Skip to content Skip to footer

NEFMA 2021 Virtual Awards Show: The Grammys of the Industry


Thursday , February 17, 2022 | 5:30-7:00 pm

The New England Financial Marketing Association invites you to show off your best work and earn serious bragging rights at the Grammys of our Industry! Submit your 2021 entries in financial marketing by January 7, 2022, to be featured in our upcoming virtual Awards Show hosted on February 17, 2022, from 5:30 – 7 p.m. An independent panel of judges will select the winners for the most creative, innovative, and successful campaigns across categories (see them here).

Your participation is vital to our community and our industry.

Together we uplift, elevate, and celebrate the earnest dedication and craft of our community of Financial Marketers serving organizations of all sizes. Our premier competition honors the creative and strategic excellence of Financial Marketers across New England. Take this opportunity to earn elite industry kudos for you and your team. Together we’ll crown the winners and help build reputation, comradery, and goodwill.

Institutions will compete against similarly-sized organizations to help create equity and fair competition. 


We’re thrilled to be able to celebrate the best in financial marketing from across New England in a safe and enjoyable way!





WHAT’S OLD IS NEW. How the Age-Old Art of Storytelling Will Set Your Existing Media Channels on Fire.

This is the year of meaningful and measurable engagement. it’s also the year that marketing pros will begin to shed all that extra budget weight of meaningless and empty impressions.

As a former new anchor reporter for ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX Affiliates in three markets and an American Idol contestant who went toe-to-toe with Simon Cowell, Mary Cate Mannion knows how to get attention and generate meaningful engagement. During her presentation, you will learn how to improve your marketing results by using storytelling through familiar channels like print, video, and social media.

Specific strategies will include shifting marketing efforts from:

  • Traditional print ads into sponsored content stories that stick
  • Expensive television buys to digitally disseminate video to very targeted (“buying” audiences)
  • Leaving the #2014 Social Media impression organic posts to KPI driven campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and very exciting micro-targeting campaigns and publishing opportunities on LinkedIn

Join us on February 17 to get inspired to innovate, get more results out of your media spend, and migrate your objectives away from impressions into the differentiating power of measurable engagement.


Matt Bruni

MBC Strategic

Matt Brunini founded MBC Strategic in 1998, an agency dedicated to serving and uplifting the creative needs of the financial and investment industries. Working with firms large and small, Matt develops the overall investment marketing and communications approach, oversees content creation, and manages the creative and production staff. Matt has been leading financial marketing initiatives for over two decades and is able to synthesize technical concepts into succinct and actionable financial and investment brand strategy, core messaging, websites, and print materials.

Grant Hicks

Advisor Practice Management

Grant Hicks, CIM, is a practice management expert, author and is President of Advisor Practice Management a consulting firm for the financial industry.  Grant has over 32 years of experience in practice management for financial advisors. Grants combined financial advisor clients manage over 5 billion AUM, and earn over $50 million dollars combined! Thousands of financial professionals follow his blog at

Mike Jones


Remarkable brands require authenticity and a die-hard commitment to values and purpose. Mike Jones passionately pursues these beliefs as CEO of his brand agency – Resound – and through his workshops and seminars at events, universities, and corporations across the US. (He also explores these topics on his podcast and in his new book, You Are Remarkable.) In recognition of the work he’s done, this Arizona native has been named one of the state’s top business leaders under the age of 40 by the Phoenix Business Journal. He also serves on the boards of PHX Startup Week and Conscious Capitalism Arizona…at least when he and his wife, Adrienne, are not chasing down their 3 kids.If you want to connect, Twitter’s usually where you’ll find him – @remarkamike.

David Langton

Langton Creative Group, Ltd.

I believe in using the power of design to promote, educate, entertain, and inform – especially in the nonprofit space where there is a clear need for effective communication. We didn’t start out in the nonprofit world, we launched a national wellness program for Pfizer and managed it for 10 years, we have created brands and websites for insurance companies, and designed campaigns for Fortune 500 companies with consultancies like EY, Deloitte and Mercer. Over time I came to see that nonprofits could benefit greatly from the power of design as a transformative tool in promoting change in our world. We’ve worked with numerous organizations including, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, Children’s Aid, The International Rescue Committee, and The Legal Aid Society. For over 10 years I have been teaching communication design and media studies courses at Hostos College/CUNY in the Bronx.

Rinel Lara

Video Producer

Rinel Lara is an video producer focused on commercial and digital content. He has worked at Leo Burnett Chicago and Henry Agency developing campaigns for brands like Samsung, Keebler and Mike’s Harder. As part of the touring company CMN Events, he expanded their online media reach by producing creative content for artists like Maluma, Bad Bunny and Nicky Jam. Now based in Miami, He is part of the Integrated Production team at VMLY&R.

Grant Wright

CEO & Managing Partner
(W)right On Communications, Inc.

Named by Forbes magazine a 2021 Top 200 Best PR Agency from among more than 12,000 nationwide, (W)right On Communications provides comprehensive marketing communications services for small organizations through Fortune 500 companies across the United States and internationally. As CEO and Managing Partner, Grant provides oversight and senior-level communications and business counsel for the agency’s client partners while also overseeing agency management and administration. Grant holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and an MBA in Marketing and Finance. Professionally, he has been involved in corporate and not-for-profit boards of directors, is a commercial pilot licensed in both Canada and the United States and is the founding board chairman of the Southern California Aviation Association that has provided more than $400,000 in student scholarship grants since its inception.

Maria Lilly


MJ Lilly Associates

Maria Lilly is the Founder and Managing Director of MJ Lilly Associates, a strategic marketing and communications firm based in Brooklyn, NY with a focus on the financial services industry. With more than 30 years of experience across the marketing gamut – from corporate positioning and advertising to content marketing and lead-generating product campaigns – she has led assignments for major banks, asset managers, analytics providers and fintechs. Maria is known for her candor and clear thinking in designing activities that drive business results, and good humor and service mindset in forming winning client relationships.

Mary Cate Mannion

Digital Public Relations Analyst, GCAi
Producer, New England Corporate Video
Award-Winning Anchor/Reporter

Here’s what you need to know about me. I have interviewed hundreds of businesspeople and watched many fail their own interests because of an inability to tell their own truthful and meaningful stories.

Meaningful stories break through the clutter and I was rewarded for helping tell them. Now that I am behind the camera, I want to help businesses tell their story because it truly is the new elixir of engagement – and in a digital world, nothing matters more than engagement – the marketing superfood of 2022.

More about my storytelling travels? My reporting career took me through a variety of climates, cities, and stories. Starting in North Dakota (read cold even for New Englanders!) with an NBC affiliate, where I learned to interview and edit in temps well below freezing on a regular basis.

Arriving at the warm clime of Western Mass, I spent time in the Holyoke-Springfield DMA working as an anchor/reporter for ABC, CBS, and FOX News affiliates. Then I was off to Portland, ME, for a similar position for an ABC News affiliate there. Some thought I was so good at telling stories that I won a Broadcaster’s Award for my work and was nominated for two Emmy Awards.

Along this sometimes-cold journey, I think I have learned a thing or two about the art of helping humans explain what is important to them and others and then using technology to enhance those stories and bring them to market quickly.

I am really proud of the time that I spent at Emerson College, where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcast journalism. I currently serve as a board member of the Willie Ross School for the Deaf and am a member of Women in Film & Video New England.

These days, whenever possible, I am spending time outside with my rescue dog Enzo exploring my new home in Suffield, CT.