Zeno Group CEO Barby Siegel will be honoured with the Individual Achievement SABRE Award in New York on May 1, at the 19th edition of the North American SABRE Awards.

Siegel was named Zeno CEO in 2009 and, under her leadership, the agency has risen remarkably, with revenues set to top $70m this year. Along the way, Zeno has expanded beyond the US into EMEA and Asia-Pacific and has successfully won some of the industry's biggest pitches, including Lenovo and SalesForce in recent months.

Paying tribute to the performance Richard Edelman noted that Siegel's performance at Zeno had "exceeded any dream I’ve ever had", for an agency that was treading water before her arrival. 

"My fondest wish was always that this would be something’s that not just a conflict shop, that it would be like a Cohn & Wolfe has been for Burson-Marsteller," said Edelman. "That’s exactly what we’re on the path towards."

"A lot of agency people are good managers but [Barby's] deeply gifted creatively," added Edelman. "I would say that she’s also great at motivating her staff because she actually leads from the frontlines. She has immense self-confidence — she believes that she can win anything."

Prior to taking charge of Zeno, Siegel spent six years at Ogilvy PR, where she established the firm's consumer practice and turned it into one of the firm's top units. Before Ogilvy, she worked for more than a decade at Edelman.

"Barby has an incredible ability to galvanise a group of people under a common idea or mission," added Zeno MD and chief culture officer Grant Deady. "At the same time, she’s just magic with clients. Her overall energy and attitude, and the way she treats people, is unlike anything I’ve seen from agency leaders."