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Meet Ad Age's
2017
Forward thinkers. Risk-takers. Rainmakers. Our 2017 class is an eclectic group of movers in the worlds of media, marketing, tech and advertising.
39

Jared Belsky

President, 360i

39

Jared Belsky

President, 360i

By Lindsay Stein

Jared Belsky believes there is an opportunity for agencies to provide a digitally led, but not digitally limited, media approach to clients, and he has helped bring that vision to life for 360i with the integration of Vizeum. Now, 360i can provide clients with integrated paid, earned and owned solutions by housing deep digital specialization, creative prowess and traditional media all in one shop. Under Mr. Belsky's leadership, 360i saw an almost 400% increase in analytics revenue and investment last year, while nearly doubling billings to $1.1 billion. He also leveraged 360i's integrated capabilities to win new assignments, such as Chili's, DSW and Fossil.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I got my start at 360i via an interview with our chairman, which took place on the train. When I got to my actual stop, I stayed on and pretended I lived further out so I could get more time on the interview.

What is your favorite book or movie?

"Field of Dreams." I have visited the actual field on a road trip. The father-son catch at end of the movie is my favorite scene, and I've been lucky to have a few of those with my dad, my son and my daughter.

What was your first job?

Summer camp counselor, where I learned the value of a buck, earning a whole extra $150 for two months of pool-cleaning duty.

Photo courtesy of 360i
39

David Beebe

VP-global creative and content marketing, Marriott

39

David Beebe

VP-global creative and content marketing, Marriott, Marriott

By Adrianne Pasquarelli

After cutting his teeth in media, where he won an Emmy working at Disney's ABC Television Group, David Beebe took his marketing prowess in 2014 to Marriott International. There, he has spent the past three years reinvigorating the hospitality brand through its content studio. Whether producing a travel documentary series, comedic soap opera, online movie series "Three Bellmen" or digital magazine Marriott Traveler, Mr. Beebe has boosted the chain's creative offerings to further engage loyalists and attract new travelers. Those newcomers include younger customers as well—last year, the brand's marketing command center, M Live, found and sponsored a trip for a superfan "Pokemon Go" player.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

As a kid, I would watch "ABC World News Tonight" every day and take creative notes on each show. I wish I still had them today to see what I wrote about.

What keeps you up at night?

Myself. It's hard for me to shut off my brain and stop thinking about things. I keep a notebook and pen next to bed to write down ideas and thoughts so I remember them in the morning.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, not a family member, who would it be?

Henry Ford. He thought different. He said, "Be ready to revise any system, scrap any method, abandon any theory, if the success of the job requires it." It's that kind of thinking brands need to have today.

Photo courtesy of Marriott
38

Leslie Berland

Chief marketing officer, Twitter

38

Leslie Berland

Chief marketing officer, Twitter

By Garett Sloane

Leslie Berland took on one of the most challenging jobs in tech when she signed on to lead Twitter's marketing as CMO. She was Twitter's first CMO, and she joined at the start of 2016, a crucial time for the company, which needed to simplify its brand for the world. She answered the question: What is Twitter? It's the place people go when they want to know what's happening in the world. It's almost that simple. Under Ms. Berland's leadership, Twitter started its most aggressive advertising campaign, including billboards showing mass cultural moments adorned with a big hashtag. Twitter even moved beyond using only its identifiable light-blue color palette for all its marketing, and infused more color.

Photo courtesy of Twitter
36

Gui Borchert

Group creative director, 72andSunny

36

Gui Borchert

Group creative director, 72andSunny

By Ann-Christine Diaz

If Los Angeles ends up hosting the Olympics in 2024, the city may owe some thanks to 72andSunny Group Creative Director Gui Borchert, who has led the agency's team advising on L.A.'s bid for the games, working on everything from its angel-themed logo, website and campaign films. But that's just an inkling of the work the Brazilian native has touched. His Olympics experience also includes a campaign for Google Translate that gave pro tips to Rio Games attendees, and he's steered campaigns for Tillamook, Sonos and Starbucks. The latter included the company's "Year of Good" film and an effort for which he directed more than 60 videos highlighting its baristas.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I'm about to run from L.A. to Vegas through the desert with 11 other delusional badasses. It's probably a really stupid idea.

If you had one thing to do over in your life what would it be?

I wish I could have hung out with my grandpa a little more. He was the Brazilian version of Hunter S. Thompson with a touch of Fred Astaire.

What is your favorite book or movie?

I have to say, as obvious as it may sound, "Pulp Fiction" changed the way I looked at films, at the right time of my life. Hard to beat.

Photo courtesy of 72andSunny
34

Casey Burnett

Founder and managing partner, The Burnett Collective

34

Casey Burnett

Founder and managing partner, The Burnett Collective

By Lindsay Stein

After more than 10 years at a traditional agency search consultancy, Casey Burnett realized the model had to be disrupted. His vision was to focus more on enhancing the agency-client relationship rather than simply replacing one shop for another. Since founding his own consultancy, The Burnett Collective, at the end of 2015, he has counted 10 Fortune 100 companies among this client roster, including BMW, New York Life and Honda. Over the last year, Mr. Burnett has had an impact on more than $177 million in agency fees and $1.2 billion-plus in total media spending. And when he's not improving agency-client partnerships, he's building train tracks with his 3-year-old son.

Photo courtesy of The Burnett Collective
34

Randell Cotta

Lead data scientist, Drawbridge

34

Randell Cotta

Lead data scientist, Drawbridge

By Garett Sloane

He could be working on theoretical models of dark matter, but Randell Cotta is solving one of advertising's most vexing problems at Drawbridge: cracking identity in the digital realm. His biggest achievement in the past 12 months was patenting a method of "going beyond devices" to understand which consumers are on the other end of the screen -- what Drawbridge calls probabilistic cross-device identity. In advertiser terms, that means he has a fairly good chance of targeting a consumer switching from phone to laptop and work to home. Drawbridge said it grew platform customers 650% in 2016.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I spent most of my high school days in auto shop building race cars. I am probably the only person you'll ever meet who had to go to community college before eventually publishing papers on string theory.

Who would you most like to have dinner with?

If by "have dinner with" you mean "vision quest in the jungle with," then Richard Feynman, who was a theoretical physicist, Manhattan Project contributor and Nobel Prize winner."

What was your first job?

My first job that mattered was designing industrial equipment at my uncle's engineering firm. I had a mentor there who spilled red-pen over all of my work and really helped my dumb high school brain learn a new definition of "good enough."

Photo courtesy of Drawbridge
35

Josh Dean

Chief marketing officer, Tommy John

35

Josh Dean

Chief marketing officer, Tommy John

By Adrianne Pasquarelli

If women can talk openly about their periods, why can't men talk about their own underwear issues? Unfiltered candidness is part of Josh Dean's marketing strategy at Tommy John, the 9-year-old men's underwear brand (named for founder Tom Patterson, not the baseball player) that claims a better design and fit than the competition. As chief marketing officer working with his own 10-person team and agency of record Preacher, Mr. Dean has spearheaded campaigns like 2015's "The Big Adjustment," which advertised the brand's patented undergarments through a video that garnered 2 million views. Since 2014, Tommy John's revenue has doubled, on average, each year and is expected to exceed $100 million next year, according to company reports. "There was still a stigma around saying men suffer from wedgies or balls sticking to their legs," said the U.K.-born Mr. Dean. "But we're not afraid to tackle that and be provocative in that way." Later this year, Mr. Dean will expand on the brand's partnership with comedian Kevin Hart, a recent investor in the business, to include a new product line as Tommy John seeks to grow its retail footprint beyond its current 500 stores.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I studied history and politics at university. Oh, and I once won an ostrich race in South Africa.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, not a family member, who would it be?

Winston Churchill because he is revered as one of the most influential political figures and reminds me of home. We'd have a nice glass of port and post-dinner cigar discussing politics and arts throughout the ages. I'd love his perspective on current affairs.

What was your first job?

My first job was "pizza boy" at Pizza Express in Manchester. I used to reinvent my persona based on the customer I was serving to maximize my tip.

Photo courtesy of Tommy John
35

Mark DiCristina

Director of brand marketing, MailChimp

35

Mark DiCristina

Director of brand marketing, MailChimp

By George Slefo

Mark DiCristina is best known for spearheading the sponsorship between MailChimp and NPR's iconic "Serial" podcast. That move alone propelled MailChimp from being a relatively unknown email marketing platform to garnering shout-outs on "Saturday Night Live," "The Colbert Report" and Funny or Die. In 2016, MailChimp began its first major ad campaign in partnership with Droga5. Mr. DiCristina played an integral role in that push, and helped deliver even more memorable moments in several videos that poke fun at the company's name.

If you had to do one thing over, what would it be?

Prom my senior year. I went and had a fun time with a lot of my friends. But there was a girl, she was super unpopular, super shy. I noticed her and wanted to ask her for a dance and make her not feel like she was obviously feeling. I didn't do that. I have never forgotten that moment. I always felt I should have said something.

Photo courtesy of MailChimp
36

Jayar Donlan

Exec VP-digital and social content, WWE

36

Jayar Donlan

Exec VP-digital and social content, WWE

By E.J. Schultz

At a marketing industry event last year, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon said that "our fans are our secret sauce." Jayar Donlan is the man keeping those fans engaged online. He oversees a team of 75 people responsible for WWE's digital content, video, design and social media and reports to WWE Chairman-CEO Vince McMahon. Under Mr. Donlan's leadership, WWE has boosted its social media following to more than 750 million followers. Last year, WWE surpassed 10 million YouTube subscribers, joining an elite group that includes Taylor Swift, "The Ellen Show" and "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I'm an open book.

What keeps you up at night?

Two boys under 2 years of age

What was your first job?

Busboy.

Photo courtesy of WWE
38

Rebecca Dunphey

President-adult and feminine care, Kimberly-Clark

38

Rebecca Dunphey

President-adult and feminine care, Kimberly-Clark

By Jack Neff

Rebecca Dunphey returned to the U.S. last year to take over as president of a Kimberly-Clark adult- and feminine-care business she helped build as a brand director earlier in the decade. The move came after two years as country manager in Panama and Ecuador. Now, with international experience and a president-level position before age 40, the veteran of Unilever has a high ceiling, perhaps above the glass one at K-C. On Poise in 2011, she helped normalize "light bladder leakage" as a household phrase, enlisting Kirstie Alley for funny ads. Back in the U.S. last year, she helped lead "The Period Projects" for U by Kotex, including donation drives in conjunction with DoSomething.org. Now she's prepping for a major feminine-care launch for this spring. Funny and offbeat marketing have made adult- and feminine-care categories, once the dread of many marketers and consumers alike, into high-profile bastions of creativity. Ms. Dunphey believes both marketers and consumers have changed. "Millennials are much different from prior generations in that they're more open to talking about things in a different way," she said. Marketers have taken note, she said, and are "breaking down societal stigmas."

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I conquered my fear of sharks by learning to surf when I lived in Panama.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, not a family member, who would it be?

Abraham Lincoln. I'm currently reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's book "Team of Rivals" and it is fascinating to learn about his approach to leadership.

What is your favorite book or movie?

"Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen.

What was your first job?

I worked in after-school care when I was in junior high.

Photo courtesy of Kimberly-Clark
31

Jennifer Dwork

Head of content, Book of the Month Club

31

Jennifer Dwork

Head of content, Book of the Month Club

By Jack Neff

How do you revitalize the 90-year-old Book of the Month Club? Jennifer Dwork tried Instagram. As head of content, she grew the club's Instagram following to more than 185,000 in just over a year, making it one of the largest accounts in the book space and reaching 3 million people monthly. Previously a producer for CNBC and Bloomberg, and content strategist at TripAdvisor, she developed a strategy for the club that includes having such celebrities as Abbi Jacobson and Anthony Bourdain, as well as book bloggers, post about each month's five selections. All of that has helped build membership among millennial women.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, not a family member, who would it be?

Ira Glass, the host of "This American Life" podcast. I've been listening to him for so many years that I feel like we are already good friends. He'd have so many interesting stories to tell after the thousands of interviews he's conducted over the years.

If you had one thing to do over in your life what would it be?

Not stressing about getting a job at a prestigious-sounding company just because it looks good on a resume (this was me all throughout business school). I've learned that it's much more important to find a cultural fit when it comes to career moves. I feel lucky that I've found that match at Book of the Month and am truly excited about what we're building.

What was your first job?

I was an NBC Page. I gave 30 Rockefeller studio tours in my snazzy page uniform, and helped coordinate ticketing and seating for "SNL" and other late-night shows. I spent long, tiring hours on my feet six days a week, but I loved being around the energy in that building. I've been in media ever since.

Photo courtesy of Book of the Month Club
31

Shilpa Gadhok

Brand manager, barkTHINS at Hershey Co.

31

Shilpa Gadhok

Brand manager, barkTHINS at Hershey Co.

By Jessica Wohl

Shilpa Gadhok joined Hershey in June as Kit Kat's senior associate brand manager and quickly worked to modernize the brand, making it more appealing to millennials and Gen Z and helping the chocolate bar post its strongest sales growth in five years. Two hits: Featuring Chance the Rapper and his version of the "Give Me a Break" jingle in marketing, and responding to Kansas State student Hunter Jobbins' tweet about someone stealing a Kit Kat from his car. Delivering 6,500 Kit Kats to Mr. Jobbins garnered more media placements than any other single Kit Kat activation. She became brand manager of barkTHINS in January and is working on its first major campaign.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, not a family member, who would it be?

I absolutely love Ellen [DeGeneres]. … She's a really strong woman but she's also been someone who stands up for what she believes in and has spread kindness in the world, I think. … Also, she's hilarious.

If you had one thing to do over in your life what would it be?

That's a hard question because I try to live my life with no regrets.

A huge fan of Disney movies, Ms. Gadhok said a recent favorite is "Zootopia."

Photo courtesy of Hershey Co.
37

Sanjiv Gajiwala

VP-marketing, Mike's Hard Lemonade

37

Sanjiv Gajiwala

VP-marketing, Mike's Hard Lemonade

By E.J. Schultz

The flavored malt beverage industry is one of the toughest categories in alcohol as fickle drinkers move from one brand to the next at a dizzying pace. But Mike's Hard Lemonade has thrived, thanks to scrappy marketing and a mostly digital-heavy approach under Mr. Gajiwala's leadership. Flavored malt category volume declined 4.4% from Jan. 1 to Feb. 25, but Mike's surged 11%, according to Nielsen data cited by Beer Marketer's Insights. Mike's says 2016 marked its fourth straight year of growth -- not an easy task as behemoths like Anheuser-Busch InBev keep flooding the market with new flavored malt beverages.

If you had one thing to do over in your life what would it be?

I would rethink wearing aloha shirts in my 20s.

What is your favorite movie?

"The Godfather, Part 2."

What was your first job?

Working at a formalwear shop measuring dudes for tuxedos.

Photo courtesy of Mike's Hard Lemonade
31

Grant Gittlin

Chief execution officer, MediaLink

31

Grant Gittlin

Chief execution officer, MediaLink

By Lindsay Stein

Described by his co-workers as having "a magnetic presence and contagious energy," Grant Gittlin has helped MediaLink become the next-generation, strategic advisory powerhouse it is today. He's spearheaded work on deals with the likes of Yahoo and Sizmek and drove theAmplify's acquisition by You & Mr. Jones. Mr. Gittlin, who joined the company in 2011 as CEO Michael Kassan's "chief of stuff," also played a role in MediaLink's recent acquisition by Cannes Lions parent company Ascential. And, perhaps not surprisingly, Mr. Gittlin has solidified MediaLink's ubiquitous and often mysterious presence, making it the heart of events such as Cannes and CES.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I love disco!

If you had one thing to do over in your life what would it be?

Isn't this an "Under 40" list? No regrets. Ask me again in another 40 years.

What was your first job?

I counted stacks of paper in 50-sheet bundles for JKG Printing in Boca Raton, Fla.

Photo courtesy of MediaLink
37

Keegan Goudiss

Partner, Revolution Messaging

37

Keegan Goudiss

Partner, Revolution Messaging

By Kate Kaye

When Keegan Goudiss received the job of managing a $10,000 web ad buy for the nonprofit where he worked in 2009 despite having no experience running a digital ad campaign, little did he know he would one day lead the digital ad team for one of the most dynamic and influential presidential primary campaigns in recent memory.

Mr. Goudiss, the former director of digital for the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign and now partner at digital consultancy Revolution Messaging, aims to apply what he learned from raising millions in small-donor funds for the Sanders campaign -- for breaking up big banks and ending climate change -- to other progressive clients.

Republicans have started their paid digital efforts earlier than Democratic candidates have, he said, arguing that the Republican approach "is a better strategy" because so many voter opinions are formed through digital media. "So much of what happens in politics is happening online now," said Mr. Goudiss.

Educating clients about what he calls "metrics that matter" is another goal. He'd like to get his clients thinking more about whether digital ads persuade voters rather than simply driving them to donate or fill out a petition.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I hate tomatoes but I love tomato sauce. ... I think that's a weird quirk that I usually don't tell people.

What keeps you up at night?

The worry that something has gone wrong with ad trafficking: Did I accidentally run the creative that was supposed to be in Massachusetts in Minnesota? I have stress dreams.

What is your favorite book or movie?

"The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway. It's hard to pick a favorite. [He noted that he sees parallels between the lost generation of the novel and today's millennial generation.]

Photo courtesy of Revolution Messaging
31

Dan Greenberg

CEO, Sharethrough

31

Dan Greenberg

CEO, Sharethrough

By Garett Sloane

Dan Greenberg can make a bold claim. He is credited with basically popularizing the term "native advertising." OK, there's no way to really prove it, but colleagues say if anyone can claim that, it's probably him. Mr. Greenberg has been talking about native ads for a long time. At Sharethrough, he built an automated platform around in-feed, native advertising. Last year, Sharethrough struck partnerships with Condé Nast, CNN and Business Insider, and said that it tripled the number of native ad impressions sold through its ad supply platform. Also last year, $140 million in native ad spending went through Sharethrough's exchange.

What is something no one knows about you?

I dropped out of Stanford University to found Sharethrough.

What keeps you up at night?

My new baby, 6 weeks old now! And I've been using the late-night creative energy to rewrite some of my all-time favorite books as children's stories. When he grows up and encounters those books in their original form, I'm excited for him to remember me reading them when he was a baby.

What is your favorite book?

If I had to choose one book, probably John Kennedy Toole's classic "A Confederacy of Dunces." But also anything written by Kurt Vonnegut: "Sirens of Titan," "Cat's Cradle"; Haruki Murakami: "1Q84," "Wind-up Bird"; José Saramago: The Double"; Kafka: "The Trial," "Metamorphosis"; and John Irving: "The World According to Garp." And actually, some of the books that I've rewritten as baby books are there in that list.

What was your first job?

Building furniture at Ikea. I'm still pretty good at it.

Photo courtesy of Sharethrough
34

Dana Griffin

Chief marketing officer, Knotch

34

Dana Griffin

Chief marketing officer, Knotch

By George Slefo

Dana Griffin made the unlikely journey from Transylvania, Romania, to the University of Akron in Ohio by teaching herself English and all things computer. She's since worked in the agency world for more than a decade and today is chief marketing officer of Knotch, a marketing intelligence company that works with a third of the Fortune 500 brands. In 2016, she launched the Transparency Standard, which aims to achieve what its name suggests: full transparency for marketers and their ad dollars.

What is one thing about you that no one knows?

I am learning the art of Krav Maga. It's crazy martial arts the Israeli special forces use.

Photo courtesy of Knotch
35

Lauren Hanrahan

Global practice lead-business development and communications, Publicis Media

Lauren Hanrahan

Global practice lead-business development and communications, Publicis Media

35
By Lindsay Stein

Since being tapped to join the executive board and lead all business development and communications across Publicis Media's five global brands and practices a year ago, Lauren Hanrahan has been firing on all cylinders with no end in sight. Under Ms. Hanrahan's leadership, which includes overseeing a team of 150 employees around the world, Publicis Media has won new pieces of business worth more than $7 billion in billings in just 12 months. Throughout her career, Ms. Hanrahan has been an instrumental player in securing big-name clients, such as Procter & Gamble, Comcast, Microsoft, Yahoo, Mars Wrigley, Brown-Forman and Wendy's.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

It's not the best kept secret, but I did improv for seven years. It taught me the power of "yes, and!"

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, not a family member, who would it be?

Jeff Probst. I'm a huge "Survivor" fan. The social, physical and mental aspects of the game never get old. I'd love to have a beer with him and hear the not-suitable-for-TV stories.

What is your favorite book or movie?

I like to read fiction when I'm not working 24/7. My all-time favorites are "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," "The Pillars of the Earth," "Middlesex" and, of course, every single Harry Potter book.

Photo credit: Laura Brown Photography
37

Shamsa Jafri

Senior VP-data science, Innocean Worldwide

Shamsa Jafri

Senior VP-data science, Innocean Worldwide

37
By Lindsay Stein

Shamsa Jafri has built Innocean's data capabilities from the ground up, helping the shop better inform decisions and increase effectiveness of integrated advertising efforts for clients such as Hyundai USA. Over the past year, Ms. Shamsa has shifted away from the traditional idea of VDP (vehicle details page) views as sales predictor and refocused on customized models around behavior and consumer interactions. Ms. Shamsa, the daughter of a refugee father and immigrant mother, also likes to give back. She currently leads an analytics training program for veterans and is launching a STEM program for refugee girls.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

During my maternity leave, I created a model that predicted my daughter's sleep schedule, based on highly correlated variables--milk volume intake and her poop cycle--with a 99.9% accuracy. The EPS model: eat, poop, sleep model.

What keeps you up at night?

Ideas.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, not a family member, who would it be?

Sheryl Sandberg.

Photo credit: Morgan Hubler
38

Kristy Kozlowski

Senior VP and managing director, Carat USA

Kristy Kozlowski

Senior VP and managing director, Carat USA

38
By Lindsay Stein

A 10-year Carat USA veteran, Kristy Kozlowski leads a team of 125 staffers across North America while helping clients drive business results by adopting programmatic and behavioral data insights. In the past year, she has played a key role in retaining and expanding Carat's relationships with Procter & Gamble and J.M. Smucker to the amount of $550 million-plus in billings. Her accomplishments were recognized internally in 2016 by parent company Dentsu Aegis Network, having received the Carat Diamond Awards for exemplifying the agency's values of ambition and consistency. Ms. Kozlowski also spearheaded Carat's pro bono relationship with the Ad Council, helping to launch and manage its anti-bullying campaign.

What is the one thing no one knows about you?

I'm a sucker for all Hallmark Channel movies: Christmas, Spring Fling, Valentine's Day, you name it and I've undoubtedly watched it.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, not a family member, who would it be?

James Corden. I feel like we would be instantaneous BFFs and the dinner would be nothing but belly laughs!

What is your favorite movie or book?

"Stand by Me." It's a great story about vulnerability and friendship. Plus, who doesn't love a good '80s movie.

Photo courtesy of Carat USA
29

Kazuaki Kuribayashi

Buzz machine, TBWA/Hakuhodo

Kazuaki Kuribayashi

Buzz machine, TBWA/Hakuhodo

29
By Angela Doland

Kazuaki Kuribayashi's nickname is "Buzz Machine." That's also an official title on his business card. The 29-year-old staffer at TBWAHakuhodo in Japan was behind Nissan's Intelligent Parking Chair, an office chair that can maneuver automatically into its original position—a clever, viral way to illustrate the Japanese automaker's parking technology. He also worked on Tourism Australia's "Giga Selfie" campaign, which allowed people to take supersize photos of themselves and the country's landscape. Mr. Kuribayashi combs through tens of thousands of videos and Twitter posts each year to come up with what he calls "buzz acupuncture points," a list of elements vital to virality.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I can predict the future. When I was 14, I saw a news piece about Cannes Lions on TV, and I had this vision. I remember it clearly: I'd be standing on the stage and receiving a Gold Lion ... and guess what? Last year, I won the Gold Lion at Cannes [for the "Giga Selfie campaign]. What do I see for the future now? An incredibly exciting epoch for our industry in the making.

If you had one thing to do over in your life what would it be?

I want to go back to all the project meetings I've ever been in. The more I've analyzed buzz, the more formulas for success made themselves apparent. I want to go back in time and give the old me all this valuable info I've built up over the years.

What keeps you up at night?

Thinking about the future of our industry keeps me up at night! Advertising as it is today is not living up to its full potential. We have to deconstruct the inherited notions ... otherwise our industry will be left by the wayside, with its value and power to contribute to the world diminishing. What about all the myriad of talented minds that inhabit the industry? The full potential of the talent is going untapped. That's what I'm feeling.

Photo courtesy of TBWA/Hakuhodo
39

Dan Levy

VP-global small business, Facebook

39

Dan Levy

VP-global small business, Facebook

By Garett Sloane

Last year, Facebook hit 4 million advertisers, and obviously not all of them are Fortune 1,000 companies. The boom was mostly thanks to the small and medium-size businesses, which is where Dan Levy comes in. Mr. Levy, VP-global small business, helps small businesses from Oklahoma to Kenya get on the site and start running campaigns.

There are 65 million business pages on Facebook, and only a fraction are spending to promote themselves, leaving plenty of work still to do. However, Mr. Levy is responsible for a tenfold increase in small-business advertisers in the past five years. The company does not break out what percentage of its ad sales come from small business, but says it was a "significant portion" of last year's $27 billion in revenue. If the social network is going to continue to compete with Google, it is counting on the long end of small businesses to start spending across the world.

What keeps you up at night?

Forgetting to put my phone in sleep mode and visits from my kids! Plus the hundreds of millions of businesses around the world who need a mobile solution to grow.

Mr. Levy is an industrial engineer and did not work in advertising before joining Facebook.

His first real job was a startup that failed. He was also a soccer referee at age 12.

Photo courtesy of Facebook
35

David Levy

Exec VP-nonlinear revenue, Fox Networks Group

35

David Levy

Exec VP-nonlinear revenue, Fox Networks Group

By Jeanine Poggi

As Fox Networks Group looks to reinvent the TV ad model into a more consumer-friendly experience, it is taking a cue from ad tech company TrueX, acquired in 2014. Helping to lead the charge is TrueX founder David Levy, who was brought into the Fox fold in September to lead all nonlinear sales. Mr. Levy spearheaded a partnership with Mondelez International, where the maker of Oreo and Ritz crackers made a material commitment to help innovate ad formats and work on reducing commercial clutter on streaming and video-on-demand platforms. This deal represents a new way marketers and entertainment properties can work together to create new brand experiences that are also entertaining and relevant for the consumer.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I'm an obsessive watcher of "So You Think You Can Dance."

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, not a family member, who would it be?

Dan Rather.

What was your first job?

Babysitting in high school.

Photo courtesy of Fox Networks Group
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39

Sam Luchini
and Roger Baran

Creative directors, Goodby Silverstein & Partners

33
39

Sam Luchini and Roger Baran

Creative directors, Goodby Silverstein & Partners

By Jessica Wohl

Sam Luchini and Roger Baran have worked on everything from an Emmy-nominated campaign for Adobe (the "Dream On" spot for Photoshop's 25th anniversary) to VR experiences since landing at Goodby Silverstein & Partners in 2012. Their Tostitos "Party Safe" bag detected alcohol when users blew into a device, enabling 30,000 people to get Uber rides home from Super Bowl parties. Another Frito-Lay campaign, the Doritos "No Choice" bland, gray chips for unregistered voters, was meant to encourage younger voters to register in time for the 2016 election. The duo's VR project for the Dalí Museum helped increase museum visits by 26%.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

Mr. Luchini: It's better to keep it as a secret.

Mr. Baran: My heartbeat drops to 28 bpm when I'm sleep. It's like hibernating.

What keeps you up at night?

Mr. Luchini: Being CEO in "Grand Theft Auto V" online.

Mr. Baran: Right now? An 11-month-old baby boy.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead (not a family member) who would it be?

Mr. Luchini: David Bowie.

Mr. Baran: Copernicus. "Tell me more about how you found out the Earth revolves around the sun? And what do you think are the implications of your theory?"

Photo courtesy of Goodby Silverstein & Partners
31

Alfred Malmros

Head of marketing, Jigsaw

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Alfred Malmros

Head of marketing, Jigsaw

By George Slefo

Jigsaw is regarded by parent company Alphabet as one of its most "prolific" bets. The company builds digital tools to report things like war crimes for frontline users in Syria, Myanmar and Venezuela. It also counters extremism, online censorship and cyberattacks. Alfred Malmros agrees that marketing such a company isn't easy, but under his leadership, Jigsaw has won countless awards for its website's design and content. Mr. Malmros also created a five-part documentary series with Vice News, which went on to become the most successful brand partnership Vice has ever done with Jigsaw.

What was your first job?

At 13, I got a cash job handing out advertising leaflets, but I got fired about two weeks into it because I was caught putting them in a Dumpster.

Photo courtesy of Jigsaw
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Heather MacNeil Cox

Chief marketing officer, Suja Juice

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Heather MacNeil Cox

Chief marketing officer, Suja Juice

By E.J. Schultz

Who wants a charcoal beverage? As it turns out, a lot of people. Under Ms. Cox's leadership, startup beverage brand Suja Juice last year created the limited-time offering that generated the kind of buzz that makes much larger brands jealous. The jet-black drink, called Midnight Tonic, included activated charcoal, which Suja says is a "natural detoxifier." Only 1,000 bottles were made, but they sold out online in 48 hours thanks to unpaid celebrity endorsements from the likes of Eva Longoria. It's this kind of scrappy marketing that has propelled Suja's revenue growth from $18 million in 2014 to a current $115 million. "Without big-brand budgets in a really competitive and high-spend category, we use what we have at Suja, which is the ability to be nimble, move quickly, be super creative and take risks, and I think the Midnight Tonic campaign is a really good example of that," said Ms. Cox, who joined Suja from PepsiCo in 2014. The company's lineup includes juices, smoothies and so-called functional beverages that are cold-pressured using high-pressure processing. Coca-Cola took an ownership stake in Suja in 2015. Suja didn't stop at charcoal. The marketer last year also launched a line of drinking vinegars at retailers including Kroger, Target and Whole Foods. Flavors include hibiscus ancho chile.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

Despite my best intentions, my 1-year-old daughter has already inherited my childhood nickname: Bulldog.

What keeps you up at night?

Imposter syndrome. I can never quite believe I'm lucky enough to have the job I do.

If you had one thing to do over in your life what would it be?

College. I was too busy being an idiot to understand the incredible opportunity I was being given.

Photo courtesy of Suja Juice
33

Jasmin Malone

Managing director-marketing, Truth Initiative

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Jasmin Malone

Managing director-marketing, Truth Initiative

By Adrianne Pasquarelli

Jasmin Malone is helping propel Truth Initiative, the antismoking nonprofit founded in 1998 and formerly known as the American Legacy Foundation, into the modern digital age. In the three years since she joined the organization, Ms. Malone, a mother of three, has expanded the "Catmageddon" campaign, which connects smoking to the death of cats and therefore the end of cute cat videos, through the use of branded integrations and custom spots. She's also explored new partnerships with Snapchat and Twitch in order to capture younger potential smokers before they light up to drive down the U.S. teen smoking rate.

Photo courtesy of Truth Initiative
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Mike McGarry

Director of emerging content, Fitzgerald & Co.

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Mike McGarry

Director of emerging content, Fitzgerald & Co.

By E.J. Schultz

Atlanta-based Fitzgerald & Co. has quietly grown its business with neighbor Coca-Cola Co. thanks in no small part to Mike McGarry. He joined the shop less than two years ago from Vice to lead the account. In his first year on the job, the agency doubled revenue on brands including Coke, Odwalla, Coke Life and Fanta. He also took on director of emerging content duties, assisting with other clients such as Checkers/Rally's, which recently struck a content deal with Uproxx and rapper Rick Ross. He also gets involved with Atlanta's creative community, including serving as creator and executive producer of the first annual Live the 5th event that celebrates Atlanta's culturally diverse 5th District.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I have a whole folder of stand-up comedy routines, but have never had the guts to get onstage and perform them.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, not a family member, who would it be?

For me it would be my congressman, John Lewis. I didn't know when I moved to Atlanta that I would be represented by a civil rights icon. The longevity of his career and dedication to resistance is a true inspiration.

What is your favorite book or movie?

My favorite movie of this past year is the documentary "I Am Not Your Negro," in which the words of James Baldwin were visually directed by Raoul Peck to the stories of three men, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers. The film made me realize that one can have a profound impact on society by shedding light on political and social issues through a profoundly personal lens. Baldwin didn't use platitudes to motivate. He captured people as people rather than placing them inside monolithic groups.

Photo courtesy of Fitzgerald & Co.
30

Susan McNamara

Senior producer, Framestore

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Susan McNamara

Senior producer, Framestore

By Ann-Christine Diaz

Susan McNamara has helped realize a number of intriguing projects in and out of the brand world. In Hollywood, she produced effects on Alex Gibney's documentary "Zero Days." In advertising, she was a key player in creating the space-roving bus from one of 2016's most notable projects, Lockheed Martin's "Field Trip to Mars," which nabbed 19 Lions at Cannes. Unusual productions are her forte: She started her ad career on Spike Jonze's Absolut-branded short film "I'm Here" and has worked on interactive installations such as a Nike+ treadmill game and more recently worked on production on the in-store experience at Under Armour's Shanghai flagship.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I can Hula-Hoop for extended periods of time, and I have no idea how it came about. I just happened to pick up a Hula-Hoop one day and found that I had a natural talent.

If you had one thing to do over in your life what would it be?

I would have gone to college. If I did, maybe I would have made the 30 Under 30 list.

What is your favorite book or movie?

Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life." I've watched it no less than 100 times, which also means I've cried no less than 100 times.

Photo courtesy of Framestore
39

Alec McNayr

Co-founder and chief creative officer, McBeard

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Alec McNayr

Co-founder and chief creative officer, McBeard

By George Slefo

Having a remote-first workplace might not have made sense 20 years ago, but today companies like McBeard are embracing that idea and it's paying off in dividends. Alec McNayr co-founded social media company McBeard and helped it grow to the 250-plus team it is today. The company boasts an 85% employee retention rate and has won two Clios. Under Mr. McNayr's guidance, McBeard led social media campaigns for nine of the top 20 films in 2016, including "Deadpool" and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."

What was your first job?

I worked the drive-through at Dairy Queen in the suburbs of Seattle. I'm also allergic to all dairy products.

Photo courtesy of McBeard
28

Anna Nicanorova

Director, Omnicom's Annalect Labs

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Anna Nicanorova

Director, Omnicom's Annalect Labs

By Lindsay Stein

When Anna Nicanorova isn't creating marketing software that helps makes large-scale data shareable, scalable and actionable, she's climbing mountains. In fact, she's completed four of the world's seven highest climbs. The Moldavia-born 28-year-old launched during Super Bowl 2016 the Moodometer, which used facial-recognition technology to better measure ad effectiveness, and she's currently developing a Siri-like AI chatbot for Omnicom agency staffers. Ms. Nicanorova also launched content-inspiration software last year that uses computer vision to go through and translate hundreds of thousands of online videos and images into briefs that help with the creation of relevant content for niche audiences, such as yoga-obsessed millennials in California.

Photo courtesy of Omnicom
32

Kate Oppenheim

Managing partner and owner, Mssng Peces

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Kate Oppenheim

Managing partner and owner, Mssng Peces

By Ann-Christine Diaz

After Kate Oppenheim joined Mssng Peces from OgilvyEntertainment, she helped solidify it as one of the pioneers of new-era production. The company has jumped enthusiastically into VR, with campaigns for Dos Equis, the Clinton Global Initiative and, more recently, a 25-minute long experience that brought viewers into the middle of the NBA Finals. It even helped open a restaurant like no other for Google, a pop-up eatery in which diners could order only through the Translate app. The company teamed with 72andSunny to help Instagram debut its Stories feature and created work for the platform for Adidas' "Here to Create" campaign. But it's not all about work. Ms. Oppenheim leads a balanced life, also caring for her toddler and supporting causes she feels strongly about. "I can't begin to understand how moms and dads without the privileges I have keep it together, which is why I try to devote some of my energy to advocating for causes I care about like equal pay, paid parental leave, reproductive rights, climate change," she said. "If I get to the end of the week and can't point to something I did to help raise up new talent or give money or volunteer or protest, I feel like I'm not doing my job."

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I don't like vegetables!

What keeps you up at night?

My toddler. Donald Trump.

What's the best lesson you've learned in terms of doing your job well and navigating this industry?

I've learned to be a friend, not a fan. I can't tell you how many of our best projects, clients and creative partnerships have come from simply reaching out to someone who's work we admire. Building relationships with likeminded people, instead of admiring their work from afar, has brought us into conversations and opportunities with our creative and business heroes. It seems so simple, but it can be intimidating -- ultimately though, the worst thing that can happen is that someone doesn't respond when you reach out. My business partner, Ari Kuschnir, showed me the power of this soon after I joined Mssng Peces, and it completely changed my career.

Photo courtesy of Mssng Peces
39

Toby O'Rourke

Chief franchise operating officer, Kampgrounds of America

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Toby O'Rourke

Chief franchise operating officer, Kampgrounds of America

By Jack Neff

Those yellow KOA signs are ubiquitous on American road trips, but it took Toby O'Rourke to turn them into a growth business. She became digital marketing director in 2011 and moved up to senior VP-marketing and ultimately chief franchise operating officer with added duties on franchising, helping boost sales for Kampgrounds of America by 54% over six years, including 11% last year. "A lot more millennials are coming into camping, and a lot more diversity," Ms. O'Rourke said. She's more than doubled the brand's online and PR impressions, the latter through a North American Camper Report.

If you had one thing to do over in your life what would it be?

I would have taken a year to travel around the world at some point. I jumped right into working and haven't looked back. My favorite boss once told me she took a leave of absence at one point to travel and it was the best career advice she could give me.

What is your favorite book or movie?

Favorite movie is "Love Actually." I love movies with lots of characters whose stories intertwine-- plus, that movie is classic and I cry and laugh simultaneously every time I watch it.

What was your first job?

I worked in the Pick-n-Pan Pharmacy in my hometown [Sheridan, Montana] every summer in high school as a sales associate. It was a small-town drugstore with greeting cards, gifts, beauty products, etc. My favorite part was doing the window displays.

Photo courtesy of Kampgrounds of America
37

Jarrod Ramsey

VP-technology, Rockfish

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Jarrod Ramsey

VP-technology, Rockfish

By Jack Neff

Jarrod Ramsey's 1972 Barracuda isn't your typical classic car. It starts with a voice command: "OK, Google, fire up the 'Cuda." It's one of a growing number of tech wonders Mr. Ramsey, VP-technology at digital agency Rockfish, has helped build, including Sam's Club's Scan & Go mobile checkout app and an internet-of-things lunch box that helps kids provide meal feedback. He's shaping an enterprise practice that now accounts for 15% of Rockfish revenue. But he's also out to advance technology throughout Walmart's backyard as president of the Northwest Arkansas Tech Council, which collaborates with schools on curriculum, grants and procuring students real-world experience.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

It has to be about how deeply eccentric my thought process is. I'm constantly blending things together in a fashion that I can only imagine has to be absolutely maddening for some people to witness. I try not to show that, not because I'm embarrassed of it, but it saves time by not throwing people off so much.

What keeps you up at night?

Documentaries and reading. Some people watch sports. I read about quantum computing, new sensor technology or dark matter.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, not a family member, who would it be?

The Wright Brothers. Imagine stepping out on something no one has done, with the dangers you know are present, relying totally on your own understanding of engineering that hasn't been invented yet and physics that have only been theoretical. I want to absorb that crazy confidence.

Photo courtesy of Rockfish
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40

Rafael Rizuto
and Eduardo Marques

Executive creative directors, 180 L.A.

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40

Rafael Rizuto and Eduardo Marques

Executive creative directors, 180 L.A.

By Ann-Christine Diaz

Under the leadership of Executive Creative Directors Rafael Rizuto and Eduardo Marques (the latter turned 40 nine days before this list was published, so we made a rare exception), 180 L.A. was one of last year's most innovative creative forces. The team's stellar ideas in 2016 included Boost Mobile's "Boost Your Voice," which transformed stores into polling booths for underserved communities; the Cannes Grand Prix for Good winner "Unfairy Tales" for UNICEF; and Expedia's heartwarming "Dream Adventures," which enabled sick children to explore far-off lands virtually, in real-time from within the hospital. The pair previously made their mark at Pereira & O'Dell, where they led Airbnb's first global campaign and Coke's largest-ever Latin American push, "Crossroads."

What is one thing no one knows about you?

Mr. Rizuto: That I still have no clue what I'm doing.

Mr. Marques: That I am completely deaf in my left ear. Some friends and family know, but not everyone.

What keeps you up at night?

Mr. Rizuto: Coffee.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, not a family member, who would it be?

Mr. Rizuto: Van Gogh. But before he cut his ear off.

Mr. Marques: Einstein. I love to chat with brilliant people. Especially if there's wine involved.

What was your first job?

Mr. Rizuto: My very first job was in a public library in the cassette tape section, as a part of the library's language courses division. In order to manage the work with my studies, I had to work the night shift from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. I used to be the guy who rented those tapes to the most interesting cast of characters that you can imagine. Weirdos, nerds, psychopaths, geniuses -- all trying to learn a new language in the middle of the night. I think that observing all these different personalities helped me to understand more about human nature, which no doubt affects my work to this day. Plus, I had plenty of time to draw.

Mr. Marques: Was a typist-digitizer at my father's company, when I was 14. I remember asking him: "This is so stupid, why do I need to learn how to type?" He responded right away, "You should learn how important working is."

Photo courtesy of 180 L.A.
36

Joy Robins

Senior VP-global revenue and strategy, Quartz

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Joy Robins

Senior VP-global revenue and strategy, Quartz

By Adrianne Pasquarelli

Part of the reason Quartz, a five-year-old digital media player, is able to compete with the big boys of traditional media is Joy Robins, who has successfully tripled the company's advertiser base and boosted its revenue eight times since she came on board in 2013. Ms. Robins, who formerly worked at companies with a lot of initials--OMD, BBC and NBC--has grown the brand's sales and operations team from four to 33. She's also globalized the business: Close to 25% of revenue is generated from outside the U.S. At Quartz, 95% of advertising clients renew their business.

What keeps you up at night?

Name it. Pretty much everything.

What was your first job?

Technically, the first job I was hired for was at 13 years old. I got hired at A&P. I went through a day of training on the best way to bag groceries and recognize produce only to get a phone call later that day explaining that I couldn't legally work there because I didn't have a work permit-- apparently you had to be 14 for that. I cried.

If you had one thing to do over in your life what would it be?

I would go back to college and study abroad this time. My biggest regret is not having taken advantage of that option. I'd love to know what it would have been like to travel as a student.

Photo courtesy of Quartz
38

Dan Sanborn

Senior VP-culture and partnerships, Diageo

Dan Sanborn

Senior VP-culture and partnerships, Diageo

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By E.J. Schultz

Dan Sanborn created Diageo's brand communications and entertainment marketing practice from scratch in 2008 and became one of the youngest senior VPs in the company's history. In recent years, he has used his role to put the liquor giant at the center of popular culture. Initiatives he has been involved in include content collaborations with Jimmy Kimmel and last year's groundbreaking social responsibility effort that used virtual reality to put viewers at the scene of a drunk driving crash. Mr. Sanborn was also instrumental in launching Hilhaven Lodge whiskey, a collaboration between Diageo and director Brett Ratner.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

My neighbor growing up was a well-known psychic. When I was 9, she invited me into her house to show me news articles detailing some of the fairly alarming cases she'd "solved." Suffice it to say, after that, if a ball went into her yard, I wrote it off as a loss.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, not a family member, who would it be?

A long list, but Jerry Garcia, Ben Franklin and Hunter S. Thompson. I would love to get their perspective on the virtues of self-driving cars and the use of instant replay review in sports. Of course, we'd finish with ice cream.

What was your first job?

Before I got into catalog modeling, my aunt got me a job selling ice cream at the Meadowlands fair. I was 12, and did such a good job as a barker, they offered me a job traveling with a carny to run the Guess Your Weight game. For some reason, my mom decided to keep me in school, and for that I will never forgive her.

Photo courtesy of Diageo
39

Kimberly Storin

VP-marketing, IBM Power Systems

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Kimberly Storin

VP-marketing, IBM Power Systems

By Kate Kaye

It was probably no surprise to people who knew Kimberly Storin when she was a Texas high school senior that shadowing a doctor or lawyer on career day was a lot less intriguing to her than spending the day with Austin's KLBJ morning show guys Dudley and Bob. "That's what I did, I spent the morning on the radio with the DJs," said Ms. Storin, who calls herself a nonconformist with a "Nancy Drew-like view" of the world.

She recently spent the day with the executive director of nonprofit Austin Pets Alive animal shelter, whose board she serves on, in hopes of experiencing his role firsthand. "You don't know what you don't know," she said.

Ms. Storin has parlayed her lifelong love of learning and unorthodox attitude into her approach to her work as brand and marketing VP for IBM Power Systems, the company's server and software division, which she considers an "underdog story" in the server industry where Intel dominates the market. When she came to IBM in 2015, she spearheaded research to help the firm better understand who the decision-makers were that the company needed to reach. "I really look to bring data into that nonconformist view," she said.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I have never been summoned for jury duty but I am dying to do my civic duty and serve on one.

What was your first job?

Camp counselor at the Lost Creek Country Club -- I led throngs of children through archery and tennis and swimming.

What is your favorite book or movie?

"The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. My favorite movie will always be "E.T." and I will always cry.

Photo courtesy of IBM
32

Sebastian Tomich

Senior VP-advertising and innovation, The New York Times

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Sebastian Tomich

Senior VP-advertising and innovation, The New York Times

By Adrianne Pasquarelli

Sebastian Tomich is spicing up ad strategy at The New York Times by encouraging the 166-year-old media outlet to think less like a print newspaper and more like a creative agency. After launching T Brand Studio three years ago, tripling that department's staff and winning a Cannes Lions Grand Prix for his efforts last year, Mr. Tomich recently expanded the brand's advertising division with the acquisitions of social influencer agency HelloSociety and experiential design firm Fake Love. Mr. Tomich, who formerly worked at Forbes, is at the forefront of mining the shift from tradition to innovation.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I cry easily during movies. It's a problem on dates.

If you had one thing to do over in your life what would it be?

Taking 25 credits in college every semester full of painting, acting and guitar classes. I wish I would have realized how once in a lifetime unlimited education is, in time to take advantage of it.

What was your first job?

Dairy Queen. I was fired. I'll tell you why over drinks.

Photo courtesy of The New York Times
28

Sarah Warner

Managing partner and digital investment lead-programmatic and video, GroupM North America

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Sarah Warner

Managing partner and digital investment lead-programmatic and video, GroupM North America

By Lindsay Stein

Described by her colleagues as a "change agent," Sarah Warner is responsible for all programmatic digital media investment for GroupM in the U.S., and she's considered the mastermind behind the agency's programmatic advertising supply strategy. Ms. Warner, who has held her current position since 2016, has also played a role in developing and implementing GroupM's digital brand safety policies, such as enforcing viewability standards and fraud guidelines. More important, she knows how to explain these policies to clients. On the video front, Ms. Warner has helped GroupM create important agreements and approaches with partners like Google, as well as social and mobile properties.

What is one thing no one knows about you?

I think I'm the funniest person. Everyone probably knows that, now that I think about it.

‎If I could have dinner with anyone living or dead who would it be?

‎Barack Obama. I have so many questions.

What is your favorite book?

"Harry Potter." Easy.

Photo courtesy of GroupM
Web production: Chen Wu.