Who We Are

We are artists, activists, marketers, communicators, and strategists passionate about using our skills to make a better world. We listen, we analyze, we create, we challenge. We’re not getting rich, but we sleep well at night.


Hey I'm Brittany
Brittany Chenier

Brittany comes to BWA with a Bachelor’s in Health Sciences from Howard University, and a Master of Public Health from the University of San Francisco. Born and raised in Oakland, Ca, Brittany has always been inspired by the social and political movements that began in the bay area. Brittany is excited to work with BWA because of its innovation in using social marketing to help marginalized communities feel empowered to take control of their health, and also acting as a media outlet that delivers messages of positivity and hope.

During her time at Howard, Brittany volunteered with the Americorps program Jumpstart. It was here that her passion for working with the youth began. She hopes to nurture this passion back in her hometown and be a part of a movement that allows youth of color to not only change the way others view them, but also change the way they see themselves.

In her spare time Brittany, enjoys sports, writing poetry, being outdoors, making dry jokes, creating memories with loved ones, connecting with people and organizations that work with the youth, and slamming dominoes.

Project Manager
Hi, I’m Cynthia!
Cynthia Lyon

Cynthia has a wide range of interests. Her passion for organization has been a central theme, spanning the fields of the environment, golf and antiques. She has also worked in multiple accounting environments, giving her a wide perspective in different accounting practices. Central to that diversity is her ability to keep things in balance.

Cynthia has been a lifelong collector of antiques and can be found rummaging around auctions, estate sales and yard sales on the weekends. Her interest has been transformed into a fledgling business. Many people are unmoved by accounting, but Cynthia’s irreverent sense of humor livens up BWA’s entire finance department (which would actually just be Cynthia).

With over 20 years business experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, her finance-savvy background is welcome in BWA’s world of social marketing. Cynthia has a B.S. in Conservation from the University of California, Berkeley.

Finance Manager
Hey, I'm Darnell
Darnell Lee

Darnell is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, which has helped nurture his love for art and design in everything. Darnell has participated in AIDS/LifeCycle three times, raising money for HIV/AIDS by riding 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Combining his passion for design and his philanthropy in HIV, Better World Advertising offered an opportunity to both do fulfilling work and use his skills for a higher purpose. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design with a Minor in Photography from San Jose State. 

Darnell’s passion for design emerged when surfing online he stumbled upon personal blogs. Since then he has designed identity packages, online ads, packaging, Mobile UI, social media, print, outdoor and transit materials.

He loves food. In order to maintain a healthy life and still explore his love for eating, he embraces hiking, fitness and cycling. He also loves gifs.

Graphic Designer
Hey, I'm Dusty!
Dustin York

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dusty joined BWA to use his graphic design skills to make some positive change in the world. While in Canada, he was the art director at The Coast, an alternative weekly newspaper. Dusty also served as a designer for several marketing firms in the US and Canada, developing print and outdoor media, online advertising and e-learning materials. He holds a Bachelor of Design (honors) from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University.

Since joining BWA in 2006, Dusty has helped create the visual identity for a numerous organizations, including: Family Builders, Life Project, I.R.M.A., Center Link, I.N.P.U.D. and Adoption SF. He has also worked on a number of award-winning campaigns, including "Sugar Bites" for First 5 Contra Costa County, "Take Pride Leave Cigarettes" for the Chicago Department of Public Health and “Don’t Erase Your Future” for U.C. Irvine (which has since been adapted for various campuses across the United States). He also worked with I.N.P.U.D. to create their “Drug War Peace” initiative that impacted policy makers at the W.H.O. in Geneva and received an American Graphic Design Award.

Art Director
Hi, I'm Jennifer!
Jennifer Hampton

Jennifer Hampton is thrilled to join BWA as its Business Development Manager. She brings to BWA a wide range of experiences. She began her career as a magazine editor while earning her Masters in Communications, and then, after earning her law degree, she worked with international clients in the media, pharmaceutical and retail industries until moving on to become Director of Business Affairs for a telecommunications company and then Director of Communications and Compliance for a corporate travel company. Born in Brooklyn and having spent most of her adult life in Manhattan, Jennifer has volunteered for various causes related to the arts, historic preservation, domestic violence, child welfare, homelessness and disability rights, among other causes. By joining BWA, she is grateful for the opportunity to work for a company that exists to help improve the lives of others. In her spare time, Jennifer most enjoys re-discovering the world through the eyes of her 5-year-old daughter.

Business Development Manager
Hey, I'm Sheldon!
Sheldon DeSouza

Sheldon DeSouza is a native of Trinidad, WI which accounts for his easygoing demeanor, but don’t let his “don’t worry be happy” attitude fool you. He is a passionate activist for many causes dear to his heart including youth, the arts, gay rights and HIV/AIDS research. Sheldon is co-founder and vice-chair of The Black Gay Men’s Network; a national brotherhood of professional black gay men committed to improving lives, health and building community in order to make social change.

Sheldon attended Rider University in New Jersey where he majored in Computer Science. He went on to earn a master’s from Steven’s Institute of Technology and continued his studies towards Project Management Professional certification. Sheldon has a broad background in IT/Project Management and has managed highly complex initiatives for Fortune 100 companies, including Time Warner as Director of Quality Assurance – Interactive Media.

Sheldon’s role at BWA is the culmination of his training and passion. He is responsible for managing HIV Stops With Me, a multifaceted national social marketing campaign preventing the spread of HIV and reducing stigma associated with the disease. He is also managing a new national HIV testing campaign for the CDC targeting Black and Latino MSM.

In his free time, Sheldon can be found in the gym, on the beach with a good book or blasting his favorite house music.

Project Manager
Hey, I'm Lauren!
Lauren Adrover

Lauren has over 10 years of experience conducting research globally and in the US. Her project work covers a range of topics from corporate social responsibility to the relationship between people and technology in emerging markets. Lauren is passionate about conducting research and dedicated to applying research insights in ways that make an impact on how local communities live and thrive.

She comes to BWA with a PhD in Anthropology from Northwestern University, where she cultivated her expertise in a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Her dissertation research on cultural festivals and corporate sponsorship was based in Ghana, where she lived and worked over the course of several years.

In her spare time, Lauren can be found getting dirty with her two boys, practicing yoga, or recharging on the dance floor with her vibrant community of friends.

Research Director
Manny Sanchez

Manny relocated from LA to join the team at BWA as a Project Manager/Social Media Specialist. For the past couple of years, he was working as the Marketing & Communications Coordinator at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center where he managed project timelines, social media and online assets, print collateral and developed other communications and marketing strategies for a wide variety of LGBT issues including HIV/AIDS, Marriage Equality, major fundraising events and other campaigns.

He has also previously worked at Grindr as a copywriter and content manager and at New Dimensions (a multicultural marketing research firm) where he developed strategies for marketing to Latino communities. He has his BA and Master of Arts degrees in American Studies from CA State University Fullerton.

He loves burritos, funny blogs, and can Mexican line dance/salsa/attempt to twerk at the drop of a hat. You can typically find him exploring SF, lifting at the gym while listening to Beyonce, or at the latest drag show in the Castro or SoMa.

Project Manager/Social Media Specialist
Hello, I’m David!
David Contois

David has over 20 years entrepreneurial and social marketing experience and continues to be passionate about helping change lives for the better. With a background in design, marketing and communications, he has worked with countless nonprofits over the years.

David founded KnowCrystal.org, providing “Information Without Judgment” for gay and bisexual men who use crystal meth. He has lead other community efforts like the establishment of Balboa Park Trails, with over 65 miles of walking and running trails in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

David has served as a volunteer on nonprofit boards at the San Diego Foundation, San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative, San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, Mama’s Kitchen, California Youth Connection, and the San Diego Ad Club. He is currently volunteering as a pro-bono marketing consultant with the Taproot Foundation.

Prior to joining BWA in 2011, David established BluSkye Group, a strategic marketing and design studio, and worked as the Communications Director for the San Diego Repertory Theater. He holds a B.A. in History from San Diego State University and an M.B.A. from National University. David enjoys acrylic painting, fitness, volunteering, reading just about anything and spending time with his husband and daughter.

Senior Vice President
Hey, I'm Sam!
Sam Shoemaker

Sam Shoemaker brings his love for arts, culture and activism to BWA as Video Producer for the HIV Stops With Me Campaign. In this role, Sam travels across New York to capture real-world footage of openly HIV-positive people living their lives. Sam is the founder of Fraternity Films, a company he founded after leaving the finance industry several years ago.

Sam has enjoyed working with such luminaries as Spike Lee, Tim Robbins, and David Bowie, but is most proud of his work creating PSAs for nonprofits such as The World is Your Oyster and the Heart Society. A born and bred New Yorker, Sam loves the Harlem neighborhood in which he was raised and is dedicated to improving the lives of those in his community. He credits his mother -- who devoted her career to helping at-risk teens and adults find work, education and housing – for instilling in him the importance of community service.

In his spare time, Sam enjoys volunteering for various charitable organizations and playing ice hockey.

Video Producer
Hi, I'm Les.
Les Pappas

Les Pappas established Better World Advertising in 1996 and has been creating social marketing campaigns for over 25 years. As President and Creative Director, he has his hands in every aspect of the social marketing process, from developing messages with client to overseeing the implementation of a campaign. Les believes that social marketing is a limitless force for helping people and creating a stronger, healthier society.

Prior to founding BWA, Les served as the Director of Prevention Campaigns for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation for ten years. His campaigns were featured in numerous national and international media outlets including CNN and Time Magazine. He has volunteered on numerous boards and committees, including the San Francisco HIV Prevention Planning Council, Health Initiatives for Youth, and was a founding member and chairperson of both TARC (now Tenderloin Health) and 18th Street Services (now merged with New Leaf).

Originally from Massachusetts, Les received a BA from Clark University and an MPA from the University of San Francisco. He is passionate about automobile design and has a penchant for photography.

President & Creative Director
Hey I'm Lupe!
Lupe Sanchez

Lupe joined BWA with a strong background in marketing communications and community relations. Early in her career, she worked as a strategic marketing consultant on the nationally renowned Healthy Kids campaign to enroll all eligible Santa Clara County children in a state-sponsored health insurance program targeting low-income communities. Lupe also participated in numerous public health initiatives and events for Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System, the VMC Foundation and other entities, including the creation of the first county-wide medical response system website.

A native of San Jose, Lupe served as Director of Community Affairs for the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau. As Field Representative for California Food Policy Advocates, she was instrumental in the expansion of year-round school and community-based nutrition programs for children.

Lupe has a degree in Humanities from Loyola Marymount University and a Masters in Public Policy from Claremont Graduate University.

Development Associate