AWNY Community Archive

Gaining Ground - Your Story

02/08/2016 - Hosted by: AWNY’s Professional Development Committee
Sponsored by: Centro
Recap by: Danielle V Hemsley

When attendees came into the first of the 2016 Gaining Ground series they were given a color coded sticky so they could later be broken in to level appropriate groups to help empower each other.  After having some time for networking, snacks, and drinks, the attendees sat down for the workshop to begin. 

Mary Jo Romeo and Ellie Heyman asked the audience to introduce themselves by giving their name, company, and an accomplishment.  Attendees gave accomplishments that ranged from professional gains such as winning awards, receiving promotions, and surviving career changes to personal triumphs such as running marathons and obtaining yoga certifications. 

The audience was then asked why they came?  Where we heard responses about wanting to overcome shyness and having an opportunity to learn from other women. 

Being put into groups of 3, attendees were given a worksheet on the GAIN acronym which stands for:

  • G - Growth
  • A - Authenticity
  • I - Interactive
  • N- Narrative

Ellie told attendees that the key ingredients for Growth were to have a beginning, middle, and end.  The beginning is where you were, the middle is where you are, and the end is where you’re going.  Mary Jo shared her beginning to help inspire creativity in the audience.  “I was the middle child of 9 who was told women don’t go to college.”

The audience then shared their examples such as “Was a storyteller since I could hold a crayon.”  As the groups discussed and gave feedback to one another, when they came back to one large audience the concept of how to deal with stories that don’t catch the listener’s attention.  This is where Ellie embarked her expert guidance sharing advice about making sure not to sound like a business pitch or use marketing speak.  She told us if it is a word that is used in Fast Company, it doesn’t belong in your story, even if you started using it before it became a buzzword.  She compared this to when someone has the same outfit that you have.  It doesn’t matter if you bought it first.  Putting this into action she re-wrote the earlier example to: “I started writing stories with crayons.”

Then Ellie jumped to Narrative.  The key ingredients for Narrative are:

  • Related to Growth
  • Moment in time
  • Feelings/Passion Authentic Passion
  • Details
  • Suspense

Attendees worked with their groups again to develop their narratives.  Ellie also talked about the importance of passion and how when we talk about topics we are passionate about we tend to be our most authentic selves. Very often hope and fear get in our way of being authentic.  What we hope to be like and avoiding what we fear to be.  However, when one tries to be something they aren’t it looks bad just as bad as when you’re wearing clothes that don’t fit.

2016 Annual Roast with Wenda Harris Millard

02/07/2016 - Recap by Yuliana Safari

On January 26th, 2016, Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), colleagues and friends gathered at Cipriani, 42nd St, to roast Wenda Harris Millard, President and COO of MediaLink.

AWNY Board President, Amy Wilkins, welcomed 400+ attendees and an inspiring panel of roasters to an evening celebrating the importance of women leaders.

The roast kicked off with Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, playing a video montage of Millard’s career, comparing her illustrious career to a criminal enterprise. Armstrong said that the industry would never be able to repay its debt to Millard, although everyone seems to be trying.

Up next was Linda Boff, CMO of GE. Boff paid a classic tribute to Millard, listing her strong attributes with humorous jabs at her tenancy to be everywhere we want to be and an eye for design that puts Marta Stewart to shame. Playful banter aside, Boff shared that Millard is the “beating heart of our industry".

Up next, Dana Anderson, SVP and CMO at Mondel─ôz International, standing in for Rob Norman, Global Chief Digital Officer of GroupM. As Anderson read Norman’s notes for the roast, she poked fun at Norman’s sense of humor, joking that he “must be a day drinker”. When laughter from the audience subsided, Anderson also shared her admiration for Millard.

Next was Carolyn Everson, VP of Global Marketing for Facebook. Everson shared comical stories and sincere praise for Millard, noting her success is due to her high standards, believing in culture and sleeping eight hours a week. “You’re a wonder women, but you’re our wonder women” said Everson.

The final roaster, Michael Kassan, CEO of MediaLink, took the stage and praised Millard’s tremendous innovativeness, creativity and leadership in the industry. Kassan ended on a note of genuine gratitude for Millard.

After her roast, Millard took the stage and received a standing ovation from the audience. Millard thanked her roasters and concluded the evening by saying, “we are all in the business of making memories and you’ve made a great one for me tonight”.

Roasters Included:

  • Tim Armstrong, CEO, AOL 
  • Linda Boff, CMO, GE
  • Dana Anderson, SVP and CMO at Mondel─ôz International
  • Carolyn Everson, VP, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook
  • Michael Kassan, Chairman and CEO, MediaLink