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
Executive Director, Wavemaker | New York, NY
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
Founder, Avivi Marketing consulting group and Growth Consultant, Jim Stengel Company
Ask Me About
- Brand Strategy
- 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. I love developing talent and inspiring others to the possibility of revolutionary brand building.
D. Benny Bennafield
Managing Partner, Propellant Media | Atlanta, GA
Ask Me About
- Digital Marketing
- Brand Development
A seasoned executive with 20+ years of advertising, marketing and executive management experience, Benny Bennafield has worked with Fortune 200 brands in numerous categories including CPG, automotive, financial services, athletic clothing and footwear, global sporting and technology events, telecom and senior living. He has proven experience in building, maintaining and growing profitable long-term client relationships.
Ryan Bentivegna, ADV 2009
Account Director, FCB Chicago | Chicago, IL
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.
Rob Cherof, ADV 1982
Co-Founder and President, RocketCamp | Decatur, GA
Ask Me About
- Account Management
- Big Agency or Small Agency Experience
- Account Strategy/Planning
After 30 years working with some of the best agencies, the best clients, and best people in the business, he decided to open RocketCamp, an ad agency focused on brand building and great creative. He served as former EVP and chief marketing officer of BBDO in Atlanta, where he ran an extensive range of accounts including one of the largest (AT&T), one of the most passionate (The Marines), one of the most grounded (REI), and one of the most complex (Dell). Before founding RocketCamp, he sat on the executive board as CMO at BBDO and was instrumental integrating the local Omnicom companies. In addition to his professional career, Cherof always remained consistently engaged within the local ad community in Atlanta and a range of non-profits.
Keith Cutler, ADV 1982
Principal, KC Marketing Group LLC, and Executive Recruiter, MiCa Sports | New York, NY
Keith Cutler is Marketing Director and founding team member of Park & Diamond, Inc., a reimagined comfortable, attractive, ultra-portable and safe bicycle helmet. Keith’s extensive sports marketing, media and business development experience has accelerated Park & Diamond’s one-of-a-kind business partnerships with global corporate partners.
In addition to Park & Diamond, Cutler runs KCMG Consulting LLC, working closely with sports and entertainment media properties, and startup entrepreneurs on team growth, business development and executive coaching. Other career highlights, include: CBS Television Stations Digital Media, Sr. VP Business Development; Turner Broadcasting (Time Warner), Executive VP, Sports Sales & Marketing; USA Today Baseball Weekly (Gannett), Publisher/co-founder; USA Today (Gannett), Sports Marketing Director.
Keith Cutler serves on the NJ Make-A-Wish, President’s Advisory Board, and the University of Florida, College of Journalism/Communications’ Advertising Advisory Council. Cutler graduated from the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) with a B.S. in Advertising, and currently works/lives in NY/NJ.
Julie D’Alonzo, ADV 2005
VP, Director, Starcom | New York, NY
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
The Coca-Cola Company | Atlanta, GA
Ask Me About
- 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 TCCC, 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.
Carolina Iglesias, ADV 2010
Product Designer, Instagram | San Francisco, CA
Carolina is a Product Designer at Facebook working on New Product Experiences, designing new consumer apps focused on giving people entirely new experiences for building community. She also worked at Instagram focusing on Well-being and Teens, and previously worked at R/GA creating digital experiences for clients including Nike+, Fossil and others.
She graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Advertising in 2010. Originally from Cali, Colombia, she moved to Miami, then New York and now resides in San Francisco.
Carolina enjoys giving back by mentoring and sharing her experiences. In her spare time, she likes to travel, and has recently taken on ceramics.
Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Evok Advertising | Orlando, FL
Ask Me About
- Corporate Culture
- Social/Digital Media
A 1995 Graduate of the University of Florida, and Bull Gator, Larry is approaching 25 years of contributions to the advertising industry, serving on both the client and agency sides. A recognized and awarded leader in integrated planning, digital marketing and social media, Larry has been named Marketer of the Year by the American Marketing Association. His agency, Evok Advertising, which he founded in 2002, specializes in Consumer Packaged Goods, Healthcare, Travel & Tourism, QSR/Fast Casual and Credit Union advertising and marketing. Their work has been recognized by the American Advertising Federation with multiple ADDY Awards for brands including Hilton Hotels, Pizza Hut, Sockwell Socks, and Pita Pit among others.
Partner, t b s | Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Area
A multicultural disruptor building client-side and EFFIE winning WPP agency teams (e.g. Unilever, General Mills, The Coca-Cola Company, Nestle and Colgate). A ’92 graduate of UF, Tim started his career successfully convincing dentists to purchase the most expensive manual toothbrush at the time and then dispense them for free to their patients. Spent the next sixteen years developing the brand management and sales expertise and rigor necessary to successfully grow revenue, profitability and share across multiple P&G assignments in the US and Latin America. His subsequent leap to the agency side demonstrated that the skills learned and leadership developed at P&G were transferable to building new advertising agency teams and revenue at WPP (Y&R and Geometry/Ogilvy).
Tania Paul, ADV 2011
Media Director for Digital Strategy & Activation, Horizon Media | Los Angeles
Ask Me About
- Digital Media Planning
- Diversity and Inclusion
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 an Associate Media Director 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.
President, Scherer Marketing LLC | Orlando, FL
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.
Andrew Warden, ADV 1975
Owner, Warden Promotional and Embroidery Company | Orlando, FL
Andrew Warden began his own company over 20 years ago that combines full-service advertising specialties with a wide range of promotional items. The Warden Company offers cost-effective ways to market and promote businesses with custom promotional items that speak to customers and clients.
Adam Weiss, ADV 2016
Client Account Manager, Twitter | New York, NY
Ask Me About
- Advertising Sales
- Client engagement and relationships
After being born and raised in New York (and where he currently resides now), Adam decided to attend the University of Florida to enjoy some warm weather and SEC football. Since graduating from UF in 2016 with an Advertising degree, he’s been working in the advertising/digital media field his entire career where he’s developed many key traits such as curiosity, critical thinking, empathy, problem-finder/solver, leadership, creativity, deliberate learning, coachability and business acumen. Adam’s first job after graduating was on the agency side working at Omnicom on the Time Warner Cable (now Spectrum) and AT&T accounts. After learning the ins and outs of the digital media world, he used his digital media planning expertise, agency/client experience and most importantly his connections to move over to the sales side. For a little over a year and a half, Adam was an Account Manager at Pandora working across the auto and financial services verticals helping brands with their digital audio advertising strategies. Although he learned a lot and enjoyed his time at Pandora, Adam was looking to join a company he felt extremely passionate about. As an avid Twitter user since 2011 (follow him @adamweiss14), Adam knew Twitter was the only place he wanted to continue to learn and grow. He’s currently working on the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brand partnerships team as a Client Account Manager focusing on accounts such as Hershey, Mondelez and most recently, Mars. Adam’s responsibilities include helping his clients every day to #launch something new or #connect with what’s happening. By identifying and anticipating his clients’ needs and problems, Adam is able to provide customized solutions and unparalleled value so they can deliver on their goals and reach their desired future state. Adam prides himself on maximizing his value as a resource and putting his clients’ needs first so he’s perceived as a consultant and industry thought leader.
Dawne Widener-Burrows, PR 1976
President, Widener Research, LLC | Baltimore, MD
Ask Me About
- Account Planning
- Strategic Planning
Dawne has over 25+ years experience as a qualitative market research consultant. She specializes in conducting focus groups for clients in a variety of industries including health care, financial services, and communication research on both the web and traditional channels.
David W. Wilson, MSJ 1962
Vice Chairman, HallmarkTassone (ret.) | Orlando, FL
David Wilson’s fifty-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
President, Chief Strategy Officer, Crawford Strategy | Greenville, SC
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.
Friends of the Council
Aly Perez Lopez, ADV 2013
Design Director, Havas Media | Miami, FL
I graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications with a degree in Advertising and a specialization in Art and Art History in 2013. During my time at UF, I was able to be a part of AdSociety, AdWerks, Fox Sports CreativeU and I served on the university’s Spirit Squad as Alberta Gator.
A couple weeks after graduation I showed up at the Crispin Porter + Bogusky offices in Miami and begged for an interview and portfolio review. I spent that summer working as a design intern there. That fall I won the Big Ad Gig and landed a job as an art director at Ogilvy in NYC. But after a brief stint up north, the snowstorms and staircases pushed me back to Miami where I joined the Markham & Stein team as an art director. I eventually became a Creative Director at M&S where I helped develop integrated campaigns for 20+ local, national, and at times, global clients.
I’m currently the Design Director at Havas in Miami where we servicing clients in the health, wellness and lifestyle categories, and specialize in the convergence of social, experiential and brand activation marketing.
Carolina Portela, ADV 2009
Partner, Integrated Investment at UM Worldwide | New York, NY