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


Northeast List Honorees 2019

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.

Will Carafello
Senior Director, Social Media, New York Mets

Will Carafello is the Sr. Director of Social Media for the New York Mets overseeing all of the team’s social content. Before that he was Director of Social Media and Marketing for the New Jersey Devils, including their launch of Mission Control–the team’s social media command center. Carafello has been in the sports and entertainment field for over 10 years working at Madison Square Garden, the Harlem Globetrotters, IZOD Center/Giants Stadium and Prudential Center. He earned his degree in Sports Marketing from Seton Hall University in 2003. Will and his wife, Kelly, have two children Annaclaire (5) and Liam (3) and a yellow lab, Homer.

Raj Suvarna
Director Lifecycle Marketing, Glossier

Undergraduate degree in Computer Science and an MBA in Information Systems Management. Over 10 years of experience & interest in CRM, Online Marketing (Email, SEM, Mobile, Social), Conversion Optimization, and Drip Campaign Implementation.

Specialties: Campaign Planning & Execution, Email Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Display Advertising, ReTargeting, Social Media, SQL

Jessica Redler
Director, Digital Media & Content, Shiseido Americas Corporation

Jessica Redler is a strategic and analytical marketer who specializes in digital and social media strategy for luxury, alcohol & spirits, and beauty brands. She is currently Senior Manager, Digital Marketing for Absolut Vodka, where she leads all digital and social activations, including first-of-its kind and best-in-class e-commerce programs. Previously, Jessica was a digital manager at Pernod Ricard, overseeing social media strategy across the portfolio, establishing the social media content framework for the organization and launching both the Kahlua “Caramel Encounters” campaign and the Malibu “Malibros” campaign.

Prior to Pernod Ricard, Jessica led digital and social strategy for Johnnie Walker and Baileys Irish Cream at Havas Worldwide. At Havas, she was also the US-based strategy consultant on the winning global pitches for Louis Vuitton and Sephora, where she conducted qualitative research, participated in expert interview panels, contributed US-based consumer insights and provided creative feedback. Jessica has also worked on projects for Maybelline, Hershey’s, Reckitt Benckiser and GlaxoSmithKline.

Specialties: E-commerce, media, integrated media partnerships, consumer insights, event and promotion management, branded entertainment, luxury brand digital strategy, social media, content development, cosmetics & beauty brand digital strategy, fashion digital strategy, social media for luxury brands, alcohol & spirits digital brand strategy.

Michelle Ogle
Senior Director, Global Paid Media, Marriott International

Marketing leader with 15 years of experience developing innovative paid media programs to grow brand equity and engagement, revenue, retention and loyalty. Areas of expertise include:

– People leadership and gaining consensus in highly matrixed organizations
– Data-driven paid media strategy development and decision-making (digital display, paid search, programmatic, television/video, native, social, print, out-of-home, email)
– Omni-channel, cross-platform, cross-device campaign development
– Audience segmentation and personalized, dynamic content
– Advanced marketing analytics and measurement including multi-touch attribution
– Investment management
– Media and Creative Agency management
– Department budget management

Passionate about paid media innovation that brings brands to life.

Vinny Rinaldi
Head of Addressable TV & Media, Hershey’s

Vinny is currently Head of Addressable Media at The Hershey Company where he is building out Hershey’s data and technology advancement to a Data-Driven, People-Based approach to media. In this role, he oversees all digital media across Hershey’s iconic portfolio of brands such as Reese’s, Hershey’s, Kit Kat, Ice Breakers, Twizzlers and many more.

Vinny brings a data driven, ad tech perspective to his role after spending the past 12 years in various roles at startups like Adap.TV, ad tech giants like AOL and Google and most recently leading Audience Platforms and Strategy at Dentsu Aegis Network.

An ad technology evangelist, Vinny is committed to finding innovative ways to drive incremental revenue through established and emerging media channels.

Allison Stadd
VP Brand & Marketing, Bark & Co

Allison is VP of Marketing at BARK, the world’s most dog-centric company.

Allison’s team is responsible for building the BARK brand and driving mass consumer awareness across distribution channels. Through inventive, relentless, and highly strategic partnerships, collaborations, experiences, and campaigns that get people talking online and offline, the team keeps BARK top-of-mind in order to drive top-line sales across the organization.

Prior to BARK, Allison was Director of Brand Marketing at fast casual chain Sweetgreen, overseeing brand identity, social media and content strategy, email, paid media, partnerships, influencers, and events. Before Sweetgreen, she was at the helm of Shake Shack’s award-winning global social media and digital marketing strategies, also leading brand, experiential, traditional advertising, and PR for half the U.S.

Allison is a fan of great books and great beer with equal enthusiasm, and when she’s not at her laptop, you’ll find her at the nearest park — with her dog Franklin, of course.

Vivian Chang
VP Growth, Nutranext DTC, Clorox

Vivian recently joined as VP of Growth for the Nutranext DTC division under The Clorox Company. Nutranext is a leading health and wellness company providing science-backed vitamins and supplements across retail, e-commerce and direct to consumer channels.

While at Plated, a subscription meal kit company, she was Senior Director of Marketing leading paid marketing and analytics to grow the user base through multi-channel strategies. Vivian previously led RetailMeNot’s efforts to grow traffic and members for the U.S. brand with a focus on programmatic media, app acquisition and attribution modeling.

Nina Alexander Hurst
Senior Director, Brand Marketing – Luxury and Lifestyle Brands, Hilton

Nina Alexander-Hurst is Senior Director, Brand Marketing at Hilton where she manages brand partnerships and content marketing for Hilton’s luxury and lifestyle portfolio including Waldorf Astoria and Conrad Hotels and Resorts. In this role, she conceived, structured, and implemented a global partnership with Aston Martin which has generated significant press, influencer engagement, and incremental revenue.

Prior to Hilton, Nina was Vice President, Brand Partnerships and Customer Experience at BaubleBar. She received multiple industry awards for work in building the SWAT stylist program & building innovative brand partnerships.

Prior to BaubleBar, Nina was a successful entrepreneur, worked at New York-based non-profits and spent a year writing for the Jerusalem Post. Nina has a B.A. in PR and Journalism from the University of Florida.

Stephen McDonagh
Director, Digital Marketing and Growth Brands, 1800 Flowers

Stephen has been with 1-800-FLOWERS.COM for over 5 years, and currently leads digital innovation initiatives and a portfolio of disruptive brands as Director, Digital Marketing and Growth Brands. Over the past 2 years, Stephen has overseen the successful growth of two incubated brands, Florists.comand He is also responsible for architecting a number of the company’s marketing initiatives around personalization and decisioning analytics. Stephen also oversees the organization’s leadership training program, the Digital Leadership Program.

Ashley Harding
Managing Director, Growth and Engagement Marketing, New York Times

Ashley is Managing Director of Growth & Engagement Marketing, focusing on driving global subscription growth via paid and owned cross-channel marketing. Prior to joining The New York Times, Ashley worked at Ralph Lauren, Gilt Groupe and Procter & Gamble focusing on driving revenue via innovative, digital integrated marketing campaigns and brand management.

Ashley holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a BA from Duke University.

Janis Huang
Executive Director of Marketing and Media Strategy, New York Times

Janis Huang is the executive director, marketing and media strategy at The New York Times Company. Huang leads The Times Company’s in-house media practice within marketing, focused on communicating the brand’s values and driving digital subscription growth. Her team manages cross-channel media, audience, and data strategy to market The Times globally.

Previously, she held positions managing large-scale media portfolios in financial services, automotive, healthcare, and technology.

Huang’s past achievements include multiple Cannes Lions, including three Grand Prix, being named Marketer of the Year by AdAge and a Top Programmatic Advertiser and Agency by AdExchanger.

Huang was born in New Jersey and received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. She is married and lives with her husband in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Jessica Burns
Vice President, Brand Marketing and Creative, Grubhub

As the VP of Brand and Creative Marketing, Jess oversees all branding efforts for Grubhub, the nation’s largest online marketplace for food-ordering and delivery, and its iconic New York brand, Seamless. From launching new markets, to developing compelling campaigns that drive brand love and advocacy, to working with restaurants to tell their unique stories, Jess and her team are responsible for making sure Grubhub and Seamless are a powerful force in culture and meaningful brands in diners lives. Prior to Grubhub, Jess was Director of Integrated Marketing at Jockey International where she helped to revitalize the marketing efforts of this 140 year old heritage brand through partnerships with Rachel Zoe, Ellen and major league sport teams like the San Francisco Giants, naming Jockey one of the best brands on social media in 2014. Previously, Jess helped build Arcade, a creative and brand strategy agency within Sony Music and Entertainment in New York that developed campaigns for a range of Sony artists as well as brands like Coca Cola and American Express. She started her career in advertising at Grey, mcgarrybowen, and Laird & Partners developing award-winning work for CoverGirl, Disney, Crayola and Coty Fragrances. Jess’ approach to branding – which insists on brands having a purpose in the word – has been profiled by Mashable, AdAge, NPR and Refinery29, naming Jess one of 8 women fighting for gender equality in 2018.

Judd Pratt-Heaney
WWE – Sr. Director Global Sales and Marketing, WWE

Judd Pratt-Heaney is Senior Director of Global Sales and Marketing at WWE. A passionate brand thinker and media strategist, Judd’s career has spanned multiple categories and functions across the marketing spectrum, creating a unique perspective on what it takes to drive consumer sentiment and behavior. After a decade of CPG experience on both the agency and client side with brands like Mountain Dew, Durex and Lysol, Judd took a leadership role in Global brand and media strategy at HARMAN International. There, he led a new media approach in the U.S. and Europe which drove efficiency, accountability and results while simultaneously developing and implementing Global guidelines for HARMAN’s JBL, AKG and harman/kardon brands. Now at WWE, Judd is responsible for WWE’s sales positioning and strategy, driving revenue via breakthrough media and content programs that achieve partner objectives within the WWE Universe. Judd graduated from Bowdoin College and received a Masters in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from NYU Stern. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and twin boys.

Spencer Gordon
Sr. Director, Digital, Anheuser Busch

After starting in Anheuser-Busch InBev’s prestigious Global Management Trainee program in the summer of 2013, Spencer Gordon has progressed quickly through five roles. He now serves as the Sr. Director of Digital for Anheuser-Busch.

In this role, he’s responsible for the digital strategy, media, content and innovation for the full portfolio of AB brands, encompassing nearly $150MM of digital media. Since assuming this position, Spencer also created and launched Draftline, AB’s first internal digital creative agency. In the first 90 days, he hired a team, purchased production equipment, secured new office space and built out the 3-year plan to lead the team to success. In just under a year, the team expanded to become a full-service creative agency, with 61 people working across 42 brands in the Anheuser-Busch portfolio.

Previously, Spencer led the digital content and media strategy for Bud Light, America’s #1 beer brand. Under his leadership, Bud Light’s digital ROI improved by 200% and was routinely ranked as the top beer brand in digital by L2. Later, as a Sr. Media Manager, Spencer expanded his responsibilities to include oversight of the total media portfolio for Bud Light and the company’s Flavored Malt Beverage Portfolio. Spencer also worked on Brand Communications for Michelob ULTRA, helping to orchestrate the 2018 Super Bowl campaign featuring Chris Pratt, which has become the best performing campaign in the brand’s history.

Spencer is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis where he triple majored in Finance, Marketing and International Business. In February, he started in the Part-Time MBA program at The Kelley School of Business.

Anne Balestrieri
Media Manager, Heineken

Anne is a Media Manager for Heineken USA, where she’s responsible for developing communications plans across 4 brands within the portfolio, including Dos Equis, the #1 Mexican import on draft in the US. In this role, she is focused on scaling consumer-centric owned, earned and paid strategies that build brand awareness, engagement and sales.

Previously, Anne was Senior Manager, Connections Planning & Investment at The Coca Cola Company, where she led communications and investment planning for smartwater and Powerade, including guiding the design of cross-channel media programs such as NCAA March Madness, Olympics, and College Game Day. Prior to Coca Cola, she spent 6 years at the media agency, directing brand strategies and media investment for high-profile clients such as Unilever and Frito Lay. Anne graduated magna cum laude with degree in Psychology from SUNY University at Albany.

Brad Blondes
Vice President of Brand Creative and Design, MetLife

Brad Blondes is a strategic and transformative leader that thrives at the intersection of creativity, design and experience. For over 15 years, Brad has successfully built and reimagined some of the world’s most recognized brands by leveraging creativity and design to solve complex business problems. In 2016 Brad received the honor of being selected for Ad Age’s 40 Under 40 and in 2019 joined the Board at VCU Brandcenter.

Throughout his career Brad has held positions at a number of advertising agencies and creative companies including McCann NY, Mother NY, BBDO, Sapient, Momentum and Radical Media. His client roster spans a wide range of sectors for both global and emerging brands like Nike, Google, Chevrolet, Ikea, American Airlines, Mastercard, General Mills, Grey Goose and to name a few. In addition, Brad has run his own business working with select clients such as The New York Times, The Robin Hood Foundation, Yale Symphony Orchestra, Simon Property Group and Honest Tea.

For nearly 10 years (while working full-time jobs) Brad taught advanced level courses at Parsons, The School of Visual Arts and Queens College as an Adjunct Professor. His passion for teaching was cultivated at Yale University where his MFA thesis focused on “undoing”, a process he still employs today to discover the truth and potential of a brand by breaking it down and building it back up again. At Yale, Brad was a President’s Public Service Fellow and recipient of the Charles Sawyer Scholarship.

Matt Fantazier
Senior Manager, Digital, Johnson’s Baby, Johnson and Johnsons

Matt leads Communications across Johnson and Johnson’s Baby business with responsibility for Media, Creative, Content, Website, Data Strategy, Social, Influencers, SEO, and SEM. He is passionate about bringing together insights, data, and technology to connect authentically with today’s consumers.

Prior to his current role he led digital strategy and media at J&J’s OTC business for Digestive Health, Cough Cold Flu and Eye Care. He has also worked on brands such as ZYRTEC®, SUDAFED®, and BENGAY®.

Matt began his career at J&J in finance in 2006 and holds a BBA in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame as well as an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business.

Bette Ann Schlossberg
Director of Influencer Marketing, Lyft

Bette Ann is the Director of Influencer Marketing on the Culture & Entertainment Team at Lyft. She leads all influencer campaigns and entertainment event partnerships. Prior to Lyft, she worked at Google for over 6 years managing celebrity and influencer partnerships across hardware. She launched Google’s first white glove concierge program, as well as a micro-influencer community for hardware with over 400 influencers. She also has worked on creative collaborations with big names such as Skrillex, Jeff Koons, Jeremy Scott, and others. Prior to Google, Bette Ann worked at a tech startup and as a producer at Crispin Porter + Bogusky both in Miami. Bette Ann earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and currently lives in New York City with her husband, Jason and her dog, Clifford.

Janna Zagari
Director, Audience Engagement, SiriusXM

Janna Zagari is the Director of Audience Engagement at SiriusXM, where she leads a team that creates content and fosters communities around SXM’s shows, hosts, and guests. She began her social media career at Marvel Entertainment and later joined The Walt Disney Company, where she pioneered a creative partnership with Mondo resulting in a critically-acclaimed gallery show at SXSW. Janna was Tumblr’s first-ever official social media hire and built the team from the ground up. She has lived in 4 countries and has dual US/Irish citizenship. Janna spends her free time reading, watching too many BBC crime dramas, and will forever choose the original Star Wars trilogy.

Melissa Hughes
Global Marketing Director, SoftSheen-Carson, Multi-Cultural Beauty Division, L’Oreal

Melissa Hughes is a strategic global brand marketer and digital enthusiast with a background in consumer packaged goods. Melissa is an unconventional thinker and bold decision-maker with in-depth integrated marketing and sales planning expertise. She has successfully driven business turnarounds for generation z and millennial brands with digitally-led omnichannel strategies. She is passionate about crafting brands with purpose to improve consumers’ lives.
As a Global Marketing Director, Melissa leads SoftSheen-Carson Operational Marketing and 2020 Innovation. She is responsible for defining and implementing go to market strategies as well as developing the innovation pipeline for core pillar brand Dark & Lovely.
Melissa earned a marketing degree from Howard University School of Business Executive Leadership Honors Program. She is also a Harvard Summer Venture Management Program and Unilever Future Leaders Program alumnus.
Melissa’s passions lie in diversity and inclusion helping corporations better understand not only their consumers but also their own employees. She has been honored to work with different teams focused on these goals throughout her time at Unilever, Henkel and L’Oreal. Melissa believes that we each have a role to play and is looking forward to seeing what strides we make together in the future!

Taylor Foxman
Director of External Communications and Customer Success, Pernod Ricard USA

Taylor currently serves as the Director of External Communications and Customer Success for Pernod Ricard USA located in New York City. For context, Pernod Ricard is the second largest global wine and spirits supplier in the world with products such as Jameson, The Glenlivet, Absolut, Malibu, Kahlua, G.H. Mumm among many more. Taylor runs a newly formed team within the organization that specializes in Corporate Communications, Digital and Social Media, Public Relations and Event Planning, B2B Communications (Supplier/Distributor Relationship), Crisis Communications and Consumer Affairs.
Taylor has worked since the ‘ripe’ age of 18 in spirits on the communication side of things while interning for SVEDKA Vodka through college when at Boston University where she majored in Communications and graduated Cum Laude.
Over the course of Taylor’s professional career, she’s worked on over 30+ global wine, spirits and beer brands and sister companies such as Edrington (Macallan, Highland Park, Cutty Sark), Gruppo Campari (Aperol, Campari, Averna), Patron Spirits, Jagermeister, Stoli, BANFI and Terlato Wines, Sam Adams in addition to her current line of products. Prior to Pernod Ricard, her time was spent leading high-level media relations and client management/strategy at two mid-sized PR agencies based in New York: Marina Maher and M Booth & Associates.
Outside of work, Taylor enjoys vintage shopping in West Village where she resides, street running (ask more about how she doesn’t get trampled more often), good books, great cocktails and precious time with her husband, friends, and family. She is also a member of Advanced Women Executives Organization and Women in Public Relations.

Eva Valerio
Director, Global Digital, Social and CRM, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

Savvy digital marketer with experience launching cross-platform, global marketing programs aimed at growing brand awareness, customer acquisition and advocacy. I live and breathe digital and enjoy creating strategic programs for growth across social, email, mobile and CRM.

Specialities: Omni-Channel Marketing Strategy, Acquisition & CRM Strategy, Email Marketing, Data Marketing, Digital Audience Development, Strategic Partnerships, Project Management, Data Analysis, Social Media Strategy