Development Director


Since 2001, 50,000feet has crafted a distinctive approach to developing integrated strategic communications for some of the world’s most respected brands. The agency combines business intelligence, industry acumen and consumer insights to deliver immersive creative solutions that synchronize mobile, digital, broadcast, video, print and retail communications. The Inc. 5000 company is one of the largest wholly owned independent, Chicago-based creative agencies, with additional presence in Seattle, New York, Washington, D.C., and Austin.

At 50,000feet, the Development Director oversees all business development as well as provides input into strategic program development among the existing agency client roster. The Director owns and implements the development plan, which is created in collaboration with agency Principals and supporting Directors. The Director is responsible for driving growth of a balanced portfolio across categories, including but not limited to Automotive, Financial Services, Luxury, Healthcare and Consumer Electronics. Additional responsibilities include initiating and encouraging conversations with prospective clients and partners, helping grow the agency network through professional and creative associations, working closely with potential and new clients to frame opportunities and facilitating engaging and collaborative client/agency relationships.

The candidate should be prepared to deliver significant, year-over-year growth for 50,000feet by participating in and leading activities related to the strategy, management, coordination and execution of client development. The Director will work to identify, analyze, attract and sign potential clients in areas of strategic interest. The position will identify qualified opportunities, determine their financial and operational feasibility and help determine how the agency will help prospects achieve their business and brand objectives.


  • Keep current on industry trends and business drivers for clients.
  • Create and deliver compelling and personalized presentations that address the business issues and opportunities faced by prospective clients.
  • Negotiate and sign contracts with prospective clients stakeholders across client executive, marketing, technology, legal and accounting teams.
  • Develop strategies and manage agency business development efforts.
  • Leads team efforts that ensure growth in both skill level and profitable revenue generation.
  • Coordinate development of client proposals and RFP responses, pitches and presentations.
  • Build and maintain relationships throughout client organizations.
  • Work closely with agency teams to define client objectives, requirements and budgets.
  • Adapt approaches to meet changing market and competitive conditions.
  • Be a voice in the agency planning process.
  • Oversee the development of marketing necessary to support business development.
  • Help to define and maintain the agency's corporate image in the business community.
  • Represent the agency with clients and at industry events.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in Marketing, Business or Communications.
  • At least 10 years of agency experience preferred, especially in strategic brand development and integrated brand communications programs.
  • Exceptional relationship building and negotiation skills.
  • Diplomatic with department teams and client organizations.
  • Adept at managing clients and projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to think critically, creatively and big-picture.
  • Comfortable in an entrepreneurial culture and large client organizations.
  • Ability to find solutions through strategic and cost-effective ways.
  • Professional, friendly demeanor.

This position is full-time and ideally located in Chicago.

To apply for this position, send your resume to Please include the title of the position in the subject field of your e-mail.

No Phone Calls, Please.