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David Burstein, 25, is the CEO and Co-Founder of Run for America, a post-partisan initiative to bring a new generation into our political system and catalyze political leaders to start solving our biggest problems. He is the author of Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World, the first broad book about the Millennial Generation, written by a Millennial. Previously he was the founder and Executive Director for Generation18. David is the Founding Co-Director of the Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship @ Chicago Ideas Week. He is a graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
Laurie Demeritt is CEO of The Hartman Group, a leading consulting and market research firm founded over 20 years ago. The Hartman Group specializes in the analysis and interpretation of consumer lifestyles and how these lifestyles affect the purchase and use of household goods, with an emphasis on the food and beverage arena. Laurie oversees all financial and operational aspects of the company including the Market Research, Strategy and Worldview divisions. Her background includes a B.A. from Cornell University and MBA from University of Washington.
Marlen Esparza, currently on the 2014 USA Boxing Elite Women’s National Team, made U.S. Olympic history when she became the first female flyweight boxer to win the U.S. Olympic Team Trials and the first to win an Olympic medal. In 2012, Esparza was selected for multiple brands’ Olympics campaigns including: Coca-Cola, CoverGirl, and McDonalds and has been a Nike featured athlete. Esparza will return to the Olympics in 2016 at the Rio de Janeiro Summer Games. She resides Colorado and is planning to pursue her university studies in pre-med.
Gayle Fuguitt became the first woman to lead The ARF when she became CEO and president in April 2013. She spent 32 years at General Mills, where she was lauded for bringing the voice of the consumer to the decision table. She has served on the board and executive committee of The ARF from 2005 to 2012. She earned her B.A. in economics and a B.S. in industrial relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing research from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. A passionate supporter of non-profits, she remains a trustee at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Mark López, head of the U.S. Hispanic Audience at Google, Inc., is responsible for developing and growing Google’s U.S. Hispanic media business. Prior to Google, López was COO of Terra Networks USA. He has served as Co-Chair of the IAB Multicultural Council and is currently a Board Advisor for the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Center of Hispanic Marketing Communications at Florida State University. López holds a Bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Alex López Negrete is President and CEO of Lopez Negrete Communcations, now the largest independently owned Hispanic advertising and communications firm in the country. In 2012, after 27 years and countless awards, Alex stepped down as chief creative officer to focus on his role as company president and CEO. He has served on several committees and nonprofit boards, including as chairman of the board of the American Advertising Federation-Houston, the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Ad Council Leadership Committee. Born in Houston and raised in Mexico City, Alex resides in Houston with his wife, Cathy. They have two children, Michelle and Patrick.
Lauren Michaels is President of Latina Media Ventures, a leading integrated media company for bicultural Latin women. She oversees all brand equity development, marketing, advertising, licensing, and editorial operations for the firm’s media platforms, including its flagship magazine, Latina. With over 25 years of media expertise in both print and digital, Michaels has successfully marketed to women across many diverse categories. She is a graduate from Ohio State University with a degree in English and resides in New York City.
Dave Morgan is the chief executive officer and founder of Simulmedia. He previously founded and ran TACODA, Inc., an online advertising company that pioneered behavioral online marketing, as well as Real Media, Inc., one of the world’s first ad serving and online ad network companies. He also served as EVP of Global Advertising Strategy at AOL. Dave received a B.A. in political science from Pennsylvania State University and a J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law.
Alan Murray is currently the editor of Fortune, overseeing the magazine, its conferences, and digital properties. Prior to assuming this post in August 2014, Murray was president of the Pew Research Center. He was previously at The Wall Street Journal, where he served as Deputy Managing Editor and Executive Editor, Online. He also spent a decade as the Journal’s Washington Bureau Chief, during which the bureau won three Pulitzer Prizes. Mr. Murray received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of North Carolina.
Monique L. Nelson, Chairman and CEO of UWG, Inc. specializes in leading multimillion-dollar, globally integrated marketing programs that drive sales, brand awareness and competitive advantage. Prior to joining UWG, Ms. Nelson was the Global Lead for Entertainment Marketing at Motorola. Currently, Nelson sits on the New York Advisory Board for The Posse Foundation, of which she is an alumna. She has volunteered with the Sequoia Women’s Center and Brooklyn Battered Women’s Shelter, supports the Vanderbilt on Madison Avenue Internship Program and is also a member of the Brooklyn Chapter of Links, Inc. Nelson has an MBA in International Marketing and Finance from Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University.
Soledad O'Brien is an award-winning journalist, documentarian, and philanthropist. She is the originator of the highly successful documentary series Latino in America and Black in America. In June 2013, O'Brien launched Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production and distribution company dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories that take a challenging look at the often divisive issues of race, class, wealth, poverty, and opportunity through personal stories. SMG’s global content partners include HBO, CNN, Al Jazeera America, and Google. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, O'Brien and her husband, Brad, created The O’Brien Raymond Foundation (recently renamed The Starfish Foundation) to help disadvantaged young women get to and through college. This year they will award scholarships to 25 deserving young women.
Yashoda Sampath, Lead Researcher at Huge, partners with project teams to craft research plans tailored to support client goals and inform Huge's creative design process. With more than 7 years of digital experience, she is seasoned in moderating traditional user-facing research as well as user experience-based research such as usability and prototype testing. Yashoda earned an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics along with a double BA in English Literature and Political Science from University of Texas in Austin. Yashoda is fluent in Tamil and French.
Nuria Santamaría leads Twitter’s Multicultural strategy for the sales organization in the US. Her main focus is to help advertisers connect with multicultural consumers on Twitter. Santamaría has has built her career at the intersection of technology, marketing, and multicultural audiences. Prior to Twitter, she was a consultant for companies in media, advertising, and technology at MediaLink. She has been selected as one of 2014’s Ad Age “Women to Watch”. She graduated from Stanford University with degrees in Economics and Spanish. Follow her on Twitter @nms.
Ann Simonds, currently SVP of General Mills, has been a brand steward for 25 years and was named president in 2006. Today, Ann runs the Baking Division that oversees our baking aisle and fresh dough brands, which are Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Gold Medal, Bisquick and Immaculate Baking. Outside of General Mills Ann is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization and serves on the Hennepin Theater Trust and H.B. Fuller Boards of Directors. Ann and her husband Ken enjoy a busy home life with their five children who remain their best baking partners.
Deidre Smalls-Landau, EVP, Managing Director for Mediabrands/Identity, is a proven leader with over 15 years of advertising/marketing experience working at both creative and media agencies. Prior to joining Identity, Deidre worked at several global ad agencies, including Grey, Publicis and FCB as well as multicultural agencies, UniWorld and Footsteps (an Omnicom company). Deidre currently serves on the 4A’s Media Policy Committee. She has also been the recipient of two industry awards: Essence Magazine -- Women At The Top of Their Game (2002); Ebony -- Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communications (2003). In her spare time, she enjoys working out and spending quality time with her beautiful twin girls, husband, family and friends.
Nita Song is the President and CEO of IW Group, a full-service marketing communications company that specializes in the growing Asian American market in the U.S. She joined IW Group in 1991 to lead Asian marketing strategy for the agency’s key clients then joined AT&T, as the Director of Marketing and Community Affairs in the Pacific Region. She then returned to IW Group in 2000 to lead new business development and expand the agency’s capabilities. Song currently serves on the Board of the Asian American Advertising Federation. Nita is a graduate of the University of Southern California.
Steve Stoute, Founder and CEO of the industry-leading marketing firm Translation, has made a career out of helping Fortune 500 companies thrive in the world of popular culture. This year, Stoute was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business. He has been the keynote or featured speaker at many notable events including the Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest (SXSW), Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored, and AAF’s ADMERICA. Prior to founding Translation, Stoute spent ten years as a senior executive at several leading music labels. He was first President of Urban Music at Sony and later Executive Vice President of Interscope Geffen A&M Records.
Steven Wolfe Pereira is chief marketing officer at Datalogix. He has global responsibility for Datalogix’s brand advertising, corporate communications, and product and vertical marketing initiatives. In addition, he also leads Datalogix’s global agency partnerships & development. With close to 20 years of industry experience, Mr. Wolfe Pereira has held executive positions in advertising, media and technology at some of the world’s leading companies. Prior to Datalogix, Mr. Wolfe Pereira was EVP at Starcom MediaVest Group where he led many of the agency’s innovation, commerce and technology initiatives. He also served as managing director of its multicultural marketing unit MediaVest Multicultural (MV42°). Steven has advised CMOs and business leaders of Fortune 100 companies including The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft Foods, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and Walmart on media strategy, content marketing, and corporate innovation. He served on MediaVest’s Executive Committee and Starcom MediaVest Group’s Global Management Group. Prior to Starcom MediaVest Group, he served as VP of Partnership Marketing at Univision Communications Inc. Steven graduated cum laude with highest thesis honors from Tufts University with a B.A. in international relations. A Fulbright Scholar, he completed the Greater Boston Executive M.B.A. program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.