Meet the 2019 Judges

Nader Ashway

Nader Ashway, Moddern

Nader Ashway is principal and creative director of the agency Moddern. Prior to co-founding Moddern, he ran Ashway Group, a boutique branding and marketing agency focused on small to midsize businesses and startups. Over a 28-year career, Nader has developed award-winning ads, strategies and programs for consumer and b-to-b brands including Advertising Age, American Express, BMW, Citibank, Samsung, UNICEF, WIRED and many others. Currently, he’s focused on integrating multiple platforms for clients in research, financial services, hospitality, and various forms of healthcare services and medical devices. In addition to his creative and strategy responsibilities, Nader is very active in student and young professional mentoring. He has served as a creative judge for numerous awards shows around the country, and has most recently served as a judge for the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) presented by AAF. Nader has made television appearances in New York and around the world to discuss brands and advertising, has written marketing and advertising articles for several publications and blogs, maintains his own marketing education blog, and is currently authoring his first book on consumer behavior. Nader is also a graduate professor of Integrated Marketing Communications at New York University.

Katy Shesh

Katy Shesh, beauty@gotham

I have been a copywriter since I was five years old. My grandfather founded an ad agency in Detroit and would ask me copy advice, from a kid’s point of view. At ten, I came up with the roller coaster campaign for his client, Boblo, and they used it. My copy line was on posters all over, and I knew then that copywriting was the coolest job in the world. I set my sights on Madison Avenue and graduated from U.T. Austin as President of the Ad Club, with a B.S. in Advertising. Later, I graduated with an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts. I was recruited right out of college for Lintas’ selective training program. Since then, I have created ground-breaking, award winning copy for a broad range of agency clients including CoverGirl, Oil of Olay, Almay Diet Coke, Bayer, P&G, Chase, Intercontinental Hotels, Sharp, Foot locker, Uncle Ben’s Rice and Dodge. I still love advertising. Everything about it. I am currently a Creative Director at beauty@gotham, writing for the international, US and Asia Maybelline accounts. Most of the brands I write for are #1 in the world, including: Essie nail polish and Essie care products; consumer and professional division, Dream Makeup, BB cream and Baby Skin. In addition, I am the writer on Color Show nail polish and care and ColorSensational lip color.

Chris Henson

Chris Henson, Access

Chris Henson is a Creative Director at Access, an international advertising and public relations agency based in Roanoke, Virginia. Chris entered the world of advertising as a junior designer and copywriter in 1993. Since then, he has worked as an art director, graphic designer, copywriter, illustrator, audio/video editor, and creative director for several agencies in the Virginia, including his own small creative agency.

Chris has broad experience in branding and advertising in the healthcare, higher education, technology, banking, tourism, and security industries. He has led many highly successful branding campaigns for clients including Delta Dental of Virginia, Medeco, Virginia Tech, Roanoke College, and others. Chris has collaborated extensively on promotions for non-profit organizations, including the Virginia Museum of Transportation, Habitat for Humanity, CASA, Boys and Girls Club, Goodwill Industries, the Child’s Advocacy Center, and Roanoke Ad Fed. His work has helped win more than 100 ADDY awards, including several Best-In-Shows, multiple CASE and PRSA Summit awards, recognition in the Richmond Show, numerous Telly awards, and even an Edward R. Murrow award for radio journalism. An accomplished musician and composer, Chris has scored and produced award-winning music for commercials and corporate videos.

Chris often lectures on the creative process, has taught graphic design, and has led corporate branding workshops. Though a happily devoted family man, he plays guitar, writes songs and often shares the stage with his younger brother Will in their alt-rock band HENSON!, widely regarded as “America’s oldest living boy band.”

Chris has a BA in communications and a Minor in music from Virginia Tech.