Angela Rodriguez | Director of Strategic Insights, Alma DDB
Moderator / Blogger: Miami
Angela A. Rodriguez is Director of Strategic Insights at Alma DDB, the network’s Hispanic arm. She’s a modern multi-tasking mom of two active toddlers and has over 13 years of experience in the Hispanic market. Angela began her career at one of the first digital Hispanic shops before moving into traditional advertising and ultimately joining the agency in 2002.
A true Fusionista, her love of all things digital, and a passion for music, led to a stint at leading Hispanic entertainment portal Batanga in 2007 to explore the evolved digital arena.
Ultimately it was the desire to more regularly be able to walk alongside consumers that led her back to planning and Alma DDB where she’s a chief contributor in consumer insights relating to the digital space, music and families.
Currently, the strategic Lead on the PepsiCo business including Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Diet Pepsi, Dole, Dole Aguas Frescas, Mirinda Fiesta and all Quaker brands. Angela has also worked on the McDonald’s account focusing on their total Family Business including Happy Meal, Breakfast, Chicken and the HACER Scholarship.
She plays a leadership role at the agency with the charge of driving the cross functional “digitization” of all departments. This involves training staff, leading on digital strategy beyond assigned accounts and is a key stake holder in the agency’s social media presence.
Angela is also a contributing member in Alma’s thought leadership group: Cultural Curators. She authored the Fusionistas, Always in Sync yellow paper which delved into the role of music in the lives of Young Hispanics and how marketers can leverage that passion area.
A 1999 graduate of the University of Florida, Angela has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Advertising and an IAA Certificate in Marketing Communications.
Adrian Fogel | VP, Strategy Director, Leo Burnett
Adrian spent most of the 90’s as a pre-school teacher and claims that provided her training in really understanding human behavior, story telling and creativity.
Ending the 90’s and going into a new decade, she found herself enrolled at the VCU Brandcenter (graduate school for branding and communication) and has embarked on a 12 year trek as a creative brand planner with agencies such as Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Merkley + Partners and DDB. She is currently at Leo Burnett where she is the strategic lead on the Kellogg’s Adult Portfolio.
Adrian has brought strategic leadership to brands and businesses that have created successful, non-traditional campaign ideas with tremendous results for clients such as: BMW Mini Cooper, Molson Canadian Beer, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, IKEA, McDonald’s, Bud Light, Budweiser, Cars.com and Kellogg’s Special K.
Lorraine Cortes-Vasquez | Executive Vice President, AARP
Moderator: Washington, D.C.
Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez is the executive vice president of Multicultural Markets & Engagement at AARP. Lorraine has a distinguished career in nonprofit, government and corporate sectors that extends more than 30 years.
She was New York’s Secretary of State, the first Hispanic to serve in that role. Lorraine also served as vice president of Government and Public Affairs at Cablevision Systems Corporation.
Additionally, her work in the nonprofit sector has gained her national recognition. Lorraine was president of the Hispanic Federation, a nonprofit network of 90 Latino health and human service agencies, aiding more than 2 million Latinos annually.
A graduate of Hunter College, Lorraine also earned a master’s degree from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She is a Toll Fellow; and she earned certificates from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and from Columbia University’s School of Non-Profit Management.
Jeff Tarakajian | EVP, Group Management Director, Draftfcb
Moderator: New York
Jeff leads Draftfcb’s relationships with Beiersdorf, the U.S. Census Bureau and The Jamaica Tourist Board.
Working on the highly visible and successful campaign for the 2010 Census, Jeff helped orchestrate his client’s plan to talk to all Americans. The campaign segmented the entire population by their attitudes and beliefs about the Census. By personalizing messages to diverse groups, Jeff and the team achieved unprecedented participation from Millenials to Boomers and everyone in between.
Jeff was instrumental in helping Draftfcb launch The New America microsite in partnership with Adweek and his Census client. The site informs visitors what the Census metrics mean for advertisers and media and technology companies. He draws from his client experience, like his work on the United Healthcare account, to craft stories on the conundrum of aging boomers and the language and images that best cross cultures.
A veteran of Foote Cone & Belding in the mid-nineties, Jeff has held myriad positions, including Global Head of New Business and President of FCB New York. Diet Coke, IRS, USPS, Samsung and AT&T are among the brands he has led.
Prior to joining FCB, Jeff held positions in account management at SSC&B, Marschalk and Lowe. His experience includes a broad range of categories, from corporate reputation (Hanson Industries, Prudential) to services (Eastern Airlines) to consumer packaged goods (J&J, Mennen, Cover Girl, Bayer, Smirnoff).
Jeff commutes long-distance, living in an almost, but not completely empty nest in Pawtuxet Village, RI. He graduated from Yale with a BA in English and French. Succumbing to pressure from his kids, he snowboards badly.
Ken Muench | SVP, Director of Strategic Planning, Draftfcb
Moderator: New York
Ken joined Draftfcb in 2009 to lead the agency in creating the next evolution of marketing. As the crusader for this unique approach to multicultural advertising, which he dubbed cross-culturalism, Ken suggests general market campaigns should be silo-free and speak to the total market by starting with multicultural insights and lifestyles. This total-market model not only addresses multicultural audiences, but also makes them an integral part of the brand’s story. With this progressive new approach, he is establishing Draftfcb as a leader in this space and has helped the agency move into the top 15 agencies for multicultural efforts.
Currently, Ken leads the strategic planning team in Orange County and co-leads the North American multicultural practice out of Chicago. He has been the lead strategist working on repositioning Taco Bell for a more adventuresome and cross-cultural Millennial reality, which USA Today said “could rank as one of fast food’s most complex turnaround attempts in decades.”
Ken’s past experience includes more than 16 years at shops such as Grupo Gallegos (Comcast, Energizer, Valvoline) and Hispanic agency Casanova Pendrill (Nestle, General Mills, California Lottery). Several of his campaigns won international creative awards, but after about a decade as a creative, constantly confronting client misconceptions about Hispanics in the U.S., he decided he could do more for the industry as a strategic planner.
While at Grupo, one of his proudest accomplishments was being the lead planner for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund in 2009, working with the Ad Council to increase college enrollment among the demographic. Ken and his colleagues spent more than two months doing ethnographic research with nearly 90 Hispanic families across the U.S. The resulting campaign won a bronze 2011 Effie, and was the only Hispanic campaign awarded in the U.S.
Ken has the vision, strategy and passion to make waves of change ripple through the industry, but it’s his humility and approachability that inspire those who work with him to go big on their own endeavors.
Corliss G. Thornton | Associate Professor, Georgia State University
Thornton’s research interests are in the areas of ethnic consumer behavior, advertising and promotion. Her research primarily examines ethnic consumers’ attitudes towards targeted advertising and the impact of ethnicity on consumer response to various sales promotions. Her recent research also examines the effect of ethnicity on the marketing practices of small business owners. Her research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Retailing, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, and Journal of Services Marketing.