Meet the Young Guns!

Introducing this year’s team set to question the media industry at Cannes Lions 2017.

Maria Van Buskirk

Maria Van Buskirk Headshot.PNGSince joining Maxus in 2015, Maria has distinguished herself in her ability to balance client demands across an array of verticals ranging from FMCG and ecommerce, to utility fashion brands. In addition to the four client businesses she manages, Maria actively partakes in new business endeavors, most recently working to secure the pitch for an Italian luxury brand.  She is an eager-to-learn hand raiser who offers a unique blend of emotive and analytical smarts. While in Cannes, she is most looking forward to learning from industry thought leaders, and singing I’m On A Boat with T-Pain and Nick Vale at the Gabbcon party.

Ryan Hunter

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I fell into this career – an aimless stereotype of my generation looking for a pay cheque to fuel other interests. 

I soon fell in love with the work. 

In just over two and a half years at Maxus, that love for the work and culture has fueled a desire to constantly explore my own creativity and hone my craft working for a varied client base in my role as Senior Planner/Buyer. 

It is exactly that desire to explore and grow that brings me to Cannes. From this humbling experience, I am looking to absorb as much as possible from the amazing work and people present at the festival. 

Beside this text, you will see a picture of me demonstrating my penchant for thinking deep, creative thoughts while staring intensely away from the horizon. I hope it’s inspiring

Abhishek Grover

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“Abhishek lives in a world of borderless innovative businesses, helping them grow by telling their story in a manner that makes people want to listen. His stories reflect the multicultural experience he has received in India, Philippines and now in Singapore as the Regional Planning Director, by traveling the length and breadth of APAC. He found early success in the industry winning major awards such as Young Spikes Asia and Young Cannes India. His expectation from Cannes is to hear inspirational stories, exchange ideas and make lasting connections in the business. When he’s not writing brand stories, you can find him running out on the roads seeking fitness and self-discovery.”

Laura Gao

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I’m an Account Director in Chorus, the content and partnerships team here at Maxus. We work across all of the clients within the agency, helping them create branded content and collaborations with the right partners. It’s an exciting space of advertising to be in because we’re creating something from scratch every time, from what the concept might be to what partner we might connect with. We’re given the opportunity to make it happen if it doesn’t exist! I enjoy the balance between the cerebral legwork required to develop a content or partnership idea and the hands on approach of seeing a project through to completion. Creating something tangible sees me dabbling in ceramics and weaving outside of work but nothing beats a long, aimless bike ride where the mind can wander.

There are plenty of themes at Cannes this year that I want to explore, from Creativity for Good to representation in the industry; despite Fearless Girl being destined for wins at Cannes, I think there’s still a long way to go. And of course I’ll be reporting back to Chorus on what’s winning in the branded content and partnerships categories. Above all, I’m looking forward to seeing ideas I love, arguing over work I hate and meeting people who challenge my point of view.

Britt Luyten


I’m Britt Luyten, Head of Client Leadership at Maxus Belgium. And I’m so looking forward to Cannes. I always try to look at things differently, from a different angle or with another hook to find unexpected solutions. That’s what I will be looking for at Cannes, tips and tricks to do be even better, smarter or more creative.

I’m a very passionate and dynamic person. If I was selected to take part in the “Young Guns” program, it might be because I’m willing to think out of the box when others don’t dare to. All my efforts are focused on leading the Maxus Comms planning team with a clear vision and in a collaborative spirit. When you mix creativity and flexibility you have a pretty clear picture of the person I want to embody. I will try to bring all of this to the table in Cannes and across the world in various blogs, interviews, etc.

Also, I cry when I see well-made advertising that actually makes a difference, so you can expect tears from me. And I get extremely excited when cases are brilliant in their simplicity. 

Graham Alexander


As Maxus’ Global Marketing Project Manager – my role is to increase Maxus’ fame, both to the wider industry as well as internally, across the globe.  I work through partnerships, events and awards as well as with the Maxus’ talent community to share stories of our wonderful people and work from around the world.

My natural state is of slightly distracted curiosity – making Twitter my greatest source of inspiration and distraction simultaneously.

Abbie Lee Baisden

E_NZW0oF_400x400.jpgI’m the Global Content Manager, which means I’m responsible for telling the story of Maxus across all our platforms. I’ll be following the Young Guns around the festival setting up tripods, finding good lighting and encouraging them to instagram as if their life depended on it. I love finding new ways to engage with audiences and this year am most excited about the brand new “Change Briefings Live” podcast which we have just launched. I only started listening to podcasts a few months ago and am making up for being a shameful late-adopter with pure enthusiasm for the medium.