John is passionate about disrupting cultural norms that have negative micro & macro impact. John strives to show brands that doing good is also good for business, through projects that range from revolutionizing the stock photo industry to change the way women, femmes and nonbinary people are represented, to partnering with policy makers to pass legislation to end hair discrimination, to hijacking social media to combat sexism, to creating the world's first crowdsourced platform for gender equality solutions.
As a queer person, John fell in love with the digital world because of its fluid boundaries and endless possibilities. As a creative director with a dual background in design and programming, John has nearly two decades of experience leading marketing and platform efforts for a variety of global brands including Dove, Uniqlo, Volkswagen and HeForShe. John’s work has garnered over seventy international awards, including the Glass Lion for Social Change, the Global Effie for Positive Change, the Jay Chiat Award for Global Strategy, and the Grand Clio for Social Good.
Rogério is a Business, Marketing and Communications expert with a diverse, integrated background and a holistic approach to strategy. For the past 18 years he has been at some of the best global and local advertising agencies (such as TBWA\Chiat, Wavemaker/WPP, Area23/FCB, Grey and Leo Burnett) crafting strategic and creative thinking and solving all kinds of brand challenges for top global brands (such as Moderna, Novo Nordisk, GSK, Gilead, Google, Marriott, Volvo and Samsung) and specializing in bringing together the right teams and expertise to solve a broad range of brand problems.
His career has been guided by the belief that entertainment, culture and technology are powerful catalysts to uncover purposeful experiences and that truly relevant work aims to generate value for both brands and people.
Brazilian-born and Italian citizen, Rogério has been living and working in the New York area for the last 7 years. He is a father of two, a committed meditator, an amateur cyclist/swimmer and a certified beer sommelier. He speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish and a bit of Italian.
Lucien has spent over 20 years at the vanguard of brand building - across all aspects of strategy, creative, research, positioning, naming, architecture, digital & marketing innovation for forward-thinking, industry-leading agencies.
A seasoned marketing veteran and key client advisor comfortable from the C-suite to the creative studio, Lucien provides boundary-pushing, inspiring strategic leadership to cross-disciplinary teams, as they work together with Fortune 100 clients to help define and express the core actions that address their corporate, as well as product/platform-level marketing challenges, ambitions and opportunities.
Sabena Gupta is a Global Brand Marketing Lead at Amazon. She is responsible for developing cross-channel campaigns that drive key perceptions about and grow the business, with an eye to creative solutions that are native to the platforms in which they live. Prior to joining Amazon, Sabena was the Director of Brand Strategy & Marketing at The New York Times where she led the cross-functional team responsible for the brand’s ongoing “Truth” campaign, overseeing creative development and media strategy. In her tenure at The Times, she also helped develop the organization’s first Brand Book distilling the company’s mission and brand strategy, as well as a series of style guides that helped implement the Brand Book across different products and teams.
Prior to The Times, she worked at AKQA in brand strategy and account management across a range of clients including Wheat Thins and Verizon. Sabena has been named on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and Ad Age’s 40 Under 40 list, and graduated from NYU with a degree in English Literature. She currently lives in Seattle where she recently moved for her role at Amazon.
Chelsea lives her life by the mantra: for the highest good of all. As a change agent leveraging over 10 years of experience across Communications, Marketing, Training and Development, while driving Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion throughout, she has a demonstrated history of working with clients and internal stakeholders in global tech, media, education and consumer goods industries. She leverages authentic storytelling and representation to bring consumers joy, build a sense of community and impart connectivity to a mission or brand. She currently leads the Cultural and Inclusive Marketing Team at Kellogg and resides in Chicago, IL.
Janis Middleton, EVP, Executive Director of Multicultural and Inclusion Strategy
Janis has years of experience in the content and media space and has led various clients, such as The Home Depot, Buffalo Wild Wings, SunTrust (now Truist), Hanes, American Standard, Aaron’s, and Krystal to success. Her background has made her extremely knowledgeable in developing and implementing people-focused strategies, which ultimately led to her current role in leading the agency’s diversity and inclusion efforts. As an Atlanta native and graduate of Clark Atlanta University, Janis has always had a passion for building and cultivating environments that provide equal opportunities for all people to thrive. Not only does she have tremendous influence inside the walls of 22squared and Trade School, but she’s also paving the way for her community by serving on the Board of Directors for Breakthrough Atlanta and as a leading member of Advertising for Change.
Born in Mexico, and raised in Texas; the curiosity to understand her own upbringing and how that impacted how she engaged with the world and with brands was the spark to her career in advertising. Having spent the beginning of her career in multicultural agencies helped give her the foundations to always dig deeper, to push past the obvious to read between the lines and never assume that one size fits all.
She’s taken her skills and love for the craft to agencies like Mekanism, Preacher, DDB and BBH, giving her the unique opportunity to work across a range of industries and creative challenges. She’s spent some time in CPG, helping brands within the General Mills portfolio (Yoplait, Cheerios, Progresso, Old El Paso) connect with Hispanic audiences and helping iconic American beers (Budweiser, Coors Light, Coors Banquet) regain their footing in the midst of the craft beer craze. She has also helped take a once niche bourbon brand, Basil Hayden's, expand its audience while protecting its non-mainstream appeal, and translated Crate & Barrel’s heritage in style and design for a younger audience entering a new phase of life. She most recently joined BBH USA, where she now works on Mattel, Barbie and Lionsgate, as well as leading the agency’s DE&I Taskforce.
Martin Agency CCO Danny Robinson inspires the agency to create its best work, leading to back-to-back Adweek AOY wins and a spot on Ad Age’s 2021 A-List (#8). A Hampton grad with an Atlanta University MBA, Robinson’s business-driving creative excellence is a model for Martin’s teams to excel for its client roster, including GEICO, UPS, DoorDash, Mondelez, Unilever and Carmax.
Recognition? Yep. Robinson has appeared on the 2020 Campaign U.S.’s 40 Over 40 and Adweek 50 and served as a D&AD, One Show and Webbys juror.
Fun facts? Robinson is one of the minds behind the legendary 2004 Pontiac G6 giveaway on Oprah. An accomplished artist, pop culture aficionado, former DJ and standup comic, Robinson was once voted by the Stand Up New York Comedy Club as “one of the funniest men in advertising.
Aki (he/him/his) lives and works at the nexus of consumer culture and connected technologies. He applies data-centric, and radically-collaborative sensibilities to build creative solutions that provide value for people.
As the new Chief Strategy Officer at Cashmere/LA, Aki marks a return back to culture-driven strategies and ideas for brands (having started his career in music marketing). At Cashmere, Aki is charged with honing the agency’s strategic processes for scale & growth – and ultimately linking into the broader Media.Monks and S4 Capital “API” of services.
Previously, Aki was Chief Strategy Officer at Leo Burnett/Chicago, where he helped update the strategic approach for brand, digital, and data integration at one of the most storied agencies in the world. There he introduced innovative forays in AI, Web3, and Multicultural Intelligence for brands like Kelloggs, Jim Beam, Bank of America, Samsung, Messenger, US Cellular, and more. Aki co-led a strategic resource and accelerator for all the creative agencies across Publicis – to operationalize 'general market' teams who are increasingly-challenged with how to become more culturally-fluent in an era of an increasingly-diverse mass market.
Aki leaves Leo Burnett having helped the agency achieve 2022 Agency of the Year at One Show, ADC and Clios, Best in Show at One Show, Addy, Communication Arts and AICP, Titanium and Grand Prix at Cannes – and more proudly – a wealth of gold, silver and bronze strategy and effectiveness awards across 2022 Effies (incl 2nd Most Effective Agency Network – Leo Burnett Worldwide), WARC Awards for Effectiveness, ARF Ogilvy Awards for Research, and Jay Chiat Strategy Awards.
Marialejandra is Chief Strategy Officer for Dieste, US. She oversees Dieste planning group in Dallas, New York and Los Angeles.
Marialejandra leads all data, insights, cultural intelligence, and research efforts at Dieste. Her experience working around Latin America and with the U.S. Hispanic consumer gives her a broad vision of the diversity of Latin cultures and their specific nuances. Her passion for understanding humans and their relationships has led her to pursue a Master’s in Social Anthropology.
With more than 25 years of experience in strategic planning, Marialejandra has been involved in the development of marketing communication for companies in various industries including 3M, Chiclets Adams, Ford Motor Company, Mattel, Nestle, SAB Miller/AB InBev, The Coca-Cola Company and Warner Lambert.
Marialejandra was included in the Advertising Age Women to Watch list for Colombia, and her insights and contribution to the Demobilization Humanitarian Program of the Colombia Ministry of Defense campaign led to recognition not only for its creativity, but also as the first and only Grand Prix in the region from IPA (2011). This campaign has also been awarded for its strategy and effectiveness, winning a Grand Prix APG, the Jay Chiat Grand Prix 2011 and Grand Prix El Dorado Effectiveness 2014 as well as more than 10 Gold Effie Awards.