In 2018 Brand Innovators will produce five regional Brand Innovators '40 Under 40' Celebrations, honoring 40 brand marketers under the age of 40 years old


Brandon Gutman

Brand Innovators LLC


Marc Sternberg

Brand Innovators LLC


Midwest List Honorees 2019

Brand Innovators 40-under-40 Chicago License Plate

Honoring the next generation of leading brand marketers

They grew up on the Internet and are early adopters of all things digital. They Tweet, text, shop, and stay connected personally and professionally on their mobile devices all day long. They prefer online video to television. They value authenticity and transparency. They are diverse and idealistic. They are the Brand Innovators ’40 Under 40′ — the next generation of marketing and media executives who are defining how brands are using technology to engage with their consumers.

Dalia Adler
Associate Director of Marketing – Heinz, The Kraft Heinz Company

As the Associate Director of Marketing for Heinz, Dalia Adler leads Brand Building for Heinz in the US – spearheading the brand’s creative, innovation, and long term growth strategy. Passionate about branding, design, and communications, Dalia has worked to bring the brand to the forefront of cultural conversation and reintroduced Heinz’s most iconic equities into its advertising model. Since joining Kraft Heinz, Dalia has led marketing efforts across some of the company’s most recognizable brands – including Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Miracle Whip, and Velveeta.

Talia Brookshire
Vice President, Marketing and Community Outreach, Sky Zone Indiana

A sports marketing executive for nearly 15 years, Brookshire is currently the Vice President for Marketing and Community Relations at Sky Zone Parks in Indianapolis. Developing and managing marketing campaigns for NASCAR, Ford Racing, USA Swimming and USA Track & Field have provided Brookshire with a unique portfolio that has heavily emphasized community outreach and partnership management. In her role at Sky Zone, Brookshire oversees marketing, public relations, social media, special events, communications, partner relations and sales. A graduate of Central Michigan University, Brookshire has lived in Indiana for seven years. She currently resides in Lawrence with her husband and three daughters.

Alfredo Carigga

Headshot 2 2018Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Alfredo moved to New York in 2002 after he graduated from High School at the age of 15. Alfredo started his career in Information Technology in 2005 by working as a Business Analyst in the retail industry and he has been in retail ever since.

Alfredo has led the implementation of new retail systems both domestically and worldwide for well-known retailers such as Kenneth Cole Productions, Steve & Barry’s, and Fossil. Alfredo is currently the Director of Store Systems and Enterprise Mobility for Ulta Beauty and his responsibilities span across several front and back office applications that are responsible for bettering the guest experience at Ulta.

Alfredo believes everyone can become the best version of themselves as long as they work on the things they love. On his free time, Alfredo loves to travel his wife, spending time with his family, and his newborn son, Mateo.

Rachael Dillon
Executive Director, Global Communications and Influencer Relations, Aveda

Headshot 2 2018Rachael Dillon is a seasoned communications professional with a demonstrated history of driving positive, brand-building publicity in the consumer goods and food & beverage industries in North America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Rachael has over ten years of experience in media relations, influencer management, corporate communications, crisis communications and event management. She has worked for New York and Hong Kong-based agencies delivering measurable results for clients including COVERGIRL, Novo Nordisk, Head & Shoulders, Venus, Secret, Herbal Essences, Vita Coco and Swarovski, and for the last three years she has led in-house communications for global consumer brands: from 2016 until 2018 she was the Head of PR for Asia-Pacific & the Middle East for the UK’s fastest growing start-up – Deliveroo — and in 2018 she was appointed as Executive Director, Global Communications and Influencer Relations at Aveda. In her current role, Rachael is responsible for developing the global communications strategy to secure coverage in traditional and new media as well as identifying and launching strategic brand partnerships and spokespeople for the global beauty and hair care company.

Ashley Dudzik
Senior Brand Manager, Morningstar Inc.

Ashley Dudzik is the Senior Brand Manager for Morningstar Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research. A marketing professional with over 10 years of experience, her background includes both agency experience at Leo Burnett on a Fortune 500 client and financial-services marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Purdue University and is currently the co-chair of the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) Influencer Marketing Committee Midwest Chapter.

Spencer Fivelson
Brand Marketing Director, Protein Snacking, Conagra Brands

Headshot 2 2018A seasoned general management and marketing leader within the consumer packaged goods space, Spencer’s experience spans over 20 brands across personal care and food/beverage. Particular areas of expertise include innovation, sales strategy, supply chain, P&L management, modern marketing and M&A. Spencer has a proven track record of results turning around and accelerating growth on both big, mature brands and younger, entrepreneurial brands. In his current role, Spencer has P&L ownership for the iconic Slim Jim and David Seeds brands, among others. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business, and lives in Chicago.

Erin Gulden
VP, Director of Inbound Marketing, U.S. Bank

Erin Gulden is an award-winning journalist and content marketer who has worked with several Fortune 500 companies including Delta, UnitedHealth Group, and General Mills. She is currently Director of Content Marketing at U.S. Bank, where she’s leading efforts to execute an enterprise-wide content strategy and build a center of excellence for all content marketing initiatives.

Scott Kegley
Executive Director, Digital Media & Innovation, Minnesota Vikings Football

Scott Kegley is his third season with the Minnesota Vikings. As the Executive Director, Digital Media & Innovation, Scott oversees all aspects of digital media, social media, mobile strategy and online content. Under Scott’s leadership, the team has created several innovative campaigns such as The V.I.G. (Vikings Instagram Group) Vinekings, Viking Quest, Vikings CARaoke and Vinekings, which won a 2017 Shorty Award. With a unique approach to digital storytelling, the Vikings consistently rank in the top quartile in content consumption amongst NFL teams. Prior to joining the Vikings, Scott spent nine seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.

Cameron Koslow
Senior Marketing Manager, Empire Today

Cameron is a well-rounded marketing professional with over ten years of experience in brand management, lead generation, experiential, and affiliate marketing. Currently the Marketing Brand Manager for the iconic Empire Today carpet and flooring company, Cameron is directly responsible for all lead generation efforts, including conceptualizing and developing brand and product multi-channel campaigns, driving the growth of referral marketing programs, experiential marketing programs, as well as testing and recommending adjustments to overall spend and channel mix. In addition, Cameron oversees brand reputation management, national promotions, and contributes to the success of the affiliate marketing program. Cameron also helps ensure the execution of Empire’s mass media campaigns, including television, digital, and print campaigns, pushing the brand’s creative limits while adhering to established brand messaging standards.

Nathan Louer
Director of Consumer Engagement, Jimmy John’s

Nathan Louer is the Director of Consumer Engagement for Jimmy John’s, a national quick-serve sandwich restaurant with over 2,800 locations in 43 states. He is responsible for creative messaging & development, digital and traditional media strategy, PR, and field marketing for the brand. Nathan’s entire 13-year career has been at Jimmy John’s, starting in 2006, developing local marketing and sampling programs. Throughout his career, Nathan has led many facets of marketing for Jimmy John’s, including local marketing, guerilla marketing, Co-Op advertising, and event/activation efforts. He is also responsible for marketing communication and collaboration with the hundreds of franchisees that make up the local ownership across the country.

Elly Moody
Digital Communications Manager, McDonald’s

As a leader in the digital, social and mobile landscape, Elly Deutch Moody has provided her expertise to a diverse array of companies and brands – both large and small – on how to effectively create and execute fully integrated digital marketing strategies to drive business value. Over the last ten years in the digital space, Elly has created, executed, and managed social media communities for over 350 companies, athletes and brands. In her current role at McDonald’s, Elly creates and oversees all digital communication and strategy for the Corporation, and is the lead content strategist for all of the McDonald’s Corporate Social Media Channels. Elly has spoken around the world at over 200+ conferences, summits, events and universities on her experience and knowledge of digital communications and social media marketing strategy.

Troy Neidermire
Sr. Director – Search, Email & Affiliate | Digital & Database Marketing | Target Corporation

Troy Neidermire is the Senior Director of Digital Media at Target, responsible for leading the strategy, execution and optimization of multiple digital performance channels, as well as Bullseye Marketplace, Target’s own media marketplace. He is a champion for innovation, partnering with leaders across the organization to translate category, guest and corporate objectives into marketing strategies that deliver positive ROI and LTV.

A seasoned marketing and media leader, Neidermire has built his career around leveraging data and technology to create large-scale, guest-centric solutions that drive measurable results. He has 15 years of experience across eCommerce foundations, including: Media, Testing and Analytics, User Experience Optimization, Site Merchandising, and Content Marketing.

Aaron Newhouse
Director, Shopper Marketing, Conagra Brands

Aaron Newhouse has worked in retail and consumer goods for his entire career. He has experienced the industry from various perspectives – beginning on the agency-side, rotating to an on-site experience at Walmart HQ and ultimately leading Shopper Marketing at CPG leaders such as PepsiCo and Conagra. As the Director of Shopper Marketing, Aaron Newhouse leads the team responsible for the strategy, development and execution of shopper marketing programming across key grocery channel retail partners.

Joe Rago
Director, Digital Innovation, ULTA Beauty

Joe is a Director for Ulta Beauty on their Digital Innovation team, whose mission is to merge digital & physical beauty journeys by leading thought, while discovering & creating technology to enable wow guest experiences. Prior to this role, Joe spent the past 7+ years with Ulta & Walgreens focused on the product management & development of mobile applications. Joe is a lifelong Chicago area resident who lives with his family in the western suburbs, enjoys playing & coaching sports, and is always listening for the next big “hit song”.

Scott Schraufnagel
Director, Integrated Marketing Communications, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC

As the Director of the Integrated Marketing Communications team for Purina Animal Nutrition, Scott and his team are focused on building a positive brand experience for animal owners of all types by creating a warm and friendly channel agnostic relationship.

Prior to joining Land O’ Lakes Scott worked in the advertising industry supporting clients at both small independent and international agencies. Scott has worked across a large B2B and B2C client list to deliver powerful brand marketing programs for fortune 500 CPG, Automotive, Building Supply, and Agriculture clients based on the belief that curiosity, care, and elbow grease can build great things.

Jessica Soddy
Marketing Manager, State Farm

At State Farm, Jessica has responsibility for multiple functions including insurance marketing and advertising strategy, acquisition and the digital & social media center of excellence. From managing social impact/CSR advertising to leading a digital & social media team to developing a brand content strategy, she has a variety of past experiences that give her a unique perspective on both the art and science of driving brand growth.

Jeff Stender
Global Digital Transformation Leader, 3M

Jeff loves solving puzzles, building relationships, and exploring new technology. Jeff has held various digital strategy, media and social media roles at Carlson Companies, Target, and most recently 3M where he leads Digital Transformation for the multibillion-dollar Industrial Adhesives and Tapes division, creating experiences across the digital ecosystem to scale 3M’s technical knowledge and bring the company closer to its customers. Jeff is a husband and dad, and loves to play music, cook, travel, read, snowboard, and run. Jeff holds bachelor’s degrees in English and business management from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN.

Ethelbert Williams
Head of E-Commerce, The Boston Beer Company

Ethelbert_Williams_web Ethelbert Williams leads e-commerce for The Boston Beer Company’s portfolio including Sam Adams and Angry Orchard brands. He has more than 17 years of global commercial leadership experience having championed marketing and sales strategies across direct-to-consumer ecommerce, pure play marketplaces and multi-channel retailers. Ethelbert previously drove go-to-market and channel expansion for the personal and facial cleansing categories at Kimberly-Clark Corporation and InstaNatural. In addition, he has held leadership roles at Procter & Gamble and Unilever. Ethelbert is also an investor and advisor to exceptional entrepreneurs. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University where he serves as an Adjunct Lecturer leading collaborative learning for digital marketing, media and innovation curriculum.

Gary Weintraub
Director, SC Johnson

Gary Weintraub is a driven and courageous brand and business builder with over 11 years of Global Commercial Consumer Goods experience across Global Marketing, Marketing Commercialization, Sales and Talent Branding at SC Johnson. Gary has demonstrated a proven track record of results, cross-functional leadership, and challenging the status quo on iconic global heritage brands as well as emerging ‘better for you’ brands including Mrs. Meyers and babyganics. He is currently on a Sales rotation leading all of SC Johnson’s brands and business across Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid. Gary’s passions include health & wellness, animals, culinary arts, travel, sports, mentoring, volunteering, and more! He was born and raised in Philly and lives in Chicago with his wife, 4 month old son, and 2 rescue dogs. Gary holds a BBA from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Go Blue!

Jess Vultaggio
Head of Marketing – Meat (Oscar Mayer, Lunchables, P3, Just Crack an Egg)

Since joining Kraft Heinz in 2011, Jess Vultaggio has driven top line growth, expanded share leadership and strengthened equity and consumer love on some of the company’s most iconic brands, including the Heinz and Philadelphia Masterbrands. Jess developed Heinz’ “Meet the Ketchups” campaign which launched with the iconic 2016 “Weiner Stampede” Super Bowl ad. She also led Philadelphia’s brand expansion, while driving brand equity and brand performance – helping the brand reach over 70% Value Share for the first time in 2018. Most recently, as Head of Brand Building, Refrigerated Snacking and White Spaces, she set the roadmap, including the innovation and branding strategy, for company expansion in fast growing, highly incremental consumer categories. In her current role as Head of Marketing, Oscar Mayer, Jess is tasked with driving the company’s entire meat portfolio to its next era of growth, focused on evolving the strategy and creative approach of +$1B brands Oscar Mayer and Lunchables, as well as identifying, developing and nurturing new growth platforms and high-potential brands for the portfolio.

Katie Wong
Brand Experience Senior Manager, Partnerships, General Mills

Katie Wong is the Brand Experience Senior Manager, Partnerships for General Mills. Katie leads partnership and licensing opportunities within the industries of Entertainment, Sports, Fashion and Technology for General Mills US. Katie joined General Mills in 2005 and, prior to her current role, led marketing communications for various brands within the company. Katie is an avid consumer of all things pop culture and loves that she can call binging a series on Netflix “work.” She received her B.S. from Iowa State University.