Matchmaking: Texas Tech and Success

By Sarah Ivester
Photos courtesy of Jan Boyle

After 30 years of working in a creative, intellectual, exciting industry, Jan Boyle credits her personal and professional achievements to the experiences and education she received from the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech.

When Boyle was 16 years old, she moved with her parents from New Jersey to New Orleans, La., and completed high school there. When it was time for her to make a choice on which college to attend, Boyle said her parents told her to look in the South because they lived in that area. She said she was interested in Texas Tech and the University of Texas at Austin, and she visited both universities with her parents. Boyle said she chose Texas Tech because the campus and classes seemed more approachable.

Boyle said she met many wonderful people in Lubbock and at Texas Tech. She said one of her favorite professors at Texas Tech was Billy I. Ross.

“He had us believing that even out in West Texas we were players in the advertising world,” she said.

Boyle enjoyed working with Ross on Mass Communications week as a chairman. Boyle said she enjoyed how she had the opportunity to work in areas across all of mass communications.

After graduating from Texas Tech with a degree in English and marketing, Boyle worked as an account executive at Competitive Edge, followed by an account supervisor position at McCaffrey & McCall, and then an account director position at DDB. In 1987, Boyle became the group account director at Ammirati Puris in New York. She worked there until 1999.

“One day in 1990 or so,” Boyle said, “on a Saturday morning at the office, I was going downstairs and a new guy was sitting at the office at the top of the stairs typing away.”

She said she introduced herself and he introduced himself as David Fowler. Boyle said she recognized Fowler’s Texas accent and told him she graduated from Texas Tech.

“He went to Tech the same four years I did,” Boyle said, “and we never met, but here we were at Ammirati Puris working together.”

Boyle said she was grateful to be working in such an exciting place as New York, and she will never forget the many passionate and unique people she encountered there.

“New York and advertising introduces you to people you just want to know,” Boyle said. “It’s such a lovely, creative, intellectual environment.”

Fowler also graduated from Texas Tech in 1978 and is currently the executive creative director for Ogilvy & Mather in New York.

“It goes to show you that the village of advertising is really pretty small,” Fowler said. “New York is a challenging environment, the only city in the world where advertising is truly an industry. Jan really made it happen in New York She’s proof of the Tech saying that ‘From here, it’s possible.’”

Fowler said Boyle has had an amazing career in New York, including running the Mercedes Benz account and the BMW account.

“She was in the agency search business for many years, and in media,” Fowler said. “Few people have mastered such diversity in their careers. It shows you the caliber of people who attend Tech, and the quality of preparedness the Mass Communication College offers to grads. It prepares you for anything.”

When she was 27 years old, Boyle quit her job at McCaffrey & McCall to travel around Europe for a year. She said at the time she was fortunate enough to take some time off and enjoy her passion for traveling.

“My whole career,” she said, “has been about searching out wonderful, creative people.”

She described the excitement of working on the BMW account at Ammirati Puris, the agency known for creating the BMW slogan as the “ultimate driving machine.”

After 12 years at Ammirati Puris, Boyle founded MatchWorks, an ad agency search service and consultation for advertising, marketing and public relations. She was the managing partner at MatchWorks until 2008.

“She is one of those rare talents who can be both an agency executive and also an entrepreneur,” Fowler said. “She built a very respected business as a search consultant, which is a person who connects clients and agencies. There’s millions of dollars at stake and the pressure is incredible. Jan is one of those people who were born to be in this game. She takes it all in stride and thinks long term.”

Janet Bustin, managing director of DDB Dallas, said she has known Boyle for more than 30 years. Bustin said she graduated from Texas Tech with Boyle and was on the American Advertising Federation team with her. Bustin said Boyle is a smart, engaging person who is fun to work with.

David Fowler said he stayed in touch with Boyle after they worked at Ammirati Puris together.

“She knows the ad business inside and out, probably better than anyone. Simply because she’s been on all sides of it: on the agency side, on the media side, and in between as a search consultant who connects agencies and clients,” Fowler said. “It’s a bit like matchmaking, except there’s millions of dollars at stake and enormous pressures and egos. She is just brilliant at managing all those moving parts.”

After running MatchWorks for nine years, Boyle took the position of global managing partner lead at Universal McCann in New York. Boyle said it was the first time she had ever been at a media company. She said it was an exciting time because she was in a global position.

“There is really nothing special about me,” Boyle said. “It’s been a privilege to work with the wonderfully creative people I have encountered in my career. I’ve just been along for the ride.”

Having a passion for the business is a prerequisite for this aggressive industry, Boyle said, as is long hours.

“You have to love the people you work with,” she said, “because those are the people you spend the most time with.”

Sarah Ivester is a junior public relations major from Keller, Texas.