Weber Shandwick New York chief creative officer Angela Mears died unexpectedly on Thursday morning at age 35, the firm said.
While in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this week to judge The Andy Awards, Mears suffered a medical emergency, according to an internal memo written by Weber Shandwick president Susan Howe.
“Angela was a force of life, a force for ideas, a force for friendship, a fearless woman who has rocked our world, our clients’ worlds and the world at large with her courage, compassion, generosity, wit, full-on genius and pure grace,” said Gail Heimann, CEO of The Weber Shandwick Collective, in an emailed statement. “Her loss is devastating and incomprehensible. For her family, foremost. And for the many, many in our network who loved her."
Howe called Mears “one of a kind” in her memo, adding that she was a “creative wunderkind whose presence and talent belied her age. Whose twin virtues — generosity and fearlessness — were emblematic of her DNA, whose friendship, kindness and caring came naturally and meant the world to all of us who knew her and loved her.”
Mears joined Weber Shandwick in 2011 as an intern, fresh out of Northwestern University. Last June, Mears was named global executive creative director and in September she stepped into her most recent role as chief creative officer.
Mears led creative work for the agency on the West Coast and in Chicago, Europe and New York. She worked with clients such as Airbnb, McDonald’s, Ikea, Unilever, Haleon, IBM, AB InBev and Sony.
Mears’ work has been recognized by Cannes Lions, Eurobest, Clios, the One Show, the Webby’s, the Shorty awards, the PRWeek Awards, and other organizations. She was recently named to Campaign’s 2022 Female Frontier Awards list.
Additionally, Mears was an active member of the agency’s diversity and inclusion leadership team. In Weber’s offices, the firm's leaders plan to bring employees together so they can share their memories and stories about Mears. Weber will also have counselors available.
The firm has not made a decision about who will take over Mears’ responsibilities, an agency spokesperson said.
Mears’ career started in entertainment, working as a production assistant on “The Simpsons" and in development for feature films at New Line Cinema.
Howe said that, outside of work, Mears had a passion for all things food and had a food blog “before food blogs were a thing.”