He arrived at FCB in July of 2016 and partnered with agency CMO to go on a Q4 pitch win streak that surpassed FCB Chicago's annual growth goal by 86%. Michael and his team won 60% of final pitches, including Allergan, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bud Light and Dunkin Donuts.

Michael's responsibilities included:
- Leading of all major new business initiatives, including development of pitch plan, strategy and story
- Partnering with agency strategists and creatives to see opportunities and craft persuasive, dynamic, pitch-winning stories
- Building a collaborative, positive culture of growth across all business units: FCB/RED (shopper marketing), Lord + Thomas (production), Print Studio, Data Analytics and Digital Delivery
- Managing FCB Chicago's five-member business development team
- Authoring agency RFIs, RFPs, case studies and credentials presentations
- Casting the pitch team and upping their presentation game
- Reinventing and restocking FCB Chicago's case study arsenal for 30+ existing clients
- Developing and maintaining relationships with agency search consultants, including Select Resources International, Joanne Davis Consulting, Pile & Company and Hasan + Co.
- Working closely with global CMO and his NY-based team on prospecting initiatives


MBA Marketing

2005 - 2007 (2 years)
Founded the Media and Entertainment Club; President of the Sports Business Group Consulted South Bend Community Schools Corp. on standards based math education Devised competitive strategy for Alliance for Catholic Education graduate service program Developed brand strategy for new home cleaning product launch

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Communications

2001 - 2005 (4 years)
Graduated magna cum laude with honors; recognized as Syracuse University Founder's Scholar

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Theater

2001 - 2005 (4 years)

Other professional activities

Creator and Producer

August 2012 - Present (6 years 5 months)
Michael created and produced Off-Broadway's first-ever app-enabled unscripted musical. Audience members use their cell phones to vote on the show's title, songs, score, choreography and more. Six actors use the results to improvise a complete musical comedy – creating what the New York Times calls "improbable, ridiculous harmony."

Workshop Facilitator, Teacher, Actor

February 2008 - Present (10 years 11 months)
Michael is a workshop facilitator for Second City Works, aiding in the design and execution of improvisation-based corporate training. His workshops focus on skills such as communication, active listening, team building, risk-taking, public speaking, storytelling and idea generation. Michael has run workshops for clients such as JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, Toshiba, Discover, Aflac, ConAgra, Northwestern University, State Farm, Pfizer, Dot Foods, Crown Packaging, Steelcase and more. Michael is a faculty member at the Second City Training Center, where he teaches improvisation and musical improvisation in adult and youth programs. Michael has performed and taught workshops for The Second City aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines. In the spring of 2010, Michael joined the cast of Rush Limbaugh! The Musical on Second City's e.t.c. stage. Later that year, Michael appeared as disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich in Second City's Rod Blagojevich Superstar.

Workshop Facilitator, Teacher, Actor

2009 - 2014 (5 years)
Michael worked with Laugh Out Loud's corporate entertainment and training division. He leads workshops designed to help corporate participants meet their goals using improvisational exercises and methods. Michael also taught Advanced Improvisation and Performance Level Improvisation in LOL's training center. Michael spent more than four years as a member of LOL's professional performance ensemble, performing live improvisational comedy at Laugh Out Loud Theater in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Visiting Lecturer

May 2007 - August 2007 (3 months)
Taught entrepreneurship to undergraduates; helped to develop curriculum

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