• Friday, Oct. 23, 2020
Joe Marks joins Weta Digital as chief technology officer
Joe Marks

Joe Marks has joined Weta Digital as chief technology officer.  Marks has 35+ years’ experience as a technology executive with extensive background in graphics, computer science and research and development. He will oversee the company’s technology initiatives that span visual effects as well as the newly announced Weta Animated division. Marks will report to Weta Digital CEO Prem Akkaraju.

Marks joins Weta Digital from Carnegie Mellon University, where he served as executive director of the Center for Machine Learning & Health, working at the forefront of innovation in digital healthcare. Marks is best-known for his prior roles at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) and Disney Research where he orchestrated and led the premier R&D organization in the media and entertainment industry with labs in Pittsburgh, Zurich, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Marks’s research interests span CG, video processing, media distribution, robotics, HCI, mobile computing, computer vision, AI, sensors, embedded systems and behavioral economics.

Marks has been active in the SIGGRAPH community serving as its Papers Chair in 2004 and Conference Chair in 2007 and has a broad portfolio of peer-reviewed publications in applied computing.  He has also managed over $100M in corporate and academic R&D spend in addition to co-founding two e-commerce start-ups.
“A pivotal part of the future of VFX and animation rests in artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing. Joe’s deep experience in these areas makes for a perfect fit at Weta as we continue to push the boundaries of our industry,” said Akkaraju.  “Joe’s experience leading research teams both inside and outside our industry will bring new ideas and methodologies to our existing state-of-the-art pipeline. It’s a privilege to bring someone of Joe’s stature to double down on one of the core strengths of the company.”

Weta Digital sr. visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri said, “The addition of Joe Marks allows us to go deeper and push further into the technical innovations that will define the next generation of storytelling. His ability to unite artificial intelligence initiatives with real-time technology and increasingly procedural workflows will allow us to fully realize the promise of the virtual production workflows we pioneered for the first Avatar.”
Marks added, “While working with The Walt Disney Company and the ACM SIGGRAPH community, I admired Weta for many years. It’s an absolute thrill to be joining the company as it embarks on a new adventure in animated storytelling, while continuing their unparalleled tradition of excellence in VFX for live-action movies. Weta’s proprietary tools have long set the standard in simulating appearance and behavior in virtual worlds. I’m excited about how we will build on this base: the incorporation of techniques from AI and Machine Learning will broaden the scope of what can be simulated; new display and camera technologies will enable us to connect the virtual world to the real world in exciting new ways; and cloud computing will allow us to do it all more efficiently.  I am looking forward to combining my own experience with that of industry veterans like Joe Letteri and Prem Akkaraju to broaden the cinematic palette for the great directors that work with Weta.”

  • Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020
Seven new members elected to ANA Board of Directors
ANA CEO Bob Liodice

The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) elected seven new members to its board of directors at its annual conference held virtually from October 21–23.

The newly elected directors are:

  • Dean Aragon, chief marketing officer at Shell International
  • Esi Eggleston Bracey, COO and executive VP, Beauty & Personal Care at Unilever North America
  • Julia Goldin, chief marketing officer at LEGO
  • Ivan Pollard, global chief marketing officer at General Mills
  • Manoj K. Raghunandanan, president, Global Self Care and Office of Marketing Value at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health
  • Tony Wells, chief brand officer at USAA
  • William White, chief marketing officer at Walmart

In an important new development, for the first time the ANA Board has been expanded to include members from around the globe; Julia Goldin is based in London and Dean Aragon is based in Switzerland.

Current ANA Board chairman Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, continues as chairman until the end of 2021.

“The ANA Board always plays a key role in all our work, but that has been especially true during the past year when dealing with the coronavirus pandemic,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “Our entire organization is indebted to all board members for their invaluable contributions during an unusually challenging period. I extend my thanks and I look forward to working with them in the future.”

Here’s a list of the full 2020–2021 ANA Board of Directors:

  • Paul Alexander, Eastern Bank 
  • Dean Aragon, Shell International
  • Douwe Bergsma, Piedmont HealthCare 
  • Lynne Biggar, Visa 
  • Linda Boff, General Electric
  • Esi Eggleston Bracey, Unilever 
  • Chris Brandt, Chipotle 
  • Amanda Brinkman, Deluxe 
  • Emily Callahan, St. Jude 
  • Fiona Carter, Goldman Sachs 
  • Suzy Deering, formerly eBay
  • Norman de Greve, CVS Health 
  • John Dillon, Denny’s 
  • Alicia Enciso, Nestlè USA 
  • Jill Estorino, Disney
  • J. Russell Findlay, Hiscox 
  • Morgan Flatley, McDonald’s
  • Julia Goldin, LEGO 
  • Rick Gomez, Target 
  • Gerald E. Johnson II, American Heart Association 
  • Alison Lewis, Kimberly-Clark
  • Bob Liodice, ANA 
  • Marcel Marcondes, Anheuser-Busch InBev 
  • Michelle Peluso, IBM
  • Ivan Pollard, General Mills 
  • Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble 
  • Manoj Raghunandanan, Johnson & Johnson
  • Raja Rajamannar, MasterCard 
  • Elizabeth Rutledge, American Express 
  • Jennifer Saenz, Frito-Lay 
  • Diego Scotti, Verizon
  • Heather Stewart, General Motors
  • Nuno Teles, Diageo 
  • Gail Tifford, WW 
  • Matt VanDyke, Ford 
  • Meredith Verdone, Bank of America
  • Karen Walker, Intel    
  • Tony Wells, USAA 
  • William White, Walmart
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020
Copacino Fujikado co-founders pass the reins to new leadership team
Copacino Fujikado's (l-r) new leadership team of ECD/partner Mike Hayward, CEO Scott Foreman and director of strategy and insights/partner Tim O'Mara.

Advertising agency Copacino Fujikado has undergone a brand refresh following the recent retirement of co-founders Jim Copacino and Betti Fujikado. The agency’s new website just went live and long-term team members of the Seattle-based shop--Scott Foreman, Mike Hayward, and Tim O’Mara--will step into new leadership roles.

Founded in 1998, Copacino Fujikado has a track record of cultivating compelling creative that helps Seattle-based brands reach consumers both locally and nationally. Clients include the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Symetra Financial, and Premera Blue Cross, among others beyond the Pacific Northwest. After 22 years at the helm, Messrs. Copacino and Fujikado turn over the reins to Foreman as CEO, Hayward as executive creative director/partner, and O’Mara as director of strategy and insights/partner. The three will oversee the brand refresh while continuing to dig deep and provide a strategic advantage for clients.

In tandem with the rebrand, Copacino Fujikado has unveiled a new, custom-built in-house content studio called FreshCoat Studios. The unit includes an in-house edit suite and audio recording capability, both of which will allow the agency to create integrated content that more efficiently meets client demands across web and social. This development underpins Copacino Fujikado’s hefty investment in research platforms and tools from MRI, Gartner, and Netbase, among others, for an independent agency of its size.

“Over the past five years, we have invested heavily in data, tools, and research with a purpose: to know the pain points, needs, and desires of our audiences so well that it becomes a strategic advantage for our clients,” said O’Mara. “The core of our jobs is to uncover insights at the nexus of brand, audience and culture and turn them into a platform for memorable campaigns that separate our clients from their competitors.”

The first work since the brand refresh recently debuted for Premera Blue Cross. This campaign marks the latest in a cadence of worthwhile creative work Copacino Fujikado has developed for its clients since the onset of COVID-19. Most recently, the agency released a campaign for Seattle-based life insurance company Symetra featuring Olympian Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird that premiered at this year’s ESPYs. 

  • Monday, Oct. 19, 2020
Brukman named managing director & global new business director at Final Cut, Significant Others
Justin Brukman

Creative editorial house Final Cut, along with VFX and postproduction company Significant Others, has added Justin Brukman in the newly created role of U.S. managing director and director of global new business. 

Brukman is perhaps best known for his time as executive producer and managing director of the Academy Award-winning creative studio MPC in New York, and later for the whole of North America. Moving stateside from the London office in 2010, he was tasked with launching the company in the U.S. In under seven years, he grew the New York office from a staff of 6 to more than 120, increasing revenue and building deep client relationships across key media categories. MPC’s advancement under Brukman’s leadership resulted in high-profile and acclaimed projects from innovative agencies like Droga5, Anomaly, R/GA, Wieden+Kennedy, Saatchi & Saatchi, BBH/New York, BBDO, Publicis, and Y&R, with an aggressive move into emerging technologies like VR, AR, and Mixed Reality; and the growth of a bespoke content creation arm that has attracted talented storytellers from all genres. 

“This year has been both challenging and illuminating in so many ways,” says Stephanie Apt, U.S. president at Final Cut. “Both Final Cut and Significant Others are dedicated to building for the future through stellar leadership of our team. Justin is the perfect person to lead the charge in this regard. He is highly focused on enriching our internal culture while operating from a place of complete authenticity. Justin is an ideal values match.”  

“Justin’s passion for the business, and our community, makes him the ideal person to further grow our offering.” said Dirk Greene, creative director at Significant Others. “I am very excited to forge ahead alongside him, and our team, and to see the work that will come out of this side of the business over the coming months and years.”

Brukman shared, “I’ve always felt the Final Cut family of companies––Final Cut, Significant Others and Machine Sound––has been forward-looking and ahead of its time, and the leadership they’ve shown through the chaos of 2020 is no exception. Joining them at this key moment is a tremendous opportunity to be a part of building a vibrant future for these companies and their talent.”

  • Monday, Oct. 19, 2020
Jacqueline Stewart named Academy Museum's chief artistic director and programming officer
Jacqueline Stewart

Scholar, programmer, and educator Jacqueline Stewart has been named chief artistic and programming officer of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. In this new executive position, Stewart will lead strategy and planning for the Academy Museum’s curatorial, educational, and public programming initiatives, including exhibitions, screenings, symposia, publications, workshops, and K-12 programs. Stewart will join the museum in January 2021 and will report to the director and president of the Academy Museum, Bill Kramer. 

Kramer said, “Jacqueline Stewart is a powerful leader in the film world. Her inspiring history of scholarship, teaching, programming, building community partnerships, and archival work combined with her dedication to inclusivity and accessibility make her an ideal leader for the museum. With her remarkable ability to engage the public and her commitment to showcasing the diverse and fascinating history of the movies, she will be a vital part of our mission to advance the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema.”
Stewart said, “As a scholar who researches, teaches, presents, and archives films, I see how cinema shapes our understandings of history and culture, of other people and ourselves, in profound and enduring ways. In my work to create welcoming spaces for people to experience films, I have seen that movies have a unique ability to galvanize dialogue and cultivate empathy. I am excited to join the Academy Museum team at this critical moment for the institution, and for our world, to engage visitors and partners in accessible, multifaceted conversations about the history of filmmaking and the impact that cinema has on our lives.”

Stewart joins the Academy Museum from the University of Chicago Department of Cinema and Media Studies, where she teaches American film history, specializing in African American cinema from the silent era to the present. Stewart also is the director of the university’s Arts + Public Life initiative, which provides platforms for artists and access to arts programming through artist residencies, arts education, creative entrepreneurship, and artist-led programs and exhibitions. She currently serves on the curatorial advisory committee for the Academy Museum’s upcoming exhibition Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898–1971, which explores the visual culture of Black cinema from its early days to just after the civil rights movement.

An award-winning writer, Stewart is the author of Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity, a study of African Americans and silent cinema, and was the co-editor of L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema—a landmark study of the first generation of film-school-trained Black filmmakers out of UCLA, including Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, and Haile Gerima. Stewart’s writings have appeared in Critical Inquiry, Film Quarterly, Film History, and The Moving Image. She has two forthcoming books on directors William Greaves and Spencer Williams.

Stewart’s research has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2019, Stewart was a senior fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C.

A thoughtful and engaging programmer, Stewart is the host of Silent Sunday Nights on Turner Classic Movies, which showcases silent films from all over the world, and she co-curated Pioneers of African American Cinema for Kino Lorber—a collection of works of early African American filmmakers. A native of Chicago’s South Side, Stewart founded the South Side Home Movie Project in 2005 to preserve, digitize, and screen amateur footage documenting everyday life from the perspectives of South Side residents. 

A passionate film archivist and advocate for film preservation, Stewart studied moving image archiving at UCLA and the Cineteca di Bologna in Italy. She is a three-term appointee to the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB), which advises the Librarian of Congress on film preservation policy. As chair of the NFPB Diversity Task Force, Stewart led the drafting of reports on diversity, equity, and inclusion on the National Film Registry and in the film archive profession. Stewart has served on the Boards of Chicago Film Archives, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, and the Association of Moving Image Archivists. 

Stewart has held faculty positions at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Chicago and her BA in English from Stanford University.

  • Monday, Oct. 19, 2020
David&Goliath hires Lisa Tanner as managing director for Kia
Lisa Tanner
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- 

Lisa Tanner has been appointed managing director of creative agency David&Goliath (D&G). Her primary responsibilities on the management team will be to lead the overall Kia business and integrated efforts with all partner agencies. She reports to Yumi Prentice, president of D&G.

“Lisa’s impressive experience and expertise in the industry, whether managing a myriad of clients or serving as a mentor within industry associations, perfectly aligns with our agency culture and ethos,” said Prentice. “Her purpose-driven nature, commitment and strategic vision, matched with her instinctive understanding of the client’s needs and wants, is the perfect mix to effectively lead our longstanding client business.” 

Before managing all things automotive at D&G, Tanner served as SVP, group account director for Farmers Insurance at RPA for more than nine years. Over her career span of 23 years, Tanner has held positions in account management and new business at Team One, Deutsch, McCann WorldGroup and GSD&M for clients such as AT&T, Saturn, 7-11, Mirage/Bellagio Hotel and Resorts, Land Rover, DirectTV and YMCA.

Tanner, a three-time EFFIE winner, has also earned such accolades as the David Ogilvy Award for her work on General Motors and Farmer’s Insurance, Webbies, Addys and a PETA award. Tanner currently serves as the co-president of ThinkLA IDEA Council and is a four-time co-chair of the ThinkLA Award Show gala. In addition to her several roles in advertising industry committees and associations, Tanner is active in leadership roles and is dedicated to mentoring ad colleagues and students, whether through organized programs or organically. 

Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Tanner has made a home in Los Angeles over the past 17 years, moving from Austin, Texas where she began her career at GSD&M. 

  • Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020
VMLY&R promotes Teresa Barnhill to lead Memphis office
Teresa Barnhill

VMLY&R has promoted Teresa Barnhill to lead the agency’s Memphis office, which primarily serves the United States Navy Recruiting Command, Amtrak, FedEx and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Barnhill will continue to lead strategy and insights for the United States Navy Recruiting Command client partnership. As she steps into her expanded role, Barnhill will focus on workplace, workforce, marketplace and community development for the Memphis team. Her priorities will include pipeline development and mentorship partnerships with local universities like LeMoyne-Owen College and local charter schools like Memphis Merit Academy. 

Barnhill brings nearly two decades of experience developing marketing, creative, and product creation strategies for brands such as Hallmark Cards and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A lover of language, culture, and social trends, she is passionate about developing inspired, data-grounded insights to fuel marketing and creative solutions. Since joining VMLY&R in November, Barnhill has led strategy for the Navy client partner and been a key leader in VMLY&R’s Transformation Initiative, which aims to implement integration efforts that combat systemic racism across all areas of the business, both client-facing and internal.

“I’m excited to continue curating and nurturing the culture of the VMLY&R Memphis team,” Barnhill said. “Our vision is to be one of the most respected employers in Memphis that delivers the highest-caliber creative and strategic work, and I’m looking forward to delivering on that goal.” 
Barnhill is a graduate of East Carolina University with a B.S. in English and an M.S. in English and multicultural studies. She also earned a certificate in diversity and inclusion from Cornell University. Barnhill is the newest board member of Memphis Merit Academy and volunteers as a diversity, equity, and inclusion coach for nonprofit organizations and small businesses in the Greater Memphis area. 

  • Monday, Oct. 12, 2020
Lisa Houck named managing director at Uppercut
Lisa Houck

Lisa Houck has joined the executive team as managing director at Uppercut, an editorial, finishing, and VFX studio with headquarters in New York, and a soon-to-be-opened office in Atlanta. 
With 20 years of experience in artist representation, business development, production, and postproduction, Houck is most recently known for her talent agency, Salon Reps, which she launched in 2010. She has produced editorial, animation, and visual effects for integrated campaigns with global brands and agencies. Houck also led the commercial division of the award-winning Method Studios, overseeing the diversification of the company’s capabilities with the growth of its live-action arm, Method Labs.   

During such uncertain and tenuous times within the industry, Uppercut has nevertheless leveraged its capabilities to serve the market more effectively, with projects for top brands. Recent Uppercut work includes Volvo with Grey NY, Nike for R/GA, and NFL out of 72andSunny. Through its partnership with sister company Racket Club, a boutique music studio, Uppercut benefits from direct access to leading composers, and the ability to create a streamlined and fully integrated post experience through delivery. Uppercut continues to generate new business based on these strong, multi-faceted offerings and its service-oriented approach. 

“Adding Lisa to our team as managing director signals the next chapter for Uppercut,” said company founder and editor Micah Scarpelli. “We look forward to building upon our proven resilience and substantial growth that we’ve realized during 2020, and navigate this time of expansion with Lisa’s gifts for organization, inspiration, development, and implementation at the helm. She brings energy, attention to detail, and artistic passion to all that she does.” 

  • Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020
Company 3 hires Jimi Vaughn as VP of diversity & engagement, launches progressive initiative
Jimi Vaughn

Jimi Vaughn will be joining Company 3’s senior leadership team as VP of diversity & engagement. 

Vaughn has a proven record of implementing successful programs in diversity, inclusion, engagement, development and organizational effectiveness with a focus on creating a thriving employee culture. By holding engaging and thought-provoking seminars and workshops, Vaughn motivates and encourages leaders and their teams to initiate change with tangible, actionable processes.

Vaughn stated, “The driver for me is to ensure every employee feels empowered and safe to show up to work, fully as themselves.”

Company 3 has also launched an initiative, “CO3 for Good,” an employee-led collective backed by the company’s executive leadership team that will spearhead and drive change within the business by participating in mentorship programs, building on policies and committing to change “for good.”

CEO and founder Stefan Sonnenfeld commented, “Our focus is on continuing to shape our company culture which we hope in turn, will impact the industry as a whole. CO3 for Good will encompass a number of initiatives that we, as a team, feel passionately about which we look forward to sharing with our clients and partners in the coming months.” 

Co3 for Good extends to their creative services family, Method Studios, Powerhouse VFX, Stereo-D, Level 3, Material, Encore VFX and Beast.   

Chief operations officer Ella Vieira commented, “CO3 for Good gives our entire creative group a strong framework for ensuring accountability and action. The passion Jimi brings to this important role is mirrored by our staff; it has been incredibly inspiring to watch our CO3 for Good volunteers quickly come together as a team despite the physical distance we’re all feeling right now. This collective focus on making meaningful change is already driving progress on both internal and external-facing initiatives that I know will make a real impact.”

  • Monday, Oct. 5, 2020
Claire Telling named chief people officer for Havas Creative North America
Claire Telling

Havas Creative North America has appointed Claire Telling, former CEO of global executive search firm Grace Blue North America, as chief people officer (CPO), a new position within the network. Telling brings 23 years of experience helping leaders of some of the world’s most iconic organizations solve business challenges by delivering smart people strategies, building high-performing teams and finding outstanding talent. 

As CPO, Telling will serve as Havas Creative North America’s strategic leader of recruitment, brand and culture. Her primary focus is to help attract the best and brightest talent to the organization through innovative, people-centered programs and processes that ensure the network’s people culture is healthy and engaged with above average retention rates.
“Winning in North America is first about gaining an unfair share of talent,” said Stephanie Nerlich, executive managing partner, North America. “Evolving our recruitment approach is a strategic growth driver, and our people-centered activities—such as hiring, training, professional development and performance management—need to make a meaningful difference through a thoughtful plan. Claire has the passion and deep expertise to serve as our talent advocate and brand builder to help attract and retain the best and brightest talent to our organization. This is even more important in the current climate, where improved diversity is critical to the future success of our group.”

At the core of this new position is rethinking and rebuilding Havas Creative North America’s recruitment plan to better optimize investments in internal and external resources as well as programming. The role of CPO will go beyond recruiting, however, to ensure that the lifecycle of each new employee is an exceptional one. Telling will help develop a progressive onboarding process that sets up new hires for a fast start and longer-term success, partnering with global talent and human resources to enhance training and development. She will centralize her work in each North America Village or agency and coordinate with local HR to support employee engagement and culture-building activities. Telling will also serve as a proactive driver and influencer to leaders across the network, helping them evolve their own leadership as it pertains to talent—and raising the bar across North America.

“Having worked with Havas as a client for many years, I have seen their commitment to being a people-first company, as well as the extraordinary talent they have attracted,” Telling added. “Havas is unlike any other agency in that its integration with Vivendi gives them access to the world’s best entertainment and content, which is incredibly appealing for anyone looking to create meaningful work. The chance to help build out the agency’s talent function and create a diverse culture where people are motivated to do the best work of their lives—at a time when Havas has such positive momentum—is very exciting to me.”

As CEO of Grace Blue North America, Telling was responsible for running the U.S. and Canada business—managing key client and candidate relationships, overseeing the New York team, and setting up new divisions for the company’s growth—since its launch in 2012. During that time, she facilitated some of the most game-changing hires in the advertising industry and was recognized for her creative approach to solving her clients’ toughest talent challenges. 

Prior to Grace Blue, Telling spent a decade at agencies including BBH, TBWA\Chiat and 72andSunny, working on brands including Miller Lite, Mentos, Unilever, Pedigree, Singapore Airlines and Sonos. The marketing executive also spent time client-side at Shopping.com, where she led the U.S. advertising team as marketing director before moving to London to set up the company’s European operations. After spending several years in London, Telling returned to New York to work at British Airways managing the airline’s marketing and brand strategy. 

Telling will report to Nerlich and be based out of Havas New York.

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