Expanding our People Team with a Focus on Inclusion and Culture

Blake Marquis | Mar. 28 2022

Announcing the expansion of our People Department with the hires of Courtney Burns, Executive Director of Talent and Culture, Jill Savage, Director of Resource Management, and Ash Ramirez, DE&I Lead. The three new hires join our People Department, which grew from one person in 2020 to now a total of nine across DE&I, talent, recruiting, leadership and development, resourcing and human resources. 
 
In addition to Burns, Savage and Ramirez, The Many’s People department has expanded throughout the last year including the hires of Johanna Penry, People Experience Manager, Serena Hutton, Recruiting Lead, Sharon Gi, Senior Resource Manager, Maya Morris, Talent and Culture Coordinator, and Samuel Reyes, People Operations Coordinator. Tim Cyrol continues in his role as Human Resources Director since 2015, with Davis Jones leading the department as Managing Director, People.
 
The three new hires solidify our commitment to some of the industry’s most pressing challenges—diversity and talent acquisition and management—with a focus on building internal systems and programming that rally the entire agency to work together and find productive and impactful solutions. 
 
“We have a high performance culture at The Many, and to achieve our ambitions collectively, we are focused on unlocking the potential of each individual and team at the agency—it’s a growth mindset that succeeds here, which means we often operate outside or at the edge of our comfort zones,” said Davis Jones, Managing Director, People. “The role of this team is to ensure we are building through conscious and intentional recruitment strategies, fostering talent through learning and development opportunities, and providing the tools and flexibility to thrive in the changing work, business and cultural climate. We strive to be a force for progress and to achieve that, it takes each and every one of us.”
 
Burns joins The Many from Huge where she served as VP, Global Recruiting. At The Many, Burns will further build the agency’s go-to market strategies and recruiting processes as well as oversee the agency’s growing DE&I programming. This includes a concerted effort to hire and retain diverse talent and develop Recruiting as a strategic practice at the agency to proactively help stabilize the industry-wide issue of burnout. 
 
Courtney Burns: “Building an inclusive culture begins with looking at the current makeup of our teams to intentionally address diversity and gender gaps during the recruiting process, ensuring candidates have a best in class interview experience and can see growth potential for themselves at The Many. At The Many, we’re committed to changing our go-to-market strategies, building equitable pipelines, evaluating both potential and experience, and being transparent about our numbers and the areas we need to improve.”
 
Previously Director, Resource Management, at Saatchi & Saatchi, Savage will develop the agency’s resource management practice by taking a qualitative and quantitative look at staffing to not only build efficiencies, but also identify learning and development opportunities across departments based on a mix of talent management and staffing, and clear financial planning for both the agency and its employees by creating clear pathways to success. 
 
Jill Savage: “I came to The Many to seize the opportunity to install a human-based approach to Resource Management. It’s not just excel documents with numbers, there’s the human (qualitative) aspect of resourcing that can get missed if you don’t work deliberately with the people in mind. It’s exciting to be somewhere that this piece matters.”
 
A graduate of MAIP and MPMS, Ramirez brings a breadth of forward-thinking DE&I experience from Wieden + Kennedy, Droga5, Digitas Health, and Condé Nast. In addition to creating programming that celebrates all diverse identities and empowers individuals to be at their best, they are spearheading the launch of The Many’s Employee Resource Groups and supporting the agency’s efforts to move the entire industry towards greater inclusivity and representation both in the workplace and in the output of the work. 
 
Ash Ramirez: “I came to The Many not only because I saw potential, I saw the commitment and the willingness to get uncomfortable. Diversity work is an ongoing industry problem and one that cannot be remedied overnight. It takes everyone, and I mean everyone across levels and departments to create a truly inclusive culture. When it comes to this work I was looking for a partner that heard and supported the efforts I would bring to the agency. I am proud of our efforts so far and it’s only just the beginning. I very much see The Many becoming the standard within the ad industry when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
 
We are excited and grateful for the role that each of these people play in supporting our success. This won’t be the last you hear!
 
Also, catch the news on Campaign, Ad Age, and Adweek.

Augmented Reality Project “What Once Was” Debuts at SXSW

Blake Marquis | Mar. 11 2022

Social media initiative “What Once Was” debuted today in partnership with Harper Biewen, Art Director, and Austin, TX-based nonprofits Six Square, celebrating and preserving the great Black arts, culture and history of Central East Austin, and E4 Youth, utilizing the arts, sciences and technology to help underserved youth find and pursue pathways to successful careers in the creative economy. “What Once Was” will debut at SXSW as a free community event on Saturday, March 12th at the George Washington Carver Museum including a walking tour of the AR sites, a Black vendor market, and a panel of local activists and academics.
 
Conceptualized and designed by Biewen, the immersive AR experience, activated by scanning a QR code, takes users on a visual blast to the past to see what once existed at their exact location while also encouraging people to put their money into local, BIPOC owned establishments to protect the culture and community.
 
“When I was new to Austin and meeting people, I was almost always met with ‘you should have seen it five years ago,’” Biewen notes. “Austin’s gentrification problem is pervasive and has become part of people’s talk tracks when they reflect on what it is like to live there.” After four years of living in Austin, Biewen understands and empathizes with the feeling of continued loss that Austin natives are experiencing, which has led to her undergoing extensive research for her “What Once Was” project. “It is really hard to watch pieces of Austin that feel so unique turn into copy and paste apartment complexes especially when it is in areas like the East side where Black and Brown folx call home.”
 
A UT Austin study on gentrification found East Austin is becoming whiter and more affluent despite being historically Black (SpectrumNews1, 2022). “There are so many heart-wrenching stories of BIPOC-owned businesses being forced out of their spaces or being replaced by businesses that are inherently white and don’t support the diverse culture of Austin,” said Biewen. Alongside Biewen, BIPOC high school and college students, via E4 Youth, involved in the project get the chance to tell the history of marginalized people in Austin while developing valuable skills to market themselves as competitive candidates with Austin’s growing tech story.
 
“What Once Was is a great compliment to the Austin Digital Heritage Project” Carl Settles, founder, E4 Youth. “Many of the students we train and employ are in families that have been pushed out the city’s core and into the outlying areas of town that are more affordable. Our goal is to build a multi-generational community of practice that actively explores our history and invests in these students to build a more inclusive future.”
 
Jumpolin was a piñata shop on East Cesar Chavez that served a thriving Latinx community for years. In 2015, it was demolished without warning with everything still inside of the store. Today, the space is home to a sleek photography studio that does not reflect the cultural needs or interests of the community that once thrived in East Austin. By scanning the QR code outside of places similar to the photography studio, users will be reminded that gentrification has wiped out so many businesses like Jumpolin while also receiving a history lesson about these businesses.

“What Once Was’ is a community response to the gentrification that undermines marginalized groups, their neighborhoods, their culture, and their history in Austin, Texas,” said Regine Malibiran, Director of Programs and Innovation, Six Square. “We hope that people who engage with this project, regardless of where they live, reflect on how it applies to where they’re from and hopefully spark dialogue and action in their own local communities.”
 
The @WhatOnceWas Instagram profile will be regularly updated with hints on where to find new AR drops, full stories and features from the owners of small businesses that have gone out of business, spotlighting existing BIPOC-owned businesses that people can support, and information about organizations and mutual aid collectives that people can support to help make a difference.
 
Catch the news on Adweek!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y14LUCQBstk&ab_channel=Froliq

CREDITS
 
The Many
Art Director, Harper Biewen
 
Froliq
Co-Founder, Jason Rodriguez
Director, X-Reality, Jorge Ortiz
AR/VR Strategist, Rebekah Diaz
 
Nonprofit Partner: Six Square
CEO, Pamela Benson Owens
Director of Programs and Innovation, Regine Malibiran
 
Nonprofit Partner: E4 Youth
Founder, Carl Settles
Development & Operations Manager, Jenaya McGowan Zarrad
Program Manager, Cynthia Ruiz
E4 Student, Joseph Mayang
E4 Student, Lili Xu
E4 Student, Darnell Wilson 
E4 Student, Dayna Iphill 
E4 Student, Ricardo Villegas 
E4 Student, Luis Angeles Sanchez 
E4 Student, Chelsea Jenkins
 

Stairway to Seven Promotions Across Brand, Design, Production, and Strategy

Blake Marquis | Mar. 7 2022

A legendary band once sang:
 
There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven
 
 
We’re not Led Zeppelin or who they’re singing about, but we do have seven folks glittering!
 
2022 seems to be moving at warp speed and these seven folks, spread across multiple departments, are all in passenger seats of this rocketship that is The Many.
 
So let’s take a quick rest break for fuel, to stretch, and to celebrate these seven special people whose guidance and hard work have resulted in a promotion.
 
Enjoy a fun Q&A below to learn about their best memory and biggest success stories while at The Many.
 
We appreciate each and every one of you.


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Jorge Andrade, from Director of Design to Executive Director of Design

How long have you been at The Many?
Eight years come July.
 
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
Coming from a DREAMER background and making it in advertising (especially in the competitive field of design) feels like a success story on its own. However, I would say that my biggest success has been the ability to build a stellar design team filled with talented, passionate and kind individuals, who provide me with a fresh perspective day in and day out and make working in advertising worthwhile.
 
Looking back on your time at The Many, what memory best encapsulates The Many’s culture and your experience here so far?
There are way too many memories that I hold dear to my heart. A lot of these come from our Mistress era, where I’ve met some of my closest friends, some who I still get the pleasure to work with on a daily basis, and others who I get to see succeed from afar. I guess what I’m trying to say is that The Many’s biggest cultural advantage is its people and the bonds we are able to craft with one another through shared experiences and the work we do.
 
Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
The former! I think going on a cross-country adventure with an Aries would actually make the trip that much more fun due to their entertaining chaotic energy. Also, have you seen one drive? We’d get to our destination in no time! (or die trying).


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Katie Braverman, from Junior Designer to Designer

How long have you been at The Many? 
10 months!
 
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
This is my first major design gig post-grad. With that comes a little self-doubt and a lot of challenging comfortable 😉 This promotion is my success story…along with some incredible work I am truly very proud of.  
 
Looking back on your time at The Many, what memory best encapsulates The Many’s culture and your experience here so far?
Living, laughing, and loving on a daily basis with my design besties<3
 
Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
A vacation from my phone while on a vacation, that’s the dream!!!


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Liz Mowinski, from Group Brand Director to Head of Brand

How long have you been at The Many?  
Eight months.
 
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
Staying focused on the future, hoping my greatest successes are in front of me!
 
Looking back on your time at The Many, what memory best encapsulates The Many’s culture and your experience here so far? 
Hands down, it’s the people that make this place so special.  We have a real blend of heart, head and hustle which is truly hard to create and I never take that for granted.  We also have a tendency to over-index on genuine people that really give a damn…even going out of their way to grab you at LAX when you’re in a pinch!

Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
International vacay with no phone is an easy ace! So for that reason, I choose road trip.  It’s a better way to challenge myself while enjoying the sites and stimulating discussion from my polar opposite!


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Maddie Avjean, from Designer to Senior Designer

How long have you been at The Many? 
One year this month.
 
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
I think my favorite success story thus far was the Comic-Con truck we worked on for the launch of Chucky. Being able to make something physical is always super rewarding and then seeing videos and photos of people waiting 90+ minutes to experience something we created was really exciting. 
 
Looking back on your time at The Many, what memory best encapsulates The Many’s culture and your experience here so far?
Let’s just say the design team knows how to party.
 
Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
I’ve been known to have control issues when it comes to road-tripping (and life?) so respectfully I am going to pass on traveling cross country with a Gemini. I’ll go for no phone on an International vacation but can I bring my iPad (for the games…)


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Robert Diep, from Junior Designer to Designer

How long have you been at The Many? 
It’ll be one year in April!
 
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
Juggling multiple branding projects simultaneously truly pushed my skills as a designer. Though it was challenging to create so many different concepts with such limited time, I feel like I’ve leveled up twice over after experiencing the entire process.
 
Looking back on your time at The Many, what memory best encapsulates The Many’s culture and your experience here so far?
Any time the design team gets to shoot the s***, 100%! Starting at The Many during this remote-work era makes me really appreciate the chances we do get to chill IRL. Work hard, play hard.
 
Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
Cross country road trip with a Pisces, babyyyyy. I have a lot of history with Pisces, so we know what we’re working with here. They just have a lot of feelings!


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Sofie Duzian, from Junior Strategist to Social Strategist / Community Manager 

How long have you been at The Many?
One year and three months.
 
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
Having supported pretty much every vertical on eBay has been an incredible opportunity and accomplishment. I feel really lucky to work with so many talented folks in creating the social DNA for an amazing brand. 
 
Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
International vacation! Ideally, on a beach where there is music blasting and I’ll be so relaxed, I won’t even remember what a phone is.


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Trevor Paperny, from Senior Producer to Executive Producer

How long have you been at The Many? 
Eight years come April. 
 
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
Having started as an office PA and continuing the journey to where I am now is quite awesome to look back on. I think in a nutshell this showcases the culture and values of our agency and I am grateful to have had the support and opportunity from the team/partners to get to where I am today. 
 
Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
Absolutely the International vacation.

Dave Horowitz’s Short Film Selected for NiteHawk Shorts Festival

Blake Marquis | Mar. 3 2022

A big round of applause to Dave Horowitz, Head of Production, as his short film, David Bowie Is — An Evening with Mick Rock At The Brooklyn Museum, was selected for this year’s NiteHawk Shorts Festival.
 
What started as an adventurous meeting at a hotel twenty plus years ago while Dave was playing a string of U.K. shows with The Cloud Room, led to Dave hanging out with Mick Rock for hours as he captured content for the short film.
 
Dave’s 12-minute homage gives viewers a glimpse into what he got out of the experience of hanging out with Mick Rock: “a glimpse into a special man who was, put simply — really f****** cool.”
 
Check out Dave’s article on Talkhouse about his short film.

Dave Horowitz is the Head of Production at The Many

Jorge Andrade Named a 2022 Person to Watch by GDUSA Magazine

Blake Marquis | Feb. 22 2022

Jorge Andrade, the man, the myth, the legend! Our award winning Director of Design has been named one of GDUSA’s 2022 People to Watch!
 
From the incredible “Thank a Queen” project Jorge spearheaded to building an exceptional design department over the years that plays a critical part in our successes, Jorge is an instrumental role in what The Many is today and we have so much appreciation for him.
 
So, from all of us at The Many (and especially the design department that you mentor and position to be the best) – Jorge, congratulations on being part of GDUSA’s 2022 People to Watch.
 
Check out the full list on GDUSA.

Black History Month Presented by the Black @ The Many ERG

Blake Marquis | Feb. 15 2022

The Black @ The Many ERG is made up of 19 incredible individuals spanning across The Many’s brand, creative, design, growth, media, operations, project management, and strategy departments. Black History is here, but before we celebrate heroes, champions and trailblazers of the past, present and future, we’re shining the line on our own heroes, champions, and trailblazers at The Many. So for those that don’t know us, have yet to work with us, or are standing on the sideline (what’s up future employees) wanting to see more from us, here is an intro to some of the folks that make up the Black @ The Many ERG, aka B@TM.


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Alexis Oguiké, Project Manager

How long have you been working at The Many: 8 months

We’re not monolithic so where are your roots from and how has that upbringing defined who you are as a Black person in America today?
I was born and raised in the burbs of Chicago, Illinois, but my roots run back to Imo State, Nigeria –specifically the Igbo tribe. My entire family on, both, my mother and father’s side were all born in Nigeria, making me the first born and raised U.S citizen in my family. This, of course, made life somewhat ‘interesting‘ growing up Black in America.
 
At home, I operated under Nigerian customs and traditions, but out in the world, I adjusted to American culture. Yet in both environments, I never really felt like I belonged. I wasn’t ‘African enough’ and was considered too Americanized, while also not being ‘Black enough’ because of my likes, interests, style, etc. And I definitely wasn’t white enough – despite being referred to as an ‘Oreo’  numerous times growing up.
 
Nonetheless, I was grateful to have experienced my Nigerian culture while being Black in America. It taught me so many things from my core values to the way I dress, how to style my hair, the types of foods I like, and the music I listen to. Having this exposure at home ultimately shaped my Black identity today. And that’s something I (unfortunately) used to be ashamed of, but can now look back on and find so much pride in. I started to embrace my differences and began to pull them into my Black culture as I grew. I incorporated afro-beats into my dance routines in school. I fell in love with spices and pulled them into SO many recipes. I even fused Nigerian print/Ankara fabric into the Black modern fashion line I manage with my sister.
 
As I grew, I realized that there really is no one way to be Black in America. We’re all just a mixing pot of so many different cultures and backgrounds which makes being Black, truly amazing.
 
What has being Black taught you in advertising?
In Advertising, being Black taught me to – Prove. Them. Wrong.
 
Looking back, I was probably 1 of 3 other Black people in my graduating class from the College of Media, so I’ve always been the one Black girl amongst my peers. And unfortunately, that didn’t change much as I entered into the working world. No one truly believed that I would ‘make it’ in this industry. I even remember an old agency coworker ‘jokingly’ saying that the only reason why I was here was because they needed to fulfill a diversity quota (I know, I wanted to slap her into the next week, but I remained professional haha).
 
Regardless, I kept persevering. I joined the black ERGs, I joined the diversity teams. And I even found a new passion I never knew I had – helping minorities thrive in advertising. I wanted to inform many Black students about advertising and the world of marketing, so I connected with some students from my old college and gained some mentees. The issue wasn’t that we weren’t ‘good’ enough to be here, it was that the knowledge of this field wasn’t even known! That’s why I’m always rooting for anyone Black. Because when the world expects you to fail, who else will support and cheer you on other than your own community? And as we continue to rise and thrive in the world of advertising, the content and creative we touch then inspires the rest of the world. So many hot trends in today’s culture originated from Black people.
 
So despite the hurdles, glass ceilings, and numerous obstacles we face in this industry (as well as in the media), advertising taught me to keep pushing forward, keep proving them wrong, and keep being unapologetically Black.


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Anissa Sanders, Media Supervisor

How long have you been working at The Many: 1 year and 2 months

We’re not monolithic so where are your roots from and how has that upbringing defined who you are as a Black person in America today?
Growing up, I moved quite a bit but had my formative years across South Carolina, Virginia, and California. With each move, it was rare that people in my classes and neighborhoods looked like me. I constantly was adapting to new environments and cultures but sometimes it felt like it was at the expense of my own.
 
As I got older, learned more about my own history and culture, I began to understand and embrace what it means to be Black to me. It’s not something a history lesson could show me or even my parents could define for me. It was something I had to figure out for myself. There’s a foundation that sets the tone but with more experiences and years of life – the structure is constantly changing and evolving.
 
What standards have you set for yourself as a Black person in America?
Be myself — I show up and show out unapologetically as myself each day. Being a Black woman in America is hard but it’s also a unique experience. Oftentimes we’re associated with the stereotypes of aggression, intimidation and anger but I don’t let those stereotypes define me.
 
We all have emotions and opinions and how one chooses to associate those based on skin color is a reflection of them—not me. I walk through life with my head held high and use my voice because many before me were beaten down for doing the same thing. Not only do I owe it to myself to be me, but also to generations past and future as a reminder we matter. In all things—we matter and our voices matter.


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Brittany Goode, Associate Media Director

How long have you been working at The Many? 1 month

We’re not monolithic so where are your roots from and how has that upbringing defined who you are as a Black person in America today?
Growing up in a military family, we bounced around a bit before settling down in New York City. The range of environments I was exposed to helped me ground myself and understand what it means to be Black from a young age. Getting to my roots, both sides of my family are from the South, my mother is from Louisiana and my father is from Virginia. We learned to keep our heads up, be confident in who we are, have faith, and know where we come from. However, learning where we come from is difficult. I can’t recall the moment I was first introduced to my history, but I do know I felt anger, sadness, and overall discomfort.
 
As a child, I didn’t fully grasp it, but as I matured and learned, I began to understand the gravity of what my ancestors endured. Though there is a deep history of violence and trauma, that does not define who I am. That feeling of discomfort turned into PRIDE. The resilience, courage, strength and love of the generations before me runs in my veins and I wear it like a crown. We all have unique cultures, stories and experiences, but share a foundation of power rooted in making the impossible possible.
 
What does an accurate representation of black in the workplace look like to you?
For me, an accurate representation is having Black presence from entry-level to executive positions. It’s being our authentic selves in every space we hold and feeling comfortable using our voices. It’s not just having a seat at the table, but also thriving.


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Ifetayo Jabari-Kitwala, Growth Coordinator

How long have you been working at The Many? 6 months

What is our responsibility to the culture as black people in America?
Our responsibility to the culture as Black people in this country is to understand that not everyone is going to ‘get it.’ So when they don’t or when they try, but overstep, it is crucial to not let their ignorance cloud or take away from the richness of our culture. Our responsibility is to keep our culture alive, unified, strong, and pure. Our unification and Black excellence does not need to be gatekept, but it is also NOT our responsibility to be a steward of access for other people into our culture. There is a balance. Our responsibility is having that personal balance.
 
What do you love most about being Black?
I love being Black because there is a continuous and constant evolution and discovery around me. I grew up with such a jaded view of what it meant to be Black in this country – what can I wear, what can I say, how can I say it.
 
My mom and my dad, both 100% Black, raised me on two opposite sides of the spectrum, one told me to keep my head down and one to me to never look down when challenged. Although this led to several cultural identity crises before the age of 21, it also made me love being Black. I first-handily experienced all of their intersectionalities that live within a Black community. These intersections happen when there is a mix of not only larger call-outs like dialect, education, financial literacy, but also the more mundane differences that an outside may not pick up on such as elderly presence in the home and the way you cook your mac & cheese.
 
I love being Black because our greatness is not only never ending, but it is ever-evolving.


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Iman Forde, Director of Project Management

How long have you been working at The Many? 7 years

We’re not monolithic so where are your roots from and how has that upbringing defined who you are as a Black person in America today?
 
I’m biracial with a French/Caribbean mother and French/English father, and I was born in France, with most of my family still living there. In France, Black people aren’t lumped into one category and people are more tied to their home country and traditions – for example, we recognize and celebrate the differences between a Senegalese person and a person from my family’s island, Guadeloupe.
 
In the US, I find it disappointing that Blackness is often seen as monolithic, but I’ve tried to flip the script and instead enjoy all the things that we have in common despite our differences. Being raised by my white father in predominantly white spaces was also quite confusing as I never felt white or Black enough. I tended to go with the French mentality of deprioritizing race because it felt too uncomfortable, but it wasn’t until I was older that I realized I was doing a disservice to myself in trying to ignore or erase a big part of what makes me, me. It’s been a long internal journey, but I’m incredibly proud to be Black and love that I do stand out in the way that I look.
 
What is our responsibility to the culture as Black people in America?
It’s our responsibility to break stereotypes and also expand on what the Black experience is. Showing Black people creating, supporting, and succeeding is extremely important as it shows the vastness of who we are, but also inspire others. Everybody says “representation matters” for a reason – it reminds us that we aren’t alone in this world and encourages us to break the mold. 


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Jesiah Atkinson, Junior Designer

How long have you been working at The Many? 7 months

What advice would you give other Black creatives that want to make it in advertising?
 
Don’t get caught up in the current lack of representation across the numerous positions within this industry. Try not to take it super personal when you’re in a meeting and either no one looks like you or there’s only a small few. Don’t make yourself small. Be YOU.
 
Resist the urge to make your non-black colleagues feel comfortable by way of subduing who you are. And if you see something that isn’t right, something that is offensive, call it out. Understand that the old days where black people stood by and let non-black people subdue us, use us and silence us, are over. There are many roots to be uprooted and you are a part of an entire group of Black people across the world who are taking center stage and are serving as more than a hashtag or fulfilling a quota.
 
You are helping change the world and set the standard. You are helping shift the playing field. Be confident. Be sincere. Do not let anyone silence you. Do not be afraid.
 
What do you love most about being Black?
I love how resilient we are. Entire systems around the world have been built with the intention of subduing (and literally killing) us and our talents and still, we push past the adversity and succeed. We are a people who remain full of joy, despite the fact that the world has been against us for centuries.
 
We are creative, spearheading entire movements and shifting culture without even trying.
 
We are the blueprint to most of your slang.
 
We set the standard for what is “cool” in mainstream media spanning across the globe.
 
Our music. Our language. The way we dress. The way we move. Everything.
 
And *that* is something I’m proud of.
 
What standards have you set for yourself as a Black person in America?
As a Black person in America, I have set the standard within myself to always approach everything sincerely. To not shrink myself, regardless of how many people in the room don’t look like me. To always make sure that I am representing myself authentically. I know that as a Black person, I have to not only work harder, but smarter than my non-black counterparts in certain spaces.


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Justice McCree, Senior Digital Specialist

How long have you been working at The Many? 2 years

What standards have you set for yourself as a Black person in America?
The standards I’ve placed on myself as a Black man in America are deeply rooted in my upbringing. Watching my parents work so hard to try to make my life better than theirs, constructed the ideals that I live by.
 
Although I’m not perfect, I strive to make every day better than the last by putting forth 110% effort in all I do, leaving a positive impact on those I meet, and , above all, remaining loyal to who I am. By doing so, I work towards the goal of setting a precedent for the next generation, so that one day my children, too, may have a better life than mine.
 
What does an accurate representation of Black in the workplace look like to you?
To me, an accurate representation would reflect Black talent showcased throughout an org chart, all the way from the top through the bottom. A workplace featuring diversity across all levels, within multiple departments, helps promote cultural change and builds a better sense of community.


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Kristin Grant, Brand Strategist

How long have you been working at The Many? 4 months

What standards have you set for yourself as a Black person in America?
The standard I set for myself as a Black woman is grounded in the lessons I learned early on from my family, specifically my mom, who embodies each day the standard of always showing up as yourself, even when that’s not what others may want you to be.
 
I live by the mantra that it’s none of my business how other people perceive me, just how I perceive myself. Making my standard a daily exercise in staying true to myself, showing up as I am, and taking up space.
 
What advice would you give other Black creatives that want to make it in advertising?
Don’t let the limitations of other people’s lack of imagination stop you from trying.
 
There is no one path to advertising, and your life experience outside of the industry, may very well be the thing that fuels you to create great work that truly represents all of the various intersections of life you reside in.
 
You’ll know the right agency/role, when you see it, because it will be the one that celebrates every aspect of your back story and supports you on your journey.


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Marcus Blackwell, Senior Copywriter

How long have you been at The Many? 6 months

What does an accurate representation of Black in the workplace look like to you?
For me, it’s when there’s a diverse group of Black leadership and true representation from one team to the next. There’s an infinite amount of talent within our community — in all fields. It’s endless. An accurate representation for me is when that’s showcased at all levels.
 
What advice would you give other Black creatives that want to make it in advertising?
We as Black creatives are the innovators, influencers and driving force behind so much of culture. Create with that confidence and mindset.
 
It might sound simple, but stay true to yourself. Be unapologetic.  When navigating into and through the world of advertising, remember that your unique skill set, creativity and POV is BEYOND valuable. It’s important for us to tell our stories, our way.  In my experience, I’ve learned how necessary it is to lift each other up. Connect and collaborate with other Black creatives, and mention their names when opportunities pop up.
 
Speak up when things don’t feel right.
 
Be open to advice from those who’ve been in the game longer, but remember that there isn’t only “one” way to do this.


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Melvin Johnson, IT & Facilities Coordinator

How long have you been working at The Many? 11 months

What standards have you set for yourself as a Black person in America?
The standard that I have set for myself as a Black man in America is to be the change I’d like to see in the world and lead by example.
 
What are we doing RIGHT as a culture?
Redefining the status quo.


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Rediate Tekeste, Senior Brand Director

How long have you been working at The Many? 11 months

We’re not monolithic so where are your roots from and how has that upbringing defined who you are as a Black person in America today?
 
I was born in Ethiopia, raised in Iowa, and I’ve lived in Arizona, back in Ethiopia, and now in L.A.
 
My identity journey as a Black person in America, was at the very least a challenging evolution, at the most – traumatic. Growing up, I didn’t really reflect on it, but when I moved back to Ethiopia after college, I expected to fit right in (I mean, everyone looked like me…), and boy – was I wrong. I quickly realized I was more American than Ethiopian in a lot of ways. I started feeling like I was never enough of one-culture or another.  The turning point was actually in my professional life – I started working as a field producer on an international documentary and my ability to understand cultural nuances, code-shift, and fluidly move between different cultures (in different countries) was immensely valuable. I met more third-culture people, immersed in Ethiopian and Black culture, and started finding the value of my experience.
 
I realized that identity is not stagnant and that it will continuously evolve. 
 
Being Black in America, to me, is having an awareness of the history and a reverence for the resilience of the people before me. Knowing that there is power in our shared experiences. Understanding that my origin story may be different, but the America we navigate is the same.
 
We are valuable because we can code-shift, we understand different viewpoints, and our melanin is beautiful – wherever it’s rooted. I am not monolithic.
 
I am Black. I am Ethiopian. I am American.
 
What has being Black taught you in advertising?
I’ve learned that my voice is important and it makes a difference. When I was little, my sister would say a random product and I would make up a commercial (I was a weird kid). I had no idea that meant I should be in advertising, I just loved storytelling. After working in a super culture-forward agency, I realized that my little kid dreams were coming true. I could be part of a team that created content with people that looked like me, had my experiences, had diverse experiences, connected with different audiences – and it was still relevant to a brand. Whenever I want to just not say anything (to protect myself professionally…or because I’m tired), I try to remember that there’s some random little Black girl in Iowa that might see what we create and feel like she’s more relevant to the world.


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Shera White, Project Coordinator

How long have you been working at The Many? 2 years

What standards have you set for yourself as a Black person in America?
I love everything about this question and the accountability it comes with as a Black individual. I do my best to change the narrative from storytelling and wanting special treatment simply because I am Black. Historically – it is true that I am impacted by generational trauma but how I move forward is what matters the most. The standard I have set for myself as a Black American woman has a strong presence today, focusing on my mental health, nourishing my body. My goal isn’t to be perfect, it’s to never give up. Showing up as my authentic self and making sure that I have self-compassion.
 
What do you love most about being Black?
My skin makes me the proudest because it was a gift given to me at birth by my late father (Howard James White). I realize how fortunate I am to have this brown skin. The strength, resilience, courage and JOY that it comes with is like having superpowers. It has protected me, guided me and reminded me to be strong. I do realize the stigma attached to our skin, the torture, humiliation and heartbreak of those before me, even being called ugly for no reason. So every time I look down at my brown skin I am reminded of my father’s love, BLACK JOY and I’m full of gratitude. Thanks, Dad for making me a brown skin girl!!


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Thaxton Scott, Associate Brand Director

How long have you been working at The Many? 5 months

What standards have you set for yourself as a Black person in America?
The possibilities and standards for me as a Black man are limitless. I am a firm believer in having my own personal standard of excellence and every day I aim to maintain that for myself. It’s important that I continuously pour into my community to ensure we are evolving and striving to uphold Black excellence. More importantly, the true gem and standard my family has taught me to live by is trusting my instincts and always showing up to any room confidently and authentically me. There’s just a certain level of swagger, finesse and power that we, as Black people, possess and it’s truly unmatched.
 
What do you love most about being Black?
What I love most about being Black is OUR CULTURE. Our culture has influenced the world and nothing would be what it is without Black culture. I love the fact that Black people share an unspoken bond (Black Twitter, for example). Seemingly, we were all raised the same, love a good loud laugh, the joy that comes from a family gathering, our music *chef’s kiss* — everything. While the misappropriation of Black culture in our society is heart wrenching, it goes to show how impactful and influential Black culture is to the world we live in.


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Thompson ‘Tomo’ Imasogie, Senior Art Director

How long have you been at The Many? 6 months

What has being Black taught you in advertising?
Being Black and working in advertising has taught me a lot about the power/influence that we have through media.
 
As a creative, I find it important to ensure that black people are represented in an authentic manner that doesn’t reinforce negative stereotypes or promote non-constructive behavior. On a professional level, I’ve also learned what it means to be Black in the workplace.
 
Advertising/media has a long history of racism. Not only from the work that’s being produced but the workplace environment as well. My experiences at various agencies has opened my eyes to many of the problems that exist in our industry which in turn has impacted not only how I view the workplace but also my long-term career goals.
 
What is our responsibility to the culture as Black people in America?
It is our responsibility to keep pushing/reminding our people that it’s okay to think, feel, and be BLACK. It’s okay to have a Black consciousness, a Black POV, and respond/react to things in a Black way without worrying about how it will make non-black folks feel – as well as the “consequences” that might follow due to their discomfort. It’s also our responsibility to remind each other of the greatness that already lives within us. We are more than capable of problem-solving, being independent, being self-sufficient, and uplifting our communities.


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Tirris 'Ty' Gates, Communications Manager

How long have you been working at The Many? 10 months

How has the word ‘privilege’ affected you in the workplace?
 
Throughout my career, I’ve noticed that people with a sense of privilege can get off some wild, and sometimes disrespectful, opinions. I’ve also noticed that they can take your ideas and reap the benefits. I remember speaking up once back in the day on what I thought was the right approach for a client’s announcement rollout and was completely shut down. At the next meeting a coworker took that same approach but wrapped it up with that sense of privilege and it was considered “great insight.”


What does an accurate representation of Black in the workplace look like to you?

I would say what we have going on at The Many is the start to an accurate representation of Black in the workplace that I’ve seen in my career. It is nice not being the only one or one of less than five.
Put yourself in my shoes during the moments following George Floyd’s death. The only Black person in a 20 person company (four of us were based in America while the rest were in the EU). I didn’t really have an opinion on the matter as everything was unfolding, but I was spotlighted for an opinion as the resident Black during a global meeting. I remember sitting there like, “do these people think I can somehow channel the thoughts of every Black person in the world and deliver a synopsis on what everyone was feeling? This is wild.”
 
Would that had happen with a more prominent representation of Black folks?


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Yasmine Nozile, Managing Director – Finance
 
How long have you been working at The Many? 9 months
 
What standards have you set for yourself as a Black person in America?
Walking in my own unique path is most definitely the standard I’ve set for myself as a Black WOMAN in America. Having to walk into a room knowing I am viewed by many as a “double minority” adds a certain level of pressure whether you know it or not. Therefore, if I live and lead knowing that any and everything that I am doing is of high standards, the burden of those expectations or comparison have little value. But my relationships and impact are ultimately the story that is told as I walk through doors.
 
What are we doing RIGHT as a culture?
As a culture, we are now focused on wealth generation, financial education and closing the wealth gap which is SUPER DOPE to me. On the heels of the 2020 Pandemic, I watched many people in our community take ownership in educating our community in investing, money management, estate planning and several other areas for free. The community that has been built and the movement itself is one that I am a part of and SUPER passionate about. It only takes a dollar. But teaching our community what to do with the dollar once they have it is a task that no one took the time to teach. But we now have the platforms and the knowledge barrier is gone.

Looking Back at 2021 Across The Agency

Dave Averdick | Dec. 21 2021

As 2021 comes to a close, we want to take a moment to reflect on the year because a lot of happenings have happened. From campaigns with our clients that truly challenge comfortable to internal initiatives that assisted in moving the world forward, starting with our people, and hilarious photoshop competitions that would give the most viral Reddit threads a run for the money; 2021 was action packed like a Fast & Furious movie except we never went to space or jumped out a skyscraper or did we?
 
My name is Ty Gates and I’m the Communications Manager here. Personally, my favorite moment was having the opportunity to have my mother guide us for a two-part discussion revolving around Ijeoma Oluo’s book, So You Want to Talk About Race. The discussions were thought-provoking. I never thought I’d see the day that my mom would meet my coworkers, but The Many is a special place and opened the doors to a special experience that I’ll forever cherish.
 
Featured below are some folks from across the agency highlighting some of their favorite moments from 2021. We hope you enjoy the glimpse into what happened here this year and we wish you the best! See you in 2022.


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Andy Craig, Group Strategy Director

“How rapidly we’ve scaled with eBay. This is a portfolio client who has a LOT of things to say and support, with a huge appetite for creative innovation. Through integrated planning, franchise-caliber ideas, and hive-mind client relationships, we’re scaling smartly, thinking long term, and cracking learnings and IP that will help drive the entire agency forward.”


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Svetlana Kornilova, Associate Director of Project Management

“One of my favorite moments of 2021 was how surreal and special it felt to go back to the office after a year of complete isolation. Still very beautiful and inspiring place. Also, meeting some faces for the first time which also feels like you’ve known them forever after staring at each other on Zoom calls but it is  totally different in real life <3.  Wherever we are: at the office, at home, between the West and East Coast, or Australia, I’m proud of the teams I’ve worked with throughout this year. Proud of how our teams can bring that energy through the screen, how much we laugh, how much we energize each other and learn from one another. It proved again, anything is possible when we are together.”


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Amy Woo, Associate Design Director

“My most memorable experience this year was being sent on a last minute trip across the country with four other coworkers I had never met irl (two of them were in their first week, so they were complete strangers). The team ended up hitting it off and produced some great work in a short amount of time. I see this small moment in 2021 as a reflection of the agency and spirit we foster here – passionate, kind folks who are unafraid of diving into the deep end together to create impactful work.”
 


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Caroline Tambling, Associate Media Director

“What I’ve really loved about this year is how our team doubled down on connections in year two of working virtually. We have hired folks across different time zones who we haven’t meet IRL, so strengthening our bond as a team has been priority #1. This comes to life in our onboarding process, weekly 1:1s, and team statuses, as well as a few happy hours here and there. We’ve been through so much as a team and I just know we can handle anything 2022 throws our way!”


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Ashley Milhollin, Creative Director

“My favorite moment slash biggest pride and joy this year is our ‘Please Don’t Buy Mixwell’ campaign. It’s such a wonderful coalescence of what our work can be: meaningful but not expectedly earnest, hugely provocative but for a larger purpose and brave enough to risk the bottom line in favor of protecting real value(s).”

 


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Kim Vorse, Senior Producer

“There was a tipping tip at our agency where we experienced such tremendous growth that, suddenly, all the people I had only met on Zoom outnumbered my pre-COVID co-workers. My favorite moment this year has actually been multiple moments. It’s been shoots, random dinners and sporadic office visits where I get to say hello to old friends and figure out how tall my Zoom friends really are. It’s easy to go heads down working together virtually – but there’s nothing like being together, in person.”


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Edwin Barrera, IT & Facilities Manager

“The Friday Gatherings with Special guests have been my favorite moments this year. The two-day sessions with Ms. Pamela Lewis and the workshop ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’ with the Berkeley group were inspiring and uplifting. These moments are meaningful because they deal with real life and help us understand each other more and try to make this place better for generations to come. Can’t wait to see what The Many has in store for next year. I’ve also enjoyed seeing the agency grow so much. If you had told me at the start of the pandemic that we would reach 150 employees, I would have not believed it. And look at us now, doing our thing and striving for more. It’s beautiful to see and exciting to be part of.”


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Johanna Penry, People Experience Manager

“We launched a mentorship program that was pretty grassroots and centered around developing relationships. At the end of the program when we gathered feedback from the folks that participated, we were blown away. Every single mentor and mentee saw results from improved confidence to increased empathy. One person mentioned that the program shifted their thought process from contributing individually to contributing collectively— that’s what it’s all about.”


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Rediate Tekeste, Senior Brand Director

“Our Old School Meets New School series with @eBaywatches! The conversations between talent, collaboration with the client and our team, and the final work was culture-forward, honest, and real-talk we love to see. We challenged gender norms, highlighted the impact of Black culture on luxury, and did it all so beautifully in multiple social spots. Beyond doing well with the press & on social – our ability as a team to create content that had a viewpoint about our world and not only a product – reminded me exactly of our superpower as storytellers.”


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Lauren Gluck, Director of Growth

“I am so proud of the amazing growth I’ve witnessed first-hand at the agency. We have been lucky to welcome so many incredible partners and brands into our fold this year. From our integrated work with The Bouqs to the meaningful work we are doing with Ad Council and the way we have grown our existing relationship with long-term clients like Synchrony. Seeing the way that everyone at The Many rallies around new opportunities and gives each one 150% inspires me every day.”


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10 New Designers and Further Expansion of Our Design Capabilities

Blake Marquis | Nov. 16 2021

We welcomed 10 new designers to our design studio. The expansion allows us to enhance our existing capabilities from social and digital content to brand identity while expanding to include a complete portfolio of design services such as packaging, UX/UI, key art, illustration and animation.
 
The Many’s design studio is led by Jorge Andrade, Director of Design, who, over the years, has helped grow the team as an integral part of our holistic approach to solving business challenges—providing design solutions that come from a place of strategic and creative thinking. The expansion supports the agency-wide growth amounting to over 100 new hires thus far in 2021.
 
The new hires include Scott Woodburn (Senior Motion Graphics Designer), Spencer Wainacht (Motion Designer), Maddie Avjean (Designer), Robert Diep (Junior Designer), Sarah Burley (Senior Designer), Jesiah Atkinson (Junior Designer), Katie Braverman (Junior Designer) Christopher Rupelt (Senior Designer), Gianni Arone (Motion Graphics Designer) and Stephen Jablonski (Senior Designer). In addition, there are five promotions: Amy Woo from Senior Designer to Associate Design Director, Paul Brantly from Designer to Senior Designer, Darleen Ralota from intern to Motion Graphics Designer, and Steven Nguyen and Shina Kim-Avalos from interns to Designers.
 
As a DREAMer himself, Andrade has made it a priority to open the doors for people like himself to break into the advertising industry. Shina Kim-Avalos, a DREAMer as well, was recently promoted from intern to designer and made her way to The Many after learning about Andrade’s story through the agency’s Voices program.
 
“As a design studio, we benefit from being part of an integrated agency to create a more holistic approach to visual branding that is informed by media, crafted through strategy, and given a personality and point of view through our creative,” said Jorge Andrade, Director of Design At The Many. “We put a lot of emphasis on design because of the power a perfectly curated campaign brings to the world—it is what distinguishes brands in the sea of sameness when it comes to the content we engage with day-to-day.”
 
The substantial expansion of the design studio enables us to continue our intentional diversification of the team and further expand its capabilities such as 3D and AR animation.
 
Catch the news at Graphic Design USA and AgencySpy.

Educating through Celebrating during National Hispanic Heritage Month

Ifetayo Jabari-Kitwala | Oct. 14 2021

September 15th to October 15th is National Hispanic Heritage Month, which honors Hispanic and Latinx Americans, their cultures, and the contributions they make to this country. We are celebrating this time by uplifting our people and their unique connections to their Hispanic and Latinx cultures.
 
From imagining the smell of the beans and chilaquiles (rojos) in Mexico to learning of the resiliency of Cubans and Nicaraguans gained through years of global adversity; from recognizing the work of Sylvia Rivera and Frida Kahlo had done for the LGBTQIA+ community to hearing stories of moms and aunts being chased by the police because they were street vendors, this month was nothing short of an exploration of Hispanic/Latinx culture, powerful storytelling, and its impact. And while everyone’s experiences are unique to them, one thing is true across the board— there is always a reason to celebrate. 
 
So to close out the month, we asked The Many to share with us all the celebrations, people and experiences they’d like to celebrate and we hope you enjoy these special moments as much as we did.


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Shina Kim-Avalos 
 
What about your culture are you most proud of?
The sense of community is so strong in our culture. Whether you’re a family member, a long-time friend, a neighbor, or a colleague, you’re always cared for. I also love the power of bringing people together with our FOOD. There is no shortage of reasons to have a BIG gathering or party with lots of amazing food. My tias never have written directions for their recipes. They’re all passed down from generation to generation and each is a delicious labor of love.


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Sofia Brenda Duzian (she/her)
 
What about your culture are you most proud of?
Cubans and Nicaraguans are resilient people. Through generations of adversity and chaos in both countries, the people remain so strong, full of vibrancy and life, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I visited Nicaragua for the first time at 15 and Cuba at 22, both experiences were incredible and taught me so much about myself, my family history,  and opened a whole new connection to my culture. It was so hard for me to leave Cuba at the end of that first trip and I knew I wanted to continue learning more and stay connected to the country and my heritage. I ended up working with an incredible organization called Project Por Amor, which helps bring people to Cuba and explore the country through art, music, history, and culture. The work was so dear to my heart and helped me feel like I was spreading the zest of Cuban culture to others.
 
Who is someone in the Latinx community that you have always looked up to?
My grandmother, my Mima, who passed away earlier this year, is someone I will look up to for the rest of my life. She grew up with 13 brothers and sisters in Managua, Nicaragua, and eventually moved to Los Angeles after her mother died. My grandmother worked tirelessly and meticulously her whole life, investing in properties, and making an income that could support the family and take them all over the world. She loved to travel more than anything, and I am so grateful that she passed that love on to me. She also spent her whole life taking care of my Uncle Glenn who had Down Syndrome and was her constant companion and best friend after my Pipa passed. She wasn’t the typical warm and fuzzy, sweater-knitting grandma, but she loved us with everything she had, she was intelligent, strong-willed, stubborn, and could kick your ass in poker any day of the week.


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Lisandro Ancewicz
 
What about your culture are you most proud of?
There are a couple of things I’m really proud of. The first one is the sense of humor. Adversity in our own home countries made humor a pillar of our culture. It’s a way for us to connect and grow as a community. 
 
Second would be our capacity for improvisation and quick planning. Our culture is known for planning things on the spot and rolling with the punches. Things don’t have to be perfect for us to move forward. 
 
Third and most important would be our warmth. There is nothing more inspiring for me than our warmth. 
This is a key element of our culture. We are always looking forward to socializing and welcoming people with open arms.
 
Who is someone in the Latinx community that you have always looked up to?
A Latino that really inspires me is John Leguizamo. He is a real warrior for the Latino community.


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Edwin Barrera
 
If you and your family/friends/peers celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, what is your fondest memory of celebrations from the past?
We would go to Pico and Normandie in Los Angeles to catch the Salvadorian parade with my dad. My mom would go sell tamales and Atol de Elote alongside her oldest sister. The event was beautiful as they would be playing music, dancing, and eating all that good food like pupusas, tamales, yuca con chicharron, etc. Having a great time celebrating our country’s independence.
 
What about your culture are you most proud of?
Personally, I love the fact that till this day we all gather for Bday parties, holidays, etc. We throw a big party with good food, drinks, and music. We dance the night away and enjoy each other’s company. Proud of the fact that we are there for each other in good times and bad. Proud of the hard work and dedication that is instilled in us from little. I remember my mom and aunts getting up at 4-5 am to start making tamales on the weekends. Growing up selling food in front of St. Thoma church was something my family always did. I remember hearing stories of my mom and aunts being chased by police because they were street vendors. When I was 8-9 years old I would from time to time go with my mom and aunt to the convention center and help them sell sodas and water. Those experiences help me be the person that I am today. I don’t take anything for granted and appreciate everything that I have.


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Jorge Andrade 
 
If you have not celebrated this month before, why would you say you haven’t celebrated in the past?
To be quite honest, I never knew it was a thing. I always thought that the only time of the year that the US celebrated anything Hispanic was 5 de Mayo, which always felt like a weird misinformed and appropriated holiday merely used as an excuse to party. However, Hispanic Heritage Month in contrast is meant to highlight the achievements and contributions to today’s culture made by Hispanos & Latinos. Although I am grateful that we get an official month in “the content calendar” to be celebrated, seen, and recognized as a community, I wish we’d evolve the way we think about these types of holidays and continue the celebration year-round and not only within a specific timeframe.

What about your culture are you most proud of?
As a Hispano, I am most proud of our humanidad and family-centric values. We are a community filled with loving and compassionate people; we are selfless and empathetic, which allows us to treat others with respect and humility. When faced with adversity, our community always finds a way to uplift one another and help those in need. You could say that our mother’s “chancla/chancleta” and disciplining tactics have helped shape us all to be good and respectful members of society.


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Shera Annain White 
 
What about your culture are you most proud of?  
Todo. La costumbres de mi mamá, mi familia, Tias y Tios, Primas y Primos, la gente de Mexico y la comida. I could go on and on about all of the things I love about mi culture Mexicana. 
 
Mi abuelo y abuela lived on a ranch with lots of different animals; pigs, chickens, turkeys, cows, cattle, sheep, and ox. We would run around with all the animals and hide in the trees. It’s an unforgettable experience to be with nature and wild animals. My grandpa would let us get on his horse, I just remember the saddle weighing a ton (it’s very heavy). 
 
Some of my favorite childhood memories come from my visits to Mexico. Every morning we would wake up, you could smell the beans and chilaquiles (rojos). Everyone greets you with a hug and a kiss, someone will call out your name because they have a plate of food ready for you. Did I also mention we drink coca-cola for breakfast!!  My mom’s entire family is from a small town in Mexico called Teocaltiche. The people are rich with things that really matter like strength, family and religion. Even though they don’t have not have much to offer in terms of money, the people there always have a lot of love to give. Everything is pure in Mexico, pure happiness.
 
If you and your family/friends/peers celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, what is your fondest memory of celebrations from the past?
One of my fondest memories as a kid was from the age of 4 – 8 years old, we would take our annual trips to Teocaltiche, Jalisco Mexico. The region is known as “Los Altos de Jalisco”. They have fiestas every November 1 -11. It’s the celebration of the procession of the Virgen De Los Dolores.
 
After the procession, we would celebrate as a town for several days. It became a tradition for my family, not just for the town. After the procession, we would attend church and attend the party afterward. There would be lots of small vendors, food, games and fair rides. It was such a fun memorable experience because we would all come together as one.
 


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Ash Ramirez (they/elle/papi)
 
What about your culture are you most proud of?
My top two answers go hand in hand, especially when it comes to putting together a good ol’ party, Latinx style… MUSICA Y COMIDA. Not only am I proud of these aspects of my culture but these are parts of my Latinidad that I most identify with. Nothing makes my heart feel the feels more than food and music. With food, your senses are literally immersed in it all. It’s a whole mood and experience for sure. And there’s so much more to it than you think, it’s not just burritos and nachos y’all.
 
Who is someone in the Latinx community that you have always looked up to?
As a queer non-binary Latinx I don’t see many that look like me but I do recognize the work of Sylvia Rivera and Frida Kahlo, both come from the LGBTQIA+ community and have always been in spaces as their unapologetic, authentic selves. This is not only inspiring but I owe it to them for paving the way for me to be in spaces as myself.


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If you missed our National Hispanic Heritage Month Stories, head over to our Instagram highlights to quiz your knowledge of the many unique cultures that are part of the Hispanic World, or join in on the conversation via Twitter or LinkedIn
 
To those who identify as Hispanic or Latinx at The Many, we see you and appreciate you celebrating with us.

11 Hard-Earned Promotions Across Brand, Creative, Design, Media, People, and Production

Ty Gates | Sep. 29 2021

In the words of NBA Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” 
 
At The Many, our team has been excelling by constantly challenging comfortable to create the best work and achieve progress for our clients. And while every single member of this team plays a key role in moving our world forward, now is an opportunity to recognize a group of individuals who continue to make us all strong.
 
From the recent launch of eBay’s new content series Old School Meets New School to The Bouqs Co. selecting The Many as it’s new integrated agency of record, in addition to building new programs to support our team and culture, everyone has played a part in the continued success we’ve been experiencing. But for the 11 special people you are about to meet, the fruit of their labor has resulted in a promotion!
 
Join us in celebrating these 11 incredible individuals and enjoy a fun Q&A below to learn about what makes them exceptional and what they’re up to at The Many. We appreciate you all.


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Amy Woo, from Senior Designer to Associate Design Director.
 
How long have you been at The Many? Just a little bit under a year at 10 months.
 
What is one thing you’re most grateful for about The Many? The people at The Many are the foundation of this company and I’m truly grateful to be at a place where I feel appreciated and respected.
 
What are you most excited to accomplish in this new role? I’m incredibly proud of our talented design team and I look forward to continuing to craft engaging, thoughtful work alongside everyone. Moreover, I look forward to mentoring and fostering growth in each of their individual journeys.
 
What food dish best describes how you feel about your promotion? No better way to celebrate than a 10pc chicken nuggies w/ large fries.

Ashley Milhollin, from Associate Creative Director to Creative Director.
 
How long have you been at The Many? Two years and some change 
 
What is one thing you’re most grateful for about The Many?  The people, all of them 
 
What are you most excited to accomplish in this new role? Be the person I needed when I was a younger creative (and reflect the people who were those people to me!)
 
What food dish best describes how you feel about your promotion? A sick charcuterie board and red wine. Charcuterie because it’s a mix of different, delicious things and flavors that always add up to be a sum greater than its parts. And wine because. That’s it, just because. 

Georgiana Cocieru, from Digital Analytics Specialist to Senior Digital Analytics Specialist.
 
How long have you been at The Many? 11 months (I’ve been growing in this role along with my now 14-month old baby).
 
What is one thing you’re most grateful for about The Many?  I’m grateful for all the people that make up The Many team. Not only are they extremely good at what they do and inspire everyone around with their excellent work and work ethic, but they are also genuinely good, kind people. I keep learning from them every single day.
 
What are you most excited to accomplish in this new role? I look forward to finding better ways to support the team in extracting meaningful insights from data and continuing to push forward the importance of data in any decision-making.
 
What food dish best describes how you feel about your promotion? It’ll have to be a fancy seafood dish!

 
Johanna Penry, from People Experience Specialist to People Experience Manager.
 
How long have you been at The Many? Six months.
 
What is one thing you’re most grateful for about The Many? I love that The Many has really invested in a kickass people team. We’ve grown from an army of one to a squad of 10 in less than a year. I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished in that short period of time, and everyday we’re becoming the best agency at developing our people.
 
What are you most excited to accomplish in this new role? This role is all about ensuring that people feel like their authentic selves at The Many. There’s a lot of operational and strategic work that goes into that goal, but it’s all about a holistic outcome where people just love being a part of The Many.
 
What food dish best describes how you feel about your promotion? I’m going to have to go with a Friendsgiving Potluck vibe here! I know that’s more than one dish, but I’m hungry…

John Paul Brantly, from Designer to Senior Designer.
 
How long have you been at The Many? Approaching three years.
 
What is one thing you’re most grateful for about The Many? We put people first.
 
What are you most excited to accomplish in this new role? The chance to learn something new.
 
What food dish best describes how you feel about your promotion? Homemade Lasagne. It takes a lot of hard work, time, and dedication, but the pay off is so epic that you will need to take a nap afterwards.

Justice McCree, from Digital Specialist to Senior Digital Specialist.
 
How long have you been at The Many? It will be two years in January.
 
What is one thing you’re most grateful for about The Many? I am grateful that The Many has given me the opportunity to pursue my interests, supporting my transition from a more traditional media planning role into digital activation. 
 
What are you most excited to accomplish in this new role? The opportunity to continue to build out our digital team.
 
What food dish best describes how you feel about your promotion? It’s gotta be a nice Surf ‘N’ Turf combo, we’ll go with a Porterhouse Steak + Blackened Shrimp, with a side of mashed potatoes & mac’ n cheese.

Kim Vorse, from Producer to Senior Producer.
 
How long have you been at The Many? Nearly seven years, which is legitimately the amount of time it takes to become a whole new person on a cellular level. 
 
What is one thing you’re most grateful for about The Many? All of my amazing co-workers, some of whom are lifelong friends of mine. Additionally, I have had a very sideways growth into this role, and that would never have happened without a community of talented, driven, and kind individuals who have consistently provided me with the space and inspiration to grow into it. 
 
What are you most excited to accomplish in this new role? The ability to mentor others and provide a platform for their elevation. 
 
What food dish best describes how you feel about your promotion? Taco Tuesday, because in COVID it’s always Tuesday, but tacos make everything better.

Kylie Wu, from Senior Brand Director to Group Brand Director.
 
How long have you been at The Many? Over six and a half years! (What is time?)
 
What is one thing you’re most grateful for about The Many? The people. Throughout all of the exciting changes that the agency has seen over the years, one of the consistent highlights has been our ability to find incredible humans who are not only talented, intelligent and great at their jobs, but who are also genuinely good people that happen to have the best Slack chat and GIF game. We keep each other laughing and feeling supported through even the toughest of days, and that is something I am endlessly grateful for. 
 
What are you most excited to accomplish in this new role? Fostering the growth of my brand team and seeing them succeed in their roles.   
 
What food dish best describes how you feel about your promotion? Mastro’s butter cake. If you know, you know.  

Madeline Gali, from Project Manager to Senior Project Manager.
 
How long have you been at The Many? Two years. 
 
What is one thing you’re most grateful for about The Many? My amazing mentors and friends. Everyone has a voice at this agency. If you are up for the challenge, you can dive in. I have had so many growth opportunities here and I wouldn’t be able to do it without the mentorship and open mindedness of everyone around me.  
 
What are you most excited to accomplish in this new role? I am looking forward to continuing to implement processes across my accounts and mentor and onboard new team members. I am looking forward to giving those I mentor the same opportunities that helped me grow in my career. 
 
What food dish best describes how you feel about your promotion? Going to go with a celebratory drink here: a spicy margarita. 

McKenna Petri, from Senior Media Planner to Media Supervisor.
 
How long have you been at The Many? Two years! 
 
What is one thing you’re most grateful for about The Many? The people! I feel truly supported by the people around me. Everyone has such a passion to create great work and create an incredible culture, which makes this an incredible place to grow, learn and work.
 
What are you most excited to accomplish in this new role? I am excited to continue to help improve processes across our growing department and train new members of the team.
 
What food dish best describes how you feel about your promotion? It’s a celebratory moment, so I have to go for something I don’t eat too often. Grass-fed NY Strip with roasted potatoes and mushrooms with a Cab Sav (my fave restaurant meal), or Annie’s Mac and Cheese (my fave home-cooked, non-healthy food).

Tori Matthews, from Brand Director to Senior Brand Director.
 
How long have you been at The Many? A little over a year.
 
What is one thing you’re most grateful for about The Many? The people! The Many is a happy place with an incredible culture. It’s an amazing thing to have co-workers who feel like friends 🙂
 
What are you most excited to accomplish in this new role? Developing stronger client relationships and building out a strong brand team. 
 
What food dish best describes how you feel about your promotion? That Salt and Straw waffle cone! Don’t even need the ice cream, just give me that waffle cone!

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