Steven Michaelson, a four-decade advertising and marketing veteran who founded two celebrated agencies during his career—Wishbone (1998) and Calcium (2012)—has announced his retirement from Calcium + Company.
Under Michaelson’s leadership, Calcium has grown exponentially year over year with over 70% growth in 2020 and 38% growth in 2021, according to MM+M’s Agency 100 list, while positioning itself for further growth with its recent evolution into Calcium + Company. With such success, Calcium has gained a roster of blue-chip pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients.
“Steven is the ultimate entrepreneur. Building businesses is in his DNA. His superpower is his ability to achieve a goal, no matter how unattainable it may seem. He will do whatever it takes and make it happen,” explained Judy Capano, Mr. Michaelson’s long-time business partner and wife, and current Calcium + Company CEO.
“The agency is well positioned for long-term success with Judy and Greg Lewis, Managing Partner and Group President, at the helm,” says Michaelson. “Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the best people in our industry and I have been influenced by all of them. Somehow, I’ve gotten people far smarter than myself to follow me, starting with Judy. Some of my other partners, like Steve Hamburg, Chief Strategy Officer, followed me from Wishbone to Calcium. Along the way, we picked up some new partners that joined the band. The people that I have surrounded myself with are the true secret to my success, and the success of the agency. This is a team sport, and I couldn’t have done it without all the incredible people at both Wishbone and Calcium. I am truly one of the luckiest people alive.”
“That said, I turned sixty-seven years old last month. It’s time to pass the baton and devote more time to my passions outside the workplace.”
Michaelson is known for transforming the way pharmaceutical advertising approached brand building through strategic symbolic representations. His agencies flourished with long-standing client relationships, continued growth, and award recognitions.
“Steven has created a strong agency brand that stands for quality, innovation, and a work culture that is second-to-none. I am honored and excited to carry on his vision and his legacy,” touted Lewis.
Mr. Michaelson has been recognized for his accomplishments and influence on the medical advertising industry by most of the awards and recognitions one can receive. Most recently, Michaelson was awarded the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award from PM360. This followed recognition in 2021 as PharmaVoice’s 2021 Red Jacket honoree and as the recipient of the MM+M Pinnacle Award. He was named the 2019 Industry Person of the Year by Med Ad News. Other recognitions include MM+M’s Entrepreneur of the Year (2018); the PM360 Elite Awards (Transformational Leader) (2017); and two appearances in PharmaVoice’s top 100 (2006, 2015), which salutes leaders who are trailblazers and at the forefront of the life sciences and industry trends.
Calcium and Wishbone, the agencies founded by Michaelson, have received 17 Agency of the Year recognitions between them. However, as Michaelson would tell you, his most precious recognition is one of his most recent—making MM+M’s 2022 Best Places to Work list.
Michaelson was the former Chairman of the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame and has been a board member for close to 20 years. He also sits on the Med Ad News advisory board.
Outside of Pharma, Michaelson serves on the advisory board of Haven Kids Rock, a music program that empowers underserved youth who have been victims of trauma, abuse, or neglect to heal through the arts; the program was created specifically for Mott Haven Academy’s students in the Bronx. Not only are two-thirds of Haven Academy’s students in foster care and the child welfare system, the final third live in the poorest Congressional district in the U.S. and face similar challenges. Michaelson is also a donor and fundraiser for the U.S. Tennis Association Foundation, whose mission is to bring tennis and education together to change lives for under-resourced youth. Michaelson is also a member of and donor to the Community-Police Relations Foundation, a charity dedicated to strengthening community and law enforcement relations through outreach, participation, events, and scholarship; and to supporting law enforcement, first responders and their families in times of distress or fraternity. He is also proud to provide support for the Great American Milk Drive, an organization dedicated to providing critical nutritional support for Americans in need.
About Calcium + Company
Calcium + Company is an award-winning healthcare marketing agency dedicated to brand nourishment, led by CEO Judy Capano and Group President Greg Lewis.
With more than 140 employees and offices in Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, Calcium + Company offers a range of leading-edge strategic, creative, and engagement services designed to nourish brands and drive business success. It also focuses on being a nourishing force for its people and the wider community. Calcium was recently ranked one of MM+M’s 2022 Best Places to Work.