Brand Innovators LLC
Brand Innovators LLC
Liz Bedor is a content marketing strategist at NewsCred, based in New York City. With NewsCred, she’s helped enterprise brands including AXA, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Estée Lauder, IBM, Verizon, ADP and Office Depot conceptualize, implement and optimize their content marketing strategies. Liz is also a contributor to marketing publications such as Business2Community, B2B Marketing Insider, Social Media Week and SAP’s Digitalist. Prior to joining NewsCred, she worked in brand marketing and sales enablement for technology industry leader, Salesforce.
Amanda is the Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe working to turn around a 100 year old brand. She has created a unique career with amazing experience, having worked on both the agency and client side. She experienced success early in her career at agencies such as Cohn & Wolfe London, Campbell Mithun and Fallon. During her time on the agency side she worked with a variety of brands: BMW, Reebok, Sony, Toro and Virgin Mobile. On the client side Amanda has built marketing teams and used “creativity from the inside out” for Allianz, General Mills, Digital River and most notably for UnitedHealth Group when she built the internal agency, “Carrot” that sparked the consumer engagement category for health insurers. Actively involved in the community, Amanda serves as the Board Chair for Children’s Cancer Research Fund and on the Make-A-Wish Board. Amongst her awards and recognition, Amanda has been named a “Woman to Watch” and received the “Forty Under 40” award in 2009 from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
Pernille Bruun-Jensen is a well-rounded international business professional and operator who has lived and worked around the world, and who ‘get’s the challenges of brands. She previously led the dramatic turn-around of Intuit’s UK operation as General Manager, delivering double digit growth on all dimensions, and fostering a thriving company culture to become the #1 Best Small Workplace. As VP and Global CMO she then led Global Expansion for QuickBooks Online – again for double digit growth. Prior to Intuit, Pernille held senior Marketing positions at Johnson & Johnson and also Kraft Foods. Pernille holds an MBA in International Management from the top European Business School ESCP (formerly EAP). She loves customer insights and innovation – compelling her to join NetBase to unleash social action powered by technology – with Brand and Agencies around the world. @PernilleBruunJ
Andrew Furman serves as Vice President of Sales at Outbrain overseeing the Western and Central regions. As the largest, content discovery platform in the world, Outbrain helps people discover the most interesting, relevant and trusted content by powering personalized recommendations across a network of premium publishers such as CNN, Wall Street Journal, and ESPN. Andrew consults brands, agencies, and publishes on how to successfully execute digital content marketing strategies and initiatives. Andrew has over 15 years of advertising sales and sales management experience that includes over 6 years at FOX in both NY and Chicago. Andrew graduated from Indiana University School of Business with a BA in Marketing/International Business and received a MBA from Baruch Zicklin School of Business in NY. @AHFurman
Tucker Gerrick is the Director of Marketing at Fulton Brewing; Minnesota’s 5th largest brewery. He has worked with a diverse selection of businesses from Millennial-focused action sports & fashion brands to global Fortune 500 companies and tech startups. His perspectives and ideas center around a sort of optimistic and hopeful skepticism of standard systems. When he’s not blowing holes in pre-established thought patterns he can be found taking photos, tattooing, riding his skateboard and spending some much-enjoyed home time with his family in Minneapolis.
Matthew Gonnering has the honor of leading highly-intelligent & playfully-engaged people while they focus intensively on solving marketing and creative problems. We are Widen, a freedom-centered marketing technology company founded in 1948, headquartered in Madison. Together we help connect over 10 million pieces of marketing content with hundreds-of-thousands of brand ambassadors worldwide. Matthew started at Widen in 2000 with a background in printing and earned the CEO role in 2009. Matthew is active in faith, family, fitness, organizational culture, marketing, technology, education and community. Living the eudaimonious life and encouraging others to do the same.
As Co-Founder of the Brand Innovators Summit, Brandon Gutman 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 drive meaningful ROI. A prolific, highly respected writer, Brandon is an expert blogger whose work has been 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. @BrandonGutman
LouAnn Haaf is the Director of Cambria Style Magazine, where she brings Cambria’s brand to life with custom content. A seasoned professional and award winner in the content arena, she helps brands bring their voices to life by combining ‘out of the box’ brand strategies with the art and science of custom brand editorial on every conceivable level. A rich history in brand strategy and creative married with a flair for engaging brand content gives LouAnn the rare ability to leverage all platforms. She strategizes, conceptualizes, creates and directs all aspects and opportunities within Cambria’s award winning print and digital lifestyle brand publication as well as its channels and platform strategy.
Amy Halford is the Director of Owned Media at General Mills responsible for delivering a world class experience across the company’s food publishing digital platforms including bettycrocker.com, pillsbury.com, tablespoon.com, quericavida.com and boxtopsforeducation.com. These food platforms combined put General Mills among the top 5 digital food publishers in the U.S. Amy and her team develop content, user experience, and digital marketing strategies that drive audience development and engagement amongst high value consumers resulting in revenue lifts for General Mills’ brands. Amy has over 15 years’ experience leading marketing strategy, digital marketing, and brand management across CPG and retail industries. Amy received her MBA from the University of Minnesota and her BA in Business Administration from the University of Northern Iowa.
A Gen Ex gal, Jennifer Heyman is excited to be in her fourth year with Wells Fargo managing social media engagement across seven platforms. She leads a global team involved in social conversations around the world and marvels constantly at how fans and consumers are changing the landscape of communication with today’s brands. Jennifer hails from the great city of Chicago and as a true Midwesterner, she loves sports, live music, snowboarding, pizza and she knits scarves to keep warm. She’s headquartered in San Francisco and you can find her (sharing pics of her adorable daughter) on Twitter @jheyman and on Instagram @jenniferhey.
Kevin Hunt manages digital strategy, editorial content and social media engagement for the Global Communications group at General Mills. He’s been with the company since 2010. Prior to General Mills, he was the managing editor of social media at Thomson Reuters, Legal. He spent 10 years as a producer and executive producer at KSTP-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and also produced newscasts at WFRV-TV and WEAU-TV.
As Director of Digital Strategy at Kellogg Company, Karl Miller leads a team responsible for digital strategy on core Kellogg brands like Special K, Pringles, Cheez-It, Keebler, Eggo 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 impact 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 and 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.@karl_miller
Marica Miller is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Marketing Services at Optum, where she leads corporate brand, advertising, sponsorship and event strategy. Marcia manages a team of centralized marketing service professionals including creative services, account management and trade show teams. A senior leader with over 25 years experience in marketing strategy development and execution across numerous industries including health care, packaged goods and retail, Marcia is results-oriented with a strong focus on building brand equity and ROI. Her tenure includes work with start-up brands and companies (development of a new category) and mature circumstances (facing heavy competition).
Shelly Nelson is Vice President of Marketing at Cambria, where she oversees the strategy and execution of all consumer and trade marketing activity. She manages a staff of 35+ marketing professionals in brand management, creative, event marketing, sports marketing, PR, social media, publishing, digital marketing, media and retail and business development. Shelly has a track record of leading strategy and managing activation across a diverse group of large and small businesses on both the agency and client-side. Strategically focused on understanding consumer needs and actions in order to effectively communicate brand propositions, her strength is in assembling and retaining high performing teams through authentic leadership and strong communication skills.
Patrick Reiter joined Target in 2012 to lead the Digital Advertising Team. The team is charged with delivering business results via technology, data, people and the power of innovation. With the customer, Target calls them Guests, as our guide, we’ve found new ways to recognize and reward via the customer to brand relationship. Patrick brings extensive experience in leading digital marketing and media teams, digital publishing and monetization, and shaping modern consumer communication. Immediately prior to Target, Patrick led strategic relationships for WebMD in the Midwest. Prior to WebMD, Patrick led Digital Marketing at Haworth Marketing and Media,. Additionally, Patrick has previously held leadership positions within the Starcom Agency Group. Patrick has served as an advisor to St. Jude, and multiple digital publishers and media start-ups. Patrick holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota.
As Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development with Mall of America®, Jill Renslow oversees Mall communications, marketing, strategic alliances and partnerships, advertising, digital media, group sales, theme park, and theatre marketing. She is responsible for working with new and existing tenants to create unique experiences and drive sales and traffic. Working with various innovative partners, the goal is to develop and integrate emerging technologies into both Mall of America retail and entertainment environments. Renslow will work with top Mall leadership to provide direction and vision for the new front entrance and expansion to the Mall which is currently under development. The project will include a 342-room JW Marriott hotel, office tower, high-end retailers, new dining options, a tourist welcome center and large event space. Renslow brings over 17 years of valuable experience at Mall of America to her current role. Previously, Renslow was Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Mall of America. During her tenure, Renslow oversaw a $25 million rebranding effort of the nation’s largest indoor amusement park, Nickelodeon Universe®, as well as annual enhancements including new rides, attractions and partnerships. Renslow holds a B.A. in marketing communications from St. Cloud State University and an M.B.C. from the University of St. Thomas.
Ashley Ryan is the Marketing Director for First Avenue and the 7th St Entry, the historic music venue situated in downtown Minneapolis. For over four decades the club has brought the local and national music scene to the foreground in the Midwest. Prior to First Avenue she worked for the media group Emmis Communications in Austin, TX, and with numerous experiential marketing agencies in Minneapolis. Ashley is motivated by creating authentic interaction between brands and consumers, and is powered by espresso and breakfast tacos.
Dave Schneider is an integrated marketing professional with accomplishments from both the brand marketing and agency perspectives. Today Dave leads the marketing practice for Red Wing Shoe Company where he is responsible for brand management, marcomm, communications and retail experience. Prior to Red Wing, Dave held senior leadership positions at a variety of marketing/advertising firms over his 25-year career, including DigitasLBi (Publicis Groupe); and DDB Worldwide (Omnicom Group), where he led the client services practice of the highly acclaimed, Advertising Age A-list Agency, Tribal DDB. Dave has consulted with some of the highest caliber brands in the Fortune 500, including Dell, State Farm, Lowe’s, McDonald’s and MillerCoors. Between agency experiences, Dave previously led the international marketing practice of Apollo Group, a joint venture between the leading for-profit higher education company and private equity firm The Carlyle Group. While there, he defined and deployed scalable commercial practices and products that drove consistent and profitable network-wide growth. Dave holds a B.A. from Luther College (Decorah, IA), has completed MBA-equivalent course work, and has dabbled in the tech start-up space. @dave_schneider
Dave Shelleny is the Interactive Marketing Communications Manager and Producer at Polaris Industries, where he engages with the brand’s customers and motorsports enthusiasts who are considering Polaris as their brand of choice by using interactive marketing, content production, and social media. He leads the Polaris Studio in-house content production initiative that supports all Polaris brands, GEM, Goupil, Indian Motorcycle and Victory Motorcycles. Using photography and video to help the company’s businesses tell their stories via its websites, social media and print, Dave invites the Polaris audience behind the curtain so they can see the passion of the people who build the world’s best powersports vehicles.
Director of Community Management, Ignite Social Media
Kyle Stuef is currently the Director of Community Management at Ignite Social Media. During his time at ISM, he has helped develop and execute the content strategies across a number of client groups and verticals, including: automotive (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), hospitality (Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, On The Border Restaurants), financial (Green Dot Corporation), consumer goods, and technology verticals (Samsung). He currently oversees a team of direct reports who manage the social media footprints for over 20 brands where he helps to maintain and create best-in-class standards in content development, community engagement and balancing organic and paid promotion.
Zach Sussman is the Marketing Director of Kaskaid Hospitality, where he manages strategy and execution of all marketing related tactics for the brand. His passion and big picture thinking have fueled his desire to generate increasing awareness of the Kaskaid Hospitality and CRAVE Restaurant brands. Zach is also involved with several non-profit organizations through a program called “CRAVE Cares,” which was launched in 2010. Through CRAVE Cares, the brand features a different non-profit organization each month, and donates a portion of the proceeds from its specials menu to that organization. The brand is passionate about highlighting many different types of organizations and giving them a platform to spread their message and educate the community.
As Executive Director of AdoptAClassroom.org, Bob Thacker has helped provide much-needed teaching materials to literally thousands of teachers and students across America. Prior to leading AdoptAClassroom.org, Bob had an illustrious career in marketing and advertising. Bob lead marketing efforts at Target, and was CMO at both Sears and OfficeMax as well as CEO of BBDO Advertising, Minneapolis. Bob is a member of the Retail Hall of Fame, and was selected by Advertising Age twice as one of the Top 100 marketers in the nation. He is regarded a foremost authority on cause marketing and speaks on this topic throughout the world.
Wendy Wiesman is the Senior Director of Marketing at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, where she leads a group tasked with the development of B2B and B2C marketing / advertising campaigns, budget, planning and internal and external execution. Wendy is also responsible for forwarding the position of the brand, while managing marketing operations and partnering with consumer markets, government programs, health management and consumer and digital market teams to deliver innovative marketing programs to drive consumer engagement forward. She has an enthusiasm for leading teams and groups toward a shared goal and an expertise in helping to uncover and unveil the big picture to team members and key stakeholders.