22Squared hires EP Zamile Vilakazi, promotes others

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(Zamile will oversee both 22Squared Atlanta and Tampa offices)

As part of its agency-wide expansion, 22Squared, an independent creative & media company that counts national brands like Baskin-Robbins, NAACP Atlanta Chapter, the Ad Council, Advent Health and Publix Super Markets as clients, welcomes production powerhouse Zamile Vilakazi as its head of production.

The company has also promoted Janis Middleton to SVP, executive director of Multicultural & Inclusion Strategy, and promoted Tampa-based Mindy Adams to SVP, executive creator director and head of the agency’s Florida office.

Further, 22Squared has promoted six other women to officership, three being women of color. In 2020, excluding the expansion of its new parent company Guided by Good and portfolio companies, the agency has grown by 60 new employees, including 18.52% Black employees. As part of its August 2020 diversity report, women made up 71% of the employee roster, and 62% of our senior leadership.

Zamile Vilakazi

The 307-person company mandate and connecting thread across its culture and work is to bravely “Do Good Things” by helping brands find their conviction, and turn it into action for people. When Zamile entered its orbit, an immediate value alignment occured. The kinship deepened enough for an executive role to be created, where she’ll instill best practices and values across the company and its client work. 

“Zamile is one of the most prolific, creative, driven producers I have ever met. Her body of work clearly speaks for itself. But what ultimately drew us to her was her deep understanding that the things she makes can have a profound effect on people’s lives” said 22Squared chief creative officer Matt O’Rourke.

A Boston, MA native, Zamile will oversee both 22Squared Atlanta and Tampa offices’ expanding production teams and corresponding production work. She enters the creative brand with expertise producing integrated campaigns for household brands including Adidas, L’Oreal, ESPN, Target and many others.

Aside from her tenure at Havas agency Arnold as its head of integrated production, she’s held freelance executive producer roles at advertising agencies including TBWA/Chiat, Wieden + Kennedy, 72 and Sunny, Saatchi & Saatchi, Barton F. Graf, and Mother.

She’s created iconic work still talked about today, including Walmart’s Cannes Lions winning Oscar campaign and adidas’ “Here to Create Change” campaign featuring Billie Jean King for the 2018 US Open.


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Janis Middleton

Longtime head of the agency’s diversity & inclusion program and strategy lead, Janis Middleton, has been promoted to SVP, and executive head of DEI strategy. Janis has pioneered both internal and client-side DEI initiatives and campaigns. Further, Janis will sit at the executive level across 22Squared parent company Guided by Good and its portfolio of companies, Trade School and Dendro. 

“Janis continues to exemplify what it means to be a change agent in the advertising industry,” said Erica Hoholick, chief client officer, 22Squared. “Janis challenges the traditional method of normative agency thinking and will continue to drive home the fact that brands need to tailor their creative marketing and campaigns to all of their audiences, not just the White one. That thinking is crucial across our portfolio of brands and the incoming client partners we’ll be onboarding shortly.”

Mindy Adams

15-year agency creative director Mindy Adams has been promoted to SVP, executive creative director, and also head of 22Squared’s Tampa, FL office where 120 staff work. Mindy joined the agency in 2005 as a copywriter, honing her craft in everything from broadcast to social activations.

She has a love for emerging media and purpose-driven communication, and an expertise in building engaging, award-winning stories.  Mindy is a natural leader & mentor of her teams, the work and client partnerships.  

“Mindy has long operated with the understanding that her work can be incredibly effective for her clients, and add deep emotional value to people’s lives at the same time,” continued Matt. “She has created a hub of growth and creativity that makes her the obvious choice to be the creative leader in our Tampa office.

The agency will continue to expand its employee roster and promote from within as it announces new client wins and practice areas early 2021. 


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Reel 360 wishes Zamile, Janis and Wendy all the best in their new roles.

SOURCE: 22Squared

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