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


40 under 40 Midwest 2017 List

Brand Innovators Announces Fifth Annual List Of ’40 Under 40′ Brand Marketers In The Midwestern U.S.

Reception for the Class of 2017 and their guests was held at The Dawson during Brand Innovators Brand Week Chicago

CHICAGO, June 12, 2017– Brand Innovators has announced its fifth annual list of “40 Under 40” brand marketers in the Midwestern U.S. The group was honored during a VIP reception at The Dawson, on the evening of Tuesday, June 6, during the 3rd annual Brand Innovators Brand Week Chicago, June 6-8.

“These outstanding young marketing professionals are operating at extremely high levels of performance, ideating and leading some of the world’s most compelling innovations in marketing, amidst the backdrop of an extremely complex consumer media environment,” said Brandon Gutman, co-founder of Brand Innovators.

“We’re thrilled to honor these talented marketing executives, whose work is among the most innovative in the world. Through them, we’re getting a first look at how brand marketing is likely to be done for years to come,” added Marc Sternberg, co-founder of Brand Innovators.

Honorees were nominated by the Brand Innovators community which includes more than 12,000 brand side marketers across the US and UK.  Winners were then selected by the Brand Innovators editorial team based on their professional accomplishments, expertise in leveraging digital media and emerging advertising technology platforms and a drive to continually keep their respective brands on the cutting edge of innovation. 

Following is the Brand Innovators ’40 Under 40′ Midwest Class of 2017   

    Jenifer Hagness, Senior Director of Marketing and Product Innovation, Caribou Coffee
    Kate Trumbull, Director, Digital Marketing, Domino’s
    Nicole Kane, Director, Global Media Marketing, McDonald’s Corporation
    Andrea Chan, Director of Customer Acquisition, Peapod
    Abhishek Jadon, Head of Digital Strategy, North American Nutrition, PepsiCo
    Jaime Garrigus, Director Media and Integrated Marketing, SC Johnson
    Jason Ward, Senior Director, Brand Strategy & Content, Sears Holdings Corporation
    Amy Murray, Senior Director, Global Family Marketing, McDonald’s Corporation
    Brett Myers, Next Door Program Director, State Farm
    Kim Neppel, Director, Shopper Marketing IMC, North America, The Coca-Cola Company
    Erin Gordon, Director of Digital Marketing, Belk
    Jessica Spaulding, Head of Marketing Strategy & Creative, North America Nutrition, PepsiCo
    Gayle Smilanich, Associate Director, KNA Media COE, Kellogg Company
    Genevieve Mazzeo, Integrated Marketing, TreeHouse Foods
    Courtney Ballantini, Senior Director, Media & Consumer Engagement, Tyson Foods
    Shaun Healy, Senior Brand Manager, Media & IMC Partnerships, U.S. Cellular
    Mark Sciortino, Divisional Vice President Brand Marketing Strategy & Planning, Walgreens
    Ben Feeney, Director of Foresight & Design, MillerCoors
    Luke Elliott, Director – Media & Digital Marketing – Latin America, India, the Middle East, & Africa, Brown-Forman
    Jorge Cabrera, Advertising & Brand Manager, ComEd
    Larisa Walega, Director of Marketing, Ziebart International Corporation
    Emily Griffin, Vice President of Marketing, Detroit Lions
    Saverio Spontella, Vice President Global Marketing BSN, Glanbia Performance Nutrition
    Kate Briganti, Senior Director, Content Strategy & Production, Conagra Brands
    Lizette Williams, Multicultural Marketing Leader, North America, Kimberly-Clark
    Gina Hardy, Senior Director of Marketing, Gatorade & Propel, PepsiCo
    Karan Arora, Senior Director Global Marketing, Abbott
    Jen Naye Herrmann, Marketing Manager – Emerging Marketing, MillerCoors
    Stephen Murphy, Director of Marketing Strategy (Digital, Brand), Allstate
    Sammar Faraj, Senior Director, Relationship Marketing, Quicken Loans
    Randi Wakefield, Director, Retail Marketing US, Dyson
    Karen Kozak, Global Brand Director, Cargill
    Michelle St. Jacques, Vice President of Marketing NA – Heinz Brands, Kraft Heinz Company
    Jessica Stemper, Director, Marketing Analytics, Kohl’s Department Stores
    Michael Macri, Marketing Sciences Manager, Ford Motor Company
    Dan Moriarty, Digital Director, Chicago Bulls
    Christina Chen, Director of Marketing, Shinola
    Rachel Gerds, Head of Global Social Media & Digital Content, BMO Financial Group
    Mike Bueno, Director, Digital Marketing, The Wendy’s Company
    Bob Rupczynski, Global VP-Media & Customer Relationship Management, McDonald’s Corporation

About Brand Innovators 

Founded in 2011, Brand Innovators is the largest professional organization of brand marketers, with a community of over 6,000 marketing professionals from Fortune 500 and other leading brands, throughout the United States and the UK. The Brand Innovators Advisory Board includes some of the most innovative brand marketers and “change agents” in the marketing and media industries. The company will produce more than 100 events in 2015 in Atlanta, Austin, Bentonville, Boston, Cannes, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Irvine, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Norwalk, Minneapolis, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C., providing brand marketers with continuing digital education and intimate peer-to-peer networking opportunities. Events are underwritten by more than 100 “best-of-breed” growth stage and established digital media and advertising technology companies, from Bitly and Outbrain to AOL and Google. For more information, please visit