Senior Vice President / Partner, C+R Research
Mary is a Partner at C+R Research, where she has been a qualitative expert since 2003. She is a veteran of the qualitative space, having consulted for the past 20 years with Fortune 500 companies on developing consumer and shopper strategies. Mary collaborates with clients to leverage holistic, custom and syndicated insights into product, service, and communication practices that meet consumers’ and shoppers’ needs and benefit both provider and consumer. Mary is a published author, sought-after speaker, graduate school lecturer, and an academic advisory board member of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU). She holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Human Development from the University of California-Santa Barbara.
Media Ecologist and Founder: MediaVillage; Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors
Jack Myers is a media ecologist and founder of MediaVillage, a future-focused business that connects professionals in the marketing and media industry for building community, education, and solutions for growth. Jack’s ground-breaking research on the first post-Internet generation led to his two best-selling books on shifting gender norms and to his founding of the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors. He’s a recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award for Journalism.
Jack is recognized as a leading expert on the cultural and economic impact of technology advances on media and marketing. His 1993 book, Adbashing: Surviving the Attacks on Advertising, was a clarion call to the industry to beware of the headwinds that are now buffeting all of business and culture. Over more than forty years he has influenced the decisions of hundreds of global, national and regional companies and organizations. His early experience included senior management roles at Metromedia Outdoor, ABC Radio, CBS-TV and UTV Cable.
Chairman, Energy BBDO
Tonise Paul is Chairman of Energy BBDO and a Director of BBDO Worldwide, the most awarded advertising agency network in the world for creativity and effectiveness.
Prior to becoming Chairman in 2020, Tonise served as President & CEO of Energy BBDO for 24 years, defining and manifesting the agency’s vision to be a “leading-edge creative organization that energizes people and brands.” Her leadership has fueled continual innovation in the agency’s capabilities, resulting in Energy’s growth into a global, multicultural, integrated, award-winning company. Today the agency is fortunate to partner with industry-leading companies, including Bayer, Brown-Forman, Champion, Mars Wrigley, Luxxotica, The National Safety Council and SC Johnson, to build some of the world’s most iconic brands.
Tonise is one of the longest-tenured female CEOs in the advertising industry and was the first female CEO appointed to the BBDO Worldwide Board. She is a champion of women’s and children’s concerns, sitting on the boards of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and the Off the Street Club. She has been recognized as “Advertising Woman of the Year” by the Chicago Advertising Federation, included in 40 Under 40 by Crain’s, and named one of the 30 most powerful women in advertising by Business Insider. She is the current Chairman of the Board of the Executives’ Club of Chicago, and a member of the Chicago Network, the Economic Club, the Commercial Club of Chicago.
Senior Vice President, Inventory Partnerships
Tim Sims is the Senior Vice President of Inventory Partnerships at The Trade Desk, a global advertising technology company. Tim drives the company’s strategy and execution in creating cutting-edge supply-side collaborations with partners all over the world and across multiple channels including video, audio, mobile, native and display. Tim has spearheaded The Trade Desk’s Connected TV (CTV) growth, which resulted in CTV spend on The Trade Desk’s platform increasing 9x from 2017 to 2018. Tim is also influential in driving The Trade Desk’s continued global growth, with a specific focus in the Asia Pacific market, including the company’s launch in China.
Additionally, Tim leads The Trade Desk’s industry-shaping publisher management platform, where advertisers can transact with publishers to buy premium inventory through programmatic channels.
A recognized thought leader, Tim has been quoted and published in a variety of publications, including Adweek, ZDNet, VentureBeat and MediaPost. He has spoken at conferences including Cannes Lions, DMEXCO, AdvertisingWeek, IAB’s Programmatic Symposium, and Modern Marketing Summit as well as many partner leadership events.
Tim is an advertising technology veteran, having previously served as director of business development at OpenX, and director of media at Spot Runner.
Tim is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and lives and works in New York City.
Director, Magelli Office of Experiential Learning, Gies College of Business
Andrew has worked in the learning-by-doing space for the past ten years, first in his own edtech startup and for the past eight years at the University of Illinois. Andrew led Illinois Business Consulting, the largest university consulting organization in the country, and now leads experiential learning at the Gies College of Business. Every year at Gies, 700 students work on real-world projects with 150 companies as a part of their learning experience. He and his team are working to make education more real, more relevant and more hands-on in order to help students apply learning in a real-world context and gain the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.
Manager, Associate Account Executives at Amazon Advertising
With more than 16 years in Chicago’s media industry, Anastasia is motivated by helping standout talent break into the world of Amazon and e-commerce. After spending 3 years agency side at Starcom Worldwide, Anastasia dedicated 10+ years in media sales at Woman’s Day Magazine and People Magazine. In 2016, she transitioned to Amazon Advertising and now runs a 6 month AE training program, hiring directly from colleges and universities. Anastasia holds a BA in communications from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN. She is fueled by Diet Coke, her 2 year old son’s laugh and travel with her husband.
Sr. Account Executive – China Brand Partnerships & Solutions, MiQ
Griffin Barra graduated from the Advertising Department at U of I in 2015 and found programmatic advertising & ad tech through blended courses offered by the College of Media & Dept. of Computer Science and an internship in media sales with Viacom. He began his career at a cross-device identity company called Tapad working in a sales role on their programmatic media team. Griffin moved to MiQ, a programmatic marketing company, in 2017 and works with agencies and marketers across the Midwest and West Coast. Griffin’s focus is now in China, partnering with US brands growing in mainland China through a unique suite of Chinese technology and media partnerships.
Sr. Account Manager, Adobe Advertising Cloud
Neva Barra is a Senior Account Manager for Adobe Advertising Cloud. She works with clients to buy media, analyze their data, and create personalized experiences for their consumers, specializing in integrations across the Adobe Experience Cloud stack of products. Prior to working at Adobe, Neva was a Media Planner at Digitas, where she handled cross-channel planning for Whirlpool brands including TV, print, and digital. A passionate Illini fan, Neva was on the University of Illinois Cheerleading team during her time at school. This love for movement and fitness has evolved into a side business as a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. When she isn’t in the office or gym, she can be found walking her corgi, Tater Tot, around Chicago!
Client Partner, Spotify
Client Partner within the CPG vertical on the Sales team in Spotify’s Chicago office. Michael started his career at Spotify in 2013 as an intern and has worked his way through 4 different positions, working with all of the major media agencies and client directs in the Chicagoland area. College of Media, 2014 alumni. Link to Spotify profile: https://open.spotify.com/user/mbojda13?si=GfPRCOXqQX6zqnASLXKyaQ
Editor, Fortune Magazine
John Buysse is an audience engagement editor at Fortune. He leads audience strategy and content distribution for Fortune across social media, search, editorial platform partnerships and anywhere else Fortune content is consumed. Buysse joined Fortune in 2017. Prior to that he served as a social media strategist and Arizona’s state digital director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, managing Secretary Clinton’s official presence on Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn. He began his career as a brand strategist at the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather. A native of the Chicago area and a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Media, Buysse lived in New York City for several years before returning to Chicago in 2018.
CCO, ARC Worldwide
Chris has built his entire career around architecting award-winning, business-driving campaigns that simultaneously ignite brand love and results. With deep, cross-disciplined experience, he is most inspired by today’s challenge of creating connected brand experiences that engage consumers across multiple points of contact. Prior to Arc, Chris has held senior creative roles at Y&R, Trisect and VSA Partners. He has created memorable work for brands as varied as McDonald’s, Visa, Frito-Lay, Kawasaki, Hilton, Sears, The American Red Cross and the Centers for Disease Control. And his work has been recognized by nearly every industry award — including Cannes Lions.
Professor and Dean, School of Communication, Loyola University Chicago
Hong Cheng, Ph.D., taught various advertising courses. His research interest centers on cross-cultural advertising, global branding, and social marketing. His work has appeared in dozens of journal articles and book chapters. He co-authored Becoming a Media Savvy Student and co-edited Advertising and Chinese Society: Issues and Impacts and Social Marketing for Public Health: Global Trends and Success Stories. He edited The Handbook of International Advertising Research. He is an associate editor of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.
Dr. Cheng served the American Academy of Advertising as its secretary and co-chaired AAA’s 2005 Asia-Pacific Conference in Hong Kong. He is a former head of Advertising and International Communication divisions of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, as well as a former chair of the National Education Executive Committee of the American Advertising Federation. He is a board member of the Vance & Betty Lee Stickell Honors Internships Program.
Senior Assistant Dean for Student Services, University of Illinois
Katie earned her B.A. in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University, and earned her M.Ed. at the College of Student Affairs Leadership at Grand Valley State University. As Senior Assistant Dean for Student Services, she is responsible for advising students in the University of Illinois College of Media. Her personal interests include spending time with family and friends, sports such as playing volleyball, reading, and travelling.
CEO, Bad Moon Talent
After graduating from Illinois in 2007 (B.S., Advertising), Drake began his career at DDB NY on various accoutns including United Technologies, Lipton, Klondike and Breyers Ice Cream. In 2010, he moved to Los Angeles to work on the PlayStation account at Deutsch LA, which launched his career in video games. Shortly after, Drake began working on the Consumer Marketing team for Call of Duty at Activision. After launching five Call of Duty titles, he began to focus on esports at Activision, Blizzard and MLG on the teams that launched the Call of Duty World League and the Overwatch League. In 2019, Drake co-founded Bad Moon Talent, a talent agency specializing in the players and broadcast talent within the esports industries, where he is currently the CEO.
Senior Lecturer, Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising, University of Illinois
National Distinguished Advertising Educator Award, American Advertising Federation.
Campus-wide Teaching Excellence Award, University of Illinois.
Teaching Excellence Award, Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising.
UI Teaching Advancement Board. Faculty Senator. Advertising Department Advisory Committee.
Industry Immersion Faculty Leader – LA, NY, SF, Portland, Seattle, Chicago.
Study Abroad Faculty Leader London, Paris, Munich, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Rome, Florence.
National Advertising Review Board – Chair. AAF National Executive Education Committee Member + Past Chair.
UI Career Services Council – Past Chair. Coordinating Committee for Illinois Leadership.
AAF Board of Directors. AAF Faculty Advisor. NSAC Advisor. Vance L. Stickell Internship Board of Directors.
Bears. Cubs. Yankees. Illini. Golf. Warhol. Classic Rock. Espresso. Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cabernet Sauvignon.
Professor of Advertising, University of Illinois
Professor Jacqueline Hitchon obtained her MBA and Ph.D in Business at UW–Madison, with minors in statistics and psychology. Her research interests have included work on cause-related marketing and political advertising. She has published in such journals as Communication Research, Human Communication Research, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Political Communication, and Sex Roles. She was instrumental in launching the online master’s degree in Strategic Brand Communication at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, and currently teaches Advertising and Brand Strategy to undergraduate majors in the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising.
Associate Director of Analytics, Essence Magazine
Aston graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2010, being an active leader of the AAF diversity committee member, as well as the alumni community. As a graduate from this university, Aston’s innate curiosity about all things, was an ideal match for the institution’s ability to build problem solvers for tomorrow.
As the Associate Director of Analytics and Product at Essence Magazine, he works to serve black women deeply; delivering content insights through innovative reporting solutions, and analyzing additional audience behavior to inform how digital experiences are made.
Aston has worked in both small and large agencies spanning a multitude of clients including General Motors, Samsung Global, Anheuser-Busch, Champs Sports, and GameStop. He has also had experience on the brand side with luxury brand, Coach, and the publisher Conde Nast, collaborating across brands such as Vogue, The New Yorker, GQ and more. Aston’s career path has also given him a wealth of experience across digital including social media, email marketing, SEO, and website optimization.
VP Strategic Planning Group, FCB Health
With 23 years of experience in advertising, Brian has devoted his professional career to generating big ideas based on true human insights. As a Copywriter and Creative Director, Brian has produced award winning work for globally recognized brands at agencies such as DDB New York, Ogilvy, and FCB Health.
As a VP in the Strategic Planning Group, Brian runs FCB Health’s IDEA LAB, a perfect fusion of innovative and strategic thinking. He is a certified facilitator in Creative Problem Solving, LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, The FourSight Thinking Assessment, and is trained in DiSC – all of which he draws on to help amplify the strategic thinking process to solve business issues and implementing change.
Brian graduated from the University of Illinois (LAS ’96) and will receive his Master’s of Science Degree in Creativity and Change Leadership in May of 2020. Currently, he lives in New Jersey with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Reggie.
Founder/Web Developer/Digital Marketer, atCommunications, LLC
Terry Kasdan founded atCommunications, LLC in Northbrook, Illinois in 1999. Over the course of the last two decades, atCommunications has designed, programmed, hosted and promoted more than 1,000 Web sites, CDs, DVDs, and mobile applications. atCommunications is a Google-certified digital marketing agency partner and a four-time American Graphic Design Award recipient. Terry earned his Master’s degree in advertising from the University of Illinois in 1998 where, as a prestigious James Webb Young Fellow, he also taught two undergraduate campaigns courses. After a stint with CNN.com in Atlanta, Terry served as Art Director/Digital Graphics Designer for a full-service advertising agency working on projects in a variety of media. Terry left that position in 1999 to found atCommunications. Terry now also serves on the James Webb Young Board, a professional advisory board to the University of Illinois’ Department of Advertising, and guest speaks about digital marketing and emerging technology at high schools, universities, and ad agencies across the Midwest.
Jim Kennedy Professor of New Media and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Advertising and Public Relations, University of Georgia
Karen King teaches courses in media strategy and activation, advertising research and advertising campaigns; she served as the department head at UGA from 2002-2005 and 2006-2010. Her research interests include advertising industry issues and health communication. Prior to joining the faculty at UGA, Karen was a media planner and a research supervisor at FCB/Chicago. She is currently President of the American Academy of Advertising.
Global VP Strategic Communications, TransUnion
Rachel’s role at TransUnion is really that of Chief Storyteller—to develop, manage and amplify the global strategic narrative and brand around the mission of Information for Good, while fostering deep relationships with industry analysts, working closely with sales and marketing teams, and creating publishing opportunities. Prior, Rachel served as Strategic Director for Avenue, where she led strategic engagements with companies such as Boeing and Cars.com. she has also run her own consultancy firm, and worked client-side with Experian, IBM and Sun Microsystems. Rachel received a B.A. In Marketing Communications and Advertising from Columbia College in Chicago.
Former CEO, Dentsu-Aegis China; Senior Consultant of G.Sky Consulting
Kwei-Fen has over 30 years’ experience in media and advertising sectors. She received a MS degree of advertising at University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in 1983.
Her professional career covered various roles in Saatchi & Saatchi, Dentsu Young & Rubicam prior to joining Carat Media Taiwan in 2000. Since then she has been promoted from CEO of Carat to CEO of Aegis Group Taiwan in 2004, then to CEO of Greater China in 2006. Following the merger of Aegis Group PLC with Dentsu Inc. in 2013 Kwei-Fen was appointed Chairwoman of Dentsu Aegis Network China till 2017.
AAF Illinois President
Tiffany Leung is a senior pursuing her B.S. in Advertising and minor in business at the University of Illinois. As President of the largest American Advertising Federation (AAF) chapter in the nation, she has the privilege of mentoring the next generation of advertising talent. Tiffany is also a resident advisor and a Universal Music Group college marketing representative. Her roles and experiences, including her client services internship this summer at R/GA, an innovative and disruptive agency in New York, have pushed her to continue spearheading initiatives that build inclusive communities and help improve the culture of the advertising industry. Aside from her love for advertising, Tiffany is an avid YouTube food vlog viewer, dance documentary enthusiast, and dim sum connoisseur.
Principal Analyst, E-Marketer
Andrew Lipsman is a Principal Analyst at eMarketer, focusing on retail and ecommerce. Prior to eMarketer, Andrew was SVP of Marketing & Insights at comScore, overseeing the company’s global marketing insights and thought leadership initiatives.
He has specialized in several coverage areas in addition to retail, including social media, mobile, digital advertising and cross-platform marketing. Andrew has been a regular contributor to the Journal of Advertising Research and is frequently quoted by leading news organizations such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, CNN, Fortune, Reuters and Bloomberg.
Andrew holds an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and his undergraduate degree from Duke University.
Assistant Professor of Advertising, University of Illinois
Ewa earned her Ph.D. in Communication Science from the Persuasive Communication program at the University of Amsterdam. Her dissertation explored how personalized marketing communication influences consumers, taking situational and personal factors into account. She completed a postdoc in the Medill IMC Spiegel Digital & Database Research Center at Northwestern University, after which she became an Assistant Professor in the Amsterdam School of Communication Research. Ewa has been published in International Journal of Advertising, Computers in Human Behavior, Journal of Marketing Management, Decision Support Systems, and others. She is on the Editorial Review Boards of the International Journal of Advertising and the Journal of Interactive Advertising.
Former Global Brand and Advertising Manager at HP, McCue spent 20 years with the tech giant in a variety of advertising positions including North American Advertising Manager and Worldwide Consumer Advertising Manager – building the company’s first-ever role to create and implement a unified global consumer strategy and creative integrating Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.
Prior to HP, McCue was Manager of Corporate Communications at Fujitsu, Manager of Advertising and Public Relations at Hanna Andersson and Senior Account Executive at D-A-Y/O&M.
Currently a Brand Consultant living near Portland, OR., McCue is a passionate Illinois alum, JWY Department of Advertising Board Member and volunteer for Cre8con, the Portland Creative Conference.
Originally from Chicago’s south side, McCue married her high school sweetheart and fellow Illini and has two adult children who love the holiday tradition of having Papa Del’s pizza shipped to the beautiful PNW.
McCue has overseen campaign shoots in Amsterdam, England, India, Italy, France, Spain, Sweden and throughout the USA — including closing down the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris. She is the proud recipient of two Clio Awards, ADWEEK Campaign of The Year, ADWEEK Best Spot of the Month and Creativity Magazine Campaign of the Year.
Global Business Equity Lead, Facebook
Ashley McGowan is the Global Lead for Business Equality at Facebook. In this capacity, Ashley is responsible for stewarding business actions that will lead to a more diverse and inclusive industry. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ashley’s journey has included several creative agencies, Microsoft & Under Armour. Along the way, Ashley founded Coalesce Chicago, the premier professional resource for diverse talent in Chicago. Over the past 12 years, Ashley’s impact has been acclaimed globally including three ADCOLOR recognitions as well as a 2019 ambassador appointment to the Cannes Diversity Collective. For Ashley, life is about leaving your footprints in the sand – if you were to ask her, she’s just at the beginning of the mark she’s looking to leave behind.
Senior Lecturer in Advertising, University of Illinois and Partner, Bluegreen Branding
Shachar teaches advertising strategy, creativity and campaigns. His primary focus is The Sandage Project, our program’s capstone course that all seniors take before graduating.
Before life as a lecturer, Shachar worked for 12 years as a creative director, brand strategist and copywriter in Chicago. His clients included Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, Motorola, Nordstrom, Cars.com, TransUnion and Abbott Labs, as well as dozens of startup and early-stage companies.
Along the way Shachar co-founded and co-ran BatesMeron Design, an indie agency focused on branding and marketing, where he helped grow the business to 30 clients and $1m in billings. He also founded Redacted, which became Chicago’s largest copywriter association in its first year.
Shachar earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Advertising here at U of I. While in school, he published a comic strip in the Daily Illini that (among other things) led to his election as student body president—for one day. Long story.
Principal and President, 50,000 Feet
At 50,000feet, Jim oversees the strategic direction of the global brand consultancy and creative agency as well as business development and client services. With leadership and expertise across financial services, technology, consumer electronics, retail, architecture and design and luxury, Jim works closely with many of 50,000feet’s clients. Prior, Jim held leadership positions at global agencies and consultancies, including EY and Accenture. Jim received a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, completed the AIGA Program for Creative Leaders at Yale University and is a graduate of the Booth Chicago Institute of Management Executive Program at the University of Chicago.
Advertising Graduate Student, University of Illinois
Jas graduated from the MS program in Summer 2019. Her thesis, “Commodifying Consciousness: A Visual Analysis and Discussion on Neoliberal Multiculturalism in Advertising,” is a critical investigation of contemporary representations of women of color. As a strategist within the industry, she was responsible for crafting narratives to support corporate branding efforts. Now, as a community strategist, she is driven to affect real, liberatory change.
Bo is a Director at IDEO focused on the intersection of data science and human-centered design. She is passionate about using data as a resource to improve the way people work, play, and think. Prior to IDEO, Bo was a Partner and Data Scientist at Datascope, a cutting-edge data science consultancy based in Chicago. She is an active member of the local tech community, as founder of the Chicago Women in Machine Learning & Data Science meetup, and former head organizer of the Data Science Chicago meetup. Bo holds an MS in Statistics and a BS in Mathematics, both from The University of Chicago, and was named one of Crain’s 2019 Tech 50.
Lecturer, Loyola University Chicago
Rich is a 30+ year marketing/advertising veteran who currently is a Group Account Director at The Mx Group, a leading B2B Marketing Agency as well as an adjunct professor at Loyola University (Chicago) teaching a variety of strategic brand communication classes. His career included 25+ years at The Leo Burnett Group as an SVP, Account Director leading the strategic integration of digital, social and traditional communication on McDonald’s, Allstate, Whirlpool, Maytag, United Airlines & Walmart. Rich is a 10+ year member of U of I’s James Webb Young Advisory Board & and recently graduated with his MS from U of I’s Strategic Brand Communication (SBC) program.
Director of Sales Effectiveness Strategy at Effectv
Josh is the Director of Sales Effectiveness Strategy at Effectv. He is responsible for leading the Associate Account Executive Program, which is a 6 month training and skill development curriculum for recent college graduates. He also head up the New Hire Onboarding Program that takes every employee through their first 90 days with the organization. Josh has been at Effective for 7 years and in the media industry for 14.
Professor of Graphic Design, University of Illinois
Dr. Salamanca is a design researcher and interaction designer who has been experimenting with product aesthetics and information technologies, from both academia and industry, for more than 15 years.
His current research at the Design for Social Viscosity Lab at Illinois is two faceted. One strand inquires for the social and material conditions necessary to foster or hamper cooperation and collaboration in collective practices such as urban commuting. The other explores the visual analysis of large datasets for the achievement of unplanned collective goals.
Dr. Salamanca is currently assistant professor at the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a doctoral degree from the IIT Institute of Design in Chicago, a master degree in Design Direction from Domus Academy in Milan, Italy, and a BA in Industrial Design at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia.
Associate Professor of Advertising, University of Illinois
Prior to joining the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising, Sar taught advertising courses in both graduate and undergraduate levels at Iowa State University for 7 years. He mainly taught strategic communication (strategic planning, advertising and mass communication research methods, psychology of advertising and other mass communication related courses). His research background is in the area of the effects of mood, emotions, perceptions and memory on information processing and social advertising. Sar serves on editorial boards of the Journal of Advertising, and the International Journal of Advertising. He also serves as an Associate Editor for the Asian Journal of Communication. He is a recipient of the Journal of Advertisings Best Reviewer Award for 2010 and an ad hoc best Reviewer Award for the Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising for 2012.
Senior Talent Acquisition Associate, The Trade Desk
Gabrielle Sullivan is a Senior Talent Acquisition Associate at the Trade Desk, primarily partnering with the Client Services, Business Development, and Strategic Partnerships teams. Gabrielle has been recruiting at The Trade Desk for nearly 5 years, and has supported the company’s growth from a pre-IPO start-up to a 1,400-person publicly traded company. Gabrielle holds a B.S. in Sociology from Cornell University.
Director, Siebel Center for Design
Rachel Switzky is the inaugural director of the Siebel Center for Design. Prior to her current appointment, she has been a global design leader working with Fortune 100 companies over the past 20 years. Most recently, she served as an Executive Director at IDEO, the company who pioneered the concept of design thinking. In this role, she helped teams imagine futures and then put them into action, focusing on digital design, emergent technologies and impact at-scale.
Assistant Professor of Advertising, University of Illinois
Harsh became interested in the media when we began his masters coursework at a marketing communications program at the MICA, India. Majoring in marketing research and media he conducted audience research for media agencies (Starcom and Zenith Optimedia), broadcasters (BBC’s Global News Division) and newspapers ( Indian Express Group). Aspiring to be a full time academic, he pursued a PhD at Northwestern University’s interdisciplinary doctoral program in Media, Technology and Society. In his doctoral training he combined his experiences gained in the media and advertising industries with social theories and research methodologies to formulate a research program that focuses on media audiences.
Senior Director, Product Management, Verizon Media
Aparna Vani is the Senior Director of Product Management at Verizon Media. Aparna leads the Advertising data pipelines for Verizon Media DSP, SSP platforms, building Advertising data lake and business analyst tools for meaningful insights and data driven decisions. Aparna drives Verizon Media Advertising Data group’s strategy and execution in creating world class data processing systems to empower internal and external users to uncover potential value in data. She earned her masters from University of Houston, Computer engineering department.
SVP, Analytics and Insights
Henry leads the Analytics and Insights practice at Kelly Scott Madison, a midsize independent media shop in Chicago. Henry specializes in the application of analytics techniques to prove and predict media performance, generate insights for strategy development, and apply data in new and exciting ways. With over a decade of experience, Henry helps drive growth for clients by envisioning new ways data can evolve their business, uncover meaningful information and help quantify the impact that media has on the bottom line. Before coming to Kelly Scott Madison, Henry worked at Starcom and Mindshare in Chicago.
Director of Marketing, Tock
Equal parts entrepreneur and marketer. After spending 5 years at Google and building two eCommerce businesses, Kyle is now leading marketing at the venture-backed startup Tock—the reservation system that powers the world’s best restaurants including the French Laundry, Alinea, Noma, Eleven Madison Park, and Atelier Crenn.
Department Head, Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising, University of Illinois
Mike Yao’s research focuses on the social and psychological impacts of interactive digital media. He conducts research and writes on a variety of topics such as online behavior, digital literacy, and computer-mediated communication. His current interest is in how users perceive and manage personal boundaries on social media. Specifically, he examines people’s attitudes, beliefs and self-protective behaviors related to online privacy from a psychosocial perspective by considering the influence of cognitive appraisal, social norm, and individual differences. A second area of Mike’s active research is the psychological impacts of digital media use. He examined the influence of various interactive media, such as video games and social media, on users’ online and offline social behavior. He is currently trying to extend this line of research to developing an integrated theory of digitally mediated human behavior.
Research Assistant Professor and Director of Data Science Research Service, Gies College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Joseph T. Yun’s research is primarily focused on novel computational advertising algorithms, user-centric analytics systems, and societal considerations of AI-based advertising and marketing (e.g. privacy, ethics). Dr. Yun also has appointments in the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. He is also the principal investigator of the Social Media Macroscope, which is an open research environment for social media analytics (www.socialmediamacroscope.org), and is the co-founder of a marketing data science company called Marketing AI Partners (www.marketingaipartners.com).