Our inaugural AdFest event finished up in October of 2023 and remains top of mind for all the attendees. So many aspects of this event were unforgettable: insightful content, dining experiences, opportunities for networking, snorkeling, kayaking, dancing with 10' tall mummies at our Halloween party, and the list goes on! Learn about AdFest 2024!
Recap of AdFest 2023
Hear from some of the most innovative and inspiring minds in advertising. Our speakers come from a diverse range of backgrounds and bring unique perspectives and insights to the table.
Mike Winkleman runs Leverage Media, a full-service B2B content marketing firm based in the New York City area, with clients in the media, travel, legal, technology, financial, market research, and healthcare industries. He also serves as content director for Bespoke, MediaPost’s content marketing division. In that capacity, he moderates webinars and writes sponsored blog posts on critical advertising, marketing, and media topics. A former special reports editor for Adweek and a former editor of Chief Executive magazine, he’s won lifetime achievement awards from both The Content Council and Association Media & Publishing.
Claire Wyatt is the Vice President of Business Strategy & Marketing Science at Albertsons Media Collective where she and her team develop innovative and transparent measurement products, advanced audience targeting solutions and the overall business strategy for The Collective. Claire was instrumental in the design and launch of Albertsons Media Collective in 2022, leading the strategic efforts during the design phase of the new retail media network. Additionally, she led the efforts for retail media standardization, with the goal of improving transparency in retail media and removing points of friction for advertisers, which the company debuted a preliminary framework for at 2023 Cannes Lions. Claire has attracted top talent to work for her at Albertsons Media Collective as she continues to expand the company's robust analytics function that leads the market in terms of accuracy, innovation and depth of insights. Prior to her time at Albertsons Media Collective, Claire worked at Roundel owning reporting, insights and analytics for over $600m in advertising spend as well as Roundel’s most significant client accounts. Claire is the recipient of numerous industry awards, including Path to Purchase Institute's 40 Under 40 and Retail Touchpoints 40 under 40. Claire holds an MBA through the Kellogg School of Management where she studied Marketing and Managing Organizations.
Casey McEwen is The CEO of Vocelli Pizza, V-3 Flatbread Pizza and Sincerely Yogurt and also acts as COO of Ablak Holdings seven other companies. He is also an Author, Speaker and industry consultant with a deep background as a Franchisor and Franchisee which gives him a unique perspective that resonates with leaders. He is an operations, marketing and organizational development expert who regularly gives back to the communities he serves.
Sanford "Sandy" Lechner is a seasoned leader in Enterprise Media and Advertising Sales with a track record spanning over 25 years. His career has been marked by remarkable growth and success in both traditional and digital advertising. Throughout his career, Sandy has played a pivotal role in the growth and sale of three advertising and media companies, taking on various key positions including CEO, CRO, and individual contributor roles. His expertise extends to the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR), Restaurant, and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) sectors, making him a subject matter expert in these areas. Sandy is a widely recognized figure in the industry, with numerous publications in industry trade journals and a history of being a featured speaker and presenter at various industry trade shows and conferences. Sandy currently resides in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area.
Cathy Chen is the Vice President of Growth Marketing and Strategy at Saks, where she is responsible for all paid media channels as well as brand strategy. She joined Hudson's Bay Company in 2015 and has held various roles in marketing and business strategy across the company and at Saks. Cathy previously worked in investment banking at Centerview Partners. She holds a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College.
Danny Bibi, the driving force behind AdMedia, has over 25 years of experience in digital advertising. As the Founder and CEO, he's been instrumental in AdMedia's journey as a company that helps clients expand their online presence. Pairing various traffic products with machine learning and 150,000+ owned-and-operated sites plus premium publishers allows AdMedia to compete with Google and Bing. Danny believes in putting the user first. AdMedia has a data platform with data on over 200 million profiles, which helps them target ads better. Danny's vision is to provide relevant and user-friendly ads across different channels and devices.
Jeff Lin is the Director of Media and Growth at sweetgreen. Sweetgreen started from three Georgetown students who were simply looking for a healthier way to eat near campus and 16 years later they've opened over 200 stores nationwide. Sweetgreen's mission is building healthier communities by connecting people to real food. They do this by sourcing from local farmers whenever they can, focusing on sustainability, and always serving fresh, plant-forward food that taste great and makes you feel great. Jeff leads a team that oversees all media verticals including Social, Search, Programmatic, Traditional, and Direct Partnerships driving toward all key business objectives.
Jeff Alderman is an accomplished sales and marketing leader. Jeff is a results-driven performance marketer, digital transformer, strategic seller, and digital strategist experienced across many industries, including retail, eCommerce, financial services, payments, insurance, health, travel, QSR, and B2B. Over the past 25 years, Jeff has specialized in helping businesses and advertising agencies strategically grow digital marketing, integrated media, demand generation, and business development practices. He's a born and raised Detroiter who has a passion for growing Michigan businesses and enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids experiencing the pure Michigan treasures.
Cole Robillard is the Chief Marketing Officer for Smokey Bones, a BBQ and protein-powered restaurant with 61 locations in 16 states. In addition to leading Marketing for Smokey Bones and its four virtual QSR-style restaurants, Cole also oversees the company’s catering business unit and drives bar and beverage programming. She joined Smokey Bones in 2021, following nearly 20 years in agency leadership roles.
Aaron Zagha is currently the CMO at Newton Baby, one of the largest direct-to-consumer brands in the baby + juvenile goods industry. He was previously the head of eComemrce for Teleflora’s international operations. He began his career in investment banking / M&A, first for Deutsche Bank and later for JP Morgan.
Michael Aragon is a digital advertising leader with 18 years of ad tech sales, operational, and leadership experience. For over a decade, Mike has worked with major Automotive OEMs across tiers, as well as prominent industry editorial publications and portals. He is currently the VP of Sales and Partnerships at AdMedia and previously worked in various roles at Overture and Yahoo. Mike has spoken at the UCLA Anderson School of Business as well as several industry conferences and trade shows. He has also contributed to industry non-profit organizations including SEMPO, DAA, Think LA, Network After Work, and Smart Young Professionals.
Dennis is a data-driven omni-channel performance marketer with experience managing and growing agency teams and scaling DTC brands. At Zenni, Dennis leads a team of 30 across paid media, organic social, influencer, affiliate, CRM & creative, focusing on driving profitable growth.
Emma is currently serving as Director of Account Management and Operations at AdMedia. Her expertise in the digital marketing realm was cultivated during her tenure at RealEyes Digital and Ziprecruiter where she worked in SEM and SEO positions, prior to gaining several years’ experience in adtech working for AdMedia. Emma works cross-functionally across the ad operations and publisher development team to drive growth for advertisers across many verticals. She is passionate about building high-performing teams and fostering client relationships.
After Joining BCM as an Analyst in 2019, Brooke Abbott swiftly established a strong reputation at BCM, becoming an Associate Director of Paid Search. She leads the strategic Paid Search Programs for clients across housing and travel verticals. She is passionate about fostering client relationships, thought leadership, and continued personal development. Outside of Paid Search, she is a subject matter expert for BCM on Landing page optimization and Audio solutions. Brooke earned her B.A. in Psychology from Barnard College and an M.S. in Marketing Communications from Manhattanville College. She has recently relocated back to New York City but collaborates with her team at BCM's main office in Stamford, CT.
Max Goldberg is co-founder of Steel Straw Incorporated, an environmentally-focused affiliate publisher headquartered in Los Angeles. Max has proudly partnered with the Admedia team on e-commerce projects since 2017. He was one of the first hundred thousand users on Facebook in 2004 and has, "poked," his way into a digital marketing career since then. He is also an unapologetic Lord of the Rings fan.
Scott is the Senior Vice President of Digital Operations at AutoWeb, where he is responsible for AutoWeb’s marketing strategy and oversees AutoWeb’s Lead and Ads business units. Scott brings over a decade of experience in e-commerce products and digital marketing, working with automotive and Fortune 500 consumer-facing brands. Prior to AutoWeb, he served as Vice President, Product and Growth Marketing at Vokal, a digital and growth consultancy focused on the full product lifecycle from innovation to optimization and scale. As part of the executive leadership team there, he led and had responsibility for the profit and loss (P&L) for the organization — including product, growth marketing, design, and engineering. He has held additional leadership positions at Gordon Food Service, Detroit Trading, GrowLife, Inc., and SM Administrators.
Andy is an industry veteran with over 20 years experience in all digital channels, having started at Overture with a 15+ year run at Yahoo! in various roles. While having led teams across Search and Programmatic leading categories such as Travel. Tech/Telco. Retail and Emerging Brands, Politics, and Pharma, he has developed a deep understanding of the Pharma and Regulatory space, including a deep connection in the Political landscape.
Dylan St Clair
Dylan St. Clair is the Vice President of SEM at Angi, the nation's largest home services marketplace. With a proven track record of success, Dylan assumed his role at Angi in October 2022, following his tenure overseeing diverse marketing channels at Expedia. Presently, Dylan calls the vibrant city of Chicago home. He's a distinguished graduate of the University of Notre Dame, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to his pivotal position in the digital marketing landscape.
Over a dozen years in the Paid Search sector, Caleb has been at the beginning of QSR clients’ attribution adoption and continues to guide them toward incremental goals as they navigate new challenges in compliance.
Meet Alyson, the Senior Paid Search Director at Jellyfish, a global digital and performance marketing agency. With over 10 years of experience in Paid Search and a passion for travel, Alyson is dedicated to driving ‘heads in beds’ for her luxury travel client. She leads an effective search strategy aimed at delivering efficient booking growth while adapting to the ever-changing search landscape (hello, generative AI) and uncertain economy.
Tara Raiti is the Director of Paid Media at THG (The Hut Group), a global e-commerce technology group with a brand portfolio across Beauty, Wellness and Nutrition. She is responsible for accelerating growth and expansion across the US Beauty Division (Dermstore, SkinStore). Prior to THG, she spent over a decade on the agency side, working across a variety of verticals and brands, including Warner Brothers, USAA, Nestle Waters, Bombas, and many others, primarily focusing on e-commerce. She holds a Masters of Arts in Journalism from Emerson College and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Providence College.
Yuji Inagaki is the SEM Director at LendingTree, with more than 14 years of experience in digital marketing, mainly focused on Search Engine Marketing. He has worked at well-known companies like Edelman Digital, Microsoft, and IHG in the past, where he gained expertise in digital marketing strategies and SEM. Outside of work, Yuji has a strong interest in cars and enjoys participating in Olympic weightlifting.
Samantha Rogers is Associate Director of Patient Recruitment & Retention at Moderna specializing in executing strategic direct-to-patient marketing campaigns. With over 10 years of experience spanning nonprofit, agency, top 10 pharma to biotech, Samantha has worked across many patient populations, from ultra rare fatal diseases to healthy participants. In her spare time, Sam enjoys going to the beach, reading, playing tennis, and spending time with friends, family, and her German Shepherd dog.
Zena has been involved in patient recruitment for more than 18 years and has implemented more than 200 recruitment campaigns. Zena draws on her years of experience in traditional advertising, partnership building, digital and social marketing, influencer engagement, advocacy relations, and HCP engagement to help shape the strategy for global patient recruitment and retention campaigns. Before joining Spectrum, Zena headed up the Outreach Department at MMG and developed and implemented effective recruitment solutions. She specializes in a forward-thinking approach and is passionate about increasing diversity and health equity in clinical research studies. She combines industry knowledge of feasibility, patient recruitment/retention with healthcare communications expertise to help sponsors achieve or exceed study objectives. Some of Zena’s therapeutic expertise includes Infectious Disease (RSV (Flu, COVID), Latent Viruses (CMV), Respiratory (Asthma, COPD, Chronic Cough) Neuroscience (Frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, Sleep Studies), Inflammation (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis), Oncology (Multiple Myeloma, Breast Cancer), Cardiovascular & Metabolic Syndrome (Hypertension, Heart Failure, Obesity, Diabetes). She also has expertise in developing outreach strategies specifically for African American and Latine participation in studies across a wide variety of disease areas spanning lupus, sickle cell anemia, asthma, multiple myeloma, breast cancer, endometriosis, hypertension, and obesity. Zena’s research work can be found at Research Works. Zena goes above and beyond for her clients by never stopping to challenge the status quo and push strategic and creative thinking to the limit. She knows how critical this is because she has walked in their shoes, spending nearly eight years at Novartis managing trials and creating recruitment strategies in the cardiovascular & metabolic syndrome franchise. Her experience includes creating and driving interwoven global and clinical trial patient recruitment and retention programs for pharmaceutical and biotech companies Moderna, Pfizer, Merck, BMS, Takeda, Biogen, Amgen, Alector, GSK, Blueprint Medicines, and ObsEva. Zena holds a bachelor’s degree in Media and Communications from Temple University.
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AdFest is taking full advantage of the picturesque Ritz at Dorado Beach property, providing attendees with a plethora of optional activities to enhance your experience.