Kerel Cooper and Erik Requidan are co-founders and co-hosts of the Minority Report Podcast. Their show highlights people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ communities within business, media, and technology.
Cooper and Requidan will bring their podcast to the Miami Publisher Forum for their keynote, “Minority Report Podcast: Developing a Leadership Career in Digital Media and Ad Tech.” During the live session, Cooper and Requidan will sit down with Chris Contreras, Chief Customer Officer, MNTN, to talk about his career that has spanned the sell side, buy side, social media, and ad tech, as well as leadership roles at startups.
The Minority Report Podcast Is Leaving a Legacy
Cooper and Requidan started their podcast in May of 2018. Since then, the pair has created one of the largest catalogs of leaders sharing insights and experiences gained throughout their personal and professional journeys.
Each of the 150+ episodes have been impactful in different ways. For Requidan, some of the episodes that stand out are Bobby Herrera, co-founder and CEO of Populus Group and author of The Gift of Struggle: Life-Changing Lessons About Leading, reflecting on kindness to others; Arlan Hamilton, founder and managing partner at Backstage Capital, discussing opportunity funding, and Tiffany Warren, founder & president, ADCOLOR, about recognizing the creative industries.
The Minority Report episode with Contreras will focus on his career development, from starting as a financial analyst at HBO to deep diving into the world of digital media and ad tech. Contreras is currently at MNTN, which builds advertising software for brands to reach consumers through the power of television, where he oversees the company’s customer success organization and operations.
Cooper and Requidan believe that attendees will find Contreras’s story fascinating, especially how he created a role for himself that helped springboard his career. Contreras is a huge advocate for DEI&B, and the episode’s conversation will explore what it means to be LatinX in the industry and why we need more diversity.
“I’m excited to hear Chris share more about a few topics, including servant leadership, diversity in the workplace, and mentorship. I think he does a great job of making sure it’s understood and there isn’t just one area to focus on. It’s several at once,” said Requidan.
Evolving Careers Across the Ad Tech Landscape
Cooper and Requidan bring extensive experience and expertise to the discussions on the Minority Report Podcast. Cooper has been in the ad tech and martech industry for 24 years. He is President of Advertising at Group Black, leading the advertising revenue and operations team, including sales, ad operations, and customer success.
One of Cooper’s first jobs was as a telemarketer selling newspaper subscriptions. He describes the job as a humbling experience that taught him how to work with people from different walks of life and deal with situations that don’t always go your way.
“What I love most about our industry is the constant evolution over the past two-plus decades and the technology sitting at the center of that change,” said Cooper.
Requidan has been in advertising, media, and tech for his whole career, with 13 years working on the sell side for publishers and media companies and 10 years supporting content producers, journalists, media, and the free web as an essential services provider for publishers. Now, Requidan is the Founder and CEO of Media Tradecraft, a full-service ad management, and ad tech firm, and Principal at Tradecraft Advisory, a programmatic advertising advisory.
Requidan started in advertising as a sales assistant to a large team of sellers and managers, where he learned how to serve clients and customers and to follow amazing mentors and leaders.
“Those work experiences and my family have taught me to be comfortable in leadership, strategy, and serving. I also learned the importance of hard work, kindness, and giving people a chance,” recalls Requidan.
Requidan’s early managers and coworkers took chances on him. He doesn’t have a four-year or advanced degree, yet every job he had required a college degree just to even apply.
“I learned to be bold enough not to let the degree requirement stop me. At some point, hiring managers looked past that as well. They also looked past my different-looking last name, age, the color of my skin, and more,” said Requidan. “I eventually would direct teams of people, manage departments, head up divisions, build and rebuild entire media companies, launch startups, and lead publicly traded and private companies.”
Achieving Leadership Careers in Digital Media and Ad Tech
The live podcast with Contreras will focus on developing a leadership career in digital media and ad tech. For Cooper, the best leadership advice he received early in his career that helped him grow was to emulate those in an executive or leadership position.
“Research those leaders to find out how they got to their position and their impact on the industry and company they work for. Add positive pieces of their game to your own,” advised Cooper.
Requidan adds, “A lot of times, leadership is about serving and collaborating with others and bringing people together around objectives. Modern leadership also often requires empathy, emotional intelligence, perspective, agile thinking, and mental dexterity.”
For Black History Month, AdMonsters named Cooper as an ad tech professional making waves and leaving his mark on the advertising and digital media industry.
“I hope to see more black professionals enter ad tech, building great careers and taking on more leadership and executive positions … Many positions like advertising and revenue operations sit at the center of everything and can open career doors that aren’t immediately obvious,” said Cooper.
When it comes to industry newcomers facing diversity challenges, Cooper advises, “Challenge your organization to set goals and measure the impact.” And, “Work where you are wanted and feel like you belong,” adds Requidan.