• Transform magazine
  • October 28, 2021


North America

The judges

The panel and the judging process.

The Transform Awards North America is judged by a panel of in-house branding and communication experts from across a multitude of sectors. We purposely look for a panel that has experience of and knowledge in branding, marketing, corporate communications and advertising from various industries in order to provide a wider perspective.

The scoring is done on a points system and the judges score anonymously. The judging system we operate is one which is fair, if a judge has entered into a specific category, they will be exempt from reviewing that area in which they are competing to avoid bias. We also provide detailed feedback on submitted work which often proves highly useful.

Winners are determined by the scores they receive and only entries that score high enough marks will be shortlisted and awarded with trophies.

In 2022, we will welcome the winning agencies and companies of the 2021 'Best overall visual identity' and 'Grand Prix' accolade to judge the awards.

Would you like to be a judge? If you are interested and believe you have the necessary background to be a judge for the Transform Awards North America 2022, please email Lauren Ditcher.


Meet our 2021 judging panel

Harlie Brindak
Creative director

Harlie Brindak is a Creative Director at Superunion, where she has developed a multidisciplinary skillset which gives her a unique approach to brand development. Before joining Superunion she was Brand Manager and Design Lead at a tech start-up for several years, where she was on the founding team. While there she led all product design, branding, marketing, and communications. Additionally she was involved in business development and investor relations, which give her a unique perspective as a Creative Director. Harlie’s recent clients include NASA, Move United, Project Management Institute, Silverstein Propertied, Campari Group, Morrison & Foerster, and Google Play.

Jeremy Edelman
Stategic Brand Manager - snacks
The Hain Celestial Group

Bio to follow

Jennifer Harrington
Director of marketing
Blue Note Entertainment Group

Jennifer Harrington is the Marketing Director for Blue Note New York (Blue Note Entertainment Group) and oversees the marketing strategy and brand experience for the jazz club, Blue Note Jazz Festival, and Blue Note Travel while ensuring brand cohesion among global live music & entertainment partnerships. Her passion for the music industry is working with independent music artists and brands.

Prior to working at Blue Note, Jennifer held roles in marketing and branding at Primephonic, a classical music streaming platform and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Jennifer is based in New York City.

John Gambell
Senior Critic in Graphic Design
Yale University Printer

John Gambell is the Yale University Printer and Senior Critic in the Yale School of Art. He serves as the university’s visual brand manager and coordinates Yale’s most visible graphic design, wayfinding, and branding projects. Prior to 1998, Mr. Gambell operated a studio in New Haven, Connecticut, that designed print publications as well as websites, sign systems, and commercial packaging. His work has been recognized with awards from the American Association of Museums, American Association of University Presses, and others.

Steve Keller
Sonic Strategy Director

Steve Keller is Sonic Strategy Director for Studio Resonate, XM Media’s in-house, audio-first creative consultancy, offering support to brands that advertise on the Pandora, SiriusXM, Stitcher, and Soundcloud platforms. He is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities in the field of audio branding, blending art and science into award winning audio strategies and creative content for a variety of global agencies and brands. With a degree in psychology and over 30 years of experience in the music and advertising industries, Steve’s work explores the ways music and sound impact consumer perception and behavior, and his research can be found in the Journal of Advertising Research, Frontiers in Psychology, WARC, Music and Medicine, the Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, and the Journal of Food Quality and Preference.

Amanda Kicera
Senior director of club branding
Major League Soccer (MLS)

Amanda is Senior Director of Club Branding at Major League Soccer (MLS) where she primarily supports the League’s 27 Clubs with brand development. From helping existing Clubs clarify their purpose to building new-to-world expansion brands and league extensions, Amanda is passionate about creating emotional connections that strengthen fan engagement and contribute to growing the world’s sport in North America. Previously, Amanda specialized in brand strategy at FutureBrand, working across a variety of sectors. She has built brands for a range of clients including American Airlines, Molson Coors, Pitney Bowes, Exelon, AB InBev, Johnson Controls, Axalta, Casella Wines and Tupperware.


Kirti Naik
Head of marketing and communications
BNY Mellon Wealth Management

Kirti Naik is an award-winning marketer with over 20 years of experience across manufacturing, entertainment, luxury, financial services and fintech. At BNY Mellon Wealth Management Kirti is driving transformation through marketing to impact the firm’s growth strategy across UHNW, Institutional and Nextgen audiences and further proliferate the Active Wealth platform. Kirti is focused on digitizing and driving premium client experiences through advanced analytics-driven marketing applications in collaboration across BNY Mellon Wealth Management, the larger enterprise and external partners.

Most recently Kirti served as CMO at Prometheum, a blockchain securities platform where she set the foundational marketing infrastructure and brand. Prior, Kirti held the position of Global Head of Brand & Marketing Intelligence at Russell Investments, where she led the business and digital transformation for Omni-channel marketing across 22 markets globally. Kirti launched an award-winning retail platform
‘RISERI’ aimed at providing solutions to investment problems.

For several years prior, Kirti was the Global Head of Brand & Advertising at Oppenheimer Funds (now invesco) where she led a wide variety of brand, advertising, sponsorship and product platforms. Kirti launched many notable, business impacting and award-winning initiatives – ‘Invest in a Beautiful World’, ‘Challenge the Index’ and ‘Globalize Your Thinking’. Previously, Kirti worked at Citibank North America, where she held positions driving cross-sell and acquisition efforts, online advertising and other client focused strategic marketing.


Glenn Pajarito
Head of branding

Glenn Pajarito is the head of branding at Citi. With nearly two decades of agency and brand experience as a creative director, Glenn has led new business pitches and integrated campaigns for hundreds of brands such as Google, LEGO, American Airlines, Samsung, NBA, P&G, and Anheuser-Busch. In his spare time Glenn lectures about the history of brands, design and advertising and their impact on culture.

Dennis Thomas
senior director, global branding

Dennis Thomas is Senior Director, Global Brand at SAP, managing all aspects of design and visual experience for the past 10 years. Prior to that he has spent over 25 years with Brand Identity agencies such as Siegel + Gale, Wolff-Olins, and The Brand Union. He brings brands to life through a process both strategically driven and simultaneously visually rich and innovative, assuring consistent expression and alignment across all touchpoints in all media.

He has designed and implemented programs for Caterpillar, Pfizer, American Express, DuPont, the Ford Foundation, HP, U.S. Air Force, American Express, Harley-Davidson, 3M, Dell and Caterpillar.

All things visual, particularly how images infiltrate and affect our experience and culture every day, continue to fascinate Dennis.

Alexander Wodrich
Managing director
Why Do Birds

Alexander Wodrich founded the audio branding agency why do birds in 2010. Located in Berlin they employ 15 people working in music-production, brand consulting, graphic and motion-design. Their clients include such brands as Siemens, Hyundai, German Rail or GORE-TEX. The agency is considered to be the most creative and awarded sound studio in Germany. Alexander has a degree in business and has also been a successful musician for the most part of his life. Before founding why do birds, he was a member of the MetaDesign Berlin management board, responsible for the audio branding and motion graphics departments.

Jared Richardson
Global head of design

Jared Richardson is the Global Head of Design for Colgate-Palmolive where leads Design for all categories, regions and Design disciplines. He brings his "Design obsessed mindset to Brand Experience and Innovation in everything from packaging to digital product design. He is proud to be driving the cultural transformation towards a design-integrated organization.

Jared has over 25 years of brand, design, innovation, strategy and business experience – he co-founded the Velo Group as Chief Creative Officer, was the Executive Creative Director at innovation consultancy Fahrenheit 212 and has taught Strategy & Innovation at the School of Visual Arts' IxD (Interaction Experience Design) MFA program.

Becca Valle
VP, head of marketing
New York Knicks

Becca Valle is an experienced global marketing leader sitting at the center of sports and culture as the Global Head of Marketing for the New York Knicks. She is driven by her passion for brand building, storytelling, and innovation.

As the Head of Marketing for the Knicks, she is leading the transformation of one of the biggest brands in sports – growing the Knicks' social and digital storytelling capabilities, innovating ticket products, and reinventing digital platforms to provide fans with more access to the game they love.

Prior to the Knicks, Becca spent 12 years in the advertising industry, leading global campaign efforts for top brands: Visa, American Express, IBM, Comcast, Gillette.

Gilmar Wendt
Creative director

Gilmar Wendt is a business design strategist who helps transform business by aligning brand, strategy and culture. He is principal of GW+Co, an award-winning creative consultancy based in London. Notable clients include Yale, PayPal and Zumbotel. Gilmar founded GW+Co in 2010 after an agency career leading integrated campaigns for FTSE100 companies, professional services firms and high-profile international brands. He brings an interdisciplinary approach, calling on designers, strategists, technologists, communicators and social scientists to work together based on his three guiding principles: change is collaborative; success comes in many small steps; and it’s sustainable when there’s something in it for everyone.


Align your brand with this global celebration honoring brand development and rebranding.

We have a number of sponsorship options available to you. Call us to find out more. 

Andrew Thomas, publisher editor of Transform magazine and founder of the Transform Awards

email: athomas@transformmagazine.net

call: +44 (0)20 3950 5356

Supporting Partners