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2023 Black Girl Digital Awards Judges

We are excited to introduce this year’s judging panel for the Black Girl Digital Awards! From advertising executives to agency owners, this year’s judging panel is full of diverse marketing experts. 

We want to say thank you to all the judges who participated in this year’s event! 
 

MEET THIS YEAR'S JUDGES

Arnetta Whiteside

SVP Multicultural Consulting, Cultural Quotient

at Publicis Media

Arnetta wears many important hats at Publicis. Whether it’s Co-Lead for the company’s Business Resource Group VivaWomen of Color; leading member of Publicis Media (PM)’s Once & For All Coalition; or SVP, Multicultural for Cultural Quotient – consistently ranked #1 in AdAge’s Hispanic Fact pack as the “Largest US Hispanic Media Agency/Agency Group” since 2012.

She has consulted several clients through their cultural transformation, most notably spearheading the first evergreen community platform for a major retailer. She also actively engages with clients, partners and the industry as a key leader behind the Once & For All Coalition – a cross-industry consortium that aims to break down legacy industry barriers and create a more equitable advertising ecosystem for diverse owned and targeted media entities and diverse communities.

Arnetta currently serves on the board of 212NYC, New York’s leading organization for the digital advertising community;  as a mentor with the Emma Bowen Foundation, 4A’s MAIP (2019 and 2021), and 100 Roses from Concrete (2020-2021). Though the AdClub of New York’s AdFutures program, she’s helped mentor high-school students through an advertising pitch competition (2018-2020) – and has facilitated workshops on Inclusive Advertising at Florida State University and the University of Miami. 

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Brandi Rand

VP, Group Account Director at Digitas

Brandi Rand is an award-winning advertising executive who has led digital and social campaigns for AT&T and State Farm and multicultural social media marketing for Toyota North America. As Vice President - Group Account Director, at Digitas, she leads the social media center of excellence for her finserv client and is the national lead for Onyx, Digitas’ business resource group for Black employees and their allies.

As a speaker, Brandi educates on branding, DEI, influence, networking, and social media and has shared her expertise on many stages, panels, and conferences including Social Fresh, Mom 2.0 Conference, Dress for Success, AAF Houston, Ad2 Dallas, Black Tea by Muse, Culture Connect podcast and the Congressional Black
Caucus.

An advocate of supporting new talent in advertising, Brandi serves many roles outside of her 9-5. Brandi currently serves on the board of the New England chapter of 4As, the Southwest executive achievements committee of She Runs It, and is a member of the Black Marketers Association and Forbes Black. Brandi just concluded
her 3rd consecutive term as DEI Chair for the American Advertising Federation - Dallas and lives by the motto: "I’m a Black woman in advertising leadership, creating and saving space for the next."

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Christina Westley

Head of Influencer Marketing at PepsiCo 

Christina Westley is a NY based professional with an extensive career in Influencer Marketing. A graduate of The Wharton School, Christina has brought a strong business acumen to the emerging industry. Her insight is founded on a holistic perspective, having worked all sides of the field including agency, in-house & talent management. In addition to professional experience, Christina's own background as a Black woman in the space has led to a personal interest in analyzing cultural nuance and racial trends in influencer marketing. 

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Latoya Bond

Founder of The BBM Agency

LaToya T. Bond, is a sought after  strategist and thought leader who specializes in positioning and FRACTIONAL CMO services. Bond brings 20+ years of expertise to the table. She started as a corporate account executive in the competitive NY fashion market, working with global brands such as Sean Jean, Phat Farm, Polo, and Nordstrom. After leaving the corporate world in 2007 to pursue entrepreneurship, she founded The Bbm Agency in 2009 — a full-service brand architecture agency that is women-owned, women-led, and women-focused. Her agency’s cornerstone is her proven model for women to position their brands as leaders in their market, then strategically  leverage that credibility to build INFLUENCE and grow engaged  communities that they can MONETIZE through integrated digital marketing STRATEGIES.

 

Aside from being a businesswoman and agency owner, she utilizes her influence in brand marketing to encourage women to pursue their dreams. As a wife and mom of 3, she's passionate about the belief that “Women CAN Have It All” (love, family, and a successful career). Bond shows women how to enjoy a healthy work-life balance and to know that “having it all” is within their reach. She shares her life transparently and invites the world to have a front seat as she uses her gifts to build her own legacy brand while helping other women build theirs.

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Milan Freeman

Influencer Marketing Manager at Fenty Skin

Milan Freeman has been obsessed with the world of influencers well before the term “influencer” had been popular, following bloggers during the days of Blogspot.com and Lookbook.nu . While she originally wanted to pursue a career in finance, she switched course during her final year of college when she became a micro-influencer on Instagram within the very niche-community of craft beer. 

 

Through this she got to work with some of her favorite brands, travel to new places, and experience the world of influencer marketing from the eyes of a creator. Since then, she has taken this experience and turned it into a career of working with other influencers from the brand side at the companies Curated and Curology (whose ads you’ve probably seen if you ever scrolled through Instagram between 2019 and 2021.) Now, she’s the Influencer Marketing Manager at Fenty Skin where she not only gets to work with influencers ranging from nano- to mega-followings — but gets to focus on building relationships with influencers across diverse skin tones, genders, backgrounds and much

more.

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Krista Pulley

Associate Director, Integrated Media Planning at Merkle

Krista Pulley was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. She received her Bachelor’s degree in strategic communication from the University of Missouri, School of Journalism, and a Master of Business of Administration degree from Alcorn State University. Currently, she is a media advertising professional in the television industry. She is an associate director at Merkle, an ad agency, where she leads work on advertising campaigns for the network TV One. Most recently, she worked on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) advertising campaigns. Prior to that, she worked with local businesses advertising with Spectrum (Charter Communications) as well as creating ad campaigns for local franchises. She believes her current role combines her interests with her passion. Her passions lie in amplifying black voices and showing that we are not and should not be seen as a monolithic. Her biggest frustration in the ad world was that companies target black and brown people as synonymous for poor, which is what drew her to her current line of work. In her role, her greatest responsibility is to promote and share, particularly with black people, that there are television spaces where you can feel correctly portrayed and understood. She says it’s refreshing to promote the black experience outside of the white American lens.

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Rejon Thomas-Ferdinand

VP, Once & For All Coalition Lead at Publicis Media

Rejon is a driving force behind Publicis Media's industrywide initiative, the Once and For All Coalition.  This transformative endeavor is dedicated to dismantling barriers to equitable financial opportunities and increasing representation for underserved and ethnically diverse suppliers. Her dedication extends to helping marketers align their brand values with the multicultural world we live in today, thereby enabling them to unlock growth potential with diverse audiences.

 

Within the media ecosystem, Rejon is relentless in her pursuit of inclusivity, pushing both Publicis Media agencies and industry partners to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and solutions involved in engaging diverse-owned media vendors and audiences. She continues facilitating meaningful and open dialogues among cross-industry collaborators, leveraging her expertise to synthesize thought leadership that fuels real impact and drives positive change.

 

Beyond her pivotal role in instigating substantial change, Rejon excels in cultivating and nurturing client and vendor relationships, establishing sponsorships and forging long-term partnerships. Her commitment to fostering open conversations and thoughtfully expanding the Coalition's reach underscores her dedication to driving positive change in the industry.

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