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Special Guest - Just Added
Sasha Strauss / Managing Director, Innovation Protocol
Clients, agencies, media and academic institutions have called upon Sasha Strauss’ award-winning forums worldwide; presenting throughout East Asia, Europe and North America. National Public Radio (NPR), KABC Radio and The Wall Street Journal continue to seek his expertise on branding everything from presidential candidates to innovative start-ups and Fortune 500s. He has also shared the keynote stage with notable speakers such as Tony Hsieh, Chip Conley, Frank Gehry and Simon Sinek. Mr. Strauss is the Managing Director at Innovation Protocol, a brand strategy consulting firm that exclusively serves innovators by evolving industry defining ideas into brands. With over 16 years in strategic brand development, Mr. Strauss has led international programs for companies such as Microsoft, TiVo, Thermos, Electronic Arts, Yahoo!, eBay and Adobe. The firm’s clients include global market leaders such as Johnson & Johnson, Korn/Ferry International and PayPal. Furthermore, Mr. Strauss’ propensity for philanthropy has led to him to allocate 10% of the company’s brand strategy services towards serving non-profits, with over half a million dollars in philanthropic work being delivered since the agency‘s founding.
When not leading the development of brand strategies for the firm’s international clientele, Mr. Strauss is an Adjunct Professor at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication, where he teaches graduate brand strategy. As such, he regularly guest lectures at preeminent graduate programs such as the Anderson School at UCLA, MIT Sloan and The Johnson School at Cornell. Mr. Strauss holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine, a master’s in strategic corporate communication management from USC and an executive business management degree from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management. In addition, Mr. Strauss has been leading seminars at least 10 times a month for a decade and is a certified Toastmaster.
Lisa Baertlein / Reuters
Lisa Baertlein writes about large U.S. restaurants and grocery stores for Reuters. She is based in Los Angeles and is a heavy social media consumer.
As an early technology adopter and bona fide geek, Alex’s enthusiasm for connecting and sharing information online began in 1987 with a 300 baud modem and a local BBS. In 1995 Alex began creating community web sites based on her interests and a need she saw online, specifically women entrepreneurs, creativity travel and work/life balance. Her sites garnered a large and loyal community (500K visitors per day) and media attention, propelling her in becoming one of the first recognized online influencers for companies like Aveda, Jones Soda and Bliss Spa before it was a recognized marketing practice. Her passion for the web, content, community and social business has lead her to be a two time SXSW Interactive Web Finalist as well as a seasoned speaker at events such as SXSW, University of Kentucky, Current TV, CBC Radio, Inbound Marketing Summit, Webgrrls and Blogher. Over the past 8 years she’s educated companies such as Disney, Anthropologie, Paramount, Rogers & Cowan, Demand Media and now Citrix Online on the fundamentals and workflow of online brand management as well as how to do social business with community, content and customer service in an ever changing online space.
Paula Berg / Linhart PR
Paula Berg specializes in social media strategy, integration, infrastructure, and crisis management. Paula earned her public relations and social media stripes at Southwest Airlines, where she served as the company’s first Manager of Emerging Media, responsible for the development of the airlines’ acclaimed online communication and social media strategy. She also led the airline’s six-person emerging media team. From virtual riots and industry crises to employee relations and revenue generation, Paula has leveraged social media to successfully support company goals and meet customer expectations. But more than blogging, Tweeting, or Facebooking, she learned how to redesign outdated processes and infrastructure to truly revolutionize the business of communication.
Greg Cargill / bigMETHOD
Prior to starting bigMETHOD in the beginning of 2008, Greg's professional career has been focused on developing awareness for celebrities, brands, and products through the internet and strategic partnerships. After starting in Interscope Records' New Media Department in 1999, he spent eight years at the center of the new music industry - working his way up through the new media departments of IGA and Virgin/Immortal to become the New Media Director Suretone Records and finally Custard Records. His time in the industry was part of a living education in the world of online consumer engagement and served as the foundation for Greg's contribution in the creation of bigMETHOD. Over the past three years Greg and his team at bigMETHOD have had the chance to work with some of the largest brands in the world like Honda, DreamWorks Animation, City of Hope, and Harley-Davidson, bringing these organizations into the new online social media marketing landscape.
Andrew Christian is not just an iconic company, but is backed by a real designer... Andrew Christian, one of the hottest reality stars. Andrew Christian played “Andrew” on Bravo's The Fashion Show, and quickly set himself apart from the other designers with his movie star good looks and winning out of the box designs. Andrew was also featured on The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency seasons 3 and 4 on the popular Oxygen reality show. One of Andrew's best sellers is his amazing line of technically advanced custom woven men's underwear. The underwear comes in street, sport, fashion, and basics-themed lines and are available in a range of styles including low cut, super-low-cut, and boxer briefs. Each style is intricately designed using specialized dye treatments, printed graphics and innovative materials such as bamboo fiber, sports mesh, and patented moisture wicking cotton blends. Andrew is the first to introduce Anti-Muffin Top Elastic in his underwear designs, to reduce the appearance of love handles, and Flashback - Butt Lifting Technology. With Flashback one can create the illusion of having that much sought after "bubble butt" without having to waste hours in the gym as the construction of the underwear automatically lifts the buttocks making it look more firm and round. He continues to push the boundaries of underwear fashion by the release of “Almost Naked” the anatomically correct underwear for men and “Show-It” and “Shock Jock” both with front enhancing pouches.
Shauna Der / TheMinty.com
Shauna L. Der writes The Minty, a Los Angeles lifestyle blog focusing on the city’s dining, dating, arts and culture scenes. The Minty is best known for her food and bar crawls with such themes as Hot Bartenders and Gays & Dolls. The Minty also hosts Sexy Singles Soirees, dating events created for modern urbanites.
Espree Devora / ZexSports
Espree is known as the Girl who Gets it Done. She has provided seminars in interactive content and social media to many corporations and universities including Georgetown MBA and USC Business and Management School. She teaches how to setup and maintain an online presence that will weave a continual stream of new content into the social media infrastructure and increase revenue. This gives a company the ability to create a network of fans that will embrace and evangelize your brand on a grassroots level. Clients have said she has, "The ability to train you so that you can run YOUR OWN digital marketing strategy. Espree will build the most comprehensive plan, AND arm you with the ability to sustain that plan yourself and build a lasting digital strategy." In addition she owns investment backed company ZexSports, a search engine dedicated to local action sports events which focuses on the emerging youth market.
Kelly Flint / Constant Contact
Kelly Flint, Regional Development Director, is Constant Contact’s local small business expert in the Los Angeles area. A knowledgeable marketing expert, Kelly has helped thousands of small businesses, associations, and nonprofits develop and implement effective email marketing and online survey strategies. A popular speaker and educator, Kelly gives small businesses and nonprofits the tools, techniques, and strategies they need to grow and expand their business and to maximize the power of relationship marketing.
Rex Freiberger / Co-founder Highly Relevant
Rex has been in the thick of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), WordPress SEO, Social Media Marketing and Online Reputation Management since 2005. Prior to starting Highly Relevant, Rex was a Senior New Media Manager at Tsavo Media — where he was responsible for bringing over one million hits to the Daymix Network of Tsavo Media – as well as a Client Account Manager at DONE! SEO. Rex has consulted for enterprise-level corporations as well as small to medium sized businesses. He has also served as an Internet expert witness for legal purposes. Visit his blog for more information.
Alf LaMont / The Comedy Store
Having started in the mail room of a talent agency, Alf LaMont slogged his way through the Hollywood machine. After working in management for three years and achieving the heights of Jr. Manager at a prestigious firm, Alf found himself leaning more and more towards digital media as a primary source of income. In 2007 he began consulting with production companies and studios, but returned to full time management of talent where he went directly to streamlining and perfecting the firm’s online capabilities. In 2008 he was approached by Pauly Shore to head up the marketing and development for the family business. Since then he has created one of the the most robust social networks of any comedy club in the U.S., as well as garnering national attention for his creative use of social media and community building to revitalize his company and brand. His work has been featured on Comedy.com, Comedy Central Insider, Laugh Button, Venues Today, The Comic's Comic, Connectedcomedy.com and and Fifteen Minutes Media where he was referred to as a “Rising star of Social Media”. Alf has also been a featured speaker at Sports and Entertainment Venues Tomorrow Conference, 140 Conferences in NY and LA, South By Southwest, The Gravity Summit, Social Media Week Los Angeles ,The Digital Media Conference West, The USC Anenberg School Center for The Digital Future, and well as in this years SXSW Interactive where he'll be participating in the panel Social Media and Comedy: F**k yeah!
Justin Levy / "Facebook Marketing"
Justin is the author of the bestselling book, “Facebook Marketing: Designing Your Next Marketing Campaign”. He is the Senior Social Communications Manager at Citrix Online where he helps to develop and execute social media strategies as part of the corporate communications team. Prior to joining Citrix Online, Justin was an Executive Director at New Marketing Labs, a social media and digital communications agency. Justin writes and creates media of all kind over at justinrlevy.com that is listed as one of the top 350 marketing blogs worldwide according to AdAge and one of the top 5,000 blogs worldwide according to Technorati.
Ted Nguyen / OC Transportation Authority
Ted Nguyen is a nationally award-winning public relations and communications professional with 20 years of developing and executing cost-effective programs. His most-recent accomplishment includes winning the communications industry’s most-prestigious honor — the national Silver Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America in 2008 for best issues management program during a 10-day strike of bus drivers. The previous year, he and his team won the national award of excellence from PRSA for a comprehensive community relations program for construction outreach for one of the state’s largest and fastest freeway widening projects. In 2007, Ted was honored as the “PR person of the year” by PR News magazine at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. http://twitter.com/tednguyen
Cindy Pond / Owner Taylor & Pond
Cindy is an entrepreneur and multifaceted marketing professional. She is a true pioneer in the world of Integrated Social Media & PR, web development, web-based business applications, mobile and things that make sense. With a no nonsense and upbeat style Cindy works with her clients to create unique campaigns that are designed to engage and increase defined ROI. Cindy is hands on and consistently identifying client opportunities, presenting innovative ideas, and formulating and implementing effective strategies and new media solutions for her Clients. A fierce protector of the Client’s brand she designs social media strategies to direct the Taylor & Pond and/or Client team to identify problems, spot upcoming issues and manage their reputation online. When you couple this with expertise in the technical, conceptual and content development of effective web entities and online business tools the direct result is an integrated solution from idea through implementation. Cindy is the sole owner of Taylor & Pond Corporate Communications (www.taylorpond.com) which was founded in 1995.
Marcellas Reynolds / TV Star & Blogger
Not many can boast being invited into millions of homes worldwide over the last few years like TV host, pop culture pundit and celebrity fashion stylist, Marcellas Reynolds, who has starred on a variety of top rated shows from Big Brother to E! International's newest #1 series Perfect Catch. Marcellas has made numerous appearances on television & film and currently is seen regularly on E! News, The Tyra Banks Show, and Style Network’s How Do I Look. Beyond a TV Host and reality star, he is also a studied actor with two new films coming out; Away and POP-U-Larity! Marcellas has been styling celebrities and various talent for over 10 years. His list of clientele includes Justin Timberlake and Sharon Stone. This modern day Renaissance man also is a contributing writer for various magazines and style blogs. He has an expanding social media following as well as sharing his sexy wit and wisdom on his own blog; www.MarcellasReynolds.com.
Jenna Rose Robbins / FIJI Water
Leah Ross / Border Grill Restaurants & Truck
Leah left behind the small town life of the Pacific Northwest for college in Southern California and a degree in Communications. After ten years working behind the scenes in film and television as a production coordinator, as well as attending culinary school on the side, Leah landed a coveted job with celebrity chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger--completely by a quirk of fate. Turns out Leah’s cousin met Chef Mary Sue on a white water rafting trip in Canada and one thing led to another. The end result, a complete career change for Leah and an almost seven-year stint as PR & Marketing Manager for the chefs and their restaurant group, including Border Grill Santa Monica, Downtown LA, and Las Vegas, as well as the Border Grill Truck. When not coming up with the ultimate recipe for beer bread or fruit cobbler, Leah enjoys hiking in the hills, attending green networking events and social media seminars, and drinking a tasty microbrew at the latest gastro pub.
Neal Schaffer / Windmill Networking
Neal Schaffer is recognized as a leader in helping businesses and professionals embrace and strategically leverage the potential of social media. An award-winning published author of "Windmill Networking: Maximizing LinkedIn," frequent speaker at social media events, and an avid blogger, Neal is President of Windmills Marketing, a social media strategic consultancy in Orange County, California, and has led social media strategy creation and educational programs for a range of companies ranging from Fortune 500 to Web 2.0 startups. Neal's Windmill Networking Blog is quickly becoming a powerful online resource for social media strategy and advice.
Aaron Schoenberger / Founder, The Brainchild Group
Aaron is Founder of The Brainchild Group -- a boutique online advertising agency that specializes in Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for high profile brands throughout the world. Before The Brainchild Group, Aaron Schoenberger spent four years at Dualstar Entertainment Group (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's company), a billion-dollar brand, and participated in launching the Fan Club among many other marketing accomplishments. Additionally, he led the marketing department for two automotive parts manufacturers/distributors and successfully increased revenue over 15,000% via Social Media Marketing and SEO. Aaron is known for his organic, reactive, social approach to marketing, which has prompted worldwide recognition. The Brainchild Group's past clients include top restaurants, professional athletes, celebrities, automotive manufacturers, educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies and mom-and-pop shops.
Teri Thompson / Author: "The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing"
twitter: @terithompson1 @PowerRTM
Teri Thompson is an author, social media strategist and award-winning marketer specializing in branding and new technology. She has created campaigns for entertainment, automotive, retail and non-profit clients. While holding production and executive positions at ABC, CBS, NBC and Initiative/IPG Global, Teri successfully branded and launched stars, primetime series, networks and products. She created and implemented top buzz generating social media and promotion campaigns with global reach for Audi of America's 2010 Super Bowl XLIV “Green Police" campaign, Remote Area Medical and The Grammys. Teri also acted as Media Director at Initiative on U2 Bono’s (RED)™ to combat AIDS in Africa in conjunction with partners Apple, Converse, Motorola, Emporio Armani and Gap. She scoured the globe for new media platforms and strategized branding campaigns for direct clients Lions Gate Home Entertainment, Hyundai Motors of America, Kia Motors America plus collaborated on Dr. Pepper/Snapple, Home Depot, Lions Gate Films, Lucas Arts, Showtime and Victoria’s Secret. She is the author of "The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing" by McGraw-Hill Professional just released January 7, 2011 to international retail outlets. She is a Social Media Adjunct Professor at Woodbury University, Burbank where she is leading an international class on social media for social good in association with Hanze University, The Netherlands and Archbishop Desmond TuTu's Peace Centre.
Nguyen Tran / Starry Kitchen
Nguyen Tran is the Chief Instigator and “Social Media Addict” of the Downtown Pan-Asian eatery, Starry Kitchen. Nguyen and his wife Thi originally started Starry Kitchen in May 2009 as an illegal+underground restaurant experiment out of the back of their apartment literally built on Facebook, Twitter & Yelp. Six months later, their apartment became the number one Asian Fusion listing in all of Los Angeles on Yelp. In Feb 2010, they went “legit” and opened a brick+mortar restaurant with no prior restaurant experience serving their formerly “underground” wares in a very unlikely corporate setting in downtown LA. Prior to this to this beautiful accident gone right, Nguyen also worked in the film business for 10 years negotiating finance and distribution for independent films.