Valerie Cheng + Josy Paul join the mentors panel for 2016 Torch Awards; winners revealed May 19

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 7.56.23 am.jpgNew York Festivals announces the 2016 Torch Awards mentors and jury panel.

The Torch Awards is a unique competition for 18-27 year olds that explores a different creative challenge each year and offers mentor training on how to pitch their idea. For the 2016 Torch Awards, NYF has partnered with The Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the experiences of people of all ages and abilities through excellence in design.

Representing Asia as a 2016 Torch Award Mentor is Valerie Cheng, head of creative, Facebook South East Asia - Singapore, and Josy Paul, chairman and chief creative officer, BBDO - India. Yasu Sasaki, executive creative director, Dentsu Inc. / Dentsu Aegis Network - Japan is on the Torch Award jury.
2016's Torch Award mentors were recruited from New York Festivals International Advertising Awards executive jury of worldwide chief creative officers and executive creative directors.

The 2016 Torch Award Mentors
·         Lisa Bennett, Chief Creative Officer, TM Advertising  - USA
·         Frank Bodin, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide - Switzerland
·         Valerie Cheng, Head of Creative, Facebook South East Asia - Singapore
·         Judy John, Chief Executive Officer / Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett Toronto    - Canada
·         Josy Paul, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, BBDO - India

Says Josy Paul, chairman and chief creative officer, BBDO India: "It's an honor to be selected as one of the mentors for the 2016 Torch Awards at New York Festivals. I jumped to it for selfish reasons. I get to interact with the future creative tigers of the industry on a real world project that can impact and transform people's lives. What more can I ask for! It's like being in Harvard and the UN at the same time."

Says Valerie Cheng, head of Creative Shop, Southeast Asia, Facebook Singapore: "I've always considered myself very lucky because I got to work with people who showed me the way. By brainstorming with them and watching how they presented, I've learnt faster by being with more senior people. I hope to do the same for the younger creatives because this ladder can be very hard to climb."

2016's Torch Award mentors will advocate for NYF's commitment to the development of the next generation of creative talent by mentoring one of the five Finalist Teams invited to New York City to pitch their ideas to promote IHCD's mission. Finalists will fine-tune their work during an intensive work session with their mentor, and then the teams will each have 10 minutes to pitch their idea to an exclusive jury panel.

Members of the Torch Awards jury were also recruited from the World's Best Advertising executive jury and The Institute for Human Centered Design.

The 2016 Torch Award Jury
·         David Angelo, Founder & Chairman, David + Goliath - USA
·         Lisa Fedyszyn, Associate Creative Director, Droga5 NY - USA
·         Helen Pak, CEO & Chief Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide - Canada
·         Nir Refuah, Chief Innovation Officer, McCann Erickson - Romania
·         Yasu Sasaki, Executive Creative Director, Dentsu Inc. / Dentsu Aegis
Network - Japan
·         Valerie Fletcher, Executive Director, Institute of Human Centered Design- USA
·         Willa Crolius, Director of User/Expert Lab & Coordinator of Public
Programs, Institute of Human Centered Design - USA
·         Michael O'Rourke, President, New York Festivals - USA

Says Lisa Fedyszyn, associate creative director, Droga5, New York: "I'm quite excited to have the chance to take part in this year's NYF Torch Awards. It's always inspiring to see new creatives bringing a fresh approach and new thoughts to the industry."

Says Yasu Sasaki, executive creative director, Dentsu Inc. / Dentsu Aegis Network, Japan: "In this rapidly changing world of communication. I'm really looking forward to see what the young, talented, and digital native people come up with. I hope to learn a lot from them through the judging."

Finalist teams will be announced on April 9th and will convene in New York City on May 18th. Finalists in the Inclusive Design Challenge will present their creative concept for a digital media showcase that presents the inclusive design progress and success stories. It will be a permanent fixture in the exhibit showroom at the IHCD headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Torch Awards 2016 Grand Winning Team will be announced live from the stage on May 19th at the New York Show during the awards ceremony in the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall. For more information please visit the Torch Awards: HERE , or The Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD): HERE.

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