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, Grey 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.
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.
Val MiddletonHead of Marketing, Curry Brand, Under Armour
Val Middleton has spent her career building purpose-driven brands through the lens of content, product, and experience design. She has partnered with some of North America’s most innovative companies to bring their bold visions to life, from launching the Impossible Burger with the mission to eradicate animal farming, to helping a generation conquer student loan debt through Earnest’s revolutionary financial services, to positioning STEM toys among gaming culture to inspire future inventors.
She spent her formative years at The Martin Agency producing for national brands such as BFGoodrich, X-Games, Ping, Hanes, and Walmart. She worked as the principal producer on GEICO, launching the ubiquitous cavemen and gecko campaigns. In 2012, she was honored as one of Business Insider’s 30 Under 30 Most Creative People in Advertising.
She then joined West Studios in San Francisco, where she served as Head of Production. In 2017, alongside her business partners, she raised a $38mm first time, female-led, Venture Capital Fund and founded West Venture Studio to double down on a commitment to supporting purpose-driven brands. During this time, she became a mother for the 3rd time, and when she was confronted with balancing family and her commitment to career, she structured a work environment that was conducive for keeping the mothers on her team in their roles.
Most recently, Val was able to unite her love of sport and her Baltimore pride by joining the incredible team at Under Armour, as Head of Marketing for brand Curry.
She holds a BFA in Film from Syracuse University, serves as a mentor for the nonprofit Endeavor Global and is thrilled to serve the students at the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter through her appointment to the Director’s Council.
Sherice Guillory TorresChief Marketing Officer, Circle Internet Financial
Sherice Guillory Torres
Sherice Torres is an inspirational leader with nearly 25 years of experience in marketing, brand management, strategic planning, and change management. She is currently Chief Marketing Officer at Circle Internet Financial. Prior to joining Circle, Sherice worked at Facebook Financial and Google in a number of roles, including Marketing Director, where she led brand programs for Crisis Response, Sustainability, Google.org, and Google’s education programs. While at Google, Sherice was also Marketing Director for Google’s kids and family products, empowering families to make the most of their digital journey together with the Family Link app. She also served as Marketing Director for Google Pay and Google Express.
Prior to Google, Sherice spent nearly 15 years at Nickelodeon in a variety of leadership roles across consumer products, strategic planning and digital. She is a mother of 2 boys, with a passion for revolutionizing the public education system in the US. She serves as a board member for Breakthrough Silicon Valley – a nonprofit empowering high potential students from underserved schools in San Jose prepare for and gain entrance to four-year universities, and is an advisor, and former board member of the Global Language Project - a non-profit bringing language learning to urban schools.
Khartoon WeissHead of Global Agency & Accounts, TikTok
Khartoon Weiss is the Head of Global Agency and Accounts at ByteDance. In her role, Khartoon is responsible for overseeing ByteDance's relationships with the global Holding Companies and their portfolio of agencies, as well as the vision and strategic partnerships among top global Brands.
Khartoon joins ByteDance with 20+ years experience building the world’s most recognizable brands in Marketing, Media, and Tech. Prior to joining, Khartoon was the Global Head of Verticals at Spotify where she launched and oversaw global strategies and partnerships that drove exponential growth. Khartoon also served as Chief Marketing Officer at MDC Media Partners, and Managing Director at MediaCom North America, where she was instrumental in scaling both companies to “Agency of the Year”. Khartoon credits that success to transformative go-to-market strategies for brands like ABInBev, AMEX, eBay, and PepsiCo, among others. Khartoon cut her teeth at BBDO, Ogilvy & Mather, and Grey Worldwide, and has been recognized by AdAge's elite “40 Under 40” and Adweek’s “Top 50” lists.
Khartoon has an executive education from The Wharton School and a B.A. from the University of Rochester.
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.