Giving Back: Bill Kolb
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Giving Back: Bill Kolb

April 29, 2017

McCann Worldgroup Chief Bill Kolb leads this year’s Kidney Walk

By Susan Peck 

Bill Kolb, global president at McCann Worldgroup, lives by a credo: “I firmly believe that whatever you chase, you should chase it to the fullest.” 

He’s using that ambitious philosophy to help raise $600,000 at the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s Kidney Walk at the Detroit Zoo on Sunday, May 21. A Detroit native, Kolb believes whole-heartedly the organization will make its annual goal — and more.

Co-chairs Kolb and Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System, will preside over this year’s 21st annual event. “I became involved when the leaders of the foundation really lit me up,” Kolb said. “The two big things that drew me in were learning that one in nine people in Michigan has chronic kidney disease, and 90 cents of every dollar coming in to the foundation goes to prevent kidney disease and improve the quality of life for those living with it.”

The cause recently hit close to home for him as it does for many. “A woman I work with shared her family’s difficult journey with kidney disease. Her husband donated one of his kidneys to his brother, whose health was critically failing.” 

The upcoming fundraising walk at the Detroit Zoo is a chance to both give and receive. “There’s something very special about having the entire zoo open for just the walkers participating,” Kolb said. “A highlight is being up close in the fantastic exhibits like the new Polk Penguin Conservation Center.” 

Sponsors for the 2017 Kidney Walk include Henry Ford Health System, Health Alliance Plan, McCann Worldgroup Detroit, Greenfield Health Systems, Meijer, WJBK-TV Fox 2 Detroit and more. 


Kolb believes it’s our responsibility to give back to the communities where we live and work. And his inspiration is contagious. It’s why the business and culture of MRM//McCann, McCann Worldgroup Detroit and Commonwealth//McCann have all flourished under his stewardship. 

“Being part of a community means continuously supporting each other — from our teams and our clients to the neighborhoods we live in,” Kolb said. 

With company offices in Downtown Detroit and in Birmingham, he’s proud they can be part of the renaissance and “the spirit of invention that has always been part of Detroit.”  

He also supports Women of Tomorrow-Detroit, a mentor and scholarship program for young women, and the Jazz Preservation Project in New Orleans — a program that brings music to underprivileged children.


Over the past 20 years, nearly 70,000 walkers have taken part in the annual Kidney Walk that raises awareness and funds for the more than 900,000 Michigan residents living with chronic kidney disease. 

The McCann “crew” of more than 400 will be there this year doing their part. 

“I have the best job on the planet,” Kolb said. “We all work hard here and we’re lucky enough to have the opportunities that we have, so I think we have an obligation to give back — as a company and individually. My belief is never do anything halfway … If we’re in it, we will give it everything we’ve got.” NS


Participants can register online now or onsite on the day of the walk, Sunday, May 21, at the Detroit Zoo. Registration is $25 per person (over age 12) and $10 per child for ages 3-12. Kids younger than 2 are free. Participants who raise $100 or more receive a Kidney Walk T-shirt. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the walk kicks off at 8:45 a.m. For more information or to register, visit www.nkfm.org/walks or call the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan at (800) 482-1455, ext. 210.

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