Branding Queen

Jet-setting ad exec Kristen Cavallo defied all odds when she took over the award-winning firm Mullen. Here’s what inspires her.

kristen cavallo

photograph by heather mcgrath

She’s been climbing the ranks of the advertising world for 20 years, and last year Kristen Cavallo became president of Mullen’s flagship Boston office. The job came with an unusual provision: The spunky creative could continue to live in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and two children, and run the company remotely. The arrangement was the perfect fit for Cavallo, a travel buff. “My family and I have watched the sun set in Wadi Rum, ridden camels in Petra, walked among the cherry blossoms in Kyoto, gone gorilla-trekking in the Congo, and climbed the Great Wall of China,” she says. Jetting to Boston, L.A., and Chicago for work, then, suits her wanderlust well. It’s all in a day’s work for the ad exec, who has helmed campaigns for Volkswagen, Timberland, and Coca-Cola and won the coveted Jay Chiat Award not once, but twice. Maybe it’s something in that gelato?


Photographs by toan trinh (a grief observed); courtesy of TIFFANY & CO. (ring); the rug company (allegra hicks rug); berkuspic/flickr (plane); talenti gelato; sylvain tremblay (Bleu Urbain, 24 by 48 INCHES,