WhyTFNots?: Tien Dang (2015) & Chelsea St. Clair (2015 & 2016)


Five months ago, we set out as the whyTFnots duo on a world-wide trek in hopes of creating space for ourselves to challenge and explore different perspectives. We originally started out with 3 intentions:

  1. To dive headfirst into unfamiliar experiences

  2. To prove that travel was for us even if we seldom saw our image reflected in any media regarding travel

  3. To test the theory that our future didn’t need a linear path to success


While we’ve been on many adventures and have gotten to know remarkable people with even more fantastic stories, the biggest thing we want to share with others is the different ways humanity and empathy manifests in the world.

In a society where we often self-impose pressure on ourselves that creates unnecessary stress and competition among our peers, we grew in confidence and figured out how to ask for the things we want and to create our own lanes of success. Most importantly, we discovered the importance of taking time for yourself.

Check out our website to see all the countries we’ve visited and read our blog with posts ranging from what it’s like to leave everything behind to travel, and the one time we almost missed our bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai!

#MAIPAlum Job Updates: March 2018

Congrats to all our #MAIPAlum on their job updates up to March 2018! 

New Jobs

Stephanie Diaz (2013) Paid Search Manager at PMX
Lacy Meece (2011) Senior Strategist at Havas
Briana Patrick (2015) Strategist at Goodby Silverstein and Partners
Darla Price (2003) SVP, Exec Account Director at McCann
Rachel Raines (2012) Business Operations Analyst - Marketing & Digital at Coca Cola ATL
Janise Tucker (2016) Reputation Management Advocate at Fashion Nova
Chris Villanueva (2014) Senior Copywriter at ThirtyThree
Leo Wong (2013) Global Associate Director of Diversity & Engagement at McCann Worldgroup


Alexis Cummings (2010) Director, Content Partnerships at Interactive One
Simone Jackson (2015) Account Executive at Wieden+Kennedy
Rohan Patrick (2014 & 2015) Strategist at Hudson Rouge
Frances Zhen (2014)  Manager, Trading Desk at Mindshare

He can do both: Carlton Wilcoxson (2015)

#MAIPAlum Carlton Wilcoxson (2015) on fulfillment, doing it for the kids and making people laugh coast to coast. This was written by Carlton for the 4A's MAIP.

I guess advertising wasn’t enough.

Truth be told, I always knew this. I saw the ad industry as an opportunity to make my mother proud while never being forced to wear a tie. After my MAIP summer internship in Austin, TX at McGarrah Jessee, I came back to Austin because I found something more than a job. I found stand-up comedy and the program E4 Youth.

In advertising terms, I was never considered a creative and I can’t really say why I chose to try stand-up. All I knew is that I had nothing to express myself since I wasn’t a scenic photographer, travel blogger or inspiring videographer… and being an account manager didn’t help. I knew I had something and after many thoughts and drinks, I went to my first open mic.

At first it was just one open mic every two weeks but then I became obsessed. Going up as much as 8-10 times a week. Despite my obsession, I bombed 90% of the time for 8 months straight and I wish I were joking.

Around the same time, I was introduced to E4 Youth. E4 Youth is an organization dedicated to exposing High school students to the commercial arts based in Austin, TX. At first, I would just do a couple school visits. Showing classrooms the joys of advertising while omitting information like angry email chains over the color blue.

I would see kids who had something and just needed some encouragement. In hindsight, I saw myself.

But after these talks, students would come up to me not asking about my job but wanting to show me their work. Honestly, I stayed (knowingly) missing important meetings to view students’ music videos, clothing line designs, and scripts for YouTube series. In those moments, I would see kids who had something and just needed some encouragement. In hindsight, I saw myself.

So I committed. I became a member on the E4 Youth’s fundraising committee, a summer program coach, a mentor, and an ambassador for the local ad community. I decided comedy is a craft I would hone. The results of both of those decisions has led me to interesting places. Through comedy, I was able to tour to San Francisco & Portland, OR doing collectively 18 shows in 2017.

While in San Francisco, I was able to connect with Mike Shine, a co-founder of BSSP and traveling mural artist. To which he later came to Austin to work with the E4 Youth students on an art piece for an upcoming gallery show and featured the students in the popular urban art magazine Juxtapoz.


I’ve also had the privilege of being the keynote speaker of Austin for Creative Mornings through comedy. My story and jokes that morning inspired a person in the audience to raise over $1,200 for E4 Youth under the campaign “Advertising Doesn’t Need Another White Guy” … His words not mine but thank you Brian Thompson for being a real one.

Currently, I host a bi-weekly stand-up show in Austin through Volcom brands and preform regularly in Austin while working as a producer at McGarrah Jessee Advertising. E4 Youth now serves over 150+ high school students who are interested in Music, Design, Writing and Film. I can truly say through MAIP, I was able to find something I truly love and I now get to help students find what they love.

For more information on E4 Youth or ways to donate visit: https://e4youth.org/

For interest in my comedy follow me @CCWilcoxson or watch me here: 

The Austin, TX-based comic travels to Portland, OR to perform at "Control Yourself" showcase. Warning content is for mature audiences.

#MAIPAlum Job Updates: February 2018

Congrats to all our #MAIPAlum on their job updates up to February 2018! 

New Jobs

Michelle Almeida (2013) Account Executive at Anomaly
Phoenix Catao (2016) Production Associate at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Jezzika Chung (2013) Copywriter at Anomaly
Adam Gill (2016 & 2017) Project Coordinator at SapientRazorfish
Svetlanna Farinha (2013) Account Supervisor at CDM New York
Carmela Garcia Lammers (2011) Traditional Strategy Supervisor at Essence
Beatrice Hahn (2005) Legal Counsel at Oracle
Thomas Han (2015) Partner Manager, Entertainment at YouTube
Marcus Hollinger (2011) Vice President Marketing at Reach Records
Kesha Johnson Clark (1996) Account Executive at Marketing on 6th USA
Melissa Julien (2016) Account Coordinator at Rauxa
Tiona Langley (2015) Producer at Google Creative Lab
Karis Low (2011) Product Marketing Communications at Facebook
Molly Manganelly (2017) Digital Coordinator at The Mitchells
Saidelis Mejia (2014) Product Designer at Royal Caribbean Cruises
Jesse Meza (2015) Digital Team Lead at iProspect
Linda Nguyen (2017) Account Executive and Designer at Mellonaid
Stephanie Parker (2017) Account/Partner Manager at Facebook
Kassandra Pollard (2010) Associate Creative Director at Momentum Worldwide
Joel Ramirez (2014) Art Director at Verizon
Felipe Ramos (2015) Assistant Media Planner at DigitasLBI
Rosemarie Sanchez (1999) Strategy at PHD
Stephanie Santoso (2003) Senior Program Fellow at Infosys Foundation USA
Carter Smalley (2015) PR at Octagon
Javier Vela (2010) Senior Art Director at Laundry Service  
Cindy Villalta (2017) Brand Manager at Richards/Lerma
Danielle Wilburn (2006) Marketing Manager at Facebook
Valeene Wilson (2015) Jr. Media Investor at W+K
Jennifer Ysabel (2013) Account Manager at Barbarian


Xenecia Farrell (2015) Paid Search (PPC) Manager at Spark Foundry
Cameron Allison (2014) Account Manager at DigitasLBi
Greg Hines (2014)  Culture Ambassador - Diversity & Inclusion at MRM//McCann
Cesar A. Vallejo (2014) Senior Copywriter at Momentum Worldwide

Passion Projects: Mindlezz Thoughtz Media & Arts - Aaron Francois (2017)

Aaron BK Museum.jpg

As kids many of us were asked, "what do you want to be when you get older?" Being a part of MAIP also taught me not to be ashamed of having more than one goal especially if they don't yet intertwine. I've always had a love for mentoring and innovating, which are two things I try to implement in my day to day in some way or form.

One thing that allowed me to do both is my work with Mindlezz Thoughtz Media & Arts. Mindlezz Thoughtz is an urban entertainment brand geared towards providing youth with media outlets and access to opportunities they aren't often exposed to due to social class, education or even geographic location. The company was founded in 2011 by a good friend of mine named Najee Brown and the following year I jumped on board putting together a variety of dance events and tournaments as well as some showcases for the youth.

 Aaron Francois, #MAIPAlum 2017

Aaron Francois, #MAIPAlum 2017

Mindlezz Thoughtz allowed me to work with the Brooklyn Museum building out the campaign for their "Rise of Sneaker Culture" Exhibit as well as MC'ing the event. We've also worked with Ubisoft for the Just Dance video game and Union Settlement, creating free events for the youth in their local neighborhoods. Mindlezz Thoughtz taught me that a "side project" could be just as enjoyable as your day to day work-life. Moral of the story? Do what YOU love, not what OTHERS love to see YOU do!

Did I get so deep into my blog post that I forgot to introduce myself? My name's Aaron Francois and I'm media enthusiast, comic book/anime lover and a pretty darn good dancer all in one.

You can also check out Mindlezz Thoughtz on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube by simply typing in "Mindlezz Thoughtz."


This post was written by Aaron Francois for the 4A's MAIP.

Passion Projects: Women Who Create - Ashlea Ramirez (2016) + Shaunah Zimmerman (2012)


I had the idea to create this program when I got tired of complaining in my mind that there weren’t enough people who looked like me in my building. From there I started to ask myself, “Do I want to keep complaining or do I want to do something about it?”

The first thought I had was mentorship. I loved being a MAIP coach and giving back in the form of guidance and friendship. As it turned out, there were no ongoing programs that supported mentorship of diverse women on an ongoing basis.

 Ashlea Ramirez, Women Who Create Co-Founder

Ashlea Ramirez, Women Who Create Co-Founder

 Shaunah Zimmerman, Women Who Create Co-Founder

Shaunah Zimmerman, Women Who Create Co-Founder

I quickly started to realize this was not just about not wanting to be the token brown person in an agency photo. This was about the lack of access and power minorities have, and what we can do as a community to champion one another and celebrate our wins. And so, Women Who Create was born.

For now, the intention is to connect ethnically diverse college women pursuing a career in advertising with diverse badass women in the field. (That means you.) My ask of whoever is reading this is to consider that you could impact someone’s life–from inspiring new ideas through a brainstorm sesh to being a source of support in difficult times. You could be apart of a community that is in action to raise up the voices of diverse women of all ages and disciplines, and fill the seats and offices we’re qualified to be in. All it takes it one hour, twice a month.

Can we help increase the number of women creative directors from 10% to 15%? Can we help an advertising agency reach DiversityInc’s Top 50 companies for diversity? It’s up to you. Apply now to be a mentee or a mentor for 2018, or contact us to becomes a sponsor.

The Women Who Create team comprises MAIP Alumni, Shaunah Zimmerman and Ashlea Ramirez. This blog post was written by them for the 4A's MAIP Team.