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Join us on June 14th, 2023 at The Indeed Theater at Spring Studios for a day of conversations and breakout sessions with industry thought leaders as they share their insights and perspective on AI assisted story finding, purpose-driven stories, the rapid proliferation of distribution channels, and creating a more diverse and inclusive creative industry.



Founder Spotlight: Diane von Furstenberg

During a career of nearly five decades, Diane von Furstenberg has exhibited an expert level of staying power through savviness and adaptation. From building a fashion brand from scratch to pivoting to QVC and relaunching her company to engaging a new generation of women in the digital age, her personal brand and businesses have flourished, achieving global popularity and recognition. Her philanthropic work has empowered women all over the world and her charitable donations have reshaped New York City’s landscape for the better. In a conversation with Seth Meyers, von Furstenberg will speak on the origins of her namesake company, her predictions for the fashion industry, and her advice for a younger generation of women entrepreneurs.

Diane von Furstenberg

Diane von Fürstenberg - Founder and Co-Chairwoman, DVF

Diane von Furstenberg is a fashion designer, philanthropist, author, and Founder and Co-Chairwoman. In 1974, she created the iconic wrap dress, which became a symbol of power and independence for women and grew into a global brand. Diane has received a vast array of accolades; Lifetime Achievement Away from the CFDA, named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People, inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, Chevalier de la Légion D’Honneur from France and Commandeur de l'Ordre de la Couronne from her native Belgium. Most recently, she received the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Woman of Leadership Award for her remarkable leadership and dedication to women. She currently serves on the boards of Vital Voices, and the CFDA.

Seth Meyers -Moderator


Seth Meyers is an Emmy Award-winning writer, New York Times bestselling author and host of NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” Meyers began his TV career with “Saturday Night Live” in 2001, where he was a cast member for 13 seasons. He served as head writer for nine seasons and “Weekend Update” anchor for eight. In 2019, he released his debut standup special, “Lobby Baby,” on Netflix. Meyers executive produces Peacock’s “The Amber Ruffin Show” and IFC’s “Documentary Now!,” and in total has garnered 27 Emmy nominations. His children’s book, “I’m Not Scared, You’re Scared,” was released in March 2022.

Writing the Next Chapter: The Importance of Brand Story for Brand Evolution

GE and GM, two iconic American companies, have thrived for over a century by adapting to accommodate changing times. Today, both companies are engaged in another historic era of transformation catalyzed by a changing world. In response to an evolving marketplace, GE is splitting into three companies focused on critical growth sectors: aerospace, energy, and healthcare. Detroit automaker GM is looking toward the future with a vision to create a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. For two brands so entrenched in American culture, communicating this level of change can be difficult; but there is one tool powerful enough to educate, inform, and onboard audiences to both brands’ new identities: storytelling.


In a conversation moderated by Jim Cooper of Digiday, GE’s Global CMO Linda Boff and GM’s SVP of Strategy and Innovation Alan Wexler will discuss how both experimentation and data-driven insights impact their respective narratives, what role corporate social responsibility plays in business and marketing decisions, and how they leverage the power of storytelling to inform consumers of these massive transformations designed to make the world a better place.

Alan Wexler

Senior Vice President, Strategy and Innovation, General Motors

Alan M. Wexler leads the Data and Customer Insights, Innovation and Strategy teams at General Motors. Wexler has been working at the intersection of strategy, technology and creative for more than 30 years. Before joining GM, Wexler served as Chairman and CEO of Publicis Sapient, CEO of SapientRazorfish and CEO of SapientNitro. Prior to Sapient joining Publicis, he was President of SapientNitro and has held several other senior leadership positions for an aggregate of 20 years. Prior to Sapient, Wexler built and operated an independent business and technology consulting company. He has extensive experience in digital business transformation, advertising and marketing.

Linda Boff

Global CMO, General Electric

Linda Boff is a builder of global brands and businesses with expertise across the full range of integrated marketing communications, as well as culture and leadership development. As CMO of GE, Linda is accountable for global marketing, advertising, brand, content, digital, sponsorships, as well as corporate communications, crisis communications, media relations, public affairs, and financial communication. Additionally, Linda runs GE’s Corporate Learning P&L, leads the GE Foundation, and co-leads GE’s Women’s Network. A member of the Forbes CMO Hall of Fame, Linda earned a BA in Political Science and Psychology from Union College. She and her husband live in Irvington, NY and have two grown children.

Jim Cooper - Moderator

Editor-in-chief, Digiday

Jim Cooper is the editor-in-chief at Digiday, managing the brand’s editorial operations. Prior to joining Dididay, Cooper, as editorial director, oversaw all editorial functions at Adweek including a weekly print magazine, daily newsletters, social media, original video production, events and awards.Cooper started at the Adweek publishing group as a reporter covering the rise of the cable industry as a programming and technology sector at Mediaweek and rose to executive editor there before shifting over to the editorial director role following the exit of editor Michael Wolff at the new Adweek in October 2012. Before Adweek, Cooper was the programming editor at Cablevision Magazine, a staff writer at Broadcasting & Cable and a community reporter for Gannett owned daily the Courier-News in New Jersey. He graduated from Kenyon College and received a M.A. in journalism from Boston University. Cooper lives in Westchester County, New York with his wife and two daughters.

The Next Five Years in Streaming & What it Means for Movie Makers and Brands

Streaming has evolved over the last twenty years through iterations including posting video clips on services (YouTube, Facebook, Vine, Snap and TikTok), ushering in a new world of creators, and new forms of “big media” (Netflix, Hulu, and studios moving to streaming) making quality programming at scale. Companies like Tubi have focused on personalizing the experience around a library featuring tens of thousands of movies and TV shows in an ad supported platform. Looking to the future in a web 3.0 world, universes of content creation, personalization and programming will seemingly collide. The value of knowing your audience and making incredible creative for storytelling becomes even more important when audiences can own a collectible piece of their favorite content and have a stake in that storytelling. In this session that looks to the future, filmmakers will get insight on how to capitalize on these secular trends and brand marketers will get guidance on modern content creation, whether it be for entertainment or brands.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Chief Executive Officer, VaynerMedia

Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur and serves as the Chairman of VaynerX, the CEO of VaynerMedia, and the Creator & CEO of VeeFriends. Gary is considered one of the leading global minds on what’s next in culture, relevance, and the internet. Known as “GaryVee,” he is described as one of the most forward thinkers in business – he acutely recognizes trends and patterns early to help others understand how these shifts impact markets and consumer behavior. Whether it’s emerging artists, esports, NFT investing, or digital communications, Gary understands how to bring brand relevance to the forefront. He is a prolific angel investor with early investments in companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Venmo, Snapchat, Coinbase and Uber.

Mark Rotblat

Chief Revenue Officer, Tubi

Mark Rotblat is the Chief Revenue Officer of Tubi and is responsible for driving the company’s global sales and partnerships, expanding the company’s revenue efforts, and increasing value for advertising partners. Prior to joining Tubi, Mark was Senior Director of Agency Sales & Activation for the Adobe Advertising Cloud at Adobe Systems. Leading up to his work at Adobe, Mark was part of TubeMogul's founding team in 2007, holding a variety of roles, including marketing, business development and various sales leadership positions. He also has experience working in business development and management consulting for healthcare organizations. Mark holds an MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and a BS from Duke University and resides in the Bay area with his wife and children.

Rewriting the System With Web3

There are two camps of thought. One side suggests we update existing systems to create a better world. The other believes we need a system re-write. Haider Rafique, CMO of OKX talks about a world where we all have more control, mobility and various ways to trade our assets. A world where software allows us to be our own bank, to be interoperable and to trade without any intermediaries. Haider will address how OKX’s Web3 products are here to contribute to building this future.

Haider Rafique

Global Chief Marketing Officer, OKX

Haider Rafique is the Global Chief Marketing Officer at OKX. He oversees the company’s growth and brand strategy. Haider previously served at the US exchange Okcoin as Chief Marketing Officer. He rebranded the company in 2021 and it recorded a growth of retail user sign-ups by 20x year-on-year, onboarding more than a million customers to the platform. Haider is a seasoned growth and marketing leader at global crypto firms, previously serving as head of growth at and as a growth adviser to several web3 firms and startups. He is one of the few in the industry with experience from traditional Madison Avenue ad firms and multinational tech giants like Microsoft.

From Awareness to Action: How John Deere Is Addressing Racial Inequities through Documentary Storytelling

The most effective stories for connecting with customers that care about your brand and the issues you endorse are compelling, authentic, and amplify your brand's core values. Gaining Ground: The Fight for Black Land is a 90-minute first-person narrative documentary film produced by Al Roker Entertainment that educates and addresses land ownership racial inequities that have existed in America for generations. It also touches on John Deere’s commitment to working with various support organizations focusing on the work needed to improve the lives and livelihoods of Black farmers, with a particular emphasis on the preservation of Black-owned farmland in rural communities.


In this session moderated by Variety’s Executive Editor, Brent Lang, Al Roker Entertainment CEO Al Roker, John Deere’s VP of Global Communications Mara Downing, and Emmy-nominated Producer/Director Eternal Polk discuss the rise of brand storytelling as a change agent, How a first-person narrative builds trust, empathy, and a call to action, as well as how to strike a balance between message and marketing all while implementing real world KPI strategies to measure and evaluate the impact of social impact storytelling efforts.

Al Roker

Owner, Chief Executive Officer, Al Roker Entertainment

As the iconic weatherman on NBC’s TODAY Show and co-anchor of the 3rd Hour of TODAY, Al Roker enjoys the undivided attention of the nation , Spanning more than 40 years on TV and 14 Emmy awards. Al hosts many NBC marquee events including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, and Pasadena New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade. Al has executive produced numerous TV programs and branded entertainment for network, cable, digital, and streaming channels, including the award-winning Coast Guard Alaska series. He served as Executive Producer of the ARE-produced documentary Gaining Ground: The Fight for Black Land, which will world premiere in June at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in Miami. Al is also a prolific author with 13 acclaimed books to his credit.

Eternal Polk

Executive Producer & Director

Eternal Polk is a two-time Emmy-nominated writer/director with over 20 years of working on short and long-form projects including documentaries, music videos, branded content, & commercials. His most recent project, the 90-minute documentary Gaining Ground: The Fight for Black Land - commissioned by John Deere - chronicles stories of Black farmers and the various factors that have contributed to their loss of legacy farmland including violence, eminent domain, government discrimination and a little-known issue, Heirs’ Property. As a Creative Director/Writer/Director, Eternal’s branded content and commercial storytelling has garnered Webby, Telly, Ooma, and Shorty awards and has been featured on HBO, FOX, ESPN, ABC, BET, VH1, MTV, NFL Network, TBS.

Mara Downing

Vice President of Global Brand & Communications, John Deere

Mara S. Downing oversees John Deere’s enterprise communication activities and has responsibility for brand management, brand licensing, corporate citizenship, and the John Deere Foundation. Downing brings more than 20 years of finance, public affairs, and communications experience to her current position. Prior to assuming this role, she was Director, Global Brand Management and Corporate Citizenship and President, John Deere Foundation, overseeing John Deere’s portfolio of brands and corporate citizenship initiatives. Throughout her tenure, Downing has spearheaded strategic initiatives focused on improving operations, enriching culture, positioning John Deere and its executives as thought leaders in the industry, enhancing communities where John Deere employees live and work, and promoting the brand in order to drive higher levels of business success.

Brent Lang - Moderator

Executive Editor, Variety

Brent Lang is Variety’s Executive Editor. In that capacity, he covers the major Hollywood studios and their corporate parents. Brent joined Variety in 2014 and has contributed analysis pieces on the rise of streaming services, the threats facing the theatrical exhibition landscape and the impact of the #MeToo movement on the film and television business. He has also penned dozens of cover stories on the likes of Michael J. Fox, Kathryn Bigelow, Ken Burns, Kevin Hart, Mindy Kaling, and a joint profile of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Brent was previously a senior reporter at TheWrap. He has written extensively about politics, business and culture and his work has appeared in Forbes,, The Patriot-Ledger and the Providence Journal. Brent is a graduate of Brown University and the Columbia University School of Journalism.

Doing Good is Good for Business: Brands Building Trust by Taking Action

Building brand/consumer trust isn’t easy. One surefire way to do it is to demonstrate shared values through action. CSR initiatives and tentpole values are no longer something to be relegated to the bottom of a brand’s website - rather, they should be positioned front and center for consumers to see. Gilead Sciences works with the community toward a collective, common goal of ending the HIV epidemic for everyone, everywhere by supporting the innovative work of grassroots organizations to help improve access to care for those in need, irrespective of circumstances. Through their public good division, Grindr for Equality is making its mark in its unprecedented response to the 2022 Mpox outbreak and its efforts to send free at-home HIV tests to those in need across the country. Through The Rainbow Disruption, Jarvis Sam partners with organizations to develop practical solutions that champion DEI in the workplace and enable systemic progress where authenticity, empathy, growth mindset, and transparency are celebrated. This session moderated by Forbes CRO Sherry Phillips will delve into the multi-layered value of stepping up and serving their communities and how important it is for consumers to see the brands they use take positive, impactful action.

Alex Kalomparis

Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Gilead Sciences

Alex Kalomparis is the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and serves as the strategic advisor to the leadership team, shapes Gilead’s reputation through internal and external communications and leads the Public Affairs team in all its activities, including advancing the company's commitments to corporate philanthropy. Alex is a leader with over 25 years of experience in the healthcare, engineering, and consumer sectors. He was named one of the Top 10 Inspirational Leaders at the 2021 British LGBTQ Awards. Alex received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London, and his Master of Science and Diploma in biochemical engineering from the University College London. He lives in California with his partner and his dog.

George Arison

Chief Executive Officer, Grindr

George Arison (he/him) is the Chief Executive Officer of Grindr. George was most recently Shift Technologies, Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman and has served as a Director of the same company since October 2020. George incorporated Shift Platform, Inc. in 2013 and has served as a Director and Chief Executive Officer since its inception. He served in various positions at Google from 2010 to 2013, most recently as a product manager. He is a Co-Founder and board member of Directors of Belong Acquisition Corp. Prior to his business career, George was a policy analyst and ran a political campaign in Georgia, the country of his birth. George received a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College. George and his husband are raising their two children together.

Jarvis Sam

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rainbow Disruption

Jarvis Sam is the CEO and Founder of the multi-services DEI firm Rainbow Disruption and the former Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at Nike Inc. He was recently named Forbes 30 Under 30 in Sports class of 2021. In his previous role, he oversaw a team of people focused on driving diverse representation, inclusive leader and social justice education, professional development and the ecosystem of promoting and creating a culture of belonging inside and outside of Nike. Prior to Nike, Sam worked as the first Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Snap, Inc., (Snapchat). Jarvis is a graduate of Rice University where he studied History, Public Policy, and Sport Management with emphasis in race and gender rhetoric. Jarvis received his MBA from Brown University and IE School of Business.

Sherry Phillips - Moderator

Chief Revenue Officer, Forbes

Sherry Phillips is a dynamic media executive with over 26 years of experience in digital, native, print and live events. A Forbes veteran, Sherry has an extensive background in sales and is known for boosting revenue. Sherry has led the events team since 2018, including programming, logistics and production. As the Chief Revenue Officer, Sherry leads Forbes’ revenue operations globally and Forbes’ growing media business. Sherry also previously served as Senior Vice President of the Live team, during which Forbes hosted over 100 in-person events a year throughout the world and at the start of the pandemic, hosted over 60 virtual events with 50,000+ attendees from 188 countries in 2020 alone.

Tapping the Power of Inspiration

Brands are discovering the power of longer form storytelling to bring awareness and inspiration for empathy and societal change. Brands like Indeed, U.S. Bank, and Stacy’s Pita Chips are investing in inspirational storytelling, showcasing the humanity of people that belong to their consumer base. U.S. Bank’s film Translators educates and inspires, introducing us to the fact that there are over 11 million child translators in the U.S. Theirs is the story of 2nd generation immigrant children whose everyday routine is translating for their parents. Indeed’s “Rising Voices” series recognizes that talent is universal, but opportunity is not. The series, now in its 3rd season, shines a light on BIPOC storytellers and provides funding for their filmmaking projects. As a woman-founded brand that grew from a sandwich cart to a household snack brand, Stacy's® Pita Chips has been fiercely dedicated to helping women rise through its annual mentorship program, the Stacy's Rise Project. With the launch of this year's program, the brand deepened its commitment by celebrating women's strength in the face of adversity with Rise, a short film that follows three previous winners of the mentorship program. This conversation will take a closer look at each project and demonstrate what it means for a brand to inspire with story.

Jennifer Warren

VP, Global Brand and Creative, Indeed

Jennifer Warren is the Vice President of Global Brand Marketing and Creative at Indeed. She is most proud of her team's work in furthering their mission to Help All People get jobs, Indeed has been recognized as a Brand that Matters and a brand that is Changing the World. She serves on the Board of BRIDGE, pioneering DEI next practices. Prior to Indeed, she was a three-time CMO who started her career on the agency side. She has led two successful SuperBowl campaigns, received ANA’s Hall of Achievement and is an Ad Age Woman to Watch. Her favorite way to spend time is with her family, which includes cheering on her daughter in sporting events.

Kelly Colbert

SVP, Head of Brand Advertising & Creative Strategy, U.S. Bank

Kelly Colbert is SVP of Creative Strategy and Brand Advertising U.S. Bank, overseeing a group of 50 makers and agency partners. In this role she oversees brand advertising, content marketing, social marketing, integrated marketing along with overseeing an internal creative studio. Previously, Kelly was in charge of brand advertising and social media at Anthem. Before that, she had digital roles at Young & Rubicam, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Reuters and a number of Silicon Valley start-ups. In addition, she’s an award-winning documentary filmmaker (Madonna of the Mills; His Name is Midnight, both on Amazon Prime) and sits on the board of a number of animal rescue organizations. Kelly attended business school at Fordham University and received a degree in English Literature from the University of Connecticut. She resides in New York and Sarasota, Florida.

Rhasheda Boyd

Vice President of Marketing; Better Choice Snacking portfolio at Frito-Lay

Rhasheda is the vice president of marketing for the Better Choice Snacking portfolio at Frito-Lay (including Sun Chips, Popcorners, Baked!, Stacy’s) where she is responsible for the strategy, brand building and growth of the portfolio. Rhasheda’s marketing career began after obtaining her MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. After graduating, she held various Marketing roles at Mondelez International, Kao Brands, and Susan G. Komen before joining PepsiCo. Prior to marketing, Rhasheda worked in engineering at Ford Motor Company after receiving her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Tuskegee University. She quickly realized that understanding consumer motivations and building strategies to deliver against consumer insights was her passion.

Sarah Colamarino - Moderator

Consultant, SC Blueprint Inc

Sarah has deep expertise in brand strategy and creative content strategy and execution. She brings over 30 years of accomplishments and experience at Johnson & Johnson leading innovative brand, content and communication strategies. Most recently she was Vice President of Corporate Brand Equity and is now a consultant working with brands, non-profits, start-ups, professional associations and academic institutions on brand, marketing and communication strategies. In addition to high-performing paid advertising and innovative digital strategies, Sarah pioneered innovative films such as 5B and documentary Unseen Enemy. She demonstrated that brand, content and integrated communication can lead to growth and change, ignite organizations and create deep stakeholder engagement and advocacy.