Changing the Game 2020

She Runs It honors the women who are true catalysts of change

This year’s winners of She Runs It’s annual Changing the Game Awards are shattering barriers, energizing new markets and leading the charge to a more inclusive world.

Learn more about—and be inspired by—their achievements below, and be sure to tune in for She Runs It’s virtual celebration on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Brainwave: Changing the way a brand or product is marketed

Lauren Benedict, VP, Disney Advertising Sales

Rising through the ranks of Hulu’s sales group, Benedict now works with Hulu leadership to develop and execute its sales narrative and go-to-market approach— crucial for a streaming leader with an ad-supported model. As leader in the eastern region, she’s also responsible for upfront negotiations with top agency and brand partners.

Sharon Leite, CEO, The Vitamin Shoppe

Leite’s career shows her aptitude for strategic brand turnarounds. Leading The Vitamin Shoppe since late 2018, she positioned the company to be taken private and spearheaded a complete revitalization of the wellness retailer. Central to the approach: demystifying the nutrition and wellness experience to attract shoppers.

Lucinda Martinez, EVP, HBO and HBO Max Brand, Multicultural and International Marketing, WarnerMedia

In addition to now leading all branding efforts for HBO and HBO Max, for the past 15 years, Martinez raised the bar in showcasing HBO’s diverse storytellers. Today, she is expanding her transformative work across HBO Max’s programming by driving audience-led campaigns for African American, Latinx, Asian American and LGBTQ+ consumers

Mordecai, Principal, Mordecai, Inc.

During her time at Innocean, Mordecai pioneered the agency’s Innovation and Partnerships group to secure revenue and growth opportunities for clients like Hyundai and Pepsi. She now runs her own creative innovation consultancy. No matter what she’s working on, she is focused on solving systemic bias and promoting diversity and pay parity.

Paradigm Shift: Changing the way a customer segment or target audience is approached

Fiona Blades, President and Chief Experience Officer Mesh Experience

After years in marketing, Blades realized that growth is driven by the sum of the experiences people have with brands. Yet, most go unmeasured. To fill this gap, she set up Mesh Experience in 2006 and works with clients like PepsiCo and General Motors to create and measure experiences that grow brands, people and society.

Caroline Clarke, Chief Brand Officer, Women of Power, Black Enterprise Magazine

With an intense desire to tell stories that trigger positive change, Clarke founded the multiplatform Women of Power initiative and summit for Black Enterprise Magazine. She also is host of the Zoom video show, On the Clock With Caroline Clarke. Despite the changes to the media landscape, Clarke remains committed to bringing authenticity everywhere she goes.

Jennifer Olsen, CMO, Untuckit

Untuckit has always been about creating the perfect untucked shirt. But Olson has steered the brand beyond its original male audience with reworked messaging. Under her tutelage, it launched the “Every Body Welcome” body-inclusive campaign, and started a new line of clothing for women.

Michelle St. Jacques, CMO, Molson Coors Beverage Company

As Molson Coors’ first female CMO, St. Jacques has reshaped the marketing strategy to entice new customers to the beer category and build brands “people want to hang out with.” So, she’s broken the rules with executions like Coors Light’s “Made to Chill” campaign, and Miller’s gamer targeting through a Twitch sponsorship and the creation of the “cantroller” beer can game controller.

No Apologies: Creating whole new business models or marketplace opportunities

Amy Errett, CEO and Founder, Madison Reed

A successful venture capitalist and nonprofit leader, Errett challenged the conventional wisdom around women’s hair color when she launched Madison Reed in 2013. Since the pandemic, she’s shown the value of throwing out the playbook once again, launching a weekly Colorist on Call Facebook Live and tripling the company’s number of online color consultants to successfully meet demand.

Michele Gay, CEO and Founder, LimeLife by Alcone

Gay knows the value of perseverance. When she and her siblings started the line that would become LimeLife by Alcone, it didn’t go well. But four years later, the natural skincare and cruelty-free makeup brand had over $100 million in sales and a network of over 25,000 “beauty guides.”

Michelle Cordeiro Grant, CEO and Founder, Lively

In her company’s brief history, Cordeiro Grant has created a new category— leisurée (aka athleisure for lingerie)—and gone through two consecutive years of triple-digit growth. Today, Lively continues on its mission to empower women to feel confident about themselves and debunk outdated beauty and body standards.

Rachel Tipograph, CEO and Founder, MikMak

Immersed in the ecommerce world since she was a teenaged eBay maven, Tipograph cemented her place among the digerati when she founded MikMak. Originally a creator of infomercials for the digital era, MikMak pivoted to a business-to-business model, riding the current ecommerce wave to success.

Quantum Leap: Changing the way an organization is aligned to proactively meet new challenges

Alison Bergen, CEO, Aerosoles

Bergen joined Aerosoles in 2018 with the goal of modernizing the flagging footwear brand, while doubling sales within three years. As part of the rebrand, she worked to make the company relevant to a younger demographic without losing its existing audience.

Christine Cook, SVP and CRO, CNN Digital WarnerMedia Ad Sales

One of Cook’s first tasks after joining WarnerMedia in 2018 was to build a digitally focused sales team. The new team has contributed to a collaborative culture across the company, equipping the group with more insights and enabling them to create custom campaigns— ultimately changing the way its advertising is sold.

Sarah Kramer, Chief Client and Operating Officer Spark Foundry

The glass ceiling has nothing on Kramer. Over the past 18 months, she’s made it a point to hire women for traditionally male-led roles, like data and technology. She’s also made sure that half of the people with VP or higher titles at Spark Foundry are women. In addition, she finds time to mentor women across the agency and leads the diversity and inclusion council.

Helen Lin, Chief Digital Officer, Publicis Media

To keep clients at the forefront of digital, Lin launched Publicis Media’s in-house consulting practice and created internal programmatic, search and social capabilities. She also advocates for female leadership and diversity in the workplace and led Publicis Media to partner with the 4A’s to launch the Advertising Protection Bureau.

Claude Silver, Chief Heart Officer, VaynerMedia

With 30-plus years of experience, Silver’s disruptive approach to corporate culture puts the focus on building human-to-human connections in a diverse and inclusive environment. As the company’s first chief heart officer, 50% of VaynerMedia employees are female and the agency has a 0% gender pay disparity.

Louisa Wong, CEO, Americas, Wavemaker

Named CEO Americas at Wavemaker this past summer, Wong is known as a champion of female leadership, as well as for her role in business transformation. As COO of Carat and a long-time Dentsu leader,shereimaginedworkflowsandprocessestoeliminatewaste and reduce friction between mar tech, ad tech and legacy platforms.