Dentsu Americas, its CEO Jacki Kelley and Chief Diversity Officer Christena Pyle are being inducted into the Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors during the industry's Gen-Z Town Hall Meeting this Thursday, Sept. 23. The event is part of Advancing Diversity Week, being live streamed free at MediaVillage.com Monday-Wednesday Sept. 20-23 from 11 a.m. -- 3 p.m. ET. All Gen-Z and early stage industry employees are encouraged to register free for Thursday's Town Hall Zoom meeting. View the Legends & Leaders video conversation with Jacki Kelley here.
Born to a family of cattle ranchers, dentsu Americas CEO Jacki Kelley didn't believe the bright lights of New York City were her destiny. But after attending college at Pepperdine University, she accepted an internship at USA TODAY that led, 18-years later, to leaving her role as Senior Vice President to make the inevitable move to New York to gain an education in digital media. "I accepted a role at Yahoo!" she shares, "as an individual contributor instead of running a group, because Wenda Millard (then Yahoo's Chief Sales Officer) appropriately said, 'join a place where you can make a big impact, but don't run a big team yet, because you don't know everything you need to know.'
"There's a lot to becoming a beginner again when you can find somebody who will support you and help ensure your success in a place that you're super excited about. You need to be comfortable with being super uncomfortable because I didn't even know the acronyms that people were saying to me."
Throughout my Legends & Leaders conversation with Jacki, she shares stories, aphorisms, context and insights that are a must-view for all those in the community and exploring advertising and media careers. Her wit, wisdom and humanity (she, her husband and daughter have been a foster family for 24 children) have led her to become one of the most popular and respected leaders in the business. Jacki believes that as individuals we can make a huge difference if we rally together to create meaningful change. "I love this industry, I grew up in this industry, I studied this industry in college and I wanted to join a network like dentsu that has a belief, that I have, that the holding company model has to change," she says. "In this company I have the opportunity to help advance that while at the same time making it an industry that wonderful young diverse people want to be a part of."
View the full conversation with Jacki Kelley at www.LegendsLeaders.org.