2013 Speakers

MC: Amy Howell

Howell Marketing Strategies
Memphis, TN

Amy is the Founder and CEO of Howell Marketing Strategies, one of the leading PR and marketing firms in the state. Her expertise spans from PR and social media marketing to crisis communications and strategic planning. Her company serves leading companies in the law, aviation, healthcare, hospitality, and real estate industries. Follow Amy on Twitter at @howellmarketing.

Keynote Speaker: John Jantsch

Duct Tape Marketing
Kansas City, MO

A globally-acclaimed author and speaker, John is the Founder and President of Duct Tape Marketing, a network of independent marketing consultants from around the world. He has authored nationally recognized books such as Duct Tape Marketin, The Referral Engine, and The Commitment Engine. He is known for his expertise small business marketing, Internet marketing, referral marketing systems, and blogging. You can find him on Twitter at @ducttape.

Keynote Speaker: Gabrielle Laine-Peters

London, UK

With more than 15 years of experience in marketing, PR and advertising, London-based Gabrielle Laine-Peters is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to new business development and strategic planning. In addition to working on social media projects for NASA and the UK government, she is the social media director for ICE Coalition, as well as the Hertfordshire Director of Capital Business Media Group, where she is in charge of the regional business magazine and online social presence for the company. Gabrielle also shares her social knowledge through her own company, X-Digital, as a social media consultant and speaker. You can find out more about her at GabrielleNYC.

Keynote Speaker: Xan Pearson

Chicago Bulls & Chicago White Sox
Chicago, IL

Xan Pearson is the Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Partnerships for the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago White Sox. She is also the Founder of The Social Junction where she works with companies to develop social media marketing strategies to grow their company. Her expertise includes integrated marketing, social media, experiential promotions, sponsorship revenue generation, and lead sourcing. You can find her on Twitter at @xanpearson.

Keynote Speaker: Jeff Bullas

Sydney, Australia

Australia-based Jeff Bullas will be making his American speaking debut at Social Slam. Jeff has one of the highest-rated marketing blogs in the world and is an internationally-known author, strategist, and speaker. He specializes in working with companies and executives to optimize their online brands across all the digital channels. He is listed by Forbes as one of the “Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers” and is the author of the Best-Seller “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media.” He is a social media giant boasting a blog that receives more than 4 million pageviews a year, over 130,000 Twitter followers, and a Klout score of 81. Follow him at @jeffbullas.

Shonali Burke

Shonali Burke Consulting
Washington, DC

Shonali Burke is the accredited principal of Shonali Burke Consulting, where she takes your communications from corporate codswallop to community cool. With agency and in-house experience, she was the force behind the ASPCA response to the 2007 pet food recall and Michael Vick crises, which resulted in her being named one of the top “40 Under 40” PR professionals that year by PRWeek. She is also adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University, founder of the popular #measurePR Twitter chat, and publishes the public relations and new media blog, Waxing UnLyrical.

Chris Craft

Nao Media & Consulting
Atlanta, GA

Chris Craft is the Chief Visionary Officer for Nao Media and Consulting and author of the upcoming book, O.P.E.N. Routine: Four Components to Personal Branding Excellence. Nao specializes in digital marketing and branding for the sports and entertainment industries. His agency’s services include social media consulting, content creation, web design/development, brand monitoring/development, and music licensing. Chris is a graduate of both Morehouse College and Georgia Tech. His diverse background, knowledge, and experience lend him to be especially adept at producing results for clients on various fronts. Say hello to Chris on Twitter at @ChrisQueso.

Ian Cleary

Dublin, IE

Ian is CEO of Dublin-based RazorSocial which is an online resource for Social Media Tools.

As well as writing on RazorSocial Ian also writes regularly for SocialMedia Examiner and {grow} and his articles can also be found on many other top industry blogs including Convince and Convert, Ragan, Business-2-Community and others.

Ian really enjoys speaking with thought leaders from around the world and is looking forward to connecting with many people at Social Slam. You can follow Ian on Twitter @iancleary, read his blog on www.razorsocial.com or follow him on Google+

Ian Cleary

Laura Click

Blue Kite Marketing
Nashville, TN

Laura Click is founder and CEO of Blue Kite Marketing, a strategic marketing and social media firm in Nashville, Tenn.Throughout her 10-year career in marketing and public relations, Laura has worked
with Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, non-profits and government agencies. Prior to launching her own company, Laura served as spokesperson for the Tennessee Supreme Court. Laura’s Blue Kite Marketing blog has been recognized as one of Nashville’s top business blogs of 2011 and as a top content marketing blog from Junta42. She also writes about social media for the Nashville Business Journal.

Dawn DeVirgilio


Telecommunications specialist by degree, Dawn’s career at ExactTarget, began as an Interactive Marketing Specialist, rolling out ExactTarget’s first Twitter lounge at the Connections 2009 User Conference. Following the acquisition of CoTweet she moved out to the newly-established Social Media Lab in San Francisco to evangelize ExactTarget’s social product offerings.

Dawn’s interest and expertise in social media led her to her current position at ExactTarget, Global Social Media Manager. Dawn is responsible for developing, managing, and executing an integrated global social media strategy and empowering voices from across the entire organization. She is an avid sports fan, seasoned traveler and a Coldplay groupie.

Dawn DeVirgilio

Dino Dogan

New Jersey

Founder of Triberr. Lousy Martial Artist & Recovering Engineer. Songwriter & Biz Blogger. Quiet Reader & Loud Speaker. Global Force for Badassery. Follow him at @dinodogan.

Valentina Escobar-Gonzalez

Beyond Engagement
Tri-Cities, TN

Valentina Escobar-Gonzalez is the founder of Beyond Engagement– Social Media Solutions in the Tri-Cities area of Tennessee. Valentina specializes in assisting small businesses grow through digital and social media marketing solutions. She has had an active speaking schedule, including Virginia Intermont College, Northeast State Community College, Emory & Henry College, and the American Advertising Federation of Southwest Virginia. Her company is a finalist for the prestigious 2012 Annual KOSBE Award for Innovation & Marketing category. Valentina has been named one of the outstanding 40 leaders under Forty in the Tri-Cities. Connect with her on Twitter at @EquineValentina.

Jason Falls

Cafe Press
Louisville, KY
I’m a digital strategist and thinker of things, mainly web and marketing related. Some people have called me innovative and influential.  My work has touched a number of large brands including Maker’s Mark, AT&T and Humana to name a few.  I’ve co-authored two books and am a professional public speaker focused on digital marketing with a degree of expertise in social media marketing specifically.  When I speak, audiences normally learn something and laugh a little, too.
My day job is leading digital strategy for CafePress. By night, I’m a fledgling humorous fiction writer in search of a great plot or book deal, which ever comes first.  I’m also married with two children, both of whom are unsuccessfully begging for a pet.

Jeremy Floyd

Bluegill Creative
Knoxville, TN

Jeremy Floyd is president of Bluegill Creative, a marketing and communications firm in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to managing the digital strategies, Floyd is a digital marketing adjunct professor for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga MBA program teaching digital strategies and social media. Floyd blogs about digital marketing and business leadership and tweets under the name @jfloyd. Jeremy is licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee and holds a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from MTSU in English and Philosophy.

Karen Freberg

University of Louisville
Louisville, KY

Karen Freberg is an assistant professor in Strategic Communications at the University of Louisville. Freberg is an authority on crisis communications and has presented at several U.S. and international research conferences in Australia, the Netherlands, Brazil, Greece, Italy, and China. Freberg worked in public relations for Total Media in Cape Town, South Africa in 2007 with clients in the fashion and consumer industry. Freberg is also a research consultant in social media and crisis communications and has worked with several organizations and agencies such as DHS, CDC, National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), and the Colorado Ski Association. Freberg’s research has been published in several book chapters and in academic journals such as Public Relations Review, Media Psychology Review, and Health Communication.

Anne Gallaher

Deeter Gallaher Group LLC
Harrisburg, PA / Nashville, TN

Anne is owner/CEO of the Deeter Gallaher Group LLC, a marketing/PR firm that combines traditional and social media to serve clients in mechanical contracting, engineering, IT, banking, commercial real estate development, legal, music entertainment, and the automotive industry. Anne is a member of The Wall Street Journal’s Women in the Economy Task Force and the founder of Harrisburg Social Media Club. She has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Ragan Communications, and a contributor to several blogs, and was named as one of Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business, she is a frequent speaker and writer on entrepreneurship, women in business, social media, and PR/marketing. Connect with her on Twitter at @AnneDGallaher.

Kim Garst

Boom! Social
Tampa, FL

Kim is the Co-Founder and CEO of Boom! Social, a personal branding and social media business consulting firm that services over 32,000 subscribers and 100+ clients. She is extremely passionate about sharing how ‘you can do’ social media. Kim was recently named by Forbes as one of the Top 50 Social Media Influencers. Kim consults with businesses of all sizes from around the globe to help accelerate their profits by helping them integrate proven social media strategies. She also provides social media keynotes and in-depth training to entrepreneurs and corporations. Kim has an extensive following on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Jennifer Kane

Kane Consulting
Minneapolis, MN

Jennifer Kane is a marketing/communications strategist with more than 15 years of experience working with B2B and B2C companies, through her firm, Kane Consulting. She speaks nationally on topics related to social media, content marketing, change management and digital communications, in addition to being an adjunct professor and corporate trainer. You can find her on Twitter at @JennKaneCo.

Sean McGinnis

312 Digital
Chicago, IL

Sean McGinnis is Founder of 312 Digital, a boutique digital agency in Chicago that also provides in-person digital marketing training to business owners, marketers, consultants and agency personnel. An actor and lawyer by training, Sean has created winning online marketing programs for hundreds of companies since 1999. Sean has led several internet businesses and teams including one of the largest SEO teams in the US. Sean regularly speaks and writes about digital marketing. You can connect him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google +.

Pam Moore

CEO Marketing Nutz

Pam Moore aka “Pam Marketing Nut” is the CEO and Co-Founder of Marketing Nutz, an agile, full service experiential social brand, digital marketing and conversion optimization agency that helps businesses not just do social, be social but be socially relevant.

Pam is ranked by Forbes as a Top 10 Social Media Power Influencer, is an avid keynote speaker and best selling author. She has 15+ years experience helping entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 organizations build winning brands and integrated platforms that sustain business and life. Pam believes we must first inspire our audiences to connect, we then focus on building relationships by helping them achieve their goals. Inspire – Connect – Achieve is her motto in both life and business.

John Morgan

Brand Against The Machine
Nashville, TN

John Morgan is the best-selling author of Brand Against The Machine, one of Amazon.com’s Top-Rated Marketing books. With his popular blog (www.JohnMichaelMorgan.com) and being an in-demand public speaker and consultant, he is a globally recognized authority on branding and digital marketing. John has worked with some of the largest brands in the world including Dreamworks, Jetblue, and Disney as well as Fortune 500 companies, TV stars, and small businesses.

Michael Morris

Bush Brothers & Company
Knoxville, TN

Mike is currently responsible for BUSH’S® brand communication via one-to-one consumer touch points, including digital (websites, social media, search and email), Consumer Relations and the BUSH’S Visitor Center. Mike is also helping lead the company’s expansion into Canada. He does know Jay and Duke but does not know the Secret Family Recipe.

Rosemary O’Neill

Social Strata
Charleston, SC

Rosemary O’Neill is Co-Founder/President of Social Strata, which makes the Hoop.la online community platform. For the last 14 years, she has been evangelizing the social conversation and helping customers like Mattel, Long John Silvers and HarperCollins grow thriving communities. She has also appeared on Fox & Friends and NPR as an HR rebel. You can find her online via Twitter @rhogroupee, on her small business blog at http://rhogroupee.com, and as a weekly contributor to Liz Strauss’ Successful and Outstanding Blog. She makes a mean blueberry pie.

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone

Full Sail University
Orlando, FL

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone is a new media specialist, attorney and educator. She holds an MBA from Bentley University, and graduated summa cum laude from Suffolk University Law School. Kerry has taught courses in marketing law, intellectual property, and business. Currently, she teaches New Media Marketing for the Internet Marketing Master of Science Program at Full Sail University in Florida. She is a contributing writer for numerous sites, including MarketingProfs, Huffington Post, the {grow} blog, SocialMedia Explorer, and Marketing Pilgrim. Kerry is on Social Media Marketing Magazine’s list of the Top 50 Marketing Professors on Twitter and the MBAPrograms.org list of the Top 50 Business School Professors on Twitter. Follow her @kerrygorgone.

Eric Pratum

Grizzard Communications Group
Redmond, WA

Director of Digital Marketing at Grizzard Communications Group, founder of Inbound and Agile, and analyst with a passion for SEO and a reputation for being the “social media guy.” On the Twitters @ericpratum.

Eric Pratum

Shane Rhyne

Knoxville, TN

Shane Rhyne is a public relations and marketing professional with a background in print, broadcast and digital media. Television viewers in Knoxville will recognize him as a frequent guest subject matter expert on consumer and business uses of social and mobile media. He began his public relations career more than two decades ago while working for Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alex Haley. Since then, he has worked in both non-profit and corporate public relations, as a radio news director, freelance writer, and digital community manager. He is comfortable wearing many hats in his efforts to help others succeed. In addition to being a self-described word guy with a weird love for numbers, he currently serves as Director of Publicity for Social Media Club Knoxville and is an unapologetic fan of Google+. Circle Shane on Google+ or follow him on Twitter at @shanerhyne.

Matt Ridings

Sidera Works
St. Louis, MO

Matt is a co-founder and CEO of Sidera Works, a marketing and organizational development consulting practice. He attended college at the University of Tennessee before becoing an accomplished business strategist and speaker. He has has worked in digital marketing on both the agency and enterprise side since 1994 and ran interactive for such established brands as Levi’s, Cisco, and British Airways as well as the launch of ventures such as Jet Blue and RedSpark. His work over the last 10 years has focused primarily in developing innovation cultures, change management initiatives, and specialized market research. Follow Matt at @techguerilla.

Mark W. Schaefer

Schaefer Marketing Solutions
Knoxville, TN

Mark W. Schaefer is a globally-recognized blogger, educator, business consultant, and author who blogs at {grow}. He is a faculty member of the graduate studies program at Rutgers University and is the founder of Social Slam. Mark consults with clients ranging from start-ups to global brands such as AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, and the UK government. He is the author of two best-selling marketing books, Return On Influence and The Tao of Twitter and was named by Forbes magazine as one of the Top 50 social media “power influencers” of the world. Follow Mark at @markwschaefer.

Tamsen (McMahon) Webster

Allen and Gerritsen
Boston, MA

Tamsen is currently the Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy and Content Activation at Allen and Gerritsen, a branding company studying the future of marketing and advertising. Tamsen has worked as a Communication Strategist and Executive Coach since 2008. She’s gained experience working at places such as Sametz Blackstone Associates, Harvard Medical School, and The Boston Conservatory. She specializes in strategic communication and brand planning for higher education, non-profit, and corporate environments. You can find her on Twitter at @tamadear.

Tom Webster

Edison Research
Boston, MA

Tom Webster is Vice President of Strategy for Edison Research, a custom market research company best known as the sole providers of Exit Polling data during U.S. Elections for all the major news networks. He has nearly 20 years of experience researching consumer usage of technology, new media and social networking, and is the principal author of a number of widely-cited studies, including The Social Habit, Twitter Users in America, and The New Media Consumer. Webster specializes in drawing insight from social media data, and writes about these topics at www.brandsavant.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Webby2001.

Rick Wion

Director of Social Media at McDonald’s Corporation
Chicago, IL

Beyond reminding folks how yummy the fries are, Rick’s efforts include social marketing campaigns, long-term branding, issues management, customer service and employee engagement. Using new trends and technologies to enhance digital storytelling around McDonald’s balanced menu options is also a key driver behind the brand’s endeavors.
Prior to McDonald’s, Rick was Vice President of digital and social media for GolinHarris in Chicago where he implemented digital-communications strategies for Fortune 500 companies including Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Dow among others.
Rick is also a former lifestyle/travel reporter, long time web designer, proud graduate from the University of Illinois, beer snob, McRib lover, die hard Chi-town sports fan, and father to two boys under the age of 5.


Gina Welker

Atlanta, GA

Gina is the Social Media and Community Lead for AT&T where she oversees a company-wide network of content creators. She is leading the social media strategy at this telecommunications giant from her base of Atlanta GA. Before joing AT&T, Gina worked in leadership positions at advertising and marketing agencies in Washington, DC and Florida where she developed social media communication and business development strategies. On Twitter you can follow her @ginawelker.

Sandra Zoratti

Denver, CO

Sandra Zoratti is an Author, Speaker and Marketer. She is the Vice President of Marketing, Ricoh at a business created from a former IBM company. Sandra is recognized as a thought leader in the area of Precision Marketing, and published her book on the topic in June 2012 (Amazon). She was honored as Colorado’s Business Marketer of the Year in 2012. You can find Sandra on LinkedIn, Twitter @sandraz and on her website sandrazoratti.com.