Serial entrepreneur Youth brand/marketing strategist
Connor, 17, helps brands and companies position themselves to better connect with GenZ to create lifelong brand loyal consumers. He works alongside a North American Gen Y & Z consultancy, Intercept Group, that supports brands such as Microsoft, 3M, 7-Eleven, Unilever, Toyota, and L’Oreal. Previously, Connor ran a social media consultancy that he grew to more than 50 clients in North America, as well as many non-legitimate enterprises shut down by his school before he turned 13. Connor has been featured by BBC, INC, Forbes, Huffington Post, and many more.
Matt is the national bestselling author of YouthNation and CEO of Crowdtap. He founded the global digital marketing agency MRY, named by Mashable as “Digital Innovator Of The Year.” Widely recognized as one of the preeminent experts on American Millennials, Matt has consulted on youth marketing strategy for more half of the Fortune 500, including Procter & Gamble, Visa, Coca-Cola, Nike, and Microsoft.
Fritz is an Internet strategist and entrepreneur. For more than 10 years, he has developed digital media solutions for the world’s best brands, including Adidas, GoPro, REI, eBay, Levi’s, Cabela’s, and Pottery Barn. Fritz founded Brandlive, the leading live video platform for training, marketing and commerce events. Brandlive combines live video, social interaction, and instant commerce to help brands and retailers build relationships with customers in real time.
Jill Cress Chief Marketing Officer National Geographic Partners
Jill oversees brand strategy and marketing for the entire National Geographic Partners portfolio. She joined National Geographic after serving as executive vice president of global consumer marketing at MasterCard, where she oversaw the global consumer strategy, including segment marketing aimed at affluent, youth and mass markets. Jill recently was recognized as one of the Top 50 Women in Marketing by Brand Innovators, and one of the Top 100 Influencers in Content Marketing by Onalytica.
For more than 18 years, Alina has worked with leading global brands that market to youth. Her innovative cross-cultural marketing expertise helps her clients develop creative, disruptive marketing plans that unlock business potential and transcend culture. Her brand experience includes Frito Lay, Cîroc Ultra-Premium Vodka, Smirnoff Ice, Gillette, Bayer, Pepsi, KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. Alina’s work has won the AME award, ANA Multicultural award, and Platinum PR awards. As part of Advertising Women of New York, Alina is a TV spokesperson and active advocate of women in the workplace. She has been featured in Vanidades magazine as a “Woman of Success.”
Jeff is President of FutureCast, a millennial marketing consultancy, a contributor to Forbes magazine, and a frequent keynote speaker in the USA and internationally on marketing, innovation and consumer trends. He is the co-author of Marketing to Millennials (2013) and Millennials With Kids (2015). He has 25+ years of hands-on marketing experience with brands such as SONIC, Hallmark, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Dunkin’ Brands, National Turkey Federation, Whole Foods and more. Jeff holds a degree in economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and studied at The London School of Economics.
Phil Gilliam National Director of Sales and Partnerships
BYOU Magazine and Fanlala.com
BYOU Magazine (‘Be Your Own You’), along with entertainment and lifestyle website Fanlala.com, reach one million teens and tweens. For the past five years, Phil has focused on Gen Z, and has advised Fortune 100 companies, celebrities, government agencies, and start-ups how to create long-lasting relationships with Gen Z. By founding the Gen Z Forum on LinkedIn, Phil has created a network of Gen Z experts and thought leaders.
Karen Goldfeder VP, Business Development DoSomething.org
Karen brings new projects to DoSomething.org, a global network of 5.5 million young people making positive change, online and off. DoSomething activates youth in every U.S. area code and 131 countries, to achieve results such as: clothing half of America’s youth in homeless shelters; cleaning up 3.7 million cigarette butts from the streets; and run the largest youth-led sports equipment drive in the world. Karen is an adjunct professor at New York University, and has a background in fundraising for the arts.
Alex leads a troupe of “former college newspaper nerds” at flytedesk, which helps brands reach college students. College students are difficult to reach: 63% block ads online, and 57% don’t watch TV on TV. Flytedesk aggregates campus advertising to make it easy to buy on a single platform. Previously, Alex worked in media at Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, and as Editor-in-Chief of The Catalyst newspaper in Colorado Springs. Alex also served as Co-Director of The Colorado College Journalism and Lecture Series.
For 20 years, Mary has helped Fortune 500 companies develop youth marketing strategies. At C+R Research, she leads the youth and family division, which publishes the globally syndicated YouthBeat, the leading resource for research about kids, tweens, teens, and parents. Mary specializes in creative, immersive research techniques that actively engage respondents. Her client focus is on the CPG, toy and media industries. Before joining C&R in 2003, Mary worked in media at Warner Bros, Disney Channel, and FOX. She is a published author and academic advisory board member of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU).
Marcie Merriman Executive Director, Culture Hacker, Experience Innovator and Brand Strategist Ernst & Young
Marcie is a globally recognized leader in consumer ethnography, cultural anthropology and brand strategy. She is a leader in EY’s Digital Experience Practice, where she helps clients understand nuances of human behaviors within societies and organizational implications that can be addressed through improved experiences, including the deployment of digital technologies. As a successful entrepreneur and former retail industry executive with Victoria’s Secret and Toys R Us, Marcie leverages her experience and knowledge of Millennials and Gen Z to help clients differentiate their businesses and tap growth opportunities with these complex and ever-changing generations. Marcie’s work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The New York Times, USA Today, Women’s Wear Daily, Reuters, Business of Fashion and Business Week. She led research and insight gathering for the best-selling book The Myth of Excellence, which details consumer motivation and corporate strategic response. Her client relationships have included Nike, Berkshire Hathaway, Royal Caribbean, Goodyear, Mars, Equinox, American Express, Darden Restaurants, Bayer, Starbucks, Luxottica, PepsiCo, Jack Daniels, McDonalds, and eBay.
Angie’s 20 years of consumer marketing and public relations experience includes work with Sprint, Hallmark, Huhtamaki, Dearfoams, Foot Petals and baggalini. As a marketer – and as a mom of three teenagers – Angie helps brands authentically engage Gen Z, who by the year 2020 will represent 40 percent of American consumers. Angie is co-authoring a book with Jeff Fromm about marketing to Gen Z, due out in Q1 2018.
Melanie’s passion and craft for developing youth insights has helped marketers across all industries better understand, interpret, and engage with today’s youth. For more than a decade, she has been studying the mindset and motivations of Millennials and Gen Z. Through extensive research and daily trend-spotting, she has become an authority on youth culture and the ever-changing habits of young consumers. Melanie consults with executives of Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft, HP, and Live Nation. She has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and Fast Company, and frequently contributes insights to trade publications.