During her long career at Ogilvy & Mather, Monna O'Brien has delighted in traveling to countries across the globe for shoots. In her new role of executive director of broadcast, she will take on more managerial responsibilities but will still be able to make the trips her job entails.
O'Brien, 47, formerly director of broadcast production, will now oversee a 20-person staff. (Previously, she oversaw seven employees.) She has been with the agency, here, since 1985; her first job was working on spots for the Chicago Tribune.
O'Brien replaces Ray Lyle, who will serve as a consultant with the agency as he makes a gradual transition to full retirement. She reports to Joe Sciarrotta, co-managing director and executive creative director.
"I've been fortunate to work with people like Ray and have a job where I can travel," O'Brien said.
O'Brien, who has a degree in business and TV production from Stevens College in Columbia, Mo., counts shoots in Hong Kong and Australia for former client Waste Management among the highlights of her career at Ogilvy. And she has savored these journeys despite occasional hassles, including bad weather in Sydney during one trip that forced her and the crew to fly back to the U.S. for one week before returning to production in Australia.
For O'Brien, travel remains an off-the-clock passion as well. She is planning a vacation to Africa and recently visited Antarctica with her parents. When she is not traveling, O'Brien said she relaxes at home with her two "gigantic" dogs.
Before joining Ogilvy as a producer, O'Brien was a producer at the former Bozell & Jacobs in Chicago. She also has worked at Marcus Advertising in Cleveland.
Ogilvy Chicago's clients include Kimberly-Clark and Sears, Roebuck and Co. —TANIA D. PANCZYK