The word ‘Rokkan’ is Japanese for the sixth sense, a keen intuition beyond the five senses. And it’s a word that describes every bit of our personality, character and culture. Since 2000, we’ve permanently fixed our gaze forward to pursue what lies ahead. Approach the unknown. Chase change. And be the agency our clients need tomorrow, not yesterday. In 2012, Rokkan joined the Publicis Groupe and has since evolved into a 360 innovation and creative hub with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Detroit, leveraging a unique and nimble approach that blends strategy, storytelling, and technology.
Our heart and soul is centered around human behavior and a belief that in tomorrow’s economy, we must be customer experience led. And in a world where authenticity is a brand’s true measure, helping narrow the gap between what’s said and what consumers truly feel is our defining role – because a customer’s love can’t be bought, it must be earned.
We make advertising like we make software – agile and iterative, constantly improving and ever evolving. Because the task is never done, it merely continues. And so, we embed ourselves into our clients’ organizations, fusing our models and co-creating solutions together. Because making work that’s different starts with an agency whose makeup is different.
The last thing the world needs is another advertising agency, and yet the first thing the world needs is better advertising. Agencies are quick to complicate and slow to react, and because we didn’t build Rokkan to be an agency, we can be the partners we want to be to our clients: proactive, nimble, available and tireless. Change keeps us on our toes, and our sixth sense defines our game.
John started Rokkan with his partners from a living room in New Jersey, unifying the new company under the simple goal of delivering client work with all perspectives in mind: business value, consumer value, strong brand stories and emotional connection. In the years since the agency’s start, John has served as CEO, leading client services, strategy and business development. Under his leadership, Rokkan has grown into a full-service agency with a unique and nimble approach that blends strategy, storytelling and technology for outstanding results. And in the agency’s 18-year history, from starting pre-smart phone and social, through multiple recessions, one acquisition, and making it four times on Advertising Age’s A-Lists, Rokkan has never had a year it couldn’t call its best year ever. Rokkan’s roots are humble, and he doesn’t forget that. And it allows him to stay grounded and to remember our humanity as we continue to grow.
As the Chief Experience Officer, Chung leads all digital transformation engagements and believes businesses need to build a customer first approach driven by data and powered by smart technology. He’s driven by improving experience, and works with our client roster to find the best possible experience for their customers. For the past 18 years, his philosophy of building and innovating for the customer is shown through some of his most awarded work.
For Virgin America and the airline industry, Chung created the user experience of being able to see your seat before purchasing.
For One and Only resorts, Chung invented a new way to book hotels. Coined as the Looking Engine, or “LE,” his idea allowed users to book by room type or destination without ever entering a date.
His view toward experience doesn’t stop with his travel platform guidance. He’s the official keeper of Rokkan’s culture, and the only person for whom the McDonald’s at Varick and Downing will fill a 250-nugget order.
Brian started playing in visual mediums at a very early age. Influenced by monsters from old horror movies and the comic books that his older brother collected, he would spend hours sketching creatures and creating his own comics. He continued to draw, paint and write well into his formative years and he still does it, although not nearly as often as he would like.
These days he applies his love of art and design to the work he is doing in the field of advertising. He is currently the Chief Creative Officer at Rokkan, where he helps run the creative department and oversees all aspects of the agency’s creative output. Prior to Rokkan, he worked as Executive Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, and before that, as Creative Director at JWT New York.
He has been working in advertising since 1998, when he started coding websites in HTML using notepad. While it’s true his expertise is in digital, he happily works in all mediums.
He has created work for clients like: Verizon, Cadillac, The Humane Society, Veuve Clicquot, Microsoft, Jet Blue, Trident Gum, Stride Gum, Macy’s, Johnson & Johnson, Rock The Vote and many more. He has received numerous awards and recognition from the likes of: The FWA, Cannes Cyber Lions, One Show Interactive, Pixel Awards, Webby Awards, Effie Awards and more.
Joe joined Rokkan in 2010 and serves as the Chief Delivery Officer, overseeing the successful production and execution of all client projects. He brings years of digital experience with him, focusing on digital production and operations. His previous experience includes stints as Executive Producer at JWT and Senior Producer at NY RDAi. Joe has extensive experience executing solutions for American Express, Altria, JetBlue, Mikimoto America, Chipotle, Johnson & Johnson, W Hotels, Beiersdorf and Sony Professional.
He holds a B.S. in Computer Science & Economics from Rutgers University.
Matt leads Client Partnership and Business Development at Rokkan. Prior to joining Rokkan in 2015, Garcia spent 3 years as Partner and Managing Director at NSG/SWAT, a boutique marketing services firm founded in 2011 by Richard Kirshenbaum. There, Matt led all client engagements, including: New York Rangers, New York Knicks, Morgans Hotel Group, Alcon, and Master & Dynamic. He’s also worked across business development and account management in previous roles at Saatchi & Saatchi, mcgarrybowen, and Deutsch, Inc., working on a diverse list of clients including JP Morgan Chase, MillerCoors, P&G, Verizon Wireless, Kraft and Mondelez International. Originally from Atlanta, Matt is a graduate of Washington and Lee University with degrees in Economics and Business Administration.
Jim Blackwelder serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Rokkan. Jim has been with Rokkan for over 10 years and has helped transform the agency from a small start-up to an innovation outlier within the Publicis Groupe. Through the years, Jim has managed and overseen countless technology projects that have strengthened Rokkan’s ability to blend strategy, storytelling, and technology for brave results. Notable clients have included American Express, Ford, Bethesda, Stoli, JetBlue Airways, Nestle Purina, One & Only, Wyndham, Nintendo, Nike, Samsung and more.
Lindsay Williams is SVP, Media & Analytics at Rokkan and has diverse experience on both the agency and brand sides. Since joining Rokkan, she has worked on digital, media and analytics strategies for brands such as The Humane Society of the United States, Mikimoto and Verizon.
She previously held the role of Director, Global Digital Marketing, at Estee Lauder. Lindsay oversaw the strategic development, production and execution of digital marketing programs across regions (North America, APAC, EMEA) and various brand channels (video, web, social). She also spearheaded the brand’s launch on social platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, outlining go-to market engagement and content strategies.
Lindsay spent several years at Razorfish in both the San Francisco and New York offices, leading teams for brands like Walmart, Nike and Best Buy. She also led all media strategy, planning and buying for Mercedes-Benz.
Lindsay is a true media nerd at heart and loves helping brands tell their best stories with new digital platforms and technology. She has played an active role in industry events and has had speaking engagements at Integrated Marketing Week, ad:tech SF, MobileBeat SF and ClickZ, among others.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she has a B.A. in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego. She now lives in Manhattan with her husband and their orange tabby cat, Newman.
James Cockerille is SVP, Strategic Integration at Rokkan. He works on the Cadillac account, ensuring the brand’s point of view lives consistently and with the greatest, long-lasting impact across the full range of cross-agency activities.
He is an identity expert and author with more than twenty years of worldwide experience across 80+ brands. He has worked regularly with executive leaders on issues of integration, organizing for action and defining the purpose of their organizations.
James has held strategy leadership roles with Landor, Interbrand, and most recently FutureBrand, with primary responsibility for Cadillac, on which he’s worked since 2013. He is co-author of the recently published business memoir, Running on Purpose: Winning Olympic Gold, Advancing Corporate Leadership and Creating Sustainable Value.
James holds a BFA with honors in design with a minor in ethics from Carnegie Mellon University. He has widely lectured with universities on the subjects of strategy, innovation, design thinking and branding, including at New York University, Design Academy Eindhoven in The Netherlands, Designskolen Kolding in Denmark, the Parsons School of Design and the Royal College of Art in London.
Michael Ma is the Executive Creative Director for the Design Group at Rokkan and oversees all aspects of visual and product design for the agency. Prior to this, Michael spent nearly a decade at The Barbarian Group, where he was Managing Group Creative Director before becoming the agency’s Head of Design. He is a firm believer that good design is all about problem solving and that in order to make great work, you need to be around great people. Simple.
With over 25 years of experience in illustration and design coupled with nearly 20 years working in advertising and digital, Michael has a broad range of practical and theoretical knowledge. He has worked with brands such as AOL, Macy’s, the Truth Campaign, Hummer, IBM, Samsung, Red Bull, Pepsi, GE, both Bloomberg LP and Philanthropies and Volkswagen. He enjoys a good mustache, getting punched in the face and personally combating the notion that all Asians are good at math.
Vincent brings us more than ten years’ experience in delivering smart, intuitive experiences to consumers and users. He believes in people-driven decisions and focuses on tailoring each experience to the end users of the product at hand.
Vincent attended Pratt Institute and majored in Library Science, a focus which ingrained in him the philosophy of making things accessible for all—balanced with the need for sleek, smooth experiences. He has worked across multiple verticals, and his client list includes HBO, American Express, JetBlue, and Verizon.
Vincent was born in Hong Kong, listens to a lot of Slayer and has a vast and impressive knowledge of global potato chip brands – he has dutifully ranked their flavors in a comprehensive list that he may or may not be willing to share.
Anthea is a client partnership lead at Rokkan focused on building deep relationships with brands leveraging Rokkan’s unique creative and technical assets to help clients meet and surpass their strategic marketing goals. Since joining Rokkan in 2014, she has led accounts such as Jet Blue, Verizon, Mikimoto, Wyndham, and American Express. She opened the Rokkan Singapore office in 2016, further building Rokkan’s global presence. Anthea previously spent 4+ years at SapientNitro where she played both delivery and account management roles for global clients including Harley-Davidson and Chrysler.
Originally from Toronto Canada, Anthea is a graduate from University of Toronto with a degree in Applied Science – Industrial Engineering.
Justin has been with Rokkan since 2016 and is currently SVP, Client Partnership tasked with leading the Agency’s integrated portfolio of business. With over 15 years of advertising and marketing experience, Justin has worked on brand positioning strategies, direct response marketing with an emphasis on CRM as well as interactive, social, promotional, event and sponsorship marketing for brands such as Bud Light, McDonalds, Verizon, Reebok, Marriott International, Sprint, Motorola and The National Basketball Association.
Leading integrated advertising and brand initiatives at a variety of Agencies including, DraftFCB, TBWA\CHIAT\DAY, Grey Global Group, mcgarrybowen and Translation he continues to enjoy delivering impactful campaigns and ideas while collaborating to solve the needs for the Client business.
Originally from the Boston area, he possesses a B.A. in Sociology from The University of Connecticut and now resides in New England Patriots enemy territory of New Jersey with his wife and cat.
Scott is a Vice President, Group Account director at Rokkan specializing in integrated multi-channel/cross-agency campaign development. Prior to arriving at Rokkan, Scott spent the last 7 years working in the marketing/communications world across a wide range of clients including Cadillac, Samsung Mobile, Grey Goose, Bacardi, SEGA of America, and SAP. As an avid culture and brand evangelist, Scott has found success in finding and building unique intersections between brands, culture, and technology to help bring new products, campaigns, and stories to life while maintaining the authenticity that their consumers crave.
Prior to agency life, Scott worked in the music industry as a producer, and still moonlights here and there when time permits. At night, you can find him hunkered behind his laptop furiously pressing buttons with the hopes that what comes next is something that sounds mildly listenable. He also holds degrees in Economics/Corporate Finance & Political Science from University of Washington.
Rebecca Pustizzi is the head of Product Management at ROKKAN. Rebecca has over 10 years of project management and production experience. Her project work has given her experience across print, video, and integrated marketing, but her expertise and passion lies in building digital products.
Rebecca has worked with clients across various industries, but with a focus on hospitality, travel, and luxury. Notable clients include JetBlue, Wyndham, American Express Travel, Karl Lagerfeld, and Swarovski.
Darielle Smolian, VP Senior Art Producer, has over 14 years’ experience bringing concepts to life for Fortune and Global 500 clients including General Motors Cadillac, Procter & Gamble, Citibank, Verizon, Nestle and L’Oreal. Her experience also includes a diverse roster of other clients, such as Pernod Ricard, Diageo, Ad Council and The Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Many of her campaigns have been recognized for creative excellence and have won awards from the American Advertising Awards, Communication Arts and the Obies. As a passionate follower of the arts and industry trends, Darielle consistently brings high-caliber production value to each campaign at Rokkan. She often participates in industry panels and forums, and has juried such shows as the American Photographic Artists awards. A native New Yorker, Darielle’s obsession with travel and adventure often finds her adding to her list of exotic destinations, in a fanatic attempt to maintain her Gold Status.
Gina Larson leads the People and Culture (HR) function for Rokkan driving strategic talent initiatives across the organization and plays a senior talent leadership role across our Publicis Communications agencies. Gina brings experience in the media, entertainment, hospitality and communications industries from Fortune 100 companies contributing best practices on employee development, career progression, talent engagement and recruitment. She drives initiatives that recruit the best talent, enable employees to explore limitless career opportunities, deliver progressive training programs and build culture through open communication. She is focused on diversity and inclusion programs that attract talent to the organization as well as drive high engagement and retention across our teams. Gina earned a B.S. from Kansas State University with degrees in business management and human resource management and earned an MBA from Pepperdine University, minoring in Organization Development.
Raquel is VP, Operations at Rokkan, overseeing everything from global resource management, IT, facilities, office management, administration, to Rokkan culture. Prior to joining Rokkan, Raquel led resource management at VSA Partners and was responsible for the resource planning and strategy across its offices. Prior to VSA Partners, Raquel worked at boutique agency, Tender Creative, and well-known Moet Hennessy USA while learning the operation ropes.
Raquel has her B.S. in General Science/Biology from Fordham University. She lives in Queens with her husband and two cats, Archie and Pippi.