EPISODE #97 || Emily Siegel, President and Partner at Lafayette American


Emily Siegel, President and Partner at Lafayette American, has written most of her own job descriptions and built teams that didn’t exist prior. Hear about her nonlinear path to advertising, how to know when’s the right time to move on or take a risk in your career, working with iconic brands in Detroit and what Lafayette American was founded to do as an agency, and advice for future female leaders.

Topics Discussed

  • Her nonlinear path to advertising, which started in journalism and wound through Teach for America, social media analytics, project management, and building content teams and studios.

  • How her foundation in social media analytics has been valuable to her career, including speaking the language of her clients and being able to ask more critical questions.

  • How she knew when the right time to move on was, when to take a risk in her career, and the questions you can ask yourself when considering a new role. 

  • Detroit as an advertising market, working with iconic brands, the challenges of recruiting, and what Lafayette American was founded to do and how it builds its teams. 

  • Being the sole female partner at Lafayette American, and advice for future female leaders.

Mic Drops

“I realized I am the President of Lafayette American, an advertising agency, and really have only worked at one other agency. But I think that speaks to the world that we live in now, where we all find our way to marketing and advertising from different places. And I think that’s strengthening the talent pool, it’s strengthening the work to have all these diverse perspectives.”

“I have to find my people. I have my people, I have mentors, I have peers that I know that I can go to, either in the industry or outside of it, that have been incredibly important along the way for me.”

“Write down all the things you want atmospherically out of a job. What kind of people do you want to be around? What do you want it to feel like? What do you want your hours to look like? How do you want your job and your life to intermingle?”

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About Emily

Emily Siegel is President and Partner at Lafayette American, one of the world's newest, most dynamic creative agencies…which happens to be headquartered in Detroit, MI.

Prior to joining the team at L|A, Emily led the Content Studio at WPP (GTB / Team Detroit), helping Ford find innovative ways to tell its most important brand stories. Some of her favorite projects included Ford’s first-ever branded podcast with Gimlet Media, a long-form documentary with Vice and a viral, female empowerment Valentine’s Day video, “Mustang Speed Dating.”  One of Emily’s biggest regrets from her time at GTB was skipping the Ford/Jose Cuervo shoot in Tequila, Mexico. In 2015, Emily was named a 2015 AdAge “Woman to Watch."

Before making the move to Detroit from NYC in 2013, Emily helped build the Content Strategy team at Federated Media, running content marketing programs for brands such as American Express OPEN, L’Oreal, Citibank, Cadillac and Chevrolet.

Emily’s first few jobs out of college were at Teach for America and Nielsen/Buzzmetrics. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina.

When Emily isn’t building the agency of the future, she’s hanging with her husband, 15-month old son and German Shepherd, Sasha.