Carla Michelotti, executive vice president and general counsel of advertising giant Leo Burnett Worldwide, was working in her office one day in July when she received a phone call from Marlena Peleo-Lazar, a friend, client and the chief creative officer for McDonalds. The friend told Michelotti, "I need you to come down to the conference room on the 19th floor. I need to talk to you."
Michelotti, who didn't even know that Peleo-Lazar was in the building, was also expecting a conference call and asked if it could wait. Peleo-Lazar said no. So Michelotti went downstairs to find the entire board of the Chicago Advertising Federation waiting for her. The head of the federation announced that Michelotti had won the 2009 American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of advertising. Michelotti is the first lawyer and the second woman ever to win the award.