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Signature Event

2020 Ad Woman of the Year: Lizette Williams

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A celebration event will be held March 24, 2021. Event details and registration will be available soon.

Lizette Williams is a leading marketing and advertising executive with expertise at driving the convergence of brand, culture and tech. She has worked across Fortune 50 companies driving consumer-centric growth strategies focused on cultural relevancy. In 2020 she was named one of “Top 25 Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal.  She is one of the foremost-awarded marketing executives in the field and was also inducted into the American Advertising Federation Advertising Hall of Achievement, the premier industry recognition for leaders under 40 who are making a significant impact in the industry and their communities. She has been listed as Crain’s Chicago Business “40 under 40,” Advertising Age “Women to Watch,” and Black Enterprise “Top Women Executives in Advertising and Marketing.” 

A respected thought leader and subject matter expert, Lizette is a sought-out speaker, lecturer, and advisor on marketing and culture. She has provided expertise as a keynote speaker and panelist at several premiere industry conferences, including SXSW, Advertising Week, Essence Fest, and multiple Association of National Advertisers conferences. She is frequently invited to keynote events at major companies to discuss cultural growth strategies including the Kraft Heinz Company, LinkedIn, and Ogilvy & Mather.

Lizette serves as the Global Head of Vertical Solutions Marketing at Facebook where she leads a global marketing team tasked with developing the business marketing strategy and approach across 7 industries including Consumer Packaged Goods, Retail, Gaming, and eCommerce. This combination of platform and digital work allows her to continue to drive cultural relevance and impact on a broader scale.

Lizette has worked in major marketing roles at McDonald’s, Kimberly-Clark Corporation and PepsiCo. She has consistently remained at the cutting-edge of driving innovative approaches that bring brand, culture and tech together.

Lizette’s love of all things “culture” comes from being a born-and-raised New Yorker (and proud “Afro-Latina.”) Currently based in Chicago, she serves on the Board of the Chicago Advertising Federation where she chairs the Diversity Thought Leadership Council.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of RealSelf, the leading healthcare marketplace for people considering an elective cosmetic treatment.  Additionally, Lizette chairs the American Advertising Federation Hall of Achievement Selection Committee. She has a passion for serving young people and women and as a result, has a countless number of mentees across the country. She spends her free time inspiring college students and has keynoted events at Northwestern University and Lincoln University as well as guest lectured classes at several other universities. Lastly, Lizette is a proud mother of two children who keep her filled with laughter and purpose.

Lizette received her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She received her BA in Economics/ Political Science through a joint program with Columbia University in New York City and the London School of Economics.

Past Honorees

2019 Tina Manikas
2018  Esther Franklin
2017 Laurel Flatt
2016 Morgan Flatley
2015 Trish Chuipek
2014 Laura Desmond
2013 Susan Credle
2012 Jackie Woodward
2011 Lisa Donohue
2010 Nina Abnee
2009 Karen Sauder
2008 Lisa Cochrane
2007 Dolores Kunda
2006 Fay Ferguson
2005 Yvonne Furth
2004 Marlena Peleo-Lazar
2003 Carla R. Michelotti
2002 Renetta McCann
2001 Dana Anderson
2000 Linda Wolf
1999 Tonise Paul
1998 Andrea Murphy
1997 Cheryl Berman
1996 Carole Darr
1995 Jayne Z. Spittler
1994 Sally Tassani
1993 Karen Randolph
1992 Maureen Moore
1991 Shari Wall
1990 Susan Gillette
1989 Lynne E. O’Shea
1988 Sherren Leigh
1987 Helen C. Schubert
1986 Patricia A. Cafferata
1985 Mary Ann McCarthy
1984 Yolanda Brugaletta
1983 Marilyn S. Levey
1982 Elizabeth Nickels
1981 Susan Kryl
1980 Elizabeth Harrington
1979 Ruth Ratny
1978 Jane Ellen Murray
1977 Carol H. Williams
1976 Dixie Fortis
1975 Charlotte Beers
1974 Barbara Gardner Proctor
1973 Virginia Doetsch
1972 Mimi Rommel
1971 Marion Howington
1970 S. Joyce Turovlin
1969 Rosemary E. Anderson
1968 Lois Patrich
1967 Dorothy E. Demmy
1966 Myrtle Green
1965 Margaret Carson
1964 Helen A. Krupka
1963 Jean Simpson
1962 Prudence Walter Allured
1961 Alice Westbrook
1960 Frances Kennedy
1959 Lavinia S. Schwartz
1958 Gladys W. Blair

About the program

The Advertising Woman of the Year Award (AWOY) has recognized outstanding leadership by a Woman in the Chicago Marketing Community since 1958. The AWOY is one of the oldest and most prestigious annual awards celebrated by the Chicago Advertising Federation. The AWOY recipient is someone who has made meaningful contributions to the Advertising profession through the development of concepts, innovations, practices or methodologies. The individual has worked towards increasing the stature and raising the standards of the advertising profession and contributed to the growth and development of others in the industry through professional, civic, and community activities.

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