MASTER OF CEREMONIES
Scott has committed his professional life to help organize creative individuals, teams, and networks. He is the author of the national bestselling book Making Ideas Happen and is the founder and CEO of Behance, a company that develops products and services for the creative industries.
Scott is a frequent contributor on MSNBC and has worked with leading companies and organizations including General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, and Proctor & Gamble as well as the United States State Department and the CIA.
Scott serves on the boards of Cornell University's Entrepreneurship program and the Art Director's Club. In 2010, Scott was also included in Fast Company's list of "100 Most Creative People in Business." He attended Cornell University as an undergraduate and received his MBA from Harvard Business School.
During her time at Google, Jenny worked for over five years in training, coaching, career development and Authors@Google. Her most recent role was as Career Development Program Manager, where she focused on building scalable solutions to help Googlers focus on their personal growth and career development.
The experience of leaving school before her friends inspired her to start a blog, LifeAfterCollege.org, which she has now translated into a book, Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want.
Amy is a street style photographer and blogger behind ChicagoStreetStyle.com, Chicago's leading street fashion website, and is a regular contributor to Refinery29. Amy and her work are often featured in the mainstream media and have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, CNN.com, Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ 91.5), NBC Chicago, Time Out Chicago, and many more. Amy has worked with a variety of companies ranging from Fortune 500 multinational corporation like Proctor & Gamble and Microsoft, to smaller luxury fashion brands like Oliver Peoples and JBrand Jeans.
Amy is currently a graduate student at DePaul University earning her Master's degree in management. After graduating from Michgan State in 2008, she worked full time for a year at Duncan Associates Attorneys and Counselors, P.C., where she assisted with the formation and licensing of private trust companies for billionaire familes and Wall Street investment banks.
Becky is the principle at Becky Davis Design and specializes in web design, development and custom WordPress themes for small businesses. She loves working with WordPress because it not only makes her job as a developer easier, but it allows her to empower her clients to take control of their own websites.
She is a regular presenter at SCORE Chicago, doing seminars on web design and WordPress for small business owners. She is active in several web-related meet-up groups in Chicago and is an assistant organizer for the Webmasters group and the Web Professionals group.
The recipe for success on the Internet is a maddeningly abstract concoction that is mostly a combination of mistakes. Both founders of Texts From Last Night (TFLN) had things that were better deserving of their time for starters (law school for Lauren, unemployment for Ben). Also, they both had way too much experience in their subject matter for anything else, so they pretty much had to make the site work.
Somewhere in between ‘carefree student living’ and ‘adult everything’s a panic time’, Ben’s blog became his attempt at world domination. By making himself sound incredibly intelligent on the Internet, he just knew that someone would find him and insist on making him the VP of Corporate Communications for some international, multi-million dollar something or other. It was a foolproof plan until it failed, launching him into a new blogging plan of day-drinking, irrationally hating Diane Keaton, and acquiring wiener dogs instead of actually applying for jobs.
Carolyn is the Director of Affiliate Marketing for Groupon, a Web site that features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in more than 500 markets worldwide. In this role, she was honored with the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award for Affiliate Manager of the Year 2010.
Prior to joining Groupon, Kmet led the client services team at ShareASale.com, an award-winning affiliate network. Kmet has also led affiliate programs at Orbitz and CollectiblesToday.com. Kmet is an adjunct lecturer at Loyola University of Chicago, where she teaches both undergraduate and MBA level e-marketing courses. Kmet earned a MBA from Loyola University Chicago, a MSJ in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Berkeley.
Craig, known as WheezyWaiter on YouTube, has been uploading consistently awesome videos since June 2007. His current video archive has over 420 videos. Craig calls himself WheezyWaiter because when he started making videos for the Internet he was working as a waiter and because he has asthma. In his videos, WheezyWaiter often creates vocabulary that catches on very quickly and begins to be widely used on the Internet, including the terms doobly-doo and noodle boiler, which already appear on UrbanDictionary.com.
Craig’s videos have many repeated themes, including: use of slap bracelets to celebrate, clones of Craig punching each other, winks that make a dinging sound, music playing when Craig’s chair slides across carpet, Craig playing a version of his mother who stands at the window and profanely criticizes him, and lots of attention to Craig’s beard, which has become Wheezy Waiter’s trademark.
Doniree calls Minnesota's Twin Cities home, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon by way of Boulder, Colorado. She loves the proximity to both mountains and beaches, doesn't mind the rain in the pacific Northwest, and is borderline obsessed with Oregon's food and wine scene.
By trade, Doniree is a recovering media buyer who now makes a living as a blogger, freelance writer, and social web strategist. A firm believer in balance, she's also a certified yoga instructor and hopes to complete some sort of culinary training by the time she's 30. She's active on the 20SB admin team, is starting a web services business with a friend and fellow 20SB member, and dreams wildly and often of becoming rich and Internet-famous. Doniree loves a good latte, the Portland Farmers' Markets, flaky croissants, red wine, and gets a little too excited over brand new notebooks.
Named after a purple billboard in Paris, Elysa was destined to be involved with marketing before she was even born. Elysa's background in design and marketing have led to a profession and hobby of social media. As a self proclaimed Geek Girl, Elysa is a Community Manager for several brands, acting as their voice on Facebook and Twitter in addition to providing overall digital strategy. Elysa is on the leadership team of the Social Media Club of Dallas.
She launched her blog GenPink in 2007 as a personal outlet and way to connect with fellow twenty-somethings during a time when the majority of popular female blogs were "mommy blogs". Since the launch, GenPink has received various awards and recognition. With over 50 guest contributors, GenPink has become a voice to encourage Gen Y women to excel in life both personally and professionally. Her claim to fame towards the goal of “Internet celebritydom” is receiving an award for Top 30 Under 30 and being listed as Dallas Twitter Elite.
Erin wanted to be anything but a photographer when she was growing up. Something changed in college, though, and Erin fell head over heels for photography. In her last semester, Erin started writing at Stylish Handwriting, a blog where she documented her life - the good, bad, and hilarious. Later that year, Erin created a photoblog, Life As It Is, to share her professional experiences and photographs with friends and family. Recently, Erin started a new blog, The Speckled Palate, which details her adventures in the kitchen. So far, her grill has only caught on fire once.
In 2010, Erin won the 20SB Best Original Photographer Award. She is an award-winning photojournalist and works as a freelance photographer in Louisiana, shooting everything from breaking news to sporting events, portraits to weddings.
Gala Darling's unrelenting devotion to positivity & magic has earned her cult celebrity status & rabid fans all over the globe, from India to Sweden.
From the massive number of hits her website garners on a monthly basis to her legendary Things I Love Thursday lists, this writer, nomad & international playgirl easily transfers her enthusiasm for life into the written word.
Described in the New York Times as "a Web-tethered gadabout," she was recently named one of the 10 most influential style bloggers in the world (Fashionista). She has been described as a "tattooed Miss Manners" (The Bargain Queen), a "downtown Carrie Bradshaw" (Elle) & a "New York City society gal" (Filament). Celebrity stylist & icon Rachel Zoe says Gala & her site are "très chic."
Jake Stangel is a San Francisco based photographer and traveler. He was born in Montreal, raised in Maryland, and went to school at NYU from 2004-08 where he received a degree in "visual communication" from the university's hippie subschool called Gallatin. After graduating, he promptly moved to Portland, Oregon to begin a scrappy life as a photographer. Having left the nucleus of photography in NYC and trying to find his way into a photographic career on his own in the Northwest, Jake soon began to reach out to other emerging photographers around the world, who, too, were trying to "make it".
He started his photo blog, too much chocolate, at the tail-end of 2008 a couple of months into his living in Portland. The site functions as an online photo exhibition/dialogue space that aims to serve and connect editorial, fine art, and commercial photographers all over the Internet by focusing on dialogue, support, and exposure within the online photo community. It is a photographic hub, especially to emerging photographers, and also exists to share the work of photographers across genres of editorial and fine art photography.
Jen Friel is a corporate sponsored minimalist who gave up everything she owned to find happiness and currently spent the last year urban camping, living with readers of her site “Talk Nerdy To Me, Lover,” documenting all of her adventures in social media. (Which included but were not limited to, crashing the 2010 Grammys to meet Pete Cashmore, dancing on stage with Prince, hosting on the red carpet at the 2011 Academy Awards, eating beef jerky for 30 days, skydiving, flying cross country with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and The Fonz, learning how to drive stick on the Ford test driving track in Dearborn, Michigan, and going out on over 103 dates in 9 months from OkCupid.) She has previously worked for the founder of Myspace launching his start up LiveVideo, and was also a model on Deal or No Deal (5 episodes on the syndicated version #16), and for Snorg Tees respectively. Her website is also being made into a pilot from the producers of Elf, Wedding Crashers, Meet the Fockers, and The Bourne Supremecy. And she is currently writing Personal Branding in the popular For Dummies series of books.
Jenn is a northern transplant currently living and exploring in Atlanta, Georgia. She keeps herself entertained with weekly trivia nights, a kickball league, and inquiring about the availability of composting earthworms while watching crime dramas. She’s not sure how she would communicate if she couldn’t share her life stories with strangers on the Internet.
Jenn serves on the executive team for 20 Something Bloggers and has helped to launch start-ups like Glass. She also dabbled in the freelance writing world before signing on for a full-time marketing gig. Her perfect world includes excessive amounts of Internet cat videos, Eric Northman, and movie theater popcorn. Jenn graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in Political Science. She currently works in marketing for a construction management firm in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jenna is the Head of Community and Operations at Livefyre, a real-time social commenting platform that helps people actively engage with their communities. She has been leading the Livefyre community from the beginning, building it from the ground up. She's helping bloggers and brands foster their communities across the web.
Jenna got her start in social media by volunteering at conferences to learn about and meet people in the industry. She has been a leader in several unconferences and spoke at Social Media Week San Francisco about community and social business. She loves attending events to learn new things and bring online communities together in real life.
John is a twenty-something, coffee-addicted blogger, YouTuber, adventurer and Nerdfighter from Chicago. He has been chronicling his life through blogging and online videos since 2006. Following his mantra of “I’m a nobody, but I hope to inspire somebody,” John uses new media to tell a story to inspire and motivate people to do something greater and have an adventure. Whether it’s running half-marathons, marathons, traveling around the world or just trying to make people smile, John tries to capture events in a unique manner. Through blogging, he shared his adventures and misfortunes while backpacking Europe and Australia.
As a YouTube partner, John has inspired hundreds of non-runners to start running and brought laughter to many others by riding the subway without pants. John’s videos have been featured on Huffington Post, Boing Boing and The Chicago Tribune.
Katie is the Strategic Advisor for web marketing company, Schipul. An Internet nerd and social media fanatic, she spends much of her time testing out new online applications and has been published nationally for her ideas on integrating powerful online tools into smart marketing plans. Katie is also a proud co-founder of Houston Netsquared – a group dedicated to helping nonprofits through online technology.
A longtime Blogger, you can find Katie online writing about social media, knitting and everything in between, sharing stories about her awesome daughter and organizing a local art club called Houston Dr. Sketchy’s.
When not glued to her laptop (aka: ‘geeking out’), Katie spends her days playing with vintage Soviet cameras, harassing used book store employees, baking the world’s best cupcakes and pushing short people in swings on the playground with her family.
As a Communication Specialist, Laurel works with internal and external communication for Southwest including blogs, social media, LUVLines (company magazine), Green/CSR initiatives, spokesperson duties, and a weekly employee newscast.
Laurel started her career with Southwest Airlines as a Writer in Customer Relations. In January 2010, she accepted a position in the Communications Department. Before beginning her career at Southwest, she worked in sales for GMAC as well as media relations for the racing events at Texas Motor Speedway.
Laurel earned a B.A. in broadcast journalism from the University of North Texas. She continued her education at the University of North Texas by earning a Master’s degree in journalism with a focus on integrated marketing communication.
Megan Berry is Marketing Manager for Klout, the standard measure of online influence. She blogs on The Huffington Post, Mashable, Brazen Careerist, and the Klout blog as well as musing on her own blog, Part Time Perfectionist. Megan had her first award-winning website at the age 11. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University and worked initially at Mobclix before joining Klout as its second employee. In her spare time... Megan wonders where her spare time went and considers herself a social media junkie.
After receiving an art grand from his college to produce political web-based videos, Michael edited a Hillary Clinton speech to make it look like she farted live on stage.
His work was noticed by Ben Relles (Obama Girl, The Key of Awesome) and he began working for Next New Networks as part of Barely Political in 2008. There, he created the Barely Arcade, a network of interactive YouTube content and games. In 2010, he founded Vsauce, a best-of-the web education and comedy network where he has launched a number of experimental YouTube programs including "Vsauce Leanback," a series of curated-playlists featuring producers from all across YouTube.
He currently works for YouTube's Next Lab in New York City.
Molly writes Smart Pretty and Awkward, which gives three pieces of advice each post: How to be Smarter; How to be Prettier; and How to be (less) Awkward. Molly started her blog in December 2008 because she had one little tip that she thought was genius: using clean, unused toilet seat covers as facial blotting tissues (which, she promptly forgot about, and didn’t blog about until five months in). The next thing she knew, she had a domain name, and the blog had found a life of its own.
Molly has a B.S. in Finance from Northeastern University and worked for two years in account management/online marketing in NYC, before making the transition to full-time blogger in Spring 2011. She spends her days working on Smart Pretty and Awkward, and its spin-off newsletter, Coffee with Molly, as well as doing social media consulting for clients and other related projects.
Nate is the founder of ItStartsWith.Us, a group that's changing the world in just 15 minutes a week. It's free, it's fun, and it makes a difference. He is also the co-founder of Love Drop and Love Bomb: both ways for the community to rally to surprise, delight and support other members of the community that are suffering in some way. Just six months into the project, Love Drop has given away nearly $50,000 to six families in need, all through individual micro-giving.
“The goal of ItStartsWith.Us is to build a global community of individuals focused on making a positive impact in the lives of the people around them. Each and every one of us has the ability to change the world by touching lives in this way. And when we hear stories about the positive things others are doing, we become more aware of the opportunities we have to make a difference for the people around us.”
Nico is a web developer who learned to be a blogger by accident. Initially, he constructed his blog as a space for experimenting in web development and social media.
Very quickly, Nico discovered that his blog would be neglected if he did not fill it with content. While he could have started writing about his working world with web development and social media, Nico actually found it much more entertaining to blog with scattered thoughts and about various interests, most of which circle around musicianship, video games, and coffee. As it turns out, this style of blogging binds together a large segment of the blogging community as subculture and before he knew it, Nico was a participant in a blogger subculture - one he doesn't plan on leaving.
A social media aficionado, Patrick writes about his adventures as a young professional in the nation’s capital, and how technology and other forces are changing the world for Gen Y. Patrick’s stories, rants, and opinions have been featured in The Washington City Paper, The Washington Express and more. Patrick also writes for We Love DC where he covers theatre and the Washington Wizards.
Patrick gained extensive video production experience working at Avid Technology and local community television stations. He graduated from Fitchburg State University with a degree in Communications Media. Patrick currently works in PR/Communications and has produced numerous videos for clients including Chrysler, General Motors, Newmont, 3M, and the NFL Players Association. In 2007 he worked on Chevrolet’s Super Bowl College Ad Challenge campaign, which resulted in one of the first consumer-inspired Super Bowl Ads.
Richard is a writer, director, and creator. His blog, Boehmcke's Human Condition, has been visited by people in over 100 different countries. Richard's commitment to creating quality content spills over into his mixed media blog, Relevant Motion, which consists of poetry, prose, photography and more. He loves all things creative and is constantly on the lookout for new and inspiring things.
Richard has written and directed two original plays for the Manhattan stage and is currently working on a short film, screenplays, a stage play, a web series and his weekly podcast. All of his content can be accessed via his homepage at www.boehmcke.com. Richard lives in New York with 1 stuffed pug and 1 cardboard pug.
Ryan is a community-building expert and thought leader on Generation Y. He currently serves as the Community Director and Chief of Staff for the Young Entrepreneur Council (Y.E.C.), a nonprofit organization that provides young entrepeneurs with access to tools, mentoryship, community and educational resources that support each stage of their business' development and growth.
Ryan is also the Founder of Brazen Careerist, a community where ambitious young professionals connect and grow. Mashable called Brazen Careerist the #1 social network for Generation Y in 2009.
When Ryan isn't working, he loves to travel, cook, and play with his Bulldog, Lucy.
Sami is one of Chicago's biggest fans! He hosts “tweetups” to bring Chicago's social media community together without the restrictions of 140 characters. With the help of social media marketing, he plans, markets and hosts these “tweetups” at carefully selected venues to create an exceptional experience for attendees.
Sami has consulted with organizations about the importance of bringing online communities offline and recently joined the community managers team at BeKnown, Monster.com's professional networking application on Facebook.
Also a fan of social media for social good, Sami recently raised over $12,000 to aid the Japan Tsunami and Earthquake Relief Fund by hosting a social media powered fundraiser.
Sara hails from our nation’s capital, but is a Midwest girl at heart. Coming from a varied background of law and graphic design, she ultimately realized her true passion for connecting people and has not looked back since!
As the Chicago Event Evangelist for Eventbrite, Sara is responsible for working with event planners and organizers all over to help them manage the registration and promotion needs for their events to ensure maximum exposure. On any given day, you can find her networking with event organizers in her metro area, attending all different types of events from technology seminars to wine tastings, or actually planning events of her own.
Tim has conducted over 150 interviews on BeyondThePedway.com, a website he founded for creative entrepreneurs to learn from the successes, failures, and journeys of fellow creators.
He is also the co-founder of the popular Entrepreneurs Unpluggd event series and author of “Use Interviews To Increase Your Blog Traffic”, an e-book teaching the art of interviewing and how it can help increase blog traffic.
Tim is a regular contributor to Tech Cocktail and Crain’s Chicago Business. He is also a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council.
DEREK SHANAHAN Co-Founder of 20 Something Bloggers
Derek is "The Chief" of 20 Something Bloggers, the largest and best community of personal bloggers online. He is also the founder and Chief Community Officer of Foodtree, the first crowd-sourced database and map of local food on the web.
Derek is a self-proclaimed ideafreak and extremely active in various communities related to the web, blogging, startups, and entrepreneurship. The Two Nine Music Blog, Startup Drinks Vancouver, Acoustech, and a number of other projects that fill up what he jokingly calls his "free time".
He also donates insights to a number of non-profit organizations and is notably honored to be a Founding Advisor of Palindrome Advisors. Derek is a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) graduate of Stanford University, where he captained the Men's Soccer Team to two NCAA Final Four appearances.
Octavarius is like Whose Line is It Anyway?, Con Air, and Jackson Pollock had a baby, and that baby performs comedy in Chicago. Octavarius believes that fun is everywhere, and to that end, produces live shows, comedy music, interactive podcasts, videos, blog posts, and games.
Octavarius was recently voted the #1 Improv/Sketch Group in Chicago in the 2011 Chicago Reader Best of Chicago poll. The Huffington Post called them, "Chicago's young and hip improv ensemble..." and Time Out said, "Totally infectious... More improv shows should be this much fun.“
You can learn more about Octavarius and join the invasion at Octavarius.