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Meet the Jury

Julie Bowman

group creative director

Julie Bowman is a writer, group creative director at TracyLocke in Dallas, Texas. Bowman has over fifteen years experience, most at DDB Dallas until the recent merger with TracyLocke. Her efforts have helped shape accounts like Tabasco, Texas Lottery, Susan G Komen For the Cure, 7-Eleven and more. Bowman has been a member of various mediocre bands, performed stand-up and improv and has, for a ridiculously long time now, been writing a one-woman show. She and her husband, Todd, live in a house they’ve been renovating themselves, but whose completion is evidently a sign of the apocalypse. If it ever actually gets finished, the world will end. Her work has been seen in Archive, Athena Awards, Cannes, Communication Arts, the Kelly Awards and others.

Mimi Cook

creative director
Apple Inc.,

Mimi Cook is a creative director at Apple Inc. located in Cupertino, California. Prior to Apple and the iPhone, Cook worked at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Hal Riney & Partners, Foote, Cone & Belding and Chiat/Day. She’s written about beer, wine, airplanes, cars, fashion and an electric toothbrush that performs 31,000 brush-strokes per minute. In addition to being recognized by Cannes, Communication Arts, the Clios, D&AD and The One Show, her work was featured as one of the 50 Best TV Commercials in 50 Years of Advertising by Ad Age, which also honored her as A Woman to Watch. In her spare time, Cook runs the hills of Berkeley, California, tortures her garden, and writes poems about her daughters

Mark Gross

senior vice president, group creative director
DDB Chicago

Mark Gross is senior vice president, group creative director at DDB Chicago, Illinois. At DDB, Gross has risen from art director to group creative director creating campaigns for the agency’s premiere account, Anheuser-Busch. His most notable work is the Bud Light Real Men of Genius campaign, now known for being the most awarded radio campaign in advertising history. His work has been honored by the ANDYs, Art Directors Club, Clios, Cannes, Communication Arts, D&AD, Kinsale Awards, New York Festivals, The One Show, the Radio Mercury Awards and two Grand Prix Radio Lions. With a BFA in advertising design from Syracuse University, Gross began his career in 1990 in New York City designing movie titles and logos for R. Greenberg Associates. He spends his spare time flying a Cessna, running, cooking, painting and spend-ing time with his wife and two children.

Mike Hughes

president, creative director
The Martin Agency

Mike Hughes is president, creative director at The Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia. Adweek has called Hughes one of the nine best creative directors in America. Ad Age, on the other hand, has listed The Martin Agency as one of the three best creative agencies in the world. “Which proves,” Hughes says, continued on page 152 “that the rest of the agency is a lot better than I am.” Here’s what Hughes says about their work: “I want us to be known for two things: outstanding strategic ideas and brilliant creative executions. One of the reasons this is such an exciting time to be in this business is that those ideas and executions aren’t limited to traditional media ads.” In 2000, the oldest governing body in the Western Hemisphere, the Virginia General Assembly, named Hughes and his partner, John Adams, the Outstanding Industrialists of the Year. Hughes’s wife, Ginny, teases him a lot about that last title.

Brian Kroening

senior vice president and creative director

Brian Kroening was senior vice president and creative director at Olson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the time of the judging. Now, BBDO Minneapolis has added him to their roster as executive creative director, senior vice president. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Kroening moved to Minneapolis in 1988 for a job with Campbell Mithun. For the next nine years he worked on CM clients including Andersen Windows, General Mills and Healthy Choice. He moved to Carmichael Lynch as a senior art director in 1997. Kroening’s clients at CL included American Standard, Formica, Polaris Watercraft and Gibson Guitars. An accomplished guitarist, Kroening’s playing was featured in a Gibson TV commercial. Olson recruited Kroening in 2004 as executive creative director and he helped build a client roster that included Nike Bauer Hockey and PBS.

Rob Rich

executive vice president, executive creative director

Rob Rich is the executive vice president, executive creative director at Publicis in the West in Seattle, Washington. Rich worked at many creative boutiques on the east coast before moving to Mullen. A few years later he traveled west to join Publicis. “It was the first agency that seemed ready to stop being an ad agency and start becoming a media agnostic creative shop.” As ECD, Rob manages the office, oversees the creative department, while still carving out time to create work. “When you only manage, you can lose touch with the industry and your creative teams.” Rich’s work has been recognized by every major award show from Cannes, Communication Arts, Clios and The One Show, but accolades from outside the industry equally fire him up. “We love when our work becomes part of culture: watching Jay Leno do a comedy bit based on our T-Mobile spots or having our work displayed in the permanent film collection at the Museum of Modern Art.”

Benjamin Vendramin

senior vice president, group creative director
McCann Erickson

Benjamin Vendramin is senior vice president, group creative director at McCann Erickson, New York. Before joining McCann a year ago, he ran his own agency, Goodgoll Vendramin, in his native Toronto. Prior to that he was co-creative director of TBWA\Chiat\Day. A graduate of Ontario College of Art & Design, he began his career as an art director at J. Walter Thompson, first in Toronto and then in New York City. He returned to his hometown to work for TAXI Advertising and, in 2006, was lured back again, to New York. His work has been recognized by all the major award shows including Cannes, Communication Arts and The One Show. Vendramin enjoys balancing his passion for creative with his passion for his family, his wife Susan and their nine-year-old daughter, Isabella.

Christina Yu

vice-president, creative director
Lowe Roche

Christina Yu is vice-president, creative director at Lowe Roche in Toronto, Canada. Yu started her career as an art director at TAXI, where she created memorable campaigns for FLOW 93.5, The Movie Network and Williams-Sonoma. She then joined BBDO, where she was promoted to vice president, creative director after producing award-winning work on brands including FedEx, 7Up and Pepsi. In 2005, she joined Lowe Roche as vice president, creative director. She has been instrumental in exploring new ways to connect with consumers, such as social networks, digital media and CRM. During the course of her career, she has won over 100 major advertising awards, including Cannes, Communication Arts, D&AD and The One Show. In her spare time, she enjoys lavishing attention on her puppy, Ralph, and obsessing over her home renovation.