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Honoree Headshot

Alex Beer

Chief Client Officer
GMR Marketing

Location: Waukesha County, WI
Founded: 1979
Industry: Marketing

Alex Beer has a simple strategy for success: quite simply, the best people produce the best work. For him, this means adopting a “people first” approach to leadership. By creating the right environment, asking the right questions and gaining consensus among the group, Beer aims to build trust that enables the team to take a path they might not have otherwise considered.

A veteran of the marketing industry, Beer has made a career out of creating connections. He starts with his team who, in turn, helps brands connect with people. At GMR, Beer’s medium is experience. A pioneer in experience marketing at its founding in 1979, GMR is tasked with embedding brands into experiences that leverage the shared passions of strangers, turning individual stories into lasting memories.

It’s no easy task, but one that Beer does not take for granted. “We are lucky to work in a creative, vibrant, daring and adrenaline-fueled world,” he explains, “and we have the responsibility to make the most of it.”

Beer joined GMR as the managing director of the Detroit office. In 2007, he moved to Milwaukee, where he steadily climbed the leadership ranks. In his current role as the company’s sole chief client officer, Beer oversees the agency’s entire client portfolio of roughly 60+ active clients — including Nissan, P&G, Comcast, Visa, HPE, Amazon, Hershey and Google — and manages a team of nearly 200 StoryMakers (what GMR calls their associates).

Beer is, by nature, a relationship builder and problem solver. As a leader, his relationships begin with his team. “I learned early on that showing up each day and empowering people to bring their whole selves to work drives connection amongst my teams and innovation in the work we produce for clients,” he says. He works hard to create interpersonal relationships and lead by example. His approach is to ground his points in sound rationale and deliver them in a gentle but firm way that’s successful because it generates respect.

This translates to Beer’s approach with clients. His knowledge across a broad spectrum of verticals, his drive to understand consumers and his ability to back up strategy with solid data makes Beer an expert at shepherding billion-dollar global brands to life through innovative consumer engagements.

As an advocate and ally, Beer channels his experience into elevating the careers of others and investing his time in places that bring meaningful change to the industry and the agency. He continuously champions DEI efforts within GMR. As a founding member, key advocate and ally for GMR’s women’s employee resource group, GLOW (Growth, Leadership and Opportunities for Women), Alex laid the groundwork for a platform that dozens of StoryMakers at GMR actively leverage for career development and fellowship.

The word that best describes the confluence of Beer’s career journey and GMR can be summed up in one word: change. GMR, which started in 1979 with a single concert series for a beer brand, led the charge in groundbreaking, never-been-done-before experiences at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Super Bowl, Final Four and the World Cup. With each new event, Beer starts from scratch to build experiences that resonate for a lifetime.

The key to staying on course as a leader is the guiding principle, a North Star. For Beer, his North Star remains the proper alignment of priorities — people first, work second, revenue third.

Presented by:

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Honoree Fun fact

Alex coaches his children's sports teams. He's the current coach of two baseball teams, two hockey teams, one lacrosse team, and a softball team. He is also on the board of the hockey club.

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