Maril MacDonald

Maril is a nationally recognized leader in communications and strategy execution. She has pioneered a discipline that collaborates with corporate leaders to optimize business performance by engaging and mobilizing stakeholders behind a company’s strategic goals, its culture and its brand. Her clients include some of the most recognized brands in the world.

Maril is CEO and founder of Gagen MacDonald, a leading strategy execution and change leadership firm.  She’s also CEO of Son&Sons, the pioneering branding and identity firm.  In 2011, Maril founded and launched Let Go & Lead, an online community dedicated to new philosophies and strategies for leadership.

In addition, Maril is a past chairman of the Arthur W. Page Society, a membership organization for chief communications officers (CCOs) of major corporations, dedicated to advancing the management policy role of the CCO.  She continues to serve on the Board of Directors.

Maril previously served as vice president, corporate communications, and was a member of the Executive Management Committee for Navistar, and its operating company, International Truck and Engine Corporation.  In addition to leading communications, organizational development and brand strategy, Maril worked closely with CEO John Horne, to direct the company’s highly successful cultural turnaround. This was a key factor in Navistar’s resurgence from the brink of bankruptcy to being named in the Wall Street Journal’s “top 10 Performers” list and Business Week’s “Top 50 Companies.”

Maril was recently recognized by PR Week as one of the top 25 leaders in the industry, and has been named by them as one of “The 50 Most Powerful Women in PR.” She was also recognized as a “PR All-Star” by Inside PR. She is frequently invited to speak at major conferences and universities. Gagen MacDonald has been named by The Holmes Report “Employee Communications Firm of the Year” and “Strategic Agency of the Year.”

Maril is a former Trustee for the Institute of Public Relations, a non-profit organization that conducts PR research and sponsors public relations education.  She is a member on the Georgetown University Master of Professional Studies Strategic PR Communications Advisory Council.

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