Brand Innovators LLC
Brand Innovators LLC
Andy Begal is the Head of West and South Accounts at Tongal. In this role, he helps connect the world’s most innovative brands with a global creative community to develop authentic, compelling, always-on video content. Tongal has executed campaigns for brands globally, including P&G, LEGO, Anheuser-Busch, McDonalds, MasterCard, Lucasfilm and even NASA. Previously, Andy held various roles at companies inclusive of GE, FTI Consulting, Austin Ventures, & Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Andy received his MBA from the University of Texas and graduated magna cum laude from Emory University. Andy lives in Denver, Colorado.
Shannon Berner is Marketing Manager, Great Divide Brewing Company. Previously she was Marketing and Communications Manager for another local Denver micro boutique, the Wynkoop Brewing Company, sharing the love and art of craft beer through community engagement at Colorado’s first brewpub. With a career that spans the halls of academia to the musical stage, Shannon’s adventurous approach to living includes travels through the four corners of the globe. She is passionate about anything that brings people together and builds community, and believes the entrepreneurial spirit can and should be applied in all aspects of life. Follow her journey at ShannonBerner.com and @shannonberner
As SVP Marketing for the Americas region at Western Union, Laston In leads all marketing activities for the company in the Americas and also has profit and loss responsibility in the U.S. Prior to this role, Laston was VP Insights & Innovation at Sara Lee North America where he led the next innovation platforms across all Sara Lee brands. He was also responsible for developing and executing the go to market multicultural marketing, creative design, consumer feedback, shopper marketing and media/agency relations in the US. Laston began his professional career in marketing at P&G Puerto Rico where he was the first P&G marketing executive in Central America leading household, health and beauty divisions. A multi cultural marketer in the truest sense, he is also an avid mountain biker. Laston has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Purdue University, Cum Laude, as well as his MBA from Purdue University. @laston
Rachel Chodkowski is the Senior Manager is Brand Communications for Beatport, . In this role, she develops strategies and executes tactics to drive company vision and goals around communications including social media, B2B and corporate collaboration. Prior to joining Betaport in 2012 she was Interactive Campaign Manager for Merkle Inc, served as a Content Programming and Merchandising Specialist for Zed USA and was Lead Social Media and Content Editor at BuzzWire Inc. She has a Bachelors of Science in Music and Music Business Marketing from Northeastern University.
In 2003 Norty Cohen founded Moosylvania with the goal of creating value for clients while hosting a dynamic environment that embraces new media and innovation every day. Norty got his start as a creative, then moved to the account side and, eventually, agency ownership. Since launching Moosylvania he hasn’t stopped learning, adapting and pioneering the way. Norty has led numerous breakthrough studies, including several on the behavior of Millennials, summaries of which can be found on his blog at Moosylvania.com. @nortycohen
Heidi Corn is the Director handling Sales, East, for AdsMovil, the premier Mobile Advertising Network serving the U.S. Hispanic and Latin America markets in Spanish and Portuguese language. Adsmovil provides brands, agencies, and publishers the best of the cross-cultural mobile advertising services while adding the measuring tools, targeting & accountability that partners need in order to grow their reach. Prior to joining AdsMovil, Heidi was Digital Ad Sales Manager for Veria Living, responsible for digital ad sales on Veria.com and dLife.com.
Sonya Ghori is the Digital Marketing and Social Media Manager at Quiznos. She is responsible for the strategy, ideation and execution of content on all social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and FourSquare. Sonya manages all aspects of online marketing, including sweepstakes, contests and giveaways. This includes coordinating production of both digital and in-store supporting components. Sonya analyzes results, recommending optimization tactics and proving the impact of social media on the company’s marketing efforts. Sonya joined Quiznos in 2011. Prior to that she was in marketing at Jackson National Life.
Tim Glomb leads strategic partnership development across the global entertainment and media space at Wayin, a social intelligence company. Prior to joining Wayin in September 2013, Glomb was VP of Marketing for Mark Cuban’s AXS TV where he developed social strategies to drive viewership to it’s 100+ concert broadcasts, bridging the gap between artist and fan with custom social experiences. An entertainment veteran, previously Tim has helped Fortune 500 brands create branded content strategies, produced #1 rated cable TV shows and managed platinum artists in the music industry. @timglomb
With a background as a brand strategist and marketing team leader in health and wellness, Wendy Goldner has a unique blend of agency and corporate experience. As a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, Wendy has helped to launch and develop some of the natural and organic food industry’s most successful brands, including Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food, the first natural baby food brand to gain national distribution the conventional grocery channel. Wendy also played a key role as part of the Allegro Coffee executive team that sold the company to Whole Foods Market. There, she became a member of the Whole Foods Market National Leadership Team and successfully helped launch one of the first national grocery and food service programs. As CEO of Healing Rhythms, Inc. Wendy collaborated with doctors at the Mayo Clinic and Scripps Clinic as well as doctors Dean Ornish, Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra, to integrate multimedia solutions with clinically proven health markers to promote self-care and wellness. Wendy also successfully helped launch the GoodBelly Probiotics brand into natural and grocery retailers’ nationwide, creating consumer awareness and loyalty programs for one of the fastest growing functional beverage trends. Her dedication to sustainable, organic foods and her passion for great tasting products brought her to Made In Nature, where Wendy currently oversees all marketing and communications. Wendy has a daughter and a son who both recently moved to California, her second favorite place outside of Boulder. She enjoys hiking with her husband, visiting the farmer’s market, traveling and cooking (preferably all in tandem).
As Co-Founder of the Brand Innovators Summit, Brandon Guttman is responsible for developing premium content which means tapping marketers from the world’s most successful brands to share how they’re utilizing emerging technology and new media vehicles to build their brands and drive meaningful ROI. A prolific, highly respected writer, Brandon is an expert blogger at Forbes where his weekly contributions are featured on Forbes’ CMO Network, Leadership and Technology sections. Prior to launching Brand Innovators, Brandon held marketing and business development positions in the executive search sector where he forged relationships with some of the most influential brand marketers, technology developers and venture capitalists in our industry. @BrandonGuttman
Mike Hafer currently serves as Senior Vice President, Global CRM, Loyalty and Social Media. In this role, Mike leads a global team that works every day to help strengthen our customer relationships across multiple channels and touchpoints while managing and leveraging Western Union’s market leading membership program as a key asset. Mike has been with Western Union for 12 years and has held multiple leadership roles including global management of the company’s stored value business as well as leading its U.S. domestic money-movement business. Prior to working at Western Union, Mike held multiple B2C and B2B marketing and product management roles.
Fuad Hamza is the General Manager of Brand Marketing at Dish Network. His experience in consumer goods includes two years as a Business Analyst at IBM and a lengthy tenure at Procter & Gamble working with brands including Clairol, Oral-B and Nioxin, in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Fuad’s marketing experience includes leveraging analytics for business decision-making. Fuad earned his MBA at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business (concentrations in Strategy, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship) and has a BS and MS from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jared Harding, who has worked for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment since 2007, currently oversees social and digital strategy for the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth and other KSE properties as its Director, Social Media & Digital Marketing. As a former athlete and English major, Jared subsequently completed his Master’s in English Literature prior to parlaying his two loves – sports and writing/communications – into a job marketing KSE’s sports teams. In 2010, Jared followed industry trends into the digital space and has never looked back. In his spare time, Jared enjoys snowboarding, playing basketball, practicing yoga and spending time with his wife and two young daughters. @jaredharding
As Director of Brand Direct Sales for SpotXchange, Lindsay Hero has worked closely with brand marketers for the past four years to simplify the process of reaching their audience, across all devices. In the complex world of digital video advertising, Lindsay is recognized as a problem solver and trusted advisor to national and global brands including Proctor & Gamble andTurboTax. In addition to her passion for digital media, Lindsay enjoys wrangling her 4-legged friends and hiking with her husband. Lindsay received her BA in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame. @lindsay_hero
As Vice President of Marketing for Livefyre, Kristin Hersant helps companies engage consumers through a combination of real-time conversation, social curation and social advertising. Livefyre works with over 600 global brands to help them integrate social content into their websites, mobile apps and advertising campaigns, including American Idol, CBS, Conde Nast, NASCAR, FOX, Sony PlayStation, Unilever and Universal Music Group. Most recently, Hersant served as vice president of marketing for Echo, and her career spans key corporate marketing, marketing communications and creative services positions at StrongMail, Mindjet, L90, Better Brand Management, FeatureCast and Buzz Magazine. Hersant holds a BA in history from UCLA. @kristinhersant
Walter Knapp is the CEO of sovrn. Most recently he was the Chief Operating Officer at Federated Media Publishing and Lijit Networks. With more than 20 years of business and operations management, Walter has been an investor as a partner and principal for two very successful venture capital funds. He has also built and led large field organizations for two public companies, Novell and Cambridge Technology partners. Walter regularly speaks about monetization and data strategies at industry events covering both online publishing and advertising. Walter holds a Master’s in Engineering from the University of Colorado in Boulder and a B.A. in History from Boston College. @wtknapp
Stephanie Krause is Vice President of Marketing at HuHot Mongolian Grill, overseeing the marketing of a national restaurant company that has doubled to 53 restaurant locations and maintained average unit volumes during three recessionary years, 2010-2013. Prior to joining HuHot, Stephanie was Marketing Director at Quiznos, executing national marketing campaigns and deploying product and platform market tests for the 4,000-unit restaurant chain, from concept development through execution and post-analysis. Earlier in her career, as Senior Marketing Manager at Panera Bread, Stephanie managed local marketing for 11 bakery-cafes in Colorado through sales-driving initiatives, as well as grassroots efforts. Coors Brewing Company, MetLife and Enstrom’s are other brand’s with which she’s worked closely over the years. @StephEatKrause
Jessica McDonald lives in Denver and is a technophile, gamer, and all-round geek. She serves as the marketing director for SparkFun Electronics in Boulder. She earned her Master’s degree from the University of Denver and holds undergraduate degrees from The Pennsylvania State University, and has worked for everything from political campaigns to game design companies. She has published original research on online user behavior, and writes about social media, marketing, technology, women in STEM, and representation in media. Her background in the technology and defense industries combined with her marketing expertise make her an insightful critic of gender representation in fiction, film, video games, and comics, as well as an expert in digital marketing, content creation, and customer acquisition. Jessica has presented at Shenzhen Maker Faire, American Public Health Association’s national conference, and Pikes Peak Writers Conference. @coloradojess
As Associate Director of Digital Strategy at Kellogg Company, Karl Miller leads a team responsible for digital strategy on core Kellogg brands like Pringles, Cheez-It, Frosted Flakes and Pop Tarts, Keebler, Kashi, Bear Naked and Morningstar Farm across all forms of digital marketing – consumer and shopper. Karl’s team is focused on consulting and co-creating integrated marketing programs and capabilities that enhance the effectiveness of marketing investment in the digital ecosystem. Core to this assignment is pushing the company forward into the ever-evolving content marketing arena. Karl joined Kellogg Company as a Market Researcher in 2002. Since that time he has worked Brand Marketing with nearly all brands in the Morning Foods Business unit, as well as led cross-functional Innovation teams in the Adult, Mom/Kid, and Organic portfolios. Outside of Kellogg’s Karl has worked with other key consumer brands such as Glad, Tilex, International Delight and Silk. Karl earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts and an M.S. in Marketing from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Mike Nesladek joined Newton Running in 2014 and comes with the perspective of a long-time running consumer and Newtonite. Mike has more than 15 years of marketing experience, working for brand leaders like Anheuser-Busch InBev and Miller Brewing Company. He also has extensive experience in advertising on the agency side, holding senior roles in agency leaders like DDB Chicago. Prior to Newton Running, Mike served as the Brand Manager for Bud Light, leading a team in developing the multimedia strategy and activation behind Bud Light’s largest sponsorship the NFL and for the Super Bowl. Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. Mike is an avid runner having completed over 30 races; his favorite distance is the half-marathon. He is married and has five wonderful dogs. His favorite Newton Running shoe is the Distance III. @M_N2
As Marketing Director for Western Union, Dora Newlin leads the US Outbound Market Development Organization for retail money transfer. Prior to this role, Dora held marketing positions from startups to family-owned Orange Glo International to Procter & Gamble where she managed Pringles and COVERGIRL brands. Dora began her professional career in account strategy at Advertising Agencies including: LMP/NYC and The Integer Group. Dora is passionate about consumer behavior and a true preacher of “Consumer is Boss”. When she’s not preaching, she’s loving on her husband, two kids and planning her next travel spot.
Karen O’Brien is the Sr. Director of Global Social Media for Western Union. Karen lead’s the WU Global Social team responsible for driving the Western Union Global Social Media Strategy and Social Brand Channels, including global and regional social initiatives. Karen focuses at the intersection of social engagement, advocacy and loyalty for consumers that delivers deep brand engagement and results though Omni channel experiences.. Karen is a passionate evangelist for social media marketing, with an entrepreneurial spirit and a love for creative and data. She’s worked with some of the world’s most successful brands: Xbox, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Starbucks, Verizon, ABC, Dell, HP, Symantec, Seagate, Cisco, IBM, VMWare, Oracle and PayPal. @bondjanebond
Mike Olson is Vice President of the Western Region at Centro. Centro provides unified, cloud-based software to simplify digital media operations. Its media management platform streamlines and scales ad buys across all channels, accessing both guaranteed and biddable inventory, to achieve any campaign objective. Centro has successfully planned and executed more than 100,000 local and national campaigns across all digital display platforms and ad format types. Mike joined Centro in 2007 as Director of the Southwest Region. Prior to that he was an Account Executive at Clear Channel. He serves as Sponsorship Chair for the Interactive Marketing Association of Colorado. @Olsonmike
Steve Pascucci is Director of Sales for the Western Region for NewsCred, a leading content marketing platform, pairing software with licensed content for brand marketers to outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Getty, and others. Before he joined NewsCred in November Steve was VP Sales
for Chalk.com, working with the founders to launch this teacher resource. Earlier, he was Director of Sales for cloud computing company Granicus (acquired by K1 Capital). Iron Mountain, Evault and Conversant are other B2B brands with which he’s been involved. @StevePascucci
Chris Rocha manages digital marketing efforts for Cabelas.com which includes, paid search, SEO, CSE, affiliates, and display. He works on digital strategy and execution for OMNI-Channel marketing and enhancing the customer experience on desktop, tablet and mobile. Prior to joining Cabelas in 2013 Chris was Head of Customer Acquisition for the Harry and David brands of gourmet gifts. His experience also includes two years as e-Commerce Manager for West Marine, and a leadership role as Online Marketing Manager for Hewlett Packard, in which capacity he strategized global execution of web marketing. @Chrisjrocha
Chris Ruszkowski is Quiznos Vice President of Advertising and Marketing and has been with the company since 2007. Chris oversees the brand’s advertising and positioning, and manages strategy for all consumer-facing efforts including in-store experience and digital/social communications. Chris started his advertising career in Chicago at McCann Erikson and Frankel. Chris worked on national brands such as Frito Lay, United States Post Office, Visa and Breckenridge Resort before joining the Quiznos team. He currently lives in Littleton, Colorado with his wife and four boys. @chrisruszkowski
Ariel Scott is the Digital Marketing Manager for Whole Foods Market’s rocky mountain region and has an extensive history marketing brands in the natural products industry, including GoodBelly Probiotics, Traditional Medicinals Tea and Applegate Farms. She is particularly poised to take on digital in its ever-changing state and to mentor those who are less familiar with this aspect of marketing. Ariel leads all aspects of digital marketing in the region, with a special focus currently on email marketing, consumer acquisition and the pilot of a social media Ambassador program. @ArielSco
As Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Diane Scott is focused on developing new products and services for consumers and businesses by leveraging existing assets to increase consumer loyalty and retention, attract new consumers and obtain a higher share of wallet. Additionally, she is responsible for leading strategic global marketing development including brand strategy, customer segmentation, marketing communications, customer experience, and market research and analytics. She is based in Englewood, Colorado, at Western Union’s global headquarters. Diane’s’s tenure with Western Union began in 2001 and has included positions as General Manager of the U.S. domestic business and Senior Vice President for marketing in the Americas. Prior to working at Western Union, Scott was the marketing director for US West Dex and Izodia Corporation. In these roles, she was responsible for marketing communications and brand strategy for various consumer and business-to-business segments. Scott began her career working in the advertising industry at McClain Finlon Advertising, where she worked across a wide a variety of industries domestically and internationally. Diane holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University. @WesternUnion
Merritt Rutledge is Director of Digital Marketing for the Americas at Western Union, in which capacity she oversees consumer outreach through online and mobile media channels. She joined Western Union in 2012. Prior to that, Merritt spent 7 years in leadership positions at the Starz television network, managing content markeitng, and most recently serving as Director of Digital Marketing. Earlier in her career, Merritt was a marketing manager at AOL. She has a BA in Mass Communications and Public Relations from North Carolina State University.
Marc Sternberg is co-founder of Brand Innovators, a leading producer of conferences for the advertising and emerging technology industries. From 2007-2011 he was president and COO of AlwaysOn, annually producing more than 20 successful conferences in the digital media, clean technology and cloud computing sectors. From 1989-2007 Marc was the vice president of advertising sales for The Hollywood Reporter. Marc has served on the boards of numerous charitable and non-profit organizations, including Make-A-Wish Foundation of Los Angeles and the Anti-Defamation League/LA.
Megan Young has 12 years of marketing experience working at DISH and Procter & Gamble with a focus on brand building strategy and holistic communication development. She currently leads the Brand Innovation and Delivery teams to develop long-term brand strategy as well as deliver current business initiatives. Megan grew up in Denver and is happy to be back after a 10 years with P&G.