Speakers' Bios

Penny Muse Abernathy Penny Muse Abernathy is a journalism professional with more than 30 years of experience as a reporter, editor and senior media business executive, who specializes in preserving quality journalism by helping the news business succeed economically in the digital media environment. Panny, a former executive at the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, is the Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She focuses her expertise on developing 21st-century economic models that will improve the ability of journalists to produce news in the public interest. As a senior executive, Penny was responsible for both creating and implementing strategies at some at some of the nation’s most prominent news organizations and publishing companies, including the Journal, The Times and the Harvard Business Review. She oversaw the successful launch of new multimedia enterprises, which helped increase both revenue and profit. She was also vice president and executive director of industry programs at the Paley Center for Media in New York City, which counts as its members some of the world’s leading media companies and executives. She was inducted into the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame in 1998.

Molly de Aguiar Molly de Aguiar directs the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s Media grants, which strengthen and expand New Jersey's news and information ecosystem, support and experiment with collaboration and resource-sharing, and encourage deep community engagement. Prior to joining the Dodge staff in 2005, Molly spent 10 years working for arts and education nonprofits in Philadelphia and was active in independent media issues. She is a blogger, a list maker, a weekend baker, and an avid traveler with her family.

Laura Amico Laura Amico is founder of the award-winning Homicide Watch enterprise and is a core member of digital journalism's Structured Journalism movement. An inaugural Nieman-Berkman fellow in journalism innovation at Harvard, she's now working with WBUR to launch a structured journalism beat covering education reform in Massachusetts. She is a 2011 MJ Bear Fellow with the Online News Association, a fellow at the 6th Annual Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America, a Knight News Entrepreneur Boot Camp alum, and a New York Times Chairman’s award winner.

Amy Kovac-Ashley Amy Kovac-Ashley is the assistant dean of Georgetown's Master's in Professional Studies Program in Journalism, where she focuses on curriculum and faculty development, industry connections and careers. She is also the adviser to the Georgetown student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Previously, she was a regional editor for Patch.com, where she helped launch the D.C./Baltimore region of sites, led the editorial Recruitment and Training Committee and created and team-taught a Capstone class at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism that focused on hyperlocal and niche journalism. Before that, she worked at The Washington Post, where she was the social media editor, the local community editor of LoudounExtra.com and a senior producer for local news and interactivity.

Todd Bates Todd Bates is the creative director at Creative Loafing (Tampa), where he occasionally wears the hat of photographer as well. His award-winning designs have graced the pages of CL, off and on, for nearly a decade. During an 8-year break from the alt-weekly world, he escaped the Florida heat for a career in book design in Seattle. His publishing clients included Simon & Schuster, Pixar, NASCAR, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Barnes & Noble and Chronicle Books. When he’s off the clock he can be found roadside-shooting his ever-growing series on vintage neon signs.

Melissa Bell Melissa Bell co-founded Vox.com in early 2014 and became the first person at Vox Media to hold both a technology and editorial title as Senior Product Manager and Executive Editor for Vox.com. Prior to Vox, Melissa oversaw digital platforms at the Washington Post. She was also a columnist for the Style section, writing on the culture of the internet. Before joining The Post, she helped launch Mint, a Wall Street Journal subsidiary in India, where she lived for four years. She hails from San Diego, California and makes a mean banana-and-cheese quesadilla.

Kelly Benish Kelly Benish is the VP of Sales and Marketing for Search Influence. She has a history of sales and business development specialization in the SEO, IYP, and vertical industries. After graduating with honors from the University of North Carolina with a degree in English, Kelly worked in finance before finding her passion in sales and business development on the interwebs. Kelly enjoys training and building the business development team at Search Influence, and in her spare time, she writes for the Movers and Shakers column of Street Fight. Her primary goal at Search Influence is to develop and enhance new and existing relationships between major reseller platforms and channel partners.

Tim Bingaman Tim Bingaman , President & CEO of Circulation Verification Council (CVC), believes that necessity is the mother of invention. Tim spent the 1980’s & early 1990’s working for Gannett, Ingersoll Publications, JRC, Thompson, and independently owned newspapers analyzing struggling community newspapers. He traveled the country working at papers in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California and Missouri. While studying the feasibility of a publication in California Tim realized that he did not have the kind of data he needed to make important decisions and the idea for CVC was born. In 1992, Circulation Verification Council (CVC) was created with only 13 member publications to meet the data needs of advertisers and publishers who struggle evaluating community newspapers, shoppers, niche publications, and magazines across the country. CVC processes were designed to give an accurate picture of publication’s circulation and readership so that publishers and advertisers can make informed decisions. CVC now audits over 4,000 editions nationwide with a combined circulation over 70,000,000. Tim travels the country 26 weeks a year to talk to publishers and advertising professionals about the benefits of working with audited publications.

Jimmy Boegle Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent in Palm Springs, Calif. He's a former AAN diversity chair and currently serves on the editorial and membership committees. He is a veteran of the Tucson Weekly, Las Vegas CityLife, the Reno News & Review and The Associated Press. He decided to make the move to Palm Springs because the weather in Tucson and Las Vegas simply was not warm enough for him.

Jamie Breitbach Jamie Breitbach is the Consumer Events Manager for SouthComm, Inc which produces approximately 50 B2B and B2C events per year on behalf of the Nashville Scene, Nfocus Magazine, Nashville Post and Nashville Medical News. Prior to joining SouthComm, Ms. Breitbach spent 3 years as Marketing Director and VP of Operations for RK Motors Charlotte, the nation's leading collector and classic car dealership, as well as 6 years as Marketing Project Manager at Barrett-Jackson Auction Company which held annual, multi-million dollar events in Scottsdale, AZ, Palm Beach, FL, Las Vegas, NV, and Orange County, CA. Before entering the classic cars world, she worked as a cast member at Disney MGM Studios while studying Disney's branding and leadership techniques.

Christy Bryan Christy Bryan is a native Nashvillian and co-founder of Events Hatched, a Nashville based event production firm. Christy most recently held the position of National Sponsorship Director for SouthComm Inc. where she spent 7 years creating and developing events for the company. She was instrumental in converting events from purely a marketing tool to a significant revenue stream. Christy resides in Franklin TN with her husband, Andrew, and son, Jennings.

Michael Burcham Michael Burcham is Founder and CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Michael has extensive experience in healthcare innovation, entrepreneurship, and startup venture coaching. He served as President of ParadigmHealth, a provider and integrator of care and disease management services for health plans and employers, from 2001-2007. He also founded and served as President of Theraphysics, a venture-backed specialty healthcare firm managing rehabilitation services, from 1992-2000. He is founder and Director of the Accelerator Summer Business Institute, a 4-week intensive immersion program designed to challenge undergraduate students to develop their own personal brands and business skills. At the Owen Graduate School of Management, Michael teaches healthcare innovation and strategy. He is passionate about helping the creative class transform their ideas into real businesses, and looks to the Entrepreneur Center as an opportunity to revolutionize Nashville’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and creative venture development on a large scale. Michael received his PhD in Healthcare Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2003.

Chris Chamberlain Chris Chamberlain is a food, drink, wine, spirits, travel and personal interest writer based in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has lived his entire life except for four years in California where he studied liberal arts at Stanford University and learned how to manipulate chopsticks. He is a regular writer for the Nashville Scene and their “Bites” food blog as well as Nashville Lifestyles magazine. He is also the Southern correspondent for FoodRepublic.com, a national website dedicated to “Drinking, Eating, and Living the Way a Man Should.” He has also contributed to the Nashville City Paper, Her Nashville, Relish, Julep, Local Palate, The Bourbon Review, 2001 Edgehill, the SFA’s Gravy newsletter and as a kitchen gadget reviewer at www.geardiary.com. His travel guide and cookbook, The Southern Foodie: 100 Places to Eat before You Die and The Recipes That Made Them Famous was released in 2012 by Thomas Nelson Publishing, and he is currently working on a sequel, The Southern Foodie’s Guide to the Pig for release in fall of 2014. Another book on the history of beer and breweries in Middle Tennessee for History Press out of Charleston will come out later this year.

David Crawford David Crawford has made print media his career. He is currently a regional account manager at SRDS, but prior to that, he enjoyed over ten years as a print media buyer and planner. The account roster he helped manage is a who's who of Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, and JCPenney. He also worked on national campaigns for the likes of Coca Cola and Turtle Wax. He's worked day to day with the young media buyers and planners that we talk about on a daily basis (managing a staff of 15 with the average age of 24 during his agency days). He understands what it takes to get a planners attention and what information motivates them to look deeper within a market. His experiences buying and managing staffs of advertising decision makers have made David an asset to his media partners. He currently lives in suburban Atlanta with his wife Juli and two daughters, Lily and Miranda.

Laura Dell Laura Dell strengthens organizations and leaders. Her long-standing consulting practice, focused on developing leaders and expanding capacity, is informed by a startlingly long and varied history serving a wide array of businesses, including several AAN members. Laura holds an M.A. in Organization Development, and her expertise has evolved through 35 years of leading in and consulting to workplaces. She is currently the C.O.O. of a mid-size not-for-profit in the Chicago area where she enjoys ample opportunity to practice what she preaches.

Ryan DeRose Ryan DeRose is the founder and president of Vibethink, a full service creative agency located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Ryan capitalized on his experiences in education consulting, web development, and online marketing to create a new kind of business designed to solve problems specific to the digital age. His roles at the company include business strategy, creative direction, UX/UI design, and front-end development.

Justin Ellis Justin Ellis is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab. He was previously a staff writer and columnist for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, where he covered areas like business, politics, culture and technology. In 2009 Ellis was part of the paper’s team to cover the inauguration of President Barack Obama. A former Knight Digital Media Center fellow and researcher at Investigative Reporters and Editors, Ellis is originally from Minnesota. Ask him about meats and cheeses.

Jessica Estepa Jessica Estepa is a storyteller and a self-described news junkie/social media butterfly based in Washington, D.C. She works as a reporter for E&E Publishing, covering fisheries, oceans, wildlife and other natural resources policy news on and off Capitol Hill. Previously, she wrote feature stories for and worked on the production side of Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper. A native Nevadan, she attended the University of Nevada's Reynolds School and worked at a number of places in the Silver State, including the Reno Gazette-Journal, before departing for the East Coast. For fun (really), she volunteers with the Online News Association and 826DC, sits on the board and sings with the Capitol Hill Chorale, and drinks lots of bourbon.

Dr. Michelle Ferrier Dr. Michelle Ferrier is the associate dean for innovation, research/creative activity and graduate studies in the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University. She is the founder and publisher of LocallyGrownNews.com, a hyperlocal, niche online community for local food advocates and a New Media Women Entrepreneur grant recipient. Ferrier is also one of the 2012 inaugural fellows for the Arizona State University Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute. Ferrier is vice president of Journalism That Matters and is active in research around the changing media ecosystem and curriculum change. Her current research agenda includes media entrepreneurship and the media deserts project that examines places where fresh news and information are lacking. She is the chief instigator behind "Create or Die", the media entrepreneurship startup events hosted by Journalism That Matters in June 2010 and June 2011.

Kevin Goldberg Kevin Goldberg is an attorney with Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth. His expertise is in First Amendment, Freedom of Information Act, and intellectual property issues, particularly copyright and trademark matters encountered by content creators and users. Kevin has a B.A. from James Madison University and a J.D. George Washington University.

Max Goldberg Max Goldberg is the co-owner of Strategic Hospitality, a Nashville based hospitality group with 6 projects in its current portfolio and a handful of consulting projects. The company, with more than 300 employees, has a focus on restaurants, bars, and strategic consulting. Mr. Goldberg sits on the board of The Sports Fund, the Grace Eaton Center, and serves as a sponsor and coach of the Kipp Academy basketball team. He graduated from the University of Denver in 2005 with a BSBA in business management and served as the student body president during his senior year. In 2011 he was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30.

Vince Graziano Vince Graziano is vice president of operations for Beyond Private Label. Vince has been working directly with small business owners helping them gain an online presence and grow their businesses for over 12 years. He also conducts numerous trainings and webinars on a weekly basis for the sales teams for our partners at Beyond Private Label and he has been a driving force in developing the internal team for Beyond Private Label.

Kevin Hoppes Kevin Hoppes is VP of Sales and Marketing for AdStrix, a company that provides an automated full service digital agency to media companies seeking to profitably become the leader in their local market. Kevin started his career in newspapers 30 years ago at The Pottsville Republican when he developed the INFO-CONNECT AudioText system which he sold worldwide to newspapers. He launched a number of new print and online products while there, developed several proprietary electronic telephony devices, a BBS, an ISP and launched their first Web site. In 1997 Kevin helped to launch AdQuest Classifieds which later became PowerOne Media, a national aggregator of newspaper classified advertising. He then served as Corporate Internet Director for Times Shamrock Communications which owned several alternative newspapers. Later he helped to launch RealMatch & The Job Network, which today is a leading innovator of online recruiting. He also is a musician and 2 time finalist in an international song writing contest which supports VH1’s Save The Music.

Elizabeth Jones is the art director of Nashville Scene. She's responsible for bringing a little Sparkle and TwAANg to the convention.

Jeremy Kagan Jeremy Kagan has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School teaching Digital Marketing for almost a decade. He also runs digital advertising startup Pricing Engine, which helps smaller advertisers with Search Marketing and Digital Advertising across Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Foursquare, and Reddit. Kagan was a Vice President in Sony Music’s Global Digital Business running mobile accounts, and head of strategy for Publicis Modem, a leading digital ad agency. You can see him as an expert guest about digital marketing on Bloomberg TV, Fox Business News, and Forbes.

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser is the executive director of The Media Consortium. Passionate about mission-driven independent media, Jo Ellen has worked for a succession of independent magazines, including stints as Managing Editor and Associate Publisher of Tikkun, Publisher of LiP: Informed Revolt, and Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief of Zeek. A leading figure in Jewish media, Jo Ellen is an expert on the Jewish social justice movement. She is the co-editor of Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Response to Justice (Jewish Lights) and co-led the Righteous Indignation Project. She has written about Jewish social justice for a number of publications, including The Jewish Daily Forward, Sojourners, Tikkun and Interfaithfamily.com.

Kris Kluver Kris Kluver is the founder of Social Media Contractors. His understanding of social media management and content creation was born out of a need; Kris first became interested in social media when he began hiring help for social media to fill the growing needs of some of his other companies. Today, Kris is driven by a desire to constantly learn more about the evolving trends and philosophies of the 'how' and 'why,' and the true ROI of social media. Kris is a serial entrepreneur who started his first company at age 19 in Omaha, Nebraska. He has since been directly involved with the creation, operation, growth, and occasional sale of more than 20 successful businesses, and has advised on countless others. Kris sits on the board for the HALO Institute at Creighton University and is a member of the Nebraska Diplomats. He has a BA from the University of Wyoming.

Dale Levitski Dale Levitski became a household name through Top Chef, where he was a runner up on the third season of Bravo’s national cooking competition show, but his culinary accolades reach beyond his time on television. Over the course of 15 years, Levitski has received numerous honors and accolades for his cooking, including being tied to three different best new restaurant awards by Chicago Magazine. He has received four Jean Banchet Award nomination, including rising star chef, celebrity chef, and twice for best neighborhood restaurant. He has cooked twice at the James Beard House by invitation. His first position as executive chef was to open the breakfast-focused Orange, followed by La Tache, which was named one of the “Best New Bistros in North America” by Food and Wine magazine. Following his success on Top Chef, Levitski took over Lincoln Park’s Sprout restaurant, during which time he was selected as a semifinalist for “Best Chef: Great Lakes Region” in 2011 by the James Beard Foundation. With Sprout owner Mike Causevic, Levitski opened Frog n Snail, a Midwestern bistro, in his own neighborhood. With his announcement last October to take a hiatus from the Chicago culinary scene, Levitski spent time as an ongoing guest chef at Montana’s The Resort at Paws Up. His experience in some of Chicago’s best kitchens were where he honed skills for brunch, bistro and fine dining settings, and where his inspiration for creative flavors will come into his new kitchen at Sinema in Nashville’s historic Melrose theater building.

Enrique Limón Enrique Limón Much to the anguish of his mom's uterus, Enrique Limón was born feet first on a sunny SoCal day. He's been doing things his way ever since. After a stint in Tijuana’s ZETA weekly, Limón climbed over a barbed wire fence and ended up at San Diego CityBeat, where he worked as a columnist and features writer for over 4 years. His escape from immigration authorities led him to Santa Fe, N.M., where he currently "works" as deputy editor at the Santa Fe Reporter.

Jennifer Marsh is the General Manager of Baltimore City Paper.

Debbie Michaud Debbie Michaud is the Editor-in-Chief of Creative Loafing Atlanta. She interned at the Loaf while a student at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. A few years after graduation, she joined Creative Loafing's staff as listings editor in 2006 and worked her way up to arts & entertainment editor, senior editor, and finally editor-in-chief in 2012. She has written for Esquire.com, Fodor’s Travel, theGuardian.com, Wallpaper*, and Art Papers, among other publications. She also happened to leave UGA with a degree in French and spent some time in Perigueux, France, as a high school English teacher.

Nick Miller Nick Miller is co-editor of the Sacramento News & Review. They let him into the building as a copy editor (and distribution driver) in 2004. Last year, he won a second-place AAN Award for his news reporting. His beats are city politics and the safety net. Follow his AAN Conference live Tweets at @NickMiller916.

Tyson Miller Tyson Miller is founder and director of The Project for Improved Environmental Coverage (PIEC) – a nonprofit initiative dedicated to improving environmental news coverage in the mainstream media. He is a social entrepreneur and leader in the environmental movement who has been developing new organizations and initiatives for nearly 20 years. Over this timeframe, he has completed an award-winning documentary on environmental education and founded or cofounded five organizations and/or national initiatives including Green Press Initiative, PIEC, and Dream of a Nation. Tyson is currently the director of SEE Innovation and lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and two boys.

Giles Morris Giles Morris is the director of creative strategy and communications at Vibethink. Former editor-in-chief of AAN member paper C-VILLE Weekly, Giles spent a decade in daily and weekly newspapers as a freelancer, reporter, and editor. A finalist for this year’s AAN multimedia feature story award, Giles has spent the last five years thinking about how print media companies can best transition their business models to the digital marketplace.

Jerod Morris Jerod Morris is the Director of Content for Copyblogger Media. He manages the day­to­day operations of Copyblogger.com ­­ one of the world's most influential marketing publications. He also hosts The Lede, Copyblogger’s weekly podcast about content marketing, copywriting, conversion optimization, and much more. Jerod was a featured presenter at Authority Intensive 2014 and speaks regularly about strategy and leadership as it relates to the creation and distribution of content on the open web. He has appeared on ESPN’s Outside the Lines and his work has been featured or mentioned in publications ranging from Deadspin to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Michael O'Connell is web editor at Federal News Radio and producer of the It's All Journalism podcast, a weekly podcast focusing on the changing state of media. Previously, he was a managing editor at the Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia, where he oversaw four editions of the weekly community newspaper. In his 10 years at the Connection, he also worked as a community reporter, Fairfax County reporter, associate editor and community editor. He also spearheaded the Connection's online and social media strategy. Michael graduated from the Indiana University School of Journalism in 1983 with a journalism/English degree. In 2010, he entered American University's Interactive Journalism program on the way to earning an M.A.

Kate O'Neill Kate O'Neill , founder and principal of KO Insights, is a speaker, author, and consultant focused on meaningfulness in business and in life. She consults with select clients, often adding much-needed context for strategic growth opportunities in data-rich and customer-centric environments. Kate has been featured in CNN Money, TIME, Forbes, USA Today, and other national media. She is the author of an upcoming book on meaningfulness in marketing. In 2009, Kate launched and grew [meta]marketer, a digital strategy and analytics firm, over a five-year period and significantly shaped the marketing analytics landscape. Prior to [meta]marketer, Kate’s experience included creating the first content management role at Netflix, leading cutting-edge online optimization work at Magazines.com, developing Toshiba America’s first intranet, building the first website at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and holding leadership positions in a variety of digital content and technology start-ups. Kate is a vocal and visible advocate for women in technology, entrepreneurship, and leadership — she was featured by Google in their global campaign for women in entrepreneurship — as well as for Nashville as a growing tech center.

Carolyn Powers Carolyn Powers works on outreach and special initiatives at Internews, an international non-profit dedicated to empowering local media around the world. Bouncing around between DC, San Francisco and New Orleans, she most recently helped build Internews’ first media project in the US (based in New Orleans). Outside of Internews, Carolyn has led an intensive storytelling course with college students in Kigali, Rwanda, served as a community organizer on the outskirts of Boston, and traveled a bit around the world, though has many more countries that she would like to check off that list.

Leigh Anne Rehkopf Leigh Anne Rehkopf is the Marketing & Promotions Director at Creative Loafing Atlanta. After graduating from New York University with a degree in music sociology and photography with dreams of becoming the photo editor at SPIN, life happened and she ended up in brand management and promotional marketing. After a brief stint selling air for Clear Channel radio, she landed this position at Creative Loafing in 2009. She's a native Atlantan, unlike 99% of Atlantans*, and enjoys playing tennis and dominating at bar trivia.
*Statistic not entirely accurate.

Hanaa Rifaey Hanaa Rifaey is the founder of Press Forward, a boutique consulting shop specializing in nonprofit management, strategic planning, fundraising, and marketing. Previously, Hanaa served as the President and Publisher of The American Independent News Network. She has managed campaigns and programs in a variety of issue areas including civil rights, health care, and climate change. Hanaa received her undergraduate degree from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., and her master's degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She lives in D.C. with her husband and their dog, two cats, and tiny human.

Chris Robino Chris Robino has more than 18 years of leadership experience building business and guiding leading organizations. An accomplished entrepreneur and corporate strategist, his vision and expertise in organizational performance have driven notable achievements in the corporate and technology sectors. His accomplishments have been featured in Business First, The Daily Reporter, and The Columbus Dispatch. Chris has built, run and sold 8 different businesses over the last 20 years. His latest venture SearchRankings.Net, is a full services Search Engine Optimization and Marketing firm, that helps clients optimize web based initiatives for better search engine exposure.

Jandos Rothstein missed his old desk at Washington City Paper so much he came back as Creative Director after seven years away designing much duller publications. He is also a professor of graphic design at George Mason University in Virginia and author of Designing Magazines from Allworth Press.

Alexa Schirtzinger Alexa Schirtzinger recently completed a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University, focusing on alternative business models for local journalism, and was previously the editor of the Santa Fe Reporter.

Marc Shepard Marc Shepard can't deal with the fact that he's been in the Alt Media business for over 18 years, so don't bring it up. He ran papers in Portland (ME) and Providence (RI) before landing at the Dig in Boston. All of his sports teams are better than yours, he still has the quaint belief that you won't go out of business if you don't spend more money than you make, and wishes the Boston Phoenix had listened to him on that. Hate him on twitter @MockShepid.

Mike Smith Mike Smith has been a Nashville resident and enthusiast since 1994. Mike is currently the group publisher for Nashville Scene and Nfocus Magazine, two publications that play large roles in shaping the economic and social development of the city. His emphasis on branding and non-traditional marketing has opened doors and revenue steams for the Scene's parent company, SouthComm. Mike has led the company in local and national sponsorship sales and developed a consultative training program that has proven successful in the changing media landscape. Mike is also the co-founder of Nashville Fashion Week, a city-wide event that is in its 5th year. He launched the Fashion Forward Fund, a non-profit to support emerging designers in the Nashville market. He serves as president of the board for Nashville Cares and board VP of marketing for Tennessee Repertory Theatre, and is mentor at the Periscope program at the Arts & Business Council and Nashville Entrepreneur Center. He lives in East Nashville with his partner Kelly and in his spare time he dabbles in interior design, gardening, and drinking vodka.

Amie Stein Amie Stein is a 19-year veteran of the newspaper publishing industry. Amie is the director of training & development for Local Media Association where she develops and implements custom sales and digital training programs for media executives across the country. Since joining LMA in April of 2013, she has trained individuals from over 70 media companies. She has served in leadership positions with multiple media organizations including E.W. Scripps, Lee Enterprises, Pulitzer and Journal Register Company. She began her career in local and automotive sales and quickly assumed management roles. Amie has served as local advertising manager, regional ad director and senior associate publisher. She has led the advertising operations in virtually every revenue category including local, real estate, automotive, major/national and recruitment with both large community groups and a major metro daily. Additionally, Amie has been instrumental in talent acquisition and developing strategy for major structural reorganizations. She earned a Bachelor's of Journalism with a degree in advertising from the University of Missouri and is a graduate of various community and regional leadership programs. She has been active in many community organizations including serving on the boards of non-profits such as the United Way, YMCA and many others. She currently resides in Memphis, Tenn., with her husband and two daughters.

Paul Taylor Paul Taylor is the executive vice president of special projects at the Pew Research Center, where he oversees demographic, social and generational research. Paul is the author of The Next America, a new book examining generations and the country's changing demographics. From 1996 through 2003, he served as president and board chairman of the Alliance for Better Campaigns. Before that, he was a newspaper reporter for 25 years, the last 14 at The Washington Post, where he covered national politics and served as a foreign correspondent. From 1992-1995, he was the Post's bureau chief in South Africa and reported on the historic transformation from apartheid to democracy. He also covered four U.S. presidential campaigns. Paul is also the author of See How They Run (Knopf, 1990) and co-author of The Old News Versus the New News (Twentieth Century Fund, 1992). He twice served as the visiting Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, in 1989 and 1995. He graduated in 1970 with a bachelor's in American Studies from Yale University. Paul has lectured at numerous colleges and frequently discusses Pew Research studies in print and broadcast media.

Ashley Toland Trice is the editor and publisher of Mobile, Ala.’s alt-weekly, Lagniappe, which she co-founded with fellow publisher Rob Holbert in July 2002. Lagniappe has steadily grown from a 5,000 circulation biweekly “bar rag” into a 25,000 weekly newspaper over the last 12 years. Bucking national trends, the paper decided to actually increase its print frequency (Gasp!) in April 2014, not only in response to Mobile’s rapid growth but also because the city’s lone (Newhouse-owned) daily reduced its print schedule to three times a week, which, let’s just say didn’t go over too well with our citizenry, who kicked, screamed and almost demanded we fill this void for them. It’s been interesting living in a real-life journalism experiment, but the jump to weekly has been almost frighteningly successful so far. Though we can confirm, as many wise men and women have said before us, with greater print frequency comes greater “office beer” expense.

Jeff Tomlin Jeff Tomlin is Co-Founder and VP Marketing at VendAsta Technologies, a software development company providing white-label reputation and social presence management solutions serving over 250 media companies that serve local businesses. Prior to co-founding VendAsta at the beginning of 2008, Jeff was the Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Point2 Technologies where he developed strategic relationships with companies like Google, Yahoo, the New York Times, CanWest, Classified Ventures and IAC Interactive Corp. He hates to say that he’s been doing this a long time, but he has vivid memories of marketing on Altavista, Hotbot and Excite...

Wouter Vermeulen Wouter Vermeulen is Director of Platform Sales & Product Marketing for Opera Mediaworks, where he is responsible for ad network focused platform sales and product innovation, solution development across AdMarvel's portfolio of software and services. In addition, Wouter manages all Opera Mediaworks' marketing, industry relations and partnerships. AdMarvel (an Opera Mediaworks service offering), makes mobile advertising work by enabling mobile developers, publishers and carriers to easily source, provision, manage and track advertising from virtually any ad network or direct sourced advertising inventory. Prior to Opera Mediaworks, Wouter was leading all mobile content and sales strategy for Cox Media Group (CMG), responsible for building out and managing CMG's mobile content platform and scaling national and local mobile sales efforts across the various CMG subsidiaries. Wouter has his MBA from European University Brussels. He is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events in the areas of mobile advertising, content, messaging, mobile commerce, and monetization strategies.

Oliver Vidinovski Oliver Vidinovski is a strategic partner manager for Google based in New York City. He works across multiple channel verticals with key premier partners to leverage and implement Google advertising solutions across the SMB space. Prior to joining Google in May 2014, Oliver was the Head of Digital and Operations across Australia and New Zealand for Fairfax Media. In this role, Oliver spearheaded the concept of solution selling, partnering key international fulfillment companies and Google to drive SMB advertiser growth across the APAC region. Graduating from the University of Canberra (Australia) with a Bachelor of IT majoring in marketing, Oliver's background includes digital strategy development, product innovation, sales & marketing execution and delivery of large scale digital & social solutions within the media and e-commerce industries.

Andy Van De Voorde is the executive associate editor for Voice Media Group. He began with the company in 1983, working his way up as a calendar editor, music editor, staff writer and managing editor. For the past 15 years he has worked at the corporate level, recruiting and hiring writers and editors, overseeing various special projects, and racking up large bar tabs. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona.

Michael Wagner Michael Wagner is the Vice President of Euclid Media Group, a multimedia company that publishes the San Antonio Current, Orlando Weekly, Detroit Metro Times, Cleveland Scene, Do210, and Out in SA. Previously, Michael served as Regional Publisher for Time-Shamrock; Publisher of the Riverfront Times in St. Louis, and as the Director of Digital Sales at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Michael has 15+ years of media sales and management experience. As a teen, he was arrested four times and stole a record-breaking 250 hood ornaments in a single summer. Michael graduated Cum Laude from Columbia College and is proud father to his pug, Myrtle.

Jill Weigel Jill Weigel manages the classified section at the Boise Weekly publication. After 10 years of delivering papers, selling classifieds and watching page counts wax and wane her knowledge of the industry and the Boise community is legendary! She expends much of her time envisioning new ways to utilize the classifieds. Jill works at developing new strategies to keep the original mainstay of alt-weeklies, the classifieds, a viable and profitable section of the Boise Weekly.

Jason White Jason White is a strategic partner manager for Facebook based in New York City. He works with news and publishing companies on their Facebook strategies, helping them leverage the world's largest social network to achieve business objectives. Prior to joining Facebook in June 2013, White was a senior news editor at NBC News Digital, where he helped lead coverage of major domestic stories. He also led the digital rollout and social media strategies for network documentaries such as Inside the Obama White House and Inside Congress. Previously, White worked on TV/Web integration for CNN and CNN.com. He was instrumental in launching CNN.com's first blog — the 360 Blog, for Anderson Cooper and his team — and in developing a commentary product for CNN.com. White has also worked as a producer for the PBS NewsHour and a reporter for Stateline.org.

Gregg Zachary Gregg Zachary is a professor of practice at the Cronkite School. His four books include "The Diversity Advantage: Multicultural Identity in the New World Economy" (2003) and "Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century" (1997), which won the IEEE Literary Award and was described as "deeply informed" by the New York Times. From 1989 to 2002, Gregg was a senior writer for The Wall Street Journal. He was based first in San Francisco, where he covered Silicon Valley, and later in London, where he reported on globalization. From 2004 to 2006, Gregg was a senior editor at Time Inc.'s Business 2.0 magazine and from 2007 to 2008 he wrote the "Ping" column on innovation for The New York Times. He has taught journalism as a lecturer at Stanford University and at the University of California at Berkeley. He has received fellowships from the University of Michigan and the German Marshall Fund. His articles have appeared in many prominent magazines, including Foreign Policy, The New Republic, Wired, The Wilson Quarterly, Technology Review, Smart Money, Reason and Mother Jones. He has written and directed several television documentaries, including "Code Rush," about innovation in Silicon Valley, for PBS. He also is regularly interviewed on world affairs by the BBC, Voice of America, Marketplace and other radio outlets. Zachary currently writes the "Scientific Estate" column for Spectrum magazine and contributes perspectives on African politics to The Atlantic. Gregg also teaches courses on technology, policy and society as a professor of practice at ASU's Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes.

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