Board of Advisors
IMA is led by a board of directors consisting of some of internet marketing’s foremost leaders. The executive council is responsible for IMA’s development, day-to-day operations, and overall vision. With their unbridled creativity and dedication, the executive council has been paramount in leading IMA to its current success and world recognition.
MICHAEL ABURASDirector of Digital Marketing, Icon Parking
Erin AndersonPresident & CEO, A Gary Anderson Family Foundation
SANDRA ANDREWSSVP COO, Providence Health System
Larry ArmstrongChairman, Ware Malcomb
Doug CarilloCMO, Virgin Hotels
Victor ChoBoard Member, Evite
Shawn CollinsShareholder, Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth P.C.
Alyssa CreightonVice President & Operations Manager, PIMCO
Garret DallasVP Network Operations, Cooler Screens
Don DiCostanzoCo-Founder & CEO of Pedego Electric Bikes
Erick DickensCo-Founder & CEO, Kadenwood
Adam DotiVP / Principal Architect, Design, Salesforce
Shawn DoughertyCEO | Founder at Volonic, Partner - COO at Society Brands
BILL ELDIENCEO, Ketel One Vodka
Andy FathollahiCo-Founder, SYSTM Brands | CEO, Ozo Edu | Founder & CEO, The Kanvas Company
David FernandezPresident, Engense | Founder, DFNDR Armor
Doug FrederickFounder & CEO, Healthcues
Brent FreemanFounder & President, Stealth Venture Labs
Neel GroverCEO, Indi.com
Trever GregoryCMO, iTrustCapital
Chris HamawayExecutive Vice President, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Montage Hotels & Resorts
Matt HaydenFounder & Owner, Sea Purity Investments
ROLAND HESSLead for TI/GCP SRE BizOps and Infrastructure SRE Intelligence, Google
Robert HutterFounder & Managing Partner at Learn Capital
Waco HooverCEO, VET TV
SINAN KANATSIZChairman & Founder, IMA | CEO, KCOMM
Craig KleinmanVice President and Interim General Counsel, Purple
JOSHUA KREITZERFounder & CEO, Channel Bakers
Dr. Jon MarashiFounder, Byte
David LatonaCEO & President, Tompkins Solutions
Erin LevzowCMO, Museum of Ice Cream
Claudio LudovisiAssistant Dean -Marketing, Enrollment, and Strategy Pepperdine Graziadio Business School
Maxine MarcusFounder & CEO of The Ambassadors Company - Teen Insights and Consulting
David McKillipsCEO, Chuck E. Cheese / CEC Entertainment Inc
J. Barry McMullinVice President, National Sales for LEARFIELD
Joe MegibowCEO, Bright Cellars
Chris NortonSVP Marketing Channels & Optimization, Marriott International
Christi OlsonHead of Paid Search (SEM), Global Media, Microsoft
Vitaly PecharskyCo-founder, Head of IT Operations, Slickdeals
TOM PECKExecutive VP and Chief Information and Digital Officer, Sysco
Evan PohaskiFounder & Chief Executive Officer, JLE Industries
Jeffrey PrestonDirector, Product, Realtor.com
Matt PrinceSr. Manager, Public Relations & Brand Experience, Taco Bell (A Yum Brands Company)
David ReadPrincipal & Co-Foudner, CPR Interactive
Blake ResnickCEO & Founder, BRINC Drones
Adam RosemanCo-Founder & CEO, Steady
Hall Delano RooseveltPresident and CEO, Roosevelt Global Partners
Paul SmithCMO, Tangram Interiors
Jay SymondsSenior Manager, Amazon
Brian TollCo-Founder & Co-President, The h.wood Group
Robert TowlesCEO, INK Games
Lindsey UeberrothCEO, Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Fred VallaeysCo-Founder & CEO , Optmyzr
Jeff VolpePresident, ViewSonic Corporation
Jeanniey WaldenFounder and CMO, LiftOff Enterprises
Vincent Walden, CFE, CPACEO, Kona AI
Andrea WardCMO, VidMob
Emily WashcovickSenior Field Marketing Manager & Small Business Expert, Yelp Inc.
Gary Williams Jr.Area Franchise Developer, The UPS Store Inc.
Joseph ZakiCEO & Founder of Loko AI
Director of Digital Marketing, Icon Parking
Las Vegas, NV
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
Michael Aburas has been executing performance marketing campaigns for MGM Resorts International that drive increased direct sales and contribute to exceeding business goals since 2010. As the Integrated Media Director for MGM Resorts International, Michael leads the media investment strategy, planning, buying and campaign execution for SEM, international advertising and the M life Loyalty program.
Additionally, Michael has been the project manager overseeing the implementation, onboarding, training and strategy for the Adobe media tech stack for the MGM Resorts enterprise, enabling deeper audience segmentation and more efficient acquisition and communication across paid media. Michael joined MGM Resorts in 2004. Prior to joining the media team, he held multiple roles in marketing, HR, finance, sales and development.
Michael has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.
President & CEO, A Gary Anderson Family Foundation
For nearly twenty years, Ms. Anderson has worked devotedly to make positive transformational changes to her alma mater, Chapman University, and to healthcare, the arts, social services and higher education throughout Orange and Riverside Counties.
Ms. Anderson became the CEO of the Irvine-based A. Gary Anderson Family Foundation after her father, a self-made mortgage banking and real estate business leader for whom the foundation was named, died in 1992. Under Ms. Anderson’s leadership, the Anderson Foundation has earned its reputation as one of the most generous organization in Southern California.
A soccer player while an undergraduate, Ms. Anderson transformed athletics at Chapman University through the Anderson Foundation’s $6 million gift to construct an entirely new athletics facility. In the early 1990’s, Chapman’s President Jim Doti made the decision to change the university’s athletics programs from Division II to Division III status, in order to make a push to improve the school’s academics.
Ms. Anderson’s leadership gift allowed Chapman to break ground on its multi-purpose facility, which was opened in August 2008 as the Erin J. Lastinger Athletics Complex. The facility earned a Facility of Merit award from Athletic Business magazine, and paved the way for Chapman’s entry into the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
Ms. Anderson also provided the lead gift for the next phase in Chapman’s strategic plan for athletics — the Erin J. Lastinger ’88 Tennis Center – strengthening Chapman’s tennis program so the Panthers have the opportunity and confidence to play their very best.
Ms. Anderson also improves student life at Chapman through her foundation’s steadfast support of Chapman’s annual American Celebration and the Argyros School’s A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research. Outside of Chapman, Ms. Anderson and the A. Gary Anderson Family Foundation has had an enduring impact throughout Southern California, including the support of organizations benefitting children and families, education, hospitals and the environment.
SVP COO, Providence Health System
Sandra is a customer focused, results-oriented, collaborative leader with entrepreneurial spirit. Nearly 20 years in the technology industry, Sandra has experience in business development, product management, customer experience, sales, visual merchandising and marketing. She is known for her ability to get stuff done, driving programs, products and opportunities from vision to launch to execution. Her strong track record is coupled with an uncanny ability to create win-win relationships building trust and developing partnerships that benefit all including the customer. Sandra is currently with Microsoft, focused on the end-to-end customer experience across Microsoft Direct, launching new products and innovation across Microsoft Retail and Online Stores as well as call centers.
Chairman, Ware Malcomb
Orange County, CA
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
Mr. Armstrong is Chairman of Ware Malcomb. Established in 1972, Ware Malcomb is an international design firm providing planning, architecture, interior design, branding, civil engineering and building measurement services to commercial real estate and corporate clients. With office locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Panama, the firm specializes in the design of commercial office, corporate, industrial, science & technology, healthcare, retail, auto, public/educational facilities and renovation projects. Ware Malcomb is recognized as an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private company and a Hot Firm and Best Firm to Work For by Zweig Group. The firm is also ranked among the top 15 architecture/engineering firms in Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Design Firms and the top 25 interior design firms in Interior Design magazine’s Top 100 Giants.
Mr. Armstrong is both an accomplished architect and strong business leader. He is well known for his strategic, visionary approach to the company’s management and growth, as well as his commitment to fiscal discipline to ensure the overall health of the firm. His strong design ability and focus on creativity and innovation greatly influence all aspects of the organization. His philosophy of embracing change and rewarding achievement and innovation has resulted in a highly successful, dynamic firm. In 2008, Mr. Armstrong was selected as an award winner for the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Orange County/Desert Cities Region and was also a national finalist. In 2018 and 2019 he was selected to the prestigious OC 500, a list of the most influential leaders in the community by the Orange County Business Journal. Mr. Armstrong was also nominated as an Innovator of the Year in the Orange County Business Journal’s program recognizing OC innovators creating game-changing ideas and business models.
Mr. Armstrong joined Ware Malcomb in 1984 and shortly thereafter was responsible for running the firm’s Los Angeles office. In 1988, Mr. Armstrong was promoted to Principal of the firm, and then became CEO in 1992. In 2020, Mr. Armstrong transitioned to the role of Chairman of Ware Malcomb. In addition to expanding Ware Malcomb from a Southern California firm to a national and international firm with 25 offices in key markets across North America, Lawrence’s tenure as CEO is hallmarked by an unprecedented 40x revenue growth.
Mr. Armstrong is a licensed architect in over 45 U.S. states, as well as in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. He received his Bachelor of Architecture Degree (1980) and Bachelor of Science in Architecture (1979) from Kent State University, where he also spent a semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Mr. Armstrong is a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and is a LEED Accredited Professional.
Mr. Armstrong is a guest lecturer for USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, Chapman University Argyros School of Business, and UCI’s The Paul Merage School of Business. In 2013, Mr. Armstrong was the keynote speaker at Kent State University’s Spring Commencement for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. He has been published in a variety of media including OC Metro, OC Register, Orange County Business Journal, Real Estate Business Online, Coast Magazine, Modern Luxury and SIOR’s Professional Report, to name a few.
Mr. Armstrong is also an accomplished artist, including work in a variety of mediums such as paintings, furniture design and sculpture. To view his portfolio, please visit www.LRAart.com.
Mr. Armstrong’s current professional and charity affiliations include the following: Chair, Leadership Council, United to End Homelessness; Board of Directors, Orange County United Way; Co-Chair, Kent State University Comprehensive Campaign; Past Chair, Kent State University Foundation; Member, CEO Leadership Alliance-OC Executive Committee; Advisory Board Member, Chapman University Real Estate Program at the Argyros School of Business and Economics; Member, Ernst & Young EOY Alumni Advisory Council; NAIOP (National Association of Industrial & Office Properties) CEO Leadership Forum Member and National Forum Member (Trends in Real Estate Development II Forum); and International Executive Council for the Internet Marketing Association (IMA).
His previous professional and charity affiliations include: Guest Lecturer, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, Graduate Real Estate Program 2008-2010; Past Member, Vistage; Advisory Board, Hall & Foreman; Past President, Vice President, Secretary, Board Member, CSP, 1999-2008; Advisory Board, Buzzsaw.com; The United Way Real Estate Steering Committee 1999-2006; Vice President, Board of Directors, Ballet Pacifica; Advisory Board Member, UCI Center for Real Estate; Chancellors Club at UCI; CHOC Corporate Partners; 2015 NAIOP YPG Case Competition Judge; SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors) Member; Advisory Board Member, Spaceez; Member, Visiting Committee, Hoag Center for Real Estate & Finance in the Argyros School of Business at Chapman University and Founding Member, United Way’s Real Estate Community Builders.
CMO, Virgin Hotels
As CMO, Doug leads the brand marketing, sales, and revenue management for Virgin Hotels. Doug has more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry. His background includes senior executive level Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Management positions with Morgan’s Hotels Group, Desires Hotels, and Carnival Hotels and Casino.
At Morgan Hotels Group, he was directly responsible for overseeing the sales, marketing, and revenue management disciplines for Delano, Shore Club, and Mondrian South Beach. Before joining Morgan’s Hotel Group, Doug was Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and a partner at Desires Hotels. Throughout his tenure, he developed a robust sales and marketing platform and solutions for e-commerce and revenue management that led to significant REVPAR premiums across the portfolio. In 2002, he co-developed Desires Hotels and helped grow the portfolio from 4 to 35 modern boutique hotels. In 2009 he received the prestigious “Adrian Award” from HSMAI for website design and was honored as one of the “Top Twenty-Five Sales & Marketing Minds.”
Doug graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management from Florida International University.
Board Member, Evite
San Francisco, CA
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
Victor Cho has 24 years of experience in software and Internet technology with extensive expertise in defining, developing, scaling, marketing and managing profitable Internet and software products and businesses. Victor is currently the CEO at Evite, the leading digital invitation and social event planning service with over 32 million registered users. He is also a key board member at Modo Payments, a mobile payments hub that connects any payment system with any other payment system through a proprietary digital COIN.
Shareholder, Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth P.C.
Shawn is a shareholder in Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth’s Enforcement Defense & Investigations and Compliance & Corporate Governance practice group. He provides proactive compliance counseling to e-commerce companies, emerging technology companies, life science companies, retailers, and other consumer-facing companies so they can stay ahead of the curve with respect to consumer complaints and government regulation.
In addition, Shawn routinely assists clients with responding to consumer complaints regarding product labeling, product performance, and general complaints about service, amongst others. When lawsuits are filed or when enforcement actions or inquiries arise, clients rely on his experience representing companies in single-plaintiff and class-action lawsuits, as well as enforcement actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission, single or multistate regulatory enforcement actions by state Attorneys General, and enforcement actions brought by local District Attorneys.
Prior to entering private practice, Shawn served in the U.S. Navy for seven years where he served with the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific and in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During his deployment to Afghanistan, Shawn partnered with the U.S. State Department and NATO to mentor Afghan prosecutors and develop Afghanistan’s criminal justice infrastructure.
Vice President & Operations Manager, PIMCO
Ms. Creighton is a vice president and operations manager at PIMCO. She is responsible for implementation and maintenance of the firmwide liquidity program, which includes the liquidity risk management program utilized by U.S. mutual funds, oversight of vendor data, governance, and the exception processes. Previously, she oversaw fund compliance with a specialized focus on mutual fund regulatory requirements. Prior to joining PIMCO in 1999, she was with Schwan’s Sales Enterprises, coordinating bids and special projects. She has 21 years of investment and financial services experience and holds an MBA from Chapman University and an undergraduate degree from California State University, Fullerton.
VP Network Operations, Cooler Screens
Garrett is Vice President of Service Network Operations at Cooler Screens, the world’s first and largest in-store digital media merchandising platform. Coolers Screens has a national footprint in the largest drug, food and mass stores.
Over the last 15 years, Garrett has developed extensive experience in retail and technology working at Yum! Brands, Redbox and Coinstar. At Redbox, he focused on growing new ventures and co-founded an automated retail business in the gift card space that generated over $90 million in revenue over four years before being acquired by a global leader of commerce solutions.
Coinstar and Redbox were acquired by Apollo Global Management and Garrett became Director of Business Technology Platforms at Coinstar. He managed the delivery of core Coinstar products: Coin to Cash, Coin to Card, Coin to Deposit, Amazon Cash, and Bitcoin ATM. He also managed expansion beyond the US, UK and Canada to four countries in Western Europe and Japan.
Co-Founder & CEO of Pedego Electric Bikes
After 30 years in the automotive world, Don started an electric bicycle shop in Newport Beach, California. This was a labor of love. Over time, he developed an interest in electric cycling and tried to find quality electric bikes for his bicycle shop. His frustration with existing suppliers led him to contact his friend and future Pedego partner Terry Sherry and make plans for Pedego. In 2008, the two men co-founded Pedego Electric Bikes, where quality, innovation and customer service are among the top core values of the company.
“Pedego fuses the best in bicycle components with evolving electric technologies to create best in class electric bikes,” he explains. “As we look at how trends are evolving, styles and colors are playing an increasingly important role in the electric bike category. We are establishing Pedego as the best brand of electric bikes throughout the world by combining quality, service and style into awesome electric bicycles.”
Pedego is transforming the bicycle industry with bold marketing, best in class technology, smart leadership and innovative products. Their commitment to delighting customers is executed by the best dealers in the U.S. and Canada and evidenced by our market leadership. Pedegos are now available in over 40 countries on 6 continents and has earned the reputation of designing, manufacturing and marketing electric bicycles that consumers want to buy.
Co-Founder & CEO, Kadenwood
Erick is the co-founder and CEO of Kadenwood, parent company of the CBD industry’s largest vertically-integrated leading brands. He started his career in consumer goods after serving over eight years as an Army pilot and commander. He has over 20 years of experience leading teams and driving growth for category-leading brands in fast-growing startups and global Fortune 500 companies. Erick was recently selected to the inaugural Forbes CMO Next list of 50 top marketers redefining the role of the CMO for his work driving brand and business growth at King’s Hawaiian.
Erick has managed household brands such as Post Cereals, Renuzit, Soft Scrub, and Right Guard at Kraft Foods and Henkel. Erick led LifeLock’s branding and product development effort resulting in a doubling of sales over three years and a successful IPO. At King’s Hawaiian, Erick built the marketing function and strategy from scratch–doubling the 68-year-old bread company’s revenue during his five years. In addition to traditional marketing mediums such as TV, print, radio, and digital, Erick successfully leveraged both branded entertainment and sponsorship to drive category-leading, new product launches.
VP / Principal Architect, Design, Salesforce
San Francisco, CA
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
As Design Architect and Senior Director of Product Design at Salesforce, Adam is responsible for tackling cross-cloud product challenges by applying research methods, experience strategy, and design tactics. He is well-traveled with 20+ year experience designing for enterprise applications, government solutions, and consumer experiences.
Since joining Salesforce in 2011, Adam has led a variety of cross-organizational design efforts during the company’s rapid growth – from leading the redesign of Salesforce’s application marketplace, AppExchange to a founding contributor of the Salesforce Lightning Design System to leading product design efforts across Salesforce’s product lines which include Lightning and product acquisitions.
Most recently Adam founded and leads a cross-functional program to envision Salesforce’s product onboarding and learning experiences that leverage Trailhead.com and the Salesforce platform. Establishing one of the first Enterprise User Engagement Platforms.
Prior to joining the Salesforce team, Adam was a User Experience Specialist for the U.S. Department of Defense, a UX Practice Manager at portal/cms company OpenText Corp./Vignette, a Staff Artist at M5 Industries and a freelance web designer specializing in Marketing and PR.
Adam graduated with degrees in Fine Art/Psychology and 3D Modeling & Animation. An avid adventurer who loves exploring the wild, Adam has climbed some of the world’s most famous mountains from Kilimanjaro to Denali. He lives in Petaluma, California with his wife Brenda and two sons Parker and Griffin.
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Expeditions and Mountaineering
16 years experience in successfully leading teams by foot, bike and boat in nonstop, 24 , multi-day events across international expanses ranging from 50 to 400 miles in length while ensuring their safety, nutrition and morale.
Successful summits of 5 the worlds “Seven Summits”; Mt. Kilimanjaro 19,340′ – Tanzania, Africa; Mt. Aconcagua 22,831′ – Argentina; Mt. Elbrus 18,506′ – Russia, Carstensz Pyramid 16,024′ – Papua, and Mt. McKinley (Denali) 20,335 ‘ – Alaska, USA.
CEO | Founder at Volonic, Partner - COO at Society Brands
In today’s fast moving world, the ability to identify a problem, formulate a solution and bring a product to market with explosive growth is what trailblazers are made of. Shawn Dougherty is a trailblazer. With her innovative talent and creativity she co-founded mophie, the #1 selling battery case manufacturer for mobile devices in North America. With Shawn as COO and co-founder, mophie created the first juice pack battery case for the first generation iPhone in North America and built an exclusive partnership with Apple.
Shawn created a solid business structure at mophie, allowing the company to thrive and withstand rapid growth, both in the U.S. and internationally. She is a master negotiator and raised millions of dollars in multiple rounds of capital and debt facilities. Under her guidance and strategic vision, the company grew from 3 employees in a barn in Michigan to a multi-million dollar business with 300+ employees in 5 facilities in California, Michigan, China, Hong Kong and Amsterdam.
A Kalamazoo, Michigan native, Shawn values determination and is respected for her relentless work ethic and open door policy. Always remaining focused, Shawn never shies away from a problem, rather she sees problems as opportunities for growth and elevating a brand.
As a leader, she has established longstanding relationships with national and global retail partnerships and collaborations with top industry icons including Apple, Amazon, Verizon, AT&T, Best Buy, Product Red, Valentino, and Supreme.
Shawn is passionate about developing products. Prior to mophie, she led products development for several notable tech-based companies, including Directed Electronics where she led the outsourcing of the entire audio line to Asia, Orion, ADST and Stryker.
Shawn resides in Newport Beach, California with her wife, and three fury friends.
CEO, Ketel One Vodka
Orange County, CA
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
William Eldien, with more than 40 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, became President of Nolet Spirits U.S.A. in 1996 and acquired the additional appointment of Chief Executive Officer in 2006. As President and CEO, Eldien is responsible for setting the company’s vision and realizing its growth. Working closely with the Nolet family, Eldien continues to lead Nolet Spirits U.S.A. in building Ketel One and NOLET’S Finest Gins. He is also the leader in maintaining close relationships with distributors and on- and off- premise operators, cultivating ideas and launching new best-in-class spirits that consumers are proud to enjoy.
Prior to joining Nolet Spirits U.S.A., Eldien served as senior executive vice president for Young’s Market Company from 1986 to 1995 where he supervised all sales and marketing operations in California and Hawaii. From 1977 to 1986, Eldien held a series of increasing supervisory positions at United Vintners / Heublein, beginning as wine manager for the state of Texas. In 1979 he became regional manager of 12 western states and in 1985 was promoted to western vice president. The company appointed him national sales manager for Heublein Wines in 1986.
“The wine and spirits industry is something I’ve been a part of most of my career,” said Eldien. “Working for a family-owned company with a rich heritage dating back 325 years is a unique experience – the Nolet family’s commitment to create best-in-class spirits is shared by each member of the Nolet Spirits U.S.A. team.”
Eldien received a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education in 1971 from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and attended the University of Southern California’s Special Business Graduate program. He served as the Chair of Mission Hospital’s Board of Trustees in Mission Viejo, California, and currently serves on the “Drug Use Is Life Abuse” board, a support group of the Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Council, and as a civilian responder for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Co-Founder, SYSTM Brands | CEO, Ozo Edu | Founder & CEO, The Kanvas Company
As Founder and CEO of The Kanvas Company, Fathollahi bringing over 20 years of executive leadership experience to the cannabis industry, as the Founder and former CEO of global consumer technology solutions platform, Incipio Group. Founded in his Orange County garage in 1999 with just $500, He grew Incipio from a single product line to a diverse portfolio of owned brands and global licenses with over $450 million in annual revenue, 500 employees in eight countries and products in over 60,000 retail locations worldwide. As a forward-thinking leader, his commitment to innovation has resulted in nearly 200 patents and one of the most diverse and innovative product lines in the mobile phone industry.
During his leadership at Incipio, he successfully completed five high-profile acquisitions, including Griffin Technology®, Incase Design Corp.®, Braven Audio® and lifestyle brand TAVIK®, as well as 17 strategic licensing agreements with internationally renowned brands Coach®, TUMI®, Under Armour®, kate spade new york®, Rebecca Minkoff® and Diesel®. Fathollahi’s business acumen was recognized by American Express with a feature on American Express’ Open Forum, “Inside Successful Small Businesses,” and by Bloomberg Businessweek with a segment on BloombergTV. The Orange County Business Journal honored him with an Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award after being selected from a pool of 160 nominees.
His previous accolades also include Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Orange County Fastest Growing Company, OC’s Hot 25 and CTA Board of Industry Leaders. Fathollahi serves as the Chairman of the Board for Incipio Group and as a member of the EvoNexus Committee, where he is joined by a large group of tech industry executives and entrepreneurs that are dedicated to helping startups in Orange County.
President, Engense | Founder, DFNDR Armor
DFNDR Armor develops and manufactures one of a kind lightweight body armor for military and law enforcement. With two generations of family trade secrets, meticulous engineering and proprietary processing technology, we have innovated the lightest weight hard armor systems with the least trauma to the body in the industry, fully manufactured in America and sold throughout the world.
David Fernandez, President and CEO of DFNDR Armor, is an entrepreneur with 20 years experience in composite materials engineering and manufacturing of armor products for the defense industry. From 2006 to 2012, David was the Vice President and Director of R&D at Armacel Armor, a family business founded in 1997 by his parents, which produced high performance rifle protection products for the US Department of Defense (DoD). David was instrumental in doubling company revenue every year from 2006 to 2010 and after securing multi-year production contracts with the US government, David negotiated the sale of Armacel in 2010. David has served as a government appointed industry representative to the National Research Council for the Body Armor Testing and Evaluation Committee where he briefed scientist members of the Study Committee as well as senior government officials at the Pentagon and other various military bases. David also lobbied for better protective equipment for soldiers including briefing the House Armed Services Committee and other House Members of the benefits of lighter weight armor systems. David structured and produced award-winning proposals resulting in multiple year DoD production contracts and government R&D awards. In support of those contracts, David co-developed a unique cost effective body armor torso plate, meeting all stringent quality and performance specifications, which led to millions of dollars in cost savings for the US Army. During his time overseeing production, he served as a professional witness for body armor testing and evaluation, with a 100% success record in Lot Acceptance Testing. In 2013, David founded Engense Inc. dba DFNDR Armor to address further needs for lightweight military and law enforcement armor. David self-funded the company. After 3 years of internal R&D, he presented new technological improvements to the US DoD. This led to two 3 year Government funded research and development contracts from the Army and Special Operations Forces with a total of $4.5M funded. Both programs were very successful and as a result of meeting the lightest weight specifications with Army, David’s company was awarded a $150 million IDIQ contract with the US Army to produce the ESBI Vital Torso Protection Armor. David’s company has been in production on this contract since 2021 and is expecting revenues to triple in 2022. Since 2004, David’s other business passion has been sourcing, renovating and owning commercial buildings throughout Los Angeles County. David has served as a board member of the Ventura County Medical Resource Foundation and contributes to institutions and charities including Pepperdine University, Boys & Girls Club, Blue Heron Foundation, Saving Innocence Foundation and CASA for Children. David earned a degree in Business Management from Pepperdine University in 2007. David is an avid golf player and an instrument-rated pilot. David is fluent in Polish and English and has basic knowledge of Spanish. David resides in Thousand Oaks, California with his wife and daughter.
Founder & CEO, Healthcues
Doug Frederick has had a diverse and seasoned career as a founder, sales executive, investor and advisor to many organizations. Currently, he is an executive advisor to HealthCues, a health and disease prevention company. Recognizing most individuals with the greatest health needs have the least amount of access to disease prevention programs, Doug set out to deliver solutions to employers to help solve this problem. He started HealthCues and amassed a talented team of individuals to create a fully funded insurance indemnity product designed to be affordable, personalized, and effective in engaging employees to take health and disease prevention actions. He is currently also an angel investor and advisor in several other ventures.
Prior to entering the preventative healthcare market, Doug created Blue Ocean Capital Management, LLC. Blue Ocean specializes in purchasing notes and first mortgages on distressed residential and commercial properties across the United States. He started this company in 2012 and is currently the CFO of the company.
From 1997 to 2012, Doug participated in the US Equity markets in many facets. They ranged from trading for himself, to managing traders and hedge fund desks, to running offshore brokerages.
Founder & President, Stealth Venture Labs
Brent Freeman is a serial entrepreneur who’s passionate about using business to generate both profit and social impact. While finishing his undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California, Brent started a commodities import / export firm with offices in Dubai and Los Angeles where the sole premise was to make as much money as fast as possible to pay back $250k in student loan debt. He naively thought that chasing the money would bring him the happiness he was seeking — so he chased this dream vigorously. At the aged of 23, he closed a $10M deal and on paper was a millionaire — but the day after closing this large deal, in his heart he felt more empty than he had ever felt before. He realized that day that his entrepreneurial spirit was not rooted in making money for its own sake, but rather in using business to make a positive impact in the world. When the Global Financial Crisis hit, the millions disappeared overnight and Brent had the opportunity to “fail forward”, shut down his first business and dedicate himself to a passion that has lit him up ever since: using for-profit businesses to create real social impact in the world.
In 2009, Brent founded tech startup Roozt.com (pronounced “roo-st”) with a vision of connecting the millennial shopper with socially conscious brands online. Roozt researched each brand’s socially conscious business practices and then marketed the brands to online shoppers. Mashable labeled Roozt the “Etsy for Social Entrepreneurs” and as one of the pioneering advertisers on Facebook, Roozt grew into an industry leading, seven figure revenue platform with a community of over 250k people. For every member who joined, Roozt donated a meal to an Americans in need. One member, one meal. Roozt were recognized by Forbes as a “2011 Name You Need To Know” and was featured on The Today Show, INC.com, Mashable, Huffington Post, PandoDaily, NBC, and ABC. In 2012, at the age of 27, Brent was featured by the Los Angeles Business Journal as a “Top 20 in Their 20s” for the Greater Los Angeles area. Brent has been a public speaker all over the country on topics like social impact, entrepreneurship and startup life, including a TEDx on social enterprise, and has been a writer at both Entrepreneur and INC on similar topics. Roozt was acquired by National Geographic partnered Novica.com in 2014. After Roozt, Brent joined the venture capital firm Crosscut Ventures as Entrepreneur in Residence and Venture Partner where he helped vet & source consumer internet deals while advising their portfolio companies on digital marketing.
In late 2014, Brent founded Stealth Venture Labs with the vision of creating a turnkey, world class digital marketing agency that could help incubate and accelerate ecommerce brands in a faster and more cost effective manner than they ever could do themselves. One of their more notable projects was YogaClub, a women’s athleisure-wear subscription box that donated a yoga class to children in need with every box sold. This concept was conceived and incubated at Stealth Venture Labs and then spun out into it’s own entity and management team and has since raised over $2M in funding. During his tenure with YogaClub, they were able to provide over 150,000 yoga and meditation classes to children in need. These days Stealth Venture Labs continues to execute in the weeds alongside founders, executives and their teams to help scale brands online and currently manages over $1MM+ per month in media spend across multiple platforms, channels and verticals. Since inception, Stealth has generated over $300MM in recurring revenue for its brand partners, including brands like Factor75, Home Chef, Evite, PooPourri, FabKids, Rhone and many more.
Stealth Venture Labs is a remote-first organization by design, eliminating over 300 hours of commute time per team member each year while letting them reinvest those hours back into themselves and their families by working from home. Stealth attracts some of the best and most experienced digital marketing talent from organizations like Facebook, Uber, Thrive Market, and TechStyle (JustFab + Fabletics) and pays for 100% of health, vision and dental insurance for all team members and their families. With a progressive profit and equity sharing program, Brent has set up Stealth so that everyone shares in the dynamic upside of the company.
In 2018, Brent and his team launched the Stealth Venture Labs 501(c)3 Microfinance Fund that provides $1,000 – $10,000 startup loans to traditionally “unlendable” inner-city teenage entrepreneurs in the US from disadvantaged backgrounds. Based on the Grameen Bank’s “accountability, mutual trust, creativity and participation” underwriting model, these micro loans are aimed at helping low-income teenagers break the cycle of poverty using entrepreneurship as their vehicle. Additionally, Brent is the Chairman of the Board of the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (501(c)3) in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an active member of Entrepreneur Organization (EO) San Francisco, the Summit Series Fellows Program, and is an Advisor to social enterprise startups Pledgeling.com and GVNG.org. Every year, Brent mentors a handful entrepreneurs in a one-on-one capacity to help them break through barriers and achieve the life they imagined. Brent lives in San Francisco, travels the world often and due to his love for everything Italian, will fly to Italy any chance he can get.
Los Angeles, CA
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
Seasoned ecommerce leader who has led great teams and sold $5 Billion online running the 3rd largest Marketplace in the U.S. with over 20 Million products from 7,000 retailers as well as a top fashion Marketplace with over 1,000 brands integrated. During my tenure, Buy.com went from losing almost $100 Million per year to 13 consecutive profitable quarters competing with Amazon on every product.
Indi is a SaaS video platform that helps brands engage their customers directly in their digital properties rather than in social media as social media platforms are seizing control of customer engagement and data. Customers are incentivized to create:
(i) video reviews to be displayed on the brand’s website and apps;
(ii) commissionable shoppable video reviews to be posted by the customer in their own social media to drive online sales for the brand and commissions or store credits for themselves; and
(iii) video submissions for contests to drive brand awareness across all social media.
Because the engagement is initiated directly on their website or in their app (as compared to in social media), brands own all the content, receive email addresses, remarketing rights and robust social media and sales data associated with all content submissions. Amazon just launched similar offerings to (i) and (ii) above for Amazon and Indi is providing it to all other retailers.
Trever is an experienced marketing and operations executive with a background in efficiently scaling national brands. From launching new ventures to rebranding multi-billion-dollar businesses, Trever enjoys identifying, strategizing, and tackling complex challenges. His well-rounded business background and marketing experience spans across all marketing channels. As Chief Marketing Officer, Trever leads marketing & growth efforts for iTrustCapital. With over $3.5B in transactions, iTrustCapital is the leading digital asset investment platform that allows clients to buy and sell Cryptocurrencies, 24/7, through their retirement accounts. Prior to iTrustCapital, Trever led marketing at Indi, a pioneer in digital monetization and social commerce. He also led the marketing team for Rakuten in North America and was a key leader in successfully rebranding from Ebates to Rakuten in 2019 – taking Rakuten from 8% to 65% awareness & generating 10M+ new members within only 9 months. Trever has also successfully founded and managed multiple other businesses. Trever is co-founder of Advanced Rockets Corporation (ARC), a company bringing technologically innovative solutions to the hypersonic, aerospace, space, and defense industries. He previously owned and operated Pure Barre fitness studios, co-founded a successful digital media agency, co-founded and serves as Treasurer for a non-profit (NBJG Foundation), and has invested in and advised multiple startups. Trever also worked on scaling many tech companies via television and digital marketing campaigns while at Ocean Media. Early in his career Trever was a lifeguard & EMT for the Newport Beach Fire Department and served in the United States Marine Corps. He believes his experience in these elevated stress, dynamic, high-stakes, & team-oriented positions were essential to cultivating his professional demeanor.
Executive Vice President, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Montage Hotels & Resorts
Christopher Hamaway is the EVP, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer for Montage International. In this role, Mr. Hamaway is responsible for developing and leading the overall Sales & Marketing strategy for Montage branded hotels. Additionally, he has oversight responsibilities for hotel sales, digital marketing and revenue management for all company brands, including Pendry Hotels.
Mr. Hamaway joined Montage in 2010 after serving as the senior corporate director of global sales for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company where he led the team responsible for generating revenue and providing strategic sales direction for over 70 properties around the world, as well as being a founding faculty member of the Ritz-Carlton’s Leadership Institute. Before joining Ritz-Carlton, he was part of the opening team at Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas and served as general manager of one of the largest travel companies in the U.S.
Mr. Hamaway is on the Board of Directors, Internet Marketing Association.
Mr. Hamaway holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing & Finance from Florida State University.
Founder & Owner, Sea Purity Investments
Matthew Hayden (Matt) is an active investor through his family office “Sea Purity Investments” which employs a multi-strategy approach and finances numerous public and private companies each year.
Matt’s started his career as a licensed broker and in 1996 transitioned by founding Hayden Communications, an investor relations firm focused exclusively on servicing small-cap companies. That firm was sold in 2006 and is operating today under www.haydenir.com. Following this, he and Ted Haberfield built what would become the North American division of MZ GROUP, a subsidiary of the largest global independent Investor Relations Firm. Ted serves as President and manages a team of dedicated professionals which leverage extensive public market experience to deliver timely exposure and unparalleled advice. Today, MZ represents approximately 30 public and private companies covering multiple industries.
During his 20+ years in industry, Matt focused on developing and executing comprehensive IR plans for over 200 public and private companies, which successfully raised over $10 billion in the equity/debt markets. His skill set is centered around key corporate messaging, shareholder communications, investor introductions/meetings and complicated problem-solving.
He earned “a summa cum laude designation” from the University of South Carolina where he enjoyed and embraced southern hospitality, but never forgets his childhood roots and ability to catch and pick Blue Crabs in Annapolis, Maryland. Matt views every day as an opportunity to learn something new and constantly improve his investment acumen. He is a connector, opportunist and problem solver. His immediate family includes wife Julie, daughter Gianna, and son Christian and extended family includes parents and four sisters who blessed him with nine nieces and nephews. The Hayden’s enjoy traveling, the beach, surfing, snowboarding and just about anything outdoors. The family contributes a portion of their income several non-profit and charitable organizations while picking one each year to get deeply involved with.
Lead for TI/GCP SRE BizOps and Infrastructure SRE Intelligence, Google
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
Founder & Managing Partner at Learn Capital
Rob Hutter is the Founder & Managing Partner at Learn Capital. He oversees the investing practice of the firm, which spans seed, early stage and emerging growth companies dedicated to the transformation of learning and the improvement of individual and societal capacities at scale. He currently serves on the board or as board observer for a number of Learn Capital companies including Coursera, Photomath, Smashcut, Brilliant, Andela, and several other breakthrough firms. He is also Chairman of the VIPKID Education Research Institute. In addition to his work with edtech companies, he is a participant in two academic neuroscience organizations.
Previously, Rob was a Partner at Revolution Ventures, an early stage venture investment firm and affiliate of Founders Fund. He was additionally co-founder and president of Swarm Networks, a massively scalable storage company purchased by Intel. He was also involved in the founding stages of transportation intelligence leader SmartDrive Systems and the chipmaker Silicon Spice, which was purchased by Broadcom. In addition, he co-founded two companies in online games and also co-founded Edusoft, a K-12 assessment management platform purchased by Houghton-Mifflin in 2003. He is a graduate of Harvard University.
CEO, VET TV
Mr. Hoover is an investor and entrepreneur with over 18 years of experience in M&A, intellectual property, media, brand activations and live events. He is a managing partner with the XPERIENTIAL GROUP , an advisory firm with practice areas in mergers & acquisitions, intellectual property, and brand & event advisory. He is also an advisor to Founder Factory, a London based venture capital firm. A strategic and passionate leader, Mr. Hoover has been involved in numerous start-ups, capital raises, acquisitions, and divestitures. During his careers he has worked across numerous sectors including music, experiential, sports, festivals, esports, blockchain, healthcare and tech. He has advised global brands including MGM Resorts, Informa, Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, Vivendi, and Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Mr. Hoover was the co-founder and CEO of XLIVE, a B2B media and event platform transforming the way live events, brands and large-scale consumer events share expertise, learn and revolutionize experience. In 2018 XLIVE was acquired by Informa, the world’s largest knowledge and events business with over 11,000 employees. Prior to that role he was the co-founder and CEO of the Institute for Health Technology Transformation, one of the nation’s leading organizations committed to bringing together private and public sector leaders fostering the growth and effective use of technology across the healthcare industry which was sold to the Vendome Group in 2013. His investment portfolio included over 35 live events and media properties across tech, blockchain, healthcare, live events, esports, brand activations and festivals.
Prior to starting his professional career, Mr. Hoover served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Mr. Hoover graduated cum laude from New York University, holds a MBA from The Florida State University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s executive program for Venture Capital and Private Equity in addition to the Harvard School of Public Health’s certificate program in Leadership Strategies for Information Technology in Health Care.
Mr. Hoover speaks at industry events including VenuesNow, CEMA, SXSW, Pollstar, TSE 100, Society for Independent Show Organizers, National Sports Forum and XLIVE. He is a board member of Irreverent Warriors, a non-profit dedicated to preventing veteran suicide, and is an advisory board member to Feathr, FAMEOS and VET Tv. Mr. Hoover is an avid surfer, diver, skier, and schedules as many mountaineering trips as possible when he’s not adventuring around southern California with his fiancé and yellow lab Tucker.
Chairman & Founder, IMA | CEO, KCOMM
Orange County, CA
Cav. Sinan Kanatsiz, CIM
– Chief Executive Officer, KCOMM – www.kcomm.com
– Chairman and Founder, the Internet Marketing Association (IMA) – www.imanetwork.org
– Founder, International Executive Council (IEC) – www.iecnetwork.org
– Founder, Chapman50 – www.chapman50.org
– Founding Board Member, Pretend City Children’s Museum – www.pretendcity.org
– Member of the Board of Governors, Chapman University – www.chapman.edu
– YMCA National Outreach Chairman, Youth, and Government – www.calymca.org
– Member of the Board of Directors, Seneca Youth Foster Care – www.senecafoa.org
– Member of the Board of Directors, Literacy Project – www.literacyprojectfoundation.org
– Cavaliere “Cav” Member of the Royal House of Savoy – www.regalis.com/savoy.htm
– Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient – www.eihonors.org
Sinan Kanatsiz has effectively made his mark as an entrepreneur in the United States. His parents who migrated from Turkey established residency and citizenship in America in the 1960’s where they had and raised Sinan and his Sister Sebnem. In 1998, while studying for a master’s degree at Chapman University, Kanatsiz followed his entrepreneurial spirit and formalized his first company, KCOMM, a Public Relations and Internet marketing agency. The company quickly evolved into a full-service marketing, government affairs and event marketing firm known for its Internet expertise and results-oriented approach. In less than ten years, Kanatsiz grew the firm to several million dollars in revenue, opening business operations and clients in Dallas, New York, Dubai, Istanbul, Montreal, London, Argentina, and Delhi. Currently, KCOMM works with over 100 specialized employees and independent contractors in several countries and has developed campaigns for over 1,000 companies and organizations around the world. These include organizations ranging from innovative start-ups to New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq listed companies such as Oracle, Sony, eBay, T-Mobile, HP, Adobe and the University of Phoenix.
KCOMM’s dedication to strategic programs and results-oriented campaigns has earned the firm several PROTOS awards, the highest honor bestowed by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The effectiveness of KCOMM’s strategies has become so widely recognized that the firm’s clients have now extended beyond the realm of technology to include elected officials, municipalities and multi-national organizations.
As a consummate entrepreneur and philanthropist, Kanatsiz takes his community responsibilities seriously. In addition to mentoring high school and college students, he is often asked to speak about entrepreneurship and the Internet. He has held engagements at several universities, including USC, Chapman University, UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, Pepperdine, UC Irvine, and Cal Tech. Additionally, he has been a keynote speaker at the Future Business Leaders of American (FBLA) National Conference and is often called to speak on a variety of topics including Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Email Marketing, Modernizing Government and the future of the Internet.
Kanatsiz’s belief in the power of entrepreneurism and politics led him to be the original founder of a group called Generation NeXt in 2004, a network of young business and community leaders committed to making a difference by empowering others for the betterment of the next generation. Additionally, he founded the Internet Marketing Association (www.imanetwork.org) in 2000, which has a large number of professional members worldwide and its own conference series called “IMPACT”. Past events have included the executives and founders of Google, SalesForce, Tesla Motor, SpaceX, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, St. Regis Hotel, Wahoos, Quest Software, Amazon and YouTube to name a few. Kanatsiz is currently expanding the group globally and involving leaders from Europe, the Middle East, China and India, working to create the largest association dedicated to Internet Marketing in the world.
While the IMA is a large, global organization, Kanatsiz recently created a spinoff in (2017), called the International Executive Council (IEC), which he founded to focus on the top 100 leaders in Southern California (www.iecnetwork.org). The organization has been hosting monthly events around topics including Social Emotional Learning, Cryptocurrency, Leadership and The Creative Process to name a few.
Kanatsiz holds a B.A. in Communications, with an emphasis in Public Relations, and a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership with a certificate in Human Resources, all from Chapman University. Kanatsiz was designated Alumnus of the Year by Chapman University in the year 2000. He was also the recipient of the Community College of California Alumnus of the Year Award in 2005. Sinan was named in the Hall of Fame for Santa Ana College in the year 2006. He has also been named as 40 under 40 and a featured Entrepreneur of the Year by OC Metro Magazine. Recognized for his philanthropic involvement, Kanatsiz was appointed a Knighthood and invited to become a member of the Royal House of Savoy by Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy in September 2018. Sinan received the 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his work in non-profit organizations, public relations, and internet marketing.
To this day, he credits his accomplishments to his Four Pillars of Success: personal integrity; coaches and mentors; family; and education.
Kanatsiz, his wife, Kai, son Archer, and daughter Arden, reside in San Clemente, California.
Vice President and Interim General Counsel, Purple
Craig Kleinman serves as Vice President and Interim General Counsel at Purple where he oversees both in-house attorneys and staff as well as outside counsel in broad range practice for contracts, litigation, SEC governance, regulatory, government relations and compliance. Kleinman started his career in law working for various law firms such as Parry Anderson & Gardiner and Dorsey & Whitney where he served as an attorney for several high-profile cases. He also served as the Assistant City Attorney for Midvale City in Utah. Craig graduated with an undergraduate degree in International Relations and holds both a Master of Business Administration and a Juris Doctor in Law, all from Brigham Young University.
Founder & CEO, Channel Bakers
Joshua Kreitzer is the founder and CEO of Channel Bakers. With over 15 years experience in the Consumer Electronics and Outdoor Sports Industries, working for such brands as GoPro and Corsair, as well as Internet Retailer, Buy.com, and CE Distributor, Ingram Micro, Josh has developed and executed Merchandising, Marketing, and Paid Media strategies within each position he’s held that drove incremental revenue while consistently providing outstanding Return on Investment. His channel experience enables him to develop clear-cut go-to-market and channel strategies with a step by step, turn-key gameplan that will increase sales, brand awareness, and profitability while minimizing channel conflict.
Dr. Jon Marashi
Dr. Jon Marashi is a renowned industry leader and innovator for cosmetic dentistry. His loyal clientele includes an impressive roster of A-list actors, musicians, athletes, and Hollywood executives. Dr. Marashi has a uniquely high-tech, precise and artistic approach to cosmetic dentistry which has garnered the attention of top media including Allure, Vogue, GQ, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. In addition to his private practice, he launched his signature M Sonic Luxury Tonic toothbrush in 2019. Dr. Marashi also served as the Chief Cosmetic Officer and helped launch the company byte, a disruptive oral healthcare brand, which was acquired by Dentsply Sirona in 2020 in a staggering 1-billion-dollar deal.
CEO & President, Tompkins Solutions
David Latona has more than 30 years experience in the supply chain industry. He is an apparel and footwear material handling integration specialist, skilled in the complete merchandise and mechanical flow of operations with a particular emphasis systems development in view of the overall supply chain.
Before joining Tompkins, David was a Partner and Senior Vice President of Vector Design, Inc. a nationwide material handling integrator and Co-founder and Managing Director of a third party logistics operator in the Port of Los Angeles. He also co-founded Polygon Solutions, a B2B model offering services to emerging apparel and footwear brands providing a hosted ERP system, data entry, auditing and customer services. His expertise has helped companies such as The Wet Seal, Kenneth Cole Productions, The May Dept Stores, Carole Little, Perry Ellis, Warnaco, BCBG, bebe, Macy’s, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Kellwood, Authentic Fitness, Rock and Republic, Earth footwear, Tyr Sports, Kids R Us, JC Penney’s and The Gap.
CMO, Museum of Ice Cream
Erin Levzow was the Vice President of Marketing Technology for Del Taco Restaurants. Prior to her current role Erin was the CMO for Marcus Hotels & Resorts. Levzow has served as vice president of customer relationship marketing (CRM), loyalty and marketing for Hathway in Austin, Texas, a customer service experience company specializing in helping billion-dollar brands develop mobile-first strategies. Levzow’s extensive marketing and digital experience also includes serving as senior director of digital, social, CRM and e-commerce for Wingstop Restaurants in Dallas, Texas, and serving as vice president of marketing and technology for Freebirds World Burrito, where she oversaw the marketing initiatives for nearly 100 restaurant chains. Levzow began her career at Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas and went on to work for MGM Resorts International and Palms Casino Resort & Palms Place Hotel and Spa.
She received a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and holds a Master’s Marketing Strategy Certificate from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.
Assistant Dean -Marketing, Enrollment, and Strategy Pepperdine Graziadio Business School
Los Angeles, CA
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
My passion is leading entertainment & other brand-driven businesses across digital and traditional platforms, through disruption to measurable success. My specialty is bringing strategic thinking and process discipline to creative environments, bridging cultures and tapping both the “right and left brain” of organizations to create breakthrough results.
- Grew a world-class retail business to $1B in retail sales/ $45M in licensing revenue, across 12 product categories and 10 countries, opening 3 offices abroad and managing 43 people
- Invented new business models by analyzing data and thinking creatively about the inherent value of brands.
- Transformed entire business models for complex organizations; rebuilt marketing processes and creative development around digital platforms
Founder & CEO of The Ambassadors Company - Teen Insights and Consulting
My dad, an incredible VC, started taking me to pitch meeting when I was 10 years old. Instead of having me sit on the side, he would engage me and ask for my opinion on every product he was looking at. At 15, I interned at SoundHound Inc. in marketing. Again, I was expecting to be getting coffee, but I ended my internship doing a social media strategy presentation to upper level management focused on how to better reach teens. This is when it really hit me: even the smartest product managers and marketers had no real understanding of what teens today are doing. I then worked for a small social media company my junior year in High School, running an in-house teen insight group. While running this program, I learned how to collect feedback in the most authentic and realistic manner. All of a sudden, multiple companies were approaching me asking them to run the same research program for them. I founded AmbassCo after noticing the stark gap between business executives and teens.
CEO, Chuck E. Cheese / CEC Entertainment Inc
McKillips has more than 25 years of experience in the family entertainment, media and theme park industries. Most recently, he was President of the International Development Company for Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, responsible for the operational management of all properties outside the United States. In addition, McKillips served as Six Flags Senior Vice President, In-Park Services, leading the food & beverage, retail, games and procurement functions across all U.S. Six Flags parks. Prior to joining Six Flags, he served as Vice President of Advertising & Custom Publishing Sales for DC Comics, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment and home to some of the world’s most iconic brands. McKillips has also held multiple leadership roles within Sea World Entertainment and Sesame Place. McKillips holds a B.A. degree in Communication Studies from the University of Georgia and received post-graduate certificates in Marketing and Finance from New York University.
Vice President, National Sales for LEARFIELD
J. Barry McMullin
As a high-end brand marketer, sales leader, and revenue generator, J. Barry McMullin has collaborated with dozens of Fortune 500 companies to promote their brands and communicate their marketing messages. Having negotiated, sold, and enacted over $250 million in large international and domestic partnerships, McMullin’s strength is creating marketing solutions, preparing data driven presentations, and helping brands reach their goals.
McMullin currently serves as Vice President, National Sales for LEARFIELD – the leader in collegiate sports marketing and Rights representation.
McMullin began his professional career with the O.C. Tanner Company in Salt Lake City, Utah. He served as Customer Service Supervisor and New Business Manager, serving major accounts as Anheuser-Busch, James River Corporation, Mobil Corporation, and U.S. West Communications. At the request of O.C. Tanner, McMullin moved to New York City and began his sales career with O.C. Tanner by selling O.C. Tanner’s services to companies such as MasterCard International, Colgate Palmolive, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Madison Square Garden.
In 1998 the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games (SLOC) asked McMullin to join them in raising revenue for the Olympic Winter Games. During a three-year span leading up to the XIX Olympic Winter Games, McMullin was part of a team that secured $260M in revenue. McMullin specifically worked with companies such as Cardinal Health, Herman Miller, Achieve Global, O.C. Tanner, Compass Food Services, and Certified Angus Beef.
McMullin continued to pursue his sports sales and marketing career by working with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in New York City following the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. During his tenure at the NBA, McMullin served as Vice President of Team Business Operations and part of the executive team that formed the NBA’s Development League (D-League) where he served as Team President of the Columbus (GA) Riverdragons.
In 2006 McMullin joined Wasserman Media Group (WMG) – an industry leader amongst sports marketing properties. While at WMG, McMullin worked with the New York Giants and the New York Jets of the NFL to garner MetLife as the stadium naming rights holder. McMullin also worked with the Giants and Jets to secure Verizon Wireless, Pepsi, and Anheuser-Busch as marketing partners for the stadium.
Following the completion of MetLife Stadium, McMullin joined the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) and worked alongside the PBR’s investment firm (Spire Capital). McMullin’s leadership and sales experience helped the PBR position itself for sale (WME) through the acquisition of new brands such as Monster Energy, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Caterpillar, Lucas Oil, and Sonic Drive-In.
In 2014 McMullin jointed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships. McMullin raised revenue for the WWE by representing the WWE’s wide array of marketing assets. McMullin focus on WWE Talent endorsements, and international sponsorships within the Global Sales and Partnerships group resulted in a 150% increase in company revenue within a seven-year period. McMullin’s relationship building (with WWE Talent), professionalism, and hard work continues to support WWE as a leader in sports entertainment.
McMullin is an honors graduate from Southern Utah University and Utah Tech (Dixie College).
McMullin is married to Tammy McMullin and they are the parents of four sons: Stockton, Spencer (McKinnlei and Georgie), Samuel (Noelle), and Isaac. Tammy, Barry, and Isaac currently reside in Darien Connecticut where they enjoy all sports, the Long Island Sound, New York City, and the East coast.
CEO, Bright Cellars
Megibow has been at the forefront of digital disruption of legacy industries, focused on marrying e-commerce, business strategy, and innovative technology for over three decades. He formerly served as CEO and board member of Purple Innovation, Inc., a digitally-native vertical brand with a mission to help people feel and live better through innovative comfort solutions. Megibow led Purple to profitability while more than doubling revenue to $700+ million. In this role, he oversaw significant manufacturing expansion, the launch of national showrooms, and expansion into more than 2,500 wholesale doors. Earlier in his career, Megibow served as Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. where he led the transformation and growth of American Eagle’s $550+ million direct-to-consumer business. Prior to that, Megibow held several senior roles with Expedia, Inc. including VP and General Manager of Expedia.com, the $10B+ U.S. online travel business. Megibow started his career as an engineer and was part of the founding team of a customer experience data analytics solution that later successfully sold to IBM.
SVP Marketing Channels & Optimization, Marriott International
Chris Norton is the Senior Vice President, Marketing Channels & Optimization at Marriott International. He is a highly motivated, results-driven marketing executive with an exemplary record for building high impact teams that deliver transformational customer engagement. Extensive background in marketing strategy, customer relationship management (CRM), digital marketing and media, customer identity management, customer analytics and marketing technology strategy and operations. Demonstrated ability to control multi-million dollar budgets and deliver large strategic projects on time and within budgets. Articulate communicator with exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to coordinate cross-functional teams to meet critical deadlines in fast-paced, high-growth, and diverse environments. Visionary and strategic thinker able to generate new ideas, gain buy-in from the C-Suite and initiate change to develop and manage innovative solutions.
Head of Paid Search (SEM), Global Media, Microsoft
Christi is the Global Media SEM Team Lead at Microsoft and is on the Board of Directors for the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), the Paid Search Association and the University of Idaho School of Business. For over a decade Christi has led in-house Digital Marketing teams at Microsoft, Expedia, Harry & David, and agency teams at Pointmarc and Point It. She has spent her career helping businesses solve their marketing challenges and goals through analyzing data to develop actionable insights and strategies. Christi has been recognized by PPC Hero and her peers as one of the top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts for the past 5 consecutive years. Additionally, Christi is a recognized keynote speaker across the globe at events such as AdWeek, Mumbrella, DMEXCO, SMX, and the Digital Summit Series. She also writes for Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and has been published on HuffingtonPost, Venture Beat, Forbes, AdAge and MarketingProfs. When she isn’t writing or speaking she’s typically running around with her children Roy and Adelinde, and her husband Jason.
Co-founder, Head of IT Operations, Slickdeals
Las Vegas, NV
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
Infrastructure design, performance engineer, database (MySQL) optimization, I/O tuning, PHP performance, network design, project management, mentoring, Cassandra PHP API, Cassandra Scaling, MySQL scale up/out, Deal engineer, Load balancing, High availability solutions, zero maintenance systems design, Sphinx search, Citrix XenServer virtualization, Deals
Executive VP and Chief Information and Digital Officer, Sysco
Tom leads our Sysco Technologies organization. Before joining Sysco, Tom served as Executive Vice President, Chief Information and Digital Officer, at Ingram Micro, a global leader in technology distribution, supply chain services and cloud solutions.
With more than 20 years of technology leadership experience, Tom’s background includes leading enterprise information technology strategy, services, operations, risk and cybersecurity for large global enterprises, including transformation and digital commerce strategy focused on the use of data, advanced analytics and emerging technologies to enhance the customer and associate experience.
Prior to Ingram Micro, Tom held similar information technology leadership positions with AECOM, Levi Strauss & Co., MGM Resorts (formally MGM MIRAGE) and General Electric-owned NBC Universal’s global entertainment business unit. He began his career in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. Tom served as a Captain and Financial Management Officer.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, JLE Industries
Evan Pohaski is the founder of JLE Industries and has served as its CEO and CFO since its inception. Under his leadership, the company has achieved remarkable growth, increasing in size and scope from business plan conception to now one of the largest industrial freight solution platforms in North America. Bringing to market an effective growth system comprised of traditional techniques and advanced capabilities, JLE represents a modern, Technology-Enabled story that also comes with the benefit of American industrial durability. As a recipient of the esteemed EY Entrepreneur of the Year® award in 2022, Evan and his team were globally recognized for their efforts in bringing much needed innovation and impact to the commercial driver workforce that supports the nation’s $782 billion Truckload industry.
Prior to founding JLE Industries, Mr. Pohaski was Vice President at the lodging REIT Sunstone Hotel Investors (NYSE: SHO) in Newport Beach, CA where we served in leadership roles including corporate finance and portfolio management. He worked as an investment professional at Chicago based hedge fund, The Harp Group, where he was Vice President of Structure Private Equity in lodging real estate products. Mr. Pohaski began his career out of college working in the mergers and acquisitions group at Jones Lang LaSalle in Los Angeles, advising corporations and private equity firms
on a wide variety of debt and equity transactions within the lodging sector.
Mr. Pohaski holds an MBA degree in Finance and Economics from the University of California Paul Merage School of Business where he graduated Beta Gamma Sigma, and a BS degree from Cornell University where he graduated cum laude.
Mr. Pohaski is a resident of Pittsburgh, PA where he resides with his wife, Leslie, and two young children, Maxwell and Vivienne.
Director, Product, Realtor.com
Los Angeles, CA
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
Before joining Realtor.com, Jeff spent ten years at Disney, performing SEO on its entertainment sites, including Disney.com, ESPN.com, and StarWars.com.
Previously, Jeff led an interactive agency in Japan, where he was responsible for guiding the firm’s Asia-Pacific business growth.
Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Brigham Young University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of San Diego.
Jeff lives with his wife and three daughters in Los Angeles.
Sr. Manager, Public Relations & Brand Experience, Taco Bell (A Yum Brands Company)
Matt currently leads Taco Bell’s earned media and brand experience. He is responsible, in part, for several of culture’s biggest contributions: The Taco Bell Hotel, Taco Bell weddings, Taco Bell Beer, creation of the taco emoji and saving the world’s first Taco Bell.
Most recently, Prince founded NetNetSynergy.com, a free resource site for students and young professionals in the PR and Marketing industries. It provides virtual mentorships, job postings and resources to help support young professionals during the pandemic.
Previously, Prince led social media engagement for the Walt Disney Co. where he developed and managed the company’s first ever Social Media Command Center and online engagement program. Prior to that, Prince was Sr. Manager of Executive Communications, handling speech writing and strategic communications for the President of Disneyland and over 70 executives.
Prince has been recognized in ADWEEK’s 31 Young Influentials List, and two 40 Under 40 lists: PR Week and OC Metro Magazine. Most recently, he was recipient of Public Relations Society of America’s Distinguished Service Award, their highest honor to an individual leading the local community in Public Relations.
He served as President of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Orange County Chapter in 2014 and is the advisor to his alma mater (California State University Fullerton’s) PRSA student chapter since 2011. He was inducted in to the PRSSA National Hall of Fame and was named ‘National Advisor of the Year’ twice (2013 & 2015).
Principal & Co-Foudner, CPR Interactive
Principal and Co-founder, CPR Interactive. San Francisco-based Digital Design Agency that builds web properties, product simulators and demos, eBooks, videos, ROI & assessment tools and bespoke UI/UX systems. Our offerings engage users through the full spectrum of the buyer’s journey.
CEO & Founder, BRINC Drones
Blake is the CEO/Founder of BRINC. He started taking college courses at the age of 14, and then attended Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering. Before launching the sUAS start-up, he worked at McLaren Automotive, Tesla Motors, and DJI Inc. He is also a member of the Thiel Fellowship’s class of 2020. Blake has the innate ability to define a problem, imagine a new approach and create a technology-based solution. His engineering skills include
mechanical design, firmware development, electrical design, testing, high voltage systems,
vacuum systems, composite design, additive manufacturing and CNC machining.
BRINC designs, manufactures and sells sUAS systems to law enforcement and defense departments worldwide. His willingness to form collaborative partnerships with public safety officials gave birth to BRINC’s first product, the LEMUR. Using lidar technology, the drone flies indoors with precision and unprecedented agility, and its two-way communication system allows first responders to hear and see through the drone. Blake is currently working on an sUAS mesh system designed to respond to 911 calls and gunshot detections within seconds. When not enveloped in product development, he actively engages in talent recruitment, strategy, meeting with executives, and speaking with current and future investors. He recently negotiated and closed a $2 million Seed round and a $25 million Series A funding round.
Co-Founder & CEO, Steady
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming…” – The Man in the Arena
After growing up with a single mother who worked nonstop to make ends meet and seeing the massive/growing income challenges in the U.S., I am happy to be leading a passionate team on building Steady.
Steady helps its Members to supplement their incomes and receive ongoing digital advice on how to reach their income potential and improve their overall financial health, guiding over $500 million of incremental and attributable earnings for its Members in 2019 and has recently facilitated the distribution of millions of dollars of emergency cash grants to low income Americans most heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am proud to be a recognized advocate and thought leader for part-time, contract, hourly and gig workers, having appeared to discuss the many challenges facing these tens millions of hard working Americans on MSNBC, CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, Cheddar and published in the Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Barron’s, The Daily Beast, Forbes, Newsweek, Glassdoor amongst others. I have also had the opportunity to serve as a return guest speaker on Financial Inclusion at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, as a return speaker at SXSW, Financial Health Network (CFSI) Emerge, Money20/20, Collision, Quarantine Summit, LendIt and many other tech and financial services conferences.
I am proud of my years of ups and downs / battle scars as a young entrepreneur, learning as I went. I am passionate about facilitating income enhancement, and spent years focused on economic development in developing markets.
I spent 9 years building and investing in businesses in China, the most challenging years of my life, including 6 years working to help stimulate economic and jobs growth in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities of China with a focus on investing heavily in renewable energy to lower China’s out of control carbon footprint.
I spent the first 6 years of my career in investment banking, working on M&A and corp. finance transactions, primarily at Lehman Brothers and Barrington Associates (acquired by Wells Fargo).
I am thankful to have served on the Board of various non-profit/charitable organizations including the L.A. Tourism & Convention Board, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and Los Angeles and U.S. Doctors for Africa.
President and CEO, Roosevelt Global Partners
Hall Delano Roosevelt
Hall Delano Roosevelt was born in Los Angeles, California, and is the grandson of President Franklin Delano and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. He is also the direct descendant of President Theodore Roosevelt. He attended the International School in Geneva Switzerland; Brentwood Military Academy, California; Pacific Palisades High School; and Woodbury University, Los Angeles, California. Del’s father was James Roosevelt, FDR’s first-born son. Del lived on the East Coast when James served as a Congressman for 6 terms from California’s 26th District, then in Europe when his father was the United Nations Ambassador to Geneva.
Prior to joining the Business Council, Del served as the Director of New Business Development for the Reza Investment Group based in Saudi Arabia. The Reza Investment Company is wholly owned by the Alireza family, one of the oldest and respected trading families in Saudi Arabia. Reza Investment has successfully developed market-leading positions in trading, manufacturing and service industries throughout Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC). Del is a joint founder of Friends of Saudi Arabia, a cultural awareness program.
Del’s previous involvement also includes:
– Board Member, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (only board of advisors)
– Chairman, Middle East Council of American Chambers of Commerce
– First Vice President, Bahrain American Chamber of Commerce
– Board Member, American Business Association, Easter Province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Del’s current involvement includes:
– Executive Board Member, American Mission Hospital, Bahrain
– Board Member, FDR Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation
– Advisory Board Member, Internet Marketing Association
He also served as the head of Roosevelt Consulting Inc., an international consulting company focusing on assisting organizations and private investors in structuring cross- border transactions, technology transfers, and direct investments globally with focus on the Middle East.
Del was Chairman and Member of the Long Beach Community Development Advisory Committee, which allocates the $10 million plus of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grants for city economic improvement projects. He also chaired the Solid Waste Management Commission, where he helped to start the City’s curbside city-wide recycling program. Elected as the City’s Fourth District Councilmember, Del’s interest in environmental issues prompted him to recommend that the City Council establish a Sustainable Development Board – a recommendation that has been implemented by the Environmental Task Force. As a member of the City Council, Del authored the City’s redistricting plan in 1996. He was appointed as Chair of the Federal Legislation and Environmental Affairs Committee which made him responsible to develop the City’s legislative agenda and required him to spend a great deal of time advocating in Washington D.C. and Sacramento, California. He also served as Vice-Chair of the Public Safety Committee and on the Joint Powers Authority with the City of Signal Hill, and participated in the City’s Collaborative Conversations Program with the Long Beach Unified School District. Based on experience gained in his work at Southern California Edison, working in Energy Conservation and Load Management as a Major Account Executive for ten years, Del took a leading position for the City Council when the City considered becoming its own electrical municipality and severing ties with Southern California Edison as a result of an opportunity for the city to renegotiate its franchise fees contract
Del worked for the Boeing Sea Launch Program as Director of Governmental Relations, which took him on extensive trips to the South Pacific.
CMO, Tangram Interiors
Los Angeles, CA
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
Paul Randall Smith is the Chief Marketing Officer of Tangram, an interior and workplace solutions company focusing on furniture, flooring and technology in Southern California. Paul obtained a Masters degree in Business Administration at George Fox University and an undergraduate degree in Marketing from the University of Oregon.
After graduation, Paul launched his career in Portland, where he began his specialization in user experience and marketing within shared spaces. His partnerships with predominant Portland hospitality leaders led to the opportunity to develop locations in Los Angeles, CA. Soon afterward, Paul was recruited by Tangram to develop and implement a progressive marketing department and strategic direction.
Paul believes in creating and curating experiences for customers, clients and cultures. This is accomplished by focusing on the use of technology, high altitude and micro perspective strategic thinking and innovative management practices. Tangram is Southern California preeminent interior solutions provider with clients such as Hulu, City National Bank, Live Nation, Kaiser Permanente, USC and UCLA.
Senior Manager, Amazon
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
Jay has more than 15 years of experience in marketing including advertising, media, brand development, interactive marketing and search engine optimization. Over the years, he has worked with some of the largest and most brand-focused organizations in the world including Target, Toyota, GM, Honda, Staples, CBS and Sony. Jay is currently a Senior Account Executive at Amazon, working in the Amazon Media Group, based in Seattle. Prior to his role at Amazon, he was a partner at 451 Marketing, a national award-winning firm specializing in PR, digital media, search marketing and social media. Early in his career, Jay helped create and launch some of the most dynamic and innovative web ad campaigns seen in the last decade, having the pleasure to work with personalities such as Tiger Woods, Lebron James and Eli Manning. With a unique blend of passion, enthusiasm and creativity, he enjoys working with a wide variety of companies from startups to Fortune 500 and all aspects of helping companies grow. Jay has stayed true to his desire to provide outstanding results for his clients. His goals are to continue to be the person that people know will deliver on his word and be a pleasure to work with. As he puts it, he wants his clients to be “raving fans.”
Co-Founder & Co-President, The h.wood Group
A passionate connector and Los Angeles native, seasoned entrepreneur Brian Toll is the Co-Founder and Co-President of The h.wood Group. He and his partner and longtime friend, John Terzian, are responsible for some of the most iconic hospitality brands in the world. Today, Toll oversees operations, finance and business strategy as The h.wood Group expands globally. With a track record spanning almost two decades, he brings a wealth of knowledge and established industry relationships to his work. His diligent approach has garnered a reputation for trust, integrity and professionalism, and his business acumen is driving The h.wood Group’s growth. With a deep understanding of the inner workings of the industry, Toll’s perspective keeps The H.wood Group ahead of the curve.
CEO, INK Games
Robert is a successful consumer product and mobile gaming entrepreneur and investor with multiple multi-million dollar exits. He has an eye for investing, analyzing trends, asset acquisition and a diverse sales and marketing background. Robert is often a lead investor in the gaming space, one franchise alone now generating 27M MAUs and $1.2M in daily revenue. Prior to a $100M+ exit to Caesars Interactive Entertainment, he led the launch and growth of a 65,000 user platform, generating $45M+ annual run rate in the highly competitive health and fitness niche. Notably, Robert and the team accelerated this through well-planned, viral, social media campaigns.
Robert has been married to his wife and best friend of 24 years and they have four amazing children together. Robert uses a partnership mindset and an eye for forward technology trends to develop innovative products and services with the potential for massive scale and global adoption. He’s especially interested in projects and ideas too big or unnerving for the average founder and investor.
Today, Robert is founder and CEO of InfluenceInk, Inc., an emerging technology startup. Robert is now focused on building the company’s gaming platform: INK Games.
CEO, Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Lindsey Ueberroth is Chief Executive Officer of Preferred Hotels & Resorts and a member of its Board of Directors. Since joining the company in 2004, Lindsey has helped solidify the position of Preferred Hotels & Resorts as an iconic global hospitality brand, a preferred partner for independent hotels, and a trusted resource for travelers seeking an authentic, independent luxury hotel experience.
In March 2015, Lindsey spearheaded the rebranding of Preferred Hotel Group to Preferred Hotels & Resorts, which represented the onset of a new consumer-facing strategy for the company. The new brand architecture redefined the way the hotel experience is rated, not by tiers or stars, but by experiences, to create stronger clarity for the company’s world-class portfolio of independent properties among travelers, hoteliers, and travel partners. Highlighting the success of that strategic move, in that same year, Lindsey led the company to achieve a major milestone in its history by generating more than $1 billion ($1.011B) in reservations revenue on behalf of its member hotels worldwide, a 15% increase over the previous year.
During her tenure as president, from June 2010 to February 2014, Lindsey’s leadership of Preferred Hotel Group helped the company’s global portfolio of member hotels successfully emerge from the worldwide economic downturn by doubling total year-end reservations revenue and generating a 25% increase in Average Daily Rate. Under her direction, the company also launched the innovative points-based I Prefer hotel rewards program; executed the introduction of three distinct brands that represented hotels and resorts in the design, boutique, and serviced residences niche categories; marked first-time presence in more than 25 new countries; and formed strategic partnerships with small hotel brands that expanded the company’s reach into key global markets.
Her strength and success as the leader of Preferred Hotels & Resorts earned her recognition in 2017 by Hotel Management as one of the 30 most influential women in hospitality. She also received back-to-back accolades in 2015, first by HOTELS magazine as one of the top 10 most noteworthy hoteliers in the world and then by Lodging Magazine as one of the 20 most influential females in the lodging industry.
Before joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Lindsey was an account executive at Ambassadors International, Inc., a global meetings and incentives company. Prior to that, she was a management consultant at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).
Lindsey serves on the Board of Directors for Historic Hotels of America, the Global Hotel Network, and Wine 2 Water. She is also an active member of the U.S. Travel Association and the Young Presidents’ Organization. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Lindsey has traveled to more than 100 countries.
Co-Founder & CEO , Optmyzr
Frederick Vallaeys is a well-known name in the digital marketing industry. He is a Google Ads expert, an entrepreneur, and an author. Vallaeys co-founded Optmyzr, a leading PPC management platform, and has helped businesses of all sizes succeed in their digital advertising campaigns.
Frederick Vallaeys was born in Belgium, where he grew up and completed his education. He attended the University of Ghent, where he earned his Master’s degree in computer science.
After completing his education, Vallaeys started his career as an engineer at Google, where he worked on the development of AdWords, Google’s flagship advertising product. He spent ten years at Google, where he worked in various roles and gained extensive experience in the digital advertising industry.
In 2012, Vallaeys co-founded Optmyzr, a leading PPC management platform that simplifies and streamlines the process of managing Google Ads campaigns. Optmyzr provides a range of tools that help businesses optimize their PPC campaigns, improve their ROI, and save time.
Vallaeys is also a recognized thought leader in the digital marketing industry. He has written several articles and spoken at numerous conferences, sharing his expertise and insights on Google Ads and PPC management. He is the author of “Digital Marketing in an AI World,” a book that explores the impact of artificial intelligence on the digital marketing industry.
Vallaeys has received several awards and recognitions for his contributions to the digital marketing industry. In 2015, he was named one of the Top 25 most influential PPC experts by PPC Hero. He has also been featured in publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Search Engine Journal. He’s locked several industry and leadership awards from the Internet Marketing Association (IMA).
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Vallaeys is also a dedicated philanthropist. He is involved in several charitable organizations and has made significant contributions to causes such as education and healthcare.
President, ViewSonic Corporation
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
With a passion for strategy, people and innovation, I have had the honor and opportunity to work with exceptional companies, professionals and technologies.
It has been a pleasure engaging, learning and managing in many business disciplines including executive management, customer and channel building, brand management, operations, public relations and product marketing. I am also proud to be recognized as an industry expert on technology channels of distribution from reseller networks to retail.
Hard work, vision and execution have formed the foundation for achieving success throughout my career. I truly enjoy the challenges and achievements associated with executive leadership, particularly in people development, driving change, process improvement and growth.
- Continue to drive ViewSonic success globally through effective planning and leadership
- Drive an agile and visionary mindset through a culture that is employee, partner and customer centric
- Continue to mature as an executive leader in both the company and community to foster thoughtful, successful, energetic and positive work/life balance
Founder and CMO, LiftOff Enterprises
Jeanniey Walden is an award-winning, entrepreneurial Chief Marketing Officer who uses innovation to transform the way companies work to accelerate growth and brand impact.
Currently, she is the CMO of DailyPay, helping to transform the way employees get paid. Jeanniey has led global Marketing and Growth for Fortune 1000 companies, including Mercer, Ogilvy, Barnes & Noble and JCPenney, as well as industry-transforming start-ups, including Zinio, RebelMouse and Ringblingz.
A recognized “Woman in Business” and an entrepreneur, she has authored multiple books and launched five companies, including the Email Experience Council. She is a highly sought-after public speaker and frequently shares her keen business insight on nationally-syndicated and major market television and radio shows. Most recently, Jeanniey was named Transformational CMO of the Year by the CMO Club, a “Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology” from The Financial Technology Report, a “Woman of the Year” in the 17th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and one of the 10 prominent women role models in FinTech from around the world from Global FinTech. Her new show, Stepping Up, featuring a meaningful conversation with the country’s top female leaders in business, is set to launch in 2021.
CEO, Kona AI
Vincent Walden, CFE, CPA
Vincent Walden is an Atlanta-based Partner within EY’s Fraud Investigations & Dispute Services practice specializing in forensic technology. His areas of focus include eDiscovery, forensic data analytics, information governance and cyber breach response services. Providing leading technology perspectives on both proactive compliance programs and reactive investigations, Vincent is part of a global leadership team of skilled forensic technology and data mining professionals and is the Southeast Regional Forensic Technology leader. Vincent has over twenty years of experience handling the information management, forensic analysis and electronic discovery needs for large-scale, complex litigations, investigations and proactive anti-fraud and compliance programs across a variety of industries.
As a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner, he has been featured in many publications including FRAUD Magazine, Internal Auditor Magazine, Compliance Week, Forbes, and The Economist. Most notably, he is part of COSO’s Anti-Fraud Task Force where he recently co-author COSO’s “Fraud Risk Management Guide” released in September 2016.
Palo Alto, CA
Member, Board of Directors, IMA
Andrea Ward has more than two decades of marketing experience at some of the largest and most successful SaaS companies and a track record of leading high performing global marketing teams. Ward most recently led Adobe’s enterprise marketing team, after joining from Magento (acquired by Adobe), where she served as Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to Magento, she served as Global Vice President of Marketing at Oracle, where she launched the Oracle Marketing Cloud business and led the unit’s global marketing function. Ward is a strong proponent of diversity in the workplace and mentoring future women leaders. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MBA from Santa Clara University.
Senior Field Marketing Manager & Small Business Expert, Yelp Inc.
As Yelp’s Senior Field Marketing Manager and Small Business Expert, Emily is responsible for building a thriving network of local business owners, operators and marketers through education and networking events (now, exclusively virtual). She hosts events and webinars to provide business owners with resources that help them succeed and grow in the world of online reviews. Emily’s expertise lies in customer engagement, reputation management and all things digital marketing. Her knowledge encompasses countless industries and through thought leadership and speaking engagements, she’s able to share insights that business owners of all kinds can leverage for the future of their business.
Prior to joining Yelp back in 2014, Emily oversaw guest experience and large scale event execution at Marriott. She comes from a family of business owners and has a longstanding history of helping business owners learn about the world of online reviews and consumer engagement. In her spare time Emily works as a mental health advocate and frequently authors pieces and presents about work life balance, relationships and the importance of mental health for all.
Area Franchise Developer, The UPS Store Inc.
Gary Williams Jr.
Gary Williams Jr. is the Area Franchise Developer for The UPS Store Inc., currently managing over 320+ locations throughout Southern California. In 2016, Gary was voted to position as Chairman of the Marketing Advisory Council for The UPS Store Inc, which manages the national marketing budget for the brand. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The UPS Store® concept was introduced in 1980 as Mail Boxes Etc.® – a convenient alternative to the post office. Throughout its evolution, it has continued to define and lead the business services category it created.
In 2001, UPS® acquired Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. In 2003, the two companies introduced The UPS Store® brand. . In 2012, Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. became The UPS Store, Inc. The centers remain locally owned and operated, and continue to offer a variety of packing, shipping, freight, postal, printing and business services, with convenient locations and world-class service. 2020 – Ranked #1 in Entrepreneur® magazine’s annual “Franchise 500,” in the postal and business services category for the 30th consecutive year.
CEO & Founder of Loko AI
Joseph Zaki is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Loko AI. He is a pioneer in Artificial Intelligence with a specialization in real-time Computer Vision and Autonomous Systems. He has 20 years of Hollywood Blockbuster Visual Effects experience delivering ground-breaking Academy and Emmy award-winning Visual Effects, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality for top Hollywood Studios, Advertising Agencies, Fortune 500 companies and AAA Game Studios. Joseph holds numerous US Patents in Machine Learning, Computer Vision and Synthetic Data and is passionate about creating jobs and career pathways for underserved communities in Orange County, California.
SEAN CONRADChief Compliance Officer, IMA | Principal, EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants
HALL ROOSEVELTGeneral Manager
SHAYE MCCLORYVP Marketing Strategy
JULIUS “JP” VERGARALead Technologist & Design
Justin KuttlerChief Creative Officer
RACHEL DEVANYVP Public Relations, IMA
Nepal ArslanProduction Director
Tiaan WeinandAccount Coordinator
Jessie SandsAccount Executive
Caroline ComerEvent Specialist
Chief Compliance Officer, IMA | Principal, EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants
Sean Conrad is an accomplished Senior Executive with 20 years of success in the commercial insurance brokerage industry. Leveraging extensive experience in driving new business and top-line revenue, brand differentiation, and developing strong networks and partnerships, he is a valuable asset for organizations and companies experiencing challenges with growth and profitability. His broad areas of expertise include business development, employee benefits, commercial property/casualty, executive risk, cyber insurance, marketing, collaboration, tactical planning, leadership, and advising.
Throughout his executive career, Sean has held leadership positions with some of the most respected brands in the insurance sector, organizations that include Wells Fargo Insurance, Willis Towers Watson, and Allied Insurance, a Nationwide Company.
Over the last decade, he has helped build a differentiated brand, coached seasoned sales consultants to higher levels of performance, and placed over $250 million dollars worth of commercial insurance premium into the marketplace. He has been recognized as a perennial top performer, earning both Winner’s Circle and Golden Spoke awards for exceptional performance and leadership.
Sean is also a Founding Member of The International Executive Council (IEC).
The International Executive Council (IEC) offers its members exclusive global networking and educational benefits that can greatly further professional and personal growth in those who share a passion for technological innovations, and who desire to leverage those relationships, knowledge, and innovations to leave a lasting legacy for our world.
Lead Technologist & Design
JULIUS “JP” VERGARA
JP helps businesses build connections through digital media with his expertise in web design and content writing. An enthusiast for all forms of interactive design, JP is self-taught in web design and front-end development. He specializes in WordPress CMS to help build custom websites for his clients, providing design and administrative support throughout all steps of the design process. He has worked with financial advisors, nonprofits, retailers, agencies and membership organizations on building their online presence with original written content.
Chief Creative Officer
Nepal Arslan is an award-winning writer and director. Born in Brooklyn, NY, but raised around the world. Nepals love for the art of storytelling formed through personal experiences and a fascination with the world around him. At the age of seventeen he gave a TED talk, his films have been screened in Times Square, and over the years has accumulated over fifty awards for his films. Nepal is currently attending New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for Film and TV Production on a full scholarship.
Jessie has worked in marketing for fast-growing small businesses, giving her a thorough understanding of what it takes for companies and brands to succeed. She is studying Strategic and Corporate Communications at Chapman University where she will earn her Bachelor’s degree in the Spring. Jessie is passionate about establishing a brand’s identity through innovation and consistency. Her creativity and organizational skills helps her to develop and manage new ideas to reach a common goal.