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Pictured here: TOP PHOTO: A Celebratory Group at the Internationalists Dinner including: Carmen D’Ascendis, Brown Forman; Marisa Thalberg, Estee Lauder; Colin Westcott-Pitt, Heineken; Cleve Langton, Brodeur; Kieran Foley, Digicel; Boon Lai, Philips; Bill Duggan, ANA and the wife of Linus Almqvist, Vattenfall. SIDE PHOTOS: 1.) The Internationalist’s Deborah Malone with Coca-Cola’s Gerardo Garcia and Carla Civita; 2.) Barry Garbarino, ANA and John Kennedy, IBM; 3.) Jason Hill, GE and Tricia Gadsden; 4.) Andrew Sollinger, Financial Times and Janice Alfini, Diners Club; 5.) Linus Almqvist, Vattenfall; 6.) Ed Pilkington and Colette Noe—both Diageo; 7.) Vanessa Healey, BBC and Paul Greenberg, NYC & Co.; 8.) Peg Gordon, Ace Group and Geert Boven, Etihad Airways; 9.) Gretchen Parks, JPMorgan; Josephine Yi and Caroline Maddock—both Tiffany & Co.; 9.) Corey Williams and Perry Kamel- both Elateral; 10.) Deborah Malone with John Williams, BBC.

International Marketers Gather in New York to Celebrate Brand Champions & Share a New Global Initiative

It is not an easy time to be a marketer. Arguably, it's an even more daunting time to be an international one.
The increased responsibilities of 21st century marketing leaders are not only exceedingly complex, but carry far greater levels of accountability than ever before.  Marketers are charged with building brands NOW--not over time--in an environment that stresses increased sales TODAY.  Working in "real time" with accelerated decision-making and instant data feedback demands that a smart marketer must execute and evaluate simultaneously... perhaps for the first time in the history of business. 
Add a global overlay of regulations, carbon footprints, CSR, cultures, languages, varying levels of internet penetration, political environments and all manner of differing perspectives... and you've described one of the world's most challenging occupations--played on a very public stage fraught with immediate customer reaction that directly affects a brand's potential for success.  The job requires a miracle worker.
Earlier this week, a number of marketing miracle workers gathered in New York at The Internationalists Dinner to celebrate international brand champions and also learn of a new initiative to shape the future of international marketing.
Hosted by BBC World News, Elateral, Financial Times and Dow Jones, marketing executives from leading brand and service companies throughout the world were present, representing: Ace Group, AIG, American Express, Brodeur, Brown Forman, Coca-Cola, CoreBrand, Diageo, Digicel, Diners Club, Estee Lauder, Etihad Airways, GE, Group M, Heineken, IBM, JPMorgan, NYC & Co., Philips, Thomson Reuters, Tiffany & Co., Vestas Wind Systems, Vattenfall, and Vertic.
The initiative, called THE INTERNATIONALIST 1000 or 1000 Marketers around the World Reshaping the Future of Marketing will begin this autumn in global partnership with ANA (Association of National Advertisers).
THE INTERNATIONALIST 1000 is a group of dedicated industry leaders who are reshaping our understanding of marketing's expanding role throughout the world.  Their extraordinary efforts insure that multinational marketing programs move ahead and make a difference.
Currently there is a no group of marketers with multinational responsibility who are linked throughout the world with an opportunity to meet in various regions during a single year to exchange ideas and learn from each other about shared challenges.
THE INTERNATIONALIST 1000 will be connected online through closed groups and in person through various events.  They'll agree on a number of initiatives and share future-driven thoughts and evolving global best practices.
Founded in 1910, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) leads the marketing community by providing its members with insights, collaboration, and advocacy. ANA's membership includes more than 500 companies with 10,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing and advertising. The ANA strives to communicate marketing best practices, lead industry initiatives, influence industry practices, manage industry affairs, and advance, promote, and protect all advertisers and marketers. For more information, visit
Among those honored at the dinner as 2012 Internationalists of the Year:

  • Gerardo Garcia, Group Director of Global Design at The Coca-Cola Company for "Design Machine," a global web-based application that empowers more than 20,000 Coca-Cola marketers and agencies in 200+ countries in more than 20 languages, to dynamically customize and localize global marketing campaigns and related materials, while preserving brand integrity and myriad compliance requirements. 
  • Jason Hill, Director of Advertising- Growth Markets at GE for launching customized, original, and highly creative marketing campaigns in places where the brand has never before been supported through advertising.
  • Carmen D'Ascendis, Director of Global Marketing--Jack Daniel's/ Brown-Forman Corporation for adapting a 145 year old-brand to a digital age so that it is both relevant and contemporary without sacrificing its core brand values while insuring that marketing is never separated from brand management.
  • John Kennedy, Vice President--Corporate Marketing at IBM Corporation for advocating the role of the Chief Marketing Officer within the corporation, and demonstrating how Big Data will not only transform the influence of that CMO, but how it is also affecting the future of Marketing by shifting from a transactional focus to a customer-centric conversation.
  • Janice Alfini, Director of Global Brand & Marketing at Diners Club International for championing the card's new global rebranding through "Belong," an initiative that celebrates card members as citizens of the world and honors the experience and sacrifices required of people to achieve success.
  • Linus Almqvist, Group Head of Brand Communication & Partnerships at Vattenfall for innovative marketing that transformed a state-owned energy giant to a consumer-friendly, responsive and contemporary organization.

Past Internationalists and Others Honored:

  • Morten Albæk, Group Senior Vice President for Marketing & Customer Insights at Vestas Wind Systems (2011 winner)for leading the transformation of a wind turbine manufacturing company a product-oriented to a customer-focused organization. He has also created WindMade™ with a coalition of global partners as the first ever global consumer label for a renewable energy source, endorsed by the United Nations.
  • Colin Westcott-Pitt, Vice President of Marketing for Dos Equis, Amstel Light and Newcastle Brown Ale at Heineken USA (2011 winner) for being the champion behind the remarkable Dos Equis campaign that features fictional spokesperson, the "Most Interesting Man in the World." Of course, this most interesting man doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis. "Stay Thirsty, My Friends" is his best advice.
  • Kieran Foley, Group Director of Marketing at Digicel, (2010 winner) the mobile phone provider, for furthering the company's work in markets like Haiti. Digicel, owned by Irish entrepreneur Denis O'Brien, brings service to rural residents that never before had the option of mobile communications. The project in Haiti, which enabled residents to use mobile phones like debit cards, was an unprecedented success due to innovative marketing and the company's ability to understand true social responsibility.
  • Joe Bihlmier, Vice President/Global Media of AMERICAN EXPRESS (2009 winner) for changing the way this well-recognized brand uses media in 130 countries by underscoring the varied roles that American Express can play in a modern lifestyle.
  • Vanessa Healey, formerly for her role as VP Global Marketing InterContinental Hotels & Resorts (2008 winner).  She is now Head of Ad Sales Marketing, Communications & Audiences for BBC Worldwide
  • Paul Greenberg, VP Media Services at NYC & Co (2007 winner) for the unparalleled success of his campaign efforts to attract more foreign visitors to the Big Apple, while encouraging international travelers to see the welcoming nature of New Yorkers.
  • Ed Pilkington was named as one of the Latin American 50 while serving as Diageo’s Marketing & Innovation Director for Latin American & the Caribbean.  Today he is the company’s Global Category Director for Vodka, Rum and Gin.
  • Peg Gordon, VP Global Marketing & Communications for Ace Group was named as one of THE 100 for breakthrough multinational programs. 

Others joining the new group of THE INTERNATIONALIST 1000 included: Tim Mickelborough, VP/Global Brand Marketing at Thomson Reuters; Marisa Thalberg, VP Global Digital Marketing at Estee Lauder; Caroline Maddock, Manager of Europe and Global Marketing at Tiffany & Co; Boon Lai, VP/Marketing Leader for Health & Wellness at Philips; Gretchen Parks, US Regional Manager, Private Bank; Colette Noe, Global Head of Consumer Planning for Vodka, Run and Gin at Diageo; Mark Clowes, Director of Global branding at AIG; and Geert Boven, Senior Vice President- Americas at Etihad Airways.

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