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Member Profile: Shanique Bonelli-Moore, Executive Director of Inclusion, United Talent Agency

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 14, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?
My interest in communications was sparked in high school, mainly through extracurricular activities. I always enjoyed being behind the scenes, working with people and having a hand in making things happen. And when I had the opportunity to be a cast member of a teen talk show, I discovered that I got more fulfillment behind the camera than in front of it. I began to research and explore careers that would allow me to use my skills, and discovered a great communications program at Syracuse University.

During my time in college, all of the internships I held were communications based in some form. I came to realize that internal communications was a great professional starting point for me, because I could learn to use corporate communication to connect with people, drive engagement and shape corporate cultures – all while gaining exposure and expanding my reach in other areas of the business world.

My career kicked off with a media relations internship at General Electric (GE), where I advanced through their two-year Communications Leadership Development Program (CLDP). For the next nine years, I held several public relations, internal communications and marketing communications roles with GE and NBCUniversal. I then transitioned to Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), as their Director of Global Internal Communications and eventually moved over to the marketing team where I was a senior level experiential marketing leader.

As I continued to hone my craft and gain experience, I discovered how expansive the communications field is, touching every aspect of business. I found opportunities to lead initiatives that not only increased employee engagement, but also supported diversity and inclusion. This expanded my career focus, and I joined Buzzfeed as their Senior Director of Internal Communications. While in this role I also helped drive diversity, inclusion and belonging efforts for its entertainment business.

I was offered the opportunity to lead Internal Communications at UTA in early 2018. This role felt like a culmination of all of my experiences, and allowed me to join the internal leadership team that worked to advance diversity and inclusion – an initiative that I will now lead as Executive Director of Inclusion. UTA has made great progress over the past few years and I can’t wait to build on that foundation and see what comes next.

What has been an important, perhaps the most important, lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?
The greatest lesson that I have learned thus far is that not only should we be the biggest advocates for ourselves, but we must also be worthy of being advocated. You want to be good enough to earn your place at the table and feel confident that your seat belongs to you. I celebrate everything that I have achieved so far in my career. And while I am ambitious, my ambition is not aimed at gaining further recognition, but to learn, and further develop as a leader, so that accolades come as a result of work, dedication, and never being satisfied with “enough.” I can then serve as my own greatest advocate because I know that I have set my sights on what I want and in spite of my road not being an easy one, I pushed to propel myself to where I want to be.

What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto?
My family has always been my biggest motivator and my top priority. My daughter is the greatest inspiration of my life – she is my North Star. I have always wanted to achieve as much as possible, and knowing that she is watching me and what I do, and that these things will inform her decisions and shape her path inspires me to do even better, and to help make the world a better place for her.

Samuel Beckett said it best, “Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again.” I love this because it speaks to being human, and not looking to yourself for perfection but rather for progress.

Photos: Don Lupo Photography

What excites you most about this industry?
Advertising is influential in its ability to determine who and what people buy - but I love how it also reflects what our world looks like at a given point in time – it’s an intersection between commerce and culture.

Through insight, collaboration and inclusion, this industry has the power to tell stories that resonate with people, compel action, shift cultures, and drive change. I am excited to be a part of something that reaches into communities and seeks ways to constantly make connections.

Where is advertising headed? What do the next five years look like?
The industry’s influence comes with a responsibility – I hope that advertisers will start paying attention to more diverse markets. I think people are quickly realizing there is a demand for representation and they can leverage diversity to appeal to a greater audience. Social media and digital content have changed the conversation about the approach to advertising, causing more companies to recognize that people want to connect with other people who look like them or reflect the global community.

What advice do you have for emerging professionals who are beginning their careers, particularly women?
I can only speak from my own experience, but for me what was important was finding my voice and being able to advocate for myself. I had a strong desire to be both a parent and high performing professional. I am doing both but with the understanding that I had to make some trade-offs and concessions, and those choices work for me and for my family. Women no longer have to assume that life is an either-or proposition; you can design the life you want, but you must stand in your truth - any sacrifices you make should be on your terms. Take ownership of your decisions go forward without fear.

What’s been one of your favorite ThinkLA memories?

My favorite memory is the opportunity I had to participate in the The Diversifying Advertising event back in February 2018. I moderated a panel on the challenges agencies and businesses face when creating a diverse culture. Facilitating this robust discussion resulted in an invitation to join the ThinkLA board, which I accepted with great excitement. I am looking forward to making more memories with ThinkLA.


Shanique Bonelli-Moore is Executive Director of Inclusion at United Talent Agency.

Tags:  agency  inclusion  member  profile  shanique  talent  united 

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Spotlight: Bettina Sherick, Founder of Hollywood in Pixels, and SVP, Consumer Insights and Innovation at 20th Century Fox

Posted By Emily Hope, Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Meet Bettina Sherick, Founder of Hollywood in Pixels, a non-profit organization that preserves Hollywood’s vast digital history and celebrates Hollywood's vibrant digital community, and SVP, Consumer Insights and Innovation at 20th Century Fox


Photos: Don Lupo Photography


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

For most of my career I’ve been in marketing, not advertising. Particularly for those of us in the early days of digital, we were responsible for so much of the digital marketing mix because it was so new, and the traditional teams were focused on TV and print.

I started out in retail and sales. My career really took off after grad school when I launched the e-commerce business for the retailer I worked for at the time. It was 1999, and most people were still trying to figure out their e-commerce strategy, or they were spending millions launching e-commerce sites. I was a marketing manager at the time, and I pitched the idea of launching an online store for a mere $300K. At first I got a "Yes", but then the funding was pulled after a bad financial quarter.

However, I had a friend who was employee number 73 at Yahoo, and she helped me broker a deal to be one of the first stores in the Yahoo Shopping mall. I convinced my employer to fund my project for only $30K. We did get an online store launched for that little amount, and we started selling the very first day we launched. By the first month we were selling at the same rate as one of the small stores, with a fraction of the overhead. I left shortly after the store launch and moved over to Warner Bros. Studio Store as the Director of E-Commerce Marketing.

The AOL merger eliminated my role at WB, and I ended up taking a role with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment International as their first-ever digital marketing executive. I moved over to the theatrical side of the business and eventually rose to SVP, International Strategic Digital Marketing. After running various digital initiatives at Fox for 14 years, I took some time to pursue other projects and started my own non-profit company: Hollywood in Pixels (HIP). HIP was established to preserve Hollywood’s vast digital history and to connect and celebrate the vibrant Hollywood digital community.

HIP is now three years old, and we keep getting more interest and involvement every year. I recently returned to Fox as well in a new and exciting role as a part of the new Data Strategy group.



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

My motivation come from within. I have continual drive to be a better (kinder) person, to be the best mom I can be for my son, and to do work that matters. Career-wise, I thrive when I'm working on projects that combine storytelling and tech in a groundbreaking, never-been-done-before way.

I don’t have a personal motto, no. No one go-to platitude.

What excites you most about this industry?

Digital has forever changed the science of advertising and marketing in such a profound way. We can engage with consumers now in ways that once were imagined only in science fiction books and movies. I love living in the future. It excites me, somewhat frightens me, and I feel very lucky to work on a team whose sole raison d'être is to innovate.

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

The future is all about data. Right now, everyone is trying to figure out what data is important for their business, what’s directional, and what signals and signposts matter. Eventually the data will point the way, but only to those who are willing to listen, try, and experiment. Savvy consumers are already more adept at knowing what data signals they’re leaving for marketers, and that behavior will only get more pervasive. A handful of companies will continue to hold the lion's share of consumer data, but there is room for every company to understand and implement the signals their consumers are willing to share. And, the fight for net neutrality is going to be a big factor in what the future will hold in this arena.

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

Find mentors. Don’t stop being a student: read articles and blogs, watch online videos, go to seminars, take classes at UCLA Extension or General Assembly. Volunteer. Get involved in your company beyond just your day job; what clubs or interest groups are offered? Take advantage of them. Get to know recruiters for your industry and make sure they know where you are and what you’re working on, even if you’re not looking for a new job.

What should our industry be talking about in 2018?

Inclusivity, intersectionality, diversity. We should be talking (and doing) a lot about those three things.

Any closing thoughts?

Thank you for taking the time to highlight women of color in the industry. I think it’s important, especially now.

Tags:  Bettina Sherick  Entertainment  Fox  Hollywood  Member 

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Member Spotlight: Ed Chambliss, CEO, Phelps

Posted By Emily Hope, Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Photos: Don Lupo Photography


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

When I was seven years old, I visited my Uncle’s post-production studio. I was fascinated by how commercials were put together - all the tools and tricks that went into creating an ad. I wanted to use those tools to tell stories, which led me to my initial career as a copywriter. While working at BBDO, I taught a series of courses in creativity at The Portfolio Center and came to realize that while I was a good creative, I wasn’t a great one. What I was great at was brand and creative strategy. So I left copywriting and enrolled in the Masters of Integrated of Marketing Communication program at the University of Colorado in Boulder. When I graduated, Joe Phelps hired me to be a mid-level account guy. Over the last 18 years I’ve pitched and led accounts, and led the agency through a succession of roles – first as chief operating officer, then president and now CEO.




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

I’m on a quest. And have been for a most of my career. There just has to be a better way for companies to interact with customers. When two people have a conversation, everything is relatively straightforward. The conversation flows both ways. People talk. People listen. The conversation progresses and benefits both sides. But when a company tries to communicate as one entity, it’s a train wreck. Listening seems to be optional (or at least intermittent) and speaking only seems to clumsily advance the brand’s interests. So I wake up every day, knowing deep down inside that this can be fixed. It’s a big problem that clearly can’t be solved overnight. But I think we, as an industry, can do it to the benefit of everyone involved.


What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far?

Customers are people. It sounds simple, but so many things our industry does completely ignore the fact that on the other end of our communications isn’t a “target” but an individual human being – a protagonist in their own narrative filled with pains, joys, drama and desires. We ignore that at our own peril.


What excites you most about this industry?

Thanks to technology, we’re entering an era where marketing can serve people, and we can establish authentic, equitable relationships between people and brands. As we continue to get more information about people, we come to understand how communications can support rather than interrupt their lives.


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

We’re on the road to either distinction or extinction, depending on the struggle between convenience and quality and how we use data as a result. If quality wins, advertising will become more relevant to people than ever, because we’ll mine data to understand individual needs and create brand conversations with meaning and utility. If convenience wins, we will become little more than technicians shoveling data around, helping our clients stalk prospects with no regard for what they want.


Why are you involved with ThinkLA?

Our business is so competitive. We’re constantly trying to edge each other out of the way so that we can win (or retain) clients. We need to remember that we’re also a community. It’s important and rewarding to take a moment every once in a while to enjoy each other’s company (and war stories) and help each other overcome shared challenges. Also, who doesn’t love AdJam?


What advice do you have for those just starting in advertising?

Learn the software. Learn to code. But don’t stop there. Learn to speak. Learn to write. Learn about people, particularly what cements our shared humanity. And learn about yourself. You’ll need all of those skills to succeed.


Any closing thoughts?

The ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus said something advertising needs to live by if we’re to earn a meaningful place in the emerging world: “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.

Tags:  #ThinkMembers  Advertising  CEO  Ed Chambliss  LA Advertising  Member  Phelps  PhelpsAdvertising 

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