2021 Judges

Annalisa Austin

Director, Creative Services, Pacific Life

Annalisa is passionate about finding creative ways to tell stories that are meaningful to the financial professionals and consumers they serve. At Pacific Life, she heads a team that provides copywriting, editing, graphic design, video production, presentation, and marketing campaign expertise to support the Retirement Solutions Division. During her tenure at Pacific Life, Annalisa has held roles in account management, product marketing, and channel marketing. She is also on the leadership team for Pacific Life’s AAPI connection group and has served as chair for the Pacific Life Experience employee culture committee. When not running to various sports and dance activities, Annalisa, her husband, four children, and their dog enjoy hanging out at the beach in southern California.

David Blain

President, Saxton Horne Communications, Larry H. Miller Group

David leads the in-house agency that supports the Larry H. Miller Group’s 80 businesses with areas of focus in sports and entertainment, finance, insurance, healthcare, auto dealerships, movie theaters, and real estate. David started his career in account management at D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in Los Angeles, returning to his native Utah to work at DSW Partners. He went on to co-found Blain Olsen White Gurr Advertising in Salt Lake City, recognized by the INC 500 as one of America’s fastest growing private companies. David is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and received a silver medal from the American Advertising Federation for his contributions to the Utah advertising community.

Ron Carey

Founder/CEO, Tilt Creative + Production

Ron has had a diverse career, spanning consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, media and advertising. He got his start at M&M/Mars, working in both HR and sales. From there he joined Wyeth Consumer Healthcare (now GlaxoSmithKline) in Richmond, becoming a local champion for organizations that support disadvantaged children. His work at the Richmond Times-Dispatch earned him a place on Press Time Magazine’s Top 20 Leaders Under 40. Two years into RT-D, he established the Innovation Group and spent the next three years developing, building and rolling-out new products. After stints at the Martin Agency and Studio Squared, he founded Tilt Creative + Production, a content marketing firm that supports some of the world’s best-known brands. 

Jonathan Dillon

Executive Creative Director, The LEAD, Nestlé USA

Jonathan is an award-winning creative director, producer, film director, and screenwriter. Prior to joining the in-house agency at Nestlé, he spent the better part of 15 years working in film, television, and commercials in Los Angeles. Since transitioning to the corporate world in 2018, he has helped grow the team at Nestlé to over 30 full-time employees across various workgroups including creative, production, post-production, visual effects, and design. The fully internal team works across 26+ brands, producing close to 1,500 assets per year, and setting the bar for best-in-class creative across the digital landscape for some of the most popular food and beverage products in the world.

Tara DeZao

Product Marketing Director, AdTech and MarTech, Pegasystems Inc.

Tara is a marketer and creator who has cultivated a successful career in the marketing departments of startups as well as Fortune 500 enterprise-technology companies like Oracle and EMC. As a subject-matter expert in the fields of advertising and marketing, she is a trusted thought leader across written, audio and live media. Tara holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Beyond of her life as a marketer, Tara enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest with her wife and son along and a good, strong cup of coffee.

Mathew "Tripp" Fischer

Creative Director, MassMutual

For over 20 years, Tripp has worked on the in-house creative team at MassMutual. Starting as a designer, he created campaigns, product rollouts, print advertising, collateral, event communication, and educational materials. As an art director and creative director, he led creative while overseeing the design aesthetic and brand adherence of the creative work. As digital media emerged, Tripp helped build out a more-robust creative team—standing up a video function while hiring top-tier digital design talent. He was also very involved in MassMutual’s 2017 brand refresh which prepared him for his latest responsibilities, managing brand governance. When not at work, Tripp can be found chasing his two children around and coaching their baseball and soccer teams.

Ashley Goodson

Account Lead, Agency 123, McDonald’s Corporation

A member of McDonald’s in-house agency, Ashley serves as the account lead for Global Brand and Marketing, focused on growing client relationships while fostering collaboration, strategic contribution and creative effectiveness. Ashley brings a range of external agency experience to her role within Agency 123, having held business and account leadership positions at Leo Burnett, Arc Worldwide and Cossette, to name a few. Her client roster includes a host of nationally and internationally recognized QSR and CPG brands like Dunkin’, Kellogg’s, and yes, McDonald’s. A born-and-bred Midwesterner and current resident of Chicago, some say ketchup runs through her veins. If you ask Ashley, you'll find she prefers her McNuggets with a side of ranch.

Felipe Leon

Senior Media Officer, Brand and Design, International Monetary Fund

Felipe is an award-winning creative strategist with 20 years of internationally recognized experience. As head of Brand and Design at the IMF, he guides conversations to define brand strategies while immersing himself in every stage of the creative process to ensure consistent brand results. A leader, enthusiast and optimist by nature, Felipe believes there’s an innovative solution to the most-complex communications projects and his work across industries bears this out. Felipe is a critical thinker, avid listener and born collaborator whose top priority is client satisfaction. He is also a former teacher of multimedia and motion graphics, and co-founder of Peru-based start-up Conexion Adulto Mayor, promoting healthy and active aging among senior citizens.

Barbara Maldonado

Client Services Manager, Caterpillar

Barbara is a 22-year agency veteran with experience across experiential, digital, and social media marketing verticals, having worked in CPG, telecom, financial, and manufacturing industries. At Caterpillar, she oversees the account management and project disciplines within the in-house agency, bringing strategic marketing solutions to client partners. Barbara holds a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University, currently working toward her second master’s in organizational leadership from Johns Hopkins University. In her free time, Barbara serves on the board of Forest for Monarchs, a reforestation nonprofit that is dedicated to saving the winter habitat of Monarch Butterflies in Michoacán, Mexico. She also teaches digital marketing to adult learners through General Assembly.

Rob Rizzo

Founder & Creator, The Marketing Suite Spot

Rob is a seasoned advertising pro with a reputation for creating “smart work that works.” He recently launched The Marketing Suite Spot—a creatively-led offering of fractional, C-level marketing services, giving clients access to his 30+ years of proven branding and activation experience. A creative by background, Rob started as a copywriter at some of New England’s best agencies, working his way up the ranks at Digitas to become EVP/executive creative director for the Boston and Detroit offices. Prior to launching The Marketing Suite Spot, he co-created MaidenHouse—the full-service, in-house creative agency at John Hancock.

Veronica Volborth

Director, Agency 545, Blackbaud

A designer by trade, Veronica leads Blackbaud’s in-house creative team, Agency 545. During her tenure at Blackbaud, Veronica has spearheaded efforts that include a complete visual rebrand, creative direction for bbcon (Blackbaud’s annual tech conference for social good), development of the company’s first-ever global master brand campaign “Engineered for Tide-Turners,” and much more. She believes that stand-out creative is equally driven by concept and craftsmanship. Veronica is passionate about all forms of visual art and sits on the advisory board for the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC. In her spare time, you can find her painting, throwing pottery, eating vegetarian food, and playing with her rescue cat, Toom.