In Memoriam: W. Mitchell Ratliff, 58
Product Manager in Consumer Banking at Chase
The CAA mourns the passing of its member W. Mitchell (Mitch) Ratliff of Montclair, NJ, who died on August 2, 2013 at the age of 58.
Mitch worked at Chase from 1988 to 1996, leaving as a VP, Consumer Banking. He served as a marketing manager for savings products.
According to his former colleague Bob Banach, "Mitch was at Chase during a reinvestment period in the retail distribution by then head of the MCB, Don Boudreau, most of the time under Drew Otocka as head of marketing. We launched Chase's packaged banking account at the time, Chase Better Banking, launched the Vista Mutual Funds, a branch-based investment program, and preferrential pricing for CDs and savings accounts. We raised billions advertising the #1 mutual fund ranking that the Vista Growth & Income fund received in the early '90s. He led the retail product consolidation and communication efforts for several banks acquired by Chase in Connecticut and New York at the time, and the integration of NY-based Chase and Rochester-based Chase Lincoln First during that time. Mitch led our retail advertising efforts for the retail bank, working closely with Aubrey Hawes and Larry Levy in corporate marketing, and our agency at the time, Wells Rich Greene. He also worked closely with Joel Epstein and his team to lead the communication effort for Chase's segmentation strategy in the mid-90s."
A magna cum laude graduate of Duke University, Mitch also held an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business.
Following his work at Chase, he held senior management positions at Foote Cone & Belding, FDBi and G2 Direct and Digital. He left advertising to become VP, Corporate Communications at New York Life, in January 2007. Two years later he founded and became president of his own strategic marketing consultancy, Sagg Creek Marketing.
He leaves his wife of 32 years, Robin, two children, Emily and Marshall, and a brother and sister.In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mitch's memory to Bnai Keshet Reconstructionist Synagogue, 99 Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ, or to a charity through iFLIP4.com.
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Anyone wishing to share a remembrance or tribute should send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Bob Banach: Working in marketing gave us some priviliges over the years, like getting tickets from media outlets or the Garden. Somehow Mitch secured the right tickets at just the right time – like attending several key Rangers playoff games in 1994 on their way to Stanley Cup victory. On a work note, Mitch took some of his teaching style as an adjunct professor at NYU's business school and used it at work as he coached us through many efforts to great success. He was a great mentor and coach and earned the respect of his team. And, over the years, it was always enjoyable hearing him discuss his fantasy sports teams. We will miss his friendly bearded face.
From Diane Frattine: I had the privilege of first working with Mitch in 1995, when I was an Account Supervisor at Wells Rich Greene, and Mitch was head of retail bank advertising for Chase. I vividly remember my very first day at WRG, as we were presenting a new advertising campaign to the Chase clients. I instantly liked Mitch - he was so genuine, smart, and was fully engaged in the strategic and creative process. It was the start of a long professional relationship and friendship. When WRG shuttered its doors in 1998, I got a call from Mitch, who was then a SVP Group Management Director at Foote, Cone & Belding. He offered me a job in his account group; I accepted and enjoyed the next five years working closely with Mitch on the MetLife business which he won and sustained for FCB for several years. Mitch was incredibly smart, very hardworking, and always willing to share his knowledge and mentor others. Working on his team was a great experience - we worked hard and we played hard. I count my years working with Mitch among the happiest and most productive of my entire advertising career. I last saw Mitch in 2009, yet I have thought of him often, and speak about him often. Count me among his many fans and admirers. He was truly unique,and I am happy to have known him and worked with him. Bless him and his family always. He will be missed and fondly remembered.