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AWNY Community Archive

C – Suite Meet with Nadine McHugh

11/10/2016 - Hosted by: She Runs It Leadership Development Committee at Pandora
Sponsored by Centro

Nadine McHugh is a well-known name in the NYC ad world having held several senior positions at Ogilvy, Mindshare, Colgate and now at L’Oréal. She shared her life and career lessons which have helped her throughout her life. She arrived at them through what she calls “pivotal moments”. She went on to describe these moments in her life when she was either inspired or at cross roads not knowing fully well which road she wanted to take. Her belief in herself was always strong and her interests’ myriad which kept her going at all stages of her career and life.

Nadine grew up in Queens in a family of 5 - 2 sisters and parents who believed that success came from hard work. Her core values were shaped at an early age by her parents who always upheld the belief that is you work hard, you can be anything you want to be. This was a bedrock in Nadine’s life as she navigated life in her early years and also today.

A product of the Queens public school system, Nadine’s English teacher had an early influence in her life when she helped her understand that Communications is a legitimate career choice and her Journalism degree won’t end up with a no job scenario post-graduation. This was one of the pivotal moments in her life which led to Nadine getting her degree in comms and becoming gainfully employed on a 13k salary in media at a small agency! But the itch to change bit her when she and her husband traveled to Georgia and this girl from NY fell in love with the Southern way of life. So much so that she took the plunge and moved to Georgia …a pivotal moment.

While she enjoyed a few months there, she started to dislike it in 6 months and gained another pivotal moment inspiration - she was a true New Yorker! True to her nature and beliefs, she didn’t simply stay. Back she came to NY and Ogilvy. She went on with her career growing into her role on Team Unilever at WPP and ultimately into changing the game on the account to convert it into a destination account both internally and externally in press.

Nadine’s next pivotal moment came when she realized that the rule book at the top was different than what had gotten her success in the early days. There was no real training available for female executives and life was full of operational details which involved no creativity. Craving creativity Nadine once again took matters into her own hands and found “her people” at a creative workshop in Buffalo. This was a pivotal moment which gave her perspective on what is truly important to her at work. She kept this need for creativity as her north start as she guided her career through a Global role at Colgate all the way to her current role at L’Oréal. What she had learnt through the pivotal moment in Buffalo was that learning on the job is an important aspect of what makes her happy in addition to being creative and innovative no matter what the job. It is what makes Nadine who she is today - a great speaker, mentor, innovator and senior female executive who is not afraid to take a turn only to turn back or take a chance that leads to different opportunities than originally planned for.

Nadine ended her talk with a summary of lessons learnt:

  • Own your own power - Women in the workplace should own their actions and how that can either lead to a position of influence or lack thereof. If a chair at the head of the table is open, take it. Otherwise, someone else will.
  • Trust your guts - We all have great intuition and we should use it. The quote Nadine had here is “out of vulnerabilities will come strength”.
  • Sorry not sorry - We as women tend to apologize a lot more than needed. We do not need to do that.
  • Sometimes it’s all a game of chess - Life can get tough but thinking of work life as a game can help take the emotion out of a situation and help focus on the moves alone to see what role one wants in that game.
  • Have you ever really asked? - Women often tend not to ask for what they want and need at work. If we don’t ask, we won’t ever get. Fearing denial shouldn’t stop us from asking.
  • Enjoy the ride! - last but not the least, we should enjoy the time we spend working because life can turn on a dime and while its work, it should be enjoyable!

from the Desk of Lauren Wallace - 09/21/2016

Hello, I am extremely interesting in pursuing an advertising career in environmentalism or sustainability. If anyone is currently working in anything related to this field, could you please reach out to my personal email at I'd love to meet up for coffee and pick your brain over. Thanks, Lauren

AWNY GenNext Awards 2016

09/20/2016 - Event Coverage by: Monica Song

The inaugural GenNext Awards took place in the chic, new Forbes on Fifth event space. This award was created to celebrate the next generation of leaders in marketing and media. Each honoree was selected based on her impressive career trajectory, measureable accomplishments, and leadership.

2016 GenNext Honorees:

  • Caitlin Bergmann, Director - Content & Creative at MediaCom, @Pasty
  • Ella Chinitz, GVP - Data Science at Razorfish, @EllaChinitz
  • Laura Correnti, EVP Managing Director - Media at Giant Spoon, @Laura_Correnti
  • Lindsey Cox, Associate Marketing Director at Martha Stewart - Meredith Corporation, @LindseyrenaeCox
  • Melina Ex, Managing Director - East Coast at Fetch, @MelinaEx
  • Natalie Kim, Director of Strategy at Firstborn, @NatalieyKim
  • Maggie Kiselick, Director of Ad Partnership & Innovations - Auto, Tech, Telecom at The New York Times, @Maggiemae7734
  • Melissa Lentz, Founder of M. Hatter Consulting, @MelissaLentz
  • Kate Paulin Charles, SVP Head if Insights and Planning at 360i, @KatePaulin

Lynn Branigan, President & CEO of AWNY, opened the ceremony by announcing the launch of AWNY in Chicago and the opportunity to rebrand our organization. "Our industry has grown beyond advertising and AWNY has grown beyond New York, so a name change is required. We have the opportunity to sharpen our focus and remind people why we do what we do." Stay tuned during Advertising Week when we unveil our new name!

As Lynn discussed how women make great leaders and create cultures that future generations want to be part of, we shifted our attention to the fabulous women we were celebrating that evening. "Tonight we're talking about the next generation of leaders. We know [millennials] want power and influence, but what we want to talk about tonight is what they contribute and what they do."

We began by thanking co-chairs Betsy Bartosiak and Kayla LaFata for spearheading and organizing the event. Steve Goldberg - Managing Partner of Media Recruiting Group, the presenting sponsor for the event - welcomed everyone and introduced our moderator for the evening, Jenny Rooney - Editor of the Forbes CMO Network.

Ms. Rooney explained to the audience that a panel of 11 judges reviewed 75 submissions to select the 9 GenNext winners. "Our honorees are pooled from a broad range of companies, but they have all achieved great things in their careers and are an inspiration to others." Before bringing the recipients to the stage for a quick Q&A, we played a video asking each woman: What is your greatest accomplishment thus far?

Caitlin Bergmann
Q: What is the best piece of advice that has helped you become so successful?
A: "There is no such thing as a bad job, just a bad boss. That has been an important navigational north star for me. Interviewing is like dating; are we going to jive when I see you for 12+ hours a day? Take the time to get to know who you're going to report to, because that is everything."

Ella Chinitz
Q: What excites you most about the ad industry today?
A: "I didn't expect to be in the ad space, but after ten years, what I like most is the pace of change. I am in the data science side with constant new tech, products, solutions, and data. The pace of change in my field is so great; to be part of that and create new solutions is very exciting and motivating for me."

Laura Correnti
Q: What makes you most excited to go to work every day?
A: "It's the people; their creativity, curiosity, and desire to move the industry forward is what drives me day in and day out. Also working for a client like GE is fantastic."

Lindsey Cox
Q: What advice would you give to individuals beginning their careers?
A: "Have you mind set on what you want your brand to be, you'll discover your voice and how you want your career to move forward."

Melina Ex
Q: What is the biggest challenge you've overcome in your career?
A: "After living in 4 different continents, having to start over again and again has been my biggest challenge. Beyond finding the supermarket, I had to restart my network, reputation, and brand each time I relocated, but it has been so fun and I've developed a global mindset."

Natalie Kim
Q: Who is your mentor?
A: "My mentor is my boss. He is the most considerate mentor; he studies how people learn and communicate and adjusts to their needs. He teaches by doing. I admire how he deals with problems and decision making, plus he always has an open-door policy."

Maggie Kiselick
Q: Who is someone in the industry that you admire?
A: "I admire Meredith Levien (Chief Revenue Officer of the New York Times). She is such an inspiration and I learn so much from her business sense. She is an incredible communicator and understands what we need for customers as well as what we need internally. And my dad! No bad work situation can't be fixed with a call to him."

Melissa Lentz
Q: Where do you want to be in 10 years?
A: "Where will our industry be in 10 years? I love this industry and I love fortifying industries and their future business models. I want to create impact and drive value for my clients."

Kate Paulin Charles
Q: What made you want to do what you do?
A: "Watching The Price Is Right when I was a kid, I was more interested in the commercials. I am always wondering what people are thinking and doing. I'm curious about what motivated them to do something and what will entertain them."

We closed the award reception by playing another video asking each of the honorees: If your coworkers could describe you in one word, what would it be?

Special thanks to the AWNY Young Executives and Leadership Development Committees for organizing the first annual GenNext Awards, our Presenting Sponsor - Media Recruiting Group, our in-kind sponsor - Forbes, and Grey New York for editing the video content.

AWNY Woman of the Year Presentation

08/15/2016 -

Event Reporter: Ayana Frierson

On July 28, 2016, Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) held its 51st Annual Woman of the Year award ceremony honoring Alison Lewis, Chief Marketing Officer of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies as the 2016 Woman of the Year!

A creative marketing leader and visionary, Alison has garnered over 25 years of brand management and marketing leadership experience. She is the first ever Chief Marketing Officer of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, leading marketing efforts for some of the world's most recognized brands, including Neutrogenaâ, Listerineâ, and Tylenolâ, to name a few. Alison has received many awards over the years, including Marketer of the Year by Advertising Age, the Cilo Brand Icon Award, and Cannes' Creative Marketer of the Year award. Alison also dedicates some of her time and efforts serving as Board Chair for the National 4-H Council.

Sheila Buckley, SVP Sales of Business Insider and AWNY Board Chair, opened the ceremony with welcoming remarks and an announcement of the expansion and rebranding of AWNY in the near future. Tawana Murphy Burnett, Global Client Partner of Facebook, followed with an empowering speech, speaking to the strides women are making in today's society, pushing beyond cultural norms and transcending to new heights, much like the honoree of the evening. The night then continued with toasts from four of Alison's closest friends and colleagues, each speaking to the strong attributes that makes her the Woman of the Year. Here is what they had to say:

  • Jennifer Sirangelo, President & CEO, National 4-H Council - Described Alison using the 4 H's of the National 4-H Council.  Jennifer described Alison as having a Head full of wisdom and expertise, a Heart that provides support and insight even during the most challenging times, Hands she uses to fully dedicate her time and efforts with her "roll up your sleeves” can-do attitude, and Health that keeps her strong and positive at all times.
  • Eileen Kiernan, Global President, J3 - Spoke highly of Alison's leadership, influence, and solid understanding that putting people first really matters, along with transparency and the ability to break down barriers.
  • Jorge Mesquita, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Chairman, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies - Jorge gloated about all the reasons why everyone loves Alison; "[she is] incredibly curious, restless, and always ready to learn,” with a relentless drive to push forward and willingness to drive bold change. Mesquita also described Alison's devotion to friends and loved ones, naming her winning spirit and desire to win as an additional element that makes it hard not to love the woman that she is.
  • Wendy Clark, President & CEO, DDB North America - Last but not least, Wendy took the stage to commemorate Mrs. Lewis, describing her as a natural born leader and giving her the acronym WYSIWYG- What You See Is What You Get. She also gave credit to Alison's loving family who has served as her backbone over the years and even shared a heartwarming video of the honoree's 3 sons expressing their love and appreciation for their dear mother.

As the toasts concluded, Sheila then presented the 2016 Woman of the Year recipient with her award. Alison graciously accepted the award and gave thanks to the individuals that toasted to her accomplishments, her past managers for taking risks on her that allowed for her to grow, her employees who she credits for teaching her and making her better and Johnson and Johnson for supporting her and her beliefs. She went on to praise her husband and children, stating, "… behind every great woman is a man,' before sharing one last sentiment with the audience. As a middle child, Alison suggested that she developed 4 innate characteristics, which she credits to her much achieved success, and she left the audience with these 4 behaviors as valuable takeaways for the future leaders in the audience:

  • Be independent and open minded
  • Adapt and adjust in any situation
  • Learn to take risks
  • Be a trailblazer and a leader

Congratulations to the 2016 Woman of the Year, Alison Lewis for all of her accomplishments!

Woman of the Year was sponsored by Facebook, IPG, OpenX, and Kargo.


2016 Women to Watch Awards

08/10/2016 -

By Kimberly Zar, Innovation & Consumer Technology at MEC

The 20th annual Ad Age Women to Watch Awards was held on August 4th at 42nd street Cipriani. The event featured 20 powerful and inspiring women who have made indelible contributions to the worlds of media, marketing and advertising.

After a cocktail hour with mimosas and wine, guests were seated and enjoyed lunch beside women and men who all are making their own mark on the industry.

Jackie Ramsey, Advertising Director at Ad Age kicked off the event, welcoming guests and the 20 women being awarded. Following, Alicia Hatch, Digital Chief Marketing Office at Deloitte spoke, stating, "You can architect your own kind of amazing here." She told the audience how inspired she is by Cathy Engelbert, the first female CEO of Deloitte, who is changing the world of finance.

Up on the stage next was, Lynn Branigan, President and CEO of AWNY, she noted that industry leaders are taking notice of women and talked about the Education Loan Relief Awards, afterwards she invited Judy Polak, Deputy Editor at Ad Age to the platform.

As Master of Ceremonies, Polak spoke to the current events impacting women and introduced the women in attendance who are inspiring the next generation of leaders. Unfortunately three women were not able to make it;  Geraldine Calpin, Chief Marketing Officer, Hilton, Channing Dungey, President, ABC Entertainment and Margaret Johnson, Partner and Executive Creative Director, Goodby Silverstein & Partners.

Shanté Bacon, Founder, CEO, 135th Street Agency was the first award-winner to step onto the stage, she thanked the women in her life and knew that it was because of those women watching over her that she was chosen as a woman to watch.

Madonna Badger, Chief Creative Officer, Badger & Winters triggered tears across the audience, talking about her marketing behind #womennotobjects and the role she played as a business owner and a mother. 

"It's impressive to see so many men supporting ladies," exclaimed Jennifer Breithaupt, Managing Director-Media, Advertising and Global Entertainment, Citi. Overall, Breithaupt's goal is to leave the industry better than where it started.

Working at Miller Coors, Britt Dougherty, Senior Director, Marketing Insights, believes that in [the beer] category, women at worst are alienated and at best ignored but she does not settle on exclusion, believing in the impact of modernizing the brand and the category.

Nannette Lafond-Dufour, Global Chief Client Officer, McCann Worldgroup, was called up next she spoke of her mentor and how she was told that there was never any question that anything is possible.

Similar to Lafond-Dufor, Kirsten Evans, Senior VP-Marketing, Walmart, advised that asking is the one way to get what you want.  

As the first P&G Asian female president at P&G, Fama Francisco, President-Global Feminine Care, Procter & Gamble, spoke to her humble roots to explain anything is possible.

Chloe Gottlieb, Exec VP-Exec Creative Director, R/GA U.S. said, "When a barrier falls for women it fall for everyone," motivating the crowd to not give into fear and to say yes.

Amber Guild, President, Collins stressed diversity, proclaiming that diversity matters to our work, clients and our people.

Making an analogy to her daughter's soccer team, Amy Halford, Director of Owned Media Platforms, General Mills, said that being underestimated is an advantage to women but "thanks to Ad Age and AWNY, [they] are going to see us coming!"

From a small town in Ireland, to finance, to Posterscope as CEO, Helma Larkin, knows that as an industry we need more women at the top.

Susanne McAvoy, Executive VP-Marketing, Creative and Communications, Crown Media Family Network, gave an acceptance speech that called out her modest roots, speaking to her parents and experience back in Alabama.

Rebecca Messina, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Beam Suntory came up next to accept her award, she feels a responsibility to be truthful and be who you are, in addition to always doing the right thing. 

Following Messina, Jaymee Messler, President, The Players' Tribune spoke about Derek Jeter and the difficulties she knew the sports media space would come with. Messler pulled through those difficulties and is now leading the most popular athletic media platform.

As an athlete, Alison Miller, Senior Director-Marketing, Chicago Cubs told the luncheon guests that a lot can be learned from sports and that sports play an integral role in making females into leaders.

Mari Kim Novak, Chief Marketing Officer, Rubicon Project spoke on the value of having a mentor, giving a special nod to her mother's encouragement. She urged the audience to push towards more diverse and fair management in the industry.

From selling internet ads to be hired as CEO at Rosetta, Tammy Soares, shows that women are motivated and motivators. Her journey highlights where women can go.

"It was not long ago that I was sitting where you are all sitting," said Lisa Valentino, Chief Revenue Officer, Condé Nast. Valentino stated that she now finds inspiration in the oddest places—like a Soul Cycle class, quoting her Soul Cycle instructor she said, "All I want for you is for you to know you can kick ass."

Karen van Bergen, CEO, Omnicom Public Relations Group wanted to leave the audience with a call-to-action, instructing the audience to "think about one thing you can do tomorrow to make a difference."

As the final award-winner, Carla Zakhem-Hassan, Senior VP-Global Brand Management, PepsiCo spoke of the inspiration she finds in her daughter, husband, colleagues and friends, advising to live life to the fullest.

Judy Polak kept the audience entertained throughout the event, whether it was making jokes and or pulling on the audience's heart strings. To close the 20th annual Ad Age Women to Watch, she celebrated the women one last time and invited them up for a group photo. In her closing, Polak made a call for even more female accomplishments in the coming year. It was truly an inspiring event for all.

from the Desk of Gina Alshuler - 08/03/2016

Rauxa is proud to announce its status as the largest, woman-owned independent advertising agency today, supported by data from Advertising Age's 2016 Agency Report. I am personally proud to call Rauxa home and serve as its CEO, having worked my way up through the ranks from account coordinator in 2001. Founded in 1999 by Jill Gwaltney, Rauxa today has 230 employees and six offices serving a growing client roster, which includes Gap Inc., Verizon, Allergan, Blue Shield of California and Alaska Airlines. Being independent means that we report to no one but our clients, allowing us to devise and deliver the very best solutions for them. Being woman-owned and woman-led instills the team with a powerful combination of empathy and grit that has built enduring relationships with clients, partners and colleagues.

from the Desk of Jessalin Lam - 07/15/2016

Hi AWNY Members: I thought you would be interested in Hyper Island's Master Class Digital Acceleration, NYC, September 22-23. The course will cover the key elements of digital communications, learn about the networked society, and understand the implications on business, customer growth, and tools & tactics for change. Feel free to contact me with any questions:

from the Desk of Hilary Baris - 06/24/2016

Dear friend and Colleague is looking to fill a role ASAP for an entry level Marketer: Marketing Coordinator Verifone Media seeks an analytical and motivated Marketing Coordinator, reporting to the Sr. Marketing Manager, and working closely with the Verifone Media national sales, creative, product and research teams to market our digital media platforms to major brands. This position will be responsible for the creation of innovative sales materials and custom programs for the advertiser, and position the Verifone Media brand in the marketplace. The ideal candidate will have excellent project management and organizational skills, with the ability to communicate benefits and services of the platforms to a variety of audiences. The Marketing Coordinator will be involved in developing revenue generating marketing strategies, out-of-the-box advertiser solutions, sales presentations and materials, trade conferences and other events. As the voice of the Verifone Media brand, they should be a creative thinker who is self-directed, detail and deadline oriented and likes to develop and execute upon ideas. Key Responsibilities • Product Marketing – Architect marketing tools and product messaging to position Verifone Media as a differentiator in the market, inclusive of collateral, videos, key customer pitches, website/newsletters and other tactical projects. • Collateral Creation – Own the updates, organization and upkeep of Standard and Custom marketing materials, as well as the marketing material library • External Outreach – Develop and execute against industry sponsorships, premium and direct mailing, and agency outreach events, etc. • Relationship Building – Build internal relationships to facilitate cross disciplinary collaboration with sales, research, operations, planning, etc. • Project management – Keep multiple projects moving forward, both proactive and reactive, while sticking to budgets and timelines Requirements • 1-2 years of B2B, media and/or corporate marketing experience • Specific background in Media or Ad Sales Marketing strongly desired • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or communications • Ability to think strategically, leverage research, understand marketer needs and creatively translate these needs into compelling concepts and programs • Strong written communication, presentation, and project management skills • Excellent people and management skills to interact and develop relationships with staff, colleagues, cross-functional teams, and third parties • Strong organization and time management skills desired • Desire to work in a high-paced, fast-growing environment Contact and/or have resumes sent directly to: Helen Kim T 212 364-5567

Gaining Ground Series Part 3: Taking the Stage - Essentials / Recap!

06/09/2016 - By Kristine Pregot

I had the great privilege of being the reporter for the third session of Gaining Ground: Taking the Stage - Essentials. The class was lead by Mary Jo Romeo, CEO and Co-Founder of UP Business Communications,  Mary Jo has had over 25 years of sales & leadership experience & a proud AWNY member. The class was co- taught by Ellie Heyman, CCO and Co-Founder of UP Business Communications, Ellie guides corporate executives, Broadway and tv/film actors, and public figures to express themselves with clarity, freedom, and precision.

In this installment of the gaining ground series, we learned & experimented how your vocal tone and body language are the key to powerful presenting, whether presenting to a small group or huge audience, the same principals apply.

When it comes to brass tacks, we must think about what powerful communication really is. Effective communication is successful movement of information. Knowing that the message you are sent is received, understood and engaged with.  

Ellie introduced us to Stanislavski's wheel system for acting / which is extremely applicable for all types of interpersonal communication.

Essentially there are three types of communicating:

  1. Internal Communication - Communicating to yourself.
  2. Direct Communication - Successfully communicating to someone else.
  3. Outside Communication - Communicating to others outside of whom you are trying to communicate with.

Effective communication should always be direct. It should be thought of like throwing a ball directly at someone to catch. Successful communication is dynamic and engaging, it should almost feel like a game of catch.

When presenting on stage, there should be no difference.  We want to maintain that direct communication. Make it feel as though you are chatting with one person. Take the audience in, so you can effectively relate to them and keep the conversation dynamic, like that game of catch.  Keep it a dialouge & focus on the listener to keep a captive audience.

Another thing to consider when public speaking is your body language. Take up as much space as you can; both vertically & horizontally. When we keep a tall posture & lift our neck, this signifies status. Keeping both feet on the ground, rooting down and lifting up will help to build this posture.   When we allow ourselves to take up more horizontal space, with our arms - this displays power.  It is essential to work with them tools to maintain a full body presence.   

To learn more about this practice, Ellie & Mary Jo recommended to watch this Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy.

So to recap here are some quick tips for Powerful Presenting:

  1. Open Strong. Take a breath and take your time before starting your talk.
  2. Reach your target. Take time to take in your audience first & find your listener.
  3. Get the ball back / Make sure the audience is WITH you.
  4. Own the space / vertically & horizontally on the stage.
  5. Finish strong! Really stick the landing / before walking off the stage.

Think of your favorite presenters. What sticks out in your mind as them being good presenters ?  Why? We would love to hear from you!

from the Desk of Stacey Newman Weldon - 05/11/2016

After 9 years at Weight Watchers Media (where Stacey had been responsible for 40-50% of the magazine's revenue, as well as overseeing the integrated sales team), Stacey was recruited to join the newly structured Pharma group at Time, Inc. As part of the team that calls on Pfizer and other accounts, she represents the properties for Cooking Light, Health, Food & Wine, Coastal Living, Sunset and She enjoys the new focus on Solution Sales for her favorite accounts and looks forward to much success.

Changing the Game Awards – Recap

05/02/2016 - On April  7th 2016, AWNY’s Changing The Game Awards honored 20  women from the advertising industry. These individuals were recognized for their innovative ways to transform their brands, organizations, clients and industries. For the first time,  co-founders were honored at the event.

 The award ceremony was held at The Gotham Hall in midtown Manhattan. Before the luncheon, honorees and attendees mixed and mingled together. To start the ceremony, Amy Wilkins, the President of AWNY, took the stage and welcomed all guests. She announced some very exciting news that AWNY will now be expanding into Chicago with a few events in the pipeline as well. Following Amy’s remarks, COO of Bloomberg Media, Jacki Kelley, gave her opening remarks. She noted during her speech, “There is no shortage of data that shows companies perform better with women on the board and involved,” setting the tone for a wonderful event.

The emcee for the luncheon, Sheelah Kolhatkar, Features Editor and National Correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek, approached the stage to get ready to introduce each category honoree. The first category to start the afternoon was the Brainwave category. This category recognized women who are changing the way a brand or product is marketed. The award winners were:

  • Farrah Benzer, Marketing Director, Halls & Candy NA, Mondelez International
  • Kathleen Hall, CVP Global Advertising & Media, Microsoft
  • Adrienne Lofton, SVP, Global Brand Marketing, Under Armour
  • Roxanne Taylor, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Accenture

A short video introducing each of the women was played while the women took to the stage.
The Brainwave category honorees had a discussion about “xxx” (what the emcee asked the group)

The Paradigm Shift category was next, which honored female executives changing the way an audience or customer segment is approached.  Award winners included:

  • Melissa Goidel, Chief Revenue Officer, Refinery29
  • Anna Griffin, Senior Vice President, CA Technologies
  • Katie Klumper, President of Business Leadership, KBS
  • Kari Kowalski, Marketing Media Manager, Pizza Hut
  • Mari Kim Novak, Chief Marketing Officer, Rubicon Project

After the introductory video wrapped up, a short panel discussion was held where each honoree gave one piece of advice they thought was important. The point that seemed to come up a couple of times was to take risks in your career, move to a new city or new role, and don’t be afraid of the unknown.

Next was the Quantum Leap category, where honorees are changing the way an organization is aligned to pro-actively meet new challenges. Honorees included:

  • Christina Beaumier, Senior Vice President, Xaxis
  • Linda Fitzsimmons, EVP, Managing Director, Zenith
  • Karen Kaiser, VP, Advertising, Dominos
  • Suzanne Powers, Chief Strategy Officer, McCann Worldwide
  • Shenan Reed, President Digital, North America, MEC

A great discussion was help amongst the women. One of the discussion topics was what each woman has learned at this point in their career that they wish they had known earlier. Christine Beaumier made an interesting comment, “go where the growth is”. In today’s world, this statement holds true with the various startups and new companies. It may seem nerve-wracking to take the plunge into the growing industry or role, but as Beaumier pointed out, you will be doing something that has never been done before.

The final category was the No Apologies category. This category honored women who are creating whole new business models, industries, or marketplace opportunities. The Honorees were:

  • Bettina Hein, Founder & CEO, Pixability
  • Katharine Zaleski & Milena Berry, President & CEO, Co-Founders, PowerToFly
  • Amy Jain & Daniella Yacobovsky, Co-Founders, BaubleBar
  • Gina Waldhorn, Co-Founder & COO, Evol8tion

There was a discussion held where each honoree gave their advice on how to work well with your co-founder. Some great points were made by each of the 6 women.

Nearing the end of the afternoon, Amy returned to the stage to thank everyone for their attendance and a final congratulatory applause for the 20 women awarded. Each of the honorees had very interesting insight and tips on being a woman in the workplace and breaking through the glass ceiling.

The 2016 AWNY Changing the Game Awards were presented in collaboration with presenting sponsor Bloomberg Media, title sponsor Rubicon Project, wifi sponsor Kargo, and video sponsor Universal McCann.

from the Desk of Mary Perrella - 04/28/2016

I am very excited to join the team at Barco! Barco manufactures best in class visualization technologies, operating globally for over 80 years. Barco's Retail and Advertising Market Unit offers a Total Solution for Customer Experience in Retail and OOH advertising environments - what we call an Intelligent Display Network. Barco's complete solutions connect consumers with messaging that is targeted, relevant and contextual. You can deliver Content to any screen, any time, any where, with real-time ROI and analytics.

C-Suite Meet with Linda Kaplan Thaler

04/15/2016 -

Hosted By: AWNY Leadership Development Committee
Sponsored By Centro
April 5th, 2016

GRIT is What Matters

2% of people born brilliant, become successful.  Linda Kaplan Thaler shared this data point during her candid conversation around the importance of hard work, dedication, going the extra mile, and doing the little small things in order to become successful.  Being born and raised in the Bronx, she was not served life on a silver spoon and she learned early on the importance of GRIT.  She shared stories of her success and the success of others.  Many of these stories are also written about in her book GRIT to Great that was co-authored with Robin Koval.

So what is GRIT? GRIT stands for: Guts, Resilience, Initiative and Tenacity.

At her first advertising job Thaler was given an assignment to write 5 second tags.  Being the eager and ambitious young woman that she was she worked very late on this assignment.  When she went in to show her boss, her boss told her none of them were good and they needed to be re-done.  Thaler, responded that she would get right to it and went to exit the room.  Before she did, her boss stopped her and told her that she would have her own Ad Agency one day.  She excitedly responded, “wow, you think I have the talent for that,” to which her boss responded, “no, but you have the resilience and that is what matters because in this industry you will be rejected over and over again.”

GRIT Wins Business

When she did eventually have her own advertising agency, Robin and her, and their team used this same resilience along with their guts, initiative, and tenacity.  At an event her and Robin stayed until the end in order to talk with the CEO of Aflac.  Once they got his attention they asked him what keeps him up at night and he told them “my own family can’t remember the name to my company.”  During the pitch process their own employees also couldn’t remember the name of the company whose business they were pitching, so everyone started walking around saying “Aflac, Aflac, Aflac.”  Eventually during a meeting someone held her nose while she said it and the idea for the Aflac duck was born.  Knowing that they struck gold they excitedly went to Aflac and presented this idea along with other ideas.  The CEO disliked the duck idea but in the parking lot they heard everyone still talking about the duck.  They decided to spend $25,000 of their own money to test it and it tested off the charts.  Within 1 year, Aflac went from 3% awareness to 96% awareness.

Their willingness to go the extra mile didn’t only get them a win with Aflac it also helped them to save Herbal Essences through the orgasm ad, and win Wendy’s.

When Wendy’s gave them their business they said it was because they knew no other agency could out work them. They had ate at Wendy’s constantly and even had Wendy’s sleepovers in the office.  Hard work was part of Wendy’s culture.  Dave Thomas himself had a grandma Minnie that always reminded him “hard work is good for the soul and when you work hard you don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself.”  She also told him to never cut corners which is why their burgers are square.

Great GRIT Examples

The whole talk didn’t only focus on Thaler’s success she also shared examples of GRIT in others.  Michael Jordan didn’t make is college varsity team, Stephen Spielberg was rejected from film school 3 times, and Colin Powell was a C-student but he discovered his passion in ROTC.

She shared a story that brought goosebumps to the crowd.

Elanor Longden who was the inspiration for the GRIT to Great book started hearing voices when she was in college and was diagnosed with schizophrenia.  The psychiatrist she was seeing didn’t work, electric shock didn’t work, nothing worked. She was so overwhelmed that she almost took a drill to her head, but she didn’t.  Instead she decided to see another psychiatrist who advised her to try to talk to the voices and understand them.  After years of working this method she was able to go back to school and even go on to get a PhD.  She currently speaking for the Hearing Voices Movement where she reminds people that “you don’t have a disability, you have a sixth sense, harness it and make it work for you.”

Tips for Action

  1. Talk to your 90 year old self for advice
  2. Remember that you’re supposed to feel scared when you’re really living
  3. Hold on longer than anyone else.  This is tenacity.
  4. Finish things that you start
  5. Make your bed every morning to feel a sense of accomplishment.
  6. Reframe your thinking.  Instead of trying to stay away from cheesecake picture the cheesecake has roaches crawling over it.
  7. Have a Plan B and fall in love with it -The music for Jaws was plan b because their plan a, a mechanical shark, broke.
  8. Do small nice things.  – Thaler and Koval really cared about their building security guard and even went to visit him in the hospital when he was sick.  They won a $40 million business because when the pitchee came into the building the security guard told him “they are my favorite tenants, they bring me coffee and donuts when it is cold.” They won the business before he even got up to their floor because he thought if they are this nice to the security guard, imagine how they treat paying clients.
  9. It is okay to say “no” but say it in a nice way.  Use the “yes” sandwich approach.  Example:
    • “I appreciate that you value me and I’m your first call”….
    • “but I must be home at night for my kids”…
    • “there are other folks on the team that would like facetime with you, who can help.”

Gaining Ground: Handling Difficult Conversations

04/14/2016 - April 13th 2016
Centro Offices
Leadership Development Committee

The space for the event is perfect and while we didn’t start until 6:30 we had plenty of time.  Tracy Keller opened the night and Cori Moreno gave a nice introduction for Centro. 
Mary Jo and Ellie – gave their backgrounds, which I think resonated with the room since they are both different.  They also opened up with defining what Difficult Conversations are: conversations necessary in the workplace for your success that somehow feel anxiety provoking or challenging.

We went around the room identifying ourselves but also giving a piece of advice or guiding principle in having difficult conversations:

  • Sit next to person
  • Come from a place of love
  • Tell the truth
  • Be prepared with a script
  • Wait a beat before you say what you want to say
  • Understand how someone takes in feedback, everyone accepts and understands in a different way
  • Kill them with Kindness – people are human
  • Think about how I would want to be treated
  • Prepare
  • Instead of just “No”, it might be an education – share
  • Play out scenarios beforehand
  • Sandwich effect (good, bad, good)
  • If it gets heated, take a step back before revisiting
  • Write out your raw feelings so they don’t get in the way
  • Speak slowly
  • Be brave enough to outline all
  • Just have the conversation
  • Ask good questions
  • Understand what you really want
  • Knowing the power of the pause – don’t feel like you have to feel the space
  • Have the conversation, don’t avoid it
  • Deliver the message how you would want
  • DO not press send, sleep on it
  • Breathe or a power pose
  • Prep, present and take a pause
  • Put yourself in the other persons shoes
  • What is another way of thinking about it
  • Don’t let them get in your head

Partner Activity:
Person A and Person B

  • Story from your life where you made a choice that was a big change (propose, move to NY, college, take a job)
  • Person A is going to tell person B their story for 3 minutes
  • Person B can’t ask any questions, just listen
  • Person B tells story back with as much detail as possible
  • Person A identifies 2 things right and 2 things wrong
  • Takeaways: Peopled made assumptions and filled things in based on facts
  • If there were primary and secondary stories people had hard time knowing the priorities

Two important functions for the exercise.  Communication is a full contact sport

  • Models what good listening is
    • Deeply Curious
    • Always focusing
  • Reminds us that our listening is still fallible

Setting your self up for success

  • Personal Prep
  • Schedule a time to talk when they know what you want to talk about – you are not going to get the best when you ambush people
  • Proper location
  • Use opening framework

Opening Framework

  • Thank them for coming to speak with you and articulate the goal “I want you to make sure that you understand your value”
  • I have a lot of thoughts about the situation and I really want to hear what you have to say.  I have a story, you have a story, I want to hear what you have to say
  • Let them speak first

Handling Sneak Attacks

  • Call it out “I wasn’t expecting to have this conversation right now”
  • Schedule time to speak about it, “can we schedule time so that I can think about this”
  • Off set the conversation

Key Takeaways of the Night

  1. There are things we should do and we either don’t do them in the moment or we avoid them
  2. How do we assign value to information – you take away what you thought was important
  3. Elevate awareness and skill of listening as well as our blind spots
  4. When you take emotion and you wrap it in business speak, its becomes dangerous and you aren’t aware
  5. You don’t know their story – you don’t know what someone else is thinking
  6. Can you keep the conversation focused on the task at hand and remove the emotion/identity
  7. What you think you need in terms of outcomes from a business conversation can sometimes be different than in a personal conversation
  8. Taking time to receive information
  9. Block out distractions (computer, what we want to say,etc)
  10. Genuine curiosity (stop listening for things you want/don’t want them to say)

from the Desk of Lauren Rodas - 04/09/2016

Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) Announces 10th Annual “Changing The Game Awards” Honorees

04/07/2016 - New York, New York (April 7, 2016) – Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), a non-profit organization designed to nurture and empower women as
leaders at each stage of their careers, announces its “Changing the Game Awards ” honorees.   The award recognizes women who are true catalysts of innovation – fearlessly making bold moves and reinventing the rules.

“Honorees for this special award are driving transformation across our industry,” notes Lynn Branigan, AWNY’s Executive Director.   “Each are fearless and their many achievements inspire and raise the bar for what it means to be an agent of change.”

Judges for this prestigious honor include industry leaders who support what AWNY does to celebrate female leaders in our industry:

Dana Anderson, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Mondelez International;
Joan Gillman, COO, Time Warner Cable Media & EVP Time Warner Cable;
Marla Kaplowitz, CEO, MEC North America;
Bob Liodice, President & CEO, Association of National Advertisers;
Mary Ann Packo, CEO, Millward-Brown North America;
Amy Wilkins, Chief Revenue Officer, Smithsonian Media and AWNY Board President.

Brainwave: Changing the Way a Brand or Product is Marketed

Farrah Bezner, Head of New Business Ventures, Mondelez International;

Kathleen Hall, CVP Global Advertising & Media, Microsoft;

Adrienne Lofton, SVP, Global Brand Management, Under Armour;

Roxanne Taylor, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Accenture;

Paradigm Shift: Changing the Way a Customer Segment or Target Audience is Approached

Melissa Goidel, Chief Revenue Officer, Refinery29;

Anna Griffin, Senior Vice President, CA Technologies;

Katie Klumper, President of Business Leadership, KBS;

Kari Kowalski, Senior Media Manager, Pizza Hut;

Mari Kim Novak, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Rubicon Project;

Quantum Leap: Changing the Way an Organization is Aligned to Pro-Actively Meet New Challenges

Christina Beaumier, Senior Vice President, Xaxis;

Linda Fitzsimmons, EVP, Managing Director, Zenith;

Karen Kaiser, VP, Advertising & Hispanic Marketing, Domino's;

Suzanne Powers, Global Chief Strategy Officer, McCann Worldgroup;

Shenan Reed, President Digital, North America, MEC;

No Apologies: Creating Whole New Business Models, Industries, or Marketplace Opportunities

Bettina Hein, Founder & CEO, Pixability;

Katharine Zaleski & Milena Berry, President & CEO, Co-Founders, PowerToFly;

Amy Jain & Daniella Yacobovsky , Co-Founders, BaubleBar;

Gina Waldhorn, Co-Founder & COO, Evol8tion.

Sponsors of 2016 “Changing the Game Awards” include: Presenting Sponsor Bloomberg Media; Title Sponsor Rubicon Project; Wi-fi sponsor Kargo; and Video sponsor UM.  Adweek serves as the media partner for this year’s event.

Honorees will be celebrated at the awards ceremony in NYC today (April 7) at Gotham Hall.  For further info, please contact AWNY at 212.221. 7969.

About AWNY

Founded in 1912, Advertising Women of New York (AWNY)’s mission is to empower women in our industry to achieve personal and professional fulfillment at each stage of their careers in order to nurture women to achieve leadership roles. Membership stands at over 1,500 and ranges from senior level executives to those just beginning their career.  To learn more about AWNY, visit

Press Contact:
Lynne Collins

from the Desk of Jessalin Lam - 03/18/2016

HI AWNY Members: I recently joined Hyper Island as their Relationship Manager, Education Programs and I would love to invite you to our FREE Hyper Island's Business Transformation Breakfast, April @8AM. Learn how to transform digital disruptions into opportunities and how our Business Transformation Master Class can help you build and sustain a successful business in today’s ever-changing world. RSVP:

from the Desk of Keisha Stephen-Gittens - 03/10/2016

Excited to represent my agency at SXSW in Austin, Tx from March 10th - 15th. I'll be blogging live along with colleagues. Please be sure to follow along, share and read some of my contributions as I traverse Austin for the very first time:

2016 Annual Roast with Wenda Harris Millard

03/02/2016 - Event Reporter: Yuliana Safari

On January 26th, 2016, Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), colleagues and friends gathered at Cipriani, 42nd St, to roast Wenda Harris Millard, President and COO of MediaLink.

AWNY Board President, Amy Wilkins, welcomed 400+ attendees and an inspiring panel of roasters to an evening celebrating the importance of women leaders.

The roast kicked off with Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, playing a video montage of Millard’s career, comparing her illustrious career to a criminal enterprise. Armstrong said that the industry would never be able to repay its debt to Millard, although everyone seems to be trying.

Up next was Linda Boff, CMO of GE. Boff paid a classic tribute to Millard, listing her strong attributes with humorous jabs at her tenancy to be everywhere we want to be and an eye for design that puts Marta Stewart to shame. Playful banter aside, Boff shared that Millard is the “beating heart of our industry".

Up next, Dana Anderson, SVP and CMO at Mondelēz International, standing in for Rob Norman, Global Chief Digital Officer of GroupM. As Anderson read Norman’s notes for the roast, she poked fun at Norman’s sense of humor, joking that he “must be a day drinker”. When laughter from the audience subsided, Anderson also shared her admiration for Millard.

Next was Carolyn Everson, VP of Global Marketing for Facebook. Everson shared comical stories and sincere praise for Millard, noting her success is due to her high standards, believing in culture and sleeping eight hours a week. “You’re a wonder women, but you’re our wonder women” said Everson.

The final roaster, Michael Kassan, CEO of MediaLink, took the stage and praised Millard’s tremendous innovativeness, creativity and leadership in the industry. Kassan ended on a note of genuine gratitude for Millard.

After her roast, Millard took the stage and received a standing ovation from the audience. Millard thanked her roasters and concluded the evening by saying, “we are all in the business of making memories and you’ve made a great one for me tonight”.

Roasters Included:

  • Tim Armstrong, CEO, AOL 
  • Linda Boff, CMO, GE
  • Dana Anderson, SVP and CMO at Mondelēz International
  • Carolyn Everson, VP, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook
  • Michael Kassan, Chairman and CEO, MediaLink

AWNY’s 2016 Working Mothers of the Year Luncheon

03/02/2016 - Event Reporter: Kristy Papay, Digital Media Lead, Dentsu Aegis Network – iProspect

On February 23rd, 2016, AWNY celebrated 17 of the most outstanding working mothers in advertising. Cipriani on 42nd street was filled with industry leaders, the honorees themselves and most importantly, their families. These women prove that you can be an amazing mother and still have a successful career. The AWNY awards are given to women who have achieved tremendous business success and are true industry leaders but also strong role models and loving parents at home and in their communities. Below are the seventeen honorees for 2016’s Advertising Working Mothers of the Year. 

Cindi Berger, @CINDIBERGER, Co-Chairman & CEO, PMK•BNC
Kasha Cacy, President, UM US
Eileen Carty, @EileenCartyCT, Executive Vice President, Brand Partnerships, POPSUGAR
Denise Colella, @decolella, SVP, Advertising Products & Strategy, NBCUniversal
Juliet Corsinita, @runner24, VP, Media and Brand Partnerships, Taco Bell Corp
Katrina Cukaj, EVP, Portfolio Sales & Client Partnerships, Turner Ad Sales
Elizabeth Devlin, @LizzDev, Brand Strategy, Twitter
Nicole Dorrler, VP Marketing, Truth Initiative 
Sidney Falken, @sidneyfalken , Chief Branding Officer, Hanes
Ana Maldonado de Ceppi, VP, Business Development, Univision Communications
Nicole Morgan, @NMorgan7461, VP, Group Director, Communications Planning, Dentsu Aegis Network
Jennifer Renna, @jennagy , Marketing Director, McDonald's Corporation
Ingrid Otero-Smart, @ingridsmart, President & CEO, Casanova Pendrill
Leslie Sims, Chief Creative Officer, Y&R New York
Mollie Spilman, @mspilman , Chief Revenue Officer, Criteo
Kavita Vazirani, @kavitav, SVP, Media Strategy & Sciences, Comcast Cable
Katherine Wintsch, @kwintsch, Founder & CEO, The Mom Complex

After the cocktail reception where guests mingled with the honorees and their families, Amy Wilkins @apwilks, AWNY Board President, took the stage and introduced co-chairs Lynn Lewis and Ritu Trivedi. Lynn Lewis, Global Chief Marketing Officer at UM Worldwide, then invited co-presenting sponsors Facebook and Joan Sheridan La-Barge from Working Mothers Media to say a few inspiring words to the attendees.

Instead of calling each honoree up to the stage individually to accept their award and give a quick acceptance speech, AWNY took a unique and fitting approach to honor these women. The honorees were all escorted on stage by their children who were supporting their mothers on such an amazing accomplishment. 

The women then answered questions and shed some insider secrets on how they manage to do it all. Here are some highlights from the Q & A:

New to Motherhood Moms 
Q: “What is the best advice you give to working mothers?” – Janet Balis

  • "Be in the Moment, every moment you have with your kids should be cherished"
  • “Don't apologize for anything, especially when you have to leave the office and take care of your sick child"

Established Moms 
Q: How do you get your family more involved at work? - Lynn Branigan

  • “At Taco Bell there is a daycare center so family is very much a part of the corporate office.”
  • “Technology. Helps with Facetiming while you’re traveling for work”

Q: What skills from work help in the home life? - Sheila Buckley

  • “Excel. Excel comes in handy especially when applying for college and running a “ranker” to narrow down the prospects.
  • “Instincts. Having to make quick decisions and standing by those decisions.”

Trailblazer Moms
Q: What can companies do to support families? - Carol Watson

  • “Working from home. Being at your desk doesn’t necessarily foster the most creative ideas”
  • “Flexible working hours. Hearing that some companies make you pay up to $2 per minute if you’re late to work is terrible”

The kids really stole the show with their light-hearted but endearing video answers to questions like, “What makes your mom special?” and “ What does your mom do for a living?” All the videos were edited by UM and kept the crowd engaged and laughing throughout the ceremony. In the videos, some of the younger kids gave more humorous answers, saying they think their mom is special because she got them backstage passes to a Taylor Swift concert and works hard so they can have nice family dinners together. Even with the older kids, who provided more mature and sophisticated answers, you got the same message from each video. These women’s children admire them for being so successful in the workplace and still finding the time to always be there for them at home. One young man said he admires how his mom never takes no for an answer and if someone won’t open the door for her she’ll get a hammer and knock it down.

After the last video in the Trailblazer Mom category, the luncheon came to a close and the co-chairs thanked everyone for supporting all the Working Moms of 2016 and reminded guests that the call for nominations for AWNY’s 51st Annual Woman of the Year awards is beginning and the awards ceremony will take place on July 13th.

To conclude the event one last video was played with the women giving advice to their younger selves, urging them to not be afraid to make friends in the workplace, be themselves and speak up as much as possible.

The overall message from the ceremony was that you can be an amazing mom who is admired by her children and still be very successful in the work place. This is such an important message and I hope young women continue to choose to stay in the workforce and pursue their careers.

ADVERTISING WOMEN OF NEW YORK (AWNY) ANNOUNCES 2016 "Advertising Working Mothers of the Year" HONOREES

02/23/2016 - New York, New York (February 23, 2016) – Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), a non-profit organization designed to nurture and empower women as leaders, announces its “Advertising Working Mothers of the Year” honorees.   The award ceremony will be held today at NYC’s Cipriani and recognizes women who have achieved outstanding business results while also serving as a strong mentor within their personal and professional communities.

“There is no magic formula for balancing career and motherhood,” notes Lynn Branigan, AWNY’s Executive Director.   “But the success stories behind each of our amazing honorees are powerful and compelling.  They’ve each complemented leadership with motherhood in meaningful ways and their stories truly inspire not only working mothers, but all individuals in the workplace.” 


Cindi Berger, Co-Chairman & CEO, PMK•BNC;

Kasha Cacy, President, UM US;

Eileen Carty, Executive Vice President, Brand Partnerships, POPSUGAR;

Denise Colella, SVP, Advertising Products & Strategy, NBCUniversal;

Juliet Corsinita, VP, Media and Brand Partnerships, Taco Bell Corp;

Katrina Cukaj, EVP, Portfolio Sales & Client Partnerships, Turner Ad Sales;

Elizabeth Devlin, Brand Strategy, Twitter;

Nicole Dorrler, VP Marketing, Truth Initiative;

Sidney Falken, Chief Branding Officer, Hanes;

Ana Maldonado de Ceppi, VP, Business Development, Univision Communications;

Nicole Morgan, VP, Group Director, Communications Planning, Dentsu Aegis Network;

Jennifer Renna, Marketing Director, McDonald's Corporation;

Ingrid Otero-Smart, President & CEO, Casanova Pendrill;

Leslie Sims, Chief Creative Officer, Y&R New York;

Mollie Spilman, Chief Revenue Officer, Criteo;

Kavita Vazirani, SVP, Media Strategy & Sciences, Comcast Cable;

Katherine Wintsch, Founder & CEO, The Mom Complex

Sponsors of 2016 “Advertising Working Mothers of the Year” awards include co-presenting sponsors: Facebook, Working Mother Media, and title sponsor, IPG.  Adweek serves as the exclusive media partner for this year’s event.  

About AWNY

Founded in 1912, Advertising Women of New York (AWNY)’s mission is to empower women in our industry to achieve personal and professional fulfillment at each stage of their careers in order to nurture women to achieve leadership roles. Membership stands at over 1,500 and ranges from senior level executives to those just beginning their career.  To learn more about AWNY, visit

Press Contact:
Lynne Collins

Gaining Ground - Your Story

02/08/2016 - Hosted by: AWNY’s Professional Development Committee
Sponsored by: Centro
Recap by: Danielle V Hemsley

When attendees came into the first of the 2016 Gaining Ground series they were given a color coded sticky so they could later be broken in to level appropriate groups to help empower each other.  After having some time for networking, snacks, and drinks, the attendees sat down for the workshop to begin. 

Mary Jo Romeo and Ellie Heyman asked the audience to introduce themselves by giving their name, company, and an accomplishment.  Attendees gave accomplishments that ranged from professional gains such as winning awards, receiving promotions, and surviving career changes to personal triumphs such as running marathons and obtaining yoga certifications. 

The audience was then asked why they came?  Where we heard responses about wanting to overcome shyness and having an opportunity to learn from other women. 

Being put into groups of 3, attendees were given a worksheet on the GAIN acronym which stands for:

  • G - Growth
  • A - Authenticity
  • I - Interactive
  • N- Narrative

Ellie told attendees that the key ingredients for Growth were to have a beginning, middle, and end.  The beginning is where you were, the middle is where you are, and the end is where you’re going.  Mary Jo shared her beginning to help inspire creativity in the audience.  “I was the middle child of 9 who was told women don’t go to college.”

The audience then shared their examples such as “Was a storyteller since I could hold a crayon.”  As the groups discussed and gave feedback to one another, when they came back to one large audience the concept of how to deal with stories that don’t catch the listener’s attention.  This is where Ellie embarked her expert guidance sharing advice about making sure not to sound like a business pitch or use marketing speak.  She told us if it is a word that is used in Fast Company, it doesn’t belong in your story, even if you started using it before it became a buzzword.  She compared this to when someone has the same outfit that you have.  It doesn’t matter if you bought it first.  Putting this into action she re-wrote the earlier example to: “I started writing stories with crayons.”

Then Ellie jumped to Narrative.  The key ingredients for Narrative are:

  • Related to Growth
  • Moment in time
  • Feelings/Passion Authentic Passion
  • Details
  • Suspense

Attendees worked with their groups again to develop their narratives.  Ellie also talked about the importance of passion and how when we talk about topics we are passionate about we tend to be our most authentic selves. Very often hope and fear get in our way of being authentic.  What we hope to be like and avoiding what we fear to be.  However, when one tries to be something they aren’t it looks bad just as bad as when you’re wearing clothes that don’t fit.

2016 Annual Roast with Wenda Harris Millard

02/07/2016 - Recap by Yuliana Safari

On January 26th, 2016, Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), colleagues and friends gathered at Cipriani, 42nd St, to roast Wenda Harris Millard, President and COO of MediaLink.

AWNY Board President, Amy Wilkins, welcomed 400+ attendees and an inspiring panel of roasters to an evening celebrating the importance of women leaders.

The roast kicked off with Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, playing a video montage of Millard’s career, comparing her illustrious career to a criminal enterprise. Armstrong said that the industry would never be able to repay its debt to Millard, although everyone seems to be trying.

Up next was Linda Boff, CMO of GE. Boff paid a classic tribute to Millard, listing her strong attributes with humorous jabs at her tenancy to be everywhere we want to be and an eye for design that puts Marta Stewart to shame. Playful banter aside, Boff shared that Millard is the “beating heart of our industry".

Up next, Dana Anderson, SVP and CMO at Mondelēz International, standing in for Rob Norman, Global Chief Digital Officer of GroupM. As Anderson read Norman’s notes for the roast, she poked fun at Norman’s sense of humor, joking that he “must be a day drinker”. When laughter from the audience subsided, Anderson also shared her admiration for Millard.

Next was Carolyn Everson, VP of Global Marketing for Facebook. Everson shared comical stories and sincere praise for Millard, noting her success is due to her high standards, believing in culture and sleeping eight hours a week. “You’re a wonder women, but you’re our wonder women” said Everson.

The final roaster, Michael Kassan, CEO of MediaLink, took the stage and praised Millard’s tremendous innovativeness, creativity and leadership in the industry. Kassan ended on a note of genuine gratitude for Millard.

After her roast, Millard took the stage and received a standing ovation from the audience. Millard thanked her roasters and concluded the evening by saying, “we are all in the business of making memories and you’ve made a great one for me tonight”.

Roasters Included:

  • Tim Armstrong, CEO, AOL 
  • Linda Boff, CMO, GE
  • Dana Anderson, SVP and CMO at Mondelēz International
  • Carolyn Everson, VP, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook
  • Michael Kassan, Chairman and CEO, MediaLink

from the Desk of Alexandra English - 01/19/2016

Pixability Announces Media Industry Veteran Nancy Lazaros as Chief Financial Officer Boston, MA – Jan. 19, 2016 – Video ad buying technology company, Pixability has announced the appointment of Nancy Lazaros as Chief Financial Officer. Lazaros brings 30 years of financial experience in the media technology sector to Pixability, including 20 years serving as CFO at several advertising technology solutions companies. Lazaros excels at developing scalable financial models to drive rapid expansion, and has spearheaded several complex acquisitions and successful exits throughout her career. Lazaros will lead financial strategy, operations and human resources across Pixability’s offices in Boston, Chicago, London, New York, and San Francisco, and will manage the financial infrastructure to support the company’s global expansion. Pixability generated more than 100% growth from 2014 to 2015, and is on track to propel growth in 2016 as the company extends its technology platform offerings. Pixability’s customer portfolio of global media agencies and their brand clients includes GroupM, Gucci, iProspect, L’Oréal, PUMA, and ZenithOptimedia. “As Pixability’s business accelerates -- a testament to increasing market demand for effective and measurable video advertising solutions -- Nancy fills a critical role on our executive leadership team,” said Bettina Hein, Pixability Founder and CEO. “Her breadth of financial expertise in the media technology sector, from securing venture financing, to executing complex acquisitions, to a successful IPO, will be instrumental to Pixability’s success in 2016 and beyond.” Prior to Pixability, Lazaros spent three years as the first CFO of video advertising management and distribution solutions provider, Extreme Reach Inc., where she directed the finance, accounting and human resources departments; and before that served as CFO of digital marketing technology company, x+1 Solutions, where she helped transform the business into a successful SaaS company. Additionally, Lazaros was previously CFO of mobile ad network and ad delivery platform, Third Screen Media Inc., where she led the company to its successful sale to AOL/TW; and CFO of online marketing research and planning platform, @Plan Inc., where she spearheaded the company’s 1999 IPO and subsequent sale to DoubleClick. “Throughout my career, I have chosen to join media companies with robust solutions, in industries primed for disruption,” said Lazaros. “Pixability fit the bill with a proven video ad buying technology and a unique value proposition built around premium video platforms within the dynamic and growing online video advertising industry. I’m excited to continue to build out Pixability’s financial infrastructure to guide the company to sustained success.” About Pixability Pixability is an ad buying technology for premium video platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Many of the world’s media agencies and their brand clients depend on Pixability’s award-winning media technology for effective ad campaigns with complete transparency and reporting accuracy. Pixability enables media professionals to plan smarter placements, run faster campaigns, and see better results. Pixability is headquartered in Boston with offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and London. # # #

C-Suite Meet with Laurel Rossi, President of Havas Worldwide StratFarm and Havas Life & Wellness

01/12/2016 -

Hosted by AWNY Leadership & Development Committee on January 7th, 2016
Sponsored by Centro
Recap by Danielle V. Hemsley

"Focus on what makes you, YOU," Rossi began with as a custom graphic of a heart, a dollar sign and cupid's arrow through the center was displayed behind her. She later explained the importance and connection of this graphic to following your heart and passion, which will let you to the money.

For the next hour she continued to inspire attendees and share wisdom which is recapped below.

Show Up
Rossi reminded the audience that each of them was there because they were successful and they got themselves up early and showed up. She went on to surprise the audience by sharing about how shy she was during college and how even though she was part of a sorority she often cowered in the corner at events. However, she kept showing up to be successful, no matter how stressful it was.

Stress is always going to be a constant in our lives it is how we handle stress that matters. Rossi shared an intimate detail of having a daughter with special needs which is a situation that comes with uncertainty. One part of her approaches to handling this uncertainty is that she confidently shows up at board of education meetings in order to advocate for her daughter. While this is an incredibly stressful situation she chooses to face it by showing up and being present.

In the workplace, Rossi thinks part of showing up is to be part of the office culture. If you work from home, it is important to still come into the office. And make sure to bring your brightness when you come. Even if it is one day a week, never vanish completely from the office.

In order to show up and be present, taking care of one's mental and physical health is important. Rossi tries hard to make sure that she practices what she preaches. Part of her daily routine includes making time for meditating in order to help reduce stress and bring her authentic self. She acknowledged it sounds easier than it is because bringing your authentic self and sharing brightness at an organization requires a thick skin. Which means you have to be quick to forgive yourself, not dwell on issues, and compartmentalize in order to move on.

Stay Educated
"We need both creativity and analytic skills." Rossi emphasized the importance of constant self-education on the different parts of our business which is ever changing. And while data is more important than ever, she advised to not only to educate yourself on data but to also educate yourself on creative. Using the left and right brain is essential.

In addition, education does not need to be just about your job. You can stay educated by taking advantage of all the art and culture that we have at our fingertips because we live in NY. Long form reading and social media were other mediums Rossi recommended using to stay educated.

One of her approaches to obtaining diverse skills is surrounding herself with people she can learn from and "stockpiling" these people while building a bridge to stay connected and making those bridges available to others to bring them up and across with her.  Giving back to others is an important part of the learning process. Rossi mentors others as a way to give back. Her stockpiling approach kept an important healthy relationship alive that led to Havas buying StratFarm.

Marry Your Wallet to Your Heart
The audience was told to do something entrepreneurially. This doesn't mean that you have to start a company. But it does mean that you shouldn't be the type of person that asks "what department does this?" Instead you should ask "how does this get done and who can I ask for help and guidance?" Which connects back to constantly educating yourself and increasing your skill set.

When it comes to job changes, pursue opportunity, not just money. If it is a good opportunity and it requires taking a risk then you should go for it because it will probably be worth it. However, it is important to stay in a company longer than a year and not just bounce around. But if you're not happy with the money offered you probably are not happy with the job. Be true to yourself.

Building on taking care of yourself, she also emphasized the importance of merchandising work. Rossi feels that most careers get lost in the last mile because we don't merchandise our success. Instead we just jump to the next thing without making time to promote the work and success of our last project.

Marrying your wallet to your heart doesn't just refer to making money, it also speaks to where you need to spend money. When you are at pivotal points in your career and decisions are being made, it is then that professionals should be consulted, such as having a lawyer review a contract or seeing a professional counselor before a career change. Rossi told attendees "this is how the big girls play and it is worth the money."

Create a 90-Day Plan
Rossi advised the audience to be aware and recognize that a big decision points are arising. When approaching pivotal points, there was an emphasis placed on reflecting and thinking about how to approach. Evaluate both the short term and the long term incentives and then create a 90-day plan. She then went on to say that if you can't get something done in 90 days, don't do it; abandon your plan because it probably won't get done. As an example, if you want to follow up on staying educated by taking a course, you should start it in the next 90 days.

Key Takeaways
Rossi left the audience with some closing wisdom and the takeaways that she felt were most important.

  1. Build a series of bridges
  2. Stand for something
  3. Manage stress, uncertainty with confidence
  4. Create a 90-day plan
  5. Time becomes your most important commodity