Adweek Honors the Best, Brightest and Most Strategic Thinking Across the Media Business

CINCINNATI (April 20, 2020) – Empower’s Chief Investment Officer Cathy Shaffner is recognized in Adweek’s 2020 class of Media All Stars. Comprised of 18 executives across the U.S., this prestigious group demonstrates expertise in their respective fields and the innovative thinking needed to usher clients into a future that remains uncertain. Visit Adweek to access the Media All Star interview with Cathy.

“The only thing stronger than a Marine is the Mother who raised her.” 

That’s what Cathy’s 22-year old daughter said to her when she commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps.  She credits her mother for challenging her to always “take the road less traveled and have the fortitude to be the best that you can be.” 

A powerful and influential force at home and work, Cathy exudes these same fearless, tough and loyal qualities in her leadership style as CIO at Empower.  

“I don’t settle for what’s easy,” she says. “I’m a fan of shaking things up and challenging the status quo. When we push ourselves to think outside the lines, amazing ideas come to life.”

The 26-year media veteran leads an investment team that has expanded to nearly a quarter of the 200+-person, independent agency. In 2019, Cathy helped lead Empower to the best year in the company’s 35-year history, touting record-breaking revenue and growth with a 30% increase in revenue and more than 80 new hires.   

“Cathy takes a client-first approach and seeks out a diverse range of innovative solutions,” said Jim Tricarico, President of Sales, at Cadent.  “She is always looking for higher forms of integration and embodies the integrity and values of a true partner and brand advocate.” 

And the numbers prove it.  She recently led one of Empower’s largest retail clients to year-over-year growth.

“Cathy is the investment banker for our media dollars who ensures we get the best ROI,” said Kevin Hook, EVP, at Ashley HomeStore. “With Cathy on our side negotiating for the best rates and demanding nothing short of excellence, our business will continue to perform at its best,” Hook emphasized. 

“Cathy encapsulates all that is great about Empower,” said President and COO Rob FitzGerald. “She’s tough with a heart of gold who is fiercely loyal.  She has an eye for talent and immediately recognizes a future executive of Empower and nurtures their growth,” he said. 

Cathy’s ambitious, fierce and loyal approach to Media is what makes her an Adweek 2020 Media All Star.  

About Empower

We combine Creative and Media to Empower brands. 

Empower was born out of media, but in our 35-year company history we have evolved into so much more. The creative ideas inform the media plan. Media planning informs creative ideas. 

This cooperation leads to innovation on one or both sides of the equation. 

Recognized as an Ad Age Agency A-List Standout, our award-winning integrated team of experts in Creative, Media, Audience, Measurement and Word-of-Mouth Marketing deliver data-driven, tech-enabled and emotionally-charged ideas and solutions. 

Some of our biggest fans include The Body Shop, Tempur Sealy, Fifth Third Bank, Gorilla Glue, TriHealth, Brooks Running, Jack Link’s, V-Tech, Bush Brothers, Wendy’s, GNC, Famous Footwear, Ashley HomeStore, Rust-Oleum and PetSmart.  

Empower is headquartered in the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of downtown Cincinnati and has a rapidly growing Chicago office. Located in the city’s bustling River North neighborhood – Empower’s Chicago team is just steps from the Merchandise Mart.  

While much has changed over the course of our 35-year company history, some things remain: we are transparent, fiercely independent and we will constantly challenge the media status quo.   

Find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and online.  

Press Contact: Meghann Craig | Vice President, Marketing at Empower | | M: 513.288.2731


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