The Face of Talent, August 5-9, 2019

Since it was founded by the 4A’s in 1973, the Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (maip) has been a launching pad for promising students with diverse backgrounds as they start their advertising and marketing careers.

The 4A’s foundation’s annual week-long Face of Talent (FoT) program marks the completion of the maip fellows’ immersive internships.

Over the decades, the 4A’s foundation’s annual maip class has grown from 20 students in its first year to 235 today: the largest class ever, representing agencies in markets across the country—from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine.

The 2019 fellows represent a range of disciplines including strategy, art direction, copywriting, project management, account management, media buying and planning, social strategy, user experience, public relations, integrated production, and more.

The 2019 Face of Talent program included the Diversity Career Fair + maip Greenhouse; the Society of Excellence Awards, recognizing alumni achievements; the Face of Talent Luncheon, celebrating maip fellows of 2019; The Leadership Development Forum; Agency Immersion Day; and the #maipcares day of public service, working this year with Cityarts to restore a peace wall in Upper Manhattan.

The class of 2019 joins a network of thousands of professionals representing a more inclusive, more equitable future for an industry that seeks to reflect the society it represents and influences.

This year’s Face of Talent marked an emotional milestone, as the 4A’s foundation celebrated the life of Sheldon J. Levy, a member of the maip class of 1973 and a dedicated participant and supporter through the rest of his life.

In 2018, Levy pinned the 213 maip fellows in an inspirational ceremony. This year, Levy was remembered from the stage by his colleagues, friends, and family.

“There was a man—there was no myth,” said Marc Strachan, chairman of ADCOLOR. “He was just a legend. I don’t know if we’ll see another one in our lifetime to fill the shoes of Sheldon J. Levy.”


Several maipers spoke with us during face of talent about their internships, careers, diversity, and advertising.

Advertising is about shaping people’s minds. And we’re in a crucial moment to change people’s lives and perceptions and connect on a human level.

You often hear it’s hard to find diverse talent. I disagree. There’s plenty of diverse talent—if you want to see it.

I’m from Nebraska. This is the first time I’ve been in a group of people who look like me.
 

Diversity Career Fair + maip Greenhouse

 
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It’s a career fair like no other.

For the class of maip fellows, the Diversity Career Fair + maip Greenhouse was a rare opportunity to meet with their dream agencies, present their creative portfolios, fine-tune their interviewing skills, and connect with their new community of supportive peers.

For the more than 70 agencies that participated this year, at Convene in Manhattan’s Financial District, it was a chance to strengthen their commitment to building a more equitable future from the ground up.

And these agencies may need to act fast: 96% of the 2018 maip fellows were hired within four months.

 

 
Every maiper I’ve met is working hard. They have their resumes ready. They’re hungry.

I love hearing the success from other maipers. I’m excited to meet other maip fellows and hear about their experiences—and to meet with agencies I never thought I’d meet.

Strategy is such a competitive discipline. I don’t think I could have been hired without a maip internship.
 

Society of Excellence Awards

 
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Live Nation’s lounge in Manhattan gave a festive ambience to this year’s Society of Excellence Awards, recognizing the achievements of maip alumni.

The evening’s themes: perseverance and representation.

“When I did maip in 2004, I met one of the only black copywriters I’d met in my entire life. You understand how important that is,” said Neisha Tweed, Vertical Lead in the Creative Shop at Facebook, as she recognized this year’s maipers to watch for driving change in the industry.

“As alumni, your being role models for your peers and showing up for the maipers—that means so much,” Tweed said. “You being present and part of the society of excellence—that’s life-changing.”

 

maipers to watch 2019 

 
I’m the first in my family to graduate from college. My cousins look up to me. Now I can go home to them and say, ‘You should definitely go to college.’ If it weren’t for maip, I wouldn’t be here.

I’d really only ever experienced Houston. So being in Chicago was such a great way to broaden my horizons and get a better idea of what it’s like to live in other places. I loved my agency, I loved my team, I loved my maip family away from home.
 

Face of Talent Luncheon

 
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Marla Kaplowitz
As you embark on your careers, you together represent a range of backgrounds and experiences that herald a more diverse, equitable, inclusive future for our industry.
— Marla Kaplowitz, President & CEO, 4A’s

The ninth annual Face of Talent Luncheon assembled 680 maip fellows, maip alumni, agency leaders and supporters, and educators to herald the next generation of advertising and marketing and celebrate both its diversity and its drive.

A day of awards for maip fellows and industry leaders kicked off with CNN’s national reporter Miguel Marquez, speaking to 4A’s Simon Fenwick about his own professional experiences as a Latino and LGBTQ public figure and covering some of the era’s most challenging news events. Following the discussion, the 4A’s foundation presented Orville Dale with the Pantheon Award and Renetta McCann with the Gladiator Award, and named Anomaly the Agency of the Year.

The program included a tribute to Sheldon J. Levy, a maip supporter and leader since 1973, when he was a member of its first class. “The only way we continue to grow numbers in this industry is to persist,” Levy’s son, Sheldon Levy Jr., said. “You have to stay and make your voices heard.”

Face of Talent’s annual pinning ceremony, conducted by 4A’s Jacquelyn Green and Alecia Page, celebrated the 235 guests of honor in the maip class of 2019.

It’s so important to realize you can just be yourself and do anything you set your mind to, regardless of where you come from. You just have to figure out what your strengths are. Life is a confidence game.
— Miguel Marquez, national correspondent, CNN
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Jeannine Carter
Even if you don’t have ‘diversity’ in your title, given everything that’s going on right now, this is all-hands-on-deck work.
— Jeannine Carter, Head of Diversity Engagement, Facebook

It’s absolutely critical when you come into our industry that you seek and build relationships with people who are in the spheres of influence within your institutions.…If you can bond with an experienced person, that can have an enormous impact on your career.
— Orville Dale, recipient, The Pantheon Award
Orville Dale

In ancient times, gladiators fought for the amusement of the audience and the politicians. On this day, though, I join a long line of gladiators who open the door for future success of people, some of whom they know, and some they have not yet met.
— Renetta McCann, Chief Inclusion Experience Officer, Publicis Groupe
Renetta McCann

Marc Strachan, Chairman, ADCOLOR
I’m extremely proud that we can stand here today in a room of six hundred, because there were times when we were in a room where we were the one and only.
— Marc Strachan, Chairman, ADCOLOR

Simon Fenwick
Thanks to all of you—our sponsors, partners, and advocates—for showing up every day; for sharing your knowledge, creativity, and craft; for being champions for change and allies to our community. Without you, these opportunities would never be possible, and our industry would never change.
— Simon Fenwick, EVP Talent, Equity & Inclusion, 4A’s