NEW YORK CITY (August 16, 2018)—Last week, the 4A’s hosted its eighth annual The Face of Talent, recognizing and celebrating a diverse group of aspiring advertising hopefuls from across the 4A’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, along with educators and agency leaders who advocate and champion diversity across the marketing communications industry. It marked the first time the weeklong series of events took place under the banner of the 4A’s Foundation, which recently brought together programs including the Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) and its alumni association, the 4A’s scholarship & grant program, and its high school initiatives, including two New York City–based public high schools: the High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media (IAM) and the Manhattan Early College School for Advertising (MECA).
On Monday, August 6, 213 ready and eager students from the 2018 MAIP fellow class attended the sold-out Diversity Career Fair + MAIP Greenhouse(for portfolio review), where they were able to meet with, and be recruited by, representatives from a wide array of agencies. Later that evening, members of the MAIP Alumni Association met at Hudson Terrace for the annual Society of Excellence Reception, where they recognized successes and achievements across their community, with awards including MAIPers to Watch and the Paragon Awards.
The Diversity Leadership Luncheon, The Face of Talent’s marquee event, took place at the Ziegfeld Ballroom on Tuesday, August 7, bringing together some 700 educators, scholars, high school graduates, MAIP fellows, MAIP alumni and industry professionals. Hosted by Natalia Oberti Noguera, Founder and CEO of Pipeline Angels, attendees were treated to a captivating and quote-worthy keynote speech by Jonathan Jackson, Co-founder of Blavity, Inc., and 2019 Harvard University Nieman Fellow, as well as an emotional and inspirational tribute to Sheldon Levy, a member of MAIP’s inaugural 1973 class, and first to retire from the business, who led a pinning ceremony for 213 members of the 2018 class.
Addressing the leadership in the room, Jackson said, “Performative wokeness will not bring us any closer to a world that has more equity or justice. Please do not put ‘diversity champion in your bio if you aren’t interested in winning intersectional games.”
Later in the week, the MAIP 2018 class worked together with specific agencies to complete their fellow requirements, including a Leadership Development Forum, #MAIPCares Day, a community service activity, at City Meals on Wheels; and Agency Immersion Day.
2018 The Face of Talent Award Winners
- Philosopher Award – Douglas Davis, City Tech Chair, Communication Design Department, CUNY New York City College of Technology
- Pantheon Award – Tiffany Edwards, Engagement and Inclusion Director at Droga5
- Gladiator Award – Karen Costello, CCO at The Martin Agency
- The Bill Sharp Award for the Future of Advertising – Donovan Triplett, Account Planner at BBDO Atlanta and MAIP Class of 2014
- The MAIP Agency of the Year Award – Horizon Media
- The Clarence LeRoy Holte MAIP Fellow of the Year Award – Alicia Harris, Strategy at Droga5, MAIP Class 2017 and MAIP Fellow 2018
- The One Club MAIP Creative Fellow of the Year Award – Raquel Ortega, Art Direction at WONGDOODY, MAIP Class of 2017 and MAIP Fellow 2018
- Digitas Multicultural Scholarship – Josue Mendez, PR at Edelman, MAIP Fellow 2018
MAIPers to Watch
- Rishi Magia (MAIP 2008), Creative Director, VaynerMedia
- Alex Santiago (MAIP 2010), Founder, Social Mosaic Communications
- Shannon Ross (MAIP 2012), Associate Creative Director, Spotify
- Jezzika Chung (MAIP 2013), Copywriter, Anomaly
- Nicole Narváez (MAIP 2014), Senior Art Director, Ogilvy & Mather
Paragon Award Winners
- Bonita Coleman Stewart (MAIP 1978), VP, Global Partnerships at Google
- Justine Song (MAIP 1996), VP, Account Director at HZDG
- Monica Sanchez (MAIP 2000), Practice Lead, Quantitative Storytelling at Dieste, Inc.
- Armon Moore (MAIP 2006), Creative Director at Walker & Company Brands, Inc.
- Ronnie Dickerson Stewart (MAIP 2004), VP, Talent Engagement & Inclusion at Digitas
Proceeds from The Face of Talent go to the 4A’s Foundation, a 501©(3) nonprofit with a long-standing commitment to diversity in advertising. Its mission: With the belief that possibilities are endless for everyone given the right access and exposure, the 4A’s Foundation exists to connect the industry to talent for today and tomorrow.
Closing the Diversity Leadership Luncheon, the 4A’s SVP of Talent Engagement & Inclusion Keesha Jean-Baptiste said, “It’s in these moments, when it’s easy – you show up at a luncheon and you give your support – and God knows we are thankful for that – but it’s in the moments after today where the real decisions lie and the that the real work starts. You can volunteer your time, or you can give if you have the means to give. Your donations are going to help us unlock possibilities for generations to come.”
To donate to the 4A’s Foundation, visit 4as.givesmart.com or text “4as” to #52182.
For more information about the Face of Talent and Award descriptions, please visit http://thefaceoftalent.aaaa.org/.
About the 4A’s
Founded in 1917, the 4A’s was established to promote, advance and defend the interests of our member agencies, their employees and the industry at large. The organization serves 700+ member agencies across 1,300 offices, which control more than 85% of total U.S. advertising spend. As the leading trade organization for marketing communication agencies, the 4A’s purpose is to help empower its members to deliver insightful creativity that drives commerce and influences culture, all while moving the industry forward. The organization provides community, leadership, advocacy, guidance and best-in-class training that help enable agencies to innovate, evolve and grow. The 4A’s Benefits division insures more than 160,000 employees, and its D.C. office advocates for policies that best support a thriving advertising industry. The 4A’s Foundation fuels a robust diversity pipeline of talent for its members and the marketing and media industry, fostering the next generation of leaders. The organization is dedicated to, and vested in, our members’ success just as they are dedicated to helping brands create, distribute, and measure effective and insightful advertising and marketing. Visit the 4A’s at www.4as.org.
Deana Graffeo Weeks