The Drum's 50 Under 30 US, part 4: the young women blazing a trail in creativity

This year's 50 Under 30 US includes Meghan Dever, Mari Anderson and Melissa Withorn

Every day this week, The Drum is publishing profiles of some of the highest achieving women in creativity under 30. Make sure you don't miss out by signing up to our newsletter.

The Drum's 50 Under 30 US showcases outstanding emerging talent. Based on hundreds of nominations from our readers and curated with the help of industry experts, the list sets out to champion the next generation of industry stars, highlighting their career achievements to date and ambitions for the future.

Here you'll find the fourth set of 10 individuals chosen by our experts.

Liz Wells, UX designer, Stink Studios

Liz Wells, 25, is a UX designer at Stink Studios who is making waves in user experience and design. Wells advises visual designers and developers throughout the lifecycle of a project to help them meet Stink's high standards for usability and delight. Wells was the UX designer behind the Equal Justice Initiative project, ‘Lynching in America,’ an interactive website created with support from Google and based on a full report of the history and legacy of racial terror in the United States.

Wells also helped create a fully interactive map experience based on this project in the Brooklyn Museum entitled ‘Legacy in Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America'. The project won a Webby Award for Best Cause Related Campaign in the People's Voice: Advertising, Media & PR category.

But social good runs deeper than Stink with Liz, as she and a fellow co-worker at Stink started and run Desk Lunch, a weekly newsletter promoting the stories of women and non-binary people in the creative industry. She also is committed to mentoring and promoting younger creatives and has taught courses on empathetic interaction and experience design at SVA and Rochester Institute of Technology.

Makeda Loney, copywriter, Burrell Communications

Makeda Loney is a copywriter and poet. When she isn't writing ads for Walmart, Comcast or McDonald's as a junior copywriter at Burrell Communications, Loney is writing poems for people through Keda's Poetry Service, sending poems to readers through the post on request. She also serves as a content creator for Coalesce Chicago, an organization dedicated to cultivating and supporting diversity and inclusion in Chicago's advertising scene.

Mariana Anderson Diaz, account lead, PMG

Mariana Andersen Diaz is a rising star at independent digital agency PMG. From intern to account lead, Diaz now leads strategy for key retail clients, including Beats by Dre, J Crew, Abercrombie & Fitch, Charlotte Tilbury and Rue 21. Her teams have met the client goals through creative, strategic and innovative social sales and the effective use of PMG's inventive proprietary technologies across search, display, social and SEO channels.

Within the last 12 months, she drove impressive first quarter growth for Abercrombie (first time the company has seen growth in five years) with first quarter net sales up 11% from the previous year and positioned it for continued and unprecedented success online.

Diaz has not only played a crucial role in growing PMG's client roster, but she also spearheaded the agency's expansion into Austin. She and a couple of colleagues pitched PMG's leadership team on the business opportunities in the city - and ended up running the office from her apartment. Today, less than two years later, it has moved into a permanent space and grown to over 20 employees.

Diaz is also deeply committed to diversity, inclusion and equality in the field as a 'tent pole' member of PMG's 'We Collective,' a group with the goal of establishing a community that supports and encourages women and people of color in their careers. Diaz leads meetings and all-staff events focused on addressing workplace diversity issues. Their most recent event hosted a speaker panel on identifying and addressing unconscious bias.

Maxxie Goldstein, founder and chief executive officer, Meyvyn

Maxxie Goldstein's career began as a strategic marketer at General Electric where she focused on strategic and competitive analysis for GE's oil and gas global service division. Following GE, Goldstein moved to Waywire, a video social networking startup based in New York, and went on to work as the lead social media strategist at Obviously Social.

Goldstein founded Meyvyn in 2014, building a client roster including Paul Mitchell Brands, Sally Hershberger, Jill Stuart, Carriage House Brands and Donna Bella Hair Extensions.

In her spare time, Goldstein guest lectures at several universities and high schools about the digital marketing landscape. In November of 2017, Goldstein was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 for Marketing and Advertising.

Meghan Dever, lead designer, Possible Mobile

Meghan Dever is currently the lead designer at Possible Mobile. Dever joined Possible Mobile in 2013 as an intern and has played a key role in developing best practices for usability testing and voice interaction design for clients in verticals such as sports and telecommunications.

Dever’s career as a UX designer for major platforms such as iOS, tvOS, watchOS, Android and FireOS has given her a greater appreciation for the process and the people behind creating integrated design experiences. When not writing thought leadership pieces for leading publications like VentureBeat, Meghan is fond of hosting 'lunch and learns' at her company to help promote best practices in UX research, mobile and design.

Melissa Withorn, senior designer, My Friend's Nephew

Melissa Withorn is senior designer at Atlanta-based creative agency My Friend's Nephew (MFN), where she is responsible for art direction and design across all of MFN's clients including General Mills, Zaxby's, Thrive Senior Living, Cortland Partners and Central Atlanta Progress.

Before starting at MFN this year, Withorn was ACD at Public School and designer at Go Experience Design (now XD Agency). At Go she was lead designer on a Mercedes-Benz brand experience center at its headquarters in Alabama. Withorn worked on every visual element in the space, from the physical installations down to the digital touchscreens.

Withorn took a break from the agency ladder to work as a set director in the film industry for a year, providing her with a wider bank of experiences and inspirations as a designer. In addition to her day job, Melissa is a jeweler, with products in multiple Atlanta retailers under the brand name Neck Shirt. Recently her earrings have been featured in St Beauty's music videos.

Michelle Lee, CG artist, Framestore

Since joining Framestore's LA office in 2015, CG artist Michelle Lee has crossed several disciplines and has been a key member of the 3D department. With work on several high profile projects, including theme park rides, immersive entertainment, and TVC work, she has done everything from photorealistic CG, virtual cityscapes and element simulation, to the programming of real-time virtual reality simulations. Lee is a seasoned creative who is well-versed in both classic and new mediums, from a pencil and paintbrush to computer graphics, mathematics, and coding.

Of the many projects she has been a part of in the past year, she has showcased her talent developing CG creatures for Toyota, worked as a Unity Developer for the Hue VR experience, where she also coded and integrated a number of scenes, and acted as a multifaceted FX artist creating destruction and debris for Renault. An advocate for the representation of women in technical fields, Michelle supports Girls Who Code, a non-profit organization which aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science.

Mindi Price, art director, Martin Williams Advertising

Mindi Price is an art director and designer at Martin Williams Advertising in Minneapolis. After joining as an intern, she was hired as a full-time designer and production artist, working on a range of clients and new business pitches. As an art director, she’s created beer packaging and campaigns for Finnegans Brew Co, shot video content for Microsoft XOGO, participated in new business pitches, and helped re-brand the Martin Williams itself.

Mo Hy, senior designer, FCB Chicago

Mo Hy is a senior designer at FCB Chicago who’s worked on global brands and local civic initiatives alike. With a background in architecture, Hy specializes in human-centered designs which have helped FCB secure two of its largest new business wins in 2018, including GE Appliances. For both pitches, she set the look and feel for the creative work, including the photography, typography and color systems. Additionally, Hy designed all of the collateral for Radio Flyer's imaginary travel agency based on a vintage-style travel poster series, helping the agency win a Gold ECHO, a Silver ADC and three Bronze Cannes Lions in 2017.

Most recently, Hy helped lead the design for one of the biggest B2B pitches in the last decade: the bid for Amazon's HQ2. Specifically, she designed a book that detailed why Chicago is an ideal candidate. Armed with a familiarity with site plans and a flexible grid system, she was able to present 150+ pages of content-heavy materials in a way that was inviting and easy to engage with.

The book, along with other materials co-created by FCB (the creative agency behind the bid), helped persuade Amazon to name the Windy City as one of its top 20 finalists from 238 original bids.

Nayantara Dutta, content strategist, McCann Worldgroup

Nayantara Dutta is a writer, researcher and strategist. A content strategist at McCann Worldgroup, she previously worked at J Walter Thompson's Innovation Group, identifying consumer trends in culture, food and drink, retail and design. She has also previously worked in strategy at BBDO.

Growing up in six countries, Nayantara hopes to connect the dots between cultures and elevate minority voices. In her journey so far, she has created Unapologetically Muslim, a trend report which explores the power and influence of Muslim women in the US, UK and Indonesia and explains how marketers can meaningfully communicate with them. To represent the diversity within the Muslim community, she has developed a photo project around the report which provides a platform for Muslim women to reclaim their narratives and celebrate their culture.

Unapologetically Muslim has received coverage from The Drum, Campaign, Teen Vogue, and Dazed. Nayantara is also a ColorComm fellow, a co-founder of the strategy collective The Jog, and a mentor to four women of color.

If you're interested in learning more about The Drum's 50 Under 30, contact Toyin Rodwell at toyin.rodwell@thedrum.com.

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