Cole Schaefer is the Co-founder of SMACKIN’ Sunflower Seeds, jumbo-flavored sunflower seeds roasted and seasoned to perfection. He is a self-starting college entrepreneur dedicated to creating products and services that improve the lives of others. Previously, Cole served as the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Blueprint Brands, a Venture Capital Analyst at Atland Ventures, and a Digital Marketer at Homi Inc. He holds a BS in marketing from the University of Minnesota.
[Sweets and Snacks Show Series] – Nourishing Wellness Bars: A Healthy Snack Option With Grace Erickson
Grace Erickson is the CEO of Zing Bars, a chocolate brand that creates nourishing wellness bars for health-conscious consumers. She has a wealth of experience in general management, marketing, operations, accounting and finance, and HR/IT. Grace has a proven track record of creating, planning, and building processes, metrics, and projects for small and medium businesses. She also serves on the board of directors at American Licorice Company.
[Sweets and Snacks Show Series] – Discovering the World of Chocolate Moonshine With Christopher Warman Sr.
Christopher Warman Sr. is the CEO of Chocolate Moonshine, a gourmet fudge, chocolate, and hand-painted truffle bar manufacturer. Using traditional cooking methods, Chocolate Moonshine uses French and Belgian chocolate, Madagascar vanilla, and pure sugar cane ingredients to make delicious confections. Chris began a career in confectionery in 1983 and has since been recognized as a leader in the fudge category. He also has over three decades of experience in manufacturing, retail, and wholesale distribution.
[Sweets and Snacks Show Series] – Tips for Growing Successful Food Brands With Shane Robbins and Michael Goldstein
Shane Robbins is the Owner of Bulk Wild Bison, a brand that produces high-quality bison meat that’s healthy and incredibly tasty. He is an industry expert in bison production and spends most of his time caring for his herds. Before Bulk Wild Bison, Shane worked for Coca-Cola as a merchandiser salesperson for 15 years.
[Sweets and Snacks Show Series] – Success Stories in the Sweets and Snacks Industry With Carly Schildhaus, Theresa Bostic, Allison Lin, and Tessa Porter
Carly Schildhaus is the Director of Public Affairs and Communications at the National Confectioners Association, the leading trade organization representing the US confectionery industry. The association promotes the unique role of chocolate, candy, gum, and mints in a happy and balanced lifestyle. Previously, Carly worked as an Associate Director of Development at The George Washington University, but now she serves as an outside reader. She holds an MA in media and public affairs from The George Washington University.
Theresa Bostic is the Co-founder of Kayla’s Italian Ice, a brand that provides premium frozen desserts that are gluten, dairy, and soy-free, made with cane sugar. Her role in the company includes providing leadership development in business and training for potential franchise owners. Theresa also serves as an OE (Operating Experience) Trainer and Brand Ambassador of Delta Air Lines. She holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources and an MBA in project management from Brenau University.
Allison Lin is the Co-founder and COO at Like Air, a family-run brand that makes delicious and gluten-free puffcorn that melts in your mouth. Before Like Air, she was a Global Product Owner at HSBC. Allison holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Nicosia and a BS in foreign service from Georgetown University.
Tessa Porter is the Founder of Norma’s Snacks, a brand that offers a range of natural fruity snacks for those who crave something delicious. With a background as a candy scientist and R&D leader, she has a proven track record of success in the CPG industry. Tessa is also the Owner of Sprinkk, a candy development business supporting confectioners from idea to manufacturing.
[Top Agency Series] Digital Marketing Solutions for Multifamily Entrepreneurs With David Staley and Reid Wicoff
David Staley is the Co-founder and President of Digible, a company providing advanced digital marketing and technology solutions for the multifamily housing industry. He has extensive experience in digital strategy, has built businesses from the ground up at three start-up companies, and has led digital strategy initiatives for Hearst, Verizon, and Digital First Media.
David has worked with some of the largest multifamily portfolios in the industry to develop digital solutions that not only drive leasing velocity but also increase NOI. He has been recognized for several prestigious awards, including the 2021 Top Workplace Awards, AdWeek’s Fastest Growing Company, and the Guinness Book of World Records for the Greatest Distance Run on a Treadmill in 12 Hours.
Reid Wicoff is the Co-founder and CEO of Digible. He has rich expertise in digital media, organizational change, leadership development, and enterprise strategy. Before Digible, Reid held high-level leadership positions at several Fortune 500 companies, including CBS Radio, Cox Media Group, and Digital First Media. He has been recognized for several prestigious awards, including the 2021 Top Workplace Award, Adweek’s Fastest Growing Agency of 2021, and the Guinness Book of World Records for the Shortest Distance on a Treadmill in 12 hours.
Nir Zavaro is the Founder, CEO, and Chief of Happiness at Streetwise, an agency specializing in outsourced marketing services. Founded in 2011, the company has worked with hundreds of brands in Israel and abroad. Nir is a speaker and the author of F*ck the Slides. He is also a partner in a few ventures, a mentor in various accelerators, and a lecturer on branding, sales, marketing, and storytelling.
Scott Donnell is the Founder of GravyStack, the world’s first gamified banking platform designed to help parents teach their kids and teens financial skills. He is also the Founder of Apex Leadership Co., a fundraising company developing fundraising plans that more effectively mobilize students and community members. His companies have equipped over six million kids nationwide with leadership, fitness, and financial competency skills.
Scott is also the Founder of Hapbee, a biotech company integrating physical fitness and mental wellness. He is a best-selling author of Value Creation Kid and hosts the Smart Money Parenting podcast, where he shares practical financial literacy tools for kids.
Jon Tsourakis is the President and Chief Revenue Officer of Oyova, an application development and marketing agency specializing in integrating marketing and technology to create efficiencies and growth for clients. He also owns the Digital Mastermind Group, a community of digital agency owners and leaders who believe in the power of the mastermind concept to elevate the industry.
Jon is a seasoned leader, strategist, and marketing expert whose entrepreneurial record includes having created two companies that averaged 4X ROI for businesses with branding and marketing models. He is extensively skilled in his industry and shines as a marketing strategist and sales developer.
[Top Agency Series] Website Conversion Optimization Tips for E-Commerce Brands With Raphael Paulin-Daigle
Raphael Paulin-Daigle is the CEO of SplitBase, an e-commerce conversion optimization agency for fashion, luxury, and lifestyle brands. SplitBase combines rigorous customer research with A/B and AI testing to enable long-term growth for DTC luxury brands. SplitBase is at the forefront of conversion optimization, generating revenues of over $1 million for famous brands like Kiehl’s and its parent company L’Oréal, and increasing conversions by double digits for many DTC brands like DIFF Eyewear and Dr. Squatch.
Before founding SplitBase, Raphael led special projects at Blockstream and was a digital marketing consultant. Raphael also hosts the Minds of Ecommerce Podcast, where he interviews founders and executives of highly successful brands on their top growth strategies.
Chris Heivly is the Co-founder of MapQuest, a pioneering online mapping service that has refashioned how we experience navigation and geographic information systems. He has rich experience in entrepreneurship, including company-building experience, startup expertise, and venture capital investment as an early-stage investor.
Chris is a best-selling author of the Build the Fort series — a renowned guide for startup community builders. He is also a prolific blogger on his website — www.heivly.com, a contributing writer for INC.com, and a sought-after public speaker on startups, startup communities, corporate innovation, and entrepreneurial ecosystem development.
Lee Benson is the Founder and CEO of Execute to Win (ETW) and EXECUTE™ MasterMINDs — companies dedicated to helping businesses create value effectively. With over 30 years of experience in business, including experience founding seven companies with exits ranging from a few million dollars well into nine figures, he is a value creation expert.
Lee developed the innovative MIND Methodology (Most Important Number and Drivers Methodology) — a business operating methodology designed to strengthen teams by aligning every action with their core objectives — which has seen teams he works with accelerate their growth and impact. He is also a sought-after speaker, best-selling author, and a strong advocate for continuous improvement and innovation.
[Top Black Business Leader Series] Scaling Up & Attracting Clients on Auto-Pilot With Marquel Russell
Marquel Russell is the Founder of Client Attraction University, a marketing consultancy helping businesses attract clients on auto-pilot and scale up while working 50% less. Before establishing Client Attraction University, he had a thriving entertainment company that helped clients with artist management and club promotion, building renowned organizations in the network marketing industry.
Marquel also hosts The School of Client Attraction podcast, where he shares how he has helped clients generate billions of ad impressions, millions of leads, and over $250 million in revenue.
[Top Agency Series] From One-Man Operation to Global Fulfillment Center With Nathan Bailey of We Are Ideation
Nathan Bailey is the Founder and CEO of We Are Ideation, a company renowned for its trailblazing promotional strategies. With a background in pharmaceutical sales, Nathan founded Ideation in 2009 and has grown it into a powerhouse that delivers impactful marketing and branding experiences for businesses through crafting unique promotional products. Having collaborated with industry giants like Intel and Oracle through Ideation, Nathan is an innovator reshaping the landscape of promotional marketing.
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Jonathan Peress is the President and CEO of ProMedia, a full-service, tech-enabled marketing agency specializing in cost-per-acquisition, direct-response, and alternative media.Under his leadership, ProMedia’s annual revenue has grown by more than 120% each year, earning the agency the 10th Fastest Growing Small Business in America award from Entrepreneur Magazine and recognition in the Inc 5000 list of fastest-growing businesses for three consecutive years.
Before ProMedia, Jonathan was a member of Viacom’s industry, leading the DRTV sales team and working closely on Comedy Central, Spike TV, LOGO, and Vh1. In 2020, he was named one of South Florida’s Top 40 under 40 by the South Florida Business Journal.
Phil Alves is the Founder and CEO of DevSquad, a boutique consulting firm specializing in strategizing, designing, and developing SaaS products. A SaaS aficionado, Phil has led the build of 100-plus software products for bootstrapper founders, VC-funded fast-growing startups, and big enterprises such as ADP, Box, and the US ski team. In addition, he is the Founder of DevStats, a developer analytics tool that helps product and engineer leaders optimize data and improve how they measure performance metrics to build healthier teams. Phil also hosts The SaaS Origin Stories Podcast, where he sits with founders to explore their SaaS journeys and share insights on navigating the world of SaaS.
Ashton Shanks is the Founder and CEO of Hemon Media Group, a boutique direct-response agency specializing in testing and feedback looping to scale medium and large accounts with precision and maximum ad efficiency. Ashton is the Founder of HemonX, which teaches marketers how to manage ad spending, and also the Founder of Hemon Staffing, which connects skilled marketers with businesses that need their help.
Ashton has been honored as a speaker at AdWorld, Affiliate World, and GeekOut, where he has shared his unique approaches to digital marketing with other founders and marketers. He previously served as the CEO of Traffic and Funnels, which helps high-level consultants, coaches, and experts develop lead-generation machines to scale their businesses to seven figures a year.
Lauren Von is the Founder and CEO of Quintessa Marketing, a firm that delivers comprehensive marketing services for client acquisition to attorneys and law firms. Lauren has extensive experience in the legal marketing and advertising industry. She is skilled in personal injury lead generation, intake training and development, and customer relationship management. As a successful entrepreneur, Lauren is known for her passion for supporting women in business.
Desmond Clark is the Founder and President of Bear Down Logistics, a third-party brokerage that offers dispatching and warehousing solutions. With a successful 12-year NFL career, he is now a global motivational speaker, accountability coach, two-time published author, and podcaster. Before founding Bear Down Logistics, Desmond was a Co-owner and Partner at The Insurance People, a full-service agency that caters to all types of insurance. His mission is to share his life lessons, cultivate meaningful relationships, and create value for those he interacts with.
Rusty Shelton is the Founder and Chairman of Zilker Media, a boutique agency offering comprehensive marketing solutions for thought leaders and their associated companies. Over the last two decades, he has held high-level positions and is now the Senior Marketing Strategist at Advantage Media Group (formerly Shelton Interactive). Having spoken at Harvard at age 23 about the evolving world of PR and marketing, Rusty has established himself as a respected voice in his field.
Rusty is also a best-selling author and an active keynote speaker, regularly addressing audiences about building thought leadership, navigating the shifting media landscape, and enhancing impact with authority marketing. He taught over 20 Harvard Medical School CME courses and has spoken for organizations, including YPO, EO, SXSW Interactive, and various Fortune 1000 companies.