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Join the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force at the IAB Ad Lab in New York City for its next meeting:
Become an agent of change for your company and the digital advertising industry. HR, Diversity professionals, and C-Level executives are invited to represent the digital media, advertising, and ad tech industry. Champion diversity within your organization and affect culture change within your company.
An initiative of the IAB Education Foundation, iDiverse has a far-reaching mission: to change how diversity is perceived and rewarded within organizations. It is time for the leaders of our industry to confront this head on and to create positive change.
The task force will run as a combination think tank and incubator. Given that our industry is unique in its economic and social impact, we aim to harness the ideas and energy of the best people and companies to move forward. In this session we will discuss:
Leading the meeting will be Karen Watai, whose firm KWA Leadership Consulting focuses on the specific challenges of personal and organizational leadership in environments characterized by a diversity of cultures, gender, and work styles.
Don Lowery is Senior Vice President, Community Engagement, for Nielsen, a global media company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television, radio and other media measurement, on line intelligence and mobile measurement. In his role, he leads a team that develops and executes Nielsen’s strategy for outreach to diverse communities to support the company’s efforts to ensure that the composition of its panels and surveys accurately represent national and local populations. In addition, the group is responsible for establishing partnerships with national and local businesses, community, civic and special interest groups to enhance the company’s brand and reputation.
During his career, Lowery has worked in newspapers, television, public relations and government affairs. He began his career as a general assignment reporter for the Roanoke (VA) Times & World News, followed by reporting jobs for the Norfolk (VA) Ledger Start and the Arizona Republic in Phoenix.
In 1980, Lowery joined the Boston Globe as a business reporter specializing in coverage of the financial and credit markets and economic news. While working for The Globe, he was part of a team of reporters awarded the Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the aftermath of school desegregation in Boston. In his next professional position, he worked as Editorial Director of WNEV-TV (later to become WHDH-TV) and subsequently added the role of Director of Public Affairs to his responsibilities. From 1991-1993, he work as a public finance investment banker for Lazard Freres Co. and First Albany Corporation.
In 1994, Lowery joined the New England Patriots Football Club, first as Vice President of Public Relations and Community Affairs and later as Vice President of Player Development and Community Affairs. He was part of the team’s senior administrative staff during the 2001 season when the Patriots won the first of their three Super Bowls.
Lowery spent two years as Executive Director of Communications for Viacom Boston’s WBT-TV, WSBK-TV and WLWC in Providence. He joined Nielsen in 2004 and has served as Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and Senior Vice President of Corporate Reputation. .
Lowery has received several journalism awards during his career, including honors for editorial writing from the Associated Press, United Press International, Lincoln (MO) University and the New England chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmys).
A native of Chicago, Lowery received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in economics from Wesleyan University. He resides in New York City.
Jill MacVicar is the Associate Director of HR with Meredith Corporation, where she functions as an HR Generalist. Jill has been with Meredith for 13 years and has an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Rob’s career has stretched over 25 years, during which time he forged key business relationships with many marketers including Fortune 500 as well as marquee technology and media clients. He has been recognized multiple times by BtoB Magazine as a “Who’s Who” Thought Leader in the industry.
Rob Sanchez brings a dynamic blend of data and media expertise and an ability to grow the business in his role of CEO. As one of the original partners of MeritDirect, he started the List Management + Interactive Services area, which later became Data + Media Services. He has served on the Management Committee since its inception, as a Managing Partner since 2009 and as CEO since 2012.
Under Robs leadership, MeritDirect has become a leading provider of global multi-channel marketing solutions, offering integrated marketing services through a wide variety of products and services. Rob has lead a strategic approach to building a modern marketing organization that has morphed into a data driven, multi-channel marketing solutions company combined with data management, consulting, digital and analytics embedded deep in the B2B, B2C and data driven marketing world. Through key acquisitions, recruitment, global expansions and expansion of solution based services, MeritDirect has transformed the marketing services business model and positioned itself for a bright future.
Rob is an avid sports fan and golfer, enjoys coaching softball, music and supporting various charitable interests.
Karen J. Watai is the President of KWA Leadership Consulting LLC, a firm which specializes in executive coaching, facilitation, and customized training. She has worked closely with her clients to develop their personal and organizational leadership through the innovative design of results-oriented practices and learning experiences.
In addition to the broader leadership arena, Karen focuses on the specific challenges of personal and organizational leadership in environments characterized by a diversity of cultures, gender, and work styles. She collaborates with Professor David A. Thomas on programs based on his book Breaking Through – the Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America. One of these programs received an International Innovation in Diversity Award from Profiles in Diversity Journal.
Karen has coached and/or trained individuals from a variety of organizations including Goldman Sachs, New York Life, Kaplan Inc., Comcast, Prudential, HSBC, BET Networks, Tory Burch, DLA Piper, and Harlem RBI. Her coaching clients include Executives, Partners, Vice Presidents, and managers of corporations, professional services firms, hedge funds, and non-profits. She has also been a coach for the Global Institute for Leadership Development and Harvard Business School Executive Education.
Prior to founding KWA Leadership Consulting LLC, Karen spent almost 20 years in the investment banking and private equity industries. She was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs where she executed transactions in the Private Finance Department and was a relationship manager in the Capital Markets Department. She also worked in the Management Development and Training Department where she designed, developed and delivered major initiatives including mentoring, diversity, compliance, and business programs. Karen left Goldman Sachs to become a partner in the Exeter Group of Funds, a private mezzanine and equity investment firm.
Karen holds a J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, as well as an A.B. from Harvard University. She has received the Master Certified Coach designation, the highest credential awarded by the International Coach Federation. She is certified in the Hogan Assessment Systems, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and the PDI Profilor. KWA Leadership Consulting LLC is certified as a Minority Business Enterprise.
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