2019 ADCOLOR Awards: Celebrating the Champions of Diversity and Inclusion

What Are You Willing to Take a Stand For?

By Tiffany Warren, President and Founder, ADCOLOR; SVP, Chief Diversity Officer, Omnicom Group

Last year, ADCOLOR asked our community to think about the past and decide what they wanted the future to be. More than 1,200 people came together to examine, discuss and share not only the moments that shaped us personally, but also those that shaped us collectively as a society. It created a moment of truth for the industry.

This year, we’re asking ourselves: “What are we willing to take a stand for?”

Standing for something means more than social media approval. It means being uncomfortable. ADCOLOR has maintained a discomfort with the status quo for 14 years to keep our focus on one thing: advocacy.

Every year we work with GSD&M to create a rallying statement that provides a foundation for our advocacy. It inspires us to do more and to be better. Here is this year’s:

“When you truly declare yourself to be for what you’re for and against what you’re against, you may be misunderstood, mistreated, punished or labeled. Stand anyway. Because when the rules are designed to break you down, there is no choice but to break the rules. At ADCOLOR, we will break those rules together. Because here, no one stands alone. We will drive change every day through education and accountability. Allies will drive change by using their privileges and platforms to empower and employ. We will force this industry to break its own rules and reform itself with some of that liberty and justice we hear so much about. We will take a knee. We will keep climbing. And we won’t stop talking the talk and walking the walk. ADCOLOR 2019 is about celebrating brave moves and inspiring more. This is a year of action. This is our time to Take a Stand.”

The 2019 class of honorees, nominees and Futures have stood up to the status quo and stared down fear while moving us all forward.

This is the time for champions, advocates, allies and members of the creative industries to work harder, more intentionally and bravely so none of us have to stand alone.


2019 ADCOLOR Honorees



Steve Pamon
President & COO
Parkwood Entertainment

If you want to know what it takes to stay ahead of the curve in the music and entertainment industry today, look no further than Parkwood Entertainment, the management and entertainment company founded by Beyoncé in 2010. Steve Pamon joined the company in December 2015, after an impressive run as head of sports and entertainment marketing at JPMorgan Chase and Co. Within months, Beyoncé released the groundbreaking Lemonade with an hour-long film that became a true pop culture phenomenon. In his time at the helm of Parkwood, Pamon has gathered accolades for setting and breaking records, including negotiating Beyoncé’s show-stopping halftime at Super Bowl 50 and the sold-out stadium Formation World Tour. Not to mention the way Bey redefined the concert film when Homecoming premiered on Netflix this year.


Helen Lin
Chief Digital Officer
Publicis Media

Human connector and relentless innovator. Helen Lin is a catalyst of innovation, a pioneer of programmatic, a collaborative business partner, and a fierce believer in diversity and inclusion. As CDO of Publicis Media, she oversees all digital and programmatic strategy and does what it takes to ensure clients remain at the forefront of the evolving digital world. And she’s been much honored for her work, including being a 2016 Adweek Media All-Star. But beyond client and agency work, she has a sterling reputation as a mentor and role model. As executive sponsor of Publicis Media’s Women’s Business Resource Group, POW! (Power of Women!), she makes it her personal mission to create conversations around female leadership and diversity in the workplace.


Ted Chung
Chairman, Founder
Cashmere Agency

Ted Chung is a true serial entrepreneur across marketing and entertainment. And with all his ventures, there’s one thing in common: celebrating the power of cultural diversity. The Wharton grad started his career as an A&R man before launching his own multicultural marketing shop, Cashmere Agency, whose diverse client roster includes BMW, Jack in the Box, Google, adidas, Diageo and many more. Chung is also Snoop Dogg’s manager, business partner and co-investor in technology and content ventures through Casa Verde Capital. Now he’s on to the next big thing. Earlier this year, Chung founded Gram By Gram, the world’s first global cannabis agency to offer brand strategy, innovative marketing, business-to-business services and culturally relevant content approaches to the cannabis industry.



Eva Longoria
Actress, Producer, Director, Philanthropist



Hector Orci
Co-chairman, Founder

When he was a child, Hector Orci listened to his father’s collection of classical music and discovered how people could work together seamlessly and create something greater than the sum of its parts—not stress, animosity or pain. That approach to teamwork has been central to Orci’s long-time success at his namesake agency, a leader in U.S Hispanic marketing. The agency has been producing forward-looking, award-winning work for leading brands like Honda, Dole, Acura, Johnson & Johnson and more. Beyond advertising, Orci and his wife, Norma, were named philanthropists of the year by the New American Alliance for their commitment to nurturing and effecting change within the Hispanic community.


Sheldon Levy
Former SVP, Deputy and Associate Head of Production
Saatchi & Saatchi NY

When he was profiled in Ebony several years back, advertising pioneer Sheldon Levy was referred to as real-life Mad Man. That’s what happens when you’ve had a successful advertising career over three decades. Levy was best known for driving broadcast production and content at Saatchi & Saatchi, where the list of clients included powerhouses like Procter & Gamble, General Mills and Novartis. Yet Levy was also widely recognized for helping develop and mentor the next generation of advertising creatives and his commitment to changing the vocabulary on diversity. Witness programs like the New Directors Showcase at Cannes (formerly New Directors Showcase) which Saatchi hosted, and his involvement in the annual Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival.


Robert Wong
Chief Creative Officer
Google Creative Lab

Talk about marrying the art and science of marketing. Robert Wong was an accountant in Toronto before he decided to pick up, fly to New York and become a graphic designer. At Google Creative Lab, he leads a small team of incredibly creative people charged with communicating the magic of Google products to the world. He’s been much honored, called a master of design by Fast Company and named one of the 50 most influential designers in America.


Brandon Rochon
Managing Chief Creative Officer, Kastner
Chief Creative Officer & Founder, SNKR Inc.

Brandon Rochon has spent his whole career trying to find interesting ways to not make advertising, but to build brands that are some of the most loved in culture. Currently at the creative helm of L.A.-based Kastner, he’s made his way through Chicago, where he was global creative director at Leo Burnett for Samsung, Paris (global creative director of Coke Zero at Ogilvy), and New York. An entrepreneurial sneaker head, he co-founded SNKR Inc., a media company focused solely on the $55 billion sneaker industry.



Emil Wilbekin
Chief Content Officer, Afropunk
Founder, Native Son

Now leading content at the genre-breaking Afropunk, Emil Wilbekin has been a long-time superstar journalist at publications like Essence (editor at large), Vibe (award-winning editor in chief), Giant, Complex and others. Maybe you’ve seen him discussing pop culture, fashion, entertainment and current affairs on The Today Show, NBC News, E!, VH1 or CNN. Still, Wilbekin’s greatest accomplishment may be Native Son, launched in 2016, a movement to inspire and empower black gay men. Named after James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son, it seeks, among other things, to change the way black gay men are portrayed in the media.



Gold House

Wondering who the most impactful Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in culture are? Every May, Gold House puts out the A100 to celebrate historic Asian achievements. But the organization is a lot more than this breakthrough list. Gold House, in its own words, is an international, interindustry, intergenerational collective of pioneering founders, creative voices and leaders dedicated to accelerating the Asian diaspora’s societal impact, enhancing the community’s cultural legacy, and providing new solutions that benefit all communities. That’s a mouthful, but it gives a clear idea of what the organization wants to accomplish. And it does it through a range of ventures like networking salons and investment vehicles to ensure Asian artistic success.


Curly Girl Collective

Back in 2010, a group of recently natural girlfriends who had been chatting on an email group decided to meet face-to-face at an apartment in Brooklyn. Tips were exchanged, stories shared and products swapped. Others needed to experience this energy, and Curly Girl Collective was born. CGC is a platform that’s about more than just hair choices, addressing the spectrum of subjects that start with hair and end with self-actualization. They’re now running Curlfest, the world’s largest natural beauty festival. The goal: Flip the false narrative around unruly brown beauty and create one that accurately showcases “the glory of our crowns, the richness of our skin and the joy of our culture.”


What does it take to put diversity and inclusion in the marketing and advertising industry into action? Verizon and its agencies stepped up and created adfellows, a unique fellowship program founded on the knowledge that marketing/advertising requires diverse voices and perspectives to be successful. The paid fellowship is an eight-month immersion program that gives fellows the opportunity to explore career tracks, gain real-world experience and network with industry leaders. In 2018, adfellows produced 19 graduates, and more than 90% of the graduates were offered positions at one of the member companies. This year, that number hit 29. And when the third year of the program starts in September, the program will include a total of 17 companies and agencies including Anheuser-Busch InBev, American Express and Walmart.


2019 ADCOLOR Nominees


“Love Has No Labels—Rising”
Client: The Ad Council
Agency: R/GA


“Changing the Game”
Client: Microsoft
Agency: McCann NY


“Dream Crazy”
Client: Nike
Agency: Wieden+Kennedy


“An Open Mind Is the Best Look”
Client: Nordstrom
Agency: Droga5


“The Truth Is Worth It—Perseverance”
Client: The New York Times
Agency: Droga5




Vincent Pierson
Diversity Client Partner
Bloomberg LP

Pierson spent four years building out Minor League Baseball’s diversity initiative, where he assessed diversity across teams in 160 communities from Canada to South Florida. That research resulted in programs that helped increase the number of females and racial minorities in front-office positions. He’s now providing diversity consultation to Bloomberg’s global data and support businesses.


Alexandra Siegel
Senior Manager, Equality Content, Narrative and Marketing

Reporting to Salesforce’s chief equality officer, Siegel created her current role and the first equality marketing program. What does that entail? She works to build a movement around equality in business through research, creative content and inclusive storytelling. She also served as global president of Salesforce’s Black Employee Resource Group, BOLDforce.


Sherice Torres
Marketing Director

An inspirational leader with nearly 25 years of experience, Torres leads all social responsibility brand programs at Google, including crisis response, sustainability, Google.org and Google’s education programs. She previously spent nearly 15 years at Nickelodeon in a variety of leadership roles across consumer products, strategic planning and digital.




Dhane Scotti
Integrated Consumer Marketing Lead for Pixel

Based in Mountain View, California, Scotti leads global integrated consumer marketing for the Pixel smartphone. That covers developing strategy, positioning and marketing plans for Pixel phones alongside key marketing functions to drive brand love, desire and sales for Google’s emerging mobile hardware product.


Michael Warner
Chief Relationship Officer and Partner
Egami Group

With a career that’s spanned music, entertainment, marketing, fashion and tourism, Warner now works alongside his wife and business partner, Teneshia, to make Egami one of the most-awarded agencies. That includes an Emmy and a Cannes Lion Grand Prix—a first for an African American-owned agency.


Krystle Watler
Senior VP, Head of Business Development, Americas

At Virtue, the full-service creative agency that was born out of Vice, Watler has helped develop leading clients including Google Chrome, Marriott Rewards, Target and AT&T. She also sits on the U.S. and Americas management team, responsible for all growth strategies in the region.




Shala Akintunde
Creative Director and Founder
The Movement Worldwide

Akintunde’s solar art seamlessly merges art and technology while providing solutions to social challenges. His 16-foot-tall Bronzeville Solar Pyramid, which generates solar electricity to illuminate a neighborhood building, has become a Chicago landmark.


Antionette Carroll
President and CEO
Creative Reaction Lab

A TED fellow, GDUSA Person to Watch and member of the Essence magazine Woke 100, Carroll has pioneered a new form of creative problem-solving called equity-centered community design, which is central to the work at her nonprofit for black and Latinx youth.


LaToya Drake
Global Outreach Lead

A founding member of the Google News Initiative, Drake oversees events and brand experiences. She is also a mobilizer for Google’s inclusive storytelling efforts in the news industry, including partnerships to elevate unheard stories and voices.




Julian Gilliam
Senior Art Director
Leo Burnett Chicago

Gilliam bridges the gap between the advertising and corporate worlds and communities to elevate art and people. A senior art director at Burnett, he’s also a full-time artist working under the name Logik, whose work portrays a dark perspective with a silver lining.


Tiffany Golden
Associate Producer

For 3 1/2 years, Golden has led the 51%, the affinity group for the Women of Wieden+Kennedy. She also spearheaded the Creatives of Color Collaborative in partnership with Oregon Media Producers Association, which recognized her with their 2018 Service and Inspiration Award.


Mariano Pintor
Account Supervisor, Social Media
McCann NY

An integrated social media account supervisor, Pintor leads top-tier national sponsorship campaigns for Mastercard across music, travel and cause-related verticals, including The Grammys, World Pride and co-branded partnerships with American Airlines and JetBlue.




Brendan Chan
Program Manager, CS Education

At Google since 2013, Chan is a program manager focusing on computer science education efforts, a job he came to after being executive director of Edu21C, a nonprofit that brought the education documentary, Most Likely to Succeed, to communities across the globe.


Danielle Lee
VP, Global Head of Partner Solutions

A three-time honoree on the Adweek 50 list of the most indispensable industry executives, Lee leads the monetization strategy for all music, podcasts and live experiences at Spotify. She also is an executive mentor for Cannes Lions’ See It Be It.


Stacey Mahoney
Global Sales Strategist

Mahoney transforms culture through people, working across teams and business groups within Microsoft to drive programs that focus on recruiting, hiring and developing diverse talent in the industry. Day-to-day, she leads strategy for the Microsoft Advertising global sales team.




TONL & Nike

TONL and Nike journeyed into the lives of everyday women and women of color across the nation. Through the use of powerful imagery and storytelling, they tell a series of rich, multigenerational stories of women using sport to inspire themselves while empowering others.


R/GA & The Ad Council

Why does it take a disaster to bring people together? That’s the challenge asked in Rising, the short film from R/GA and The Ad Council. An extension of the award-winning “Love Has No Labels” campaign, it encourages Americans to act inclusively every day.


Google & UN Women

Premiered at International Women’s Day, the Courage to Question series from Google and UN Women elevates the stories of four women rights defenders who are building movements against mass incarceration, human trafficking, child marriage and sexual violence.