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IAB & IAB Tech Lab Recognize Outstanding Digital Marketing Leaders with 2019 Sales and Service Excellence Awards


For the First Time, Trade Organization Honors Industry Educators with IAB Education Excellence Awards


Phoenix, AZ (February 11, 2019) – IAB, the national trade organization for the digital media and marketing industries, was joined today by the IAB Tech Lab in honoring outstanding digital marketers in a variety of categories; sales excellence, service excellence, and for the first time educational excellence. Winners of the 2019 awards were announced during the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.

2019 IAB Sales Excellence Awards

The IAB Sales Excellence Awards recognize individuals and IAB-member companies that show exceptional client service, digital advertising expertise, and innovation in digital advertising sales.

As in years prior, Advertising Perceptions, the research-based business intelligence company, and IAB leadership created a survey to measure key digital advertising skills and award individuals that excelled in these areas over the past year.

Over 500 leaders from the ad buying community answered the questionnaire, nominating, and then voting on the best sales teams and individuals across four main categories: large organization, small-to-medium sales organization, leadership through mentoring, and sales person of the year in four key U.S. regions. Respondents represented companies that spent at least $1 million on interactive advertising during the last year.

The 2019 IAB Sales Excellence Awards Winners are:

  • Overall Sales Excellence for a Large Sales Organization: YouTube
  • Overall Sales Excellence for a Small-to-Medium Sales Organization: MediaMath
  • Leadership through Mentoring: David Cristini, Sales Leader, Amazon Web Services
  • Sales Person of the Year:
    • East Coast: Donna Bourke, Eastern Sales Manager, Pandora
    • West Coast: Shankar Raswa, Marketing Science Lead, eCommerce, Facebook
    • Central: Erin Figenholtz, Account Executive, Discovery Inc.
    • South: Matt Ross, Account Executive Government Team, LinkedIn

“Excellence in advertising sales is driven by creativity, proactivity, curiosity, and partnership,” said Sue Hogan, Senior Vice President, Research and Measurement, IAB. “These individuals exemplify these characteristics and are moving the industry forward through their daily contributions. By recognizing their achievements, IAB hopes to inspire the continued advancement of the industry.”  

2019 IAB Service Excellence Awards

The IAB Service Awards honor individuals at IAB-member companies who have gone above and beyond to make standout contributions to IAB initiatives in the past year.

“Dedication and commitment are two long words for time and energy. The winners of the IAB Service Excellence Awards have chosen to donate many hours and ideas to accomplishing industry-changing work through IAB initiatives,” said Anna Bager, Executive Vice President, Industry Initiatives, IAB. “The future of digital advertising will be shaped by their work on the most complex and challenging issues facing us today including brand safety, attribution, Digital Out of Home (DOOH), and more. I applaud and thank them for their service.”

The 2019 IAB Service Excellence Awards winners are:

  • Tusar Barik, Marketing Lead: Agency and Channel Partnership, LinkedIn, for passionately spearheading The Changing Face of Digital for the B2B Marketer Town Hall, which highlighted the most important topics for B2B digital advertising, according to the committee.
  • Gina Garrubbo, President and CEO, National Public Media, for delivering support that was essential to the success of the Audio Committee’s Audio Day this fall in Boston. More than 100 brands and marketers attended this afternoon of programming about digital audio.
  • Les Hollander, Global Head of Products and Partner Sales, Spotify, for initiating the idea of exploring brand safety in digital audio, and then leading a working group that produced the paper, “Digital Audio’s Role in the Brand Safety Conversation: Protecting Marketers’ Investments.” The report received strong press coverage and offered an overview of digital audio’s brand safety advantages.
  • Deng Kai-Chen, Vice President, Product Management, Verizon Media Group (formerly Oath), for serving as co-chair of the Mobile Committee, and being instrumental in the development of the “Ad Quality Measurement Guide.” The guide provides helpful examples of the nuances and tradeoffs for viewability, brand safety, and fraud, and includes a checklist to help facilitate discussions that can help eliminate churn during flight.
  • Paul Lenhart, Senior Director Strategic Partnerships, OUTFRONT Media, for advancing the development of the “Digital Out of Home Metrics Glossary” by unifying discussions and helping solidify definitions of essential terms.
  • Valentina Marastoni-Bieser, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Cuebiq, for serving as co-chair of the Data Benchmarks & Activation working group. Valentina’s creativity and expertise were instrumental in the development of the Defining the Data Stack project.
  • Sable Mi, Senior Vice President, Research and Insights, NinthDecimal, for developing a project to investigate industry opinions about the value, application, and future of mix media modeling (MMM) and multi-touch attribution (MTA). Under Sable’s leadership, the MTA Committee has embarked on a multi-phase initiative that has sparked great enthusiasm.
  • Chris Murdough, TV Advertising Analytics, LiveRamp, for his valuable and consistent assistance on the “Advanced TV Buyers Guide.” He offered insights, ideas, and solutions, and helped the group come to consensus on the centerpiece of the document.
  • Floriana Nicastro, Director, Mobile Product Strategy, MediaMath, for helping IAB establish a common framework for “5 Questions to Evaluate Your Identity Partners.” She advanced the industry toward a common ground, related to identity, from which everyone involved in the buying and selling process can work.
  • Nicole Pace, Vice President, Marketing, Rakuten Marketing, for providing valuable insight on the “Influencer Marketing for Publishers Guide,” and writing much of the text in the disclosure section that provided helpful perspective on FTC guidance.
  • Nicole Pike, Managing Director, Nielsen (Esports), for contributing expertise and industry data about esports to the “Marketer’s Guide to Esports: How to Get in the Game,” and sharing the guide with the larger esports marketing community.
  • Ryan Pogy, Sales Director, BroadSign, for actively contributing to the development of the “Digital Out of Home Metrics Glossary.” Ryan’s background in media measurement and analytics, as well as his ability to articulate historical context around terms, proved invaluable to the creation of the glossary.
  • Chris Rooke, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Operations, Nativo, for his contribution to the strategy and execution of the “Branded Content Creation and Distribution Guide” while serving as a co-chair of the working group. This document is dedicated to helping marketers and their agencies identify the various branded content creation and distribution options available today.

2019 IAB Tech Lab Service Excellence Awards

The IAB Tech Lab Service Excellence Awards recognize the important contributions of members of IAB Tech Lab’s commit groups, working groups, and task forces. Recipients are determined through staff recommendations and member affirmation.

“These people have been central to defining and developing solutions to address some of the industry’s biggest challenges and opportunities,” said Dennis Buchheim, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. “We all benefit from their tremendous commitment to establishing a safer and more effective supply chain, advancing new technologies, and enabling the growth of new media channels.”

Winners of the 2019 IAB Tech Lab Service Excellence Awards are:


GDPR Commit Group

The industry experts in the IAB Tech Lab’s GDPR Commit Group contributed to code bases, specifications, and implementation support resources that led to a successful launch of the IAB Europe Transparency and Consent Framework. IAB Tech Lab appreciates this group’s strong technical governance.

  • Heinz Baumann, Group Manager Publisher Engineering, Quantcast
  • Glenn Berntson, Technical Lead/Manager, Google
  • Alex Cone, Senior Product Manager, Xandr
  • Vytautas Jakštys, Technical Product Director, AdForm
  • Joshua Koran, Managing Director, DMP, Sizmek
  • Chris Paterson, Senior Software Engineer, Conversant
  • Andreas Pohl, Chief Architect, Verizon Media Group
  • Charlie Simon, Director, Data Policy and Governance, MediaMath


TV Convergence Task Force

The TV Convergence Task Force made great strides in 2018, thanks in part to Harold Geller. Harold has been the driving force in gaining consensus around the roadmap for media file formats and embedded meta-data to support cross-platform (digital and broadcast) video advertising.

  • Harold Geller, Executive Director, Ad-ID


Video Technical Working Group

The Digital Video Technical Working Group released VAST 4.1 in November 2018, and this group was key to this achievement. While each of them contributed to the whole specification, Michael drove the concept of interactive templates, Pieter propelled the workflow updates, Jon contributed to the verification updates, and Jonathan helped advance the audio-related updates.

    • Jonathan Eccles, Director, Product Management, Pandora
    • Jon Guarino, Software Engineer, Google
    • Pieter Mees, CTO, Zentrick
    • Michael Tuminello, Vice President, Solutions and Partnerships, Integral Ad Science

OTT Technical Working Group

The OTT Technical Working Group released the “Guidelines for IFA on OTT Platforms” in December 2018. Chris Gordon has been a key pillar of this effort from the start all the way to setting the guiding principles for the IFA guidelines.

  • Chris Gordon, Vice President, Business Development, Xumo

Blockchain Working Group

In 2018, the Blockchain Working Group released a technology primer and wiki, launched network pilots, and initiated efforts to address transparency in supply chain and privacy using blockchain. Michael and Richard were the driving force behind these deliverables.

  • Richard Bush, President, NYIAX
  • Michael Palmer, Global Vice President, GroupM

2019 IAB Education Excellence Awards

“A central tenet of IAB is education, professional development, and demystifying the digital media and marketing ecosystem,” said Michael Texidor, Vice President, Learning and Development, IAB. “With the IAB Education Excellence Awards we recognize both the importance of talent development and members that are leading the efforts to expand their teams and clients understanding of this complex and rapidly evolving industry.”

The 2019 IAB Education Excellence Award winners are:

  • MediaMath New Marketing Institute (NMI) – For the past 7 years, this organization has consistently demonstrated excellence in developing customer-facing training programs that meet client learning needs. In addition, it has built award-winning education initiatives that are available to the general public and elevate the industry’s readiness for and awareness of programmatic technology.
  • Cox Enterprises (Cox Media Group’s Parent company) – This organization has been a leader in supporting the personal development and learning ambitions of its employees, even as this ever-changing industry adopts new policies, practices and trends. Its industry knowledge goes beyond its own organizational walls and has been instrumental to the development of IAB certification exams.

To follow the latest news and debates emerging out of the 2019 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, go to


About IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, it develops technical practices. IAB and the IAB Education Foundation are committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., IAB advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City and has a San Francisco office.


About IAB Technology Laboratory

The IAB Technology Laboratory (Tech Lab) is a non-profit consortium that develops and provides technical standards, software, and services to drive the growth of an effective and sustainable global digital media ecosystem that benefits consumers. Comprised of digital publishers, ad technology firms, agencies, marketers, and other member companies, IAB Tech Lab focuses on improving the digital advertising supply chain, measurement, and consumer experiences, while promoting responsible use of data. Its work includes the OpenRTB real-time bidding protocol, ads.txt anti-fraud specification, Open Measurement SDK for viewability and verification, VAST video specification, and DigiTrust identity service. Board members include AppNexus, ExtremeReach, Google, GroupM, Hearst Digital Media, Index Exchange, Integral Ad Science, LinkedIn, MediaMath, Microsoft, Oath, Oracle’s Moat, Pandora, PubMatic, Quantcast, Rakuten Marketing, Telaria, The Trade Desk, and Yahoo! Japan. Established in 2014, the IAB Tech Lab is headquartered in New York City with staff in San Francisco, Seattle, and London. Learn more at


IAB Media Contact

Laura Goldberg