From Story Telling to Story Living: Breaking Through Invisibility Together
Date: Thursday, May 27, 2021
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM ET
Location: Zoom Webinar
Join us to celebrate Asian Heritage Month through a Panel Discussion on Breaking through Invisibility Together.
Chairman and Chief Connectivity Officer
Bill Imada is founder, chairman and chief connectivity officer of IW Group, a minority- owned and operated advertising, marketing and communications agency focusing on the growing multicultural markets. For more than 20 years, he has worked with many of the top companies in the U.S., including American Airlines, City of Hope, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Godiva Chocolatier, HBO, Lexus, McDonald’s, Southern California Edison, Verizon, Walmart Stores, Walt Disney Imagineering, and Warner Bros. Pictures. His areas of expertise include advertising, branding, multicultural communications, marketing, crisis management, and public relations.
Imada lives in Los Angeles, CA and is active in the community and serves on several boards and advisory councils. His board service includes the Advertising Educational Foundation, California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, Center for Asian American Media, and the LAGRANT Foundation. Imada also co-founded the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) and established the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (ACE), an organization based in Washington, D.C. His efforts have been recognized by The White House, and he was invited to meet President Obama with 12 other Asian/Pacific Islander American leaders. Imada was later appointed to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Imada co-founded the National Millennial Community, an organization consisting of NextGen leaders from 27 states and the District of Columbia whose mission is to break the negative stereotypes that often define millennials in the U.S.
Alex Lord is a KPMG Partner in the Consumer and Industrial Businesses practice of KPMG’s Philadelphia Office and has over 18 years’ experience in auditing energy, consumer and industrial markets companies. Alex has served a variety of public companies including a multinational distribution company with $6+ billion in annual revenues and currently one of the nation's largest independent power producers. In addition, Alex serves as the co-chair of the KPMG’s Philadelphia office Asian and Pacific Islander business resource group.
Janice Min is a contributing editor at TIME, covering culture, business and entertainment across multiple platforms. Earlier, she was the longtime co-president of the Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Entertainment Group, where she engineered a publishing rebirth of The Hollywood Reporter hailed as a “stunning transformation” by the New York Times. Previously, as editor-in-chief of Us Weekly (2002-2009), she was cited as having transformed modern popular culture, creating a Zeitgeist phenomenon that was named publishing’s Top Performer of the Decade by Cappell Circulation Report. She also has served as a consultant to NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, and developed news programming for the streaming service Quibi.
Debbie Leilani Shon
Chief Strategy Officer
Debbie Shon has been an activist in political, legal and sports & entertainment fora for decades. She practiced law as a litigation partner with leading law firms, advising clients concerning sensitive and complex economic, trade, and national security matters. The first female NBA agent, she also represented athletes as well as entertainers. Most recently, Debbie chaired the International Trade & Public Policy group at the litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, and recently assumed the post of Chief Strategy Officer for USA Gymnastics.
Debbie has also worked as a business executive in major corporations. She served as VP for International Trade Law & Global Public Policy at U.S. Steel - the first Asian American in the C-suite of the 115+ year old iconic American brand. Debbie also served as CEO & Chief Legal Counsel for China operations of the world’s leading live entertainment firm, where she managed the P/L, legal affairs and government relations and public policy in the region.
Debbie is the recipient of the Wiley W. Manual Pro Bono Award from the California State Bar Board of Governors for her work in the community after the LA civil unrest. She is also the recipient of the 2016 USC Asian American Leadership Award and the 2019 Daniel Inouye Trailblazer Award and the Women’s Leadership Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
Before practicing law, Debbie served as the Legislative Director to the Dean of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus, and a national lobbyist for the largest education association.
She is a graduate of USC and Georgetown University Law Center. Debbie is honored to serve on the Smithsonian National Board of Advisors. She is also the Vice Chair of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, a Fellow in the Aspen Institute and the American Bar Foundation and active in NAPABA, USC APAA, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and the American Society of International Law.
Sanjay M. Sharma
Founder & CEO
Sanjay Sharma is the Founder and CEO of Marginal Mediaworks. MARGINAL is a premium content studio focused on popular storytelling genres from outsider voices, across all formats – film, television, animation, interactive series and premium podcasts. https://marginal.media/
The company’s first film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019, opened the Austin Film Festival and won the Audience Award at Outfest 2020. The company’s second film is in post production and its third completed photography in September 2020 despite Covid, with Blumhouse and Amazon. Marginal has feature films set up across studios and streamers, a fast-growing animation slate (including a series announced with Quavo and Quality Control), and is also in post-production on its first premium, scripted audio series.
Sharma began his career as an intellectual property, technology transactions and entertainment lawyer at Warner Bros. He left the law and the film business in favor of technology startups, joining advertising high flyer Spot Runner (Index Ventures, Battery Ventures, WPP, IPG, CBS, Tudor Capital) as an early employee. Sharma then helped start and lead Machinima, the first YouTube MCN, backed by Redpoint Ventures, The Raine Group, Google Capital and Warner Bros., the latter of which acquired the firm in 2016. Prior to Marginal, he was the Chief Executive and co-founder of ALL DEF Media, a leading digital media brand in hip hop and urban content, where he drew the support of a broad range of investors including Greycroft Partners, WPP, Advancit Capital, Bryant Stibel, Andreessen Horowitz and Universal Music Group.
Sharma has spent his career at the intersection of media and technology, and currently is an advisor or board member to a wide range of entertainment and technology companies including Mars Reel, Skybound Entertainment, EmoJam, D36, Knowable, Culture Genesis and HEIR, through his advisory and investment firm, Short Message Service. He is the Chairman of the Board of CAPE, the Coalition of Asian American & Pacific Islanders in Entertainment; a founding Board Member of Gold House, a leading collective of Asian American leaders in tech, the arts, activism, food, fashion and finance; has been an Adjunct Professor at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism; and speaks widely, from Cannes to the United States Congress, on new and traditional media, with a particular emphasis on the importance of diversity and representation in the content industries.
Sharma was born in India and immigrated to the United States as a child. He was raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is a Phi Beta Kappa, Sum Cum Laude graduate of Columbia University in the City of New York, where he studied film and history, and a graduate with distinction, of the Stanford Law School, where he focused on intellectual property, the arts, and critical race theory. Following graduation, Sharma clerked for the Honorable Raymond C. Fisher of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to Law School, he spent two years at the United States Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, working on a task force with Attorney General Janet Reno.
Prior to College, Sharma hosted weekly rock and jazz shows at WBRH 90.3 FM, Baton Rouge and was the youngest station programmer in the country.
Chief Marketing Officer
Campbells Meals & Beverage
Linda Lee was appointed Chief Marketing Officer in December 2019. Linda has full marketing and brand responsibility, in addition to P&L accountability, for Campbell’s U.S. retail Meals & Beverages division. She and her team are responsible for driving demand for Campbell’s U.S. brands, leveraging new consumer-driven models across traditional and digital media channels along with a disciplined innovation approach.
Previously, Linda held the Chief Marketing Officer roles at Stonyfield Farm and Chef Cut’s Real Jerky, where she was accountable for the P&L while setting the portfolio strategy and executing the national brand and advertising. Her experience also includes a decade at Mondelēz, where she led the integration of the U.S. and Canadian savory cracker business, launched Good Thins, drove a total business turnaround for Triscuit crackers, and led the gum category launch in China. Earlier in her career, she spent a combined 10 years at General Mills in consumer insights and at Procter & Gamble in product development.
Linda earned her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University. She is a member of the MMA North America Board of Directors. She is a self-described avid podcast learner, pragmatic optimist, and Peloton junkie.