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Erma Perham Proetz

Having risen to the position of executive vice president at Gardner Advertising Company in St. Louis, Erma Perham Proetz was known nationally for her contribution to the advertising profession. In recognition of her work, she was the first woman elected to the national Advertising Hall of Fame. Mr. Proetz’ biggest account at Gardner was the Pet Milk Co., for which she developed a network radio show, produced in St. Louis, called the Mary Lee Taylor Program, and it was said that the lead character was, in fact, a portrayal of Ms. Proetz. Sales for the company doubled within four years. She received the Harvard Advertising Award three times, the first person to do so, and in 1935, Fortune magazine named her one of the nation’s top 16 outstanding business women. She was elected president of the Women’s Advertising Club of St. Louis in 1936. After she left the ad business, Ms. Proetz was appointed to the St. Louis City Planning Commission.