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Switch Chief Creative Officer Annie Castellano Named One of St. Louis' Top 40 Under 40
Anyone in the advertising business knows, it takes intelligence, leadership, and a thick skin to ascend from entry-level copywriter to Chief Creative Officer of a national marketing agency in little more than a decade. Annie Castellano has achieved such success at St. Louis-based experiential marketing agency Switch: Liberate Your Brand with a sense of humor and empathy that made her an ideal candidate for the St. Louis Business Journal's 2014 Class of 40 Under 40.
A group of 10 judges - previous 40 Under 40 winners - reviewed more than 500 nominations submitted for this year's class. Candidates were selected based on their career achievements and volunteer activities. The honorees will be recognized at a Feb. 13 event at the Kemp Auto Museum.
Annie was also voted one of St. Louis' "Most Influential Business Women" in 2012 by the St. Louis Business Journal and awarded a prestigious Silver Stevie Award for Women in Business in 2013.
Annie leads a creative team of 30+ at Switch to develop creative strategies and solutions for such clients as AB/InBev, Coca-Cola, Elsevier and Savvis. With Annie overseeing all of Switch's creative output, Switch's business has increased by 32% since 2010, with Switch enjoying its best year to date in 2012. Annie rose from the ranks as copywriter to Chief Creative Officer at Switch in just 10 years. Her fascination with the psychology of human behavior and her creative and analytical passion have also helped propel her career.
Community involvement has also been a priority for Annie, who has donated her time and talents for 11 years to Bosom Buddies: Friends for Life, an organization founded to raise funds for breast cancer research, education, screening, treatment and support programs. To date, BBFFL has raised $1 million through walks, trivia nights, concerts and golf tournaments, which Annie has helped to coordinate and promote.
Annie is also an advisory board member of the Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APA). For the last five years, Annie has led Switch's annual charitable initiative called "Switchmas" to raise funds for a local cause. The 2011, 2012 and 2013 initiatives featured a web-based store selling "Ugly Holiday Sweater Tees" designed by Annie and her team . More than 2,200 shirts have been sold and $24,000 raised for the APA.
Annie has also served on the marketing committee for The Magic House and as a board member for the St. Louis Hills Young Ambassadors. Annie is currently Strategic Communication Committee Co-Chair for St. Joseph's Academy, her high school alma mater. She has helped to evolve the school's new brand platform, produce a recruitment video and participate in an alumnae speaker series and other events.
Switch is an independently-held, experiential marketing agency working with companies and brands who share the belief in the power of engagement to drive behavior-changing results. Switch specializes in brand and sponsorship activation programs, field marketing, digital media, consumer and corporate events. For more information, visit www.liberateyourbrand.com or @liberate.
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