Brad BlondesVP, Global Head of Brand Creative & Design, MetLife
Brad Blondes is a strategic leader and change agent who champions creativity and design to build best-in-class customer experiences. For over 15 years, Brad has successfully reimagined and set the vision for some of the world's most iconic brands, solving complex problems that drive business impact. In 2016 Brad was selected for Ad Age's 40 Under 40 and in 2019 joined the Board at VCU Brandcenter.
Before joining MetLife, Brad held positions within advertising, branding, digital and experiential agencies including McCann NY, Mother NY, BBDO, Sapient, Momentum and Radical Media. His client work and relationships span brands such as Chevrolet, Ikea, American Airlines, Nike, Google, Polaroid, General Mills, Grey Goose and Audible.com. In addition, Brad has run his own business working with select clients such as The New York Times, The Robin Hood Foundation, Yale Symphony Orchestra, Simon Property Group and Honest Tea.
For nearly 10 years (while working full-time jobs) Brad taught advanced level courses at Parsons, The School of Visual Arts and Queens College as an Adjunct Professor. Prior to that, Brad received his MFA from Yale University where his thesis focused on “undoing”, a process he still employs today to discover the truth and potential of a brand by breaking it down and building it back up again. At Yale, Brad was a President’s Public Service Fellow and recipient of the Charles Sawyer Scholarship.
Kristen CavalloCEO, The Martin Agency
Kristen never thought she’d be a CEO. She one hundred percent wanted to be that cool, swashbuckling momma taking her kids on international escapades around the globe. Luckily, she said yes to both. As CEO of The Martin Agency, she works with CCO Danny Robinson to create impactful ideas for clients like GEICO, OREO, UPS, CarMax, Old Navy, DoorDash and Buffalo Wild Wings. They are on a mission to fight invisibility - for their clients as 84% of ads go unnoticed, and for their people to build a culture of inclusivity. They’ve eradicated the wage gap by race and gender, leveled the playing field for women in leadership and tied diversity to business goals. And their work has not gone unnoticed. In 2019 Kristen was named AdAge Exec of the Year and in 2020 Martin was named Agency of the Year by Adweek, after posting 30% growth during the pandemic. They believe in leading with heart, in overcoming fear, and that real creative magic lies somewhere in between.
Tara DeVeauxEVP & CMO, Wild Card & 3AM
Tara DeVeaux is Chief Marketing Officer of Wild Card Creative Group, Managing Director of the company’s content studio 3AM and strategy division Insights@Wild Card, and an award-winning brand and entertainment marketer. DeVeaux joined Wild Card as Chief Marketing Officer in 2018, bringing brand marketing principles into the entertainment marketing process, and added Managing Director of the company’s creative content studio 3AM and the audience-focused strategy arm Insights@Wild Card to her responsibilities in 2020.
Tara joined Wild Card Creative Group from BBDO New York where she led the marketing team, focusing on business development, partnerships and agency branding. Her leadership on campaigns for such brands as PepsiCo, HBO, Electronic Arts, J&J, TNT, National Geographic Channel and Kraft earned her teams over 200 creative awards. With a career spanning brands, entertainment and tech, Tara’s experience and expertise has uniquely positioned her to continuously innovate in an ever-evolving marketing landscape. Although Brooklyn, NY is her first love, she now happily calls LA her home.
Hermon GhermayGlobal Chief Culture Officer, Mediabrands
Hermon Ghermay is currently the global chief culture officer at Mediabrands. Hermon is a staunch advocate for underrepresented groups and diverse perspectives, which she believes are fundamental to driving innovation within any organization.
After graduating from Harvard University with a degree in History and French, Hermon’s advertising career began at Leo Burnett in Chicago where she worked on a diverse set of businesses including Kellogg’s Cereals, McDonald’s, and Hallmark. Following a stint in Las Vegas running various MGM Mirage properties, she landed at Deutsch LA where she managed all aspects of the CiCi’s Pizza business, in close partnership with the CMO and Director of Marketing. From there, she went to Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco where she led a portfolio of accounts including SONIC Drive-In, Nestle ice cream brands Haagen-Dazs and Dryers, Princess Cruise Lines, Seagate, the Dali Museum, and the eBay global business.
Originally from Eritrea, East Africa, Hermon lived in various countries throughout Africa before moving to the United States for high school. She honors her immigrant experience and passion for cultures and languages by volunteering as an interpreter for the IRC and seeing as much of the world as she can.
Amber GuildCEO, McCann New York
Amber Guild is CEO of Grey New York. She was previously the President of T Brand, the creative and marketing services division of The New York Times Company, where she also led the NYT Events, the Company’s events and experience division.
Amber spent over two decades at advertising agencies before leaving for The New York Times to lead T Brand – the departure came because of her belief that the power of great journalism can help brands engage with audiences in more meaningful and impactful ways.
Throughout her career, Amber has been a leader and an advocate of creating systemic change in the creative industry to ensure a more equitable and just workplace. She recently co-authored The New York Times’ public report on the state of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at The Times, titled “A Call to Action: Building a Culture That Works for All of Us.”
Amber was named Ad Age’s 2016 “Women to Watch,” and sits on the boards and advisory council’s of Brandcenter, SATURDAY MORNING, 3% Movement, Fishbowl Diversity Council, Ad Council Diverse leaders and is a founding member of CHIEF.
Lucas HeckGlobal Creative Director, Creative X at Facebook
Lucas Heck is a Global Creative Director for the Creative X at Facebook. He oversees the team responsible for all advertising campaigns, communication design, social content, and integrated production for WhatsApp. The message app that serves more the 2.5 billion people around the world.
Heck has more than 20 years of experience and prior to Facebook he has worked in the top advertising agencies in the industry like DPZ, Grey and J. Walter Thompson.
During his career he have won all the main Creative Festivals in the world (Cannes, Clio, London, One Show, D&AD and others), and have worked with brands like P&G, GSK, Gillette, Coke, Shell, US Marines, HSBC Bank among others.
He is an art director by formation and to this day he still gets his creative hands dirty together with his team under the motto “Leading by example.”
Sloane HumphreyHead of B2B Marketing Communications, TikTok
Sloane Humphrey is known as the go-to brand builder for Fortune 500s, and for companies in the technology, entertainment, media, and advertising industries. She has a track record of systematically growing businesses — both financially and culturally — and positioning them for the future.
Sloane heads up B2B Marketing Communications and Industry Relations at TikTok. Prior to this, she led Powell Communications for 11 years as its President and CEO, establishing its place as an award-winning marketing and strategy firm. Sloane's deep relationships span an expansive network of media, business leaders and creative entrepreneurs — serving her ability to broker key partnerships at the highest levels for mutual benefit.
Marc JohnsonAssociate Dean & Chief Innovation Student Engagement Officer, UVA Darden School of Business
Marc Johnson is associate dean and chief innovation and student engagement officer at the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business. In this role he serves in the dean’s office, driving innovation initiatives across the Darden School and ensuring exceptional student engagement through the complete student experience across all degree programs at Darden. He works alongside the senior associate deans to create a social, educational, and organizational environment that advances Darden's transformational learning mission. He also convenes and leads the Darden Student Services Group, made up of leaders in the areas of enrollment management (admissions, financial aid, and registration), student engagement (student affairs, global advising, program operations, and global/experiential learning), career development, instructional design, and global diversity, equity, and inclusion. He also partners with student leadership to promote student self-governance, impact, and collaboration.
Johnson leads innovation at Darden, serving as a catalyst for innovation and transformation initiatives focused on advancing the mission and strategy of the school. This work includes engaging stakeholders across the organization to develop and implement innovations in delivering against the mission. He partners with the chief strategy officer to advance the strategic plan and serves as the senior international officer for the school, leading globalization initiatives across Darden in line with the mission.
Johnson is a lecturer at the Darden School, teaching courses in global business and strategy and leading courses for MBA, Part-time MBA, and Executive MBA students in Virginia and all around the world. Johnson teaches international business in UVA’s undergraduate interdisciplinary studies program and previously taught courses in leadership for the Sorensen Institute. He has also taught courses in entrepreneurship and nonprofit management. He is the co-author of several entrepreneurship case studies through Darden Business Publishing.
Johnson holds a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in the executive doctorate in higher education management program, where he studied access to graduate and professional degrees, publishing his dissertation on advanced degrees and social mobility in the United States. Johnson holds an MBA from the UVA Darden School, where he received the C. Stewart Sheppard Award for service and the Faculty Award for Academic Excellence, and a master’s in education from the UVA School of Education and Human Development. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the College of William & Mary with a bachelor’s degree in government.
Howard Jordan, Jr.TV Writer / Producer, CBS, Netflix, BET
Howard Jordan, Jr.
Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Howard built a name for himself as an award-winning copywriter and creative director, leading famous work for such iconic brands as Beats By Dr. Dre, State Farm, McDonald’s, Lexus and Coca-Cola. However, throughout his advertising career, he made time to take sitcom and sketch comedy writing classes at NYU, Upright Citizens Brigade and People’s Improv Theater.
In 2013, Howard relocated from New York City to Los Angeles to pursue his Hollywood dream. While freelancing to pay the bills and writing specs and pilots, as well as networking and reading as many scripts as humanly possible, he was recruited by Facebook/Instagram Creative Shop as a creative strategist tasked with helping the likes of Netflix, Warner Brothers, and Disney launch their most valuable entertainment properties on those platforms. He still refers to that position as the best marketing/advertising/communications job ever. But, when he was offered an opportunity to join the writing staff of CBS’ "Superior Donuts," he made the leap to television. After one season, which included his first episodic “written by” credit, Howard moved on to the staff of the Netflix original series, "Family Reunion," for which he received a Writers Guild Award in 2020. He is an alum of the VCU Brandcenter.
Steve LathamHead of Learning, Cannes Lions
He began his career working with the NHS but quickly realised it wasn’t for him. He wasn’t saving lives but did spend six months reorganising the huge HR filing cabinet. Following a cycle around Europe, he ended up as a marketer and loved it.
Steve has worked for Cannes Lions since 2005, first overseeing the Festival’s content then founding and developing the Learning team. Since 2011, he has built The Cannes Lions School, a learning and development portfolio of over 30 programmes for Cannes Lions and their regional events. He plays golf badly and wants a golden retriever.
Hillary RogersManaging Director, Bullitt & The Directors Bureau
Hillary Rogers is a creative problem-solver, and works closely with directors to elevate the execution and production experience on each project. Whether scaling operations, supporting talent, or discussing narrative constructs, Hillary’s joyful enthusiasm for the business and art of production has driven every aspect of her career, which spans more than two decades. As Managing Director of Bullitt and The Directors Bureau (TDB), Hillary aligns creative, production, management, and sales efforts across both companies, with commercial and short-form projects ranging from thought-provoking commentary to explosive crowd pleasers and all shades in between.
Prior to her current role, Hillary served as Managing Director of Pulse Films, where she drove the growth and management of the American branded division of the UK-based production company. Upon joining the company in 2014, she helped build Pulse USA into a globally recognized entity that was named to Ad Age’s Production Company A-List in 2021 and 2022. During that time, Pulse Films was also awarded Production Company of the Year by shots, LBB, The British Arrows, ADC, and Campaign Magazine, and finished runner up in the Cannes Lions Palme d’Or Global Production Company Ranking. She made her mark at the outfit helping lead countless recognizable and iconic campaigns, including Nike’s 2020 Emmy Award-winning and Cannes Lion Film Grand Prix honoree “You Can’t Stop Us” done through Wieden+Kennedy and “Bounce” for Apple via TBWA/Media Arts Lab, which was named British Arrows Commercial of the Year and Best of Show at the Art Director’s Club (ADC) awards in 2020.
A graduate of Colgate University, where she studied theater, Hillary was raised in Arizona and Utah before finding her way to New York City. There, she began forging a diverse career in production, first in finance at JP Morgan Chase and later in various production roles. She then shifted her focus to the production of commercial and branded content, and collaborated with notable production companies including Anonymous Content, @radical.media, Pulse Films, and Caviar in New York and Los Angeles, where she’s currently based.
Rich WhalenManaging Director, Deloitte Digital
Rich Whalen is a Managing Director at Deloitte Digital where he serves as the National General Manager across the Deloitte Studios. Deloitte Studios handles all advertising, marketing, and digital experiences at Deloitte, solving business problems for clients using creativity, technology, and data. Comprised of over 1,300 specialists across US and India, Deloitte Studios is a collection of makers, artists, strategists, designers, business builders, engineers, creators, data nerds and dreamers--united to redefine creativity in business.
Previously, Rich was COO at McCann working directly with the President and on agency structure, vision, and day-to-day processes. He directly oversaw all client operations, project management, infrastructure, and all new client contracts, staffing, and negotiations.
Prior to joining McCann, Rich was Head of Delivery for RAPP Worldwide where he oversaw Project Management, Production, Technology, and the studio. Prior to that he was the Executive Producer for WealthHound.com, a financial services site. Rich started his career at AGENCY.COM, where he became a Senior Project Manager overseeing the British Airways account in London.
Rich has managed operations, spearheaded strategic development, managed full site builds, redesigns, broadcast TV spots, and ongoing marketing relationships for IKEA, Lockheed Martin, Humana, Merck, Verizon, J&J, FoodTV, NY Lottery, British Airways, XM Radio, New York Knicks, The Travel Channel, Novartis, Pfizer and various other clients. Having started PMOs across three different organizations, Rich has extensive experience in Digital, Print and Broadcast operations.
Rich served on the Board of Directors for The Scott Hazelcorn Children's Foundation, an organization aimed to help children in need, creators of Camp Haze, a sleep away camp for children who lost loved ones on September 11th. Rich is SCRUM Master certified and has experience with Agile, Waterfall, and Six Sigma best practices.
Ali WysongAccount Executive, Waze / Google
Ali Wysong is an Account Executive at Google working with premier brands to formulate and grow their partnerships with Waze, Google’s navigation app.
Prior to joining Google, Ali helped Fortune 500 advertisers using technology and publishers at Oath: A Verizon Company to reach their consumers in an impactful way. She started her career at Saatchi & Saatchi X and McCann in new business development and account management. She helped secure and manage global brands such as Cigna Global Health, Microsoft and more.
Ali resides in Chicago where she enjoys spending time with close friends and family.