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Celebrating Mentorship

March 30, 2023
Todd Spencer, Alum

“I love this industry,” shared Todd Spencer, president of Louisville advertising agency Doe-Anderson. “It is the perfect mix of creativity and business problem-solving. I’ve gotten to spend my career helping a lot of different clients solve business issues with creative solutions.” A true marketer and visionary leader in his role as executive chairman of Doe-Anderson, his insights resulted in the development of innovative marketing campaigns which generated positive results for many national and international brands such as Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, KOHLER, American Red Cross, Humana, Nestlé Purina, and Louisville Slugger, to name a few. Spencer’s relentless energy and passion made him the youngest president in the company’s 108-year history.

Spencer shared, “I started my career in advertising through an internship program at the time within the College of Business. That access and practical application of what we were learning was literally life-changing.” Citing his alumni network’s impact on his professional development, Spencer noted, “[The College of Business] gave me an incredible foundation for everything I’ve accomplished. The structure helped me make connections to build the foundational relationships I needed.”

Along with the connections gained through alumni networking, Spencer also credits the mentorship of two important individuals who have greatly impacted him throughout his professional life: former president of Doe-Anderson Dave Wilkins, and former Maker’s Mark distiller Bill Samuels, Jr.

Spencer credits Wilkins with taking a chance on him as a young professional. “He took a chance in hiring me and was always there to provide support while giving me space to go figure it out,” shared Spencer. “Dave was always there for support and counsel.” Spencer also notes Samuels as having made one of the most significant impacts on him as a professional in his field. “He has made the biggest impact on my career,” noted Spencer. “He is incredibly open and treats everyone he encounters the same – from corporate and government leaders to copywriters to farm hands.”

Spencer encourages current and future graduates to continue learning while identifying mentors to aid them after graduation. “Find ways to get access to strong business leaders and use them as mentors,” he encouraged. “Have a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset and be positive about what can be accomplished.”