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, its runner-up to Agency of the Year.

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.

 

 

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San Francisco, Partner

Christine Chen

Partner, Head of Communication Strategy

Christine leads the communication strategy department, which employs a modern take on media planning that injects media thinking into creative development.

She joined GS&P in 2004 after launching new products and brands for Microsoft and Levi’s at Foote, Cone & Belding. She has led strategic thinking on Adobe, got milk?, Häagen-Dazs, Nest, Nickelodeon, Twitter, and more.

Christine was named Employee of the Year in 2008 for her work on the “got milk?” and the “Häagen-Dazs Loves Honey Bees” campaigns. Her prize was a crown and a cape along with a trip to anywhere in the world. She took her family to see her motherland, Taiwan, with some tropical stops—Thailand and Maui—along the way.

In 2011 she was promoted to manage the communication strategy department, which MediaPost has named "Media Department of the Year" three times. OMMA Magazine honored Christine as one of their "Online Media All-Stars."

Christine lives in Oakland with her husband and two sons. She is considering getting a female cat to balance things out.

 

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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

Brian McPherson

Managing Partner

For 20 years, Brian has been happy to call GS&P home.

Over that time he has led accounts in nearly every major category, from banking to telecom to technology to packaged goods and most things in between. He has been involved in work that has won many times over for creativity at Cannes as well as for effectiveness at the Effies. He currently leads the Frito-Lay and Adobe accounts at GS&P and is particularly proud of these long-standing client relationships of more than 10 years each.

Since 2007 Brian has also run the account management department. He enjoys overseeing the direction of the department, developing its people and recruiting and training new talent. He’s interested in how advertising is evolving and what that means for modern-day account work. He has written often about both subjects in a number of industry publications, including Ad Age.

Brian considers himself lucky to have grown up at GS&P, where he scored his first job after completing his MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Arizona and his undergraduate degree from Queen’s University in Canada.

Outside of work he spends his days in Mill Valley with his wife, Kate; his golden retriever, Moose (who, they swore, would never sleep on the bed but does); and his newborn son, Henry.

Twitter:
@brianfromcanada
Tags:
San Francisco, Partner