Judges


The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts, the judging is a rigorous two-stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

The US Agency Awards are one of the few awards schemes that are judged solely by in-house judges; your entry will not be viewed by any other agency.

From a transparency perspective, we may video aspects of the judging session to give entrants an insight into why a winning entry was chosen.

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Judges

Laurent Bourrelly | SEO Consultant

In 1994, Laurent started working in marketing and branding. Laurent discovered the wonders of SEO in 2004, by entering a SEO contest. After three months of 24/7 SERP battling in this international competition, he got it. He knew exactly how and what to feed Google in order to help any web page rank at the top of Google SERP. It’s no miracle. If you put in the time and education over thousands of hours, you’ll eventually figure it out just as Laurent has. Like many others, Laurent cut his teeth mastering both black and white hat SEO techniques, adapting and evolving during each google algorithm update to keep himself at the bleeding edge of best practices right up to this very day. Bringing back his knowledge about branding and marketing into the SEO mix became obvious around 2010. Today, Laurent is one of the very few who can go from high-class Content Marketing to Black Hat SEO while building a strong Semantic SEO main pillar. He took out of the equation all the question marks, leaving only one single question, do you have the means to reach your goals? Some other notable achievements include his dozens of industry speeches including TEDx and SMX as well as his positions on as a Head Judge of the European Search Awards, and regular judged for many others. His thought leadership within the SEO community is well renowned from co-forming the notorious 'DarkSEOTeam' back in his black hat days, to being awarded third place for ‘All Time Best SEO in France’. The latest adventure is called SEO Conspiracy, which you can find on all the good places Online. It’s all about debunking SEO myths and Google Propaganda, but also helping out by sharing the right strategies to deliver results in SEO and Digital Marketing. Laurent now focuses his time mainly on consulting and has trained numerous SEO professionals, amongst the best in their fields

David Chadderton | Head of Digital Marketing | Homes for Students Ltd

Following a highly successful first career as an RAF Air Combat Instructor flying Tornado fighters around the world, Dave forged a second career in digital consultancy, working freelance and later for digital and lead generation agencies before finding his home 'in-house'. His data-driven approach to ROI-based digital marketing has helped Homes for Students become one of the biggest student accommodation companies in the UK, growing by over 98% in the last 2 years and generating over £200M revenue pa. His fully integrated approach to all digital channels has been applauded by industry leaders such as SEMRush and Ahrefs, and he's constantly pushing the 'norm', preferring to lead in the sector rather than follow.   Away from work, Dave enjoys beach walks on the Wirral with his partner and two Jack Russells, Bella and Bobby (aka @sideeyebob). He does other stuff too, but the beach walks are the best

Richard Gregory | CO-FOUNDER | AgencyNXD

Richard is co-founder of AgencyNXD as well as an advisor and NXD to multiple tech firms and agencies, including Adzooma, Fluid Digitial and Ruler Analytics. Heralding from “Silicon Ramsbottom” he is an ardent supporter of the digital and tech industry in the North of England. Previously, Richard was the managing director of digital agency Latitude, director of Tech North and co-founder of SAScon.

Neil Hardy | Digital Director | Icelolly.com

Neil has been involved in the digital industry since 1994 when he launched his first website for travel brand Page & Moy. He has worked for several blue-chip companies including TUI, The Co-op, Icelolly, Midcounties Co-op and more recently Shearing’s Holidays. With a strong commercial background, digital results and ROI are key focus points in any award judging.  Follow Neil on Twitter @hardyneil

Liam Howley | CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER | MUSIC MAGPIE

As Chief Marketing Officer at musicMagpie, Liam is tasked with the development and direction of the business's strategic marketing plans to maximize brand growth, customer acquisition, conversion and retention through online and offline channels. This includes control and management of internal digital, marketing and design teams & external agencies, with responsibility for planning, analysing and optimising a multi-million pound marketing budget in the UK for musicMagpie.co.uk and in the US for Decluttr.com.

Alan K'necht | Public Speaker & Principle | K'nechtology Inc

Alan K'necht started his involvement with the digital world back in 1996 building websites and participating in the precursors to what would evolve into Social Media. Over 20 plus years he’s provided consulting services ranging from web development, analytics, search markeing/SEO and social media marketing to fortune 500 companies, government departments, military and small & medium size businesses. Through analytics, Alan has always helped clients measure and maximize their Return on Investment (ROI) for their digital marketing initiatives. At present he operates his consulting company K'nechtology Inc.

Elliot Kemp | Global Head of Performance Marketing | Navico

Elliot works client side as the head of digital marketing for the world’s largest recreational marine technology company, Navico, whilst also being a member of a number of SME boards, He first found his passion for digital marketing out of university, while working as a project manager for a hair and beauty wholesaler. During that time he transformed their website - originally created as a temporary measure 10 years beforehand - into a multi-million pound revenue business. Since then he's won the global Google marketing award for his innovative work in mobile advertising, and found further success in digital marketing through agency and consulting work specialising in innovative ways to transform clients’ digital strategies to new levels. His passion for digital transformation continues to influence his work in marketing.

Richard Kenyon | DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMUNITY | EVERTON FOOTBALL CLUB

Richard was appointed Director of Marketing and Communications in January 2014 following an interim consultancy role with the Club. He arrived at Everton from Kenyon Fraser which - initially as Managing Director and then as Chief Executive - he built into one of the leading marketing and communications agencies in the North and one of the fastest-growing in the UK. A lifelong Evertonian, his role is to oversee and drive Marketing, Insight, Corporate Communications, PR and Media functions, Fan Services and the Club’s Fan Centre. Richard previously worked for the PFA and MLS and acted as Interim Head of Marketing and Communications for The Jockey Club in the North West and the Grand National. He has also worked closely with the R&A on golf’s oldest major, the Open Championship. Richard is Chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the North West and a Chartered Fellow of the Institute.

Umar Khan | Senior Digital Strategist | Nakheel

Umar is a passionate digital marketer with over 9 years of experience in managing high budget digital marketing campaigns. With experience and expertise on all the verticals of Digital Channels including SEO, Google Ads, Social Media, Content Marketing, Programmatic, Marketing automation, CRO, UX, analytics etc. Umar has worked with top companies in UAE and currently linked with Nakheel as the Senior. Digital Strategist.   He also conducts digital marketing corporate workshops & regular classes for well-known educational institutes in Dubai.

Edgar Linayo | D2D Brand Manager | Nestlé

Strategic-design thinker and curious by nature" - I am truly passionate about design, innovation as well as brand building. I have over 15 years of experience focused on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). As a brand builder, I have been blessed to be part of paramount projects for acclaimed top global brands such as Ariel®, Bold®, Pampers®, Always®, Tampax®, Tess®, Naturella®, Vicks®, Ruffles®, Twistos®, Lay's®, Maggi®, Purina®, among many others. Furthermore, I have worked with praised local and regional brands. I took part of the global team at Bacardi Limited, the largest private family-owned company full of passionate employees and iconic brands as Bacardi® Rums, Grey Goose® Vodka, Bombay Sapphire® Gin, Martini®, and shaped by their rich history of spirited entrepreneurship. Nowadays, I am working at Nestlé as part of the central team overseeing EMENA projects.

Trond Lyngbø | Senior SEO Consultant

Trond Lyngbø is the founder of Search Planet and a senior SEO Consultant. He has over two decades of experience in SEO, e-commerce, content strategy and digital analysis. His clients include multinational Fortune 500 corporations and major Norwegian companies. Trond has helped grow businesses through more effective search marketing and SEO strategies. He is most passionate about working with e-commerce companies and web shops to develop and expand their omni-channel marketing initiatives.

Matt McGowan | Director & General Manager | Snap Inc

A born and bred New Yorker turned Torontonian who has lived on 3 continents, Matt has worked alongside executives and founders representing some of the world's best known and thousands of relatively unknown brands, agencies, and technology companies. Matt most recently served as President and a member of the Board of Directors at the SaaS juggernaut Adestra, an enterprise martech Email Service Provider and Marketing Automation Platform.

Megan Morris | Brand & Experience Manager | Legal & General America

With over 10 years of experience in the UI/UX design, brand, and digital media space across corporate, consumer, employee and leadership communication roles, Megan has a passion for driving brand awareness through digital transformation. For 8 years, Megan has held a variety of marketing roles at Legal & General America, a market-leading life insurance provider. In her current role as Brand & Experience Manager, Megan leads branding efforts and web design and development. Mostly recently, she led a project to re-platform the company’s website which was named ‘Website of the Year’ in the Financial Services category from Progress Sitefinity. Megan has a Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Visual Communications. In her free time, you can find her outdoors, travelling or drinking wine with family and friends.

LinkedIn profile

Eli Schwartz | SEO Expert and Consultant

Eli Schwartz is the author of the bestselling book Product-Led SEO. He is an SEO expert and consultant with more than a decade of experience driving successful SEO and growth programs for leading B2B and B2C companies. He helps clients like Shutterstock, BlueNile, Quora, Gusto, Mixpanel, and Zendesk build and execute Global SEO strategies that dramatically increase their organic visibility at scale. In the past, Eli led the SEO team at SurveyMonkey, building organic search from nearly zero to one of the largest growth drivers at the company. He helped launched SurveyMonkey’s first APAC office and oversaw international SEO pre- and post-IPO. Prior to SurveyMonkey, he led user acquisition at High Gear Media, pushing the company from 500,000 new users to 6 million every month in just three years.

Melissa Tirey | COO | Shift6

Melissa Tirey is COO of Shift6 Studios and Vice President of The Future of Search Foundation. She has over 15 years experience in digital marketing and specializes in seamlessly integrating the precision and expertise of her technical SEO skills to enhance PR, content strategy and social media performance. She has worked extensively in B2C and B2B marketing across the USA, Europe and Canada. Her background in neuroscience supports the team and consulting specialists in ensuring the scientific accuracy of media materials. Melissa is also the Vice President of the Future of Search Foundation, which is focused on how humans and machines change the search landscape with the goal of building best practices for a logical, sustainable and healthy search environment. She has extensive experience in the USA, UK and Canada working in the medical sector alongside technology, business and more recently with consumer focused brands. She understands the nuances of marketing silos and geographies from both a data and human resource perspective and as such has an exceptional ability to design and build strategies that get these teams working together in a synergistic manner. Leveraging the tools and data from these different industries enables her to build and repair online reputations for clients and individuals. This skill also supports her ability to build data driven reporting, strategy and optimization alongside market viability analysis for new products and services.

Jacque Urick | Head of SEO, North America | Wayfair

Jacque Urick is Head of SEO, North America at Wayfair. Awarded with “Best In-house Team” at the 2019 US Search Awards and recognized as a “Woman in Business, Woman to Watch,” by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Jacque is a veteran digital marketing leader with deep expertise in ecommerce, local and technical SEO. Prior to being an enterprise in-house marketer, she provided digital marketing consulting to some of the largest law firms in the world and notable global corporations such as American Express and 3M.

Justin Zwieg | Chief Creative Officer | Bolin

A passionate designer, consummate creative and natural-born leader, Justin is a talented story-teller who believes that well-crafted stories, combined with captivating design, resonates both rationally and emotionally. Prior to Bolin, his background includes owning and operating multiple small businesses and excelling at acclaimed advertising agencies, specifically Mithun and McCann. Among many industry achievements, he was chosen as one of AdFed’s 32 Under 32, and the winner of the 4A’s Institute of Advanced Advertising Studies award. Needless to say, Justin’s experience and talents far exceed his years. His attention to detail, relentless ambition, pragmatic approach and steadfast mantra “quality over quantity”, leads to award-winning work and deeply satisfied clients. His strategic and creative expertise has helped numerous national and global brands like Burger King, H&R Block, Honeywell, Stratasys and Verizon to name a few. Over the years, Justin has built a strong reputation for his proficiency in design and branding. From luxury vodka to bespoke interior design, he has helped many boutique companies establish and elevate their brands. Never opposed to rolling up his sleeves, Justin leads by example, constantly pushing the work, his team, and himself.

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