2024 Press Releases

23 April 2024
Press Contact: Patricia Censoprano 
Mobile: +1 917 287 2824

For Immediate Release 


Meet the Coaches from Asia and MENA
(New York 23 April 2024) LIA created the exclusive and sought after Creative LIAisons educational program in 2012, as a way of giving back to the industry that supports us. The entire program is funded by LIA. Our mission is to develop, educate, inspire and nurture emerging talent from around the globe. That in a nutshell is the driving purpose behind the Creative LIAisons initiative.
LIA added this virtual mentoring/coaching program in 2021, to augment the onsite Creative LIAisons program held in Las Vegas later this year. This is part of LIA’s on-going efforts to give back to the industry by supporting and nurturing the younger generation of creatives.
Beginning in May and continuing through November, approximately 200 mentees will begin their Creative LIAisons Virtual Coaching journey. As part of the program, each mentee will have three one-to-one bespoke coaching sessions with three different well-known, well-awarded and well-established industry leaders from around the world.
“Challenger, cheerleader, coach, confidant. Our coaches are all of these and more to the mentees. To the 200 mentees joining this program, we urge you to make the most of your sessions. Grasp your personal sessions with both hands. It’s a rare opportunity to be mentored by not just one, but three industry greats. Push yourself (and your mentors) out of your comfort zone. Let it be your purpose to get the best out of yourself, and in time you’ll be able to pass on the lessons you’ve learnt to coming generations,” said Laurissa Levy, Creative LIAisons Director/Events Director.
“Life is a learning experience. Talking with older people is also a learning experience”, stated Sompat Trisadikun, Chief Creative Officer at GreyNJ United Thailand.
This year, there are 35 mentors from Asia and MENA. Among the list of coaches are:  
Akrum Hossain, Executive Creative Director at Asiatic MCL, Dhaka
Jon Ip, Executive Creative Director / Managing Director at AKQA, Shanghai
Hong Kong:
Reed Collins, Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy APAC, Hong Kong
Katheryn Lui, APAC Strategy Lead at Publicis Groupe, Hong Kong
Swati Bhattacharya, Former Creative Chairperson at FCB India, Gurugram
Ashish Chakravarty, Executive Director / India Head of Creative at McCann Worldgroup, Mumbai
Birger Linke, Executive Creative Director at VML, Mumbai
Mukund Olety, Chief Creative Officer at VML, Mumbai
Josy Paul, Chairperson / Chief Creative Officer at BBDO India, Mumbai
Umma Saini, Chief Creative Officer at Schbang, Mumbai
Tista Sen, Creative Brand Consultant in Mumbai
Tista Sen commented, “LIA is an institution and the program of mentoring young creative talent on the cusp of their careers is an extremely rewarding and fulfilling experience for both mentor and mentee. The industry as we know it is changing and its new technology, new tools and the power of AI that dominates every conversation. But we excel at brand building and creative ideas that grow the business we handle and at the heart of advertising lies this truth. I am eager to share, imbibe and hope both sides get to take away something valuable and insightful. And yeah, make it fun.”
Yasu Sasaki, Global Chief Creative Officer at Dentsu Group, Tokyo
Doug Schiff, Chief Creative Officer at VML Ogilvy Japan, Tokyo
Thomas Hongtack Kim, Chief Creative Officer at Paulus, Seoul
Bill Yom, Chief Creative Officer at Jung von Matt Hangang, Seoul
Donevan Chew, Chief Creative Officer at Havas Malaysia, Petaling Jaya
Emir Shafri, Chief Creative Officer at Publicis Groupe Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
Atiya Zaidi, CEO/Chief Creative Officer at BBDO Pakistan, Lahore
Merlee Jayme, Chairmom / Founder of The Misfits Camp, Makati City
Joey David Tiempo, Founder & CEO at Octopus&Whale, Makati City
Saudi Arabia:
Tonie Tannous, Creative Director at Leo Burnett, Riyadh
Joji Jacob, Regional Chief Creative Officer - SEA & NA at Havas
Meryke Naude, Creative Director for Mullenlowe Beauty at Mullenlowe Singapore
Guan Hin Tay, Creative Chairman at BBDO, Singapore
Alfred Wee, Executive Creative Director at McCann Worldgroup, Singapore
Firrdaus Yusoff, Head of Creative at Forsman & Bodenfors, Singapore
“People often underestimate the impact the right mentor can have on a young creative. As a former LIA mentee, my message to all creative leaders out there is this: I urge you to make time. Give back. Even if it’s just for an hour. Because your words could potentially light up and stir something special in the next generation of creative superstars”, stated Firrdaus Yusoff, Head of Creative at Forsman & Bodenfors
Lulu Lu, Chief Creative Officer at VML Taiwan, Taipei
Nopparath Eksuwancharoen, Executive Creative Director / Head of Art at SOUR, Bangkok
Fajar Kurnia, Co-Founder/CEO/CCO at GOODSTUPH Thailand, Bangkok
Sompat Trisadikun, Chief Creative Officer at GreyNJ United Thailand, Bangkok
Ohm Dissara Udomdej, CEO / Creative Founder at Yell Advertising, Bangkok
United Arab Emirates
Paul Banham, Chief Creative Officer at MullenLowe Mena, Dubai
Sebastien Boutebel, Chief Creative Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi ME, Dubai
Federico Fanti, Chief Creative Officer at FP7 McCann, Dubai
Ali Rez, Chief Creative Officer at IMPACT BBDO, Dubai
“Being a Creative LIAisons mentee nine years ago has got to be one of the most pivotal moments in my career. The mentorship I received, lessons I learned and connections I made truly fast-tracked my career and have shaped me into the creative leader I am today. Which is why when LIA asked me to join this one-of-a-kind programme as a coach, it was an instant yes. I am simply thrilled and honoured for this opportunity to pay forward the lessons I learned from my own coaches to the next generation of rising stars, while learning a thing or two from my mentees as well,” stated Emir Shafri, Chief Creative Officer at Publicis Groupe Malaysia
This virtual mentoring/coaching program has become an integral part of the Creative LIAisons program. The importance of mentoring cannot be over stated. Some of the most famous people had mentors. The film director, J.J. Abrams, for instance, has always been inspired by Steven Spielberg. As a teenager, Abrams was hired by Spielberg to clean old reels and organize old Spielberg films. Over time, Spielberg came to appreciate Abrams’ passion for the craft and agreed to help him. Abrams credits this mentorship for helping him in production and opening up opportunities for him. J.J. Abrams has been called the next Spielberg.
These mentoring/coaching sessions aim to cover all disciplines with emphasis on skill development, elevating ideas and boosting creative confidence to fast track careers. Creativity is fluid, so there are no set rules or a prescribed formula for the sessions. Each mentee and their mentors are at full liberty to design how they want to conduct each session. The end game? To hone the skills of young creatives, so they can reach their full potential and rise to greater heights.
Fajar Kurnia, Co-Founder, CEO, CCO of GOODSTUPH Thailand commented, “Some people are lucky to meet great mentors early in their careers. I was one of them, and looking back, I couldn't be more grateful to have had these mentors guide me on the fast-growth path as a creative. Now, more than ever, our industry needs the best people to push boundaries further. The LIA Coaching Academy is such a great initiative I'm privileged to be a part of. I hope I can be as useful to the new generation of creatives as my mentors were to me.”
How are mentees matched with their respective mentors?

While mentees are able to submit their wish list from the list of 200 mentors, there are a few criteria we abide by. The rule of thumb is: no mentee will be mentored/coached by someone in their own company, either locally or globally.
The focus is on the mentees – to give them greater length, breadth, height and depth with these sessions. So careful consideration is given to the mentees’ requests.
Creative LIAisons endeavors to make matches based on interests, goals and their fields within the industry. We begin by making sure they have among their coaches at least one who is in their field of expertise. The other two can be from different backgrounds, regions and different disciplines to broaden mentees’ perspectives. Each coach has a different mentoring style based on their strengths and experience, so by being assigned three different coaches this leads to the mentees gaining valuable insight that ultimately benefits their career goals and growth.
Selection process

To be eligible for the program, mentees have to be currently working in the industry or a related business and be between the ages of 21 - 30 years old.
LIA does not directly select mentees. We leave it up to Companies and Agency Networks that support LIA to put forward candidates. Additionally, LIA collaborates with different Ad Clubs and Associations, and Trade Press by generously allocating spaces to winners of creative competitions organized by them.  We want everyone to get a fair shot at a place in the virtual program.
Winners from these regional competitions, selected by local creative leaders based on their creativity, will then become part of the Virtual program cohort.  
To cast the net even wider, the Creative LIAisons Virtual Program does accept a certain quota of self-nominations.
View all 2024 coaches and 2024 mentees.
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To the Editor:
London International Awards (LIA) is a Creative Awards Festival, established in 1986, by Barbara Levy, President. Barbara was the first woman to found and operate an International Awards Show honoring multiple media types. 39 years later, LIA continues to hold the unique distinction of being the only international award owned by a woman and having a full-time staff of only women.
LIA stands as a champion of the creative process, creatives themselves, and of course, great creative ideas and executions. We are proud to award the best creative work each year in all forms of media: Advertising, Design, Package Design, Data, Technology, Craft, Health, Pharma, Music, PR, Innovation, Strategy, B2B and much more.
That’s why every year, LIA invites industry leaders and trendsetters on both the creative and client side, assembling the most celebrated people for 10 days of judging in Las Vegas. To cut through the thousands of entries to get to the metal, you need the best jurors from diverse communities – not just meeting DEI standards but having true representation from across the regions, companies, networks, holding companies, independent companies to clients.
All members on our diverse global jury panels, including the Jury Presidents, judge all entries in their respective competitions with the exception to work that they personally collaborated on or was entered from their company. The LIA judging process requires that jurors are onsite for all judging from the first round through statue discussions. There is no pre-judging to narrow the entries.