Karen Stillman brings more than 25 years of public relations experience in the consumer brand marketing arena, working across a wide variety of categories with a focus on clients in the CPG, food/beverage, consumer health/wellness and nutrition space. Prior to joining BTP in 2020, Karen spent her career working on the agency side in organizations ranging from boutique communications agencies to large multi-national firms.
She was most recently Executive Vice President and head of the Chicago office of DeVries Global following several years as a Top Client Leader at Golin (formerly Golin Harris). She previously had spent more than a decade as a member of the leadership team and head of the Consumer Marketing practice at Fleishman Hillard in Chicago.
Karen brings proven expertise in brand communications, earned storytelling strategy, positioning/messaging, and media and influencer engagement. She has a deep understanding of how earned media and influencers can drive impact across every stage of the customer journey. She has led work for marquis brands and clients including PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Ferrara Candy Company, Abbott, and Nike.
She has extensive experience with new product launches, brand equity-building programs, influencer and professional marketing programs, and cause marketing initiatives. She has helped brands establish and communicate their unique selling proposition and competitive point of difference, drive product understanding, change attitudes and perceptions, and re-invigorate those that have lost relevance.
She brings an integrated marketing perspective and commitment to her work, and has been recognized by clients, partners and teammates for her ability to collaborate seamlessly with experts across a wide variety of disciplines and geographies to deliver innovative, impactful programs that drive communications and business results.
Some highlights include:
- Served on Golin’s Top Client Leaders (TCL) task force, a prestigious group of the best of the best client leaders globally whose clients represent the firms largest and most valuable accounts.
- As a client leader for Unilever, Golin’s #1 global client, she ran the fastest-growing portfolio of brands for six years, during which time she developed and drove programming to launch new brands into the US market, as well as reposition, revive, and energize iconic established brands. During her tenure, the campaigns she spearheaded won numerous national industry awards.
- Based on a proven track record for taking an integrated marketing approach to her work, she was selected to serve in a top leadership capacity for Interpublic Group as the US cross-agency lead for Unilever’s global Magnum Ice Cream brand. In this role, she led an integrated team of specialists across numerous IPG agencies and disciplines and pioneered new approaches to integrated agency planning and collaboration. Karen is passionate about the brands and people she works with and is known for developing trusted long-term relationships with clients.
- Karen earned her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double-major in Journalism & Mass Communications and Psychology. She has twin teenage daughters and resides in Skokie. She loves to travel and experience new cultures, attend the theatre, and feed her enthusiasm for all things food by exploring the many restaurants throughout the Chicago area.