A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:


Title: Business director

Age: 49

Mary Haugh is continuing to help companies use creativity to solve business challenges with her promotion as business director at Persuasion Arts & Sciences, a creative consultancy in Minneapolis.

Haugh, who joined the agency in 2012, also will drive business growth for the agency in the newly created role.

"As the business director, together with the creative director, we help clients better reframe their challenges in a way that leads to more insightful and fresh solutions," Haugh said.

The firm's name, Haugh said, underscores that its work begins with business issues.

"It's about the marriage of information, data, research and solid grounding that so fuel creative inspiration," Haugh said. "In typical creative firms, creativity simply just tolerates research and data. We see it as the real springboard to making an impact."

Haugh's experience includes 16 years at Martin Williams, where she became a vice president and account director. She most recently worked at Little, formerly Little & Company, as vice president of strategy and account management.

Haugh has a master's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota and undergraduate degrees in business, psychology and economics from the University of St. Thomas.

"One of my original loves was understanding how human behavior drives the business and the creative side of marketing, so this opportunity is bringing me full circle," Haugh said.

Persuasion Arts & Sciences (PAS) was founded in 2007 by two former senior creative leaders at Fallon, Mark Johnson and Dion Hughes. Clients include Best Buy, Lowe's and the New York Stock Exchange and nonprofits including Nice Ride Minnesota.

Q: How do you approach the agency's mission of "uniting creativity and business"?

A: By un-siloing creativity from business, which is the way it's usually structured in ad agencies. That allows us to create a far more symbiotic relationship that helps achieve our mission of having creativity make a bigger impact on business.

Q: Why should a company work with PAS?

A: We believe that the core of a great idea resides inside the business. We find the greatness within our clients' companies and make it big, beautiful and inspiring out in the world.

Q: How do you approach creativity from a business director's standpoint?

A: By starting with why. We ask why and why and why to get beyond the obvious problems to the real core of issues — to solve the real problem, not just the perceived problem. This leads to far more relevant and effective solutions.

Todd Nelson