Social Media Week Chicago is gaining momentum with the addition of a high profile Advisory Board, welcoming industry leaders to assist in the planning, promotion and execution of the September 24-28 event. Follow @smwchicago on Twitter or on Facebook to receive real-time updates and alerts.
Social Media Week Chicago 2012 Advisory Board Members include:
Brian is the President of EveryBlock, charged with charting its overall course for growth and overseeing everything from marketing and operations to business development and monthly water cooler deliveries. At his core a brand strategist, his background features a blend of digital and traditional marketing leadership, including stints at Foote, Cone & Belding, Ogilvy & Mather, Wirestone, and Beam Global Spirits & Wine.
Always placing an emphasis on community, Brian founded Park Place Charities, a non-profit dedicated to providing children in Chicago’s Cabrini Green housing project with a safe place to play. He also served as a trustee of The Chicago Academy for the Arts, named a national school of distinction by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
A troubled Cubs fan, Brian has always lived within walking distance of Wrigley Field, where he can often be found dreaming of that elusive World Series with his wife and two children.
SVP, Director of Digital Operations, DDB
For over 14 years, Azher has spearheaded digital efforts revolving around marketing, community build, branding and promotion across dozens of big brands including Comcast, Tyson, Abbott Labs and Mars. Azher originally started out as a Creative Designer, and brings a good mix of creative thinking and usability to traditionally cut-and-dry technical approaches.
He has led development of award-winning mobile, web, experiential and social platforms for numerous top-tier clients. His experience also includes pioneering real-time web marketing optimization platforms for DeVry and Discover Card as well as e-commerce platforms for clients including Dell, Wells Fargo and AOL.
Azher is an online community enthusiast, and possesses deep knowledge and experience in building social applications such as blogs, discussion forums, wikis and online collaboration engines—applications that play a key role in online & guerilla marketing.
Manager, Public Relations Division, Rotary International
As manager of the public relations division at Rotary International, David leads a team of 12 public relations and communications professionals who help support Rotary clubs efforts to tell our story to the general public. His responsibilities for Rotary International include directing global media efforts, developing public service announcements and campaigns and providing public relations tools and materials to Rotary clubs. The RI Public Relations Division’s primary goal is to support Rotary clubs worldwide in their public outreach.
David Alexander is a nearly 20 year public relations veteran. Prior to Rotary, David directed media efforts at the National Safety Council, an injury prevention organization chartered by the U.S. Congress, and worked in the public relations area for Apple Computer.
David has led award-winning media and public relations outreach efforts. Rotary International’s public relations efforts have been recognized by industry publications and peers — including PR Week, PR News, the Public Relations Society of America, Publicity Club of Chicago and the American Marketing Association. Rotary International also recently received honorable mention from the public relations industry publication, PR News, for Nonprofit PR Campaign of the Year.
David lives in Evanston, Illinois with his wife and three children.
Vice President, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
Geoff Alexander has been wining and dining Chicago’s discerning palate the Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc. ® (LEYE) way since May 1993 – a career he began merely nine days after his college graduation.
Since then Geoff has worked with some of the most notable concept’s in LEYE’s ever-burgeoning local, national and international portfolio, including Mity Nice Grill; Shaw’s Crab House; Big Bowl (eight locations locally and nationally); Vong’s Thai KitchenTM(VTK) named one of “Chicago’s Top 20 New Restaurants,” (Chicago magazine, May 2002), Frankie’s Scaloppine at the 900 Shops on North Michigan Avenue and now Wow Bao, a concept focusing on steamed Asian buns.
Geoff has also revolutionized the way diners interact with restaurants by being a leader in restaurant technologies and the use of social media. Under his guidance, Wow Bao has implemented online ordering both from an iPhone app and from computer desktops for pick-up orders, bicycle delivery and domestic shipping. He has also installed self-ordering kiosks for guest ordering. Aside from pioneering the @baomouth twitterfeed into a well respected Chicago Social Media influencer, Geoff partnered with Foursquare to have Wow Bao as one of its first Chicago restaurants offerings. Wow Bao has also flourished through a text messaging platform that he created.
He is now a widely sought after speaker on the subject of Social Media and restaurant technologies having presented at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago and the Foodservice Technology Conference and Showcase (FSTEC) in Long Beach, CA. He resides in Chicago with his family.
EVP, Global Innovation and Integration, Edelman
As executive vice president, Global Innovation & Integration, David’s mandate is to uncover and activate strategic and innovative social business solutions for Edelman’s clients and the firm. David acts as editor in chief for Edelmandigital.com and has worked with global companies such as P&G, eBay and adidas.
David is considered to be a highly influential voice on the subject of social media for business and has nearly 75,000 subscribers to his blog and Twitter stream. Prior to Edelman, David was a part of the founding team of social business consultancy Dachis Group, helping launch the business from stealth mode into the marketplace.
He also writes regular industry perspectives for the Harvard Business Review, and co-founded the “Allhat” event billed by SXSW as populated by “the most respected voices in digital.” David graduated cum laude from the prestigious Pratt Institute with a dual major of visual communications/computer graphics.
Senior Product Manager, Corporate Marketing, Morningstar, Inc.
Banks is primarily responsible for the annual Morningstar Investment Conference, the Morningstar ETF Invest Conference, and Morningstar Advisor magazine. A champion for social media within the organization, Banks is a member of the corporate social media team and has led social media training within the company.
Prior to joining Morningstar, Banks spent 14 years in the publishing industry in a variety of marketing, new business development, and editorial roles.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and German from Adrian College.
Founder, Zlato Digital
Blagica (blah-gee-tsa) was responsible for developing and implementing a global social media strategy for Motorola Mobility. Blagica brings her high level of passion and expertise of both social media and mobile technology to this role. Her 15 years in the interactive marketing industry includes Giant Step, Orbitz, Coolsavings, BSolutions (her former consultancy) and most recently, as the founder of Edelman Digital’s strategy practice. While running her consulting firm, Blagica ran a few of her own sites, one of which is still active today, Gals’ Guide. Blagica’s assisted a wide variety of clients with their digital and social media strategies including Wynn Las Vegas, Quicken Loans, Kraft, Quaker, Chevrolet, Maytag, True Value and Kimberly Clark.
A recipient of an Emmy for her work with NBC Chicago, Outstanding Achievement for Alternate Media/New Media Interactivity, Blagica was a social media consultant for the Chicago 2016 (Olympics) bid team, and is an active member of the Chicago entrepreneurial and development community. Blagica holds a degree in advertising from Western Michigan University and spent some time studying French in Lyon. She lives in Chicago with her husband and little girl.
Program Director, Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising, University of Illinois
Rhiannon creates and directs new programs for the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising, including AdCamp, Digital Bootcamp, Study Abroad, and the new PR Certificate Program. She also teaches for the Department and is a Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship with the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership at Illinois.
Prior to joining the Advertising Department, Rhiannon was the Assistant Director of the Technology Entrepreneur Center in the College of Engineering at Illinois. She joined the TEC’s staff in 2005, and was responsible for the development and implementation of programs, policies, procedures and objectives of the Center and its role in promoting technology entrepreneurship to students and faculty within the College of Engineering and across the Illinois campus. Rhiannon also led curriculum development for the Center, and is an instructor for the TEC’s High Tech Venture Marketing course.
Rhiannon is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a BS in Advertising, and earned her MBA from Salem International University with a concentration in International Business in 2010. Prior to joining the University, she was a Media Supervisor, and later, the training class instructor for Starcom in Chicago. During her tenure at Starcom and StarLink (now Spark Communications), Rhiannon and her team were recognized for innovation in media and won several awards including an SMG Fuel Award, and Media Magazine’s “Media Plan of the Year.”
Rhiannon lives in Savoy, IL with her husband and three young children, who always keep her laughing. She participated in the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer walk in 2009, where she walked 39.3 miles to raise funds for breast cancer research.
Executive Director Medill IMC Spiegel Digital and Database Research Initiative, Northwestern University
Tom joined the faculty at Northwestern University in January 1998, served as Associate Dean and Department Chair from 2005 to 2011, and now leads a research initiative and serves as senior director of distance learning. He is a widely recognized expert in the areas of integrated marketing communications, direct, database & e-commerce marketing management, customer loyalty, customer relationship management, & channel integration. He is a former Senior Vice President of The Leo Burnett Company; Former Vice President and General Manager of Ogilvy & Mather Direct/OgilvyOne, and former member of the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Consumer Marketing.
Community Manager, Uber
Max Crowley is the Community Manager for Uber in Chicago, a mobile app that allows you to request a private driver or taxi at the push of a button. Max joined Uber in August 2011 to launch the Chicago market. His work consists of all client-facing initiatives, including social media, marketing, customer support, and business development. The Uber Chicago Twitter account surpassed over 3,000 followers in less than nine months, and is the focal point of their customer interaction in Chicago.
Originally from Park Ridge, Max attended the University of Iowa, and was previously an analyst at Accenture. Most nights you can find him slanging Uber at a local watering hole, or you can give him a shout on Twitter.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rockit Ranch Productions
Billy Dec is an Emmy Award Winning Entertainment TV Personality and CEO/Founder of Rockit Ranch Productions, Chicago’s premier hospitality & entertainment development company, specializing in the creation, marketing and management of some of the city’s top venues including Rockit Bar & Grill, The Underground, Rockit Burger Bar, Sunda New Asian and the upcoming Dragon Ranch. Most recently, Dec was chosen to be the Entertainment Contributor on ABC TV’s new show “Windy City Live” (replacing the “Oprah Winfrey Show”) every Thursday at 9am.
Dec’s educational background includes the University of Illinois, Chicago-Kent College of Law & the Harvard Business School. He has received numerous awards including “Excellence in Business Award” from the State of Illinois, the Asian American Hall of Fame Award, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Community Leadership Award and Chicago-Kent College of Law Alumni Professional Achievement Award. Dec is also actively involved in philanthropic organizations like Make a Wish, Best Buddies, Lookingglass Theatre…and formerly served as the Director of Cultural Relations for the 2016 Olympic Committee.
Dec writes his own blog http://www.aChicagoThing.com about Chicago and its culturally rich entertainment landscape, where his contact info, press pages & upcoming events calendar are also posted, along with access to his heavily followed Twitter & Facebook pages.
Carwise Community Manager, CCC Information Services
John became Community Manager for CCC Information Services in July 2012. In this role, John is responsible for creating the digital strategy for the company’s first consumer based app- Carwise. John’s work in this leadership position centers on promoting the Carwise brand through content development and the highly targeted, integrated and efficient execution of online and social media marketing.
In a previous role, John was Director of Web and Social Media Marketing for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. During his time as Director, the Chamber saw an unprecedented amount of growth throughout social media and other online communities. John successfully created and implemented the organization’s first content and social media strategies which helped to shape the Chamber as a regional business resource.
John transitioned from his role in the Chamber Foundation where he managed and developed programs and initiatives in the areas of innovation, economic development and other core programs in accordance with the objectives of the Chamber Foundation and the InnovateNow Initiative.
John began his career with Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce in 2006 in the Government Affairs Division, supporting the Chamber’s advocacy and legislative goals and mission. He earned his BA in Political Science and English from DePaul University and lives with his wife Kristen in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago.
Vice President Global Communications & Public Relations, Beam Inc.
Paula is a retail industry veteran with two decades of corporate communications, media relations, public relations as well as consumer and business-to-business marketing experience. In her role at Beam, Paula is responsible for the global internal and external communications, public relations, CSR and media relations for the company and its world-class portfolio of top-100 spirits brands.
Paula joined Beam following 17 years at Ace Hardware Corporation, a $4 billion international company with 5,000 retailers in the U.S. and 70 countries worldwide. At Ace, she held various positions with increasing responsibility in corporate communications, public relations and consumer marketing. From 2006 – 2008, Paula held the top consumer marketing / advertising position in the company, serving as Director of Advertising & Brand Development, responsible for driving sales through the company’s national marketing, media buying, public relations and advertising initiatives.
Paula serves on the Public Affairs Board of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and is the Communications Director on the Board for St. Mary School, Buffalo Grove, Ill. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with minors in international relations and sociology from the University of California, San Diego. She resides in Long Grove, Ill., with her husband and three children.
Suzanne was an early believer in the power of word of mouth and social media marketing. By connecting with and empowering consumers (even before all the cool kids were talking about it) she was able to unleash the power of worldwide brand evangelism to drive unprecedented results for several global companies. The short list of all the excellent things that WOM helped her do included quadrupling website traffic, tripling POP and online sales, increasing blogosphere chatter by 600%, and significantly increasing net favorability. At that point she realized that consumers could market products and brands far better than the most savvy marketers. Her ultimate hobby became finding new ways to help companies embrace the love of their fans, “likes,” ambassadors, evangelists (or whatever you want to call them). She even found ways to involve fans in new product development, customer service, ads, and in-store events.
Fast Company, Ad Age, Forbes, and PR Week have all featured the award-winning programs she helped develop. You may have also read about them in marketing books like How Smart Companies Get People Talking, Brains on Fire, the Secrets of Social Media Marketing , Killing Giants, and Groundswell. She is a believer in the incredible power of the brand/consumer connection. The vehicles of communication are changing, but one thing remains the same–if you love your fans, they’ll love you back. If you want to know more, just call her…she’d love to connect with you.
Melissa Giovagnoli Wilson
Founder and President, Networlding
Melissa Giovagnoli Wilson is the founder and President of Networlding, a 12-year old company specializing in publishing, thought leader marketing and social media strategy, training implementation. She has worked with organizations such as Motorola, Hewitt, BF Goodrich, AT&T, Disney, Fortune Brands, American Express, Medtronic, CNA, UBS and hundreds of fast-growth companies. She is also one of the top trainers on LinkedIn.
Melissa is also the author and/or co-author of 14 books, the latest called “Networking is Dead,” to be released November of 2012. Four of her books have been on best-seller lists. Her seventh book, co-authored with former CMO of Office Depot, Jocelyn Carter Miller, was a top ten Amazon book for a year.
Angie Chaplin Gorman
Director of Communications, Solo Cup Company
Angie is currently Director of Communications at Solo Cup Company, now a part of Dart Container. Over the past five years at Solo, Angie has led internal and external communications for the company. She brought 18 years of public relations agency experience to Solo including four years at Hill & Knowlton Chicago and 10 years at Burson-Marsteller Chicago. Angie is a generalist with experience in many industries and practice areas. She also brings to the table special expertise in corporate brand/reputation, organizational communication and strategic communications planning.
Angie holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Marketing and Graphic Design from Illinois State University. She and her husband reside in Chicago’s western suburbs where she avidly pursues golf and gardening, Chicago weather permitting.
Director of Marketing, Chicago Public Media
Vanessa plans and oversees marketing campaigns for WBEZ, Vocalo and the national shows working with individuals across all levels of the institution. The marketing team was consolidated with the Strategic Communications Department in March 2010 to better coordinate marketing efforts across all brands.
Vanessa began working for Chicago Public Media in October 2004 as a freelance pledge producer, later joining the staff full time as assistant director of on-air and online fundraising. Since she has worked as assistant director of development initiatives, project coordinator and then project manager for Vocalo.
She started her advertising career at Culver Brand Design in Milwaukee, WI as a copywriter and the “lady who does whatever needs to be done in the moment” later becoming an account executive with diverse clients including S.C. Johnson, Pepsi Co and Jim Beam Brands.
Vanessa has a B.A. in Communications from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN and resides in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago.
Director of Social Media, City of Chicago, Office of Mayor Emanuel
In May 2011, Kevin Hauswirth was appointed as Chicago’s first Director of Social Media under Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He is charged with developing programs that facilitate conversations with the public and ensure that city government is transparent, accountable and accessible. Working across City departments and agencies, Kevin led efforts to host Chicago’s first live-streamed Facebook Town Hall meetings, develop a campaign to crowd-source budget ideas, and launch the first-ever City Badge on Foursquare. In collaboration with City’s Chief Technology and Data Officers, Kevin is developing new ways that Mayor Emanuel can bring unprecedented openness and innovation to city government. This team created ChicagoShovel.org, and online resource for residents to track snow plows in real time, find helpful winter web applications, volunteer to assist seniors and people with disabilities, and adopt sidewalks on their blocks.
Before coming to the Mayor’s Office, Kevin taught graduate and undergraduate courses on social media, consulted small businesses and non-profits, and handled communications for Fortune 500 brands. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Executive Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Chicago Cubs
Wally, a veteran of more than 20 years in the sports marketing industry, enters his third season with the Cubs as executive vice president, chief sales and marketing officer. He oversees numerous departments in the Cubs day-to-day operations, including corporate partnerships, marketing, box office, broadcast partners, licensing and creative services.
The team achieved its eighth consecutive season of three million fans, and an all-time attendance record (126,283) for a three-game series against the New York Yankees in 2011. Additionally, the 42,374 fans that attended the August 20 game vs. St. Louis was Wrigley Field’s largest crowd since the Cubs 1978 home opener. During 2011, some marketing highlights included: the first-ever Movie Night at Wrigley Field featuring Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to a sold out crowd, the Wrigleyville Block Party, the national search for the Cubs PA Announcer with CareerBuilder.com, a 53 percent increase in Wrigley Field Tours, and a partnership for United on the Rooftop in left field.
Wally helped bring the 2010 Allstate Wrigleyville Classic game, ESPN College Game Day and Wildcat Way to Wrigley Field. He also helped create the Wrigley Field Fan Ambassador program to ensure the best possible experience for fans before, during and after the game. Prior to joining the Cubs, he served as a senior advisor to Chicago 2016 to develop the corporate sponsorship model to generate $1.76 billion in revenue. In 2001, he founded Relay Worldwide, a sponsorship consulting and experiential marketing agency that counts many of the industry’s top corporations as its clients. As its Chairman and CEO, Relay emerged from a 12-person operation and in just four years grew revenues 650 percent, expanding to a 130-person staff at nine offices in the U.S., United Kingdom and China. Wally was inducted into the SportsBusiness Journal’s Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame in 2008 after being honored for three consecutive years (2006-08) as one of the leading sports marketing executives under the age of 40 in the United States.
A 1990 graduate of Northwestern University, Wally, and his wife, Jenny, have two daughters: Riley and Hope.
Vice President, Global Interactive Marketing, Aon
Frank leads Interactive Marketing for Aon, the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. He is responsible for the strategic integration of all digital marketing channels, including corporate websites, lead generation programs, campaign websites, SEO, social media, digital branding, and the global intranet platform.
Frank joined Aon in 2008 as the Head of Marketing and Communications for Germany where he implemented marketing strategies for 30+ service lines. In June 2010 he moved to Chicago to lead Aon’s global interactive marketing initiatives and build the new Knowledge Management platform for Aon.
In his current role he introduced automated lead generation and distribution through websites for a global matrix organization, significantly reducing lead process time and conversion. His team launched a global SEO program focused on key service lines, providing full transparency for conversion rates across platforms (Sitecatalyst, Eloqua, Salesforce.com). In 2010 Frank started Aon’s Social Media Council with >100 members globally. The team developed a global Social Media policy and training modules for colleagues. Currently they are implementing social sharing and commenting functionality on Aon’s digital properties and advanced analytics for the company’s +150 social media channels, connecting social campaigns with CRM systems.
Director: Social Media, Digital and Experiential Marketing, Dell | North America Consumer Marketing
Kathy is the Director of Social Media, Digital and Experiential Marketing at Dell for the North America Consumer Business. She is responsible for always on connections with consumers through digital and experiential platforms and PR/communications brand alignment and execution. Prior to this role, Kathy led the Dell North America segment insights and experiential marketing team. In this role she drove product launches, marketing insights, agency and cross functional briefing, and experiential activations.
Prior to Dell, Kathy was with Mindshare (WPP owned communications agency) where she was a Managing Director and Senior Partner. She was responsible for leading the CVS/pharmacy account across all media channels including traditional and digital media. CVS/pharmacy is the largest pharmacy retailer in the US with 7200 stores, a Fortune 500 ranking of 21 and is one of the most important Mindshare account relationships. Kathy was valued by CVS/pharmacy for her ability to provoke innovative marketing solutions grounded in consumer insight.
Before Mindshare, Kathy was with Nike as the Director of Business Development in NYC and prior to this role, she was the Nike US Brand Planning Leader in Portland Oregon. At Nike, Kathy led the US Brand Planning and Consumer insight process across Nike’s brand categories. She led the transition away from functional marketing planning to consumer focused planning and marketing execution. One of the results of this transition was the launch of Nike Plus, one of Nike’s greatest consumer marketing success stories. Additionally, she was an adjunct marketing professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC.
Kathy grew up on South Padre Island, TX and has a BBA from the University of Texas Business Honors Program and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.Kathy and her husband Sam have two children, Lael and Alexandra. In her spare time, you will find her preparing for her next triathlon, at the bikram yoga studio or at her favorite local restaurants in Brooklyn. She also spends a lot of time in Austin TX, the home of Dell, where she enjoys the southern hospitality, TX barbeque and live music on every corner.
Interim Executive Director, Chicago Loop Alliance
Laura Jones is the interim executive director of the Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), the not-for-profit business organization formed in 2005 by the merger of the Greater State Street Council and the Central Michigan Avenue Association. She also oversees the work of the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation (CLAF) and Special Service Area #1, governed by the State Street Commission.
Jones joined the Council’s staff in 1995, just as the State Street Renovation Project was getting underway, a movement was undertaken to designate the Loop as a National Historic District, and a “vision” plan was put into place to establish the area’s theatrical, retail, cultural and education districts. Since that time she has been involved in all aspects of the organization including web site design; creating mp3 Loop tours; marketing; staging festivals like Celebrate on State, Looptopia and Open Streets; research for CLA’s Economic and Education studies; the construction of Lightscape; and public art installations such as Eye, GODOGOOD, Color Jam and Pop-up Art Loop Galleries.
Director, Corporate Internal Communications, Exelon Corporation
Howard Karesh joined Exelon in March 2008 and oversees the company’s corporate internal communications function, with responsibility for strategy and execution of enterprise-wide employee communications and major publications for Exelon, as well as related collaboration with Exelon’s operating companies.
Previously, Howard was first vice president and head of North American internal communications at ABN AMRO North America/LaSalle Bank Corporation. He led communication efforts around the Oct. 1, 2007, acquisition of LaSalle Bank by Bank of America and the near-simultaneous acquisition of ABN AMRO by a consortium of global banks. Howard also played a leading role in communications around executive transitions, reductions in force and business unit initiatives throughout the company. Concurrent with his internal communications role, he served as head of executive communications for the bank.
Howard spent his career prior to LaSalle in increasingly senior roles at public relations agencies, most recently Ketchum, where he was a vice president in the Corporate Communications practice, responsible for leading account teams and working with clients in the areas of large-scale corporate change, corporate reputation, influencer relations (external and internal), messaging and training.
Before joining Ketchum, Howard was director of Clear!Blue’s Technology and Corporate Communications practice. He also spent nearly six years at Edelman, where he served in supervisory and management roles in both the Employee Engagement and Technology & Business marketing practices, most recently as a vice president. He began his career at GolinHarris International.
Howard is the recipient of multiple awards from the Publicity Club of Chicago and the Business Marketing Association, and in 2010 earned his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Loyola University of Chicago, where he has guest lectured, and is a sought-after speaker on issues related to internal communications, employee relations and internal branding. Howard and his wife, Ilana, reside in Chicago with their three sons.
Maria Christopoulos Katris
President, Built In Chicago
Built In Chicago is an online community for “digital professionals” working to build great web and mobile businesses. Built In Chicago’s mission is to connect, educate and promote the growing digital community in Chicago.
Maria’s responsibilities include strategic planning, business development, sponsorship, community outreach, event planning, marketing and member recruitment and development. Previously Maria was the Executive Director of TiE Midwest, the Chicago chapter of a Global not-for-profit organization dedicated to high growth entrepreneurs.
Maria is an intrapreneur and entrepreneur who has 11 years’ marketing, strategy and consulting experience and has worked in diverse industries including: healthcare, technology and in-home services. Immediately prior to joining TiE Midwest, Maria founded Nanny Boutique, a Chicago-based nanny placement agency, which she sold within 2 years. Maria has strategic experience working at Northwestern Memorial Hospital as a strategic analyst to the VPs and CEO. Prior to that, she spent four years as a healthcare consultant at Arthur Andersen and Huron Consulting Group.
Maria has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Miami University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. Maria also serves on the advisory boards of Caregiverlist.com, the Chicago Innovation Awards and TechWeek.
Maria and her husband live in Chicago with their 2 daughters, Alexandra and Georgie.
Social Media Marketing Manager, Hyatt Regency Chicago
Jennifer oversees the hotel’s eCommerce marketing strategy for transient and group business, including incorporating social media communications and consulting for in-house and citywide groups. She is responsible for the hotel’s digital marketing efforts. Jennifer particularly enjoys interacting with guests on property. Hyatt Regency Chicago has received praise for going the extra mile for social media engagement by listening to the online conversation and taking steps to better serve guests. This has increased brand awareness and improved the hotel’s online reputation.
Prior to joining the team at Hyatt Regency Chicago to pursue her passion for new media and travel, Jennifer worked in the global marketing and event space with a telecommunications organization. Within the past eight years, she has developed marketing plans for events, social media strategy, eCommerce, CRM development, relationship marketing, training and online reputation management.
Hyatt Regency Chicago is a 2,019 guest room property with over 228,000 square feet of expansive venues designed to accommodate any size meeting, while still offering the personalized services of a Chicago boutique hotel. The hotel has recently undergone a $90 million renovation that was completed in March of 2011. Hyatt Regency Chicago is the largest hotel in Chicago and the Midwest.
Eileen LaCario (Vice President, Broadway In Chicago) has been in show business for over 25 years working on over 250 productions. She has worked in all areas of the theatre in both regional and touring houses. Eileen is a founding executive of Broadway In Chicago bringing in well over 1 million people into the Chicago Theatre District each year. The Broadway In Chicago marketing team, of which she oversees, developed the marketing plans for the World Premiere Pre-Broadway engagements of The Producers – a new Mel Brooks Musical, Sweet Smell of Success, Movin’ Out, Monty Python’s Spamalot, and The Addams Family as well as the long engagements of Disney’s The Lion King, Wicked, Jersey Boys, and Billy Elliot The Musical and opening in December 2012, The Book of Mormon.
Eileen has opened six theatres in Chicago including the Royal George Theatre; the Halsted Theatre Center; the Cadillac Palace Theatre; the Oriental Theatre; Bank of America Theatre (formerly The Shubert Theatre); and most recently the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. She has held the positions of Vice President of Sales for Livent, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Fox Theatricals and currently is Vice President of Broadway In Chicago, a Nederlander Presentation. Broadway In Chicago is the managing force of the Chicago Downtown Theater District with their theaters including the Bank of America Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Oriental Theatre and the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, as well as the Broadway bookings for the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.
Eileen was awarded the Broadway League Award for Outstanding Road Marketing in 2010 and currently serves on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Cultural Advisory Council, as well as the Board Chair of the League of Chicago Theatres. She was also on the faculty of Chicago’s Columbia College for 10 years teaching Box Office Management and has spearheaded a practical theatrical marketing course for Northwestern University to the benefit of the American Musical Theatre Project. Eileen is married to theatrical producer, Tony D’Angelo and has three grown children, who are all professionals in the creative and entertainment industries.
Executive Vice President, The Second City and President, Second City Theatricals
Kelly Leonard has worked at The Second City since 1988 and has overseen productions with such notable performers as Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Adam McKay, Seth Meyers, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Jason Sudeikis, Keegan Michael Key, Rachel Dratch, Amy Sedaris and a host of others. Mr. Leonard co-founded Second City Theatricals, the division of the company that develops an eclectic array of live entertainment all over the world. Recent or upcoming productions include “The Second City’s A Christmas Carol or Twist My Dickens” with Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles; “Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies” at The Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC; “Best of Second City” at Vienna’s English Theatre, California’s La Jolla Playhouse and Trinity Repertory in Rhode Island.
Kelly also brokered the deal that brought The Second City to the high seas where the company maintains full time ensembles aboard five Norwegian Cruise Line Ships. Kelly lives in Chicago with his wife Anne Libera and their children Nick and Nora.
New Media Manager, Chicago Architecture Foundation
Since joining the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) in 2008, Jennifer has been developing and managing the organization’s social media presence, positioning CAF as a leader in this emerging field. Jennifer’s efforts on platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Blogger have amassed a loyal following of tens of thousands of people from around the world with interests in architecture, design, cultural events, the arts, Chicago, and much more. Jennifer is also the creator and manager of the wildly successful, award-winning social media campaign, the Around Chicago in 85 Tours Challenge. During the campaign, Jennifer invited CAF’s social media fans to join her in person and follow her online as she attempted to take all of CAF’s 85 tours within one year. Her social media efforts have received extensive media coverage from notable outlets including the Chicago Tribune, Fast Company, Crain’s Chicago Business as well as a 4-minute special report segment on Fox Chicago 9pm news.
Jennifer has spoken about the success of the Around Chicago in 85 Tours Challenge at various industry events including the Chicago chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) annual BrandSmart Conference, the Association of Architecture Organization (AAO) Annual Conference, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2011 Annual Conference, and the 2011 Social Media Week.
Steve Lundin is the chief hunter and gatherer of BIGfrontier Communications Group, an award winning Chicago based media strategy firm. He is the humor column for MediaPost’s Marketing Daily and commpro.biz. He is also the founder of BIGfrontier, one of Chicago’s oldest technology/marketing event organizations. He is a writer, cartoonist, photographer, videographer, designer, amateur sociologist, pop culture expert/collector, scuba diver, motorcyclist , aviator and father. And he knows a few things about marketing, having consulted for nearly 100 companies from Fortune 50 to a couple of guys in a garage with a business plan. His book, Marketing Nightmares, will be published in 2013.
Senior Manager Social Media, CDW
Lauren is an experienced marketing professional with a focus on Social Media and a passion for photography and community service. Currently she heads Social Media at CDW, a leading provider of technology services. When not finding ways to connect customers and co-workers via the use of social media, you can find her teaching at the graduate level, behind the lens at a photo shoot or donating her time to urban education causes. BtoB Magazine recognized her as one of the 2012 Top 25 Digital Marketers. In addition to being a frequent speaker at conferences, Lauren contributes to the industry as a member of the Ethics Advisory Board for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). . Her past lives include executive sales and marketing positions at SBC (currently AT&T) along with a tenure at the Quaker Oats Co. and Burrell Advertising. Lauren is a proud Bison having received her BBA from Howard University. She also has an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
CEO, DDB Chicago
For over 20 years, Peter has helped his clients outsmart their competitors by focusing on ideas over executions and by exploiting every marketing channel available, especially if that channel didn’t exist yesterday.
Peter joins DDB from Gotham, where as Chairman & CEO he evolved and transformed the agency over three years into Advertising Age’s #1 Agency to Watch in 2010 and its #1 Agency A-List Standout in 2011.
Before landing at Gotham, Peter spent over 15 years at McCann Worldgroup in the media and account management departments running accounts like Rubbermaid, Black & Decker, Smith Barney, AT&T and Gateway. He climbed the ranks quickly and before he turned 30, became Executive Vice President & Worldwide Account Director. In this role, he helped transform the MasterCard “Priceless” campaign into a global phenomenon in over 100 countries and in 45 languages and went on to lead 30 integrated brands for Unilever in 90 countries.
McCann/IPG then tapped Peter to head Momentum’s UK unit as Regional President for Europe, Middle East & Africa. As Regional President, he led close to 40 offices and oversaw accounts including Microsoft, Nokia, HP and American Express.
Today, Peter serves on the AAAA’s board and the Government Relations Committee as well as the AEF board, charged with helping to shape the future of the advertising industry. He is a member of the AAF Advertising Hall of Achievement and a David Rockefeller Fellow for the advancement of New York City, and sits on the board of the New York Pops/Carnegie Hall and Mandela Day, a division of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, as well as the Marketing/Advertising Curriculum Committee at Baruch College.
Peter and his wife recently started a philanthropic company called Do Your Part Through Art, which focuses on child development through artistic expression for children in need.
Douglas Lee Miller
New Media Manager, DePaul University
Douglas Lee Miller (MS Digital Cinema) is currently a New Media Manager for DePaul University. He also consults privately with other people and organizations regarding mobile and social media strategy and tactical deployment.
His formal training comes from digital storytelling and film production and he has been working in media, marketing, and technology for over 15 years.
VP, Marketing and Communications, Fellowes
As VP of Marketing and Communications for Fellowes, Maureen Moore spearheaded Fellowes global branding efforts. She developed business and consumer identity theft educational campaigns and fully integrated marketing campaigns that have propelled Fellowes to the position of the number one brand of paper shredders worldwide.
Currently, she is enhancing Fellowes’ online brand presence through fully integrated web campaigns, social media efforts and the creation of online tools to assist consumers in product education and selection. Maureen holds a BS in Marketing from University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University.
Director of Digital Marketing, MillerCoors
As Director of Digital Marketing, Steve leads MillerCoors’ digital strategy for the company’s 35 brands and connects agencies, technology suppliers and key internal stakeholders together to execute team strategies and engage key beer drinkers in the digital space. Working in a highly-regulated industry, Mr. Mura also is charged with developing digital policies and platforms that demonstrate MillerCoors social responsibility commitments.
Earlier in his Coors Brewing and MillerCoors career, Steve held various positions in the Marketing department. As a member of the Coors Light Team, he was the team’s liaison developing custom calendars with top retailers Publix, Food Lion, Albertson’s, Target and Costco. Later, he was a key member of the brand’s innovation team and led the development of the Coors Light Vented Wide Mouth can, Home Draft product and Cold Activation window. Following the formation of MillerCoors,
Steve worked on the Miller Lite innovations team and played a pivotal role in the development of the Miller Lite Vortex bottle introduced in 2010.
Prior to working in the beer industry, Steve held the position of Integrated Marketing Manager for ConAgra Foods in Irvine, California specializing in go-to-market strategic plans for Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Slim Jim, Peter Pan, Reddi-Wip and PAM with top retailers Wal-Mart, Kroger and Albertson’s. He also served as a Promotions and Public Relations Manager for Sara Lee Bakery Group in St. Louis.
Steve holds a BS degree in Advertising and Marketing from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois and an MBA from Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri. A native of St. Louis, he lives in Hinsdale, Illinois with his wife Libby and two children.
Director, Social Business Integration, Hyatt
Amy Patti is director, social business integration at Hyatt. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the creation and execution of Hyatt’s global social media strategy. Prior to this role, Amy was public relations manager for Hyatt Place and Hyatt Summerfield Suites (now Hyatt house).
Amy has specifically focused on travel and tourism communications throughout her nearly 12-year career. Prior to her role at Hyatt, she was a key member of the Chicago-based tourism team at Edelman, a global public relations agency. While there, she led the strategic direction and implementation for client programs including Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Expedia.com, Norwegian Cruise Lines and the state of Illinois.
Amy has a B.S. in marketing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Vice President, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center
In her role, Una oversees all startup related activities and programs for 1871, Chicago’s largest co-working space for digital tech startups. Una works with hundreds of mentors and advisors to bring relevant content and connections to 1871 members.
Prior to her work with the CEC, Una worked at Gap Inc. where she managed multiple retail locations and was responsible for revenue generation, store operations, human resources and merchandising strategies.
Una holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with a concentration in entrepreneurship and finance.
Amy Ravit Korin
Midwest Community Manager, Google + Local
Amy oversees the Google+ and Zagat brands across Chicago and throughout the Midwest.
Prior to joining Google, Amy founded interactiveAmy.com LLC, a consultancy focusing on social media and integrated marketing strategies, digital publicity and personal branding in 2009. With over a dozen years of experience in social and emerging media, most recently Amy spent two years as Press & Social Media Director for the North Coast Music Festival in 2010 and 2011.
Amy earned her MBA from Loyola University’s Graduate School of Business with a concentration in Marketing and Human Resources and studied Communications at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Amy lives and breathes social media personally and professionally; and is even an online dating success story – reconnecting with the first boy she ever kissed and marrying him! You can follow Amy online at @interactiveAmy or @GoogleChicago.
Director of Marketing, Experian Marketing Services
Pamela and her team create and deliver strategic marketing programs that position Experian Marketing Services as a premier multi-channel marketing leader that helps clients engage with their customers more effectively. She helps lead efforts around digital strategy, branding, thought leadership, lead generation, events and more. She is passionate about social media marketing and is thrilled to be on the Advisory Board of #SMWChicago for the second year.
Sosti is responsible for the strategic alignment, creation and syndication of global brand content, while seeking to identify new media, trends, and technologies that can be used to elevate online brand storytelling andenhance global brand recognition.
He has been recognized by clients and senior executives alike, as a thought leader withstellar strategic judgment, creative thinking, and a driving passion for innovation. Prior to joining McDonald’s, Sosti held various roles in the Digital Marketing and Communications arena for global brands like Bacardi, Kraft, & Hilton. As a Greek native and true Athenian, he is an avid traveler, enjoys a good spirited debate, and is a member of various philanthropic organizations in Chicago.
Saper Law; Professor, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Daliah is a member of the Illinois Bar and both the General Bar and Trial Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She has handled high profile cases and is regularly interviewed on national TV, radio, and in several publications including: Fox News, CNBC, ABC News, The Chicago Tribune, WGN Radio, NPR, and a slew of smaller websites. She has repeatedly received the honor of being named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine and is recognized as a leading Media and Entertainment lawyer by Chambers and Partners. In addition to conducting Seminars at Saper Law on a monthly basis, Daliah is a frequent lecturer, panelist, and instructor for organizations around the city and the country. She is on the faculty of PLI, Practicing Law Institute, and has been selected by Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society to be a member of Harvard’s Online Media Legal Network (OMLN).
Daliah is also an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, teaching a Sports and Entertainment law course. Finally, Daliah has extensive overseas experience, having studied at Fudan University in Shanghai and the City University School of Business in London. As a litigator she handles cases involving trademark and copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, online defamation, and other social media and commercial disputes. As a transactional lawyer she helps clients choose the right business entity, drafts bylaws and operating agreements, negotiates contracts and licenses, and provides comprehensive trademark and copyright counseling. Daliah’s full bio can be accessed at www.saperlaw.com
Founder & President, Mobile Perspectives LLC
Todd founded Mobile Perspectives in 2010 as an advisory practice to help businesses and brands develop and execute mobile strategies to engage mobile consumers, mobilize their workforce and mobile-enable their businesses processes. Todd believes the most effective users of social media start with a mobile-first strategy.
Previously, Todd was CEO of MobileAware Limited, an Irish mobile software firm whose clients included Walmart.com, Wells Fargo, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Boeing, AT&T, Verizon, Air France/KLM and Cox Communications. Todd joined MobileAware in 2003 as Vice President of Products based in Dublin, Ireland before coming to Chicago to lead Business Development and Sales for North America.
Prior to joining MobileAware, Todd spent 12 years in a variety of business and technology roles at Nortel Networks including stints in Dallas, TX, Munich, Germany and Paris, France and engaging mobile operators and technology partners around the world. Todd holds Computer Science and Math degrees from Southern Methodist University and resides in Chicago with his wife and three children.
Chicago-based Mobile Perspectives developed and maintains the Social Media Week mobile website.
Alison Scholly is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Chicago Public Media, a non-profit institution that operates WBEZ 91.5FM, one of the country’s premiere public radio stations, and Vocalo 89.5FM, a public media service for a new generation. As COO, she is responsible for all programming, sales, marketing and technical operations for these important news outlets.
Prior to joining Chicago Public Media, Scholly maintained leadership roles at the Tribune Company for 14 years, culminating as Vice President of Interactive for the Chicago Tribune Media Group, overseeing all of Chicago Tribune’s Web and mobile products. In this role, she led Chicago Tribune’s interactive strategy and oversaw all interactive programming, operations, sales and new product development.
Scholly received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and communications from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. A native of Chicago, Scholly currently resides in Bucktown with her husband, John Summy, and three children.
Howard A. Tullman
President & CEO, Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy
Howard is also the General Managing Partner for the Chicago High Tech Investors and a member of Mayor Emanuel’s Council of Technology Advisors and Governor Quinn’s Illinois Innovation Council as well as an advisor to many technology businesses and an Adjunct Professor at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Over the last 40 years, in addition to founding more than a dozen high-tech companies, creating thousands of new jobs, and training dozens of talented managers who’ve gone on to lead their own ventures, Howard has created, developed and achieved liquidity in excess of $1 billion for a number of his businesses including CCC Information Services, Imagination Pilots, Coin Dealer Services, Tunes.com, Worldwide Xceed Group, Kendall College, and The Cobalt Group.
Director of Social Computing and Intranets, Rightpoint
Jeff was recently named the top SharePoint person to watch in 2012. He specializes in advising clients on social computing strategies, social intranets and portals and increasing employee engagement. With experience spanning more than two decades, Jeff possesses specific expertise in social computing inside an organization’s four walls and social media outside their four walls. He is an internationally recognized speaker and expert in Microsoft SharePoint and all mobile and tablet technologies and is a technology and business evangelist with deep expertise in information architecture, enterprise content management, and web 2.0 technology strategy. A character with character, as he is known, he is the President and Founder of the Social Media Club of Chicago.