Stephen Harty is the former CEO and Vice Chairman of National Flood Services in Kalispell MT. NFS was owned by a private equity fund and sold to Aon in July 2014. On his watch, the firm acquired its biggest competitor and dealt with the overwhelming disaster of Superstorm Sandy as well as hurricanes Irene and Lee, among others. Prior to flood insurance, Steve spent 30 years in advertising, most recently as Chairman for North America at Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), a leading British advertising network, where he worked with clients such as Google, Unilever, British Airways, Cadillac and Miller Lite and participated in the launch of the Ally online bank.
He joined BBH from the Plus Consulting Group in New York, where he founded and managed a consultancy designed to integrate the global offerings of the advertising agency Lowe with the direct marketing company Draft. In 1993 he was a co-founder of Merkley Newman Harty, one of the first internally integrated firms on Madison Avenue. During nine years as President, MNH grew from 30 to 300 people serving clients such as Citigroup, IBM, Pfizer, BellSouth and Mercedes-Benz. The agency launched the startup airline JetBlue, developing name, positioning, visual identity and all other aspects of marketing.
Steve began his advertising career with Ogilvy & Mather where he started as a trainee, was named the agency’s youngest General Manager and later was appointed Worldwide Account Director for American Express, responsible for the brand in 42 countries. Steve took a one-year leave of absence from Ogilvy in 1983 when selected as a White House Fellow, where he served as Special Assistant to the Director of the FBI. He graduated from Williams College in 1973 and recently stepped down after twelve years as a Williams trustee, in which capacity he chaired several committees and led a two-year strategic planning process.
Steve earned an MPPM in 1980 from the Yale School of Management and later served as Chair of the SOM Alumni Fund and an Advisor for the Yale Center for Consumer Insight. He played for the Manhattan Rugby Club for twenty years and served another five as a referee and administrator before retiring in 2004. But he began his New York rugby career as a ringer for the Columbia Business School XV. He’s married with four daughters and lives in Irvington NY.
Areas of interest: advertising, strategy, marketing, higher education, the federal government and the management of creative enterprises.