ANA Honors Four New Rising Marketing Stars

Recipients from Church’s Chicken, Western Union, IBM, and Facebook
Honored at Masters of Marketing Annual Conference

ORLANDO, Fla. (October 20, 2016) — The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) recognized the 2016 recipients of its Rising Marketing Star Award today. The four honorees, all age 30 or under, were nominated by senior executives at their companies for having met the following criteria: 

  • Made valuable contributions to the overall excellence/effectiveness of their marketing organization
  • Demonstrated leadership, innovation, creativity, and accountability in executing their marketing responsibilities
  • Exemplified skill in integrating marketing disciplines and working with other professionals
  • Exhibited knowledge of current issues in advertising and familiarity with the tools marketers are using to reach their audiences 

The 2016 Rising Marketing Stars are: 

Kira Clayborne
Senior Manager, Digital
Church’s Chicken
Kira Clayborne isn’t a Georgia native, but she’s felt right at home at Church’s Chicken since 2014, launching, maintaining, and expanding its digital program. Beginning with a strategy revamp, which led to hitting and exceeding all digital objectives over the past two years, Kira intuitively understood what a brand needs to succeed. She also led the successful relaunch of the company’s app at the beginning of 2015, which sparked a deeper dive into the meaning of a “loyal guest.” From introducing and implementing strategies to managing content through to execution, she built an integrated ecosystem in a complex franchise system. She is a passionate storyteller with a natural ability to connect brands to their most important audiences.

Michael Reese
Assistant Manager, Marketing
Western Union
As an assistant manager for the Americas marketing team at Western Union, Michael Reese splits his time between CRM, loyalty, and prepaid cards. He focuses on customer retention and acquisition, campaign strategy, and analysis and works on offers to drive loyalty signups. Michael is also the marketing lead for the Western Union NetSpend prepaid MasterCard, where he strategizes and executes retail (POS, card packaging) and direct-to-consumer (direct mail, email, social media, digital display) co-branded marketing with the NetSpend team. He has been with Western Union since April 2012.

Sara Sindelar
Next Gen Intrapreneur
Sara Sindelar has a passion for driving engagement and awareness to make IBM relevant to the Millennial generation. She joined IBM as an intern in 2008 and has held multiple roles in marketing since then. Sara was also accepted into the Marketing Leadership Development Program in 2012, where she worked on a project targeting Millennials. Her team focuses on building brand awareness with the next generation of buyers. She is also a co-leader of the IBM Millennial Corps. Sara graduated from Syracuse University in 2010 with a degree in marketing and finance. While working at IBM, she is pursuing an M.B.A. at NYU Stern and will graduate in May 2017.

Matt Sutton
Vertical Marketing Manager
Global Business Marketing
Matt Sutton joined Facebook in 2014 to lead B-to-B marketing for the company in the financial services industry. After a year he was promoted to lead marketing for Facebook in the political arena. In 2016 he built Facebook’s first B-to-B integrated marketing campaign, “Win with Us,” which redefined the role of business marketing at the company. He hired a team and partnered with global creative agencies to develop Facebook’s first local campaign in Washington, D.C., to change the way Facebook interacts with its political partners. Matt’s campaign reached Facebook’s 2,200 priority political clients directly, through monthly events and targeted outdoor, digital, and experiential channels, using partisan segmentation, geo-targeting, and creative tailored specifically to each client. With over 160,000 impressions, 199,000 video views, positive PR coverage, and a presence at the national conventions, the work educated and inspired political campaigns and agencies on how to “Find Your Voters on Facebook.”

“These young executives serve as role models for other up-and-coming marketers across the industry,” said Bob Liodice, CEO of the ANA. “They contributed materially to the overall excellence and effectiveness of the marketing operations in their respective companies, and their work is measurable and accountable. We congratulate them on their achievement.”

The four recipients were recognized in front of 2,700 attendees at the 2016 ANA Masters of Marketing Conference, currently being held at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.

The Rising Marketing Star program was enacted in 2010 to celebrate the ANA’s 100th anniversary. It has become an annual recognition program at the Masters of Marketing Conference. Nominations for the 2017 award will be solicited in early summer of 2017.




The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) makes a difference for individuals, brands, and the industry by advancing the interests of marketers and promoting and protecting the well-being of the marketing community. Founded in 1910, the ANA provides leadership that advances marketing excellence and shapes the future of the industry. The ANA’s membership includes nearly 1,000 companies with 15,000 brands that collectively spend or support more than $300 billion in marketing and advertising annually. The membership is comprised of more than 700 client-side marketers and nearly 250 Associate Members, which include leading agencies, law firms, suppliers, consultants, and vendors. Further enriching the ecosystem is the work of the nonprofit Advertising Educational Foundation (AEF), an ANA subsidiary. The AEF’s mission is to enhance the understanding of advertising and marketing within the academic and marketing communities.

John Wolfe
Director of Communications
Office: 212.455.8011
Cell: 914.659.8663