‘There’s no substitute for knowing your shit’: Exceptional Women Out West featuring Pam Fujimoto, ECD, WongDoody LA

Pam Fujimoto, ECD, WongDoody LA

For Pam Fujimoto, executive creative director at Wongdoody LA, the headline quote permeates her point of view — and there are myriad practical reasons why this is so obvious. You can’t fake your way to client success. You can’t fake something that resonates with consumers. To that end, Fujimoto self-professes that she “geeks out” on learning everything possible about a client. Just ask Coffee Bean and the other clients who rely on WongDoody’s talent, perspective and focus.

Focus is a big part of Fujimoto’s back story. A devotee of Pacific Northwest creative legend Tracy Wong, she made it clear to him that this was going to be her first agency gig.

His advice? Direct encouragement.

You’ve got the skills, but get the book in order. Undaunted, Fujimoto, a University of Washington graduate, did just that — and after a stint at Art Center in LA, Wong hired her, saying that it was the best book he’s ever seen. Like Wong, Fujimoto is direct — but always fair — and it’s all meant as a way to not waste time and unnecessary effort. The result is continual learning and improvement.

Make no mistake, though, Fujimoto, a Seattle native, is grateful for the opportunities she’s had and the work she’s had a hand in (Alaska Airlines’ “Sky High Airlines” campaign is a personal favorite) — and she passes that on to the next generation of talent she mentors, especially WongDoody interns who she says are extremely valuable to the agency’s work.

Fujimoto’s honesty is refreshing and permeates both her work and life. Mother of twins, she is highly nurturing to her family and team at WongDoody and loves seeing people at the agency, at any stage of their life, “figure things out” to become better, more accomplished professionals and human beings.

Exceptional Women Out West is a podcast that highlights and celebrates both the great achievement, lives and POV of amazing women in the Western US and Canada. Listen to previous episodes here. If you would like to nominate women out west to be part of the show, please contact North America Editor at Large, Doug Zanger.

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Doug Zanger

Doug Zanger is the Americas editor for The Drum. He leads the Americas editorial team’s content activity in the growing region. Based in Portland, Oregon, he is committed to sharing the most meaningful stories that benefit the global industry and its people. A Minnesota native, Zanger has covered a wide range of brands, issues and personalities, including Aloe Blacc, Seu Jorge, Wendy Clark, Susan Credle, Dan Wieden, Jeff Goodby and more. Fiercely dedicated to diversity, equality and talent, he has interviewed several women in leadership roles through his Exceptional Women of the World podcast.

All by Doug