The 4 Under 40 Emerging Leaders Award honors individuals who have already made significant contributions to marketing and its sub-fields and have demonstrated leadership and continuing service. These up-and-coming marketers are impacting the profession and have the potential to shape the future of the marketing industry.
The 2023 AMAF 4 Under 40 Emerging Leader Award recipients are innovative risk-takers and mentors who break down barriers and will continue to influence the industry for years to come. Congratulations!
2023 Recipients (in alphabetical order):
Marketing Executive | AI Consultant
Drew Brucker is a Marketing Executive, SaaS GTM leader and AI Consultant.
He spent the first half of his career in Sales before pivoting to Marketing. In just six years, Drew rose from entry-level to vice president, primarily by way of the b2b tech scene.
Most recently at LASSO, Drew orchestrated a holistic marketing strategy that saw 11x ARR growth. He also piloted the successful rollout of four new products within a tight six-month frame, setting unprecedented totals for waitlist enrollments, event engagement, sign-ups, attendance, and participant retention in the process.
Drew is a people-first leader, focused on bringing camaraderie, development, and healthy competitiveness to his teams. He’s known among his peers for his deep curiosity and unyielding willingness to learn, which allows him to stay on the cutting edge of his craft and interests.
With the recent developments around AI, Drew is heavily focused on integrating AI into team and organizational workflows. More specifically, he’s emerged as a vocal proponent and educator for Midjourney, an AI text-to-image tool, highlighting the potential it holds for B2B companies. He’s working with companies that want to integrate and adopt AI into their organizations creative and marketing operations.
Drew is also an avid creator on LinkedIn, where he’s amassed 17k+ followers. There, he shares actionable insights around Marketing and AI, using it as an opportunity to connect with others and validate ideas and perspectives.
Drew calls Atlanta, GA, home. Outside of work, Drew is a husband (Marianna) and father to twin girls (Mila and Ellie). He enjoys photography, design, sports, and wellness.
Digital Marketing Manager at Shondaland and CEO of MOXIE Nashville
Vannesia Darby is an experienced, results-driven digital marketing consultant who has launched successful online campaigns for brands and companies including Sony Music Entertainment, Emmy Award winner Rome Flynn, billion dollar software company ConvertKit, and the YMCA. A dynamic public speaker and writer, she helps others pursue their passions while creating a vibrant culture of success.
In 2016, Darby founded the consulting agency, MOXIE Nashville which provides creative services, curriculum, and merchandise to entrepreneurs and entertainers. Leading a successful digital agency honed Darby’s unique eye for owned media and resulted in her re-entry into the corporate world in 2022.
Currently a Digital Marketing Manager for Shondaland, Darby oversees the implementation of the company’s social strategy relative to branding, design, and tone. Based in Los Angeles, Shondaland is a global production company spearheaded by award-winning writer, producer, and industry titan, Shonda Rhimes.
Most recently awarded the 2023 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Nashville Chapter of the American Marketing Association, Darby is currently pursuing a PhD in Management with a marketing concentration at Kennesaw State University.
Marketing Director at Informa Engage
Lauren Heath is a dynamic and seasoned marketer with extensive experience in both digital and traditional marketing landscapes. With a history of working alongside Fortune 500 clients and global enterprises, Lauren brings a wealth of strategic expertise and vision to every brand she works with.
Drawing from over 12 years of marketing experience, Lauren has honed her skills to become a true maestro in orchestrating marketing campaigns that seamlessly bridge the gap between traditional and digital marketing. Her ability to synthesize complex marketing strategies and adapt them to the ever-evolving landscape is second to none. Her journey showcases not only her adaptability but also her determination to be at the forefront of innovation.
Lauren’s path to excellence is rooted in her commitment to delivering unparalleled, data-driven results. In her current role as Marketing Director at Informa Engage, a global marketing engine powering Informa (FTSE 100) businesses, Lauren showcases her leadership by spearheading transformative initiatives that drive revenue on a global scale.
Beyond her undeniable marketing acumen, Lauren’s most infectious traits are her enthusiasm, passion for collaboration, and unwavering commitment to helping others succeed. Infused with a contagious spirit of curiosity and innovation, she continually inspires both her team and peers to push boundaries and exceed expectations. Lauren sits on the Board for her local AMA chapter and enjoys working with the next generation of marketers.
Marketing Strategy Lead at Novartis; Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Stern School of Business, New York University
Rui Yang is an award-winning marketer with extensive commercial experience across strategy, innovation, and activation in consumer healthcare and pharma. The highlight of Rui’s career is leading priority brands’ business turnaround and growth acceleration, making a significant impact on patients’ lives. Additionally, Rui is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at New York University, Stern School of Business, teaching the only MBA healthcare marketing class: Innovation in Pharma, Biotech, and Consumer Healthcare. He is passionate about uncovering challenges, and opportunities, and inspiring future healthcare leaders to create innovative solutions in treatment and beyond.
At Novartis, Rui has experience in leading HCP marketing brand strategy & execution as well as omnichannel promotion in breast and women’s cancer. Rui led the team’s effort in maximizing the promotional opportunity, capitalizing on key events across channels, and streamlining field force promotion. Rui is very keen on trailblazing new ways of driving differentiation against competition and striking for the best-in-class therapy for breast cancer patients. He also had great success in leading omnichannel marketing which drove personalization, innovation, speed to market, and multi-touchpoint deep engagement with customers. The marketing effort helped drive significant business turnaround and growth acceleration.
Prior to Novartis, Rui was the brand lead from Reckitt for NUTRAMIGEN, an infant allergy specialty formula under Enfamil. He led the commercial team on the business turnaround and gained #1 market share leadership position in the entire U.S. allergy formula category.