God-is Rivera named VML Director of inclusion and cultural resonance

Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan

God-is Rivera has been promoted to director of inclusion and cultural resonance, a newly created position at VML.

Rivera has been a vital part of the evolution of VML’s Inclusion & Diversity committee. Being a black woman in the advertising industry has prompted Rivera to pursue her passion of highlighting the imperative need for greater diversity within the industry. In 2016, she joined VML’s social media practice, and has since pushed for a wide range of perspectives both within the work and across the agency.

Rivera will focus on enriching an atmosphere of inclusion at VML, from internal communication and education efforts to building partnerships in the communities our offices serve. She will also continue to stay connected to client work.

As a member of the HR team, Rivera will:

•    Focus on expanding the foundation and spirit of inclusivity in our internal culture and offices so employees feel safe, comfortable and open to learning about, considering and supporting diverse perspectives.
•    Examine and expand hiring practices — from researching diverse talent pools and sources to developing programs aimed at increasing diverse candidates.
•    Create and shape practices and methodologies that ensure inclusion within our work and outputs.

Rivera recently led “Woke, Lit & Ready,” a presentation that explores the immense influence Black Twitter has had on American culture, for several audiences including the Social Media and Diversity Steering committees of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). She is spearheading a panel on the topic at Advertising Week NY on Sept. 26.

Rivera is also one of three finalists for this year’s AdColor Change Agent award and was featured by the 4A’s in “Beyond the Brief.”

Rivera will report to Ronnie Felder, managing director of human resources.

About VML
VML is a contemporary marketing agency that moves brands forward by inspiring a human connection. VML’s clients include Bridgestone, Colgate-Palmolive, Electrolux/Frigidaire, Ford, the Kellogg Company, Kimberly-Clark, New Balance, PepsiCo, Sprint and Wendy’s.

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, VML joined the world’s largest communications services group, WPP, in 2001. VML has more than 2,700 employees with principal offices in 28 locations across six continents.