Lia Silkworth: Media Executive & Lifelong Learner

Lia Silkworth has built a successful career as a media and marketing executive that has spanned more than 25 years. Ms. Silkworth earned her B.S. in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin and strongly professes that learning began in the classroom but continued throughout her career.  It has been a prestigious career, one that has been acknowledged with various media accolades and guest speaker engagements. Her knowledge and insights are also valued by the various boards she sits on.

Throughout her career, Ms. Silkworth has mastered various disciplines, including digital media, client account management, strategic planning and business development, data analytics and insights, negotiating skills and team leadership. Although seemingly simple, one of the more notable skills Ms. Silkworth possesses is listening. This allows her to continue learning and leading in a dynamic and rapidly changing industry.   

Lia Silkworth began learning about the advertising industry in the classroom at UT, where she took media and advertising courses. She believes that her education gave her an advantage in the workplace as she translated her classroom-learned fundamentals of advertising to real-world business situations. Although lessons learned in the classroom proved valuable, she stresses that there is no substitute for the experience of working through different business challenges and finding solutions. 

While at UT, Ms. Silkworth had an opportunity to intern and deepen her understanding of the advertising industry. Agency life allowed her a firsthand look at different jobs, so she was able to gain greater clarity for her own career development. A valuable lesson she learned early on in her career is that “you think you know, but you don’t.” She explained that it is important to go into real-world experiences with an understanding that you cannot fully grasp the complexity of a media role until you have held one. She emphasized the importance of continuous learning even though she has been viewed as an expert in her various roles.

Ms. Silkworth currently works in Miami at Publicis as an EVP Client Lead at Spark Foundry. One of her many accounts at Spark Foundry includes Kentucky Fried Chicken. She is a talented executive with great creative skills that allow her to pitch new ideas to prospective clients.

Prior to her current position at Publicis, she held two SVP roles at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. As SVP of Revenue Development, she identified and implemented new revenue-generating opportunities. She leveraged her prior advertising agency experience, which helped her develop strategies that translated to accelerated growth for the organization. In her other SVP Strategy and Insights role, she led programming and consumer research as well as data and analytic functions.

Before her roles at Telemundo, she ushered in a significant transformation at Publicis, placing it in a leading position as a US Multicultural media agency. During her career, Ms. Silkworth also led strategic planning for iconic brands including Samsung, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Disney, and General Motors. 

Other advice that Ms. Silkworth generously offered is to be adaptable and versatile. Be open to new ideas, roles, and opportunities, and stay ahead when seeking clients' business. According to her, these qualities, among others, are imperative to success in the media industry. Lastly, she encourages young professionals to remember their roots and give back. Ms. Silkworth herself does this by staying connected with the University of Texas at Austin and contributing in different ways, including program participation and guest lecturing.

Meredyth Binder
Edited by Kim Fulton, Graphic by Avery Tellam