June 17, 2016
222 N LaSalle St. Chicago, IL
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Jim_CareyJim Carey 
Adjunct Professor / Northwestern University 

As an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University’s graduate Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Program, Jim has taught Direct, Database & E-Commerce Marketing Strategies, Marketing Measurement, and analysis skills over 16 years. He brings three decades of experience in helping companies leverage customer data to succeed in the marketplace.

Jim also directed the IMC Summer Quarter for 5 years. He worked closely with global marketers as they developed student team projects, including Adobe, Allstate, CDW, Discover Card, FedEx, Johnson Controls, McDonalds, P&G, United Healthcare and others.

Jim now leads the development efforts of Northwestern’s Applied Neuromarketing Consortium, leveraging advanced neuroscience and Big Data tools to understanding human behavior. The ANC is expanding the frontiers of marketing by applying the lessons of neurology to the issues of consumer attention, memory and reward.

Jim has held leadership positions in direct marketing agencies in New York, Boston, and Chicago. He is Past President of the 2000-member Chicago Association of Direct Marketing, and was named Chicago “Direct Marketer of the Year” in 2009. Over his career, Jim has helped guide the data-driven marketing efforts of Abbott Labs, Acxiom, Diageo, Discover Financial Services, Epson, Experian, Gateway (Acer), HSBC (Household Bank), Marriott, Motorola, Porsche, Sears, United Healthcare and other marketing leaders.

Carroll_Anja_2015_144_5x7Anja Carroll
Vice President, Media & Customer Engagement / McDonald’s

Anja Carroll is currently Vice President of Marketing Planning and Connections for McDonalds USA. She is responsible for innovating McDonald’s marketing strategies, advancing how McDonald’s connects with its customers.

Ms. Carroll guides an extended team of marketing and media professionals that design and execute McDonald’s marketing and media plans. In her current role, she leads the development of system marketing priorities, ensuring strategic alignment with McDonald’s USA Business Plan and leverages emerging technologies to develop and scale new customer touch points.

She also oversees investment strategies for McDonald’s national advertising cooperative and has been instrumental in energizing the U.S. marketing teams and franchisees to embrace new marketing concepts.

Ms. Carroll joined McDonald’s USA in 2000, originally responsible for kids and diversity media. In 2001, she was tapped to lead media strategy and execution for the national co-op as Director of U.S. Media. In 2004, she picked up digital marketing responsibilities and in 2011 she was tapped to lead media and digital marketing globally. She returned to the U.S. Business full time in her current role in May 2014.

Prior to joining McDonald’s, Ms. Carroll was with DDB Needham where she developed and managed integrated media planning and buying activities for a variety of financial services, retail and packaged goods companies including McDonald’s USA.

Ms. Carroll earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Fred EFred_Ehlehle
Vice President, Customer Strategy / McDonald’s (Former)

As Vice President of Customer Strategy for McDonald’s USA, Fred was responsible for driving customer focused, insights driven initiatives. Fred led the customer insights and customer experience teams. He also led the development and implementation of the CRM function.

Fred began his McDonald’s career in 2014, and brings with him extensive experience in marketing, strategy, brand management, brand activation, new product development and launch, and retail strategy.

Before joining McDonald’s, Fred was the Vice President of Brand Management for Pulte Group, the nation’s largest new home builder. There, he was responsible for Pulte’s three brands: Centex, Pulte and Del Webb leading the development of brand strategy and strategy activation. He redefined the Centex and Del Webb business models, including new products, retail environments, and mortgage service offerings. He created Pulte Group’s new product development process and led ideation for developing new products. He was also responsible for creating a new, forward-looking segmentation model that unearthed new opportunity targets and modeled future demand by segment. Fred was a member of the corporate strategy team, identifying drivers of shareholder value.

Prior to Pulte Group, Fred served as Managing Partner and Founder for Brandapart LLC, a marketing consultancy that makes strategy actionable. Before founding Brandapart, Fred spent almost 20 years in advertising leading national and global brands such as Campbell Soup Company, Betty Crocker, Raid Insecticide, and State Farm Insurance as well as a number of high tech and financial services companies at the FCB, Leo Burnett, DDB and VSA Partners agencies.


20150630_CloudSpotter_Troy-3Troy Henikoff
Managing Director / Techstars Chicago

Troy is a seasoned entrepreneur who has built multiple successful technology-based businesses from the ground-up over a 20+ year period. With one foot firmly rooted in technology and the other firmly rooted in business he seamlessly bridges the divide between business and technology to create profitable organizations quickly. Troy excels in situations where innovation and creativity are required to solve real business problems.

Troy was the CEO and Co-founder of Excelerate which became Techstars Chicago in 2013. Additionally he is a Managing Director of MATH Venture Partners – an early to mid stage technology fund, teaches Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University and is on the board of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. His last 25 years have been spent starting, running and advising early stage technology companies including SurePayroll, OneWed, Amacai and Jellyvision.


lancina1Gary Lancina
Former Head of Retail Partnerships and Innovation / BP

Gary Lancina is the former lead for Marketing and Retail Innovation for BP Products North America. He led teams responsible for consumer and customer insights, continual enhancement of the BP consumer experience and value proposition, and fuels product management. Millions of consumers buy fuel each day from BP’s U.S. network of over 7,000 retail sites, and the business sells over 12 billion gallons of fuel products annually. Before joining BP, Mr. Lancina was the Vice President of Marketing for Redbox, leading the company’s overall marketing efforts, including customer experience, acquisition, and branding strategies. He guided the brand to record awareness and market shares, while increasing revenue over $330 million. Mr. Lancina previously held senior leadership positions in Marketing and Retail Innovation for BP Products North America. 

He also held leading marketing roles for firms such as LUMA Institute, S. C. Johnson, Rand McNally, Master Lock, and Kohler Co. He is a Fulbright Scholar with an MBA from Clemson University and a BA from Pomona College.


Aamanda-lannertmanda Lannert
CEO / Jellyvision

Amanda Lannert is the Chief Executive Officer of The Jellyvision Lab and has been a key figure in driving the company since its founding in 2001. Her focus at Jellyvision is on the company’s strategy, improving processes to better scale operations, partnership development, and customer acquisition to continue fueling the company’s growth.

Under Amanda’s leadership, Jellyvision has doubled its revenue three out of the last four years. The company has grown to serve hundreds of mostly Fortune 1000 clients with interactive communication solutions for desktop, mobile, and emerging platforms via the company’s digital agency work and ALEX, the most helpful employee decision support platform on the planet (www.meetalex.com). In 2014, 3 million employees and $32 billion dollar’s worth of premium decisions were entrusted to ALEX. Meanwhile, the company has been recognized as the Best Software Company and Best Culture by the Moxies, the 2015 Lighthouse winner by the ITA, a top 10 best place to work in Chicago by The Chicago Tribune and the #1 place for millennials to work in Chicago according to Crain’s.

Prior to joining The Jellyvision Lab, Amanda managed global brands for Kellogg’s while at Leo Burnett, where she developed strategies and implemented campaigns for Pop-Tarts and Nutri-Grain bars, in addition to spending two years in a new business and new brand development think tank. She attended Haverford College and Edinburgh University.

Amanda was named CEO of the Year at the Moxie Awards in 2014 and 2015 and has been profiled in the Chicago Tribune and Crain’s. She is also active in Chicago’s startup community, having served on the advisory boards of 1871 and Starter League, a board member of NowSecure, and as a member of ChicagoNEXT, an organization dedicated to driving growth and opportunity in the Chicago business community. She also serves as “Super Mentor” for Chicago incubators Impact Engine and TechStars, where she was also named Mentor of the Year. Mrs. Lannert is quick to laugh and enjoys a good cupcake.


Hall LeFevre_Deborah_5x7_v2Deborah Hall-Lefevre
Vice President, Global Enterprise Solutions / McDonald’s Corporation

Deb Hall-Lefevre is currently the Vice President of Global Enterprise Solutions, where she manages McDonald’s business portfolio and drives global improvement through Business Intelligence, Financial systems, HR systems, and Training systems.

Previously, Deb was the CIO of McDonald’s U.S. Information Technology department, where she was responsible for the development and execution of the U.S. technology strategy. Deb worked closely with the U.S. leadership team and Owner/Operator leadership to leverage technology to improve and grow the business. She was responsible for the successful delivery of all IT products and services. Prior to that, she was Vice President of IT Enterprise for McDonald’s Corporation, a role she held for five years. Deb was committed to providing global strategic leadership on how technology can be applied to fulfill corporate objectives. She joined McDonald’s Corporation in January 2002 as Director, IT Strategy & Planning. In this role she was instrumental in establishing and leading the Technology Investment Board (TIB) governance process for the global IT Solutions organization. Prior to joining McDonald’s, Deb was with Motorola for 13 years where she held a variety of roles within IT. She sits on a number of internal executive boards that provide strategic direction and oversight to critical business initiatives. Deb also serves as a board member for Turning Point, a non-for-profit domestic violence agency and shelter in McHenry County. Deb and her family reside in Cary, IL.

Deb graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1991 with a B.S. degree in Computer Information Processing.

Peter LogothetisPeter Logothetis
Vice President and Divisional Chief Information Officer / Allstate

Peter joined Allstate Insurance in late 2011 as the VP and Divisional CIO for Claims Technology Services. In 2015 he was promoted to Senior VP and Group CIO, with responsibility for Claims Technology Services, Life Insurance Technology, and Business Insurance Technology. Prior to Allstate, he spent 5.5 years as Head of Technology Services (CIO) at QBE the Americas, a member of the Australia-based QBE Group.

Peter has more than 30 years of experience in the information technology industry. He has worked in the manufacturing, banking, insurance, and consulting industries for such well known companies as Continental Bank, CNA Insurance, Kemper Insurance, and Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Peter is very active in industry initiatives, conferences, and IT forums. He also serves on several advisory boards and participates in formal and informal mentorship programs.

Peter has taught at DePaul University for over 20 years (adjunct faculty), where he earned his masters in business administration and information systems. He is currently a faculty member at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.


richmanDon Richman
Vice President, Marketing and Business Development / Avant

Don Richman is Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Avant, an online marketplace lending platform that is changing the way consumers obtain credit by lowering the costs and barriers of borrowing. He is responsible for driving Avant’s global customer acquisition and retention efforts steering the company from originating $8m per month to over $250m per month in 2 years.

At its core, Avant is a tech company that is dedicated to creating innovative and practical financial products for all consumers. Avant has secured more than $4 billion in institutional funding to date and more than 500,000 personal loans have been issued through the Avant platform. Avant has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal,The New York Times, TechCrunch, Fortune, Bloomberg and Crain’s Chicago Business and Avant was named to Forbes America’s Most Promising Companies list for 2015 as well as Forbes Next Billion Dollar Startups list for 2015.

After attending Indiana University, Don spent 4 years in Investment Banking at Robert W. Baird and Mesirow Financial. He then moved into the world of consumer focused tech. startups spending time at Bonobos, one of the first and largest digitally native, direct to consumer ecommerce brands and 3+ years at Groupon in various new business development leadership roles including building Groupon’s real-time deal marketplace and high-end fashion vertical.


Rusty-WarnerRusty Warner
Principal Analyst Serving B2C Marketing Professionals / Forrester Research

Rusty serves B2C Marketing Professionals. His research focuses on marketing technologies, including customer analytics, cross-channel campaign management, enterprise marketing platforms, real-time interaction management, and digital customer experience delivery. Rusty helps organizations ensure that marketing technology investments are aligned with strategies to meet shifting customer expectations and support the BT agenda — technologies, systems, and processes to win, serve, and retain customers.

Rusty has more than 25 years’ experience in marketing and customer analytics, product management and product marketing, marketing leadership, business analysis, and strategic planning. Before joining Forrester, Rusty was senior vice president of marketing for SDL’s Campaign Management and Analytics Division (formerly Alterian), focused on solutions for marketing automation, customer analytics, campaign management, and email marketing.

Prior to SDL, Rusty was with NCR and Teradata for 22 years in both the US and Europe. As head of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) marketing for Teradata, he built a “virtual” team to ensure effective marketing execution across 25 countries, with responsibility for all internal and external marketing activities, customer communications and events, program deployment, press and analyst relations, joint marketing with partners, product marketing, and sales support. He also has extensive global consulting and sales support experience based on customer engagements in 35 countries, with particular emphasis on EMEA.

Bob_WassermanBob Wasserman
Senior Vice President, E-Business / Allstate

As Senior Vice President – Marketing, Bob’s responsibilities include leading Digital (including ebusiness/ecommerce, mobile and social media), Direct Marketing and Field Marketing functions for Allstate. In this role, Bob works with business leaders across Allstate to develop and deploy new capabilities and programs to better engage consumers, help customers, generate revenue and support employees and Allstate Agents.

Bob joined Allstate in July, 2009, and his background includes over 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, Internet commerce and operations across a variety of industries.

Before joining Allstate, Bob was Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Operations, for Rewards Network, Inc., in Chicago. There he led business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing strategies and launched new web capabilities serving some 10,000 firms and 3 million customers that resulted in improved productivity, stronger consumer engagement and increased profitability.

Prior to joining Rewards Network, Bob held senior roles at a number of companies, including Vice-President – Marketing at Ameritech Corporation and Vice President – Internet Commerce at W.W. Grainger, Inc.

Bob received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan.

Sam YaganSam Yagan
Vice Chairman / Match Group

Sam Yagan is the Vice-Chairman of Match Group (Nasdaq: MTCH), a position he assumed after serving as the company’s Chief Executive Officer and leading it through a period of explosive growth that culminated in its IPO. He has co-founded several companies, including SparkNotes, eDonkey, OkCupid, Techstars Chicago, and, Firestarter Fund, & Corazon Capital.

Sam has been a leader in the dating industry since he co-founded OkCupid in 2003 and grew it into one of the most popular dating products in America, amassing over four million active users. OkCupid has earned widespread media acclaim and has been described as “the Google of online dating” and where “dating meets Facebook.” In 2011, Match, Inc. acquired OkCupid for $90 million.

Sam’s prior entrepreneurial ventures in the consumer internet sector include SparkNotes (founded in 1999), still the dominant brand of study guides and eDonkey (founded in 2002), once the largest P2P file-sharing network in the world. He sold SparkNotes to Barnes & Noble, Inc., where he served as Vice-President and Publisher and oversaw the expansion of the previously all-digital brand into an expansive multi-platform media business.

Outside of work, Sam’s primary passion is working with early-stage entrepreneurs. In 2009, he co-founded Excelerate Labs (now TechStars Chicago), a leading start-up accelerator, and served as its first Chief Executive Officer. In 2014, Sam founded Corazon Capital, a small angel fund; he sits on the board of several start-ups, including ShiftGig, SpotHero, Roniin, & Brilliant. He also advises several venture capital funds, including Hyde Park Venture Partners and the FireStarter Fund, which he co-founded. He serves on Target Corp’s Digital Advisory Council and the Stanford Graduate School of Business Management Board.

Sam has been named to TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40,” Crain’s Chicago “40 Under 40”, Billboard Magazine’s “30 Under 30,” Crain’s “Tech 25,” D Magazine’s “Dallas 500” and ranked #19 on Silicon Alley Insider’s “Most Inspiring and Influential People.” He has received the Chicago Innovation Awards’ “Visionary of the Year Award,” IMSA’s “Distinguished Leadership Award,” and the DCIA’s “Pioneer’s Award.” Sam has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and has spoken at the CATO Institute, Digital Hollywood, IRCE, the Federal Trade Commission, and numerous other industry events.

Sam has a BA with honors in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he earned distinction as a Siebel Scholar, an Arjay Miller Scholar, and the Henry Ford Scholar, the award granted to each class’s valedictorian.