Just after lunch, during the judging of last year's MM&M Awards program, one of the panel groups—comprising Millennium president and CEO Deborah Dunsire, sanofi-aventis media director Joan Mikardos, Euro RSCG Life CEO Doug Burcin and WEGO Health CEO, and all-round digital guru, Jack Barrette—had reached a juncture. The next batch of print creative to be reviewed for the “best integrated campaign” submissions, was mounted to the reverse side of a display panel, facing away from the group; something of a hindrance to this clutch of leaders who are used to getting things done efficiently and effectively.
It hadn't occurred to any of them to wait for the hired help to arrive. Together as one, they rose from their seats, rolled up their collective sleeves and, with Dunsire and Burcin at one end, and Mikardos and Barrette at the other, they lifted the heavy display and rotated it 180 degrees, so the creative faced them. “It will save us time in the end,” Dunsire predicted, correctly, of course.
It's this type of dedication, determination and sense of purpose that typifies an MM&M Awards judge.
Last year's crop of 43 industry execs had already pre-judged many of the 830 entries by the time judging day rolled around, and here they were, at a New York hotel in the middle of summer, prepared to commit an entire day to painstakingly reviewing, discussing and scoring your submissions.
And it wasn't as if they didn't have anything better to do. Dunsire, for example, was still ironing out the kinks of a merger with Takeda, while Barrette was preparing to launch his WEGO Health enterprise. But our judges know how important these awards are to the industry and they are determined to fulfill their responsibilities of making sure the best work wins.
This year will be no different. We have been busy recruiting another spectacular crop of talent and expertise for the 2009 panel, revealed here for the first time, and there is little doubt that your entries will, once again, be in safe hands.
Exciting new recruits from the pharma side include: Peter Justason, director, global marketing group at Johnson & Johnson; two Pfizer heavyweights, VP worldwide communications Ray Kerins and senior director/team leader Jim Maffezzoli; Sam Trujillo, director, consumer marketing at Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals; Melissa Clark, director consumer marketing at Novartis; Mike Boken, senior product director, ADHD, at Shire; Stacy Miller, consumer marketing manager at Eli Lilly; and Whit Rawlinson, associate director at Boehringer Ingelheim.
They join the familiar faces of some of our veteran pharma judges, including: Meryl Weinreb of AstraZeneca; Joe Shields of Wyeth; Jennifer Rinaldo of Forest Pharmaceuticals; Debra Sangiuliano of Novartis; Ben Lei of Genentech and the aforementioned Mikardos.
And, as in previous years, the creative talent and leadership of numerous agencies and media companies will also be represented in depth.
However, like everybody else, the judges won't know the identity of the winners until October 29, when they will be revealed for the very first time at the spectacular Awards dinner in New York City. Mark it in your calendars.