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Karen Kaplan

2011 Speaker

Karen Kaplan

Karen Kaplan is president and ceo of Hill Holliday, the 17th largest advertising agency in the US. Hill Holliday is a subsidiary of The Interpublic Group of Companies, a group of advertising and specialized communication services companies with global annual revenues in excess of $6 billion. Kaplan joined the firm in 1982 as receptionist. Today, she is a driving force behind Hill Holliday’s growth to more than $1 billion in annual billings. Her firm’s impressive list of premier clients includes Bank of America, Chili’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, John Hancock, Liberty Mutual, Major League Baseball, Merrill Lynch, Novartis, TJX and Verizon Wireless.

In recognition of her career achievements, Boston Magazine featured Kaplan on its cover as one of the most powerful women in Boston. The magazine also named her as one of the 50 most powerful people in Boston. She has been honored with the prestigious Pinnacle Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and was inducted into the YWCA Boston’s Academy of Women Achievers. Kaplan was selected by Advertising Age for its highly coveted “Women to Watch” special report honoring the nation’s top women in advertising, marketing and media.

Kaplan serves as a director of the Executive Committee of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, member of the board of governors of the Chief Executives’ Club of Boston and serves on the board of the Massachusetts Conference for Women. In 2008, Kaplan was elected president of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum, a chapter of the International Women’s Forum, an international non-political organization of pre-eminent women leaders worldwide. She is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, an action-oriented community of the most effective CEOs, heads of state, Nobel Prize winners and non-governmental leaders in the world.

Kaplan is a trustee of Fidelity Investments’ Rutland Square Trust II and Commonwealth Trust II, a Director of DSM (dba Delta Dental, Doral and DentaQuest), and a member of the Corporate Board Resource Committee of The Boston Club.