Keynote Speakers

Monique Nelson


Chief Executive Officer (CEO), UniWorld Group

Monique L. Nelson is chair and executive officer of UWG, the country’s longest-standing multicultural marketing agency. She took the helm of the agency in May 2012, when founder and advertising pioneer Byron Lewis retired.

Headquartered in Brooklyn, with offices in Detroit, Atlanta and Miami, UWG maintains a list of esteemed clients. Today, this list includes Ford Motor Company, Colgate-Palmolive, The Home Depot, Bacardi U.S. and Coca-Cola. As one of the country’s leading multicultural agencies, UWG services its clients with General Market, Black, Hispanic, Asian and LGBT marketing and advertising, digital and traditional advertising, consumer insight, public relations, consumer healthcare communications and cultural fluency consulting.

Ms. Nelson has expanded the agency’s client list and has led her team in the development of several award-winning campaigns that show the wide range of the agency’s expertise, as well as its ability to connect its clients with growing and diverse cultures of today’s marketplace. With today’s minorities becoming the new majority, Ms. Nelson sees the role of multicultural agencies as even more important than when UWG was founded 50 years ago.

While a one-size fits-all marketing campaign might be efficient, it may not be effective, according to Ms. Nelson. Thus, her vision for UWG is to continue its history of providing the deep insight, knowledge and cultural nuance that keeps its clients connected to their consumers.

Prior to joining UWG, Ms. Nelson was the Global Lead for Entertainment Marketing at Motorola, where she ensured that the technology giant’s entertainment and music strategies and alliances lived up to their promise as results-driven strategic marketing weapons worldwide.

Today, her leadership extends beyond her C-suite at UWG. Ms. Nelson contributes to many organizations and charities. She sits on the Advertising Week Global Board, AdWeek Diversity & Inclusion Council, The Brandeis Board of Trustees, The Eagle Academy Board, as well as the New York Advisory Board for The Posse Foundation, of which she is an alumna. She is a participant in the ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing. Ms. Nelson continues to give back to her undergraduate alma mater by supporting the Vanderbilt on Madison Avenue Internship Program. She is also a member of the Brooklyn Chapter of Links, Inc., an international, not-for-profit corporation established in 1946, which is the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organization of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining, and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.

Ms. Nelson has an MBA in international marketing and finance from Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science degree in human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University. In 2016, she received United Way of New York City’s Women’s Leadership Council’s Power of Women to Make a Difference Award. Her other distinguished honors include: The Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women Under Forty, Ad Age’s 40 Under 40, and the 2015 Advertising Working Mothers of the Year.

Gerald Sims


Global Operations Manager, Qualtrics

Gerald graduated from Purdue University in 2009 with a B.S. in Business Management and Minors in Marketing and Finance. After working in corporate finance for two years, Gerald left the private sector and commissioned as a Marine Officer in 2011. During his time with 1st Intelligence Battalion aboard Camp Pendleton, California, Gerald served in Platoon Commander and Company Executive Officer billets. Gerald has one combat deployment to Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He transitioned from Active Duty to the Marine Corps Reserves in 2017. In addition, Gerald received his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management in 2019 and is now a Global Operations Manager at Qualtrics.

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