“Joy Dean is a hero in the ad tech startup space. She has developed go to market strategies for some of the top companies in the industry, Widespace (now Aerizon), Ogury, Invibes and most recently taken on the mammoth responsibility of launching Tobii ATEX attention data exchange in the market. With a background in web development and visual communication, she has worked her way up the ranks from an ad network account manager to a now fully fledged lead strategist for companies looking to level up their business practices. Quietly in the background building operational structures, training programs for sales teams in Programmatic/Attention/Data, Joy has always been invaluable in the launch of small to medium ad technology companies.
Empowering teams and clients to find their footing is her super power, she makes the industry better by consistently turning up to the hard conversations, challenging teams to buck the status quo and really dig deep to determine if current WOW are truly the best or just the norm. Every day, tirelessly being the sounding board for ideas, while at the same time instilling the confidence and freedom in her teams to question, to be truly fearless. As she is usually the only person of colour and/or female in a senior position it regularly falls to Joy to navigate the tenuous threads of DEI in companies still learning how to think about, let alone put in practice structures which support equality of opportunity in the workplace. This is a role she without hesitation accepts, as it’s needed and as part of a team she has always recognised that we must all roll up our sleeves for ALLl the work, not just the pieces in the limelight!
Joy, a California native, has been a start up queen for the last 14 years here in the UK. An avid mentor at Bloom, Lollipop and now head of Diversity Inclusivity Board at the IAA, she has always given her time and mental resource freely, paying it forward for those up and coming in industry. Supporting all talent in need of a leg up or a window to climb through. She is highly sought after by US/European companies wanting to enter this crowded marketplace and comes highly referred amongst peers. It’s now high time for Joy to come out from the backstage to the front, be celebrated for her achievements past and those yet to come!
I strongly recommend Joy Dean for this award!”
“After graduating from the University of Sussex in 2017, Yeside went on to intern and begin her career in Publisher Operations. She joined the Sharethrough team in 2022 as a Senior Revenue Operations Manager. Her analytical insights & great efforts have benefited Sharethrough greatly in growing our publisher footprint.
Yeside has taken ownership of a large UK based publisher portfolio, growing revenue by an average 167% in the last 9 months. She has owned internal projects for BI and Ad quality and is striving for the best outcome and results across the programmatic ecosystem, publisher to advertiser.
Yeside is highly curious. She is driven by data and in the Publisher Revenue optimization role this is key to find ‘the why’ and provide top class service back to her accounts. She’s also demonstrated her ability to build detailed dashboards and reporting in our BI tools and is equally at ease when upselling and growing her portfolio of accounts from a commercial standpoint. Taking a collaborative approach, consulting peers for feedback and getting everyone on the same page before taking action is a real strength that Yeside possesses. She is able to inspire others through her tenaciousness for success.
By offering industry leading customer service, Yeside is proving that a dedicated approach is really what it takes to win strong partnerships and retain key accounts in this industry. She is very easy to work with and stakeholders internally and externally will be the first to spot her going places in Adtech.”
“Having already honed her skills and reputation in market as a rich media expert and one of the industries most respected publisher business development experts, mid way through 2022 Amelia took the bold move to leave the established business of Azerion to take on a new venture, to help publishers solve their biggest challenge and greatest revenue opportunity – video.
When ShowHeroes looked to take the publisher side of the business to the next level this year there was really only one choice… Amelia stood out as an individual with the drive to take on this new challenge, with unrivalled publisher relationships and reputation but importantly with a laser focus to deliver only the best service, insight and value to the publishing community.
Since joining in September, Amelia has completed meetings with more than 50 publishers, 35 of which were new potential partners for ShowHeroes, and this has led to an impressive 70% growth of the active ShowHeroes publisher base. With such growth she’s helped evolve and grow the ShowHeroes proposition through a genuine desire to understand her publishers business needs and deliver solutions that deliver incremental revenue and better user experience while also adding a whole lot more day to day fun for these valued clients. Through making invaluable connections the number of sites in the ShowHeres portfolio has increased by 70% (from 173 > 295 sites). To match this increase, the number of ad requests has also increased by 80% (from 61m > 110m as of last calendar month stats).
With promise to continue delivering excellence to our client database, she has spearheaded ShowHeroes’ first global supply video survey to gather insights from partners and increase their credibility as a co-publisher supercharging their video strategies, as well as putting the wheels in motion to streamline reporting and increase visibility on margins to support cross-department initiatives.
Most recently, Amelia has signed ShowHeroes’ first ever video CMS and monetisation partnership with DeliaOnline, bringing together ShowHeroes’ 2 leading video technologies under one partnership and helping the publisher to better surface their video content and generate incremental revenue.
In addition, Amelia has also engaged in efforts to improve sustainability by educating partners on ShowHeroes’ initiatives and connecting her contacts to Cedara, whom ShowHeroes are partnered with, in an effort to accelerate awareness across the industry. At only month 5 and now supporting the launch of ShowHeroes’ first video rich media product and developing their gaming offering, Amelia is one to watch as she continues to innovate and collaborate. Amelia has a unique blend of drive, business acumen and positivity but don’t just take our word for it – ask any publisher in the UK and I am certain they will agree.”
“Ellie is an outstanding and iconic strategist, collaborator and fixer in our sector. She is well loved and respected by those who are fortunate enough to work with her as either clients or peers. Fiercely independent alongside her co-founder Lisa Menaldo, The Advisory Collective, is at the forefront of enabling powerful and successful growth strategies to clients breaking into or out of the U.K. media markets. She is a fabulous speaker, advocate for the underdog, enabler for those who ask for support, and a powerhouse of goodness in a world where the murky can become somewhat overwhelming. She is also a black woman who has succeeded despite the tropes and stereotypes – she is herself and she is incredible.”
“As the Supply Business Development Manager at leading digital entertainment and media platform, Azerion, Phil spearheads the expansion of the publisher side of the business. In this role, he has formed trusted relationships with the UK’s tier-one premium publishers, (For JEO) including Daily Mail, Reach, and Guardian, having recently won Evening Standard & Independent (ESI) (For JEO ends).
Phil has been a part of the organisation since 2019, having joined Collective as Digital Publishing Intern before the company was acquired by Azerion in 2020. He has rapidly risen through the ranks, and in July 2022 was appointed the Business Development lead for the supply side. Thanks to his dedication to forming key industry relationships, he has won 15 new publishers for the business, resulting in a 16% uplift in publisher revenue through Azerions proprietary SSP.
Alongside maintaining his business development goals, Phil also works with existing clients in Azerion’s SSP, ensuring they stay ahead of competitors with industry-leading client support and product development.
Internally, Phil is a highly regarded member of the company and a key mentor for those starting out in the industry. As part of a business that is undergoing rapid growth, with the recent major acquisitions of Hybrid Theory and Radionomy, Phil remains a consistent and reliable anchor, on hand to support his colleagues through the transitions of a growing business and a complex industry.
As an agile and supportive colleague, with distinctive business acumen, Phil has become a leader within the company and is on an upward trajectory to becoming a prominent leader in the future of the industry at large.”
“Shirley Smith is a true adtech hero, and there are many reasons why she deserves recognition for her contributions to the advertising industry and her community. With over 20 years of experience in digital media, Shirley has worked at Ask Jeeves, Mediamind, Sizmek and is now the VP of Sales at Flashtalking by Mediaocean. Shirley has accomplished a lot in her career; however, what truly sets her apart is her commitment to helping others.
One of Shirley’s best qualities is her ability to inspire and encourage those around her. Whether building purposeful connections, advocating for people, or mentoring young people, Shirley finds time to help those around her and improve our industry.
Shirley’s extensive network is a valuable asset that she uses for good. She is always looking to connect people and create meaningful partnerships within the industry. Ben Walmsley, Managing Director at The Sun notes, “Shirley possesses a tireless energy and passion for our industry and is an exemplar of all the things that make it great. Above all, she goes out of her way to help and empower others, especially those trying to break into the industry or that have been affected by tough economic times. She’s a hero to me, and to all those she helps or whose day she brightens with even the briefest of encounters.”
Shirley is also known for her genuine passion and support for championing young talent. According to Mike Murray, Head of Programmatic at Mindshare, “Shirley constantly champions young and fresh talent in the industry, making introductions for those who might not have found a way into the media industry and giving up her time to mentor so many. Genuine hero of the digital industry and long-time friend to Mindshare.”
Shirley regularly mentors young people through Digilearning, a charity that helps bridge the economic divide. Her most recent mentor, Brandon Louis, credits Shirley and Digilearning for helping him secure his role as a Data Scientist at a marketing technology company. Most importantly, Shirley’s motivation to mentor young people is rooted in a desire to help others succeed rather than to get recognition for herself.
In essence, Shirley Smith is a true AdTech hero who has made significant contributions to the industry and her community. According to Jenny Stanley, Founder and CEO of Appetite Creative Solutions, Shirley is “an unsung hero of the digital industry.” Shirley’s outstanding contributions to the advertising industry, such as her advocacy for individuals, ability to foster meaningful partnerships and passion for mentoring, showcase her worthiness of NDA’s Adtech Hero award.”
“Pete has been at the forefront of the digital media industry for over 15 years – leading a team of digital specialists at behavioural planning agency Total Media and quadrupling revenue at audience data platform Eyeota before joining GumGum, where he has played an instrumental role as the business has grown exponentially to become the leader in the creative and contextual space.
More than six years into his journey with GumGum, Pete has taken the business from strength to strength. From a relative minnow in the UK landscape when he first joined, the team – under Pete’s stewardship – has developed productive partnerships with a growing roster of clients, regularly picking up industry awards along the way.
But Pete is never content to rest on his laurels. Having helped the company to make great strides forward, he is determined to help the wider industry to improve and optimise efficiency and effectiveness. Passionate about the need for brands to take a consumer-focussed approach, he is also helping to spread awareness around the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions in the digital media industry.
Pete believes that an advertising ecosystem based on understanding a consumer’s active frame of mind – rather than relying on analysis of past behaviour – will build a more equitable and safer future for consumers, publishers, and advertisers alike. As a frequent speaker at events and in thought leadership, he urges the industry to focus on creativity and attention rather than attempting to track consumers across the web; harnessing technologies where appropriate to boost efficiency, relevance and effectiveness but also imbuing human creativity. Pete believes that media must be more accountable across the ecosystem, with robust metrics and analysis, and he stresses the need to showcase this value and relevance at all times – with ads which show the power of creativity and data working hand in hand.
In his continued bid for ongoing improvement across both products and services and culture, he recently joined GumGum’s Voice Coalition, which provides a platform and support for team members who want to educate the business on topics that they are passionate about – pushing people to think outside their comfort zone on topics from across the globe.
Always focussed, ambitious and driven, Pete is an inspirational leader who boasts phenomenal commercial understanding, which helps to drive revenues and build long-term relationships. Day in, day out, he leads by example. He is not afraid to ‘get his hands dirty’ whilst aiming to encourage and inspire others; urging those in his team to discover what they are great at doing and what they love and then committing to working together to devise a path forward which combines these things.
In this way, he is helping the industry to push the boundaries of what’s possible and to raise the bar, with transparency, accountability, and robust metrics to measure and quantify success.”
“At the forefront of the industry since its infancy, Ian Liddicoat has spearheaded digital’s development as an evangelist for the transformative power of data science and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Ian’s first adtech endeavour, Monday International Consultancy, offered marketers advanced SaaS analytics. After demonstrating how his solution could greatly improve WPP Group’s marketing, Ian’s consultancy was acquired by the communications giant in 2000. Ian then spent 7 years at WPP growing his function into MDS Global Consulting, which worked with clients from across the world, including Adobe, Fidelity, BAT and Microsoft.
In 2012, Ian was appointed Head of Marketing Sciences for Towers Watson at EMB Consultancy LLP. Here, Ian led on global digital transformation projects, including direct-to-consumer transformation at AIG in China, which covered everything from the people, systems processes and data.
One of the standout moments in Ian’s career is driving technological development at Publicis, where he worked on automating and optimising how creative was built and delivered for its brands. Ian was the first person to ever mention data science within the organisation and single-handedly established the practice internally, which he then ended up running globally. Thanks to Ian, Publicis was the first holding company to use the term data science and truly utilise AI commercially, placing it at the cutting edge of digital technology at the time.
His expertise in AI-led advertising is what led him to join Adludio last year. Adludio excited Ian, due to the scale of its ambition and the talent of its engineering teams. Furthermore, unlike in a holding company when technological developments can take time due to the gap between the board and the technical and analytical functions, Adludio is much more agile. At a time when digital marketers are waking up to the potential of AI-technologies, especially in mobile advertising, the chance to propel Adludio’s unique technologies forward was an opportunity Ian couldn’t resist.
As Adludio’s Chief Technology Officer and Head of Data Science, the work Ian is currently doing on the development of Adludio’s proprietary algorithms and the optimisation of its world-leading analytics is groundbreaking. Ian’s expertise has been critical to the development of Adludio’s AI offering, which incorporates highly advanced Deep Learning technologies, alongside AI-based techniques including Computer Vision (CV), Neural Networks and Natural Language Processing (NLP).
Since his appointment, Ian has helped unify Adludio’s platform to provide forecasting capabilities and optimisation of placements and inventory to drive the best results. With Ian’s help, Adludio is taking ad tech to the level it should have been a few years ago, had there been less resistance to advanced technologies.
Mentoring is also a key part of Ian’s role. Most of his team are aged under 30 and Ian is passionate about developing these young people as individuals. As a father of children who are also employed in digital, Ian understands the need to give his team freedom to investigate, research, test and ultimately the freedom to fail. So they can learn from mistakes and truly excel in their roles.”
“A talented and tenacious commercial leader, Alice has a passion for delivering meaningful change through technology – built through a career in buying, merchandising and trading. Her background in ecommerce across both retail and lifestyle brands has helped the leading media and insights agency to create immensely valuable relationships between brands and their customers.
As soon as she joined the Nectar360 team, Alice set about building efficient, scalable processes. She undertook a complete review of the agency’s offering, onboarding new partners and building a future-facing roadmap. Moving the team rapidly on from spreadsheets to innovative self-serve adtech systems has led to streamlined, collaborative processes. Alice also set up internal training programmes which were recognised in Sainsbury’s colleague recognition awards. Alongside this, she set about educating the business on programmatic ad tech; running training and creating comprehensive guides to upskill and support her colleagues.
Meanwhile, Alice has championed collaborative relationships with product and engineering teams to ensure that Nectar360 builds innovative, user-friendly products which meet changing business needs – and she frequently helps to lead workshops and sprint demos; always with a focus on incorporating feedback and educating others.
Alice believes in promoting diversity of thought and empowering teams to deliver. She champions other women in the workplace – advocating for flexible working and ensuring a healthy work/life balance. She leads by example and takes time out weekly to pursue horse riding – a passion she has enjoyed since a young child.
Through her direct leadership of a team of 45, she has sought to ensure that she shares knowledge and is committed to developing people. Inspiring others to grow their career in this fast-paced industry. A frequent speaker at events, she regularly engages with up-and-coming talent within the industry and is a mentor to two individuals looking to grow their careers within adtech.
Alice’s varied background – including roles at Amazon, Lastminute.com and The Body Shop – helps her to think laterally, with a former colleague from Alice’s time as Head of Digital Partnerships at Eurostar, writing: “She was the best manager of my career to date. Her wide knowledge and experience on all things commercial and digital across so many industries, as well as the unconditional support she gave me for my own development was inspiring. Her incredible work ethic, efficiency, organisation and get-up-and-go attitude meant she was always ten steps ahead.”
Meanwhile Kim Ludlow, Head of EMEA and APAC Microsoft Retail Media, describes her as a ‘visionary’ and says: “Alice is always on the lookout for the next exciting developments in this ever-evolving space and is never complacent… people should follow her lead. Be bold, take (informed) risks and get the job done.”
Henry Eccles, Google Head of Retail UK adds: “Alice is a Retail Media trailblazer who has successfully helped launch and grow Nectar360’s Digital Trading Platform… By pushing the boundaries she has transformed Sainsbury’s into a pioneer in the industry and a truly data-led retailer.””
“As Regional Manager of the UK & Ireland, Sara has overseen the transformation of Index in the UK, as they onboard new video media owner customers, expand the multi-channel deals capabilities for media buyer customers, and discover new revenue streams for existing customers. In the process, she has shown Index customers the full capabilities of an omnichannel programmatic strategy, providing new revenue streams despite wider economic challenges.
During her five years at Index, Sara has advocated for a safer, more accountable programmatic industry. She has always prioritised collaboration in order to help the ad tech industry become more efficient and accountable, so that ad tech can work better for its customers–in the process accelerating regional growth.
She’s actively leading this transformation through her work on the IAB UK Board and the Cross Industry Programmatic Taskforce, as well as through hosting thought leadership sessions–such as the recent Index webinar, moderating IAB Europe’s Virtual Programmatic Day sessions, and joining NDA for their It’s Always Media Thursday podcast.
By taking on the leadership role of Managing Director, Sara is a role model showcasing a path to success for women in tech. In addition to being an empathetic and effective leader to her team and across Index, Sara participates in internal and external affinity groups to help remove barriers to entry in digital advertising. By leading the Index women’s network, she’s building out a global strategy that helps to empower, support, and inspire women and allies at Index.
“”While Sara has always been a fantastic team lead, her work as the region’s managing director has highlighted her leadership vision to a new degree. I’m constantly impressed by the way Sara always looks beyond the daily tasks towards the bigger picture, which is always with the customer in mind. She leads with empathy, and in addition to being a wonderful team leader, I’ve had the great pleasure of getting to know her over the past five years. I’m excited to see how she’ll continue to help transform and propel the UK ad tech market.””
Rob Singleton, senior director, partner development international, Index Exchange”
“Alexia is responsible for expanding LiveRamp’s footprint internationally, ensuring marketers and publishers can access LiveRamp’s data collaboration capabilities around the world. In her 4 years as Managing Director of International Expansion, she has increased the number of markets LiveRamp operates in by x7.
To achieve this in such a short period, Alexia spearheaded a brand new approach to business expansion, collaborating with the C-level to rethink LiveRamp’s footprint. She built a ‘Complete Global Playbook’ that analyses market readiness for LiveRamp’s capabilities. This playbook separates markets into two categories: where physical presence is needed on the ground, and where LiveRamp’s global connectivity can facilitate market expansion digitally. Once that’s agreed, Alexia analyses the market size, the demand level, and the average advertising spend to establish what is best suited.
Alexia understands that people who build businesses are different from those who maintain and grow them, and therefore she personally appoints the key figureheads in the market. The journey from a prospective market presence to market break and then market stability is around 4 years, so she continues to collaborate with the local leaders to establish the correct messaging and marketing strategies to ensure success.
Alexia’s meticulously strategic approach meant that in Q4 2022 she signed an upfront multi-market deal with a leading hotel chain, which has launched in 12 markets. LiveRamp’s ability to expand into multiple markets is owing to a great extent Alexia’s understanding of how to facilitate market expansion digitally, and this success was largely owing to the approach she has taken to business expansion.
On a day-to-day basis, Alexia overcomes strategic and complex business hurdles, while also managing the often unspoken hurdles of working cross-culturally. She has studied how cultural differences can impact international business and understands that her gender, nationality, and native language might be a barrier to overcome, even before she’s begun to establish a business relationship. Because of this appreciation, Alexia has advanced digital marketing capabilities in markets from Australia to Singapore and the UAE, and is a leading role model within the company for women in business.
Verena Lingel, Senior Marketing Manager, EU
Alexia’s continued dedication and creativity have had a measurable impact on LiveRamp over the past 10 years. Her deep understanding of the product has not only propelled her to excellence in the adtech space, but has also given her a trusted role within the team. At a relatively young age, she became the role model of a fearless leader who recognises individual strengths and drives growth as a team.
Christine Fleming, International Expansion, Global
Lex has an incredible work ethic and her efforts really motivate and inspire those around her. She has a truly resilient way to deal with the obstacles thrown her way with an ability to turn any problem into a solution. The support she shows to all those she works with is unwavering as she’s always willing to jump in and get her hands dirty with whatever challenge which in my opinion is a true leadership quality.”
“Marcela joined SeenThis in 2021 as Client Services Director. Soon promoted to Group Director, she is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to driving innovation – with unstoppable energy, creativity and focus on process and efficiency. With 15 years’ experience in the media industry, and a former Group Head, Client Services at Shazam, Marcela also holds an MSc in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership from City, University of London and is an LMVH Innovation Award winner.
Day in, day out, Marcela is committed to pushing the boundaries of digital innovation. She oversees the global expansion of SeenThis’ powerful adaptive streaming technology; helping a variety teams to be agile in their digital transformations. She is also in the process of creating a new global line of revenue with SeenThis teams across markets through bridging luxury brands, media agencies and publishers, with the help of SeenThis’ unique product which delivers unparalleled quality to content delivery while reducing CO2 emissions.
Marcela knows that it takes the right attitude to foster innovation and progress ideas and that culture is a key part of this. A creative thinker, passionate about building teams of conscious and authentic leaders, buzzing with energy, Marcela has helped to foster a true culture for innovation, continuous improvement and exploratory thinking. She loves the challenge presented by complex, messy problems and drives productive partnerships, improved ways of working, and global synergies. At her heart, she is a creative thinker with relentless energy to innovate.
And so, as SeenThis helps to decarbonise the media industry, her relentless energy, hard work and commitment to succeed is furthering its progress and spreading its message widely. Action-oriented, Marcela never looks away from problems. Problem solving is in her nature and she never brings less than 100% of this attitude to the workplace.
Meanwhile, Marcela also promotes fairness, brings enthusiasm and her authentic self. She feels strongly about women being given the opportunity and platform to create impact, inspiring others to carve their own path and conditions that make it possible to flourish as an individual. And as a parent, Marcela feels a need to connect her work with meaningful, impactful output and progress. She has set about removing barriers whilst championing women and working parents’ rights.
With sustainability now, rightly, at the forefront of every clear-thinking CEO’s agenda, she remains committed to helping brands to lead the way in amplifying digital solutions, leading to scaled return on investment; applying innovation in the broadest possible sense across their activities. And with 85% of consumers becoming more sustainable in their purchases, too, Marcela and her team know that it’s time to focus on this area with true depth and transparency. Together, they are helping brands to be versatile, innovative early adopters; setting standards and using adaptive streaming technology to deliver content seamlessly whilst reducing carbon emissions – raising the bar and educating the wider industry.”
“Rhoda is Operations Director at Automated Creative, where creativity unites with automation. She nurtures both the tech and human elements of the business – improving features, working with tech teams and supporting talent. Working across revenue, resource and pipeline management, she is continuously looking for ways to increase profitability and efficiency. After all, Rhoda holds an MA in Digital Management and loves data and performance marketing.
Rhoda joined Automated Creative as the third co-owner back in 2019. Thanks in no small part to her efforts, the team is now 16-strong, having grown turnover by 900% to £1.8m as the company continues to expand globally.
Soon after joining, she worked with a development team to build Automated Creative’s proprietary adtech software from non-existent to the comprehensive platform it is today. Committed to reducing wasted media spend by removing guesswork from advertising, and to improving creative output by using data to reinvent a traditional advertising model, Rhoda and her team use automation to remove repetitive day-to-day tasks to ensure more time for strategic output and cut through creativity.
Often acting as the glue that holds us all together, she supports the client success team day in, day out, and has formed a pivotal part of the Automated Creative leadership team which has helped define the role of AI in contemporary advertising.
If Rhoda was only responsible for delivery, production, finance, legal and operations that would be impressive enough – but she has also contributed significantly to the development of a whole new form of advertising known as strategic content optimisation’: A blend of human insight and machine creativity which will fundamentally shape the way advertising is made.
Her work has helped win new clients and deliver successful digital advertising campaigns for brands such as Haleon (formerly GSK), Diageo, Reckitt, BOSE, Mars, Unilever, KFC, Beiersdorf, Cisco, Universal – all whilst keeping the business stable from a financial, legal and operational perspective. Indeed, under her stewardship, the business has increased turnover year on year. Her work ethic and drive has pushed Automated Creative from a small start up to a flourishing, highly profitable business.
Rhoda is at the very core of the business, pushing forward innovation and product delivery while managing projects and acting as the glue that holds us all together. She is also responsible for training and development, taking a strong interest in the career progression of more junior staff members. Meanwhile, she ensures we find talent in all areas and backgrounds, through our partnership with the Conscious Advertising Network.
Rhoda leadership has successfully pushed the business to the cutting edge of adtech, driving phenomenal results for clients and the business alike. Added to this, her understanding of machine learning and automation and its applications in display and social media is second to none.”