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

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.

Katie Berry
Assistant Vice President, Social Media Strategy, U.S. Bank

Katie Berry is an assistant vice president of social media at U.S. Bank. She manages social media strategy and content for the Power of Possible brand campaign and recently led the bank’s Super Bowl 52 social media efforts. She oversees high visibility partnerships with Buzzfeed, the New York Times, Pandora and the Chicago Tribune.

Beth Burkett
US Field Marketing, Campaign Management and Planning, IHG

Headshot 2 2018Beth Burkett has over 13+ year’s experience as a marketing strategist with extensive knowledge in loyalty, partnerships and brand marketing on brands such as IHG, InterContinental Hotels, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Chrysler, Jeep and DePaul University. Her background is rooted in brand/marketing management, development of strategic integrated marketing plans, loyalty program enhancements and partnership/agency management. Her key expertise has been achieved in building relationships across partnerships, creation of strategies, development of communication assets, metric-driven marketing plans, cross-functional team management and development of high-performing talent.

Audra Carson
Head of Content Marketing & Media Platforms at General Mills

Audra Carson is the Head of Content Marketing & Media Platforms at General Mills, where she is responsible for driving sales of GMI products by building audiences, distributing compelling brand (food) content, and delivering world class user experiences across multiple digital touchpoints.

A former advertising account executive, marketing communications leader (Honeywell) and brand manager (General Mills), Audra has degrees in Strategic Communications & Marketing from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA from Augsburg University. When she’s not working, she loves to test out new recipes from Betty Crocker and and spend time with her husband and two children.

Molly Clinton
Brand Manager, White Claw Hard Seltzer & Innovation, Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co.

Molly Clinton is the Brand Manager for White Claw Hard Seltzer, the #1 hard seltzer brand in the US. She leads brand strategy, innovation and marketing initiatives on the brand such as, “The Purest Hard Seltzer in the World®” campaign. Molly has been at Mike’s for five years, previously leading brand experience for Mike’s HARDER Lemonade and Palm Breeze Alcoholic Spritz brands, and brand activation for the entire portfolio of company brands. In her free time, Molly raises assistance dogs with Paws With A Cause, volunteers at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago and tries to get as many days on the ski slopes as possible!

Amanda Culbertson-Kraemer
Director of Marketing, eCommerce, Nestle Purina North America

As Director of eCommerce Marketing at Nestlé Purina PetCare, Amanda is responsible for accelerating sales & share of digital commerce for leading, billion dollar brands in the pet food category. Her team works cross-functionally to drive organizational change across the eBusiness value chain, including the development & deployment of eMarketing best practices across e-content creation & syndication & eRetailer media & partnerships. Prior to her career at Nestlé, Amanda worked in new product development for Anheuser-Busch. She loves to travel and is always looking for the next adventure.

Jasmine Davis
Marketing, Oncology Specialty Pharmacy, Walgreen Co.

After spending nearly 8 years providing insights and analytical expertise to clients in an array of industries, Jasmine Davis now leads the oncology brand marketing program at Walgreens Co. She unites her analytical background with her passion for storytelling to establish the position of the iconic Walgreens brand as a trusted partner in the cancer journey. Jasmine believes placing the consumer experience directly at the forefront of all communication strategies can lead to human connections and tie back to the essence of the brand. Jasmine has forged new norms of leveraging real patients and their stories in inspiring ways to help build strong brand equity, leaving countless social benchmarks in the dust!

Ericka Dirkmaat
Brand Manager, Conagra Brands

Ericka is a Brand Manager at Conagra Brands. In this role, she manages the long-term strategy, development, and innovation of Conagra’s sweet treats portfolio, which includes the Swiss Miss and Snack Pack brands. Ericka has 7 years of CPG marketing experience. Prior to joining Conagra, Ericka held brand management roles at Kraft Heinz and Reynolds Consumer Products, where she had the opportunity to work on iconic brands such as Kraft Singles, Velveeta, and Hefty. Ericka holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in business administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Wayne Duan
Vice President of eCommerce, Constellation Brands

Wayne Duan is Constellation’s Vice President of eCommerce and has responsibility across both the Beer and Wine & Spirits divisions for driving the eCommerce growth agenda. This includes strengthening and aligning resources, strategies and investments to further propel Constellation’s leadership position in the Beverage Alcohol industry. Wayne joined Constellation in 2017 from Walgreens where he held various digital and eCommerce roles. Previously he was the General Manager for Walgreens Digital Commerce where he led the Merchandising and Merchandising Operations teams.
Wayne earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Luka Dukich
Senior Manager of Digital Content, Chicago Bulls

Luka Dukich is the Senior Manager of Digital Content for the Chicago Bulls, overseeing the team’s social media channels and content offerings, from basketball coverage to sponsored content. Dukich has been with the Bulls since 2015 and during his team with the team, the Bulls have become an industry leader in differentiated content, receiving SportsBusiness Journal’s 2017“Best in Sports Social Media” in 2017 and receiving a nomination for the same award in 2018. Prior to his time with the Bulls, Luka spent five years with United Entertainment Group, the sports & entertainment marketing arm of Edelman. Luka is a fan of doing things differently and supports keeping it weird.

Ben Feeney
Director of Foresight & Design, MillerCoors

Ben Feeney is Director of Foresight & Design for MillerCoors, responsible for creating competitive advantages in the workplace and the marketplace for the marketing department. Previously, he held roles within innovation for the brewer. Prior to joining MillerCoors in 2012, Ben spent almost 10 years in advertising and innovation consultancy positions at the management team level. Clients included Heineken USA, MillerCoors, and Kellogg’s. Ben holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management from Albion College. He resides in Chicago with his wife and three children.

Ben Gemski
Digital Marketing Innovation, Kraft Heinz

Ben Gemski currently leads the Digital Marketing Innovation team for The Kraft Heinz. In his current role he is tasked with identifying and developing non-traditional marketing techniques for uses with the various Kraft Heinz brands. Prior to joining Kraft Heinz he oversaw strategic initiatives for Verizon’s Innovation program. He was one of the founding strategy members of Verizon’s Innovation program. Tasked with new product development and non- traditional cellular devices.

Jennifer Gladstone
Head of Marketing Campaigns & Projects, UBS

Jennifer Gladstone is Head of Marketing Campaigns and Projects at UBS Asset Management. At UBS, Jennifer leads a global team of marketers in the creation and development of multi-faceted campaigns and projects across retail and institutional distribution channels. Prior to joining UBS, Jennifer worked in several marketing communications roles at Morningstar, Inc. She earned her BA from Eckerd College with a double major in business management and communication, and a MA from DePaul University in communication with an emphasis in public relations and advertising.

Georgina Goode
Director of Digital, Boeing

Georgina is the newly appointed Director of Digital at Boeing. Before her transition to the States, Georgina was a former advisor on digital engagement strategy to UK government and 10 Downing Street. Her role in the UK’s internationally acclaimed Government Digital Service (a team within Cabinet Office tasked with transforming UK government services) included digital strategy, content, risk management, channel operations and building digital capability across the UK civil service. She’s a spokesperson for best practice digital engagement strategy as part of wider business transformation which includes advising a number of international governments, banks and energy companies; plus is author of HM Government’s Social Media Playbook. Prior to joining the Government, Georgina was Board Director at London-based marketing agency Kindred. There she established the agency’s award-winning social media division for clients including The National Lottery, IKEA and ‘make mine Milk’.

Riley Haemer
Digital Activation Lead, Beam Suntory

Riley Haemer joined Beam Suntory in 2017 in the newly created role of Digital Activation Lead and is responsible for developing and executing an integrated digital path-to-purchase strategy and determining strategic big-bets in digital technology for the North American business. Before joining Beam Suntory, Riley worked at Kraft Heinz building out CRM, branded content, and social listening capabilities.

Michael Jackson
Marketing Manager, Regis Corporation

Mike is a Marketing Manager at Regis Corporation, responsible for marketing and media strategy behind some of the nation’s largest salon brands. Instrumental in launching a national partnership between Supercuts and Major League Baseball, he has used his passion for collaboration and “live your brand” attitude, to create and execute campaigns that bring this high-level platform to life in local markets, while staying true to the brand at its core. Mike received his degree from the Carlson School of Management, and has gained a unique perspective on branding and marketing strategy through non-profit and for-profit leadership roles prior to Regis. As a father of four, he is keenly aware of the “clutter” brands need to cut through to get noticed and enjoys taking a less than stereo-typical approach to making that happen.

Ciare James
Brand Director, Conagra Brands

Ciare James has spent the past 10 years identifying, creating and implementing pathways to growth for well-loved brands across a variety of categories and market positions. She began her Brand career at Procter and Gamble where she led design, delivery and communication planning initiatives for Febreze and owned CEMEA global expansion efforts for Gillette. In 2010 she brought her talents to the food industry in joining Conagra Brands. Ciare has successfully led efforts to revitalize and contemporize iconic brands like Hunt’s, Reddi-wip and most recently, Banquet through base business revitalization, winning innovation, compelling marketing ideas and strategic planning.

Ashley Kimlinger
Director, Enterprise Brand Management, Deluxe Corporation

Ashley has a passion for brands that communicate beautifully. Since joining Deluxe as Director of Enterprise Brand Management, Ashley has managed re-branding efforts across the company and been a key strategist on the Small Business Revolution campaign, an experiment in content marketing. Her primary role has been as the creative director for this innovative campaign, along with steering the website strategy and content creation. Prior to Deluxe, she worked at Allianz Life helping employees communicate their brand story through beautiful (and effective) presentations.

Christina Kilgore
Quaker Foods Consumer Relations Associate Manager, PepsiCo

Christina Kilgore is a consumer relations marketing professional. She is currently working as a Consumer Relations Associate Manager for Quaker Foods North America within PepsiCo , Inc. She specializes in identifying the voice of the consumer and customer relationship management. Before joining the PepsiCo team Christina worked as a Senior Account Executive at iris Worldwide. While at iris her role involved creating marketing campaigns for small businesses who sold SAP software and vendor management. She is a leader, relationship builder and a creative critical thinker. Christina has a passion for consumer satisfaction and an understanding of what consumers really want.

Nicole Kulwicki
Director of Marketing for Heinz and Ore-Ida at Kraft Heinz

Nicole Kulwicki is the Director of Marketing for Heinz and Ore-Ida at Kraft Heinz, and currently leads the communication and innovation strategy for both iconic brands. Nicole has a BBA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. With over 10 years of experience, she has had the opportunity to work on several remarkable brands, including Miracle Whip, Grey Poupon and Jell-O. Nicole is a skilled brand builder and a proven leader. Her most recent work includes highly successful brand activations like Smunday, Mad Men, Chicago Dog Sauce and Mayochup, which were all aimed at engaging consumers in new, impactful ways.

Denise Lauer
Chief Marketing Officer, Morton Salt, Inc.

Denise Lauer is an award-winning brand-builder with more than 15 years of experience shaping the image and reputation of global brands and FORTUNE 500 companies. Denise currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer at Morton Salt, based in Chicago, Illinois. She was appointed to this role in 2017 and leads a team responsible for brand strategy, advertising and promotions, digital and social media, market research and insights, consumer affairs, packaging design, public relations, community engagement and employee communications. Denise joined Morton Salt in 2011 and has played a pivotal role in the company’s marketplace and workplace transformation. Prior to Morton Salt, she held various communication roles with Quaker Foods & Snacks, FedEx and Eaton Corporation. Denise holds a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University. She enjoys all things related to food, film and international travel.

Justin Lintz
Senior Manager of Brand Development at Conagra Brands

As a Senior Manager of Brand Development, Justin is responsible for crafting long-term growth initiatives for Conagra Brand’s Tomatoes, Sauces, and Condiments portfolio of brands. Justin has 10 years of cross-functional industry experience with roles in sales, category management, and brand management. These cross-functional experiences have provided Justin with a well-rounded perspective that enables him to develop executable strategies that turn insights into action. Justin is also a proud member of the Brand Innovators Top 40 Under 40 Midwest Class of 2018.

Brittany Mitchell
Marketing Manager, State Farm Insurance Company

Brittany Mitchell is currently a Marketing Manager, responsible for national digital advertising, lead acquisition, and direct marketing efforts at State Farm, a Fortune 50 company and brand category leader. Prior to State Farm, Brittany led digital and branding efforts as the Marketing Manager for SHEEX, a retail start-up leveraging fabric technology to disrupt the bedding and sleepwear industry. Brittany also has global experience in the digital, social, and event marketing space through her work in Paris with Arjowiggins Creative Papers, a multinational corporation providing high end designer paper and luxury packing worldwide.

Elly Deutch Moody
Global Campaign and Advocacy 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.

Kristin Murray Bohan
Director of Corporate Marketing, Land O’Lakes, Inc

Kristin’s marketing career started at a much earlier age than it does for most (age 11), beginning as a Creative Consumers® kid for the ideation company Ideas to Go. After 10 years working with Fortune 500 clients, she decided to pursue her MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Brand & Product Management. She spent 8 years at Procter & Gamble on brands like Gillette, Iams, Pantene and Pampers in a variety of roles – from traditional brand management to shopper marketing and eCommerce on the Target retail account. Kristin is currently the Director of Corporate Marketing at Land O’Lakes Inc. She has a BA in Strategic Communications from the University of Minnesota and lives in Southwest Minneapolis with her two young kids, ages 1 and 3.

Lorena Nunez
Associate Marketing Manager – Multicultural, Allstate

Lorena is currently a Multicultural Associate Marketing Manager at Allstate Insurance. She leads marketing strategies, creative development and production of national advertising campaigns, award-winning soccer programs, sponsorship integrations, social media and digital content to reach and engage with multicultural audiences. Previously, Lorena was at Bravo Advertising, Young & Rubicam’s Hispanic sister agency, where she worked for three years as Account Supervisor. There she led various national and local advertising campaigns targeting U.S. Hispanics for a broad range of consumer packaged goods and financial services clients.

Tiffany Podge
Director of Digital Merchandising, Marketing and Optimization, McDonald’s

Tiffany is the Director of Digital Merchandising, Marketing and Optimization at McDonald’s; and is responsible for developing, implementing and optimizing the revenue strategy across mobile, web, and kiosk.

Marissa Pines
Head of Partnerships, PepsiCo North America Nutrition

As the head of Partnerships for PepsiCo North America Nutrition, Marissa works on consumer engagement for iconic brands like Quaker, Tropicana & Naked Juice. By establishing meaningful relationships with strategic partners, Marissa enables the brands to reach consumers through experiences and non-traditional media, engaging with them on different touchpoints of their health & wellness journey. After joining PepsiCo in 2011, Marissa spent the majority of the last 7 years working on the Quaker Oats business and moved into a cross-brand role in 2017. Prior to PepsiCo, Marissa worked in Merchandising at Target and got her MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Alex Quigley
Associate Marketing Manager, Coors Light

Alex Quigley is currently an Associate Marketing Manager on the Coors Light brand team where he is leading consumer recruitment strategy. Prior to that, Alex was on the Innovations team where he led consumer packaging pain point research; the output helped to strengthen the MillerCoors Innovation pipeline. Additionally, Alex is an Advanced Cicerone®, one of the first 88 people in the world to pass the rigorous all-day exam on beer styles, beer flavor evaluation, brewing, and food pairing.

Joe Rago
Director, Digital Innovation, ULTA Beauty

Joe Rago serves as the Director of Digital Innovation at Ulta Beauty. Prior to that, he served as Ulta’s Director of Mobility Development where he led the teams who built the highly rated Ulta Beauty iOS & Android applications, along with enterprise applications used in all of Ulta’s 1100+ stores. Prior to joining Ulta, Joe worked at Walgreens, where he last served as the Director for the Mobile Innovation Program. Joe is a lifelong Chicago resident who lives with his family in the western suburbs, while enjoying playing & coaching sports, and always listening for the next big “hit song”.

Nicole Sorensen
Senior Brand Manager, Tyson Foods

With over 10 years of CPG experience, Nicole’s love of food and passion for the consumer have led to the launch of numerous innovations and delivery of base business growth across such beloved brands as Jell-O, Stove Top, Häagen Dazs, Hillshire Farm and Tyson, as well as spending two years internationally leading both a global brand and a regionally-based business within the UK market. Her current role leading Tyson Tastemakers encompasses national distribution expansion and innovating to meet evolving consumer needs in the dynamic fresh meal kits category.
Nicole has a BS in Business from Indiana University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

Dana Strokovsky
Global Director, Social Media Excellence, McDonald’s

dana-strokovsky.jpg @D_Stro

As the Global Director of Social Media at McDonald’s Dana is focused on elevating social marketing and influencing social branding worldwide, by sharing best-in-class practices, case studies, learnings and creating consistency through all digital touch points. Building and nurturing relationships with local social and digital leads is a key component, and ensuring that McDonald’s social marketing is top notch through a uniform framework that ladders up to the brand purpose. Prior to McDonald’s Dana helped launch a Social Center for North America at Coca-Cola, was the SME for the Rio 2016 Olympics, strategic social lead for Coca-Cola racing and other projects with the sports marketing team, understanding and utilizing available assets to help enhance company partnership capabilities.

Angela Tucker
Brand Manager – Barilla America

Growing up in a family-run business, Angie quickly learned the importance of empathy to best meet different consumer needs early on. She continues to exercise this in her current role as Sauce Brand Manager at Barilla America, also family-run, as she builds a three-fold strategy to give own-able meaning to the brand beyond pasta. Focus is on premiumization, leading with pesto, and uncovering untapped growth spaces.
She is also currently piloting a new way of working at Barilla, called Microbattles (developed by Bain consulting). Acting more like a startup, Angie leads a team of eight cross functional team members to think and act more agile in their execution of prototype ideas, interacting with consumers and customers more closely in order to enable faster insights and reaction to new market trends.

Analisa Terenzio
Director of Marketing, Roti Modern Mediterranean

Analisa Terenzio is the Director of Marketing for Roti Modern Mediterranean, a growing fast casual restaurant brand with 35 locations nationally. Her current focus is on brand storytelling, and finding new and innovative ways to share Roti’s from-scratch, wholesome, and purpose-driven food offerings. In just over 2 years with the company she has evolved the brand voice and growing social media presence, as well as opened 15 new restaurants nationally. Her passion for the food industry began 8 years ago, when she joined the founding team for Protein Bar + Kitchen — growing the health-focused concept from 1 single Chicago restaurant, to 20+ locations nationally.

Briana Voss
Senior Manager, Media, Walgreens

Briana Voss started her career in marketing with a media agency foundation. She has gained experience across digital publisher and brand marketing now serving as the Senior Media Manager at Walgreens overseeing strategic media planning and buying.