Saatchi & Saatchi Leads Provocative 'Competitive Edge' Panel Discussion

New York - Mary Baglivo, CEO & Chair of the Americas at Saatchi & Saatchi, recently sat down with Saatchi & Saatchi New York's EVP Deputy Director of Production Sheldon Levy to discuss the agency's diversity and inclusion initiatives at the 4As (American Association of Advertising Agencies) Transformation conference in Los Angeles.  The panel was moderated by Ola Mobolade, Managing Director at Firefly Millard Brown and co-author of "The New Majority".

During the "Competitive Edge" panel, Baglivo and Levy discussed Saatchi & Saatchi's "resilience of commitment" philosophy for finding and recruiting diverse new talent.

They also discussed the importance of what Mr. Levy refers to as "being in the traffic." This means discovering new ways of finding talent; how to have talent come to find the Agency; and how to encourage, celebrate, showcase and stimulate talent once it is brought in-house.

"Being in the traffic is all about putting yourself into the position where you can be among hot talent," said Baglivo. "You need to be in it to see it, experience it, listen to what's in the air, and see what's on the streets. That's why we became involved in the Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival. It has been a great place for us to not just find, but also to nurture up and coming talent."

Levy elaborated: "We launched our NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE Producer's Award at Martha's Vineyard because it is an intimate festival.  We are now entering our fourth year and during the interlude we have engaged with a range of director/producers with diverse backgrounds.  It's been our privilege to host more than a dozen of them at the agency for screenings.   The discussion revolves around the talent, determination, achievement and intellect of these filmmakers."

Amongst several additional topics addressed, Baglivo and Levy highlighted Saatchi & Saatchi's long-standing partnership with Streetlights, an LA-based job training, placement and mentoring program that has put more than 1,100 economically or socially disadvantaged production assistants to work.

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