Jens Stoelken Chosen as Rebel Jury Judge at Creativepool's Annual 2023 Awards

The Many | May. 31 2023

Exciting news from The Many! Our founding partner, Jens Stoelken, has been honored with a selection as a judge for the prestigious Rebel Jury at Creativepool’s Annual 2023 awards. This notable appointment acknowledges Jens’ exceptional talent and expertise in the advertising industry and the consistent creative excellence he brings to The Many.
Launched in 2019, Creativepool’s Rebel Jury has carved a unique niche in recognizing inventive and courageous work that sometimes slips under the radar in more conventional award programs. The panel represents a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, from advertising and design to technology, and Jens’ addition only enriches this diversity.
At The Many, we wholeheartedly embrace a culture that values innovation, disruption, and creativity. We believe in challenging norms and never settling for ‘comfortable.’ Jens’ appointment to the Rebel Jury reflects this commitment, showcasing our agency’s dedication to pioneering ideas and the power of bold thinking.
As Jens lends his unique perspective to celebrate outstanding creativity and innovation in the industry, we look forward to the insights and experiences he’ll bring back to The Many. Once again, our collective spirit of challenging the status quo is being recognized and celebrated. Stay tuned for more as we continue to make waves in the advertising world!

In Adweek’s AAPI Creative Spotlight, Josh Paialii Inspires Future Storytellers

Blake Marquis | May. 26 2022

We can’t say it much better than Adweek, The Many’s Group Creative Director, Josh Paialii, “intimately understands the power of culture nuance.”
Perhaps that stems from his background as a professional Polynesian dancer — he often says, there are few experiences more vulnerable than performing wearing a lavalava, dancing nearly naked on stage, an act that translates effortlessly to the art of the pitch. Josh not only leads creatively for clients like Panda Express and Chameleon Coffee, but he is also often at the creative helm for new business opportunities, performing and winning.

“I always had a passion for creative storytelling, the sharing of cultures and inviting people to watch and experience something entirely new to them,” Paialii told Adweek.

His work on Panda’s two Lunar New Year campaigns, “Traditions Shared” and “The Good Fortune Arcade” are only one piece of Josh’s forward-thinking approach — he leads teams with compassion and passion for the creative pursuit of solving business problems in innovative ways, and he brings important conversation forward to the industry, like his recent leadership in a panel discussion for Creative Week on the topic of diversity in casting.
In Adweek’s AAPI Creative Spotlight, learn more about Josh and his perspective on representation and inclusion, what he’d like to accomplish this year, and who exactly is his ideal client.

Kristin Grant on how Championing Accessibility can Drive Business Success

Blake Marquis | Mar. 31 2022

In the words of Kristin Grant, “Accessibility isn’t just another buzzword. It’s a societal shift toward creating tangible access for all to the things that have been kept behind lock and key. Each push toward more accessibility challenges the status quo.”
For her first-ever Voices of The Many piece published on Ad Age, Kristin explores how as we enter our new normal, one of the major societal shifts we’re seeing is that people are pushing for accessibility to be the norm across all categories and ways of life. Moving us from a culture of exclusivity to inclusivity. The desire for accessibility has found its home in pop culture, fashion, tv, and even tech. It’s clear that the next frontier for accessibility will be one that directly impacts brands and businesses, both internally and externally, as we as a society move through the great resignation and into a more accessible world.
Head on over to Ad Age to check it out!

Kristin Grant is a Brand Strategist at The Many

How We Think About Hybrid Culture

Johanna Penry | Mar. 24 2022

As the People Experience Manager, I find myself thinking about culture quite a bit. In the past year alone, The Many has almost doubled in size. With each new hire that comes through our virtual doors, it’s a combination of the work and our culture that will help our people thrive. This begs the question: what does it mean to build a successful hybrid culture, and how can it evolve as we do?
Buckle up – this is the part where we take the main topic, and add in the Merriam-Webster definition for context:
cul·​ture | \ ˈkəl-chər  \: (noun)

So how do we, The Many, think, behave, and work? For that nuanced (and potentially loaded) question, I enlisted the help of a few friends.
How we think
Let’s start with our mission, because it frames how we think and shapes everything we do. “We have a culture that at its core is about challenging comfortable,” says Davis Jones, Managing Director, People. “This means that if we set the right context for people to explore their interests, curiosities and perceived limitations in a safe way and empower them to stretch into those places, make mistakes and learn, we unlock a whole other level of growth potential. This is deep work, grounded in authenticity with each other and ourselves. It’s simple, not easy.”  
As this concept relates to our culture, it means looking at everything with fresh eyes. Every meeting, every presentation, every chance we have to gather or bond as a team is a chance to “challenge comfortable” and do things in an intentional way that is unique to The Many. 
When we think about doing things differently, and intentionally, our approach to diversity and inclusion immediately comes to mind. From launching employee resource groups that provide support and community, to celebrating and learning about each other’s cultures, to hiring diverse talent, we believe diversity is what makes us better. 
“Diversity, equity, and inclusion is at the heart of our culture and it’s not fostered by just one person or team, it’s up to each individual at The Many to consciously opt in,”voices Ash Ramirez, DEI Lead. “The work isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen overnight, but as long as we strive for progress over perfection we’ll get to where we want to be.”  
You know what else we think? We think our employees should have incredible benefits that are functional and easy to use. We know that there isn’t a one-size-fits all approach to wellness, so we offer a monthly mental & physical wellness stipend designed to be both flexible and inclusive of all options to prioritize your wellbeing. Meditation, therapy, in-person and virtual fitness, massages, PT, home gym equipment and more are all part of our benefit offering.
Sometimes, recharging takes more than a yoga class or massage. “Our PTO policy is unlimited because we recognize that everyone needs time away in order to fully recharge and that not everyone’s work is done and over in the traditional 9 to 5 world,” remarks Tim Cyrol, Director of Human Resources. “We also believe in taking personal responsibility for managing our own time and workloads, so we let our employees have a say in how much time they need away from work. Whether it’s a couple days tacked on to a weekend or a couple weeks to go explore the world, it’s completely up to them to decide how they’d like to use their unlimited PTO.” . 
We also think you deserve Labor Week instead of Labor Day, and while we’re at it, you also deserve additional time off between 12/24 and 1/1. We believe that when you have the time to live your best life or need support to deal with life, you can show up as your best self and create inspired work.
How we behave
How we interact with one another is arguably the most important part of who we are as a company. On a daily basis, the best way to describe our vibe is that we stay close and have a ridiculous amount of fun. Some of these moments are structured, while some are more ad hoc. 
One of those pieces of structure is what we call The Gathering. “To kickoff and close the week, we pause all that needs to get done on our to-do lists, take the pressure off and come together to connect in a way only The Many can!” says Maggie Cadigan, Managing Director, Growth. “We celebrate all that each team has recently accomplished or aims to achieve, get open and curious about new innovations or work in the world, and challenge our comfort through DE&I and personal growth trainings to advance, strengthen and build a stronger community’” . The Gathering is like family dinner, except it’s every Monday and Friday at 9am PST/12pm EST– it’s blocked off, squad only.

The ad hoc moments in our culture are like finding little nuggets of buried treasure, except you're finding them often and on Slack. Take the channel #photoshopbattle, for example: "Many would look at the name and think that it's a challenge to show off Photoshop chops (there is that element) but mostly it's a place where people can make jokes and commentary about our workplace and the world regardless of skills. It is a cultivating ground of culture in this weird from home era we are in," John Paul Brantly, Senior Designer.

Step 1. post a pic 
Step 2. everyone photoshops the pic 
Step 3. whatever photoshop gets the most trophy emojis basks in divine and eternal glory
You never know when the bell will ding, or what the png image will be, but you’re guaranteed to chuckle. And yes, even John Paul Brantly himself has been lovingly trolled– no one is safe.
We also have a ghost. Stay with us now. Thelma Todd was a famous actress in the 1930’s, who also happened to run a restaurant in what is now our Los Angeles office hub on the Pacific Coast Highway. Thelma was unfortunately and mysteriously murdered in a garage just above the office, and now we fondly refer to her as the office ghost. So there’s that. 
We consistently find ways to integrate and pay tribute to Thelma, as a thank you for letting us use her old stomping grounds without haunting us in a way that would actually scare people off. “I started making custom slack Thelmojis™ to help us all precisely communicate what we mean in full 1930’s attitude on the daily. Recently, she’s actually popped up on slack with an account all her own, delivering good news, troubleshooting, and even advice here and there. I don’t believe in ghosts though, so somebody has to be running her account….. right??” remarks Frank Garguilo, Associate Creative Director. Here’s a sample of Frank’s most recent Themoji pack: 

How we work
One of the first things you’ll notice about how we work together is that no one is too far out of reach. “Everyone at The Many has a seat at the table. Our culture is a direct nod to our name, The Many; we welcome everyone’s diverse perspectives because fresh ideas are what make us better and listening to the talented people we’ve hired remains key to our growth and success,” Courtney Burns, Director of Talent + Culture. Our organization is intentionally flat, emphasizing organizational structure over power. In fact, one of our core values is Passion Without Ego. 
In terms of our daily operations, we won’t tell you where you have to dial in from, or when to start or stop working. “Everybody has different needs, different rhythms. We have an opportunity to embrace this. We are aiming to empower our teams to decide the exact hours they work best, and how they can best use office space as a place of intentional connection and collaboration. We continue to push on this, and to question conventional wisdom. Everything we are trying is learning and progress,” Todd Lombardo, Managing Director, Excellence. Read: no micromanaging. We trust our employees.
Transparency is also central to how we roll. “Every other Tuesday is Big Tuesday, agency leadership spends the day assessing the business and formulating plans for continued improvement. Each member of the leadership team will then send a recap of the discussion to the entire agency. There is a standing invitation to the entire agency to present any ideas to the leadership team. Twice a year we hold a special event called State of the Many. This is a deep dive into all goings-on in the agency. We’ll look back on where we’ve been and provide a roadmap for where we’re headed. We celebrate our people, our progress, and our work. Most importantly, we take time to kick it as a collective and reflect on where we are and where we’re going. Perhaps most important of all, we encourage people to just reach out if they have a question or something on their mind. Everyone has something to teach and everyone has something to learn,” Melissa Cabral, Head of Strategy. 
This is just the highlight reel of our culture. It’s not often you work at a place that employees frequently describe as “special.” At The Many, we let our values and creativity pour into everything we do – and that makes magic.

Q&A with Ash Ramirez About SXSW “The Next Generation of DEI Culture” Panel

Blake Marquis | Mar. 14 2022

The recent news coming out of Texas and Florida puts this year’s SXSW in Austin, TX, occurring at an interesting, hard-to-understand, cultural moment.
Diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI). An ongoing important topic in our industry that has shed a light on how some truly feel and also spotlighted how much work lies ahead for our industry.
Ash Ramirez, DEI Lead, spoke on “The Next Generation of DEI Culture” panel at SXSW on Saturday, March 12 alongside Bennett Bennett, co-founder of 600&Rising; Nate Nichols, founder of Palette Group and co-founder of Allyship & Action; and moderator Jazmine Brown, Ad Council director of DEI.
We connected with Ash before and after the panel to get their thoughts on how they anticipate the panel will go, the general vibe at SXSW given what’s happening in the world and in America, and any key takeaways from the panel that resonated with them.

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Q: How did you end up on this panel, Ash? Also, why is this conversation important to you and important for the industry?
I’ve had a long-standing relationship with the Ad Council since I started working in DEI. First, it was attending their events as a MAIPer then it turned into contributing content to their diversity efforts. And before I knew it they kept tapping me for speaking engagements, the latest being this panel.
This conversation is important to me for a multitude of reasons, but I think where this is taking place has an added layer of complexity. The panel is intended to have a conversation as it pertains to the future of diversity practices and the effects the work has on our industry. Aside from creating inclusive cultures many of the initiatives DEI leaders are creating are based around social justice efforts. When you add in the fact that Texas is a very conservative state (and in fact has been 1 of 3 states to pass anti-lgbtq bills in the last two weeks), you can’t help but wonder, “why have this type of convo in a place like that”. Ultimately change will not happen if we keep talking to all the people that agree with our efforts. It’s the ones that either don’t have any resources or information to learn more about the subject and why it’s important and the folks that are against topics like teaching LGBTQ+ history or critical race theory in schools that we need to talk to. And I do want to note, these folks don’t just live in the South, they are everywhere including in our industry.
Now, these are extremely tough conversations to be had, but if we can get even one person to understand the importance of this work and get them to activate, then the panel will have succeeded.
Q: Do you have any outcome hopes for this panel? I.e., what do you hope the industry gains from attending this panel? 
Expanding someone’s perspective will be the biggest win. And personally, I intend to say my peace as it relates to the Anti LGBTQ+ bill in Texas (I am a native Texan and Trans Non-Binary Latine), my hope with that is that it leads to more support for trans orgs and hopefully legislative changes. But for the industry specifically, I hope people understand that everyone has a role to play when it comes to diversity work. It doesn’t just fall on your DEI leads, leadership, or employee resource groups, or BIPOC employees. And I hope leaders get serious (and I mean really serious) about this work. They have to be willing to deal with their white fragility and be open to the folks leading the DE&I efforts – our intention is not to call you out, in fact, we’re calling you in. As a collaborator, as an ally, as a partner.
Q: DEI is a topic that, as others and the media have said, sometimes feels like a lot of talk but little action. What actions can the industry take to become more inclusive?
1. Get creative with your talent pipelines. We often hear there’s not enough talent, but I think we haven’t given enough consideration to looking at folks from non-traditional backgrounds/experiences, who have transferrable skills, who have potential and can be taught. I’m also one for creating your own pipeline or partnering with an organization that is starting to tap into one. 
2. Invest in your diversity departments. Give your leads what they need – a considerable budget they can work with, folks to help them plan and execute who aren’t just doing it as an “extracurricular”, learning and development, leadership backing, etc. We can’t assume the work can be done without these things, and in fact, you’re actually setting your lead up for failure.
3. Consider other facets of diversity as well as intersectionality. We still have plenty of work to do in regards to race/ethnicity, gender/gender identity, LGBTQIA+, etc. but there are areas where we have barely scratched the surface – religion, disability (both visible and non-visible), socioeconomic status, parental/caretaker status. We should start to bring awareness and include folks from these areas in the conversation when it comes to inclusion. Intersectionality needs to also be considered as many people don’t just hold one identity, in fact holding more spaces where there’s cross-collaboration between groups can foster inclusivity and unity. 
Q: Honestly, what was the vibe like at SXSW? Did you check out any other talks or activations after your panel?
It was a bit surreal to be in a space where there’s a ton of people but also I think there was a sense of appreciation to be back and conversing with people. There weren’t as many folks as I was expecting but the intimacy I think made it all the better experience. I  met Roy Wood Jr and said hi to Alok Vaid-Menon (a trans ICON). I wasn’t there for a long time but I did get to check out a talk on breaking stereotypes on Black fatherhood, Keni Thacker from 100 Roses was there, and it was amazing hearing their experiences.
Q: Any takeaways from the panel that resonated with you, Ash?
I think the first is don’t take yourself too seriously. I had a lot of anxiety leading up to us walking on that stage, and I had to remind myself that I’m the subject matter expert and my thoughts are valued. I absolutely loved working with my fellow panelists and moderator. Before this panel, I had worked with these folks from like three degrees of separation, now we’ve gotten close, and I feel like we’ll probably be working together very soon.
On a personal note, I almost didn’t come to SXSW because of the anti-trans bill that was passed a few weeks ago and because, as a trans person myself, I didn’t feel 100% safe. But I’m glad I went because I recognized that I had a platform to share my truth and create empathy. After the panel, I got a lot of thank-yous for my vulnerability, and it left me thinking about my next move in this space related to thought leadership. Stay tuned!

Augmented Reality Project “What Once Was” Debuts at SXSW

Blake Marquis | Mar. 11 2022

Social media initiative “What Once Was” debuted today in partnership with Harper Biewen, Art Director, and Austin, TX-based nonprofits Six Square, celebrating and preserving the great Black arts, culture and history of Central East Austin, and E4 Youth, utilizing the arts, sciences and technology to help underserved youth find and pursue pathways to successful careers in the creative economy. “What Once Was” will debut at SXSW as a free community event on Saturday, March 12th at the George Washington Carver Museum including a walking tour of the AR sites, a Black vendor market, and a panel of local activists and academics.
Conceptualized and designed by Biewen, the immersive AR experience, activated by scanning a QR code, takes users on a visual blast to the past to see what once existed at their exact location while also encouraging people to put their money into local, BIPOC owned establishments to protect the culture and community.
“When I was new to Austin and meeting people, I was almost always met with ‘you should have seen it five years ago,’” Biewen notes. “Austin’s gentrification problem is pervasive and has become part of people’s talk tracks when they reflect on what it is like to live there.” After four years of living in Austin, Biewen understands and empathizes with the feeling of continued loss that Austin natives are experiencing, which has led to her undergoing extensive research for her “What Once Was” project. “It is really hard to watch pieces of Austin that feel so unique turn into copy and paste apartment complexes especially when it is in areas like the East side where Black and Brown folx call home.”
A UT Austin study on gentrification found East Austin is becoming whiter and more affluent despite being historically Black (SpectrumNews1, 2022). “There are so many heart-wrenching stories of BIPOC-owned businesses being forced out of their spaces or being replaced by businesses that are inherently white and don’t support the diverse culture of Austin,” said Biewen. Alongside Biewen, BIPOC high school and college students, via E4 Youth, involved in the project get the chance to tell the history of marginalized people in Austin while developing valuable skills to market themselves as competitive candidates with Austin’s growing tech story.
“What Once Was is a great compliment to the Austin Digital Heritage Project” Carl Settles, founder, E4 Youth. “Many of the students we train and employ are in families that have been pushed out the city’s core and into the outlying areas of town that are more affordable. Our goal is to build a multi-generational community of practice that actively explores our history and invests in these students to build a more inclusive future.”
Jumpolin was a piñata shop on East Cesar Chavez that served a thriving Latinx community for years. In 2015, it was demolished without warning with everything still inside of the store. Today, the space is home to a sleek photography studio that does not reflect the cultural needs or interests of the community that once thrived in East Austin. By scanning the QR code outside of places similar to the photography studio, users will be reminded that gentrification has wiped out so many businesses like Jumpolin while also receiving a history lesson about these businesses.

“What Once Was’ is a community response to the gentrification that undermines marginalized groups, their neighborhoods, their culture, and their history in Austin, Texas,” said Regine Malibiran, Director of Programs and Innovation, Six Square. “We hope that people who engage with this project, regardless of where they live, reflect on how it applies to where they’re from and hopefully spark dialogue and action in their own local communities.”
The @WhatOnceWas Instagram profile will be regularly updated with hints on where to find new AR drops, full stories and features from the owners of small businesses that have gone out of business, spotlighting existing BIPOC-owned businesses that people can support, and information about organizations and mutual aid collectives that people can support to help make a difference.
Catch the news on Adweek!

The Many
Art Director, Harper Biewen
Co-Founder, Jason Rodriguez
Director, X-Reality, Jorge Ortiz
AR/VR Strategist, Rebekah Diaz
Nonprofit Partner: Six Square
CEO, Pamela Benson Owens
Director of Programs and Innovation, Regine Malibiran
Nonprofit Partner: E4 Youth
Founder, Carl Settles
Development & Operations Manager, Jenaya McGowan Zarrad
Program Manager, Cynthia Ruiz
E4 Student, Joseph Mayang
E4 Student, Lili Xu
E4 Student, Darnell Wilson 
E4 Student, Dayna Iphill 
E4 Student, Ricardo Villegas 
E4 Student, Luis Angeles Sanchez 
E4 Student, Chelsea Jenkins

Staying Engaged in an At-home Work Environment

Jessica Mesa | Mar. 10 2022

I have committed nearly half of my life to my career in advertising. 
That’s over fifteen years at eight different agencies across two states and one island. With that, I’ve discovered one common theme. My level of engagement, excitement and thrill was triggered by working in-person. 
Why? Over those fifteen-plus years, life-long friendships were built. I consider these friendships as gifts in different phases of my career. People who have helped celebrate my children’s birthdays became my go-to mentors, gave me hugs on hard days, sent me flowers to help grieve a loss, coached me through personal development…all started in an office. With people.
In the fall of 2021, I made a career leap and joined The Many. We are a hybrid agency that supports the well-being of our staff by permanently allowing people to work from anywhere, with the option of going to an office in Pacific Palisades. 
In pre-pandemic years, I yearned for that kind of flexible work option. My day-to-day consisted of a three-hour combined commute, arriving home at 7pm on most days. As a parent, extra-curricular sports were out of the question. Making it home for a 5pm practice was wishful thinking. 
Fast forward to 2022, we are now living in the era of having the “best of both worlds”. We can work from anywhere in the world, in The Many’s case, with the option of going into an office. But given the distance, I choose to work remotely 99% of the time. This allows me the freedom to be a present and engaged parent, wife and human. 
However, this comes at a cost.
The remote-first choice strips away the ability to build and cultivate in-person life-long friendships at work. We lose the office banter, post-weekend story shares, or after meeting life catch-ups. These moments simply cannot be replaced by virtual meetings.  
But that doesn’t mean we need to lose that connection completely. Instead, we can a) re-think how we foster and cultivate our relationships in and out of the workplace and b) come up with a solution to fill the void.
A Harvard Business Review article revealed that lonely employees cost U.S. companies up to $406 billion a year and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the lack of social connections increases the odds of death by at least 50%
Research shared in that same article validated that lonely employees have a higher risk of turnover, lower productivity, more missed days at work, and lower quality of work. 
I consider myself an extrovert. An outgoing human who thrives and feeds off of human connection, seeking to maximize social engagement. When an extrovert is fulfilled, we will bring 1000% to anything we do. 
Since I have chosen the remote-first path, I have felt the humdrum rhythm of the day-to-day. To infuse much-needed human connection, I made brave commitments recently. Said yes to a girl’s trip to Valle de Guadalupe in Mexico, created new friendships and opened doors to future social gatherings.

As an inspiration for others, here are ways some members of the The Many and how they are fulfilling their need for human connection.

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Alex Boothe, Senior Social Strategist

I’m a self-proclaimed social butterfly who thrives on human energy to ‘refuel’ my own personal bank. So once I was able, I jumped at the opportunity to join various rec sports leagues (no matter the sport)—an outdoor soccer league with friends and their friends for weekly games, pick-up basketball on Sunday afternoons with music blasting, and competitive basketball games on Thursday nights which conclude with a few celebration or commiseration drinks afterward.

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Ifetayo Jabari-Kitwala, Growth Coordinator

Murphy (my 10-month-old Lab mix) got me moving again. When I decided to get a dog in late July (because let’s be real, I was at my wit's end of isolation and lack of living connection), I must have gotten the most active one of the bunch because he always wants to play and go outside. His walks are beneficial for both of us and give me a small, but daily dose of human interaction and fresh air.

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Jin Laqui, Project Manager

When gyms started to reopen during the pandemic, it was the perfect time for me to pick up my love for rock climbing again. There’s a huge sense of community at these gyms and everyone is there to support each other, which keeps me returning to this sport. When someone gets to the top of a more difficult route, you can hear claps from random bystanders on the mats. This community that I stumbled upon out of pure curiosity has given me the confidence and strength to always try something new and a constant reminder to keep reaching for success if you fail the first time.

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Lauren Gluck, Director of Growth

In order to fulfill what became a glaring need for human connection in my life, I needed to develop coping mechanisms to help me find finding joy in being alone, but they’ve also given me a better understanding of what I need in my life to feel fulfilled. This includes living close to friends so that, at any time, we can go for a walk, grab a coffee, or meet up at someone's house if the outside world seems like a bit too much that day, going on walks and hikes while listening to books on tape or podcasts - you don’t always need to be alone with your thoughts, and finding exercises and hobbies that break up the work day from the non-work day, from cooking to stretching to journaling to (let’s be honest) looking at TikTok.

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Mars Milisic, Creative Director

As an extrovert, I need an activity that allows my soul to say “hello!!!” to strangers. Luckily I’ve recently inherited my mom's bike. And biking so happens to be a perfect activity if you’re a social butterfly. I ride my bike all around town, anywhere and everywhere possible—coffee shops, the grocery store, karaoke bar, or simply up a new street just because. What’s nice about bike riding is the interactions you get with walkers and other fellow riders. So yes, I’m that girl, with the bell going “ding ding ding” just so I can say, “Hey what’s up hello!” I crave connection and pedaling across town allows me to connect with my community.

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Wow, how lucky to have such motivating co-workers — a reminder that while we aren’t in person, we connect on so many different levels. 
As more companies follow the remote-first approach, employees will continue to yearn for ways to satisfy their human connection fix. We will need to tap into creative ways to create and cultivate relationships outside of our workplace. Stepping out of our comfort zones, tapping into new experiences and simply celebrating this new, beautiful way of life.
This may be the very beginning of reshaping American work culture, and we’re here for it! 

Jessica Mesa is an Associate Director of Project Management 

Samantha Petrossi on Intentionally Innovating to Create a Better World

Blake Marquis | Mar. 18 2022

In the words of French writer Milan Kundera, “Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation” and the world today is filled with incredible innovations from pioneer companies. But at what costs to us?
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, etc. were created with the intention to connect communities and the world. Yet in 2022, one could argue that these platforms are the driving force into the divisiveness happening everywhere.
Ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft opened up transportation at the touch of a button but opened the door to exploited workforces alongside additional traffic and pollution.
In her latest op-ed published on Adweek, Samantha Petrossi explores the double-edged swords of the innovations that surround us daily and the benefits, drawbacks, and precautions of adapting to new innovative technologies. Check it out!

Samantha Petrossi is a Strategy Director at The Many.

Stairway to Seven Promotions Across Brand, Design, Production, and Strategy

Blake Marquis | Mar. 7 2022

A legendary band once sang:
There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven
We’re not Led Zeppelin or who they’re singing about, but we do have seven folks glittering!
2022 seems to be moving at warp speed and these seven folks, spread across multiple departments, are all in passenger seats of this rocketship that is The Many.
So let’s take a quick rest break for fuel, to stretch, and to celebrate these seven special people whose guidance and hard work have resulted in a promotion.
Enjoy a fun Q&A below to learn about their best memory and biggest success stories while at The Many.
We appreciate each and every one of you.

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Jorge Andrade, from Director of Design to Executive Director of Design

How long have you been at The Many?
Eight years come July.
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
Coming from a DREAMER background and making it in advertising (especially in the competitive field of design) feels like a success story on its own. However, I would say that my biggest success has been the ability to build a stellar design team filled with talented, passionate and kind individuals, who provide me with a fresh perspective day in and day out and make working in advertising worthwhile.
Looking back on your time at The Many, what memory best encapsulates The Many’s culture and your experience here so far?
There are way too many memories that I hold dear to my heart. A lot of these come from our Mistress era, where I’ve met some of my closest friends, some who I still get the pleasure to work with on a daily basis, and others who I get to see succeed from afar. I guess what I’m trying to say is that The Many’s biggest cultural advantage is its people and the bonds we are able to craft with one another through shared experiences and the work we do.
Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
The former! I think going on a cross-country adventure with an Aries would actually make the trip that much more fun due to their entertaining chaotic energy. Also, have you seen one drive? We’d get to our destination in no time! (or die trying).

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Katie Braverman, from Junior Designer to Designer

How long have you been at The Many? 
10 months!
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
This is my first major design gig post-grad. With that comes a little self-doubt and a lot of challenging comfortable 😉 This promotion is my success story…along with some incredible work I am truly very proud of.  
Looking back on your time at The Many, what memory best encapsulates The Many’s culture and your experience here so far?
Living, laughing, and loving on a daily basis with my design besties<3
Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
A vacation from my phone while on a vacation, that’s the dream!!!

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Liz Mowinski, from Group Brand Director to Head of Brand

How long have you been at The Many?  
Eight months.
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
Staying focused on the future, hoping my greatest successes are in front of me!
Looking back on your time at The Many, what memory best encapsulates The Many’s culture and your experience here so far? 
Hands down, it’s the people that make this place so special.  We have a real blend of heart, head and hustle which is truly hard to create and I never take that for granted.  We also have a tendency to over-index on genuine people that really give a damn…even going out of their way to grab you at LAX when you’re in a pinch!

Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
International vacay with no phone is an easy ace! So for that reason, I choose road trip.  It’s a better way to challenge myself while enjoying the sites and stimulating discussion from my polar opposite!

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Maddie Avjean, from Designer to Senior Designer

How long have you been at The Many? 
One year this month.
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
I think my favorite success story thus far was the Comic-Con truck we worked on for the launch of Chucky. Being able to make something physical is always super rewarding and then seeing videos and photos of people waiting 90+ minutes to experience something we created was really exciting. 
Looking back on your time at The Many, what memory best encapsulates The Many’s culture and your experience here so far?
Let’s just say the design team knows how to party.
Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
I’ve been known to have control issues when it comes to road-tripping (and life?) so respectfully I am going to pass on traveling cross country with a Gemini. I’ll go for no phone on an International vacation but can I bring my iPad (for the games…)

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Robert Diep, from Junior Designer to Designer

How long have you been at The Many? 
It’ll be one year in April!
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
Juggling multiple branding projects simultaneously truly pushed my skills as a designer. Though it was challenging to create so many different concepts with such limited time, I feel like I’ve leveled up twice over after experiencing the entire process.
Looking back on your time at The Many, what memory best encapsulates The Many’s culture and your experience here so far?
Any time the design team gets to shoot the s***, 100%! Starting at The Many during this remote-work era makes me really appreciate the chances we do get to chill IRL. Work hard, play hard.
Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
Cross country road trip with a Pisces, babyyyyy. I have a lot of history with Pisces, so we know what we’re working with here. They just have a lot of feelings!

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Sofie Duzian, from Junior Strategist to Social Strategist / Community Manager 

How long have you been at The Many?
One year and three months.
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
Having supported pretty much every vertical on eBay has been an incredible opportunity and accomplishment. I feel really lucky to work with so many talented folks in creating the social DNA for an amazing brand. 
Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
International vacation! Ideally, on a beach where there is music blasting and I’ll be so relaxed, I won’t even remember what a phone is.

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Trevor Paperny, from Senior Producer to Executive Producer

How long have you been at The Many? 
Eight years come April. 
What was your biggest success story thus far at The Many?
Having started as an office PA and continuing the journey to where I am now is quite awesome to look back on. I think in a nutshell this showcases the culture and values of our agency and I am grateful to have had the support and opportunity from the team/partners to get to where I am today. 
Pick your poison: cross country travel (by car) with an incompatible Zodiac sign or go on an international vacation without your phone for the first four days.
Absolutely the International vacation.

Jackie VanSloten on Rebuilding Relationships with Audiences via Connections Strategy

Blake Marquis | Feb. 7 2022

Jackie earns herself a hat trick in her latest return to our Voices of The Many program (three published pieces to date).
Titled “How Connections Planning Can Rebuild Relationships With Audiences,” Jackie breaks down what Connections Strategy is, how it fell to the wayside in the early 2000s, and why, as privacy concerns continue to impact connections, advertising should transition to be more audience-friendly and humane to drive a greater impact.
Click over to MediaPost to learn more about Connections Strategy and why Jackie believes Connections Strategy should not just be written as a line item in a scope, but rather a state of mind across every level of the organization.

Jackie VanSloten is a Media Director at The Many