The Finalist Teams will pitch their ideas to a jury panel including representatives from nonprofit and members of the 2016 New York Festivals World’s Best AdvertisingSM Executive Jury.
The panel will evaluate each Finalist Team based on the following criteria:
Additional considerations for their presentation performance will be made to determine the Grand-Winning Team.
2016 jury coming soon!
We thank these industry leaders for committing their valuable time to the Torch Awards.
The Project Solution
New York, New York
EVP, Chief Creative Officer
The Project Solution
New York, New York
Worldwide Chief Creative Officer
Writer and nonprofit consultant Tara Bracco is the cofounder of The Project Solution and the founder of Poetic People Power, an ongoing project in New York City that combines poetry and activism. Her opeds and nonfiction writing on feminism, the arts, and economics have appeared in a range of local and national publications including The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, American Theatre, The Brooklyn Rail, Clamor, and BUST. Her work with Poetic People Power has been featured in O (The Oprah Magazine); The Huffington Post; Poets & Writers; Time Out New York; The Epoch Times; and MSNBC.com. She also serves on the Board of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership.
In 2003, Bracco created Poetic People Power to raise awareness on social and political issues by engaging audiences through the expressive art of poetry. Since then, she has provided work opportunities for emerging poets by commissioning 80 poems and premiering these new works to public audiences. Bracco is a recognized leader in the area of art and social change. Her work has been profiled in national publications, and she’s received competitive grants from the Left Tilt Fund, Puffin Foundation, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She has spoken about her career as an artist/activist at Barnard College, Columbia University, Stony Brook University, and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Bracco’s activism and leadership is also reflected in her nonprofit work. She has worked and consulted for a range of arts and feminist nonprofit organizations including Women’s Project & Productions, Erica Jong Productions, Our Time Theatre Company, Duke Ellington Center for the Arts, Savvy Ladies, Girls Write Now, Theatre Communications Group, and Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership. In April 2009, Bracco cofounded The Project Solution with longtime friend Joe Gonzalez.
As Chief Creative Officer, Vida Cornelious is currently leading the total market evolution of veteran multicultural agency, GlobalHue. Since joining the firm in 2009, her leadership has led the GlobalHue team to be named agency AOR for the iconic Jeep brand. She has led all GlobalHue Jeep advertising efforts to date, contributing to the brand being named “the #1 selling SUV and Most Awarded.”
Notable creative achievements for the agency include two acclaimed Super Bowl spots. In 2014, for the Jeep brand, “Whole Again” featuring Oprah Winfrey and in 2014 for Chrysler brand, “America’s Import” featuring Bob Dylan. Both landed top slots on the USAToday Ad Meter poll and each garnered over 15million YouTube views. Additionally, “Whole Again” generated over $500k in donations to the USO via a successful social media effort. As a result of the ad’s phenomenal consumer response, the Jeep brand was named “Most Patriotic” by Forbes magazine.
But beyond Jeep, she has spearheaded other agency creative wins adding US Bank, HBO, NBA, Microsoft, United Airlines, Coca-Cola and AutoZone to the agency roster.
Her 18-year career includes time spent creating award-winning work as a VP, Creative Director for DDB Chicago. While with the DDB she serviced McDonald’s, Dell Computers, JcPenny, State Farm, Qwest, and Budweiser among other accounts.
Her work has been recognized and awarded at Cannes International Advertising Festival, Chicago Creative Club, London International Awards, The Effie’s, Summit international Awards, Addy,’s Communication Arts, Graphis and Luerzer’s Archive. She has garnered accolades for her creativity as well as for generating marketing results, thus her creative work and career have been featured in noted media outlets; Time Magazine, Advertising Age, AdWeek, Shoot, The Wall St. Journal, Diversity in Business, Black Enterprise and Essence Magazine.
Vida believes in fostering the success of women in the male-dominated ranks of ad creative by making time to be a mentor and role-model to young aspiring female creatives whenever possible. She was honored as one of AdAge’s “40 Women to Watch in Advertising,” listed as a “Top Women in Advertising and Marketing,” and was an ADCOLOR “Change Agent” award winner. She was also featured in “My First Time” a book celebrating the personal stories of top advertising female creative talent. In addition to being an award show juror for the National Addy’s, Effies, AICP and The Art Director Club, she has been a panelist and speaker for the AAF, MAIP Program, 3% Conference, as well as, guest lecturer at Georgetown University, Duke University, University of Illinois and Ohio University.
She is an avid writer, self-described “Cultural Anthropologist,” dog lover, blogger, movie critic, jazz historian, foreign travel buff, florist and Pinterest geek. And according to her four sisters, she is “a 54-pt word beast” on Words with Friends.
Matt Eastwood joined JWT as Worldwide Chief Creative Officer in July 2014. Described by Britain’s Campaign magazine as a “unicorn” in the communications industry, Matt has overseen some of the most innovative and recognizable creative projects in advertising today. His career has spanned numerous agencies, specialties and countries, including Australia, the UK and US. Matt was a founding partner of M&C Saatchi in Australia before he went on to join DDB Australia in 2006 as National Creative Director and Vice Chairman. In 2010, Matt became Chief Creative Officer of DDB New York, which, in the 2013 Gunn Report, was named the 13th most awarded agency in the world. At the same time, AdAge's 2013 Award's Report listed Matt as the 5th most awarded Chief Creative Officer worldwide. During his career Matt has won numerous accolades and honors including Campaign Brief Agency of the Year, Australian Creative Hotshop, Adnews Agency of the Year, Creativity’s Agency to Watch, B&T Agency of the Year, Spikes Network of the Year, and Campaign magazine Network of the Year. He is a highly awarded creative with an international sensibility, living life as a New Yorker.
After working in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia, Lisa Fedyszyn moved to New Zealand, to escape paying student loans. But lucky for her, she has found herself working in the country’s finest advertising agencies – Colenso BBDO, DDB and currently Whybin\TBWA, where she is a Creative Director.
She has encouraged New Zealanders to ‘Push Your Luck’ with New Zealand Lotteries, had New Zealand’s top creative leaders strapped to lie detectors for the Effie Awards, put 60 scenes in a 60” spot for Sky Television and got the public to ‘Start Asking’ with Westpac. She has also charged male politicians 10% more than women for their morning coffee to bring awareness to pay inequality, and has hidden novels in Word and PowerPoint documents so employees can read books at work.
Along the way she has won awards at Cannes, D&AD, One Show, Clio, Webbys, Young Guns, Spikes, New York Festivals, London Internationals as well as numerous local shows. And all across a variety of mediums such as Integrated, Film, Digital, Press, Outdoor, Direct and Design.
For her efforts she was named in Young Guns Top 10 Creatives of the Decade. And from 2011-12 Lisa was National Head of AWARD School in New Zealand. Lisa has judged on the Clio, LIA, Young Guns and AWARD juries as well as a number of other local award shows.
When she’s not working or writing small bios about herself, Lisa likes to talk in third person. She has also just finished reading the entire Internet. For the second time.
Joe Gonzalez has a broad professional career spanning a multitude of fields including work in television, film, theatre, special events, design & project management. Capable of wearing many hats, Joe has served as a Producer, Technical Director, Logistics Manager & Project Manager.
With an ever evolving passion to “make things happen”, Joe has also been a tireless volunteer his entire life, having spent thousands of hours working with youth as a mentor, educator and with school programs.
As an individual who spends nearly every day reading and learning more about global issues, he was eager to find a way to develop real solutions to some of the problems facing our world. Cofounding The Project Solution with Tara Bracco is just one step toward making a significant difference in the world community.
His philosophy is that we must change our perspective and understanding of our place in the world. We don’t live alone in one town or one city or a country, but are global citizens who live together on the same planet. It is only when we see ourselves together that we can begin to work toward common goals and solutions.
Gaston Legorburu sets the strategic and creative vision for SapientNitro and its integrated marketing, brand communications and commerce services. He has a passion for bringing organizing ideas and connected thinking to the table and has been instrumental in expanding SapientNitro’s capabilities beyond digital and landing several AOR relationships.
Recognized by Adweek 50 and TED as a game-changer who is modeling the agency of the future, Legorburu has constantly challenged the advertising industry since co-founding Planning Group International (PGI), now the core of Sapient's Miami presence. Three years later, he turned industry heads when Sapient became the first interactive agency to acquire an above-the-line shop, Nitro Group, best known for its award-winning “Best Job in the World” campaign.
Legorburu has been a driving force in the constant evolution of SapientNitro into a new breed of storyteller for an always-on world. His unique storyscaping approach and Idea Engineering framework mixes multi-disciplinary teams of strategists, creatives, and technologists to shape brand storytelling through experiences that interweave physical and virtual spaces, and deepen consumer connections.
In the company's constant quest to find new ways for brands and consumers to connect, SapientNitro has grown into the largest independent agency worldwide and racked up fourteen Cannes Lions for its signature look of "advertising as experiences."
Throughout his career, Legorburu has helped clients gain unparalleled insights into effectively marketing their products and services in today’s increasingly complex marketplace. He continues to provide clients like Citi, Coca-Cola, ESPN, VISIT Florida, Chrysler, among others with innovative solutions to critical business challenges.
Widely recognized as a thought leader, Legorburu is frequently quoted in publications such as Advertising Age, Adweek, Bloomberg, Fast Company, and The Wall Street Journal, and is a member of TED. He is a sought after speaker who has presented at notable industry conferences including Cannes Creativity Festival, Digital Brands, Ad:Tech, OMMA Global, and SHOOT.
Gaston is the recipient of numerous awards across the creative and advertising industry and has served as a judge for several prestigious award shows including: D&AD, Cannes Festival of Creativity Mobile Lions and the Webby’s. He is also an active member of the Webby’s International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
He currently works in SapientNitro’s Miami office.
Jose Miguel - President, Lowe Global Creative Council & Co Chairman and CCO Lowe SSP3 Colombia, is one of the leading Latin American creatives and agency leaders. His work towards bringing about a new, peaceful Colombia is at the heart of his multi award winning FARC Guerrilla demobilization campaigns and has seen him awarded around the world.
He has been recipient of the only D&AD Black Pencil awarded to a Latin American agency and a Titanium Cannes Lion – again a Latin American first. He also has a prestigious UK IPA Effectiveness Grand Prix, a Jay Chiat Grand Prix and an El Ojo Grand Prix. The agency he co-founded with Francisco Samper, Lowe SSP3, was awarded Advertising Age’s International Agency of the Year, the first time a Colombian agency has won.
Jose Miguel was appointed President of Lowe and Partners Global Creative Council in 2011. The Creative Council is made up of our network’s leading Creative Directors and Chief Creative Officers. This evolving peer group meets several times a year, but is in touch daily, and its prime objective is to ensure that the work we produce is of the highest quality, in terms of insight, craft and idea.
Lowe/SSP3 has become not only the second largest agency in Colombia, it has also gained recognition as the most consistently creative agency in the market over the last 15 years. Jose Miguel is invited to speak at the industry’s most prestigious events including TedGlobal and is also a judge at key industry festivals such as Cannes Lions.
We thank these industry leaders for committing their valuable time to our inaugural Torch Awards competition.
Chief Creative Officer
Chief Creative Officer
Chairman & Chief Creative Officer
DM9 Jayme Syfu
Wright Ferguson, Jr.
Chief Creative Officer & Co Founder
Started in advertising in 1989 at Saatchi & Saatchi. Followed by Y&R, McCann and BSUR. Then I took a year off to travel the world. Alone. Back in 2000. Went to DDB. Became CD at TBWA, BBDO and BSUR. Then in 2007 I founded 60 layers of cake, my own agency. We opened offices in Amsterdam and Capetown and where in the middle of opening an office in Moscow when Havas asked me to become CCO of Havas World Wide Amsterdam. Which I proudly accepted.
I lived in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Capetown and Moscow. Now back in Amsterdam. Won some awards, 5 lions among them....and some more. 2 NY medals including.
Jack Bookbinder understands the importance of doing service and giving back to young people, while receiving support himself in the process as a Diabetic Type II, after 20 years of experience in the music business as a manager and consultant to artists as diverse as Gregg Allman, Jeff Buckley, The Strokes, Ben Folds, and many others. For Road Recovery, Bookbinder utilizes his experience of marketing artists through both grass roots methods and the Internet to help bring awareness, credibility and word-of-mouth endorsement for the non-profit organization. After 16 years of service, Bookbinder looks forward to guiding the steady expansion of Road Recovery, while retaining that personal touch distinct to its programs that reach thousands facing addiction or other adversities and receiving ever widening recognition within the entertainment industry and mental health field.
Gene is one of the lucky ones who has embraced recovery since 1992. Before entering treatment, he had been a tour manager for a variety of artists for 10 years. After getting clean and sober, he understood how lucky he was to survive, so he set out to build an organization to educate young people about addiction and other adversities in the hopes of helping them find their way towards a healthy and happy future. He looked to publicize the many strengths and resources available from the music/entertainment industry and the mental health field. With the support of Sony Music Entertainment and Dreamworks Records, as well as mental health/substance abuse specialists, entertainment industry professionals who faced their own personal adversities, Road Recovery, a non-profit (501c) organization, was established in February 1998.
With 20 years advertising experience, Polly started her career in Hong Kong but stayed 10 years in China working on both international and local Chinese blue chips brands. From Shanghai to Guangzhou, and now Beijing, Polly is one of the most reputed creative leaders in China.
Polly has won many notable awards. Her recent international achievements include 51 awards namely, silver and bronze Cannes lions, Gold pencils in One Show, Grand Prix China4A, Gold Kam Fan Awards, Silver at the London Festivals.
Before this, she was the Executive Creative Director of BBDO GUERRERO and the Vice President/ Executive Creative Director of ACE SAATCHI & SAATCHI.
Since starting her small shop 8 years ago, DM9 Jayme Syfu, an affiliate of DDB Worldwide, is ranked the Philippines’ no. 1 in the 2010 Campaign Brief Asia Ranking and awarded the very first Campaign Asia Pacific Creative Agency of the Year for the Philippines 2012 in Singapore.
Aside from the impressive number of metals from local and international Awards in the past years, it has been blessed with the following this year:
She was awarded with two major citations in 2009: -The HALL OF FAME AWARD from the Creative Guild of the Philippines -NEW YORK FESTIVALS CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.
Her recent international jury duties include: - 2012 Jury President for Outdoor Lotus in ADFEST, Pattaya, - 2012 jury member in the prestigious Cannes Lions Festival in France for the Outdoor Lions category - 2012 Jury Head and speaker for Indonesia’s biggest award show Citra Pariwara - 2013 Executive Jury and speaker in New York for the New York Festivals - 2013 Jury Head for Radio, Kancils in Malaysia - 2013 Member of the Cannes Chimera for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Active as well in the local industry, she was the Chair of the recently concluded 4As Agency Of The Year 2013.
Wright runs the US operations on AdForum, a worldwide information provider and community site focused on the global communications industry. AdForum provides marketable information on 23,000 agencies, 150,000 advertisements and has partnered with all major advertising award shows. AdForum's Agency Preview is used by advertisers, large and small, in the process of selecting a new agency or for other agency research needs.
Prior to that he ran Ferguson & Associates where he consulted to Pongr.com (an image recognition search platform via mobile) on sales strategy and Canyaa.com (a revolutionary advertising model in India which paid viewers for their time and attention) on sales and marketing. Wright was also VP of Sales for Eye Corp, an Australian out-of-home media company.
He spent the majority of his career as EVP, Group Publisher of Adweek Magazines (Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek, Editor & Publisher) where he oversaw advertising and marketing strategy for six magazines, 18 online products, custom-publishing and seven events/awards shows.
A long time board member of the Advertising Club of New York, he has served on the Advertising Club of New York's executive board, and chaired the nominating and events committees. He served on the board of the American Advertising Federation (the governing body of ad clubs), judged four National Student Advertising Competitions and chaired the annual Hall of Achievement event.
Pancho González studied advertising in the “Universidad de Santiago” with additional Business Administration studies, currently coursing an EMBA, Berlin School at Steinbeis University. He has worked in the best Chilean advertising agencies (Ogilvy&Mather, IDB/FCB, Lintas, adn/Y&R, Wunderman, BBDO, RNL) and currently is Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Inbrax Chile.
He has been judge at major worldwide advertising festivals, including Cannes, Art Director's Club, LIAA, Mobius, Webby Awards, Ad Stars, Grand Jury at Cresta, FIAP, Effie Awards, The New York Festivals, Golden Awards of Montreaux, Mercury Awards, Eagle Awards, El Ojo de Iberoamerica, Bestadsontv and Achap (Chile), among many many others and was the first Chilean to chair the jury of the AME Awards (2009) in New York and teaching at Miami Ad School (2010). He has been speaker in Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, United States, Korea and all Chilean universities that dictate advertising career. Also, Associate Member of IADAS (USA) and Mentor at Red de Mentores (Chile).
With more than 100 national and international recognitions (Cannes, ADC's, The New York Festivals, FIAP, Ojo de Iberoamerica, Young Creatives One Show, Effie, Grand Effie, Young Guns, Creativity Awards, Eagle Awards, AdStar, IAB, Achap, Archive, AdAge, Bestadsontv, Caracol de Plata, Mags, Caribe, Premios Queveo) and been director of the Chilean Creative Circle, is one of the most influent creatives in his market. Professor at several universities, active member of ACT (Advertising Community Together), located in the top 10 worldwide creative raking at Bestadsontv (2009-2010-2011) and ranked number 3 overall Chilean creative directors at Lüerzer's Archive.
Throughout his career he has worked with brands like Cencosud, Domino's Pizza, 3M, Jumbo Hypermarkets, Duracell, Sony Ericsson, BancoEstado, Amnesty International, Natura, Movistar, Blockbuster, Publimetro, Unilever, KFC, British Airways, Bata, Tramontina and Parmalat, among others.
This year: He was invited to be jury at Webby Awards (USA), Mercury Awards (China), Cresta Awards Grand Jury (USA), Avonni (Chile), Final Jury at Festival of Media Global (USA), Creativity Awards (USA) and speaker at Commercial Association of Maranhão, Brazil.