IGNT Positive symbol ignt executive IGNT Energy symbol

ignition was founded in Vermont in 1997 by Dill and Susan Driscoll with the mission of making a positive difference in people’s lives. Now led by our diverse leadership team, we still believe that our people are the best idea we’ve ever had. We encourage the curious, the creative and the pragmatic alike, but we all have one thing in common: our contagious positive human energy.

Today, we have a staff of 70 full-time and close to 1,000 part-time employees with offices all across the globe. In 2012, ignition was officially acquired by Havas, turning our agency truly global in scale and reach.

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Mikey Hersom

President

“The more you hustle and be polite, the better the tip.” That’s what Mike “Mikey” Hersom learned when he started his career on a golf course at age thirteen. Today, he’s still a firm believer that whether payment takes the form of money, memories or milestones, success comes to those who work hard with a great attitude.

With a personal track record spanning 70 countries, 6 continents and activation budgets in excess of $60 million, Mikey is now regarded as one of the world’s most accomplished experiential marketers. He’s best known for revolutionizing what were traditional consumer events and sponsorships through his innovation of platforms. The Olympic Torch Relay and FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour, both with Coca-Cola, stand out among his many accomplishments. No matter where he is in the world, Mikey pushes himself and his team to go beyond what’s been done before.

In 2001, after a five-year marketing assignment with Coca-Cola Southern Africa, he came home and started his career with ignition. In 2007, he was named ignition’s President and minority owner. It proved to be a natural fit for the daredevil leader. Another five years later brought his second landmark achievement when ignition officially sold to Havas in 2012.

What makes Mikey most proud is what ignition continues to accomplish on a community level—and a global scale—on behalf of the biggest brands on Earth. No matter what the record-breaking challenge, he always stresses the importance of giving back and working for a cause. Don’t be surprised if you’re in an ignition office and you receive a hug from Mikey. He’s a big believer that “people respond to positive human energy.” His passion for the human connection is demonstrated both in and out of the office.

Mikey lives in Florida with his wife and CMO/ignition co-owner, Cindy-Ann. He enjoys doing anything outdoors with their young son, André, and cheering for the Wisconsin Badgers or any sports team from Boston.

“One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.”

Cindy-Ann Hersom

Chief Marketing Officer

Cindy-Ann is the co-owner and Chief Marketing Officer of ignition. “CA,” as she’s called down South (and well, on pretty much any continent you find her working), is responsible for building ignition’s marketing leadership capability. She’s also been known to brew a mean pot of Rooibos tea.

Hailing from South Africa as an active anti-apartheid supporter, CA learned how unfair life can be. It’s there she found her passion in the intersection of corporate responsibility and community need and the power of brands to raise mass awareness and action. First as a journalist and later as the country’s youngest-ever PR executive, she led launches of several multi-national campaigns set against the backdrop of significant socio-political change. Most recently, she served as a Global Group Marketing Director for The Coca-Cola Company, where she co-led the Coke system’s first strategic sustainability communications platform.

Today, she brings 20 years of international marketing leadership (and loads of travel tchotchkes) to global brands and international NGOs – with a particular focus on how experiential marketing can play a lead role in the ever-changing media landscape of the future.

CA enjoys her treasured time off with husband Mike Hersom and their young son, André.

“If you don’t feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then probably what you are doing isn’t very vital.”

–John Irving

Amanda Daniels

Senior Vice President

Amanda Daniels graduated college with a degree in History and minors in Spanish, Business, Russian and European Studies (and absolutely no idea what she wanted to do with her life).

Her non-traditional career path started with teaching English in the Czech Republic, working at the Mayor’s office, and then landing the perfect role at ignition. It must have stuck, because that was 13 years ago. Amanda’s courage to jump head first into the unknown gave her the gusto to live anywhere, try anything, and love the uncertainty and flexibility of her role. She is currently serving as Senior Vice President at ignition.

Amanda’s worldview was key to her success leading global projects for Harley-Davidson, Samsung, IndyCar, and burn Energy Drink’s Lotus / F1 sponsorship. Amanda is accountable for ignition’s management of Coca-Cola’s sponsorships of the 2008, 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games, including permanently relocating to Beijing and London and working within the Coca-Cola local offices. Amanda has been appointed (once again) to manage Coca-Cola’s Olympic Torch Relay and Games Time Experiential sponsorship for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro—she currently lives in Brazil.

“Laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.”

Daniel Dao

EVP Creative + Connections

As Executive Vice President, Daniel Dao began his marketing career at age 14 as a sandwich artist at Subway. However, there’s a lot more to his first job then what goes into a foot long. His takeaways: 1) making money is hard, and it takes lots of work; 2) attention to detail is important, because small oversights can create bigger problems; and 3) take pride in your work, because it makes you so much happier when you’re doing it.

After honing his mad mustard and mayo smearing skills, he took to the road after college to manage a tour for Coca-Cola—literally, sampling Cokes off the back of a truck.

Daniel has crisscrossed the globe more times than he can count on behalf of projects like the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour and the Olympic Torch Relay. In total, he’s create experience in more than 160 countries and now ignition’s capability expertise teams in creative, strategy, content/social and sponsorship.

He lives in Atlanta with his rescue pets and his wife, Brooke, whom he met at age 13. As a first-generation Vietnamese immigrant, Daniel spends his free time eating a strange mixture of traditional Vietnamese dishes and fried chicken (welcome to the South). He’s been known to drink Coke in places other than the back of a truck.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

–Confucius

Diane Heinrich

Chief Administrative Officer

How did Diane Heinrich develop her open-mind and approachable style at such a young age? She experienced 27 different moves, often times never spending more than one year in the same place. Although difficult at times, this experience gave Diane a gift for connecting with people. To this day, Di has never met a stranger.

Beginning her career at Coca-Cola, Di has over 20 years’ experience in human resources, marketing and events. She was the perfect triple threat to lead ignition’s Back Office as Chief Administrative Officer. She specializes in the design and delivery of HR programs, as well as developing and implementing platforms to aid in career advancement and learning for all ignition employees. Not to mention, she throws a mean party.

With experience working on some of the world’s largest events—the Olympics, the Final Four, the Masters and American Idol, to name a few—Di still considers her proudest accomplishment to be her marriage with her husband, Ernie. “We’ve been together for over 30 years, and I still get butterflies each time his car pulls in the driveway.”

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, forget what you did, but people will always remember how you made them feel.”

–Maya Angelou

John Teter

VP Global Creative Director

As a kid, John had a thing for fast cars. But, it was Formula 1 that captured his imagination and passion for racing. These 900+ horsepower, open-wheeled machines were forces of creative design and irrepressible speed. He dreamed of racing around the track in front of millions across the world. Unfortunately, his couch never quite cut it as a driver’s seat, but his creativity and passion for excellence have in fact, taken his work around the globe.

With over 17 years of experience in the industry, he’s driven creative ideas at several Atlanta agencies, including over six years at Ogilvy & Mather, where he served as Creative Director. There, he led the vitaminwater account and even had the privilege of naming a flavor for the brand. John has big brand experience having worked on iconic names such as Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson, Under Armour, Chick-fil-A, Durex, Zoosk.com and The Boy Scouts of America, to name a few. While his creative ideas have been recognized by the Addys and Effies, his driving skills and talent for speed have yet to gain national traction, only drawing the attention of local authorities and the occasional state trooper.

Away from the frenetic pace of work, John enjoys spending downtime with his gorgeous wife and two beautiful daughters. Although, there’s a chance you could find him trying to “live the dream” at the local Go Kart track.

“If you want to accomplish big things, you must think big.”

–Enzo Ferrari

Joanne Warnes

VP, Experiential, London UK

Jo was fortunate to be spellbound by the ignition family back in 2004 while working on the London leg of the International Olympic Torch Relay.  Enamored by the energy, passion and drive of Mikey and Dill, she joined the ignition team to work on the first ever FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour in 2006. From London, she delivered the European leg for Live 8 and managed the Intel London GP session in Hyde Park.  After that, Jo never looked back, completing another FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour in 2010. She went on to more countries and more adventures, finally settling on home soil to deliver the OTR in 2012 for Coca-Cola.

Since then, Jo has led the UK office’s experiential activity, which goes from strength to strength, including clients like Yahoo, Coca-Cola, Burn, Barclays and Kia.

In her spare time, Jo loves to travel with the family.  She takes any opportunity for a ‘stateside’ visit to catch up with familiar ignition faces.  One day, Jo hopes to be Boston-bound and have Cape Cod at her doorstep. When she is not working or traveling, you can find Jo out running, playing tennis or supporting her daughter, Lauren, from the sidelines. That is where she is at her happiest.

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

–Albert Einstein

Abby Daprano

Vice President

It’s rare to find Vice President Abby Daprano without a pair of sunglasses. Maybe that’s because she appreciates a stylish accessory. Maybe it’s a desire to always see things clearly. Or maybe it’s preparing for a bright future. Whatever the reason, Abby is always ready to take on the day. A hectic day spent in the thick of program execution? She’ll be getting it done in some no-nonsense Krewes. Meetings with Coca-Cola clients? Her Red Dita Von Teese. A typical Monday morning? Her everyday black-and-brown Sabres.

Whether form, function, or simply being prepared, Abby knows how to find the right solution for everything she takes on. And, let’s be honest – no one can run a program from start to finish like she can. Her training started before her time at ignition, when she hit the road for tours with companies like Red Baron Pizza and Got Milk. Since joining the Atlanta office over 10 years ago, she’s worked with clients ranging from BP, Amex, UN Foundation, Harley-Davidson and of course, Coca-Cola. But, no project represents her better than the Contour 100 program, which celebrated the 100th year of the Coca-Cola Contour Bottle. While challenging, this project was Abby’s baby. She loved her team, loved the work, and loved truly immersing herself in the brand to pull off that massive production.

Abby loves spending time and exploring the great outdoors with her son and husband, and is excited to plan family vacations to our country’s national parks. And while she’s always been a fan of the work she’s done, this University of Michigan alum has also enjoyed the places it’s taken her. Generally, there’s not much time for a hike while globetrotting with a project, but when the opportunity presents itself, you can rest assured she’s got the perfect pair of sunglasses.

Andy Williams

Vice President

Sports fans come in many forms. Some are casual, some are passionate, others are fanatics. Then there’s Andy Williams.

Andy has been obsessed with sports since childhood. His hometown of Snellville, Georgia has the motto, “Where everybody is somebody.” And boy, was he somebody. He played football, baseball, and tennis. He swam. He played varsity basketball, and was pretty good at it, too.

Once he stopped playing sports, he started working in them, learning the ins and outs of operations. While in school at the University of Georgia, he became a manager for the basketball team. Next up were stints at the Georgia Dome, University of Houston and University of Virginia. He also followed his then-girlfriend (now-wife) to Salt Lake City, taking a job with the Salt Lake Olympic Committee. And while he learned many lessons at each job, he’s mostly proud that he figured out how to make things happen, and how to use the right connections to get them done better than expected.

Which brings us to today. After 18 years of Event Management turned Event Marketing, Andy’s knack for operations has been critical to the success of the work he oversees. From rallying Harley-Davidson riders around the world to corralling a bunch of people in Chick-Fil-A cow costumes, Andy is the go-to guy to get it done. Some would say he seems to be a natural at being part of a team.

Away from work, Andy still can’t pry himself away from the field. You can find him and his wife loudly cheering for their kids from the sidelines, or you can peek up and see him in the booth, where he serves as the PA and voice of the North Gwinnett Bulldogs football team.

Meet Our ignitors

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    Abby

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    Allison

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    Andres

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    Angela

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    Ashley

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    Austin

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    Brittany

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    Candace

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    Caty

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    Christine

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    Collin

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    Conrad

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    Danny

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    Daryl

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    Del

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    Erin

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    Gilbert

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    Greg

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    Hilda

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    Janelle

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    Jeff

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    Jena

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    Jimmy

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    Josh

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    Josh

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    Julie

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    Kaitlin

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    Kelly

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    Kim

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    Manny

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    Matt

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    Matthew

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    Megan

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    Michael

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    Mike

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    Mike

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    Naakie

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    Nina

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    Pat

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    Payton

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    Rachel

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    Randi

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    Ranielle

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    Raquel

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    Rhonda

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    Richard

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    Robin

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    Robin

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    Ryan

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    Taran

  • Image of Victoria

    Victoria

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    Weslie

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We’re a team of down-to-earth daredevils who
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