Tuesday, November 13, 2018

People on the Move

  • Monday, Oct. 1, 2018
Laura Gentile named ESPN's SVP of marketing
Laura Gentile
BRISTOL, Conn. -- 

Laura Gentile, a 15-year veteran of ESPN, has been named sr. VP of marketing. With this move, Gentile is returning to her roots at ESPN, having started her career there in January 2003 as director, advertising and marketing. She and her team will be responsible for developing and managing all aspects of the ESPN brand across all media and building upon a catalog of award-winning creative. Additionally, she will focus on expanding the brand’s reach to new audiences and sports fans.

Gentile has held a variety of strategic roles at ESPN, giving her a unique purview. Most recently she served as SVP, business operations and content strategy, a role that included oversight of the business operations of the Content group and strategy development. Simultaneously, she continued to lead espnW and Women’s Initiatives at ESPN. She was promoted to SVP, espnW and Women’s Initiatives in November 2015.

Gentile was instrumental in launching espnW, ESPN’s first dedicated business built to serve women, which debuted in December 2010. espnW is now a multimedia business encompassing digital, social, television, films, mentorship programs and events such as The espnW: Women + Sports Summit, which kicks off on Monday, October 1.

Prior to researching and launching espnW, Gentile served as VP, chief of staff at ESPN. In that role, she worked directly with George Bodenheimer, president, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports, on all aspects of the division’s business. She started at ESPN in the consumer marketing department, where she was responsible for driving the marketing direction for properties including the NFL, SportsCenter, the NHL as well as ESPN25, ESPN’s year-long 25th anniversary campaign.

“Laura’s keen eye for marketing and her insight into our brand, given her vast experience across a number of ESPN businesses, has contributed to her being the right person at the right time to lead this important effort and dynamic group,” said Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN president and co-chair, Disney Media Networks.

Gentile was named to the Forbes “Most Powerful Women in U.S. Sports” list in 2018, ranked No. 22. In 2017, Gentile was named one of the 2017 Multichannel News Wonder Women, and in 2016 was named a Women in Cable Television (WICT) “Woman to Watch.”

A graduate of Duke University in 1994 with a double major in English and political science, she earned an MBA in marketing and organizational behavior from Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management in 1996. While an undergraduate, Gentile garnered All-America and All-ACC honors in field hockey and was a two-time team captain. She led Duke to its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament and was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary field hockey team.

  • Thursday, Sep. 27, 2018
Industry vet Andrew Morley joins Outpost VFX
Andrew Morley

Andrew Morley--the visual effects supervisor known for Avengers: Infinity War and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them--has joined Outpost VFX as head of visual effects.

Off the back of supervising major motion pictures over the last decade, Morley will work with all artists at Outpost VFX’s 80-seat facility in Bournemouth.

Duncan McWilliam, founder and CEO of Outpost VFX, said, “Andy has excelled in supervising a multitude of high-end blockbusters and will bring his extensive experience to bear in our studio as we expand further and take a larger share of ever more exciting visual effects projects. Andy’s history within VFX encompasses all aspects from the technical to the artistic, with extensive production experience on set and painstaking attention to detail applied across complex character work for groundbreaking VFX features like Avatar and Avengers: Infinity War.”

McWilliam said that Morley will help ensure that “the output across the studio is always improving ahead of extending our capacity to 120 seats in the coming months.”

In addition to overseeing VFX delivery and supporting Outpost’s experienced team of supervisors, Andrew will be working closely with the production team to support existing clients and build relationships with new ones.

Outpost VFX is currently in production on multiple film, broadcast and commercials projects, including Curfew (Tiger Aspect Productions), Three Seconds (The Fyzz Facility) and a major upcoming HBO drama.

Outpost VFX’s recent projects include Jack Ryan, Final Score, 22 July and Widows.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2018
Young & Laramore's EchoPoint Media hires Smith, promotes Browning
Halley Smith

Creative agency Young & Laramore has announced a new addition to its growing EchoPoint Media division, Halley Smith as digital planner/buyer, as well as the promotion of Bess Browning to associate media director. 

Halley was previously a media planner at Martin Retail Group in Birmingham, Alabama. At Y&L she will be reporting to digital media director Lindsey Warner, working on Ball State University, Trane, and American Standard.

Bess has been promoted to associate media director from digital planner, working on Ball State University, American Standard, Newfields, and Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2018
Click 3X adds sr. colorist Fred Keller
Fred Keller

Sr. colorist Fred Keller is heading home; the veteran postproduction artist, a mainstay of the color scene in Chicago for the past dozen years, is going back to New York as he sets out to build the color department at production and digital studio Click 3X. 

A Queens native and graduate of Fordham, Keller spent a dozen years as a sr. colorist at Filmworkers Club in Chicago, where he worked for every major agency in the Midwest, including Leo Burnett, DDB, FCB, Energy BBDO, Havas, Burrell and mcgarrybowen. He started his career in New York, however, at the venerable color studio Manhattan Transfer, which later became Company 3. While there he not only graded commercials but also worked on longer-form projects including music videos, features and TV series such as “Sex and The City” and “The Wire” for HBO.

His current reel includes spots for such brands as McDonald’s, State Farm, Coors, Walmart, Alfa Romeo, Capital One and Skittles. In addition to handling color grading, Keller will also partner at Click 3X with Flame Artist Victor Melton to offer clients an integrated color, finishing and retouching resource.

“Bringing in a talent of Fred’s stature is an important part of our plans for Click 3X,” said Peter Corbett, Click 3X founder and CEO. “Our expanding our color capabilities meshes perfectly with our relationship with our sister company Industrial Color Studios. They have a long legacy of doing high-end color correction for fashion, beauty and consumer brands, and that appreciation for the role of the color artist in the creative process is part of our corporate culture.

“Given this, it made sense for us to elevate the color work we’ve been doing, and Fred’s eye, his aesthetic and his experience working with agencies, creative teams and brands complements the ICS legacy nicely, as well as our own,” Corbett continued. “They’ll provide the foundation for our color department as we move forward.”

Keller said he was looking to return to New York, and the opportunity to not only lead but help build a color department at Click 3X appealed to him greatly. Being part of ICS, Keller feels, means Click 3X will be a major player when it comes to color: “With this legacy, you really need to be able to offer color work at the highest levels,” he said. “I see color as playing a critically important role in achieving a client’s vision. It’s about creating a visual language that incites the viewer’s emotions, and I’m looking forward to working with creatives who want to take an unconventional approach to exploring the look and feel of their projects.”

While Keller will be based in New York, he will be available to Click 3X clients via the company’s expanded network of facilities located in Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Philadelphia. As for being back in Manhattan, he noted how the city and its postproduction marketplace have changed, as has the color grading profession. “The ease of access to color tools has made so many people think they can do color work,” he observed. “But you really need an experienced color artist, working with a supportive environment, to maintain the kind of quality clients, agencies and audiences expect. It’s important to avoid that mentality that says something is merely ‘good enough’ for digital or mobile.”

Keller’s signing comes not long after Click 3X announced the launch of Food@ Click, a new offering of expanded services for the development and production of visual content for food and tabletop clients. As part of the move, the company added three noted food and tabletop directors to its roster: Vittorio Sacco, Stephen Hamilton and Stef Viaene. The company also brought on Charlotte Omnès and appointed her to the new role of culinary creative director.


  • Monday, Sep. 24, 2018
Tricia Russo, Susie Lyons named to top strategy roles at DDB
Tricia Russo

Susie Lyons and Tricia Russo have been appointed to top strategy roles at DDB’s U.S. offices. Russo joins as DDB Chicago’s chief strategy officer while Lyons becomes head of strategy at DDB New York. Both Lyons and Russo will partner with their respective local office’s leadership and work alongside Eric Zuncic, DDB North America’s chief strategy officer, on formalizing the agency’s strategic thoughtware and developing new tools and resources.

Russo is a seasoned agency strategist with 15 years of shaping, growing and activating successful brands. With experience in almost every category, her philosophy is to build strategy through the lens of creativity. Prior to joining the DDB Chicago team, Russo most recently served as BBDO Atlanta’s chief strategy officer. Russo’s experience includes growing and reshaping agency strategy departments to respond to a constantly changing marketplace and the expanding demands of creativity. She has led multi-disciplinary teams to develop highly effective and impactful campaigns for a wide range of clients, including Hilton, Craftsman, BMO Harris Bank, Hotels.com, Heinz, HoneyBaked Ham, and Norwegian Cruise Line.

With nearly 15 years of agency experience, Lyons joins DDB New York most recently from Lifetime Networks where she drove brand and creative strategy as the network’s VP of consumer marketing. Prior to that she held strategy roles at agencies such as Deutsch and 180. Lyons brings a love for people and all things pop culture, two passions that have helped her develop emotionally resonant and culturally relevant ideas for a wide range of clients, including Target, Volkswagen, Nintendo, Expedia, Bacardi, Kia, The California State Lottery, Verizon Wireless, The U.S. Tennis Association, Universal Studios, Lexus and the American Red Cross at agencies across both coasts, winning numerous Cannes Lions and Effies.

Russo and Lyons are the latest hires made by Zuncic since he joined DDB North America as chief strategy officer in October 2017. At the beginning of this year James Lou joined We Are Unlimited as chief strategy officer, and in May Sam Renbarger was named group strategy director at DDB San Francisco. Additionally, this year DDB North America has won several new clients including Blue Moon, VMWare, and Symantec, and received awards at Cannes, the One Show, and D&AD.

  • Thursday, Sep. 20, 2018
Social Deviant adds creative and strategic talent
Social Deviant’s (l-r) Lauren Haberman, Darren Coon, Christine Cotter and Graham Spector

Social Deviant, a Chicago-based, full-service creative agency, continues to add creative and strategic talent as it attracts a slew of new business this year from the likes of The Disney Channel, CareerBuilder, Hanna Andersson, Columbia College Chicago and the National Restaurant Association Show.  

On the creative side, its ninth hire this year is Lauren Haberman, who was most recently at Doner where she applied her copywriting talents to the Minute Maid and Peapod accounts. Haberman, who studied at the Chicago Portfolio School and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is joining Social Deviant as a sr. copywriter.

Additionally, Darren Coon has joined the agency as a sr. designer from Pivet Design, with expertise in videography, content editing and motion graphics design.

On the strategy side, Christine Cotter joined the Social Deviant team in May as a business and account lead. She was previously at DDB Chicago as a VP/account director. With degrees from American University and Georgetown University, Cotter began her career at VivaKi before moving to Ketchum and then DDB

In addition, Graham Spector, social media and digital strategy director at Aeronaut Brewing, has joined Social Deviant as a content planner and strategist. 

“We are always on the lookout for the very best talent--smart, diligent, and kind. With our annual revenues projected to nearly double in 2018, we’re delighted to be adding quality members to our already amazing team,” said agency founder and CEO Marc Landsberg. “We’re building a well-rounded group of talent from both the agency and brand side as we focus on helping our clients do more with less.”

Currently, Social Deviant is recruiting to fill three additional positions. It plans to host a Portfolio Night at its Chicago headquarters on October 24 to identify and help guide promising talent in the Chicago marketplace.

“Whether they end up with a job at Social Deviant or not, we’re committed to playing our part in cementing Chicago’s reputation as one of the world’s great creative cities,” said Landsberg. 

  • Thursday, Sep. 20, 2018
VML London adds creatives Kemanes, Nedelcu, Hochberg, Collaro
VML London's (l-r) Eve Kemanes, Paula Hochberg, Athina Collaro, Harsh Kapadia and Andreea Nedelcu.

VML London, a creative and innovation agency, is further building up its now 25 strong creative department under the leadership of ECD Harsh Kapadia, who joined at the beginning of the year from VML New York. Coming aboard are the sr. creative team of Eve Kemanes and Andreea Nedelcu, as well as sr. copywriter Paula Hochberg and sr. designer Athina Collaro.

Kemanes and Nedelcu, Hochberg and Collaro have worked in numerous top creative agencies across the globe including Jung von Matt, Senora Rushmore, Leo Burnett, JWT, VCCP, and Digitas. They bring a wealth of expertise in innovation and through the line creativity at both a local and global brand level.

They join the agency at an exciting time. They will work on VML’s recent account wins Baileys (Global Digital AOR) and Nestlé Skin Health (Global AOR) as well as existing clients including Colgate-Palmolive and the International Olympic Committee. They will also take an active role in the new business drive across the region. 

VML London expanded its headcount by 62% YOY (year over year comparison). The agency is actively looking for five more creatives. The creative department is 25 strong, 64% female and 27% BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic). It includes 10 different nationalities. 

Hochberg is a Spanish-Argentinian sr. copywriter. She most recently worked at Senora Rushmore in Madrid--ranked most creative Spanish agency over the last 12 years. In 2018 she won a Film Lion at Cannes for the Red Cross’ “Decisions.”

Kemanes has worked in Amsterdam, London, Prague and Hamburg for top creative agencies including Ogilvy, VCCP, and Digitas. Her work for the UN Refugee Agency won 5 Cannes Lions in 2016. 

Nedelcu trained at Miami Ad School Europe and worked for Leo Burnett, JWT and Jung von Matt on a wide spectrum of clients. Her latest work, The Gender Salary Experiment, won many accolades including a New York Festivals Gold and a Clio Silver.
Collaro is a sr. graphic designer and concept artist with eight years of experience in retail and luxury. She worked at Jo Malone, Avon, Hunter Boot and GlossyBox, among others.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2018
Russ Lidstone named chair of Creative Mentor Network
Russ Lidstone (l) and Isabel Farchy

Creative Mentor Network (CMN) has appointed Russ Lidstone, group CEO of The Creative Engagement Group and former CEO of Havas London, to the position of chair. Lidstone will perform the non-exec role in addition to his ongoing group CEO role at The Creative Engagement Group.

Lidstone takes up the newly created position as the London-based CMN charity seeks to grow and advance its mission to make the creative world of work more diverse and inclusive. As chair, Lidstone will support chief executive/founder Isabel Farchy and CMN’s senior leadership team, in delivering the strategy of the organzation as it looks to expand nationally.

CMN works directly with schools to connect talented young people from diverse backgrounds with those working in the creative industries. The organization trains industry professionals as mentors and then matches them with young people from low-income backgrounds. The charity’s model is designed so that everyone wins: career opportunities for young people; training for employees; and access to diverse talent for creative businesses.

The charity’s mission is to enable young people (16-19) who, crucially, lack access to the networks and insights they need to break into the creative industries. It pairs young people in London with creatives from leading brands and agencies, helping to provide a way into an industry that might otherwise seem off limits.

  • Thursday, Sep. 13, 2018
T3 adds Kelley Mitchell Price, David Hawes
Kelley Mitchell Price
AUSTIN, Texas -- 

T3, an innovation agency, has expanded its management team by hiring Kelley Mitchell Price as VP of experience design and David Hawes as VP, client engagement and portfolio lead. Price will lead T3’s product design practice as the agency continues to expand its leadership in human-centered design, product development, design research, service design and software design and build. Hawes will act as a portfolio lead for T3’s business, leveraging his brand management skills and financial services expertise to lead client services.

Based in Atlanta, Price joins T3 from InterContinental Hotels Group, where she served as the global director of digital product strategy and experience design. Price built the full-service global design team at IHG and led the responsive, mobile-first redesign of e-commerce, loyalty and app experiences across 14 hotel brands. She previously held leadership roles as chief experience officer at Pocketfirm, managing director of digital experience at the American Cancer Society and leadership positions at several design and technology companies.

Hawes was previously with Publicis.Sapient, where he served as VP, managing partner driving growth and performance for its Austin office. He has over 20 years of experience building brands, leading global marketing efforts, providing strategic thought leadership and implementing fully integrated marketing solutions. His past client experience includes Citigroup, Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, The Coca-Cola Company, WellPoint, Mary Kay, Papa John’s, Blackberry, Samsung and Southwest Airlines.

  • Thursday, Sep. 13, 2018
The Mill LA ramps up its emerging technology operation with Simon, Wong
Boo Wong (l) and Aurelian Simon

The Mill has hired Aurelien Simon as executive producer for emerging technology in the Los Angeles studio. Simon’s arrival comes shortly after the relocation of Boo Wong, global director of emerging technology, from New York. The expansion of the team in Los Angeles takes effect as The Mill continues to expand in the interactive, immersive and experiential space, developing award-winning branded content and original IP with a dedicated group of strategists, creatives, producers and technologists worldwide.

With a background in business strategy, entertainment, and technology in digital and immersive media, Simon brings 10 years of experience to The Mill where he will further develop the studio’s positioning in the thriving West Coast market. He previously served as head of VR at UNIT9, followed by head of immersive at Digital Catapult where he worked with the British government to establish strategies and pipelines to support the acceleration of VR and AR in the UK.

“Los Angeles has always been at the global heart of entertainment. Now, it’s establishing itself as the hub where creative and technology meet,” said Simon. “For the past several years, the local market has seen a significant influx in technology companies and immersive, digital and experiential opportunities. As a firm believer in partnerships, I want to support this growing ecosystem by encouraging and driving The Mill’s relations with technology groups and startups, up-and-coming talent, brands and entertainment studios. I’m looking forward to leveraging our business offering and expertise for our clients and new ventures alike.”

Wong, who has been with The Mill for nine years, leads the in-house team dedicated to emerging technologies. They work to define and create cutting-edge content for clients while spearheading the development of IP and tools internally. Substantial growth and results include large-scale installations and partnerships with industry-leading entities at Epic Games, Facebook and Magic Leap, in addition to recent work that has garnered wins at Cannes Lions, SXSW, SIGGRAPH, AICP, Clio Awards, The One Show and The Webby Awards.

Wong commented, “The Mill has always invisibly used technology to create premium visual content, and today we’re making never-before-seen experiences using new platforms and spaces. Collaboration between creators and technologists is an essential part of what we do, and it is for this reason that we are incredibly excited to have Aurelien join our team. His deep expertise in the medium and strong sense of partnership will drive the strategic way in which we reach the core of any ask - addressing what the story is, who needs to experience it, and how we can deliver it to them in the most compelling way.”

With a nearly three-decade legacy in high-end visual effects and postproduction for branded content, The Mill has continued to expand upon these capabilities while pursuing, researching and developing solutions to offer the industry new and engaging means of storytelling. Upon the release of virtual reality short film HELP for Google Spotlight Stories in 2015, the studio picked up two Gold Lions in Cannes in addition to a SXSW Interactive Innovation Award for on-set production tool Mill Stitch. Soon after, The Mill progressed its longstanding history of creating photo-real CGI vehicles with the launch of The Mill Blackbird, the first fully-adjustable automotive rig that transforms into any car. Virtual toolkit Mill Cyclops was then introduced, allowing filmmakers to generate and place photo-real augmented reality CGI objects into shots on set, in real-time.

Most recently The Mill debuted Mill Mascot, an animation system that combines real-time animation and game engine technology with motion sensors, giving creatives the ability to “direct” CGI character performance live on set.

The Mill’s Rani Melendez, managing director in Los Angeles, said, “With Aurelien’s insightful view of the developing landscape and Boo’s dedicated leadership, we look forward to growing our global position in branded content, emerging technology and beyond.”

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Carlos Cuaron

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