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Pride Month Recap 🌈🦄

Posted By ThinkLA, Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2018

ThinkLA's corporate members celebrated Pride Month with many different events and fundraisers benefiting the LGBTQ+ community. We're all in this together. 🌈🌈🌈


605, a TV data and analytics company, takes diversity, inclusion, and community service to heart year 'round. This past month, employees from coast to coast showed their pride by donating clothes to Ali Forney Center (New York) and LA LGBT Center (Los Angeles), organizations dedicated to lending a helping hand to LGBTQ+ individuals in need.


The Oath team marched together in the Pride Parade! For over 40 years, L.A. Pride has been a champion for equality, diversity, and inclusion in the L.A. community and beyond.


At POSSIBLE LA, it’s all about pride! Sarah Keene, Art Director at POSSIBLE created this beautiful representation of various LGBTQ+ influencers.


RPA raised $4,392.50 for The Family Village Services. This money will fund a program that serves some of the most vulnerable in society: homeless LGBTQ+ youth. This program has been a labor of love for the organization with no dedicated budget, so this money will have a huge impact for youth and teens in our community. In order to fundraise, RPA hosted various events and sales:

  • RPA @ LGBT+ Dodger night game
  • Drag Queen Bingo to raise money for Project Q (LGBTQ outreach program featuring weekly support groups at their homeless youth drop-in centers) and Queer Kickback (biannual events sponsored by The Village bringing together LGBTQ+ youth in a safe space)
  • Raising money for The Village Family Services throughout the entire month of June via T-Shirt Sales and donation-driven breakfast and bar carts in addition to Bingo and Art Gallery events.
  • Pride Art Show/Summer Concert Series Pride Happy Hour

At the core of Pride Week at TBWA LA is a fundraising effort that benefits the L.A. Youth Network, an organization that provides hope and homes for foster and homeless LGBTQ+ youth due to the rising statistic that 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+. The agency raised money with the following activities: 
  • Art Gallery: the agency curates an art gallery featuring pieces of work from an artist or photographer who either identifies with or is closely involved with the LGBTQA community. Prints are donated to the agency and auctioned off at the end of the week with all proceeds benefiting the non-profit organization.
  • Bake Sale: the agency found a plethora of passionate bakers across the campus who love to get creative with rainbow-colored treats for the campus bake sale. 
  • T-Shirt Design Competition: the winning design is decided by Chief Creative Officers on campus, made and sold to employees with all proceeds benefiting the non-profit organization. 
  • Agency talk and Musical Performance: a talk from Tre’vell Anderson, film reporter with The Los Angeles Times who covers the intersection of diversity and Hollywood with a focus on black and queer film; musical guest included Gordi, an Australian folktronica singer/songwriter who identifies with the LGBTQA community, and pop band MUNA played at the agency. 
  • Pride Parade and Celebration: the week’s celebration culminated at the Los Angeles Pride Parade where the campus came together to walk as a team. 

 Giant Spoon celebrated the LGBTQ+ community with a new digital video campaign and activation at San Francisco Pride for its client MassMutual. Similar to its social mosaic video, Pride attendees were able to take pictures in a GIF photo booth. With a message that rings, "Great things happen when we stand together,” the campaign invited the larger community to participate and stand together during Pride Month. 



Would you like to see your company's Pride news or other community outreach programs on this blog? Email with your news!

Tags:  #ThinkDIG  DIG  Diversity  Diversity in Advertising  LGBTQ+  PRIDE 

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Key Takeaways from the 3% Minicon

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Written by Brook Hauge, Associate Director, Strategy at Canvas Worldwide and Jana Wentz, VP, Account Director at RPA

Edited by Don Lupo, Director of Content and Marketing at ThinkLA

Diversity is about representation, while inclusion is having an equal seat and a voice at the table. At the end of the day, I notice and you notice. We have the ability to make this world more open and inclusive for everyone.

If we keep pushing at the same ideas and ideals, we are simply pattern matching, which runs the risk of “mirror-tocracy” (funding and working with those who look, feel, and seem just like yourself) vs. meritocracy (influenced by those in power).

From a technology perspective, people are inherently looking for, craving, and designing more connections, but are we really creating meaningful ones? We teach ourselves bad habits, and now through AI, we are teaching our devices bad habits. We are starting to see the effect which AI devices have on emotional intelligence when we remove “Please” and “Thank you” from our digital connections.

This also questions how we are able to infuse empathy into technology processes. We wonder how we will teach the next generation to be utilitarian with their various connected lives and how we will teach them to use the power of human connection and empathy to connect through these same devices. It will become necessary to connect with others through experiences that remove us from our own bias and put us in simulated environments that shape a more inclusive self.

We also learned that change is difficult, and everyone recognizes the need for uprising. However, few know where to start to implement real change. There are so many cultural conversations that need to be dimensionalized. Humans know what is right, but we need forums like 3% to rally around and to lean into ideas other than your own or your small circle.

The CMOs have taught us that inclusivity builds business. Being vulnerable, authentic, and drawing knowledge/inspiration from others is how great culture is formed; dictatorial and didactic leadership is not accepted in today’s workforce. We learned there is no better place to start than forming allies: share success, not just failures. We can build up each other with positive stories.



Representation is at the root of it all. Who are the people making the decisions? Who is writing the script? How are decisions being made? You cannot just convince people; they change their point of view when they experience something that challenges their beliefs. The world is one social conversational moment at a time: those moments become movements, but they remain moments if we call them that. By dismissing things as moments and not embracing them as movements, we remove the power of all the steps that got us from then to now.

When there is 30% or more of any group in a room, psychologically, we stop seeing anyone as a minority.

In addition, Radical empathetic listening is about putting ourselves in others’ shoes to truly understand what they are experiencing. This helps us all understand how others might be marginalized or not included at all. Empathic listening is really about exercising how we listen and learn about someone’s story and using “I” language. Using “I” when you tell another person’ story as if it was your own, you begin to feel what they feel. Understanding someone else is the societal start to truly connecting. Everything has become very data-driven, and we are missing the emotion in it. Radical empathy can inject that back into the experience.

At the intersection of all things possible is tech and human content. Choose your words: Communication is the tool we use to create change. Language is a creator or bias and is fundamentally crowdsourced. We need to break the system. Unconscious bias leaves people with a desire not to speak; language can be an excluder, but there are ways to participate (rewrite the dictionary, educate to empathize, believe in change). By using new language, we can actually change.

Final thoughts:

Fight. Flight. Freeze. (Change through the Freeze). We are a collective; heroism is gone. We are in search of the connections, and women and leaders who are redefining the rules by which we live, work, play. Speak and include everyone at the very beginning.

Tags:  #ThinkDIG  3%  DIG  diversity  Diversity in Advertising 

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Member Spotlight: Carlene Rowe, Director of Brand Partnerships and Experiential, Conill Advertising

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, May 9, 2018

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

I’ve always been fascinated with storytelling, as I’m a big fan of film, television and music. One of my favorite movies as a kid was ET. My favorite part in the film was when ET was lured by one of the characters with Reese’s Pieces candy. This was my first encounter with advertising and product placement, which led me to study marketing and advertising at California State University, Northridge.

My first job out of college was working as a Contemporary Marketing Representative at Anheuser-Busch. During my tenure, I had the privilege to partner with top talent, travel the world and learn from the best minds in the advertising industry, as we launched memorable beer campaigns, which made Budweiser the iconic brand it is today. After years of moving up the ladder, I landed the best job in the company, as Sr. Manager of Sports and Entertainment, working with agencies on several campaigns.

This led me to my role as Director of Sports and Entertainment at Conill Advertising, what a great ride!

To this day, Reese’s Pieces is still my favorite candy… advertising works!

Do you have a personal motto?

I'm passionate about Sports and Entertainment, so doing something I love is always fun, rewarding and thrilling. In addition, my team at Conill keeps me motivated, as they are creative, hard working and inspiring leaders ready to make their mark in advertising.

My personal motto is, “Leadership is earned, not given”, so I encourage everyone on my team to be a leader. It doesn’t matter what title you hold, we all have the responsibility to share new ideas, think outside the box and make a difference as it relates to their project or field of work.

What excites you most about this industry?

Constant change. Data and innovation are KEY, as we are learning new ways to communicate with audiences globally. Data and innovation will continue to provide brands with the ability to hyper-target consumers and measure results more precisely and insightfully than ever before. In an era where we can tune in to watch an electric car being launched to Mars via social media for everyone around the world to see, not even the 'sky's the limit' anymore. With change comes growth, which is exhilarating!

Where is advertising heading? What do the next five years look like?

Innovation, Innovation, Innovation!

VR, AI, voice-control systems and new apps, provide brands with a way to link with hyper-connected consumers, as a means to provide more authentic and personalized engagement. Look out for new ways of distributing branded content and new avenues of communication through advancements in technology that will impact the way we communicate with consumers globally.

What advice do you have for people in advertising that are beginning their career?

Find your niche. I manage the Sports and Entertainment department, which is a new area of focus at our agency; it gives us the ability to reach new audiences through influencer marketing and events, as it paves the road for our brands to get in front of consumers and engage in a way that is appealing and authentic.


Photos: Don Lupo


What should our industry be talking about in 2018?

There are so many things happening across the marketing landscape, that it’s impossible to call them all out. From my vantage point, innovation, experiential, and influencer marketing will continue to be pivotal in creating unforgettable experiences for consumers, particularly given changes in social media platforms, such as Facebook. Technological advancements in these areas over the next few years will continue to transform the engagement model and expand the relationship envelope.

Any closing thoughts?

As John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” We need more leaders who aren’t afraid to take risks and disrupt old ways of thinking. We must foster and cultivate the emerging visionaries in our business, so they can take us to new heights.


Carlene Rowe is the Director of Brand Partnerships and Experiential at Conill Advertising. Carlene recently spoke at ThinkLA's Auto Breakfast, and was featured on ThinkLA's Women of Color in Advertising to Highlight list.

Tags:  #MemberSpotlight  #ThinkDIG  #ThinkMembers  Career Advice  DIG  Diversity in Advertising  ThinkMembers  Women 

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Spotlight: Rochelle Webb, President and Chief Strategy Officer, The Dialectic Compound

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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

I always knew that I wanted to be in the business of communicating with people. When I was in high school, I thought I would get into that through pictures, photography and visuals. While at Boston College, I figured out that I wanted it all. I became passionate about studying the strategy of advertising and marketing. In a very spontaneous move from Atlanta to L.A., I fell into the game of ‘knowing someone who knew someone’ that got me an entry level gig in a media agency and I never looked back.

I took some pivots here and there from media buying to PR to media strategy and then to global brand marketing. I wanted to be a generalist, so I could be a CMO of a big company one day. I wanted to speak everyone’s language, so that I could be a great leader of people and of a large-end organization, and I felt I had to walk the walk, so I could talk the talk. After falling in love with business, I realized the big company that I would end up running would be my own and that I was destined to be an entrepreneur. Building became my new ‘sexy’ and Fortune 500 was in the rearview. Ever since then, I have been writing my future to cater towards the goal of starting my own venture and utilizing the skills I gathered along my journey.

After 17 years on both agency and client side businesses and finishing business school in the midst of it all, I emerged as an entrepreneur with a heavy focus on marketing. Marketing and strategy are at the core of everything that I do and I don’t regret a single move that I have made along the way.  

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

Work smarter, not harder.

I think this applies to people and strategy development. As a human, you need to arrive in a situation, quickly assess it, and understand where your opportunities for collaboration and value-add lie. You should understand where you can learn the most, as well as, understand the areas that allow you the greatest amount of visibility to decision makers.

But, that is only a small part of the puzzle.

The larger part of navigating the industry chasm is to have the gravitas to understand how to socialize and operationalize your work. This is how you gain traction, earn respect and position yourself to elevate your career. You have to work your audience in a way that doesn’t feel forced, over-confident or entitled.

I have always been results oriented.

I chase success metrics. I have had the opportunity to work on powerful pieces of business in my career, so my motivation has always been in the success of those businesses and being able to clearly identify the areas where my team and I have been able to make an impact.

What excites you most about this industry?

The constant change in marketing and advertising literally gets me out of bed every day! Most people wake up to see what’s going on in politics, I want to know what is going on in marketing. If you blink, you may get left behind.

I am always amazed at the pace at which martech and adtech are moving on a minute-by-minute basis. There is an off the shelf solution for almost anything these days, so teams and brands can be in better command of their own destiny and work smarter. It raises two interesting questions that I have always asked myself… Is it possible to have a ‘successful’ in-house advertising agency in client-side businesses? And what will happen to the traditional agency model as technology plays a bigger role in business? But now, I no longer have to wonder, it is happening before my very eyes and it is exciting to watch.

People are re-inventing themselves and their roles. There is a fresh eagerness to learn in order to stay ahead of the curve. I just hope that hiring managers adopt the creativity to be able to look at today’s talent pool and re-imagine them in these new world roles. There is no longer the ‘perfect resume’… it now relies in the ‘perfect pitch’ for yourself and networking, networking, networking.

Where is advertising heading? What do the next five years look like?

Advertising is heading towards a more automated future and human assets will begin to play a different type of strategic role. I think media planners will have to start asking themselves, ‘how can we use technology to outsmart our competition?” or “How can we partner more strategically with our media suppliers to provide better brand experience to our consumer?” or “What resources are out there to help us better anticipate the consumer’s needs and make a bigger impact with our brand assets?” Rather than, “how many impressions or clicks does it take to make an impact?”

I am eagerly awaiting the shift in industry where agencies ‘think differently’, as Steve Jobs rightly coined, and am watching today’s planners and strategists revise the future.

In the next five years, we will see leaner teams, but more of them. There will continue to be an evolution of innovation arms to help navigate this impending sea change. We don’t get through this guessing, we have to encourage the habit of being curious and becoming more predictive, so that we prepare our current mid-level managers to be the best leaders that they can be in the future and you do this by always seeking answers to new questions. Today’s mid-level managers need to have the willingness to continue rolling up their sleeves to get the work done. We don’t progress by harnessing ambivalence.

What advice do you have for black advertising professionals that are beginning their career?

Get in where you fit in… and where you don’t. It is important to quickly understand what you do well and lean into that, but more importantly, it is important to understand where you don’t fit in and determine why, and then understand how you can make it clear that you do fit. What I mean by that is that in professional situations, people tend to surround themselves by peers that look like them and very intentionally avoid the ‘agitators’ or people that often speak their mind and represent the unpopular point of view or ‘devil’s advocate’ perspective with the intent of driving innovation. People at the top sometimes see this as more work to invite this perspective into a meeting. But, you can insert yourself by using your intellect and professionalism to show people that the proof is in the pudding, and back it up by being solutions oriented. Bring the problem and the solution. When speaking, use facts, not generalizations. When listening, really listen and play it back, instead of waiting for your turn to speak.

What this doesn’t mean is walking into a company as an assistant media planner, walking into the Account Director’s office and demanding a raise and a promotion. What it does mean is when there is a problem to solve and the answer is not readily available, go to look for it, study it and present it back to the people that are responsible for solving the problem. Show initiative.

I often tell my mentees, “play bigger than you think you are… because than you are playing who you really are.”


Photos: Don Lupo


What should our industry be talking about in 2018?

The incredibly low percentage of women and minorities in leadership positions. I left agency-side advertising seven years ago to go client-side. And I left client-side corporate America to branch off on my own three years ago to start my own consultancy. I often attend conferences and seminars only to see a very monochromatic group of individuals. There is an adage or a stat that says, “people tend to surround themselves by people that look like them.” Okay, so I get it, there aren’t that many people in leadership that look like me, so how do I change it? I am a change-agent, so I don’t do well in stagnation, which is why I decided if my employers were not going to support my growth, then I have to invest in myself and start my own entity. I got an MBA and started my own company in an effort to stop working for other people. I am absolutely razor-focused on determining my own future success and supporting those that may not be the obvious choice. Those that look like me. 

Any closing thoughts?

I hope that this movement creates real momentum around changing the faces at the top and that we as a culture truly make a shift. I hope this is more than a movement of diversification, but diversity becomes reality. I promise to do my part, but I won’t lie… there are many moments in my day, every day, where I am dis-heartened by what I see. And there are situations that occur that cause me to reflect on my own career where I realize racism played a role, by people who I liked and respected and I thought felt the same about me. And that hurts. I don’t want to hurt anymore.

I stand for change, a brighter future and the rise of the underdog. There are enough powerhouses in the industry that if they continue to take the risks to make sure their voices are heard, that I believe we can turn the industry. I see hope with organizations like ThinkLA that make the conversation around diversity a priority. Using your mindshare to stand up for the under-represented means we have in fact taken a step in the right direction.

Thank you ThinkLA.


The Dialectic Compound was born to incite immediate change in thriving businesses. It is a collaborative, curious and creative 'Think Tank' of highly seasoned business, marketing and operations executives who are curated from the wild.

Tags:  #MemberSpotlight  #ThinkDIG  #ThinkMembers  Career Advice  DIG 

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RPA's Cannes’ See It Be It

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, April 10, 2018

See It Be It, Leading From the Inside Out: takeaways from the RPA - hosted Cannes’ See It Be It event, an evening of inspiring conversation addressing gender imbalance in creative leadership.



1. Self care is essential

Part of being a leader is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Peers look up to leaders who take care of themselves.

  • “To lead from the inside-out, you must take care from the inside-out,” - Tahirah Edwards-Byfield, Senior Copywriter, Saatchi & Saatchi.
  • “Show up for yourself how you show up for everyone else,” - Tahirah Edwards-Byfield
  • “Self-care at its core is about finding things that will improve your state physically and emotionally and it’s so important in this state,” Chloe Gottlieb, Chief Creative Officer, R/GA US
  • “Boundaries are important. It’s okay to say no,” - Tahirah Edwards-Byfield
  • “It’s not about how much time you spend with your family. It’s how present you are when you are with them,” Chloe Gottlieb

2. Leaders should instill inspiration, not fear

You shouldn’t feel intimidated by a leader; you should feel awe-inspired. When you’re in the presence of a good leader, that is when ideas come to fruition.

  • “When a good leader walks into a room, people feel less full of fear and more full of possibility,” - Lauren Carlyle Smith, Creative Director, 72andSunny.
  • “If there’s an environment of respect where people feel safe, you can have really transformative conversations with people,” -  Chloe Gottlieb

3. Be a team player

We can do so much more when we work together. When women collaborate, everybody wins.

  • “’One team, one dream’, represents the coalition of women coming together. We are more powerful when we work together under one united mission,” - Isadora Chesler, VP/Director of Video Production, RPA.

4. Look at things with a fresh perspective

No matter what our titles are, we can all be creative. Look at each task with fresh eyes and approach it in a new and innovative way.

  • “From day one, I didn’t see the glass as half-full or half-empty. I wanted to redesign the glass,” - Chloe Gottlieb

5. Encourage and empower other women

As women, it’s essential we support each other and push each other to take risks. Don’t just find your voice, but encourage others to do the same.

  • “If women don’t see themselves as leaders, maybe the solution is simply telling them they are… If you think someone is doing a great job, tell them, because they just might need to hear it,” - Krystle Mullin, Associate Creative Director, RPA.
  • “#seeitbeit isn’t just about finding your confidence. It helped empower me to help others find their confidence,” -Carrie Dunn, Senior Writer, 72andSunny
  • “Do you know a hero? Tell her and then tell everyone,” - Krystle Mullin
  • “Jump. You have a soft pile of women to land on.” - Amina Halim

6. Believe in yourself

Don’t underestimate yourself; you are much stronger than you think. Find your voice and allow yourself to realize your full potential.

  • “Men will apply for a job when they are 60% qualified. Women will apply when they are 100% qualified…however, women underestimate their abilities by 30%, which means they won’t go after a job until they are 130% sure they are qualified!” - Carrie Dunn
  • “You have to find your inner voice before you can lead others,” - Chloe Gottlieb

7. You don’t need to be a bitch to be a leader

Don’t be a bitch; be bold, be brave, be a fearless leader.

  • “Women are naturally nurturing, good listeners…if you want to be a good leader, be more of a woman.” - Amina Halim


This passionate group of women led an evening of honest conversation aimed at enacting change in the advertising industry and in building a community of women who support each other and encourage diverse thoughts and opinions.

This article was originally published on Medium.

Tags:  #ThinkDIG  DIG  Gender  Women  Women in Advertising 

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Member Spotlight: Carron Brown, VP, Account Director, The Integer Group

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Photos: Don Lupo Photography


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

A dear friend at Leo Burnett encouraged me to get started in advertising. She was aware of my skillset and knew that my personality and expertise were a good fit for the advertising world. She was absolutely correct. It wasn’t until I began in advertising that I truly felt at home.

Prior to advertising, my background was in entertainment and technology. Therefore, I was able to make an immediate impact in my first agency role on the Universal Pictures account. This account brought all of my passions together under one roof. I was afforded the opportunity to combine my affinity for entertainment, multicultural marketing, media and content creation. Ever since, I’ve built my career with accounts that tap into my passion points and allow me to show up, each and every day, genuinely excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead.

I’ve recently joined the Omnicom family. I work on the AT&T account through the commerce agency, The Collective. In this role, I reside at the intersection of branding, selling, entertainment and technology. I felt that bringing the advertising experience full circle, and closing the loop at retail, was an important skill to add to my portfolio.


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

I stay motivated knowing that I’m assisting a brand in finding their authentic voice, and shaping that brand story in a way that connects to the target audience in a meaningful way.

My personal motto is derived from something Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I apply that in everything I do, and I aim to move in a way that encourages others, and empowers them to become their best selves.

What excites you most about this industry?

This industry is full of unapologetic passion and energy, and that’s contagious. We have the power to shape the way people see themselves and their place in the world. When used for good, that power is magical.

Where is advertising heading? What do the next five years look like?

The future belongs to the companies that stand for something, and that's exciting. There’s increasingly a price to be paid for neutrality, and this is forcing brands to find their voice, have a POV and move with intention.

In the next five years, agencies will be called upon for their strategic and cultural expertise, in equal proportion to their creative services.

What advice do you have for black advertising professionals that are beginning their career?

Embrace your empirical knowledge. The industry needs many different voices and experiences in order to offer clients well-rounded solutions. The industry is in desperate need of unique points of view. I would give that advise to any person starting out in advertising. Don’t allow your age or level of experience to shape your perception of your value. We’re in a business of culture, and an agency’s cultural currency is only as valuable as the sum experiences of its members. Your unique life experience is an asset. Treat it as such.

What should our industry be talking about in 2018?

In 2018, it’s time to officially acknowledge our new blended world as a reality, and not a niche market. While targeted marketing efforts are still very much needed, in order to ensure that we’re speaking with an audience, and not just at them; our definition of “general market” must quickly expand.

Any closing thoughts?

Be present. It’s all moving so fast.

Tags:  #MemberSpotlight  #ThinkDIG  #ThinkMembers  Career Advice  DIG 

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Los Angeles Women of Color in Advertising

Posted By Emily Hope, Thursday, January 25, 2018
Updated: Thursday, February 8, 2018

We were inspired by The Drum's "More than 70 women of color who should be speaking at marketing conferences," and we wanted to start our own list of women of color who should (and hopefully will) be speaking at ThinkLA events in 2018.

We hope to add many more women to this list! You can help by submitting your nominations here:



"Women of color in gaming? How cool is that? Sam runs the Xbox account at Empower after a long career in the entertainment category with studios like New Line and Lions Gate. She's incredibly talented, creative, smart and funny!"



"Annie is an industry veteran who has worked on major multinational brands. She is a smart strategic thinker and leads with her head AND heart."



"Yumi is passionate and an expert leader in her field. She is valued by her team and clients, not just for her contributions, but for her personality that makes collaboration, creativity and innovation possible."



"Laura is a rock star! Super smart, super strategic, great sense of humor and dynamic personality."



"I consider Jennifer a leader in search marketing in Los Angeles previously running search for Saatchi and most recently Neo@Ogilvy. She's a great leader and partner in the space."



"Kat ran the DPSG business at Initiative and it's an incredibly tough account because they don't have the budgets of Coke and Pepsi and it's was a grueling planning schedule. The clients loved her at DPSG, I was surprised when they moved the account to NY because of Kat. She's incredibly smart. Was happy to see that Red Bull was smart enough to pick her up!"



"Rinku started her media career as a planner at RPA on Honda and has come full circle now as the Digital Media Director at RPA on Honda. She is a veteran in automotive marketing both Tier 2 and National and an incredibly smart marketer."



"Promoted to SVP almost two years ago Hwa-Shih is her own brand and the face of Palisades Media Group to the LA advertising community and she was instrumental in Palisades winning the coveted Netflix account."



"She's brilliant, huge background in media and marketing, multiple degrees, started her own company, also gives back. Agency and client side experience, and start-up experience."



"Michelle has great energy and can bring vim and excitement to the account side of advertising conversations. She has a background in food and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, so working in branding for foods has been a natural course for her; currently she oversees Nestlé brands across NUSA and Nestlé Health Sciences Divisions. Dailey as a company also has an interesting story about redefining their corporate identity, taking a deep dive into agency culture, and reclaiming their soul after buying themselves back from holding company IPG."



"Bettina is a leader in the Entertainment Marketing industry for 20th Century Fox and the first to develop a non-profit organization founded in 2015 to ensure that the seminal digital film campaigns that help drive digital marketing into the lexicon of Hollywood are recovered and preserved, as well as to insure that the incredible campaigns of today and tomorrow are not lost to time."



"Ariana is the best mentor I have ever had - she is a diligent, highly knowledgeable and determined individual. She has a knack for managing clients' social media needs, while giving the best thoughtful recommendations."



"Cilmara is incredibly smart and connected. She knows the space well and provides informed and insightful perspective on brands, communications, and the industry in general."



"Bernice is passionate and an expert leader in her field. She is valued by her team and clients, not just for her contributions, but for her personality that makes collaboration, creativity and innovation possible."



"Also a force in the entertainment category, Darlene was also on the publisher side and part of strategy for Uproxx and worked on some of the amazing programs they did there like the Honda Uncharted program that was showcased at ThinkLA's Auto Breakfast. She has the perspective both from the agency side and publisher side.

Darlene is also extremely philanthropic, which gives her an interesting perspective of the world. She has been centering her travel and vacations around this and was recently accepted to a volunteer program in Uganda where she will be living and working with AIDS children."


"She's probably one of the only women of color that started her own influencer management company after being an early executive at Machinima and Collective Digital Studio. Her company manages some of the top social influencers on YouTube." 



"Besides being lovely, she's been in the entertainment community in Los Angeles forever and I don't ever remember her being on a panel and she should be. Recently I've seen her behind many really creative executions, including viral/social/custom projects for NBC TV."



"Jennifer has immense knowledge in the digital marketing space. From her roots in PR to creative content strategy to influencer partnerships is what makes her a well-rounded digital marketer." 



"Jennifer is a force in Los Angeles in the entertainment category, starting with Sony, then leading Paramount at MEC and now STX and Horizon. Jennifer is a favorite in this industry for her creativity, professionalism and being a great partner."



"Indree has worked on the agency side, publisher side, and social side, so she has a strong base across the board. She also has worked in NY and London and I find her adventures admirable but also add to her experience." 



"You mean beyond beating stage four breast cancer and becoming an inspiration to many women in this industry? Nicole is another veteran in the LA entertainment community having run media and New Line and Focus Features, now running her own consulting business working with brands like Amazon Originals."



"She had a very successful career in PR, specializing in Hispanic, and she is currently a few months away from completing a degree in production, directing and writing at the prestigious Art Center in Pasadena. She also runs a blogger collective and is a social influencer." 



Bernadette is President of one of the only Latina-owned production companies in the advertising industry nationwide; works across both advertising and entertainment in Hollywood. She's been tracking Super Bowl commercial diversity stats since 2015."



"Carron works at the intersection of branding, selling, pop culture, and technology. She prides herself on being a change agent, and helps brands step into new industries and elevate their current perception with the target market."



"Kristina “KJ” Jenkins is #15 on The Drum list. She leads Zambezi’s strategy team, helping brands explore trends in creativity and culture, tapping into her forte as a pop culture expert. KJ’s cultural insights have played a key role in Zambezi's 2016 One Show Gold Pencil and Cannes Gold Lion winning campaign The Uncommon Force for STANCE™, Star Wars limited-edition collection, as well as TaylorMade’s The Wait, which was honored with a Sports Clio, Autotrader’s millennial-themed campaign featuring the spots The Journey, One Search , Concert and Kick and the wild experiential street & social media event Driven By Style."



"Sheila is a pioneer of online campaigns targeted to people of color." 



"Rahiel has an ability to put people at ease and has immense knowledge of social media marketing for fortune 500 companies as well as start-ups."



"A passionate, charismatic and caring leader, Carlene has transformed businesses throughout her career. Since joining Conill, she has honed a distinctive practice area that is increasingly important for brands in a conversation-driven marketplace.

Carlene’s inclusive approach inspires collaboration among colleagues and agency partners alike. She's a true champion of mentorship and development. Her impact on people and culture extends well beyond the bounds of her team."



"Mellissa has created a company that specializes in the production of top quality commercials, features, episodic TV, webcasts, and documentaries earning her a reputation for excellence and efficiency."



"Connie is hilarious! She brings a natural energy and enthusiasm to her presentations, and she knows the media space well."



"Shari's commitment to bringing diversity and inclusion into the advertising field is remarkable, her energy and passion make her goals happen, and that's what makes her special."



"Rhonda is super smart and approachable, and she knows a ton about both the digital media landscape and Tier 2 automotive advertising."


"Brenda is first-generation Mexican American and a USC alumna who has done amazing things in her communications career. After a successful career in journalism she now oversees the marketing and media efforts for the largest voting jurisdiction in the country here in LA County. She is responsible for overseeing all of the marketing efforts to get Angelenos educated about voting rights and options. Her awesome marketing and ad campaigns have been recognized by PRSA both in Orange County and LA."


"Sam is articulate, personable, and extremely insightful. She brings a thoughtful and pragmatic approach to a very complicated and ever-evolving space."


"Leisha is incredibly smart and is overseeing a leading edge discipline on behalf of two major automotive brands."


"Christina is immersed in the landscape of multicultural advertising, and can provide a nuanced and very experienced point of view on Hispanic perspectives and how to advertise to Hispanic consumers. She also has a robust social media presence of her own."


"Clarissa knows the art production space well, and has worked on brands as diverse as Honda, Apple, and more. She is well connected with photographers around the world. In her spare time, she is also a cabaret singer!"


"Kanya is brilliant! She knows the analytics space inside and out and is great at making complicated data maps easy to understand."



"As an Asian American woman in the field of media and PR Deanne has broken through more barriers than most. She has spent her entire career at big agencies continuing to rise in spite of the difficult fields she chose. Additionally, as a leader she is so connected to her staff, championing them at every turn and is a leader in the industry as it relates to creativity, client relations and how we stay ahead in this every changing landscape. Her ideas are endless."

Tags:  #ThinkDIG  DIG  DIG Initiative  diversity  gender  inclusion  Multiculturalism  Speakers  Women of Color in Advertising 

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We Can All Win: Words from ADCOLOR

Posted By Emily Hope, Thursday, September 28, 2017

By: Kendall Rouse, Account Executive, BBDO LA

The 11th annual ADCOLOR Conference and Awards were held in Hollywood, Sept. 16-19, 2017. Once just a dream for Tiffany R. Warren, Founder & President of ADCOLOR, the conference and awards reached a new level this year as it continues to bring together risers, changers, innovators, allies, and legends of very diverse backgrounds from multiple creative industries.

As a woman of color in the industry, the ADCOLOR conference was an extremely refreshing experience. I’m no stranger to the lack of diversity within agency walls, industry events and creative representation. ADCOLOR has been a change-agent in this conversation for years.

With a mission of rising up and reaching back, ADCOLOR champions diversity and inclusion in creative industries. Their goal is to create a community of diverse professionals who are here to support and celebrate one another. And with a theme this year of “Come Together”, the conference and awards did just that.

Here are some takeaways for us all to consider:

DIVERSITY is asking people to the party, but INCLUSION is inviting them to dance.

D&I initiatives typically end at “Diversity.” Companies look to reach quotas to appear to be a more diverse organization, not understanding you have to also engage diverse people in order to keep them.

Listen to them. Interact with them. Highlight them. And do it authentically. Diversity will never stick without inclusion.

Diversity is NOT generosity; it IS the very basis of decency.

ADCOLOR All-Star award recipient Jesse Williams summed this up best in his acceptance speech: 
“The use of the term ‘diversity’ is a distraction from decency. Diversity is marketed as labor-intensive ‘inclusion,’ as mandated corporate behavior, required action; an added burden, but for good, like a gift. But diversity is not generosity. Absent any self-reflection, diversity just becomes another sub-industry born of PR panic; a detour designed to distract from systematic exclusion. The truth is we don’t need anyone to hire a ‘diversity’ exec, assigned to hover toothlessly in the vicinity of decision makers. We need whole decision makers, who can do the entire job. We don’t need corporate culture going out of it’s way to begin including. It’s not about that. It’s about the ending of excluding.”

Be accountable.

We, in this industry, are indeed storytellers; we move cultural narratives. Its not “just advertising.” It never was. We have a responsibility to be accountable to how we represent people. This industry tends to deny the obvious truth for the comfortable lie. We have to address it. We have to understand where our own privileges lie and then challenge them in order to move the needle forward in the way most organizations outwardly say they would like to.

So it’s time to do the work. This is about the bottom-line. Slow down and make whole decisions, at all levels; understand culture and where it is moving to make the most impactful work for our agencies and clients.

The definition of culture is changing; intersectionality is real.

The industry, already years behind in attempting to address some of the errors made, is now taking a dated approach to the topic. It’s not as “black and white” as it used to be. What culture is has changed. The interconnected nature of communities has expanded in a way that we must acknowledge in the work we do. The first step is educating ourselves on context and being deliberate in understanding people. Let’s stop being reactive to the latest cultural trend, but rather proactive to know it’s already coming.

Recognize the Future Talent.

As a 2017 ADCOLOR FUTURE, I was apart of an extremely talented, selected, pool of diverse young professionals who represented creative industries across the nation. We are the future leaders of this industry. We are the risers and cultural change agents. We are apart of the group that organizations must engage. All it takes is acknowledgement to harness a young professional’s potential. Find us, engage us and allow us to lead conversations.

You are invited.

These types of awards, conferences and events are not just for people of color, women, LGBTQ+ and the many other marginalized communities. While we are here to highlight the amazing work coming from these creative communities and the issues that impact them, we are not here to just preach to the choir. We need real allies to join us in this. We need to “Come Together”. So please show up with us.

We are here.

And on that note, by showing up, you we realize we are here. The narrative we hear is that “we don’t know where to find diverse talent.” Yet, there we were.

Organizations must invest to meet us where we are. Send your company representation to meet diverse professionals who are already in the industry. Focus some of your outreach efforts at colleges or high schools where our youth are to ensure the pipeline coming in is one the represents the world we actually live in. See us and participate with us; this work can’t be done alone.

We can all win.

When we talk about things that solely focus on other communities or on organizational approaches that need correcting, there is usually a push back to spend dollars on it. But we have always been able to find resources when we made a commitment to doing it; and we have been able to do it at scale. D&I is no different.

Authenticity in the D&I space will only come from investing in and engaging it. We must challenge ourselves to create the level equity that is missing for marginalized communities in our industry. This can be a level playing field if we put the work behind it.

We must to ensure the door behind us is open, stays open and only wide. We can “Come Together” and we can all win.

For more information on ADCOLOR, visit To support ThinkLA's D.I.G. initiative, visit the DIG website.

Tags:  #ThinkDIG  ADCOLOR  DIG  Diversity  Kendall Rouse 

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