Donya Abdulhadi is a hybrid communications strategist with multidisciplinary experience across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and North America. Prior to joining Leo Burnett as Regional Director of Public Relations, areas of focus include international media relations, journalism and market research, brand strategy and advertising strategic planning for regional and multinational companies. Her client experience portfolio includes global and regional B2C, B2B and government accounts including, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Dubai Airports, Kenwood, InterContinental Hotel Group, Investment Corporation of Dubai, QNB, LG, Bridgestone, Gulf Business Machine, Microsoft, Rolex, Damas Jewellery, Shell, Siemens, Jebel Omar, and the European Union’s Consumer, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency.
Passionate about communication, innovation and change management and with vast insight into the MENA region, Donya was identified as a Woman to Watch by the BrandBerries Magazine, a speaker at She is Arab, a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum and appointed by the United Nations as a strategic communications consultant to then Prime Minister of Libya, H.E. Ali Zeidan during a critical time in the country’s transition.
Donya has lectured on integrated marketing at the American University in Dubai and shared insights and experience with Cass EMBA candidates seeking to learn about effective marketing strategies in the Arab region. She is fluent in Arabic, English and Italian, holds an Honors Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies & Multimedia from McMaster University in Canada and is currently undertaking Stanford University’s professional certification in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and an EMBA candidate at the London Business School where she is also the recipient of the prestigious Muna Al Gurg Scholarship.
Before his advertising career, Fred worked as the Lead features writer and editorial researcher at Brand Communicator, Nigeria’s most influential marketing communications journal, where he shaped the editorial direction and constantly wrote agenda-setting pieces for the communications industry.
He is an award-winning account planner whose work has won accolades at many local and international advertising festivals such as Epica, Loeries, African Cristal, as well as the Lagos Advertising and Ideas festival.
Currently, Fred is the Group Head, Account Planning at Sub Saharan Africa’s most creatively awarded communications agency, Noah’s Ark. He is responsible for the leadership and overall planning practice of the agency, and he leads diverse team planners working across brands in various categories such as FMCG, mobile technology, telecommunications, and non-profits.
He is a member of the Account Planning Group, United Kingdom. In his spare time, he reads non-fiction, plays video games, and listens to podcasts.
Mick Blore is the CCO of Wolves, an independent Marketing, Advertising and Strategic agency in South Africa.
He has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and has creatively led many of the world’s best agencies and network across Africa; including McCann Worldgroup, Y&R, Saatchi & Saatchi, The Jupiter Drawing Room JHB and more. Mick is one of South Africa's most awarded creative's with multiple accolades from around the world. His work has been featured in university texbooks in the USA, he regularly lectures at South Africa's leading advertising schools and universities, and he sits on various industry forums. The work Mick did on Nugget Shoe Polish became the most awarded campaign in the history of South African Advertising in any medium in its time.
Mick has also represented Africa as a member of the Executive Juries of the prestigious Clios and New York Festival Awards, and has also judged the London International Advertising Awards, the APEX Effectiveness Awards, as well as the South African Loeries Awards, amongst others.
He is the only South African to be invited to sit on The Global Advisory Boards of the New York Festivals and AME Awards.
Mick has been featured by The One Show, the Who’s Who of Lürzers Archive, and is a member of the Who's Who of Southern Africa initiative.
Carl Bou Abdallah is Fp7 Beirut’s (McCann MENA) senior brand planner. Starting off with marketing research, spending 4 years at UM Beirut and completing a Master’s degree in Marketing and communication from ESCP Europe, Carl has been an integral part of the agency’s brand, creative, and connections planning for Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan during the last 2 years.
Working on different types of accounts, he considers that the key to success in any communication strategy is plain old, sometimes annoying, curiosity.
His drive to find out how everything (and everyone) works put him in the perfect place to advise on the winning strategy for McDonald’s, L’Oreal, the banking sector and many other different categories of brands.
With his media knowledge and drive to know why everything functions the way it does, he helped in winning major regional and international awards for the work he was involved in.
His background and curiosity allowed him to best adapt the work to this age’s communication ecosystem and to best leverage the greatest power in communication nowadays; people. He believes that when people are considered as the strategy’s strongest media channel, any campaign can reach what Gladwell calls the Tipping point: spreading effortlessly on and off screens to reach the desired business or communication targets… as long as it talks to the right people, at the right time.
“When ideas come first, everything great follows suit.” This is the philosophy that Alok Gadkar has been a firm believer of for over two decades and used to transform a wide range of business portfolios. Having been on several award juries like the Health & Wellness Jury at Cannes Lions 2018, the Grand Jury at the New York Festival, Global Awards, Clio Health, Ad Stars and also the KYIV Festival, he has a keen eye and a relentless passion for world changing ideas, and work that not just stands out, but sets industry standards. He has also taken the stage as a guest speaker at Cannes Lions, Dubai Lynx and Mena Cristal. In 2017, he was named in the top 10 ECD’s by the B&W Report.
He owes a great deal of his love for perfection to the prestigious JJ School of Art where he graduated with a BFA Degree. His career and love for powerful communication spans across successful stints at Mudra Communications (DDB), Enterprise Nexus, Lowe MENA, Leo Burnett and the Classic Partnership, where he is the Executive Creative Director and Managing Director. Being an all-rounder in this industry starts with having expertise in various categories. Alok has spearheaded work on fashion brands like Splash and Iconic, healthcare leaders like Aster, Medcare and Dubai Health Authority, and for culture shifting pioneers like The Times of India and Economic Times. His “ideas first” approach has led to many of the pieces, campaigns and initiatives he has brought to life see success at Cannes Lions, D&AD, D&AD Impact, One Show, Clio, LIA, The Global Awards, New York Festivals, AME Awards, Ad Stars, Dubai Lynx, MENA Cristal, and AAAI Abby Awards. But his journey is far from over.
Brand Strategist, Digital Marketer, Social Media Expert, Entrepreneur; Aakriti’s business cards are as diverse as the many countries she calls home.
Her journey in the industry began with a focus on establishing digital capabilities and defining social strategies for renowned FMCG, Telco, Finance, Retail, Automotive, Beauty, and QSR clients, back when a ‘tweet’ was just a sound birds made.
She then progressed to leading regional strategies for Nestlé, Unilever, Uber, Arla Foods, and Subway at McCann Dubai, contributing towards their global effectiveness accolades.
Along the way she worked on some amazing campaigns, launched many successful products, won some global awards including Cannes Lions, WARC, Effies, The One Show, and launched a social enterprise.
She has also been recognized as Brandberries ‘Women to Watch in Middle East’, '30 Under 30' - Campaign Magazine Middle East, and B&W Report's MENA Top 10 Planners.
Currently she heads the Strategy & Data team for Cheil MEA overseeing several exciting technology and digital brands – spearheading the strategy and data solutions for the agency and its brands.
He has more than 17 years of experience in the advertising and marketing industry. Shmulik has worked in several agencies (Grey, Publicist, Euro RSCG). He has worked with many of the world’s biggest brands - Nestle, Lexus, Skoda, Seat, Ford, Yamaha, Kawasaki, HSBC, Bayer, The Coca Cola company, Unilever to name a few.
In 2017 he was selected by J Walter Thompson Worldwide to take part in the prestigious HIP program, reserved for a few of the agencies talents from all over the world.
Mr. Kitainik holds a BA degree in management and communication from the Israel College of Management.
Shmulik is a great believer in human insights and his passion for multi-cultures comes from the fact that he was born in Israel but spent 14 years in South America before turning back to Tel Aviv.
Shmulik teaches in the Israeli College of Management as part of a graduate program in strategic communications, He has been a Jury member in the Effie awards and part of the team that won the Cannes Chimera award; A joint initiative from Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Shmulik lives in Israel with his wife + two kids & restores vintage cars in his spare time.
Jon is an agency leader and strategic integrated marketeer with over 20 year’s industry experience developing stand-out marketing campaigns for some of the UK’s best-loved brands.
In 2017 he left Europe for the Arabian desert, and is leading the troops at FP7 Dubai, who hold the lofty accolade of most creatively effective agency in MENA for 5 years in succession.
In his previous role, Jon was MD of McCann Central in the UK, whom he helped grow to become the largest integrated agency outside of London, and the largest McCann operation in Europe.
Jon has a passion for developing brands and a knack of making things happen. He takes a pragmatic approach to clients’ problems, making every penny of a client’s budget work to deliver a maximum return.
Proud Dad and husband to Mrs M.
Ivan became an account executive in Publicis Belgrade in 1997 after being several years freelancing as a film producer in Serbia, Greece, and Italy.
In Publicis, he quickly went from executive to director position, then client service director, managing director after finally in 2006 becoming responsible for the regional operations in Balkans.
In 2008 Ivan joined McCann Group becoming managing director of Momentum Serbia, an agency specialized in experiential and cross-discipline communication. As of the beginning of 2014, Ivan is settled in Amman as country manager of Y&R Amman.
Ivan was a member of Serbian IAA and chaired the UEPS awards for 2 years (2009 / 2010). He worked with almost all major companies in the world: The Coca-Cola Company, L’Oreal, British Airways, Opel, Philip Morris, Nestle, Pernaud Ricard, P&G, Unilever, Microsoft, Orange, Colgate-Palmolive, Unicef etc.
Among many awards, the dearest ones are the ones from the clients, and the special one was from the Coca-Cola for the best FIFA Trophy Tour event worldwide in 2010.
Meg’s understanding of the importance of identity and brand originated at Apple in marketing and communications.
As the F/NE conceptual storyteller, Meg has a strong grasp of the ‘power of the human story’ in accessing people’s hearts and minds to effect behaviour change and create alignment around common purpose and values.
Meg’s effusive energy and disruptive thinking style enables her to galvanise people to successfully deliver large-scale, global change programmes – she makes large companies feel like connected communities through the power of hope and imagination.
Canan Pehlivanoğlu Öke is Senior Brand Communication Manager for VitrA Bathrooms. Being passionate about brand effectiveness, I would like to discover new boundaries and new challenges at the core. To understand brand management with depths, I prefer to replace my perspective: From creative agencies to real brand. As senior brand manager, I have worked on the brand strategies while managing overloaded daily business with a team of 10 people from 3 different units: Brand Communication, Digital Marketing and Marketing Analytics. Canan is the former Head of Strategy for DDB Istanbul.
Duncan Preston is the Head of Global Creative Services of Al Jazeera English Creative, a multi-award winning creative professional with over 20 years experience in design across all media.
He joined Al Jazeera English in 2005 as a designer working on the launch of the channel and, now as the head of the Creative department, defining the brand and creative direction of the channel.
His team is responsible for all the channel's creative content; channel and program branding, graphic packaging, promos, daily news and information graphics, winning over 60 international broadcast design and promo awards.
Newton has spent over 17 years in the advertising business across a mix of international and local agencies and leads the client servicing and digital teams at Blue Apple. He is responsible for providing direction and maintaining all aspects of client-agency functions. Newton believes that in any job or role, a sense of ownership is paramount in making it a success.
A graduate in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Bombay (Mumbai), Newton also holds an MBA from the University of Wollongong. Prior to Blue Apple, he was the Associate Vice President at BPG Group with previous stints at The Partnership Dubai and Nebula Advertising. He has worked on a range of retail and financial brands like Rivoli, Omega, Longines, Rado, Tissot, Swatch, Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Shopping Malls Group, FGB, Swicorp and Kodak, to name a few.
Passionate about sport and football in particular, his interests include reading non-fiction books and watching movies. When he is not busy putting together a presentation, he can be found trying his hand at the piano or his DSLR camera.
Ceren serves as Strategic Planning Director at TBWA\Istanbul.
She graduated from university with an honours degree in Advertising and Sociology.
She made her debut in marketing on the client side in Coca-Cola Company. She joined TBWA\Istanbul in 2013 from Y&R Group where she has gained experience in various industries ranging from automotive to personal care.
In her 10 years of career in advertising industry, her work has been recognized by creative and effectiveness awards including Effies.
She believes in embedding sustainability into the brand’s core values. In relentless pursuit of this belief, she got her master degree in Social Projects and NGO Governance and has been working toward social good projects as a “TBWA For Good” Initiator.