LEADERSHIP TEAM

NORM BILOW
MANAGING DIRECTOR & FOUNDER

Norm stewards the agency’s growth, overseeing client relationships, evolving our service offerings, running company operations and having an occasional good creative idea. Bolstering our full-service capabilities, The Escape Pod recently opened Gravity Well Studio, a 5,000 SF full-service production and editorial facility in Chicago’s West Loop, in addition to investing in experiential marketing agency OutCold. With content production and experiential marketing emerging as two of the most important channels in our clients’ marketing mix, we offer the speed and cost advantages of having these services in-house.

Prior to co-founding The Escape Pod, Norm spent a decade working at large holding company agencies leading blue chip accounts including McDonald’s, The Home Depot and OfficeMax.

An industry thought leader, he has spoken at Google on the topic of leveraging technology to “earn an audience” and at DePaul University about entrepreneurial approaches to advertising. His work has been featured in industry publications from The New York Times and Wall Street Journal to Advertising Age and Screen.

VINNY WARREN
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR & FOUNDER

Vinny was born in Galway, a small but cool town on the Atlantic coast of Ireland.

Vinny learned his craft in New York from Ed McCabe, arguably the best advertising creative of all time.

The very first beer commercial Vinny wrote was voted best beer ad of the year by Advertising Age magazine.

Vinny created the legendary Budweiser Wassup! advertising campaign.

Ricky Gervais liked it.

So did James Corden.

Vinny has two Emmy nominations for best commercial.

Vinny is on wikipedia

Listen to Vinny’s opinions on Super Bowl advertising here. 

Read his opinions on Super Bowl advertising here.

According to the Gunn Report, Vinny created two of the top 20 advertising ideas of the 21st century.  For Budweiser and Volkswagen.

Vinny is married to Susan and has three children – Kirsty, Fiona and Liam.

CELIA JONES
CEO

Celia is charged with stewarding The Escape Pod’s growth, elevating its integrated capabilities, identifying new revenue streams, and attracting top talent to build on the agency’s unique culture of creativity and independence. Under her leadership, The Escape Pod earned recognition as Ad Age’s Midwest Small Agency of the Year and Chicago Inno’s 50 on Fire, recognizing the city’s most innovative companies.

A seasoned writer and marketing professional, Celia brings nearly two decades of strategic marketing and communications experience, with a focus on brand strategy, positioning and fueling the growth trajectory of creative agencies and entrepreneurial companies.

Prior to The Escape Pod, she was Group Brand Director at Havas Worldwide Chicago, where she crafted the agency’s brand narrative as a creative force and culture catalyst in the industry, and led external marketing, PR, events, awards, and internal culture initiatives.

Before Havas, Celia was Global Marketing Director for Critical Mass, where she helped catapult the digital agency from a niche player into a world-class experience design agency. She also served as Director of Content and lead Copywriter at Designkitchen, an interactive marketing and branding agency. There she developed integrated marketing programs for brands across a range of verticals, including Manufacturing, Education, Hospitality, Health & Fitness, Real Estate, Travel and Technology for such clients as Life Fitness, Oprah’s Angel Network, Motorola and Jones Lang LaSalle.

Celia has also managed brand marketing and communications initiatives for a diverse range of organizations, including an international software company and interior design show producer, Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc.

She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame and also holds a Juris Doctor from Loyola University School of Law.

Outside of work, Celia is a passionate blogger, photographer, foodie, traveler and culture connoisseur.

DEREK SHERMAN
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Derek Sherman is Executive Creative Director of The Escape Pod. He has led globally recognized integrated marketing campaigns in digital, social, traditional, mobile, PR, and media, helping clients tell insight-driven brand stories in deeply connective ways.

An award-winning Creative Director and Writer, Derek has worked on such brands as Apple, Corona, Google, Coca-Cola, Canadian Club, Miller Lite, Kellogg’s, Jim Beam, McDonald’s, Abbott Labs, Kellogg’s, Maui Jim, Amnesty International, Fifth Third Bank, and Sprite. His work has been awarded multiple Gold and Silver Cannes Lions, D&AD pencils, Gold Effies, the One Show, and all four Communication Arts Annuals (Design, Advertising, Interactive, Illustration). He worked on the launch of Apple’s first major new product introduction in years, HomePod.

8 of BuzzFeed’s Top Ten Alcohol Ads are Derek’s work. In 2013, he was awarded the Cannes Chimera for his work for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His iconic campaign for Canadian Club was named among the best advertising in the last 25 years by Archive Magazine.

Beyond advertising, he is a published novelist and serves on the Board of Directors of Ragdale, the nation’s fourth largest arts foundation. He is also the cofounder of the Chicago Awesome Foundation, a charity awarding microgrants every month to develop ideas that make Chicago a better city, which has been featured on ABC, WGN, and NPR.

TYLER MOORE
DIRECTOR OF INTEGRATED STRATEGY

Tyler Moore has led marketing campaigns for brands such as LIFEWTR, SVEDKA, Maytag, Sprint, Nike, and Corona Extra across digital, social and traditional. His ultimate goal is to create meaning and differentiation for brands, ultimately leading to growth for their business. He believes great strategy comes from the intersection of human truths that are rooted in culture and a brand’s unique and ownable promise.

Tyler works tirelessly to create powerful relationships between his strategic teams, other agency disciplines and brand leadership. He believes that strong collaboration and empathy are the core tenants for empowering teams to create campaigns that win over hearts and minds. Tyler partners closely with his creative counterparts to develop bold and innovative campaigns that bring a fresh perspective to a category, challenge the status quo and help brands connect with people on a human level. He also works hand in hand with media to ensure the message is aligned with true digital, social and real-life behaviors.

Tyler’s strategic work and brand campaigns have won multiple awards including a North American Effie, an Epica creative award and multiple Webbies.

When he’s not working, Tyler is an avid sneaker collector with a healthy obsession for Air Jordans. He’s also a golfer, a devoted Kansas City sports fan and a comedian junkie.

HOLLY WILLIS
VP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR

An agency leader with more than ten years of experience on blue chip brands, Holly takes pride in building solid client partnerships that serve as the foundation for business growth. She believes in the power of creativity and fosters a collaborative environment that encourages teams to share ideas and challenge each other to create breakthrough work.

Holly brings a unique mix of category experience in CPG, spirits & beverage, entertainment, retail and electronics, with work ranging from digital to shopper marketing to traditional brand-building campaigns. Most recently, she spent five years with FCB leading the Samsung Mobile & Services business, as well as agency marketing and new business efforts for the retail/activation division, FCB/RED. Throughout her career, Holly has worked with a wide range of clients including Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Target, Kraft Foods (now Kraft Heinz), Mondelez International, Jack Daniels, Tyson Foods, Sears, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, GE Appliances, Chase Bank, American Express, Netflix and 21st Century Fox.

In her spare time, Holly is an avid SoulCycle rider and live music enthusiast.

ANWAR KHURI
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Anwar Khuri is Executive Producer of the agency and its production arm, Gravity Well Studio. He is responsible for expanding The Escape Pod’s production capabilities and growing the studio to offer clients the full range of production solutions.

Anwar’s experience is deep and diverse, ranging from national TV campaigns and experiential activations for Fortune 500 companies to scrappy social content for start-ups, and everything in between. He also ran his own agency, so he knows firsthand how to make ideas happen while stewarding clients’ budgets and the agency’s business goals. Under Anwar’s leadership, The Escape Pod and Gravity Well deliver breakthrough creative ideas and the production prowess to bring them to life at any scale.

Prior to The Escape Pod and Gravity Well, Anwar produced award-winning, national and international multimedia campaigns for notable brands including Burger King, General Motors, SC Johnson, Coors Light, CDW, Kimberly-Clark, Grainger and Dove. He honed his production chops as Senior Producer at leading agencies including Ogilvy & Mather, DraftFCB and McCann Erickson, in addition to founding and serving as Executive Creative Director and Production Lead for Popskull, a boutique creative agency serving such clients as SkinnyPop and Lyft.