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28th Annual Webby Awards September 11, 2023

Introducing the Newest Judges for The Webby Awards

We’re kicking off our 28th Annual season by welcoming industry-shaping leaders to our judging body—including Law Roach, Tobe Nwigwe, Marian Croak, Shigetaka Kurita, and more.

The Webby Awards is reviewed by the International Academy of Digitial Arts and Sciences (IADAS)—a judging body of the industry’s most brilliant innovators, artists, and digital creatives. 

Each season, we work with IADAS to review and select the best digital work on the Internet and honor the creatives behind it. To make the 28th Annual Webby Awards our most dynamic yet, we’re introducing a new group of leaders to the Academy. Our new judges have paved new digital trails, forged fresh iterations of the Internet, and created the very trends that shaped the industry. 

Meet a few of our new executive judges below. See the full list of IADAS members to learn more about who will judge entries, ahead of the Early Entry Deadline on October 27th, 2023.

 

Law Roach, Image Architect 

Image Architect, Law Roach, has been known to transform celebrities into fashion icons. Unlike many stylists, who began their careers as interns or assistants, Law paved his own path, personifying what it means to be a trailblazer. Growing up in Southside Chicago, Law embarked on his career as a vintage fashion broker. He has worked with nearly every prominent actor, actress, pop star, and athlete, including Zendaya, Anne Hathaway, Megan The Stallion, Tom Holland, Serena Williams, and many more.

Some of Law’s many accomplishments include creative directing for the Tommy x Zendaya fashion line by Tommy Hilfiger, being named the most powerful stylist of the year by The Hollywood Reporter in both 2021 and 2022, being awarded the West Coast Fashion Editor of British Vogue, being named one of TIME100’s Most Influential People, being the first recipient of the CFDA’s Inaugural Stylist Award and so many more.

Recently, Law took a brave step in moving away from celebrity styling to use his unparalleled fashion expertise to fuel new career pursuits. 

 

Tobe Nwigwe, Artist and Actor

Tobe Nwigwe is an enigma. The lyrics and tone of his music tell the story of a difficult upbringing as a first-generation Nigerian kid in Houston, TX. Tobe has a singular goal in life: “to make purpose popular.” During the pandemic, Tobe went viral on digital platforms for his songs “I Need You To (Breonna Taylor Tribute)” and “Try Jesus, which reached No. 4 on the Billboard Digital Song Sales chart.

At the end of 2022 came the announcement of his first GRAMMY nomination for Best New Artist. He also made his acting debut as a strong supporting character in the critically acclaimed Netflix series, “Mo,” playing the role of Mo’s best friend, Nick. Tobe made his international debut with sold-out shows in London and Johannesburg. As well as featuring in his first international marketing campaign, led by Italian brand, Moncler, in collaboration with Pharrell Williams, where Tobe led its 70th Anniversary global campaign in print, digital and billboards in Milan and throughout the world.

Additionally, Tobe released his well-received EP, moMINTs, with guest features by Pharrell, 2 Chainz, Chamillionaire, CeeLo Green, Royce da 5’9, Coast Contra and NBA superstar Damian Lillard.

Marian Croak, Vice President of Responsible AI and Human-Centered Technologies at Google

Marian Croak is Google’s Vice President of Responsible AI and Human-Centered Technologies. She is best known for developing Voice Over Internet Protocols (VoIP) technology, which changes voice into a digital signal, allowing anyone to make a call directly from a computer. She was formerly a VP for Site Reliability Engineering for Ads, Corporate Engineering, and YouTube at Google. 

Croak joined Google in late 2014 after retiring from AT&T as an SVP responsible for advanced research, innovation, and designing and developing one of the world’s largest wireless and broadband networks. Croak holds over 200 patents, mainly focused on IP technology. She has received numerous awards, including the 2013 and 2014 Edison Patent Awards, and was inducted into the Women in Technology International’s Hall of Fame in 2013

Croak was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2022.

 

Shigetaka Kurita, Artist & Father of Emoji

Shigetaka Kurita, born in 1972, is a Japanese designer known for inventing emojis in 1999.

Recognizing a gap in the expressiveness of digital communication, Kurita developed a set of 176 emojis while working for NTT Docomo, aiming to provide a visual, compact way to convey emotions and ideas. Initially popular in Japan, these pictograms gained global prominence with the growth of smartphones and incorporation into the Unicode Standard. Kurita’s invention has revolutionized digital communication, transcending languages and cultures, and he continues contributing to the intersection of design and technology.

 

Severin Hacker, Ph.D., Co-founder and CTO of Duolingo

Severin Hacker is the Co-Founder and CTO of Duolingo. Duolingo is the leading mobile learning platform globally, offering 100 courses in 40 languages with approximately 70 million monthly active users. At Duolingo, Hacker is in charge of the technology that powers Duolingo’s mission to provide free access to education. He’s the internal champion of innovation, ensuring that Duolingo leverages the latest advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence to scale and personalize language learning.

Hacker was selected by the MIT Technology Review as one of the top young innovators of our time.

 

Jaime Robinson, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Joan Creative

Jaime Robinson is the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of JOAN, a creative company founded in 2016, which includes JOAN Creative and JOAN Studios, with offices in New York and London.

JOAN has been named Independent Agency of the Year by Campaign, Small Agency of the Year by Adweek, and Stand Out on AdAge’s A-List. Robinson has been honored as one of Fast Company’s & “100 Most Creative People in Business,” was one of Ad Age’s “40 Under 40,” and Adweek’s “50 Creatives Whose Brilliant Ideas and Beautiful Craft Will Make You Jealous.” Her work has won every award show, including an Emmy for “Outstanding New Approach” to Entertainment.

She believes that the world is inherently wonderful, that people are drawn to interesting things, and that “why not?” are two of the most powerful words in the English language. 

 

Vitus “V” Spehar, Host of Under the Desk News

V Spehar is a Rochester-based LGBTQIA+ podcaster, online personality, and citizen journalist. Spehar launched Under the Desk News on TikTok in April 2020 with the aim to make news media less intimidating and easier to understand and rapidly amassed 2.9 million followers. Their one-minute segments (literally delivered from under a desk) have attracted a bipartisan audience. In 2022, Spehar launched V Interesting, a GLAAD-nominated long-form podcast with original reporting that tackles various topics from Gen Z voter engagement to gender-affirming surgery. Their reporting has taken them to the press room of the 2023 State of the Union to hosting NBC’s live stream of the Thanksgiving Day Parade to speaking at UNESCO summits. 

 

Sarah Harden, CEO of Hello Sunshine

Sarah Harden is the CEO of Hello Sunshine, a media brand anchored in storytelling, with a mission to change the narrative for women. Alongside founder Reese Witherspoon, Harden leads Hello Sunshine’s rapid growth as a premium content studio and direct-to-consumer media brand developing, scripted and unscripted television series, films, short-form storytelling, audio content, and more. 

Prior to her time with Hello Sunshine, Harden was President of Otter Media, a privately held joint venture between AT&T and The Chernin Group, where she focused on building leading direct-to-consumer media brands before selling the venture in 2018 to AT&T for a reported ~$1.5B. Prior to joining The Chernin Group, she spent 10 years at News Corp/Fox, in Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Harden began her career at Boston Consulting Group in Melbourne, Australia. Sarah serves on the Board and Compensation Committee of Magnite. 

 

Ashley Flowers, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of audiochuck

 

Ashley Flowers is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of audiochuck, the award-winning, independent media and podcast production company known for its standout content and storytelling across different genres, including true crime, fiction, comedy, and more. Most recently, Ashley is also the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, “All Good People Here.“

As CCO, she works with her team to create an overarching content strategy and vision for the network of shows and company growth. She also hosts several audiochuck shows, including top-rated podcasts Crime Junkie, The Deck, and The Deck Investigates. At the core of the company and all its podcasts, Ashley and her team are committed to developing responsible true crime content.

Ashley is passionate about advocacy work and established the nonprofit Season of Justice in 2020 to provide financial resources in order to help solve cold cases.

 

Deborah Kelson, VP of Marketing at Switchboard

 

Deborah Kelson is a marketing leader who’s built brands at mission-driven companies for over two decades. She’s led teams at big companies and startups, including Walmart, Evite, LeapFrog, and most recently, Switchboard, where she’s the VP of Marketing.

Switchboard’s mission is to make teamwork the best part of work. They launched in 2022 and received numerous accolades, including Product Hunt’s Golden Kitty and #1 Product of the Day, Forbes’ Cloud 100 Rising Star, TIME’s Best Inventions of 2022, Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2023, and last but certainly not least, a 2023 Webby Award for Productivity & Collaboration.

Kelson’s tech experience spans B2B software as a service (SaaS), education, grocery delivery, eCommerce, mobile apps, and subscription services. Kelson is also the author and illustrator of the children’s book “Peanut Butter or Jelly.” 

 

Malvina Goldfeld, Chief Product Officer at Podimo

Malvina Goldfeld is the Chief Product Officer at Podimo, a premium audio entertainment subscription service available across seven markets. In her role, Goldfeld is responsible for the company’s product vision, strategy, and execution, and supports the product, design, research, and data teams.

With over 15 years of experience, Goldfeld has crafted strategies and built products, programs, and teams at Meta, PayPal, Battery Ventures, and McKinsey. Throughout her journey, she’s been passionate about unlocking opportunities for people globally by providing access to technology, education, and financial tools.

 

Paul Caiozzo, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer at Supernatural

Paul Caiozzo is one of the most recognized and awarded advertising creatives. His work has been parodied multiple times on Saturday Night Live, praised by Al Gore, debated on CNN, and displayed in The Smithsonian, The Museum of Modern Art, and Poster House, the first poster museum in the US. Campaigns such as “Whopper Freakout” and “Help I Want to Save a Life” were included in the Taschen book “Game Changers” about the work that redefined advertising.

In his current role as founder of Supernatural, Caiozzo uses artificial intelligence and creativity to get brands as much attention as possible. Previously, he founded ID, an AdAge Small Agency of the Year. Caiozzo was also the ECD of Goodby Silverstein & Partners NY, an AdAge Standout. His early career was at Crispin Porter Bogusky, defining the Burger King brand. While there, Paul was named one of the world’s most awarded creatives; Burger King was voted Client of the Year, and Crispin Agency of the Year.

In addition to advertising, Paul is a limited partner in two venture capital firms and an advisor to numerous startups.

 

Samira Ansari, Chief Creative Officer of Deutsch New York

An international multi-award-winning creative, Samira Ansari has worked across Fortune 500 brands, including AB InBev’s Michelob Ultra, U by Kotex, ESPN, Virgin Atlantic and P&G’s Pringles. In 2022, she brought home the only Cannes Gold Lion in Innovation for a world-first physical vs. virtual tennis match between real-life John McEnroe and his digital avatars from the past for Michelob Ultra. ‘McEnroe vs. McEnroe’ also received a 2023 Sports Emmy Award in the Best Digital Innovation category. In 2022, she was recognized on Adweek’s Creative 100 list.

Before Deutsch NY, Ansari led the AB InBev business portfolio at FCB New York. She’s worked across three continents and held creative roles at Johannes Leonardo, Grey Group, Leo Burnett New York, TBWA\Chiat\Day, J. Walter Thompson, and Saatchi & Saatchi Paris. Her work been recognized at the Cannes Lions Festival, The D&AD, Effies, The One Show, Clio, and the ADC.

 

We’re excited to celebrate the full scope of digital creativity with our expert panel of leaders and pioneers. Learn more about our new categories this season—including honors recognizing outstanding B2B Marketing, AI, and Short-Form Video!  

ENTER THE WEBBY AWARDS TODAY

To honor your work at our most exciting season yet, enter the 28th Annual Webby Awards by the Early Entry Deadline on Friday, October 27th

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