Welcome to The Communo Sessions, a series of virtual conversations on the most compelling issues facing Marketers today.


Reimagining Marketing Part I: Is COVID-19 Setting Equality Back?

Featuring Simone Heng, Jenifer Brooks, GLG; Laura Nestler, Duolingo, and Mitzi Payne, Arcade

October 1, 2020

11 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Around the world, businesses are struggling to adapt to the extraordinary challenges posed by COVID-19. Women are particularly impacted, either through job loss or bearing a disproportionate burden at home due to lack of childcare. This is particularly visible in a function like marketing, where the majority of employees tend to be women. Many are asking if the outcome will be even fewer women in leadership roles in the future.

In this session, Simone Heng will lead a panel of industry leaders as they discuss the unique challenges the pandemic has posed for women, and what they and their organizations are doing to address the situation. Speakers include Laura Nestler, Head of Community at Duolingo, Jenifer Brooks, CMO at GLG, and Mitzi Payne, Partner at Arcade Studios.

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The Communo Sessions


Simone Heng

Simone Heng travels the world inspiring people to authentically connect as a global keynote speaker on the topic of Human Connection. As a former international broadcaster for one and half decades, her job is to connect authentically on-air, on-stage, online and one-to-one with people. Simone speaks to organizations around the world on the connection techniques that authentically bring us together. 

Simone has spoken her message for: Salesforce, UBS, DBS, Google, Ted X, Great Eastern, AIA, Eurochem, Manulife, The United Nations and many more. Simone has a Communications and Cultural Studies degree from Curtin University of Technology and has studied speechwriting in London under Tony Blair’s former speechwriter, Phillip Collins. Prior to being based in Singapore, Simone lived in Switzerland, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. This journey required her to develop deep intercultural understandings which have allowed her to communicate and connect with a wide variety of people.

Simone has been featured in and worked as a broadcaster for; Channel News Asia, CNBC, CNN, Virgin Radio Dubai, HBO Asia, Southern Cross Austereo, Harpers Bazaar, Esquire, Elle and many more. Simone uses her online social media community of over 100, 000 to spread the message of connection and communication

Speaker Bios

  • Mitzi Payne

    Mitzi is a digital marketer and social media expert committed to helping brands engage with the online world. Armed with a journalism degree and a strong desire to make the internet a better place, Mitzi jumped into the world of marketing in 2010. From growth hacking for an online EdTech platform to launching a website and digital marketing strategy at a luxury lifestyle magazine to managing a community of die-hard Indie Rock fans, and even covering the U.S. presidential election in Washington, D.C., Mitzi has spent her entire career staying on the pulse of social media. When she's not staring at her phone, Mitzi is spending quality time with her husband and 2-year-old daughter and running away to the mountains.

  • Jenifer Brooks

    Jenifer Schweitzer Brooks is Chief Marketing Officer at GLG, where she oversees all aspects of the company’s global marketing operations, Americas events and Council Member Experience.

    Jenifer has nearly two decades of experience as a senior executive, including six years at Bloomberg, where she led Global Brand Management. Before joining GLG, she was Chief Marketing Officer at Golub Capital, a credit asset management firm with $35 billion in assets under management. Jenifer graduated from Haverford College and holds a J.D. from New York University.

  • Laura Nestler

    Laura leads the team that connects Duolingo’s 300M learners and empowers Global Ambassadors, aka Duolingo’s community growth engine responsible for launching 90+ courses, holding 700+ weekly events, and supporting a language forum visited daily by 1M+.

    Before joining Duolingo in 2016, Laura spent nine years at Yelp where she helped craft the original community growth playbook before moving abroad to spearhead Yelp's international expansion. All in all, Laura had a hand in launching over 80 Yelp communities in 13 countries and loved every scrappy, entrepreneurial minute of it.

    Laura now lives in Seattle with her husband, three kids, and ever-present wanderlust.

Upcoming Sessions

  • October 15th: Reimagining Marketing Part II: Moving Beyond Virtue Signalling
    Featuring Ryan Gill and Lincoln Stephens, The Marcus Graham Project
Simone Profile
Mitzi edited

What attendees are saying

The webinars changed the way we think, which helped us revamp our operations and find significant cost savings.

My organization was inspired and challenged by the May 27th webinar to implement new business practices. It changed the way we operate for the better.

Loved the open dialogue and productive conversations. Asking hard questions is what helps us get better!