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Capitol Communicator is running a series of profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this “up close and personal” profile, we feature Allyson (Ally) Hummel.  Photography for this series is by Cade Martin; wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson and Janice Kinigopoulos for THE Artist Agency.

Ally, please provide us a short bio:

I started my career at a boutique design agency in Charlotte, NC, after graduating from VCU, but I always wanted to move to a big city. At the age of 25, I moved to D.C. and have worked here ever since. Currently, I’m the creative director at Ogilvy Washington — been here for the past four years. Before that I was at Porter Novelli for 15 years.

Are you involved in any professional organizations?

Being a creative director and a mom of four does limit my spare time. However, I am an active member of the DC Ad Club and network as much as my schedule allows. I also teach two art classes a month at my children’s school, and I absolutely enjoy it. There’s nothing better than introducing art to children.

What are the things you are most proud of?

Personally, my family. Professionally, a campaign called “Ok2Talk.”  It was a national PSA campaign for the National Association of Broadcasters to chip away at the stigma surrounding mental illness and create an online community where teens and young adults struggling with mental health problems could open up and share their personal stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle or hope. I love to do advertising that helps us try to live our best life and be our best self.

Who were your personal role models?

I have been fortunate to meet and work with a lot of smart and talented people throughout my career. But I will mention my top three that I have known the longest. Jim Kingsley, my former boss, he took the time to mentor me throughout my career and teach me about the world of advertising. Richard Lukstat, a colleague, a friend and currently my boss. We have worked together for almost 17 years and he has always had my back. Dana Cole, a TV producer, who can do just about anything with a smile. All of them – and many more – have kept me sane, inspired and laughing for the better part of two decades.

Did your role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?

I’ve been given a lot of great advice over the years. These are some of my favorites: The more ideas you have, the better chance you have of hitting on the right one; hire the best people your budget can afford; get out of your comfort zone; mentor others; when you are getting feedback on your work, listen for the nugget that will actually improve the work; laugh a lot and have fun.

What professional advice do you have for others?

Find your passion and then do it. The money will come. Whatever makes you lose track of time when you are doing it, is your ‘passion.’ We work a large part of our day, our week and our life. If you aren’t enjoying it most of the time, it’s not worth it—and you will not be great at it. I truly love what I do. I have been offered opportunities to do other things throughout my career, but I have always tried to stay true to what I really love.

What advice do you have on what’s appropriate attire for your organization.

Ogilvy likes professional dress, however, we can now wear jeans. But, dress for success has always been my motto. First impressions are huge, and you can’t have a do-over. So dress in something that makes you feel great and communicates confidence.

Where do you buy most of the clothes you wear to the office?

I love fashion. My go to stores are Banana Republic, JCrew, Anthropologie and a little of H&M. I got Kate Spade leopard print heels for my birthday, and they make any outfit look amazing.

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?

I’m much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. Thanks to Cade Martin and his team for making it so much fun.


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