Feeling the Power

Empower Role Model Lists

A trio of leaders from VMLY&R and VMLY&R COMMERCE have been honored on the Empower Role Model Lists supported by Yahoo Finance, which showcase individuals in global business who are opening opportunities within the workplace for people of co

For the third consecutive year, Debbie Ellison, global chief digital officer at VMLY&R COMMERCE, has been named to the Empower Ethnic Minority Executive Role Models List 2022.

Nikeisha Beckford, group director of client engagement at VMLY&R Detroit, and Francis Carrero-Green, senior talent development manager at VMLY&R New York, have been named to the Empower Future Leaders Role Models List 2022.

Click here to see all of the honorees.

More about Debbie Ellison:

After establishing VMLY&R COMMERCE’s Roots UK network, six further Employee Resource Groups have been introduced including gender equality, parents & carers and LGBTQ+. Debbie’s Incubator work experience program for 16–18-year-olds is in its fourth year. Students from Black, Asian, Mixed Ethnicity or lower socio-economic backgrounds are eligible for £10,000 grants to study business administration thanks to the partnership Debbie established with Hult Business School. The Incubator has been exported to New York with Bronx Community School and is set to expand across Europe. Debbie has led VMLY&R COMMERCE to track 60 DE&I KPIs resulting in the business being named Diversity & Inclusion Company of the Year 2021. She is set to launch the Inclusion Experience consultancy, helping businesses undergo similar transformational change. In the Ethnicity Awards 2020 & 2021, Debbie was listed in the Inspirational Leader Category. Through her connection with Inspiring the Future, Debbie regularly speaks at schools to give insight into the industry and her career pathway.

More about Nikeisha Beckford:

With almost 20 years in marketing and advertising, Nikeisha has been blessed to make awesome happen. As chair of Fluorescent, VMLY&R's Black ERG, Nikeisha shapes strategies, programming and activations to empower the agency’s Black talent. She co-produced VMLY&R's celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month, and co-hosted Just Ad Flava, a conference featuring conversations on health, wellness, and culture with VMLY&R employees, client partners, and notable guest speakers. Nikeisha is the leader of Detroit Experience Studio, a WPP-supported youth development initiative designed to build excitement for the industry among Detroit's Black and ethnically diverse students. As a host of The Level, a vodcast showcasing the realities of BIPOC talent in advertising, Nikeisha unpacks cultural, corporate, and industry issues. Additionally, she serves as a mentor for VMLY&R's Ujima program, which provides an opportunity for the agency's Black employees to build meaningful relationships through exposure and advocacy.

More about Francis Carrero-Green:

Throughout her career, Francis has been passionate about supporting the growth of talent in the marketing industry. Most recently, she co-created WPP’s NextGen Leaders Series, a global learning experience offering opportunities for early talent to learn, grow and connect with industry experts. The series included 846 international participants, with 55% representing talent from historically underrepresented communities. In 2021, she designed an e-course for the series and diversified the panelists, giving exposure to internal talent and reaching over 1500 global participants. Francis also managed WPP's Elevate Sponsorship & Leadership Program for Black Women. She supported the U.S. cohort and the program’s expansion into Canada, resulting in more than 50% of participants gaining internal career mobility, client exposure, and promotions. Francis is now a Sr. Talent Manager at VMLY&R - a WPP agency - where she creates learning experiences to enhance the development of talent with a focus on DE&I and belonging.

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