Courageous Marketers from Bank of America, Belkin, Deluxe, Farmers Group, #SeeHer and Stanford Children’s Health Win 2018 Valiente Awards at SXSW

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Fifth Annual Event Presented by Springbox and Hosted by Dell Technologies

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“In a constantly changing world, the Valiente Awards celebrate the modern marketers who have the courage and boldness to lead their organizations and accomplish remarkable things." - John Ellett

Marketing leaders from Bank of America, Belkin, Deluxe, Farmers Group, #SeeHer and Stanford Children’s Health were last night named winners of the 2018 Valiente Awards - previously known as the Cojones Awards.

Members of the 2018 class were honored at an event presented by Springbox, an Austin-based digital agency, and hosted by Dell Technologies with support from Datorama. An independent panel of judges from ANA, AMA, Darden School of Business, Dell, Forrester, McDonalds and Spencer Stuart selected the finalists and winners. The complete list of honorees and judges can be found at

“In a constantly changing world, the Valiente Awards celebrate the modern marketers who have the courage and boldness to lead their organizations and accomplish remarkable things. The honorees distinguished themselves in 2017 as change agents who had the guts to take a stand and disrupt the status quo," said Springbox CMO John Ellett.

Winners were presented in five categories: Inspire, Be Bold, Connect, Innovate and Transform: The winners were announced at a private reception Sunday, March 11 in Austin, Texas in The Experience by Dell Technologies.

Inspire: to build authentic brands with a sense of purpose (Co-winners)

  •     Amanda Brinkman, CMO of Deluxe - Brinkman initiated the Small Business Revolution as a way to celebrate small businesses that drive our economy and bring communities together. She created and hosts the television show, “Small Business Revolution – Main Street” to help reignite businesses in small towns and keep people coming back.
  •     Gail Tifford, founder of #SeeHer - While in her previous role as head of media for Unilever North America, Tifford worked with the Association of National Advertisers to create the #SeeHer initiative to accurately portray women and girls in advertising and media. Since its founding, #SeeHer has become the industry standard in providing advertisers, agencies and media executives with state-of-the-art insight and activation strategies and tools to identify and eliminate unconscious bias in advertising, entertainment content and media planning.

Be Bold: to disrupt the status quo and break out of the sea of sameness

  •     Les Lifter, CMO of Stanford Children’s Health - To help build awareness of Stanford Children's Health and its centerpiece Packard Children's Hospital of Stanford, Lifter created a marketing campaign vastly different from other healthcare marketing efforts using a visual style common in children’s literature to promote the organization’s uniqueness and make it more approachable.

Connect: to deliver meaningful customer experiences across channels

  •     Kieran Hannon, global CMO of Belkin International - Hannon restructured the marketing organization to empower brand leaders for Belkin, Linksys and WeMo to take a 360 degree approach to engaging customers. From packaging and documentation to advertising and digital experiences, Hannon’s insistence that his teams remain focused on creating cohesive customer experiences at every touch point has led to growth in category market share for each brand.

Innovate: to implement new ways of engaging customers living in a digital lifestyle

  •     Charissa Messer, senior vice president, In-House Agency Executive - Enterprise Creative Solutions, Bank of America - Messer aggressively embraced new technologies to create compelling content for the financial institution. By utilizing new tools, her team became 24 percent more efficient, creating more results in less time from the millions of content assets at the bank. Her mantra – “Learn, Adjust, Celebrate, Repeat” - helped her team embrace change to consistently improve their work.

Transform: to build organizational capabilities to become modern marketers

  •     Mike Linton, CMO, Farmers Insurance Group - Linton methodically transformed his team to achieve the mandate he received from his CEO - to create a world-class marketing organization. By consolidating communications functions, building performance marketing, embracing new digital capabilities and embedding customer experience thinking throughout the company, he created a high-performing team. His efforts include directly supporting the marketing of over 11,000 affiliated agent firms, doubling the number from a few years ago.

An Honorary Valiente Award was also presented to Kevin and Sarah Brown and Kathleen Souder, co-founders of Mighty Ally, a social impact agency, arming underserved change makers with strategy operations, and marketing reinforcements plus activating agency and brand allies in the fight to meet basic human needs.

About Springbox
Springbox is the Austin, Texas based digital partner that helps mid-market companies realize the potential of technology to create transformational shareholder value. Its portfolio of services includes business consulting, digital experience design, campaign planning and management and digital product development.

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Bill Robbins
NJ2 Communications
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