Young Talent From Across Viacom Named Cynopsis Rising Stars 2016

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Following a strong showing at the Cynopsis Social Good Awards earlier this year, Viacom returns to the site’s homepage, this time with a crew of rising talent that is helping to stake out our company’s future. These young pros from Nickelodeon, BET, Logo and our Viacom Velocity marketing and creative content team are recipients of the second Cynopsis Rising Stars awards.

A broad-based panel of professionals selected the winners alongside Cynopsis staff after evaluating each entry to determine how deeply each person was influencing their organization. The result is a roster of next-generation media and entertainment industry leaders.

The Viacom winners are Velocity’s Jennifer Castro, Lauren Elias and Jaz Nsubuga; Nickelodeon Velocity’s Chase Cusack; Logo’s Michael DiMattesa; and BET’s Jessica Garcia. They will gather with their peers from around the industry at a reception at the New York Athletic Club on Sept. 15, 2016. They will also be profiled on cynopsis.com.

You can read a bit more about some of the Viacom winners below.

Jennifer CastroJENNIFER CASTRO – MANAGER, INTEGRATED MARKETING, VH1

What she does: Castro develops creative multi-platform integrated marketing programs for various VH1 properties, including awards shows and original programming.

Tenure: Three years

On being named a Cynopsis Rising Star:

“I was very honored by the nomination from my team and proud of the recognition of my work.”

What helps her fit Cynopsis’ description of a rising star as someone who has “proven success in aligning strategic objectives with end goals.”:

“One of my first projects in my new role as a manager on the VH1 Integrated Marketing team was working on a cross-Viacom program for the Truth (American Legacy) client, which was originally being managed by another team member who had left the company. We were able to successfully manage the client’s expectations while producing a great piece of content that both the client and the channel were happy with.”   

What is the most exciting thing happening at VH1 right now:

“I would have to say seeing the growth and evolution of VH1 as a brand is very exciting to see. Given we’re moving toward having more of a pop culture lens, we have a ton of great programming lined up, along with some very exciting new digital and social opportunities to bring to our partners.”

What she is most looking forward to about the awards reception:

“I’m excited to celebrate and hear about the great work being done by fellow rising stars, and I certainly looking forward to networking with others in the industry.”

 

Chase CusackCHASE CUSACK – SENIOR MANAGER, PARTNER MARKETING: MOVIES & VIDEO GAMES, NICKELODEON VELOCITY 

What he does: Cusack works with our movie studio and videogame clients, including Paramount, Fox, Sony and Nintendo to market their latest releases across the Nickelodeon family of networks.

Tenure: Almost four and a half years

On being named a Cynopsis Rising Star:

“I felt incredibly honored and especially proud of the work that our team produces. I knew that this recognition was a reflection of our entire group as everything we do is a collaborative effort, and I’m very fortunate to work with such great people.”

What helps him fit Cynopsis’ description of a rising star as someone who has “proven success in aligning strategic objectives with end goals.”:

“I’ve found that success in this role is all about relationships. We have to not just make sure our clients are happy, but that all of our internal partners are as well. It is extremely important to take the time to invest in building relationships with everyone we work with in order to understand and recognize each person’s objectives. It’s only by establishing the trust of my colleagues and clients that I can put myself in a position to deliver on their goals.”

What is the most exciting thing happening in Nickelodeon Velocity right now:

“Our partners were integrated into the Kids’ Choice Awards in a never-before-seen way at this year’s show, which resulted in huge exposure for their films and properties. It was exciting to work with the show team and our clients to bring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, The Angry Birds Movie, and Mario and Luigi to life onstage. Although it will be a tall task, I can’t wait to show our partners how we plan to go even bigger in 2017.”

What he is most looking forward to about the awards reception:

“I’m excited to meet other young professionals across the industry, learn about their paths to success, and to share my passion for entertainment, Nickelodeon and Viacom with them.”


Lauren EliasLAUREN ELIAS – SOCIAL TALENT COORDINATOR, VIACOM VELOCITY

What she does: Elias casts, manages, and books social influencers for Viacom’s integrated marketing campaigns.

Tenure: More than three and a half years at Viacom

On being named a Cynopsis Rising Star:

“I was beaming! I got the email from my boss and walked through the office on cloud nine all day.”

What helps her fit Cynopsis’ description of a rising star as someone who has “proven success in aligning strategic objectives with end goals.”:

“I have identified new social influencers for use in some of Viacom’s biggest marketing campaigns. As a result, these social talents have brought thousands of new eyes to a brand and campaign that may not have received their engagement otherwise. I’ve helped to make sense of this very evolving social talent world, and inject those strategies into our convergent marketing campaigns.”

What is the most exciting thing happening in Velocity right now?:

“With the influencer marketing world expanding by the minute, our department is becoming even more essential, and is constantly growing. Our team is turning its focus to emerging social influencers, which I consider my specialty. I love bringing new faces to the forefront and I’m happy that I have a team that supports that vision.”

What she is most looking forward to about the awards reception:

“I am bringing my parents, and when I told them the news, they were ecstatic, so I can’t wait to share this experience with them. It’s always rewarding when you can still make your parents proud.”

 

Jessica GarciaJESSICA GARCIA – SENIOR COORDINATOR, PROGRAM SCHEDULING, BET NETWORKS

What she does: Garcia works with the team that makes sure everything gets on air, in particular the scheduling and operations teams within the larger programming group for BET and its sister network, Centric.

Tenure: One and a half years, including time spent at Epix

On being named a Cynopsis Rising Star:

“I was very excited and extremely honored to be recognized for an award so early in my career.”

What helps her fit Cynopsis’ description of a rising star as someone who has “proven success in aligning strategic objectives with end goals.”:

“When I was brought onto the BET Networks team, my main goal was to make our day-to-day workflow more seamless. I feel that I have successfully executed several projects that have helped improve our departmental processes, while learning the front lines of the TV business under some of the most exceptional leaders I have ever met.”

What is the most exciting thing happening at BET Networks right now:

“We have our best slate of programming coming this fall, and I am thrilled to be a member of the team who will work on getting our new shows on air.”

What she is most looking forward to about the awards reception:

“I am most excited to meet the other honorees. I have always been fascinated with hearing people’s stories and what their day-to-day is like. This seems like a great group to learn from.”

 

Jaz Nsubuga - RevisedJAZ NSUBUGA – MANAGER, INTEGRATED MARKETING, MTV

What she does: Nsubuga Ideates, pitches, and architects and executes convergent marketing programs for MTV brand partners such Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s Frappuccino.

Tenure: One year, eight months

On being named a Cynopsis Rising Star:

“I was thrilled! I had just come back from an out-of-town shoot in Austin, so it was a pleasant surprise to return to.”

What helps her fit Cynopsis’ description of a rising star as someone who has “proven success in aligning strategic objectives with end goals.”:

“The most important part of my role is being able to strategically and seamlessly find a win-win-win for MTV, brand partners, and our fans. I’m always working to strategically balance those priorities to create dynamic programs that break through the clutter and elevate our work from product placement to deeper, more meaningful integrated partnerships that resonate with consumers.”

What is the most exciting thing happening at MTV right now:

“Putting the “M” back in “MTV.” I’m so fortunate to be on board during MTV’s re-emphasis on our music roots and equity. MTV is truly one of the most iconic brands in music and youth entertainment. And I can’t wait to see how our marketing evolves with this renewed focus.”

What she is most looking forward to about the awards reception:

“I’m so excited to celebrate all of the amazing rising talent across the industry. This group of peers is going to change the face of our industry and I can’t wait to meet them.”

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