Lor Gold, Direct

Chief Creative Officer, Draft, Chicago

Gold, 55, has not been a judge before and says he thinks the work that reaches his table—already filtered through a pre-Cannes jury process—will “be screened down to what’s really breakthrough stuff. That’s what I’m expecting, stuff that makes you scratch your head and say, ‘Where did that come from?'” Entries should include everything from direct mailings where “copywriting comes to the fore” to work that “borders on performance art,” he says.

Gold, who has never won a Lion, expects the judging to be laborious but spirited. “From what I understand, a lot of it happens behind the scenes,” he says. “The only thing I know is it is tedious.”

At Draft since 2001, Gold got his start in the early 1970s as a copywriter, doing scripts for then-fledgling FM radio (“When you traded a script for a joint.”) The father of five, Gold graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in English but found his first job playing the drums. It was 1971, and he was part of a swank combo in Las Vegas. “I’m sitting there in a pink Edwardian suit thinking, ‘I gotta make a change,’ ” he says.

He has spent much of his career at traditional agencies including four years, from 1987 to 1991, as president and CCO of DDB’s Denver office and a subsequent stint with the same titles at Jack Levy & Associates in Chicago. He has also worked at Frankel, a Chicago promotions shop, and with Euro RSCG Tatham as head of its Sales Machine retail unit.

—Trevor Jensen