Leadership
Jan Jacobs & Leo Premutico
Jan Jacobs & Leo Premutico
Co-Founders & Chief Creative Officers
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Jan Jacobs & Leo Premutico

In 2007, Jan and Leo co-founded Johannes Leonardo based on the philosophy that the consumer has become the new medium. In the twelve years since co-founding the agency, they’ve created transformative brand ideas for some of the world’s most influential companies. Their work for Google helped to usher traditional storytelling into the modern age and resulted in the mobile Grand Prix at the Cannes advertising festival. They re-positioned adidas Originals into challengers of the status quo with their strikethru campaign which has contributed to an unprecedented turnaround for the company, and was awarded the 2017 Entertainment for Music Grand Prix at the same festival. While the duo’s Live Mutual platform has not only allowed Mass Mutual to rise above the category and influence culture, it is also influencing the way the organization operates.

In addition to winning every industry accolade, the pair have twice been featured as one of Creativity's 50 most influential creative people. Prior to launching Johannes Leonardo, they served as ECDs at Saatchi & Saatchi New York where their work on P&G’s Tide’s 2008 Super Bowl spot helped the commercial be named one of the top 20 Super Bowl ads of all time by AdAge. In 2018, Johannes Leonardo was named to AdAge’s Agency A-List, a ranking of the nation’s top 10 advertising agencies.

Bryan Yasko
Bryan Yasko
President
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Bryan Yasko

Bryan Yasko is President at Johannes Leonardo, having joined the agency in March of 2016. Yasko’s 20-year career encompasses a stellar record of delivering new business growth and inspiring award-winning, effective work for global brands.
 


During his time at Johannes Leonardo, Bryan has transformed the agency’s strategic initiatives, shifting focus towards business development as well as scope expansion for current clients. In 2017, Bryan was listed on the Adweek 50 as one of the media execs leading the charge toward transformation while Johannes Leonardo landed on AdAge’s 2018 Agency A-List for the first time ever at number four.

Before joining Johannes Leonardo, Bryan was the Global Business Director and a member of the executive management team at Droga5, where he led the agency’s largest accounts, including the accounts and new business wins for Google, Motorola, and Chase.

Bryan graduated from the Ohio State University with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two sons.

Ferdinando Verderi
Ferdinando Verderi
Founding Member & Partner
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Ferdinando Verderi

Ferdinando Verderi is a founding member, partner and creative director at Johannes Leonardo. Since the agency’s start, Ferdinando has focused on expanding the agency’s reach towards the fashion, lifestyle and luxury industries stewarding global creative partnerships with clients such as Chanel, Alexander Wang and adidas Originals, Ferdinando was born in Italy and is based in NY.

Emily Wilcox
Emily Wilcox
Head of Account Management
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Emily Wilcox

As Head of Account Management, Emily leads our team of Account Leaders across our portfolio of Client businesses. She believes that great Account Leadership starts with strategically minded, creatively passionate people who are eager to solve business problems with the power of creativity.

Before joining Johannes Leonardo, Emily was Senior Vice President, Group Account Director at Saatchi & Saatchi where she led the General Mills account across a portfolio of brands including Cheerios, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Yoplait and Progresso, was a member of the NY Leadership team and led agency integration across the Publicis Groupe network. Prior to Saatchi, Emily worked at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment on the Global Revlon and Almay businesses, specializing in the development of celebrity talent campaigns.

As a strong supporter of the next generation of advertising talent, Emily has been a guest speaker at AAF AdCamp, and has been involved in multiple youth development programs throughout her career. Emily holds a B.A. in Public Communications from SUNY College at Buffalo, and an M.B.A. from The College of St. Rose. An avid runner and tennis player, Emily lives in Queens with her husband and daughter.

Mark Aronson
Mark Aronson
Head of Strategy
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Mark Aronson

As JL’s Head of Strategy, Mark Aronson leads a talented group of Brand, Communications and Social strategists across the agency’s roster of clients.


Mark joined JL From BBH New York, where he oversaw strategy across disciplines for Netflix Originals, Seamless, Johnnie Walker, British Airways, Westin Hotels and Newell Rubbermaid’s 19 global brands. Mark spearheaded the integration of Strategy, media and UX across clients, ultimately earning an Integrated Grand Prix at Cannes for Netflix’s House of Cards franchise. Prior to Joining BBH, Mark worked at Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Boulder leading strategy on Best Buy, Dominos and Met Life. Before that, Mark worked at CP+B in Toronto (and its predecessor Zig) on brands like IKEA, Molson-Coors, Greenpeace and Unilever's AXE brand.



Mark holds a degree in Industrial Relations from McGill University in Montreal. Mark is currently adjusting to life as a new dad, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and young son.

Bill Afonso
Bill Afonso
Chief Financial Officer
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Bill Afonso

Bill is the Chief Financial Officer at Johannes Leonardo, having joined the agency in May 2018. Bill leads the finance discipline, and believes that successful creative agencies cannot be run via a spreadsheet, but that Finance needs to sit at the intersection of business and creativity.

Bill joined JL from 72andSunny AMS, where he spent three years as Finance Director and member of the management team helping to grow the office in revenue, forecasting, and overall financial acumen. Prior to his time in Amsterdam, Bill worked at 72andSunny LA. Bill was employee number 60, and over the course of seven years helped to grow the agency. He helped set up offices in NY and AMS, as well as worked with leadership to develop financial models and best financial practices for the agency.

Bill graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a B.A. in Communications and holds a MBA from Pepperdine University with a concentration in finance. Bill lives in Manhattan with his wife and cat, and has a lifelong obsession with the New York Islanders.

Debra Sercy
Debra Sercy
Chief Talent Officer
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Debra Sercy

In 2019, Debra Sercy joined Johannes Leonardo as the agency’s first Chief Talent Officer where she leads the now 200-person agency's talent strategy efforts by collaborating across departments to implement modern workplace strategies that embody the culture and creative output of the agency.

Debra’s twenty-plus years in advertising at founder-led, independent, creative agencies coupled with her time advising the leadership of the industry at Grace Blue crystallized her view that creative agencies will define the future of our business. Debra started in advertising at a regional agency in Atlanta. She then helped The Richards Group create an in-house presence for The Home Depot. In 2006, she joined Mother where she spent almost seven years managing global brands and the account (Mother) group. Debra embraced Mother’s belief that you can make great work, have fun, and as a by-product of the first two, make a good living.

Grace Blue flipped Debra from candidate to regional founder in 2012. While at Grace Blue, Debra was responsible for leading, alongside her partners, the team in North America by defining the strategic direction of the business and managing key relationships with agencies, brands, and candidates on a global basis.

Away from Johannes Leonardo, Debra sits on the AAF’s Mosaic Council, an industry-leading think-tank on diversity and inclusion. In her spare time, she pursues her quest to see as much of the world as possible.

Michelle Moscone
Michelle Moscone
Director of Creative Services
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Michelle Moscone

Michelle Moscone grew up in Detroit, Michigan in a bilingual household (English & Italian). She graduated from Wayne State University with a B.S. in Dance, after which she pursued a semi-professional dance career.

She eventually ventured into the equally creative and challenging world of advertising, where she is now the Director of Creative Services at Johannes Leonardo.

Before joining Johannes Leonardo, Michelle was the Associate Director of Project Management at Grey New York, with a focus on Global Creative Operations, managing the process of all creative outputs and prioritization of workflow.

Having joined Johannes Leonardo in April 2017, Michelle has built an exquisite team of Project Managers, and has implemented various processes + procedures to further streamline and operationalize the creative business needs across the Agency. Her 13-year career encompasses an unrivaled effort to bring creative solutions to prospective clients and to build the business of current clients.

Michelle currently resides in Greenwich Village and still enjoys taking the occasional ballet class.