EP280: Michael McLaren, President of North America, Bounteous

Michael is a passionate and dynamic leader with over 20 years experience in the integrated marketing communications business.

“I like to think of myself as a globalist – with extensive international experience and a love for technology, digital innovation and clients business – I’ve demonstrated a proven capability to build businesses, nurture client relationships. drive digital engagement, embrace and exploit technology innovation, convert new business opportunities, develop high performing teams and empower great people.”

EP279: Ross Martin, President, Known

Emmy and Peabody award-winning marketer and business leader Ross Martin is President of Ad Age Agency A-List marketing firm Known and the Founder of venture capital fund Lunch Partners, an early-stage private investment vehicle for some of the world’s most inspiring CMO’s. He is the Executive Producer of Netflix’s Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy and the five-part docuseries Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space, both for Netflix, as well as Meal Ticket, a documentary about the McDonald’s All- American Games for Amazon Prime Video and Deep Dive, a new series with Universal Music Group and TIME Magazine. He is the Executive Producer and Co-Host of the popular iHeart Media podcast “Future Legends of Advertising,” now entering its second season.

Ross is a member of the National Board of Directors of the American Advertising Federation, the Yale University Center for Customer Insights and the Digital & Innovation Council for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Recent accolades include Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People In Business,” an Advertising Age “Media Maven” distinction, Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40” top business leaders and Adweek’s “50 Most Indispensable Executives in Advertising.” In 2014, he was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Achievement.

EP278: Samira Ansari, Chief Creative Officer, Deutsch New York

An international multi-award-winning creative, Samira has worked across Fortune 500 brands including AB InBev’s Michelob Ultra, U by Kotex, ESPN, Virgin Atlantic and P&G’s Pringles. In 2022 she brought home the only Cannes Gold Lion in Innovation for a world-first physical vs. virtual tennis match between real-life John McEnroe and his digital avatars from the past for Michelob Ultra. ‘McEnroe vs. McEnroe’ also received a 2023 Sports Emmy Award in the Best Digital Innovation category. In 2022 she was recognized on Adweek’s Creative 100 list.

Career highlights include turning the consumer problem of the NBA bubble during the pandemic into an opportunity – with the highly awarded digital experience, “Courtside” for Michelob Ultra, by transporting fans closer to the action. She’s made headlines with her brutally honest work for U by Kotex, forever changing the way female sanitary products are marketed, taking Pringles to the Super Bowl for the first time ever, re-launching the P&G laundry business throughout Europe, and successfully launching Mike’s Hard Lemonade throughout South America.

Prior to Deutsch NY, Samira led the AB InBev portfolio of business at FCB New York. She’s worked across three continents and held creative roles at Johannes Leonardo, Grey Group, Leo Burnett New York, TBWA\Chiat\Day, J. Walter Thompson and Saatchi & Saatchi Paris. Her work been recognized at the Cannes Lions Festival, The D&AD, Effies, The One Show, Clio, and the ADC.

EP277: Julie Michael, CEO at Team One, Publicis Groupe

Julie is both fiercely competitive and “Minnesota nice.” Her clients benefit from her tenacity and flair for making the seemingly impossible, possible. She has led dozens of integrated marketing programs for modern brands, from launching the car-of-the-future with Steven Spielberg to giving affluents permission to fly private jets again. Protecting pricing power and shifting market share for her clients drives her.

She previously served as Executive Director, Account Management, overseeing the agency’s Lexus National and Dealer Association accounts, and has been with Team One for 18 years. She has held a number of senior management positions, including director of experiential marketing, director of business development, and executive director leading numerous agency clients, among them The Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, HSBC Premier, Häagen-Dazs International, American Express, Flexjet, Icelandic Glacial, Anaheim Ducks, Northern Trust, and Procter & Gamble.

Before joining Team One, she was the Marketing Director at a premier Northwest resort, Crystal Mountain, running all aspects of marketing and sales.

EP276: Avinash Kaushik, Chief Strategy Officer, Croud

Avinash is the global Chief Strategy Officer of Croud, a leading full-service marketing Agency.

His prior professional experience includes a sixteen-year stint at Google, and roles at Intuit, DirecTV, Silicon Graphics in the US & DHL in Saudi Arabia.

Through his newsletter “The Marketing < > Analytics Intersect”, his blog “Occam’s Razor,” and his best-selling books “Web Analytics: An Hour A Day” and “Web Analytics 2.0,” Avinash has become recognized as an authoritative voice on how marketers, executives’ teams and industry leaders can leverage data to fundamentally reinvent their digital existence.

Avinash puts a common-sense framework around the often-frenetic world of web analytics and combines that with the philosophy that investing in talented analysts is the key to long-term success. He passionately advocates customer centricity and leveraging bleeding edge competitive intelligence techniques.

Avinash has received rave reviews for bringing his energetic, inspiring, and practical insights to companies like Unilever, Dell, Time Warner, Vanguard, Porsche, and IBM. He has delivered keynotes at a variety of global conferences, including Ad-Tech, Monaco Media Forum, Search Engine Strategies, JMP Innovators’ Summit, The Art of Marketing and Web 2.0.

Acting on his passion for teaching, Avinash has lectured at major universities such as Stanford University, University of Virginia, University of California – Los Angeles and University of Utah.

Among the awards Avinash has received are Statistical Advocate of the Year from the American Statistical Association, Most Influential Industry Contributor from the Web Analytics Association, and Founder’s Award from Google.

EP275: Julia Haart, Founder, Body by Julia Haart

Julia Haart is a self-made businesswoman, designer, and bestselling author. She was raised in an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. At age 42 she fled, changed her name, and without any formal education or background in fashion launched her career as a designer with her namesake shoe collection. Just a few years later, she was named creative director of La Perla and would become co-owner and CEO of Elite World Group and one of the most influential people in fashion. In 2021, Julia and her NETFLIX hit series “My Unorthodox Life”, which streams in over 190 countries, took the world by storm. In her memoir BRAZEN, Julia writes with radical vulnerability and honesty, sharing her deeply personal journey of heartbreak, resilience, and courage to flee a fundamentalist community. Released in April 2022, BRAZEN became an instant bestseller in the U.S. and U.K. Above all else, Julia applies her experience and platform to be a force for positive change in the world and supporting women who have dedicated their lives to building a better future.  With the right for women to choose under threat, Julia has taken a leading role in the pro-choice movement marching in support of women’s rights, rallying her community of influential friends and followers, supporting organizations such as #VoteProChoice and Plan C, and serving on the Advisory Council of the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition. With so much at stake at home in the U.S., Julia has also worked tirelessly to campaign for pro-choice politicians and support organizations such as Emerge America to help recruit and train like-minded women to run for office. As a champion of democracy globally, Julia fights for the right to freedom around the world including Iran and Ukraine where she led a mission to deliver ambulances and critical humanitarian supplies.

EP274: Andrew Covato, Founder & Managing Director, Growth By Science

Andrew has over fifteen years of Ad and MarTech experience at eBay, Google, Facebook/Meta, Netflix, Snap, and fintech startups.  He has tackled hard challenges in product, strategy, growth, go-to-market, and partnerships across many verticals and geographies.  He is highly strategic, and has experience building and applying buy- and sell-side ad technology at scale.

Andrew has been advising companies of all shapes and sizes since 2012–from start-ups to Fortune 500 enterprises. He has spoken at large conferences (Meta’s F8), guest-lectured at universities (UGA, Santa Clara, Rotman School of Management), and served on various ad industry boards & working groups (IAB, MMA, MRC, ARF, WFA).

EP273: PJ Pereira, Co-Founder, Creative Chairman, Pereira O’Dell // CCO, Serviceplan Americas

PJ Pereira is an industry veteran of over 20 years, most famously known for co-founding the independent award-winning creative agency, Pereira O’Dell. In 2023, PJ was also named Chief Creative Officer of independent agency network Serviceplan Americas.

Pereira is a pioneer in the marketing world, sitting at the intersection of tech, entertainment and advertising. His credentials have made him one of the industry’s most influential and respected creatives. He has been named to Adweek’s Creative 100, Ad Age’s Creativity 50, and to the 4A’s 100 People Who Make Advertising Great. Most recently, PJ was named Jury President of the inaugural AI discipline at 2023 ADC Awards. Also in partnership with ADC, he helped create 101+1, the world’s only interactive gallery that explores the untapped potential of creativity in collaboration with AI.

Outside of his work in advertising, PJ enjoys other creative pursuits as a novelist, painter, and martial artist. In 2023, PJ will release a book (his 5th) about the unlikely combination of Artificial Intelligence and kung fu. Pereira is particularly drawn to the concept of an AI’s influence in design and creativity, and he tries to engage this emerging tech in his own creative process whenever possible.

EP272: Esther-Mireya Tejeda, CMO, Anywhere Real Estate

Esther-Mireya is a high-performing strategic marketer with a knack for building results-driven powerhouse integrated, strategic marketing functions that deliver maximum enterprise value and operational efficiency. Experienced leader in large-scale digital transformation and organizational change – including rebrands, mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs. Effective in matrixed organizations requiring strategy, agility, collaboration, emotional intelligence, and operational excellence. Bi-cultural and bi-lingual thought leader on diversity, equity, & inclusion. Trained people manager and team builder creating the next generation of leaders.

EP271: Rob Sewell, CEO, SmartFrame Technologies Ltd

Rob is CEO of SmartFrame Technologies, an innovative image-streaming service that brings control and fresh monetisation opportunities to image owners, publishers and advertisers. Based in London, Rob joined as CEO in 2015 as a highly experienced entrepreneur and business leader to help define the company’s commercial strategy, take the product to market, and raise the required funding.

His previous experience includes multiple start-up roles such as Founder of Rascals Night Club, Founder and CEO at My Phone Club, Co-Founder and Sales Director at Wellbeing Network, and Founder at Holistic Personal Training Services.

EP270: Jillian Gibbs, CEO, Advertising Production Resources

As the founder and global CEO of Advertising Production Resources (APR), Jillian leads the world’s largest and fastest growing production consultancy with over 150+ people in 50+ countries. APR helps marketers to optimize their content creation ecosystem by providing services such as production consulting, cost controlling, vendor selection, and quality assurance. Jillian’s mission is to help advertisers achieve the best return on investment in production and to drive innovation and value in the creative production process.

EP269: Elizabeth Brennan, General Manager Advertising, Permutive

Elizabeth Brennan is General Manager, Advertising, for Permutive, which is powering the future of targeted advertising on the open web. With over decade of experience in digital advertising, Elizabeth is a champion of women in business and a strong believer in the power of mentoring. A graduate of the University of Reading, Elizabeth is a former winner of the prestigious NABS Fast Forward award and has gone on to achieve Code First certification as part of the organization’s initiative to increase the number of women in tech.

EP268: Katy Talikowska, CEO, Valuable 500

Katy is CEO of the Valuable 500, the global business partnership of 500 companies working together to end disability exclusion. She played an instrumental role in the initiation of the Valuable 500 when she partnered with Dr Caroline Casey to launch the programme at DAVOS 2019.

With over a decade of experience at AMV BBDO, Katy held leadership roles, including Chief Client Officer, Chair of BBDO EMEA Talent Engagement Council, and Head of Account Management and Managing Partner. She played a key role in the ground-breaking 2016 Maltesers Disability campaign, which garnered prestigious awards and became Maltesers’ most successful campaign in 18 years.

After 7 years working in both  NZ and Australia on a range of domestic and international business from Air New Zealand, Bank of New Zealand, Pepsico, Danone, Frucor Beverages,  Nintendo and Casio, she returned to the UK in 2006, working at WCRS and then M&C Saatchi on Fosters, British Airways and TfL and was the Group Account Director on British Gas and Carphone Warehouse at CHI&Partners for 3 years before joining AMV BBDO in 2010.

Katy’s expertise extends to multi-discipline communications across 25 markets and includes serving as the Global Omnicom lead for Rexona, and the Global BBDO lead for Snickers. She has been acknowledged as a Marketing Trailblazer of 2019 and has recently served as a Leadership Mentor for Disability Rights UK. More recently, Katy has made valuable contributions to the executive leadership team at PINWHEEL, a corporate sustainability company.

EP266: Shachar G. Scott, VP, Marketing at Meta Reality Labs

Over the last two decades, Shachar has helped to build and scale global brands, including Meta Reality Labs, Bumble, Snapchat, and Apple.

After graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Shachar turned to women’s politics, and helped to legalize emergency contraception through Planned Parenthood with John F. Kerry. That led her to develop the brand for the century-old women’s organization, NCJW, the group responsible for Head Start, Meals on Wheels and Benchmark – preserving our Pro-Choice Bench. From there she went to Columbia University in New York, where she led marketing and communication for student services while getting her Master of Science in Strategic Communications. She spent six years leading digital and marketing strategy at several media and creative companies in New York, including Digitas, Deep Focus, and StrawberryFrog.

In 2011, Shachar was recruited by Apple Inc. to lead market development strategy for Apple’s digital advertising platform. She left Apple in 2014 to become a Managing Director at a venture and creative capital firm, West, where she ran the company’s portfolio in New York before joining Snap Inc in 2017 to lead Global Brand Marketing. During her time at Snap, she defined the role that marketing plays in driving growth and revenue for the company. At the end of 2020, she joined Bumble as Vice President of Global Marketing, overseeing brand marketing, product marketing, community marketing, brand partnerships, and their expansion into 150 markets.

At the end of 2021, she joined Meta’s Reality Labs. Today, as Vice President, Marketing she leads brand and integrated marketing team across VR (Meta Quest), VR content (Oculus Studios, Beat Saber), AR (Ray Ban Stories), Metaverse (Horizon Worlds, Avatars) and Work (Meta Work Portfolio, Quest for Business).

In addition to her professional marketing leadership, she serves as the Chairwomen of the Board of Directors for SAY.org and as an Independent Board Director at TouchTunes. She lives in Venice, California with her husband, Jason, and is the proud mom of Morgan + Riley, her 10-year old twins. She is originally from Israel and immigrated to America in 1985.

EP265: Jon Steinlauf, Chief U.S. Advertising Sales Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery

Jon Steinlauf serves as Chief U.S. Advertising Sales Officer for Warner Bros. Discovery. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing sales, research, marketing, branded entertainment, pricing and inventory control, as well as developing advanced advertising and convergent revenue streams for the company’s portfolio.

Steinlauf most recently served as Chief U.S. Advertising Sales Officer, Discovery, Inc. He was instrumental in the creation and monetization of integrated marketing strategies that delivered both incremental revenues for Discovery and additional value for its advertisers.

Prior to joining Discovery in 2018, Steinlauf served as President of Advertising Sales at Scripps Networks, successfully elevating its reputation with advertisers as the most upscale group of cable brands with the most engaged viewers in all of TV. Steinlauf first joined Scripps in 2000 as VP of Advertising Sales, with direction of HGTV and the DIY Network, before being elevated to run the entire TV ad sales division in 2003.

Among his many accolades, Steinlauf has been named seven times to Adweek’s “Adweek 50” as well as to Cablefax’s “Cablefax 100.” He also earned the Myers Report’s National Television Ad Sales Executive of the Year Award in 2007.

Steinlauf is a graduate of Duke University.

EP264: Chaucer Barnes, Chief Marketing Officer, UnitedMasters, Inc.

As Chief Marketing Officer for UnitedMasters, Inc., Chaucer works across UnitedMasters and Translation teams to provide diverse solutions designed to bridge partners across the enterprise. Chaucer has spent over 15 years in the media and advertising landscape and, prior to, several years as an independent musician in search of the ideal toolkit to segment, mature, and monetize his own unique fan base.

EP263: Jerry Shereshewsky

Jerry Shereshewsky has been in the advertising industry since 1969 and worked in general advertising, direct marketing, and public relations. He has been a brand/product marketer, the marketing arm of a major publisher’s sales organization, the CEO of an internet publishing company and a consultant combining all of the above specialties.

EP262: Dr. Karen Nelson-Field PhD, Founder and CEO, Amplified Intelligence

Dr Karen Nelson-Field is a globally acclaimed researcher in media science, with over 17 years spent researching and redefining how people deliver successful marketing and media outcomes through the guise of human attention.

Regularly called upon to speak at major industry events across the globe including AdWeek, Cannes and SXSW, Karen’s work has also been recognised and noted in leading publications such as The NY Times, Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Business. Making her the thought leader and subject matter expert in all things attention metrics which saw her named as a 2022 Honoree in the Ad Monsters + Ad Exchanger Top Women in Media & Ad Tech, as a Game Changer.

In addition to regular speaking on the global stage, Karen is also a well renowned author with two published titles under her belt. Her first book, Viral Marketing: the science of sharing, set the record straight on hunting for ‘viral success’. While her second book, The Attention Economy and How Media Works, explains the stark reality of human attention to advertising.

EP261: Chef Frank Brigtsen

Chef Frank Brigtsen and his wife Marna are the owners of Brigtsen’s Restaurant, in the Riverbend neighborhood of Uptown New Orleans. Frank began his culinary career in 1973 while attending Louisiana State University. In 1979, he apprenticed at Commander’s Palace Restaurant under the guidance of Chef Paul Prudhomme and became the first Night Chef at K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in 1980. During his seven-year tenure with Chef Prudhomme at K-Paul’s, Frank attained the position of Executive Chef. Paul and K Prudhomme were instrumental in helping Frank and Marna open Brigtsen’s in 1986.

Chef Frank has been named one of the Top Ten New Chefs in America by FOOD&WINE magazine (1988) and America’s Best Chef: Southeast by the James Beard Foundation Awards (1998). He has also been named Chef of the Year by New Orleans magazine and Restaurateur of the Year by the Louisiana Restaurant Association – N.O. Chapter.

In 2022, Chef Frank received the Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award in Hospitality, presented by the New Orleans Food & Wine Experience.

Chef Frank’s passion is teaching and sharing through food. For 15 years, he taught Contemporary Creole/Acadian cuisine as Adjunct Professor at the John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University and serves as Chef-in-Residence for the Culinary Arts program at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA).

EP260: Jon Cook, Global CEO, VMLY&R

For the past 27 years, Jon has poured his heart and soul into VML — now VMLY&R. In 2018, he led the launch of the unified agency as global CEO. Today, VMLY&R is a global marketing force with more than 13,000 employees in 44 countries.


In 2023, the agency was named to Ad Age’s A-List. VMLY&R was also recognized as 2023 Network of the Year by the New York Festivals, the ANDYs, and the ADC Awards.


VMLY&R is proud to serve some of the world’s most recognized and respected brands, including AstraZeneca Colgate-Palmolive, Dell, Ford, General Mills, Intel, Microsoft, Mondelez, Pfizer, SC Johnson, Sherwin-Williams, The Coca-Cola Company, and Wendy’s.

EP259: Michael Sugar, Producer

Michael Sugar is the CEO and Founder of Sugar23 – a management, production and private equity company with a multi-year deal with Netflix – after a long stint at Anonymous Content where he was a partner for many years. He was awarded the Oscar® for Best Picture for “Spotlight,” starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Rachel McAdams. 


Sugar’s recent Executive Producer credits include MSNBC’s docuseries “The Turning Point” and the Apple TV+ series “Dickinson,” starring Hailee Steinfeld and Jane Krakowski. Over the course of the latter’s three seasons, the series garnered a Peabody Award, a Golden Tomato Award, and numerous nominations. Upcoming, Sugar produced “Knox Goes Away,” a feature film starring and directed by Michael Keaton.


Sugar is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Producer’s Guild of America, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and lectures regularly at USC, NYU, Columbia, and the American Film Institute.  He has been nominated for multiple Emmys and Golden Globes, and has received two Television Academy Honors, two AFI awards, and two Peabody Awards. 

EP258: Amy Lanzi, CEO North America, Digitas NA

In her current role as CEO of Digitas North America, Amy will focus on delivering new solutions for Digitas clients, tapping into the agency’s Creative, Media, Data and Technology expertise. Her ability to connect products and services; infused with a commerce lens will lead the agency forward in the next generation of growth.

Prior to joining Digitas, she was Chief Operating Officer of Publicis Commerce, a full-stack, purpose-built unit comprised of 10,000+ commerce experts worldwide. During her tenure, she played an instrumental role in notable acquisitions such as Profitero and CitrusAd; contributed to some of the holding company’s biggest new business wins; was key driver behind some of Publicis Groupe’s most important commerce-focused partnerships with platforms such as TikTok and Snap; developed unique Power of One commerce solutions for the holding company’s largest clients; and launched a dedicated Commerce Advisory Board, comprised of client members from over 20 brands.

Amy is widely respected in the industry and has been recognized across honors such as Adweek 50; She Runs It “Working Mother of the Year”; Path to Purchase Institute’s “Executive of the Year” and “Industry Impact” winner; and Campaign US’s “Female Frontier” and “Digital 40 Over 40” Awards. She is also a 2023 Creative Commerce Lions juror for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Prior to joining Publicis, Amy spent 20+ years at Omnicom’s TPN, where she helped grow the company from a team of 30 to 350 and expanded its presence to include offices in Chicago, San Francisco, Bentonville, and London.

EP257: Daniel McCarthy, CEO, FM

This week on Great Minds we speak with Daniel McCarthy, CEO of FM. FM is a family of brands that exist to empower and inspire the global community of creatives.

A charismatic and invested Owner and CEO that constantly drives the FM brands to build the global creative community and participate in local and international philanthropic efforts.