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Mike Santoro

CEO

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die.”

Daniel Burnham

Mike Santoro is the CEO of Walker Sands. Mike started with the agency in 2007 as the agency’s seventh employee. Two years later, he was named President and got to work refining the firm’s target market and service offerings to help it become the award-winning B2B tech firm that it is today.

During Mike’s tenure, Walker Sands has grown from a seven-person PR boutique into a boundary-pushing, integrated marketing agency with offices in Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle that partners with some of the best B2B brands in the world. An eight-time Inc. 5000 honoree as one of America’s fastest-growing companies, the agency has been a finalist for both Holmes Report and PRNEWS small agency of the year.

As CEO, Mike leads a talented, results-driven team known for its reputation for providing comprehensive, integrated marketing and strategic communications counsel that drives real business results. Along with his underlying mission to make Walker Sands the best B2B marketing agency in the world, Mike is driven by a desire to cultivate a work environment that allows his employees to do the best work of their lives, and strives to empower them to succeed both personally and professionally. His approach has paid off, as the agency’s thriving culture has been recognized by Inc., Crain’s Chicago Business and Entrepreneur in their “Best Places to Work” rankings.

Mike has played a pivotal part in the North American marketing community and is the recipient of a number of awards, including recognition as PRSA Chicago’s PR Professional of the Year and an EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in the Midwest. He also serves on the PR Council board and as the Global Summit Chair for PROI Worldwide, the world’s largest network of independent agencies.

Outside of the marketing landscape, Mike co-founded the Little Giraffe Foundation in 2011, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to supporting neonatal research and preemie families in the NICU.

Specialties

  • Leadership
  • Creativity
  • Charity
  • Breakfast

Skills

  • Integrated marketing
  • Writing
  • Strategy
  • Campaign management
  • Airport navigation

Interests

  • Travel
  • Running
  • Chicago
  • Delicious food
  • Coaching 1st-grade basketball

Connect with Mike

Meet the Team