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Friday Forum

Two men's faces both slightly smiling
Friday, March 15
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

VCU Commons Theater
907 Floyd Avenue

Rafi Kugler and Lionel Carreon

Director of Recruiting, barrettSF and Global Director, Creative Recruiting, R/GA

Topic: We like you.

Two recruiters, and friends for 23 years, Rafi and Lionel come from very different agencies, but with a similar journey into recruiting, and they're excited to share their stories, their agencies, their love of recruiting, what they look for in books, and their relationship with the Brandcenter.


Rafi Kugler is currently Director of Recruiting for barrettSF, a 6-year old 33 person agency in San Francisco. Rafi began his career in advertising as an assistant media planner at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. After 5 years working in media, and reaching a supervisor level at an agency Black Rocket, Rafi decided to reboot his career to get closer to the work. He reached out to everyone he once knew at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and came back as a creative intern. That’s where Rafi met Jamie Barrett, who was a partner and Creative Director there, making some of GSP’s best work at that time. Jamie happened to be in need of a creative assistant, and Rafi jumped at the opportunity. What formed over the next few years was a friendship, and mentorship, that eventually led Rafi to try his talents at recruiting.

Soon after, Rafi left GS&P to begin a 5 year recruiting run at FCB, and Pereira & O’Dell. All the while, Rafi and Jamie stayed close, as Jamie had started his own shop, barrettSF. So it wasn’t a huge surprise that the two decided to get the band back together in 2014 to help build barrettSF. Now, almost 5 years later, it was the best decision Rafi made.

Rafi has excelled at creating strong relationships with schools such as VCU Brandcenter, Creative Circus, and Miami Ad school among others. He has created internship programs at every agency he’s worked, and has made critical hires from the ECD level on down. He recruits across all disciplines, and has gotten involved in the agency PR side of the business as well. Speaking of PR, this is a video of Rafi recruiting himself to come work at barrettSF.

Beyond advertising, Rafi is a proud father of two, and tries to get out to play soccer and run whenever his life lets him. Or his wife lets him.

Lionel Carreon is currently Global Director, Creative Recruiting at R/GA, joining in 2013. Previously he was VP, Director of Creative Recruiting at Deutsch. Prior he was Director of Creative Recruiting at AKQA from 2006-2011.

Inspired by the characters who worked as advertising executives on the TV sitcom Who’s the Boss (Judith Light) and the motion picture Nothing in Common (Tom Hanks), Lionel decided to give advertising a shot. His first advertising job was as a creative assistant at Grey New York in 1995. His big break was getting an internship at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in 1996. Lionel started off getting coffee and lunch for Rich Silverstein every…single…day. He eventually worked his way up and was promoted to Copywriter. Lionel wrote ads for brands such as eBay, Saturn, SBC Communications, the Oakland A’s, Sirius, Hewlett-Packard, Tivo, Vail Resorts, Adobe and Ace Hardware. Coming full-circle now as a recruiter, Lionel would like to buy you coffee or lunch someday.

When not writing about himself, Lionel enjoys spending time with his amazing wife Camelia and their pretty ok cat Sparky.