2009 Speakers

SmartDesign_StaffPhoto_NASAHN Nasahn Sheppard is Director of Industrial Design at Smart Design, where he heads the Industrial Design practice for the San Francisco studio. He serves as creative director for a wide range of projects that often require an integrated design solution, including product, interactive, brand communication, and strategic research. With expertise in the technology, consumer electronics, and consumer packaged goods sectors, Nasahn has led successful programs for such clients as Cisco Flip, HP, Clorox, P&G, Toshiba, Amana, Microsoft, Bell Canada, Intel, GM, and OXO. He holds multiple design and mechanical patents, has won several design awards, and received a BS in Product Design (with honors) from Art Center College of Design.

Nellie Ling PhotoNellie Hsu Ling, as a Senior Design Strategist at Smart Design, uncovered and applied relevant user insights to    design successful strategies, products and experiences for clients such as Hewlett Packard, Panasonic, Clorox, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. Nellie developed her brand planning career at   Arnold Worldwide in Boston creating campaigns and communications for clients such as Gillette, Procter & Gamble, Ocean Spray and American Legacy Foundation for “truth” (anti-teen smoking). After receiving her MBA from Harvard Business School, Nellie worked in brand management and built businesses for Clorox with a focus on strategy, communications, retail marketing, packaging and product development.

maryjanefinalMary Jane Stevenson is California Director for Organizing for America. Previously she was the California Field Director for Obama for America in the 2008 general election. Using California’s exceptionally strong volunteer base, Mary Jane fostered an organization that made over 10 million calls into ten battleground states across the country, freeing up resources that helped President Obama achieve a decisive victory in 2008. During the California primary, Mary Jane helped run the precinctcaptain program, managing 9 congressional districts from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles. Mary Jane has also been a correspondent for Courtroom Television Network and a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, covering events such as the Clinton Impeachment and the King riots.

eva Eva Hasson is Trendspotting Director at Shalmor Avnon Amichay / Y&R Interactive Tel Aviv, where she heads the agency’s think tank. Born in Holland and raised in Belgium, Eva speaks four languages and although she is not a native Israeli, she made Israel her home after completing her studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Passionate about advertising, Eva has worked on a wide range of international clients such as Colgate Palmolive, Danone, American Express, Heinz and the Yellow Pages. A regular contributor to the agency’s blog, Eva also publishes a monthly newsletter about breaking trends and emerging consumer patterns.


For over 15 years, Larissa Acosta has worked at leading US Hispanic agencies spearheading business and consumer strategy for Fortune 500 companies targeting the US Hispanic consumer.  As such, she has been an active witness to the changing US demographic landscape and the evolution of Hispanic marketing to accommodate to that change. She is a frequent lecturer at universities and industry conferences and was co-chair of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies Spring 07 Conference.  Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, she lives in San Francisco, California where she manages Alma DDB’s West coast operations.


Emily Dulcan is California Communications Director for Organizing for America. Emily earned a master’s degree in cross-cultural journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and parlayed her love of writing and editing into a career in communications and public relations. After two years at Fenton Communications,the nation’s largest public-interest communications firm, Emily began freelancing as a communications consultant and worked on strategy, branding, and messaging for corporate clients and served as the communications director for a Congressional campaign in Los Angeles. When she’s not living to work, Emily enjoys travel, photography, and eating and drinking well.

garyfinalGarry Tan is a cofounder at Posterous, a Y Combinator-funded company that was launched in June of 2008. Posterous.com is the easiest way to publish anything (text, photos, music, video, and documents of all kinds) to the web using email. Since launch, Posterous has raised an angel round and has grown over 1,000%. Garry loves building online communities, hacking Rails, and all things design / user experience. Garry was previously a founding team engineer for the hedge fund analytics platform at Palantir Technologies, a program manager for Windows Mobile, and built ecommerce sites during Web 1.0 as a software engineer for Sapient and Adjacency New Media. He met his cofounder Sachin Agarwal while studying Computer Systems Engineering at Stanford, where he graduated in 2003.


David L. Brown is an Emmy Award-winning San Francisco documentary filmmaker who has produced, written and directed over 80 productions and 11 broadcast documentaries on social, nuclear, environmental, health, engineering, technology, peace and justice issues. His documentaries have received over 80 international awards, include three Emmy Awards, and have been broadcast on PBS and in sixteen countries. Recent work includes The Bridge So Far: A Suspense Story, a comedic 56-minute documentary on the troubled 16-year history of the new east span of the S.F.-Oakland Bay Bridge that received two Emmy Awards (Best Documentary and Best Graphics and Animation in a Program).


Ken Eklund is a leader in the emerging genre of alternate realitygames, especially those that create playful “what if?” collaborative experiences that invite massive public participation. His games surf the confluence as alternate realities, game-like social media, user-created chronicles, crowdsourced movements and digital futurism all surge and crash together. Ken is best known for creating WORLD WITHOUT OIL , a groundbreaking alternate reality game for ITVS, a public media nonprofit. A game for the public good, WORLD WITHOUT OIL used innovative grassroots journalism to grow a massively multi-authored account of our next oil crisis. The game won worldwide acclaim and was honored as digital storytelling art, as innovative green technology, and won an award for activism and was a finalist for Best Game at the 2008 Webby Awards.


Joe Lambert founded the Center for Digital Storytelling (formerly the San Francisco Digital Media Center) in 1994, with wife Nina Mullen and colleague Dana Atchley. Together they developed a unique computer training and arts program that today is known as the Standard Digital Storytelling Workshop. This process grew out of Joe’s long running collaboration with Dana on the solo theatrical multimedia work, Next Exit. Since then, Joe has traveled the world to spread the practice of digital storytelling and has authored and produced curricula in many contexts, including the Digital Storytelling Cookbook, the principle manual for the workshop process, and Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community.


Grant McCracken holds a PhD from the University of Chicago in cultural anthropology. He is the author of Culture and Consumption, Culture and Consumption II, Plenitude, The Long Interview, Flock and Flow, and Transformations. He has been the director of the Institute of Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School, a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge and he is now a research affiliate at C3 at MIT. He has consulted widely in the corporate world, including the Coca-Cola Company, Diageo, IBM, IKEA, Chrysler, Kraft, and Kimberly Clark. He has served on marketing advisory boards for IBM and the Boston Beer Company. This fall Basic Books will publish his latest book: Chief Culture Officer.

nickbaumNick Baum likes to make awesome products, which he gets to do every day as a Product Manager on Google Chrome. Prior to that, he worked on Android and Google Reader. He started at Google in 2005 as a software engineer, after graduating from Dartmouth College. He posts about good design and photography at http://nickbaum.com.


Frank Striefler Frank began his career on the agency side, managing global brands such as adidas and Puma. On the client side, he first joined Wranger Jeans as the European Marketing Manager prior to taking on the role of Advertising Director at Nike Germany. He extended his youth-and-sports-marketing experience into video gaming at Electronic Arts, London, as EA Sport’s European Marketing Director before coming to the States. Choosing San Francisco as his first U.S. home base, Frank successfully built his own brand consultancy: TheBUZZlab, specializing in cultural branding and communications planning. Frank moved to NYC to introduce Connections Planning to Berlin Cameron and lead Nextel’s youth brand Boost Mobile before returning to the West Coast to join Media Arts Lab, as Head of Connections for Apple in 2005. He expanded his role to bring the art to the science of Connections Planning at TBWA\Chiat\Day a year later. With the introduction of Media Arts, Frank was appointed to be one of the key team members in defining, galvanizing and exporting Media Arts as the network’s new and complimentary philosophy to disruption. He played a crucial role in determining how the network practices Media Arts Planning, evolving the role of Account Planning and orchestrating total brand behavior for LA based clients like Method, WaMu, , Infiniti and Pepsi.

clayClay Parker Jones is a strategist at Undercurrent, builder of ping-pong paddles, drawer of diagrams and spotter of planes. He runs a small freelance creative group called Hustlewood with his two best friends, and runs rather less frequently than he did in college. Though he was featured in an episode of MTV’s Taildaters (link available on request), he’s led a life of considerably less fame than his father, a regional TV news-man. Clay is a graduate of the Diplomacy and World Affairs program of Occidental College in Los Angeles, and is an only child.

emilyfinalEmily Reed of Open Intelligence Agency has been a strategist for 18 years and has worked on over 100 brands including Nike, Coke, Microsoft, Target and Jubitz Truck Stop. She also spent a year doing stand up comedy in Sydney where she learned the meaning of the Australian term, “get the hell off my stage.”

jason final

Jason Oke has been a planner and planning director for 12 years and has been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best companies from Coke to Pepsi, Kellogg’s to Frito-Lay, P&G to Unilever, and Nintendo to Starbucks. He has worked at big global agencies and small startup boutiques, and has been vaguely associated with some great work that has solved tough business problems for clients and won shiny things like Effies. His real passion is the planning community, and seeing the discipline of marketing strategy move forward, which means he spends more time speaking at industry events, writing for marketing publications, and reading blogs than he admits on his timesheets. He can be found online at jasonoke.com


As a native Italian, Domenico Vitale started eating Nutella at a very, very young age. He began his career at Saatchi & Saatchi, Rome. About fifteen years ago, he bid farewell to the Coliseum and headed for the Big Apple, continuing his advertising career continued at Ogilvy & Mather, New York where he worked on esteemed brands such as Jaguar (Global) F ord Motor Company (Global) and numerous Hershey’s brands. Since that move to the States, Domenico has bever looked back and has gone on to play a leading role in US planning and the planning community.  At kbp became managing partner, head of strategy where he  built one of the strongest andmost innovative strategic offerings in the US.  He subsequently became Chief Strategy Officer of Lowe Worldwide in New York bringing together brand strategy, media and channel strategy, and CRM strategy under one offering. Today, Domenico has created one of the most innovative offering in the industry with his new company People Ideas & Culture, a collective of talent trying to redefine how solutions are brought to clients in the 21st century. Domenico has a Master of Arts in Public Communication from American University in Washington DC.


Like the other Zeus Jones founders, Adrian Ho came from Fallon where he was director of strategic planning, leading a department widely recognized as one of the best in the country. In his six years at Fallon, Adrian helped to redefine the nature of creative communications through constantly evolving the planning discipline and practice at the agency. While at Fallon, Adrian left his mark on campaigns for United, Ted, BMW, Citi and Sony. Prior to that, Adrian worked at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners as the lead planner on HP, and at Anderson & Lembke as the lead planner on Microsoft. Adrian’s thinking has been recognized by the international industry groups which focus on marketplace effectiveness (IPA and EFFIEs). He is a regular speaker at industry events and participates in training for MCAD, MIMA and the Miami Ad School. And he has become a prolific and respected blogger on marketing philosophy, modern branding and on the rangy topic of how technology is changing culture and business.


Ramona Lyons is currently a Senior Research Executive of Flamingo San Francisco, where she has collaborated with semiotic proj.ects for Dockers, McDonalds, and 7Up. Ramona has a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on cultural studies and visual communication. In a prior lives, she taught film and cultural studies, and worked for almost ten years as an advertising and brand strategist for a global healthcare and financial services firm. She likes to consider herself a both a cultural savant and polytextual junkie, specializing in evolving unique and compelling consumer insights via a blend of semiotic analysis, in-depth interviewing, focus group moderation, and creative ideation.


Amanda Miller is Project Director of Flamingo San Francisco. who specializes in conducting ethnographic research. Amanda received her training in Applied Cultural Anthropology at the University of Michigan and the University College London, where she studied Semiotics and Material Culture Studies. Over the years has carried out a wide spread of strategic and immersive ethnographic research deconstructing the codes and language of the material world, including work for such varied clients such as Dove, Unilever, Starbucks, Clorox, EA, Tabasco, and Cadbury.


John Wise is a Project Director of Flamingo San Francisco, where he has co-written Semiotics pieces ranging in scope from the mythical deconstruction of the 7-Up can, to the usage of ‘codes of masculinity’ in light beer advertising, to the meaning of ‘change’ in Russia, Asia, and the Middle East. John graduated with a BA in American Studies from Cornell (with concentrations in English and Anthropology), where he was a member of the Sphinx Head Honor Society. Prior to joining Flamingo in 2005 he gained considerable hands-on experience in the usage of signs and symbols as the proprietor of a small graphic / web design studio in San Francisco.


Adam McClaughlin uses witty social satire and captivating characters to create hilariously theatrical performances that leave audiences cheering for more. He performs stand up comedy regularly at many Bay Area clubs, including the SFCC Clubhouse, where he often hosts shows on Friday and Saturday nights at 9pm.


Stephanie Redlener is a born connecter. She’s currently the head of strategic talent for the Talent Business, an exclusive global talent management company for the creative industry.  Throughout her 10+ years, she has worked in the creative, entertainment and non-profit industries, in some of the most creatively fuelled cities in the world, including NY, LA, San Fran, Las Vegas and London.  She’s always believed that a career is a constantly evolving work of art that takes a lifetime to develop.  A trained strategist, Stephanie came to TTB by way of StrawberryFrog, and now uses her strategic prowess helping people and companies align with their goals and pushing a new generation (old and young) of creative talent forward.  Stephanie’s also a part of the social entrepreneur scene in NY and actively advises companies such as AllDayBuffett and Purpose Campaigns on their talent strategy. Her mission in life is helping people figure out what they want to do and giving them the tools and connections they need to get there.  From CEO’s to interns to entrepreneurs, people turn to Stephanie to help them create and build the career they want.

gareth_kay_poza2 Gareth Kay is Director of Digital Strategy at  Goodby Silverstein and Partners, where  he is charged with thinking about what digital means for brands and communication, and fostering digital knowledge, education and innovation.

Prior to joining GSP, Gareth was the Head of Planning at Modernista! where he introduced and built the planning discipline, and oversaw the strategic direction of all accounts. He built a department that has gained recognition for its business effectiveness at both the EFFIE and AMA award shows, and for its creative inspiration at the AAAA Account Planning Awards.  In 2009 he was recognized by his peers as the most respected planning director in the US.

Gareth began his career in the UK and worked at TBWA, dfgw and Lowe where he was lucky enough to help develop award winning communications for a diverse bunch of clients including Waterstone’s, fcuk, the BBC, Reebok and Unilever. He graduated from Oxford University with an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

Gareth serves on the board of the VCU Brandcenter, and is a co-founder of the non-profit ‘Planning For Good’, a virtual entity that harnesses the collective intelligence and amazing minds of planners around the world to help address the business and communication challenges of non-profits.  He writes the blog on brands and communication, ‘Brand New’ (http://www.garethkay.com), and passionately believes that there has never been a more exciting time to work in advertising.

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