Co-Founder & CEO, Addition

Paul Aaron is the CEO & Co-Found of Addition, an AI research and development company exploring the future of language and creativity. Addition works with brands and agencies like The New York Times, Droga5, Unlever, and Prudential Financial to turn data into insights, content and experiences using Generative AI models like GPT-3.

Prior to Addition Paul spent 15-years in the Ad Industry as a Digital Executive Producer, Digital Strategy Director, Agency Partner, and Founder. During his career, he’s been at the forefront of technology innovation in advertising and marketing, winning a half-dozen Webby-Awards, along with being recognized 3x as Cannes Digital Agency of the Year, and Agency of the Decade by Ad Age.

Speaker & Trans Author
Vice President of Inclusive Creativity, Cossette

For almost 40 years, Chris Bergeron has lived the life of a heterosexual man. From very early in her career, she had great professional success: after having been a collaborator for major media such as La Presse and Radio-Canada, Chris directed for the newspaper VOIR for five years, which was the largest network of weekly cultural magazines in Quebec at the time. She then made the leap to the advertising world where she held the position of creative director for major agencies.

Then, she came out and started living true life as a trans woman. Suddenly being propelled into the reality of a visible sexual minority has profoundly transformed her perception of the world. In Quebec and internationally, Chris advocates for diversity, inclusion and the rights of trans people by sharing her story to the public. She frequently intervenes in the advertising industry to demand better representation of minorities.

At Cossette, she leads a multidisciplinary team of strategists, community managers and multiplatform content creators. She is also part of the creativity collective that strives to push the boundaries of the agency's creative branch at their Montreal office. Thanks to her creative and strategic outlook, she amplifies the digital potential of Cossette's clients.

Her portfolio includes several major brands, including McDonald's Canada, Destination Canada, the Quebec Tourism Industry Alliance, Tourisme Montréal, Loto-Québec, SAQ, L'Oréal, BDC, VIA Rail and Liberté.

Founder & CEO, The Great Pitch Company

Marcus has a near thirty-year career in the communication industry, helping many of the worlds biggest companies to retain, grow and win business.

Starting his career in the Sales Division of Kellogg’s as a Regional Salesperson, Marcus has built a reputation for galvanizing clients, colleagues, and prospects throughout the communication industry.

During a 13-year career at WPP, he was CEO of an award-winning, multidiscipline, multi-lingual agency in Switzerland for nine. The agency’s model was years ahead of its time in that it had all the Young & Rubicam Group businesses (including MEC), not only working from one location but reporting into to the same P&L and Marcus.

He returned to the UK to work for Publicis Media as their Chief Growth Officer based in EMEA, overseeing business development success across their five media brands (Zenith, Starcom, Spark, Digitas, and Performics).

Marcus has identified transformational solutions for many world leading client companies, and has an outstanding track record of helping domestic, regional and global businesses retain, grow and win new clients including:

    • Successful global pitches include Microsoft, Merck Consumer, Healthcare and Jaguar Land Rover
    • Significant regional wins include: MTN in Africa, Visa Europe as well as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) across Europe, Middle East and Africa
    • Multi-discipline wins include, P&G UK and Ireland, Caterpillar and the UN Refugee Agency
    • Key retentions wins include P&G Northern Europe, L'Oréal in both France and Italy.

During his career he has written his own new biz guide “Sixty Tips for  Success - a guide to the New Business Process”; has run training sessions across the globe including as far a field as India, sub-Saharan African and the Middle East.

Delegates appreciate his unique combination of in-depth Client Leadership insight with outstanding business development knowledge along with his energy and humor.

Founder, Creative Haystack

Pete Carter was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and graduated from Georgetown University before moving to Cincinnati, Ohio to join the Brand Management department at Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s leading consumer package goods companies.

During his 41 years at P&G, Pete has assumed increasing levels of responsibility and made numerous contributions to the business for some of the most popular consumer brands in the world.  Specifically, he created new advertising campaigns for Pantene, Herbal Essences, Vidal Sassoon, Cascade, Dawn, Swiffer, Gillette, Duracell, Ariel, Tide, and Olay.  His work on these brands has resulted in unprecedented levels of share growth, several Super Bowl ads, as well as numerous advertising industry awards like Effies, Gold Cannes Lions, and a Cannes Grand Prix.  Having lived on 3 different continents, Pete has also led the thinking on new global marketing models, integrated communication tools, and agency relationships.  He also initiated and led the new agency scouting team, responsible for vetting creative agencies around the world. In this capacity, Pete interviewed and vetted over 300 creative agencies.

In his last assignment at P&G, Pete was the Group Vice President of the Brand Building Integrated Communications department, an in-house advertising and communications consultancy, consisting of 50 seasoned communications and production managers.  In this position, he manages the department while also providing global marketing and advertising counsel on P&Gs largest brands.  Pete reported directly to the Chief Marketing Officer, Marc Pritchard, and was his trusted advisor on all creative quality and agency relationship matters.

Pete’s many contributions to P&G culminated in his induction into the Harley Procter Marketer society in 2007, the Company’s internal designation for their elite marketers.  To date, only 18 people have held this title in P&G’s 180-year history.  Externally, Pete has lent his strategic brand-building expertise to The Ad Council, American Red Cross, and the Cincinnati Airport Board.  He is also a former board member of the George F. Baker Scholars Program at Georgetown University and the Van Wagner Outdoor Communications company.  He has been a featured speaker at SxSW, EuroBest, and the Cannes Lions advertising festivals, a jurist for the American Effie Awards, the Clios, and the Cannes Lions, and was published in the Harvard Business Review online edition.

After retiring from P&G in 2021, Pete started his own agency search, brand positioning, and advertising campaign consultancy. He uses his extensive knowledge of agencies around the world and vast vetting experience to make the search process faster, cheaper, and more streamlined for clients and agencies. To accomplish this, he invented a “no pitch” process for agency selection which he uses in all of his search work.  This process has achieved a 90% satisfaction rate among clients and agencies. He also has worked with agencies to better define their positioning, leading to clearer assignment choices and more new business wins.

Pete is married to Lisa Carter, a certified chef, home décor designer, and woodworker.  They have 3 adult children and live in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.  Pete loves Kentucky bourbon, Italian food, and Italian wine.

Strategy, Maximum Effort

John Deschner is an experienced marketing leader with more than 20 years of building industry-leading teams. John recently joined Maximum Effort, the creative group founded by Ryan Reynolds, where he does whatever he's asked to do. He most recently served as Managing Director at Condé Nast’s CNX, where he led a team of 400 employees in 12 countries. John was also President of MUCIFER, his own brand strategy, creative and content consultancy.

Prior to Condé Nast, John was Chief Innovation Officer and Managing Director of TBWA/Chiat/Day LA, where he oversaw the growth of their content and digital operations and worked with clients ranging from QuickBooks and Airbnb to the Grammys. Before that, John was the CEO of Ogilvy Malaysia, where he managed a group of agencies and helped scale the company into a formidable digital and social advertising partner, and managed regional relationships with Nestle and Heineken. Additionally, John was executive vice president at Deutsch North America, where he worked with Target, Taco Bell, and Volkswagen, and was instrumental in expanding the agency’s digital, mobile, and social businesses. He’s also held senior roles at AKQA (handling ESPN, Bethesda Softworks, and Delta), Crispin Porter + Bogusky (Domino’s), and Proteus (T-Mobile).

Founder & CEO, Win Without Pitching

Blair Enns is the author of The Win Without Pitching Manifesto and Pricing Creativity: A Guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour. He lectures throughout the world on how creative professionals can win more business at higher prices and lower cost of sale. Blair also co-hosts, along with David C. Baker, the popular podcast 2Bobs: Conversations on the Art of Creative Entrepreneurship.

Chief Growth Officer, We Are Rosie

Kate is the Chief Growth Officer at We Are Rosie where she is responsible for ushering in new clients and growing partnerships with F500 clients. Kate's zone of genius continues to be leading a growth team that is focused on our mission, messaging and go-to-market strategy for our Rosies to our clients. Kate has driven big enterprise deals with our clients and builds deep relationships with them as well as our We Are Rosie growth team. Prior to We Are Rosie, Kate was SVP, Business Development at Publicis Groupe, where she successfully led growth efforts across media, creative, digital, data, analytics, and more.

Kate is passionate about using business as a driver for social progress, inclusion and equity.

Former CMO, Nike

Greg Hoffman is a world-class expert when it comes to creating brand experiences that are extremely memorable, incredibly innovative, and that create real connections with users and customers. Greg shows you how to build those connections by telling your brand’s story with authentic emotions. It takes a lot of creativity, so Greg has an important insight for every company: creativity is a team sport. As Nike’s CMO, he was responsible for 2500 people in Nike Marketing around the world. He knows that everyone on a team can make a creative contribution, and the right management strategy will bring out the best in unexpected places. Daydreamers might think differently than their team, but you don’t want to lose the power of their creative eccentricities—we need to capitalize on their potential and make it fit. Creativity is all around us, and great marketing is about tapping into it so that your organization can design something that touches customers.

Greg’s book Emotion by Design: Creative Leadership Lessons from a Life at Nike is a practical roadmap for any business looking to tell the authentic story of their brand, engage with culture’s most pressing topics, and unite employees in a post-pandemic world. Jonah Berger,  the New York Times bestselling author of of Contagious, says the book “will help marketers and creatives connect with their audiences like never before.” Emotion by Design is filled with stories about the deeply creative and innovative process at Nike that led to Greg’s involvement with the company’s best work—unforgettable campaigns such as the “Colin Kaepernick: Crazy Dreams” project, the Stand Up, Speak Up campaign, and the Kobe System ads featuring Kobe Bryant.

As an integral part of the Advisory Board of the Nike Black Employee Network and a member of the Nike Foundation Board of Directors, Greg directed ongoing dialogues for racial equality, environmental sustainability, and empowerment in professional sports. He revolutionized the way Nike uses its marketing influence—embracing social and racial justice in a way that both inspires and empowers people to take action: “we’re in a moment in time that is both a cultural reckoning and a revolution.”

Business Insider called Greg one of today’s ‘Most Innovative CMOs’. Through his brand advisory group Modern Arena, Greg teaches Fortune 1000 brands, startups, and nonprofits how to create brand strength, business growth, and social impact. In one year alone, Greg was tapped for presentations at Netflix, Apple, Google, Meta, Amazon, and Twitter.

Greg earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and is now a member of their Board of Trustees and a chair of their innovation committee. Hoffman was included on AdAge’s Power Players list, and has served as a guest lecturer for the Andreesen Horowitz Talent & Opportunity Fund, the One Club for Creativity’s One School and as an Innovation Juror at the University of Portland.