Jessica Hawthorne-Castro is CEO of Hawthorne, a leading Los Angeles based advertising agency specializing in analytics-driven campaigns. As CEO of Hawthorne, Hawthorne-Castro has been recognized throughout the professional community as a leader in the marketing revolution of advertising where art meets science. The company specializes in analytics-driven campaigns and offers a complete service approach that includes media planning and buying, analytics, campaign management, strategic planning and award-winning creative development.
She joined Hawthorne 11 years ago as VP, Operations & Clients Services, before being named CEO in April 2014. Under her leadership, the 30-year-old advertising agency which was a pioneer in accountability in advertising, has achieved superior financial performance and was on the Inc. 5000 list and is a Certified Women Owned Business®.
Hawthorne is recognized as a champion of accountable advertising, garnering billions in sales and 500+ creative awards for Fortune 500 clients. In 2017, Hawthorne won 59 creative awards for its work on an impressive roster of clients including 3M (Command, Post-it, Scotch- Brite), Audible, BLACK+DECKER, Dyson, Hamilton Beach, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, Hoover, L’Oréal, PETA, Transamerica, United Healthcare and more.
As Hawthorne’s leader, Hawthorne-Castro instilled a complete service approach that includes media planning, buying, analytics, campaign management, strategic planning and creative development. The agency features advanced techniques such as brain mapping, neurolinguistics, adaptive content and pixel tracking to understand consumer reactions and exceed client needs.
Hawthorne-Castro has also focused on quality of life for employees. As a certified a Certified Great Place to Work®, her initiatives include providing wellness opportunities, and provides training for personal and professional development for employees at all levels. Hawthorne-Castro’s leadership has created a dynamic workplace that offers advancement for all. Survey data from Great Place to Work® 2017 showed more than 90% of employees feel the company offers a great atmosphere and opportunities. Hawthorne-Castro has recruited a diverse base of employees that enjoy above-average compensation and avenues for personal and professional growth; forward-thinkers are rewarded for exceeding client expectations.
As a thought leader, Jessica is a contributor to industry publications and panels offering insights on key industry trends. She has published bylines with Forbes, AdAge, AdWeek, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, American Marketing Association, and more. Jessica has also been recognized with a long list of accolades for her career accomplishments, including: “Women to Watch” for the “Marketing Hall of Femme” Direct Marketing News (2017), “Women’s Summit Awards Nomination” by Los Angeles Business Journal (2016 & 2017), “Woman of Influence” by L.A. Biz and Biz Women (2016), and “Female CEO of the Year in Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations” from CEO World Awards (2015). She was also honored as Marketing EDGE’s “Rising Star Award” (2015), “Top 40 Under 40” by Direct Marketing News (2015), and semifinalist in the Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” in Greater Los Angeles (2015 & 2017).
Prior to joining Hawthorne Direct, Hawthorne-Castro was a TV literary agent with William Morris Endeavor, one of Hollywood’s top, full-service talent agencies, where she identified and negotiated opportunities for shows airing on all major networks. She also packaged key elements necessary to develop shows with executives from ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, HBO, USA, Bravo and others, and assisted the creators of numerous toprated programs.
Hawthorne-Castro is an active member of her professional community and has prioritized company culture and corporate social responsibility as a member of the Forbes Agency Council, an invitation-only organization for senior-level executives in public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. In September 2017, she joined the DMA ECHO Board of Governors, the elite group behind one of the most coveted prizes in marketing. Jessica is a participant in TED International, TED Women communities and Vistage International. She is also a member of Young Presidents’ Organization, the global platform empowering more than 25,000 members in more than 130 countries. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and son.