2021 Communicator of the Year Bios
Lara Balazs | EVP, CMO and General Manager, Intuit
Lara Balazs is Executive Vice President and the Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of the Strategic Partner Group for Intuit, a global technology platform that helps customers and communities overcome their most important financial challenges. As Intuit’s Chief Marketing Officer Lara is responsible for driving company growth and building Intuit’s brands and reputation in support of Intuit’s mission to power prosperity around the world. As the General Manager of the Strategic Partner Group, Lara leads Intuit’s ProConnect pro-tax group and is responsible for strategic partnerships to deliver the most important benefits to our customers. Lara also leads Intuit’s Corporate Responsibility efforts which focus on diversity and inclusion, job creation, job readiness, and making a positive impact on the climate.
During her time at Intuit, she has been named as one of Forbes’ World’s Most Influential CMOs, and she was recognized with AdWeek’s CMO Vanguard Award. Prior to joining Intuit in 2018, Lara built world-class businesses and brands at companies including Amazon, Visa and Nike. She received a BA in pre-law from the University of Washington and has an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University. Lara serves as Chair of the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation.
John Brockelman | Global Head of Brand Marketing & Communications, State Street Global Advisors
John Brockelman is Senior Managing Director, Global Head of Brand Marketing & Communications for State Street Global Advisors, the fourth largest asset manager in the world, with more than $4 trillion in assets under management. John leads global brand, advertising, investment content, communications, social media and creative design. He is also a member of the firm’s Senior Leadership Team.
During his tenure, he led the company’s rebrand effort, his team has won a number of awards for advertising creative and effectiveness, and in 2020 he was named Marketer of the Year by the Financial Communications Society.
John joined State Street in 2015 after 14 years at Fidelity where he most recently led corporate affairs, executive communications and corporate marketing communications teams. Prior to joining Fidelity, John served as a senior advisor to former Massachusetts’ governors William F. Weld and Paul Cellucci.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Lawrence Boys & Girls Club and ANA Business Marketing NYC. John earned an A.B. from Colby College.
Pooja Midha | Chief Growth Officer, Comcast Advertising
Pooja leads global marketing across Comcast Advertising, which includes FreeWheel, a technology platform connecting buyers and sellers, and Effectv, Comcast Cable’s ad sales division, as well as Effectv’s sales development function.
Pooja and her team build awareness for each company’s differentiated value and accelerate growth for local, regional and national market opportunities. She oversees Comcast Advertising’s brand offerings, enhancing products and solutions for the rapidly changing media and technology landscape. She joined Comcast Advertising from true[X], where she was president. Career highlights include leadership roles at ABC Television Network, ViacomCBS, MTV Networks, MTV Networks International and Nickelodeon.
Pooja has been quoted and featured in The New York Times, Advertising Age, Adweek, AdExchanger, Broadcasting & Cable and more. She was also named an Adweek 2016 “Young Influential,” a Cynopsis 2017 “Top Women in Digital: Industry Leader,” a Multichannel News 2019 “Woman to Watch” and a 2021 “Wonder Woman in Streaming.” Pooja serves on She Runs It’s operating board and is also co-chair of the IAB Video Center of Excellence.
Damon Jones | Chief Communications Officer, P&G
As P&G’s chief communications officer, Damon Jones helps ensure the world’s largest consumer goods company acts and is recognized as a force for growth and a force for good. Jones is responsible for a broad range of brand-building, communications and advocacy initiatives for the company, overseeing a global organization responsible for P&G’s reputation and that of its nearly 100 brands.
As a key leader in the company’s ESG efforts for driving socially responsible business strategies, Jones convenes and activates a broad portfolio of impactful programs focused on driving equality for all people, including women, people of color and the LGBTQ+ community, and supports environmental sustainability and community impact efforts.
Jones is a member of the Company’s Global Leadership Council and has helped lead some of the company’s most creative, impactful and well-recognized advocacy efforts, including “Widen the Screen,” an initiative aimed at ensuring greater equity in film, television and advertising. Through this work, P&G has helped challenge biases while driving meaningful change for consumers and communities around the world.
A recognized thought leader, Jones regularly speaks at industry-leading events including the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, CES, Bloomberg Equality and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. He resides in Cincinnati, where he is an alumnus and board member of Xavier University and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
Beth Roden | SVP, Head of Communications, Bayer U.S. and Head of Communications, Consumer Health, North America
Beth leads the divisional and corporate Communications teams in supporting the U.S. organization’s efforts to accelerate growth through broader transformation efforts while continuing to build Bayer’s reputation in the U.S. She also leads communications for Consumer Health, North America.
Beth previously held the position of SVP and Global Head of Communications for the Crop Science division of Bayer AG, a position she held beginning in 2015. During this time, Beth oversaw the development and implementation of Crop Science internal and external communications strategies for issues management and strategic business initiatives that supported the growth of the business and enhanced the company’s reputation in the time leading up to and through the Monsanto acquisition and integration.
A 25+-year communications veteran whose career spans non-profit, corporate and associations, Beth has led high-performing teams and brought award-winning campaigns from concept to reality. Beth was named among Ragan’s Top PR Women of 2019. Beth received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and journalism from St. Bonaventure University in Upstate New York.
Teresa Ward-Maupin | SVP, Digital and Customer Experience, Comcast Business
A senior executive with over 20 years in the digital, mobile and telecommunication industries, Teresa oversees the Digital and Customer Experience across Comcast Business.
Prior to joining Comcast in 2015, Teresa held several notable positions, most recently in a senior leadership role launching Cricket Wireless and as the Head of Digital at AT&T.
Teresa is a champion for the next generation of leaders, mentoring rising talent at Comcast and across the industry, and is active in local and national STEM youth programs. As a member of the Comcast Cable DE&I Council, she co-led the launch of Comcast RISE, a program supporting minority-owned small businesses.
Teresa has received numerous industry awards, including Cablefax’s 2021 Most Powerful Women in Cable Award, 2021 Most Influential Multi-ethnic Executive Award, and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) 2019 Inspire Award. She completed WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Program for Women, CTAM’s INSEAD Executive Management Program and holds a B.A. in Marketing and Public Relations from Texas Tech University.