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.
Nicky was the first creative woman to become chair of a UK marketing agency, that being multi award-winning MRM//McCann in London. Creatively recognized across nearly all the major shows, Nicky thinks she’s probably worked across every media and sector - but direct and digital are where her heart lies. She’s been writing professionally for 30 years and despite running a huge operation, she also keeps her hand in writing and ideating as often as she can. She is a fierce champion of the customer and believes insight is all. She is also hugely passionate about effectiveness - it’s only great work if it works.
Nicky says that the campaign of her career is the one we’re all living right now, the campaign for equality. Nicky has been featured in the Financial Times HERoes list for the last two years.
Federico “Fede” Garcia is an accomplished writer and creative lead with a reputation for delivering work that is by turns provoking, delightful, moving, and inspiring. He currently serves as Global Executive Creative Director at Huge, one of the most innovative digital agencies in the US. In addition to being an expert creative, he has distinguished himself as a careful, strategic thinker with a sophisticated understanding of visual storytelling and contemporary culture. His career in advertising spans more than 20 years and over three different continents, as he moved from Buenos Aires to Tokyo and eventually NY. Throughout this journey, he has collected some of the most prestigious advertising awards, including Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show, Clio, LIA and Effie, and his work has been featured in some of the most influential advertising publications, including reaching the cover of the prestigious Lüerzer's Archive Magazine.
Merlee is the first Filipino to be awarded: The Creative of the Year for Southeast Asia in the Campaign Asia Pacific Agency of the Year. She is "Chairmom" and Chief Creative Officer of Dentsu Jayme Syfu and the only woman in the 20 top creative directors in ASIA as reported by Campaign brief Asia.
Under her leadership, Dentsu Jayme Syfu has already been named the 2016 Creative Agency of the Year Philippines by Campaign Asia and the inaugural SPIKES ASIA Country Agency of the Year 2017 and recently, The 4As Agency of the Year Best in Creative 2018. Her works push Insights and innovation. She has won major awards that include a Cannes Lion Grand Prix for Mobile, Grand CLIO, NYF Grand Awards, D&AD yellow and wood pencils and just last June, a Gold and Silver Lion for Green Peace “Dead Whale”. Merlee is a sought after international speaker and an opinion leader when it comes to topics close to her heart: Working Mothers. Her latest talk: “Meeting the Momillennials” in Tokyo for Adweek Asia 2018.
She is CEO of MamaLab- a network of moms from Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan, to create great ideas that truly understand moms. One of CNN’s Leading Women, she initiated the #sistergood project in the office to inspire women leadership. A creative at heart, she wrote and illustrated an inspiring handbook to discover everybody’s creative side “Everyone Can Be Creative”. Merlee is also a mom to 4 beautiful girls, and an inspiration in breaking the glass ceiling in this mad men’s world.
Zak started his career at Chiat/Day and BBDO. In 1999, he joined TAXI and helped build the agency into one of the top shops on the Gunn report. Over the past decade, Zak has been busy building Zulu Alpha Kilo into a globally awarded 110-person independent. In 2016, his shop was named Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year, the first time a non-U.S. agency had ever won overall top honours. Zulu was also awarded as Ad Age’s International Small Agency of the Year in 2017. Most recently, Zak was featured in the May and April issues of Forbes magazine after Zulu was recognized as one of North America’s best small companies and praised for challenging the business conventions of the industry. Zak has both judged and been awarded at the One Show, D&AD, Cannes and Communication Arts.
Catherine Patterson serves as Director, Branded Entertainment and Culture for VMLY&R North America, where she works with teams identifying, architecting and developing branded content platforms and experiences for clients at the crossroads of culture and technology. Her work has received highest honors worldwide with multi-channel multi-year wins at the Cannes Festival of Creativity, One Show, D&AD, the Webby Awards, Fast Company Innovation and others. During her tenure at Y&R, Catherine trained creative and production units in strategic, integrated production, delivering multi-million-dollar programs for clients in CPG, DELL, Navy, not-for-profit and social good clients. She’s forged strategic partnerships with the New York International Children's Film Festival, the 92 Street Y, and is working on an initiative designed to reboot historical exploration with the Explorers Club and others. Catherine is recognized as an industry leader in cultural experiences and was voted one of Adweek's top branded-content creators.
Born in August 1984, Tahaab's first word was "Astronaut". In February 1986, he skipped walking and started running. In November 1994, he watched a movie that changed his life: Forrest Gump. It taught him how to make an ordinary life, legendary. Just like Baby's Day Out. In August 1997, he met Mr. Adolescence through a myriad of regrettable haircuts (Spock, Elvis, Wolverine). In September 2002, he wrote poetry and hasn't stopped writing since. In June 2005, he learned to add a little Bollywood to his creative job; some drama in presentations, sharing a romance with ideas and using self-deprecating comedy to keep his spirits up.
Since 2012, he leads the strategy office for FP7 (A part of McCann Worldgroup) across MENA, focusing on creative marketing, brand and connections strategy. He's the MENA Director for Truth Central – an intelligence platform and also manages creative excellence across MENA.
Tahaab has been ranked the #1 Strategy Head in the world by the Big Won Rankings in 2016, and is the most awarded strategist in MENA having won over 300 awards across Effies, Warc, Dubai Lynx, Cannes Lions, New York Festivals, D&AD, One Show, Clios, The International ANDYs and Crestas, among others. He has also helped the agency drive efforts that led to FP7 being ranked the Most Effective Agency in the World at the Global Effie Index, as well winning Agency and Network of the Year four years running, from 2013 to 2016. He has judged at the Effies and at Midas Awards, previously too.
Alex Schill was born with a Canadian passport and studied at the University of Fine Arts in Berlin. In 1994 he started his career at Germanys former hot shop agency No.1 Springer & Jacoby as junior copywriter and was asked in 2003 to lead the agency as Chief Creative Officer. In 2006, Alex left Springer & Jacoby to become Associate Partner and Member of the Board at Serviceplan Group.
Since 2008 he is Chief Creative Officer of the entire agency group worldwide. He is presently in charge of more than 24 agency locations and 4.200 employees globally.
In just five years Alex Schill brought Serviceplan to the front row in national and international creative rankings. In 2016 the agency ended up No.1 in the German Creative Ranking (Horizont), No.1 in the Digital Ranking (BVDW), No.1 in the Media Ranking (Recma), No. 1 in the Design Ranking (Red Dot) and No. 1 in the Efficiency Ranking (w&v).
In recent years Alex has won more than 75 Cannes Lions, including two Grands Prix in 2012 and 2013 and is a regular speaker on the international creative awards circuit. He has given keynote speeches at Cannes, Eurobest, Dubai Lynx and the Loerie Awards and also been Jury president at Cannes Lions, CLIO, Eurobest, LIA and at the D&AD.
Alex is a proud Father of 3 beautiful children and collector of historic motorcycles that he races on events all around the world.
Ruchi Sharma is the CCO, Chief Creative & Culture officer, of Brands For Humans, which is a digital, integrated independent shop in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s a unique role that has a dual focus on Creativity and Culture.
Ruchi’s career spans more than two decades, working in New York, the Americas, Bangkok, South East Asia, Mumbai and Sri Lanka.
She has won several international, regional and local awards in creativity and effectiveness, proving that her work resonates equally on both scales.
Ruchi has served on many international juries. She is a frequent speaker at industry events, mentoring and encouraging the young talent of the industry, especially the women, to tap into their tremendous potential.
She is a staunch supporter of inclusion, diversity and equality. She co-created the first digital global campaign on Human Rights for the UNHRC and volunteers as a Personal Growth Officer with Women Empowered Global.
When she isn’t juggling her many hats, Ruchi is playing devoted mom to her five-year-old son. This is the job she enjoys the most.
Dörte Spengler-Ahrens, CCO at Jung von Matt/SAGA. Dörte studied Visual Communications and started her career as an Art Director, then switched to copywriting. After working in several agencies, she went to work at Jung von Matt where she became a Creative Director after only three years.
In 2000, she founded her own company MARIA. In 2001, Dörte came back as CCO and established the agency Jung von Matt/Spree in Berlin with two partners. Afterwards, she founded the first international branch of Jung von Matt: Jung von Matt/9. Later she founded Jung von Matt/Fleet with clients like Zalando, Sixt, Mercedes-Benz and DER SPIEGEL.
As of November 2013, she took on the direction of Jung von Matt/Elbe with partners and with additional clients like NIVEA, OBI DIY, Techniker Krankenkasse, EIS.de, Jim Beam and more. By the end of 2016, the agency was rebranded and is now Jung von Matt/SAGA.
Dörte is one of the most awarded German creatives, presidium member of the Art Director’s Club (ADC), board member of the ADC Festival and Congress Hamburg, as well as a judge for the most important international award juries within the communication sector.
She loves her work, her husband, and her son Bela. She also loves to travel and to meet people – if possible, everything at the same time.
Pratik Thakar is Director / Head of Integrated Marketing Communications, ASEAN Business Unit and leads the creative, content and design excellence across Coca-Cola Company’s ASEAN 10-plus markets. He leads various global charters and incubates innovative and creative marketing solutions for the entire brand portfolio of the company.
He held leadership roles in many global ad agencies before joining Coke. His 18 years of industry experience covers stints in India, Southeast Asia and Greater China for Grey Group, McCann Worldgroup, Saatchi & Saatchi, DDB and Lowe.
A strong advocate of creative technology and collaborative innovation, he founded Grey Innovation lab as chief strategy and innovation officer for Grey Group Greater China. Before joining Grey, he was the chief strategy and innovation catalyst at McCann Worldgroup, where he was highly regarded for his integrated creative strategies and disruptive ideas in design, branded content and digital technology-led innovation on brands such as Puma, L’Oréal Group, MasterCard, Nestlé, Intel and Coca-Cola.
He has also served in advisory roles for start-up accelerators throughout Asia Pacific, getting the front row seat to the most cutting-edge technology and innovations of tomorrow. This combination of veteran brand strategy, multi-regional experience, and ahead-of-the-curve innovation places him as a leading voice for creative technology and 10X approach of building high-tech start-ups.