Why Nadalie Dias of Hearts & Science Is Such a Rising Star in Media

The senior director of digital activation embodies her agency's name

Nadalie Dias says she 'fell into advertising' after taking a year off to study for the MCATs. Courtesy of Hearts & Science
Headshot of Erik Oster

Nadalie Dias joined Hearts & Science in September 2017 and before the end of 2018 was promoted to her current role as senior director of digital activation, a critical leadership position on the AT&T account overseeing a team of 45.

Her career trajectory is especially impressive for someone who says she “fell into advertising” after taking a year off to study for the MCATs in preparation for medical school. Before landing at Hearts & Science, Dias was at 360i, where she particularly enjoyed working on Spotify, which she called “an important step in my career” because it was such a large global account.

At Hearts & Science, she helped create tools from programmatic data and behavioral signals to allow AT&T to maximize its total video reach while increasing the flexibility and effectiveness of the client’s media investments. Dias initiated the strategy and brought together teams across video buying, analytics and digital.

Yet for all of her successes, Dias understands that leadership is about more than delivering on goals for clients. To that end, Dias strives to be a mentor for her team and foster a positive work environment that listens to and understands their needs.

Unsurprisingly, she has taken a scientific approach, developing a tool that allows managers to evaluate talent. “I was seeing a lot of people become disengaged” and either leave the agency or remain unhappy in their roles, she explains. “I wanted to better understand what was happening from a talent perspective on my own team.”

Her system uses self, supervisor and peer evaluations to arrive at scores to identify trends in talent, individual proficiencies and level of engagement, all to understand when employees needed promotions or would be better served by transferring to different departments.

“We were trying to make sure that we had the correct talent in-house and using [them the right way],” Dias says.

The new system was implemented about six months ago, and Dias says it has already led to the creation of new roles and changes to team structures. “The culture that we started developing is the thing that I’m probably the proudest of,” says Dias, who attributes her rise at Hearts & Science to the young agency’s commitment to developing internal talent.

Chris Stanger, executive director on the AT&T account, describes Dias’ “leadership qualities, industry knowledge and passion for learning” as “invaluable” to the AT&T team and Hearts & Science.

“Whatever media frontier is next to be conquered,” he says, “Nadalie will undoubtedly be leading the charge from the front line.”

See Adweek’s full list of 2019 Media All-Stars here.

This story first appeared in the May 13, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@ErikDOster erik.oster@adweek.com Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.
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