• Transform magazine
  • June 02, 2023



The judges


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.



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.



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



Below you can see our wonderful judging panel for 2022. Learn more about the judges by clicking on the headshots to read their biographies. The 2023 panel will be revealed shortly.

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.

Mohanned Abu Al-Majd
Former Head Of Creative Strategy - KSA, MARCOM advisor
Snap Inc.

Mohannad is an impressive marketer with an impressive track record of success. He has worked with some of the biggest multinational companies in the world, such as Unilever and PepsiCo. He has done some exceptional projects in destination management and placemaking at EMAAR, The Economic City, and NEOM. His creative strategy for Snapchat Saudi was particularly impressive. He is now a MARCOM advisor with a couple of government entities, the Ministry of Human Resources and the Saudi Tourism Authority.

Mohannad is passionate about creativity and content creation, and his enthusiasm for his work is evident. He is also a proud father, a sports addict, and obsessed with health and well-being. His dedication to his work and family is admirable, and his commitment to his health and well-being is inspiring.

Mohannad is an excellent example of a successful marketer; his accomplishments are a testament to his hard work and dedication. He is an asset to any organization, and his passion for creativity and content creation will surely bring success to any project he works on. 

Fahad Albjedi
Creative Copywriter of Heritage and culture
Boutique Group

With a background in translation and literature at Imam Mohammad ibn Saud University, Fahad began his professional life as an intern at an Saudi advertising agency (UBRAND), and worked his way up to the position of senior creative copywriter; in the last five years, he has won two international awards and become certified in brand strategies. With a passion for Saudi heritage. He is now working at Boutique Group, where he is one of the few people working on the heritage and culture division.

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.

Catherine Barr
Brand Strategy Lead / Head of Brand & Content Marketing

Catherine is Brand Strategy Lead at HBO Max Global and is responsible for the launch of the HBO Max brand around the world. Based out of Dubai, she leads HBO Max’s international brand launches across all non-USA markets, which started with the launch of HBO Max in Latin America in 2021, and continues with the launch of HBO Max across Europe in 2021-22. 

Prior to joining WarnerMedia, she worked with MBC to relaunch the Shahid streaming brand and was General Manager of FutureBrand South East Asia. Her experience working with brand transformation spans over 20 years across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

Catherine loves transformation, crossing borders and making screen time awesome.

Melissa Bayik
Senior Creative Director

Melissa is the Senior Creative Director of Arada, where she is a part of the leadership team, and has lead the brand strategy, corporate culture, all aspects of brand development and visual design for the master developer and its dynamic portfolio of destinations and brands. She also leads a highly effective, award winning, in-house creative department. In addition to her responsibilities at Arada, Melissa is an occasional guest lecturer on brand marketing at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, and has been acting as brand advisor for KBW Investments on the rebrand Raimondi Cranes – the 160 year old Italian company through its transformational rebrand. Melissa comes from a solid foundation on brand transformations and brand design, having worked with brand identity consultancies such as The Brand Union and Wolff Olins on some of the regions most valuable brands.

Carlyn Ferreira
Executive Creative Director

Carlyn is a multi award-winning brand designer and Creative Director. With 24 years strategic design experience, her versatile design style and acute conceptual eye have lead her across the continents to her current position as the Executive Creative Director at Balcony8.

Carlyn is responsible for a multitude of global brands that touch our lives daily, including Discovery Vitality, Virgin Mobile and Coca Cola. Her sweet spot and undeniable love, however, is high end leisure & destination branding. Together with her partner, Ursula Winzel (Balcony 8 Founder) she is currently leading the way with Waldorf Astoria, Double Tree and Hilton Group across the Middle East, Africa & Europe.

Based in Cape Town, Carlyn continues to lead the Balcony8 team with a fierce desire to challenge brand behaviour and enhance every touch point with strategic creativity.

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.

Mahmoud Hassan
Senior Marketing Manager Content & Creative

Mahmoud was appointed in 2021 as PepsiCo Creative & Content Senior Marketing Manager across AMESA.

Prior to that he was a marketing & communications professional with over 15 years of experience working within the advertising industry with a successful career spanning across a broad range of world class agencies including Ogilvy, JWT, BBDO & VICE Arabia.

Throughout his various roles, Mahmoud was leading integrated communication strategies & plans for several Clients across the Middle East & Africa.

Mahmoud holds a BA degree from New York Institute of Technology, USA.

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
Sonic Strategist and Founder
Dreamr Productions

Jeanna Isham creates, consults and educates brands on sonic branding and sound marketing. With 20+ years of audio experience, she is well versed in the language of sound. Her company, Dreamr Productions, creates audio identities for companies and brands as well as consults and educates brands and marketers on sound in marketing and its best practices. 

She also produces, hosts, and edits the Sound In Marketing Podcast that then built out her subsite Sound In Marketing Learning. SIM Learning houses sound branding resources as well as education on sound in marketing yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Leigh-Ann Judd
Director of Customer Marketing and Communications

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
Public Investment Fund (PIF)

Innovative Chief Marketing & Communications Officer with a demonstrated track record working on quasi-governmental mega real estate destinations strategic development.

Mais Kawar
Former Marketing & Communications Manager – Logistics District
Dubai South

Mais Kawar worked as a Marketing & Communication Manager for a decade at Dubai South from March 2013 until December 2022. Kawar led the Logistics District & Corporate Marketing and worked on the strategies and budgets including branding development, events management, social media, and public relations activities, ensuring the business objectives set for the Free Zone and the Logistics District are met.

She has brought to the organization her experience of successfully delivering B2B marketing and communication strategies across multiple markets. Being a highly creative and enthusiastic professional, Kawar, who has passion for building fantastic brands, excels in executing marketing strategies that deliver exceptional results.

Kawar also played a pivotal role in organizing a successful launch for EZDubai, the first dedicated e-commerce zone in the region, where she helped manage valuable partnerships, as well as set best communication practices to deliver compelling stories.

Prior to joining Dubai South, she was the Regional Marketing Specialist of Azadea General Investment Co. Ltd. – Dubai, UAE. She is also the former Senior Marketing Specialist of Azadea General Investment Co. Ltd. – Amman, Jordan. Additionally, Kawar held various positions within leading international hotels in Jordan, including Marriott, Intercontinental, and Sheraton.

Kawar has a robust record and experience in retail, F&B, and real estate, which empowered her to work for reputable organizations, achieve great milestones, and make quantum leaps in her personal and professional development.

Mais earned her Master of Science in business administration (MBA) with an emphasis on marketing from New York Institute of Technology, Amman, Jordan, and her B.A. in Hotel and Tourism Management from Amman Ahlia University also in Jordan.

Ahmad Nasser
Marketing Director AEMEA
The Hershey Company

Ahmad Nasser is the Marketing Director at The Hershey Company covering Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa with responsibility of three verticals: commercial marketing, innovation as well as strategy and insights. Prior to joining Hershey, he worked in brand building and strategic brand development at Unilever and General Mills.

Ahmad’s greatest strengths are his leadership, creativity and drive. He thrives on challenges especially ones that deliver long term sustainable growth for the organization and people. The closest project to his heart is the launch of the roll-out of the award winning HER-SHE Campaign in Asia Pacific which celebrates and honors unsung women “sheroes” in their communities. In addition, he lead the roll out of the Reese’s brand across the UK which has been delivering fantastic results and gaining market share consistently for the past 24 months.

Ahmad holds a bachelor’s degree from the American University of Beirut. He lives in Dubai with his wife Hayat a Pediatric ENT Surgeon and 3 kids Omar, Salam and Majed. In his free time, Ahmad likes to travel with his family, bake with them as well as play Padel Tennis with his wife.

Oleg Nesterenko
Chief Growth Officer

Oleg Nesterenko is the Chief Growth Officer at STARZPLAY and online media expert and entrepreneur (CGO, CPO, CMO, CEO) who, for the last ten years, built success stories for the most prominent premium video streaming services in MENA, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and their diaspora all over the world. Oleg has led brands and products that became undisputed regional leaders like Shahid by MBC Group, MEGOGO, Viasat and Kyivstar.

Roxana Nicolescu
VP Brand Marketing

Roxana currently serves as VP Brand Marketing, Wego Middle East & ShopCash.com. With more than a decade of marketing experience in the region, most of it in the aviation and travel industries, she passionately drives the brand marketing activities and brand awareness growth in the Middle East for both e-comm platforms.

Roxana began in this role in October 2017 in Wego’s Dubai office where she focused on developing Wego’s Brand Marketing department as well as played a significant role in expanding the brand footprint across the region.

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.

Sawsan Sultan
Lead Creative Manager
Etihad Airways

Sawsan is the Creative Lead at Etihad Airways’ Brand, Marketing and Sponsorships department based in Abu Dhabi. She heads up the graphics division who is responsible for looking after the branding and design requirements for all the Etihad markets globally. With over 13 years experience in branding and design, she has designed over 30 special aircraft liveries for Etihad which includes the 2009 and 2018 Formula 1 aircrafts, the 2019 Manchester City Football Club aircraft and many more exciting partnership collaborations. She also managed the Air Serbia branding refresh in 2013 and supported with the Alitalia branding relaunch in 2015. Sawsan’s expertise covers branding, product and soft furnishing design, event and physical space branding, marketing BTL and ATL as well as uniforms and merchandise design.

Ralph van Dijk

Ralph is a world authority on effective audio advertising and sonic branding.

He started his career as an agency copywriter in London and quickly gravitated to audio, setting up specialist agency, Eardrum in 1990. Today, Eardrum is headquartered in Sydney and is the most awarded audio specialist advertising agency in the world.

In 2021, he co-founded Resonance, a specialist sonic branding agency working with APAC’s largest brands. In the last two years Resonance has won over twenty awards for work with Samsung, Canva, Commonwealth Bank and The Australian Open.

Ralph’s innovative thinking is always underpinned with solid marketing strategy, and his deep knowledge of how to harness the power of music, voice and all things audio is legendary. This was confirmed when he was selected as one of the ‘advertising legends’ to serve as jury President at the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Lions Festival.

Roberto Verona
Creative Director
Saffron Brand Consultants

As a Creative Director, Roberto runs the design team at Saffron, overseeing the quality of design outputs across various projects. Italian-born, Roberto studied at ISIA Urbino in Italy and is trilingual speaking Italian, of course, Spanish and English. His creative career has taken him to agencies Icon Medialab, Addison and John Ryan Company. At Saffron, Roberto has been involved in brand creation and rebranding projects for a range of clients, including Proximus, Payvision, Sodexo, Generali, BBVA, Tuenti, Australia’s Alcohol and Drug Foundation and Xing. He also won the Grand Prix at Transform Awards MEA in 2022.

Firas Wahbeh
Chief Marketing Officer

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.


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