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You don't often find someone who has stuck by one agency for 21 years, as Margaret Johnson has at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, but she says she never seriously considered leaving. "I'd look other places, but it always came back to 'I love San Francisco and Rich and Jeff.' It's learning from great legends," Johnson says, referring to company co-founders Rich Silverstein and Jeff Goodby. "I've lived with them longer than my own parents," she adds with a laugh.

She's learned well. Her team's creative gymnastics were behind an astounding $1 billion in new business last year for the agency, including the prized Pepsi account, Liberty Mutual and the social business for longtime client Comcast's Xfinity. It's an impressive run for Johnson, who is the shop's first chief creative officer and first female partner, and who is dedicated to increasing the ranks of women at the agency. Already, 64 percent of GS&P's management team is female.

"One thing I'm striving to do is improve recruiting and keep more women in Goodby's creative department," says Johnson, a North Carolina native who still has a trace of a Southern accent. "I'm working really hard to make sure our partner group is 50-50 and that the work is balanced with perspectives that are both male and female."

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