Changing the Game 2021

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

Each year, She Runs It honors women in marketing, media and tech who are transforming their brands, their organizations and those of their clients. This year, these game changers are shaking up strategies, leading with purpose and championing DEI throughout their organizations.

Learn more about—and be inspired by—their achievements here, and be sure to tune in for She Runs It’s virtual celebration on Nov. 17.

Brainwave: Changing the way a brand of product is marketed

Daria Burke, Former CMO, JustFab; Angel Investor

Burke steered the ecommerce brand JustFab through the pandemic by helping shoppers feel their best while dressing from the waist up. She also launched the “Leading With Style” YouTube series to inspire and motivate women. A committed mentor to young women of color, Burke is paving the way for the next generation.

Meei Chai, Director, Planning, Wavemaker US

Never one to think conventionally, Chai led Wavemaker’s media work for IKEA, resulting in two Effies and one Internationalist award. Now she’s bringing her progressive approach to the newly won Coinbase account, where she will surely redefine what it means to advertise in the crypto space.

Lisa Giacosa, President & Global Head of Data, Technology, Analytics and Insights, Spark Foundry

Giacosa built Spark’s data practice to over 250 employees and now leads her team to uncover measurement solutions that work at the pace of consumers’ changing behaviors. With a passion for humanizing data, Giacosa also helps create innovative, custom data-driven solutions to drive growth for clients.

Lauren Hanrahan, CEO, Zenith

Industry veteran Hanrahan has an impressive track record of bringing in and keeping top performing clients. In her first year as CEO of the Publicis Media shop, she successfully led pitches for Disney, TikTok and Reckitt. When she’s not innovating new solutions for a changing market, she is advocating for up-and-coming talent and chairing the agency’s DEI council.

Resh Sidhu, Executive Creative Director, Barbarian

With over 20 years of experience, Sidhu leads the Barbarian team with unparalleled creative vision and business savvy. On top of her award-winning creative work, Sidhu is a driving force in Barbarian’s employee-run gender equality group, Foundation. This year, Barbarian became one of a just a handful of agencies to be 3% Certified for its culture, work and policies.

Suzanne Sullivan, EVP, Entertainment Ad Sales, FOX

TV is changing. Sullivan played a leading role in developing new ad products for FOX Entertainment that enhanced both the consumer and advertiser experience. She also successfully helped bring Tubi into the entertainment division’s portfolio, all while overseeing all ad sales for FOX’s linear and digital platforms as well as its client partnerships and agency relationships.

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

Joy Cavanagh Ross, SVP, Global Demand Strategy and Partnerships, ENGINE Media Exchange [EMX]

A trailblazer who has spent the past 20 years making her mark on the ad-tech ecosystem, Ross has built partnerships with Amazon, Disney, Google, Oracle, Samsung, Vizio and more while championing the growth of programmatic. She’s responsible for building PubMatic from the ground up, and at EMX she is leading the charge toward reliable cookieless solutions for demand side partners and media buyers.

Mirna Eusebio Lithgow, SVP, Consumer Services CMO, Altice USA

Not only did Lithgow play a key role in launching Altice’s Optimum Mobile, but she also was instrumental in creating the “We Are Open” campaign, showcasing NYC metro area small businesses that remained open during the pandemic. And as an executive sponsor of Altice USA’s HER Impact Network, Lithgow advocates for women’s leadership and development.

Remi Kent, CMO, Progressive Insurance

While her time at Progressive has just begun as of Nov. 1, Kent is no stranger to leading major brands’ marketing efforts. Rising through the ranks at 3M, she most recently served as the company’s SVP and global CMO. In this penultimate role, she led her team in a pandemic pivot, reimaging marketing messaging and helping drive increased production of the company’s N95 respirators.

Laura Maness, CEO, Havas New York

Maness not only leads the agency famous for creating “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign for Dos Equis, but she’s also built a business strategy that puts an equal balance on people, planet and profit. Because of her efforts, Havas New York has career-advancement programs such as Femmes Forward and Havas Emerge and is one of the first U.S. agencies to become a Certified B-Corporation. 

Lindsay Pattison, Chief Client Officer, WPP

Pattison is known for firsts: She was the first woman to hold the role of Worldwide CEO in the media industry in 2014 at Maxus Global, and in 2017 she became GroupM’s first-ever worldwide chief transformation officer. As someone passionate about gender equality and diversity and inclusion, Pattison has launched leadership training programs for women and sits on the WPP inclusion council.

Jackeline Stewart, EVP, Head of U.S. Multicultural Communication, Edelman

As an award-winning multicultural communication strategist, Stewart leads Edelman’s Multicultural Communication Practice. The team—comprised of more than 40 experts—helps clients and colleagues across the Edelman network earn trust and remain culturally relevant to diverse audiences while addressing issues of accessibility, equity and justice. Stewart also chairs the organization’s racial justice communications task force.

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

Nicole Estebanell, Executive Director, Global Client Lead, Mindshare

It makes sense that this self-proclaimed sports obsessive would be the Nike account global lead for Mindshare, where she can channel her fandom into results. Estebanell helped redefine Nike’s approach to Gen Z, and led the global “Play New” campaign, which encourages people to shift focus from being competitive to relishing the fun of trying a new sport.

Nicole Hughey, VP, Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, SiriusXM

Since joining SiriusXM in 2020, Hughey has championed a number of DEI initiatives, including an increase in company-wide programming that celebrates underrepresented groups and recognizes their contributions to culture and society. She also played a key role in SiriusXM’s Stand for Sonic Diversity, which aims to eradicate the sonic color line by uplifting Black voices within the audio industry.

Dana McGraw, VP, Audience Modeling & Data Science, Disney Advertising Sales

Known as a data pioneer at the forefront of machine learning, McGraw works closely with her team to leverage first-party data to better understand the different types of customers within Disney’s vast portfolio. This year, she and her team launched Disney Select, a solution that combines Disney’s proprietary Audience Graph with advanced modeling capabilities, making advertising magic for clients.

Nicolle Pangis, CEO, Ampersand

Pangis is a firm believer in never standing still, and her career trajectory spanning leaderships roles at 24/7 Media, Xaxis and GroupM is proof. She’s led the former NCC Media’s rebrand into Ampersand and has worked to transform the traditional TV advertising organization into an advanced TV company. Outside of work, Pangis is the troop leader for both of her daughters’ Girl Scout troops, teaching the next generation about good citizenship and leadership.

Deidre Smalls-Landau, CMO and Global Head of Culture, UM

Smalls-Landau created UM’s Diversity, Equity and Belonging division and leads the agency’s internal cultural consulting arm, guiding clients on how to understand, engage with, and market to diverse audiences. In 2020, Smalls-Landau co-founded the industry’s first cross-agency, grassroots community for people of color, We All Rise Together.

Lisa Torres, President, Cultural Quotient, Publicis Media

Under Torres’ leadership, Publicis Media increased investment in minority owned, operated and targeted media. But in 2021, this dedication to diversity and representation was taken further when she co-founded Publicis Media’s Once & For All Coalition, a multi-year, sustainable initiative to remove barriers to equitable investments and provide representation of underserved creators and content.

No Apologies: Creating whole new business models or marketplace opportunities

Shontay Lundy, Creator and Founder, Black Girl Sunscreen

After working her way through corporate America, Lundy took a break from the grind and moved to LA. While hiking and hanging at the beach she realized there were no sunscreens that didn’t leave her white and streaky. She founded Black Girl Sunscreen to change that and ensure Black women everywhere have access to a product made just for them.

Katie Schlott, Partner, Client Growth Strategies, IA Collaborative

With 14 years of experience pushing the boundaries of how design and business interact, Schlott recently turned her attention to launch IA’s Design for Women, a network aimed at making gender equity central to the design process and spotlighting situations that are experienced by women and under-addressed by design.

Leah Wyar, SVP and GM, Beauty and Style Group, Dotdash

Wyar brought her extensive knowledge of the beauty space to Dotdash in 2019 after serving as the chief beauty director for Hearst. So far, she’s shown that inclusivity and community can be growth-drivers all on their own and helped turn Dotdash’s beauty and style sites into the internet’s go-to sources for accurate and entertaining content.