August 19 - 22, 2018
Lake Tahoe, CA

Event Sponsors


Sunday, 08/19

6:30 PM
Welcome Cocktail ReceptionOutside at Pavilion

Monday, 08/20

8:00 AM
Registration & Breakfast
Alpine Ballroom
8:15 AM
Sponsor Breakfast Presentation
Day 1: Brand Growth Strategy

We open the Brand Strategy Insider Summit from the top – exploring what a brand growth strategy looks like. How are marketers allocating for growth across marketing, ad and tech spend? How will they measure for success? And what can a new generation of DTC companies teach legacy brands about blending performance with brand building?

9:00 AM
Opening Remarks
Steve Smith, VP, Editorial Director, Events, MediaPost 
9:15 AM
Keynote: Teaching A Duck New Tricks: Aflac Finds A Return on Reputation

Aflac and its iconic duck are among the great brand building success stories of the 2000s. As Senior Vice President; Chief Brand and Communications Officer Catherine Hernandez-Blades will illustrate, behind this rise has been a firm grasp of Aflac’s own brand value and formulas around “Return on Reputation.” With high recognition and regard well established, Aflac is now preparing to deepen its association with health care innovation. How does a brand icon learn new tricks and help move a brand from familiarity to real purpose?

Catherine Hernandez-Blades, Senior Vice President; Chief Brand and Communications Officer, Aflac 
9:45 AM
Where Does Branding Fit In A Data Driven World?

How are marketing strategists planning to grow their brand when a data and analytics culture seems obsessed with performance? Our panel of marketers share how their budgets, marketing and ad mix aim to grow the brand, not just make their numbers. How are they selling the idea internally, organizing their teams, and broadening their KPIs to measure for brand growth?

Bryan Boettger, Principal and Lead Strategist, Estate Four 
Matt Annerino, VP, Growth, CRM & Media, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation 
Amy Bartle, Head of Media, Tax Act 
Jeff Bartlett, Senior Marketing Manager, Avvo 
11:00 AM
Case Study: How to Break Through a Sea of Sameness
As individuals we’re taught to be self-aware. It’s equally important to apply this to our brands. For many brands this process begins with research. Data is everywhere and easy to acquire, but using it to drive growth and return on investment can feel out of reach. In this session, Leah Chandler of Discover Puerto Rico, will share how she is navigating through a sea of data noise to identify Puerto Rico’s perception issues and preparing for a remarkable takeover story.
Leah Chandler, CMO, Discover Puerto Rico 
11:30 AM
Cracking the DTC Code: What Direct Brands Can Teach Us

Fueled by performance advertising, an obsession with analytics, and scrappy identities, a new generation of direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies are seeing wild growth. What do legacy brands have to learn from this ability to build brand quickly and entirely from digital? Have they cracked the code for balancing branding ands performance, for building real relationships with customers? If so, fine? But does any of this scale?

Paul Friedland, Head of Marketing - eBay Fashion, eBay 
Luke Droulez, CMO, Parachute Home 
Fran Dunaway, CEO/Co-Founder, TomboyX 
Alex McArthur, Chief Marketing Officer, Purple Innovation 
Kristina Smith, Director, Global Digital Marketing, KEEN Footwear 
12:15 PM

Building and Executing Brand Strategy - Amy Bartle, Director, Integrated Media, La Quinta Inns & Suites
Learning from DTC - Luke Droulez, Head of Marketing, Parachute Home
Risk Management
- Leah Chandler, CMO, Destination Puerto Rico

1:00 PM
1:10 PM
Sponsor Luncheon Presentation
Golf at Squaw Creek Course
Cable Car to High Camp for Swimming (Heated), Cocktails and Roller Skating
Horseback Riding at Alpine Meadows
5:00 PM
One on One MeetingsAlpine Ballroom
One on One Meetings, by invitation only.
6:00 PM
Sunset Cocktails & DinnerGar Woods Restaurant & Pier
Shuttle buses WILL depart from lobby at 6:10pm sharp!
Experience Lake Tahoe aboard Wild Goose II! A tradition for the past 100 years. The early era of cruising on Lake Tahoe included  the original "Wild Goose", a double-ender frequented by dashing and debonair visitors to the lake. Now, Wild Goose II brings the grace and elegance of that time to life again. Wild Goose II is a 36-foot Grand Craft Commuter boat in the style and quality of the original wooden boat era.
At the Famous, Gar Woods Restaurant & Pier

Tuesday, 08/21

8:00 AM
Alpine Ballroom
Day 2: Data In, Branding Out

On Day 2 we pop the hood on the tech stack and data driving a growth strategy. What are marketers bringing in-house, building themselves or outsourcing to partners and agencies? How is strategy rather than tech driving their first party data gathering and Customer Data Platforms? And what next-generation personalization will result?

9:00 AM
Keynote: Return On Relationships: Optimizing For Engagement Through CRM
Customer relationships are earned and nurtured over time and only through a rich understanding of how, when and where that customer wants your brand to be there. Fandango’s CRM guru shares his best practices for turning new customers from their content, ticketing and streaming properties into brand loyalists. From managing contact and messaging between purchase cycles to knowing when and how to push offers across brands and drive interest in loyalty programs, it requires a light touch and a firm grasp on the data and an infrastructure for executing against clear KPIs.
Michael Ridgewell, VP of CRM & Digital Marketing, Fandango 
9:30 AM
Mining First Party Gold: Building A Marketing Data Strategy

Marketers need to take the wheel of data and tech. But how are brands thinking strategically about assembling first party data in a unified way, perhaps building customer data platforms (CDPs) and making strategy drive the stack rather than the other way around?

Megan Harris, Managing Director, NA, SYZYGY 
Jennifer Muse, Global eCommerce & CRM Manager, General Mills 
Joyce Szudzik, VP, Digital Marketing and Social, AEG Worldwide 
Kielley Young, Senior Manager, CRM Campaign Strategy, Warner Music Group 
10:45 AM
Q&A: The Gentle Art of In-Housing

Almost half of all brands say they have been bringing more of their marketing stack and media buying in-house. Hear how one brand did it and what others need to know before trying it for themselves.

Michelle Alfano, Senior Manager, Programmatic Display Advertising, Nordstrom 
Steve Smith, VP, Editorial Director, Events, MediaPost 
11:15 AM
Case Study: End to End Personalization
The Farmer’s Dog treats no two dogs the same.  All user touchpoints, from their first experience on the website, to their email on-boarding, and all the way through to the product and packaging itself are completely personalized and unique. Is this the future of all CPGs, an object lesson in where digital tools and direct marketing techniques ultimately lead us?
Brett Podolsky, Co-Founder, The Farmer's Dog 
12:00 PM

Building A Data Strategy - Megan Harris, Managing Director, NA, SYZYGY
Personalization 2.0 - Angela Hsu,  SVP, Marketing and eCommerce, Lamps Plus
Care and Feeding of the MarTech - Michael Chock, EVP, US, MiQ

12:45 PM
1:00 PM
Sponsor Luncheon Presentation
Golf at Coyote Moon Course
ATV Tour on the Rubicon Trail
Lake Tahoe Kayak Tour
6:30 PM
Cocktail PartyGolf Course
7:30 PM

Wednesday, 08/22

8:00 AM
Alpine Ballroom
Day 3: Customers As Partners

Getting more direct connections with customers is the best way to cut through the clutter. Marketers share how they are engaging the social dimension, via influencers, content and platforms to create community around their brands.

8:45 AM
Keynote: Embracing Less Is More in the Amazon Age
Facing an unwieldy portfolio of over 100 b2b brands, Georgia-Pacific has embraced a less is more strategy to accommodate the digital customer journey. Now the focus is on about a dozen brands the company can invest with deeper meaning that cuts across multiple product categories. And part of that new customer journey is acknowledging that all buyers, including b2b purchase managers, have been impacted by the b2c experience. We explore how the company is applying an “Amazon Lens” to all of its content and ecommerce.
John Strom, SVP Marketing, Georgia-Pacific 
9:15 AM
Panel: Content As a Strategy

As reach gets harder to assemble and buy via conventional media, the role of content and its distribution has moved to the center of many brands’ marketing strategies. We explore with very different brand categories how they are putting consumer education and content development at the heart of their brand identity. Likewise, as native and social channels expand, how are they leveraging paid and earned media to distribute their richer stories?

Nina Lentini, Editor, Events and Research, MediaPost 
Alana B Elias Kornfeld, VP, Brand Strategy & Content, 
Melanie Mitchell, Search Marketing and Content Marketing Leader 
10:00 AM
Discussion: Brand Building in the Social Space: A Conversation
How are brands leveraging the social channels and influencer networks in order to tell their stories now? Two prominent direct-to-consumer brands discuss how they are balancing customer service, acquisition and brand building in the social channel. What does it take to drive story here? How are influencers used and valued? How are teams organized and ROI accounted for? Let’s talk.
Jennifer Mangold, Senior Manager, Global Social Media, 
Sarah Neal Simpson, Global Social Lead, Uber 
10:30 AM

Managing the Influencer Channel
Content as a Strategy - Melanie Mitchell, Search Marketing and Content Marketing Leader

11:00 AM
Conference Concludes


The Resort at Squaw Creek Lake Tahoe, CA
400 Squaw Creek Road
Alpine Ballroom
Olympic Valley, California, 96146
Experience accommodations rivaling the magnificence of an alpine setting. The Resort at Squaw Creek offers luxurious accommodations with grand picture windows that reveal sweeping views of the Sierra Nevada range, ancient ponderosa forests and lush meadowlands.

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Speaker Consideration

For speaker consideration please complete the speaker proposal form. Due to the high volume of speaker proposals that we receive we will only be able to notify those whose proposals have been selected. All proposals must go through this form, no exceptions. Do not contact other MediaPost representatives regarding speaker opportunities.


For questions regarding sponsorship of this event please contact Jon Whitfield, VP, Event Sales at


For press inquiries, please contact Ken Fadner at


For general summit inquiries please contact Maya Abulashvili, Coordinator of Events and Conferences at

VIP Program

For questions about or to apply to the VIP Program please contact Kevin Massa, Manager of Brand & Agency Relations at

Quality Pledge

MediaPost strives for excellence in its coverage of media, marketing and advertising. Our mission is to critically engage key questions for brand marketers, media buyers, sellers and emerging platforms. We choose speakers exclusively for their ability to bring perspective and insight to our stage. All conferences are programmed by proven, expert, unbiased journalists. MediaPost has never and will never engage in "pay to play" conferencing.