Tommy Means - Founder
Tommy Means is the founder and executive creative director of Mekanism, a creative agency with offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Seattle.
One day while meeting the new interns, Tommy stumbled upon an idea to address the ad industry’s continued struggle to hire and develop diverse creatives.
What if Mekanism hired more diverse interns? What if everyone hired more diverse interns? Then those interns will go on to have careers and they would hire more folks like themselves.
Seems pretty simple.
So in 2017 Tommy launched Apollo 51, a network of agencies dedicated to launching the careers of diverse interns.
ADAMA SALL - Founder
Adama started her advertising career at Discovery Channel’s Design Group. She fell in love with the creative and independent spirit that embodied the group of misfits, and set out to replicate that experience throughout her career.
She moved to San Francisco at the height of the first dot com boom, landing at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for 5 years. After twice earning the dubious award of “GS&P People Who Don’t Suck,” she followed her mentor to TBWA/Chiat/Day where she helped launch Ray-Ban’s Never Hide campaign.
Adama then journeyed to Wieden+Kennedy to tackle EA Games and Nike Women. One of her proudest moments came to fruition when, along with the Nike Foundation, she helped launch The Girl Effect.
After a year and half in “cozy” Portland, Adama headed to NYC where she currently resides, soaking up all the city has to offer. After working at Ogilvy, BBDO and R/GA on top global brands like UPS, Starbucks and Samsung, Adama is happy to be joining the Mekanism family as Head of Strategy, East.
AMANDA SPEER - Director of Partnerships and Outreach
Amanda comes to Mekanism from Crispin Porter Bogusky, where she spent six years contributing to talent initiatives in various capacities. While at Mekanism she has helped spearhead career development planning, mentorship training, while pushing for multicultural recruitment and an inclusive culture. Prior to advertising, Amanda worked in education.
As Director of Partnerships and Outreach for Apollo 51 she is able to combine her passion for teaching and mentorship with her love of finding talent excited to tell great stories.
In her free time, she likes to tackle DIY projects with her husband, spoil her dog and be outside as much as possible.
Justin Foster - Content Strategist
Justin joined Mekanism in 2017 after moving to New York to pursue his creative passions. He started in marketing and business operations but is transitioning into copywriting. Coming from a background in humanities and education, he’d never even heard of portfolio school prior to Mekanism. Although his creative acumen was evident, it never occurred to him to consider or pursue a career in advertising. He then became interested in increasing awareness of advertising paths for creatively inclined individuals seeking clear career paths.
Once Apollo 51 launched, Justin sprung into action on content strategy and creative for the initiative. His creative and operational talent combined with his passion for equity and his background in education make him an invaluable addition to the team. He is thrilled to help launch the future!
Molly Cummings - project coordinator
Molly joined Mekanism San Francisco’s talent operations team in 2017. With a background working in hospitality and studying communication sciences, she brings a fresh perspective to building a career within the advertising industry. No detail is too small or curveball too daunting for this budding ad-fanatic. She began working closely with Tommy Means on internal talent and culture initiatives and quickly became the patron saint of company culture.
When Apollo 51 launched, she was brought on to help manage the program’s first class of bi-coastal interns. As a Project Coordinator for the Apollo 51 team, she owns our social media accounts, manages our creative assets and facilitates partner communiques. She is passionate about building out our ambassador and mentorship programs in the future, so that more people can have access to the industry that welcomed her home.
Andrew Ulmer - Senior Designer / Art Director
Andrew joined Mekanism in 2018 and immediately got involved with Mekanism’s MAKE GOOD initiatives, helping out creatively with all things design. Partnering up with Apollo 51 has been exciting and enriching for Andrew, not just in terms of design exploration but also in building up non-traditional, creative talent in advertising.
As a consummate designer, Andrew has helped shape Apollo 51’s visual brand identity, including all social assets. The opportunity to help untapped talent find a direct path to meaningful opportunities has been incredibly rewarding for Andrew.