NielsenIQ Beauty Trailblazer Partners and Mentors
Program Launches in Summer 2023
Check back soon to learn more about our finalists!
NIQ Trailblazer Partners
The NielsenIQ Beauty Trailblazer program wouldn’t be possible without support from partners like these:
NIQ Trailblazer Mentors
Trailblazer finalists will receive valuable insight and guidance from these industry experts.
Founder + President, Brandettes
Nikola Cline brings 20-plus years of brand strategy, marketing and product innovation experience in beauty and consumer products, having led global marketing and product development for leading brands like Paul Mitchell, P&G/Sebastian, Macy’s before launching her agency, Brandettes. A multi-award-winning marketer, Nikola has developed over 300 products and created the world’s largest hotel amenity partnership with Marriott Intl.
Nikola is known for being able to fuse strategic thinking and creativity with revenue-driving activities that help brands stand out in today’s crowded market.
Romina Brown is a highly respected CEO and strategic consultant with more than twenty years of sales, marketing, category growth management and general business management experience. In 2004, she formed Strategic Solutions International (SSI) the only female led, Black-Owned Category Management firm in the United States. Behind the scenes, Romina and her team partner with many of the largest and fastest growing brands to drive sustainable growth. Romina provides tremendous insight and direction into the development and execution of strategies for diverse industries and levels of business.
Yarden Horwitz is Co-founder of Spate, an AI platform that helps beauty brands spot the next big trend for marketing and product development. Prior to Spate, Yarden co-founded the trendspotting division at Google, where she spotted trends such as turmeric, cold brew, and face masks. Yarden was named the “Future Voice of Fashion” by the Business of Fashion in 2016. She sits on the NewBeauty Brain Trust board and was named one of 2022’s most influential female leaders by Entrepreneur Magazine. Yarden is a regular speaker at beauty industry events and her work has been featured in numerous publications such as The New York Times, Vogue Business, and WWD.
Ifediora Maduka is the COO & CFO at Social Standards, a consumer intelligence start-up that uses social data to help brands, private equity firms and financial institutions understand consumer motivations, drivers, and trends. Prior to joining Social Standards, Ifediora worked across Houlihan Lokey’s research and investment banking units. His creative curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit then led him to the world of venture capital, where he successfully exited the first full-scale social media agency, launched a VR startup, and then led growth stage investments at TPG Growth. Ifediora is deeply experienced and passionate about partnering with dynamic founders to develop and execute growth strategies.
COO & CFO, Social Standards
VP, Social Standards
Andrea Spellman is VP of Sales and Partnerships at Social Standards, a consumer intelligence start-up that uses social data to help brands, private equity firms and financial institutions understand consumer motivations, drivers, and trends. Her innate curiosity has led to a career that’s run the gamut from Hollywood to working for multiple startups within entertainment, product licensing and contract rights, before moving onto market research at the trend forecasting company WGSN and now Social Standards. She has extensive experience in new and existing business development, partnerships, GTM strategy, marketing, recruiting, and building strong teams.
Ashley Miles is the Founder/CEO of Franklyn West, a new era growth consultancy and execution firm that is shaping the future of work by inserting specialized talent and real thinking into major companies to solve complex business challenges. She is a Game Changer. Mobilizer. Builder and Scaler of Innovative Companies. Dynamic Business Leader paired with a Creative Spirit. Connector of Visionary people. She leads with a play-to-win mentality, stemming from her childhood days as a competitive Equestrian horseback rider, which explains her inner cowgirl spirit in life and business.
Founder/CEO, Franklyn West
CEO, Summit Packaging Solutions
Adam C. Walker began serving as Summit Packaging Solutions Chief Executive Officer in January 2014. Walker has
implemented a growth strategy focused on technology, innovation, new market expansion and Mergers and Acquisitions to
accelerate the growth of Summit Packaging. He is an accomplished business executive with over twenty years of packaging expertise serving technology, automotive, beverage, and other industries. Walker launched his career as a running back in the National Football League (NFL) where he played for seven consecutive seasons beginning and ending with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1990 and 1996 respectively. Walker also played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1991 to 1995 and was a member of the 1994 49ers Super Bowl XXIX championship team.
Lara Schmoisman is a marketing and branding strategist and the founder and CEO of THE DARL, a full-service marketing and advertising agency based in LA. She became a Forbes Next 1000 Honoree and 2022 LA Times Inspirational Women Nominee by helping transform brands to become profitable, innovative, and sustainable. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Lara is a unique combination of Jewish and Latina, outspoken and tenacious by nature. With over 20 years of experience working across radio, television, film, distribution, and content marketing, Lara has utilized her knowledge and industry to help emerging brands. She is also the host of the podcast Coffee N°5, an international speaker, and a former lecturer at California Polytechnic State University.
CEO, The Darl
Director of Omni Shopper Marketing, L’Oréal
Courtney Mack is the Director of Omni Shopper Marketing at L’Oréal for Carol’s Daughter and Softsheen-Carson where she brings together activations in store and online to showcase product. Courtney is passionate about diversity and helping minority-owned businesses. She has 12+ years of CPG experience ranging from consumables to the beauty industry.
Tenaj Ferguson is a Brand Management and Marketing leader passionate about innovating and developing consumer goods focused on empowering and advocating for the consumer. Tenaj engages her passion outside of work as Founder and Host of the Black on Shelf podcast and community where she champions Black and Brown Entrepreneurs with brands on the digital and physical shelf.
Director of Marketing, Multicultural Beauty, L’Oréal USA
COO, AF Ventures
Alex is AF Ventures’ COO, managing the fund’s daily operations, including IR, business development, marketing, recruiting, and platform initiatives. Prior to joining AF, Alex worked in non-profit development and marketing. Alex holds a Masters in Food Studies with a concentration in sustainable food systems from New York University and a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the Parsons School of Design at The New School.
Tamiko Olabintan is known as a transformational leader with a consistent track record of delivering strong business results through a consumer-led approach with a unique blend of creativity and strategic rigor. Primed and poised to work cross-functionally to simplify, streamline and drive synergies with winning strategies that drive both topline growth and personal development for her and the teams that she leads. As a servant leader and passionate executive Tamiko plays a key role in leading and charting the long-term operational strategy for NextUp.
Kymberly Graham is VP, Head of Diversity Initiatives at NielsenIQ where she implements and commercializes strategies to achieve business goals and ensures offerings are relevant to a rapidly diversifying audience. A key member of the leadership team, Kymberly leads insights-driven solutions and engagement plans while exhibiting a solid understanding of the diverse consumer and US macro trends. She is passionate about diversity as a driver of business growth and values an inclusive culture, particularly in the CPG industry where she has 12+ years of experience.
Tara James Taylor
Tara James Taylor is the senior vice president of the beauty and personal care vertical at NielsenIQ. She has more than 20 years of data analytics experience. Tara leads global teams dedicated to tracking the total health and beauty landscape across 100 markets, providing the industry’s most total view into omnichannel consumption and, in turn, empowering the next decade of beauty.