The 2012 Digital Leadership Award Honorees

I was proud to announce the winners of the 2012 Digital Leadership Awards on Thursday at the Media Technology Summit 2012. The Digital Leadership Awards™ are bestowed by the Digital Leadership Academy to honor senior executives, artists, educators, public servants and government officials who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the conception, creation and execution of digital initiatives. Here are the 2012 honorees:

Bre Pettis

Technologist – Bre Pettis, Co-Founder and CEO, Makerbot

Bre Pettis makes things that make things. Passionate about invention, innovation, and all things DIY, Pettis builds infrastructure for creativity. He is a founder of Makerbot, a company that produces robots that make things, and a founder of NYCResistor, a hacker collective in Brooklyn. Besides being a TV host and video podcast producer, he has created new media for, hosted Make’s podcast Weekend Projects, and has been a schoolteacher, artist, and puppeteer.

Outstanding achievement: Bringing 3D printing to the mass market.

Lady Gaga

Artist/Performer – Lady Gaga, Singer/Songwriter

Born and raised in New York City, Lady Gaga is an international music superstar. She reached worldwide recognition after the release of her first album, The Fame, in 2008, which featured number-one singles like “Just Dance” and “Poker Face”. She followed that album up with The Fame Monster the following year and Born This Way in 2011. She has sold over 20 million albums and over 60 million singles worldwide. Besides her musical career, she is strongly involved with humanitarian causes and LGBT activism. She is the most followed person on Twitter.

Outstanding achievement: Extraordinary use of social media.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Government Official – Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City

Michael Bloomberg is a businessman and politician who is the current Mayor of New York City. He is also the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg L.P., a financial data-services firm. Bloomberg was first elected to become Mayor in 2001, and was re-elected in 2005. In 2009, he successfully campaigned for an amendment to New York City’s term-limits law, and subsequently won his third term in office.

Outstanding achievement: The digitization of NYC and Cornell NYC Tech.

Alan Patricof

Financial Executive – Alan Patricof, Managing Director, Greycroft Partners

Alan Patricof is an American investor and one of the early pioneers of the venture capital and private equity industries. Patricof founded Apax Partners, which is today one of the largest private equity firms globally. In 2006, Patricof left Apax to form Greycroft Partners, which is a venture capital partnership, formed to invest in the world’s most promising digital media companies.

Outstanding achievement: Alan’s role as a digital leader in the technology investment community.

Jack Haber

Marketer – Jack Haber, VP Global Advertising & Digital, Colgate-Palmolive

Jack Haber is Vice President, e-Business for Colgate, responsible for leading all Colgate internet activities globally. Internet responsibilities include all company web sites around the world, internet marketing, global intranet/portal, e-commerce and e-business applications and more. In 2007, less than 5% of Colgate’s Integrated Marketing Communications projects were digital. Today, the figure is 88% of campaigns. Since Jack’s tenure as Vice President of Global Advertising & Digital began in 2008, Colgate’s digital spend has increased by 366%. Jack’s extensive work in educating globally has resulted in digital being used in locations without a digital infrastructure, such as rural India. Through his efforts, he has successfully aligned his digital business worldwide.

Outstanding achievement: Leading one of America’s premiere CPG firms into the information age.

Ross Martin

Creative Director – Ross Martin, EVP, MTV Scratch

Ross Martin is Executive Vice President of MTV Scratch, a creative swat team driving innovation across MTV networks. In 2004, Ross became Head of Programming for MTV’s Emmy and Peabody Award winning college network, mtvU. He later served as Senior Vice President of MTV 360 Production and Development. He’s taught at Washington University, The New School and The Rhode Island School of Design. His first book, “The Cop Who Rides Alone,” was published in 2002.

Outstanding achievement: Creating some of the year’s best omni-platform advertising and marketing campaigns.

Walker Jacobs

Executive – Walker Jacobs, EVP, Turner Broadcasting

Walker Jacobs is executive vice president of Turner Digital, overseeing advertising sales and integrated marketing solutions across the internet, video-on-demand and mobile platforms for the Turner Digital portfolio of leading news, entertainment, and sports sites, which include,,,,,,, and others. He is based in New York.

Outstanding achievement: Extraordinary management of one of the world’s largest collections of online properties.

Lt. General Benjamin Freakley

Educator – Lt. General Benjamin Freakley, USA Ret.

Lieutenant General Freakley assumed command of U.S. Army Accessions Command in Fort Monroe, VA., in May 2007. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1975 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, Infantry, Regular Army. General Freakley’s military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (with OLC), Defense Superior Service Medal (with OLC), Legion of Merit (with two OLCs), Bronze Star (with “V” device), Bronze Star (with OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (with nine OLCs), Army Commendation Medal (with “V” device), Army Achievement Medal, State Department Meritorious Honor Award, NATO Meritorious Service Medal, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Combat Action Badge, Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge and Air Assault Badge. General Freakley turned the Army’s accessions results around in three months time, and began a marketing campaign that over time resulted in wholesale positive changes in how the Army is perceived by the American people during a time of war. His focus on STEM skills and education, disadvantaged youth, childhood obesity, digital and social media, leadership and measurable return on investment to advance the Army’s perception around the country and around the world remains unprecedented. Through General Freakley’s efforts, the quality of the Army’s recruits and officers is today measured at the highest level in its history. His targeted planning and execution to ensure recruiting met the demands of senior commanders on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq had never before been attempted. His vision and efforts will endure for the the long-term.

Outstanding achievement: Leading the Army’s Accessions Command into the information age.

You can learn more about the Digital Leadership Academy at