We take an editorial approach to content, inviting who we believe has a unique and compelling story to share with our audience. Our speakers are part of the Pivot community and attend the conference well-beyond their own sessions.
Interested in submitting your speaker proposal? Email Director of Content & Experience, [email protected]
Jon Gosier is a serial tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist working at the intersection of data science and outcome driven user experience (also known as outcome design). The 34 year-old software developer and investor is based in Philadelphia, PA.
Gosier took a non-traditional route to becoming an investor. Having developed a successful model for inclusive investing which allowed middle-class individuals invest in startups, he co-founded Third Cohort Capital with fellow alum of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program. Now Gosier is revolutionizing other areas of venture capital as the founder of Cross Valley Capital and partner at Rokk3r Labs in Miami. He is also a huge advocate for investing in tech companies in emerging markets through his Appfrica Fund.
In his career as a data scientist, Gosier spearheaded big data projects for various multi-national organizations. His technologies have been deployed by the US Department of State, The US Army, the United Nations, Red Cross, FEMA, the Government of Canada and the Kenyan disaster response company Ushahidi to name a few.
Gosier gained wide recognition for his 2014 TED talk on “Trickle-Down Techonomics,” which explored the unintended consequences of technical innovation and the responsibility he feels innovators have to design products that yield better social outcomes in addition to great features.
Gosier was listed as one of “The New Faces of Black Leadership” by TIME Magazine in 2015. He has received similarly distinguished honors from Black Enterprise Magazine, Business Insider, IDEO and The Economist. His many technical innovations include MetaLayer (a Comcast backed big data startup he co-founded) and Open SIM Kit (a mobile solution that helped prevent interruption of communication services during crisis events.
He has received numerous awards for his work including winning the Knight News Challenge in 2011 and 2013, a Harvard Initiative for Global Health, the TED Senior Fellowship and others.
Learn more about Jon here.
Philip M. Abram, Executive Director, Connectivity and Infotainment for General Motors, is responsible for setting and implementing a global infotainment strategy for Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, GMC, OnStar, Opel,Vauxhaul and Holden. Abram joined GM in January 2012, after serving as president and chief operating officer for Sonos,Inc., a wireless music system for homes. At Sonos, Abram headed up product management,worldwide sales and marketing, inventory, logistics and sales operations.From 1996 to 2007, Abram held a number of positions in business development, productmanagement and engineering. From 2005 to 2007, he was vice president and senior generalmanager, marketing for Sony Electronics, responsible for Sony’s television business in the US. Priorto that, he held a number of positions at Sharp Electronics and Eastman Kodak.Abram holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Gannon University and an MBAin finance from the University of Rochester. Abram has eight patents to his credit, everything fromdigital imaging to internet services.
Nina Alexander-Hurst is the Vice President of Customer Experience and SWAT Stylists (ServiceAccessorizing Talent) at BaubleBar, the first fast fashion brand in jewelry. Nina and her team focus oncreative ways to take the friction out of the online shopping experience, build long-lasting customerrelationships and develop effective systems to share customer feedback with other teams at BaubleBar.Previously, Nina was a successful entrepreneur selling fashionable smartphone cases and replacementBlackBerry parts. Additionally, she worked at New York-based non-profits and spent a year writing for theJerusalem Post. Nina has a B.A. in Public Relations and Journalism from the University of Florida.
Rajesh Anandan is an intrapreneur, entrepreneur and growth architect. Rajesh began his career atMicrosoft as a program manager, and then joined Bain & Company where he focused on businessincubation and growth strategy for technology, media, financial services, healthcare and retail clients.For the past decade, Rajesh has worked in the social sector, most recently as SVP UNICEF Ventures atUNICEF USA, focused on scaling social innovations. Rajesh is the co-creator of Kid Power, the world’sfirst wearable-for-good, and co-founder of ULTRA Testing, a high quality software testing companyemploying individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Rajesh has a BSc and MEng in Computer Science andElectrical Engineering from MIT with concentrations in Artificial Intelligence, Systems Dynamics andEconomics.
Prior to joining H+K, James worked as SVP of Digital Solutions for Group FMG where he was
responsible for business development and e-commerce solutions across mobile and social media channels.
From 2009 to 2012, James was Marketing Director for Havaianas, where he was directly responsible for all North American marketing and e-commerce activities. He introduced Havaianas to digital media and grew its social media presence exponentially, increasing the brand’s Facebook fans from 12,000 to over 900,000. During his tenure, company revenue increased by over 60% and e-commerce revenue rose by 95%.
Moving from London to the U.S. over 15 years ago with the advertising firm Bates Worldwide, James has co-founded various innovation divisions for top advertising and marketing agencies including Kirshenbaum Bond and Omnicom’s Tracey Locke.
His clients have included Coca-Cola, Pepsi, HBO, Diageo, Universal Studios, Lexus, Puma,LVMH, Citibank, Gap, Target, DeltaAirlines, Ralph Lauren, Coach and more.
Evan is the co-founder and CEO of A Plus. Over the past five years, Evan has co-founded and launched several successful technology ventures, including a web security structure for small and mid-sized businesses, ArmorHub (acquired by Spirent Communications), and an email contact management company, Etacts (acquired by Salesforce). Evan also has written an iPhone application that attracted international attention from broadcast and print media platforms, including ABC’s Good Morning America program and Cosmopolitan magazine. Evan studied computer science and economics at Duke University, where he graduated with distinction in economics.
Matt Britton is known throughout the advertising industry as an expert in social media marketingwith a unique & deep domain expertise in the Millennial generation.
Matt currently serves as founder and CEO of New York-based MRY (formerly Mr Youth)—aworld leading social media and youth marketing agency. Since founding the agency in 2002,MRY has worked with some of the world’s leading brands—including P&G, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, & Visa —to help them connect with today’s rapidly evolving and highly elusive consumer.
Matt has created an award-winning agency that has been recognized by some of the industry’s
Matt often speaks at conferences and trade shows on trends and issues that affect the landscape
of Millennial marketing. He has been featured on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, CNBC’s
Power Lunch, Mashable, Forbes, Fortune, The Financial Times, New York Times and the WallStreet Journal.
Matt is a graduate of Boston University’s College of Communication.
Julie Cheu is a pharmaceutical industry professional, with over 20 years of experience. She is currently Executive Director, Strategy and BD&L for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, where she leads strategy for the US, as well as having additional business development responsibility. Prior to Novartis, Julie was with Pfizer where she held a number of leadership roles, including Strategy and Business Development for Asia, Marketing Effectiveness Lead in Emerging Markets, and Global Planning and Operations Head for Pfizer Nutritionals. She also led strategy for Europe and had marketing and managed care roles in the US. Julie began her career as a strategy consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, impacting clients in areas such as M&A, commercial strategy, global market entry, organizational redesign, and portfolio rationalization. Julie has an MBA from Wharton, and a B.S. in Neuroscience from New York University.
Paul Cheung is AP’s Director of Interactives and Digital News Production. The director manages a globalteam of visual journalists, data journalists and researchers who produce multimedia stories andinformation graphics for all formats, including print, online and mobile.
Prior to joining the AP, Cheung was The Miami Herald’s Deputy Multimedia Presentation Editor. In 2009,he managed MiamiHerald.com site redesign in 2009 and was responsible for the conceptualization,creative direction and visual look of MiamiHerald.com. He was The Miami Herald’s graphics editor from2004 to mid-2007. Prior to joining the Miami Herald, Cheung was a Senior Graphics Editor at The WallStreet Journal.
Cheung is Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA)’s national president for 2013 to 2016. Cheung,a 2007 Newspaper Association of America Breakthrough fellow, graduated from New York Universitywhere he studied journalism, sociology, science and photography.
Katrina Craigwell is Director of Global Content & Programming at General Electric (GE). She is responsible for digital content production and distribution strategy for GE in the U.S., as well as partnering with GE’s digital teams globally.
Prior to GE, she was Associate Director at social media agency Attention, working with clients including CNN, HLN, WE tv, A&E and The Guardian. Craigwell began her career in public relations at the Independent Film Channel, working on some of IFC’s first social media campaigns. She was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Marketing & Advertising for 2014, and AdAge’s Creativity 50 in 2012.
Tony Diepenbrock is the CEO of Learn Immersive, an immersive language learning platform founded in December 2014. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 studying Science, Technology, and Society concentrating in Business and Computer Science. He is a recipient of the Citrix Innovator’s Program grant, as well as a two time recipient of the Weiss Innovation Award at Penn. He holds two patents alongside his cofounder Charles Moyes. After graduating in 2013, he joined Hybris as a Software Engineer focused on front-end development.
Brenda Dietrich is an IBM Fellow and Vice President. She joined IBM in 1984 and has worked in the area now called analytics for her entire career. Her early work involved applying mathematical models to improve the performance of IBM manufacturing lines, and during her career she has worked with almost every IBM business unit and applied analytics to a numerous IBM decision processes. For over a decade she led the Mathematical Sciences function in the IBM Research division where she was responsible for both basic research on computational mathematics and for the development of novel applications of mathematics for both IBM and its clients. In addition to her work within IBM, she has been the president of INFORMS, the world’s largest professional society for Operations Research and Management Sciences, is an INFORMS Fellow, and has received multiple service awards from INFORMS. She has served on the Board of Trustees of SIAM and on several university advisory boards. She holds more than a dozen patents, has co-authored numerous publications, and frequently speaks on analytics at conferences. She holds a BS in Mathematics from UNC and an MS and Ph.D. in OR/IE from Cornell. Her personal research includes manufacturing scheduling, services resource management, transportation logistics, integer programming, and combinatorial duality. She currently leads the emerging technologies team in the IBM Watson group.
Frank Eliason is an American corporate executive and author. Referred to as “the most famous customer service manager in the US, possibly the world” by BusinessWeek, Eliason is best known for developing the use of social media in the practice of customer relations.
Amy Emmerich is the EVP of Programming at Refinery29 where she oversees everything from video content to partnerships. Amy joins the team from Scripps Networks Interactive where she was the senior vice president of programming for ulive.com focusing on production and development of all original programming. Prior to Scripps, Amy was the VP of production and development at VICE Media and the Travel Channel. At the Travel Channel she oversaw production of such shows as the Emmy-award winning docu-series, Anthony Bourdain No Reservations, Man vs. Food and Ghost Adventures.
Founder and CEO of Canvs, a leading social television analytics platform, Jared Feldman is a digital entrepreneur and Social TV thought leader dedicated to pushing the boundaries of social media insight.
Since its inception in 2010, Feldman has grown the firm from 2 people to a team of nearly 25 people dedicated to delivering nuanced and actionable insights into the thoughts, emotions and behaviors of social entertainment audiences. Canvs officially launched in 2014 and has already become the industry standard for social television analysis. Leveraging Twitter TV content captured by Nielsen, Canvs is the only social TV insights platform to comprehensively measure audience reaction. The platform automates the expertise Canvs analysts have honed over the years supporting clients like HBO, FOX, NBC, AMC Networks, Comedy Central, BET Networks.
With over 8 years of experience in Digital Marketing Strategy, Luis is currently leading the Pernod Ricard’s Digital Acceleration efforts across the Americas region, with a particular focus on Data driven marketing, Consumer Relationship Management, E-commerce and the development of a strong internal digital culture. Having a pure digital agency background and working across 7 markets, Luis has had the opportunity to understand the nuances of digital as it applies to very different business and cultural contexts.
Tony Heredia is Vice President, Strategy & Operations within Target’s Corporate Social Responsibility Group. He was previously Vice President of Corporate Risk & Responsibility and Director of Assets Protection.
Prior to joining Target in 2005, Mr. Heredia spent 5 years as a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton in McLean, Virginia and 13 years in California Law Enforcement as an officer, sergeant, and lieutenant.
Tony serves on several non-profit boards, including the Metropolitan Economic Development Association, a Minnesota-based non-profit that helps entrepreneurs of color succeed; and the Bush Foundation.
Tony graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with a Bachelor’s degree in Management, and from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University with a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Alison Hillhouse is the Vice President of Insights Innovation at MTV, where she focuses exclusively on understanding the behaviors and psychological underpinnings of Millennials. She decodes everything from the intricacies of hashtag culture to high school cliques to the creative ethos of the generation. The insights her team uncover help MTV fulfill its research imperative for “radical audience intimacy.”
Prior to MTV, Alison spent 12 years at advertising and public relations agencies such as JWT, garnering insights and developing campaigns for brands such as Xbox360, Jose Cuervo and Huggies.
See more at: http://thepub.viacom.com/sites/mtvpress/Bios/Pages/Alison-Hillhouse.aspx#sthash.tRlFIVxG.dpuf
Andy is the Founder and Managing Director of Enterprise Strategies, a company focused on applying social tools and processes to solve enterprise communication, collaboration, knowledge management and productivity challenges. During the last 19 years Andy has served as a trusted advisor for several industry leading organizations including Andersen, Ernst & Young, JP Morgan Chase and The Oracle Corporation. He is a career long student of enterprise complexities and loves sharing what he has learned. Andy is a frequent keynote speaker and an avid road cyclist. He enjoys connecting people and dots.
Missy Kelley is an experience designer, with over 15 years of experience in product design, physical space design, visual design, strategy, and user experience to human centric innovations for clients such as UNICEF, (RED), Verizon, Nike Women and Savant. Residing in New York, she also takes her love for design thinking into the classroom by teaching experience design and interaction design at the School of Visual Arts Manhattan. Currently she is Senior Experience Designer for Ammunition, where she is responsible for leading the development of UX for her clients and working closely with all involved teams to ensure the experience is consistent across all touch points.
Roland LaPlante has over 30 years’ senior marketing experience, beginning with Procter and Gamble in brand management, and then successive positions at Heublein/Diageo, Citibank, McGraw-Hill, Providian and Xlibris (an online publisher). Since joining Afilias in 2001 as Chief Marketing Officer, he has overseen both corporate and product marketing for Afilias, including the launch of .INFO and the establishment of Afilias’ position in the current round of new domain extensions. As the Group’s principal industry spokesperson, Roland is a sought after speaker on a variety of domain issues and has helped position Afilias as a global Registry leader.
Jay Mandel specializes in leading cross functional teams to introduce and improve digital channels, programs, platforms and processes. He delivers results based on his strategic mindset, subject matter expertise and through the power of his professional network.
Currently, Jay is responsible for setting MasterCard’s global social media voice and ensures it is strategic, consistent yet localized and culturally appropriate. He oversees all MasterCard social media platforms and creates global workflows for curating and publishing timely, relevant and measurable content.
Jay’s career consists of digital marketing roles of increasing responsibility at major corporations including MasterCard, CIT, and Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G). Jay received his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises, and Information Studies from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University in 2000. In 2005, Mandel received a Master’s degree from Columbia University in Strategic Communications.
Virginia is focused on Spredfast customer success at every stage of the partnership journey. She leads the team dedicated to the customer experience including account management, strategic services, training, and enablement. Prior to Spredfast, Virginia was EVP of Digital Strategy at Ogilvy PR Worldwide where she led the North American arm of their social media and word of mouth marketing (WOMM) practice (now Social@Ogilvy). She has over a decade of experience in providing social media and marketing strategy to leading enterprise brands. She has held positions in corporate strategy, consumer marketing and WOMM at Dell, Inc., Brains on Fire, and Trilogy Software. Virginia is a TechStars mentor and is on the Steering Committee for Women@Austin. She holds a B.A. in English from Princeton University.
Augie Ray has been involved with digital and social communications for two decades, starting with his community manager role for Prodigy in 1993. Since then, Augie has worked in digital marketing, social media and Customer Experience in Fortune 500 firms, digital agencies and research firms. Augie has a diverse set of experience, including managing a $9-million interactive agency team, researching and consulting on social media marketing as a Forrester analyst, leading social business at USAA and managing a global Voice of Customer Action team for a Fortune 100 financial services firm. Augie blogs at ExperienceTheBlog.com and can be found at @augieray.
John Ross has been building profitable online communities for more than 17 years. John has worked with national content networks for Cox Interactive Media, national music festivals like the New Orleans Jazz Heritage Festival and a number of national touring artists. Helping launch three different music startup ventures helped develop his skills and strategic knowledge across web development, online marketing and community management. Before joining the global digital team at PepsiCo, John spent five years at Catapult Marketing managing global digital programs for brands including: Intel, MARS, WWE, Intuit, SEARS and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. The digital discipline at Catapult won more than 35 national advertising awards during his time helping lead the account teams. In his role on the North American Beverage media team, John focuses exclusively on PepsiCo’s customer accounts and digital innovation through these partnerships. The Customer Digital Solutions team has more than doubled the number of brand activations in their customer digital environments and produces the annual PepsiCo Digital Summit each Fall in the Bay area.
Jeff has over 30 years of experience in the technology and entertainment industries and has co-founded several start-ups including mobile commerce pioneer BarPoint.com in 1999. Jeff joined the .CLUB team in March 2012, and has led the company’s marketing efforts throughout the process of acquiring and launching the .CLUB top level domain. As Vice President, Chief Evangelist at Myxer from 2007 to 2012 Jeff played a significant role in growing the mobile entertainment company into one of the top 15 mobile websites in the U.S. He is a Co-Founder of EntrepreneurWiki, and Social Object Factory. Jeff has also written and produced for film and television and has a deep understanding of the content business that is unique for a tech executive.
A graduate of Cornell University, Jeff is a frequent speaker and panelist on domain names, mobile marketing, digital music, entrepreneurship and social media. He has also been an online instructor for the University of San Francisco’s Mobile Marketing Program. Jeff has had articles published in AdAge, Forbes, DMNews, Mobile Marketer, iMedia Connection and others. He is a co-host of the Cast of Dads podcast and has written regularly for a number of blogs including Dadomatic.com , SocialNetworkingRehab.com , and his personal blog, Sassholes! He also served as an Intel Advisor and Sony Digidad.
Ryan Stern is the Founder and CEO of Collectively—an agency that orchestrates influencer marketing initiatives designed to generate engagement and awareness for consumer brands. Stern is a fearless and visionaryentrepreneur, leveraging her extensivebackground in editorial, social and integratedcontent marketing to reinvent how brandscommunicate to consumers on social media. Sternbegan her career working at Conde Nast andTribune, pivoting into digital content andbusiness roles first at Foodbuzz, where shedeveloped the largest online food property thirdto Food Network and All Recipes. At Glam Media(now Mode Media), she oversaw owned &operated content properties and ran integratedcontent marketing programs globally. She’s builtCollectively into a 40-person agency in 2 years and believes in creating empowering work environments built on a foundation of teamwork,curiosity and risk-taking.
Alexa Tonner is the Founder and EVP of Collaborations at Collectively Inc, bringing together the most creative people in social media in incredible brand collaborations. Alexa is aninventive and audacious entrepreneur with arobust background in communication strategyand branded marketing. She began her career atFoodbuzz, building out the largest community offood bloggers and managing brand integrationsCPG clients and bloggers. At Mode Media(formerly Glam Media), Alexa lead overall content and community strategy, focused oncommunity growth and recruitment, owned &operated launches, and branded integrations. Her intelligence and leadership shines through atCollectively, countlessly delivering incredible collaborations and helping brands to tell amazing stories.
As Vice President, Weather Strategy and Business Meteorologist for The Weather Company, Paul helps companies use weather and climate “big data” to create and execute weather strategies that lead to more effective and profitable business outcomes.
Since 1997 he has helped business leaders in many of the largest corporations in North America and Europe use weather and climate intelligence to increase sales and maximize profits.
One of the nation’s leading experts on the impact of weather on consumers and business, Paul’s observations are regularly featured on The Weather Channel and CNBC, and in dozens of national media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and The New York Times. Prior to joining The Weather Company, Paul served as Senior Vice President,Business Solutions at Atmospheric and Environmental Research (a Verisk Analyticscompany), Chief Strategy Officer at Storm Exchange, Inc., and Senior Vice President,Client Services/Analytics at Planalytics, Inc.Prior to 1997 as a meteorologist in the United States Air Force, Paul providedweather-based intelligence support to war fighters and mission planners and servedas the Chief of Weather Operations for the US Army’s elite 101st Airborne Divisionduring Operation Desert Storm.
Kathy Zhao is a digital marketer living in New York. She currently works in the Global Digital Marketing department at MasterCard, where she is responsible for training, enabling, and influencing digital marketing strategies and technologies on a global scale.
Kathy received her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and International Business from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University in 2014. During her time at NYU, she was a marketing intern at Johnson & Johnson, L’Occitane en Provence, and CPA.com. She also served as the Marketing Director for the New York University Entrepreneur Festival, which attracted over 1,000 participants and over 70 speakers.Kathy loves reading novels, volunteering, learning, web design, and her dog Blue.
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