Talent Champion – Nick Sugai

Talent Champion Spotlight

AEF Talent Champion - Nick Sugai

Nick Sugai
Group Campaign Director 
Ad Council

Nick Sugai is VP, group campaign director at the Ad Council, where he leads purpose-driven marketing campaigns across a range of issues. In his nine years at the Ad Council, Sugai has worked with a variety of partners, pro bono advertising agencies, and non-profit and government sponsors to promote positive social change and drive measurable change through advertising. Sugai’s campaigns have been recognized by the Effie Awards in each of the past 4 years, including the 2020 Effie Award for Brand Partnerships.

Sugai is also a founding member of the Ad Council’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council and founder of the Ad Council Ambassadors program to build relationships with a more diverse array of students and future advertising leaders. Sugai joined the Ad Council from the Global Business Coalition for Health, where he helped mobilize the private sector towards tackling global health issues.

What prompted you to get involved with the AEF and why are you passionate about the future of the industry?

Recruiting and improving diversity in our industry is not a passive thing – it requires the legwork of getting out and talking to students and young professionals. Advertising isn’t as prominent as other career paths on many college campuses, but AEF is bridging this gap to help young leaders realize how this industry can indeed be for them.

What is the best career advice you've ever received?

Finding the right career path requires balancing passion and purpose. What change do you want to see in the world, and how can you align that with the type of job that uses your skillset and makes you happy?

Who was your favorite professor and why?

Professor Daniel Barbezat at Amherst College led a class on economics and happiness that shattered all limitations of how to think about economic principles. He took it out of the textbook and made it relevant in the real world, even including principles of meditation and self-awareness to better understand how people make decisions.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I get to help people every single day by working with film, photography, music, and art design. What more could you ask for?

"Our future marketing and advertising leaders are not just looking for a job, they are looking for a meaningful career that will make a positive impact on society."
— Gord McLean, President and CEO at ANA Educational Foundation