Karen Kaplan to speak at the Agganis Forum

Karen Kaplan, president of Hill Holliday



Margo W. R. Steiner








Karen Kaplan, president of advertising powerhouse Hill Holliday to

kick off 2012 Agganis Forum
at Salem State University’s Bertolon School of Business on

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 6 pm


February 16, 2012, Salem, Mass.—
On Wednesday evening, April 4, Salem State University’s Bertolon School of Business will host an evening with Boston advertising executive Karen Kaplan as part of its annual Agganis Forum series. Kaplan’s public presentation will take place at 6 pm in the university’s recital hall on Central Campus. There is no charge for the event, but seating is limited and reservations are required.


Karen Kaplan, of Marblehead, began her career at Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos Inc. as a receptionist in 1982. Today, she serves as president of the worldwide advertising giant Hill Holliday, the 17th largest advertising agency in the U.S. and part of the world's third largest advertising conglomerate, IPG. She has been acknowledged as a driving force behind the firm’s growth to more than $1 billion in annual billings. Among the company’s clients under her tenure are: Dunkin’ Donuts, Bank of America, Major League Baseball, Merrill Lynch, Verizon Wireless, and Liberty Mutual.


Kaplan is the recipient of numerous awards for her career achievements, including the prestigious Pinnacle Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. In 2003, she was listed as number 16 on Boston Magazine’s list of “100 Women Who Run This Town.” The magazine subsequently named her one of the 50 most powerful people in Boston, featuring her on its cover. In October 2011, she was named to the Boston Business Journal’s “Power 50” list as one of the most influential people in Boston, and in 2008 was named to Advertising Age’s “Women to Watch” special report, which annually honors the nation’s top women in advertising, marketing and media.


Karen Kaplan is equally well known for her community involvement. This January, she was elected chairman of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Kaplan is also a member of the Chief Executives’ Club of Boston’s board of governors, and is on the board of the Massachusetts Conference for Women. Kaplan is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, an action-oriented community of the most effective CEOs, heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, and non-governmental leaders in the world. In 2008, she was elected president of the Massachusetts chapter of the International Women’s Forum, an international non-political organization of pre-eminent women leaders worldwide. That same year, she was inducted into the YWCA Boston’s Academy of Women Achievers.


Kaplan is a trustee of Fidelity Investments and a director of DSM (dba Delta Dental, Doral and DentaQuest). She previously served as a director of ADVO and as a director of Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, until the companies were acquired.

The Agganis Forum is made possible with funding from the Michael Agganis Entrepreneurship Fund established by Madeline A. ’79 and Michael J. Agganis ’66 for the benefit of the Bertolon School of Business at Salem State University.


Salem State University’s Bertolon School of Business instills in its undergraduate and graduate business majors the development of strong business skills, sound ethics and a global world view. As Salem State’s largest undergraduate major, it attracts students—and faculty with diverse specialties—from across the region and throughout the world. The Bertolon School of Business, which stands at the threshold AACSB accreditation, offers bachelor’s degrees in business administration, accounting and finance, management, and marketing and decision sciences. The graduate program offers a master of business administration degree along with several certificate programs.


The event will be held in Salem State University’s recital hall on Central Campus (Bertolon School of Business, 71 Loring Avenue, Salem). Directions and a campus map can be found at salemstate.edu/maps.


There is no charge for the event, but seating is limited and reservations are required.
Please contact Maria Rodriguez at mrodriguez@salemstate.edu or 978.542.2426 by March 23 to reserve your place.