Tahaab Rais
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Regional Head of Strategy Office & MENA Director – Truth Central, FP7/McCann MENA, UAE

Born in August 1984, Tahaab’s first word was "Astronaut". In February 1986, he skipped walking and started running. In November 1994, he watched a movie that changed his life: Forrest Gump. It taught him how to make an ordinary life, legendary. Just like Baby’s Day Out. In August 1997, he met Mr. Adolescence through a myriad of regrettable haircuts (Spock, Elvis, Wolverine). In September 2002, he wrote poetry and hasn’t stopped writing since. In June 2005, he learnt to add a little Bollywood to his creative job; some drama in presentations, sharing a romance with ideas and using self-deprecating comedy to keep his spirits up.

Since 2012, he leads the strategy office for FP7 (A part of McCann Worldgroup) across MENA, focusing on creative marketing, brand and connections strategy. He’s the MENA Director for Truth Central – an intelligence platform and also manages creative excellence across MENA.

Tahaab has been ranked the #1 Strategy Head in the world by the Big Won Rankings in 2016, and is the most awarded strategist in MENA having won over 300 awards across Effies, Warc, Dubai Lynx, Cannes Lions, New York Festivals, D&AD, One Show, Clios, The International ANDYs and Crestas, among others. He has also helped the agency drive efforts that led to FP7 being ranked the Most Effective Agency in the World at the Global Effie Index, as well winning Agency and Network of the Year four years running, from 2013 to 2016. He has judged at the Effies and at Midas Awards, previously too.

Jenny Rooney
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Editor of the CMO Network Forbes, USA

Jenny is editor of the CMO Network at Forbes, where she manages content critical to executive-level marketing decision-makers. She reports on industry trends, research and news; has interviewed hundreds of CEOs and CMOs as part of her ongoing Forbes CMO Interview Series; developed the Forbes CMO University Alumni Series; and plays an integral role in the development of topics, content and programming for Forbes CMO Practice events throughout the year, particularly the annual, invitation-only Forbes CMO Summit. Jenny is a member of the Leadership Council of the Media for Social Impact Summit, and she is co-host of Wharton Business Radio’s “Marketing Matters: CMO Spotlight.”

Prior to joining Forbes, she was editor of CMO Strategy at Advertising Age.

Jenny has 20 years of experience at business publications such as Sales & Marketing Management, where she served as editor-in-chief; Business 2.0, where she served as a senior writer covering marketing; and Chief Executive, where she served as contributing editor.

A recipient of the Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award, her areas of focus have included marketing, advertising, and sales; leadership and management issues; digital and emerging media; talent development; health care; and legislative and regulatory issues in multiple industries. She serves as a guest speaker, panelist, and moderator at industry events and has provided commentary for various media outlets.

Jenny received a Master of Science degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism in 1994 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature/Creative Writing from Miami University in 1992.

Augusto Correia

Senior Integrated Creative Art DirectorMullenLowe, Brazil

Augusto "Jesus" Correia is a senior integrated creative art director, currently working at MullenLowe in São Paulo, Brazil. He believes advertising has only 2 ways to be relevant: being useful or being entertaining. With that in mind he was lucky enough to earn over 360 international and national awards in the last years, including Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show, Clio Awards, New York Festivals, Webby Awards, FWA, Young Guns among others (full list here: http://bit.ly/1zG4Y6Z)

He also holds a chair as a Miami Ad School professor, teaching creativity, integrated campagins and case video storytelling.

Kaydee Bridges
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VICE PRESIDENTDIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY, BRAND & CONTENT STRATEGY GROUPGOLDMAN SACHS, USA

Kaydee heads digital and social media strategy in the Brand and Content Strategy group at Goldman Sachs, where she’s worked since 2013. She leads efforts to grow the firm’s digital and social presence as well as drive engagement through content marketing and native advertising. Kaydee manages Goldman’s presence on social media, search engine marketing, infographic creation, digital strategy and digital analytics. Her work has won several awards from Midas, Digiday Content Marketing Awards, and the Financial Communications Society.

Previously, Kaydee was at JPMorgan Chase for 10 years, most recently as Vice President, Digital and Social Strategy in the Digital Marketing Group. She executed a number of projects including the @ChaseforBiz twitter handle, digital efforts for the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief, and US Open digital activation for Chase.

Kaydee also worked in JPMorgan Chase’s Global Philanthropy group, where she launched and led the firm’s first presence on Facebook, Chase Community Giving, a crowd-sourced philanthropic program which donated over $30 million to thousands of charities.

Kaydee holds an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BSFS in International Politics from Georgetown University.

Maya Karanouh
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CEO, Co-FounderTAGbrands, Lebanon

Trained as an architect, in the past fifteen years Maya Karanouh has been an active entrepreneur founding several companies and being a leading member of the regional creative sector. Maya is currently the CEO and Co-founder at TAGbrands.

As an award winning branding strategy firm that aligns brand experience with the strategic objectives of the company, TAGbrands' work impacts several aspects of businesses including the retail environment, relationship with customers and organizational structure. TAGbrands is proud to have amongst its Middle Eastern client base: Banque Du Liban, Saradar Bank, Bank Audi, Doha Bank, Patchi, IPT, Kababji, BRGR.CO, L’Oreal, Taanayel, British Council, World Sports Group and M1 Group.

Through the company, Maya has been honored to receive the following awards: the 2006 British Council’s Young Design Entrepreneur of the Year for Lebanon, 35 under 35 Global Women Entrepreneurs award in 2007 and “Rising Talent” by the Women’s Forum in France in 2008. TAGBrands has also received the 18 international prestigious awards including the REBRAND 100® Global Awards Distinction recognition.

Maya was featured as a case study in the book “Entrepreneurs at the Crossroads: Success Stories from the Middle East and North Africa” by Debra Sherman, Beyster Institute, USA. Maya member of the following NGO’s and Organizations: LLWB, LWAF, MEPI, and the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan Arab Region .Maya is also a regular speaker and moderator at conferences around the Middle East.

As Maya is a strong believer in design and innovation, in Lebanon and the Middle East, she decided to co-found andincubate Beirut Design Week and the MENA Design Research Center in 2011 (as part of the CSR activities of Tagbrands).

Ken Muir
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Founding Partner, Mohawk, UK

Ken founded Mohawk in 2007 to create ideas in a truly collaborative spirit while taking advantage of the huge changes occurring in the media landscape. Prior to this, Ken was a creative director for more than 20 years, generating award-winning ideas across all media, including print, TV and digital for clients such as HSBC, Vodafone, Shell, Merrill Lynch, Tesco, BMW, Microsoft, Gatorade and Blue Cross Blue Shield. He passionately believes that the opportunities for the combination of creativity and insight to drive and inspire business have never been greater than they are today.

Mengwen Xiang

Oversea Creative DirectorOPPO, USA

Mengwen Xiang is a multidisciplinary art problem solver and creative thinker based in New York and China. With a mixed background of strategic planning and creative design, she specializes in web design, mobile UI/UX, product design, graphic design, branding, art direction and exhibition design. She has been working on leading global brands include Sony, Pfizer, Ad Council, Ketel One, Goya, Nestle, Olay, Red Lobster, Johnson&Johnson, Downy, Pantene, etc. Mengwen’s work has been awarded internationally, including recognition by the AAF Addy Awards, American Design Awards, Adobe Design Achievement Awards, International Design Award, Creativity International Award, Summit Creative Award, and Graphis Annual Award. 

Devin Kennedy

Executive Creative Director, King James Group, South Africa

After graduating with a B.com Industrial Psychology degree and completing a post graduate degree at AAA School of Advertising in Cape Town, morbid curiosity and the need to pay the rent made Devin Kennedy take his first job in Windhoek, Namibia. After a year stint and winning the Grand Prix at Namibia’s local advertising awards he decided to return to Cape Town in 1999 where he joined the King James Group as Junior Copywriter. In 2007 he was he was appointed Creative Director and a member of the Board and Executive Creative Director in 2012.

For his sins, he has a generous helping of both local and international awards, which include golds at Cannes, Clios, One Show and London International to name a few.

 

Erik Norin

Creative Director, Mother NYC, USA

Erik is a Creative Director at Mother NYC. Before that he worked at the New York offices of Wieden+Kennedy, R/GA and 72AndSunny - all as creative director. Erik started his career at Swedish agency phenomenon Farfar - the smallest agency ever to be ranked #1 in the world. If awards matter highlights include 15+ Cannes Lions and 2 Yellow Pencils in diverse categories such as film, social, interactive, experimental, websites, mobile, stunts and integrated for clients including Heineken, Nike Canada, Delta Airlines, Southern Comfort, MasterCard, Xfinity, Nokia, Absolut, Bjorn Borg and many more. Erik was once shortlisted as Sweden's most influential creative while also being named the 9th best Creative Director in the world almost 10 years ago - very likely both mistakes. Equally lucky was Erik when he got involved with the world's most awarded campaign in 2010 while at Farfar. Another highlight include reaching the semi-finals of the Swedish Foosball Champions. Erik's work has been talked about by Jimmy Kimmel, Martha Stewart, CNN, Mashable, Huffington Post, my mom, FOX, New York Times, Time Magazine, Zagat, CNBC, ABC and others. Erik is the very proud dad of two little girls.

Bill Girouard

Senior Vice President, Arnold, USA

Since coming to Arnold in 1998, Bill has worked on nearly every piece of business at one time or another. The CDC, McDonald’s and Progressive are just some of that list.

Bill’s also worked on and run a number of financial services accounts including CFP® Board, Fidelity Investments, Huntington Bank, Bank Midwest, Citizens Bank and Fleet Bank.

A past Midas Award winner, Bill has also been fortunate enough to win at Cannes, Clio, CA, D&AD, Effie and more. He lives south of Boston with his wife and their four sons.

Crayon MinYen Hsieh

Head of UX, OnePlus, USA

MinYen Hsieh is an award-winning experience designer and digital artist based in New York. His work is integrated from digital to physical with an international perspective. MinYen has worked in legendary companies such as SapientRazorfish, Ogilvy&Mather x IBM Design Lab, SONY Music Entertainment, and MTV. Currently MinYen has been working at OnePlus as an Head of UX to create global user-centered operation system. MinYen also love to share points of view with other professionals, and be the jury for Midas Awards, New York Festivals, The One Show, AD Stars, and LongXi Creative Award.

Dylan Taylor

Creative Partner, The Dylan Agency, Australia

I spent my first 10 years as a copywriter. The next twelve as a Creative Director. Two years as an Executive Creative Director. One year as a Managing Partner. Now five years as Agency Partner in my own shop. Worked across three continents. Won over 300 Awards. Part of the B&T Agency of the Decade team. The first Australian awarded the Irving Wunderman Award for lifetime achievement at the 30th Caples Award Show. In the same year, I was also named Australian Direct Marketer of the Year. And last year we won a Midas.

Ian Schwey

VP, Executive Creative Director, Tag Agencies, Canada

Ian reflects the perfect mix of creativity and strategy. He is in constant search of the next big idea, and his philosophy is to engage consumers through insight and innovation, while remaining channel-neutral. By collaborating with clients, this belief has helped him create successful campaigns for brands such as General Motors, Nestle, Canada Goose, Kellogg’s, Goodlife Fitness, KFC, Mucho Burrito, Rogers and Kraft.

While Ian’s focus has always been centered on creating transformative work for the brands he touches, his initiatives have also been recognized by Cannes, One Show, Clios, London International Awards, New York Festival, Communication Arts, ADCC, Marketing Awards, Bessies and The Cassies. Before joining tag agency, Ian spent years honing his craft at reputed shops such as Taxi, Zulu Alpha Kilo, DS+P, JWT, Y&R and McCann.