The Jury

By the time an OMMA Awards entry reaches the winner’s circle, it has survived two rounds of judging. Round One consists of the MediaPost editorial team reviewing and judging each of the categories. Our editors handpick three finalists per category and then send the results to the OMMA Awards judges, who choose a winner for each category, as well as a "Best in Show."

 


Finola Austin
Brand Strategy Director, Refinery29 Intelligence

Finola Austin co-leads the Refinery29 Intelligence team—new media company Refinery29's research, strategy and measurement practice. Here she's worked for a plethora of brands across the Beauty, Fashion/Retail and Lifestyle space, helping them connect with young women. Prior to joining Refinery29, she had stints at Ogilvy & Mather in New York and Hill & Knowlton Strategies in London. She was part of the prestigious WPP Fellowship program and has two degrees from the University of Oxford.

 

 

 

Derek Barnes
Co-Chief Creative Officer, DDB New York

Derek Barnes serves as Co-CCO of DDB New York with creative partner Lisa Topol. Before joining DDB New York, Topol and Barnes spent four years at Grey working across multiple clients such as NFL, TNT Networks, Best Buy and Bose. Both as a team and individually, they’ve been recognized at Cannes, One Show, D&AD, Clios and Effies. Having met at Wieden + Kennedy, New York, while working on Nike, Jordan and ESPN, they found that working together amplified and complemented both their creativity and their business acumen.

Prior to teaming up with Topol in 2013 at Grey Group, Barnes was Creative Director at Anomaly on the global Budweiser account. In his previous years at Wieden + Kennedy in both Portland and New York, he worked as a creative director on ESPN and Brand Jordan and on some of the world’s most highly recognized brands, including Nike, Miller beer and Diet Coke.

Kim Einan
Head of Experience Design, Starcom USA
In her 19 years with Starcom USA, Kim Einan, Head of Experience Design, has earned a reputation for being a change maker.
Unafraid to tackle big challenges, Kim has proven herself ambitious and effective in uplifting creativity in the experiences Starcom
produces on behalf of clients. Kim was instrumental in architecting and rolling out the agency’s new strategic approach that solves tension between what people want and brands need. She’s committed to continuously raising the bar on the quality of the agency’s work, actively assessing and identifying opportunities for brands to be more disruptive while driving results, leading to Starcom USA’s recognition as the most awarded media agency in the world in 2017 by the Gunn Report. She also leads the U.S. Product Acceleration Team, a group of 25+ senior leaders responsible for elevating work product across all major clients and disciplines.

Most recently, Kim launched an entirely new company discipline of Experience Design, dedicated to infusing creativity into the
experiences the agency creates with clients. Previously, Kim led Consumer Insights & Strategy for Kraft Heinz, leveraging the power of data to inform briefs and communication strategies that kept the client on the industry’s leading edge of data driven marketing. On this business, Kim honed an approach to ideation that became her blueprint for the entire agency’s experience design discipline. She also held strategic leadership roles on businesses including Luxottica Retail, Beam Suntory, Disney Parks and more.

Kim is active in industry awards, participating in juries and submissions to major festivals like Effies, Cannes Lions and Festival of Media.
Carl Fremont
Global Chief Digital Officer, Wavemaker

Carl leads the strategic direction for the growth and seismic shift in data and digital services for Wavemaker, a leading global media and marketing agency. He is a leader in the industry and a frequent speaker and consultant on the transformations occurring in digital and technology; often quoted in the press for his views on the future of marketing and media.

Carl has extensive marketing and media experience in a multitude of brand categories including automotive, financial services, consumer package goods, retail, eCommerce, pharmaceutical, telecommunications and travel.

Carl serves on the advisory boards of a select number technology, media and venture capital companies as well as a consultant for GLG, Guidepoint Global and Pacific Crest. These positions provide Carl with a unique view of the advances in the industry. Carl was elected to the Ad Club of New York Board of Directors in 2009 and in July 2015 became Chairman. He has also served as its lead for the I’m Part Media Action, which since its inception has raised over $10MM (US) for scholarships and training for diversity talent in the Marketing and Communications fields.

At Digitas from 2000 to 2013, Carl led the Global Media practice working with clients including America Express, Whirlpool, Delta, Sprint, Mars, Meade Johnson, AT&T and eBay.

Prior to joining Digitas, Carl was a Senior Vice President of Media Services at Wunderman; a leading performance based and CRM company. During Carl’s 16 year tenure at Wunderman, he managed all direct marketing activities for the company including Ford, Citibank, American Express and AT&T.

Suraj Gandhi
SVP, Group Director, Addressable Content, UM Studios and J3 Studios

Suraj Gandhi is the Global Head of the Addressable Content Engine (ACE) for both UM Studios and J3 Studios. He has spent nearly a decade working in the digital creative and innovation space, developing strategic approaches to deliver on brand growth.

Suraj is responsible for Precision Marketing efforts across UM and J3, which leverage data and content to develop one-to-one personalization at scale for clients. He has been a key stakeholder in developing the agency’s data-driven content offering. Suraj and his team have been recognized more than 25 times with various awards including Adweek Media Plan of the Year, OMMA MediaPost, Festival of Media and North American Effie Awards.

Prior to UM, Suraj spent time at creative agencies and in AdTech working on clients such as Stoli Vodka, Comcast, ING Direct, Capital One 360 & EPM Intelligence. At UM, he focuses on key clients such as Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Fitbit, Hershey, Coach, Sony Pictures, TIAA, and BMW, among others.

Suraj’s passion sits at the intersection of media, content, data and technology where worlds collide to create the best results-driven marketing communications possible. 

Stella Guan
Senior Visual Design Lead, JPMorgan Chase

Stella Guan is an award-winning visual designer with experience spanning across multiple disciplines and industries. Started her career in broadcast design, Stella has been pushing the boundaries between the specialist and generalist role with her diverse experience in creating effective visual solutions for marketing agencies, advertising agencies, technology companies and global financial services firms.

She is a winner of the 2017-2018 A' Design Award in Web and Web Design Category, 2018 American Web Design Award by GDUSA Magazine and CSS Design Awards.

Currently, she leads major brand initiatives for J.P. Morgan, where she directs and creates impactful visual design for interactive webpages, videos, animations and brand guidelines. She is a proud member of the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts and the International Association of Designers. She also served as a judge for the A' Design Award, CSS Design Awards, Communicator Awards, W3 Award and Creativity International Awards.

 

 

 

 

Sarah Hofstetter
Chairwoman, 360i

Sarah Hofstetter is Chairwoman of 360i, a top advertising agency in the U.S. that has helped its clients capitalize on industry changes. During her 13-year tenure, including five years as CEO, Sarah has led the creation of best in class practices across creative, media and digital. Under Sarah’s stewardship, 360i has been named Adweek’s Breakthrough Media Agency of the Year and featured in Ad Age’s coveted A-List issue for eight consecutive years.

Driving Sarah’s success is her solutions-oriented mindset and ability to steer client business through disruption. Since joining 360i in 2005, Sarah has created and consistently evolved 360i’s capabilities, equipping brands such as Oreo, HBO, Absolut, FOX, Nestlé and others with the tools and knowledge to tackle their most pressing business challenges and leverage their paid, earned and owned media strategies through integration. Within the agency, Sarah cultivates a culture of curiosity and empowers employees to develop innovative marketing solutions on behalf of clients. Under Sarah’s watch, 360i has grown from a small startup with 30 employees to a household name within the industry, with offices across the country and a staff of 1,000 strong.

Throughout the agency’s growth, Sarah has kept client business at the forefront, producing years of award-winning work and receiving prominent recognition at Cannes and the Effies. Sarah has also shepherded many of the agency’s social good initiatives, including concepting and launching ‘the den’, a free workshop providing digital education to nonprofit marketers.

Sarah currently sits on the 4A’s Board of Directors, and was named to both the 2014 AAF Hall of Achievement and the 4A’s list of 100 People Who Make Advertising Great. Sarah has been recognized by Advertising Age’s "40 Under 40," the Adweek 50, Adweek Power 100 and has been inducted into the Word of Mouth Marketing Hall of Fame. She frequently lends her expertise for commentary in The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age and The New York Times. She has also taken the stage at Cannes Lions Creativity Festival and Fortune Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit, among others.

Before being named Chair in 2018 and CEO in 2013, Sarah served as 360i’s President and Senior Vice President of Brand Strategy & Emerging Media, where in 2006, she founded the agency’s social media practice, well before Twitter and Instagram even existed. Prior to joining 360i, she was President and Founder of Kayak Communications, a marketing agency focused on developing brand strategy and communications plans for new media brands. Before starting her own agency, Sarah spent 10 years at Net2Phone in a series of senior leadership positions, one of the world's first providers of VoIP technology.

Kristin Jones
EVP, Global Managing Partner, UM
Kristin is a California native who has been in NYC for the past 17 years.  She has spent her 20-year career working across award winning brands and campaigns spanning CPG, Entertainment, Electronics, Retail and Healthcare.  She rejoined UM, where she’d previously spent 8.5 years, in December 2017 following 3 years at OMD.

In her current role, Kristin leads the Global Spotify account, maneuvering the team through the successful transition following UM’s account win last summer.  She is charged with bringing integrated planning and innovation to life across 60+ Spotify markets.  Since winning the account, the UM Spotify work has already been recognized by the industry, being shortlisted for several awards, including FOMG most recently.

While at OMD, Kristin led multiple Global and U.S. based accounts.  Her portfolio included: Cigna, Showtime, JCPenney, GE Appliances/Lighting, Sony Music, Luxotica, Realogy, Machine Zone, Cognizant and Monster.com.  Prior to OMD, Kristin had previously been at UM where she spent her first 5 years working on J&Js OTC brands such as Zyrtec, Benadryl and Pepcid.  She is especially proud of her work on launching Zyrtec OTC which exceeded all launch expectations.  Following that, she co-managed the Global Sony account focusing on Electronics, Corporate, Music and Entertainment while also managing Heinz across North America.

Prior to UM, Kristin was an integral part of the P&G account at Carat, being part of the Communications Planning pitch team that won the initial business and leading Communications Planning for the Family Care brands, including Bounty, Charmin and Puffs.  Prior to this, she started her career in LA working on Nestle and Paramount Pictures.
Kelly Kulaitis
Creative Director, Ogilvy

As Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather, Kelly Kulaitis brings over 10 years of experience delivering award-winning ideas for clients in the retail, hospitality, travel and consumer entertainment industries. She has created and launched branding, loyalty and engagement campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands including Sony, Marriott International and United Airlines and Walgreens—where she won two Webby Awards for her loyalty work on the Walgreens mobile app. Kelly graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Political Science and later studied French language at Université Paris Sorbonne. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her dog, Bette Davis.

Joelle Mefford
Director, Business Development, AR & VR, The Foundry, Meredith Corp.
Steve Minichini
President, Media @ Evoke

Steve is a 25+ year veteran in the advertising industry with a deep concentration in digital marketing.  He began his career with Jordan, McGrath, Case, Taylor in New York and rose to the Media Director position within 10 years.  The allure and rapid growth of digital media convinced him to join imc2, an independent full service interactive agency. As Senior Vice President, Managing Director of its New York and Philadelphia offices, Steve launched and managed all interactive media and optimization, as well as the search engine marketing team. Steve also served as President of Enversa™, a proprietary online media buying tool he created in 2004.

In 2008 he launched Triumph360, a full service interactive marketing services firm.  TargetCast quickly recognized his talents and acquired his firm after three years in existence and named him President of Interactive Marketing.   Under his leadership, TargetCast was recognized as a 2013 Agency to Watch in Advertising Age and as Media Magazine’s Media Agency of the Year for Independent Media Services in both 2012 and 2010. 
 
Steve's role at TargetCast changed following the merger of multiple MDC media companies to form Assembly.  At Assembly he served as the Chief Innovation & Growth Officer (CIGO), responsible for aligning ad-tech and media to forge a unique go to market solution for Assembly’s clients.  He leveraged his experience, knowledge and success he gained over the years to launch his second business venture, AboveNation Media.  He continues to leverage technology and his in-depth knowledge of media to capitalize on the vast opportunities available in the digital-driven media landscape for his clients and agency partners.
 
Steve has been recognized as a two-time Media All Star, in MediaPost in 2013 and in Adweek in 2011.  
 
Ellen Mullen
Associate Creative Director, Situation

Ellen Mullen is the Associate Creative Director at Situation, a digital-first marketing agency specializing in entertainment and live events. Ellen leads the Content Team, who dream up content for a variety of accounts—from Stoli® Vodka to Meals on Wheels to The Tony Awards®.

With several years in the arts, Ellen is a theatrical badass. She received her MFA in Dramaturgy from Columbia University, worked in CAA’s theater department, and raised a joyful hell as the Flea Theater’s Audience Development Manager. She now spends her days writing, editing, and playing with words all day.

Carren O’Keefe
Executive Creative Director/Partner, AnalogFolk

The line between online and offline is almost fully dissolved, and that really freaks some people out. Carren, on the other hand, specializes in user-focused ideas that live happily in the space between. She strives to create the kind of experiences the world would miss if they didn’t exist.

A writer by training and a conceptual creative leader in practice, Carren helped found AnalogFolk Portland after departing AKQA, where she built campaigns and experiences for brands such as Nike, Google, Calvin Klein, Kraft, and Anheuser-Busch.

Swapnil Patel
Executive Director, Media, McKinney

Over the past 15 years, Swap and his teams have managed the complex media needs of brands across numerous categories, from Domino's, Nationwide and Lowe's Home Improvement that spend hundreds of millions in broadcast inventory to others like Sherwin-Williams, Sennheiser and Crocs that rely more heavily on digital media. He joined McKinney in 2012, coming from CP+B, where he spent almost nine years working alongside in-house creatives, strategists and account leaders. Swap is an ardent believer in the creative power of media and loves negotiating relentlessly with media partners on behalf of his clients. Being a proud graduate of the University of Michigan, he says "Go Blue" all the time.

 

George Popstefanov
Founder and CEO, PMG
George Popstefanov, founder and CEO of PMG, brings a rare combination of deep technical expertise with innovative marketing savvy – as comfortable in brand strategy sessions as he is in troubleshooting analytics implementations and coding sessions with developers.
 
He founded PMG with one core objective: to do industry-leading work with big brands. Over PMG’s short history, he’s shepherded the agency to rank in the Inc. 500, Deloitte Fast 500, and Entrepreneur 360 lists of fastest growing companies; win seven Cannes Lions awards; rank in Ad Age’s top 5 best places to work two years in a row; and be named Agency of the Year by iMedia. Individually, he’s been inducted into MediaPost’s Online All-Stars, named a Top Boss award winner by Digiday, and included in Direct Marketing News’ 2017 40 Under 40 list of business leaders.
 
George is a frequent speaker at industry events, including Google Executive Travel Summit, Digiday, Luxury Interactive, MarkLogic World, SMX, SES, and Search Insider Summit. He has also been published on leading industry sites like Ad Age, Inc. Magazine, Campaign, Search Search Engine Land, iMedia, and Direct Marketing News.
Yumi Prentice
President, David&Goliath
Having lived and worked in 3 continents, Yumi has made a life of connecting with people from all corners of the world, and a career of helping brands do the same. With expertise in integrated and digital marketing, she is responsible for introducing new modes of collaboration that facilitate agency growth and digital integration.

Prior to joining D&G, she was Founder and Principal at Silicon Valley-based Manila Envelope Consulting, helping leaders of organizations at critical inflection points define their brand, messaging and go-to-market strategies.

Before that, Yumi spent over four years as SVP, Managing Director at T3’s San Francisco office, and held senior roles at WPP agencies including Grey San Francisco and JWT Asia (Bangkok and Singapore). Over the course of her career, she has led geographically and functionally matrixed agency collaborations and has overseen global, regional and national initiatives for clients such as Hotwire, Microsoft, Nokia, Charles Schwab and Unilever. 

 

 

 

Donna Robinson
CEO, Nina Hale, Inc.
Donna Robinson serves as CEO at Nina Hale, a Minneapolis-based performance digital agency. Since joining Nina Hale in 2012, Robinson has been the brain behind successful revenue growth year after year. She has successfully set the agency's vision, oversees business strategy and execution while balancing growth, but her commitment to the role goes well beyond the listed job duties. Robinson knows following is an important part of leadership. From social media trends to performance-based digital strategy, Donna looks to those around her, including peers and her own three daughters, to keep on top of what’s trending. Prior to Nina Hale, Robinson was VP of client services at space150, a full-service digital advertising agency. In this role Robinson was responsible for all client service and new business acquisition, and during her eight years there helped grow the agency from a niche marketing firm into a nationally renowned agency. Before space150, she began her career in traditional advertising. Throughout her career, Robinson has worked on iconic brands like American Express, Coca Cola, The Discovery Channel, General Mills, Land O’Lakes, Red Bull, Pillsbury, Target, U.S. Bank, anFargo.
Josh Robinson
ECD/Principal, My Friend's Nephew

Josh Robinson is ECD/Principal of Atlanta-based, omni-channel creative agency, My Friend's Nephew (MFN). An art director by trade, Josh has spent the last 18 years of his career crafting ideas for Fortune 500 brands as well as nonprofits. His work has garnered recognition by the international creative marketing & design community, including the One Show and Communication Arts. In 2014, the United Nations honored his work for The End It Movement, an anti-human trafficking organization, with its Award for Public Service Advertising.

Since opening its doors in January 2015, MFN has added many impressive clients to its roster, such as Red Bull, Mizuno, General Mills and ESPN. The agency is also dedicated to taking on pro bono work for nonprofits and NGOs.

Josh is an Atlanta native with a heart for his home city and its people. He and his wife, along with their three children, are active volunteers in their community.

Julia Sosa
Creative Director, Sapientrazorfish

Having started her career as an art director in traditional ad agencies, Julia’s passion is creating experiences that marry brand, business and user needs. With over 15 years in the industry, she has helped lead the development of digital campaigns, sites and products across fashion, insurance, travel and hospitality, health & wellness, technology and financial services.

From launching Nivea’s first mobile site in the US to leading the design of a pioneering global mobile sales tool for MetLife Japan, Julia has helped teams define mobile experiences that align to customer needs and behaviors. Across responsive redesign initiatives for clients including David Yurman and Bed Bath & Beyond, she has helped clients adopt mobile-first design systems and UX methodologies that better connect design and development processes.  

Throughout all of 
these initiatives, a core focus of Julia’s has also been helping clients evolve their design standards to consider mobile UI design and micro-interactions as an extension of their branding. An active member in the New York design community, Julia is committed to supporting future female creative leaders through her involvement in SheSays, Ladies That UX and the Women’s  Leadership Network.

In the past year Julia has been invited to serve on the Addys and Caples 
Jury.

Julia is a champion for design thinking, lean methodologies and the relentless pursuit of greatness. She believes that creativity is an extension of empathy, determination often trumps talent, collaboration and competition can co-exist, and that being nice is supremely underrated.

Lisa Topol
Co-Chief Creative Officer, DDB New York

Lisa Topol serves as co-CCO at DDB New York alongside her creative partner Derek Barnes. Named one of the top 30 creative women in advertising by Business Insider, Topol has an impressive resume, with leadership creative experience at several top agencies. In addition to Grey, Wieden and Oglivy, she spent three years as GCD at TBWA\Chiat\Day, where she led the creative teams on several brands, including the teams that produced Gold Lion-winning work on Wheat Thins, Keep a Child Alive and Kahlua. She also wouldn’t say no to a good tampon campaign, and changed the game with her ideas for U by Kotex at JWT.

Prior to teaming up with Topol in 2013 at Grey Group, Barnes was Creative Director at Anomaly on the global Budweiser account. In his previous years at Wieden + Kennedy in both Portland and New York, he worked as a creative director on ESPN and Brand Jordan and on some of the world’s most highly recognized brands, including Nike, Miller beer and Diet Coke.