New Year Honours: People to watch – from tech personality to entrepreneur of the year

As a new year begins, The Drum has been honouring its favourite agencies, people, brands and work of 2014.

Here we look ahead to 2015 and recognise some individuals who have not only had a great 12 months, but are also are set for success next year.

From tech personalities to entrepreneurs, scroll down to see who has made it on to our New Year Honours hot list.

Creative personality: Laura Jordan Bambach

Winner of this year’s Individual of the Year at the Dadi Awards and creative partner at Mr President, Laura Jordan Bambach has been a leading advocate of digital technology and her agency has been at the forefront of using digital technology with creative thinking.

Under her guidance, Mr President has been picking up impressive client briefs and gaining an enviable reputation, while Bambach has also been a champion for women working in the commercial creative business through her continued work with SheSays.

Tech personality: Joanna Shields

Anglo-American entrepreneur Joanna Shields has been a hugely prominent figure in the digital media landscape, having developed and grown some of the biggest technology companies including Facebook.

She has since helped drive the UK’s start-up economy in her former role as chief executive of Tech City UK, and is currently advisor to the UK prime minister David Cameron on the digital economy, and non-executive director of the London Stock Exchange Group.

She was also appointed a Life Peeress this September and introduced in the House of Lords on 16 October. A major influencer when it comes to digital skills, she openly backed US president Barack Obama’s stance on internet neutrality.

Entrepreneur of the year: Nik Roope

Triple threat Nik Roope has continued to impress in the past year, winning the London Design Entrepreneur’s Medal in September, among other international awards for digital media projects and product design.

The designer, entrepreneur and pioneer is the co-founder of Antirom, OvenDigital UK, Poke, Internet Week Europe and The Lovie Awards. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, in his spare time Roope designed the Plumen light bulb which has become so iconic it is now in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Plus, his beard is a work of art in itself.

Advertising personality: Maurice Lévy

The ever-present figurehead at Publicis Groupe, Maurice Lévy was all over the news in 2014, whether it was when the industry was waiting for him and partner in crime John Wren to conclude the largest marketing deal in history or him discussing why it failed to happen, or, indeed, how he managed to acquire Sapient Group without anyone getting a whiff of it.

It might have been a year to forget in terms of the failed merger, but having recently signed a prolonged contract (his first since joining Publicis, he claims) we will see Lévy continue to steer the company for a few more years at least, rather than retire as he has long promised. Looks like we’ll be talking about him for some time to come.

Digital media personality: Paul Frampton

Havas Media’s chief executive has been noticeably enthusiastic when it has come to the digital evolution of the advertising sector, and has displayed a clear desire to learn and talk about the advancements taking place at any and every opportunity.

An active advocate of the mobile movement, he is a must-follow on Twitter, constantly sharing his industry insights and his thoughts on the impact programmatic buying is having on the media sector.

Programmatic champion: Marco Bertozzi

As VivaKi EMEA and North American president for audience on demand and client services, Bertozzi relocated to the US in a bid to drive forward the Publicis strategy for VivaKi and has become a key figure in the advocacy of the programmatic sector and the potential it has for advertisers and publishers alike.

There are few who know this area better than Bertozzi and even less who would argue with his point of view on all things of a digital advertising or programmatic nature.

Design champion: Lawrence Zeegen

The design and illustration professor had a banner year with an appointment to the Design Council’s new ‘Sounding Board’ and the launch of his latest book 50 Years of Illustration at the London Design Festival.

As the dean of design at the London College of Communication, Zeegen teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in advertising design, visual media, typography, illustration, and communication design.

He also judged the Creative Conscience Awards last year and was himself nominated for The Drum’s Designerati – the top 100 design individuals.

Media individual: Anna Watkins

As managing director of Guardian Labs, Anna Watkins has led the publisher’s branded content division since its inception in February, when it launched with a seven-figure Unilever deal. Harnessing the boom in native advertising, Guardian Labs has inked deals with brands including John Lewis and Diageo.

The publisher is also exploring branded content opportunities using its Google Glass edition, Watkins revealed in the summer. Being at the helm of this wave of innovation marks Watkins out as the finest candidate for media individual of the year.

Educator of the year: Sorrel Hershberg

Since 2012 Sorrel Hershberg has led the Sorrell Foundation, which matches schoolchildren with design industry experts. In 2014 she pioneered the Creative Career Visits programme, which organises one-day visits for teenagers to creative businesses.

The foundation’s longstanding National Art&Design Saturday Club last year gave 1,000 youths the chance to learn from the best and get their art featured in a national exhibition at Somerset House.

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