ThinkLA Community Blog
Blog Home All Blogs

Volunteer Spotlight: Franziska Pugh

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 19, 2019

How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?

I studied strategic communication at Michigan State University intending to become the next Samantha Jones of publicity. During my undergraduate studies, I received the opportunity to visit Los Angeles and tour advertising agencies, entertainment firms and production studios. After meeting with an Account Executive and learning more about the role, I knew I would find my home in brand leadership and strategy. I worked to gain relevant internship and research experience and began my career as an Account Coordinator and then Assistant Account Executive at DonerLA. Recently, I joined the MullenLowe team as an Account Executive working on automotive. I’m incredibly lucky to have worked with a diverse group of clients and agencies who are dedicated to mentorship, professional, and personal development.  

What inspired you to become a ThinkLA volunteer?

After moving to Los Angeles, I aimed to get involved in the community and meet professionals who were interested in advertising, media and entertainment. I was impressed by the variety of events that ThinkLA offered. After hosting the first the first Intern Summit event at DonerLA, I became fully immersed in the mission of bringing opportunities and community to Los Angeles and beyond.

What’s been one of your favorite ThinkLA memories?

I recently joined the Emerging Leaders Council and assisted in hosting the first ThinkLA She Suite event. This event was truly remarkable in bringing women across multiple agencies and industries together and creating dialogue around their success, barriers and opportunities. Events like these are so important in building a support system, mentorship opportunities and friendships.

I also really enjoyed the Intern Summit Series. I value being a part of energetic professionals that continuously strive to grow professionally and personally. It was a blast to volunteer at these events, meet the panelists and learn more about the advertising industry and professional roadmaps.

What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto?

My personal motto is, “Hold the vision. Trust the process.” We are lucky to work in an ever-changing industry that has so many opportunities to learn and grow. This motto is my reminder to be patient and flexible in my approach. 

What has been an important, perhaps the most important, lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?

There are two lessons that my mentors have instilled in me.

  1. “Take a seat at the table.”
    When you get the opportunity to sit at a table with other professionals, make sure you listen to what they have to say and speak up to be heard. You will never get what you don’t ask for. Make sure you’re prepared, bring insight into the room and showcase your expertise.
  2.  “If you’re the dumbest person in the room, you’re in the right room.”
    A few years ago, I voiced a concern about “sounding dumb” when conducting informational interviews. One of my mentors told me that if I make it into a room where I have no idea what is going on, I am exactly where I need to be. This lesson still holds true. If you’re the dumbest person in the room, you’ve strategically (or, luckily) maneuvered your way into a place with people you can learn the most from. Listen, take notes, do your research after and build connections while you have the chance.


    Franziska Pugh

    Tags:  #ThinkLA  #ThinkMembers  #volunteerspolight 

    Share |

    Recap: 2019 MAKERS Conference

    Posted By Jean Freeman, Friday, February 15, 2019

    by Jean Freeman

    Last week, I was honored to represent Zambezi and women-owned businesses at MAKERS. This was my second year attending, and my first as a member of the MAKERS Board of Directors. The whole experience was inspiring and exciting! 

    The theme for this year was All of Us, and the programming was exceptionally curated to live up to this theme. Founder and creator Dyllan McGee has continued to elevate the MAKERS platform by telling the stories of trailblazing women, and underscoring the common threads in all of these individual stories.

    There were so many highlights, but here are a few of my favorites:

    * Glennon Doyle gave a mesmerizing talk about the power of forgiveness, infused with lots of laughs and tears. Glennon has a strong following in the Christian blogging community, and her book Love Warrior explores the power of love and forgiveness through her family journey.

    * Regina Wilson, one of the few African-American women firefighters, led a discussion with senior women from LAFD. Only 4% of all firefighters are women.

    * Susan Schuman, CEO of SYPartners -- and coach to such luminaries as Meg Whitman and Howard Schultz -- spoke about the shifts in leadership needs for today’s CEO. I did not stop taking notes during her talk. My favorite takeaway: “Shift from having all the answers to coaching through this beautiful mess.”

    * Lisa Borders, inaugural CEO for Time’s Up, talked about how her career prepared her for this moment. Time’s Up is starting “The 4% Challenge” which strives to increase the number of women directors in Hollywood; currently only 4% of the top 100 studio films over the last decade have been directed by women. Lisa described growing up in Atlanta, where her father was a chauffeur for Coca-Cola executives, and her tremendous pride that in only one generation she was able to ascend to the executive ranks of Coca-Cola, where she formerly served as Vice President of Global Community Affairs. She was interviewed by movie star Jennifer Garner, and one of my favorite takeaways from the interview was Lisa’s definition of leadership: Leadership = Passion + Action.

    * Jamella Jamil, actress and activist, gave an impassioned talk about the need to change male stereotypes which she wrote about in her poem “Tell Him.”

    On Friday morning, I was honored
    to take the stage with other members of the MAKERS Board of Directors to make our pledges of what we will do this year inside our own companies to continue to promote the MAKERS mission of gender equality. Zambezi is committed to conducting a wage audit to ensure pay equity and correct like-for-like discrepancies. As I reiterated on stage, “As we all know, money equals power.”

    To watch the full sessions click here.

    Here’s to a powerful 2019!

    Jean Freeman is Principal + CEO of Zambezi, LLC and charting the future for one of the largest female-owned businesses in the advertising industry. Jean has successfully grown Zambezi from a startup to what it is today – a thriving agency named Small Agency of the Year by AdAge and one of the top Largest Women-Owned Businesses by the Los Angeles Business Journal. 

    Tags:  #makers #diversity #women  makers 

    Share |

    Volunteer Spotlight: Danielle Erves

    Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 31, 2019

    How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?

    I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations from San Jose State University and was lucky to get my first job at a PR agency in Oakland right out of college. From there, I moved to Los Angeles and started at Jukin Media, a digital media company that helps people make money from their videos on the internet. There, I was lucky enough to be able to work on the company’s marketing, PR, and social media

    My interest in marketing and public relations started at an early age in high school marketing things like school dances and alumni events. Once I began to study it in college, it opened up a new method of communication for me.

    What inspired you to become a ThinkLA volunteer?

    I attended my first ThinkLA event three years ago.
    I saw all the amazing people hustling, sharing, and building with each other. I knew I needed to get involved.

    What’s been one of your favorite ThinkLA memories?

    My favorite ThinkLA memory is from Toys for Tots last year. My coworkers and I had a crazy couple of weeks and had just wrapped up. We ended up laughing and dancing the night away. Work hard, Play hard..

    What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto?

    My personal motto is: You can’t have a bad day if you’re smiling. I try to smile all day long, I’m in a good mood and good things happen. If I do get into a funk, I put on my favorite song and jam out! I’ll be back to smiling soon after that.

    Are there any written materials you suggest to read?

    The best advice I can give to anyone regardless of their industry is to keep learning and reading. It’s so important to want to learn more, otherwise the world will pass you by. One reading suggestion is The Alchemist. One of my good friends gave it to me to read and it changed my mindset.

    What advice do you have for female ad professionals who are beginning their careers?

    Have a voice early in your career and establish yourself as a leader and someone who deserves a seat at the table. Know what you are worth and ask for it. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

    Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?

    The first year I started with ThinkLA, I taught an Account Management 101 class and it was so rewarding to feel like I was making a difference to someone starting out in their career. The feedback I got was so positive, it only confirmed that mentoring and helping people around me grow, learn, and move up is one of the best things about my job. But I’m not gonna lie: the Award Show Gala after-parties never disappoint!

    Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?

    The ThinkLA community is very unique and I’m very happy to be apart of it. It can be a difficult to know how to navigate organizations similar to ThinkLA, but the community ThinkLA has built is on the fosters up and coming professionals and educates the community in a fun way. I’m very happy to be part of it..


    Danielle Erves 

    • website:
    • IG: @ervespr_
    • Twitter: @ervespr
    • LinkedIn:


    Tags:  #Thinkla  #thinkMembers  #volunteerspolight  Advertising  L 

    Share |
    PermalinkComments (0)

    Global Wednesdays January!

    Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 10, 2019
    It's big (ad) world, but we aim to make it feel even smaller by highlighting inventive, global ads, monthly, that break the mold from the mundane handpicked by ThinkLA Board Member and Award-Winning Creative, Luis Camano. To capture that global spirit, we will feature inspiration from outside of the U.S.



    Mi Querido Watson / Spain
    Mi Querido Watson is an agency in Madrid and this was their Christmas Salutation. Because the video is in Spanish, here’s a brief explanation of their great activation. Every year we all receive awful gifts for Christmas. According to the agency there are no bad gifts, just bad briefs or a target incorrectly chosen. Their solution? The agency will collect the unwanted gifts and redirect them to several NGOs who will find the right target: those who really need them the most. Here’s to the true spirit of the Holidays.

    Coca-Cola / Belgium
    From Coca-Cola/Belgium comes this very small but very smart media placement. Who doesn’t need some extra wrapping paper during the Holidays shopping frenzy?

    And finally, a banned TV ad in the UK, from a retail store chain called Iceland who had something to say about the environment. Beautiful, moving and ballsy!

    If you want to know more about this subject, here’s a helpful link.

    This post has not been tagged.

    Share |
    PermalinkComments (0)

    Global Wednesdays December!

    Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 11, 2018
    It's big (ad) world, but we aim to make it feel even smaller by highlighting inventive, global ads, monthly, that break the mold from the mundane handpicked by ThinkLA Board Member and Award-Winning Creative, Luis Camano. To capture that global spirit, we will feature inspiration from outside of the U.S.



    Coca-Cola / Brazil
    How to turn a negative expression into a positive message, and change culture organically.


    Centre Pompidou / Paris
    Old and traditional tactics worked for this Museum to become a tourist destination.

    WeChat / Hong-Kong
    A rewarding way to send money back home, while talking to your loved ones.

    Tags:  #Thinkla  #thinkMembers  Creatives  Global Ads  Global Wednesday  Marketing 

    Share |
    PermalinkComments (0)

    Harnessing the Power of MarTech

    Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 5, 2018
    Harnessing The Power Of MarTech

    The convergence of advertising and marketing technologies represents an incredible opportunity for those who understand how to manage them. This event helped attendees navigate the complexities, technologies, and organizational challenges with best practices and case studies to harness the power of MarTech.


    • Insight into building and optimizing your MarTech toolbox;
    • Discovering cutting-edge, innovative customer experiences; and
    • Learning strategies for successfully implementing key technology solutions.

    Major thanks to supporting sponsor AdTheorent, exhibit sponsor Centro, and pitch sponsors Gimbal, the Trade Desk, and Adelphic.

    Please read our detailed recap below.   




    Supporting Sponsor

    Exhibit Sponsor

    Pitch Sponsor


    Event Recap

    by Pranav Pandit

    On a crisp L.A. afternoon, the Doubletree Hotel in Culver City hosted some of the best and brightest minds in the world of Marketing Technology, or as one moderator proclaimed… ”cough, nerds”. Zingers aside, the stage was set for a deep conversation about navigating the complexities, technologies, and organizational challenges of MarTech and how to harness its power.

    The event was kicked off by ThinkLA Co-President Tim Hand who welcomed the group. Tim handed off the mic to the event co-chairs Kim Brown Robinson and Paul Santello for opening remarks. They explained the focus of the event: a robust discussion on the convergence of advertising and marketing technologies representing an incredible opportunity for those who understand how to manage them. Hopefully, the audience would walk away gaining insight into building and optimizing their MarTech toolbox, discovering cutting-edge innovative customer experiences, and learning strategies for successfully implementing key technology solutions. And even if none of that happened, there was a raffle and cocktail reception awaiting those who made it all the way through. 

    The opening keynote speakers were Patrick Dolan, IAB President and Anna Bager, EVP Industry Initiatives. They set the stage with several pieces of data from the most recent IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report. TL;DR: there’s growth, growth and more growth.

    Overall, digital continues to grow with double digit increases in areas like social media and the emergence of audio as a separate category. (Alexa is listening… always.) And it’s not just the usual goliaths driving this upward trend: direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands ditch the traditional ways of thinking through buying efficiencies and an embrace of MarTech, giving the category leaders fits. But the waters are choppy for everyone as customer journeys get more complex every day and regulations such as GDPR and CCPA make companies finally be nice to their lawyers. The pi
    èce de résistance of the presentation was the often-seen and crowded slide, eliciting gasps from the audience and a cross-eyed author of this recap.

    Notable quote: “DTC brands are causing the big guys death by a thousand paper cuts”.

    The data portion of the day was kicked off with a commercial break by one of the event’s wonderful sponsors, Matt Russo from Gimbal.

    Shailley Singh from the IAB Tech Lab gave the audience a brief description of the great work his group does including developing standards, software and services for the industry. He then jumped into moderator mode with Matt Mendez from Oracle Data Cloud and Josh Peters from BuzzFeed on the panel. After some debate and definition of first-party vs. second-party vs. third-party data, the panel discussed the impact of GDPR and CCPA regulations. Everyone agreed that compliance isn’t just following the rules but a true embrace of the collection and usage of data from a consumer protection standpoint.

    Notable quote: “One man’s first-party data is another man’s third-party data”

    Matthew Thornton from Industry Index gave one of the more eye-opening and straightforward presentations of the day regarding Data Leakage. Through their research, it was noted that many of the top websites had a lot of first-party technology embedded on their site. In general, technology isn’t so bad, but with so much of it implemented, the result is a confused web team and ultimately, data leakage.

    Notable quote: “It’s not a drip, it’s a deluge”.

    The targeting portion of the day featured a panel led by Logan Gufstason of AdTheorent (another amazing sponsor of the event) joined by Karl Meyer of Samsung, Krista Thomas of VideoAmp, and Jason Zollan of Oath. The level of honesty and sharing of opinions was evident right off the bat as the panel agreed that there are pros and cons to some of the industry’s tried and true audience measurement/targeting tools. Nielsen was dubbed a “frenemy” because of its benefit of standardization across the industry but drawbacks due to its continued use of a panel-based methodology. However, a thoughtful approach to mixing and matching data could help solve the use of seemingly disparate targeting tools. That approach is especially helpful in areas like OTT and audio targeting as they lag behind desktop and mobile in targeting advances.

    Notable quote: “Putting all your eggs in one basket…or betting on one horse…is probably not the way to go”.

    After a small break to check out our exhibit sponsor Centro’s table in the foyer, bug agency people about RFPs, and grab a cookie or three, we got right back into the action.

    Two more gracious sponsors, Lorenzo Moreno of the Trade Desk and Jeff Harp of Adelphic kept the momentum to start the ACTIVATION portion of the agenda.

    Dubstep music and sharp wit led the way for the next panel. A few glow sticks and Red Bulls could have started a full-on dance party, but the panel, comprised of moderator Leisha Bereson of Canvas, Kenneth Hurta of Brandfolder, PJ Miele of Amobee, and Matt Schmidt of SpotX, dove into topics such as who owns data and how is it actioned upon. The overwhelming consensus was: It takes collaboration and a focus on the end goal. In any given project, groups can get overprotective about deal points and it creates a lack of transparency and forms roadblocks. And then there’s specs. What is often a pain point given the unbalanced attention to targeting over creative could be so DAM easy through the use of a Digital Asset Manager. And finally, for the first time the entire day, someone mentioned “blockchain”. #tooklongenough.

    Notable Quote: “Not having a smart, tech savvy team is like having a garage full of cars and no one knows how to drive” - Ian Wilson of Heineken (he wasn’t there but was quoted)

    Rounding out the Activation section was an informative and resource-rich presentation from Kerry Bianchi of Visto diving into omnichannel programmatic. FYI, “multi” means more than one, “omni” means all places. Kerry explained that the trend of bringing programmatic activity in-house continues, but the four things to consider when making that decision are: 1) A thorough cost benefit analysis, 2) Getting your data house in order, 3) Be confident in the legal/operations side of the house, 4) Not underestimating or skimping on talent…getting it and keeping it.

    Notable quote: “A ‘one-stop-shop’ probably isn’t feasible or even realistic”

    We entered into the final topic of the day, analytics, with a mention of The Terminator and how AI isn’t scary technology that’ll take over the world. That’s just what they want us to think…

    It was the presentation from Anya Ware of IBM Watson that got people comfortable with terms like Augmented Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. Her discussion started with four common challenges associated with data: 1) Unused data or data that isn’t actionable, 2) Lack of transparency, 3) Walled gardens and the scarcity of data coming out of them, 4) An explosion of tools, seemingly useful but creating confusion. To solve for these challenges, IBM implements AI that understands structured and unstructured data, uses reasoning that can form hypotheses, learns and develops skills and interacts using natural language processing. Ok, so maybe Skynet is real, guys. Kidding…but…we were introduced to Lucy, IBM Watson’s AI powered Marketing Assistant (and also the name of Watson’s daughter in real life #truestory). Lucy can be used for data aggregation and mining, sentiment analysis and personalization, which via several case study examples was proven to save organizations hundreds of hours driving smarter, more efficient use of data.

    Notable quote: “90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years”

    (You would think at this point there would be tumbleweeds in the room given it was late afternoon and we’d been talking about technology all day, but most of the audience was still there. It was impressive and a testament to the quality programming developed by the committee and speakers)

    The audience was treated to lovely closing remarks in the form of a fireside chat with Sharon Harris of Deloitte and Jason Lee of Horizon. After Sharon revealed the winner of the day’s Best Moustache as Josh Peters from BuzzFeed, she summed up the day quite thoroughly yet succinctly. I won’t summarize her summary because, well, I just did that for you but needless to say it was all-encompassing. When asked for some words of wisdom about an approach to data strategy, Jason got his mic skills in order and offered six key tidbits: 1) Adapt your data conversation because the landscape is constantly evolving, 2) Simplify and identify your “north star” or end goal, 3) Identify and prioritize roles and responsibilities, 4) Establish a roadmap to that end goal, 5) Establish data governance, 6) Have a holistic approach. Then Jason tried to throw out something about blockchain but that cat was already out of the bag. He did however leave us with:

    Notable quote: “Data. It’s important”

    The closing keynote was skillfully delivered by Nichola Perrigo of RPA. The main points of her presentation were quite candid: Advice about data hygiene, a mention of Forrester’s Zero Party Data and the need for constant evaluation were given, but the importance of trust and attention to people were areas relatively unexplored by the other speakers. It was a human ending to an otherwise technology heavy day.

    Notable quote: “There’s elegance in simplicity”.

    And with that, an afternoon filled with acronyms and talk of technology ended with hors d’oeuvres, vodka sodas and the mutual exchange of rectangular, medium weight card stock with contact info… and a further appreciation of the power of MarTech.

    Pranav Pandit is a ThinkLA event committee member and recent transplant from Chicago. He’s a free agent looking for the right gig utilizing his 19+ years in the advertising/marketing business.

    This post has not been tagged.

    Share |

    How to Love What You Do More

    Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 27, 2018
    Updated: Monday, November 26, 2018

    by Chelsea Szabo and Cecilia Gorman

    Are you engaged at work?

    It’s an important question because, according to Gallup, engaged employees are more productive, collaborative, positive and impactful to a company’s bottom line.
    To help you answer this question, we’ve provided 10 questions below. Answer each one with a yes or a no, specific to your experiences in the workplace.

    • Do you smile often?
    • Do you enjoy your job?
    • Do you check your posture throughout the day and is it generally good?
    • Have you said, "How can I help you?" to anyone recently?
    • Do you feel connected to your organization’s goals?
    • Do you proactively solve problems?
    • Would you rate your average energy level as medium to high?
    • Do you find meaning in the work you do?
    • Do you enjoy the people you work with?

    If you answered "Yes" to a majority of the questions above, most likely you’re pretty engaged at work. Congrats! If you answered mostly "No", you’re not alone: only a third of America’s workforce is engaged, per Gallup. It’s important if you aren’t engaged to consider what changes you can make to increase your engagement level. Here’s why -

    Potential Dangers of Disengagement At Work

    • Stunted career. You stop learning and growing in your role which limits career advancement.
    • Get stuck in negativity and it spreads. You enter a world of negativity, seeing only problems which can pull-down colleagues around you.
    • Case of the Mondays. You feel like you’re just getting through each day and lose enthusiasm to go into work. 
    • Over-indulge. You’ll eat when you’re not hungry or drink excess caffeine to fill the void.

    Here’s what you can do -

    Ways to Enhance Your Engagement Level at Work

    • Use your talents. Make a list of your top 5 talents and find ways to bring each of them into your workweek.  
    • Make rejuvenation mandatory. Getting sleep, eating properly and doing some kind of exercise are not luxuries, they are mandatories. When you’re physically charged you naturally more engaged.
    • Identify what you love. Discover three things you most enjoy about your job. For instance: maybe you like collaborating with others or being creative or using your analytical mind. Following, find ways to practice those things daily.
    • Enter every room with a smile and strong stature. Use crossing a meeting room threshold as a trigger to remind you to exude happiness and confidence (bonus: even if you don't feel happy or confident, using a power pose and "acting" happy helps release the hormones that can jump-start your engagement).

    Thoughts to consider:

    1. Are you medium to highly engaged at work? If not, what is getting in your way?
    2. What situations or people cause you to feel engaged? Which ones drive you to feel disengaged?
    3. What are three things you can do next week to enhance your daily level of engagement in the office?

    Are you a woman interested in bringing further engagement into your life or career advancement? Check out Empowershipa one-year, remote-access learning and development program that helps women thrive by building leadership competencies from the inside out. ThinkLA members who enroll five or more women into Empowership receive a 15% discount

    Sign up here:

    Chelsea Szabo and Cecilia Gorman are the co-founders of Empowership.

    This post has not been tagged.

    Share |
    PermalinkComments (0)

    Global Wednesdays November!

    Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 13, 2018
    It's big (ad) world, but we aim to make it feel even smaller by highlighting inventive, global ads, monthly, that break the mold from the mundane handpicked by ThinkLA Board Member and Award-Winning Creative, Luis Camano. To capture that global spirit, we will feature inspiration from outside of the U.S.



    A very timely activation for this Veteran’s Day, by the Belgium Office of Tourism.


    "We are now open 24/7", said McDonalds in Ecuador. And to get the word out they took a very innovative, yet low-tech approach.

    Tesco in Malaysia created a brilliant (in its simplicity) incentive for shoppers to re-use plastic bags. The effort had phenomenal results for the retailer as well as for the environment. Tesco continues to lead the way in retail activations.

    Tags:  #Thinkla  #thinkMembers  Creatives  Global Ads  Global Wednesday 

    Share |
    PermalinkComments (0)

    Jillian Ezra, CEO, Ezra Productions

    Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 31, 2018

    How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?
    I actually got started by playing around with iMovie on the weekends to keep myself from losing my mind while I was working 60- to 80-hour weeks in finance in New York. I realized that there was tremendous storytelling power in marrying visuals with music, and creating videos made me come alive. This was in 2011, right around the time branded content was emerging (anyone remember Casey Neistat’s “Make it Count”?) and I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted a piece of it. It was also around the time the Canon 5D and Final Cut X came out, so I had the tools to pursue this new hobby without significant investment.

    I took my business, marketing and PR background from my time in finance and luxury goods and started Ezra Productions shorty after that. I started making Day-in-the-life videos and Family Legacy videos for families, and somehow I was able to convince some small businesses to let me make videos for them. The process was so thoroughly enjoyable and I felt like I was really contributing to the businesses, so I kept working and learning and getting bigger clients.

    Ezra Productions has grown into a boutique video production agency with offices in Los Angeles and New York and a roster of highly talented and diverse creatives who help us service clients like Lowes, JCPenney, La Perla, Umami Burger, and The Agency.

    What has been an important, perhaps the most important, lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?
    The most important lesson I've learned is that I’ll never have everything “figured out.” Nobody does. Life will unfold as it does and the more I focus on pursuing happiness, riding the waves, and making the world a better place rather than focusing on all of the “should,” the better life will be.

    What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto?
    I try to remind myself how lucky I am to tell stories for a living. I used to be a cog in a corporate wheel making rich people and companies richer. Now, I have the ability to really make a difference in people’s lives and help impact- and purpose-driven companies grow. I have to constantly re-visit my bigger vision, which is to tell stories that matter while improving businesses and the world, and to help women, minorities, and young people thrive in the production industry. Another thing that truly motivates me is discovering new creatives. Looking at great creative work, whether it is cinematography or graphic design, makes me come alive.

    What excites you most about this industry?
    Technology is evolving so quickly and becoming so inexpensive, and this is really lowering the barriers to entry and democratizing the creative field. If it weren’t for the inventions of the Canon 5D, iMovie, and YouTube, I would still be working in finance. I’m really excited to see the influx of talent, especially previously marginalized talent, and how they use new technology and their unique experiences to tell stories, reach new audiences, and change the world.

    Photos: Don Lupo Photography

    Where is advertising heading? What do the next five years look like?
    I think advertisers will be able to map our preferences and personalities so well that individualized content will be even more hyper-targeted to carefully segmented audiences. OTT platforms will continue to outperform broadcast as more people households cut their cords. Smart brands have started to lead with purpose and connect with their core customers authentically, and I think more brands will follow that lead. I can’t wait to see the measurable positive impact brands make on the world over the next few years.

    What advice do you have for emerging professionals who are beginning their careers, particularly women?
    Women: seek support from other women. We will be your champions.

    What’s been one of your favorite ThinkLA memories?

    One of my favorite moments was during the Math for Agencies workshop hosted by Bill Rosenthal. He asked the audience the most important word you can use when negotiating pricing with clients. The answer was “No.” It’s that simple!

    Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?
    I’m so grateful to have found a community of likeminded people who are so kind and willing to help one another. If you’re reading this and I can do anything to help you, please drop me a line.


    Jillian Ezra is CEO of Ezra Productions.

    Tags:  #EzraProductions  #JillianEzra  #Profile  #thinkMembers  Ad Club  She Suite  Women in Advertising 

    Share |

    ELC LIVE!: Path To The She Suite Recap

    Posted By Don Lupo, Monday, October 29, 2018

    Written by Jessica McEwan, Copywriter at RPA

    Photos: Linda Schwab

    It was already dark outside when I arrived at ELC’s “Path to the She Suite” event, but inside Zambezi it was warm and bright. Women (and a few men) mingled together, chatting and taking pictures with a lightbox that said, “Welcome, Lady Bosses!”

    Claire Thompson, Associate Director of Brand Connections at VICE Media was our moderator for the evening, introducing us to our panel of:

    • Sarah Ceglarski, Partner and CMO at Omelet
    • Jiah Choi, Partner and CEO at Anomaly
    • Jean Freeman, Principal and CEO at Zambezi
    • Sheila Marmon, Founder and CEO of Mirror Digital
    • Yumi Prentice, President and Managing Partner at David&Goliath

    With so much success in the room, the first question focused, naturally, on failure. What had the panelists learned from it? Sheila Marmon urged us to remember that being laid off is not the end of the world, but it is important to always be aware of what is happening in your industry and be mindful of when it might be time to make a move. Jiah Choi recalled a time when she accepted a new job and was unhappy for months, but now feels it prepared her for her current role. Jean Freeman added that failure needs to be seen as part of the process, and that if you are just chugging along smoothly, you aren’t growing and learning from experience.

    All of the women spoke about the importance of mentorship and how vital it is to learn from the experience of others. Sheila remarked that in addition to having strong mentorship, it’s important to really take a look at the power structures of the organization you are in. “It is important to position yourself in places where someone will hand you the baton.” Sarah Ceglarski pointed out that “your enemies are your greatest teachers, and as a leader not only do you need to be open to discourse and uncomfortable discussions, you need to lead those conversations.”

    When asked what accomplishments they were proud of, Yumi Prentice shared that she is very proud that David&Goliath is a signatory to Times Up Advertising, and that they were promoting mental health by adding a mental-health day to their PTO package. Jean lamented that there is too much talk about diversity and not enough action, reminding us that “leading by example means holding yourself accountable.” She put that into practice by updating Zambezi’s benefits package to be more family-friendly.

    The final panel question of the evening: “What’s a must-do in life?”

    “Floss. And lead with compassion and integrity. If you don’t, the cost is too great to yourself.”
 – Yumi Prentice

    “Be an agent for your own success. Don’t wait for someone to hand you that next opportunity. If you see a gap in your organization, fill it. Become an asset.” – Sheila Marmon

    “Everyone should experience a U.S. National Park at some point in their life. Get outside and away from technology. Unplug.” – Jean Freeman

    “Values are not values until they cost you something. Know what is sacred to you and protect it.” – Jiah Choi

    “You must be empathetic. That’s more important than what you can learn in school. It’s how you connect and understand who you are talking to.” – Sarah Ceglarski

    From there, Claire opened the panel up to Q&A. A small-business owner was having a hard time letting go of doing to focus on leading and wanted advice how to better manage that. Jean suggested she be honest with herself. If you’ve been in the same position for years and haven’t let go, do you really want to? Jiah remarked, “Neither you nor your business will grow if you are just doing.” Sheila suggested she bring on someone better than herself at the doing, so that she would feel comfortable handing off responsibility.

    After a few more questions, Claire said there was time for one more. I raised my hand. Throughout the panel discussion, my eye had been wandering to the lightbox sign I mentioned earlier. I wondered, how did the women feel about this term, “Lady Boss?” Yumi chimed in first, saying she respected it and thought it had its place, and that there is an underscore to saying we are bosses who don’t fit the normal mold. Jean said she was looking forward to the rising of Gen Z, who don’t look to make everything so male or female. Jiah said, “I respect it, but I hate it. But I think that’s where we are. I’m looking forward to the day that we aren’t.” Perhaps the most empowering response, though, came from Sheila. “Being a lady boss doesn’t keep me from being a boss.”

    Key Takeaways:

    “Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” – Sheryl Sandberg

    “There is no work/life balance, there’s only work/life integration. You just have to enjoy what you do. The only way you can spend this much time working is if you like it.” – Jiah Choi

    “Be open to discourse and uncomfortable conversations. That is part of your job. If you want to be a leader, you have to lead those conversations. If you have an issue with someone, you have to talk to them and sit them down and say, ‘I have an issue with you.’ That is such a powerful thing that I’ve only recently learned to do. But don’t assume malice every time. Pull back your immediate emotional reaction.” – Sarah Ceglarski

    “People in successful leadership positions are curious and always looking to grow. Warren Buffet spends half his day reading.” – Jean Freeman

    “Remember that when you get to where you are going, the people you need to mentor may not look like you or have the same background.” – Sheila Marmon

    “There are incremental things you can do to promote diversity and equality. It doesn’t always have to mean joining a huge movement.” – Yumi Prentice


    Jessica McEwan is a copywriter at RPA and an instructor for The Book Shop School for Ads.

    Tags:  #ThinkELC  #thinkStars  C Level Women  ELC Live!  Membership  professional development  She Suite  Women at Work  Women in Advertising 

    Share |
    PermalinkComments (0)
    Page 3 of 13
    1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  >   >>   >| 

    Not A Member?Join now

    3535 Hayden Ave. Suite 300
    Culver City, CA 90232