• Transform magazine
  • April 22, 2024


2015 Transform conference North America

New York City,

Transform conference North America

Transform conference North America



Registration, breakfast and networking


Welcome and open address

Andrew Thomas
publishing editor
Transform magazine


Breaking boundaries - an insight into innovative brands 

It’s no longer business as usual. With a burst of start-ups growing into well-known brands in a short period of time, it’s time to do things differently. Some organisations are putting innovation at the heart of their business strategies – and it’s paying off. How can innovation change the way brand strategy is developed? Can innovative brands redefine entire sectors? The Transform North America conference begins with a look at companies that have made inventive, boundary-pushing strategy part of their brands.

Airbnb is one of the fastest growing, global start-ups with an innovative business model. Airbnb owns no properties yet is the largest accommodation provider in the world. Instead, the platform and the interface is incredibly valuable and the branding needs to be perfect. Wrede Petersmeyer, New York City Manager, Airbnb sits on this panel discussion looking intertwining innovation and brand. 


Wrede Petersmeyer
New York City manager


Colin Weil
director of marketing
The Jewish Museum


Moderated by Leesa Wytock
director digital activation


Capitalising on brand value

Private equity and venture capitalists are no longer just adding cash and management skills. Increasingly they are bringing an understanding of brand to their portfolio companies. VC firms either make sure they have those skills in-house, develop strong relationships with brand advisory firms or go out and buy brand talent, integrating brand strategists alongside their own money men. It is a logical process, providing business skills and cash to build the tangible asset and brand strength to build the intangible. And it's a process that seems to be paying off. In this session we’ll listen to the least likely brand builders.

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Ben Veghte
vice president, communications
National Venture Capital Association


Karen Greene
managing director, investor relations and marketing communications

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John Quartararo
senior managing director
Castle Hill Capital Partners

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Moderated by Simon Thackway
Thackway McCord


Transform Tales: Meals on Wheels America

The Transform conference will be punctuated with a series of short sessions in which delegates will be taken on a brand’s transformation journey. Starting us off will be Susan Waldman, chief marketing and communications officer at Meals on Wheels America. 

Meals on Wheels found it was perceived as too successful and had poor penetration into Millennial audiences. It sought to reinvigorate its brand and drive change across the organisation. Delegates will hear in just 15 minutes the story of how Meals on Wheels rebranded to give an optimistic outlook and put people are the center of its brand strategy. Having changed its messaging from the traditional guilt inducing tone, the voice is now positive and the brand is driving forward, steadily gaining momentum.


Susan Waldman
chief marketing and communications officer
Meals on Wheels America

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Introduced by Adam Newall


Coffee break and networking


Investing in your employer brand, investing in your reputation

Employer brand management is about developing your reputation as an employer, with employees often described as an organisation's most valuable asset. Those they want to recruit are, by extension the intangible assets of the future, so there should be a clear line of value in the investment an organisation makes in its employer brand. Yet how much emphasis do organisations put in aligning their reputation to external stakeholders with their reputation as an employer. This session explores questions on how to attract, retain and engage the best talent, and how to ensure consistency in that brand message.


Bridget O'Neill
design talent acquisition


Moderated by Jeff Sindone


Transform Tales: MLS

The Transform conference will be punctuated with a series of short sessions in which delegates will be taken on a brand’s brilliant transformation journey. 

Until a few years ago, Major League Soccer (MLS) was hardly part of the global conversation about soccer. Now, the major US broadcasters Fox Sports and ESPN will be sharing English language broadcasts of the sport. The challenge for MLS is to get soccer fans in the US and Canada to become fans of their local MLS clubs. This year, MLS rebranded - an outward manifestation of the wider communications strategy for the league. At the Transform conference in New York, David Bruce, senior director of brand and integrated marketing at MLS will tell delegates about the rebrand journey and strategy.


David Bruce
senior director of brand and integrated marketing
Major League Soccer

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Introduced by Adam Newall


Creating a consistent brand experience

All companies have multiple touchpoints with their audience which can be designed to provide a consistent and unique brand experience. Concentrating on the financial services sector, we explore the different components of brand experience. From traditional banking in a built environment, through mobile and the online experience, financial services needs to gain the trust of the user, fast. This session looks at the importance of consistency in the process developing that brand experience.

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Allan Shoenberg
head of communications


Duncan Shaw
executive creative director
Living Group

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Caleb Hunt


Moderated by: Andrew Thomas
publishing editor
Transform magazine


Lunch and networking


Bringing brand strategy to life with typography

In an age when every brand touchpoint is put under the microscope to find opportunities for optimization, it’s only natural to start with the typeface. As the voice of your brand, your typeface can bring your brand strategy to life in every written message – a multitude of touchpoints with a single tool. Fabio will illustrate how brands can benefit from careful typeface consideration and give an insider’s look at how design forms translate into brand attributes, helping the audience cross the bridge between strategy and typeface design.

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Fabio Haag
creative director
Dalton Maag


Transform Tales: City of Mississauga, Canada

The Transform conference will be punctuated with a series of short sessions in which delegates will be taken on a brand’s transformation journey.

Branding a nation, city or place is always an interesting concept. The stakeholders of a location are different and have different expectations to those of a company. In this enlightening session, the brand manager of  Mississauga city in Canada tells the story behind the recent rebrand.

The aim was to help build civic pride among residents and communicate to key audiences why they should choose Mississauga to live, work, invest, play, study, and visit. Delegates will be shown how branding extends to the cities we live in. A place brand is built and marketed to be perceived in a certain way.

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David Ferreira
brand manager
City of Mississauga

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Inroduced by Adam Newall


In midst of the maelstrom

The Transform conference finishes, not with more theory but with a case study of a brand in the middle of the maelstrom of rebranding. North American Power and Gas in currently rebranding. This session explores the catalyst for change, the audience communication and the implementaion of its rebrand process.


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Craig Wilson
vice president, direct marketing
North American Power and Gas


Closing remarks

Andrew Thomas
publishing editor
Transform magazine

All of our speakers have been carefully selected to share their stories and experiences. We always encourage discussion, debate and questions at our events and always encourage delegates to participate.

When & where


Date: Tuesday 27  October 2015
Time: 08.00 -15.00 
Venue: Espace, 635 W42nd St., New York, NY 10036

Supporting Partners

If you would like to be a supporting or media partner for the Transform conference in New York please email our marketing manager, Hannah Wilkinson with your suggestions on how we can collaborate. We're always happy to find creative ways to work with external companies and we'd love to hear from you.