• Transform magazine
  • January 29, 2023

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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 Melanie Han, at mhan@transformmagazine.net with a short biography for consideration.

 

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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.

Saad Abdullah
General Manager Marketing
Toyota Motor Corporation

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.

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

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
Arada

Melissa is the Senior Creative Director of Arada, where she has lead the brand strategy, corporate culture, all aspects of brand development and visual design for the property development company and its dynamic portfolio of brands. Over the past 5 years she has also built and leads a highly effective, award winning, in-house creative department. 

In addition to her responsibilities at Arada, over the past year, Melissa has been acting as brand advisor for Raimondi Cranes – the 160 year old Italian company, through its transformational rebrand. Prior to these roles, Melissa held roles with Meraas, during the holding company’s complete rebrand. Before moving in-house, Melissa has built 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
balcony8

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.

Mahmoud Hassan
Senior Marketing Manager Content & Creative
PepsiCo

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.

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.

Mais Kawar
Marketing & Communications Manager – Logistics District
Dubai South

Mais joined Dubai South (Dubai World Central) in March 2013 as its Marketing Manager. Kawar and her team are responsible for all corporate marketing and branding development and management, making sure that all relevant activities are aligned with the business goals and objectives set for Dubai South Free Zone and the Logistics District.

She has brought to the organization her vast 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.

Prior to joining Dubai South (DWC), 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 in leading international hotels in Jordan, including Marriott Hotel, Intercontinental Hotel, and Sheraton Hotel.

Kawar earned her M. Sc in Business Administration (MBA) - Focus 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. She holds an International Baccalaureate Diploma as well given by Amman Baccalaureate School in Jordan.

Oleg Nesterenko
Chief Growth Officer
STARZPLAY

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
Wego

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.

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
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.

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