Even in uncertain times, our commitment to empower the next generation of talent remains the same.

    ADCOLOR FUTURES is a unique program that is dedicated to identifying and nurturing the next generation of leaders in the advertising, marketing, media, and public relations industries. The program offers sponsorship to attend the ADCOLOR Conference & Awards, career training through ADCOLOR University, short and long term mentorship, as well as activities designed to inspire creativity and build camaraderie.

    Requirements Program FAQ

    2023 FUTURES

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    Copywriter at BBDO NY

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    Copywriter at The Martin Agency

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    CEO Research, Insights, and Communities Manager at Microsoft

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    Account Executive at Amazon Advertising

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    2023 MAIP Creative Intern of the Year

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    Strategic Planner at FCB Chicago

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    Worldwide Xbox Accessories Category Marketing Lead at Microsoft

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    Project Manager at Deutsch LA

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    Brand Strategist & 2023 MAIP Fellow of the Year

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    Account Executive at Amazon Advertising

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    Designer at Ogilvy North America

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    Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft

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    Diversity Strategist at Google

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    Talent Acquisition & DEI Manager at Colle McVoy

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    Social Strategist at Merkley and Partners

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    Creative Coordinator at Droga5

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    Consumer Insights Associate at Spanx

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    Paid Media Specialist at MongoDB

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    Client Solutions Manager at TikTok

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    Senior Specialist, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Sony Music Group

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    Senior Art Director at BBDO New York

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    Social Editor at Feminist

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    Account Executive at R/GA

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    Junior Art Director at Leo Burnett Detroit

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    Global Editorial Coordinator at Spotify

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    Integrated Marketing Coordinator at Paramount Global

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    Brand Marketing Specialist at McDonald's

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    Associate Manager, Product Marketing at Spotify

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    Associate Product, Marketing Manager at Google


    Aaron Marshall


    Aaron Marshall is a copywriter, storyteller, and creative at BBDO NY, working on prominent global brands such as Bacardí, AT&T, Bombay Sapphire, Dewar’s, Snickers, Degree Deodorant, and Pedigree. He believes the best advertising authentically redefines how everyday people view the world through creative problem-solving and universal human truths.

    In his short but impactful time in the industry, he’s received recognition from One Show, Clios, Webby’s, Epica, ADC, AdWeek, AdAge and earned BBDO’s “Most Valuable People” award.

    Living with a life-long stutter, he’s passionate about mentoring kids who stutter and advocating for the community to be accurately seen and heard worldwide— which has gained mainstream attention on NBC’s ‘Today Show.’

    Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Aaron now resides in Brooklyn, NY, where you can catch him on a basketball court, eating the best pizza slices NYC offers, or embracing his old-school soul by jammin’ to New Jack Swing classics.

    As an alumnus of Creative Circus portfolio school and Portland State University, he became the first in his family to graduate college with a Bachelor’s in Communications and a Minor in Advertising.

    Above all, he prides himself on being a positive voice for the next generation of Black creatives and proving that vulnerability is a superpower, not a flaw.


    Alexander Thompson

    The Martin Agency

    Alexander Thompson is a copywriter, problem solver, aspiring agency founder, and a self proclaimed ADolistionist. He aims to create innovative work that pushes the boundaries of culture, while also making tangible change amongst underrepresented communities.

    Taking the first steps on his unconventional path, Alex graduated college without yet knowing the ad industry existed. But he did know, he wanted to make change… so he sold his car and moved to Washington D.C.

    After trying his hand in politics, Alexanderʼs journey to the ad industry would begin as a Digital Analyst at McCormick & Company. There, he began to leverage the insights he was responsible for pulling to conceptualize, and launch digital campaigns for Frankʼs Red Hot, Frenchʼs, and Old Bay. Most notably, he and his team created the national campaign – Soul-Cuterie. The first iteration of a soul food inspired charcuterie board.

    As a newfound copywriter, One Club For Creativityʼs ONE School portfolio program helped him develop the skills he needed to not only be named an honor student, but to also officially break into the Ad industry.

    Now, he is at the Martin Agency where he proudly creates change and fights invisibility. He has written across a myriad of platforms and worked on campaigns for the

    likes of Buffalo Wild Wings, Busch Lightʼs Count The Mount, Bud Light Seltzer, and assisted in the creative direction of the short film, Lil Ruby.

    In his free time you can find him playing piano, making beats, and pretending to be a ghostwriter.


    Allison Holmes


    Allison Holmes is a Research, Insights, and Communities Manager in the Office of the CEO at Microsoft. She is passionate about supporting early-in-career professionals through mentorship and finding avenues to increase diverse representation in the technology industry.

    Prior to starting her career, Allison worked remotely as a Digital Marketing Teaching Assistant and Internship Coach for iXperience which is based in Cape Town, South Africa. Her internship experience includes working at Microsoft as a Product Marketing Manager Intern, at CNN’s Great Big Story as a Content Partnerships and News Solution Intern, and at Walton Isaacson Multicultural Advertising Agency as a Strategy Intern. She was a fellow for the Management Leadership for Tomorrow Career Prep Program, the 2018 International Radio and Television Society Fellowship, and the 2017 Louis Carr Internship Foundation.

    Outside of work, Allison dedicates her time to organizations that allow her to impact the local community and beyond. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, a public service organization, and has served on the National Membership Services Committee for six years.

    Allison was born and raised in Sugar Land, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communication and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management both from the University of Missouri. In Fall 2024, Allison will matriculate to the Wharton School to pursue her MBA through the Wharton Moelis Advance Access Program.

    In her free time, Allison enjoys food blogging, dancing, traveling, and photography.


    Ana Rubin

    Amazon Advertising

    Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Ana Rubin is an immigrant who moved to the US after graduating high school to pursue career development opportunities. Leaving a home and culture behind, her ultimate goal is to eventually return to her country and contribute through her acquired resources and leadership skills.

    Her journey to work on becoming a well-rounded professional began at the University of Texas at Austin, where she capitalized on diverse advertising industry opportunities. These experiences led her to internships in various companies, where she received mentorship and worked on projects spanning Public Relations, Digital Media, Marketing, and Advertising.

    Choosing to kickstart her career at the multinational technology company Amazon, she now assists small and medium businesses to grow by using Amazon advertising solutions. Given her background, she craved a sense of community and has found that through her involvement in DEI groups on Amazon. Collaborating with like minded individuals to encourage representation in her workplace has ignited a passion, and now she is eager to expand her network and connect with professionals in her industry who are equally dedicated to prioritizing DEI.

    By participating in the ADCOLOR FUTURES, she will be able to learn and take with her valuable resources to further advance DEI in her workplace, and strengthen her leadership skills to have a voice in the future of our industry.


    Anita Ngo


    Ashleigh Smith

    FCB Chicago

    Ashleigh Smith is a Strategic Planner at FCB Chicago. Ashleigh’s personal mission is to utilize her passion and creativity to create opportunities to uplift and inspire diverse communities. A graduate of Duke University, Ashleigh has pursued this mission across a wide variety of creative environments, including art museums, art publications, creative PR teams, and most recently as a strategist at FCB Chicago. Ashleigh has worked with brands such as Gatorade, Krispy Kreme, and Pfizer, and has supported artists such as Diedrick Brackens, Doron Langberg, and Simone Leigh among others.

    Before transitioning into the world of marketing, Ashleigh spent much of her collegiate career in museums and curatorial work. In her first-year post-grad, during the pandemic, Ashleigh started a collective for young curators of color. The Curator’s Pick was an online platform designed to uplift diverse curators invested in diverse art histories. The platform was active for over a year, garnering thousands of followers, dozens of regular members, and gaining the attention of creative leaders such as creative director Kwasi Fordjour and independent curator and writer Katy Hessel.

    It’s through the building and implementation of this platform that Ashleigh found synergy between her art history background and the world of advertising. Deeply grounded in culture and creativity, Ashleigh sees strategy work as a natural evolution of her curatorial practice and finds joy in utilizing marketing and communications as a medium to inspire and uplift diverse communities.


    Brianna Lowder


    Brianna Lowder is a Worldwide Xbox Accessories Category Marketing Lead at Microsoft. As an expert in her field, Brianna manages the global go-to-market strategy for a multi-million-dollar product portfolio. Her strengths lie in innovative strategy, operations management, and forecasting. Brianna builds strong partnerships across 12 international and Global teams with her personable approach enabling her to align cross-functional teams to seamlessly execute over 30 product launches.

    Prior to her current role, Brianna spent time as a Microsoft Marketing intern. She created a global strategy marketing Xbox Game Pass to new audiences with the goal of gaining and retaining monthly active users. This strategy has since evolved into the Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family Plan.

    Brianna studied Marketing and Advertising at The University of Florida where she discovered her passion for all things creative and business. This passion led Brianna to pursue Presidency within the Minority Business Society, and to become Account Executive at The Agency where she led a company re-brand and maintained loyal Clientele.

    Born in the deep south, Brianna grew up with a strong sense of self. Since then, she has become a strong advocate for DE&I – challenging business norms and encouraging “uncomfortable” conversations that lead to diversity in thought and action. Brianna finds joy in creating a safe space for her peers to diversify their perspectives and continue their education of people.

    As a leader whose global thinking challenges the status quo, Brianna strives to make a positive impact through mentorship and industry panels.


    Christopher Morales

    Deutsch LA

    Christopher Morales is a first-generation, native Angeleno with experience in account management and project management at Deutsch LA. He partners with cross-functional teams to proactively allocate resources and plan sprints for the Walmart account on the Performance Marketing team. In addition to his core responsibilities, Christopher collaborates with Deutsch LA’s Latinx ERG to host the podcast “Somos Advertising,” inspiring young Latinxs to pursue careers in advertising.

    Before working at Deutsch LA, Christopher graduated from Cornell University during the COVID-19 pandemic with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. At Cornell, he served as the General Manager and News Director of WVBR-FM. One of his initiatives included increased reporting of Cornell Women’s Ice Hockey, which contributed to higher game attendance, incredible friendships, and additional volunteer opportunities.

    Currently, Christopher takes pride in his volunteer work as Co-Director of Junior Program, LA at Minds Matter Southern California, providing social-emotional learning, mentorship, and college-readiness support to low-income students. He also remains involved with his alma mater as a board member for the Cornell Club of LA (CCLA), and is focused on re-launching Cornell in Hollywood (CiH) to connect undergraduates with alumni and media opportunities.

    Beyond his professional and community involvement, Christopher enjoys mochas, playing soccer, and visiting Disneyland. Looking ahead, he is committed to advocating for increased minority representation in media and continues to study the implications of technology, striving for balanced approaches that benefit businesses and society.


    Coral Li


    Davawnna Clark

    Amazon Advertising

    Davawnna Clark is a 2019 4A’s MAIP alum, dedicated mentor & mentee, Event Director for Amazons Black Employee Resource Group Chicago Chapter, DEI Lead for our Global Growth Advertising Sales (GGS) Organization, and an advocate for all underrepresented communities to show up exactly as they are.

    Upon graduation from MAIP, she worked for a Publicis agency, Epsilon as an Account Management Specialist under the Walgreens client where she was responsible for the day-to-day task of managing their $60.5M fiscal year budget. She then internally transferred to Epsilon’s DEI team to focus on building the company culture. She developed Epsilon’s 2022 Employee Engagement Program (EPIC) by working with 13 office leads to plan and execute events such as volunteering, office gatherings, development workshops, etc. which increased overall engagement by 8% in Q1, 2022.

    In her current position as an Account Executive for Amazon Advertising, she manages 96 pet, beauty and grocery businesses by being a strategic partner in helping them grow their business on Amazon through advertising. Not only has she reached an average of 122% attainment on all performance goals, but was recognized in the company’s Q2, 2023 All-Hands call for implementing an organization-wide DEI initiative— “Inclusion Cards” that helped positively impact her organization’s culture and overall engagement.


    Dyneisha Gross

    Ogilvy North America

    Dyneisha Gross (She/her) is a Designer at Ogilvy in Washington D.C. With her expertise in design, art direction, and strategy, she has collaborated with notable brands and government clients such as Sprite, Dove, Gerber, USAID, and the Federal Reserve.

    In her free time, Dyneisha enjoys engaging in projects involving print production and social media, and has had the pleasure of working with clients including Roc Nation, Amazon Prime, Adobe, NARAL, and Nike. As a dedicated member of Black Diaspora, an Ogilvy community, Dyneisha actively contributes to fostering safe spaces. Her remarkable achievements include representing Ogilvy D.C. at the esteemed Cannes Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France.

    Beyond her design work, Dyneisha is passionate about women’s reproductive health, advocacy, and healthcare equity. She dedicates her time to making a positive impact in these areas.

    Originally from Baltimore, Dyneisha graduated magna cum laude from Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. Before joining Ogilvy, she served as a Design Lead for Attollo Prep, an empowering 8-week program that supports high school students in college access and leadership development.

    Driven by her desire to inspire young black designers, Dyneisha constantly explores innovative approaches to enhance visual communication and create a better future through design.


    Elsa Ramesh


    Growing up in Durban, South Africa, she witnessed the power of advocacy through protest and realized the impact of storytelling and dialogue in driving social change. At the University of Michigan, she deepened her passion for social and racial justice. She received the 2020 M.L.K Spirit Award, co-founded a successful Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion organization that has grown 30x over 4 years, and gained expertise as a cross-cultural conflict resolution and intergroup relations facilitator, focusing on racial inequity. Additionally, she volunteered with Google, advising nonprofit C-suite executives on digital marketing to bridge the digital divide.

    Now at Microsoft, Elsa continues to make a difference. She received the Silver Anthem Award for pioneering a docuseries showcasing young developers in Latin America and Africa who are using Microsoft cloud technologies to transform their communities. She authored a white paper advocating for more accessible cloud technologies for lower-income communities. She also developed inclusive strategies for large-scale global events, impacting over 1.5 million attendees, and led an LGBTQ+ employee resource group. Currently, her role at Microsoft centers on leveraging data, events, and human storytelling to influence major contributors to climate risk, driving their transformation toward sustainability.

    Outside of Microsoft, she serves on the Young Professionals Board of the Urban Justice Center, supporting social justice start-ups.

    This is just the beginning of her journey, as she utilizes technology to address systemic social inequities.


    Grant Bennett


    Grant Bennett is a proud native of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Inspired by a conversation with local Fayetteville legend J. Cole, Grant took a baseball and academic scholarship to Morehouse College. While in college, Grant was engaged in campus life as a student-athlete, Ronald E. McNair Baccalaureate Scholar, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated member. In 2020, he graduated from Morehouse with a B.A. in Psychology.

    While graduating during the pandemic, Grant founded a nonprofit organization, The Two-Six Project. The organization was created to assist marginalized youth through intentional programming and scholarship in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The organization has provided over $200,000 in community support through its programming and over $10,000 in scholarships to local youth. The Two-Six Project has partnered with brands such as Google, Charlotte Hornets, Nike, and Dreamville.

    His background as an entrepreneur, consultant, producer, and community organizer has led him to engage in meaningful work with various brands and organizations. Grant has worked as a producer and consultant for the NFL, HBOMax, and the Clinton Global Initiative. He also serves as the Executive Producer for the Adobe AMPED content series. In addition, his work has been highlighted by Forbes and President Bill Clinton.

    Grant was named the Morehouse representative for the 2021 Nike Yardrunner 2.0 campaign and to the 2022 HBCU Buzz & Fayetteville Observer 40 Under 40 list. He works at Google as Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Strategist, concentrating on Analytics, Partnerships, and Storytelling.


    Hamy Huynh

    Colle McVoy

    Named to the AAF’s Most Promising Multicultural Students class of 2020, Hamy Huynh graduated from the University of Minnesota where she majored in Strategic Communications and minored in Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies. Upon graduating, Hamy started her career at a creative agency in Minneapolis called Fast Horse, where she started as an intern and worked her way up to Manager, Influencer & Brand Partnerships. In this role, Hamy worked on influencer marketing campaigns for global brands such as Heineken, Dunkin’, and Audi, among others.

    In July of 2022, Hamy pivoted to a new role as the Talent Acquisition & DEI Manager at Colle McVoy, a full-service agency under the Stagwell network. Hamy leads the agency’s employee resource groups, oversees Colle McVoy’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives, and champions change for a better future in the advertising industry by hiring and elevating representative talent.

    Hamy also serves as the Co-Director of DEI for Ad 2 Minnesota, a professional board for advertisers ages 32 and under, and sits on the Board of Advocates for Backpack Communications, a student-led agency at the University of Minnesota.

    In her free time, you can find Hamy mentoring college students, public speaking at events, or supporting local small businesses.


    Jalen Coleman

    Merkley and Partners

    Jalen Coleman is a champion for telling stories fueled by insights and narrative change which empowers communities. At a young age, he noticed the lack of minority representation in research and practice within communication science – contributing to growing gaps in engagement and behavioral change. Putting aside the hoopla of waiting for a Superman, he charged it to himself to step up to be the change communities like his needed via pursuing communications strategy.

    Through the support of the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship, Jalen obtained his MPH from Columbia University – allowing him to understand the impact of translational knowledge and engagement frameworks to create engagement that matters. He has served as a judge for two years in the CU Health Messaging for Justice Student Competition – providing expertise to students in creative health communication campaigns to enhance social justice.

    He helped pilot the NYC DOHMH’s Brother’s Thrive and Sister’s Thrive Program – a campaign to address minority mental health stigmas via partnerships including Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Therapy for Black Girls. He assisted in the COVID-19 response efforts via developing equity-framed health promotional messaging guidance for digital and social.

    As a Social Strategist, Jalen oversees the digital and social advertising strategy for healthcare/pharma brands. He volunteers his time as a strategist within Black Health Connect – an organization aiming to create and curate a digital and physical hub for Black Healthcare Professionals.

    He aims to continue to make shifts in narrative change and emerge as a future leader within the communications science.


    Jayda Hill


    Energetic, detail-oriented, and an advocate—those are the words that describe Jayda Hill.

    Born in the sweetest state in the South, Jayda Hill takes pride in being from Atlanta, GA. She attended The University of Georgia, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Advertising. Jayda was recognized as a 2020 AAF Most Promising Multicultural Student and became a 2020 MAIP Fellow. She also holds a Master of Science in Marketing from Georgia State University. The mixing of business with creativity drew her to the advertising industry.

    Currently, Jayda works at Droga5 as a Creative Coordinator. In her role, she supports the Head of Creative Operations in departmental initiatives and assists with day-to-day operations. She serves as the Program Manager for D5in10, a program that provides advertising fundamentals to individuals who didn’t attend portfolio school. Additionally, Jayda plays a crucial role in the Creative and Design DEI counsel, ensuring that both departments meet their annual DEI goals.

    Beyond work, Jayda is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and serves as co-chair for the Economic Development Committee for her alumnae chapter. She has recently been appointed to serve on the AAF’s Mosaic Next Generation Leadership Council, where she will provide support to AAF Mosaic Center programming and foster relationships with Mosaic Council members.

    Outside of work and giving back to the community, you can find Jayda either reading a book, cooking her next great meal, exercising, or laughing with friends.


    Jasmine Baker


    An Indiana native, Jasmine Baker attended Spelman college, graduating with a degree in Applied Mathematics. During her time in undergrad, she completed internships in sales, sales operations, and market research, eventually landing her with an internship at Levi’s in consumer insights. It was there she found her spark for telling a story with data to elevate customer’s pain points.

    After graduating, Jasmine worked as a Data Strategist at Consumer Edge Insights, working with large investment firms and corporate consumer insights teams to leverage market insights before joining Spanx as a Consumer Insights Associate.

    In her current role at Spanx, she focuses on solving customer’s pain points while shopping and enabling change to better their online shopping experience.

    Above all, Jasmine values her work with college students to enhance their resumes and LinkedIn profiles to gain access to internships and professional development opportunities.


    Kariesha Martinez


    Kariesha Martinez specializes in paid advertising and currently works as a Paid Media Specialist at MongoDB. With about 3 years of experience, Kariesha is passionate about helping companies and organizations grow their audiences and bottom line metrics by taking a data driven approach to paid advertising.

    Through her work, she has been able to help nonprofits and tech companies grow year over year. The campaigns that Kariesha has worked on have done everything from build awareness of sustainable farming practices in New Jersey to creating opportunities for Black and Brown voices in the podcasting space to offering free database credits to startups so that they can get their businesses off the ground.

    When she’s not combing through data or setting up new campaigns, Kariesha is also heavily involved in DEI work, where she leads the Latine ERG at her company. With her co-lead, they are able to organize events and collaborate with other ERGs to help those who identify as Latine feel seen and heard in the workplace.

    In her free time, she enjoys running a book club focused on the intersection of identity and food. They read data driven and scholarly work to understand how food along with race, gender, and socio-economic class interact to create cultures. Overall, Kariesha’s time both in and out of work is focused on telling and sharing stories with others to create a community both on and offline.


    Kim An Ta


    Kim An Ta is a sharp, creative and determined marketing professional with a strong enthusiasm for culture, technology and a passion for inclusivity and economic empowerment. In 2019, she graduated from the University of Southern California, where she swapped my major from Engineering to Economics and minored in Marketing because of her tenacity as a “people person” and her overall interest in the macro and micro forces shaping businesses and societies.

    In 2020, Kim An landed her first job as a Digital Marketing Specialist at Roc Nation, known as Jay-Z’s record label. She worked under the Brand vertical where she primarily focused on the Social Justice initiatives and Brand partnerships. One of the impactful campaigns she worked on included “Hypocrisy Stories” – which was a digital rollout of interviews with formerly incarcerated people to highlight the disparities of the incarceration rate of people of color due to marijuana.

    In 2021, Kim An pivoted her career from the music industry into the world of tech, landing a role at TikTok as a Client Solutions Planner. The platform was changing the way users showed up digitally, and as someone who likes to stay at the pulse of culture, it has been worthwhile for her to be a part of this rocket ship.

    Within a year, she was able to work on exciting projects such as TikTok’s first car giveaway, a live stream featuring shopping small API businesses, and launched TikTok’s first in-person Ramadan event. Through all her project leadership work, Kim An was promoted to my current role as a Client Solutions Manager.


    Madilyne Nguyen-Acosta

    Sony Music Group

    Madilyne Nguyen-Acosta (she/her), best known as Madi, is a Specialist at Sony Music Group’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In her role, she assists with the creation and expansion of DEI initiatives, policies, and programs across SMG.

    Prior to beginning her role at Sony Music Group, Madi was an intern through the 4A’s Foundation MAIP Program after she graduated cum laude from the University of Oregon with a major in Public Relations and a minor in African Studies. She started her advocacy journey during her undergraduate career where she shared her multidisciplinary talent through involvement in her school’s Hawai’i Club, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and working at the Multicultural Center on campus.

    A Bay Area native, Madi is the walking definition of what it means to be “multicultural.” At a young age, her love for learning about other cultures was instilled through exposure to food, music, and dance from around the world. Her favorite way to celebrate diversity is through her first hobby and role as an alaka’i (Hawaiian for “leader”) to her halau (Hawaiian for “dance school”), Ha’a Hula / Te Reva O Te Manu, where she helps teach children and adults Polynesian dance and culture.

    When she’s not working, you can find Madi trying a new recipe or having boba. She openly challenges anyone to recommend a better boba spot than 7 Leaves.


    Maya Iwata

    BBDO New York

    Maya Iwata is a Japanese-American art director.

    Starting as an intern and working her way up to Senior Art Director at BBDO New York, she has created award-winning work for brands like M&M’s, Snickers, Pedigree, Dunkin, and more.

    Most notably she worked on the M&M’S Super Bowl campaign, in which the spokescandies were cancelled and took on different careers, leading to the most successful campaign in M&M’S history.

    Maya is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a B.S. in Advertising. She is also an alumnus of MAIP (Multicultural Advertising Internship Program).

    With an upbringing of having called Florida, Texas, Tokyo, and now New York – home – she’s passionate about culture, as well as representation, and hopes to create authentic stories that get people talking.


    Maya Siegel


    Maya Siegel (she/her) is a digital strategist and social entrepreneur who advocates for people and the planet. She loves dreaming big and investing in projects she believes in wholeheartedly.

    At 18 years old, Maya helped formalize ThinkOcean as an environmental nonprofit and at 20 years old helped start August, an inclusive period care company that currently has products in nearly 500 Target stores nationwide. Now 22 years old, she is the Social Editor and soon-to-be Head of Social at Feminist, the largest (6.3M followers on Instagram) women-owned media platform for women, girls, and gender-expansive people.

    Maya’s work rests at the intersection of social media and social impact. Since 2017, she has led social strategy for projects including Intersectional Environmentalist, a climate justice nonprofit justice nonprofit centering BIPOC and historically under-amplified voices; Emerging Radiance, a mural and AR experience that won Best Immersive Project at Tribeca in June 2022; the TOMFORD Plastic Innovation Prize powered by Lonely Whale, a $1.2M prize purse for alternatives to thin-film plastic.

    Maya is also the co-founder of Stories of Consent (SOC), an award-winning digital project sharing personal community-sourced stories about how affirmative consent looks and feels. In its first three months, SOC has collected 100+ stories of affirmative consent from individuals ranging in age from 15 to 35 in 9 countries, had their stories read by more than 300K people, and secured an international opportunity in Australia to lead consent education and policy research.


    Merc Heredia-Ferran

    University of Illinois, Indiana University

    Merc Heredia-Ferran is a dedicated and constantly learning student of strategy. Currently working at 72andSunny in the data strategy department and teaching at University of Illinois, Merc’s goal is to help democratize and break the barriers that are currently in place when trying to enter the world of advertising.

    A first generation American and 3rd generation professor, Merc is always looking to find ways to create inclusive programming in their courses and through networking opportunities. After receiving a Masters in Advertising and Brand Responsibility and a slew of internships, Merc went straight to work at both 72andSunny and Chicago Portfolio School before landing at UofI.

    You can find Merc working on just about every brand at 72andSunny from Zillow, Wingstop and Adobe to countless new business pitches. Their work tries to focus on how to create more inclusive and socially responsible audiences for campaigns.

    Outside of work you’ll find them on the rugby pitch, watching any sport that’s on TV, going to a local food festival or reposting jobs that pop up on their feed to help out current and former students.

    Merc dreams of one day creating free resources that will enable students to learn more about advertising in small increments without the cost barrier currently in place. And if there’s one thing that people know about Merc, it’s that when they dream of something, they do everything in their power to achieve it.


    Nafisa Hassan


    Daredevil, thought leader, and active dreamer, Nafisa Hassan leverages her personal background on professional perspective. A skydiver, kickboxer, travel fanatic, and slam poetry coach, she navigates a complex industry through creative storytelling from a unique perspective.

    With an intersectional identity, she has a broad perspective on the different types of diversity that exist in our society; and has a passion for empowering others of varied backgrounds as well. In 2021, she interned at R/GA NYC, where she contributed to the cultural nuances of Sephora’s “Black is Beautiful” campaign and co-chaired an ongoing ERG– the first of its kind at the agency.

    In August 2021, Nafisa graduated with her degree in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin. She also graduated from the MAIP classes of 2020 and 2021, MPMS, and MCTP. Now, Nafisa lives in Austin TX and is an Account Executive at R/GA. She’s worked on campaigns for RaceTrac and Ally Bank across social + digital, and even brought Tonal to your 2022 Super Bowl screens.

    Additionally, Nafisa continues to grow within and outside her 9-5, while expanding her contribution and impact in her community. She creates brave spaces for all talent to exist as they are, and co-creates with other communities by ensuring they have a say in the kind of support they are receiving.


    Roberto Del Real Jr

    Leo Burnett Detroit

    Roberto Del Real Jr., also known as Betito or STRAWS, is a Latino Art Director and Illustrator based on the South Eastside of Chicago. He specializes in art direction, illustration, graphic design, storyboarding, sketching, video editing/directing, and concepting. Currently at Leo Burnett Detroit, he is developing concepts and content for Buick, GMC, and HUMMER EV, with a strong focus on creative executions rooted in enhancing the human experience and nurturing our planet.

    Prior to joining LBD, Roberto led and participated in more than 10 student advertising competitions, including NSAC, NRF, Effie’s, and VCU Camp Adventure, achieving placements of second place and higher in five of them. He has also been awarded six fellowships, including 4A’s MAIP, Campbell Ewald, Access & Design, The BrandLab, Marcus Graham Project ICR8 Bootcamp, and The Inturnship.

    Roberto is a first-generation graduate from Columbia College Chicago, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Advertising in 2020. While studying at Columbia College, he was awarded Artist of the Week in 2019, selected to represent Columbia College at the 10th annual MCTP hosted by Publicis Groupe, and became a member of the 2020 Alpha Delta Sigma Class.

    During his free time, when he wasn’t earning his degree or working on campaigns, Roberto spent his time creating artwork that reminded him of his childhood and collaborating with music artists across the country, creating their single/album artwork and helping build their brand by making logos and merch designs.


    Stephanie Ologan


    Stephanie Ologan’s career path into the creative industries may seem unconventional to some, as she graduated from NYU with a Bachelor’s in Biomolecular Science and a minor in the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology. Through her minor, she would partake in different marketing and sync licensing internships.

    Her decision to pursue a career in the creative industries was reaffirmed by her participation in Diaspora Crossings, a career prep program, and CultureCon, a conference for creatives of color.

    Stephanie would then complete her Master’s in Global Entertainment and Music Business from the Berklee College of Music. Inspired by her emerging markets class, she would focus her thesis on digital streaming platforms and the everchanging streaming landscape on the African continent.

    Today, she works as a Global Editorial Coordinator at Spotify, which has piqued her interest in supporting diverse storytelling in areas including music, film and TV.


    Toni Walker

    Paramount Global

    Toni Walker is a driven marketing professional especially skilled at engaging and connecting with diverse audiences through creative storytelling. Since graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Toni has been eagerly pursuing a career in media and entertainment. She is an avid admirer of the industry’s ability to initiate meaningful conversations, build connections with diverse audiences, and ultimately push people to see beyond themselves.

    During her time at Universal McCann Worldwide on the American Express account, she supported the media planning team in developing and tracking robust, multi-platform media campaigns across various Amex marketing verticals. To further develop her interest in creative strategy, Toni began working at Paramount Global as an Integrated Marketing Coordinator within their in-house branded content studio.

    In this role, she works with a team of talented marketers, writers, and producers to pitch convergent marketing solutions integrating top advertisers into Paramount’s impressive suite of content and experiences. Toni has successfully delivered countless pitches across an array of industry verticals including food, beverage, CPG, tech, and retail.

    Throughout her career, Toni has sharpened her marketing strategy and storytelling skills as she is constantly marrying insights and creativity to build cohesive campaigns with cultural relevance. Her drive is sustained by her personal commitment to shaping and delivering impactful initiatives that open minds, inspire thought-provoking conversations, and empower meaningful change.


    Yaritza Vallejo


    Yaritza Vallejo is a Brand Marketing Specialist at McDonald’s Corporation and is currently pursuing her MBA at Northwestern – Kellogg School of Management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business with a major in Economics from DePaul University. Prior to joining McDonald’s, she worked at Fortune 500 companies such as Deloitte and Amazon. Within her professional roles she has taken leadership positions in DEI committees, inclusion groups and acted as a mentor for young professionals.

    Yaritza is a co-author for Today’s Inspired Young Latina Volume III where she shares her story of growing up in Chicago, but moving to Mexico for four years post the 2008 recession. With this came overcoming adversity and chasing her dreams no matter what the obstacle was. The book was inspired by the wildly successful and internationally acclaimed Today’s Inspired Latina series.

    Additionally, Yaritza has held student executive board positions, curated events and opportunities for others and is continuously making strides in various communities. She was featured in the 2022 Rising Stars List by the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA) as one of the top 50 Latina talents across the United States.


    Zachery Burton


    Zach Burton is a high-spirited multihyphenate who uses his influence as a marketer to tell authentic, culturally relevant stories in the moments that matter most. With several years of marketing experience across product, martech, ad tech, social, and brand, Zach now works for the world’s leading audio streaming app, Spotify.

    An Associate Manager of Product Marketing, he particularly enjoys bringing his passion for music into his work, owning the global messaging, positioning, and branding of the Lyrics feature at Spotify, as well as the overall growth of the Premium portfolio.

    That passion was birthed in church, where he first began playing piano by ear at 3 years old and has now built a deep resume of gospel, r&b, and soul artists that he’s been able to collaborate with. Zach is no stranger to the rest of the entertainment industry as he’s had stints at renowned brands like ESPN and L Brands.

    Outside of his day-to-day, he commits himself to service through mentorship at his alma mater, ERG leadership, and volunteer work with his fraternity — Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

    Zach is an alumnus of The Ohio State University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Analysis, and Practice. He is an Arkansas native who now resides in New York City. While now over 1300 miles away from home, he has appreciated the value of expanding his environment in order to reach his goals.


    Zuri Godfrey


    Zuri Godfrey is an Associate Product Marketing Manager at Google, leading social and influencer for Google Ads.

    He is a former division one athlete and alumnus of Howard University, where he played Varsity Football and majored in Business Management. Zuri has interned with ESPN in Sports Marketing, Google in Brand Strategy, and PwC in Management Consulting and externed with Meta in Social Marketing and the NFL in Business Development.

    Personally, his purpose is to serve, speak, and succeed and is passionate about sponsorship, sport, and social. Moreover, his mission is to use his blessings to be a blessing to others while living out his mantra of faith, family, and fitness on a daily basis.

    Zuri resides in Oakland, CA, but was born and raised in Hampton, VA and enjoys playing basketball, spades, and roller skating.


    Launched in 2012, with the belief that even the most successful professional can learn, be inspired, and share their knowledge, ADCOLOR University is an intensive training facilitated by top-ranked leadership and talent consulting firms. The FUTURES learn how to meet business objectives, increase their performance in corporate settings, excel in a professional environment, and take control of their career path. In the past, the program has introduced FUTURES and conference attendees to management and efficacy training and had special HR and management tracks focused on D&I. Currently, University is laser-focused on the FUTURES – giving specialized content to develop soft and hard skills during and around the conference.


    The Hackathon gives FUTURES a platform to tackle a huge problem—in a not-so-huge amount of time. Working in teams of six, FUTURES will be paired with two coaches who will help them sharpen their skills in collaboration, design thinking and rapid prototyping. Teams will have seven hours to come up with a creative solution to a social issue and present that to a panel of judges.







    2015 HACKATHON WHITE PAPER: "Cultural Appropriation"

    General Inquiries: info@adcolor.org | 347.297.4407
    ©2024 ADCOLOR Inc. All Rights Reserved.
    General Inquiries: info@adcolor.org | 347.297.4407
    ©2024 ADCOLOR Inc. All Rights Reserved.