Yes, staying in Virginia helped make her a CEO

Kristen Cavallo (above) had been president of the ad agency Mullen’s Boston office.
Chris Morris for The Boston Globe
Kristen Cavallo (above) had been president of the ad agency Mullen’s Boston office.

Kristen Cavallo stepped down from her job as president of the ad agency Mullen’s Boston office when she decided, for family reasons, to stay in Virginia. But she continued to work as US chief strategy officer at the firm, now called MullenLowe.

In the end, though, the decision to stick around in Virginia turned out to be a good one for her career, as well.

Cavallo was in the right place at the right time when the parent company, Interpublic Group, needed a new chief executive to run a sister agency in Richmond, the Martin Agency. Last week, IPG promoted her to CEO at the Martin Agency, taking over for Matt Williams. That agency is in a bit of turmoil because of the departure of chief creative officer Joe Alexander, who recently left amid sexual harassment allegations.


Cavallo had worked her way up the ranks at the Martin Agency for 13 years before returning to Mullen in 2011 to be chief strategy officer. (She had worked at Mullen early in her career, in the 1990s.) After leaving the Martin Agency for Mullen, Cavallo balanced her work days between Boston and Virginia, even after becoming president of the Boston office. The plan was to eventually move back to Boston. But Cavallo told her colleagues in 2015 that family would take precedence.

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Now, she’ll get to run an agency, after all.

“To be the first female CEO of this agency, in this year, under these circumstances — the weight of this isn’t lost on me,” Cavallo said in a prepared statement. “It’s going to be hard, but we can do hard things. As a mom, I want my kids to see that, and to set an example that resilience and possibility matter.”

GLP Creative needs more head room

Gary Land has grown to love Quincy, where he set up his production shop, GLP Creative, nearly nine years ago. But he may have to leave if he can’t find the right space.

GLP employs about a dozen people in a roughly 6,000-square-foot space off Route 3A near Quincy Center. Land, a photographer and director, wants to more than double that amount. He also would like 25-foot-high ceilings to accommodate a sound stage, in part to attract more out-of-town business such as feature films.


Land got his start shooting his buddies skateboarding and snowboarding. Eventually, his passion became a career, one that included time at Reebok, where he photographed several of the athletic shoe company’s endorsers, including NBA star Allen Iverson. (Last year, Land created a photo book titled “AI” that he presented to Iverson at the former player’s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.)

His business — whose clients include NASCAR, Titleist, and Under Armour — has been growing quickly, a good problem to have.

He may be able to expand at his current location, although he has extended his search to nearby communities because he hasn’t yet found a building in Quincy that has high enough ceilings.

But one thing’s for sure: Land is not looking to relocate his business to downtown Boston. As a Scituate resident, he doesn’t relish the idea of driving into the city every day, or paying downtown rents.

“We’re really busting at the seams here,” he says. “Every few years we add scaffolding, so you can get desks above other desks.”

They’ll all be long weekends


Brian Gilmore helped build Associated Industries of Massachusetts into the powerhouse it is today: the largest business group in the state. Now, at 71, Gilmore is stepping down from his job as executive vice president.

For much of his three decades with AIM, Gilmore was often the group’s public face — he responded at all hours to media inquiries. (That enviable task has since been handed over to Chris Geehern, another executive vice president). More recently, Gilmore was instrumental in raising $2 million in sponsorship funds (from 2015 through 2017) to support the group.

AIM chief executive Rick Lord, in a note to staffers announcing Gilmore’s retirement at the end of the month, said he’ll miss Gilmore’s work ethic, counsel, and knowledge about the state’s business community.

Gilmore says he won’t be leaving the scene completely. He plans to maintain a consulting role, focusing on helping small and medium-size manufacturers.

It will be somewhat similar to his latest job at AIM, with an important difference: no more working on Mondays and Fridays. Every weekend will be a long one.

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