AWNY is now She Runs It. Stay tuned for our new site coming soon.


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!

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.

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!

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.

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)

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

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

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

AWNY's Member Holiday Party

12/03/2015 - Hosted by: AWNY's Membership Connection Committee
Event Venue: Rocket Fuel
By: Jessalin Lam

Every year, AWNY hosts a holiday party exclusively for members to celebrate each other and start off the holiday season connecting with inspiring, supportive, driven professionals. This year, the holiday party was hosted at Rocket Fuel and they collected coats for The New York Cares Coat Drive.

"AWNY did an amazing job creating a holiday event this year that brought together women from a variety of companies to celebrate the season. It was great catching up with old friends that I have made throughout the years and meeting new people too. I especially loved how the party emphasized mentoring pairs and highlighting those women who participated in the mentorship program," said AWNY mentor, Emily Vuocolo.

The event kicked off with a warm welcome from Amy Wilkins, AWNY Board President. She shared how proud she was of AWNY's successes this year for having over 40 events in 2015.

AWNY members like Danielle Hemsley made sure to attend the holiday party again this year. She said, "Thanks to AWNY for providing a fun-filled opportunity to connect with each other before the year ends."

A highlight of the event was the raffle giveaways near the end of the evening presented by Amy Kelly and Alexandra Vetrano from various brands including a $50 BaubleBar gift card, a coaching session from TRY Coaching with Terry Yoffe, a Michael Kors gift set, and more. "It's always a fun time going to the AWNY holiday party. I get to catch up and see my friends, mentees, and mentors! I even get to meet new ones. I was a lucky winner of one of the raffles this year too, and I won $50 worth of food from Digg Inn!" said Tracy Merslich, AWNY mentor and Leadership Development Committee Co-Chairperson.

C-Suite Meet at Facebook 11.18.2015 Recap

11/30/2015 - Hosted by: AWNY's Professional Development Committee
Sponsored by: Centro
By Christine M. Mormile

The November C-Suite Meet, hosted by AWNY's Professional Development Committee, featured an intimate breakfast conversation with Sarah Personette, VP of Global Business Marketing at Facebook and AWNY Board Member. Sarah's conversation was focused around three main topics: leadership, the changing landscape and Sarah's journey in life.

Sarah began by stating that the industry is going through a rapid fire change and today's leaders are being forced to make a large impact. She added that Mark Zuckerberg is more about building ideas than moving paper around.

In the 1970s, managers led organizations. As the 1980s and 1990s approached, there was a shift from a manager to a leader. Leaders needs to set their vision ahead to understand and have the ability to fly up to 30,000 feet, back down to 0 feet, and back up again. Sarah continued by asking the audience to think about their own processes. "You might be really good as a manager or a leader, but both are really important," stated Sarah. She added by saying this is going to be really important for success over next 10-20 years.

The conversation continued onto Sarah's second topic, digitization, which is evolving day to day. There is a huge shift that we are seeing toward digital and it's important to think about how everyday processes can be digitized. Digitizing process is going to allow us to move forward over the next century.

There are two types of companies: Companies that are born digital and companies that are becoming digital. It's important overall to think with a digital mindset. Most CMOs that are being hired are those that come from a digital house or agency.

Communications is going through an evolution and Sarah noted that she believes we are in the golden age of media. 10-20 years ago, we wanted to believe that we could execute personalized marketing at scale with ROI. That's absolutely possible today and we are all a part of this evolution. The challenging issue is that the industry is changing at rapid fire. We are trying to wrap our arms around so much due to rapid change and there is so much to learn. Sarah continued by saying she is living proof of this as well and there are definitely times she feels overwhelmed.

"Be a master of your own education," stated Sarah who recommended looking as resources such as McKinsey Insights, HBR and IAB and educating on your own.

The overall goal is to find clarity in the grayness and marketing and communications today. This generation is not about demographics - it's about psychographics. Leaders need to manage the people around them through innovation and change. This requires leaders to be super comfortable with 'gray' areas in their experience. If you aren't getting boundaries, that's an opportunity for you to help build a process and help people who are a little bit scared who may not exactly know what is ahead. When you are in one of those times, identify that and think not 'black' and 'white' and instead think 'grey'. Sarah recommends that leaders sit down with their teams and asking them how we can all work together to make the current situation 'white'.

Media has gone through an extraordinary evolution over the last decade. For 50 million people, it took 38 years to adopt radio, 14 years to adopt TV, 4 years for digital and desktop, and 2 years for mobile. There were over 100 million smartphones in 2008 and there are now 2 billion smartphones at the present date. An even more extraordinary figure is that only one-third of the world's population has Internet. Many will be introduced to the Internet with a smart phone and will never see a desktop computer.

There are many positives about mobile devices. They work and function like a desktop computer and can be completely personalized. However, 80% use only 7 apps on a regular basis and 50% use only 3 apps. It is important to think about how are you using digitized business but what is your approach?

Sarah then uses Uber as an example. Uber didn't solve for a mobile problem but instead, solved for a consumer problem. This is why we now have a total transformation to how we hail transit. This transformation is also happening in consumer packaged goods, using 'Dollar Shave Club' as an example.

Everyone is trying to figure out how they pull that digital native experience into their own framework. If you go to Dubai, they have revolutionized the way that they communication with citizens and the government communicate through mobile devices.

All of this is leading toward a couple of different things. When you are spending your day and thinking about mobile, take a minute and think about moments in a consumer life stage that are revolutionized by someone else solving for that problem before we do. Facebook stood up and Mark Zuckerberg made the decision to shift toward HTML5 and a native mobile ad environment. All of these changes are happening quickly and this is certainly not a fad and is not going away.

From a marketing perspective, think of ways you can deliver personalized marketing at scale. It's about mobile, feed, native and video and the components of making those things work together. What's most exciting is the rapid evolution of messaging, with highest growth coming out of Messenger and WhatsApp. Facebook is seeing this on our own portfolio of messaging apps. When you think about it, people are giving entire lives through messaging apps through tasks such as payment. This is what is coming and will continue to grow.

The growth term is moving faster than what we saw in mobile. In business, you can now start to have a personal one on one with consumers. This means that the messaging between the communication and consumer is more critical than ever. It is not about disruption. It's actually about immersion and value.

Sarah began to wrap up her conversation by speaking about her career. Connection and clarity around your value system is the best thing you can bring to yourself.

"Every single job I have ever taken I have not known what I have gotten into," stated Sarah, who has faced challenges such as being the youngest person to run companies, testing new verticals and more. When she first began her career, the first thing she started with was saying 'yes' to all tasks. Once her career progressed, the second thing she focuses on was what she needed to learn as she found that was important for overall growth.

Resources are limitless. If you want to learn about a consumer segment, a skillset or about mobile technology, Sarah encourages that you go after it. When asked where she looks for information, she answers by saying 'I go to Google'. At the age of 25, Sarah needed to learn how to create a business plan. Since she had never written a business plan before, she typed the words 'business plan' into a search engine and taught herself how to write one. Your manager is absolutely going to help educate you and it's the responsibility of your company to make sure the right tools and training are in place. However it still comes down to the accountability of self.

Another topic Sarah mentioned was the importance of career development. It's important to choose the role that is going to help you learn.

"When I first came to Facebook, my dad quoted that it was the worst decision that I have ever made," Sarah commented as she slightly chuckled.

Sarah had called her father to let him know that she was leaving her previous role to become an individual contributor for Facebook's CPG strategy. She then added that the way she makes decisions in her career is based on what she wants to learn. The C-suite executives at agencies do not understand social. The best way to learn it is to dive right in and get to know it and this allowed her the opportunity to build for a company that is known for building.

Sarah then led into her next piece of advice which was to be kind to all people. There are a lot of smart people in the world and the only reason why she was asked back was because of the way she made people feel, which is much more important than just the 'what'. Try to remember every single day to not get caught in the game - even if you don't know what game is being played. It's about getting the tasks at hand accomplished and building relationships with the people around you.

It's also important to remember that we talk a lot. Sometimes instead of talking about a task, we just need to get started.

"Just start by starting," Sarah commented explaining that if you believe there is something that needs to be started to start working on it, which helps to materialize the next step.

It doesn't matter if it does not work, as Sarah added that she's failed countless times. Sarah has run for 12 elections for a presidential role starting in 5th grade for her student body. She just kept running and eventually Sarah became president.

Successful people also make a lot of lists. Make sure that every list that you make is the next step and not the end state of what you are going to achieve. This will actually allow you to slowly but surely get tasks accomplished.

The conversation winded down to one final piece of advice - share your voice. Women are not raising their hands to actually talk and speak. The majority of newspaper articles feature quotes from men. Women often feel that sharing their story or having their voices be heard makes them seem egotistical. Sarah stated that it's not about the person speaking. It's more so about everyone else being able to hear their story and their voice. At the end of the day, we are in it to win it together. We need to know what our voice is, know what we want to talk about and be a part of the conversation. If we want to see change in this world, it needs to start with us.

2015 AWNY Leadership Breakfast: Transformational Leadership Harnessing the Velocity of Change

10/06/2015 -

Sponsored by: Starcom Mediavest Group and Kargo

9/29/2015 - By Ayana Frierson, Senior Account Associate at Affinity Solutions

Kicking off Adweek, AWNY held a Leadership Breakfast at The New York Times focused on transformational leadership and how culture and ever advancing technology impacts the work environment within our industry.

So what exactly is transformational leadership you ask? Well Karen List, the Managing Director of Agency & Industry Relations in Sports Marketing for The New York Times, opened the event to expand on this topic. Transformational leadership involves harnessing the increasing changes in today’s technology and building on those changes to grow and transform our companies, while collaborating with and cultivating the talent of the new generation, resulting in the development of new leaders and a revolutionized workplace. 

Laura Desmond, Global CEO of Starcom Mediavest Group, stepped up to the plate, giving us all a depiction of the velocity of change with facts such as:

  • There are 2.6 billion smartphone users currently in the world and that number will increase to 6 billion by 2020.
  • Netflix and Airbnb, two online centered services, focused on delivering consumer needs and wants are now 2 of the top companies in the market today.
  • Kodak, once a major company in technology with a focus on imaging products, filed for bankruptcy the same day that Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion, the mobile, photo-sharing, social media app.

Changes like these demand transformational leadership. Laura then went on to list 3 things that transformational leadership should incorporate:

  1. Continual operation in beta – trying to be one step ahead of the changes in media and technology.
  2. Not being afraid to fail, and if you can help it, fail forward. Big successes come from failures.
  3. Having a 360-degree perspective and participating in reverse mentorship with the Millennial generation.

Amy Wilkins, AWNY Board President, then approached the audience to briefly discuss the opportunities for growth and mentorship that AWNY offers to its members, including AWNY’s mentorship program and the 4th Annual Education Relief Loan Award. The Education Relief Loan Award, grants $10,000 to 20 of AWNY’s brightest members to pay off student loan debt, and recently eligibility has been expanded to go towards fees for continuing studies and courses that will strengthen skills necessary to excel in the industry. During the leadership breakfast, the first 5 recipients of the award were recognized and congratulated.

A round of applause was given to the deserving recipients and then, Emily Steel, Reporter of The New York Times and moderator for the event, then took the mic to introduce the 5 panelists:

  • Laura Desmond - Global CEO, Starcom Mediavest Group
  • Pam El - CMO, National Basketball Association
  • Angela Lee - Assistant Dean, Columbia Business School and Founder and CEO, 37 Angels
  • Susan Lyne - President BBG Ventures, AOL
  • Meredith Verdone - SVP, Enterprise, Consumer and Global Wealth & Investment Management, Bank of America

Emily worked the panel, asking a few questions relevant to the topic at hand, and as the panelists answered, a live twitter feed displayed tweets from the attendees. Some of the questions asked were:

“What would you do if you were 25 again?” Pam El responded that she would be afraid because of all the changes that have taken place from generation to generation but she would absolutely stay in the marketing/advertising industry. Susan Lyne, on the other hand, stated that if she were 25 again she would become an administrative assistant at a startup company and learn as much as she could from the founder of that startup so that she could eventually step out and begin her own company, as she was always fond of the entrepreneurial spirit. Angela Lee, lightly added that she would give herself a hug and let herself know that it will be ok as a lot of plans one has for themselves when they’re younger don’t quite turn out as expected.

Emily then asked, “As leaders of the industry now, how do you manage and train Gen Y & Z who will become half of the workforce by 2020 but have faced much hardship?” Laura Desmond stated her company has had success with creating training and development programs for entry level employees allowing them to learn as much about the industry they’re working in as possible and have even partnered with companies like Google to provide their employees with actual certifications that can be placed on their resumes. Susan also agreed with fostering the talent of the younger generations, stating that her company, AOL, has partnered with GirlsWhoCode, for training programs.

There was also much discussion on how brands should adapt to developing technology and the most successful brands today are those willing to accept the change and put the customer at the center. The panel session was wrapped up with a brief conversation around women in the tech industry and the most successful ideas that have spurred change usually turns fundamentals on their heads, such as sites and apps dedicated to giving medical advice versus going straight to the doctor if you’re not feeling well.

Following the panel discussion was a brief Q&A before wrapping up.

The 2015 AWNY Leadership Breakfast was supported by presenting sponsor Starcom Mediavest Group and Wi-Fi sponsor Kargo.

5th Annual AWNY Multicultural Mix and Mingle

10/05/2015 - Reporting by: Jaclyn Kalb, Senior National Account Executive for Be the Machine

On October 1, 2015, AWNY and VAB hosted its 5th Annual Multicultural Mix and Mingle at 230 Fifth, in New York City. Wrapping up Advertising Week, this event was well attended by advertising heavy hitters, young executives and AWNY members alike. A bit of rain couldn’t keep away the women and men looking forward to wrapping up the week with a few drinks, good networking opportunities and a beautiful setting looking out at the Empire State Building.

Organized by AWNY’s Multicultural Alliance, the setting at 230 Fifth allowed for guests to meet various sponsors in comfortable seated areas. Sponsors included: Viacom, Havas Village, IPG Mediabrands, J. Walter Thompson, Nielsen, and Publicis Healthcare. iHeartMedia provided music for the evening with DJ Whutevva.

The night afforded people the opportunity to literally mix and mingle with their colleagues throughout the event in an intimate setting, while they learned about the sponsors’ companies and job opportunities. With the Empire State Building in the background, it felt like the view set the stage for the event. It was quintessential New York. Good conversation, picturesque views and good drinks.

Guests could feel like stars with a step and repeat featuring the sponsor’s logos. Throughout the night, popping into various conversations, people talked about everything from their Advertising Week panels to the hottest in social media and their favorite apps. Toward the end of the night before the dancing began, sponsors raffled off a variety of items including iHeartMedia Concert Tickets, free passes to an upcoming AWNY events, and a swag bag donated by Vevo.

Taking center stage Cynthia Perkins-Roberts introduced Sean Cunningham, the CEO of VAB. Carol Watson, former AWNY Board President and one of the founding members of the Multicultural Alliance put it perfectly by saying, “The Mix and Mingle is designed to be soft networking; a great way to connect.” The event really stuck to its core in that people were able to take advantage of speaking to amazing companies, building relationships and having conversations. Carol added, “In the spirit of alcohol and being comfortable,” this event truly allowed the opportunity to meet people of all industry roles.

Networking with Notables 2015

10/05/2015 - By: Nicole Fishstein

On September 17th, AWNY’s Young Executive Committee hosted their 2015 Networking With Notables event at Initiative’s Grand Stand and Beer Garden event spaces. This event provided a platform for early and senior career professionals from various backgrounds to gain a plethora of insights over food and drink.

During the first hour, the young executives attended a networking-focused panel, while the notables mingled amongst themselves in the Beer Garden.

Mary Jo Romeo, UP Business Communications President, kicked off the Young Executive’s panel by first asking the audience members to introduce themselves. After using her amazing yoga instructor-like skills, Mary had everyone in the room feel relaxed through deep-breathing and standing firmly on the floor. Not only did her direction disintegrate the tension, Mary also revealed this calm mindset allows people to be in a better state for networking, as the young executives introduced themselves again with more ease and enthusiasm after the meditation exercises.

After the audience was warmed up,  Mary introduced the panel speakers, whom were Cyndi April, SVP Integrated Communications Group Director at /+ssembly; Rachel Cohn, Americas Lead, Global Partnerships, Facebook, and Mary Murcko, Publisher, Chief Revenue Officer, SELF.  They all offered a variety of networking advice to the young executives that attended, which included:

  1. Always finding a common ground: When at networking events, people should try to find similar interests with whom they are speaking to build a stronger connection.
  2. Mentioning what you can offer: While talking to higher-level executives, it is imperative to mention skills that can be brought to the table.
  3. Being confident: Even if individuals are more introverted, networking within groups can be a good option to their dictate strengths and opinions.

In the follow-up after networking, the three women advised the young executives:

  1. Do: Connect on LinkedIn or email
    • It is always a safe option to get in contact on these platforms, as they are professional and non-invasive.
  2. Don’t: Call or Add on Facebook
    • Unless pre-discussed, do not re-connect through these means, as they are a bit too personal.

The panelists wrapped up the conversation by stating how they gain just as much from this event as the younger executives, as it helps them get out of their individual bubbles, learn about innovative companies and cutting-edge positions, plus even catch up on the latest fashion trends.

During the second hour after the panel, the young executives were connected with the notables and used their new networking knowledge, receiving as much enriching career insights as they gave to the senior-level professionals.

Gaining Ground – Dealing with Difficult Conversations 9/10/2015 Recap

09/21/2015 - Hosted by: AWNY’s Professional Development Committee
Sponsored by: Centro
By Danielle V Hemsley

This Fall’s Gaining Ground for 2015, hosted by AWNY’s Professional Development Committee, focused on how to handle difficult conversations in the work place.  Due to passionate audience participation this Gaining Ground event became an engaged group discussion with stories and visuals instead of a role-playing activities. 

Mary Jo Romeo and Ellie Hayman kicked off the session establishing a safe space for attendees to share openly about difficult conversations they have had or are planning to have.  Then each member of the audience had to answer: “When was your last difficult conversation?”

Difficult Conversation

Difficult conversation is defined as anything that creates anxiety or makes you not communicate at your best. This also includes conversations that you avoid because you know they will be difficult. The audience shared some examples of difficult conversations they have faced which included:

  • Giving critical feedback
  • Giving and receiving performance management reviews
  • Managing up
  • Asking for a raise
  • Receiving conflicting direction from a boss who is telling you to make multiple projects the priority

And fears around a difficult conversation include:

  • Hurt feelings on either side
  • Not expressing oneself
  • Loss of face, power
  • Demotivating someone or becoming demotivated
  • Getting emotional

Define Your Role & Understand Power

The audience was given a Handling Difficult Conversations Worksheet where they were told to identify their role and value. One member defined her role as needing to be a black belt while another member defined her roles as “Activating change, growth, community.” While role was pretty simple for most to identify, value was a bit more complicated.

Ellie explained this phenomenon by holding up a card with a little v and a big V. She told participants that we usually see ourselves as the little v and the other person in the conversation as the big V, regardless of titles. Part of this is because we have zero control over what the other person sees, says, and does.

The Layers: Facts, Emotion, Identity

There was discussion about layers that activate during a difficult conversation. These layers are facts, emotion, and identity(ego). Identity and ego speak to things that one strongly associates with themselves. For example, if someone identifies as a relationship expert but not a computer expert, they can handle critiques of their computer skills pretty well but critiques of their relationship management will hurt deep inside.

A story was shared. In the story there were two main characters who were a set of friends. One guy worked at a big agency and the other owned a small graphic design firm. One night the agency guy called up the graphic designer and explained that he was in a bind and needed a poster designed and delivered by 3pm the next day.

The graphic designer stayed up all night to design it and sent it to the agency guy in the morning. He knew that doing something like this would get him a good amount of brownie points and future currency. The agency guy approved the poster and the graphic designer had it sent over for the afternoon deadline.

When the poster arrived at the office the agency guy saw part of the poster as not being properly aligned and called the graphic designer to say I can’t use this. While in this situation, the graphic designer will probably feel a flood of emotions and like his identity has been attacked, the situation actually presents a perfect opportunity to receive feedback that might be very helpful for the future.

Mary Jo & Ellie advised attendees to always seek feedback with curiosity and active listening. While feedback about things we don’t identify as being part of our identity is easier to receive than that which connects directly to our identity, that latter is what is most helpful for us to hear.

Prepping for the Conversation

All difficult conversations have three main parts – my story, their story, and agreement to move forward. While we assume we know the other person’s story, we usually have no clue and we typically don’t ask. We are unable to control the other person and so we must improve our ability to handle difficult conversations by focusing on ourselves.

Mary Jo stated that if you walk out of the workshop with only one thing it should be an increased awareness about what happens to yourself physically, emotionally, and intellectually when you have to have a difficult conversation.

When prepping for a difficult conversation make sure to:

  • Decide to have or notice that you need to have a difficult conversation
  • Let the other person know and set up a time and place
  • Be really clear on your own story

In addition, make sure to avoid blame during a conversation as blame is not useful. Instead focus on levels of contribution.


The workshop ended in traditional Gaining Ground style by participants forming a circle and sharing one key takeaway that they had, a few of which are listed below.

  • Seek Feedback
  • Focus on My story
  • Avoid blame
  • Stay in the question - let them talk
  • Focus on the business goal
  • Be aware of how the conversation affects you

AWNY Night of Networking's "Who Run The World?"

08/18/2015 - By Nice Shoes Senior Producer Kristine Pregot

Earlier this week, Nice Shoes proudly sponsored the Advertising Women of New York’s ‘A Night of Networking’ at the Frying Pan. The evening could not have been more beautiful, watching the sunset on the Hudson while conversing about what makes us passionate about advertising.

Click here for the full article and photos.

2015 Women to Watch Awards

08/10/2015 -

By: Kelli O’Donnell, Marketing Associate at CPXi

The 19th annual Ad Age Women to Watch Awards was held on August 5th at the 42nd street Cipriani. The event featured 20 women who have been "behind some of the most intriguing marketing in recent memory." 17 women were in attendance with three unable to make the event, including Allie Kline, CMO of AOL, Joanne Lovato, VP of Brand and Entertainment Marketing for Samsung Electronics America, and Dao Nguyen, Publisher for Buzzfeed.

Lynn Branigan, Executive Director of AWNY, kicked off the event by welcoming the guests and talking about AWNY's Education Loan Relief Awards. After, she introduced AWNY as an organization, she invited Allison Arden, Publisher at Ad Age and Managing Director at Internet Week, to the platform. Arden welcomed the guests and set the stage for Emcee Ken Wheaton, Managing Editor of Ad Age.

Ken Wheaton, getting the audience ready to meet the 2015 Women to Watch, gave an account of the powerful women in his life. Stealing a line from his mother, Wheaton said he was "delighted but not surprised" with all the powerful women surrounding him at the luncheon.

Following his heart-felt opening, Wheaton explained that the Women to Watch were asked five questions via video. The first video posed the question, "What's something people don't know about you?" Among a handful of surprising responses, one women claimed she was still able to do the splits, one woman "loves infomercials" and "doesn't cook," and another is terrified of Ferris wheels.

After the video, Cindy Chen, Global Head of eCommerce at Mondelez International was the first honoree to take the stage. She spoke about how she, from the time she was a young girl in China, learned how to take risks. Chen then encouraged audience members to take similar risks in their careers. Liz Eswein, Executive Director of Cycle at Laundry Service, graced the stage next and thanked her brothers, among others, for her refined negotiating skills . Following Eswein was Jennifer Gardner, Director of North American Media Investments and Partnerships at Unilever, who thanked her team for getting her where she is today. She explained how she was a "diamond among diamonds" at the luncheon.

Another video followed the first set of speakers. In this film, the women were asked, "What keeps you awake at night?" Some of the women said "what's next" – the idea of always trying to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation, while others said "people." Erin Matts joked that the "fear of having to move to the suburbs" keeps her up at night.

Next, Attica Alexis Jaques, VP of Global Marketing at Gap, stepped up to give her acceptance speech. She promoted empowerment for girls and championed that human rights should be for everyone. Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Co-founder and Executive Producer at Park Pictures, came on next and spoke of how women's voices need to be heard more – they're the most honest and funny in Bisbee's opinion. But Bisbee said she was most proud of her animal activism over the years. Last in this set of speakers was Kristin Lemkau. Lemkau, CMO of JPMorgan Chase, accepted her award and told the audience the key to success was to "set a goal to be an icon brand."

The women then answered the question, "What's the best lesson you've learned?" in a video. Many of the women echoed similar responses: "trust your gut," "trust yourself" and "be freakin' fearless." Not only did the women think it's important to surround yourself with people who will make you a better leader, but they also thought it was equally important to not be scared to hire people who are smarter than you.

Emily Luger Siegel, Program Architect at Team Detroit, gave her acceptance speech after the video. Siegel said it was important to have mentors, hers being her mother, whom watched lead a strong career. Lisa Mann, EVP of Marketing at KIND, came up next and emphasized that her success was the result of all the people around her who have pushed her, including men and women. Erin Matts, CMO of Annalect, reiterated Mann's thoughts. She declared that it's crucial to surround yourself with the "right kind of folks."

Next, a video rolled asking the women, "What advice would you offer women starting out in this business today?" Lisa Mann gave sage advice again saying, "state your opinion, back it up with facts and stop talking." Other women thought it was important to "be yourself," "stick up for yourself" and "be open to criticism." Another honoree thought it important to look for the best leaders to execute tasks, not necessarily the coolest projects.

Lindsay Nelson, Global Head of Brand Strategy for Vox Creative, took the stage and thanked her team, along with other women, for helping "raise the bar." Sharon O'Sullivan, EVP of Ad Sales for Discovery Communications, came up next and thanked the hardworking women in her life for putting her career into perspective. And Lindsay Pattison, CEO of Maxus Worldwide, accepted her award, stressing the importance of bringing other women alongside you on your journey to success.

Then, the women again answered, "What keeps you awake at night?" Women said they worry about continuing to innovate in industries that aren't "shiny and new anymore." Jennifer Saenz said she's concerned frequently with finding the right balance between art and science in marketing.

Sheri Roder, Chief of WHY at Horizon Media, stepped up to the platform after the video. Roder was most thankful for the people around her who have lifted her up, inspired her and let her be who she is today. Jennifer Saenz, VP of Innovation at Frito-Lay North America, spoke of how her career was at "rock bottom" at 22 (which included riding a forklift in Tijuana in the early hours of the morning). But she assured that it gets better - the key is to find something you're passionate about, not just a job title that sounds impressive.

The last video asked, "If you could go back in your career path and change something, what would it be?" Some women wouldn't change anything. They said the ups and downs are what made them who they are today. Others learned you need to "find a mentor earlier," "align your work with your passions" and "laugh more." One women learned her career path didn't have to be linear. She encouraged women not to get too hung up on picking out the perfect major because that's not the deciding factor of your success.

Among the last honorees to grace to the stage included Lisa Sherman, CEO of AdCouncil who said it's essential to believe you can be your authentic self. Jenny Wall, Senior VP Head of Marketing for Hulu, expressed how she's always searching for that "good job, kiddo" moment in her career. She said getting loving affirmation from a superior still feels good "after all these years." Finally, Holly Zheng, President of BlueFocus International and self-proclaimed "partyholic," was happy to see a room full of thriving women. After being surrounded by men in Silicon Valley, it was a nice for Zheng to see women rising up and being celebrated.

To close, Ken Wheaton thanked the audience and welcomed Allison Arden to the stage once again. Arden celebrated the 2015 Women to Watch one last time and invited them up for a group photo. In her closing, Arden was hopeful that by next year, the 20th anniversary of the Women to Watch Awards, they'd be "one step closer to reaching the equality" many women highlighted throughout the inspiring event.

AWNY Woman of the Year 2015

07/15/2015 -

Event Reporter: Kristy Papay, Digital Specialist at Dentsu Aegis Network

On July 15th, Advertising Women of New York hosted the 2015 Woman of the Year awards to honor Dana Anderson, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Mondelez International, at New York’s iconic Gotham Hall.

AWNY’s President and Former SVP Sales & Marketing at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Amy Wilkins @apwilks, opened the evening by thanking guests for attending the 50-year anniversary celebration. She then announced AWNY’s plans to expand the organization to Chicago which was met with applause. During her remarks Amy also spoke to AWNY’s Education Loan Relief Awards in which the organization, for the fourth year in a row, is giving away 20 awards of $10,000 each. These awards are given to AWNY’s members to payoff student debt and to support continuing education programs. Amy concluded her remarks by congratulating Dana as AWNY’s 2015 Woman of  Year and describing her as “someone who is an advocate for Digital Marketing and puts things in place to drive them forward.”

The evening continued with remarks and toasts from friends and colleagues of Dana, who described her as a talented, passionate and inspirational individual.


  • Claudine Cheever, Global Marketing Director of Strategy & Brands, Mediavest: “Dana is fearless in finding inspiration in the everyday”


  • Laura Desmond, Chief Executive Officer, Starcom MediaVest Group, @LBDesmond: “Dana gives a human touch to an iconic brand...The Washington Post recently wrote an article titled Why Oreos might as well exist in their own cookie stratosphere”
  • Tim Scott, Chief Marketing Officer, Land O’Lakes: “The simplest thing can be provocative and funny when you are sitting with Dana”
  • Lisa Cochrane, former SVP Marketing, Allstate Insurance, @CochraneLisa: “Dana’s gut is rarely wrong and her heart is never off”
  • Mark Clouse, Chief Growth Officer, Mondelez International: “Whenever you end the night with Dana it always ends with a shot of tequila”

Dana has won a number of awards throughout her successful career, but as Mark Clouse explained “the greatest measure of success in your career are the peoples’ lives you touch and the people that feel they have had a privilege to work for or with you.”

Following the conclusion of remarks and toasts, Dana was presented AWNY’s 2015 Woman of the Year Award by President Amy Wilkins. In acceptance Dana’s gift for storytelling and ability to inspire those around her was on display. Her heartfelt speech left the audience inspired and was met with a standing ovation and roaring applause.

Gaining Ground: Your story!

06/18/2015 - Hosted by: AWNY's Leadership Development Committee

by Penny Vasileiou

June's Gaining Ground event helped us answer this quite difficult question: "Tell me about yourself?" in a variety of circumstances ranging from cocktail parties to job interviews.

The presenters were Mary Jo Romeo, President of UP Business Communications and leader in the sales and media industry for over 25 years, Ellie Heyman, Chief Creative Officer of UP Business Communications and highly regarded acting coach and a style expert from the theater.

Mary Jo and Ellie see storytelling as a three leg stool:

  • The words we use (language)
  • How we deliver them (content)
  • Our style (clothes)

It was an interactive session where we were all looking for a common thing, tips and ways to help us:

  • Articulate our personal story and tell it in a more confident way
  • Learn how to market ourselves better (women in sales know how to present a product but how do we present ourselves?)

Telling your story requires two things that seem different:

  1. Preparation: you need to know the key things that you want to tell about you or your business
  2. Spontaneity: you need to be able to adjust your story based on the environment/context (job interview, client meeting, etc.)

Women always feel that they sound like a braggart when they talk about themselves. But, there's a huge difference between owning your accomplishments and overly tooting your own horn. 
Our presenters introduced some ways that can help us broadcast our wins in an authentic way without bragging.

  • Create visual images: Make the audience picture what you are saying. Take certain high achievements that demonstrate your skills and instead of talking with generalizations give them a visual image. (i.e instead of saying I am a leader, describe an activity where you acted as a leader).
  • Organize the points that you want to communicate:

Types of organization:

  • linear (i.e. first I did this…, then I did that…). If you won an award, or got promoted many times, bring those to the table. The audience will be "I want to know more about you".
  • passion (i.e. I care most about this…so I chose to do this…). If the accomplishments that you share are in relationship with what you care about, this makes it authentic.
  • response to a problem (i.e. I was so tired of businesses doing this…, so I decided to do this…). Make it personal, this will make them more receptive to getting to know about you or your business.

Ladies, remember this phrase: "The antidote to bragging is authentic passion".

The style expert, who is a theater costume designer, gave us some style tips worth noticing. She said that in theater, when the actor appears on stage you notice his style and the way the character is present in the room before he even starts talking and you are trying to understand his role in the play. The same is in real life, you should choose a style that reflects the story you want to tell and fits in the environment you are in.

Style historically is fundamentally different for men and women. Men always wear a suit whereas women always have to follow the fashion trends which change regularly. Women have to be careful when they choose their style and make sure it flatters them and matches with the context (i.e wear a well-tailored dress in an interview, wear nice jewelry which typically convey leadership). However, how you feel inside your clothes is as important as what you are showing. And investing in some basic clothing styles and footwear is highly recommended!

In the final part, our presenters shared with us some body posture tips.

  • Lengthen your neck: long neck is a status symbol and the way it stands affects other parts of your body.
  • Give signals: Stillness is related with more power. Smiling a lot might make you seem less powerful.
To sum up, here are the tools for a compelling storytelling:

  • Speak in images
  • Break your thoughts down into a linear, passion or response to a problem way
  • Include your list of accomplishments, don't be shy

Gaining Ground events are for AWNY Resident Members as a benefit of membership.

Igniting Passion Through Storytelling

05/14/2015 - By: Kristine Pregot, Senior Producer – Nice Shoes

Advertising Women of New York hosted a thought-provoking panel this morning. Engineering the Future of Content: How Brands are using Technology to Connect with Customers.

There is that buzz phrase again - ‘content creation,’ and with today’s technology, everyone has the ability to be a ‘content creator.’ Today’s discussion explored how brands are using new these technologies to distribute content and inspire communities. We were treated to explorations of a few case studies where content helped brands to ignite passion.

Click here to read the full article on Nice Shoes' blog.

Changing the Game Awards - Recap

04/21/2015 - On April 21st, the 2015 AWNY Changing The Game Awards honored 18 of the advertising industry’s most fearless and innovative women who transformed their brands, their organizations, their clients and their industries.

The day started at the Christian Dior Suite at the St. Regis Hotel, where the Ipsos Girls’ Lounge provided hair and make-up services to honorees. AdWeek’s Lisa Granatstein moderated an intimate panel of four of AWNY’s Honorees: Denise Karkos from TD Ameritrade, Shauna Mei from, Lisa Weinstein from Starcom Mediavest Group, and Shelley Zalis from Ipsos Girls’ Lounge.

In a panel discussion that largely focused on the ascent to the top as a woman, Zalis stressed the importance of owning who you are and being unafraid to make your own rules in order to get ahead, and Karkos reminded young women in attendance to be proud — rather than apologetic — after a promotion, recognizing that they’ve earned it.

After the panel ended, the day’s events continued at Cipriani on 42nd street, where honorees and guests mingled before AWNY President Amy Wilkins took to the stage for welcoming remarks. AWNY event co-chairs Michelle Aragon and Ashley Swartz came to the stage next to review the judging process and thank the selection committee and judges for their time.

They introduced BBG representative Jacki Kelley to share a video starring the honorees sharing the definition of business.

Emcee Stephanie Ruhle, anchor on Bloomberg Television, ascended to the stage for her keynote address, where she challenged honorees and attendees alike to stop delaying happiness in favor of distant goals, and to take time to enjoy happiness every single day.

Following her address, Ruhle introduced the 18 honorees:

Honorees in the Brainwave category were recognized for changing the way a brand or product is marketed. Brainwave honorees included Judy Berei, Category Business Team Lead in the U.S.  Pain Relief Category at Glaxo Smith Kline; Rachel Shechtman, Founder of Story; Debbie Sterling, Founder & CEO of GoldieBox; Wendy Svarre, President & CEO of The Americas, Hunter; and Shelley Zalis, CEO & Founder of Ipsos OTX and The Ipsos Girls’ Lounge.

Paradigm Shift honorees were recognized for changing the way a customer segment or target audience is approached. Paradigm Shift honorees included Laura Henderson, Associate Director of U.S. Media and Communications at Modelez International; Lisa Hsia, EVP of Bravo and Oxygen Digital Media at NBC Universal; Shireen Jiwan, Founder and CEO of Sleuth; and Denise Karkos, Chief Marketing Officer at TD Ameritrade.

The Quantum Leap honorees were chosen because they change the way and organization is aligned to proactively meet new challenges. Quantum Leap honorees included Shirley Au, President and Chief Operating Officer at Huge; Maryam Banikarim, Global CMO of Hyatt Hotels; Sarah Hofstetter, CEO of 360i; Zazie Lucke, Head of Global Marketing at Bloomberg Media; and Lisa Weinstein, President, Global Digital, Data & Analysis at Starcom MediaVest Group.

Honorees in the No Apologies category were recognized for creating whole new business models, industries or marketplace opportunities. No Apologies honorees included Stephanie Horbaczewski, President and CEO of StyleHaul; Shauna Mei, Founder and CEO of; Dao Ngyun, Publisher of BuzzFeed; and Peshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code.

Following introductions, Ruhle engaged in a Q&A with the honorees who shared insights about how they got their start, how they balance family and career, how they give back, their views on the business, and more.

The honorees spoke candidly and frankly, several times circling back on the idea that the issues they — and many professional women — face are problems that face all professionals. Sarah Hofstetter of, CEO of 360i, summed it up with the heavily applauded statement, “screw what gender you are!”

Another common characteristic that many of the honorees shared was their vocal and demonstrated concern for things that extend beyond their personal success: fostering the growth of their teams, caring for their families and friends and giving back to their communities. Women are caregivers, and caregivers are great leaders, said Shelley Zalis of Ipsos Girls’ Lounge.  “The times I feel most successful are when I think I’ve impacted people,” agreed Lisa Weinstein of Starcom Mediavest Group.

After significant discussion and lively debate, Stephanie Ruhle turned the mic over to Amy Wilkins, AWNY President, for closing remarks, which included the announcement that Sana Anderson of Mondelez International would be AWNY’s 2015 Woman of The Year.

The 2015 AWNY Changing The Game Awards were presented in collaboration with presenting sponsor Bloomberg Media, title sponsor Media Ocean, support sponsor Criteo, and wi-fi sponsor Kargo.

Gaining Ground – Dealing with Difficult Conversations

04/14/2015 - Hosted by: AWNY's Professional Development Committee
By Danielle V Hemsley

The workplace is full of difficult conversations such as telling a staff member they are underperforming, asking for a raise, hiring and firing, advocating for a larger budget, etc.

The 2nd Gaining Ground for 2015, hosted by AWNY’s Professional Development Committee, focused on how we can handle difficult conversations in the work place.  Mary Jo Romeo and Ellie Hayman, UP Business Communications, kicked off an interactive program with establishing a safe space for attendees to share openly about difficult conversations they have had or are planning to have.  Then each member of the audience had to answer: “When was your last difficult conversation?”

The majority of the participants in the audience had experienced a difficult conversation within the past week with many having difficult conversations that day and one as recent as 5pm (The event began at 6pm).  Mary Jo and Ellie reminded attendees that when it comes to difficult conversations, it can be very awkward to speak the truth and that our fears can get in our way of talking.

Sometimes we become emotional during our conversations.  When this happens we move from using the frontal lobe of our brain that focuses on thinking and problem solving and we start to use our amygdala which focuses on an emotional response and animalistic defense as if we were being chased by a bear.  Very often this can cause us to enter into fight, flight or freeze mode.

While difficult conversations can’t be made easy, we can create a process for handling them!

In order to help practice skills to deal with difficult conversations, Mary Jo & Ellie called for audience participation.  Role-playing situations were conducted around difficult conversations such as a telling a boss that a co-working is not performing, firing a consultant, and asking a senior leader to address mixed messages.  Participants were reminded:

  • “It isn’t all about us all the time.” A person may be cold to us because something else is going on in their life.
  • We often know nothing about the other person’s POV
  • When we are thrown a curve ball such as new information during a difficult conversation, we often ignore it and continue to focus on making our point

We learned skills we can use to help manage difficult conversations, and we were able to practice these skills during the role-playing activity:

  • Ask questions!
  • Try out a new conversation
  • React to the curve ball, take in new information
  • When you feel your body having a flight, fight, or freeze reaction, do something else such as drink water or ask questions in order to help you ground yourself and stay in the conversation using your frontal lobe
  • Always try to focus conversations on how both parties can collaborate to move the business forward

The event ended in traditional Gaining Ground manner with a circle closer where participants shared their biggest learning.  The most mentioned learning was to remember to ask questions!

Gaining Ground events are for AWNY Resident Members as a benefit of membership.

2015 Annual Roast with Martine Reardon

04/13/2015 - On April 13th, 2015, Advertising Women of New York, colleagues and friends gathered at Cipriani 42nd St, to roast Macy’s CMO, Martine Reardon. Originally slated for January, the event had to be rescheduled as a result of a surprise snowstorm, one of the many that had characterized this past winter in New York City. But much to the chagrin of Ms. Reardon, who commented on how much anxiety had developed over the style of the “roast”, the show was to go on. A testament to the loyalty and respect with which Ms. Reardon maintains both personally and professionally, all of her esteemed business colleagues originally slated to speak on her behalf was able to make the new event date, interrupting vacations and moving business plans.

Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia lovingly roasted Ms. Reardon, making light of her business prowess and proactive nature, joking that as soon as he turns his back she would take over his company, leveraging the Macy’s celebrity product line within his music showcase of the iHeartRadio concerts and event. This being said, he was wearing a Ryan Seacrest brand suit purchased from Macy’s, and rightfully so.
Next on the line up was Nancy McKay, CEO of Nest Fragrances, who worked with Martine at Macy’s a few years ago. With sketch drawings she poked fun at their Macy’s logo size differences and how Macy’s deserves five stars instead of one.

Later in the evening Bob Jeffrey (Non-Executive Chairman and CEO, JWT Worldwide) played a video montage where everyone from celebrity client to agency partners lauded her social and business savvy. It was nothing short of impressive to see how far Ms. Reardon has been able to grow the brand and maintain its relevance; leading Macy’s to stay an industry leader even during the rise of e-commerce.

Clinton Kelly (Style Consultant, Macy’s Spokesman and co-host of What Not to Wear), memorably and playfully focused on the evolution of Ms. Reardon hairstyles over the course of their friendship. His time at the mic was perfectly punctuated by an impeccably photo shopped power point presentation. Playful banter aside, Clinton praised Ms. Reardon’s talent and her influence within the industry. The love and appreciation with which each friend spoke about Ms. Reardon was nothing short of infectious and was the perfect end to highlight the career of a woman, whom we are proud to stand beside in the advertising community.

After her Roaster’s took the stage, we had a chance to hear from Martine. herself. The unmistakable presence Ms. Reardon has had during her tenure at Macy’s was apparent. From overseeing the Fourth of July fireworks display, the Thanksgiving Day parade to cultivating celebrity curated and created product lines and figuring out the timing of special sales; the depth and breadth of her talent has radiated through the company. She was a great sport and the crowd relished in her presence. Sponsors and invited guests finished the night off at Andaz Fifth Avenue for an After-Party.

ROASTERS Included:

  • Bob Jeffrey, Non-Executive Chairman and CEO, JWT Worldwide
  • Jeff Kantor, Chief Stores Officer,
  • Clinton Kelly, Style Consultant, Macy's Spokesman and Co-Host of The Chew and What Not to Wear
  • Nancy McKay, CEO, Nest Fragrances
  • Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO, iHeartMedia

2014 Impact Awards

11/04/2014 - Event Reporter: Dionne Graham

On November 4th, 2014 the Advertising Women of New York hosted its 6th annual Impact Awards to honor the note-worthy mentors of industry leaders at the Marriot Marquis.

The awards program commenced with the acknowledgement of AWNY’s Education Loan Relief recipients and donors. Education Loan Relief is an AWNY initiative that raises money to help women in media, marketing, and communications relieve debt accumulated from education costs.


  • Alexa Alianello, Twitter
  • Michelle Aragon, Marketing Consultant
  • Taylor Hall, CPXi
  • Gabriela Martinez, Hulu
  • Diana Herrera, MEC
  • Laura Vinci, Cooperkatz
  • Krystal Bradford, FCB Health
  • Diondra Humphries, MSLO
  • Amy Kelly, Creative Realities
  • Jodi Neuhauser, OMD
  • Amy Margolies, Google
  • Jennifer Plaveck, Spongecell
  • Lindsey Plocek, Crowdtap
  • Inga Orlova, AYDigital
  • Jennifer Sangid, Ebuzzing and Teads
  • Tiffany Tai, Mediaocean
  • Collette Spagnolo, MediaVest
  • Keisha Stephen-Gittens
  • Amanada Taubman, Joule
  • Michele Weisman, Likeable Media


Gold: Starcom MediaVest

Silver: Mediaocean

Bronze: ABC, Allstate, Comcast/NBCUniversal, GroupM, iHeartMedia, RedFuse Communications, Turner Broadcasting, Horizon Media, MediaLink

Supporting: AOL, The Hyde Foundation, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

With the opportunity to speak to this year’s recipients, they were asked:

  • What does Education Loan relief mean to you? How will you pay this honor forward to the AWNY community and your organization?

Donors were also interviewed to gain perspective on the purpose behind their continued program support, as well as to learn what impactful advice they've received over the years with these questions:

  • Why did your company choose to support education loan relief?
  • What was the best advice you’ve ever received from a mentor who has impacted you personally or professionally?

After the presentation of the Education Loan Relief awards, Stephanie Fierman, Chief Marketing Officer, MediaCom, and Eileen Carty, Popsugar, both sponsors of the event, kicked off the energetic panel conveying why mentoring resonates with their organizations.

AWNY President, Amy Wilkins then gave warm remarks to emphasize the value of mentorship. Serving as event chair for the Impact Awards, Kelly Wenzel, Chief Marketing Officer, Centro, introduced the honored mentors in the industry. The award presentations continued with humorous anecdotes and insightful messages as the panel delivered witty accounts of their mentorship relationships and lessons learned along the way.

Event Chair: Kelly Wenzel, Chief Marketing Officer, Centro

Keynote Speaker: Renetta McCann, Chief Talent Officer, Leo Burnett

Honored Mentors and Award Recipients:

  • Wenda Harris Millard, President & Chief Operating Officer, Medialink, mentor to Beth Lawrence, Executive Vice President, Digital Sales, Scripps Networks Interactive
  • Bob Marcus, Managing Partner, Brimstone Consulting, mentor to Kelly Cook, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, DSW
  • Bryan Wiener, Chairman, 360i, mentor to Sarah Hofstetter, Chief Executive Officer, 360i
  • Serge Del Grosso, Head of Media Strategy, eBay Enterprise, mentor to Christina Meringolo, VP of Integrated Marketing Solutions, Bayer
  • Chris Weil, Chairman and CEO, Momentum, mentor to Nancy Smith, VP Global Media Alliances, Development & Social Media Marketing, American Express

Keynote speaker Renetta McCann, Chief Talent Officer, Leo Burnett, offered her view on mentorship from the advantages of being a mentor.

  • As a mentor you get to indulge in personal learning and exploration. What you are doing is transferring your values to your mentee.
  • As a mentor you get to think about how you are building your own relationships.
  • Your mentoring work can become apart of your own leadership and development plan.
  • Mentoring can actually be a reputation builder.

Sarah Hofstetter, Chief Executive Officer, 360i honored her mentor Bryan Wiener, Chairman, 360i. “He [Bryan] knew my strengths better than I did. And that gave me the courage to become fearless, embrace the unknown, and pursue something I had inside of me that I didn’t fully unleash, which was my professional curiosity and thirst for continued improvement.” Reinforcing the sentiments of coaching, Bryan added, “Being a mentor is about, first and foremost, showing interest. Second is having self-awareness and a desire to improve because coaching is a journey not a destination.” Bryan Wiener also gave his three critical keys to being a mentor:

    You need to work with people to understand what their unique talents are.
  • Get and give regular candid feedback.
  • You need to work with them to give them enough rope so that they’re not comfortable, so that they are stretching themselves, but not so much that they are hanging themselves.

Kelly Cook, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, DSW, contributed to the conversation as she acknowledged her mentor Bob Marcus, Managing Partner, Brimstone Consulting. There are three disciplines Kelly learned during the years through the relationship with her mentor Bob:

  • The JJ Watt Strategy – Being passionate and planful. Don’t always expect yourself to be perfect. (Forgive yourself for not being perfect.)
  • The Best-Seller Strategy – Stepping back and understanding progress.
  • The Yellow Brick Road – Refining and fine-tuning your leadership brand. (What do you stand for?

What is your leadership brand?)

Bob gave advice that he’s shared over the years to his female counterparts:

  • Take inventory and stock of your track record. (No one else is going to.)
  • Surround yourself with high quality mirrors. (Surround yourself with people who celebrate you and understand you.)
  • Act like you’ve won. (If you want to be CMO, act like a CMO.)

“Mentorship has always been about pushing others to expand their minds, their growth, and their opportunities. Advocating for their success. Challenging them to reach their potential,” says Nancy Smith, VP Global Media Alliances, Development & Social Media Marketing, American Express. She honored Chris Weil, Chairman and CEO, Momentum as her mentor highlighting that there is also great benefit in learning from younger generations.

In her parting remarks to the group, Christina Meringolo, VP of Integrated Marketing Solutions, Bayer advised, “Mentorship is not a point in time. It is a journey. It blossoms, it grows, and it changes over the years.” She celebrated her mentor over the years Serge Del Grosso, Head of Media Strategy, eBay Enterprise. His take on the key to mentoring is “Listening, not judging. Helping sort through alternatives versus being prescriptive.”

Beth Lawrence, Executive Vice President, Digital Sales, Scripps Networks Interactive shared her insights from her relationship with mentor Beth Lawrence, Executive Vice President, Digital Sales, Scripps Networks Interactive.

Beth explained her “Wenda Lessons” (tools she felt were beneficial to all professionals, but directly useful to those young professionals in sales).

  • Learn how to work a room (No one really tells you how to do that).
  • Expect great things from your people and hire well when you build that team (Great dynamics on a team are mission critical).
  • When things go bad, be as honest as you can as you try to get things back on track (Learn to adjust with grace).

The overall consensus of the mentors and event attendees can be best reflected in the remarks of the event’s keynote speaker Renetta McCann, “Whether it’s teaching, wise counsel, long lasting relationships, growth development, whatever the case may be, it is a really valuable relationship.”

The award attendees received DSW gift bags which included gift cards and shoe care products.

Advertising Women of New York Awards $200,000 in Educational Loan Relief to 20 Professionals

11/03/2014 - AWNY's Impact Awards Celebrates Development and Education of Women in Advertising and Media; AWNY Honors Mentors of Prominent Executives

New York – November 3, 2014 –Advertising Women of New York (AWNY |, an industry association that empowers women in media, marketing and communications through all phases of their career, today announced the distribution of $200,000 as part of its 3rd annual Education Loan Relief Program. The funds are being awarded to 20 recipients to pay off loans amassed from undergraduate, graduate and continuing education studies. These professionals will be highlighted at the 6th Annual AWNY Impact Awards on November 4 in New York City.

As part of the event, AWNY will honor industry mentors who have played pivotal roles in guiding prominent industry leaders. Award recipients are:

  • Serge Del Grosso, Head of Media Strategy, eBay Enterprise, as mentor for Christina Meringolo, VP Integrated Marketing Solutions at Bayer
  • Wenda Harris Millard, President and COO, Medialink, as mentor for Beth Lawrence, EVP Digital Ad Sales at Scripps Networks
  • Bob Marcus, Managing Partner, Brimstone Consulting, as mentor for Kelly Cook, CMO and EVP at DSW
  • Chris Weil, CEO, Momentum, as mentor for Nancy Smith, VP Global Media Alliances, Development and Social Media Marketing at American Express
  • Bryan Wiener, Chairman, 360i and Expion, as mentor for Sarah Hofstetter, CEO at 360i

"AWNY takes a leadership role in cultivating talented women in our industry, from all aspects and all levels," said Kelly Wenzel, who serves as an AWNY executive-class member, chairperson of the Impact Awards, and CMO of Centro. "Mentorship matters; it is and has always been a central component in professional and personal success. The Impact Awards showcase the role mentors can play throughout women's entire career arc, from junior-level and mid-career to senior leadership."

The growth of AWNY's membership base demonstrates that there are many promising women who are looking to advance and develop their career in advertising. However, many are saddled with student loan debts that can be exponentially larger that their annual salaries. A 4A's annual talent survey showed that entry-level yearly salaries in the industry commonly range from $25k to $35k. Furthermore, with New York City being the third most expensive U.S. city to live in, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, young workers and mid-level professionals who want to continue their education are at a disadvantage.

The AWNY Education Loan Relief Program raises money to help women in media, marketing, and communications relieve debt accumulated from education costs. AWNY reviews applicants in the spring and summer every year to identify the most qualified candidates. Recipients were selected for their commitment to 'pay it forward' to the AWNY community and help fellow professionals in the space. The 2014 fund was collected from corporations donating directly to the fund, from a dedicated fundraising event, and from AWNY event proceeds throughout the year. Starcom MediaVest Group was the Gold Sponsor of the effort. Mediaocean was the Silver Sponsor; Comcast/NBCUniversal and MediaLink contributed at the Bronze plus level. Bronze sponsors included ABC, Allstate Insurance Company, GroupM, iHeartMedia, Horizon Media, RED Fuse Communications, and Turner Broadcasting. AOL and the Hyde Foundation also contributed at the Supporter level. Companies and individuals who are interested in donating to the 2015 fund can visit

"AWNY and our partners are proud to give back to the women giving so much to the industry," said Amy Wilkins, President of the Board, Advertising Women of New York. "While scholarships are available for those seeking degrees, there is little relief for those who could use reimbursement for education at any stage of their careers. By easing the burden of accumulated education loans, AWNY is glad to play a part in furthering so many women's careers."

About Advertising Women of New York
Founded in 1912, Advertising Women of New York's (AWNY) mission is to empower women in our industry to achieve personal and professional fulfillment at each stage of their careers. The organization presents over 40 events annually for education and networking. Membership now stands at nearly 1,800 and ranges from senior level executives to those just beginning their career.

AWNY Leadership Breakfast – Mentorship in the Digital Age

09/30/2014 - Event Reporter: Lauren Campbell, Account Executive, McCann Erickson

On September 30th, AWNY members gathered at the New York Times’ office for a breakfast panel on “Mentorship in the Digital Age.” With women holding only 5% of senior positions in media and representing only 4% of the Fortune 500 CEOs, creating a culture of mentorship has never been more critical. To dig deeply into the topic, Jenna Wortham, Technology Reporter and Columnist for The New York Times, interviewed a panel of leading women in marketing and technology:

  • Jodi Allen, Vice President North America Brand, Procter & Gamble
  • Laura Desmond, Chief Executive Officer, Starcom MediaVest Group
  • Perry Hewitt, Chief Digital Officer, Harvard University
  • Wanda Young, Vice President, Media, Digital & Partnership Marketing, Walmart

    Meredith Kopit Levien, Vice President of Advertising at The New York Times, opened up the morning and welcomed AWNY (and the signature red carpet) to the 2nd annual Leadership Breakfast. Amy Wilkins, President of AWNY, encouraged the audience to get involved with AWNY mentorship by attending the annual “Networking with Notables” event and/or by joining the mentorship program.

    The panel kicked off with a discussion about digital mentorship. Although everyone recognized the incredible opportunities we now have to connect online, the consensus was that the best mentoring relationships aren’t purely digital.

    “People have access to everything through the internet, but they still need and crave personal interaction and sponsorship in a whole new way,” said Laura. “You can’t mentor via posts, likes, tweets, or texts – it only works if you have a personal relationship first.”

    When the panelists described their own mentors, it became apparent that mentors come from all disciplines and levels of experience. They can be colleagues and friends who encourage you to follow your passion and switch career paths; or they can be hard-driving bosses who teach you how to be a team player. But all the panelists agreed on what makes a good mentor: they help you see yourself more clearly, give you critical feedback, and help you grow.

    Not all mentors have to be official; while it’s great to receive personalized feedback, don’t forget that you can learn something from everyone.

    “Walmart has many mentorship programs/formal structures, but the best interactions are just when I can leverage my team,” Wanda explained. So ask for feedback on your presentations, and observe how others handle those aspects of your job that you need to work on.

    If you want to find a mentor through digital channels, it’s crucial to find a connection point. Look for a shared LinkedIn group, interest, or mutual connection. You can also look for internal tools such as Walmart’s digital communities, which allow people to connect throughout the organization and form mentorship circles.

    Once you succeed in forging a connection, online or off, you may find that women are more willing to be mentors than you expect. Many senior executives have benefited from reverse mentors, who keep them up-to-date on trends.

    “When I hear that a critical mass of younger people are adopting a particular technology or behavior, I think about how to keep an eye on it,” said Perry. Wanda explained that as a company leader, it’s in her self-interest to mentor a group of people and develop a talent pool. And when Laura doesn’t have the bandwidth to mentor someone, she matches people together. “It’s a great way to scale more and create a mentorship culture,” she explained.

    Ultimately, while we have more opportunities to connect than ever, it’s still up to us to take the initiative and actually connect. Senior women have the opportunity to influence the mentorship culture within their own companies. As for the rest of us? Jodi gave us some great parting advice: “There are great role models out there – we just have to be bold and walk through the door.”

TEDWomen Salon presented by AWNY

09/22/2014 - Event Reporter: Alexis Birnberg, Associate, Client Solutions at Time Warner Cable Media

On September 23rd, 2014, AWNY and TEDWomen partnered to bring the AWNY community The TEDWomen Salon Presented by AWNY: "Women Shaping The Future".

The inaugural fundraising event kicked-off with a reception in The Times Center lobby. Hundreds of attendees snacked on food and drink, awaiting what we all knew would be a historical and memorable evening.

As members took their seats in the auditorium, Amy Wilkins, AWNY Board President & SVP Sales & Marketing at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, began her opening remarks. She thanked event participants, sponsors and board members for their monetary contributions, which segued into a discussion of the AWNY Education Relief Program. She shocked each attendee with total proceeds raised for the program ($200,000!), and asked each award recipient to make their way across the stage in recognition. Amy finished with the introduction of Pat Mitchell, the host of the evening’s event.

Pat Mitchell, Executive Vice Chair of Paley Center for Media, former President & CEO of PBS, & various other impressive positions held throughout her note-worthy career, briefed attendees on the origin of TED Women and the variety of past speakers – some recognizable (i.e. Hilary Clinton & Sheryl Sandberg), some not as well known – all well-regarded in their field. She then introduced the panel speakers of the evening; 5 inspiring women of the TED Fellows program (read more about the Ted Fellows Program here).

Each fellow was an expert in her respective research and/or business venture. All 5 spoke (or sang) of their current projects, passion for their work & their impact - inspiring the audience perhaps, to begin a movement of our own.

The TED Fellows included:

  • Nina Tandon, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, EpiBone, a revolutionary bone reconstruction company that allows patients to “grow their own bone”
  • Renee Hlozek, Cosmologist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Astrophysics, Princeton University, strives to understand and make sense of the universe through observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, Type Ia supernovae and observations of Baryon Acoustic Oscillations
  • Shivani Siroya, Chief Executive Officer, InVenture, a company creating simple mobile tools to provide micro-business owners and households in emerging markets the opportunity to build a financial identity
  • Laurel Braitman, Writer and Historian of Science & author of Animal Madness, writes and researches ways society’s ideas of animals have changed since roughly the 1880s and examines how animals think, feel, and experience emotion
  • Somi, East African Jazz Vocalist & Sony Music recording artist, sang two songs titled “2 Dollar Day” & “The Last Song” from recently released album The Lagos Music Salon

The evening concluded with closing remarks from Pat, thanking the audience for attending. A Closing Networking Reception with the TED Fellows followed the evening’s panel discussion.

Networking With Notables

09/18/2014 - Event Reporter: Jameelah Khalid-Khan, Young Executive Member

Mary Jo Romeo, co-founder and President of UP Communications, and a leader in the sales and media industry, led a seminar packed to the brim with advice on how to effectively network as a part of this year's Networking with Notables event. Romeo's aim was to prep Young Executives with practical advice on how to network before joining senior executive notables later in the evening. The first segment of the seminar discussed the myths and realities of networking, while the second illustrated the importance of body language.

I. What is the Point of Networking? "Nice to meet you! Any openings at _____ organization? No? Well...goodbye!"

Many people simply do not see the point of networking if it does not immediately lead to a new job. In an effort to identify the myths and realities of networking, Romeo opened the floor up for Young Executives to compile a list of reasons as to why you should network, and deliberated on whether said suggestions were misguided myths or truth.

Suggestions from the Audience included:

  • To make connections – Reality
  • To make an impression – According to the audience, both a myth and reality.
  • To learn from someone – Reality
  • Growing a business – Reality
  • It’s not what you know, it’s who you know – Reality
  • To help others – Reality
  • To form LinkedIn connections – Myth
  • To collect business cards – Myth, unless you follow up, in which case, it is a reality.

    Amassing a large number of business cards should not be the main focus of one's networking experience—the purpose of networking is to build relationships and make connections. Mary Jo said that even if someone meets as little as three people at a networking event, if she follows up and builds these relationships, it should be seen as successful.

    So, how exactly should one follow up and maintain these relationships? Once again, Young Executives offered a number of answers, including:

    • Email
    • Phone Call
    • Meeting over coffee
    • Just ask, how would you like me to follow up? Mary Jo stated that some people prefer different communications methods, so rather than leave it up to chance, ask them!

      Kathleen Nagle, former Co-Chair of the Young Executive Committee, offered her opinion and emphasized the importance of the content of conversations. Whomever we are networking with wants to know that they are not just being leveraged for business opportunities, so it's okay to find out more about the person than just what they do for a living. Mary Jo added to Kathleen's advice, stressing the fact that these relationships are two way, not one way. She shared her own experience of networking with three women, but their lack of follow up, and in one case a generic LinkedIn, did not create a sound foundation for a strong relationship.

      When asked for other benefits of networking, another audience member felt that networking allows one to build confidence. Networking, especially when it's your first time, can be a stressful experience, but conquering your uneasiness only means future networking opportunities will be easier.

      At the end of the first segment, the floor opened up for questions, which continued to explore the nature of networking as well as some difficulties of the process, from ways to initiate conversation to keeping relationships with individuals who are pressed for time.

      1. How do you build a relationship with people who are extremely busy? Sure, you can email them, but if you don't hear a reply, how do you pursue connections?

      Suggestions included:

      • Personal/Handwritten Note
      • Reference something they said specifically during your conversation and provide context. Doing so may help trigger memories of the meeting.

      2. Can you give examples of ice breaker questions to start a conversation and keep it flowing?

      Each of the Co-Chairs of the Young Executives Committee offered their own takes on how to get a conversation flowing.

      Kathleen Nagle, Integrated Account Director, Hearst Magazines-Redbook

      • Kathleen emphasized the importance of authenticity during conversation. Rather than stressing over presenting the perfect image or a spotless elevator pitch, relax and be yourself. Conversation need not be restricted to just business—attendees shouldn’t be afraid to deviate from the usual business talk and discuss other aspects of their life.

      Betsy Bartosiak, Senior Account Executive Twitter, Co-Chair of YE Committee

      • People love to talk about themselves. So Betsy suggests attendees make the person they are speaking to the topic of conversation. Some questions to ask include:
      • How long have you been at ______ company?
      • What are your key responsibilities?
      • What was the first position you ever held?

      Lauren Cohen, Senior Marketing Manager, NYLON & NYLON Guys Magazine, Co-Chair of YE Committee

      • Lauren reminded audience members that even before the conversation begins, they all have one thing in common with the rest of the senior executive Notables—they are all members of AWNY. So why not ask how long they have been members and what their personal experience has been like?

      II. Language of the Body

      The second part of the seminar was all about the body as Mary Jo expounded on how our bodies can help us be exceptional at networking or send all the wrong signals.

      Ellie Heyman, CCO of UP Communications, couldn’t join attendees at this year’s Networking with Notables event, but this highly regarded theater director and acting coach was there in spirit as Mary Jo led the audience in a physical warm up. Romeo borrowed from yoga’s well-known “Mountain” pose technique as she engaged the audience in breathing exercises. Breathing is taken for granted by many, and when we're stressed, it shows. We become nervous, and without realizing it, we start to hunch over. When relaxed, however, our backs straighten and we project easy confidence. As a part of the exercise, Romeo encouraged the audience to lean forward a bit when we make introductions, as we tend to smile more. On the other hand, leaning backwards may give the appearance of reluctance.

      Mary Jo gave the audience a number of insights that drove home the importance of body language. When meeting someone for the first time, people make a judgement call in a 17th of a millisecond. A study by Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA, corroborates this point with the following figures:

      When networking:

      • 7% of what we connect with are words
      • 38% of what we connect with are vocal tones
      • 55% of what we connect with is body language

      While it is important for attendees to be aware of the signals their bodies are giving when they network, it is important for them to earn to read the signals of others. If they are not giving signals that they want to help, it will immediately be evident.

      As the seminar came to a close, Mary Jo encouraged attendees to make use of the techniques they picked up, but most importantly, to remain confident and poised as they joined the remaining senior executive Notables for the rest of the evening.

AWNY and Advertising Age’s Women to Watch Luncheon, 2014

08/06/2014 - Event Reporter: Lauren Freeman, Coordinator of Learning & Development at Interactive Advertising Bureau

This year’s top female executives in marketing and media were honored at Advertising Age’s 17th Annual Women to Watch Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, August 6 in a packed dining room at Cipriani Restaurant in midtown New York. Hosted by AWNY and sponsor The Ipsos Girl’s Lounge, the event featured 30 women who have a proven track record of success and are breaking barriers in marketing.

Attendees were greeted with cocktails in the entrance hall during a networking reception prior to the event. Once seated, Judann Pollack , Deputy Editor of Ad Age, opened the luncheon and welcomed guests from the podium. She reminded the audience that Women to Watch started long before Ad Age had women in the role of publisher and editor and thanked the men in the audience for showing their support. “For all the guys in the audience, thank you so much for being here,” said Pollack. “You can do so much to support and sponsor women in your organization and in our industry, and it does not go unnoticed.” She also announced that with the support of Adlatina, Ad Age’s Spanish language partner in Latin America, the next Women-to-Watch country is expected to be Argentina. The event currently has an international presence in China, Turkey, and Brazil.

Attendees were served lunch and cocktails before the main presentation.

Deputy Editor of Ad Age Judann Pollack then took the stage as host and engaged the notables in an Honoree Q&A. The 2014 class represented top marketing leaders from a diverse range of industries, some of which included cosmetics, packaged goods, publishing, network television, data and analytics, and even sports.

  • Kristi Argyilan, North America president, Magna Global
  • Kristen Cavallo, President, Mullen
  • Blair Christie, Chief Marketing Officer, Cisco
  • Patti Clifford, Chief Talent Officer, Havas Creative Group
  • Dionne Colvin, National Manager-Traditional and Emerging Media, Toyota Division Marketing
  • Marie Donoghue, Senior VP-Global Strategy, Business Development and Business Affairs, ESPN
  • Morgan Flatley, Vice President-Marketing, Gatorade
  • Danielle Gonzales, Executive Vice President-Managing Director, Starcom Mediavest Group
  • Marissa Hunter, Head of Ram Truck Brand Advertising, Chrysler Group
  • Christy Kranik, Senior Vice President-Managing Director, LatinWorks
  • Meredith Kopit Levien, Executive Vice President-Advertising, The New York Times
  • Barbara McHugh, Vice President-Marketing, MLB Advanced Media
  • Erin McPherson, Chief Content Officer, Maker Studios
  • Julia Mize, Vice President-Experiential Marketing, Anheuser-Busch InBev
  • Kelly Mooney, Chief Executive Officer, Resource
  • Kristin Patrick, Senior VP-Global Chief Marketing Officer, Pepsi
  • Karen Quintos, Chief Marketing Officer, Dell
  • Syl Saller, Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo
  • Nuria Santamaria, Head of Multicultural Strategy, Twitter
  • Lori Senecal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, KBS+
  • Alexandra Shapiro, Executive Vice President–Marketing and Digital, USA Network
  • Kristian May Stewart, Vice President-Strategic Planning and Research, Commonground
  • Sheela Subramanian, Head of Global Business Development and Marketing, Jana
  • Nancy Tellem, President, Microsoft's Xbox Entertainment Studios
  • Debbi Vandeven, Global Chief Creative Officer, VML
  • Lynn Vojvodich, Chief Marketing Officer, Salesforce
  • Evelyn Webster, Executive Vice President, Time Inc.
  • Rachel Weiss, VP-Digital Innovation, Content, New Ventures, L'oréal
  • Donna Wiederkehr, Chief Marketing Officer, Dentsu Aegis Network Americas
  • Lizette Williams, Senior Brand Manager, Kimberly-Clark

From Argyilan to Williams, the honorees spoke to how their work is reshaping the media landscape, protecting consumers in the midst of big data, and setting the precedent for new B2B opportunities. The female executives also expressed advice from a unique female perspective on issues such as how to balance work-life demands, hold prominent positions in a male-dominated business, and achieve upward mobility.

Also there to participate in the Honoree Q&A were select members of the AWNY Young Executive Council. The 30-years and below YE's asked questions pertinent to their generation, such as how millennials can effectively engage with more senior colleagues, how a female viewpoint can uniquely contribute amongst a team, and how to work within an industry that is male-dominated.

  • Betsy Bartosiak, Senior Account Executive, Twitter
  • Krystal Bradford, Sr. Account Executive, Mobile Center of Excellence, FCB Health
  • Danielle Roth, Business Development Manager, 24 Seven Inc.
  • Collette Spagnolo, Analytics Associate, MediaVest
  • Michele Weisman, Social Media and PR Manager

The event ended with well wishes and a final accolade for the class of 2014. For more event highlights and pictures, checkout #2014W2W on Twitter.

C-Suite Meet with Melissa Goidel

08/05/2014 - Event Reporter: Kit Winter, Executive Producer at Human

"Why Bad Jobs Are Good"
Melissa gave very candid and honest advice on the best mindset and approach when you aren't happy with your job. She reminded us all that even if you love your job, there will be days where you hate it.

How do you pull yourself out of the "I hate my job" slump?

#1: Her first advice was to remember that you currently getting paid to learn, so consider it a gift. Find the people that are motivated every day and take advantage of the opportunity to learn from them.

There is magic in every company, go and find the magic.

And why does this matter? "A person with perspective is a person with an informed opinion." And by being that person you become more valuable and can redefine the way you are perceived.

#2: There are companies that your company works with, become a student of those companies. If they are successful enough to have a relationship with your company, they are doing something right. Set-up a lunch with them. Network with them. Learn from them too. It could potentially lead to a job opportunity.

So you have a bad boss. What can you do in that situation?

It's all about GIVING. Remember your boss is a person too and sometimes they are oblivious to their ineffectiveness or neglect. So ask them and yourself, what can I do to help? Figure out what they aren't good at and help them in that area. This will increase your responsibility and if you are doing a good job you will get noticed.

Manage your own expectations: The less you expect the more you will get.

Your job is like golf, it is your own personal game. Focus on the things you are good at and good things will happen.

Also, remember these are work relationships, not your best friends. You are there to deliver, not make new friendships.

How do I know a good job?

Everyone is different. Just because the job is great for someone doesn't mean it's going to be great for you. Figure out what YOU want and what is a right fit for you.

Fake it until you make it

Regardless of your unhappiness, come to work with your game face on. The job should only see the person you put out until the world. And think about how to be a good boss. What makes you special as a boss and concentrate on that. And most importantly, never over promise and under deliver.

Melissa reemphasized "giving" and making your bosses job easier. Someone in the audience then suggested the book The Go Giver by Bob Burg and Jonathan David Mann.

Group Session

The last 15 minutes of the evening were spent broken out into three groups who put together their Top Ten list of the best career advice. Refinery29 will be using those to feature an article about the evening.

AWNY Education Loan Relief Awards - Call for Entries

08/01/2014 - AWNY is pleased to announce its call for entries for our second annual Education Relief Awards program.

We know many young executives enter our industry saddled with financial debt from student loans. We want to do what we can to help you retire all or a portion of that burden.

To apply, complete the online application and provide the required supplemental documents by August 1st, 2014. Available to AWNY members only. Click here for the application form.

AWNY Woman of the Year Awards 2014 Honoree: Lisa Cochrane, SVP Marketing, Allstate Corporation

06/10/2014 - Event Reporter: Debbie Ho, Supervisor, Havas Media

On Tuesday June 10th, 2014 AWNY celebrated the 49th annual Woman of the Year honoring Lisa Cochrane, SVP Marketing, Allstate Corporation. Held at the historic Gotham Hall, a former bank, known for its dramatic architecture a packed crowd mingled over hors d'oeuvres and wine, while waiting for the evening’s festivities to begin.

The theme of the evening, Trust your Gut, is Lisa’s most valued piece of advice. Lisa’s theme was present throughout the entire event as guests were encouraged to share their best career advice via multiple methods such as, social media using the hashtag #trustyourgut2, writing notes, and speaking on video.

The event started out with a bang when surprise guest, Martha Stewart, walked out to speak about Lisa and shared her own tips for making a great apple pie. Lisa, a woman known for her many accomplishments, is also an award-winning pie baker, which guests got to experience firsthand as Lisa’s pie was the evening’s dessert course.

Martha Stewart was the first of several throughout the evening who spoke admirably, and humorously, about Lisa.

1. Amy Wilkins, SVP Sales & Marketing , Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

2. AWNY Woman of the Year Past Honorees:

  • 2005: Peggy Conlon, CEO, Ad Council
  • 2008: Laura Desmond, CEO, Starcom Mediavest Group
  • Jacki Kelley, CEO NA, IPG Mediabrands

3. Charley Wickman, EVP, Executive Creative Director at Leo Burnett

4. Georgina Flores, VP, Marketing Allstate Corporation

[ For highlights of Woman of the Year advice shared on Twitter, click here. ]

As one speaker after another came up to the podium to share their experiences with Lisa, variations of similar qualities recurred: Lisa has an incredibly strong intuition, Lisa doesn’t accept mediocrity, Lisa knows everybody, and Lisa cares for people and builds people up, etc. the list can go on.

Once the speakers had concluded, a touching video montage featuring Lisa’s colleagues, respected industry leaders, Allstate spokesmen, and family was shared. As the evening progressed, it became clear to all the guests how Lisa attained her level of professional and personal success, and why she had the respect of those who worked with her.

As Lisa approached the podium to speak she was received with a standing ovation from the crowd. She cemented the theme of the night by sharing the importance of advice, what it is, and what it should be: Advice has to take some element of wisdom and offer guidance and support. Lisa listed and closed the event ceremony sharing her 5 best pieces of advice:

1. Trust Your Gut

This is Lisa’s motto, which she had the audience collectively repeat. This advice came from Lisa’s mother. She made sure to say that trusting your gut does not mean to wing it, but rather to develop an internal litmus test which involves good common sense, listening, and empathy.

2. Do What You Love, Even Though You Won’t Love it Everyday

Lisa followed with saying that a bad day, doesn’t mean that you made a career choice

3. Go out on a limb. That’s where the Fruit is

Lisa emphasized taking risks and specifically mentioned Allstate’s Mayhem campaign. Initially the campaign made people her colleagues uncomfortable, but Lisa continued to push for it. 1 year later, Mayhem won 5 Cannes awards

4. Surround Yourself with People Better Than You

This piece of advice came from Lisa’s mentor, David Ogilvy. She thanked Allstate, her family, and AWNY

5. Waste Not. Want Not.

Lisa shared her a little about her childhood and the impact her parents had on her. She thanked her parents for teaching her the importance of slowing down and savoring life’s moments, and maintaining optimism.

Content Revolution

05/08/2014 -

Some of today's most innovative and forward thinking brand marketers shared insights on the role that Content Marketing plays in their marketing strategy, shared experiences, and talked about their future challenges.

Moderator: Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, Managing Editor, The Washington Post


  • Stevie Benjamin, Senior Director of Media and Digital, MillerCoors
  • Jordan Bitterman, Chief Strategy Officer, North America, Mindshare
  • Kristen Comings, Vice President of Integrated Marketing Communications, L'Oreal Paris USA
  • Michael Jobst, National Marketing Manager, BMW
  • Stacey Vollman Warwick, Head of Content Strategy and Operations, JPMorgan Chase

The 2014 Changing The Game Awards

04/23/2014 - Event Reporter: Christina Tobia, Project Manager, Digital, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, a sold out crowd of AWNY members and guests celebrated 17 honorees at the Changing the Game Awards. In it's 8th year, the Changing the Game Awards recognize female visionaries and game changers advancing the industry in extraordinary ways. The categories are:

  • Brainwave Game Changer - Changing the way a brand or product is marketed Paradigm Shift
  • Game Changer - Changing the way a customer segment or target audience is approached
  • Quantum Leap Game Changer - Changing the way an organization is aligned to proactively meet new challenges
  • No Apologies Game Changer - Creating whole new business models, industries, or marketplace opportunities

The morning breakfast panel, sponsored by Bloomberg Media and moderated by Diane Brady, Senior Editor at Bloomberg Businessweek, gave participants the unique opportunity to engage with several of the honorees and learn more about their experiences. Topics covered ranged from reaching new audiences through social media, rising to the top of male-dominated businesses, and multitasking. One theme that excited and engaged the panel and audience was companies' growing focus on creating original content to engage existing customers, attract new communities and enter into new markets. The panel consisted of:

  • Jill Baskin, Global Marketing Communications, Mondelez
  • Linda Boff, Executive Director, Global Brand Marketing, GE
  • Kim Brink, Vice President, Marketing, NASCAR
  • Sona Chawla, President, Digital and Chief Marketing Officer, Walgreens
  • Janette Sadik-Khan, Former Commissioner, Department of Transportation, City of New York

Following the breakfast panel, honorees, AWNY members, and guests conversed during a networking session before the lunch and award portion of the event.

Co-chairs Susan Aminoff and Michelle Aragon opened up the luncheon and introduced Justin B. Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media. Smith spoke about working with Mayor Bloomberg to break down walls (both literally and figuratively) and create a culture of innovation and integrity, as well as Bloomberg Media's longstanding commitment to AWNY and the Changing the Game Awards.

Stephanie Ruhle, Anchor at Bloomberg Television and co-host of Bloomberg's "Market Makers" emceed the event. Ruhle's energy and candor helped to create a wonderful conversation among the honorees which provided insight on how each honoree grew into the game changer and industry leader that they are today. Additionally, the honorees and Ruhle stressed the responsibility we all have to work together and reduce the disparity in the number of male and female executives. AWNY's mission is "to empower women in our industry to achieve personal and professional fulfillment at each stage of their career," and this year's Changing the Game Awards celebrated 17 incredible women who embody that mission and created a forum on how to further that mission in the years to come.

My 360 Career Panel

03/18/2014 - Event Reporter: Kiera Walker, Marketing and Events Intern, Advertising Women of New York

An evening of networking and insightful career advice was the very essence of My 360 Career hosted for the Young Executives (YE) of AWNY. The stylish, innovative and intimate space at About.come gave YE’s the opportunity to get up close, personal and engage in a meaningful conversation on versatility and adaptability moderated by Lea Goldman, Features & Special Projects Director of Marie Claire with an effortless panel of seasoned industry professionals to include:

  • Vanessa Adamo: SVP, Brand Partnerships at Clear Channel Entertainment Enterprises
  • Olivia Heeren: SVP, Sr. Director at BBDO
  • Elizabeth Marvin: Account Director, at Conde Nast
  • Kim Tingler: VP, Human Resources at NBCUniversal
  • Yin Woon Rani: VP, Integrated Marketing at Campbell Soup Company

Following introductions, Lea led the discussion by asking each panelist how they would describe in depth their current role and responsibilities. Vanessa of Clear Channel spoke for each of the panelists when she made it clear that no one day is the same that each day presents new challenges—even opportunity. “If there's something that frustrates you in your industry, create a solution. By doing so, you've created an opportunity for self,” shared Vanessa.

From there, the conversation spiraled from personal branding, expanding your network, maximizing skills set combined with passion points, remaining relevant and well-rounded within an ever changing industry to work life balance offering dynamic perspectives for YE’s to consider and apply to their own careers.

The panelist also expanded on the ways they defined a mentor and sponsor—which for some time now have been used interchangeably. They all encouraged YE’s to select mentors (who serve as trusted advisers) and/or sponsors (who speak on your behalf when you’re not present) who play those roles in their life to challenge them and provide honest feedback.

The event concluded with thoughtful questions on negotiating salaries and career transitioning from the audience of YE’s who were certainly taking mental notes throughout the evening.

Advertising Working Mothers of the Year Awards

02/27/2014 - Event Reporter: Sara Hogan, Marketing Director, CMP.LY

On Thursday, February 27, 2014, AWNY hosted its 10th Annual Advertising Working Mothers of the Year Awards Luncheon at the Marriott Marquis in midtown New York City. The luncheon kicked off with a well-attended networking hour just outside the ballroom.

AWNY Board President Carol Watson took the stage to welcome the honorees’ families, working moms and those who support working moms. She shared with the audience AWNY’s commitment to “continuing to find new ways to support” and introduced new AWNY membership groups, including Executive Members and Man Ambassadors!

Carol then introduced event co-chair and AWNY Board member, Joan Sheridan LaBarge of Working Mother Magazine, to announce the event honorees. The crowd enthusiastically cheered for the women as they entered the room with their families for the Honoree Parade to the stage. As the honorees took their seats on stage Joan said, “now that was some noise and I hope it will get even louder!”

Honoree Ivy Brown’s daughter, Lily, announced a break for lunch and after we ate, Carol Evans, of Working Mother Media, joined Joan on the stage to introduce each of the 20 Working Mothers Honorees.

They started with the New-to-Motherhood Moms who’s children are six years or younger. (Fun fact: among the New-to-Motherhood moms there are three sets of four-year-old twins!)

  • Rachel Cohn – Strategist, Global Custom Marketing Americas Lead, Global Partnerships at Facebook
  • Monika Grabania-Dailerian – Group Director, Strategic Planning at Mindshare
  • Rachel Jacobson – Senior Vice President, Global Marketing Partnerships at National Basketball Association
  • Erin Quintana – Senior Vice President, Business Partner at J3
  • Ritu Trivedi – Managing Director of Digital Marketplace at Mediavest
  • Kelly Wenzel – Chief Marketing Officer at Centro
  • Christi Woodworth – Director of Digital Communications & Social Media at Sonic Drive-In

All of the children of the New-to-Motherhood moms were asked to congratulate their moms in a video and, while all adorable, their responses ranged from “Why did you win the trophy?” to, “You’re my best friend” and, “My mommy is really the best.”

Next up came the Established Moms, with children ages seven to 17. These women are positive influences in the industry and strong role models both at work and at home.

  • Jeanne Boland – Senior Vice President, Director of Client Services, Local Media at BPN
  • Ivy Brown – Senior Marketing Director, Global Brand Management at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care
  • Val DiFebo – Chief Executive Officer at Deutsch New York
  • Eileen Diskin – Vice President, Marketing Communications and Strategy at Comcast
  • Linda Gharib – SVP, Digital Marketing, Head of Cross-Channel Initiatives at Citi
  • Cheryl Guerin – Executive Vice President/Group Executive, US Marketing at MasterCard Worldwide
  • Gina Hughes – Senior Vice President Marketing at AMC
  • Stacey Larson – Managing Director, National TV Investments at OMD
  • Dawn Matson – Director of Media Planning at Kohl’s Department Stores
  • Joy Schwartz – President at Havas Worldwide Chicago

Established Moms’ children told us a few of their favorite things to do with their moms. Hugging, snuggling and watching movies were popular responses, along with more adventurous activities, such as surfing, zip-lining and skiing.

Last but not least, we celebrated the Trailblazer Moms – women with children ages 18+.

  • Barbara Ross Miller – Vice President, Consumer Marketing Solutions Group at Sony Electrics
  • Marjorie Porter – Executive Vice President, Brand Agency Leader at Publicis Kaplan Thaler
  • Claudia Strauss – Chief Executive Officer, Grey Activation & PR at Grey New York

Trailblazer Moms have paved the way for young moms in the workforce and have been amazing contributors to their communities. They’ve also made a huge impact at home, according to the best lessons their children have learned from them such as:

  • Be supportive, caring and look out for others
  • Value life and happiness first. They’re more important than work – the reason we work is to live.
  • Have faith: in work, in your family, in your friends, but most importantly in yourself. And have faith that fate will act in your favor.

Joan and Carol moderated a Q&A session to continue the conversation that began earlier in the day with an Honoree Breakfast, where the honorees had a chance to meet privately and discuss a variety of topics including:

  • How has technology played a role in motherhood?
  • How has your company made it easier for you to be a working mother?
  • What’s your best advice for working women looking to become working moms?

As the Q&A came to a close and the plates were cleared, Joan and Carol led us in one last round of applause for the Advertising Working Mothers of the Year and wished us a terrific afternoon.

They also announced that nominations for the next year’s awards will be open on AWNY’s website starting in May of 2015. This gives you plenty of time to nominate a working mother in your life!

What's Hot in Media

02/12/2014 - 2/12/2014 - Event Reporter: Truett Petty, Operations Manager,

Before the program began, attendees enjoyed coffee and continental breakfast in the Razzle Dazzle Alley, which showcased five companies gathering attention and stamina in the media community: Giphy, House Party, RebelMouse, Tapestry and ZONZA.

The main program began with a fast-paced whirl of a presentation from David Shing, “Shingy”, Digital Prophet for AOL. With dramatic hair and a visually stimulating presentation deck seamlessly jumping from quote to video to quote, Shingy set an electrifying tone for the event. His main prediction for the future of digital media was around the idea of a connected human. Media in this new social driven environment will have to continue to build content to compete not only with other advertisers but with popular culture (as seen by the Arby’s tweet @Pharrell, followed by retweets by Pepsi and Hyundai). Shingy’s prediction moved through a series of short enigmatic statements to further describe this new environment such as “Mind Share = Market Share”, “Digital Behaviors: Entertain + Inform + Be Useful”, “Personal expression is the new form of entertainment” and “Live, Communicate, Entertain, Think”. He underlined that the consumer of tomorrow will continue to be led by simplicity, hyper-gratification and integrated advertising with less worry about any blatant product placement so long as there is a story worth sharing (see: adidas and David Beckham).

After the adrenalizing opening, the event moved through a series of interviews moderated by Rishad Tobaccowala, Chair at Digitas LBi & Razorfish at Publicis. First up was Linda Boff from Global Brand Marketing at GE. When asked how such a large company stays frisky, Linda noted that GE sets roles and frameworks but makes a point to chase the shiny objects. They were the first corporation on Vine, posted 6-second science experiments. Linda closed by answering that GE funds innovation by believing in the power of the brand and thinking about what’s tomorrow.

Next to the stage was Richard Loomis, Senior VP and CMO for Disney Channels Worldwide. Questions to Richard were focused around the future of Disney for kids and parents in the current socially engaged landscape. While concerned about maintaining control, Richard stated that many parents see their kids as smarter than they were at the same age since they are more connected, have more opportunities and more communication tools.

Rishad interviewed Jill Toscano, VP US Media at the American Express Company next. The innovator behind Open Forum and Small Business Saturday, Jill focused on the needs of the consumer as her main inspiration. While promoting the brand, these programs aim to add value for the customer, not noise. She also noted the importance of mobile utility in the digital space as it can be used in real time with customers.

Last, Luke Kigel, Director of Digital Marketing Strategy and Partnerships at Johnson & Johnson, presented his thesis for the future of advertising: marketing is about creating demand by putting the right message in front of the right person at the right time. He noted that having data and intricate knowledge of how consumers want things will continue as the backbone of what marketers do.

In a final Q&A, Rishad posed two final questions to the panelists:

What advice would you give marketers on how to be successful? Richard: Never say no to anything. Be visible and be active. Linda: Listen to people on your team and around the industry. Luke: Be curious. Curiosity is a huge part of it. Jill: Embrace your inner Renaissance man or women.

What do you think will be hot 3 or 4 years from now? Richard: How do you stay quick and nimble in a world where everyone wants to be involved? Linda: Think about 2 things. What the role of the brand will be in a world where television will look very different from what it does today. Luke: Whole new set of technologies. Jill: We’ll still be talking about what’s relevant to the consumer.

AWNY Annual Roast with Dana Anderson

01/28/2014 - Event Reporter: Alexis Birnberg, Associate, Client Solutions, Time Warner Cable Media

Industry leaders, friends and colleagues filled the grandiose space of Cipriani Restaurant to celebrate Dana Anderson, Mondelez International SVP of Marketing Strategy and Communications, at this year's AWNY Annual Roast. The spectacular venue and eccentric panel of roasters made for a memorable evening.

The event kicked off with a cocktail hour reminiscent of a 1920s novel. Guests spread out amongst the towering marble columns, soaring ceilings, and magnificent chandeliers. Following an hour of networking and hors d'oeuvres, attendees were ushered to their tables adorned in white linens and fresh flowers.

AWNY president, Carol Watson and AMC President of the National Advertising Sales, Arlene Manos made opening remarks, cautioning the crowd with the infamous last words, "What happens at the roast, stays at the roast."

Diane Silberstein, President of Silberstein Media and Debra Bednar, Facebook Global Head of Business Strategy and Growth, segued into the night's main event. Attendees were treated to a dinner and a show as the industry's elite took the stage.

  • Nina DiSesa, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, McCann New York
  • Bonin Bough, VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement, Mondelez International
  • Lisa Cochrane, SVP of Marketing, Allstate
  • David Droga, Founder and Creative Chairman, Droga5
  • Wendy Clark, SVP of Global Sparkling Brand Center, The Coca Cola Company
  • Among the digs at Anderson's smaller stature, fashion sense, brutal honesty and haircut – accompanied by several incriminating photos – each tumultuous roaster spoke of Anderson's sincerity and self-deprecating humor, best summarized by Wendy Clark's 'rebrand', "we are here to roast the un-roastable."

    "Dana is the first to validate and get behind something…or speak ill of something. She is authentic and sincere, a true insurgent in her company," shares Droga.

    The roast ended with a photo-shopped image of Anderson as Miley Cyrus. Clark concludes, "You are a true wrecking ball of this industry; you have taught us to be brave, leap, and to be better."

    At the close of the evening, Anderson was given the chance to share a few stories of her own, which she cleverly titled, Game of Stones. "We are going to be flinging some rocks this evening," she teased. Following her rebuttal – which quickly became the highlight of the evening – the night concluded with her notorious sincerity, "I am very fortunate to be here with my friends. You all have moved me greatly and I am happy to have you both as friends and colleagues."

5th Annual IMPACT Awards - Video Highlights

11/17/2013 - November 6th, 2013, at the New York Hilton

Media Insights Panel Navigates “Innovation in a Time of Disruption"

09/26/2013 - Event Reporter: Marilyn Mead, Editor & Social Media Manager, Advertising Database, Inc.

The topic of this year's second AWNY Media Insights Breakfast was Innovation in a Time of Disruption, and in a lively discussion moderated by New York Times Media Reporter Julie Bosman on September 26, industry leaders explained how companies are delivering results with, and sometimes in spite of, a proliferation of tools, platforms, and technologies at their disposal. The event, hosted by the New York Times and sponsored by ReturnPath, packed an audience of AWNY members and non-members alike, who gathered to hear from innovators including: MediaCom CMO Stephanie Fierman, Starcom's President of Investment and Activation, Amanda Richman, and MEC's Chief Strategy Officer Mel Varley, on the agency-side, and client-side marketers from Audi of America's Benny Lawrence and MasterCard's Lillian Tomovich to Nadine McHugh, VP Global Integrated Media Communications at Colgate-Palmolive and Comcast's Kavita Vazirani.

To convey the notion that innovation can come from anywhere, Lawrence, Manager of Media and Brand Innovation at Audi of America, pointed to a program that began with one (very persistent) fan, who expressed her desire to own an Audi R8 – a sleek offering in the six-figure price range – by tweeting the hashtag "#WantAnR8." Audi responded with a bold social media initiative, asking people to tell Audi why they wanted an R8, and then delivered, even dropping one off at a wedding.

"That's the beauty of the world we live in today," reflected Colgate Palmolive's McHugh. "If we really listen, and make sure that [an idea is] on brand, true to our insights, and relevant, the audience will tell us what they want."

The dais agreed that chances to innovate in new arenas – from real time marketing to user-generated content – present an equally robust set of challenges. "Good ideas come from anywhere," said Lawrence. "You can be absolutely bombarded with them." McHugh echoed that thought, commenting that everyone can get stuck on the "sparkly stuff," – a term the panelists embraced to describe great ideas that despite their appeal, may not be right for a brand, or worth the time and effort needed to execute.

So, how do they sift through it all? "My agency teams are the first line of defense for hearing new ideas," said Lawrence. Many of the women stressed the need for clearly defined roles, objectives, and planning behind the scenes to ensure that, in a time of disruption, organizations are prepared to identify and implement new ideas with meaningful results. "There has to be a process," said Vazirani, VP of Media Strategy at Comcast. "You foster a culture of innovation, then you have to execute on that, and that does require [planning and] a budget."

On the topic of attracting innovative talent, the panel emphasized the need for innovative recruitment techniques. Lillian Tomovich, SVP Marketing/Consumer Marketing highlighted a program from MasterCard Canada, which decided to run a summer intern search entirely online in order to attract digital natives. They netted a group of finalists who'd demonstrated their grasp of the social space simply by following the application process. For MEC's Varley, "word-of-mouth goes a long way," meaning that organizations can generate buzz, and appeal to new talent, by rewarding existing innovators in their ranks.

And while the media landscape has changed tremendously, principles to navigating innovation, suggested Fierman, may ultimately be surprisingly familiar. "The world is a wonderful place today," she said, "but you still have to have a structure to get the most out of it."

Upfronts, Newfronts, Post-Front: Where did the dollars go?

09/24/2013 - Event Reporter: Stacie Sanders Martin,Director of Sales, Mitre Media

AWNY’s Media Insights Breakfast, held during Advertising Week 2013, was a powerful event bringing together several industry leaders to discuss upfronts, new fronts and post fronts. The event provided a unique opportunity to hear from a well-rounded panel that included publishers, agencies, brands as well as broadcast mediums. All agreed that new fronts are playing a critical role and will continue to shape the advertising landscape as publishers and mediums become sophisticated with branded content and intuitive engagement measurement.

The discussion started off with the panelist weighing in on cable vs networks broadcast upfronts. Broadcast networks went into the upfront planning season being down in ratings. Cable channels, however saw an increase in rating and shift in overall viewership and thus were able to surpass network upfronts year. Jennifer Gardner, Director of Media Investments & Partnerships at Unilever stated that advertisers are going “where the eyeballs are” and broadcasters and digital publishers alike must be able to deliver the audience that the brand needs, otherwise they will go elsewhere.

The conversation then shifted to online video content. Andrew Synder, VP of Video Strategy for Yahoo, stated that here is a persistent demand for online video, however the challenge is to provide the right platform and content to satisfy advertiser needs for quality. Building on Andrew’s point, Ritu Trivedi, SVP Strategy & Partnership at Media Vest, added that operational excellence and quality were key factors for Media Vest with online video. Media Vest created a set of industry complaint guidelines they implemented for all online video buys. These guidelines held publishers to a high standard and thus allowed the agency mitigate operational challenges while creating success for their clients.

The panel then discussed how engagement measurement is impacting new fronts and the buying process. Being that online video is a new front, and data measurement has not been fully developed, publishers must be flexible with their content programing as well as pricing models. Video publishers must produce content that attracts audiences and allows for user engagement while satisfying advertiser requirements without robust measurement methods in place. It’s crucial for measurement to evolve to fully encompass the value of tweets, shares and other user engagement. Once measurement is fully developed, publishers will be able to leverage that data to shift their pricing strategies.

The panel made a very interesting point that the code has not been cracked on mobile specific video content. Publishers need gain a better understanding of how users engage with mobile video including peak times of engagement and the right format for video. Additionally, mobile, and new media in general, has not determined how branded content and native advertising will fit into their platforms. Publishers need to better comprehend the consumer journey and how consumers will respond to advertising. All panelist agreed that no “one size fits all” approach will work however, the key is to find what works for each brand’s specific goals and create a mobile program or app to solve for those goals.

The Media Insights Breakfast was a great opportunity to hear how upfronts and new fronts are shaping the advertising landscape. As the industry continues to evolve and change, it will be interesting to see how brands strategically align themselves with new media.

Lancome’s Eye-Catching Success with Cross-Platform Marketing

09/17/2013 - Event Reporter: Christina Tobia, Digital Project Manager, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

On September 17, AWNY’s sold out “How Digital Drives the Marketing Mix” Master Class connected two of Lancome’s digital leaders with over 125 attendees at Young and Rubicam’s Columbus Circle offices. The event, sponsored by Google, featured valuable insight from marketing leaders, engaging dialogue with attendees, and even a few prizes.

Julie Rollauer, AWNY Board Member and Google’s Head of Industry for Home & Personal Care, introduced Alessio Rossi, VP, Interactive and E-Business Marketing, Lancome USA and Mimi Banks, Director, Lancome Social Media, who began with a brief history of Lancome before diving into a robust case study. Rossi explained how from 1935 when they were founded to today, Lancome has been a contemporary brand focused on empowering women with effortless, chic beauty.

Lancome introduced e-commerce in 1999 and mobile and tablet presence in 2012, and continue to experiment widely with new marketing campaigns across digital platforms – something that is still relatively rare in the luxury segment, Rossi noted.

Because the cost of acquiring a new customer is substantially higher than extracting more revenue from an existing one, a frequent goal for Lancome’s campaigns is relationship building. Technology has allowed Lancome and many other brands to understand their customers’ behaviors and preferences better, and the agile nature of digital and social media means they are able to optimize marketing efforts mid-program based on their findings.

After Rossi laid the groundwork for Lancome’s approach to cross-platform marketing, Mimi Banks delved into the case study on Lancome Show. Lancome Show is a line of eye makeup products (primarily mascara) designed by famed Israeli fashion designer Alber Elbaz, with graphic packaging and 4 distinct “personalities” with different features and looks. The goal for this new product launch was to increase awareness of the Lancome Show products, as well as to begin a relationship with a new, younger audience and enter them into the purchase funnel.

Throughout the campaign, there were executions across every touch point, including digital, social, print, in-store, and events. Beginning with social media, Lancome teased the products, creating intrigue and buzz among Lancome’s followers. Then, the products were revealed at an exclusive editor event and online shop only accessible to VIP customers.

The exclusive nature of the products at launch drove excitement and social media impressions. Lancome also developed a comprehensive email plan deployed to users who signed up during the launch, as well as their existing customer and fan base. Research gave Lancome insight into the types of content that were most engaging to users at specific times throughout the day, which allowed Lancome to deliver custom content to users which included how-to videos, deals, customer reviews, and editorial features. Traditional media, including high impact pop-up in-book ads, was also an important part of the launch plan. In-store displays, digital advertising and social contests and promotion all reinforced the same messaging and drove users to and retail outlets for purchase.

Attendees engaged with Rossi and Banks throughout the evening, asking questions including how they were able to get Lancome’s senior management on board with social and digital plans that didn’t have traditional ROI sales metrics. Rossi and Banks explained how the main goal of the Lancome Show launch was to drive awareness for the new product line, which lends itself to a strong social and digital campaign in addition to traditional media.

Traditional KPIs were in place, but in order for Lancome to experiment and execute an innovative social and digital plan, they needed to communicate to stakeholders the role that each individual channel played in the larger program. Consistent messaging across all channels and the combination of traditional, digital and social media made the Lancome Show launch a success – producing significant increases in traffic, engagement, exposure, and gaining a new, younger customer and fan base for the Lancome Show brand. The focus on customizing every communication with users at every touch point allowed Lancome to engage with the coveted millennial consumer, who is often impervious to traditional advertising.

There will always be hiccups along the way in any program, Banks explained, and one of the most valuable results of the Lancome Show launch was the knowledge that was gained which has been invaluable in developing subsequent Lancome marketing programs.

Rossi and Banks rewarded some attentive attendees with Lancome products, and Google wrapped up the evening by raffling off Google Chromecast streaming media players to three lucky guests.

AWNY and Advertising Age’s Women to Watch Luncheon

08/01/2013 - Event Reporter: Amber Mundinger, Senior Manager, Sponsorship & Partner Programs at the ANA

"We want to thank these women for allowing us to honor them", stated Allison Arden, Publisher of Advertising Age, as she opened up the 17th annual AWNY and Advertising Age's Women to Watch Luncheon held at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square and saluted the 2013 class of honorees. The more than 550 attendees came to celebrate with the 25 honorees and learn the secrets of their success. The class hailed from a diverse group of companies, from Aegis to National Geographic and Taco Bell and more. In the words of Arden, "women don't want to be singled out for just being women, but it is still necessary in our day and age. By allowing us to honor you, you are allowing us to have role models…showing women that if she can do it, I can do it."

The program started by touching on how women need to advocate for sponsorship vs. mentorship in the industry and talked about the exciting, continued expansion of women in advertising and marketing. New and exciting offerings are happening with both host organizations – AWNY and Advertising Age. AWNY announced onsite that they would continue with their loan debt sponsorship program (in its second year) for Young Executives and form a partnership with Ted Women to offer a new executive membership later this year. Advertising Age is expanding Women to Watch with events in China, Turkey and at the end of August the first Women to Watch class will be honored in Brazil.

As the programmed continued both Meredith and WE, sponsors of the event, showcased women in leadership. Nancy Weber, CMO at Meredith, discussed how "women are the largest drivers of technological innovation" and showcased the genders compassionate side by sharing how Meredith and its brands have partnered with more than 20 non-profits this year alone. Wetv had a great performance by Tamar Braxton while everyone enjoyed their lunch.

Just as dessert and coffee service began the highlight of the luncheon started, the Q&A with the honorees – as the attendees listened on the honorees spoke about how they had accomplished much thus far and the fresh challenges they are currently facing. Marcela Aguilar from Gap discussed how her background growing up on a small farm in Costa Rica had really helped balance her while living in NYC. She highlighted the fact that "diversity and being special and different makes teams quite magical. So keep your roots close." Ruth Gaviria from Univision described her background in Genetics and showcased how it translated into marketing and advertising. "A brand is an organic, living, entity. A lot of brand management is about process and the other is intuition. The overall journey is about process and love," she explained.

Each honoree provided insights on various aspects of marketing and their thoughts on current areas to focus on and trends in the industry as the luncheon continued. Gigi Guerra, from Target, noted that the trends marketers should be looking at in fashion are "the trend of the individual, the sense of community and the empowered consumer who enjoys personalization and being perfectly imperfect". Tressie Lieberman, of Taco Bell, discussed how to get sell in for radical marketing moves by explaining that you need to "understand the brand, never follow, know what consumers expect because you're listening to them and have the right team in place and ultimately empower them."

As the event wrapped up the attendees left with insights from more than 25 of the brightest in our industry as well as goody bags from Meredith and a renewed sense of excitement for what women are doing in the advertising and marketing realm. Jennifer Warren, the honoree from RadioShack, summed it up perfectly when she said "for me the bigger the challenge the bigger the opportunity." The AWNY and Advertising Age's Women to Watch Luncheon made attendees leave and want to go after just that.

The honorees were from various backgrounds in the advertising and marketing industry and included:

- Marcela Aguilar, Gap
- Anna Banks, Organic
- Melissa Rosenthal Brenner, NBA
- Anna Bateson, Global Marcom at YouTube
- Katrina Cukaj, CNN
- Emma Carrasco, NPR
- Angela Courtin, Aegis
- Ruth Gaviria, Univision
- Tami Erwin, Verizon
- Gigi Guerra, Target
- Erin Hunter, Facebook
- Michelle Klein, Diageo
- Leeann Leahy, Via
- Tressie Lieberman, Taco Bell
- Laure Miele, EA Games
- Courteney Monroe, Nat Geo
- Mollie Spilman, Millennial Media
- Tereasa Surrat, Ogilvy & Mather
- Ly Tran, Proof Advertising
- Shazi Visram, Happy Family
- Jennifer Warren, RadioShack
- Margit Weenmachers, Andreesen Horowitz
- Julie Bornstein, Sephora
- Sally Grimes, Hillshire Brands

AWNY Social Ambassador Challenge

07/01/2013 -

Use your talents to get more people talking about AWNY. One of the best ways to support for AWNY is by getting more and more people interested and excited about our events & initiatives.

AWNY will select the top 10 Women to Watch Social Ambassadors to attend the August 1st event for FREE and sit at an exclusive Social Ambassadors table.

We’ve even included some handy hints to help you become one of our 10 Women to Watch Social Ambassadors:


There are plenty of ways you can help on Facebook. Start by liking our page! After that, show your support by sharing, liking or commenting on posts on our Facebook page. Don’t forget to use include #awnyW2W.


We’re also active on Twitter. We’d love you to follow us. Another way to spread the word is through re-tweets. If you want to step up your game, we encourage you to use our handle @_AWNY, event hash tag #awnyW2W and honorees’ handles. The list of honorees is here (link to Ad Age W2W page)

How it Works:

AWNY will be monitoring your social activity. The 10 ambassadors will be announced July 25th.

Master Class: Reaching Consumers in a Complex Retail Environment

06/18/2013 - Event Reporter: Dayana Falcon, Global Marketing & Business Development Associate, BPN

AWNY’s Master Class series are intimate programs that they bring industry leaders to talk about the fascinating ever changing advertising industry. To dive deeper into the dynamics of the retail industry we had Sarah Baehr, Senior Category Sales Director from Carat and Jen Kasper, GVP of Digital Media from Macy's. The interesting twist is that Carat recently won the Macys accounts and they showcased the quick and seamless integration of their new working relationship.

One of the main points they addressed was how reaching the consumer in a complex retail environment is changing due to two things: technology and change of demand.

"The idea of "retail now" is apparent more than ever" said Sarah. And a word that the Macys brand brings back to the center in all of their marketing efforts is Omnichannel.

Shopping = discovery + transaction

It's what it means to be a shopper, consuming information for the path to purchase.

Two important channels for Macys to make sure their always connected via their omnichannel to their consumers are mobile and social.

"Mobile smartphone is the Swiss army knife of the 21st century" said Jen Kasper from Macys. With mobile they have turned the Macy’s app into your personal shopping assistant with instant coupons and rewards.

Meanwhile with social they post questions to social media channels to receive feedback of different design looks they are considering to enter their stores. By doing so the customers not only feels like they own the brand but their excited to be a part of the conversation.

An example of one of Macys social campaigns is the #helpmeclinton campaign. Clinton is an authority on style, fit and appropriateness. He tells women what to wear - because let's be serious, who doesn’t want help putting an outfit together? Make sure to check out his advice and ask a question next time you need help on Facebook or Twitter.

It was an amazing experience being able to dive deep into the marketing efforts that Macys is executing with Carat and seeing how even in an ever changing industry - they are bringing it back to the center of what it all boils down to, "the customer".

Power, Politics & Influence through the Lens of Culture and Gender: A Panel Discussion & Career Workshop

06/17/2013 - Event Reporter: Sara Hogan, Marketing Director, CMP.LY

Nearly 80 people gathered on Monday evening for AWNY's latest event, presented in partnership with the Multicultural Alliance. After a quick time of networking in the AppNexus lobby, the panel kicked off with an introduction of the night's moderator: Della de Lafuente, Director, Corporate Initiatives at kbs+. De Lafuente began with asking the audience "why are we here today?" and proceeded to read numerous statistics highlighting our country's diversity. To sum: women have become the primary decision makers and minority populations are rapidly growing – both are reshaping and influencing our nation.

De Lafuente then introduced the night's speakers as "senior women leading at the highest levels…sharing the roadmap of where they've been and how they got to where they are today."

Speakers included:

  • Monica Diaz - Vice-President, Diversity, Inclusion & Wellness, ESPN
  • Esther "ET" Franklin - EVP, Director, Cultural Identities, SMG
  • Della de Lafuente- Director, Corporate Initiatives, kbs+
  • Deidre Smalls-Landau – Managing Director, Identity
  • Yin Woon Rani – former President, North America, Universal McCann

The panel covered a wide range of topics relating to gender and diversity in the workplace, including how culture and gender impact the dynamics of power, politics and influence in an organization and strategies and solutions to the most pressing leadership challenges.

On being different:

  • "I worked to erase my difference – I decided that being different was going to be one of my sources of power. Being different became my reality." Yin
  • "Different is not less than. Use the power that you have." Monica
  • "I learned to be my authentic self. We spend too much time telling ourselves stories versus celebrating and embracing who we are." Diedre
  • "It is incumbent on senior leadership to understand that differences don't equal deficiencies." ET

On the power of politics/gender in business:

  • "The ability to insert yourself into another person's story is paramount; understanding another person's cultural and gender background is hugely important to impacting a business, as business is very relationship driven." ET
  • "Start connecting on your similarities, not your differences. Look for connections. No one connects on their differences." Monica
  • "Learning to know the dance is really important. Too often we're labeled by stereotypes; there's no appreciation for flavor." Diedre
On their own career challenges:
  • "Find trust in your own self. If you aren't born great at it, you can work at it. Find your own path and be really good at it." Yin
  • "Everyone in a position of power doesn't have authority. This helped me to respect power, but not let that power be limiting." ET

On finding a cultural context to unite a group:

  • "When you look at the situation through the lens of 'how can we better serve our customers?' there is freedom to talk about the tricky questions." Monica
  • "The numbers are black and white; the response is not. People have to live diversity first in order to make a change." ET
  • "Our job is to make sure that we do more than put our own experiences and faces on the table. Sometimes, it's as simple as saying 'This is how much you're not actually making.'" Diedre

The panel ended with a 30-minute career workshop presented by Mark Strong, owner of Mark Strong Coaching and former Chief of Staff at McCann. Click here for Mark's presentation.

AWNY Members Meeting, May 21, 2013 held at Horizon Media

05/21/2013 - Congratulations to the 15 winners of a networking meet-up with executive level professionals from the advertising industry (several are AWNY members) by participating in our “choose your own” raffle!

  • A breakfast meeting to discuss my favorite subject "You and Your Career ". Kathy Aaronson, Founder and CEO The Sales Athlete Executive Search Won by: Blanche Joesten, Dial Global
  • Coffee or a meeting in our brand new and hip office. Andrew Amill, VP Media Sales, Publisher Weight Watchers Magazine Won by: Neil Chand, R/GA
  • Coffee Todd Anderman, Chief Media & Revenue Officer Thrillist Won by: Valerie Young, Madison Square Garden
  • Breakfast at the Yale Club. Bruce Brandfon, VP, Publisher Philly Media Network Won by: Dina Moy,
  • A date for coffee. Sarah Chubb, President/CM, GiltCity Won by: Nuria Santamaria, MediaLink
  • Coffee meet-up at Starbucks or a meeting at her office. Kate Cronin, Managing Director, Ogilvy PR Won by: Susan Aminoff, Elias Arts
  • Lunch Sheryl Goldstein, Sr. Category Sales Director Yahoo! Won by: Kara Ricketts, adMarketplace
  • An afternoon coffee/tea meeting for one hour at Maison. Marla Kaplowitz, CEO, MEC North America Won by: Rachel Conforti, DoubleVerify
  • Morning coffee meeting at 30 Rock. Carryl Pierre Drews, VP, Strategic Marketing USA Network Won by: Leetal Rivlin, Nielsen
  • Meet for coffee. Debbie Richman, SVP, Primetime, ABC Network Won by: Carole Foxley, Merrill Lynch
  • Meet up for coffee in our NY office. Marla Skiko, Senior VP-Director of Digital Innovation, SMG Multicultural Won by: Lana Mann, StrongMail
  • Meeting at her office. Christy Tanner. EVP & General Manager & TV Guide Mobile Won by: Christopher Krantz Howard Sloan Koller Group
  • We can have coffee at my fave coffee shop. Laurel Touby, Managing Partner, (former CEO/Founder, Won by: Stephanie Fortunat
  • Meet for breakfast or lunch. Priscilla Valls, Reg’ Vice President of Sales, East Pandora Won by: Sean Merriweather, Participant Media
  • Meet after work for drinks/coffee to address any marketing, mentoring or career development issues you would like to discuss. June Wallach, Sr. VP, Business Development GfK Custom Research North America Won by: Barbara Langbecker The Midas Exchange

AWNY's 16th Annual VIP Silent Auction, Hosted by and for the Young Executives

05/17/2013 - Event Reporter: Irina Shlafman, Account Executive, Adrenaline-Havas

On May 9th, 2013, the Advertising Women of New York's Young Executives hosted their 16th Annual VIP Silent Auction at the MediaCom offices. At one of the most talked about and anticipated AWNY events, junior members of the advertising community were invited to enter written bids for a chance to meet and spend time with some of the most accomplished high level advertising and media executives. All AWNY Young Executives (AWNY members under the age of 30) and other young professionals in the industry were welcome to socialize, purchase raffle tickets and more importantly bid away. More than any previous year, AWNY offered up 116 VIPs on a golden platter to the ladies and a minority of a few gentlemen that evening.

With 110 executives in attendance, everyone was looking to bid for their right match. The bidding amounts began at $25.00 for most VIPs, with an allotted two hours for the auction. Some had a strategy to seek out senior management within their current companies, companies they hope to work for or those in their area of expertise. Others had a read of the VIPs’ bios handy and were sold on the spot. It was their golden ticket to connect with these power players.

The event's Master of Ceremonies, Lana LoRusso, Associate Publisher, Sales at Health/, kept the energy high throughout the event. Comedienne extraordinaire, she has been spearheading this event for 8 years now, bringing humor and liveliness to the room. At the outset of the evening, Lana spoke to the growth the Silent Auction has experienced. It has gotten better and better with every year with more VIPs volunteering to be a part of the mix and more young executives latching onto the opportunity to get an insider's perspective from the top. Lana was also announcing the raffle winners throughout the evening. As if the premise of the event wasn't enticing enough, AWNY also had lots of great raffle prizes available for giveaway to young executives. There were raffle drawings for exciting prizes such as a 10-Series Gift Card to SoulCycle, an evening at Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live! and many more.

One of the elements that makes this annual event so fabulous is the live networking opportunity for all the participants - the chance to meet and socialize with peers from across the industry. In walking around the room, you overheard people sharing their stories, business cards and laughs over delicious cocktails from the bar arranged by Diageo. It is rare kind of experience where you could walk in on your own with no intimidation and walk out with an expanded network and some future, potentially life-changing breakfast and/or lunch plans.

Though generally no VIPs are present at this event, this year there was a unique opportunity to meet a few live. In attendance was Jeffrey Hayzlett, a global business celebrity, well-traveled public speaker and the author of the numerous best-selling business books. The gracious Kathy Aaronson joined the festivities as well. Kathy is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sales Athlete Executive Search, which focuses on sourcing and placing the best talent in the media, entertainment and technology industries. Sales Athlete Executive Search was also one of the kind sponsors of the event. It was great to see just how personable and down-to-earth these extremely senior industry people are, in willing to offer up their energy and time to invest in the future generation of female business leaders.

The event couldn’t have come together without the help of the Auction committee of a select few young executives, who worked tirelessly to make the night a success. Their advice in going through this in years prior, "Figure out your way into the person you plan on meeting, so you're memorable. These senior people come across many professionals. Be you and stand out. You never know what kind of opportunities can arise from this meeting."

Come 8PM, the bidding was closed. The winning young executives received a folder containing the names of the VIPs they’ve outbid for, which everyone opened as if they were unveiling a birthday present. At the end of the evening, no one walked away empty handed as all the attendees received a gift bag with some goodies from the sponsors of the event.

To sum up, one of attending executives put it well, "You’ve been given the opportunity to meet game-changer kind of people. I am pretty sure that once I am there sitting across from them, eating lunch will the last thing on my mind. It will probably sit there cold, as I try to make the most of the conversation and take in the insight and advice from their unique story. Thank you AWNY – I love this organization!”

All the money raised from the bids goes to the AWNY Foundation, which supports women's charities and scholarships, such as The Dwelling Place and Girls for Gender Equity.

If you weren’t able to join this year's auction, be sure to check it out next year. You won't regret it.

7th Annual Changing the Game Awards

04/30/2013 - Event Reporter: Koumiko France

AWNY’s 7th annual Changing The Game Awards was held Thursday’s April 18th. The sold out event was kicked off with an intimate morning panel discussion moderated by Bloomberg Businessweek’s Senior Editor, Diane Brady. The panel was followed by a networking reception with the honorees and the event emcee Donny Deutsch.

The honorees included:

  • Leslie Berland – SVP, Digital Partnerships & Development, American Express
  • Lisa Cochrane – SVP Marketing, Allstate Insurance
  • Lisa Herbert – EVP, Pantone
  • Alison Lewis – SVP, North America, Marketing, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Stevie Benjamin – Media Director, MillerCoors
  • Rachel Birnbaum – Creative Director, JWT
  • Linda Descano – Managing Director and Head, Digital Partnerships, Content & Social, North America
  • Marketing and President & CEO, Women & Co., Citi
  • Laura Gentile – VP, espnW
  • Leontyne Green Sykes – CMO North America, IKEA
  • Nancy Hill – President & CEO, 4A’s
  • Lori Senecal – Chairman & CEO, kbs+
  • Julia Stewart – Chairman & CEO, DineEquity
  • Leah Busque – Founder & CEO, TaskRabbit
  • Anna Maria Chávez – CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA
  • Rachael Chong – Founder & CEO, Catchafire
  • Heather Davis – Senior Managing Director, Head of Global Private Markets and Founder, Fruits of Employment disability program, TIAA-CREF

Carol Watson, President, AWNY Board of Directors and President, Tangerine-Watson, spoke on how “change” is the new normal and emphasized AWNY’s commitment to embracing change in the community and celebrating the women working to make positive change with the resources they need.

In her Opening Remarks, Susan Aminoff, Event Chair and Managing Director, Audio Identity, Elias Arts shared her excitement in supporting the inventive women in our industry with this inspiring event.

During the Sponsor Remarks, Deirdre Bigley, Head of Global Marketing and Communications, Bloomberg, encouraged the audience to take risks, both professionally and personally and not to fear risky new approaches as they often lead to innovation.

After lunch was served, Donny Deutsch, TV Host and Chairman, Deutsch, Inc., delivered his keynote speech challenging the women in the audience to speak up and demand the things they want in their personal and professional lives, later predicting that the next President of the United States would be a woman. This led into the Q&A session where each honoree spoke on how affecting change has had an impact on their careers, the ways in which they overcame fears and obstacles and the importance of failing forward. The honorees advised the younger women in the audience to take in as much advice as you can get, and staying true to the purpose of the Changing the Game Awards, urged the audience to never become complacent and be comfortable with redefining yourself.


Click here to watch more Changing the Game Award videos at our YouTube Channel.

Five Key Ingredients for Cross Media Marketing

04/05/2013 - Event Reporter: Ahmed Yearwood

Yesterday's sold out Cross Media Athlete's Breakfast kicked off the morning with networking in the AWNY Café. The energy was buzzing over this year's featured panel of agency and brand Jedi Masters, including:

  • Audrey Siegel, President, TargetCast TCM
  • Lucile Callahan, VP Advertising, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare
  • Sarah Personette, President, UM US, UM Global Team
  • Heather Roff, AVP, Media at L'Oreal USA
  • Moderated by: John Nitti, President Activation at ZenithOptimedia

The group touched upon a variety of insights throughout the session. Here are five highlights:

1. It's All about the Message
Don't get caught up in the weeds of technology, the next shiny new toy, platform, or gadget. At the end of the day, what's most important is the message that brands need to communicate, and what's the best mix of platforms to reach the consumer.

2. It's a Team Effort
Successful cross media execution requires a full team effort. "You can't deliver a big idea sitting in a room by yourself." It requires a room of people bringing different insights to the table, including brand, agency, PR, and media/vendor partners.

3. The Challenges
Many of the challenges discussed didn't involve technology, but rather perceptions and training of the people behind the strategy:

  • For those deeply immersed in digital, it's time to realize that marketing is not all about digital. It's important to look outside the Matrix and see the bigger picture. Everyone talks about learning digital media, but digital teams need to learn traditional media planning tools, techniques and analytics, as well.
  • Don't think in terms of the media. Think of the business challenge and the best way to approach it. Media is the means to meet your objective.
  • We need to unlearn certain practices, and learn new ones. Get used to not feeling in charge of everything, and learn to be OK with the discomfort of not having all the answers all the time.

4. Research and Analytics
The question is not how to measure. There's an over-abundance of data available. The real challenge is how to pull the most salient points and put it into a form you can work with to keep your campaign moving forward. How can you use data to take the awareness that you're building, and convert that into action?

5. Relationships Matter
In the middle of all this technology, remember that (at least for now) there are live human beings, men and women, pulling the strings on a brands' cross media campaign. Having a good understanding of the people and their core business objectives is important. This can be gathered during a quick chat over coffee, at an event, or a brief phone call. Not during pitch time.

Click here to get more #AWNYCM insights from other attendees on Twitter.

Anne Finucane Named the 2013 Advertising Woman of the Year (VIDEO)

03/28/2013 - Event Reporter: Jessica G. Mendoza

AWNY’s Advertising Woman of the Year luncheon sponsored by GfK MRI, honored Anne Finucane, Global Strategy and Marketing officer at Bank of America. Toasters included Judy Woodruff, Co-Anchor at The PBS NewsHour, Barbara Bush, CEO and Co-Founder at Global Health Corps, and Laura Desmond, CEO at Starcom MediaVest Group.

Carol Watson, AWNY’s President, kicked off the 48th Advertising Women of the Year luncheon with remarks on AWNY’s commitment to investing on resources for women at all levels.

Judy Woodruff first met Anne at advertising agency Hill Holiday, while their careers have taken different turns they remained close friends. In the early 90’s Judy, along with a group of journalists, founded the International Women’s Media Foundation, an organization dedicated to strengthening the role of women journalists. As soon as Anne learned about the organization she showed support by leading Bank of America’s efforts to strengthen their commitment to empowering women national programs at the IWMF.

The second speaker to honor Anne was Barbara Bush. Before Global Health Corps and Bank of America collaborated on project, Barbara heard Anne speak at an event and was moved by Anne’s career successes, as well as struggles. Enjoying the opportunity to get to know Anne better, Barbara credited Anne as a constant source of inspiration with her commitment to support younger women’s careers and her lifetime of service.

Laura Desmond was the last of the toasters to speak. “Anne has a day job,” Laura said, “between philanthropy, volunteering, leadership, mentorship she leads one of the largest organizations in America.” Laura also noted that Anne is very proud of her Irish culture and exemplified Anne’s successes with three Irish proverbs:

“Do it as if it were fire in your skin.”

“A woman can beat the devil.”

“Your feet will bring you where your heart is.”

After Anne accepted her award, she started her speech by crediting Elizabeth Cook as her mentor and inspiration to move forward with her career. Elizabeth was divorced, a mother, balancing job and a MBA while in her 40s, and she was dating.

Anne entered the field of marketing and communications at an advertising agency and later moved to the financial sector. She remarked that communications and advertising can support goals, but the media and the press can destroy them.

Leading through the economic recession were the toughest years in her career. She recognized that while quantitative and qualitative research is critical, it is not as important as the customer’s experience. Her diverse professional and philanthropic background taught her that anthropology and common sense are just as important as the data.

As Anne moved up the corporate ladder she noticed that there were fewer women in leadership roles at the top. “When you put in perspective it’s clear that the world is running at half speed,” she said. “We are in the mid of a social-shift as we are entering the Human Era.”

It is clear that Anne has achieved incredible success but never lost sight on what’s important. She is an incredible mother, wife, and community leader. As Laura Desmond pointed out, “Anne is a true inspiration for every women and man in the room.”

Annual Roast with Esther Lee, SVP, Brand Marketing & Advertising, AT&T

03/12/2013 - Event Reporter: Molly Frizzell

Industry leaders, friends, and colleagues shared comical stories and heartfelt praise for Esther Lee, AT&T SVP of Brand Marketing & Advertising, at the AWNY Annual Roast.

The evening at Gotham Hall kicked off with jazz, networking, and custom dark and light blue beverages to reflect event sponsors Facebook and Twitter. As the 350+ attendees settled at their respective tables, AWNY president Carol Watson welcomed the crowd to a roast that would showcase the importance of women leaders and “celebrate an industry star... with a fabulous sense of humor.”

The event, led by AWNY Leadership Committee Chair Diane Silberstein, then commenced with fun observations and accolades from roasters including:

  • Cathy Coughlin, Senior Executive Vice President and Global Marketing Officer, AT&T
  • Mark Wright, VP Media Services and Sponsorships, AT&T
  • Gregg Heard, VP Brand Identity and Design, AT&T
  • Jonathan Mildenhall, VP Global Advertising Strategy and Content Excellence, Coca-Cola
  • Greg DiNoto, Chief Creative Officer, Deutsch
  • Erica Bartman, Media Publishing Leader
  • Andrew Robertson, President and CEO, BBDO Worldwide

Among the humorous jabs at Lee’s penchant for black clothes, Starbucks, early nights and mornings, and extreme sports -- including her daily commute -- Lee’s identity as a brilliant, energetic, and worldly leader who is always there for others quickly emerged.

“She does everything exceptionally well [and is] closer to perfect than anybody in this room,” shared Bartman. “You can count on Esther in every way… but make the ask before 9pm.”

At the close of the evening, Lee -- “amazed with the creativity, the heart, and the nerve” of the roasters -- took the stage to share a few stories of her own, and thank those who have supported her along her journey.

Advertising Working Mothers of the Year Awards Luncheon

02/28/2013 - Event Reporter: Amber Mundinger

At the 9th annual celebration for the Advertising Working Mothers of the Year Awards Luncheon, held at the New York Hilton in midtown on February 28, the event celebrated those that juggle it all and asked them how it could be done. The twenty honored women, new moms and trailblazers alike, shared their triumphs, funny moments and frustrations with their children and husbands among the attendees of a sold out event.

The program kicked off with a private photo shoot and reception for the honorees and their families. Children ran around playing as their parents networked, congratulated each other and cameras clicked for individual honoree photos with their children and then a finale of shots that included the honorees together and then divided among their respective categories: Established Moms, New to Motherhood Moms and Trailblazer Moms. Tina DiSalvo, an Established Mom, commented, "I work for an employer that is understanding and allows me to have balance".

The main event began, post receptions – both a private reception for the honorees and families, noted previously, and a reception for attendees to mix and mingle, in the ballroom of the New York Hilton with Carol Evans, president and founder of Working Mother Media, welcoming everyone to the celebration and inviting up a few special guests – the children – to kick off a video thanking each of their moms and telling them why they love them which drew tears, clapping and quite a few laughs from those in attendance. Carol quoted Meryl Streep when saying "we women really do look so hard at each other" and emphasizing how important it is for woman to empower and support each other in all things – work and family being key areas where support and encouragement are needed.

As the luncheon continued a Q&A was hosted by Carol Evans and her colleague with all the honorees which included questions about balance, being a young mom or established mom in the industry and more than a few requests to explain how these lovely, talented women make it all work. Kristen Moore-Gantz stated, when asked about balance, "balance is a dirty word. There's something about being unbalanced that's more wonderful". On the subject of managing work and home life one honoree commented, "god love my husband and my cleaning lady" while another stated, "I count down to a cup of coffee alone sometimes". The overall theme amongst mom's seemed to be that you integrate your life and somehow it all works out in the end. It's important to celebrate and support each other. As Carol Evans stated, "we may give birth to our children, but it is they who raise us". These words seemed to leave a lasting impression and warm thoughts on a great event that showcased how women can have it all.

The awards recipients were from various backgrounds in the advertising and marketing industry and included:


  • Lisa Beshara: Vice President, Group Partner, J3 Universal McCann
  • Maureen Bosetti: Executive Vice President, Group Director, National Broadcast, Optimedia
  • Tina DiSalvo: Group Print Director J&J, J3 Universal McCann
  • Jennifer Hungerbuhler: Senior Vice President, Group Director, Local Media Activation, Carat
  • Samantha Johnson: Communications Director/Toyota, Saatchi & Saatchi LA
  • Jennifer Kasper: Group Vice President, Digital Media & Multicultural Marketing, Macy's
  • Yolanda Lam: Senior Vice President, Digital Group Client Director, MediaVest USA
  • Kersten Mitton Rivas: Managing Director, Havas Worldwide
  • Angela Snow: Corporate Advertising & Brand Senior Advisor, ExxonMobil
  • Tamara Stanley: Senior Director, Media & Multicultural Marketing, Sonic Drive-In
  • Gail Tifford: Senior Director of Media, North America, Unilever
  • Shivanthi Vannan: Senior Director, Rx-to-OTC Switch, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare


  • Patty Sachs Goldstein: Global Managing Director, IBM Worldwide Media, NEO@ogilvy
  • Elizabeth Kerr Mahoney: Associate Media Director, Verizon Wireless
  • Joyce Munoz: Group Manager, Digital Marketing and Media Strategy, Avery Dennison
  • Anna Papadopoulos: Vice President, Integrated Media Services, Prudential Financial
  • Stephanie Starr: Senior Vice President, Group Director, Communications Planning, Carat
  • Erin Vitellaro: Managing Director, Client Leadership, Mindshare, Mindshare Chicago


  • Kristin Moore-Gantz: Senior Vice President, Global Creative Director, Atelier-Leo Burnett- New York
  • Susan Thronson: Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, Marriott International, Inc.

Lois Barth Motivates AWNY Members to Shift from Procrastination to Productivity

02/25/2013 - Event Reporter: Marilyn Mead

On February 5, motivational speaker and life coach Lois Barth drew a packed crowd of attendees to Digitas for AWNY’s “Procrastination to Productivity: Power Principles to Help Get That New Job or New Life” seminar, organized by the Professional Development Committee. Drawing on her past experience as both a healthcare practitioner and comedian, Barth engaged the audience in a dialogue about overcoming individual obstacles to growth, encouraging attendees to observe their patterns, rather than judge them. Through interactive exercises, Barth helped AWNY members at diverse career stages identify their “personal brands of procrastination” – ranging from perfectionism to fear – with tools and tips for staying on track.

AWNY Welcomes Lynn Branigan as new Executive Director

02/19/2013 - Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) announced today to the public Lynn Branigan, noted digital marketing executive and entrepreneur, as its new Executive Director. Branigan joined the organization late last year and replaces longtime Executive Director, Liz Schroeder, who has retired.

“Turning a page on AWNY’s story to a new chapter--on the heels of our 100th anniversary celebration--requires a fresh look at how we deliver value to members, build more holistic partnerships with agencies, media and marketers and create both live and digital experiences that inspire the industry. During such an exciting time we are delighted to have at the helm an advertising executive whose digital experience, entrepreneurial and leadership skills will help us strategically achieve our ambitious goals and support the demands of our evolving membership,” said Carol Watson, AWNY president and president of Tangerine-Watson.

Branigan added, “I am thrilled to be joining AWNY as it enters a new century, energized to propel its momentum into new areas. We’re planning some great initiatives in 2013—giving new focus to professional development as a core mission to better support our members at each stage of their careers--and augmenting our work with corporations to support their goals in recruitment, training, mentorship, multicultural community-building, and brand alignment with how AWNY supports women in our industry.”

AWNY’s new Executive Director boasts more than 30 years in advertising sales and strategy. Her wide-ranging experience includes consultative selling and account management, program and partner development and thought leadership for the world’s leading digital media brands. Early in her career, she headed sales and marketing for Prodigy, one of the first online services. In 1993, she co-founded Multimedia Resources (MMR), one of the advertising industry’s first digital consulting firms. AdAge ranked MMR among the top 100 interactive marketing services firms from 1997 to 1999. Later, she went on to lead the marketing efforts at Washington Post Digital and the Online Publishers Association. Branigan received her undergraduate degree at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, and holds an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

January 31, 2013 Master Class Highlights

02/04/2013 - AWNY hosted its first Master Class of 2013 to a sold out crowd of 150 plus and welcomed Carl Fremont, EVP/Global Director, Media & Digital Marketing of Digitas as the event’s teacher.

The event, held at Digitas, started at 6pm with good wine and good company. Many new people attended the event, which made the networking reception even more exciting.  (include some people shots)

NCC Media, the event sponsor, introduced Carl. He is the global media lead for Digitas, an advertising agency with clients including Delta, PNG, American Express, GM, Ebay and many others. In fact, last week Digitas was recognized as the agency of the year by OMMA.

The Master Class focused on best practices for how brands become publishers in a multi-platform and socially engaged world.

With a step-by-step guide, Carl shared Digitas’ approach to the art of storytelling with branded content. The audience was also entertained with real-life examples including the Red Bull Stratos ad, the Fiat Motherhood ad and more.

At the close of this very special evening, AWNY awarded Carl with its first AWNY Master Class Speaker’s Honor. Through this award Carl, and two employees of his choosing, were given an honorary AWNY membership for 2013. (include picture of Carl and Tara –who presented the award).

AWNY’s next Master Class series will be held on the evening of April 11, 2013. Stay tuned for details.

Edelman founder, Daniel J. Edelman has passed away at the age of 92

01/15/2013 - AWNY would like to remember Daniel J. Edelman who passed away this morning at the age of 92 from heart failure. Let us remember Edelman as a PR leader, who pioneered many industry strategies which are now standard in the field of public relations. Edelman’s firm has grown to become the largest PR firm in the world with more than 4,500 employees in 65 cities around the globe. Edelman has represented prominent brand names such as Walmart, Starbucks, Burger King, Microsoft and Pfizer. To honor his work and public service, and to share your memories of Dan, please follow the link:

AWNY Celebrates 100 Years of Women Making Business Better

12/17/2012 - It was the centennial celebration New York had been waiting for. On October 4th at Gotham Hall in midtown Manhattan, Advertising Women of New York celebrated the past century with over 500 of the industry's supporters, honorees and members. Coinciding with Advertising Week in New York, AWNY's Centennial Celebration Luncheon was easily the highlight of the week for the industry.

Carol Watson, President of AWNY, kicked off the program by highlighting the growth of the organization over the past 100 years. AWNY started off strong in 1912 with 40 members but has since grown to over 1,700 in 2012. An organization founded before women had the right to vote, AWNY has been crucial to the careers of thousands of women over the years. Part of Thursday's celebration included honoring the founder herself, Helen Landsowne Resor. Resor, a copywriter and later executive for J. Walter Thompson, made her fame in advertising with the tagline "A skin you love to touch: for Woodbury Soap in 1911, increasing sales for the company by over 1000%. Resor went on to found Advertising Women of New York, then named the League of Advertising Women. From the start, AWNY has been encouraging and supporting to women.

The birthday celebration continued through the afternoon with the help of emcee Rebecca Jarvis, Anchor of "CBS This Morning: Saturday: as attendees were inspired by the members, both pas and present of AWNY. The luncheon was dedicated to the women who have worked for decades across all different media and platform to make the industry better for all, men and women alike. Platinum Sponsors of the event Google, Time Warner Cable Media, OMD, AOL and VEVO collectively honored ten distinguished women in the industry who have spent their entire careers breaking ground for women in advertising. Honorees include:

Google: Honoring innovators

  • Wendy Clark, SVP Integrated Marketing Communications & Capabilities, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Jessica Jackley, CEO Profounder

TWCM: Honoring Catalysts

  • Allison Arden, VP Publisher, AD Age
  • Carole Black, Former CEO & President, Lifetime Entertainment

OMD: Honoring Inspirers

  • Sarah Chubb, President / GM, Gilt City
  • Linda Yaccarino, President, Advertising Sales, NBCUniversal

AOL: Honoring Makers

  • Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus, Ogilvy & Mather
  • Nora Ephron, Writer and Director

VEVO: Honoring Groundbreakers

  • Kim Kadlec, Worldwide Vice President, Global Marketing Group, Johnson & Johnson,
  • Laura Desmond, CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group

One of the highlights of the award ceremony came as honoree Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather was presented with "Makers: award on stage. Lazarus first explored the industry of advertising during her college days at NYU. Invited to AWNY's Advertising Career Conference on a Saturday afternoon, Lazarus was inspired by the AWNY women and decided to steer her career towards copywriting at Ogilvy & Mather, a company she would lead decades later. Lazarus accepted her award with overwhelming applause and a standing ovation for her exceptional work within the industry.

AWNY not only honored women with extensive experience and robust career experience, but also recognized women that are currently rising through the early years of their careers through the first-ever Education Load Relief award. Each of the 10 award recipients were awarded $10,000 to be applied to outstanding debt of student loans. The 10 recipients were chosen from an application pool of over 115 AWNY members.

Throughout the luncheon, the attendees inspired by the women who have broken ground. It was truly amazing to recognize the achievements of the industry over the last 100 years and see how far the industry has come. The event closed with entertainment by the talented Emeli Sande, yet the encouraging words will be remembered by attendees for years to come as the industry looks forward to the next 100 years of "women making business better."

The Most Influential Women in Advertising

12/04/2012 - AdAge honors AWNY's 100th Anniversary. Did you know Ad Age's first cover, on Jan. 11, 1930, featured a woman: Dr. Louise Stanley. Read more.

A Century of Women in Advertising

12/04/2012 - From 'I Wish I Were a Man' Cigarette Ads to 'My Butt is Big and That's Just Fine'. Click here to read the full article in AdAge.

Shelly Lazarus Speech at AWNY 100th Anniversary Luncheon

12/04/2012 - Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus Ogilvy & Mather shows how influential the AWNY Career Conference can be. Click here to watch the video on our YouTube channel.

Why Marketers Need to Get Mobile

12/02/2012 - Relevant article on why you should attend the AWNY & Scripps Networks Interactive sponsored breakfast, "Embracing Mobile's Impact"- Why Marketers Need To Get Mobile. Click here to read.

Advertising Women of New York Awards $200,000 in Educational Loan Relief to 20 Professionals

11/30/-0001 - AWNY’s Impact Awards Celebrates Development and Education of Women in Advertising and Media; AWNY Honors Mentors of Prominent Executives New York – November 3, 2014 – Advertising Women of New York (AWNY |, an industry association that empowers women in media, marketing and communications through all phases of their career, today announced the distribution of $200,000 as part of its 3rd annual Education Loan Relief Program. The funds are being awarded to 20 recipients to pay off loans amassed from undergraduate, graduate and continuing education studies. These professionals will be highlighted at the 6th Annual AWNY Impact Awards on November 4 in New York City. As part of the event, AWNY will honor industry mentors who have played pivotal roles in guiding prominent industry leaders. Award recipients are: • Serge Del Grosso, Head of Media Strategy, eBay Enterprise, as mentor for Christina Meringolo, VP Integrated Marketing Solutions at Bayer • Wenda Harris Millard, President and COO, Medialink, as mentor for Beth Lawrence, EVP Digital Ad Sales at Scripps Networks • Bob Marcus, Managing Partner, Brimstone Consulting, as mentor for Kelly Cook, CMO and EVP at DSW • Chris Weil, CEO, Momentum, as mentor for Nancy Smith, VP Global Media Alliances, Development and Social Media Marketing at American Express • Bryan Wiener, Chairman, 360i and Expion, as mentor for Sarah Hofstetter, CEO at 360i “AWNY takes a leadership role in cultivating talented women in our industry, from all aspects and all levels,” said Kelly Wenzel, who serves as an AWNY executive-class member, chairperson of the Impact Awards, and CMO of Centro. “Mentorship matters; it is and has always been a central component in professional and personal success. The Impact Awards showcase the role mentors can play throughout women’s entire career arc, from junior-level and mid-career to senior leadership.” The growth of AWNY’s membership base demonstrates that there are many promising women who are looking to advance and develop their career in advertising. However, many are saddled with student loan debts that can be exponentially larger that their annual salaries. A 4A’s annual talent survey showed that entry-level yearly salaries in the industry commonly range from $25k to $35k. Furthermore, with New York City being the third most expensive U.S. city to live in, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, young workers and mid-level professionals who want to continue their education are at a disadvantage. The AWNY Education Loan Relief Program raises money to help women in media, marketing, and communications relieve debt accumulated from education costs. AWNY reviews applicants in the spring and summer every year to identify the most qualified candidates. Recipients were selected for their commitment to ‘pay it forward’ to the AWNY community and help fellow professionals in the space. The 2014 fund was collected from corporations donating directly to the fund, from a dedicated fundraising event, and from AWNY event proceeds throughout the year. Starcom MediaVest Group was the Gold Sponsor of the effort. Mediaocean was the Silver Sponsor; Comcast/NBCUniversal and MediaLink contributed at the Bronze plus level. Bronze sponsors included ABC, Allstate Insurance Company, GroupM, iHeartMedia, Horizon Media, RED Fuse Communications, and Turner Broadcasting. AOL and the Hyde Foundation also contributed at the Supporter level. Companies and individuals who are interested in donating to the 2015 fund can visit “AWNY and our partners are proud to give back to the women giving so much to the industry,” said Amy Wilkins, President of the Board, Advertising Women of New York. “While scholarships are available for those seeking degrees, there is little relief for those who could use reimbursement for education at any stage of their careers. By easing the burden of accumulated education loans, AWNY is glad to play a part in furthering so many women’s careers.” About Advertising Women of New York Founded in 1912, Advertising Women of New York's (AWNY) mission is to empower women in our industry to achieve personal and professional fulfillment at each stage of their careers. The organization presents over 40 events annually for education and networking. Membership now stands at nearly 1,800 and ranges from senior level executives to those just beginning their career.