President and CEO of global PR firm FleishmanHillard John Saunders will be the grand marshall at the St Patrick’s Day parade in St Louis, Missouri, tomorrow. The Dubliner, who was appointed to the top job in the Omnicom network, will lead the ceremonies alongside guest of honour, Minister for Jobs Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor.
FleishmanHillard’s HQ is in St Louis, working to 84 other offices around the world.
It will be the city’s 48th St. Patrick’s Day Parade and a crowd of 350,000 spectators are expected to attend. This year’s parade will feature around 130 floats and bands and 5,000 marchers. Speaking this week, Saunders said: “I am truly honoured. St.Louis is my new home and I’m proud to be grand marshall and fly the Irish flag here on this special day.”
Following his appointment to the top job in FH, Saunders was named in PR Week’s Power List. The list names the top 50 most influential people in global PR. PR Week says the “50 game changers are redefining the role of communications and marketing and elevating their brands and agencies to the highest levels on a global scale.”
The publication asks mentors, colleagues and friends to best describe what makes the PR pros special. “As the first non-American CEO of FleishmanHillard, and one of the few among major agencies, he brings a global perspective that’s innate and immutable.
“Whether walking with CEOs or CCOs, ambassadors or sheiks, prime ministers or presidents, John’s class as a human being first has become his most potent calling card for a firm on the cusp of another great run,” Dave Senay, former president and now senior counsel to FH, said. Saunders was previously president of FH’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
In 1990, he founded Fleishman-Hillard Saunders (FHS) with Rhona Blake and Julian Davis.