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Keynote Speakers


Tad Carpenter

Owner, Carpenter Collective

Tad Carpenter is a designer, author and New York Times best selling illustrator. Carpenter co-runs the graphic design and branding studio, Carpenter Collective with his wife, Jessica Carpenter where they focus on bringing powerful messages to life through branding, packaging, illustration and environmental design. They have worked with clients ranging from Target, Coca-Cola, Meta, Macy's, Old Navy, Conan O'Brien, Adobe and MTV among many others. Carpenter has also worked with numerous bands on posters and tour campaigns, including John Mayer, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Paul McCartney and Dave Matthews Band to name a few. Carpenter has written and illustrated dozens of children's books in our marketplace today intended for adults and children of all ages.

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Andy J. Pizza

Illustrator & Podcast Host

Andy J. Pizza, based in Columbus, OH, is an American illustrator who has worked for clients such as The New York Times and LEGO, as well as illustrated picture books like "A Pizza With Everything On It." (Amazon’s Best Kid’s Books List 2021, Booklist Starred Review). His podcast, Creative Pep Talk, hosts guests like comedian Abbi Jacobson and poet Morgan Harper Nichols. Andy is also storyteller, often pep talking teams at creative hubs like Warby Parker and Sesame Street.

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Craig Brooks

Founder and CEO,

Forae Factory

Craig Brooks is the Founder and CEO of Forae Factory, a creative agency based in Austin, Texas. With experience working on global brands including Michelob ULTRA, Bud Light Seltzer, Kraft Heinz, and Crunch Fitness, Craig’s portfolio of work has impressive reach across the country. After many years of collaboration with Fortune 500 chief marketers and strategists, it became an imperative space for Craig to create and elevate the importance of creative diversity. His work today with global executives is focused on increasing the representation of minorities and diverse thinkers in the work of tomorrow. 


Steve Pacheco

President & CEO, AAF

Steve Pacheco is the President/CEO of the American Advertising Federation. Pacheco is tasked with designing a future-forward organization consistent with the changes impacting the advertising landscape. His role will span evolution of the AAF’s programs, services and membership; volunteer engagement; and serving as the voice of the advertising industry through advocacy and lobbying on key issues from free commercial speech to the advancement of diversity and inclusion.

Pacheco joins the AAF from Ducks Unlimited, where he was Chief Marketing Officer. He has 30 years of industry experience, more than 20 of which were spent at FedEx as Director of Advertising & Sponsorship Marketing. There, he produced award-winning work, including 12 Super Bowl commercials, FedExCup, NFL and NASCAR ad campaigns. He worked for International Paper as Director of Advertising & Marketing Communications, where he directed their 1996 Summer Olympics sponsorship. He was also a partner in a Memphis-based advertising and design agency, Humphreys Ink.

Pacheco is the first AAF President & CEO to have held leadership roles at every level of the organization, beginning at the collegiate level, President of Memphis Advertising Federation and Chairman of the AAF National Board of Directors in 2011. In 2013, he received the AAF Barton A. Cummings Gold Medal Award and was named The ADVERTISING Club of New York’s “Advertising Person of the Year.

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Noor Naseer

VP of Media Innovations and Technology, Basis Technologies

Noor Naseer is VP of Media Innovations and Technology at Basis Technologies. She leads client thought leadership and innovative media strategy development. She guides clients on how to evolve media strategy to accommodate fast-changing consumer behavior and media trends.


Noor has written for and been cited in industry outlets including Adweek, MediaPost and SmartBrief. She has spoken at industry events and conferences for the 4As, the American Advertising Federation, the American Marketing Association and SXSW. She hosts adtech podcast, AdTech Unfiltered. Prior to Basis Technologies, Noor served in media roles at Starcom MediaVest Group. She is a graduate of Northwestern University.

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Olivier Bisset

Elizabeth Cates

Vice President, The Sasha Group

Elizabeth Cates is an intuitive marketer with almost 20 years of expertise that spans business and brand strategy, integrated and social media marketing, as well as creative and content strategy. Her passion for truly contemporary marketing brought her to VaynerMedia in 2018 and then over to the Sasha Group at its inception in 2019, where she has led key accounts across various industries including food & beverage CPG, health & wellness, technology, fashion, non-profit, government and banking.

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Scott Harkey

CEO, The Harkey Group

Scott Harkey’s full-service agency is turning the heads of brands and agencies alike; under his leadership, OH Partners has consistently been ranked one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing private companies, and Adweek lists the agency as one of the fastest-growing on the planet. In 2023, Scott spearheaded the launch of The Harkey Group, an independent holding company composed of a collection of specialized agencies that have grabbed national attention for work in research, strategy, creative, branding, media planning and buying, digital work, public relations, social media, and more. The companies under The Harkey Group umbrella have led campaigns for fortune 5000 brands including Walt Disney, Amazon, Capcom, National Geographic, AirBnB, Virgin Hotels, and Wynn Resorts to name a few.

Pernell Cezar

CEO and Co-Founder, BLK & Bold

Pernell Cezar is the CEO and Co-Founder of BLK & Bold. Pernell is an accomplished sales executive, successful entrepreneur and leader with more than 15 years of leadership success, who in just four short years has grown BLK & Bold to a top seller in Target and the #1 coffee brand on Amazon in 2020.


His diverse portfolio which spans from Target, SheaMoisture and more, highlights his ability to influence and build brands at scale from start-ups to multinational brands. As a longstanding sales executive and packaged goods advisor, Pernell continues to change the way Black-owned brands and consumer dollars are respected and supported by retailers. 


BLK & Bold is the first-ever Black-owned nationally distributed coffee company, they also prioritizes social impact for youth in need. The entrepreneur welcomes the obligation to equip young people with tools to overcome familiar unfortunate circumstances by turning a daily ritual, into a means of giving back. BLK & Bold pledges 5% of its profits to initiatives aligned to sustaining youth programming, enhancing workforce development, and eradicating youth homelessness. Additionally, Pernell has served as the Strategic Partner to co-develop Target's Forward Founders accelerator program, has served on Target's Entrepreneurship Advisory Council with a focus on mentoring and building sustainable access to education of future business leaders, and has been featured as a celebrity coach to emerging Black entrepreneurs on the show, Bet on Black produced by REVOLT-TV.


BLK & Bold is proudly certified B Corp, a certified Minority Business Enterprise, certified Fair Trade USA and Fair Trade International, as well as KOF-K Kosher and a SQF certified processing facility. BLK & Bold was awarded the 2019 Des Moines NAACP Small Business of the Year, was named 2020 Entrepreneurs of the Year by the Official Black Wall Street App’s Black Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Pernell has been recipient of the 2021 Mel Essex Achievement Award, and winner of the 2022 AACSB Influential Leaders Award.

Breakout Speakers

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