EVP, Chief Creative Officer, MRM//McCann Detroit
MRM//McCann

MRM//McCann Detroit Chief Creative Officer Jeff Cruz is more than just an award-winning leader. He’s a creative powerhouse who’s captured the highly coveted Grand Effie, he’s a philanthropist who has lent his talents to worthy causes, and he’s the embodiment of Detroit creativity, heart and hustle.

Over two-plus decades creating and leading campaigns for brands including General Motors, Harley-Davidson, Cleveland Clinic and Anheuser-Busch, Jeff has honed his advertising expertise in brand building, integrated marketing and digital media. He joined MRM//McCann Detroit from VSA Partners, where he served as Executive Creative Director and Associate Partner. At VSA Partners, he helped lead and expand the firm’s capabilities, including opening a new Detroit office and winning a Gold Effie in 2015 for his team’s sustained success on Harley-Davidson. Before joining VSA, he served as Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director, at Leo Burnett Detroit, where he earned a Grand Effie award for leading the agency’s pro bono efforts for Detroit Public Schools. He was an integral part of the well-documented renaissance of Cadillac and led the integrated creative efforts on several other distinct brands, including Pontiac, Goodwrench, Whirlpool and GMC. He has also held roles at SRO Communications and the McMurray Ad Group in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jeff created the “G Show” in 2009, the unofficial afterparty for the “D Show,” a Detroit advertising awards event. Since then, he has continued to organize and host the “G Show,” which helps raise money for the George Katsarelas Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund at Michigan State University. Over the past nine years, the “G Show” has raised thousands of dollars through the generous support of sponsors and attendees. In 2016 and 2017, Jeff also successfully served as the D Show Chairman, helping lead the show to record attendance in 2017.

Jeff is an expert at shaping customer experiences that captivate people. He believes that ideas power everything, and that when you truly put the focus on people — in the work and how you work together — amazing things will happen.

Judging panel

Tom Stein

Chairman and Chief Client Officer
Stein IAS

Cynthia Scheid

Senior Copywriter
Stein IAS

Aron Tzima

Chief Creative Officer
Knotch

George Hammer

Chief Content Officer
IBM

Gary Slack

Founder
Slack and Company

Nicole Kaplan

SVP, Group Director
Momentum Worldwide

Lynn Bader

Director, North America Agency Relations
LinkedIn

Marc Brownstein

President & CEO
Brownstein Group

Carmel Coscia

VP, Enterprise Marketing, Demand Generation + Enablement
Samsung

Jeff Cruz

EVP, Chief Creative Officer, MRM//McCann Detroit
MRM//McCann

Aaron DaSilva

EVP, EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR
PJA Advertising

Chris Duffey

Sr. Strategic Business Development Manager, Creative Agencies, Creative Cloud Enterprise 
Adobe

John Long

Group Creative Director
Ogilvy

Peter Powell

Group Creative Director
McCann New York

Chris Steenstra

Chief Administrative Officer
Mower

Anne Swan

Executive Creative Director
Siegel+Gale