Sumner Payne
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My strange, meandering journey into account planning.


Ever since I was young, I’ve obsessively asked the question “why?” on an inquisition for truth. I’m relentlessly curious to a fault; problem-solving isn’t a skill, it’s an urge. That drive to learn has led me to take risks both personally and professionally to uncover my truth, and each experience lends a different dimension to the lens through which I see the world.

As a visual artist and dancer, I’ve always felt whiplashed between my right and left brains. I retired from professional ballet to pursue an Economics degree at Dartmouth, where I learned that analytical and creative problem-solving are reciprocal, not mutually exclusive. Insightful research required creativity with data: identifying delicate anomalies among infinite chaos that reveal hidden truths about human behavior. This passion for lateral thinking and love of brands led to my first strategy internship at a boutique agency in Paris specializing in lifestyle and luxury brands. From there, I joined Grey as an account exec on a global CPG brand to broaden my knowledge of all things advertising, from TV production to music licensing. 

Along the journey, I've visited 40 countries, toured Germany with my dance company, lived in Rome, collected art, conducted sociology research at a Berlin techno club, dabbled in finance, and embarked on a Tokyo anime tour. This web of experiences cultivates my unique POV that I bring to bear in any given problem. And I believe brands too must have a salient POV to break through, inspire action, and in turn, lead culture.

Let’s take risks and make great work together. 




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