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Introducing the 2023 Class of P2PI's 40 Under 40

Nominated by their industry peers and selected by our editors, this year's winners comprise an impressive group of rising leaders who are redefining the future of commerce marketing. Get to know them here …

We are proud to shine the spotlight on P2PI’s second annual list of winners. This talented group of rising leaders, nominated by their industry peers and selected by our editors, is driving the future of commerce marketing. Read on to learn more about these impressive individuals.


Samantha Anjos
Associate Manager, Emerging Channels and Marketplace
Age 30

Anjos started working in the CVS Health corporate offices at the age of 14 as an intern. She went on to hold three different roles within the ExtraCare loyalty program during the next eight years. She joined Bayer in 2018, and her experiences since have spanned across analytical, marketing and sales roles. In May 2022, she transitioned from the traditional brick-and-mortar space into e-commerce and assumed her current role. Anjos thrives on meeting new challenges, independent work, truly improving consumers’ lives and working in collaboration with her colleagues. In the last year, she helped establish enhanced partnerships at a strategic level, which have unlocked both category captainship and first-ever data breakouts to enable deeper analytics that optimize ongoing investments. She also co-created and led an internal share group that seeks to drive development opportunities, collaboration and best practices with colleagues at a similar level, while also breaking down barriers between senior leadership and junior talent. Anjos has been the recipient of individual and team awards at Bayer, and has simultaneously balanced a home purchase, a move and wedding planning on top of attending — and participating in — more than seven weddings.

FUN FACT: Anjos has been a beekeeper as a hobby. She looks forward to returning to it soon.


Amy Avellar
Director, Customer Marketing
SmartyPants Vitamins
Age 32

Avellar joined SmartyPants Vitamins in August 2020 to build out the shopper marketing vertical — prior to the brand’s acquisition by Unilever. She has since restructured investment strategy, built planning processes, and developed new communication procedures to effectively wire teams together and drive business results. She has made a tremendous impact on the SmartyPants business over the past year, driving demonstrable sales growth and gaining recognition for its shopper marketing function across Unilever’s Health & Wellbeing Collective. She has also developed and launched KPI-driven shopper marketing initiatives that resulted in SmartyPants’ highest-ever gains in national awareness — and double-digit year-over-year revenue growth at targeted accounts. Most recently, Avellar led the creation of SmartyPants’ non-traditional Expo West 2023 booth activation, called “Zero Booth for Zero Grams of Sugar.” Challenged to create a memorable activation that would build anticipation around the launch of the brand’s new sugar-free multivitamin range, she and her team’s innovative approach garnered high consumer and industry engagement. Avellar was recognized by her colleagues as the first “SmartyPants Superstar” award winner last year, honoring her contributions to business growth and commitment for going above and beyond to create a positive impact within the organization.

FUN FACT: Avellar started working at 18 months old. Her first job was acting, starring in a commercial for Little Debbie snacks.


Amanda Bailey
Executive Vice President, Client Engagement
VMLY&R Commerce
Age 35

Bailey has worked in the commerce space for more than 13 years, helping companies win more than 20 industry awards. She has worked on more than 300 brands and across every major retailer/platform, and has led retailer teams as well as integrated agency teams from a brand perspective as the agency of record. Bailey has been an integration lead across e-commerce and omnichannel. She has also worked in strategy, project management and client engagement/account at Saatchi & Saatchi X, IN Marketing and, since August 2020, VMLY&R Commerce. Over the last year, her work with the agency’s CPG clients has included driving innovation through integrated experience-led planning, building brave creative ideas, designing new and integrated retail media capabilities, and evolving bespoke operating system (OS) platforms. She is most proud of having reached more than 800 people to date (300 of them college students) with a personal branding immersion that she leads. It helps people uncover their “why” and develop their user manual while also contributing to the agency’s innovation and growth in retail media.

FUN FACT: Bailey had three imaginary friends when she was little.


Carolina Bethencourt
Customer Marketing Manager
Bacardi USA
Age 35

Bethencourt supports all of Bacardi’s below-the-line programming in the large liquor and club channel, as well as in “control states.” She leads a diverse set of portfolio programs that are sometimes cocktail-forward, sometimes occasion-forward, and she assists the digital/omnichannel transformation of the company’s largest retail partners. Bethencourt has a deep understanding of the BevAlc go-to-market strategy, brand management, the path to purchase, agency and account management. She also leads the development of value-added packs, setting up regional/national sweepstakes leveraging some of Bacardi USA’s sponsorships, including Live Nation and major-league sports teams. She also designs display structures for its brands, managing partnerships or sampling program executions. In the past year alone, Bethencourt has helped secure coveted display programs at Total Wine & More for Bacardi brands by working with shopper agencies to create pieces that were engaging, educational and enticing. In the process, Bacardi helped grow positive customer relations and rate of sale, propelling it to be one of the top three spirit suppliers. She has also built the commercialization launch plan, including tools and digital toolkits for the new Grey Goose Classic Martini Cocktail innovation, and created and executed the Old Fashioned Program — a 360-degree shopper program aimed at driving education and sales of participating brands. During the program period, she and her team helped grow return on sales (ROS) by more than 26%, outpacing overall spirits by more than 17%.

FUN FACT: Originally from Brazil, Bethencourt speaks three languages fluently. She loves the beach, playing golf and spending time with her two baby girls.


Emily Bibeault
E-Commerce Director
Age 34

Bibeault oversees strategy, planning and programming across Campari’s portfolio of brands, focusing on driving growth in marketplaces, omnichannel and emerging sub-channels. Prior to joining the company in October 2021, she had worked in the BevAlc space for more than seven years, both on the brand and agency side. She has extensive media agency experience, rooted in results-driven digital, social and performance media across a variety of verticals. Over the past year, she has led efforts to support Aperol’s experiential footprint at music festivals. Aperol partnered with Uber Ads and Drizly for a first-to-market e-commerce activation, engaging festival-goers via Uber Ride Share Ads to “Bring the Festival Home” by ordering Aperol on Drizly. Festival-goers were also encouraged to sign up for Aperol’s CRM program with a discount code for Drizly delivery on-site at the festivals. The full-funnel commerce program contributed to significant year-over-year sales lifts on Drizly. Bibeault was also instrumental in creating Negroni Sbagliato digital assets to activate programming across top delivery marketplaces like Drizly and Instacart, B2B promotion to drive online ordering with retail customers, and a custom Sbagliato Cocktail kit to recreate the viral moment at home — programming that contributed to double-digit growth for the brand online. Bibeault says she is most proud of the impact e-commerce efforts have had on the growth of the Campari portfolio of brands.

FUN FACT: Despite living in New York for more than 10 years, Bibeault is still an avid Boston sports fan with a goal of seeing the New England Patriots play in every NFL stadium. She is one-third of the way there.

giant food

Kevin P. Brooks
Omnichannel Partnership Manager
Giant Food
Age 30

Brooks has been at Giant Food for more than two years, planning, executing and measuring all of the retailer’s on-site ad tactics — including homepage, browse, search and digital impulse opportunities — as the primary contact for the CPG community. Promoted to his current role last year, he has had the opportunity to connect some of Giant Food’s more traditional in-store ad tactics (including print circular and display) with its on-site experience to create a true omnichannel shopping experience for customers. This past year, he also led the implementation of scale Ahold Delhaize USA shopper marketing programs at Giant Food, developed multiple omnichannel shopper marketing bundles with first- and third-party ad tactics, and created ad campaigns centered around e-commerce exclusive offers to drive digital engagement and e-commerce penetration. He is most proud of earning a top-10 ranking in all digital and e-commerce competencies in the most recent Advantage industry survey, and having led the charge to double Giant Food’s CPG investment in e-commerce ad tactics year over year. Previously, Brooks worked at Under Armour in a variety of roles within the company’s e-commerce business, and also spent time with the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Commanders and USC Trojans football teams.

FUN FACT: Brooks lived in Israel for six months.


Elizabeth Buffum
Senior Manager, Retail Marketing
Age 39

A member of Mattel’s customer and retail marketing teams for nearly eight years, Buffum was most recently a key member of the Fisher-Price Online Task Force — a team that identified and addressed gaps in the company’s strategy, resulting in share gains in online infant preschool sales in 2022. This past year, she has also worked to refine its retail media strategy, making the company’s spend more effective and efficient as the team focused on long-term priority items. She also analyzed and defined a new promotional strategy to drive both immediate sales and long-term growth. Her work included testing and implementing virtual bundle and variation strategies to improve organic search ranking and grow basket size, and leading efforts to increase conversion rates on key items that are underperforming benchmarks. She is most proud of driving collaboration between internal Mattel teams to develop actionable insights from the wealth of data Amazon provides. Buffum joined Mattel in June 2015 after working at Accenture, accounting firm Grant Thornton and Taco Bell.

FUN FACT: She once won a trip to the Super Bowl in a raffle.

nestle purina

Maggie Castaldo
Omnichannel Category Manager
Nestle Purina
Age 30

Castaldo’s priorities include elevating the importance of the pet category with retailers, leading omnichannel strategy and preparing Purina for the next wave of commerce. This past year, she led a project focusing on omnichannel research and strategies to influence the future of pet shopping, while also leading the efforts to create an e-commerce scorecard for omnichannel excellence. She also developed a POV on retail trends for executive leadership and led custom research on the direct-to-consumer pet sector, personal shopper and emerging retail capabilities in the pet category to prepare Purina for the next wave of connected commerce. Castaldo has also led the company’s Race and Ethnicity DE&I workstream, helping build belonging and educating people on cultural awareness. In her first year with the company, she received the DE&I Ambassador award and DE&I Workstream Leadership award. Castaldo is a trilingual marketer who is passionate about improving consumers’ lives, future-proofing businesses and developing talents. She has also worked at Nielsen BASES. Prior to joining Purina, she also spent time at Unilever.

FUN FACT: Castaldo is currently completing her 200-hour yoga instructor training. If you think she’s an Enneagram 3 (the achiever), you are absolutely right!


Barbara Connors
Vice President, Strategy & Acceleration
Age 37

Connors leads commercial solutions, industry engagement, thought leadership and marketing for 84.51’s insights business. She also heads up the company’s merchandising collaboration team, focusing on driving strategic alignment between Kroger’s priorities and those of 84.51’s more than 1,400 clients. With Dunnhumby USA for seven years and 84.51 the past eight years, she has consulted with both merchandising and CPGs across several retailers, including sectors such as home improvement, fashion and grocery. She led brand media solutions at Dunnhumby USA and the inception of 84.51’s retail media business as well as its Commercial Insights team before transitioning into her current role in September 2022. Connors led the launch and scale of insights innovation that empowers CPGs and agencies to win in the omnichannel world, including clickstream Insights, 84.51 In-Queries (a self-serve consumer research platform) and 84.51 Collaborative Cloud (an insights platform designed for data scientists). She also sits on the SIMA (Shopper Insights Management Association) board and supports 84.51 enterprise culture through leadership positions on its culture council; diversity, equity and inclusion council; and ITOPiA, an associate group that empowers introverts.

FUN FACT: Connors went to high school in Saudi Arabia.


Cristina Costa
Senior Sales Director, CPG
Aki Technologies, an Inmar Intelligence Company
Age 34

Costa’s impact on the company’s business over the past year has secured her a spot in parent company Inmar Intelligence’s “President’s Club,” which recognizes the top-performing sales representatives. She is one of the first people from Aki to receive this honor, which she earned by creating meaningful and highly collaborative relationships with her clients. She also set the largest growth record in Aki history. Costa is a seasoned commerce marketing leader with more than 13 years of experience working in the digital advertising space, both on the technology provider and brand sides. She creates strategic programs for her CPG and BevAlc partners. Prior to Aki, she worked at both ad tech companies and shopper marketing agencies, as well as on the e-commerce team at Diageo, where she deepened her expertise of the BevAlc space. She is a member of P2PI’s BACi share group. Two of her award-winning programs include Stacy’s Chips campaign, which won two Platinum MarCom Awards and an AVA Digital Award, and her Crown Royal campaign, which garnered both a Communicator Award and a Stevie’s Award.

FUN FACT: Costa has been a fitness instructor for more than 10 years, teaching Zumba, Pound and other cardio sculpting classes.


Sean Crawford
Managing Director
Age 33

Crawford joined Threefold with just 30 people on its staff, and he was charged with setting up British supermarket Sainsbury’s retail media network, as well as networks for pure play e-commerce department store The Very Group and nursery specialist Mothercare. He then was tapped to run Threefold’s media buying agency, Capture, where he has grown relationships with media, adtech and martech partners, leading a team of commerce experts to advise the agency group’s CPG clients on how best to plan, buy, manage and evaluate their commerce media across multiple retail media networks. Now with more than 250 retail media experts across six U.K. cities and operating five retail media networks in the U.K., Crawford says he is most proud of being promoted in October 2022 to his current post, charged with leading the group’s international expansion into the U.S. In the past year, he has reimagined media buying for the agency group by in-housing media buying operations, resulting in the ability to directly optimize targeting, performance and profitability of CPG clients’ commerce media spend. He also led a team to deliver the biggest ad revenue month ever recorded for the agency group, while also surpassing financial targets in three consecutive periods, resulting in double-digit year-over-year growth for the agency.

FUN FACT: Crawford trained with the U.K.’s Royal Air Force and has flown an aircraft solo.

earth friendly products

Ashley Dawson
Trade and Shopper Marketing Manager
Earth Friendly Products (ECOS)
Age 34

While in college, Dawson began her career working for ECOS on the weekends. From selling the company’s laundry detergent at Sam’s Club, she took a full-time sales position in Southern California upon graduation and has been there ever since. During that time, she has supported the sales team’s efforts to facilitate sell-in and deepen relationships with customers. She has also worked on shopper marketing programs to drive pull-through to ensure that existing and new distribution sticks. And, most recently, she became a proficient analyst, providing thorough reports to strategy teams to inform and influence key business decisions. Some of her work includes providing key insights related to pricing and downsizing in the competitive landscape amidst increasing inflationary pressures, which helped the company make the best decisions possible for its own size and price offerings. She has also leveraged data to develop powerful selling stories that helped the sales team garner new distribution at key retailers like BJs and Walmart; and played an instrumental role partnering with its innovation team to commercialize key new product launches.

FUN FACT: Dawson competed in a powerlifting competition for the first time last December and won a gold medal in her event category.

volpi foods

Deanna Depke
Marketing Manager
Volpi Foods
Age 30

Depke is a fourth-generation member of the Volpi Foods family, having joined the growing company in 2015. Key highlights of her tenure include leading a national sports sponsorship program, repositioning the brand to leverage market whitespace, and expanding retailer relationships to bring the Volpi brand into more than 3,000 new store locations. She has played a key role in the revitalization of a 120-year-old brand with a focus on authentic charcuterie, made and packaged responsibly. In 2022, Volpi Foods celebrated its 120th anniversary via an omnichannel campaign touting the history, authenticity and commitment to quality the family-owned company has maintained for more than a century, which was an undertaking she is particularly proud of. On the personal side, in January 2023, she became a mother to a baby girl.

FUN FACT: If there’s a party, Depke is bringing the charcuterie board.

bimbo bakeries

Aliza Fazal
Omnichannel Manager
Bimbo Bakeries USA
Age 34

Fazal has served as the omnichannel manager for Bimbo Bakeries since May 2021. In that time, she has effectively developed the company’s fragmented portfolio of e-commerce business into a growth channel. She has also built strong relationships with industry-wide retail media networks in an effort to execute truly omnichannel programs tailored to the customer’s experience. Fazal is proud of the work she has done to expand her personal expertise of lower-funnel digital marketing further through test-and-learns, self-teaching and courses, which she has been able to apply to the Bimbo Bakeries business to create omnichannel excellence. Fazal began her career as a purchasing manager at Lidl U.S. and also spent just under five years at Puratos U.S. in project management, marketing and e-commerce.

FUN FACT: Fazal’s dream vacation is to spend a few months traveling the entirety of Japan; she is fascinated by the history, cuisine, culture and technology.

e. & j. gallo winery

Megan Ford
National Director – Commerce Marketing
E. & J. Gallo Winery
Age 39

Ford is responsible for helping consumers find, buy and enjoy Gallo’s more than 100 wine, spirits and ready-to-drink brands in retail, on-premise and online. She leads her team to deliver on the company’s purpose: to serve enjoyment in moments that matter. Ford points to taking over leadership of Gallo’s national commerce marketing organization as a highlight in the past year. Through this role, she has developed an omnichannel approach to brand-led programming, bringing a new level of objectivity to commercial marketing activities by driving end-to-end accountability, pioneering new means of measurement/KPIs for her practice, and launching a new path to purchase platform that capitalized on Barefoot’s partnership with the NFL. She is most proud of her efforts in operationalizing E. & J. Gallo’s Shopper Vision (its BevAlc end-to-end path to purchase insights platform), resulting in more innovative insights-based customer programs. Ford leverages her breadth of experience from prior roles in finance, sales strategy and marketing in order to solve complex problems, build strategic capabilities and develop high-performing teams. Prior to joining Gallo in 2009, she worked at Deloitte. She currently serves on the Alumni Board at her high school and is chair of fundraising for an early education center for families in need.

FUN FACT: Ford lived in Budapest, Hungary, for a year.


Drew Frost
Director, Retail Media Ad Operations
Age 32

Frost joined Lowe’s in June 2022 and has been instrumental in launching the Lowe’s One Roof Media Network, which has helped the retail media business rapidly transform from a retail media startup into a power player. In the past year, he oversaw the three-fold growth of Lowe’s One Roof Media Network’s retail media team, which he is most proud of, since it went from a few individuals to a well-oiled self-sustaining department. He activated a robust partner ecosystem that includes Yahoo, Criteo and Pinterest. He also introduced more than 12 new ad formats; developed and enhanced an unparalleled operational tech stack; and designed and introduced best-in-class, full-funnel advertising technology solutions aligned with the needs of Lowe’s brand partners. Before his time at Lowe’s, Frost spent nine years at Sam’s Club and Walmart. He held various roles in product and performance marketing, and became an app marketing and marketing technology expert. While there, he created the go-to-market strategy for multiple apps, developed the marketing technology stack for the performance marketing team, and launched the go-to-market marketing plans for new services, such as club pickup, free shipping, delivery and other member benefits.

FUN FACT: Frost is a barbecue enthusiast. He has been known to drive or fly several hours to try a region’s new or must-try barbecue restaurant. He has also been a judge in both regional and national barbecue competitions.

procter & gamble

Michael Garcia
Senior Sales Director – Target Team
Procter & Gamble
Age 37

Garcia has more than a decade of experience in the CPG industry. At P&G, he leads the digital commerce strategy across all of the company’s categories while forging innovation in this space in partnership with his customer, Target. In the past year, he created a foundational training repository that covers key digital topics around search, content and availability to provide insight to both P&G and his customer, as well as a digital knowledge forum to help educate the P&G team and raise the capability of every role/function in this space. These forums inspire the broader organization to think deeper about digital and the possibilities for the future. Garcia started with the company in retail merchandising in 2008. During his 15-year tenure, he has gained experience in marketing, sales and digital across club and drug channels as well as mass retailers. Garcia is an active volunteer and serves as the communications officer for NextUp Twin Cities. He also is a marketing advisory board member for the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business at Clemson University, and a board member for InspireMSP.

FUN FACT: Garcia has visited more than 50 countries around the world.


Julia Giambastiani
Senior Manager of Digital Content
Age 28

Giambastiani leads digital content strategy across all of Sanofi Consumer Healthcare. Specializing in e-commerce digital shelf content that drives discoverability and conversion, she provides omnichannel leadership and collaboration to empower category, global and company innovation and growth. Her recent work includes activating next-generation, fit-for-purpose and fit-for-platform digital commerce content as well as innovating/optimizing all e-commerce content to transform the company’s presence in the space. She and her team delivered content scores of more than 90% for its top nine retailers, a first for the company since tracking content. She has also cultivated deeply collaborative working relationships with key internal stakeholders, educating them on the digital ecosystem and best practices, and effectively managed Sanofi’s digital content and syndication budget across multiple agency partners. Giambastiani has also developed and staffed a content team, has improved processes and defined responsibilities cross-functionally to drive efficiencies, and created an entirely new approach to content and ways of working for the organization — which has earned her teams an unprecedented seat at the table in annual brand planning. Prior to joining Sanofi in 2020, Giambastiani held similar positions at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, where she began her career as an intern.

FUN FACT: Giambastiani taught English in Thailand for a semester in 2018.


Jehan Hamedi
Founder & CEO
Age 33

Hamedi began his career as a senior researcher at the AI-powered consumer insights firm Crimson Hexagon and eventually led its growth and innovation team. While there, he helped scale the company’s commercial operations from $2.5 million to more than $15 million in revenue within two years. In 2014, he launched a market research & AI consultancy with an R&D lab focused on developing proprietary AI software that mines large-scale datasets to understand public opinion across major social networks and websites. Adhark’s AI innovations led to what would eventually become his current company, Vizit. The company recently announced a $10 million Series A funding round to fuel growth and help e-commerce, marketing and creative teams win consumers’ attention through its Visual Brand Performance Platform. Brands and retailers are using Vizit to maximize consumer attention and conversion by optimizing the digital images used in commerce, and the company now works with dozens of the world’s leading brands, including Mars, General Mills, Unilever, Panasonic and Harley-Davidson. Hamedi has been awarded 12 patents for his inventions that use artificial intelligence and analytics software.

FUN FACT: Hamedi is a Persian kebab aficionado, and both of his parents are entrepreneurs.

general mills

Carter Jensen
Senior Manager, Global Commerce
General Mills
Age 33

Jensen’s mission when he joined General Mills in 2020 was to help accelerate its e-commerce capabilities. He has since supported the vision of connected commerce across the organization, transforming the go-to-market strategy for the company’s collection of global brands. He is most proud of his team’s recent introduction of a groundbreaking solution called PDP+, an enhanced version of traditional shoppability solutions that not only minimizes clicks to purchase, but also offers a comprehensive data trail from engagement to purchase across all of its digital touchpoints. Other efforts have included a new strategy that defines the role and impact for the direct-to-consumer business within General Mills. He has also focused on enabling emerging markets and agile brands to collect, manage and activate first-party data while connecting with their consumers in new ways — all within limited budgets and tight timelines. Jensen has driven social commerce acceleration, with pilots and partnerships marking various “firsts” with partners such as TikTok and Meta. Prior to joining General Mills, he led a variety of consumer experience and technology startups in addition to holding agency and consulting leadership positions.

FUN FACT: Several years into his career, Jensen’s closest friends persuaded him to join them as they embarked on an adventure to Melbourne, Australia. While working at a burger shop, they earned enough to sustain themselves and discover their new surroundings. Jensen returned a year later, filled with inspiration and ready to launch his first startup.


Christa Klausner
Senior Vice President, Commerce
Age 38

Klausner is charged with driving commerce integration across Digitas and Publicis Power of 1 teams for Kellogg’s, Edgewell, Haleon (previously GSK), Medline and others. Her work spans retail media, social commerce, shoppable media and measurement solutions. She also leads commerce teams that oversee marketplace go-to-market strategies and evolving retail media network and monetization offerings with brands such as Ferrara, CVS and Sephora. Klausner is most proud of driving growth within the Digitas commerce capability by focusing on new client acquisition, organic growth across existing clients and expansion in commerce talent across the agency. Klausner spent the first 14 years of her career at TPN (Omnicom), initially focused on client service before shifting to help guide the growth of a digital commerce consultancy within the agency, while supporting shopper marketing and digital commerce efforts for its clients. With Digitas since March 2021, Klausner is focused on connecting commerce with media, creative, technology and other capabilities across the agency. She is responsible for growing the retail media practice, driving the growth of shoppable media experiences, and supporting data monetization across Digitas and Publicis clients.

FUN FACT: Klausner says that most people she meets for the first time are convinced they’ve met previously.


Yashika Maru
Trade & Shopper Marketing Manager
BuzzBallz LLC/Southern Champion
Age 32

Maru leads trade, shopper and events marketing for the company, the only woman-owned distillery, winery and brewery in the United States. She spent more than four years as the marketing coordinator for Nebraska Furniture Mart before starting at BuzzBallz in 2018. A key project this year was implementing shopper marketing campaigns for Uptown Cocktails. She says building the BuzzBallz and Uptown Cocktails brand from scratch has been a great journey, where she has been able to gain knowledge of the beverage industry while executing 360-degree marketing programs. Maru has been a jack of all trades within the company’s sales and marketing teams as the company grows, building elements of trade, events, shopper and digital marketing for the brand. She attacks her work with tenacity, ambition and leadership, not being afraid to take risks — but with a strategic and data-driven approach. Maru’s passion for the consumer packaged goods industry and small companies fosters her growth mindset that positively impacts her work with consistent successes.

FUN FACT: Maru has a passion for interior design.

arc worldwide

Jacqueline “Jax” McCabe
Creative Director
Arc Worldwide
Age 39

McCabe joined Arc two years ago to lead the grocery sector of Unilever’s shopper marketing business. Today, she and her team strive to turn even the most turnkey shopper marketing assignments into innovative, award-winning programs that drive brand equity and shopper engagement. A notable campaign from the past year includes the launch of “Scents of Confidence” for Unilever exclusively at Kroger. The program showed parents how to take the sweat out of finding their tween’s first deodorant with a revolutionary way to shop: by passions, not gender. There was a 24% penetration lift for household trial of Unilever deodorant, and deodorant grew sales by 20%. McCabe also led the creation of Juntos for Unilever at ShopRite to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, which took Latinx Caribbean culture out of the ethnic aisle and put it center stage with a family-reunion inspired fiesta. Unilever saw a portfolio increase of 23.8% and penetration of Hispanic households shopping at ShopRite rose to 22.1%. McCabe has more than 15 years of experience at agencies like VMLY&R Commerce and Momentum. She co-founded “The Moms Circle,” a support network for working and expecting moms while at VMLY&R Commerce, and through some of the Publicis Groupe’s mentoring programs, is guiding soon-to-be moms as they transition to working parenthood now at Arc.

FUN FACT: McCabe owns a 125-year-old table-top letterpress that she used to make her own wedding invitations.


Kris McDermott
Director, Omnichannel Marketing
Age 37

McDermott leads Kimberly-Clark’s omnichannel marketing teams for Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target and emerging platforms. She and her team create and execute marketing programs that drive brand equity, trial, conversion and loyalty. Notable work this past year includes the launch of some of the company’s biggest omnichannel activations to date, including “Tissue Sessions for Change” with Kleenex at Target, “The Big Split” at Sam’s Club and “Magic In Hand” with Huggies at Walmart. She is most proud of her efforts to drive the reorganization of the team from shopper marketing sitting in shopper engagement to omnichannel marketing, and being part of the digital commerce/omnichannel marketing team. McDermott is passionate about leveraging retail platforms to drive brand outcomes and has been a critical contributor to Kimberly-Clark’s advancement in holistic media planning and activation. She brought her background in performance marketing to her roles, first in shopper marketing to drive the discipline and focus on retail media and, more recently, in leading omnichannel marketing for some of the company’s largest customers. Prior, she led e-commerce capability development for Edelman and in various commerce capability and client leadership roles in Omnicom Media Group.

FUN FACT: McDermott is building a freestanding cordwood sauna with her best friend in Michigan this summer.


Rebecca Miller
Vice President, Commerce Strategy
Age 38

Miller guides Mosaic clients in navigating the next frontier of hybrid shopping behaviors to build human-centric experiences. Recently, she helped elevate the annual planning approach for clients by bringing more retailer-specific shopper data to the forefront, working with creative leadership to set new standards for best-in-class creative commerce principles, and partnering with the Mosaic Commerce Media team to strengthen connections between shopper audience profiling, communications strategy and retail media. She has had the unique opportunity of working with Mosaic commerce clients of all sizes across the U.S. and Canada this past year. Miller has brought strategic agility to large established CPG brands, led strategy for niche brands moving from direct-to-consumer to mass retail, and reignited communications for conventional brands in unconventional ways. She is most proud of leading ongoing creative strategy work over the past two years to help bring some of the “fun” parts of “Target Run” to a marquee grocery category, which has been recognized by the retailer as best in class and helped break through long-held food and beverage category constrictions at Target. Miller started her career in commerce marketing more than 16 years ago as a shopper strategy intern at a Walmart-focused agency while finishing her degree at the Walton College of Business. Her senior thesis on how people shop for jams and jellies sparked a fascination with the emotional drivers of shopping behavior that continues to this day.

FUN FACT: Miller is an amateur artist and recently completed the cover artwork for a soon-to-be-published novel, of which she can’t share the title just yet.

the mars agency

Jonathan Morrow
Vice President, Group Creative Director
The Mars Agency
Age 38

Morrow joined The Mars Agency in 2017 to grow the creative practice in Chicago. He has since relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, and currently leads the agency’s long partnership with Campbell Soup Co. He and his team have developed successful platforms like the media-to-shelf “Joy Night In” program with Hallmark at Walmart, Target’s experiential “Happy to Host” that appeared in Times Square, and Campbell’s multi-year “Prepless” campaign, which continues to drive real value for shoppers. He believes in ideas that create impact and a team culture that reminds people just how fun their jobs and this industry can be. Notable work this past year includes Campbell’s “Season of Giving,” a first-of-its-kind promotion at Instacart where their shoppers could be surprised with $500 when fulfilling orders throughout the holiday season. Morrow started his career in Chicago as an art director on the MilkPEP account, helping to build on the “Got milk?” campaign. He is a true steward of the industry and its future, mentoring young creatives and students, and volunteering as a judge across industry award circuits. Much of his success, he says, can be attributed to three very simple strategies: be nice, surround yourself with smart people and get to bed at a reasonable hour.

FUN FACT: Morrow dips his grilled cheese in ketchup, and no one can stop him.


Jenna O’Brien
Senior Customer Marketing Manager
The Coca-Cola Company
Age 37

O’Brien is a shopper marketing strategy and execution lead supporting 7-Eleven across innovation, the company’s Coke with meals program, pillar programs and retailer-specific initiatives. She leveraged multiple media channels this past year to create unique shopper experiences and drive sales of the bottler’s sparkling and still beverage portfolio, resulting in a Supplier of the Year team award. O’Brien also led the charge to amplify 7-Eleven’s summer campaign with occasion-based marketing and media aimed at bringing more Gen Z consumers to Coca-Cola brands through the lens of music, art and fashion. Her team created exclusive gear and a unique festival camper filled with co-branded swag, snacks and ice-cold Coca-Cola. The program was activated through POS, digital assets and an incremental custom shipper unit that featured ambient sparkling soft drink innovation — all of which was supported by a multi-layer, high-value targeted digital media campaign with digital mobile, paid social, digital audio, navigation and influencer tactics. O’Brien has been at the company for 11 years. Prior to that, she spent four years in account management at Saatchi & Saatchi X as the agency of record for Wendy’s.

FUN FACT: Being an athlete has always been part of O’Brien’s identity, but this year she made her foray into coaching with her godson’s soccer team. She’ll be back on the field this fall.


Heather Och
Senior Director, Category Leadership
Age 37

Och leads the category leadership team for the central division for Quaker, Pepsi Beverages and Frito-Lay. Her team works to unlock category growth by delivering actionable insights to benefit the shopper and customer, and drive the strategy for the divisions. Utilizing the Pepviz capabilities, her team has pioneered the new wave of analytic capabilities with its customers, including new segmentations as well as clustering and space optimization approaches. Prior to PepsiCo, Och worked in marketing at Giant Eagle for its new formats and loyalty programs, at Nielsen in client management and at GSK in category management. She has been with PepsiCo for more than seven years in category leadership and sales.

FUN FACT: Och is a six-year breast cancer survivor and works to raise awareness around early detection through WIN and local organizations.

dollar general

Natalie Ong
Director of Operations
Dollar General Media Network
Age 32

After joining DG Media Network in 2022 as it launched its new iteration, Ong played an instrumental part in growing the product and capability suite to unlock the retail media network’s next generation of growth. She led Alpha/Beta testing this past year and launched new ad products for the network to deliver innovation to DG Media Network’s vendor partners, enabling them to capture the hard-to-reach in new diversified channels. She also built an operations team as the business moved more capabilities in-house. Ong started her career as a trader on Wall Street before moving to a local startup incubator in Singapore, working with early-stage startups on their financial projections and business case development. Her blend of finance and startup experience carried over well to the retail media network space, where she began working on commercialization efforts at Target’s Roundel before assuming her current role at DG Media Network. Ong now manages an operations team to unlock scale for the rapidly growing media network and works closely with internal and external tech partners to bring new products to life that allow vendors to strategically connect with the DG customer in relevant ways. She is proud to have recently completed a 14-mile hike in the Rocky Mountains, seven months post-knee surgery.

FUN FACT: Growing up in Singapore, Tokyo and New York, Ong did not learn how to drive until in her late 20s and bought her first car (an EV) in her 30s. She continues to hope that it will eventually drive and park itself better than she can. 

universal mccann

Amie Owen
Head of Commerce
Universal McCann
Age 38

Owen joined Universal McCann in 2013, focusing on its shopper efforts. The media agency is now morphing UM Shopper into UM Commerce, and she sits at the helm, overseeing a staff of approximately 50. She says technology advances such as the re-emergence of QR codes and out-of-stock technologies, consumer habit changes spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a better data trail to track the consumer journey (including access to Acxiom data) have created the right market conditions to evolve. Her efforts now include driving incremental opportunities through a new commerce story — treating commerce as both a partner (knowing planning/buying of retail media) and a tactic (making all things shoppable across audience purchase journeys.) She has more than 15 years of experience within the shopper media industry, and as head of the discipline for almost 10 years, she conceptualized, developed and launched UM’s first Commerce Media team, focusing on the areas of connected commerce, digital activations in retail, traditional shopper media and commerce media consultancy. She and her team have worked with top brands to help develop their new coined commerce capabilities, leading to UM Commerce adding six new clients to its roster in 2022 alone. 

FUN FACT: An avid runner who has participated in more than 10 marathons, Owen runs in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to honor her friends and family who have lost their lives to these cancers.

clif bar

Adrienne Polley
Last Miler Platform Manager
Clif Bar & Company
Age 31

Polley started at Clif Bar nearly seven years ago. Her first work in field marketing events, which included sampling products and connecting with consumers, initiated a deep sense of pride for the company, its core values and its portfolio of products. She later contracted on different teams within the organization, supporting the field and sports marketing teams as well as a team dedicated to internal process and systems improvement. She is a cross-functional collaborator and has spent the past four years on the shopper and e-marketing team, owning integrated shopper plans across key customers by partnering closely with sales, marketing and brand teams. Polley’s most recent role involved serving as the shopper lead for the Kroger business, where she was responsible for implementing comprehensive 360-degree plans aimed at driving business growth. She is dedicated to expanding her knowledge in the commerce space and keeping up with industry trends by prioritizing and attending events — and she’s always seeking efficiencies in ways of working and breaking down silos. Polley looks forward to continuing to elevate the importance of shopper marketing and e-commerce, and has recently become an internal lead in helping the voices of the company’s people be heard as well as engaging with others in activating the best parts of company culture.

FUN FACT: Polley loves exploring new hiking trails with her husband and her dog, Moose.


Rachel Radecki
Shopper Marketing Senior Manager
Age 27

Radecki develops insights-driven programming to connect with shoppers both in-store and online. She currently leads omnichannel shopper strategies and executions across all of Fairlife’s brands at Walmart and in its club, drug, value and convenience retailers. She works closely with Coca-Cola’s customer marketing team to unlock opportunities for total portfolio programming. Recent key projects include partnering with the insights team to develop a new approach for measuring the recruitment effectiveness of shopper programs, developing portfolio pillar programming with key partners at Coca-Cola, and attending top-to-top customer meetings with executive leadership to highlight the strong performance of programs with retail media networks. During her time at Fairlife, she has executed more than 200 shopper marketing programs across key customers and has developed 10 key shopper marketing strategies and campaigns. She has partnered closely with brand and sales teams to develop best-in-class launch plans for new products at retail and execute against key brand strategies, and has delivered strong results to drive the business for Fairlife brands (including setting new sales lift benchmarks for the category at Sam’s Club). Prior to joining in 2021, Radecki worked at VMLY&R Commerce. She has been named a “Rising Mentee” by Adweek and has spent the past 10 years as a leader of the Chicago International Model United Nations.

FUN FACT: In a previous role, Radecki worked closely with musician Jon Bon Jovi on his Hampton Water Wine redesign and relaunch.

H&H Group

Amanda Robinson
Senior Manager, Shopper Marketing
H&H Group (Zesty Paws & Solid Gold)
Age 34

At H&H Group since October 2021, Robinson has effectively helped bring multi-condition pet supplement brand Zesty Paws and premium pet nutrition brand Solid Gold to life in-store and online. She has worked with her team to develop a process for developing best-in-class shopper marketing programs and launch Zesty Paws at three new retailers. She is particularly proud of the shopper marketing efforts this past year since the brand was primarily digital before she joined the team. Robinson has more than a decade of omnichannel and experiential experience in brand and shopper marketing. She started her career at HMT Associates working with Kraft Foods, which allowed her to build creative and strategic skills while focusing on in-store displays. During her time at Geometry Global, Robinson worked with Purina to build omnichannel programs for Petco, Walmart and Sam’s Club, with the shoot for the Pro Plan Westminster Winning Formula “Dogumentary” being a highlight. She also held roles at The Brandon Agency and The J.M. Smucker Co., focused on growing pet brands within the independent channel; and at Natural Balance Pet Foods in product development, where she worked with her team to launch Freeze Dried and Platefulls and was involved in the overall revamp of the brand.

FUN FACT: When Robinson isn’t playing with her three children, she owns her own photography business, has a cooking blog and is currently working to earn her yoga teacher certification.

keurig dr pepper

Richard Rodgers
Director, Omnichannel Marketing
Keurig Dr Pepper Canada
Age 39

When Rodgers joined the company in 2016, he was charged with building the shopper marketing team and defining the national- and account-specific strategies for the hot portfolio of brands (Keurig, Van Houtte and Timothy’s) and later integrating the cold portfolio (Mott’s Clamato, Canada Dry, Bai) following the merger of Keurig Canada and Canada Dry Mott’s in 2018. Also a member of the Walmart Connect Client Advisory Board in Canada, his passion for creating a seamless shopping experience along the path to purchase contributed to the successful launches of coffee makers like the K-Express Essentials and full-year customer marketing plans across grocery, retail, and convenience and gas customers. Rodgers developed a hybrid team that integrates traditional and digital shopper marketing with the paid search and digital shelf teams. The integrated omnichannel structure earned his team Keurig Dr Pepper Canada’s 2022 Team of the Year award. They continue to work to remove the physical barriers between traditional brick-and-mortar and e-commerce, shifting the mindset from “where” people shop to “how” they shop. Key projects this past year include the implementation of an elevated in-store and online shopping experience for Keurig coffee makers at Canadian Tire and Walmart, as well as several key national retail campaigns, and full-year Walmart Connect planning for Keurig coffee makers.

FUN FACT: Rodgers is such a huge Marvel Cinematic Universe fan that he named his son (first, middle and last names) after the Avengers “Big Three:” Thor, Iron Man and Captain America.


Lauren Ruis
Senior Manager, Shopper Strategy & Planning
Ferrara Candy Company
Age 37

Ruis works across Ferrara’s iconic confectionery brands, including Nerds, Trolli, SweeTarts and Black Forest to drive brand growth by reaching shoppers on the path to purchase with consistent, equity-building and commerce-driving communications. Recently, she led multiple commerce-driving promotions that resulted in greater in-store display presence for the Trolli, SweeTarts and Nerds brands. This past year, she also helped launch innovative products with connected commerce tactics designed to drive omnichannel commerce. Ruis has more than 13 years of experience working across various disciplines in marketing, including brand marketing, consumer promotions, market research and shopper marketing at companies such as Mars Wrigley, Glanbia Performance Nutrition and ZS Associates. She is most proud of having led the creation of a summer music in-store display program (which highly exceeded volume expectations) and becoming a mom to her son in August 2022.

FUN FACT: Her dog’s Instagram account (@odellthemutt) has way more followers than she does, and he’s been recognized on the streets of Chicago.


Allie Schenian
Performance Marketing Manager
Age 34

Schenian has 10 years of marketing experience working with top brands such as IBM, Clorox, Seventh Generation and Unilever. She started her career as a field marketing manager at IBM for two years before transitioning into CPG in 2014 as an account lead at Catapult (now Publicis agency), supporting The Clorox Co. She then joined Unilever in 2017 on the shopper marketing team. Schenian was promoted to her current role at the beginning of 2022 and now leads multiple projects to accelerate Unilever’s capabilities within marketing. Recent work includes partnering with Epsilon to develop and implement a new Unilever audience platform, The Hive, to build audience-first strategies and campaigns for shopper marketing; leading a cross-functional team to develop and pilot a new full-funnel audience strategy that is connecting category, brand and retail audiences to unlock growth; and spearheading the development of new measurement capabilities and framework within shopper marketing to better analyze performance. She is proud to have completed her MBA at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

FUN FACT: Schenian’s husband was her neighbor all throughout childhood. She has been “dating” him for 18 years.

conagra brands

Reshma Schneider
Commerce Marketing Director
Conagra Brands
Age 35

Schneider has been with Conagra Brands for five years and currently leads its commerce marketing team for the company’s regional grocery retailers. She and her team work closely with the sales teams and retailer partners to drive sales and profitability through creative, innovative omnichannel activations. They leverage the company’s shopper and retailer expertise to build programs to connect with shoppers through trial, awareness, engagement, conversion and loyalty utilizing everything from traditional in-store tactics, e-commerce support, retail media activation and digital shelf analytics. Notable work this past year includes leading a team through the shifting landscape of commerce marketing and the accelerated growth of e-commerce, as well as the introduction of retail media networks and the expansion of retailer capabilities. Schneider also points to working with key retail media networks to standardize measurement, methodology and metrics across the industry — and training and educating leadership, cross-functional teams, agencies and partners across retail media, digital shelf analytics and building omnichannel programs as a main focus of her efforts. She is most proud of the partnerships she has built throughout Conagra and with its customers. Prior to her current role, Schneider spent three years on the e-commerce team focused on developing the fundamentals, standing up new capabilities and managing pure play retailers, including Amazon, as well as in various roles in e-commerce, digital marketing and sales outside of the company.

FUN FACT: Schneider is a proud dog mom of two rescues: Bali (age 3) and Maui (age 9 months).


Halli Stewart
E-Commerce Digital Content Manager
Prestige Consumer Healthcare
Age 26

After spending several months traveling throughout South East Asia on an international business program and managing Marist College’s athletics department’s social media, Stewart graduated in 2018. She began her e-commerce career at Nestle Waters and, in May 2022, joined Prestige Consumer Healthcare to manage the digital shelf and e-commerce content creation. In that time, she has launched 15 new items across the omnichannel space, helping to manage all aspects of a successful launch, including content creation and review seeding. She has also completed full content and packaging rebranding for five major brands, leveraging the newest best-in-class e-commerce content standards, and optimized 12 additional brands with new SEO-focused marketing copy. She created new enhanced content working with the company’s agency partners or utilizing her own graphic design background and digital production skills. She is most proud of being able to increase the company’s digital shelf content scores across all retailers to the 95%-100% range this past year.

FUN FACT: Stewart previously worked at The Walt Disney Co. in Florida as a boat captain.


Claire Wyatt
Vice President of Business Strategy & Marketing Science
Albertsons Media Collective
Age 35

Wyatt leads a team working on building out innovative, transparent measurement products, advanced audience targeting solutions and the overall business strategy for Albertsons Media Collective. The team is hyper-focused on the intersection of business performance, industry disruption, and underlying current and future client needs. Prior to her time at Albertsons Media Collective, Wyatt worked at Target’s Roundel, owning reporting, insights and analytics for more than $600 million in advertising spend and Roundel’s most significant client accounts. She is most proud of building out the Strategy & Science Team at Albertsons Media Collective — where there is a culture that she says achieves, but has fun while doing it. Key work over the past year includes the Incrementality Launch, an industry-leading incrementality methodology for off-platform media channels; agency partnerships with OMG & The Mars Agency; the Pinterest Clean Room, for which she helped lead a team that launched a first-to-market, closed-loop measurement via a clean room with Pinterest; and closed-loop measurement via The Trade Desk, where partners with self-service capabilities through The Trade Desk can activate using its audiences and see attributed revenue in the platform.

FUN FACT: An avid DIYer, Wyatt is in the middle of renovating her Chicago condo. She’s particularly proud of redoing the backsplash in her kitchen.


Ashleigh Zysko
Customer Director, Shopper Marketing
Mondelez International
Age 33

Zysko is responsible for leading omnishopper marketing for Mondelez International’s U.S. portfolio of brands within the convenience channel. She is focused on creating meaningful omnichannel experiences and solutions for c-store shoppers while delivering successful business results for her company, customers and partners. She has spent more than seven years at Mondelez and, prior to joining the company, held account management roles across a variety of shopper marketing and promotional marketing agencies, including IN Marketing, Geometry Global (now VMLY&R) and G2 Marketing. Zysko and her team promoted the 2022 launch of Sour Patch Kids’ full lineup of individual fruit candy flavors alongside a limited-edition Sour Patch Kids Strawberry Watermelon Froster in collaboration with PepsiCo. The fully integrated marketing campaign was created to drive awareness, increase store traffic and convert sales of the candy and Froster bundled solution. It included touchpoints across the full path to purchase to engage shoppers at key points of interruption. Zysko and her team received industry recognition following the campaign’s success.

FUN FACT: Zysko enjoys volunteering at a local animal rescue in her spare time. That is where she adopted her first pup, a black lab mix named Willow.

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