Ambassador James W. (Wally) Brewster – Principal, Insignias Global
Ambassador Brewster is an internationally recognized businessman, political leader and human rights activist. He most recently served as the United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic from November 26, 2013 to January 20, 2017, during the administration of President Barack Obama. His appointment made history as he became the first openly gay Ambassador to serve the United States in the Western Hemisphere alongside his husband Bob J. Satawake. Ambassador Brewster is credited with advancing the human rights of the Dominican people and migrants of Haitian descent through dedicated work with multiple governments.
His political and strategic expertise is credited for exposing corruption and advancing the rights of the marginalized and changing the landscape of equality in Latin America. His policy expertise led to advancements in environmental laws, indictment of corrupt foreign officials, trade policy, international immigration laws and enforcement of drug policies against international drug cartels during his tenure. He is a top negotiator for multiple agreements and treaties between the U.S. and foreign governments.
As an expert in Latin America and the Caribbean business and political communities, he has a positive and significant impact on trade between the U.S. and countries in the Western Hemisphere. His knowledge of NAFTA, CAFTA, HELP and HOPE in addition to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and trade policy has made the Ambassador a top resource for international companies and leaders of foreign governments. Ambassador Brewster continues to promote democracy around the world meeting with leaders in Western Europe and Latin America while serving on the Advisory Boards of the Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), National Democratic Institute Ambassador’s Circle (NDI) and The Atlantic Council – Ambassador Leadership Council.
In addition, Ambassador Brewster is a senior level strategist in organizational design, internal/external communication, e-commerce, and innovation combined with high-level international and domestic business and political experience. He served President Obama and the DNC as LGBT National Co-Chair, National Co-Chair of Obama Leadership Circles, member of the NFC and a Presidential Partner. He is also a top Democratic fundraiser for multiple Democratic Senate and House candidates nationally.
Prior to his position as a U.S. Ambassador he was the managing partner of SB&K Global, an executive strategy firm specializing in consumer dynamics, political and human rights advocacy and reputation management, and Officer/Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications for General Growth Properties, the country’s second largest Shopping Mall REIT with over 250 shopping malls worldwide.
Having served as a diplomat, chief executive and corporate leader, he understands how consumerism and cultural dynamics impact international business and development. Through his robust political and professional experiences, Ambassador Brewster has proven to be an innovator and leading expert in the areas of retail, international politics, trade, government relations, business strategy, diplomacy, crisis communication, global retail and product development, consumer evolution, market intelligence, positioning and branding.
Kim Merrill – Principal, Insignias Global
Kim is a proven innovator and leading expert in branding, marketing and advertising. Never afraid to take the road less traveled, she has spent much of her career utilizing innovative and unconventional approaches to produce success.
Most notably, Kim served in an executive capacity within Omnicom for 23 years. She began her career at Tracy-Locke as an Account Director and became Partner shortly after. She then founded and was instrumental in the on-going success of Uproar!, Omnicom’s stand-alone agency dedicated to the youth and family market, where she presided over offices in Dallas and New York. In this role, she proudly served as one of a handful of women presidents within the Omnicom organization.
Beyond Omnicom, she translated her expertise and affinity for kids into family-centered entertainment. She has developed such properties as Wonderama, which brings smart, empowering content to today’s kids and families.
Kim’s innate ability to launch brands, cultivate partnerships, and create break-through advertising and promotional programs has allowed her the opportunity to work with a wide range of clients with a myriad of needs. Her robust and impressive client list spans all genres, from small tech start-ups, to globally celebrated brands, such as Hasbro, Frito-Lay, Pepsi and American Airlines. Most telling, though, are the relationships Kim has built over the course of her career — winning repeat business year after year and exponentially growing many of these company’s portfolios.
Her leadership style, management skills, and natural ability to assemble the right team for each project have afforded her the opportunity to help foster talent and grow global brands, often from the ground up. Her underlying passion lies with supporting organizations that lead to the betterment of life for women and children. Kim serves on the board of Metropolitan College of New York, where she continues to mentor and inspire other working professionals through academic success.
Bob J. Satawake – Principal, Insignias Global
Bob’s dynamic background as an internationally recognized communication strategist has paved the way for many renowned opportunities and partnerships, both domestically and abroad. His robust experience includes organizational design, efficiency, internal/external communication, and global marketing and positioning, making him a key insights holder for companies looking to strengthen their international and domestic business and political contacts while gaining a better understanding of the global marketplace.
Most recently, Bob participated as a member of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) Delegation to the countries of Georgia and Ukraine, and was involved in discussions with many members of the Parliaments of both countries regarding the continued support of democracy and international investment in the region.
Prior to that, Bob served as partner and senior advisor to the President and CEO of SB&K Global, an executive strategy firm specializing in consumer dynamics, reputation management and brand positioning. He recently completed his tenure as a representative of President Barack Obama and the American people along with his husband, U.S. Ambassador James W. Brewster, in the Dominican Republic. There, he served as senior media strategist and advisor, primary speechwriter and spokesperson for Ambassador Brewster and the U.S. Embassy.
While abroad, he chaired over a dozen human rights committees at the U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo, and through cooperation with the Minister of the Environment of the Dominican Republic and U.S. Congress, was influential in several environmental policies as they relate to the border region of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
During this time Bob also developed lasting and influential relationships with Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers, U.S. and foreign government leaders and influencers throughout the world in the fields of money laundering, drug trade, human trafficking and government relations. These contacts and invaluable experiences, along with Bob’s keen insights and strategic thinking, lend themselves perfectly to his clients’ wide array of business needs.