AAF DALLAS & AD 2 DALLAS SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT: KYRA MARYLAND

Tell us about yourself.

I am a beauty/skincare addict and social media enthusiast. I’m passionate about cultivating spaces that uplift and connect people across different backgrounds. In my free time, I build social strategies for the Denton Black Film Festival and run their social media. When I’m not constructing marketing strategies, I enjoy writing about my favorite products on my blog, perfecting my skincare routine, and reading poetry, non-fiction or any article that will teach me something new.

Why did you join Ad 2 Dallas?

I joined Ad 2 Dallas to meet new people in advertising after moving back from college. It’s been perfect because you get a mix of professional growth as well as a network of people with varying expertises, levels of experience and cool ideas.

What has been your favorite project to work on? 

Co-hosting the No Filter: Unfolding Bias event was super exciting because I got to see an idea come to life over the course of several months. It was also nice seeing people come together to have real genuine conversations about topics we don’t often get to talk about in the regular workplace.

List three or more things you’ve learned as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair?   

I learned that adaptability is key and that teamwork really does make the dream work. I also grew confidence in my leadership abilities.

How would you like to see the advertising industry become more diverse? 

I would love to see a wider variety of demographics and perspectives represented in leadership positions as well as in the work done by brands. I’d also love to see advertising agencies focus more on diversifying their recruiting efforts by finding new ways to seek out candidates.

What does it mean for the advertising industry to be committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? What changes need to happen to get there?

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion looks like REPRESENTATION! If your internal teams don’t mirror the market you’re serving, it becomes easier to lose a pulse on reality and you lose out on creating great and relevant work.

AAF DALLAS & AD 2 DALLAS SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT: CASSANDRA VILLAREAL

Tell us about yourself.

 I’m Cassandra Villarreal – a hardworking, passionate, goal-driven Latina who strives to influence the voices of minorities and those underrepresented. By the age of 23, I received my undergrad degree in Advertising and Public Relations, and recently obtained my Master of Arts degree in Communications. Getting to meet new people along with being outdoors are some of my favorite things to do!

 

Why did you join Ad 2 Dallas?

 Along with working in the advertising industry, I wanted to become a part of a local non-profit organization that would help me advance in my career and make new connections.

 

What has been your favorite project to work on? 

 Co-hosting the No Filter: Unfolding Workplace Bias event in January 2020 was one of my favorite projects to work on. It was great to see an event I worked hard on turn into a major success!

 List three or more things you’ve learned as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair?   

Three things I’ve learned about being a DE&I Co-Chair:

– How to help involve people who feel misrepresented

– How to make others feel comfortable regardless of who they are

– How to effectively contribute to a successful event to help increase diversity engagement within the community

 How would you like to see the advertising industry become more diverse? 

 I would like to see the advertising industry become more diverse by allowing minorities of all ages, races, and backgrounds to seek opportunities in the industry regardless of the amount of experience under their belt.

 

What does it mean for the advertising industry to be committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? What changes need to happen to get there?

 It means to accept the reality of the ongoing racism, prejudice, and discrimination in and outside of the industry, and configure ways to combat inequality. Necessary changes like including a higher representation of minorities in leadership positions, along with educating others over cultural differences can help us commit to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

AAF DALLAS & AD 2 DALLAS SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT: JAYR SOTELO

Meet Jayr Sotelo, this month’s Social Spotlight guest. Jayr is the Director of Motion Graphics at Click Here Labs, an affiliated agency of The Richards Group. He wants to break the mold of traditional advertising, especially the view of traditional creatives. Learn more about Jayr and his journey in the advertising industry.

 Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in the border community of El Paso/Cd. Juarez, with family on both sides of the border. I learned English by watching syndicated episodes of the Simpsons. It’s one of the cool things about living in a border town, you can get tv channels from the U.S. and Mexico which a lot of people don’t know. One of my favorite things to do is to cook, I learned by helping my mom in the kitchen when I was younger. My love for cooking grew when I moved to college and started cooking my mom’s dishes. Something else about me is that I’ve always loved to draw, ever since I was a little kid. I’m also married and have 2 wonderful kids.

What drew you into the advertising industry?

The way campaigns had a way of changing people’s views on everyday life drew me into the advertising industry and also the fact that I could tell people I drew for a living. The creativity, problem solving, and curiosity involved in the industry was something new and interesting for me as I grew up mainly on the Mexican side of the border and didn’t think drawing was a possible career.

 What was your first job in the advertising industry?

My first job in the advertising industry was working at The Richards Groups’ affiliated agency, Click Here Labs as an animator/ director for motion design. I landed this job through a connection I made while working at Janimation, a production house here in Dallas that specializes in animation for commercials, video games and movies. During my time at Janimation, I morphed from a graphic designer to more of a motion graphic designer and illustrator, with graphic design tendencies.

How would you describe your role at Click Here Labs?

My role at Click Here Labs has changed a lot since I was first hired as an animator. Since joining the agency, I’ve formed/managed and directed an in-house motion graphics team for Click Here Labs. I recruited various creatives from different disciplines to form my team. In addition to leading the motion design team, I also act as co-director of the Content team at The Richards Group. I oversee day to day projects, most of them in the digital realm meaning social and digital video, and yes some days I even get to draw!

What skills are most important when working as a Director of Motion Graphics?

As a Director, it’s important to have leadership skills as you are directing a large group of people. You also need to be good at collaborative work, in this position you will be sharing stories and drawings with other individuals, so you need to be able to work with them. Lastly, I think it’s important to be passionate about the work you do. My passion for storytelling, drawing and teamwork is what keeps me going day in day out. If I didn’t have the passion for telling stories, drawing and collaborating with other passionate individuals, it would make directing a group of 10 people very hard.