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Medill talentQ exposition to explore creativity and passion

Creativity and passion will be the two themes emphasized at Medill’s fourth annual talentQ Exposition, to be held this year on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 6 p.m. at Northwestern University’s Thorne Auditorium (375 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago).

TalentQ is an ongoing quest by Medill’s integrated marketing communications students to better understand the talents, skills and attributes needed to be successful marketing communications professionals. The exposition will be a culmination of more than 20 events held this fall that featured guest speakers from leading innovative companies like Pizza Hut, Nielsen, Leo Burnett and Google. Admission to the event is free, and those interested in attending can register here.

"Better identifying the unique talents for success is an objective that our students, alums, corporate partners, and faculty all share,” said Medill Lecturer and talentQ adviser Marty Kohr. “It's a critical issue that brings us together this night to exchange knowledge and take new steps along the path for further understanding.  It's also a great night for the Medill community to get to better know one another.”

The exposition will be highlighted by a pair of conversations about the event’s themes. Keith Reinhard, chairman emeritus of DDB Worldwide, will kick off the evening with a keynote address. Reinhard is responsible for McDonald’s “You deserve a break today” campaign, which in 1999 was named the best advertising jingle of the 20th century by Advertising Age. He also wrote the now well-known “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,” slogan. Under his leadership, DDB Worldwide developed award-winning work for Volkswagen, Anheuser-Busch, Frito-Lay, Dell Computer, JC Penney, Ameriquest, as well as a number of other companies.

In 1999, Advertising Age named Reinhard one of the top 100 industry influentials in advertising history. He was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2008.

“I’m always excited to come back to Chicago, the city that was so good to me for so much of my career,” said Reinhard, who now lives in New York City. “And I’m always pleased to come back to Medill, the pioneer and the leader in educating integrated marketers.”

Following Reinhard’s speech will be a panel discussion, titled “Who Needs Creativity?” Confirmed panelists include:

- Mary Baglivo (MSJ81), vice president for global marketing and chief marketing officer at Northwestern University; former Chairman and CEO, Americas, for Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide

- Jimmy de Castro, president and general manager of WGN-AM 720

- John Kenny, executive vice president and group director of strategic planning at Draftfcb Chicago

- Renetta McCann (SoC78), chief talent officer at Leo Burnett U.S.

The panel will be moderated by Dan Fietsam (MSA88), chief creative officer at EnergyBBDO.

“Creativity in any job or organization is a game-changer, even if ‘creative’ isn’t in your title,” Fietsam said. “Whatever role or job you are looking for or want to excel in, applying creativity will propel your success. As Albert Einstein said, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’”

The evening will also feature a networking reception and a recognition of the Medill integrated marketing communications students who were creative challenge scholarship winners.

“TalentQ gives students the opportunity to connect and network with active, working professionals that are in the industry,” said Tori Oman (IMC13), one of three students involved with the planning and coordinating of talentQ. “In this business, things advance so rapidly, it’s important for us to have access to and be in tune with the real world while we engage in our studies.”

The 2013 Medill talentQ Exposition is sponsored by DDB, Digitas, Draftfcb, Energy BBDO, Leo Burnett, O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul and Starcom MediaVest, who have made significant donations to the Medill Albert D. Lasker Research Fund that supports TalentQ, other research initiatives and the preservation of the Albert D. Lasker papers.

Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MedilltalentQ

See a complete recap of the 2013 Talent Q events on Storify