2011 Conference Speakers

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2011 Conference Speakers 2017-01-03T23:18:04+00:00
  • at Midwest Social Media Conference

AtMidwest-05In 2011, @Midwest brought you highly qualified experts from the social networking industry to speak about all forms of internet/mobile technology, strategy and marketing for the small and mid-sized businesses. Presentations were focused on topics concerning improved social networking management, developing/maintaining a strategy, introducing new business models, improving profitability and employing effective social media.


Mana is founder and president of the Chicago Digital Marketing firm, Lightspan Digital. In over 8 years of digital marketing experience Mana developed and led the implementation of over 100 marketing campaigns from email to web content optimization and social media marketing, in multiple business environments, including corporate, client-facing, small business, non-profit and international business. Prior to Lightspan Mana led digital marketing strategy and program development for HSBC Card Services, and in 2008 she received HSBC’s highest performance award in North America, the President’s Award.

In 2010 Mana was listed in the top 30 most influential Chicago people on Twitter by wefollow.com. and klout.com. Mana is an Expert Contributor on Focus.com and her Twitter Tips have been published by Twitip.com.

Mana believes in taking a hands-on approach to marketing, giving due attention to strategy while stressing the importance of getting things done via strong planning and execution.

Mana has an MA in Mass Communication from BYU, with a thesis on discourse and narrative in the United States’ coverage of the Kosovo war. She loves SCUBA diving, circuit training and opera. She is also a supporter of local and sustainable businesses.


Joe Strupek, CPCU, CLU, is assistant vice president – Public Affairs at State Farm® Corporate Headquarters in Bloomington, Ill.

Strupek joined State Farm in 1984 and has held various positions in the Claims, Learning and Development, Executive and Public Affairs departments. His current responsibilities include internal and strategic communications, social media, issues management and he serves as the Brand Director.

Strupek has a bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and has earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designations. He’s also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Illinois Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation, WTVP, in Peoria, Ill.


Barbara Rozgonyi leads CoryWest Media, LLC, a strategic marketing consultancy for innovative companies and organizations. An experienced educator, Barbara develops social media marketing and PR instructional programs for colleges, associations, corporations, non-profits and online communities. As publisher of http://wiredPRworks.com, Barbara reports on ways to grow business, build brands, and connect communities. In 2010 Barbara contributed the LinkedIn chapter to the bestseller “Success Secrets of the Social Media Marketing Superstars.” A community leader, Barbara is a founding member of Social Media Club Chicago and the Digital Innovation Forum. Named one of the top 30 PR twitter experts to follow by ereleases.com, Barbara’s digital brand, @wiredprworks, is also an iPhone app.


Jay Krall is a Business Development Manager at Cision. He coordinated the creation of a new Internet media research team for Cision and has been instrumental in Cision’s social media efforts. He has discussed social media engagement and measurement strategies at conferences presented by The Public Relations Society of America, The Canadian Public Relations Society, The Conference Board, The American Medical Association, and other organizations. His work has appeared in PR Week, PR News and The Wall Street Journal. Jay came to Cision from the financial services industry and was previously a newspaper reporter.


Jill Salzman is currently growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, the world’s first and only kid-friendly collective of monthly meetups for mom entrepreneurs.

A graduate of Brown University and law school after that, she started Paperwork Media LLC, a music management firm and her first entrepreneurial venture. (Her parents still wonder why she opted for the music business over the seductive and alluring career of a bankruptcy attorney.)  She went on to create The Bumble Brand, LLC, which currently sells Bumble Bells, audible anklewear for the newest of human beings. (Yes, her daughter still wears them.)  Having built two successful companies, she launched The Founding Moms to connect mom entrepreneurs around the globe with one another.

A sought-after speaker, Jill has been featured in national media outlets including People Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Daily Candy Kids, Business Matters, WGN TV, The Wednesday Journal, The Des Moines Register and WAHM Talk Radio.  She’s been profiled in A Cup of Cappucino for The Entrepreneur’s Spirit, Volume II and was recently featured in a film on social media.  Jill currently writes for eHow.com and Patch.com’s Moms Council, and has been invited to write for NBC5′s new small business blog, The Inc. Well, as well.

In her spare time, Jill enjoys kloofing, traveling to small towns, and erasing her daughters’ crayon artwork from the kitchen walls.


Twitter: @rockymtnhigh
Website: www.rockymtnhigh.us andwww.castonline.ilstu.edu/gizzi/

Michael is an associate professor of criminal justice at Illinois State University. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the State University of New York at Albany, and is a long-time student of information technology and politics, and the uses of information technology and particularly social media for transforming American democracy. He is the co-author of The Web of Democracy: An Introduction to American Politics, one of the first textbooks to fully embrace information technology for student learning. He is also the former president of the American Political Science Association’s Section on Information Technology and Politics. Michael taught for thirteen years at Mesa State College in Colorado before coming to ISU in 2008.

Michael is an active user of twitter and facebook, and is a moderator and site administrator for www.satelliteguys.us, an online community of more than 160,000 members dedicated to satellite television, home theater, and pretty much all things technology related. Michael uses social media to stay in touch with friends, network with colleagues across the world. He finds twitter to be particularly valuable as a tool for staying in touch with world events, and building community ties at the local level. He has begun a new blog at http://www.rockymtnhigh.us which focuses on using new technologies like the iPad to change how we work.


Matthew Newell is a marketing professional and entrepreneur who cut his social media teeth while running Normal Watches. The start-up almost exclusively used social networking and viral video to market and sell their watches, gaining features in NYLON Magazine, the LA Times, MTV.com, and Gizmodo. Their “social networking” watch was one of the most blogged about items of 2009. As Chairman of the Marketing Board for the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, he has helped the non-profit take its first steps into social networking. His satirical “Celebrity Chef Matthew” character has accumulated over 3,000 Twitter followers in three months (@TVsChefMatthew). He is currently working with State Farm on social networking issues and can be contacted at MHNewell@gmail.com and @MHNewell on Twitter.


Barbara Maldonado is the Social Media + Mobile Strategist at Legacy Marketing Partners, one of the top Experiential Marketing agencies in the country. With more than twelve years work experience in digital, experiential, mobile and social media marketing for Fortune 500 brands, Barbara is focusing on social media and digital engagement extensions of Legacy’s agency projects. Given her passion with mobile, social and interactive marketing, Barbara has held several Chair positions within professional organizations in Chicago and currently serves as the Board Member for the Kendall College School of Business Junior Advisory Board and is a monthly contributor to the tech blog, Tech Cocktail.

A graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Barbara spends her free time mentoring college students and professionals in social emerging technology, following foodie pursuits and spending time with her family.  Barbara can be reached for questions at bmaldonado@legacymp.com.  To learn more about Barbara, please see her LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/barbaramaldonado or follow her on Twitter @bmaldonado.


Nathan B. Hinch is the principal of Nathan B. Hinch, P.C., and an independent contractor, associate attorney at Mueller and Reece, LLC in Bloomington, Illinois where he helps clients avoid and solve conflicts, particularly in the areas of business, real estate, construction, environmental, and transportation law.

Previously, Mr. Hinch worked in the area of operations management, environmental permitting and compliance, and in-house counsel with a multi-State civil and environmental engineering firm in the Chicago area. He has worked with the permitting, compliance, and enforcement staffs at the U.S. EPA and environmental agencies for eleven (11) States.

Mr. Hinch is licensed to practice law in Illinois by the Illinois Supreme Court (2007) and is admitted to the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois (2011).  He holds a J.D. from the Chicago-Kent College of Law with a Certificate in the Program in Environmental and Energy Law (2007) and a B.A. in Economics, cum laude, from Wheaton College (IL) (2000).  He is a member of the McLean County Bar Association (Young Lawyers’ Division), the Illinois State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Transportation Lawyers Association.  Mr. Hinch is also a member of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce and neXt Professionals, the Bloomington Rotary Club, the Professional Referral Group of Bloomington Normal, the Central Illinois Chapter of the United States Green Building Council, and the Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association.  He lives in Bloomington with his wife Sarah and their two children.


Twitter: @bkhuonker and @IllinoisStateU
Facebook: designs.by.brian and IllinoisStateUniversityStudents 
LinkedIn: bkhuonker
Website: The Bored-Again Christian

A local marketing junkie, Brian Huonker employees his craft at Illinois State University’s University Marketing.

Drawing from an undergraduate degree in design from Illinois State, Brian honed his skills as an art director for CS&A Marketing and Communications (a national business to business marketing agency) creating everything from corporate identity and brochures, direct mail and websites to commercials and multimedia projects. Currently Brian is focusing on a master’s in communications, emphasizing the communication preferences of the millennial generation.

“Our clients know the subject matter the best. They are the experts. Our job is just to disect their message and figure out the best and most effective way to communicate it. That’s where the creativity comes in.”

Not only working on award-winning designs, Brian also focuses on helping clients integrate new technologies into their media mix. “Whether that’s texting, social networks, e-mail, websites, or traditional snail mail, each audience has their own prefered method of communication and we have to be prepared for all of them.”

A self diagnosed workaholic, Brian still finds quality time with my family through coaching soccer, fishing with the kids, working with his wife in the garden, and occasionally killing a few orcs in World of Warcraft as LittleMinos.


Scotty Bevill is the founder and CEO of Bevill Edge, a consulting firm in Normal, Il that is leveraging traditional business management using new technologies and enablement practices to facilitate working with internal and external customers. Apart from his successful business in coaching and training in project and program management, Scotty manages an equally successful business in video production services. With over 7 years in video production Scotty has worked with clients such as international NFP organizations, government, and commercial agencies, to produce impactful video for corporate, training, and product promotion.


After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2002, Josh spent the next 5 years as a jack of all trades in the Central Illinois radio industry, working in Peoria, Champaign, and Bloomington as a disc jockey, production director, sales account executive, and creative branding director. In 2007, he decided to jump out and start his own independent advertising agency called JoshuaOneNine Marketing House. For the last 4 years, he has been strengthening brands, producing ad campaigns, and placing media buys for small businesses. While television, radio, and print remain popular with most local ad budgets, Josh appreciates the potential and permanence of new social media, and he has actively been studying and implementing the latest trends and strategies that make social sites like Facebook and Twitter an effective and ongoing part of any business’s brand.


Pete Moore is a non-profit marketer and fundraiser whose social media know-how has crisscrossed between public and private sectors.  In 2005, his Illinoise! podcast won the first-ever New Media Expo/PodcastAwards.com General Podcast of the Year. His latest audio project, The Bored-Again Christian, is an iTunes Featured Music Podcast sporting a listenership of more than 15,000 downloads per episode.

Pete builds interactive, on-line communities for his child welfare organization The Baby Fold, other non-profit professionals via Kneejerk.org, and hyper-local tribes in the #BloNo area.  He’s also served as a social media consultant to COUNTRY Financial’s Trips and Picks promotion and State Farm/ESPN’s College Gameday.


Karen Hanrahan founder of Blogaroo Blog Consulting is celebrating her fifth year as a blog author. Her popular and resourceful Blog: Best of Mother Earthexamples a consistent voice as an expert in her profession. Karen applies her personable knowledge style and love of sharing into a blog format. What business are you in?  What makes you unique in the marketplace?  How are you your own brand?  How can a blog become your authoritative voice?  This session helps you understand the role a blog plays in establishing your internet voice. Blogging improves your visibility, adds personal credibility, and continues to reinforce your personal brand.