TMA has hired Veronica Appleton as VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, a newly formed role reporting to CEO Andrew Robinson. In this role, Veronica will serve as the champion, expert, and project leader to drive DEI vision, strategy, and initiatives at TMA. She will be based in TMA’s Chicago office.
In partnership with other agency leaders, she will be responsible for improvements in recruiting, hiring and cultivating diverse talent; building an inclusive culture through internal initiatives and events; developing an agency-wide curriculum in areas of DEI; and supporting teams doing market-facing work related to DEI.
“From its current investment in organizations like The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Color of Change and The Loveland Foundation, to developing leaders within agency-led employee resource groups, I know TMA is ready to build practices, policies and programs that will keep the voices of those marginalized top of mind,” Veronica said. “For too long, BIPOC’s, people with disabilities, and those who identify as LGBTQIA+ have been overlooked, undervalued and misrepresented in our industry. I’m excited about the opportunity to partner with a mighty team to keep these voices magnified and to steer continuous action, as our work is not just for today or tomorrow, but long-lasting for generational change.”
Veronica has led DEI programs and advised brands in a variety of settings — including agencies, academia, and nonprofit — throughout her professional life. She was most recently a DEI curriculum advisor for Northwestern University via partnership with GetSmarter, a lecturer at DePaul University, and a PhD candidate in organizational behavior and leadership at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. During this time, she collaborated with over 35 Fortune 500 corporations to develop DEI training for their workforce. She was previously with Omnicom’s bespoke agency, We Are Unlimited, which has been folded into DDB Chicago.
“While TMA’s caring and team-centric culture have always been a source of pride, I’m keen for us to enact our core values more fully and meaningfully with the benefit of Veronica’s experience and expertise,” said Andrew. “We began this nationwide executive search in January, recognizing the need for a dedicated leader to drive our DEI initiatives across the agency. The imperatives for action and transformation are intensifying as the anti-racism movement gains strength in the U.S. and even globally, but they are certainly not new. Veronica has been a change agent for DEI for nearly a decade. I’m grateful for her dedication to the mission and her accomplishments to date, as well as her commitment to continue this vital work at TMA.”
TMA is in the process of implementing Omnicom’s OPEN 2.0 with respect to systemic equity throughout Omnicom, and hiring Appleton is an integral component of the agency’s action plan.