We look forward
to seeing you in Denver, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2016!


Brandon Gutman

Brand Innovators LLC


Marc Sternberg

Brand Innovators LLC


Speakers Denver 1-19-17

Jon Bausman
Social Media Manager, Cabelas

Begal-Andy_WebJon leads the Social Media team for Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter and a multibillion-dollar outdoor retailer. In the past year, Cabela’s Social Team built their analytics program from the ground up, designed a social influencer program, launched a national summit showcasing some of the top brands and platforms from across the country, and was recognized by AdWeek as one of the Top 10 Most Engaging Retailers. Jon’s pronounced familiarity with the outdoor industry, coupled with his experience consulting for Fortune 100 companies and political campaigns, has served him as an influencer for some of the largest brands and events in the world, including Columbia Sportswear, Super Bowl 46, Backpacker Magazine, and Broadway Across America. He lives in Denver, and in a past life served as an Entertainment TV Host, starred in Walmart commercials, and believes quoting movies should be considered a second language.

Megan Brown
Senior Marketing Manager, Western Union

Begal-Andy_WebWhen Megan is not working on global marketing campaigns with Western Union, you can often find her horseback riding through the Colorado foothills on her horse Pickles. She has balanced her love of animals with her love of marketing over the past 12 years. Beginning in Dallas, TX where Megan started in advertising at Moroch agency working on the McDonald’s account. After getting a taste for traditional advertising she spent the next 7 years at The Marketing Arm agency, pitching new business opportunities and managing numerous PepsiCo brands. In 2016 Megan transitioned from the agency world and dove into her present role, managing total market campaign development for Western Union.

Dan Bergeron
Social Media Manager, Galvanize Inc.

Begal-Andy_WebDan leads Social Media for Galvanize, The Learning Community for Technology, where you can become a Data Scientist, Web Developer or scale your startup. In the past year, Galvanize has raised $45 Million in Series C Funding, announced new campuses coming to New York City and Phoenix in 2017, and has grown the team, including bringing on Dan to help grow the brand awareness through the use of social media. In the past, Dan lead the Social Media Team at Frontier Airlines, overhauling the social media strategy and sentiment, while also driving sales and setting new engagement numbers for the airline. He also lead Corporate Social Media at Vail Resorts, where he set the standard for social media engagement volume in the ski and snowboard industry, with inspirational and aspirational original content development.

Greg Bond
VP of Global Licensing, Jukin Media

Begal-Andy_WebAs Jukin Media’s VP of Global Licensing, Greg is responsible for expanding the company’s licensing reach and revenue through team management, process efficiencies, product development and strategic initiatives. Prior to joining Jukin, Greg was VP, Film & TV Licensing at Wazee Digital (formerly T3Media, Inc.). He also led efforts to test and launch new licensing business models for the education and digital markets and helped manage the YouTube partner channel for NCAA OnDemand.

Laston Charriez
President & Founder, KeNi Kombucha Inc.

Begal-Andy_WebLaston Charriez is the President & Founder of KeNi Kombucha Inc. a new to the World Kombucha Bar Concept. Before that he was Chief Product & Marketing Officer Denver Mattress. In this role Laston is responsible for all Product Innovation, Shopper Experience and Sleep Animalzzz Bed in A Box launch for Denver Mattress. Laston worked for four years as Senior Vice President of Marketing & Product Americas at Western Union. In this role Laston lead all Marketing activities for Western Union U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the rest of Latin America. Before this role, Laston was VP of Insights & Innovation at Sara Lee North America. In that role Laston oversaw consumer insights, analytics and platform innovation. His team drove external focus, support the business units with the voice of the consumer and deep analytics, while developing the next innovation platforms across all Sara Lee brands. He joined Sara Lee on October 2009 as Vice President, Consumer, and Shopper activation

Adam Contos
Chief Operating Officer, RE/MAX

Begal-Andy_WebAdam Contos is the Chief Operating Officer of global Real Estate Franchise Company RE/MAX where he provides strategic direction and oversight for a wide range of departments at RE/MAX World Headquarters. They include IT, HR, Business Development (Franchise Sales), Brand Marketing, Communications, Events, Media Strategies, Investor and Public Relations. He oversees the corporate officers who head those departments, and is ultimately responsible for maximizing the effectiveness of all operations within the groups to grow the franchise network. Adam also has an extensive background in law enforcement. He’s a former Deputy Sheriff and SWAT Tactical Commander who entered the corporate world after creating a program on safety and awareness for real estate agents. He taught his phenomenally successful (and important) course to thousands of agents before moving into business development and marketing. Adam’s passion is marketing. He spends a great deal of time on education, strategy, implementation, and analytics of marketing – particularly how it scales value delivery and impacts the customer life cycle.

Allyson Downey
CEO and Founder, weeSpring

Begal-Andy_WebAllyson Downey is an entrepreneur, MBA, writer, and parent who has built a career on the power of trusted advice. In 2013, she launched weeSpring, a Techstars-backed startup that helps new and expecting parents collect advice from their friends about what they need for their baby. weeSpring has received accolades from TechCrunch, Mashable, CNBC, and the Daily Mail, and it was heralded as “Yelp for baby products” by InStyle magazine. She is also the author of Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood, the pregnancy and parenting guide to your professional life. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, Time,Fortune, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and others, and she has appeared on ABC World News Now, Power Pitch on CNBC, and other outlets. Allyson has an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, and a BA from Colby College. She serves on the board of Democracy Prep Public Schools, one of the country’s top charter management organizations, and lives in Boulder with her husband and two children.

Josh Entman
Co-Founder & Chief Development Officer, Jukin Media

Begal-Andy_WebJosh Entman oversees all original content initiatives for Jukin including the global development, production, and distribution of formatted series across TV and Digital. Prior to Jukin, Josh spent seven years as a media sales director on the West Coast. Josh has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from The University of Iowa.

William Epsey
Brand Voice Lead, Chipotle Mexican Grill

Begal-Andy_WebWilliam is the driving force behind Chipotle’s unique brand voice—irreverent and cheeky yet generous and intelligent. William started with Chipotle 17 years ago when the company had fewer than 20 locations and has seen the company grow to more than 2000 restaurants and counting in the U.S. and abroad. For the first decade of his tenure he was the sole internal creative resource, responsible for concept, copy, design and production, on everything from outdoor billboards to custom gift cards. The voice of the Chipotle brand that he generated wasn’t the result of a calculated corporate strategy, but developed organically as William’s personal expression of Chipotle’s unique values and culture. Today, as the Brand Voice Lead, William ensures that Chipotle’s original tone and personality remains consistent across all aspects of the growing brand, from traditional advertising to the wildly innovative and successful unbranded content Chipotle now creates.

Dan Gray
Digital Marketing Manager, Ford Motor Company

Begal-Andy_WebDan Gray is the Digital Marketing Manager at Ford Motor Company, leading Internet lead conversion, digital advertising, database marketing, social media and reputation management. Dan works to actively engage with consumers so they can experience high-energy, product-focused positive brand messages and socially relevant content. Under his leadership in a previous marketing role, Ford celebrated its heritage as a featured exhibitor and sponsor of the 100th anniversary of the Pan Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, just as it did 100 years ago. A 13 year veteran at Ford, Dan has previously led the Business Development, Operations and Marketing Development Departments on the West Coast. Dan earned his MBA from UC Irvine and his BA in Marketing from Texas A&M.

Kirsten Helgeland
Director, Marketing Operations, Chipotle Mexican Grill

Begal-Andy_WebKirsten Helgeland, Director, Marketing Operations, has been with the marketing department at Chipotle Mexican Grill since 2005. She currently leads the teams driving strategy around marketing operations, promotions, partnerships, sponsorships, events and rollouts. Kirsten is also supporting brand management for Pizzeria Locale. Prior to Chipotle, Kirsten managed national promotions and supported community marketing for Wild Oats. Kirsten spends her free time enjoying everything Colorado with her husband and two daughters.

Chris Joel
Head of Digital Acquisition, Layer3 TV, Inc.

Begal-Andy_WebAs Head of Digital Acquisition for Layer3 TV, Chris is responsible for driving consumer interest in the Digital landscape. Chris has held positions both client and agency side, providing him broad competency in media, strategy, data, and brand over his 15+ year career. Chris has applied this knowledge to an extensive vertical list including clients in financial, pharmaceutical, healthcare, beauty, automotive, education, non-profit and extensive work in telecommunications. This depth has allowed Chris to work across more than 30 standalone brands, helping usher performance marketing in the exploding digital landscape.
When Chris isn’t expanding his knowledge in the digital landscape, he actively engages in his passion for technology and data. Through engagement and collaboration, his passions have led to significant advancements in media attribution, advanced optimization, testing, and innovative integrations with online and offline solution providers.

Stephanie Krause
Vice President of Marketing, HuHot Mongolian Grill

Begal-Andy_WebStephanie Krause currently serves as the VP of Marketing at HuHot Mongolian Grills, LLC. Stephanie is an impassioned food marketer, and has almost 10 years of restaurant marketing experience. Prior to joining HuHot in 2010, Stephanie did brand marketing for Quiznos and local-level marketing for a franchisee of Panera Bread. Before moving client side, she worked for Denver-based advertising agencies, Barnhart and The Integer Group, and supported various business-to-consumer clients, including Coors Brewing Company. Stephanie is a graduate of the University of Kansas where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism. She has been featured in Nation’s Restaurant News, Food and Drink magazine, and has spoken at Foodservice Social Media Universe (now Foodservice Technology Conference).

Suchit Majmudar
Senior Vice President – Customer Experience, Caribou Coffee Inc. and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc.

Begal-Andy_WebSuchit loves his life, family, job and team. He lives in Denver with his wife and two strong girls. In his current position as SVP – Customer Experience for Caribou Coffee Inc. and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc., he is focused on ensuring that customer-centricity is at the heart of all decisions, large and small. Suchit has had a varied career, beginning in investment banking and including entry-level and senior executive positions within private equity, specialty retail and hospitality. Suchit graduated from Indiana University and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. He is obsessed with food, customers, health/wellness and broad cultural trends.

Hugo Meyer
Director, Global Brand Management, Arrow Electronics


Marie Proto
Senior Manager, Domestic Money Transfer Marketing, Western Union

Marie_Proto_WebMarie considers herself a creator of big ideas.  With vast experience on both the agency and client side, her ideas have delivered proven results.

Marie has been with Western Union for nearly five years a variety of roles. She was an integral member of Western Union’s Shopper Marketing team where she helped develop a best-in-class integrated shopper marketing program. In addition to the program development, she led the creation and execution of a new consumer experience at retail. The experience focused on updating Western Union’s retail vehicles and standardizing messaging strategies to create consistency and consumer engagement. She also created a highly successful partnership program using OPM (Other People’s Money) to drive additional awareness and engagement for the Western Union brand beyond the service counter. Partners have included Colgate, Little Debbie, and Skype.

Marie currently serves as the Senior Marketing Manager of the Domestic Money Transfer (DMT) product, Western Union’s single largest and most profitable corridor within the North American region. She is charged with driving transaction and revenue volume for the DMT product by leveraging consumer insights to develop and execute new, innovative marketing strategies. In 2015, Marie was able to deliver positive transaction and revenue growth for the first time in four years by utilizing unique and highly-engaging partnerships like Marvel and Jimmy Kimmel Live as a part of her media mix. Marie has an MBA from Vanderbilt University and has a BBA in Marketing from Texas A&M University. She is a an avid reader, a foodie, and lives in Denver, CO with her husband, three year old son, and a beloved mutt.

Terence Reilly
Chief Marketing Officer, Crocs

Begal-Andy_WebAs Chief Marketing Officer for Crocs, Terence Reilly is responsible for providing strategic direction for the many ways the Crocs brand comes to life to encourage consumers and customers to Come As You Are. With a degree in communications from Rider University, Reilly began his career in public relations before taking on several marketing roles in financial services including American Express and Prudential. Transitioning from financial services to retail and consumer goods Reilly was Director of Marketing with Footaction and VP Marketing with Famous Footwear.

Chris Ruszkowski
Sr. Vice President of Marketing and Advertising, Quiznos

Begal-Andy_WebChris has led advertising and marketing initiatives at Quiznos since 2007. He oversees the brand’s positioning while maximizing strategies for all consumer-facing efforts including television advertising, in-store experience, local store marketing and digital/social communications. Chris started his advertising career in Chicago at McCann Erikson while also spending time at Frankel, Barnhart/CMI and McClain Finlon Advertising agencies. He has nearly twenty years of experience working on national brands including Frito Lay, United States Post Office, Visa, Qwest, Winter Park Resort and Breckenridge Resort prior to joining the Quiznos team. He currently lives in Littleton, Colorado with his wife and four boys.

Javier Santos
Senior Marketing Manager, Western Union

Begal-Andy_WebDad of two little monsters. Racquetball player, soccer sub, and a terrible poker bluffer. Started my career in advertising, and with more than 15 years away from advertising agencies, I still feel that I’m a creative director. Digital Master, per a diploma provided by DU. Responsible of the U.S. business to Mexico & Latin America through the Vigo & Orlandi Valuta brands at Western Union. Leading the implementation of marketing concepts, promos, sponsorships across platforms & channels with the help of content, media, social, and digital marketing initiatives. My work goes from the development of the brand personality to incorporate two-way communication channels with the customer.