Advisory Council Advisory Council

The Advertising Advisory Council, composed of advertising professionals across all aspects of the industry, advises students on evolutions in the industry, aids with students’ professional development, and serves as individual mentors. You can contact Council Members directly either through their LinkedIn profiles or, in some cases, by email.

They are standing by, ready to provide sound advice to help you on your career path.

Jonathan Adams, ADV 1991

Jonathan Adams

Executive Director, Wavemaker | New York, NY

Connect with Jonathan:

Ask Me About

  • Why media is a great career
  • Digital marketing
  • How to get started in NYC

Jonathan Adams joined Wavemaker in 2014 as Chief Digital Officer, Americas.  Since then he has taken on a broader leadership role of across key Wavemaker clients, with a focus on driving transformation and business growth.

Prior to Wavemaker, Jonathan was SVP, Head of North American Media at iCrossing (Hearst) as well as leadership roles at Digitas (Publicis Groupe) and OgilvyOne (WPP) as SVP, Global Media and Senior Partner, Group Media Director, respectively.

Adams is recognized as an industry leader having served as Chairman of the AAAA Digital Marketing Committee, as well as honored by Advertising Age, Ad:tech (2016 Industry Achievement Award) and the University of Florida (2018 “Hall of Fame” Inductee).

In 20+ years, he has managed a number of clients and categories including IKEA, T. Rowe Price, U.S. Navy, Delta Air Lines (global), DIRECTV, Post Foods, Equifax, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Kraft Foods, Bristol-Myers Squibb, American Express, IBM and Kimberly-Clark.

Samantha Avivi, ADV 1995

Samantha Avivi

Chief Marketing Officer, Advance Auto Parts

Connect with Samantha:

Ask Me About

  • Brand Strategy
  • Networking
  • Differences in Client and Agency Side

Samantha has a passion for building businesses through consumer-led, purpose-driven brands. Her passion was fueled from over twenty years of Client, Agency and Retail experience with some of the world’s largest companies including Procter and Gamble, Kimberly Clark, Wal-Mart, BBDO and Y&R. She led iconic brands such as M&M’s, Pampers, Head & Shoulders, Fisher Price and ADT. While consulting, Samantha has in multiple categories including Automotive, Business & Professional Services, Consumer Packaged Goods, Energy & Utilities, Entertainment & Sports, Food & Beverage, Heath Care, Media, Nonprofits and Pharmaceuticals. She loves developing talent and inspiring others to the possibility of revolutionary brand building.

Ryan Bentivegna, ADV 2009

Ryan Bentivegna

Account Director, DDB San Francisco, CA | Chicago, IL

Connect with Ryan:

Once he ruled out becoming a professional athlete, Ryan began voraciously pursuing a career in advertising. Thankfully, this pursuit brought him to the University of Florida where he was blessed with four beautiful National Championships while a student at UF 2005-2009.

Ryan has amassed over a decade of account-management experience since leaving Gainesville. He cut his professional teeth at TRIS3CT, a challenger agency formerly based in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, before being relocated to Los Angeles as the organization opened a new “West Coast” office. As a proud son of San Diego, Ryan made the tough decision to leave his home state and returned to Chicago with a breadth of experience having led initiatives that included executing promotional partnerships with summer blockbuster films, retail reinvention and national advertising campaigns for Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. and their dealership network.

Ryan started his next chapter in Chicago at gyro, a global B2B creative agency in the Dentsu Aegis Network, by leading day-to-day workflow and teams across gyro’s Chicago & Singapore offices to support Asia-Pacific (APAC) client, USG Boral – a joint-venture between one of gyro’s US-based clients (USG) and an Australian company (BORAL). After integrated campaign launches of both the USG Boral brand and “NextGen” product throughout the APAC region, Ryan’s team received a Bronze Effie in New Product or Service category (AUS) and BEST IN SHOW at the BMA Tower Awards (USA).

During his tenure at gyro, Ryan was the architect of gyro’s summer-internship program, led SMB-targeted programs for Aflac, developed digital media campaigns & websites for ITW and a variety of strategic projects for JLL prior to joining FCB Chicago in 2019 to serve as day-to-day business + strategic lead of Cox Communications’ national CRM program and integrated campaigns targeting SMB customers. Ryan now enjoys the best of both worlds as an Account Director working with a west-coast-based team at DDB SF while continuing to reside in Chicago.

Rob Cherof, ADV 1982

Rob CherofCo-Founder and President, RocketCamp | Decatur, GA

Connect with Rob:

Ask Me About

  • Account Management
  • Big Agency or Small Agency Experience
  • Account Strategy and Planning

Rob is the founder and President of Rocket Camp, a brand building and creative communications company. He started the company nine years ago after an accomplished career leading some of the biggest ad agencies and most famous clients around. Rocket Camp focuses on helping clients find the right messages when people they face the most important decisions; with their health, employment, education, money, etc..

The agency works with many for and non-profit organizations such as the CDC, the Alzheimer’s Association, Tandem Bank, and the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Prior to opening Rocket Camp, Rob spent his career working at some of the very best agencies in the world—BBDO, JWT, and Saatchi & Saatch. Clients included; The Marines, AT&T, Dell, REI, the American Red Cross, Georgia-Pacific, and many others.

Rob is also big on education and giving back. Currently he is the director of the 4A’s Institute for Advanced Advertising Studies in the SE region. He’s also a  professional mentor, has served on the Advertising Advisory Council at the University of Florida since 2002, and has served on several non-profit boards here in Atlanta—Junior Achievement of Georgia and the Piedmont Park Conservancy, and is currently on the board for the Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance.

Julie Dalonzo, ADV 2005

Julie Dalonzo

VP, Director,  Starcom | New York, NY

Connect with Julie:

Ask Me About

  • Communications Planning
  • Media Strategy and Buying
  • NYC living and working

Julie brings 15+ years of leadership which has led to her success and the growth of some of the world’s largest brands. Julie has a deep affinity for advertising, focused in media, and has specialized in all aspects including communications planning, media strategy, national video buying, digital investment and commerce. Julie has worked at some of the nation’s largest advertising agencies across blue chip companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Mars Wrigley, Nationwide Insurance, Dyson, Applebee’s just to name a few.

Julie began her media career as a TV buyer 15+ years ago; the television marketplace is where Julie “grew up”. Over the years, her roles have expanded to oversee all channels of investment – from online video, social, print, programmatic – to now overseeing entire portfolios of client business.  Julie is currently a US client lead at Starcom where she ensures all client needs are met from sourcing internal capabilities, delivering commerce thought leadership and providing integrated marketing recommendations at the highest levels.

Julie has won multiple awards including a MediaPost Creative Media Award as well as a Bronze Cannes Lion.

Julie graduated with B.S. in Advertising from the University of Florida (Go Gators) and currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters. When she is not helping clients grow, she enjoys working out and spending weekends at the Jersey Shore.

Allison Fillman, ADV 2007

Allison FillmanSenior Director, The Coca-Cola Company | Atlanta, GA

Connect with Allison:

Ask Me About

  • Marketing
  • Agency and Client side experience
  • NY/Atlanta Living Experiences

Allison currently works at The Coca-Cola Company headquarters in Atlanta, GA where she is part of the Strategic Marketing department responsible for Brand and Consumer Connections Investment and Planning.

Previous to Coca-Cola, she was a Director, Senior Partner of Digital Investment at Mindshare Worldwide. In this position, she oversaw a team responsible for all digital planning and buying for the Atlanta office.

Prior to Mindshare Atlanta, Allison spent 5 years working in Media departments at full-service advertising agencies in New York City. Her experience includes work across luxury goods, travel, consumer packaged goods, and finance/banking sectors.  Past accounts that Allison managed include Equinox Fitness Centers, Moroccanoil®, GORE-TEX®, Chiquita Bananas, Barbara’s Bakery, Rosewood Hotels, Trump Hotel Collection, Taj Hotels, Verdura jewelry and National City Bank. Through these efforts, she developed specialties in digital media strategy, planning, and campaign execution.

In addition to her professional experience, Allison dedicates personal time to charity/non-profit causes, such as the Alzheimer’s Association of New York and the Junior League of North Gwinnett and Fulton Counties in Georgia.  Allison is married, has two children (2 year old Ronnie and 6 month old Piper), two fur-babies (Riley, the chihuahua and Stella, the Aussie). She graduated from UF in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising and outside concentration in Psychology.

Larry Meador

Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Evok Advertising | Orlando, FL

Connect with Larry:

Ask Me About

  • Corporate Culture
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Social/Digital Media

Larry, a 1995 graduate of the University of Florida, former Board of Directors for Gator Booster and Bull Gator, has been making great strides in the advertising industry for over three decades. His agency, Evok Advertising, which he founded in 2002, focuses on Financial Services, Healthcare, Travel & Tourism, QSR/Fast Casual and Behavioral Change advertising. Larry’s success as a leader and expert knowledge of integrated planning and digital marketing has propelled him to being named Marketer of the Year by the American Marketing Association. His achievements serve as an inspiration to many, showing that integrating traditional practices with modern digital approaches can truly be a recipe for success. His agency has been awarded multiple ADDY Awards from the American Advertising Federation for brands such as Hilton Hotels, Pizza Hut, Sockwell Socks, Florida Credit Union and Pita Pit.

Tania Paul, ADV 2011

Tania Paul

VP for Digital Strategy & Activation, Horizon Media | Los Angeles

Connect with Tania:

Ask Me About

  • Digital Media Planning
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Networking

Tania’s career started at Digitas as an Assistant Media Planner in Connecticut and New York city working on accounts like Delta Airlines and Mead Johnson. She then made the move to Los Angeles to accept a Supervisor role on an integrated media team. Tania now works as a VP for Digital Strategy & Activation at Horizon Media. She has a plethora of experience in several different verticals including Entertainment, Auto, CPG and Retail. She loves testing emerging media platforms, multicultural marketing and custom content creation. Tania has not only striven to push boundaries for her clients but has also made it a point to play an active role within company cultures, fostering an open, positive and fun place to work. As she moves through her career mentorship and diversity remain top priorities as Tania continues to look for opportunities to share her experiences and help the next generation of digital media mavens get to where she is today.

Patricia Rodriguez

Patricia RodriguezSenior Director, Direct Digital Marketing, Universal Destinations and Experiences | Orlando, FL

Connect With Patricia:

Ask Me About

  • Marketing
  • Client-side experience
  • Omni-channel communication strategies

Patricia currently works at Universal Destinations and Experiences in Orlando, FL where is she is part of the Digital & Technology department responsible for Direct Digital Marketing, driving data-driven communications across direct / owned channels.

Previously, Patricia was Senior Manager of Strategic Planning & Integration for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.  In this position, she led the planning, development and execution of audience-centric campaigns across paid and owned channels supporting Walt Disney World.

In addition to serving in various marketing roles at Disney, Patricia held leadership roles at Merkle, providing consulting services to Travel, Media & Entertainment clients and at Express, leading their CRM efforts.

Patricia graduated with a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Central Florida and MBA from the University of Florida.  On her free time, Patricia enjoys spending time with her Pomeranian, Ossy, exploring new places and working out.

Barb Scherer

Barb SchererPresident, Scherer Marketing LLC | Orlando, FL

Connect with Barb:

Barb Scherer has more than 25 years of marketing, advertising and public relations experience including work for major brands and organizations such as Diet Coke, Florida Lottery, Sprint LTD, and Disney’s Wide World of Sports before turning her interests to brand strategy, consumer insight research and account planning. Her last agency tenure was serving as President of the Florida office of national ad agency Engauge, Inc., from 2007-2012. In 2012, Barb moved into corporate marketing for Fortune 500 Fifth Third Bank, leading marketing efforts across Florida. Scherer Marketing, LLC is a business consulting firm providing services for marketing planning, research, strategy, advertising, public relations, media, events, social media, business development assessment and ad/PR agency reviews.

Dawne Widener-Burrows, PR 1976

President, Widener Research, LLC | Baltimore, MD

Connect with Dawne:

Ask Me About

  • Account Planning
  • Strategic Planning
  • Research

Dawne is founder and  president of Widener Research, LLC, a firm that specializes in conducting qualitative research. In 1987, she founded and was president of Widener Burrows & Associates, Inc., a full-service market research firm which she sold in 1998.

She is an accomplished market researcher, focus group facilitator and strategic planner. In her 30-year career, she has conducted both qualitative and quantitative research for many leading U.S. and international companies, as well as for many non-profit organizations and associations.

Dawne is a specialist in advertising and marketing research, which includes branding/positioning research, new product development, ad testing, website content development and usability, and customer/member satisfaction research.  Some of her most fun and visible research work was for “got milk?”, and National Public Radio (fundraising research). Other major clients included Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Regions Bank, Maryland Public Television, Johns Hopkins Medical Centers and MedStar Health.

Prior to starting her own firm in 1987, she was a partner at a national health care market research firm, and before that, VP, Research Director at DDB Needham, an international advertising agency. She also worked at two regional ad agencies in the

Dawne lives in Annapolis, MD with her husband Larry. She enjoys spending time with family, international travel, music, boating and kayaking.

She is the current Chair of the UF CJC Advertising Advisory Council.  Reach out to her at:

Lauren Wilkinson

Lauren WilkinsonDirector of Digital Marketing and Customer Relationship Marketing, Darden Restaurants | Orlando, FL

Lauren Wilkinson is a marketing professional in Orlando, with a tenured Fortune 500 background, specializing in Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) and Digital Marketing. She holds an MBA from the University of Florida and a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management & Marketing from the University of Central Florida.

Currently, at Darden Restaurants Inc., Lauren serves as the Director of Digital Marketing and Customer Relationship Marketing, where she brings ten iconic brands to life in the digital realm. Prior to joining Darden, she played a significant role at The Walt Disney Company, implementing revenue-driving, personalized marketing strategies.

Lauren is actively engaged in her community, serving on the Advertising Advisory Board at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and the MBA Ambassador at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business. She also volunteers with One Heart for Women and Children.

David W. Wilson, MSJ 1962

David Wilson

Vice Chairman, HallmarkTassone (ret.) | Orlando, FL

Connect with David:

David Wilson’s 50-year-plus advertising career has encompassed account supervision, strategic planning, public relations and copywriting for clients in industries ranging from industrial products to tourism development. His specialties include residential communities, hospitality, sports and entertainment, and political marketing. He managed successful, long-term campaigns for six EPCOT Center participants including General Electric, Met Life, and Kodak; for luxury developments such as John’s Island, Longboat Key Club, Lake Nona, Bay Hill and Isleworth; and for Olympic and World Cup Soccer, the Citrus Bowl and the Kansas City Royals Spring Training. His career started when he joined Fred Frailey in Orlando in the mid-1960s to form Frailey & Wilson Advertising which became part of Hallmark-Tassone in 1997, then Ten United in 2000, now part of Engauge. After selling the agency, he built, successfully operated and sold several Moe’s Southwest Grills in Volusia County.

Andy Windham, ADV 1994, MAMC 1996

Andy WindhamPresident, Chief Strategy Officer, Crawford Strategy | Greenville, SC

Connect with Andy:

Ask Me About

  • Innovation for small clients
  • Marketing Strategy and Research
  • Diverse Experience with Crisis Communications

Andy began his career in the marketing department of Walt Disney Attractions in Orlando, FL where he built a strong foundation focused on delivering magical inspiration. He then spent 5 years at Charlotte, NC agency Price/McNabb where his clients included the Asheville, NC area Tourism Development Authority, Biltmore Estate, the Jack Daniel Distillery, Husqvarna Forest and Garden, and Duke Energy.

Andy next spent 15 years in leadership positions with Memphis, TN agency Walker + Associates. He led strategic planning efforts for a wide range of clients, including McDonald’s, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Lucite International, SunTrust bank and it’s Walmart Money Centers, and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Andy joined Crawford Strategy in 2013. As president and chief strategy officer, he helps drive the agency’s vision and he directly leads the strategic planning, creative and media departments. He has worked closely with a diverse group of clients including Michelin, United Community Bank, the University of South Carolina Upstate, North Myrtle Beach CVB, and American Zinc Products,

Andy holds a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and a master’s degree in Mass Communications Management, both from UF. He was was named the Memphis Advertising Federation’s 2007 “Mentor of the Year” and was part of the Memphis Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” class of 2009.

Amy Winter

Amy WinterAccount Director, Dalton Agency | Jacksonville, FL

Ask Me About

  • Agency or client-side experience
  • Big agency or small agency experience
  • Campaign production

Amy Winter is a UF ADV grad with nearly 20 years of advertising experience living in Jacksonville, FL. She is passionate about the creative process, production, problem-solving, and relationship building. In her career, Amy has worked for small local agencies, large NY-based agencies, as well as client side. (BBDO, Merkley + Partners, Adjective, AT&T)

Amy’s advertising career began as an intern at BBDO Atlanta working on the AT&T account. In 2010 (inspired by her UF ADV summer study abroad trip and her Art History minor) she moved to Florence, Italy for a brief stint to study the culture and learn Italian. Following a return to the states, Amy began working in the advertising department for AT&T Mobility. She was able to lead a number of large-scale productions and campaigns for AT&T, including the award winning “It’s Not Complicated” campaign.

In the fall of 2015, her love of Florida lured her back and she settled with her family in Jacksonville. Since then, she picked up a loyalty to luxury cars and a passion for fueling athletic performance while leading accounts for Mercedes-Benz and Gatorade. She currently works for dalton as Account Director on various accounts including VyStar Credit Union, SCAD, and Porsche.