Michael T. Brandt, CBC, has spent his entire career in communications management positions, primarily in business- to-business marketing and advertising. He has also dabbled in public relations, employee communications, and international sales. His product and service experience includes commercial building materials, electronics manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, ag-chem, packaging, associations, and electric utilities. He has been president of his own marketing consulting business since1990.
I started in advertising in the 90’s, when every part of this industry – audiences, media, message, agency structure/services – was changing. The 90’s laid the foundation for where we are today, and it was the absolute best time to plunge into what I have embraced as my life-long career choice. I spent more than half of my career in a large agency owned by one of the largest agency holding companies, and nearly the past decade at a boutique agency that helps brands expand their marketing capacity by becoming their full-service outsourced marketing department. Brand development, consulting, lead generation, digital marketing, media placement, creative design, content development, channel management and website design services are conducted in-house by seasoned marketing professionals. Since 2003, EAG has provided branding, advertising and marketing services to hundreds of small and mid-market companies in Kansas City and across the nation. EAG has been profiled or quoted in numerous national and local publications including the Wall Street Journal, INC. Online and the Kansas City Business Journal. Recognized over the years for award-winning creative, results-based campaigns and brand management, EAG was selected as the 2019 Agency of the Year by the ANA Business Marketing and AMA American Marketing Associations of Kansas City. Additional significant recognition includes Top 25 Under 25 Small Businesses, Best Places to Work, Top Companies, Workplace Wellness Company and numerous creative awards in business-to-business marketing.
Blending her sales experience and marketing experience, Kelly champions marketing for ASI Signage regionally and ImageFirst Signs nationally. She works collaboratively with a seasoned sales team, has the benefit of a great brand, and strives to make lives easier through marketing. She returned to ASI in February 2017 coming full circle where she began as a Business Development Manager 10 years earlier. Prior to her return to ASI, Kelly enjoyed four years at Applied Art & Technology. Here she was a connector, client experience creator, and part-time nerd interpreter helping clients understand the possibilities and create exceptional visual communication deliverables to reach their marketing goals. Kelly has a BA in Chemistry-Marketing from the University of Northern Iowa and has served several years on boards in the past including AMA Iowa, International Facility Management Association, and AIA’s Canstruction. In her free time you’ll probably find Kelly and her husband Justin on their bikes, or headed on a camping adventure with their 2 kids in tow.
Joanna D’Avanzo is a Professional Lecturer and Chair of the Communication Department at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY where she teaches the creative side of advertising. She came to Marist to lead their creative advertising program and has worked with colleagues to help students create breakthrough, award-winning work. Her student's work has been recognized with Young Ones awards through The One Club for Creativity and district placements at the National Student Advertising Competition sponsored by the American Advertising Federation. She began her career as a passionate assistant art director the day after she graduated college and she now instills that same passion into her students. In Joanna’s initial year at Marist, she held the first Marist College Portfolio Review in NYC, which continues each year with graduates going to top ad agencies, including R/GA, FCB, Ogilvy, Grey, McCann, mcgarrybowen, and Badger & Winters. Before academia came calling, Joanna spent time at big NYC agencies including McCann, DMB&B, JWT and Grey, where she worked her way up to Creative Director creating campaigns for a wide range of clients including Burger King, Hasbro Games, Panasonic, Gatorade and Smucker’s. Joanna’s 20 plus years in advertising has given her a depth of knowledge to pull from and relate to; she has hands-on knowledge of where her students are headed, what's in store for them and helps them prepare to get there. Joanna gives her students the advice to “Know A Little About A lot” and she takes that advice to heart which enables her to never stop learning. She loves a good typeface, finds great pleasure in helping her students explore their creativity and enjoys learning from her 3 teenage sons; they help her stay relevant in today’s ever-changing culture. Joanna graduated from FIT with a BFA in Advertising Design and she studied graphic design at the London College of Communication. She has been involved in higher education since 2010; she has also taught at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She is a 3 time Young Ones Juror and is featured in Pat Peduto’s new book titled “I wrote the book on Advertising”. She looks forward to teaching her students all she knows about advertising.
Greg Olson is Principal at GROWL, a Colorado Western Slope marketing agency that specializes development of highly focused sales tools and digital campaigns. Greg has worked in the B2B sales and marketing field for more than 20 years, in everything from industrial to healthcare to technology, and has a sincere passion for creating measurable strategies that can differentiate a B2B business. Greg has also dedicated a great deal of time to the BMA both locally and nationally, served on the BMA’s National Board of Advisors as the VP of Chapter Development for 10 years. Greg is a published author, and has contributed numerous thought leadership pieces on B2B marketing best practices to national publications. He is also an experienced speaker presenting to other non-profit industry associations, including Colorado Bio-Science Association, American Marketing Association, TIE Rockies, and Colorado Technology Association. Outside of industry associations, Greg started a founders group called Western Slope Founders to help promote economic development in regional communities. He is passionate about the outdoors and volunteers many hours with the Colorado Mountain Club teaching and leading various climbing and skiing trips.
Heather is Marketing Services Director at CI Design, Inc., a digital marketing agency in Milwaukee. With a blend of account, project management, and content strategy skills, she loves working with teams to connect the dots and craft marketing solutions that work. Prior to joining CI Design, Heather served as the Marketing Director at CPI (Crisis Prevention Institute), leading demand generation and marketing automation efforts, Throughout her career, Heather has worked with a variety of B2B brands including Hyatt, MillerCoors, Pierce Manufacturing, Rexnord, and Schreiber Foods. She also currently serves as President of the Association of National Advertisers (B2B) Milwaukee Chapter.
Heather Smiles is an award-winning marketing professional with close to twenty years of experience across diverse disciplines such as product marketing, content development, event management, digital marketing, design and more. Her creativity, fresh approach, attention to detail, and proven skill set empower her not only to main customer loyalty, but also to generate high quality new leads. Her marketing background includes marketing for higher education, finance, manufacturing, and most recently for the last 10 years for software companies with powerful stories around data. Whether working with outside talent, interns from local universities, mentoring junior marketing talent, or rolling up her own sleeves to get the job done, Heather loves exploring various areas of marketing and collaborating with a team.
Jillian McNamee is an experienced marketing leader and creative professional. She holds two bachelor's degrees from the American University of Paris, and it was in France that she developed a keen interest in branding and baguettes. She is currently the director of marketing at April Health, the parent company of Alphascript and Hoover Pharmacy. Jillian also serves as the VP of special events for AMA Omaha and co-chairs the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy's marketing committee.
Emily Marston is the Marketing and Events Manager at Make-A-Wish Nebraska. In her position, Emily handles all communication, PR, social media, graphic design and any other marketing needs throughout the state of Nebraska. She also plans and executes multiple fundraising events throughout the year. Her passion for working with non-profits began in college at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln when she worked on fundraisers for local charities. That passion led her to marketing and event planning positions in Lincoln, NE, Phoenix, AZ and now back to Omaha, NE at Make-A-Wish and as a member of the AMA Omaha board.
Staci Parr's career in marketing spans many disciplines, including corporate communications, product marketing, event marketing, and branding. In her current role, Staci leads Strategy and Planning and oversees C-level events for Cisco's Global Events team.