With two decades’ worth of industry experience in the Windy City, Praeger joins Carbon after spending the majority of her career at Optimus, where she served as EP/Managing Director and worked with clients including Nintendo, McDonald’s, Sears, JCPenney, Allstate, Gatorade, Taco Bell, KFC, Miller Lite and Budweiser along the way.
Now at Carbon Chicago, the newly-minted Senior Producer eyes an opportunity to continue working in her hometown market – which she describes as “unique and as strong as ever” – at an emerging and thriving operation. “I knew Carbon was new to the Chicago scene, small but growing, and the possibilities seemed too fun to pass by,” says Praeger. “I liked [Carbon Chicago EP] Phil Linturn and [Senior Producer] Kate Soczka straight away, and then the added bonus of a lot of familiar faces at [Carbon sibling company] Whitehouse Post. I couldn’t resist the urge to reach out.”
As Senior Producer, Praeger will ultimately handle a task she’s rather well-versed in: project management. “It’s about managing schedules, budgets, people, personalities – and making sure everything goes smoothly,” she says. “I’ve also enjoyed this aspect of the job; reconnecting with people and meeting new people is always fun. Getting to do it all in a creative environment is the icing on the cake.”
Regarding the appointment of Praeger to Senior Producer and what she brings to the Chicago office, Executive Producer Linturn adds, “We were blessed with some really strong options during recruitment, but ultimately, Gretchen’s unparalleled experience and popularity in this market made her irresistible. In 20+ years of working closely with all the major agencies, brands, and vendors in the market, she has truly earned her reputation as one of the most respected members of the Chicago advertising community.”