Who We Are - What Unifies Us Who We Are - What Unifies Us

Leadership

Victor Lee, President

Victor is a preeminent builder of brand-loyal global audiences; transformer of legacy-based organizations into digital-first companies; driver of category-leading sales programs; developer of agile, analytic mindsets; and reinventor of creative and media-buying processes.

He previously served as chief marketing officer at Kin Insurance and RXBAR, where he led marketing, communications, commercialization, shopper, media, product development and consumer insights. He earlier served as senior vice president, digital marketing at Hasbro and senior vice president, marketing at Digitas.

What do you bring to AUC?

I've split my career working on the agency and the brand side and understand the nuances of what clients worry about daily and what solutions agencies can provide.

What's your secret advantage?

Never settling. Having lived through all the challenges as a brand and marketing executive and trying to keep up with the pace of innovation on the agency side, the one constant is change and progress are inevitable. The key is how you react and embrace it.

People. I love finding the extra “gear” in everyone. We all have that gear, but it's not often used or realized. But when we do find it, buckle up because it's going to be a great ride.

What's a unifying theme from your career?

The highest career batting average of all time is Ty Cobb with .366, so he averaged less than four hits out of ten, and he's rightfully immortalized as one of the greatest. We focus too much on being perfect rather than the at-bats. Take the swing and don't worry about missing. Ty Cobb didn't get a hit six out of ten times

What's your favorite commerce channel?

The next one. Commerce isn't dictated by the people selling things, it's built upon the shoppers and how they want to engage and transact. We used to talk about the thousands of messages consumers are exposed to daily. Today, we have an overwhelming amount of ways to reach people, plus countless ways of transacting with them. The race for attention has turned into a race of conviction and trust. Do I trust this platform or retailer with my business? Am I convinced this brand shares the same beliefs and needs I have?

What advice do you return to time and again?

Own your decisions. Be accountable. Fear is self-inflicted. Time is undefeated. When you get to the top, send the elevator down for everyone else. And don't gloat, act like you've been there before.

Believe it or not

I was an alternate for Amazing Race. I was a DJ for a few years. I am an avid sports card collector.

Allison Welker, EVP Client & Customer Engagement

A co-founder of one of AUC's legacy agencies, Alli specializes in bringing boutique-level hustle and attention to brands across verticals. Embracing the one true industry constant of change, Alli has led the charge in unifying offerings for AUC. Midwest-born, Alli has spent her career on both coasts, building successful relationships at every stop.

What do you bring to AUC?

In a word: Positivity. I thrive as a catalyst for change so I always believe tomorrow will be better than today. That's been my attitude for decades as I've built capabilities and led overachieving teams.

I've overseen organizational management of unified teams across client service, strategic planning, insights, analytics, creative and media. I create optimistic, cohesive environments that drive performance and profit.

My deep commerce, retailer and channel knowledge are my bedrock for building brands' equity and creating impact with their customers, shoppers and consumers.

What's your secret advantage?

I'm talent obsessed. And I am keenly aware that AUC is only as strong as the people we are fortunate enough to employ, foster and collaborate with.

What's a unifying theme from your career?

Accepting challenges, embracing change and inspiring others to follow suit. In 20-plus years at Advantage, no two days have looked the same. By staying immersed in the fluid landscape of commerce marketing, I am a driving force to help AUC pace the industry.

What's your favorite commerce channel?

Walmart+. I don't keep a shopping list anymore, I just put items in my cart and they show up on my doorstep. That's how I shop now, five seconds at a time on my schedule.

What advice do you return to time and again?

Hire people who are better and brighter than you. Surround yourself with talented people who bring new skills and capabilities to your team. Be humble and appreciate how much we all can learn from each other.

What work of art changed your life?

La Sagrada Família, Barcelona.
It gave me a new perspective on what can be possible with time, vision and dedication. I caught my breath in awe around every corner.

Dino de Leon, Executive Creative Director

Dino has been creatively solving marketing problems for decades. With a traditional advertising background, his curiosity and passion for challenging norms led him to leadership roles with digital, promotional and shopper agencies. The consistent theme being to deliver unexpected, strategic and successful ideas for world-class brands.

What do you bring to AUC?

Having vision is only part of the role. Equally important (and more challenging) is communicating it in a way that inspires others to see, understand and contribute to the same vision. Whether working with creatives, colleagues or clients, I inevitably get wrapped up in the passion and possibility of the work. The constant refinement of ideas, and balance of pioneering with performance, make the process rewarding. It helps a lot if it's fun, too.

What's your secret advantage?

I'm curious and I question things. I believe by observing, collaborating and constantly changing your perspective, you can connect dots and, together, create unexpected work that works.

What's a unifying theme from your career?

Finding ways to explore new and diverse areas at every step of my career. Working for agencies focused on design, branding, multicultural, direct, digital, promotional and now commerce has given me a dynamic view of how consumers experience brands.

What's your favorite commerce channel?

Social media is like a real-time, global bazaar, an exciting portal to new products, businesses and artists. But flipping through record crates is pretty hard to beat.

What advice do you return to time and again?

Progress > Perfection

Favorite hometown hang

Catch me cycling around White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas. Literally. I am trying to race you.

Marcella Oglesby, Executive Creative Director

A wanderer by nature, Marcella found a true home at Advantage and began crafting her creative department in 2013. She respects that great design can save a bad idea, and bad design can sink a good one. Marcella has the courage to challenge those around her — counterparts and clients — to be better and dream bigger. She inspires AUC's creative teams and client partners with boundless energy and an eye for what's next.

What do you bring to AUC?

The ability to inspire and constantly be inspired. I'm still amazed by the journey of getting to smart and beautiful work through passion, drive and endless curiosity.

What's your secret advantage?

Being annoyingly optimistic. As a kinetic learner with a sense of adventure, I'm always ready for an exciting opportunity. And I have a knack for inspiring others to do the same.

What's a unifying theme from your career?

Gaining wisdom from experiences. My design approach pulls from every aspect of my life by accessing cultures, revisiting journeys and returning to locations, all of which make up the palette I draw from.

Across client objectives, shifting cultural trends, puzzles to solve and the alchemy of turning ideas into physical form, we're constantly trying to dig deeper. The strength of our solutions comes from living in a constant state of questioning and learning.

What's your favorite commerce channel?

Target runs. I love the surprise and delight element. And its skin care is always on point.

What advice do you return to time and again?

Your faith has got to be greater than your fear. (Thanks, Julian Casablancas!)

What work of art changed your life?

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann.

Priyanka Rattana, VP Business Operations

Priyanka is as book smart as she is worldly and as strategic as she is enthusiastic. She leads the business operations department naturally, implementing efficient practices by drawing upon decades of experience across industries with stints at Choice Hotels, SupportEd and digital consultancies. Once resources are utilized to her standards, she redoubles her efforts to improve processes across the board.

What do you bring to AUC?

Years of managing financial planning, forecasting, analysis and management reporting. I've led finance and business operations in e-comm, hospitality and education. I have improved processes and maximized operational efficiency and profitability across North America, EMEA and APAC regions. Beyond my global experience, I bring a passion for continuous improvement to everything I touch.

What's your secret advantage?

In addition to decades of work experience, an MBA from Darden School of Business taught me to calculatedly and methodically solve problems for the greater good. For every challenge, I lead by example and connect dots. I'm only as successful as the team I inspire to achieve.

What's a unifying theme from your career?

Feeding a strong culture. It motivates people and helps them believe in themselves and stay passionate about their organization. A good leader leads the culture versus managing it. I create a respectful culture that empowers and motivates.

What's your favorite commerce channel?

Amazon.

What advice do you return to time and again?

A firehouse versus firegrounds mentality. When the firegrounds of work get too hot, I spend time at my firehouse, which could be the gym or with family. This helps me handle stress calmly and efficiently.

If you weren't in marketing, what would you do?

Indian classical dancer or a fashion designer.

Fahim Naim, SVP Amazon

Former Amazon category manager turned agency founder, Fahim started eShopportunity, a leading e-commerce and Amazon growth consulting firm. His team of a dozen Amazon specialists is now fully integrated into AUC and supports categories like beauty, health and personal care, and hardlines.

What do you bring to AUC?

I have experience on both sides of the table with Amazon. Inside, I hired, trained and learned from the best. Outside, I launched an e-commerce consultancy that helped brands achieve unprecedented success with Amazon. I am obsessed with Amazon. During my journey, I have learned how critical a strong and functioning team is in achieving ambitious goals and the benefit of hiring people who are smarter than you.

What's your secret advantage?

I put in the time to stay on top of all things Amazon, even in my “free time.” I'm scanning forums, LinkedIn, mastermind groups and more daily to see what people are talking about. This helps me stay ahead of the curve and eliminate our blind spots.

What's a unifying theme from your career?

Get things done. No matter my role — senior financial analyst to category manager to CEO — I roll up my sleeves and focus more on solutions than problems. The only constant is change, so I believe you must have passion and agility to conquer challenges thrown your way.

What's your favorite commerce channel?

Surprise: It's Amazon. I spend most of my day on the platform for work or personal shopping. I am that guy who buys cereal, clothes and toothpaste on Amazon.

What advice do you return to time and again?

“Bias for action.” This is a leadership principle from my time at Amazon that focuses on moving fast but sensibly and continuing to reevaluate along the way.

Favorite hometown hang

Representing at a Miami Heat game.

Stephanie Rogers, SVP Strategic Services

Both a student and teacher of the digital world, Stephanie is constantly learning and sharing knowledge. For 25 years, she has brought her entrepreneurial spirit to every facet of digital marketing from planning through measurement while leading agency relationships, building teams and instituting offerings.

What do you bring to AUC?

An entrepreneurial spirit with keen interest in digital media and cultural trends. I've built and led teams for 25 years, developing and delivering services across strategic planning, media planning and buying, and measurement and analytics.

What's your secret advantage?

I thrive in creating order out of chaos. In today's world, we are inundated with information, options, data points and opportunities and it can be challenging to connect the dots. Especially in the Media & Analytics space in which I live, where technology, tools, and techniques change frequently. I create processes and frameworks that help us harness all that's available in a digestible and actionable way — while maintaining just the right amount of “chaos” to fuel innovation — is my secret advantage.

What's a unifying theme from your career?

Lifelong learning, curiosity and innovation. I began my career in the early days of digital marketing. More than being comfortable with change, I expect it and enjoy continuously learning new frameworks, tools and technology to succeed.

What's your favorite commerce channel?

Sephora does a fantastic job unifying its physical and digital shopping experience. Recently a store associate scanned my face with a device, showed me matching foundations from over 8,000 SKUs and attached them to my profile for future reference.

What advice do you return to time and again?

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

Favorite thing to do when you're not working

Travel. I absolutely love seeing new places and am energized by learning about people, food, art and culture.

Valerie Bernstein, EVP Marketing & Business Development

With 20-plus years of marketing experience, Val solves business issues with creative thinking, strategic acumen and a small dose of dictatorship. She brings forward the best of AUC, tailoring services to client needs by listening, architecting solutions and leading teams through onboarding. She has led smooth agency transitions for clients with complicated organization structures and large brand portfolios that span multiple categories, including beauty, beverage, food, appliances and retailers.

What do you bring to AUC?

A balance of business savvy and creative thinking that I come by honestly from my parents. I cultivated that over the years playing across a variety of categories and industries. It's honed my ability to think about transformative models for clients and new paths to growth — for us and for them. I'm always hungry to think about what's now and what's next.

What's your secret advantage?

An urge to always keep transforming the work to be more differentiated through bigger, more culturally relevant and more dynamic thinking. I always want to break the default and loosen any rigidity that thwarts innovation. I want creative ideas that take your breath away. If a client says, “We need to get Legal to review,” we're on the right track.

What's a unifying theme from your career?

Time and again, I've seen firsthand when you bring together a passionate team of diverse thinkers you can live in the possible.

What's your favorite commerce channel?

I am hooked on all things e-commerce for convenience, especially for the daily needs of my family. But I still relish exploring IRL every aisle of Eataly or a sprawling shoe department.

What advice do you return to time and again?

A wise college professor once told me, “Nothing good for your career happens after 11 p.m.” And, from my dad, “It's okay to color outside the lines.”

Believe it or not

I played competitive badminton in high school.

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