This year we explore Difficult Conversions. After the year we’ve had, it’s time to dig deep into topics that are uncomfortable, but necessary. Our speakers will explore how identifying as a woman intersects with diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the uncertainty from COVID-19, and economic challenges in the advertising industry.
This year’s panel has gone virtual, so you can safely join us from the comfort of your home. We welcome all genders, industries and professionals at any career level to push yourself to learn, grow and reflect on the current state of our society and communities.
Lili Hall, President/CEO KNOCK, inc
Lili Hall is Founder, CEO and President of KNOCK, Inc., a Minneapolis-based independent creative agency leading strategic brand development and design thinking on a national and international scale. She founded KNOCK in 2001 with a commitment to impeccable client service and a nimble response to new entrepreneurial opportunities.
Lili’s teams design powerful experiences that matter — connecting customers to brands in all categories and disciplines. Additionally, she owns two sister companies: TREAT AND COMPANY, a strategic design studio; and NEIGHBOR, a video and animation company.
Born in Chicago to a Brazilian mother and an Irish-American father, Lili lived as a young girl in Recife, Brazil, before moving to Minneapolis to attend high school. Fluent in English and Portuguese, she graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, and from McGill University with a Master of Management. Lili worked in sales and marketing on both corporate and agency sides before starting her own venture. Along the way, she married an Italian special education teacher and is a proud mother to two daughters. In her nearly 20 years in business, Lili has always supported Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives, investing heavily in talent, partnerships and sponsorships that support Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). An entrepreneur at heart, she lives passionately for connecting people and opportunities, is mentor to countless young adults, and sits on numerous nonprofit boards, including the Global Thinkers Forum, C200, and the Walker Art Center.
Named one of EY’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women, and Most Admired CEO by Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, Lili measures success not only in the culture, growth and profitability of her company, but in the impact it makes on communities — both at home and around the world.
Sarah Edwards, Founder & CEO at Some Great People
Sarah Edwards is the Founder of an experiential marketing agency and social media studio which operates under the name Some Great People and is the Co-Founder of Fashion Week MN. Some Great People creates authentic connections rooted in values and offers a variety of services including marketing, social media, influencer relations, content production and events. Sarah is an event producer, a social content strategist, and a spreader of kindness. Sarah has won the AdFed 32 Under 32 award, many “Best Of” awards from City Pages for her work in fashion and community, and has been featured in countless media outlets and publications, including Star Tribune, Kare 11, WCCO, Fox 9, Artful Living Magazine, Minnesota Monthly Magazine and more.
Natasha Sinagoga, Regional Vice President, Ampersand
Natasha is media veteran with a strong corporate background in public speaking, product development/deployment, leadership, and mentorship. During her career Natasha has worked at Comcast, Clear Channel Media, AOL/Time Warner and founded Mobile Lifestyles, a mobile company that developed software for companies such as: Atkins, WeddingChannel, Hearst Media and Meredith Publications. Currently Natasha is Regional Vice President at Ampersand.
Prior to working at Ampersand, Natasha was responsible for deploying the inaugural data driven TV buying and optimization tool at Comcast Spotlight. This product, Audience Intelligence, utilized privacy compliant aggregated viewership tied to third party data to allow advertisers to efficiently buy and optimize their TV schedules. Natasha led the charge in piloting this product and then deploying it to the top twenty-five Comcast markets.
Natasha has received numerous leadership honors including being an inaugural member of the Comcast Spotlights Women in Leadership program, 2013 Comcast Foundations of Leadership program, 2012 and 2014 IAB Digital certification, Certificate from the Wharton School Executive Development Series, Google AdWords Certification, and has presented on a variety of panels. Natasha is a mother and wife and enjoys doing sports with her family including skiing, hiking, golfing, and traveling. She currently is on a mission to visit every MLB stadium and is proud to have already visited 24 of the 30 MLB stadiums. Since most of her favorite hobbies are on hold due to COVID, she is working on improving her French and Tennis game.
Shayna Walker, Vice President, Diversity and Belonging at Horizon Media
Shayna has been a human resources professional for 14 years, spending the last 9 at Horizon Media. In her current role, she leads the agency’s diversity, equity and inclusion practice and oversees campus and entry-level recruiting for the NY office. In 2017, Shayna founded HorizoNoir, Horizon’s first business resource group (BRG). Since then, 4 other BRGs have been established. Shayna is driven by her passion to effect change, especially when it positively impacts the professional experiences of marginalized communities. She’s been instrumental in deepening relationships with diversity partnerships including the 4A’s Foundation, COOP, T. Howard Foundation and IRTS. Most recently, Shayna was named as one of AdAge’s 2020 Women to Watch as well as an honoree for Cynopsis’ 2020 Top Women in Media. Shayna received her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Binghamton University, and her Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from New York University. Shayna is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and enjoys all things related to food, culture and travel.
Surya Sukumar Rochel, Brand Marketer & Advertising Executive
Surya Sukumar Rochel is an accomplished brand marketing and advertising executive with 15 years of experience spanning corporate, non-profit & agency settings. Her passion is rooted in helping brands embody their identity through high impact storytelling and champion ideas that break into pop culture.
Surya is interested in the arts and enjoys working on social justice causes pertaining to women and children. She has been honored to serve on the board of Women’s Advocates and Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission. She also loves teaching and practicing Yoga regularly.
She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Psychology from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and a Masters in Business Administration from Hamline University, MN.
She lives in Orono, MN with her husband, two children and a dog.
Nicole Parrott-Wilson, Lead Creative Engagement Manager, Multicultural at Target
Nicole Parrott-Wilson is a Chicago native and graduate of Northern Illinois University, where she obtained a bachelors in Organizational and Corporate Communications, a masters in Sports Management, and an MBA. During her career, she has worked in Media Relations and Communications for a collegiate athletic program, Membership Marketing for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, and in account management at Carmichael Lynch (Subaru, Allstate). She currently works as a Lead Creative Engagement Manager at Target, where she focuses on multicultural audiences. She resides in Brooklyn, New York with her partner Brian and their two (very chunky) cats. In her spare time she likes to read, watch/play sports, and defeat anyone foolish enough to challenge her in Mortal Kombat.
Boriana Strzok, 5IVE, Founder & CEO
Boriana Strzok is Founder and CEO of 5IVE – a brand experience and innovation agency that works at the intersection of human-centered design, community activation, social impact and brand purpose. Boriana’s unique expertise from strategic planning and brand development, to business innovation and integrated marketing have led her to transform many cause-driven organizations into purpose-powered brands and omni-channel campaigns into immersive brand experiences and movements. Her passion for changing narratives, holistic business systems, philanthropy and social justice is reflected in all of her work across a diverse list of clients like: Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, Women’s Equality Center, Ecolab, Donate Life, Blue Cross Blue Shields MN, Clean Air task Force, St. Catherine’s University, YWCA Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Foundation, United Way, Carbon Capture Coalition, K’ul Chocolate, United States of Care, Women’s Foundation of MN, Dakota County and St. Paul Public Libraries and many more.
Boriana’s leadership is fueled by her identity and experience as an immigrant woman, entrepreneur, mother, educator, innovator and creative rebel. Through her agency work and personal altruism, she is an active supporter of social justice causes that address gender and human rights issues, discrimination against people with disabilities, climate change, immigration, American Indian sovereignty and the arts.
Originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, she spent her childhood performing globally with one of Bulgaria’s prestigious children’s choirs and ten seasons on the stage of Sofia’s Opera & Ballet House. Minneapolis has been her home for the last 25 years. She holds a degree in Advertising Design from Minneapolis College of Art & Design where she has also taught classes as an Adjunct Faculty in the Advertising, Entrepreneurial Studies and Graphic Design programs. She is the recipient of industry awards and recognitions from the One Show, AdFed, How & Print Magazines, GDUSA, AIGA and has been featured as a keynote speaker.