Rich Silverstein

Co-Chairman and Partner

Rich, along with his friend Jeff, started this whole thing.

Rich grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York. After graduating from the Parsons School of Design in New York City, he moved to San Francisco against his father’s wishes.

He worked as an art director in one-year increments for Rolling Stone magazine; Bozell & Jacobs; McCann Erickson; Foote, Cone & Belding; and Ogilvy & Mather, where he met Jeff Goodby and finally settled down. They founded GS&P in 1983 and have won just about every advertising award imaginable.

In 2002 he was inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame and, two years later, into the One Club Creative Hall of Fame. Along with Jeff he was named Executive of the Decade by Adweek. In 2019 he and Jeff were anointed with the Cannes Lion of St. Mark lifetime-achievement award, and in 2020 the duo starred in an 18-part MasterClass online learning series. 

Rich sets a standard of design that has led the agency to compete against the country’s leading design studios. His passion is evident whether he’s crafting client work, creating his own work, working on projects for the Center for Investigative Reporting or visually blogging for the Huffington Post. In 2021 he created I Read the News Today Oh Boy, a solo presentation. The exhibition featured a series of works that Rich made reflecting on the Trump era, created by using text and images that he hand-ripped from the New York Times.

Rich serves on the board of Specialized bicycles, and though he recently retired from the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy board after 15 years, he continues to develop work for them that keeps their brand the envy of our country’s park system.

Rich lives in San Francisco with his wife, Carla Emil, and Felix the cat. He has two grown kids, Aaron and Simone, and is a proud grandfather to Maple, Will, Owen and Emma.

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San Francisco, Partner

Derek Robson

President and Managing Partner

Derek started his career in direct marketing at Ogilvy & Mather Direct in London. He moved from Ogilvy & Mather Direct to Ogilvy & Mather and then to Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), where he spent the next 13 years of his career in various roles. He was an account planner, the agency’s deputy planning director, a global business director and then its managing director. Under his leadership BBH twice won Campaign magazine’s Agency of the Year Award. He was also voted one of the 40 most influential men under 40 in 2004 by Esquire magazine in the UK.

He moved to GS&P in 2006 as a managing partner and helped the agency win Agency of the Year in both Adweek and Ad Age as well as the Cannes Digital Agency of the Year. In 2017 he was named president of the agency. Since then Ad Age named GS&P Comeback Agency of the Year and, in 2018 and 2019, runner-up to Agency of the Year and to its A-List in 2020 and 2021. During that same time, Campaign crowned GS&P Agency of the Year and Fast Company named the agency its most Innovative Ad Agency and 36th Most Innovative Company in the World, alongside Space X and Moderna.

Derek works on a number of the agency’s clients as well as new business. He’s also responsible for the agency’s production and strategic functions as well as its commercial and financial operations.

Derek is married with two daughters, and when he’s not working, he supports Derby County FC. He loves cricket and likes to run long distances very, very slowly.

Tags:
San Francisco, Partner

Christine Chen

Partner, Head of Communication Strategy

Christine leads Communication Strategy and Analytics, combining communications, branding and data. 

A 17-year veteran at GS&P, she has earned the agency a reputation for innovation and has created new, first-time uses of ad-tech platforms. As a result, in 2021, Ad Age named her a finalist for Chief Strategist of the Year.

Christine is a firm believer in active ideas and in creating advertising that generously invites consumers to add their own stories to the narrative. In 2020 her team partnered with the Sway app to enable consumers to dance as Sam Elliott and Lil Nas X did in the 2020 Super Bowl spot “Old Town Road”—a partnership that resulted in the app’s being propelled from obscurity to number three in the App Store. Christine’s team innovated YouTube’s sequential ad product via Life Below Water, a film narrated by Morgan Freeman that shows how, by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than there are fish. The sequential feature empowered people to control the storytelling.

Christine nurtures innovative uses of technology to better the world. In 2020 her teams created the Respond2Racism Twitter bot, which harnesses AI to automatically respond to COVID-19-related racist tweets with videos that both educate perpetrators and uplift Asian frontline workers. Christine played a pivotal role in the “Not a Gun” campaign for Courageous Conversation. One of the highlights of the campaign was a print ad turned protest sign for Tulsa protesters that ran in the oldest black-owned newspaper in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Eagle, during then president Trump’s 2020 Juneteenth visit.

Christine lives in Oakland with her husband, her two sons and her dog, Homer.

 

 

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Partner

Bonnie Wan

Partner, Head of Brand Strategy

Bonnie, partner and head of brand strategy at GS&P, is reimagining the reach and role of strategy for brands as well as for everyday people. 

Since coming to the agency in 1998, Bonnie has expanded GS&P’s strategic offerings to include new revenue streams, offerings such as Brand Camp, a concentrated, radically collaborative, six-week strategy sprint that helps client leadership teams author and align around ownable, actionable brand strategies. Brand Camp gives clients a safe space in which to get honest and make the tough yet necessary trade-offs that open the way for sharp and standout strategies.

Originally developed for start-ups in 2016, Brand Camp is driving much of GS&P’s growth. The model has expanded GS&P’s ability to attract businesses of all sizes and stages, to engage brands across client portfolios and to offer a new way for companies to harness GS&P’s strategic expertise. 

Recognized by Ad Age and Campaign as a finalist for Chief Strategist of the Year in 2019 and 2020, Bonnie has also been the lead on projects that have resulted in some of GS&P’s most notable work. Recently this has included Comcast/Xfinity’s holiday work starring Steve Carell, HP’s “Windows of Hope” campaign and the agency’s work combating police brutality, racial injustice and violence against Asians through the “Not a Gun” campaign and the innovative “Respond2Racism” Twitter activation. 

Beyond the industry at large, Bonnie is using strategy to transform how everyday people approach life. As the creator of “The Life Brief,” Bonnie helps people live with greater clarity, creativity and courage by teaching them how to write briefs for their lives. “The Life Brief” is a practice based on her belief that “you cannot have it all, but you can have all that matters.”

“The Life Brief” has evolved from an agency talk into a workbook, workshops and recurring speaking appearances at Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, Jane Goodall’s Activating Hope summit, the 3% Conference, SXSW, Bain & Company and Change.org. Most recently, Simon & Schuster has signed on to publish The Life Brief as a book. 

She lives in San Anselmo, California, with her husband and four kids.

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Partner