30 in Their Thirties: Phillip Rzepka // 38


Group Director of Digital, Carat, Detroit

Employees: 80 Revenue: NA Education: Wayne State University

When Phil Rzepka decided to leave an innovation-focused role at Starcom to become group director of digital at the Detroit-based startup Carat, he understood the inherent risk. But he also saw an opportunity to add excitement to the next phase of his career. “When I was making the decision, it was more personal,” Rzepka says. “It was to stay with the General Motors account, with a chance for a broader leadership position. It was the chance to build something from the ground up and work the 90-hour weeks required to do something like that.” Rzepka was part of the second wave of people hired at Carat, now one of Detroit’s fastest-growing agencies. “We’ve got tons of young people, a high-energy work environment, and a chance to really help GM succeed,” he says. Combining a strong automotive and tech background that he applies to digital applications, Rzepka oversees a group of about 80 employees. “We’re making sure GM is on the cutting edge of the digital marketing environment, working with companies like Google and Facebook and making sure GM’s marketing department is world-class in that environment,” he says. Rzepka also recently became the 108th president of the Adcraft Club of Detroit, where his priorities include contemporizing the club and driving stronger connections with the creative forces within the region.