• Transform magazine
  • May 25, 2024

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MEA

The judges

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The Transform Awards is judged by a broad range of in-house industry experts in branding, marketing, and corporate communications.

Each year we invite the previous year's winners of the 'Grand prix' and 'Best overall visual identity' awards to join the panel, and these judges fill two agency slots.

We will also welcome two audio branding experts to join the panel to review our audio branding category alone and 4-5 leading agency figures to judge the special recognition section alone.

 

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Scoring is based on a points system and the judges submit these scores anonymously. The judges mark the entries against the criteria mentioned within the entry and information guide: challenge, strategy, creativity/innovation and results.

Our judging system is rigorous and fair. If a judge has entered a specific category they will be exempt from reviewing that category, to avoid a conflict of interest.

Winners are determined by the scores they receive and the entries that score high enough will be shortlisted, invited to attend the awards ceremony and awarded with a trophy. We also provide detailed feedback on agencies’ work after the awards evening, which proves useful for future entries.

 

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If you are interested in the opportunity to judge and believe you have the necessary background, please email Gemma Cadden, at gcadden@transformmagazine.net with a short biography for consideration.

 

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Below you can see our wonderful judging panel for 2024. Learn more about the judges by clicking on the headshots to read their biographies. 

Donya Abdulhadi
Senior advisor, marketing and communications
Ministry of Culture

Donya is a Senior advisor to the Ministry of Culture in Saudi Arabia, where she oversees brand marketing and communications at the Diriyah Biennale Foundation. Italian-born and trilingual in English, Italian and Arabic, Donya’s career in building brands spans almost two decades as a strategist across WPP, Omnicom, Publicis and IPG companies in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

Across continents and disciplines, Donya has provided strategic counsel to c-suite leaders, senior government officials and international development organizations navigate times of intense transformation, supporting them in their efforts to spark meaningful connections with audiences across cultures. She has served as a juror across prestigious international creative strategy awards in the Middle East and the United States and received the World Economic Forum recognition of Global Shaper in 2013. Donya earned her MBA from the London Business School and her Hon. B.A. from McMaster University in Canada. 

Rakan Al Bazaie
General manager of public relations and media
General Court of Audit

Rakan Albazaie is an accomplished Marketing and branding director with over 20 years of experience, recognized for his exceptional skills in developing and executing successful marketing strategies. As a top-performing marketing professional, Rakan has a proven track record of managing tight budgets while achieving impressive results. He has a deep understanding of business financials and has developed strong relationships with clients, vendors, and agency partners. Rakan's achievements include revamping bank brand identity, spearheading new branding standards and positioning, and developing successful sales and marketing campaigns that have significantly increased exposure and profits. He is an inspiring leader with excellent interpersonal skills and a strong commitment to achieving goals.

Salam Al Jishi
Director of corporate communications
Nesma & Partners

Salam Al Jishi is the Director of corporate communications at Nesma & Partners, the leading contracting company in Saudi Arabia. Before joining Nesma & Partners in 2022, Salam was the Marketing and communications manager at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare (JHAH), a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Johns Hopkins Medicine International.


Salam loves art and creativity. While she loves to paint in her free time, she finds joy in handling graphic design projects at work. She is Adobe-Certified in Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. She was the Corporate Branding Manager and the Editor-in-Chief of the Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare internal and external magazines from 2015 to 2019.
Salam AlJishi won the Saudi Aramco Excellence Award in March 2022, and she is a Certified Brand Manager by the Association of International Product Marketing & Management (AIPMM). She also holds an Advanced PR & Communications Certificate from Michigan State University.


Salam has a Master of Business Administration from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, one of the top-ranking business schools in the world.

Ahmed Al Abdullatif
CEO & Creative director
Gene Branding

Ahmed has been a passionate Saudi brand identity designer for over 15 years. He was trained as an architect and earned his BSc in Architecture from KFUPM back in 2006. He then pursued his passion and earned his Masters degree in Branding and design strategy from Brunel University in London in 2011. Ahmed then joined Aramco’s brand management team where he was responsible for maintaining and expanding the visual identity of the company and its subsidiaries. He then co-founded Onsor Mosha as the director of strategy & design for branding and led the strategic and creative development for key branding projects in the government, private, and not-for-profit sectors. After Onsor Mosha expanded into a holding 'Wahaj Group’, Ahmed is currently the CEO and Creative director of ‘Gene,’ the group’s specialized strategic branding & design consultancy. Ahmed has taken part in many voting boards in the branding industry.

Abdulaziz Alnashwan
Branding director
General Authority For Statistics

Abdulaziz is Branding director at the General Authority for Statistics since December 2021, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is also the acting Director of Communications Planning in the same authority since November 2022, a member of the advisory board at “setup.sa” since January 2023, and a communication consultant at “Guidepoint” in Dubai since October 2022, he is also a senior advisor at ADEC Development Consulting Company since February 2022.


He has been a member of the Gerson Lerman Group in the US since October 2017, and a brand consultant at the Coleman Research Group in London since July 2018. He held the position of marketing and branding consultant at “Oqal Group” between 2020 and 2022, and a senior marketing and branding consultant at “Jahez International Company for Information Systems Technology” between 2021 and 2022.


He held several positions in the “Saudi Ministry of Housing”, including Head of the Residential Loyalty Program during the year 2021, Head of Branding for the Sakani Program between 2020 and 2021, Head of Marketing Communications and Branding for the Real Estate Regulatory Program between 2017 and 2020, and Acting Director of E-Marketing for the Real Estate Regulatory Program between 2019 and 2020.


He held the position of Brand Manager at the “National Housing Company” between 2020 and 2021, Marketing and Brand Consultant at the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises “Monshaat” between 2020 and 2021, Brand Consultant at the “Saudi Capital Market Authority” during 2017, and Director of Marketing and Public Relations In the Investment Securities and Brokerage Company “Al-Istithmar Capital” between 2015 and 2016, Marketing Director at “Al-Rajhi Bank” between 2013 and 2015, Chief Marketing Officer at “Ibram Real Estate Company” between 2011 and 2013, and Marketing Officer at “Gulf Creativity Company” between 2005 and 2007.

Mohanned Al Rahmah
Art director
Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources

With over a decade of industry experience, Mohanned brings a unique blend of creative intuition, strategic thinking, and practical expertise to every project. 


He takes pride in his ability to push creative boundaries, maintaining a keen eye for design that elevates the visual narrative. Having led teams on numerous semi-governmental and governmental projects, his leadership style inspires creative excellence and fosters a shared vision. 


He values collaboration and believes that the best results come from a united front of diverse perspectives. His proficiency spans an array of disciplines, from publications and editorial design to digital interactions UI/UX, branding and 3D design. He also possesses a distinct talent for transforming cinematic visions into compelling, tangible realities. Regardless of the medium - be it print, digital, or experiential - his goal remains consistent: to create distinctive, impactful work that resonates deeply with audiences. 

Melissa Bayik
Senior creative director
Arada

Melissa is the Senior creative director at Arada, the UAE's fastest-growing property developer. As a member of the leadership team, Melissa has spearheaded the development and implementation of Arada’s corporate brand and culture strategies, driving successful outcomes. With her expertise in brand development, she has also been instrumental in building the award-winning in-house brand, experience and creative department which she currently manages, alongside key corporate partnerships. 


In addition to her role at Arada, Melissa shares her industry knowledge as an occasional guest lecturer on brand marketing at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. Melissa began her career at renowned global brand consultancies such as The Brand Union and Wolff Olins, where she worked on some of the region’s most valuable brands, giving her a strong foundation in brand transformations. She is a firm supporter in the power of brand purpose in driving sustainable outcomes.

Shadi Bogari
Director of marketing, branding and customer experience
Tools & Solutions

Shadi Bogari is a marketing strategist with 12+ years of experience in revamping and launching brand identities and managing marketing campaigns for different industries (food, hospitality, tourism, tech and more). Shadi is continuously leveraging in-depth market research to craft and implement impactful brand identities, refining marketing and branding strategies, bringing transformative ideas to life, and driving brand reach and engagement. He successfully rebranded a 1 billion SAR company and rolled out over 60 rebranded SKUs, launched an app with 60K downloads in one month, and spearheaded a marketing department that oversees 160+ restaurants in the region. Shadi earned his MBA in Marketing from Stratford University and B.B.A from Valparaiso University in the United States.

Huda Buhumaid
Chief impact officer
Dubai Holding

Huda Buhumaid is the Chief impact officer of Dubai Holding, responsible for driving impact through sustainable business practices throughout the group, including environmental and social, as well as overseeing Dubai Holding’s branding, marketing and corporate communications functions. 

Since joining Dubai Holding in 2006, Huda has successfully launched several strategic and award-winning projects across Dubai Holding and its companies that operate within different key sectors including real estate, hospitality, retail and entertainment.

Guillaume Degroisse
Head of brand
Emirates NBD Group

Guillaume is leading the Brand team of Emirates NBD Group (Brand Experience, Content and Design) with an objective of evolving the Brand function into a community of professionals driving long term benefits for the organization, building, protecting, and nurturing the brand(s) across markets and channels. 


Alongside strong management and technical experience acquired in the software industry and in digital agencies, Guillaume brings more than 10 years of experience in innovation and brand from several roles across BNP Paribas in France and the USA.

Two things he is most passionate (obsessed) about, consistency and simplicity.

Hanan Eissa
Vice president, marketing and public relations
Atlantis

Hanan, Vice president, marketing and public relations for Atlantis Dubai has over 23 years of work experience in the marketing landscape. Hanan leads the global team responsible for brand and performance marketing including content and creative, communications, media and social media, digital marketing and customer insights. Hanan led the Grand Reveal of Atlantis The Royal, driving this year’s most notable resort launch globally, as well as various ground-breaking campaigns including the collaborative 10:35 track with Tiesto and Tate McCrae and recent notable marketing partnerships with the likes of Parkwood, Valentino and Louis Vuitton.

Hasan Fadlallah
Founder & CEO
Brand Lounge

Hasan is a highly accomplished serial entrepreneur and founder of Brand Lounge. With nearly three decades of experience in management consulting, Hasan is a natural strategist and expert marketer who advises companies in the Gulf region, Africa, and India on strategic decision-making and brand positioning. Through his strategic advice, he has successfully helped numerous companies maximize their brand value including, Daman Insurance, RTA, Emaar, Del Monte, and AXA Gulf, among others. Hasan received the Brand Leadership Award for Brand Excellence from the World Brand Congress in 2014. 

Rabab Faisal
Creative support manager
DAL Group

As a Creative support manager, Rabab has over 20 years of experience enhancing business branding, concept development and delivering creative solutions. She has significantly contributed to the success of major corporations in Sudan, such as the Sudan Government, TBWA Sudan and DAL Group, showcasing her ability to innovate within large corporate settings. Rabab has excelled in leading diverse campaigns and projects across telecommunications, food and beverage and government services. Dedicated to cultural social responsibility, Rabab has played a pivotal role in promoting Sudanese culture. She co-founded a photography group in 2011, gaining international recognition and exhibiting at prestigious events like the 2022 URBANA photo awards in Palmanova, Italy. Rabab is also an accomplished artist and musician, having performed at international venues including EXPO 2020. Her multifaceted skills and creative drive make her a notable figure in both the business and cultural spheres.

Robert Frith
Creative director
Saudi Aramco

Robert is the Creative director of Ithra. A specialist in the creative and cultural sector. Robert is also the lead curator of Ithra’s creativity season – ‘Tanween’, a celebration of creativity which has had over 300,000 visitors since 2018. Robert directs the diverse creative programming that Ithra offers to support talent development, creative production, community engagement and the recognition of Ithra as Cultural landmark in Saudi Arabia and the region.


Robert has 20 years of experience working on creative projects in culture, heritage, education and health. Trained at the Royal College of Art he has a MA Design Products specializing in interactive spaces and BA Hons from the Manchester School of Art.


Prior to joining Saudi Aramco and the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture Robert worked at Christie’s, leading new Exhibition Teams in London and New York to develop and deliver exhibitions program globally. Projects included 50 Years of James Bond, The Art of the Horse, Thinking Big a Saatchi Collection, and new galleries and exhibition spaces in Moscow and Dubai.

Sabiné Heckmann
Creative and design marketing manager
Pick n Pay

Born and raised in Cape Town, Sabiné’s love for creativity started at an early age. The world of advertising intrigues her every day. Her passion for creative excellence is driven by an endless curiosity. The relentless need for insights about people, and the world we live in, has been the driving force behind her 26-year career span. Her experience spans a range of focused communication from traditional ATL through to multiple BTL media channels working at international agencies and has won and judged various awards along the way. Working in multi-disciplinary teams across networks has become part of her global experience. 

Patrick Honein
Founder
Sputnik Floyd

Through his 20 years in the advertising industry, Patrick has worked with multiple renowned regional and international brands as creative and celebrated many successes and awards.


Patrick founded Sputnik Floyd in Berlin, in 2019, which is an integrated creative result driven, branding and media agency. In 2022, Sputnik Floyd launched its operation in the UAE. 


Last year, Patrick also founded Yonikorn and Mr. BChain, which will bring further capabilities to tackle Branded NFTs, AI for optimizing social media reach and automated influencer marketing.

Matthew Horobin
Destination development director
Red Sea Global

Matt has over twenty years’ experience designing and delivering leading-edge brand experiences as both consultant and client for some of the world’s most significant businesses across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Today, Matt serves as Destination development director for Red Sea Global, one of the world’s largest tourism developers. In this capacity, Matt curates partner opportunities that support and extend the world’s greatest sustainable hospitality experiences for tomorrow’s luxury traveller to enjoy.

Dora Hrkač
Head of marketing and communications
Forbes Communication Council

Dora Hrkac is a passionate, bold and innovative Marketing and Public Relations professional with over 11 years of experience effectively managing marketing projects and leading communications strategies from conception to implementation. Her expertise spans various sectors, giving her a well-rounded understanding of industry dynamics applicable to B2C, B2B and G2B. 


Dora is an Official Member of the Forbes Communications Council – an invitation-only, professional organisation for senior-level communications and public relations executives. Her advice and articles related to her expertise are published on Forbes.com.

This year, she won a prestigious Gold Stevie Award for The Most Innovative Communications Professional of the Year in MENA 2023, based on her showcase of how a creative comms approach can result in massive brand awareness through unique Storytelling and Employer Branding initiatives. 


Her greatest strengths are her creativity and writing talent, so she portrays herself as a “small factory of great ideas”.

Louise Hussein
Creative team lead
Bybit

Louise, an award-winning Creative lead with 15+ years in the advertising industry, specializing in digital, social and branding. Her experience spans ATL, BTL, and TTL communications, working with top agencies like Ogilvy, TBWA and Mullen Lowe. Louise has excelled in various sectors, including Fintech, Web3, Automotive, Beauty, Shopper marketing and FMCG. Known for her 360 thinking, she integrates strategy with creative execution, combining digital, print, and social media. Louise is passionate about creative solutions and helps to build brand for various organizations.

Glen Impey
Brand Manager
AD Ports Group

Glen Impey is a highly adept, focussed and hands-on brand manager, with over twenty years’ experience in publishing, events, advertising and branding. Glen graduated from Central Saint Martins - University of the Arts London, with a distinction for his Masters in Communication Design. His studies made him acutely aware of the design process, from conceptualisation to delivery. Above all, Glen believes in effective and emotive storytelling that connects the customer with the brand while facilitating the brand purpose through careful planning and knowledge of the end user. 

Jeanna Isham
Owner
Dreamr Productions

Jeanna Isham creates branded podcasts, sonic logos, and consults with brands on their sound strategy. She and her company, Dreamr Productions, also produce the Sound In Marketing Podcast, a podcast that reflects on sound strategy in today's marketing as well as thoughts and ideas to come. She's also the Editor and Chief of Sound In Marketing Learning, a resource site for brands and individuals to learn more about sonic branding and sound strategy. 

Leigh-Ann Judd
Director of customer marketing and communications
Honeywell

Leigh-Ann is the Director of Customer Marketing and Communications for Honeywell, a Fortune-100 global technology. In this role, she leads a team of marketers reaching customers in a broad range of industries – from energy and aerospace, to infrastructure and control technologies for buildings and industry, to performance materials, logistics, retail, cyber security and software solutions for enterprise performance management.

She is responsible for building and activating the Honeywell brand in the MENAT region by deploying impactful and measurable campaigns. She also oversees the Honeywell Technology Experience, a state-of-the-art customer briefing center that demonstrates the company’s latest technologies and solutions to customers that visit from around the world.

Leigh-Ann is a member of the Honeywell Middle East leadership team, and a member of the Honeywell Inclusion & Diversity Council for EMEA. She is the co-founder of Equip-ME, a professional development program for female employees in the Middle East and Turkey. Prior to her current role, she was the Director of Corporate Communications for Honeywell in the Middle East leading external and internal communications, crisis communications and community relations.

Before joining Honeywell in 2016, Leigh-Ann led marketing, communications and PR for the first publicly traded retail operator in the Middle East. Prior to that, she led marketing communications for The Dow Chemical Company in Middle East, Africa & Turkey, covering Energy. She began her career in business development and marketing in the oil and gas sector, working for AECOM and MENAS Associates.

She earned a Master’s in Management from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Art and Art History from Vanderbilt University in the USA. An American national, Leigh-Ann has lived in Dubai for 12 years, is fluent in Arabic and speaks basic Hebrew. She is married with two sons. On weekends, you can find her trying to keep their garden looking green or exploring the deserts and mountains of the Arabian Peninsula.

Francois Kanaan
Senior director - marketing and branding
ARDARA

Innovative Chief marketing & communications officer with a demonstrated track record working on quasi-governmental mega real estate destinations strategic development. Francois is the Senior director - marketing and branding at ARDARA where his responsibilities include leading and managing the integrated marketing, communications, brand development and brand experience. Prior to roles at ARDARA, Francois worked at Fawaz Al Hokair Group, Meraas, J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, DDB in senior roles leading creative, marketing. 

Eman Khamis
Creative director
Ethara

Eman is an innovative and dynamic Creative director, she brings a deep-seated expertise with over 14 years of experience. She has worked at international advertising agencies, events and government entities within the UAE. Her journey from an intern graphic designer to a Creative director underscores a career growth marked by strategic innovation, adaptive leadership, impactful campaign execution and a deep understanding of the culture.

Eman has worked on multiple high-profile events such as Abu Dhabi Grand Prix After-Race Concerts, UAE National Day Official Celebration, Mother of the Nation Festival, Dua Lipa and Andrea Bocelli concerts.

Eman excels in conceptualizing as well as implementing brand strategies and crafting purposeful advertising and creative campaigns. 

Thorsten Kirmes
Founder & CEO
KIRMES

Thorsten Kirmes is founder of boutique agency KIRMES, which specializes in corporate audio. For the past 20 years the audio experts have been advising and supporting companies and brands as well as celebrities in successful audio. (e.g. Hard Rock Cafe, Volkswagen, Coca-Cola)

Thorsten Kirmes also successfully managed the careers of national and international artists for more than 15 years. As manager, he was responsible for the development of Austrian singer Christina Stürmer. In addition to numerous gold and platinum awards, his successes also include prestigious awards such as the ECHO, Bambi and multiple Amadeus Awards.

As a guest lecturer and external advisor, he supports the International School of Management (ISM), Cologne, Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen and the Fontys University of Applied Science in Venlo. He’s a contributing author to international trade publications and has been editor and publisher of the first German-language trade publication for audio & brands - A&B.

Karsten Kjems
CEO
Sonic Minds

Karsten believes, that when we break the silence, it must create more meaning than the silence itself. Otherwise, we’re just creating noise. At the helm of Sonic Minds, Karsten's expertise spans developing audio strategies and identities, conducting detailed audio audits, and producing captivating sound designs and music for a diverse range of media brands and products. His work is not just about creating sounds; it's about orchestrating auditory journeys that resonate with audiences and amplify brand values. Karsten's journey in audio branding is more than a career—it's a crusade to transform how we experience sound, making every auditory interaction meaningful.

Alice Lee
Strategy director
Work & Co

Alice is a design researcher and strategist with expertise across user experience, content, branding and creative. She clarifies how digital products and services can create lasting value: for the humans who use them, for the businesses they drive and for the society they inevitably create. She has been doing this for 10+ years at agencies like BBDO NY, Batten & Co, Firstborn, Stink Studios and AREA 17. Currently, she is a Strategy director at the award-winning digital product agency Work & Co, based in Brooklyn. Before agencies, she studied film, literature and social theory at Wesleyan as well as business at Harvard. 

Paula McEntee
Creative director
Red Dog

Paula has been with award-winning studio Red Dog for 20 years, and Creative director since 2012. She is an empathy-driven, accomplished professional with a passion for emotive and intelligent design that exceeds expectations. Paula has extensive experience and clients include NYCI, B&A, ATA and Davy. She is currently leading the Irish Cancer Society brand refresh. 


Paula has given talks and mentored graduates. She is on the 2024 Cannes Young Lions Irish Jury. A member of the Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI) and the Institute of Creative Advertising and Design (ICAD), she served on the ICAD board from 2014-2016. 

Sara Mohammad Siddiqui
Head of marketing

Sara is a Brand strategist and MarCom leader with a decade long experience in UAE and Saudi Arabia. She has extensive expertise in developing and delivering on brand and marketing strategy and has led the transformation of some major regional brands. Sara has also worked on several employer branding and C-suite personal branding initiatives.

Alexander Oloo
Head of design
Absa Group

Alex is currently the Head of Design at Absa, where he leads a team of 200 of the most awesome humans. Alex has spent the last decade deeply involved in digital, as a software engineer, designer, international speaker, and most recently in design leadership. Alex has been a key player in Absa’s digital transformation over the last 7 years.

Alex also has a passion for developing talent. He and a colleague started Absa’s Design Graduate Programme and he continues to mentor and coach the next generation of design leaders within Absa and in the broader design industry.

Saba Omaish
Head of marketing and communications
Al Mashhad

Saba Omaish is the Head of marketing and communications at Al Mashhad, a position she has held since January 2022. Saba manages the brand and marketing presence of Al Mashhad across the local, regional and international media spectrum.


Saba’s experience spans over 17 years, where she has handled key portfolios across leading television and media houses in the region. Before Al Mashhad, Saba was associated with OSN for over six years handling important responsibilities, including the role of Head of marketing. Between 2012 and 2015, Saba was the Marketing manager for digital products at ‘Shahid’ video-on-demand platform. Prior to this, she was associated with the MBC Group, handling different marketing roles.


An expert in marketing and communications, Saba has contributed opinion pieces in leading industry magazines on the emerging media trends and has taken part in conferences and panels pertaining to the future of the sector in the region. Saba is also on various committees and award panels across the Middle East, including the CMO Council, Effie Awards International Jury, Transformation Magazine Award Jury, and the PRCA Awards Jury.

Wendy Orhan
Group head of brand marketing
EuroChem

Wendy is an international marketing professional with proven experience leading brand strategy and integrated brand communications for top-tier brands including Shell and Starbucks. Adept in brand diagnosis and strategy, she helps organizations to build brand equity. She leads creative teams to produce world-class ideas that are simple, original and memorable. 

Naval Paradkar
Senior creative designer
Al Ghurair Investment

With over two decades of advertising, digital and branding experience, Naval brings a blend of strategic thinking, practical on-ground expertise led by human insights and emotions. He embodies a thought process that is led by insights, that always pushes his work to communicate the right message. He has a keen eye for market trends, for innovative design thinking that helps to improve his creative output.

Having worked on brands from various sectors, including hospitality, property, retail, FMCG and F&B, Naval brings a solid knowledge of communication design. He has led various creative teams in different capabilities, inspiring others to strive for excellence with the right vision. In his current role as lead designer at Al Ghurair Properties & Centre, he handles the design for social and day-to-day communication of the brand and its subsidiaries.

Naval believes that nothing works better than a well-coordinated and united team. Naval is always eager to learn and has picked up array of disciplines. Dedicated to the design form, his vision remains to create impactful work that solves human problems.

Mohamed Sabha
Global head of creative
Foodics

Mohamed, the Global creative director at Foodics, is a seasoned professional boasting a decade-long journey in advertising, branding, and digital media. Having worked with multinationals like Leo Burnett and Havas Creative, he now drives growth in the fintech and POS sectors. His strategic creativity forges meaningful brands, accelerating companies' growth. His expertise in AI platforms and Adobe Creative Suite enable him to deliver captivating, globally resonating solutions. 

Ahmed Salama Aboushabab
Deputy Head of Creative
Sky News Arabia

Meet Ahmed Aboushabab a media industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in the creative field. Currently serving as the Deputy Head of Creative at Sky News Arabia,

Aboushabab has a proven track record of success in leading Arabic TV channels and brand transformations, such as Asharq Bloomberg, MBC Group and CNBC Arabia. Aboushabab is an expert at launching and gathering big teams in branding, on-air graphics, TV promotion, and digital/Social media artists. He is always looking to push the boundaries of media technology, brand identity and leading the way in the use of virtual reality and augmented reality (AR/VR) in storytelling.

Katie Smith
Creative director
Ounass

Originally from the UK, but currently living and working in the Middle East, Creative director Katie has had a colourful and dynamic career spanning the last 15 years and has experience successfully delivering campaigns and creative activations across all media formats. 

Starting her career in film and television, Katie was part of the team who produced the BAFTA-winning channel 4 series “This is England 86”. It was during her time in the television industry that she developed her passion for storytelling and bringing brands to life through emotive and compelling campaigns, activations and brand strategies. She has applied that love of storytelling throughout her career and has worked across many industries within brand creative, from F&B to luxury fashion and has a hands-on approach when it comes to leading creative execution and building creative teams.

Katie is a firm believer and advocate in the power of utilizing data and customer insights alongside innovation when it comes to building branding and campaign strategies and encourages a similar approach throughout the teams she has led.

Jenn Szekely
President
Coley Porter Bell

Jenn leads Coley Porter Bell’s US business. She brings over 20 years of branding and marketing experience across a variety of industries, working most recently with Martin Guitar, Halliburton, Pearson, Merck and Nationwide. 


Prior to joining Coley Porter Bell, Jenn was an Executive director at FutureBrand and Senior vice president at Siegel+Gale where she worked with clients such as Peloton, Microsoft, Target, MIT, Sony and the branding of Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company, Blue Origin, where she had the opportunity to work with the Bezos family and learn about the amazing world of space travel. 


A passion of Jenn’s is writing about the world of branding and marketing. Over the last couple of years. several of her thought pieces or comments have been published in global media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Campaign, WARC and WWD.

Firas Wahbeh
Chief marketing officer
BEEAH Group

As the Chief marketing officer at BEEAH Group, Firas Wahbeh is responsible for creating and executing strategic marketing plans and brand campaigns across all business units of the Group. Combining insights with innovation, Firas is part of the leadership team for the organization and has led all marketing functions, corporate communication programmes, and social responsibility initiatives to accelerate brand recognition and achieve the Group’s vision for pioneering sustainable quality of life.

A consummate professional with a passion for all things creative, Firas has spearheaded marketing activities for several organizational milestones and ground-breaking projects. With the transition of the organization into a holding group structure, he was instrumental in developing a strong brand image for the BEEAH Group, and consistent messaging that connects BEEAH’s clients and the public to its purpose driven initiatives. Firas also led full-fledged marketing, public relations and social media campaigns for the globally anticipated inauguration of the new BEEAH Headquarters, and the historic launch of the Sharjah Waste to Energy Facility, the first facility of its kind in the region.

Mel Zagidullina
Creative Lead
Bloomingdale’s ME

As a lead designer at Bloomingdale's and Harvey Nichols, Mel's career path has been marked by success across award-winning agencies, e-commerce platforms and luxury retail. Her passion for creativity drives her to bring a wealth of experience and expertise to every project. Known for her skills in branding, campaign design and packaging, Mel consistently delivers impactful results. Committed to excellence, she leads with hands-on creativity, motivating teams to achieve exceptional outcomes. Mel believes that effective design and storytelling are crucial in building lasting connections between customers and brands.

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