Student Conference on Advertising

Student Advertising Career Conference




Hassan S. Ali, Creative Marketing Director,  Onion Inc.
As Creative Marketing Director of Onion, Inc., Hassan S. Ali likes overusing the buzzword "branded content." Hassan has created branded content for brands like Intel, Allegra, and Progressive Insurance, all in The Onion's satirical voice. His mission is to create advertising ("branded content," if you will) that people actually enjoy interacting with… Read More

Jamie Anderson, Chief Strategy Officer, Manifest
I was taken off my first big "traditional" project after slicing my finger into two pieces with an X-Acto. As the world of digital and traditional have collided (both on the client side and on the agency side) my journey has brought me not far from my beginning: connected ideas and content reign supreme. Insight-driven work happens… Read More

Monica Behrmann, Art Director, mcgarrybowen
Monica graduated from University of Illinois in 2013 and finished up Chicago Portfolio School in 2015. After two amazing internships, she's now an Art Director at mcgarrybowen in Chicago working mostly on Oscar Mayer, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Read More

Brian Budchuck, Manager, Talent Acquisition, Dentsu Aegis Network 
Brian has 4 years’ experience recruiting in the Marketing & Advertising industry. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University. Brian recruits for the largest client within the Dentsu Aegis Network across multiple brands such as Carat and iProspect across 12 states and in two countries.  He works across multiple departments… Read More

Deniz Coker, Interactive Producer, West Coast & Midwest Regions, true[X] Los Angeles
Deniz produces all engagement advertising for the West Coast and Midwest regions. He oversees development of ad units, and manages production from creative through launch. He is based in Los Angeles. Deniz’s background is in film/television production and engineering. He transitioned to producing advertising after… Read More

Amanda Conrad, Sr. Product Manager, true[X] Los Angeles
Amanda is a part of the innovative work true[X] is doing in the realm of monetizing content for some of the industry’s largest digital media companies. She is the product owner of one of true[X]’s core products, the trueExchange ad serving platform. She works with business development, and engineering… Read More

Robin Corralez, VP, Human Resources, Discovery USA

Robin has more than 15 years of experience as a human resources leader across a variety of industries helping organizations define and enhance their talent strategy.  She currently spends her time focused on building a culture where smart, talented people can focus on their passion of doing great work while bettering the world… 
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Kara Coyle, Associate Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather Chicago
Kara began her career writing as the voice of Gatorade, channeling her inner 14-year-old athlete. Since then she has moved on to work for clients as diverse as eco-chic home cleaning goods to down-and-dirty MRO suppliers. Kara is a firm believer in the power of great storytelling. Simple solutions. And strong coffee… Read More


David Dobrow, Freelance Senior Recruiter
After spending close to a decade on the dark side (i.e. account management), I woke up one night in a cold sweat with the horrible realization that PowerPoint was not my greatest passion. Like anyone else, I quit my job and enrolled in culinary school. Who knew working in kitchens for screaming chefs for basically minimum wage… Read More


Gary Fox-Robertson, SVP/Creative Director, Leo Burnett USA
A Londoner by birth, Gary began his professional career in Guadalajara, Mexico as a journalist. However, he quickly realized he much preferred making things up than reporting the facts, so switched to copywriting. After five years working below the line his hometown, he accepted a job at Leo Burnett and emigrated to Chicago… Read More

Ozzie Godinez, CEO & Co-Founder PACO Collective
Ozzie was born in Mexico and raised on the south side of Chicago. His personal industry experience and in-depth knowledge of consumer market trends led him to believe there was a better way to approach Hispanic marketing. So, in 2006 he and Pablo Acosta founded PACO Communications, now known as PACO Collective… Read More

Amy Gozalka, Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather Chicago
Amy seeks to partner with those wanting to create emotionally driven and thoughtful work that makes people feel something. She is slightly obsessed with hearing about people's stories and learning something new every day. She is even more obsessed with her dog, Hunter who loves to go along for the ride, especially in the car… Read More

Shelli Gutholm,  VP Director, Global Talent Acquisition, Dentsu Aegis Network 

Shelli joined the Dentsu Aegis Network in 2012 and has built and lead global client teams across the United States as well as the talent acquisition team across the media brands, Carat, Posterscope, The Story Lab, Vizeum, etc. Shelli is a passionate advocate for the role of talent in relation to recruiting and hiring the best-in-class marketers… Read More

Patrick Hanlon,  Founder & CEO, Thinktopia

Patrick is founder and CEO of Thinktopia, a strategic branding and social engagement group. His books Primal Branding and The Social Code are in several languages and taught around the world. Hanlon is the only person in the world who has been an agency creative director and also on the advisory board of the Advertising Research Foundation. Read More

Allyson Harmon, Project Manager, true[X] Los Angeles
Allyson brings a wide-range of experience to her role at true[X], where she manages some of the company’s top initiatives & projects, and has successfully led company-wide process implementation, while streamlining cross-departmental workflows. Prior to working at true[X], Allyson gained tech industry experience working at eBay, where… Read More

Dhwani Jain, Planner, Edelman

Dhwani Jain joined Edelman in July 2015 as an analyst on the business development team helping with research and analytics for every new business pitch Edelman took part in. After about a year, she transitioned to the planning team at Edelman and is now working on a variety of brands from Kellogg’s to Hilton to Synergy Pharmaceuticals… Read More

Molly Locke Ryan, Junior Art Director, Leo Burnett
Molly was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. Her love for horses led her to South Dakota State University, where she studied Agricultural Communications. After graduation she was a store artist for Trader Joe’s, before following her true passion for art direction. After tightening her design skills at Chicago Portfolio School, she landed her dream job at Leo Burnett. In the last year and a half, Molly… Read More

Laurie Mellon, VP, Talent Acquisition Programs, Publicis Health 
Laurie has more than ten years of experience of partnering with leaders at all levels to identify and activate their personal career purpose as a Human Resources and Talent Acquisition leader at Publicis Health.  She currently focuses on engaging and developing advertising’s next generation of leaders by leading campus recruitment… Read More

Cassidy Pazyniak, Copywriter, Edelman
Have you ever seen Eat, Pray, Love? Remember the revelation Julia Roberts had that she wasn't on the path she should be on? That was Cassidy before she made the jump to Chicago Portfolio School (minus the whole love story and international destinations thing). After graduation, Cassidy started from the bottom at Edelman as an intern. And like Drake predicted, now she's (still) here. Read More

Candace Queen, Art Director, DigitasLBi
Candace is a blossoming Unicorn, pushing pixels at DigitasLBi. In addition to her day job, she creates an array of personal projects and independent work under the pseudonym, Meroë Creative. Passionate about all things Trill, Chopped and Screwed, her work reflects her roots in Southeast Texas, as well as her love for exploring… Read More

Chris Quick, Sr. Research Executive, Audience Insights, The Nielsen Company
Chris is a Senior Research Executive on Nielsen's Audience Insights team responsible for providing thought leadership and developing solutions to complex issues affecting the media industry. He also oversees all aspects of The Nielsen Comparable Metrics Report, aligning TV, radio, TV-connected devices, PC, smartphone, and tablet data to provide Total Audience Measurement. Chris has worked in… Read More

Mark Revermann, VP, Business Integration, fluent360
With over a 17-year marketing career, Mark has worked side-by-side with industry leading brands in developing marketing strategies that impact consumer perception and trigger behavior change. His category experience includes: insurance, healthcare, pharmaceutical, associations, non-profit organizations, travel & hospitality, apparel…
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Courtney Schiffres, Copywriter, VSA Partners
 Courtney studied Film & Writing at The University of Wisconsin - Madison and later took up a post-production internship where she quickly realized she would not be editing the next big blockbuster hit as she had imagined. She then took a few odd jobs and attended night classes for design not knowing what path she should be on. 

Kerri Spreng, SRDS Account Manager, Kantar Media
Since joining Kantar Media in 2014, Kerri has worked with university and library clients, helping educate and guide professors and librarians through the multiple SRDS media resources that are available. Kerri enjoys learning about new course offerings and how students and faculty use for their media planning and…

Barbara Toboy
, Senior Manager, Analytics, GTB
Barbara Toboy is a Senior Manager of Analytics with responsibility for Ford US Branded Content and Alliance marketing initiatives. She has over 25 years of marketing, finance and management experience in the automotive, financial and non-profit sectors.   Currently, Barbara works with clients to drive strategic alignment and integration of goals… Read More

Leah Trevor
,  Account Director, Midwest Region, true[X]
Leah oversees account management responsibilities in the region, managing the development of custom digital units, and assisting with client development and overall account management processes. She serves clients spanning multiple categories, but currently focuses primarily on domestic automotive brands. Leah’s career has centered… Read More


Heather Vanisko, Director of Education, Chicago Portfolio School
Heather recruits the instructors, plans the curriculum and makes final admission decisions. She is somewhat like Tina Fay in the movie Admission, not Difficult People. Outside of comparing herself to Tina Fey, she focuses on building strong, lasting relationships with agencies, recruiters and award-winning mentors… Read More

Chris Warner, Art Director, FCB 
Chris studied Film & Writing at Northwestern University before deciding the whole director-novelist-screenwriter-playwright dream wasn't such a skip to success. A fellow cast member at Second City turned him to Chicago Portfolio School, where he stripped his creative writing shell for an Art Director hat. He's much happier now. He currently works at FCB Chicago specializing in… Read More

Vinny Warren, Executive Creative Director & Founder, The Escape Pod
Vinny is the creative force behind The Escape Pod. For more than two decades, Vinny’s passion for advertising and signature hard-hitting style have left a permanent imprint on pop culture and earned him every major award and industry accolade. He was born and raised in Galway, Ireland and learned his craft in New York working for legendary… Read More