Past Speakers (2011)

Hajj FlemingsCEO/Founder of Brand Camp University

Hajj is the founder of Brand Camp University the largest personal branding conference in the Midwest and the author of “The Brand YU Life: Re-thinking Who You Are Through Personal Brand Management”.

He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN.com, and travels nationally speaking as a brand strategist.  His clients include Walt Disney, Ford Motor Company, the U.S. Department of Defense and other Fortune 500 companies.  Hajj is also a BlackEnterprise.com columnist who writes about technology, social media and branding for small business.

Josh LinknerCEO/Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners

Josh Linkner is the New York Times Bestselling author of Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, named one of the top 10 business books of 2011. Josh is the CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners. Together with business partners Earvin “Magic” Johnson and NBA team owner Dan Gilbert, Josh is actively rebuilding urban areas through technology and entrepreneurship. Josh is also Adjunct Professor of Applied Creativity at the University of Michigan.

Josh is the Founder, Chairman and former CEO of ePrize, the largest interactive promotion agency in the world providing digital marketing services for 74 of the top 100 brands.

Prior to ePrize, Josh was the founder and CEO of three other successful technology companies. He has been honored as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, the Detroit News Michiganian of the Year, and is a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient. Josh is a regular columnist for Fast Company and Inc. Magazine, and his work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, and The New York Times. Josh is also a Berklee-trained professional jazz guitarist performing regularly in jazz clubs throughout the United States.  Most importantly, Josh in on a mission to make the world more creative.

Cali LewisHost of Geekbeat.tv

Cali Lewis is the host of GeekBeat.TV, an online news show about technology, gadgets and research that shapes our future. The show is downloaded millions of times each month by viewers from around the world in both pre-recorded and live formats, and the live show is broadcast on a nationwide network in the US.

She knows from experience how to build, grow and maintain a successful online brand. Cali makes regular appearances on TV to talk about new and exciting gadgets.  As a public speaker, Cali talks about the impact of technology we experience today, amazing research that will become the technology we’ll use in the future, the importance of social media, and video production tips and tricks.

Spike JonesSVP of Customer Experience – Word of Mouth at Fleishman Hilliard, Co-Author of Brains on Fire

Spike Jones was born in Dallas, Texas. Not that you should care, since Spike will never ask you where you’re from, either. After graduating from the “I can’t dance” cult of Baylor University with degrees in Environmental Studies and Journalism, he explored these United States as a freelance and technical writer, spent a full decade at Brains on Fire, and is currently a SVP of the Digital division of Fleishman-Hillard, specializing in word of mouth initiatives.

Spike’s background includes business development and contributing strategic development – from insight to creative execution – of word of mouth movements and social media for companies including: USAA, AT&T, General Motors, Chevrolet, Dagger Kayaks, Yakima, Fiskars Brands, BMW, Rage Against the Haze (South Carolina’s youth-led anti-tobacco movement), Best Buy and Gatorade.

Spike also played a significant role in growing Brains on Fire into one the most sought-after and well-respected word of mouth companies in the industry. In addition, he is a co-author of the book Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable Word of Mouth Movements, published by Wiley & Sons in August of 2010.  Spike has served on the Board of Directors for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).

Melinda “Small Biz Lady” EmersonHost of #SmallBizChat/Author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months

Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is one of America’s leading small business experts. As a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and small business coach, she develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure.  As CEO of MFE Consulting LLC, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. Forbes Magazine recently named her the #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog www.succeedasyourownboss.com  Melinda is also the author of the national bestseller Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works(Adams Media 2010) 

Wayne SuttonFounder of SocialWayne.com/Tech Journalist

Wayne Sutton is an entrepreneur, advisor and technology journalist.

Wayne helps individuals, startups and businesses succeed in understanding how to communicate on the social web via web development, user experience, brand strategy and marketing (Mobile and Social). With 10 plus years of experience in internet technology, he has provided counsel to business leaders ranging from founders of small startups and representatives of nonprofit organizations to CEOs of large and small corporations.

Wayne has been featured on CNN.com, BBC, Mashable, BlackEnterprise.com, Web Pro news, The Atlanta Post and various media outlets. His blog SocialWayne.com has been ranked one of the 50 best technology and social media blogs in the world by Evan Carmichael and Simply Zesty.

Recently Wayne helped co-launch NewMe Accelerator, the first minority led startup accelerator in Silicon Valley which will be featured in the upcoming CNN Black in America 4 documentary that airs November 13.

Wayne has spoken at various internet/technology focused conferences and events such as O’reilly Web 2.0 Expo, NY, SXSW, Pubcon Austin, WordCamps, Social Media Breakfast, TAMA, TIMA, PRSA, FutureM/GEOM and Blog World.

Chris GenteelBusiness Development Manager at Google

Chris Genteel leads Business Development for Google’s Global Diversity team. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan Chris and his team connect minority-owned businesses and minority consumers to online tools and Google products. Prior to this Chris was Online Sales Manager in Google’s sales division where his customers were a range of mid-sized to Fortune 500 B2B businesses looking for aggressive growth and customer acquisition online.

Chris began his professional career in nonprofit management. As Operations Manager at EmcArts Consulting in New York Chris directed and managed strategic planning and evaluation projects for nonprofit organizations and their funders. Chris looked to technology as an enabler of nonprofit efficiency and partnerships and helped bring new knowledge-sharing and web-based tools and solutions to the firm and its clients. Chris continues to serve as a voice for innovation on the boards of directors of several Michigan nonprofits including performing arts presenter UMS.

Chris holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan where he received the MBA Innovation Award and the Cause-Based Entrepreneurial Leadership Awards for founding Arts Enterprise. He received his BA from Yale University, where he also managed and toured the globe with the Yale Whiffenpoofs singing ensemble. Chris flexes his right-brain by writing, recording and performing his brand of rock/soul/hiphop music in Ann Arbor and in his hometown of New York City.

More Speakers to be Announced Soon

 

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