Gary j.
 NiX
bOARD MEMBER & G.R.O.W.T.H.  INITIATIVE LeadMODERATOR

Years in the industry:  5 to 10 

 

Location: NYC

 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/garyjnix

 

How I rose from concrete...

I took what I learned working in music, retail, magazines, and lifestyle to make the advertising industry take notice. Insights quickly become universal truths and this industry needs to integrate this approach in all of the things they do.

Larry  gordon 

 

Years in the industry:  10 to 15 

 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/larry-gordon-558a648/

 

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete...

By realizing that the concrete was not an obstacle. The concrete is a part of my environment, my story, and who I am. And I bring all of that into advertising.

Sherman  winfield

Years in the industry:  5 to 10 

 

 

Linkedin Profile: 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/shermanwinfield/

 

Location: Atlanta

 

How I rose from concrete...

A very close friend.

alex
 SantiagO, Down south     roses Lead / board member

Years in the industry:  15 plus 

 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sosaic

 

Location:  Lakeland, Florida

 

How I rose from concrete...

I believe I rose from concrete and jungle coming from a mountain in a big town in Puerto Rico. Thanks to the strength of "familia" all I ever did was embrace change, live up to challenges and find ways to grow. I left my country as a teen because I believe I had something special to give. I've battled adversity, racism, and doubt by working my ass off from picking up trash to building teams for respected brands. How I did this was through education. I didn't need to be the smartest person in any room, but I surely didn't want to be the most ignorant. I'm still struggling, but my purpose is clearer than ever. Surrounded by family I love and good people I trust. My story will live through my children, but my legacy—I'm hopeful—will live through the lives I affect positively.

Dk

 Wright

Years in the industry:  0 to 5 

Linkedin Profile: 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dk-wright-99969518

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete...

I rose from the concrete by creating programs for young people to identify their professional pursuit using their creative passions while working as a director of communications at an NYC nonprofit profit organization. Helping grow that local organization to a national level, I became a youth mentor and used my knowledge of storytelling and media to create a pipeline of digital media literacy for teens. I forged relationships with agencies to create internships for those young people and noticed that I was sending young people into spaces that didn’t look like them. So I decided to make a lateral move in my career and fought to enter the agency world. So they could see more faces that looked like them and more men who spoke their language when they start to imagine what their future could look like. I wanted to them to know what took years for me to learn, that when we look in the mirror we don’t just see our current selves.... we can see possibilities for the future.

Richie  aguilar,
CreATIVE webmaster 

Years in the industry:  0 to 5  

 

Linkedin Profile: 

https://www.LinkedIn.com/in/richieaguilar

 

How I rose from concrete... 

I rose from concrete by being the first in my family to graduate with a bachelor's degree and getting a career in advertising. From being raised by a single mother with my twin brother. She took care of us, I couldn’t wait for the day that I’ll be taking care of her. Now I am, I was the rose. She was my soil. She gave my roots love and nutrients to help me to break through the concrete.

bruce  fields

Years in the industry:  5 to 10 

 

Linkedin Profile: 

http://linkedin.com/in/bruce-bo-fields

Location: NYC

How I rose from concrete...

I rose from the concrete my being a voice and hand for the young black faces from my neighborhood and fought to make a space for myself in this industry.

Ruston  Spurlock

Years in the industry:  15 plus

 

Linkedin Profile: 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruston-a-spurlock-a1283/

 

Location: Washington, D.C

How I rose from concrete...

On the shoulders of others.

Al
 Benoit,
G.R.O.W.T.H. INITIATIVE MEDIa
C0-MODERATOR

Years in the industry:  15 plus

 

Linkedin Profile: 

https://www.Linked.com/albenoit

 

Location: NYC

How I rose from concrete...

Understanding office politics and outworking peers.

Tim

 austin

Years in the industry:  10 to 15 

 

Linkedin Profile: 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/timraustin/

 

Location: NYC

How I rose from concrete...

As a black male born to a single mother in the inner city of Baltimore, the odds were stacked against me. 29 years later I look back and know that I've been blessed with incredible experiences and opportunities many don't think are possible. 6 years into my career, I'm eager to invest the next generation with a dream eager to overcome against all odds.

Lawrence

 alexander

Years in the industry:  10 to 15 

 

Linkedin Profile: 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrence-alexander-6820697/

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete...

By focusing on developing my gifts, the learning and believing in myself and the power within along with help from a lot of righteous souls. I began my career in Dallas, TX overcoming many struggles and learning life lessons to being here in NY living my dream and working with my talents. The concrete is a part of the experience and story that makes this life worth living.

Dotun 
 bello
 

Years in the industry:  5 to 10

 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dotun-bello-7b3371111

 

Location: San Francisco, California

 

How I rose from concrete...

I'm still rising.

Jamar
 Callendar,
Creative BRANDING CO-Lead
 

Years in the industry:  0 to 5

 

Linkedin Profile: http://linkedin.com/in/jamar-callender-7bb199106

Location: NYC

How I rose from concrete...

By becoming a MAIP alum and pursuing my creative passion at Ogilvy as an Art Director, but I’m still breaking through the concrete.

Derrick 
 rodriguez,
CREATIVE branding CO-lead
 

Years in the industry:  0 to 5

 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/derrickrodd/

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete...

I’m rising through the concrete with the love and support from my family and friends. I’m a designer by trade and an aspiring art director at the heart. Who believes design and creativity can leave the world a better place for all people! Making cool sh*t is what I am in the game for. But what brings me the most joy is helping others along the way in the creative industry. Still learning and still growing to blossom into a full rose!

Muhammad    Floyd,
Creative
Production lead

 
 

Years in the industry:  0 to 5

 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/muhammadfloyd

Location: NYC

How I rose from concrete...

I joined an internship program met mentors who believed in me.

Keni 

 Thacker,

Founder/Chief creative officer

Years in the industry:  10 to 15

 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/keni-thacker-82308b4/

Location: NYC

How I rose from concrete...

I've been blessed to create a lot of things that give people that are considered “other” exposure and opportunities in the advertising business. However, I must say that it has come with a fair share of challenges, trials, and tribulations. I have been lied on, mistreated, straight up denied opportunities and talked about horribly, by the same people that smile in my face. All of which had me in a state of “Un”. Undervalued, unappreciated, and misUnderstood. There were many times I wanted to bury my head in the sand and never do anything again but there was a voice in the back of my head saying this is bigger than me and those that are standing in my way. So, as my foes, fell by the wayside I still remain standing strong and rising above the BS and continuing to rise like the rose from concrete.

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maia

barber

program manager G.r.ow.t.h.initiative

Years in the industry: 5 to 10

 

Linkedin

https://www.linkedin.com/in/maiabarber/

 

Location: Michigan

How I rose from concrete...

By learned that people underestimate you because they just don’t know you yet. They don’t know about your work ethic, creativity, or simply how amazing you are. You just have to get your foot in the door and let the work speak for itself.

george 

 garrastegui,   jr.,

Senior advisor 

 

Years in the industry:  10 to 15

 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ggarrastegui/

 

Location: NYC

How I rose from concrete...

I believed in myself. Of course, I had the help and support of friends, family, and mentors along the way. But I was also surrounded by strong personalities that I learned from. I examined the way they operated and how they pursued their ambitions. I was inspired by them and imagined myself on their level. In a society where it’s easy to look at the negative, I chose to focus on the positive and bet on myself. This allowed me the drive to focus on a creative career when no one else understood what it was. It allowed me to work in publishing, fashion, marketing, and education… all by staying true to who I am. And now it allows me the opportunity to pass on my passion and knowledge to others. I rose by being nurtured, but I grew by believing I belonged.

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David
 ross,
Partnerships and strategy Co-lead

Years in the industry:  15 Plus

 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrossbx/

 

Location: NYC

How I rose from concrete...

Through diligence. Through determination. Through craft. Through an unwavering sense of belief that I belong. Through curiosity. Through never believing that I know everything. A hunger to be the best.

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Dorian
 bell
 

Years in the industry:  0 to 5

 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dorian-bell-8a7aa627

 

Location: NYC

How I rose from concrete...

Being the only person of color in project management for my division on the east coast. On a daily, I have to manage my own expectations while making sure I don't fall into stereotype "traps" within my corporate workplace.

Walter 

 Geer

Years in the industry:  15 Plus

 

Linkedin Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/3rdgeer/

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete...

I'm still rising...

 

Ladan baba

 Ndanani

Years in the industry: 0 to 5

 

Linkedin Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ladanbn

 

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete...

With the velocity and vigor of 1000 suns.

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Dorion
 taylor

Years in the industry: 15 Plus

 

Linkedin Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/doriontaylor/

 

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

How I rose from concrete...

I rose due to the help and support of others who believed in me while working twice as hard and twice as long as those who don't look like me.

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Carlos

 Taylor,

partnerships and strategy Co-lead / G.R.O.W.T.H. Initiative art direction moderator

Years in the industry: 5 to 10

 

Linkedin Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlos-taylor-8836689/

 

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete...

During the summers of my youth, my escape from the blistering concrete was the local library. My mother’s default response when I asked for permission was always “Yes!” when she heard “library,” which came to be the magic word of my youth. I can only imagine now that she considered the best ways for me to navigate the gangs and streets, was to be off them. Ensconced in the solace of these marble columns, I discovered photographer Gordon Parks, Life, Popular Mechanics, and National Geographic to just name a few. There, I was transported to different worlds that not only sparked my imagination but filled my boundless curiosity. Within this fortress of knowledge, I became entranced with the fields of photography, travel, and invention. In these stacks of books and periodicals, many seeds were planted. From this, the need to travel and the desire to create were firmly cemented.

nick
 Duran
 

Years in the industry: 0 to 5

 

Linkedin Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/durannicholas/

 

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete...

With Persistence and Faith.

Marc

 morin

Years in the industry: 0 to 5

 

Linkedin Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/marc-morin-b1787116b

 

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete..

By taking all of the negative around my life and the injustice in
today's world, and turning into a propelling force that will allow me
to reach my maximum potential in the industry; allowing me to find
success in my career while  paving the way and lead all those who will
come after me..

 

Douglas

 davis

 

Years in the industry: 15 Plus

 

Linkedin Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/douglasqdavis

 

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete...

By pounding the pavement.

 

chukwuma

 egbuzie

 

Years in the industry: 0 to 5

 

Linkedin Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/chukwumaegbuzie/

 

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete...

Growing up in a single-parent household in the Bronx and attending a PWI made me realize the miles I have run to catch up. I started connecting with different people and found that mentorship changed my life. It helped me get my first gig in advertising and even as I am about to get a FT job. While it's scary at first, it's great knowing you have friends and family that support your dream and mission that God placed you on this earth to do.

 

Ravi

 Singh,

creative co-lead& g.r.o.w.t,h.

initiative

creative moderator

 

Years in the industry: 0 to 5

 

Linkedin Profile:

http://linkedin.com/in/ravicantsingh

 

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete...

Refusing to submit to the status quo and proceeding ever so boldly against it.

 

kelvin
 medina
 

Years in the industry: 0 to 5

 

Linkedin Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelvinmedi31/

 

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete...

Every day I rise from concrete. Coming from the Bronx and being Dominican, I’ve always have had to overcome adversity and preconceived notions about me. Throughout college, I realized I was gonna have to hustle and grind more than most people if I wanted to make it as a creative. That’s why I joined, ran and expanded the design club at my school, went to every networking event I could attend, networked like hell and secured internships every summer. I also applied to the Multicultural Advertising Intern Program by the 4A’s (MAIP) and got my foot into advertising as an Art Director at Ogilvy. Now I’m holding the door open for other people from diverse backgrounds like me.

 

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DAvon D. 

 Thompson,

partnerships and strategyco-lead & g.r.o.w.t,h.initiative planning / strategymoderator 

 

Years in the industry: 0 to 5

 

Linkedin Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/davon-thompson/

 

Location: NYC

 

How I rose from concrete...

I took a step back and examined the field that I was playing on. Through careful observation, I eventually began to understand what forces I could control and couldn't control. After stepping into many uncomfortable situations, I also began to understand that being uncomfortable can be more important than being comfortable and that resilience is key to maintaining composure. Every loss I took moving forward I flipped into a learning lesson and every victory became a blueprint for future victories. I broke through the concrete by molding it into what I wanted it to be before it settled and became hard.

 

Jad-Evangelo
Nasser
G.R.O.W.T.H. INITIATIVE  mentor coordinator

Years in the industry: 5 to 10

 

Linkedin Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jad-evangelo-nasser-5a657462/

 

Location: New York, NY

 

How I rose from concrete...

Coming as an immigrant to New York in 2016, All I had to bring with me was my background and culture as a Caribbean/Middle Eastern man, my passion for globalization, culture, and storytelling, and my 4 years of Advertising experience as a copywriter/account manager. I thought to myself: I have been pressured so much back at home to build who I am today and arrive at this stage. Now I have to pressure myself again and carry on my narrative and my growth in my career and in LIFE. What has helped me rise was my unconditional love for people and my eagerness to learn and immerse myself with different experiences/people. A rose does not blossom on its own and dies if it stays by itself...

 

Brandon  Williams
Membership intake
lead
 

Years in the industry: 10 to 15

 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandon-w-01359813/

 

Location: Los Angeles, California

 

How I rose from concrete...

Being from Cincinnati Ohio in a single parent house-hold. I went to the school of performing arts and always wanted to be marketing. I moved to Los Angeles and was able to attend FIDM and then the Art Institute. In 2012 as an account executive, i helped scale the programmatic division of Engage BDR, leading to the company's IPO in 2017. Brandon's unique background highlights over 10 years of expertise in marketing and leveraging relationships into business. His passion for all things creative lead to the inception of 55 Media Group in 2017.

 

Xavier

Rivera

Creative Program Manager/ G.R.O.W.T.H. Initiative creative moderator

Years in the industry:  5 to 10

 

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/xriveradesign/

 

Location: Brandon, Florida

  • Brandon, Florida

 

How I rose from concrete...

When I graduated from college, the struggle was real. It was 2008, and I lost my first design job as fast as I had gotten it. I was also dealt with confidence and perception issues, especially being a POC looking to break into the ad industry locally. around 2015, I was able to successfully get my foot in the door of a well-respected shop, and really take advantage of any opportunity that came my way. 5 years later, I have won over 14 international awards from Graphis International, The Obie Awards, and HOW International. Recent wins also include 4 Gold wins and a Best of the Bay at the Local addy awards in tampa bay. I have also been interviewed by both AIGA and AAF/AD2. This just proves that there will never be a right time to go for success, and you can command respect through your work and talent.

Aaron  Francois

g.r.o.w.t.h.

initiative Media moderator

Years in the industry: 0 to 5

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/francoispr/

 

Location: Brooklyn, New York

  • Brandon, Florida

 

How I rose from concrete...

As a black male that comes from a low-income family, I've had the opportunity to transform what was once my struggle into my unique identity. In addition to taking on the role of a primary provider for my family, I ensure that I find a way to grow on a professional level whenever possible. One of my biggest passions is mentoring, which I have had the opportunity to do via a program such as MAIP, ADCOLOR and my involvement at my alma mater Baruch college. Whenever I am able to give back to either current or aspiring professionals of color and share my journey jump into the opportunity without a second thought. The presence of mentors and advocates in general are some of the biggest factors for growth specific to professionals of color and I will continue to make sure I am a part of the solution rather than the problem.

clifton

 simmons

Years in the industry:  15 plus

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cliftonsimmons

 

Location: Chicago, Illinois 

How I rose from concrete...

Experiential marketing kept me on top of this ever-shifting business. Made moves and sacrifices over the years and I share my experiences with others to help grow a new generation of creatives.

Anderson  Serrant

G.R.O.W.T.H INITIATIVE

PUBLIC RELATIONS

MODERATOR

Years in the industry:  5 to 10

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andersonserrant/

 

Location: New York, New York

How I rose from concrete...

Born in Guadeloupe but raised in Brooklyn, I'm the first member of my family to go to college. I knew "Advertising" was my dream from my freshman year of high-school and I've worked ever since to define what that means to me.

Nate

 Nichols

Years in the industry: 5 to 10

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thenichols/

 

Location: Brooklyn, New York

How I rose from concrete...

I rose from the concrete by the inspiration of my immigrant family’s hustle in America; and Fatherless experiences growing up teaching me empathy and light need to be present in every room. We have the opportunity to shine that light on many people with our presence and work in this industry. 

Harold

 Reid

Years in the industry: 15 plus

Linkedin

Profile:https://www.linkedin.com/in/haroldreid2

 

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

How I rose from concrete...

I’ve been in the PR & Marketing industry for more than 15 years and never had a mentor or black male colleague to even ask questions until 2017. Every role I’ve been in I had to learn from the ground up and chart my own path. Despite the lack of embrace from my industry and peers, I’ve been triumphant. I’ve made it a priority to serve as a mentor to young black male colleagues in the industry to let them know they belong at the table just like everyone else.

Eddie  

 Rhodman Jr

 

Years in the industry:  10 to 15

Linkedin

Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/eddierhodman/

 

Location: Miami

How I rose from concrete...

I never had a mentor so I had to work hard and learn everything on my own but I always want to empower others that seek knowledge to be successful.

Anthony

 Sanchez

Years in the industry:  0 to 5

Linkedin

Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/anthonymarcosanchez/

 

Location: New York

How I rose from concrete...

I rose by not accepting spaces that were not designed with me in mind. I rose by lifting others; by taking time to create systems and spaces that celebrate diverse voices and empower others to go greater as a community. I am beyond thankful for the mentors that have supported me along my journey in the world of advertising that has helped me see that the concrete doesn’t hold me back: the concrete is part of me and my story.

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Juan

 Cortes II

G.R.O.W.T.H.INITIATIVE CREATIVE MODERATOR

 

 

 

Years in the industry: 5 to 10

Linkedin

Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/juan-cortes-40593b3

Location: New York, NY

How I rose from concrete...

I came up from the concrete ... By remaining focussed and understanding where my priorities lie. Knowing I'm only limited by my opportunities. Keeping my circle tight, which in turn keeps the variables low. Knowing that the more variables the bigger the equation. The bigger the equation the harder the problem is to solve. However I'm able I try to set myself up for success.

Brandon_solis_10-04-18_015%20-%20brandon

Brandon

 Solis

 

 

 

Years in the industry:  5 to 10 

Linkedin

Profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandonsolis/

Location: San Francisco, California

How I rose from concrete...

I'm a kid of immigrants, dropped out of college twice, and hacked my way into the advertising industry without a degree or professional network. Starting through streetwear, then into social media, and finally into agencies, I did it against the odds. Not seeing people who reflect my background, values, or lifestyle, yet still managing to succeed, has been the primary reason I want to be a beacon for others. Not only to represent what can be but to help people make their own journey more efficiently, beyond their wildest expectations.

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Sean

 pitts

Years in the industry:   5 to 10 

Linkedin

Profile:

https://linkedin.com/in/pittscsean

Location: Milwaukee, WI

How I rose from concrete...

By embracing the concrete as part of my story, allowing it to make me more resilient and unique. And as I continue to learn and grow every day, I try to lead the way for others who are starting to rise.

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Artis

 emor

Years in the industry:   0 to 5 

Linkedin

https://www.linkedin.com/in/artistemor

 

Location: Florida 

How I rose from concrete...

With great vigor and a blind passion. I simply met as many people as I could, learned the personality of each city adjusted and followed suit for each event marketing myself and my craft as original and tempered authentically.

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Kaitlin-ann

 mulligan

Years in the industry:   0 to 5 

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaitlin-ann-mulligan-552a25149/

 

Location: New York

How I rose from concrete...

I started college knowing there may be a point in which I'd have to drop out of school because my parents didn't support me financially or emotionally. I felt alone working 3-4 jobs some full time in order to make ends meet just to continue school. Sometimes not even being able to afford food or sometimes rent while paying for school. I didn't know whom I can turn to. During my senior year, I noticed my passion for the advertising industry. Thankfully upon this epiphany, I received an advertising scholarship. I started as an Account Manager working at my school's ad agency Allen Hall Advertising at the University of Oregon and applied for MAIP with a hunger to learn more, to excel, to do more for communities, and make a difference to show others that anything is possible even when you feel you've hit rock bottom. My experience within the Advertising Program at the SOJC and within Allen, Hall Ad landed me my internship in MAIP and eventually my first official job in the ad world based on the networking opportunities I had during MAIP.

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Lisa

 heinsdale

G.R.O.W.T.H. Initiative admissions manager

Years in the industry:   10 to 15 years 

Linkedin

Profile:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisa-heinsdale/

 

Location: Oregon

How I rose from concrete...

It wasn't until later in life that I started believing in myself and trusting my capabilities. Concrete is thick, and I'm still rising because having the courage to believe in yourself is continuous work. 

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Joalid

 Fernandez

GROWN initiative Co-Lead / G.R.O.W.T.H. Initiative project management moderator

Years in the industry:   0 to 5 

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joalid-fernandez-46a557165/

 

Location: New York

How I rose from concrete...

I rose from concrete ~
By not letting stereotypes define me, and making of myself who I and only I wanted myself to be. By Taking everything in and making sure it comes back out 3 times stronger, in order to enlighten and become an ally to those who need it the most. I AM OUT HERE, WE’RE OUT HERE!

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Sam 

 herriges

GROWN initiative Co-Lead

G.R.O.W.T.H. INITIATIVE CREATEIVE MODERATOR

Years in the industry:   0 to 5 

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sammyhatrack/

 

Location: Minneapolis

How I rose from concrete...

“I’ve only just started rising.”

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Francis 

 jimenez

G.R.O.W.T.H. Initiative strategy moderator

Years in the industry:   0 to 5 

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/franciskjimenez/

 

Location: New York 

How I rose from concrete...

I rose from the concrete through the unwavering commitment of my mother and grandmother. They watered me, gave me sunshine, and everything I needed to grow. My mom and grandmother instilled in me fierce determination and humility and taught me that no matter what position I am in, there is always a way for me to give back.

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Rebecca

 rivera

BOARD MEMBER

G.R.O.W.T.H. Initiative

 curriculum advisor

Years in the industry:   15 plus 

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebeccarivera/

 

Location: New York 

How I rose from concrete...

I got to where I am by helping others get to where they’re meant to be.

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Lauren

 Tucker

Years in the industry:   15 plus

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurensolutionhacker/

 

Location: Illinois

How I rose from concrete...

By asking three important questions: How do you feel? How can I help? What can I do? Then I work to design and build solutions that help people feel empowered, collaborate better, and achieve their desired goals.

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Adrienne 

 lucas 

Years in the industry:   10 to 15

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adriennellucas/

 

Location: New York 

How I rose from concrete...

My immigrant parents and countless civil rights champions sacrificed so much for the opportunities that I'm afforded today. I never forget that; it puts the fire in me to keep rising and to pay it forward.

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Jennifer

 vasquez

Years in the industry:   10 to 15

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifercvasquez

 

Location: New York 

How I rose from concrete...

I rise every day because my parents immigrated to this country and have worked hard for many years to give their children a better life. I rise every day to show my nieces and nephew that with hard work and determination, we can make our dreams a reality. I rise every day to stand next to my peers and reach back to the next generation of professionals showing that together, we can and we will make a difference. As the African proverb says "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

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Laurel 

 stark

Years in the industry:   10 to 15

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurelstark/

 

Location: California

How I rose from concrete...

In an industry where I was too female, too opinionated, too queer, too driven, and just "too much" in general, my deep desire to belong where I wasn't wanted should have washed me out. But instead, my passion for inclusion took root. The more I'm challenged, the more I bloom. And I owe it all to brave partners, a supportive community, and my absolutely relentless belief that we all deserve to be here.

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Kristin

 Collins     Jackson

Years in the industry:  5 to 10

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristin-collins-jackson-5117a730/

 

Location: California

How I rose from concrete...

I lost my job at a Branding firm during the 2008 recession and had to claw my way back into the industry. I took any job that came my way, keeping me further from my goal as a creative in the advertising space. I got my break at Bustle as a Culture & Beauty writer, but I never could forget my true love (copywriting) and took any freelance gig I could get that would lead me closer to a full-time role. Editorial paid pennies — I bartended to supplement my income; on the day I was published in the New York Times, I remember eating free burnt pizza over a trashcan in Brooklyn and thought to myself I made it. And years later, I actually did. As an Associate Creative Director for Tinder and lead at Black @ Tinder, I never forget where I came from and how hard it was to get here. In my spare time, I teach career-building programs to ESL learners to build and help articulate their transferrable skills. Perseverance, flexibility, and trust in myself got me to where I am today but knowing how to code-switch and work the room gave me an advantage that I willfully pass on to anyone looking to enter the corporate space.

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Amera 

 LULU

Years in the industry:  0 to 5 

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ameralulu/

 

Location: New York 

How I rose from concrete...

I rose from concrete as a young Muslim woman, I was determined to break society’s cultural barriers and stereotypes that dictate what a Muslim girl can and cannot do. Being a first-generation college graduate, and graduating from a not very well known school I had the odds stacked against me, but I saw myself in a career in advertising. I was able to achieve this by setting new goals for myself and not conforming to industry standards. The idea that Muslim women do not have the power or the ability to speak their minds and determine their future never sat well with me.

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iliana

ortega

Years in the industry:  0 to 5

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/imortega/

Location: New York

How I rose from concrete...

I continued when the world tried to silence me. I choose myself when no one else would. I stayed when I didn't always want to and it felt like no one would miss me. I learned that I was enough when I was made to feel like I wasn't.sat well with me.

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Tatiana

snead

Years in the industry:  0 to 5

Linkedin

Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/yansnead

Location: California

How I rose from concrete...

I come from a town in Jersey where all of my family was born and never left. As a kid I always had bigger than life dreams, and as an adult those dreams became achievable goals. I haven't always been the #1 draft pick for roles in communications and media because I don't look or sound the part, but my work ethic and passion has always knocked the #1 pick to #2. In fall of 2020, I decided never leaving Jersey would not be the story of my life, and drove across the country to Los Angeles where I am now a rose ready to blossom.

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Nikita

simpson

Years in the industry: 0 to 5

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nakitasimpson/

Location: Portland, OR

How I rose from concrete...

.By investing in myself through a career switch into advertising. I wanted to be a Designer post portfolio school, but an internship helped me realize I had other options career-wise. Because I saw that not enough Black women were in charge of major decisions or creating ideas, I decided to become someone other Black and Brown girls could see in those roles. So Art Direction became a better fit. I'm still rising and reaching back to pay it forward so others can rise too. I'll bloom in time, for now, I'm enjoying the journey of finding the sun and growing along the way.

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Imani

 crawford

 

Years in the industry: 0 to 5

Linkedin

Profile:https://www.linkedin.com/in/imani-crawford-49154858/

 

Location: Washington, D.C. 

How I rose from concrete...

I am the daughter of children of the Great Migration who were also children of the Great Migration. They landed in DC, formally known as Chocolate City, an amazing place to grow up as a young black woman. As I learned and as I grew I realized the city I lived in, a beautiful microcosm of race and beauty, wasn't a reflection of the world around me. As I continued my education, from high school to college, I made sure that the work I did push for the world to reflect the city I grew up in. A city that made me believe all different types of people could flourish without any restrictions or guardrails if the right structures were put into place. Right now, I'm an entry-level strategist working to build meaningful brands, but eventually, I plan to use my strategy-oriented brain to build a meaningful cultural strategy that has the potential to change the world.

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Cameron

 carr

G.R.O.W.T.H. INITIATIVE ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT MODERATOR

 

Years in the industry: 0 to 5

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bycameroncarr/

 

Location: New York, NY 

How I rose from concrete...

When I graduated from college in 2015, I was met with the reality of no internship opportunities, the pipeline of the network, career services guidance, or defined mentors to help me make my landing professionally into the real world. With no prior internship experience or connections lined up beyond my digital job applications I was essentially barred from entry to any opportunities let alone even an interview. But what I was equipped with was an immense determination to breach into the advertising world. Over the course of a year and six months of adamant networking, absorbing career advancement/advertising books, establishing mutual, non-transactional mentorships, and countless multiple round interviews and email correspondences courting various creative agencies, I strived and rose to secure an internship offer to come aboard BBDO Worldwide within Account Management on my birthday and the rest of history. 3 years later, while striving and rising alongside climbing the ranks through securing 3 promotions and co-founding an internal diversity council and community: BBDO IDEA to establish those very pipelines and networks I was so intensely searching for and the resources I wish I had— all of my current mentees I've obtained in my journey can attest to my current mantra and mission of that I want to ensure no one who looks like me has to go through the hurdles that I traversed within corporate white spaces/connections/networks and systemic inequities, simply to be considered worthy of a ticket of entry. When I found out about the MAIP program even after I had finally secured my own job, I instinctively signed up to be a mentor for the incoming classes and have been ever since for the same reason of this mission and ensuring I'm helping these students locate the jobs they deserve within these spaces, in practice with my ADCOLOR network's philosophy of RISING UP and REACHING BACK, as a 2020 FUTURES finalist. In the process, I will stop at nothing in terms of the drive, dedication, orchestration, and collaboration through an incredible organization such as 100 Roses From Concrete, to help set up and install these systems in place going forward for people to have someone to look up to, depend and rely on to reach back as someone who made the very same, difficult summit before them, and paved the way.

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tasha

 gilroy

 

Years in the industry: 15 plus

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tasha-gilroy-3695972/

 

Location: New York, NY 

How I rose from concrete...

I started in the industry in a Junior level coordinator role. Working with a team that was both traditional and progressive. I was the first HR Coordinator to have a role that was listed as Diversity & Inclusion in 2006. Not many agencies or HR depts in the industry even really understood what that meant. The good news is I worked for an HR Global Leader who gave me space and budget to figure out what my role meant both to the agency and the industry. I was also given an incredible opportunity to see a woman that looked like me, from my community run the agency as the first Global CEO of a General Market brand agency. To this day, no other Black woman has been in that position. To see that up close, every day for 2 years, has had an impact on how I move in my Executive role now. Being at the top was never my choice or desire; the journey in learning about this space, having the change to meet the community of people who are flexing and forcing change, being sort after for my advice from a younger generation who are craving to be acknowledged and understood just to do what they love to do; well...that's the real work. That's what keeps me pushing. One major difference between me in my Diversity and Inclusion role in 2006, then in 2010, and in 2015 is one thing. I stopped asking for permission. I do what I do because I know what I am doing. If I am really going to leave this industry better than I found it I don't have time to ask permission on how to get real change to happen. I just do it. Period.

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amanda

 acevedo

G.R.O.W.T.H. INITIATIVE CREATIVE MODERATOR

 

Years in the industry: 15 plus

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amandathinks

 

Location: Illinois 

How I rose from concrete...

Growing up half Puerto Rican & half Korean presented a lot of questions, "What are you?” “Where did you come from?,” “Where were you born?”...so early on I had an acute awareness of my appearance overshadowing my abilities. I focused on giving my best, and I didn't let the obstacles take me out. I'm passionate about equality. Passionate about everyone having opportunities for growth, success, and happiness. I rose through the concrete by having strong roots, being resilient, and by uplifting others.

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maya

 jones

 

Years in the industry: 0 to 5 

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mayachanelljones/

 

Location: New York 

How I rose from concrete...

In all honesty, I’m still rising. I grew up in the deep South where every opportunity was created with obstacles set against people like me. After moving to NYC and beginning to work in the advertising industry, I realized a lot of those same obstacles were also prevalent in the industry against people like me. From that day on, I started listening, researching, and advocating. Despite it being just the beginning, and I have so much more to learn, still I rise.

 

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Genesis

 Rivera

 

Years in the industry: 0 to 5 

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/génesis-rc-she-her-4b948b41/

 

Location: Chicago

How I rose from concrete...

Born in Puerto Rico, based in Chicago and I have an obsession with human connections. I am a curious person! I love to ask questions and find the reasoning and "why" of people's decisions and desires. I have become very good at understanding people and offering services that guide them onto the path they are hoping to create for themselves. I enjoy listening to those around me and gather different perspectives of the world. I have a very open mind and question things to find the best decision and perspective. I am known as the party planner of my friends due to my creative event planning skills. As you can see, I love to talk and understand people through deep and authentic conversations. Being Puerto Rican and Colombian, I see the world through different lenses. I’m addicted to solving challenges through collaboration and great ideas. Transitioning from Hospitality to Advertising gives me the special sauce with ingredients like: life and work experience that creates a different type of understanding of people.

 

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francis

 carrero

 

Years in the industry: 5 to 10 

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/franciscarrero/

 

Location: New York, NY 

How I rose from concrete...

I was born to Caribbean parents that immigrated to the United States and sacrificed beyond measure to provide for their family. While in high school, I was introduced to careers in marketing, and I then realized the influence this industry has on the world. Throughout my career, I am growing by doing the work, acknowledging my history, being grateful for the love of my tribe, and the support of allies putting actions behind words. I continue to rise from concrete and support others on their journey by creating spaces and opportunities for our communities that impact their growth and access.

 

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Justin

 andrews

 

Years in the industry:0 to 5

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/justin-andrews-aston-powell-incoroporated/

 

Location: New York

How I rose from concrete...

I have risen from a tumultuous past, with difficulties arising from many different areas of life, however, I am striving for better in every part of my life. I am in the process of opening my online company Aston Powell LLC at the age of 26.

 

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Hillary

 simone

 

Years in the industry:0 to 5

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hillarysimone/

 

Location: Los Angeles, California 

How I rose from concrete...

I didn't know what a copywriter was for many years. Once I did, I spent a few years saying I should have been a copywriter. Then a couple of years later I decided to just become a copywriter.

 

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Kenneth

 medina

 

Years in the industry: 0 to 5

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kennethmedina/

 

Location: New York, New York

How I rose from concrete... By being pushed by my family and everybody wants me to do my best and more, holding me to high expectations. They know it’s not easy for people to like, it’s never easy or never will. We always have to keep fighting for the better. Embracing the truth about the opportunities for me and others keeps me on my toes. I rise and rise by continuing to create, no matter what. I keep creating work, that will keep a creative on the job market and being able to market myself as an asset to whomever I work with.

 

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Kahlil

 crawford

 

Years in the industry: 5 to 10

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kahliloc/

 

Location: California

How I rose from concrete... I stuck to my spiritual & creative convictions and did not compromise my soul. I learned to value the road less traveled, and the patience essential to the elongated path.

 

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Ken

 solano

 

Years in the industry: 15 plus

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kensolano/

 

Location: New York, NY

How I rose from concrete... my parents are immigrants and I am a first-generation American. My parents made a large portion of their wealth from owning a large network of bodegas and video stores (pre-Blockbuster) and I was immediately hooked on figuring out how to drive more business. I'd make flyers, tell my parents what to discount, what movies to put at the front of the store, which movies we should over-buy on VHS tapes, understanding the demand and entertainment customers wanted. Without knowing it, I wanted to be a Mad Man before I even understood there existed an industrial advertising complex. After college, I found it impossible to break through and when I did, I promised myself, I'd always pull everyone else up and open up the doors that were firmly shut to me.

 

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Lisa 

 cai

 

Years in the industry: 0 to 5

Linkedin

Profile:https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisa-cai-7564ab67/

 

Location: California

How I rose from concrete...

Realizing that all of life's experiences - good and bad - are soil to grow from. I'm still rising and I hope I never stop.

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allecia

thomas-hamilton

Years in the industry: 10 to 15

 

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/allecia-hamilton-29b25573/

 

Location: North Carolina

How I rose from concrete...

From the concrete canal walls of Southwest Florida, my parents raised me up to be a creative problem solver. While working in a segregated innovation desert, I helped organizations bridge the gap through visual arts and marketing. 10 years in the creative industry equipped me to manage projects ranging from digital design, fine art, to community outreach events. My goal is to bring positive vibrations through unique design and handwork, empowering those around me to reach for the stars and beyond.

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Elicia 

Banks-Gabriel

Years in the industry: 10 to 15

 

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elicia-banks-gabriel/

 

Location: California

How I rose from concrete...

IThrough overcoming my insecurities, finding my voice, and trusting that voice instead of wishing I had after the fact. A rose has thorns for protection. I continue rising from concrete by learning that having and communicating boundaries is for my protection. If someone thinks I'm being "emotional" or "thorny" (pun intended), so be it! No more people-pleasing. No more silencing me. And way more "told you so's" to come!!

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Adonte 

 langston

Years in the industry: 0 to 5 

 

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adonte-langston-b72995156

 

Location: New York 

How I rose from concrete...

In 2015, I began my college education at Robert Morris University near Pittsburgh. Within’ a month of my freshman year of college I was notified that my older brother had been killed from gun violence. Losing my brother caused me to spiral into a depression that left me unmotivated to continue my education. I was able to overcome my depression and graduate with a Bachelor of Science: Film and Moving Image degree this past May. I am now looking to start my career as cinematographer or editor in the film/advertisement industry.

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isabella 

 santana

Years in the industry: 0 to 5 

 

Linkedin

Profile: https://www.www.linkedin.com/in/isantana5

 

Location: New York 

How I rose from concrete...

A 23-year-old Communications professional at OMD, I am a first-generation college go-er and currently pursuing an M.P.S at CCNY’s Branded and Integrated Communications program with a specialization in Management/Planning. I've not only risen from where I started, but I am continuing to rise with my hands extended to help bring others up with me. I was fortunate enough to have supported Professor Rivera's Save the Internships and aid in helping students get their foot in the industry door. Other efforts to pay it forward include my work in helping to manage City College's AAF club. My goal is to help those around me and be the resource I needed when I was starting.

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Victoria

 Oshodin

Years in the industry: 5 to 10

 

Linkedin

Profile:https://uk.linkedin.com/in/victoria-o-oshodin

 

Location: Georgia 

How I rose from concrete...

As a U.K native, I would say I rose from concrete by not allowing individuals to dictate who I was and whom I am ordained to be.
I concentrated on achieving my goals and turning all my ugly no's into my beautiful yes's. I learned from those who came before me, and I continue to learn from those still making their way.