When Kelly McGinnis appeared as a keynote speaker at The Holmes Report’s In2 Summit urging communicators to become “transformational leaders,” she was speaking from experience, having spent more than three years leading the communications function at Dell during a time of profound change.
Her leadership in that role, and in her new position as senior vice president and chief communications officer at Levi Strauss & Co., earned her one of our SABRE Awards for Outstanding Individual Achievement, which will be presented at the 2014 SABRE Awards Americas awards dinner in New York on May 6.
McGinnis is a seasoned communications leader with more than 20 years of experience spaning the consumer goods, apparel, technology and financial industries. Prior to joining Levi Strauss in August 2013, she served as vice president of global communications at Dell, and before that, held leadership positions at agencies including AxiCom US, and FleishmanHillard.
"Kelly has an unrelenting commitment to quality and integrity,” says John Graham, chairman of FleishmanHillard and the first recipient of one of our Individual Achievement SABREs. “Over the years she has honed her leadership and communications capabilities and, as a result, has built great agency and in-house communications teams. She has managed communications efforts ranging from IPOs to crisis communications and is distinguished by her exceptional work on mainstream brands such as Visa, Dell, At&T and, now, Levi's. This recognition is well deserved."
At both Dell and Levi Strauss, McGinnis has been guided by five principles that she believes drive innovation: establishing the right team; aligning behind a core narrative and not wavering; capitalizing on the ability to be agile; bringing stakeholder audiences to the table; and pushing yourself and your team to innovate and take risks.
Says Levi Strauss President and CEO Chip Bergh, “Kelly is the best in the business: wicked smart, strategic, and fearless in her leadership. She will play a pivotal role as we work to establish LS&Co. as the best apparel company in the world, both in terms of advancing our corporate reputation and strengthening the capabilities of our communications team.”
Having joined the iconic apparel company in 2013, McGinnis is responsible for managing the corporate affairs function. She oversees corporate media relations, executive communications, internal and stakeholder communications, government affairs, consumer relations, social responsibility, community affairs and the LS&Co. archives. She reports to the CEO and sits on the company's executive leadership team.