President, JSML Media
A native New Yorker, Jill has been working in the media industry for 30 years, since she was 18 years old. Starting JSML Media has been a dream come true. With a strong sense and proven ability to know what clients need, Jill has parlayed her success by establishing her own company dedicated to a client-focused philosophy.
Jill spent 15 years buying network TV and radio at major New York advertising agencies including McCann-Erickson and Ted Bates, plus worked on the Ford business at J. Walter Thompson in Detroit. She was named a Marketing & Media Decisions All Star for network radio. As Vice President, Associate Director of National Broadcast at DDB Needham, Jill supervised $150 million for all New York and Detroit accounts.
Upon her arrival in Minneapolis in 1991, Jill redirected her efforts to strategic planning for clients. As Vice President, Media Director at Clarity Coverdale Fury and Sietsema Engel & Partners, she first secured talent and resources, then supervised the strategic planning and execution of all media for the agencies’ national and local accounts. Her achievements include spearheading the first national effort for new product phenomenon, Breathe Right Nasal Strips.
Jill established the Minneapolis office of IPG’s Media First International in 1997. Her success there was unprecedented, growing the office 4,000% during her nine-year tenure.
Executive Vice President, Partner, JSML Media
As Partner at JSML Media, Michelle Leatherman is fulfilling the business collaboration she began with Jill Sakin at the start of her career. Throughout their 15 year history at overlapping agencies, Michelle and Jill have nurtured a philosophy of client service that evolves from their own partnership platform. Long-term clients have responded to Michelle’s commitment to their marketing goals, translating a full understanding of their business to media success.
Michelle’s strategic planning background extends across all media, with an emphasis on print planning and buying. She has been entrenched in the Minneapolis media community since 1992. Her early career encompassed ad agencies such as Clarity Coverdale Fury and Sietsema Engel and Partners. In 1997, Michelle was hired by Haworth Marketing & Media for their largest account, Target. Later joining Media First International as Associate Media Director, Michelle was a strong influence on the growth of the office.
With a major in English Writing at the College of St. Catherine, Michelle is our resident wordsmith and grammar expert. She and her husband live in suburban Minneapolis with their son and daughter.