Senior Vice President of Communications (Americas)
For two decades Jim Olson has served as a strategic communications leader and trusted adviser for some of the world’s most innovative and respected companies.
Jim currently leads global corporate communications and public affairs for the Americas region at Starbucks – Fortune’s fifth most admired company in the world – where he is responsible for building and protecting the organization’s brand reputation.
Over the course of his career, Jim and the public relations teams he has served on have been recognized with numerous honors, including a 2013 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Silver Anvil Award for Starbucks Create Jobs for USA community engagement initiative and in 2014 he was selected to co-chair the PRSA International Conference.
Author of StoryBranding
Founder and CEO, eswStoryLab
Having worked on many famous brands, Jim Signorelli has found that In order for advertising to work, the brand being promoted must first work the way a good story works, with a unique plot and an authentic theme that resonates with prospects. The most successful brands do.
Jim is the cofounder and CEO of ESW StoryLab, a Chicago-based full-portfolio marketing firm that’s been named to the Inc. 5000 list the last three years in a row. He is also the author of StoryBranding: Creating Standout Brands through the Power of Story.
Jim’s advertising career has been spent at major national advertising agencies and his clients have included Citibank, General Electric, Toshiba, Burger King, Arby’s, KFC, International Harvester, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, McDonald’s, the American Marketing Association, and many others.
Author of Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences
Nancy Duarte is a communication expert who has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Wired, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and is a LinkedIn Contributor. As a persuasion specialist Nancy developed a unique methodology, which applies storytelling and visual thinking principles to business communications that shift audience beliefs and behaviors. Her latest book, The HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, is currently Harvard Business Review’s most purchased guidebook. Her other books include Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences, which identifies the hidden story structures inherent in great communication and spent more than 300 days on Amazon’s Top 100 Business Book bestsellers list, and Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations.
Nancy’s firm, Duarte, Inc., has created more than a quarter of a million presentations for the world’s most influential businesses, institutions, causes, and authors. Duarte, Inc. is the largest design firm in Silicon Valley, as well as the fifth largest female employer in the area.
Nancy has 20 years of experience working with global companies and thought leaders, and her firm has influenced how the world perceives some of the most important brands, including Apple, Cisco, Facebook, GE, Google, HP, TED, Twitter, and the World Bank.
TRACK SESSION SPEAKERS
Chief Marketing Officer, Braderati and author of The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand
Ekaterina Walter led strategic and marketing innovation for brands such as Intel and Accenture, and is currently a CMO of Branderati. She is an international speaker and author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller “Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg” and co-author of “The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand.” Ekaterina sits on a Board of Directors of Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). Her thought leadership was featured on CNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, Forbes, TechCrunch, CNN, WSJ, Inc., Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, and more. You can find her on Twitter: @Ekaterina. Blog: http://www.ekaterinawalter.com/
Chairman, Oregon Story Board
Research scientist and media expert, Intel Labs
Tawny Schlieski is a research scientist and media expert at Intel Labs, and the chairman of Oregon Story Board. Her work centers on new storytelling capabilities enabled by emergent technologies, including rethinking creativity and collaboration, new forms of creation and play, immersive engagement, and multi-media story platforms. Through Oregon Story Board, she is driving the creation of a new digital storytelling industry in Oregon, by catalyzing a thriving ecosystem of companies, thought leaders, and new talent.
Executive Vice President – Corporate Communications
Wells Fargo and Company
As Wells Fargo’s head of Corporate Communications, Oscar Suris is the public relations counsel to Wells Fargo management and the company’s 90+ businesses. He directs the company’s media relations and team member communications, and is responsible for communicating the vision and values, goals and achievements of Wells Fargo and its subsidiaries to team members, customers, communities, and shareholders.
Oscar joined the Company in September 2009. Prior to Wells Fargo he was the director of Corporate Communications and Development for Ford Motor Company. Prior to Ford, Oscar was director of Corporate Communications at AutoNation, Inc., and the executive assistant to the publisher and chairman of The Miami Herald Publishing Company. Oscar has 11 years of journalism experience, including five years at The Wall Street Journal.
Oscar, a native of Cuba, is the son of two retired bankers and a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He and his wife, Shana, are the parents of three children.
President and CEO
The Hoffman Agency
As CEO of his PR consultancy, the Hoffman Agency, Lou Hoffman has always enjoyed dissecting the “why” behind effective communications. Since penning a column for Technology Marketing magazine back in 2003 called “Heard a Good Story Lately?” he’s been intrigued specifically with the variables that cause different types of communications to stand out. This intrigue led him to develop a training curriculum designed to help companies embrace the art of storytelling in their communications.
He launched The Hoffman Agency in December 1987 after six years in journalism and public relations (his first job was with a daily newspaper called the El Independiente in South Tucson). Starting with a focus on the tech sector, the Agency now supports a range of consumer and B2B clients with complexity serving as the common denominator.
Transmedia Producer, I Have Robots
Adjunct Professor, Portland State University
John Hartman is a transmedia producer at I Have Robots who has been building cross platform media strategies for some of the largest companies in the world. He has a passion for developing not only next generation media solutions but evolving the capacity of story telling utilizing technology as well as human psychology to enrich the media experience. John is also an adjunct professor at Portland State University he teaches a masters course in Transmedia Marketing for the Publishing Industry, a course on Social Media and Advanced Social Media and a course in Marketing for the Craft Brewing Industry.
In 2006 John founded I Have Robots (formerly Feedia) a Transmedia production company with a desire to create innovative and engaging content. John has been teaching a concept called N.I.M.B.L.E.- navigating interactive media beyond linear experiences and seeks to apply these nimble methodologies to the strategic dissemination of stories across all modern mediums.
Vice President, Content Marketing
Sarah Skerik is the vice president of content marketing for PR Newswire, where she oversees all marketing content initiatives for the company with a focus on using a variety of content formats and platforms to acquire audience attention, build engagement and ultimately generate qualified leads, drive sales and improve customer retention. Prior roles with the company include social media, product management, channel development and sales.
Sarah also manages the Beyond PR blog, where she writes about digital PR, content marketing, social media and SEO, subjects on which she’s also a frequent and well-received speaker. She also authored the free eBook “Unlocking Social Media for PR.” A content distribution veteran, Sarah sold interactive content for Reuters and was the director of marketing for the City News Bureau of Chicago’s commercial newswire subsidiary, PR News Service, prior to joining PR Newswire.
Executive Vice President
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
Melissa Havel currently serves as Executive Vice President and co-lead of the Microsoft account. She is a member of the Microsoft Executive Leadership Team at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) and plays a key leadership role to help guide communications activities for various programs across the entire Microsoft business around the world.
Melissa’s professional experience spans consumer, enterprise and non-profit and has included both core public relations, integrated marketing communications, social and digital. In her current role, Melissa has specific responsibility for driving strategic communications activities to help communicate Microsoft’s thought leadership in the area of business computing and build awareness and excitement for upcoming products and technologies.
Melissa also spent four years at Fleishman-Hillard Inc. In this role she worked on a wide variety of consumer, business-to-business, financial, healthcare and non-profit public relations programs.
Interim Communications Division Administrator
Oregon Department of Transportation
Dave Thompson, APR has been at one end of the microphone or the other for the past 35 years, including 20 years as a TV News reporter, producer and anchor and more than 12 years as one of Oregon DOT’s chief spokespersons. In those decades Dave has conducted or given at least six thousand interviews. Dave has presented his series of classes on how to be interviewed to several hundred people, including an Oregon city government and Oregon’s state executive leadership training program for the past 8 years. Dave also teaches FEMA’s G-290 Basic PIO course.
Wayne and Holly Paige
Director and Story Producer/Scriptwriter
Wave One Group
As Director/Director of Photography/Editor for the Wave One Group, Wayne Paige is a master of being at the right place at the right time with his camera. His ability to capture unscripted human moments help give Wave One Group stories their trademark look and feel. Wayne honed his experiential filming and editing style during the mid-1980s as an award winning broadcast photojournalist, producer and editor for the ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City. His storytelling assignments have taken him to the Salmon River in Idaho as well as Honduras. Wayne received his BS in broadcasting from the University of Wyoming. He is the recipient of multiple regional Emmy nominations, three national Telly awards and was honored as Television Photojournalist of the Year by the Utah Broadcasters Association.
Holly Paige serves as Wave One Group’s story producer and scriptwriter. It’s a job that combines the collaborative skills of an orchestra conductor, the flexibility of Gumby, and the ability to see how all the pieces of a story fit together. Holly learned the craft of interviewing, script-writing, and visual storytelling nearly three decades ago as a broadcast journalist, working for the NBC affiliate in Mobile, Alabama, the ABC affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky, and the CBS and ABC affiliates in Salt Lake City. As a reporter, she wrote and produced breaking news stories, and short and long-form documentaries. Her stories have appeared on CBS and CNN, as well as on news stations around the country. Holly graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in journalism. She is the recipient of a regional Emmy nomination and two national Telly awards.