Matt Ross
Group Executive Creative Director, King James Group
Johannesburg

Matt Ross is among a handful of Executive Creative Directors globally who have led agencies to #1 rankings on three different continents. Matt’s love of original, ground-breaking ideas and technologies have taken him across the globe to create multi-award winning campaigns and products.

Currently, he is the Group Executive Creative Director of the King James Group. The Group has been ranked in the Top 10 Independent Agencies in the World, Agency Of The Year in Africa and #1 Agency in South Africa on multiple occasions. He is an active investor in technology companies - from start-ups to blue-chips. Matt also sits on the Creative Circle Exco, the industry’s most senior creative leadership council.

He has been named as one of the global Advertising Age’s Creativity 50, the annual global list of the most influential and inspiring creative personalities across the world and won numerous awards
including gold at Cannes, One Show & D&AD.

Graham Deneys
Group Strategy Director SA and SSA, Carat
Cape Town

 
Graham is responsible for the overall strategic output at Carat – he leads the development of Media and Communication Strategy, as well as support and direction for in-market team strategies across the continent. He has won a number of industry awards for his work in South Africa and the Sub-Saharan region and is a regular contributor and guest lecturer within the industry. He also designs and runs bespoke strategy training and innovation sessions for both clients and agency partners across multiple African markets.

 

Dale Mullany
Innovations Director
TBWA Hunt Lascaris

 
Dale started his career in advertising as a Graphic Designer, moved into Art Direction, and now heads up the Innovation Department at TBWA Hunt Lascaris.
Over the years, his creative mind and strategic outlook have helped shape him into one of South Africa’s best problem solvers.

In addition to winning multiple local and global creative awards, Dale’s work has been recognised in the Cannes Game Changer book; a book that highlights the world’s best advertising over the past 60 years. To be considered game changers, creatives cannot simply just change the way consumers think about a brand, they must also shape the way the ad industry works.

Dale spends his spare time heading up Happy Lab - a product development start-up that aims to help humans thrive - with his creative partner Keith Manning.

 

Dawn Rowlands
CEO
Densu Aegis Network Sub-Saharan Africa

Dawn made her mark in world of media and fast became one of the youngest media entrepreneurs in SA. Having built and sold two businesses before the age of 35, she is an accomplished female leader. Dentsu Aegis Network has given her the opportunity to develop the African Region, which has been an amazing journey from 40 to over 1500 passionate people.

She has been responsible for the growth of the SSA Network expanding the footprint in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania taking DAN SSA from 5 owned markets to 10 in just 6 months. DAN now has offices in Mozambique, Zambia, Uganda, Senegal and Ivory Coast. She has been strategic in expanding Dentsu Aegis Network’s vision of being 100% digital by 2020 going from almost obscurity in the market.

She has gained local and global recognition for her leadership winning The MOST Awards Media Legend 2019. In 2018 DAN SSA won the Financial Mail Africa Impact Award. Dawn received the AdReview Advertising Achiever of the Year 2012 and she won a Gold Stevie Award for Maverick of the Year 2012. In 2013 she took the Access International BusinessWoman of the Year. Dawn has served to the board of the Loeries for 2019 and 2020 and was appointed as co- chair for the Adweek Africa Advisory Council.

Wife and mother of two amazing boys, she Dawn cares deeply about the promise we make to consumers and clients in the region.

 

Emeka Chris Okeke 
Founder / Group Chief Executive Officer
Media Fuse Dentsu

Founder, Group Chief Executive Officer of Media Fuse Dentsu Aegis Network Holding Company Limited and Director of Dentsu Aegis Network Ghana; Emeka is responsible for the development of Dentsu Aegis Network's global and local service brands in Nigeria.

With over 28 years experience spanning across the Print Media, full service creative and media agencies notably in Nigeria and Ghana; Emeka launched Ghana's first Media Independent Agency Network – Premier MediaCompany Ghana in 1999 (now Vizeum Ghana, a division of Dentsu Aegis Network Ghana) to pioneer the development of professional media planning and communications practice in that part of Africa.

In 2014 Emeka led Media Fuse Dentsu Aegis Network to winning the Fastest Growing Agency Network Award at the 2014 Marketing World Awards and won for himself  the Media Entrepreneur of the Year award at the same event. In 2017, Emeka earned the Outstanding Leadership Award in Advertising at the 2nd Edition of DAAR Awards for his contribution to modern advertising practice in Nigeria and in 2018, received Advertising Professional of the Year in West Africa in Ghana from Marketing World Awards 2018 as well as Outstanding Media Advertising Leadership Award from Marketing Edge.

A Fellow of National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria and a member of different industry professional bodies, Emeka plays leadership roles in  Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria, where he is an ex-officio member of the body's executive committee.

Emeka’s professional work life has taken him to many global communication networks and afforded him the opportunity to be in a position to support clients from different product and service categories spanning across conventional media communications, digital marketing and communication strategy in today's dynamic marketing communications  landscape and evolving global digital economy.

Notably, Emeka is an Alumni of University of Nigeria Nsukka, Lagos Business School and IESE University, Barcelona, Spain, to mention a few tertiary institutions that contributed in shaping his career in marketing communications.

Ryan McManus
Chief Creative Officer
VML South Africa

Under Ryan’s creative leadership, VML South Africa has experienced phenomenal growth, and climbed the creative rankings, including being named ‘Entertainment Agency of the Year’ at Cannes 2017, and Bookmarks Agency of the Year twice.

Ryan has been recognized numerous times at Cannes, D&AD, Loeries, One Show, ADC, Effies, NYF and more and brings a wealth of global experience and clear purpose into his work, having travelled and worked across some of the world’s top agencies.

Before joining VML, Ryan co-founded jointhepipe.org, an NGO that won Best New Initiative from UNICEF. He also co-founded The Soon Institute, a company focused on prototyping futures within the communication industry.

Ryan has been listed in Mail & Guardians top 200 South Africans, The Media Magazine’s Top 40 under 40, spoken at Cannes Lions, conferences and graduations and had the privilege of judging Cannes YDA, Loeries, Bookmarks, New York Festival, AdPrint and ADC.

Ryan also sits on the Creative Circle EXCO of South Africa