NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?

Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur


Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad


Bill Hagelstein: President & CEO of RPA

My NativeAdVice:


Bill began his career here at the “old” RPA – Needham Harper Worldwide/Los Angeles – rising to Senior Vice President, Group Account Director, with responsibility for running the Honda business. In 1998, Bill was recruited to lead the Orange County office Foote, Cone & Belding. In 1996, after an 8-year absence, Bill returned to RPA where today he is President and CEO. As if managing an agency weren’t enough, Bill is an active member of the World Presidents’ Organization (WPO-YPO), and is on the Board of Directors of the Ad Council and the American Advertising Federation, where he also serves on the Executive Committee. Recognizing the agency business is all about the people, Bill religiously practices a servant leadership style with RPA's Associates.

How did you get into the Advertising industry?

Upon graduating from college, a former agency president who became CMO of the Ford Motor Company asked me about my passions. I informed him that I really loved marketing and management. He said I should do what he did – start my career with an ad agency. He then proceeded to write all three of Ford’s agency presidents telling them what a fine young man I was. One of the agency leaders told me he did not even need to interview me. He said “If Ford’s CMO says you’re a fine young man, than you’re a fine young man.” I got hired. And 44 years later, I’m still pleased to be working in the advertising agency business.

Tell us about RPA.  What inspired the idea and what is your vision of the company?

RPA was born out of necessity. When Omnicom was created in 1986 due to many client conflicts, the West Coast operation of DDB and Needham could not be merged.  When Gerry Rubin informed Honda and proposed the idea of starting RPA, Honda executives had just one question: “Will the people remain the same?”  The answer was a resounding yes, and RPA was born.  This year we celebrated our 41st anniversary of working with American Honda. We love that our independence continues to enable us to focus solely on our clients’ needs, rather than worrying about building shareholder value.

Today, we work for over twenty large corporate brands on a national and regional basis. Our agency mission is to unlevel the playing field for our clients. It’s not good enough today to simply create ads. We aspire to create competitive advantages.

What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to RPA’s success:

Back in 1994, the agency was one of the first to establish a dedicated digital operation. We’ve always strived to be consistently ahead of the curve when it comes to the evolution of marketing. Today, it’s more important than ever to be constantly adapting to change. As a full-service independent agency, we’re in a unique position to be able to develop best-of-breed capabilities in-house, including social media, analytics, content strategy and production, digital marketing, experiential and more.   We have long-term relationships with a number of outside partners that help enable us to be experts in any given discipline.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

There is a trend today of clients electing to partner with several agencies rather than just one.  However, there’s also a counter-trend. Many clients are not staffed to, or are not interested in, managing so many different agency relationships and attempting to get them to collaborate effectively. We are known for establishing collaborative relationships with others, helping clients effectively manage their overall marketing communication practice and related agency portfolio. This makes us great partners, whether the client is looking for a single lead agency, or an agency known for playing well with others.

Life’s motto?

My personal mission is to achieve the optimum balance between family (wife/children/grandchildren), work, fitness, nutrition, and leisure.

RPA’s motto?

Our managers are encouraged to practice Servant Leadership: We work for those who work for us.

Your greatest success as CEO of RPA? Most difficult moment – how did you overcome and what did you learn?

By far it was the path to retaining the Honda business during an agency review. We recognized the need to reach out to a few consultants to help stimulate and craft our presentation. All our Associates must remember what Gerry Rubin always said: You can never take any client (no matter how long your history) for granted.  You must treat every day as the first day you are working for them by constantly providing new ideas.

Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

A stellar new-business concept is wonderful. Having good outside financing is great.  But building a solid marketing plan from the get-go is equally important.

Describe the ideal experience using RPA.

We are growth consultants, establishing successful multiple-year business-building partnerships by unleveling the playing field and providing our clients a competitive advantage.

How do you motivate your employees?

Our Associates say RPA is like a family made up of nice, talented people. We treat all our employees with ultimate care, respect, and a willingness to go above and beyond, especially in times of need.

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

A bone-in Filet Mignon and a glass of stellar Cabernet Sauvignon.

What literature is on your bed stand?

Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D.

Role Model – business and personal?

Business – David Bell. He was active throughout the Mad Men era, and is equally relevant in today’s digital age.

Personal – My wife. Due to her own accomplishments, I’m proud to be able to refer to myself as a three-time Mr. Madam President.

Current passion?

Snow skiing.

Favorite destination?

New Zealand.

What’s next for RPA?

Continuing to build the most positive working environment as an independent firm, having all disciplines located and collaborating under one roof, in order to create meaningful content for our clients that customers are willing to engage in.

RPA, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., is a leading independent full-service advertising agency, whose mission is to unlevel the playing field for their clients. RPA has a proven track record of building brands while building businesses into positions of category leadership, and has been rewarded with many long-term client relationships because of it. RPA’s client list includes American Honda, ampm,, ARCO, CoStar Group, Delano Las Vegas, DIRECTV, Los Angeles Clippers, Farmers Insurance Group, Intuit Small Business, La-Z-Boy, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Tempur+Sealy and pivot TV.