John Gatesman

CEO, Founder

Under John’s leadership and direction, Gatesman has grown to be one of the most successful independent agencies in the Northeast, having been named one of the nation’s fastest-growing companies for nine years running, along with recognition as one of the top 100 independent agencies nationwide and as one of the Best Places to Work for eight years in a row.

He identified and led the successful acquisitions of digital firm Quest Fore in 2014 and Noble Communications in 2017, which expanded agency operations into Chicago and the Midwest. His passion, devotion to our clients, and relentless pursuit of their success continues to be the driving force behind our agency’s mantra, “Good enough sucks.”

Early on, he realized the role that data and technology must play in marcom development and reengineered the agency model to maximize their role in its development. The agency’s Hacking Human Behavior™ approach is at the forefront of marcom planning today.

John has led and built marketing teams for a diverse portfolio of businesses, including UPMC, Northwell Health, Cohen Children’s, Del Monte, UNFI-SHOP ’n SAVE, Kmart, Cub Cadet, PNC Bank, PPG, Swedish Match, Pittsburgh Penguins, Milton Bradley, Disney and Sesame Street products, USG, PACE Transit, and CFA Institute. He began his career with Ross Roy Group after being selected as one of only six people nationally for its Executive Management Training Program. He eventually moved on to management positions with Ogilvy, Doner, and Ketchum before joining BNY Mellon as senior marketing director and then later Brunner as a vice president of client services before founding the agency in 2006.

John has been active in numerous organizations, including serving as president of the Pittsburgh Ad Federation, and as a board member of the American Red Cross and Variety Children’s Charity. He has been cited in various publications, including Adweek, Ad Age, Chicago Business Journal, Pittsburgh Business Times, Profile, and Mergers & Acquisitions. Most recently, he spoke at the 4A’s annual conference regarding agency models of the future and how Gatesman has transformed to meet today’s complex challenges being faced by clients. He continues to help shape the evolution and direction of our business model to keep our clients competitive and at the forefront of marketing as it is redefined in the ever-changing dynamics of the marketplace.