Introducing Women to Watch Argentina's class of 2020
The sixth edition of Women to Watch Argentina, in association with Adlatina, has brought together standout players in the Argentine communications and marketing industry, adding 17 new members to a group of women, now 96 strong, all of whom are leaving a mark in the Argentine market. As they continue on their professional journeys, the tenacity and perseverance of these execs have helped them succeed in often-challenging environments.
Among the Class of 2020 are 14 marketers, two advertisers and one research specialist. The organizers asked each to share a piece of advice and name the person they admire the most. It is interesting to note that several of the honorees emphasized the importance of building your journey in life, both professional and personal. “If you can dream it, you can do it,” says one. “Sometimes you have to know how to take a couple of steps back to be able to jump further,” adds another. While a third declares admiration for “the people who build their path.”
Ad Age welcomes this outstanding group of Argentine execs to join the hundreds of women all over the world who have been recognized as Women to Watch.
Corporate management of institutional communication and marketing services, Arcor
Abadi is a psychology graduate from the University of Belgrano, and also studied journalism at TEA. In parallel with her professional development, she completed a postgraduate degree in human resources at IDEA and a master's degree in communications management in organizations at Austral University, along with specialization courses at Harvard University and Northwestern University.
Abadi teaches master's degrees in marketing and communication at the University of the Americas (Ecuador) and the University of San Andrés (Argentina). She was president of the Argentine Advertising Council from 2016 to 2018 and since June of this year she has been president of the DirComs Circle. In 2019, she received the Jerry Goldenberg Award for excellence in communication in the advertising professional PR category; and, in 2016, she was named PR Professional of the Year by the Public Relations Council, and the food business marketing professional, awarded by AMDIA.
Abadi began her professional career 22 years ago at Edenor, in HR, then assumed the management of HR and communication of Electricite de France for America (United States, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina). She has worked at Arcoror for 14 years in a variety of roles. For six years, she has been a corporate manager of institutional communication and marketing services, responsible for the management of corporate communication and advertising, media, design, market research, events and promotions.
Best advice: Be grateful.
A quote: “Connecting the dots” (A Steve Jobs phrase).
Admires: Edith Eger (Abadi suggests reading her biography “The Dancer at Auschwitz”).
General director of accounts, Wunderman Thompson Argentina
Antonelli has been working in the industry for more than 25 years, starting at Lautrec Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi before joining Capurro & Asociados. In 1993, she joined Young & Rubicam to work in accounts, and in 2008 she was promoted to general area director. Later, and with the same role, she joined Euro RSCG and then FCB Buenos Aires. In 2016, she joined Wunderman BA to lead the integrated team for Movistar and in 2017 she took the role of general account director. Throughout her career, Antonelli worked for brands such as Banco Galicia, Visa, Telefónica, Danone Lácteos, Danone Aguas, Alto Palermo, BBVA Banco Francés, Claro, Peugeot, Citröen, Nivea, Eucerin, Oreo and Fargo. She is also one of the leaders of the gender and inclusion cell of Wunderman Thompson, committed to diversity, the elimination of stereotypes, and inclusion.
Best advice: If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go accompanied.
A quote: “None of us is more important than the rest of us.”
Admires: Christina Mallon, global leader of inclusive design at Wunderman Thompson. She is an inspiring person. I admire her for her ability to see beyond herself and to transform adversity into an opportunity to work for a more just world.
Marketing manager, Itaú Argentina Bank
With more than 20 years of experience, Belzunce developed her career in marketing and communication in different banks, both in the local market and in other Latin American countries. She currently works as a marketing manager at Itaú Argentina, where she leads the communication, digital marketing, press, sustainability, benefits and CX teams. In recent years, the company sponsored the Itaú Bikes in the City of Buenos Aires, which had a high impact on the growth of the brand in Argentina. Her campaigns received recognition from the Effie and FOMLA Awards.
Belzunce developed as a mentor on the Injuve and Voces Vitales program. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Fundación Itaú Argentina, has a degree in Advertising from UCES and a postgraduate degree in Sustainability from the Di Tella University. Belzunce tirelessly seeks to balance her time between her two children and her profession.
Best advice: Your word is more valuable than a contract.
A quote: “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional."
Admires: Her grandfather.
Chief operating officer and director of planning, Human Agency
At the age of 22, Caballero joined Savaglio TBWA, spending 12 years in accounts and planning before holding the role of general account director. Dolores led regional strategic workshops for TBWA and led cases and advertising campaigns recognized by the Effie Awards, for brands such as Adidas, Standard Bank, Pedigree and Tarjeta Naranja. She was honored with Omnicom Group training globally at Babson Business College, Massachusetts. In 2011, Caballero joined Draft FCB as a general account and planning director, where she stayed for three years. In 2013, she joined Human as chief operating officer and planning director. Today, she leads one of the 10 most innovative creative agencies on the market according to Scopen, and one of the most recognized independent agencies. She has always had a keen interest in art, and in 2015 she completed a short program in Art History, taught by Amigos del Bellas Artes. She has also attended painting, sculpture, and architecture workshops.
Best advice: Develop a humble mind and a grateful heart.
A quote: “Love will save us”—a Savaglio Studio 2019 campaign.
Admires: Ernesto Savaglio, my advertising mentor and father. He made me know the infinite scope of a great idea, he taught me that ideas are what transform and change the world and even oneself, and we had a lot of fun on the way to that learning. He was also the one who told me that the best thing about me was that I was always ready to learn, and how important that was in this profession.
MARíA BELÉN COLOMBO
Chief marketing officer, PedidosYa
Since March of this year, Colombo has worked as chief marketing officer of PedidosYa, following 14 years in various positions within the marketing structure of Coca-Cola of South Latin America. Throughout her career, she has developed comprehensive marketing communication, brand development, advertising creativity, media management, marketing model development, ROI and multi-functional team leadership capabilities. Colombo has a degree in economics from the UBA, with a postgraduate degree in finance, and in recent years she has completed numerous executive education programs at IAE, San Andrés University, Harvard University and Singularity University. In 2019, she was recognized with the 2019 Marketers Award in the Sub 40 category.
Best advice: Never stop doing something out of fear.
A quote: “Today's excellence is tomorrow’s baseline.”
Admires: Anna Wintour and Howard Schultz.
MARIANA FRESNO APARICIO
CEO, Kantar Insights Division
Fresno Aparicio has been at Kantar Argentina for more than 20 years. She joined in 1999 as a research assistant, and then held the position of team leader, between 2003 and 2012. That same year she began to serve as head of client management. She also worked with major brands in the consumer goods, service, durable goods and banking industries, both locally and regionally. She has a degree in business administration from the University of Buenos Aires. She is a member of the board of directors of the Chamber of Social and Market Research Companies (CEIM), and her hobbies include playing tennis.
Best advice: In the long run, everything comes.
A quote: “There is no evil that does not come for good.”
Admires: Gabriela Sabatini.
Marketing director for Latin America, DirecTV
Gonzalez is responsible for the brand strategy for Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Ecuador and Colombia, in the areas of mass communication, customer communication, trade marketing, media and performance, promotions and sports marketing. She joined DirecTV in 2008, in charge of media, and in 2013 she added performance to her responsibilities. In 2016, Gonzalez took on the challenge of leading the South region and later extended her responsibilities to Latin America. In 2019, she was appointed marketing director for the region. Her achievements include having carried out the relaunch of the prepaid DirecTV product and developing the online and offline performance model in the region. Gonzalez started her career at the age of 20, in companies such as Agulla & Baccetti, Initiative Media and Brand Connection. She studied advertising at UCES; she completed a postgraduate degree in negotiation at the Austral University and another in management at the Torcuato Di Tella University. She knows how to achieve the perfect balance between professional development and raising a family.
Best advice: Be honest, even if it's uncomfortable sometimes.
A quote: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Admires: Luckily, many. I was fortunate to go through life with great people who have left me with many lessons, personally and professionally, and welcome whatever appears
MARIA LUJAN GUERRA
Marketing manager prestige brands, Puig Argentina
After graduating with a degree in business administration from UADE, Guerra's first work experience was in the go-to-market (commercial, marketing, sell-through) area of the Estée Lauder Companies. A year later, she was selected for the Young Professionals Program at Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, which gave her the opportunity to train in marketing and commercial in Milan. After her return, she was able to contribute the acquired knowledge to the local market. In 2003, she was awarded by the Carolina Foundation.
Guerra then moved to Madrid to do an MBA at ESIC. In Spain, she joined Perfumes Loewe, of the LVMH Group, as an international brand manager. In 2006 she returned to Argentina to join Puig as marketing manager, where she took on the greatest challenge of her career, creating a new national market, “masstige” fragrances, with scope in marketing, PR, in-store and sell-through. Over the years, the category achieved growth and leadership, and today it is considered a key fragrance market. Today, Guerra is the marketing manager for the company's prestige brands, as head of Carolina Herrera (the leading fragrance brand in the Argentine market), Paco Rabanne (market-leading men's brand), Jean Paul Gaultier and Nina Ricci, as well as Chanel and Bulgari.
Best advice: Go for it!
A quote: “You can regret many things, but never have tried them.”
Admires: My parents, for their infinite love, their absolute generosity and their honesty.
MARIA VIRGINIA LOPEZ
Marketing manager, Bodega Luigi Bosca
Lopez has more than 20 years of experience leading multinational and national companies in the food and beverage sector, such as Diageo, Sancor and Molinos Río de la Plata. In 2009, she entered the Luigi Bosca Winery, where she led the planning and development of the global marketing and communications strategy and helped the company become a leader in the premium wine segment of the Argentine market. Currently, Lopez is working on the brand strategy for the winery's international expansion, following its association with L Catterton, the largest global private equity company dedicated to the consumer sector. Lopez has a degree in administration and an MBA in marketing, both degrees awarded by the University of Belgrano.
Best advice: Be thorough with those who love you.
A quote: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”
Admires: People who are an example of how with their struggle and perseverance they have achieved peaceful transformations in the world.
VP of marketing, Cerveza and Malteria Quilmes (AB InBev)
Marconi is responsible for the strategy of the entire beer portfolio and also leads marketing support for innovation, data and media, and Draftline, the company's in-house creative studio, whose operations she launched in the country. During her tenure at the head of the studio, she consolidated the set-up of the operation and the team, which developed creative content and strategic products for different brands and business units. Previously, she had served for two years as marketing director for Brahma, where she relaunched the brand, with excellent results.
Before joining the CMQ team, Marconi had worked in agencies, on television multimedia and at Unilever, where she spent much of her career, with different positions in Argentina, Latin America, Europe and globally. After a few years in the media department, where she actively participated in Unilever's first digital transformation and the evolution of brand communication planning, she worked in marketing for the Sedal brand in Buenos Aires. In 2011, she moved to London to become senior brand manager of the Ax brand, where for four years Marconi worked for Europe and global and participated in the worldwide relaunch. Academically, she has led the planning and strategy course at Brother Buenos Aires since its launch.
Best advice: No te creas tan importante (no exact translation, but expresses “do not think yourself better than the others, or so important that you can’t see your surroundings clearly”).
A quote: “The one who abandons has no prizes.”
Admires: My mother.
Director of branding, Mercado Libre
McKerrow was born in London and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. She began her career in branding and brand development in the United States and Europe. In 2018, she joined Mercado Libre to lead the branding team for Latam, where she launched the platform “The best is coming” and created the positioning and the first campaign for Mercado Pago. McKerrow had previously worked in brand marketing at Diageo, starting in 2003 in New York on Captain Morgan's team. From there, she went on to the global Smirnoff team, to lead the launch of Smirnoff Black in Europe and Asia, and the global sponsorship of the James Bond film “Quantum of Solace.” In 2008, she returned to London to take responsibility for Baileys and then Smirnoff for Europe. Her last role at Diageo was as a category director for gins and Pimms. She led the successful global launch of Gordon’s Gin, which rejuvenated the brand and allowed it to grow again. McKerrow has a Master of Laws from Cambridge University and an MBA from Dartmouth Tuck School of Business.
Best advice: Great things never come from comfort zones.
A quote: “The only one holding you back is you.”
Admires: My father, for dedicating himself to building what he believed to be a pioneer in excellence in the creation of single malt whiskey. It is my source of inspiration.
Marketing manager, Sancor Salud - Private Medicine Group
Mosso has been an active participant and protagonist of the essential projects that have marked the growth of Sancor Salud - Private Medicine Group in the past five years. She developed comprehensive strategies and disruptive initiatives as part of the positioning campaigns, which led to important public recognition. Her management area also includes digital marketing, anchored in the development of differentials that improve accessibility in services. Mosso's career of more than 20 years has been spent in different service companies. She has always been passionate about the disciplines of literature and communication, which became her other fields of action. Nora acknowledges that her objective, beyond the specific aspects of marketing, is to analyze the evolution of cultural processes and inspire teams of young professionals to use innovative approaches to contribute to companies and society.
Best advice: Develop intuition and experiment.
A quote: “Be yourself, become what you are.”
Admires: Women of the different disciplines that combine creativity and commitment. One of them is Frida Kahlo.
CAROLINA REY BLANCO
Marketing director, Godrej Argentina
Rey Blanco joined Godrej in 2016 as a senior brand manager for the coloration category. She carried out the relaunch strategy of Issue, the country's leading volume coloring brand. In June 2019, she took the role marketing director, responsible for growing brands and their profitability, establishing and developing strategies to achieve the company's objectives at the regional level, and leading innovation projects. In this position, Rey Blanco manages the hair coloring and styling, hair removal, and solar business units, with the Issue, Issue Professional, Roby, Millefiori and Villeneuve brands. Before coming to Godrej, she had worked at companies such as Grupo Familia, Kellogg’s and BMC Software. Rey Blanco is a graduate in public relations from the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE), has a postgraduate degree in marketing from the Universidad de Belgrano (UB), and is currently pursuing a master's in administration at the Universidad Católica Argentina.
Best advice: Live one day at a time.
A quote: “If you can dream it, you can do it” (from Walt Disney).
Admires: My mom.
Marketing, pricing and customer care director, Walmart Argentina
With 10 years of retail experience and six years in mass consumption. Sedaca is passionate about innovation and changes in consumer habits. She currently leads the marketing, pricing and customer care team at Walmart Argentina, where she and her team have been able to bring the customer to the center of decision making, and developed a relevant customer value proposition. Previously, she had created the customer insights area and had worked in trade marketing. Prior to that, she had worked in commercial planning of key accounts at Coca-Cola FEMSA, where she strengthened the leadership of the brand through excellence in the execution of points of sale. An industrial engineer from UBA, Sedaca has an MBA from UADE and is the proud mother of Benjamin and Amelie.
Best advice: What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger; You learn from everything and everyone.
A quote: “Wanting is power.”
Admires: All those who pursue their dreams.
Corporate card marketing head, American Express Argentina
Semidubarsky has a degree in administration from the UBA and has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Her vast experience within American Express includes roles in finance, customer service, service to establishments, prepaid products and her current position since 2013, head of marketing in Argentina for corporate cards. As head of marketing for the business segment, which includes both SMEs and large global companies, Semidubarsky has established a communication link to better understand their needs, bringing corporate solutions for more efficient development of business and strengthening the value proposition of products. In her role, she led digital strategy, expanded communication channels and developed strategic alliances to transcend relevance and service.
Semidubarsky was responsible for the creation of a blog of her own content called "Multitaskers," which allowed small companies to feel a better identification with the brand and products of American Express. In 2019, she headed up the launch of The Platinum Corporate Card, for which she was in charge of carrying out an artistic performance that involved hiring a German company, Battle Royal, to create a unique show for this occasion. This included a team of 15 international artists who recreated a tribute to the Argentine business community and valued the resilience and challenges that all Argentine men and women face every day in fulfilling their dreams and business goals. The event had wide repercussions in the media, which highlighted its originality and praised the value of Argentine companies. For this launch, she received an international award, The Best of Marketing, from American Express.
Best advice: If you want to get there fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, then do it accompanied.
A quote: “She who knows how to think, but does not know how to express what she thinks, is at the same level as she who does not know how to think.”
Admires: All those people who, from anonymity, work hard to achieve their goals; those who fall and rise. Conviction is an impossible will to break. Among those people are my parents.
VP of corporate affairs and sustainability, Unilever Latin America
Vizental is a representative of the board of companies on the board of directors of the Latin American Alliance of Associations of the Food and Beverage Industry. She is also a member of the steering committee of the Consumer Goods Forum Latam and a representative in the Latin American chapter of the International Food and Beverage Alliance. Also, during 2018 she was co-chair delegate of the B20 Sustainable Food Systems Working Group, representing Unilever.
Vizental has more than 20 years of experience in developing public affairs, communications and sustainability strategies for national and international companies. In addition to her corporate profile, she is a high-performance athlete, and in recent years she has participated in championships and tournaments representing the Argentine Republic. She seeks to link her professional and competitive career through results-oriented management. Vizental has carried out various initiatives with the team of the Metropolitan Athletic Federation, to promote sport as a tool for growth and development, not only for new generations but for all those who seek to challenge their limits.
Best advice: A boss gave it to me a long time ago. Being an athlete, I took it because I understood that it is applicable both in sport and in life: “Sometimes you have to know how to take a couple of steps back to be able to jump further.”
A quote: “Everything is possible, even the impossible, and if you give me time, the miracle too.” This phrase summarizes the story of Julio Vizental, my grandfather, who used to repeat it.
Admires: Those who fight for their ideas and convictions and have the capacity to develop the necessary resilience to never give up.
Head of promotion and advertising, Molinos Río de la Plata
Zawadzki has been working at Molinos Río de la Plata for 23 years. She joined as field supervisor and later assumed other heading up marketing services for media, production and design. She built the advertising department, for which she is now responsible and from which she manages the communication strategies and budget of the Molinos Río de la Plata brands. Zawadzki was part of the communication team that relaunched the Lucchetti brand, which spoke to real moms; and Exquisita, which saw new innovations in brands, such as Gallo Snacks and Veggies, from Granja del Sol. She also managed the creation of the commitment program with the medical community Compromiso Molinos, more than 10 years ago. Zawadzki has a degree in advertising from the Universidad del Salvador, and also took courses in strategy and innovation at Hyper Island and business academy at IAE.
Best advice: Choose the battles you want to win.
A quote: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Admires: My mother, for being my teacher in life, and to all those people who generate a positive impact on their environment.