Remembering AB InBev exec Jodi Harris—industry pays tribute to marketing creativity leader

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Tracy Stallard, the brewer’s global VP for experiential and its in-house agency, known as draftLine, stated that “Jodi’s passion was empowering talent to unlock great creativity. She not only recognized but also championed the idea that this talent needed to be diverse to create breakthrough work. She was an industry leader making ABI a founding partner with organizations like Ad Fellows, See Her, and ANA’s AIMM.”

Ryan Verschoor, AB InBev’s global head of marketing capabilities, said “working with Jodi to create the ‘Culture & Capabilities’ team has been the highlight of my career. Empathy was Jodi’s superpower—she created a culture that put people first and championed creativity as a force for good as well as growth.”

Harris, who lived in Brooklyn, earned a master’s degree in business administration from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College and a bachelor’s degree from SUNY—Buffalo School of Management. She is survived by her husband Jordan and their twins.

Below, more tributes from marketing industry leaders:

“Jodi Harris was an incredible leader who inspired a generation of marketers—and non-marketers—to put creativity at the center of their goals and ambition, resulting in effective, driven and motivational professionals who will leave their mark long into the future. Those who knew Jodi were touched by her optimism, kindness, friendship and always bright smile that filled every room, every meeting, and every conversation. She will be missed greatly by those who had the chance to work with her, and  may never know the true impact her loss will have on the future development of up-and-coming talent.”

 —Miguel Patricio, Chairman and CEO of Kraft Heinz, and former CMO of AB InBev. 

“A fierce champion for creativity and the people behind it, Jodi Harris will be remembered for so much more than the many professional accolades bestowed upon her—her legacy will exist in the deep respect we all have for her, and high regard in which she will always be held by everyone who was fortunate enough to meet her. Jodi was a fearless visionary. Courageous in creativity. Courageous in life.” 

—Simon Cook, CEO, Lions

“Jodi walked the talk and lived life in the moment. She was fearless, innovative and a glass shatterer. ‘No’ was definitely not in her vocabulary. She was a true champion for women in business and a role model. I will always treasure you my dear powerhouse. You are leaving a legacy of change for girls and women all over the world. Love you and you will be forever in our hearts.”

—Shelley Zalis​, CEO, The Female Quotient

“Jodi was—let me rephrase that—Jodi is a part of each of the lives she touched. We are better partners to each other because of Jodi. Stronger believers in the power of creativity. Keen students of how to live a life filled with joy and positivity. Jodi is because Jodi was that person who had a lasting impact on everyone she met.”

—Susan Credle, Global Chair & Global Chief Creative Officer, FCB

“From the minute you met Jodi, you knew you were meeting someone who genuinely cared. Cared about the work, the intent, the purpose and especially about the people. She had a meaningful way of sparking happiness in even the smallest ways that just made you want to be her friend. She was a rare gift of light that we were all lucky to have in our world.”

—Brandon Cooke, Global Chief Marketing & Reputation Officer, FCB 

“We’re all heartbroken. We’ve lost an incredibly special soul. Jodi had a specific way of inspiring joy and enthusiasm in everybody around her. She found goodness in tough situations. And when it was good, there was nothing like being on the receiving end of her excitement. She motivated all of us to give our best and to be a better version of ourselves. We’ll try our best to continue showing up the way she would want us to, but it’s tough as hell to think about doing that without her in the room.”

—Neal Arthur, Global Chief Operating Officer, Wieden+Kennedy 

“The industry lost a precious leader in Jodi Harris. As part of the Global CMO Growth Council’s leadership team, Jodi went out of her way to make our industry better. Whether she was sharing her knowledge to help marketers from smaller companies or spending time with aspiring students, her level of generosity when it came to helping others was uncommon.”

—Nick Primola, executive VP, Association of National Advertisers and ANA Global CMO Growth Council

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