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.


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.


Let’s give a big round of applause to our newest Board Member of the Month, Kevin Cooper! In his second year on the board, Kevin’s enthusiasm and passion for the club has never wavered. He currently serves as a Marcomm Committee member, helping create great copy for social media. We are glad to have great members like him, thank you Kevin!

Learn more about Kevin Cooper………

Kevin Cooper is an Associate Media Planner for Mindstream Media Group working on clients such as Texas Health Resources, Bank of Oklahoma, and Pollo Loco. Kevin specializes in planning and paid social but prefers the planning aspects of advertising. Before his role at Mindstream, Kevin was an Assistant Paid Social Analyst at Resolution Media where he assisted in the development of paid social strategy and targeting for PNC Bank.

In his free time, Kevin is either swimming laps, gaming, experimenting with new recipes or trying various new hobbies.


Let’s give a standing ovation to our newest Board Member of the Month, Kira Stearns! She’s been involved with the Public Service team for two years and her enthusiasm for helping local non-profits has been admirable. Kira is a great team player, always willing to help in any way she can and looking for ways to elevate the campaign. We are glad to have great members like her, thank you Kira!

Learn more about Kira Stearns……

Kira Stearns is a Marketing Strategist at Moroch, where she helps clients such as Kia, Samsung, Six Flags, and Alamo DraftHouse with their cross-channel marketing strategy needs. She specializes in social media strategy and translates hard data to insights and recommendations for her clients, but she doesn’t have an Instagram account. Prior to her time at Moroch, Kira managed campaigns and strategy for Fortune 500 brands like Procter and Gamble, AT&T, and Nissan. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new countries, hiking, book club, and baking.


Congratulations to our newest Board Member of the Month, Raul E. Machuca Jr! During his first year as Public Service Co-Chair, his dedication for helping local non-profits shines through as he has been motivating and leading the team to produce a great campaign. We appreciate his dedication to Ad 2 and passion for helping others. Thank you, Raul!

Learn more about Raul E. Machuca Jr.……

Raul E. Machuca Jr. is Director of Digital Media at Texans Can Academies, a nonprofit organization located in five major Texas cities and serving over 5,000 underprivileged youth. He has managed branding and overseen creative direction since 2015. Through the Texans Can – Cars for Kids car donation and auction campaign, Raul helped drive brand following for the fundraising arm to over 63,000 users. Raul enjoys volunteering at Cedar Hill Church, attending concerts, and traveling with his wife and two children.


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.


We’re so excited to relaunch the Social Spotlight! Our first participant is Stephanie Murdoch, a Senior Producer at The Marketing Arm.

Learn more about Stephanie and her journey to the advertising industry below.

Tell us about yourself.

I was born in New Orleans (Go Saints!) but moved to Houston with my family when I was seven. Following high school, I moved to Lubbock and attended Texas Tech. I majored in Public Relations and volunteered with the Student Programming Board, which I loved. After college, I traveled to London and Paris with a friend then moved to Abu Dhabi with her family for 3 months. I returned home to Houston and started my career in the industry, working at Temerlin McClain (TM), BBDO and now The Marketing Arm.

What drew you into the advertising industry?

Truthfully, I fell into it. I thought I would work at a PR firm and do special event planning or something similar since I loved doing that in college. I landed a job at McCann-Erickson answering the phones and quickly became friends with the Creative Coordinator and Producer. After a few years and different positions – traffic, talent, business management – I got promoted to Producer.

 What was your first job in the advertising industry?

My first job in the industry was as a receptionist at McCann Erickson, now known as McCann. Working at this agency was a great learning experience and I’m grateful for it each and every day.

 How would you describe your role at The Marketing Arm?

My role at The Marketing Arm is Senior Producer. I produce content for broadcast, online, social and award shows. I help the creative, strategy and media teams by finding production partners- animators, editors, graphic artists, directors, etc. – and production crews to produce great spots.

 What skills are most important when working as a Senior Producer?

To be a Senior Producer you need to have good listening skills, be detail-oriented, and be a team player. Additionally, you have to think outside of the box. At the creative brief meeting, you must carefully listen to the project details and deliverables. After the meeting, it’s great to process all the information and jot a list of questions down. After finalizing all the project details, it’s important to collaborate with the creative, strategy and media teams. When collaborating, be sure to offer any ideas or solutions that could make the project better. All these skills are necessary but it’s also important to be patient and have fun! It’s not brain surgery.


Congratulations are in order for our newest Board Member of the Month, Matthew Calamoneri! He is our Membership Chair and has been doing a great job in his first year on the board. We appreciate his dedication to the club and passion to see the club grow. Thank you, Matthew!

Learn more about Matthew Calamoneri…….

Matthew Calamoneri is a New Jersey native who attended the University of Scranton (Go Royals!) and moved to Texas to pursue his Master’s degree at Texas Tech (Wreck ‘Em). After receiving his Master’s degree, he moved to Dallas to start his advertising career. He currently works at Moroch as a Paid Social Specialist, he oversees the strategy and daily execution of Planet Fitness for 50 different markets. Matthew has also worked on Luby’s, Fuddruckers, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Texas A&M’s Masters Programs, Massage Envy, Urban Air, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center and Make- A- Wish North Texas.

Prior to Moroch, he got his start in advertising at Hearts & Science working on the agency’s inaugural Paid Social Team specializing in AT&T’s Broadband/ Fiber and Local. In his free time, he enjoys attending sports & live music events with his friends.


Cheers to our Public Service Chair, Kendall Mason for being the latest Board Member of the Month! In her first year, Kendall has exhibited great qualities that merit recognition. She has led the Public Service team with passion and positivity. We are glad to have great member like her!

Learn more about Kendall Mason…

Kendall Mason is the Vice-President of Marketing at New Benefits, where she oversees creative direction and marketing strategy. She gets a kick out of using cross-channel, data-driven marketing strategies to drive revenue growth through inbound marketing, lead nurturing, and converting leads to sales. A CRM and marketing automation junkie, Kendall is a pro at implementing and optimizing technologies to drive more efficient business growth.

Prior to New Benefits, she worked in music marketing at Music Audience Exchange, where she negotiated contracts, developed content, and launched marketing campaigns for several of the most recognizable consumer brands including Coors Light, Ford, McDonald’s and Jack Daniel’s.


You’re interacting with brands on a daily basis. Businesses both big and small are vying for your attention by any means necessary as they attempt to humanize their products and services. Whether you already work in advertising, marketing, and communications, or are aspiring to make your big break, you already understand the power of branding. However, what are you doing on a personal level to build up your own brand online? How are you making yourself stand out from the crowd?

Ad 2 Dallas is all about helping young advertising professionals grow their skill sets and expand their networks. While happy hours, workshops, and networking events are great for meeting people face-to-face, you’ll want to make a digital impression as well.

Here are some helpful tips to effectively build your own personal brand online.

Stay active and up-to-date on professional networking sites.

You’re probably somewhat active on at least a few different social media networks of choice. Whether you actively post and snap, or just browse the stories and content, you’re checking in multiple times a week. Don’t forget to check on professional sites or apps and keep your profiles up to date. If you get a new job, start volunteering, or just earn a new certification, you should showcase your advancements. Let your connections know what you’re doing to better yourself professionally.

LinkedIn is the biggest player in professional social media, but there are several other options to choose from. Take advantage of multiple sites and get your name out there. Just make sure to keep your information updated and consistent. Also, don’t forget to watch out for connection requests. You don’t want to appear obviously inactive by keeping your potential connections waiting. Having an up to date profile and responding to connection requests are basic steps you can take actively manage your professional presence.

Establish yourself as a thought leader.

Sharing interesting and relevant articles online is a great way to show you’re active in the industry and paying attention to trends. However, endorsing content written by others ultimately increases visibility for their message, and you’re just passing it along. Think about what topics interest you the most and consider how your opinions may offer new perspectives to your online network.

Just like more casual social media, professional networks like LinkedIn offer you a chance to publish content for your connections. You should start stirring up conversations about the industry and workplace. Do your research so you can’t be discredited, and put your own spin on the subject matter.

Write in a voice that’s consistent with your goals and personality.

Other than being casual with our friends on social media, we rarely write in the same manner in which we speak. There will be some overlap on a person-by-person basis, but for the most part we tend to compartmentalize these different communication styles. This is where it wouldn’t hurt to break down some barriers and put your own personality into your writing.

Think about where you are and where you want to end up. What areas of the industry grab your attention? Who will be most influential in helping you along the way? How do you effectively communicate with these people in a professional manner while also having your own personal touch? It’s important to balance not sounding too robotic or generic, while also not coming across overly relaxed or unprofessional.

If you haven’t thought about what your personal brand represents, take some time to evaluate how your goals and aspirations can translate to your online presence. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there by posting content in a voice that’s genuine and real.

Source: PersonalBrandingOnline