Paul Holmes 25 Apr 2023 // 5:02AM GMT
When Dale Bornstein left Ketchum to become chief executive officer at M Booth a decade ago, she joined a midsize agency with an outsized reputation but fees of just $16.5 million. Today, after 10 years under her leadership, the firm has almost quadrupled in size to $64 million, while maintaining its creative reputation and its enviable workplace culture, That track record alone is enough to earn her one of our SABRE Awards for Outstanding Individual Achievement.
But Bornstein has more than 30 years of experience building brands, leading transformational change and driving business growth as both a skilled practitioner and an inspirational leader.
During a 27-year career at Ketchum, where she rose from assistant account executive to senior partner and director of global practices, she was responsible for driving growth of the brand, food, technology, corporate and healthcare practices, and building the firm’s global media and creative networks. She was the first woman to head Ketchum’s New York office, a role she held for six years that included both 9/11 and the recession of 2001/2002.
She joined M Booth with big shoes to fill. Agency founder Margi Booth had built a highly successful midsize firm that she had sold to Next Fifteen and continued to lead through the ownership transition. Under Bornstein’s leadership, growth accelerated and M Booth was named one of Provoke Media’s 10 Agencies of the Decade, as well as winning numerous Agency of the Year awards in other categories. And over the last six years, M Booth has won more than 70 industry awards for its client work.
During her tenure, Booth has become a genuinely integrated agency with strong creative services, first-rate digital capabilities, and expanded data and analytics. Bornstein is currently spearheading the firm’s expansion to the Booth Group, which now includes M Booth Health, formerly Health Unlimited and acquired in 2019. M Booth Health grew more than 30% last year, and today the Booth Group reports $85 million in revenue.
She has accomplished all of this while remaining true to a people-first philosophy. “Dale has doubled down on the importance of how culture fuels everything we do,” says Margi Booth. “Her mantra: Inspired people truly do inspired work. She lives our people-first ethos and proves every day that leading with humanity is good business. And she is hell bent on making sure our DEI work is not just a lot of talk.”
Dale serves on the global board of directors for Dress for Success, a global non-profit that empowers women to achieve economic independence, and also served on the board of the PR Council, an industry association representing more than 100 agencies. She’s a founding member of the Strategic Advisory Board for the Department of Communications at Cornell University, and is also a member of the Page Society and the industry’s Diversity Action Alliance.
The award will be presented at our SABRE Awards ceremony, which takes place at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York on May 2.