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.

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.

KELLY KAISER
ACCOUNT DIRECTOR

As a strategic team leader who believes that curiosity powers creativity, Kelly has over ten years experience leading integrated teams on a mix of brands ranging from CPG to FinTech. She believes that cultivating trusted and collaborative partnerships with clients and teams leads to the best work because a good idea can come from anywhere.

She has spent her career developing and implementing digital and social strategies, innovative marketing campaigns and creative executions across digital and traditional mediums for leading brands like Kraft Cheese, Hanes, Nestle Lean Cuisine, Nestle Coffeemate, SoFi, Coors Light, Miller High Life, and Keystone Light. Most recently, Kelly spent 7 years with 360i where her latest work was leading the brand strategy and go to market plan for Kellogg’s first cereal product innovation in 6 years, Happy Inside.

Outside of advertising, she loves to spend time with her 5 year old (going on 35), go for a run, and learn about food and wine pairings.

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.

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.