Leslie Kay is managing director and partner at Kay & Black, a leading talent management firm that connects top creative talent with advertising agencies, design firms, and brands. Known for her creative insights, problem-solving skills, and hands-on mentorship, she carefully orchestrates the best fit between creatives and clients so that all can excel.
Leslie launched her own business, Leslie Kay Inc., in 1998. The following year she brought on her current business partner, Hillary Black, and the two formed Kay & Black in 2007. Through its three core service offerings, Kay & Black offers talent representation and recruitment, talent outplacement, and creative “boot camps/discussions” for students and individuals. Based in New York, the boutique firm also has offices in New Jersey, Texas, and California.
Coming from a family of artists, writers, and designers, Leslie has always appreciated and enjoyed working in a creative environment. She began her career as creative assistant at global advertising agency Lowe & Partners. Working with the creative manager, executive creative directors, and new business director, she learned how to evaluate portfolios and recognize top talent.
Throughout her career, Leslie has worked to put the best people and processes in place. As creative manager/department coordinator for Kirshenbaum & Bond, she prescreened portfolios, helped organize a growing creative department, and fostered new workflow processes by serving as a liaison between creatives and other agency departments.
In the early 90’s, she took her eye for talent to Greenberg & Associates, where she began recruiting talent for national agencies. During her five years there, she took a short hiatus to work in-house as creative manager at the newly merged TBWA/Chiat Day. There, she helped the chief creative officer reorganize and manage the creative department.
Leslie frequently volunteers her time and shares her expertise at industry forums, providing advice and counsel to advertising students and professionals at all stages of their careers. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1990. She lives in New Jersey with her family.