• Transform magazine
  • June 21, 2024


2017 Transform conference North America

New York City,

Transform conference North America

Transform conference North America


Amy Binder
RF Binder

For close to 30 years, Amy Binder has been committed to bringing new and innovative thinking to the public relations field. She, along with her father, David Finn, and her three siblings, helped build the Ruder Finn Group from an $11 million company in the 1980s into one of the largest independent public relations firms in the world. Since 2001, Amy has served as CEO of RF|Binder, an independent agency, which she started and which focuses on working with major global corporations and brands on corporate reputation and brand assignments. In addition to overseeing the business direction and growth of the agency, Amy is focused on ensuring that every client receives consistent, high-quality service, has continual access to the agency’s best creative and strategic thinking as well as ensuring that the agency is offering the most innovative use of newly emerging communications channels. She believes that by applying effective, results-driven processes across the firm, encouraging research-based strategic counsel and creating a symbiotic approach across communications channels, RF|Binder can
create client/agency partnerships that are successful, mutually rewarding and longlasting. Amy’s work has been characterized by creating integrated communications programs that work across communications channels from traditional to digital. She has focused on managing the issues and challenges that emerge when the interests of the public, private sector and government converge. Major clients have included Ameriprise, Bank of America, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cargill, Chubb, Citibank, Dunkin’ Brands, McGraw Hill Education, Rockefeller Foundation and Schwab . Amy is a board member of The Institute for Public Relations and the Media Advisory Council for Brown University. She is a member of Columbia Business School's Family Business Program Advisory Board.
Amy received her A.B. with Honors from Brown University and her M.B.A. from the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University.

Aubrey Bishai
director of marketing services
Vinson & Elkins LLP

Aubrey leads the global Marketing Services department at Vinson & Elkins LLP. She guides efficient operations for brand and creative marketing, digital marketing, Client Relationship Management strategies, and charitable contributions.

With a background in proposal management at EY, Aubrey assimilated the nuances of legal marketing through various business development roles at V&E. During her tenure at the firm, she has developed pitch strategy and metrics, conducted client and industry programming, project managed infrastructure implementations, and launched a new website and digital strategy.

Aubrey is passionate about brand strategy, efficient processes, emerging technology, collaborative teams, and top-notch client service.

Mihai Botarel
creative director, partner
RXM Creative

Mihai Botarel is the Co-Founder and Creative Director at RXM Creative, a New York-based creative agency that works with top tier brands, including Ray-Ban, Sunglass Hut, LensCrafters, Christian Louboutin, Loro Piana and Harper’s Bazaar.

With an innate passion for storytelling and curating imaginative content, Mihai is known for producing iconic and relevant work that masterfully resonates with his audiences.  His prolific career is defined by his refreshing take on big brand thinking coupled with always having his finger on the pulse of what’s trending, resulting in awards from Cannes Lions, Eurobest, D&AD, Golden Drum, One Show and Epica.

Hailing from Bucharest, Romania, Mihai attended SNSPA Bucharest and The National College of Philosophy. Prior to RXM Creative, he worked at Dentsu 360i, Tribal DDB New York, DDB Germany and Leo Burnett Bucharest.

David Burnstein
Run For America

David is the CEO and Founder of Run For America. David is also the author of Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaping Our World which analyzes millennials—the largest generation in history—how and why they are changing business, technology, culture, and politics. David previously founded Generation18, a nonpartisan young voter engagement organization that registered over 25,000 new voters and held over 1,000 events in 35 states. The organization grew out of David’s first documentary film 18 in ’08. He is a frequent speaker and commentator on social innovation, millennials, and politics with appearances on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, NPR, ABC Evening News, and C-SPAN, and in The New York Times, USA Today, The Huffington Post. As a writer, his work has appeared in Politico, Salon, Vanity Fair and Fast Company. David is the Founding Co-Director of the Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship @ Chicago Ideas Week, which helps outstanding young social entrepreneurs grow their impact. He is also a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, Disruptor Foundation Fellow, and serves on the advisory boards of Watson University, The Common Good, and CanLeads. He is a proud alumni of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

Erica Castello
creative strategist
EMC Creative

Erica Castello is a brand strategist with an emphasis on early-stage growth and an expertise in art/tech. She is a founding partner of 0UTSIDE, a creative technology firm committed to setting the table for open-source culture. In 2013, Erica founded EMC Create in service of artists and entrepreneurs looking to launch, pivot, or reinvigorate their public presence. Prior to EMC Create, Erica was a promoter, marketer, manager, and point-of-contact for milestone campaigns at Patreon, Eventbrite, Qwiki, and more. She graduated from Stanford University in 2012 with a B.A. in Philosophy.

Sarah Edkins
director of communications
PEN America

Sarah joined the PEN America team as the organization’s first communications manager in October 2013. Her career spans community service and development, veterans’ affairs, human rights, and the arts. She currently serves as the Director of Communications, developing all outgoing messaging, managing press relationships, and driving social media growth and engagement.

Before joining PEN America, Sarah served as Communications Manager at the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, where she coordinated communications between 180 institutional members globally and provided media training to history museums and human rights initiatives throughout the United States and in Lebanon, Egypt, and the Middle East–North Africa region.

From 2009-2011, she worked as Program Coordinator at Iraq Veterans Against the War, liaising between the organization’s military veteran members and their civilian supporters and funders. She started her professional career at the Cheshire YMCA working directly with families to provide transformative experiences for children in need.

Deborah Farone
former CMO Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Farone Advisors LCC

Deborah Farone is a communications and marketing expert with a focus on professional service firms.  She has been the CMO of two of the country’s most successful law firms and the founder of both firms' business development and communications departments.  Deborah has also taught classes as an adjunct professor at NYU in branding for professional services.  Most recently, she was the CMO at the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.  On the business development side, she worked with colleagues to create a business and industry intelligence unit to help generate business opportunities, craft practice development plans and prepare partners for all forms of presentations.  She also spent a large part of each day working with professionals on their own business development plans. On the communications side, Deborah dealt with crisis communications, as well as strategic public relations, social media, the Firm’s website and all marketing communications.

Patrick Hanlon
CEO, founder

Patrick Hanlon is the Charles Darwin of branding. Hanlon uncovered what Harvard sociologist E.O. Wilson describes as the “natural selection for social interaction”. Recognized as the world’s leading brand evolutionary, Hanlon is ceo and founder of THINKTOPIA®, a global brand and strategic innovation practice for Fortune 100 clients including American Express, Levis, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Kraft Foods, Johnson & Johnson, Yum! Foods, Wrigley, PayPal, Gap, the United Nations and others. His book Primal Branding: Create Zealots For Your Brand, Your Company And Your Future was published by Simon & Schuster/Free Press, is the seminal book on the evolving role of brands as belief systems.

Gemma Jones
associate director
Space Doctors

As Associate Director at Space Doctors, a global brand consultancy fuelled by the best of cultural and semiotic insight, Gemma works with global brands to help them create strategies, communications, products and experiences that shape positive cultural change.

Gemma’s creativity, energy and command of cultural theory, has led to some of the company’s most exciting and innovative products. She spearheaded the development of its Cymbol app and network – the first real-time digital community in commercial semiotics. She also co-produced Chocophonica, an experimental installation in the British Museum of Food exploring the impact of cultural soundscapes on the taste of chocolate.

Mark Kingsley
School of Visual Arts

Mark Kingsley’s work has ranged from a position at Landor as global creative lead on the Citi account, to branding projects with Ogilvy’s Brand Innovation Group (BIG) and Hewlett-Packard advertising for Publicis. For over 17 years, his studio specialized in music packaging. Today, he holds a position at Collins and does occasional projects under the name Malcontent.

Mark speaks and writes on design and branding, and is currently a Lecturer for the faculty at the School of Visual Arts Masters in Branding/Collins program. In 2016 he was profiled in Print Magazine as one of “56 Inspiring Designers Shaping Our World Today.”

Jason Oberholtzer
director of content strategy

Jason is a producer, editor and strategist whose writing, podcasts, blogs, GIFs and charts appear all over the web and in print. He advises clients on creating high quality content and digital experiences for targeted and broad audiences. Some of his clients include IBM, Tumblr, Medium, The Economist, Forbes, Riverhead Books and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Jason is the Founder and Principal of Charts and Leisure.

Stephen Para
chief creative officer
SHARE Creative

Stephen Para is a twenty year ad vet and serial entrepreneur.  He has created breakthrough creative executions for brands like Nike, Chips Ahoy!, Vans, USA TODAY, and MTV among others.  He has been helping clients make better creative decisions through the use of data since social media’s infancy. 

He is the Chief Creative Officer for SHARE whose clients include Lego, Fiat, Dramamine, Southern Comfort and The North Face.

Erik Ritchie
chief strategy officer
Zenni Optical

Erik Ritchie is the Chief Strategy Officer at Zenni Optical, overseeing marketing, merchandising, supply chain, design and information technology. Prior to Zenni, Erik led strategy at San Francisco-based Salt Branding and also previously served as the Director of Marketing and Programming at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Erik has 20+ years’ experience in brand communications and has held several senior management roles with leading agencies. He has led successful campaigns for brands including Microsoft, Google, Red Bull, Ticketmaster, Logitech and Blue Shield among many others.

Chris Roan
Untitled Worldwide

As partner at Untitled Worldwide, Chris Roan holds over 10 years of experience in media, advertising, and innovation; having led strategy, business development, and innovation at Mother US for over 6 years, and before that, developing entertainment-driven programs for clients at Ogilvy & Mather. He also spent his early career on the media side at the Onion and VICE, where he leveraged their reach, audience insights, and production capabilities to create branded content and integrated marketing programs. At Untitled, Chris drives strategy, business development, and overall growth of the firm globally, overseeing a wide range of talent and infrastructure investments, as well as developing new models for the firm to better service clients. Founded in 2013, Untitled has partnered with world famous challenger brands like Glossier, start-ups like Oscar, and Global S&P 1000 companies like GAP, helping them position and connect with their target demographic for transformative results.

Kristen Saponaro
chief marketing officer

Kristen Saponaro is chief marketing officer for nThrive, responsible for all company marketing and communications strategies and efforts. Additionally, she leads the company’s Enterprise Marketing Council to ensure alignment and successful delivery of all corporate, product and solution marketing efforts. Saponaro brings extensive healthcare and healthcare technology marketing and communications expertise to the role.

Kristen believes in the power of the physician-patient relationship and how this connection is central to heathy people and thriving communities.

Duncan Shaw
co-founder and executive creative director
Living Group

As a co-founder of Living Group, Duncan has over 20 years’ branding experience and has worked with clients that include EY, Citi, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, State Street, Latham & Watkins, Murata and Nomura. During this time, Duncan has gained a great insight into many of the current brand challenges specifically within the financial, professional services and technology sectors.

Duncan is responsible for strategic brand consultancy and building client relationships, as well as the day-to-day management of Living’s fast-paced businesses in London, New York and Hong Kong.

Nicole Steinberg
director of communications and brand management
Mural Arts Philadelphia

Nicole Steinberg is the Director of Communications and Brand Management for Mural Arts Philadelphia, the nation’s largest public art organization. Since October 2014, she has overseen the planning and execution of all communications, marketing, and public programming strategies for the storied Philadelphia arts institution, and in 2016, she spearheaded a complete organizational rebrand. She specializes in audience engagement and content strategies for the arts and culture sector, having held key communications and editorial positions at internationally recognized organizations such as The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and BOMB Magazine, among others.

She is also the author of two full-length books of poetry, Glass Actress and Getting Lucky, and the editor of Forgotten Borough, a literary anthology about Queens, New York. 

Stacey Sujeebun
director of marketing communications
Konica Minolta

Stacey Sujeebun is the Marketing Communications Director for the Workplace Hub Group at Konica Minolta Inc. Stacey joined Konica Minolta 6 years ago, and was promoted to the Workplace Hub Group in 2015. Here, she was faced with the challenge of developing a communication strategy for a new and disruptive IT product category, from a brand that was previously known for cameras and printers. The expectation was that communications should rival well established IT brands, yet support Konica Minolta’s desire to transition into a credible player in this market through brand extension. Following a lengthy programme of defining the brand and communication guidelines, Workplace Hub was unveiled to the world’s press at the ‘Spotlight’ event in Berlin in March 2017.

Prior to joining Konica Minolta, Stacey worked as a consultant within brand and media agencies in London. She is also a CIM qualified marketing professional, with an MSc in Social Anthropology from University College London (UCL).

Casey Tourangeau
leader, digital experience

With more than 10 years in Web design, Casey Tourangeau is the leader of digital experience at McMillan, where he oversees user experience for all projects in the agency. As User Experience lead, he is responsible for all aspects of merging the user journey with the digital experience and crafting flows and interactions that define  products while always place the users’ needs first. Casey has designed and led experience design for global brands that include Commvault, Unify, Intuit, LexisNexis, HUB International, and AT&T.

When & where

Date: 2 November 2017

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 events manager, Michelle Kibble 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.