Whitney Warne is a communications consultant specializing in evoking emotional intelligence in evolving leaders. She does this through the lens of the Enneagram and transformational coaching techniques. Whitney’s experience comes through developing her own sense of power and ownership as a small business leader. She seeks to bring an entrepreneurial passion, purpose and creativity to the corporate workplace. She strongly believes that all professional development is personal, personal growth strongly correlates with professional success, and that true leaders widen the path for people to
walk next to them.
Katie Risch serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Basis Technologies, a global provider of programmatic and workflow automation software & services for marketers. Katie has over 20 years of experience in media and AdTech, building and leading high-functioning sales, customer success, marketing, and revenue enablement teams. With a passion for launching new products and implementing go-to-market strategies, Katie has successfully led Basis through many transitions and rebrands over the years. She also serves as an executive sponsor of Basis’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee, is a founding member of CMO Huddles, and has served on the executive board of the Allen Robinson Within Reach Foundation.
Katie resides in Chicago with her husband, two young children, and their golden retriever Hank. She is a graduate of Indiana University with a focus in English and Liberal Arts.
Ross Asdourian is the Sr. Global Producer at Ford Motor Company redefining how our brands enable the customer journey. He is a best-selling teacher on Udemy with courses in AI Ethics and Storytelling in Business. Former Creative Director at NBC, producer at Red Bull Media House, and producer of the Emmy Award Winner Returning the Favor with Mike Rowe, Ross has spent his career in brand and commercial production. His consulting clients range from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Tekfen Ventures.
He is a current fellow of the Schusterman Foundation, a volunteer for the National MS society, and an unexpected otter enthusiast.
Abiola Ademola Kosoko is a marketing professional and freelance photographer in Omaha, Nebraska. After graduating from Creighton University in 2009, Abiola chose to stay in Omaha and spread his talents throughout the city. As a marketing professional, he has worked for many non-profits locally, and most recently was the Director of Marketing for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands. Abiola also has a multimedia business, DemoLives Multimedia, where he does design, photography, and video. Abiola is an advocate for his community and black people living in Omaha. You will see this when you look through his body of work. One of his biggest motivations is to create a better world for future generations by spreading love and delivering his learned wisdom to the next generation.
Alison Pfaff is the President of the Hearst StoryStudio, a full-service content marketing agency supporting Hearst Newspapers and Hearst Television. With 18 years of experience, she has developed award-winning content marketing campaigns across 20 different categories and driven success for both regional and national clients. Alison has managed over $50mm in revenue in her time at Hearst and has a proven track record for driving high-quality results and detailed strategies for categories such as; nonprofit, retail, travel, finance, education and many more. Other notable positions include: PopSugar Creative Services Director, NBCU Brand Studio
Chris has been working professionally in the design industry for more than 15 years.
With a background in fine arts, he transitioned into the digital space early in his professional career, eventually specializing in corporate branding and web development.
Chris has developed purpose-driven, recognizable branding for many area businesses and nonprofits including Duet, Elevate Roofing, Modus Coworking, and Platte River Concrete.
In 2021, Chris launched his branding and web development agency, Shape Society. With an office in historic downtown Omaha, his agency focuses on helping businesses identify and exemplify their unique story through the brand development process. Paired with bespoke, hand-coded websites, custom illustrations, and unique brands, Shape Society’s mission is to bring meaning to each and every project.
Chris and his team have been recognized by both the AIGA and PRSA for web development projects. Chris has also been recognized by the AAF for his dedication to nonprofit work. In naming his agency Shape Society, Chris wanted to embody his desire to shape our Nebraska communities by donating his time and talents to meaningful causes.
Mary Ann O’Brien
A nationally recognized branding and marketing thought leader, Mary Ann has been entrusted by some of the most successful brands in the world to help steer their strategic direction, evolve their brand positioning, and guide their marketing and communication efforts. As founder and CEO of OBI Creative, her business acumen and incomparable ability to deliver strong results gives clients the confidence needed to make the strategic decisions required to grow. A pioneer in modern marketing, O’Brien and her award-winning team, work with some of the most admired brands in the world.
She has led national and global strategic initiatives for Intel, Microsoft, Sony, Lenovo, Gateway, Nomi Health, Iowa DOT, Stericycle, ViewSonic, Creighton Heider College of Business, Advanced Auto Parts, Cobalt Credit Union, GuideOne Insurance, Olsson, Delta Dental, AgVenture, and Miller Electric among many others.
Her insatiable drive to find new and better ways to market and grow business is matched only by her reverence for understanding the needs of the customer. She authored the O’Brien Voice of the Customer™ and Voice of the Employee™ studies, which have repeatedly served as the foundation for incredible business success stories. Passionate about the power of businesses to transform communities for the better, O’Brien regularly serves on community boards where she enthusiastically shares her passion and expertise. She is a champion for women, diversity and ethical growth, and considers winning an Integrity Award from the Better Business Bureau as one of the defining moments of her career.
Mary Ann is a devoted mother, entrepreneur, and published author of the Forbes’ book, “Ask and Deliver: Discover the Heart of Your Business by Listening to the Voice of Your Customers.” When she’s not busy writing, speaking, or helping businesses realize their greatest potential, she and her husband, Jason Ramirez, and daughter, CeCe Elkjer, and bonus daughter, Gabby English, enjoy time together in Okoboji with family, sharing laughs with great friends, and traveling.
Regina DeMars is the Director of Content Marketing & Social Media Strategy at FNBO. Her role is to drive engagement and brand advocacy with existing customers and employees and attract new customers by providing the right content that adds value to FNBO’s audiences and elevates its reputation in the marketplace as an industry leader and employer. She and her team manage several social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, and Twitter; a Financial Tips & Tricks Blog; Cashology YouTube video series, Podcast & Facebook Group; Social Selling programs; Influencer Marketing programs and an Employee Advocacy program.
Sean Flattery has served as Creative Director at Eleanor since 2018. Drawing on years of experience from various disciplines — including non-profit work, publication design, fine and performing arts, and community outreach — Sean brings a broad-minded perspective to branding and marketing to clientele in Lincoln, Nebraska, and beyond. From writing brand identities, scripts, and social media content, to designing logos, shaping brands, and bringing visions into reality, Sean’s all about unifying message and medium to give Eleanor’s clients a bold and impactful brand experience.
Elizebeth guides strategy and creative direction for communications initiatives that activate audiences and improve communities. With deep experience in a variety of collaborative environments, she defines brand strategies and helps shape conversations – building energy and enthusiasm around important efforts. Since starting Emspace (now Emspace + Lovgren) in 1992, Elizebeth has developed expertise in serving nonprofit and government clients and is adept at leveraging resources to produce award-winning communications for her clients.
Elizebeth’s interests span in many directions, including community equity, multimodal transportation systems, arts and culture, education and how communities grow and thrive. She has completed executive education in New Urbanist Planning, Design and Management at Harvard University, Frameworks Academy training and holds certificates from the International Association of Public Participation.
She currently serves as chair of the Iowa State University College of Design Advancement Executive Council, and on the boards of directors of the Greater Omaha Chamber and Visiting Nurse Association.
KidGlov President and Chief Strategist
You will be hard pressed to find anyone more passionate about marketing than Lyn Wineman. For the past 30 years she has partnered with a variety of large national organizations, regional powerhouse brands and many of our favorite nonprofit organizations and community health initiatives. As founder of full-service, boutique advertising agency KidGlov, she is surrounded by a talented team with the mission of putting a megaphone in front of those who are doing good.
Lyn has been inducted into the Lincoln AMA Hall of Fame and has been named Lincoln AMA Marketer of the Year. She has been recognized with American Advertising Federation of Lincoln’s Silver Medal, Inspire Women’s Leadership Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship, is a member of the AMA National Diversity, Equity and Inclusion CoHort and has received the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certification from the University of South Florida. She also serves as a co-host of KidGlov’s Agency for Change podcast. Lyn has spoken nationally and internationally on a variety of topics including purpose marketing and inclusive marketing. In 2022 she delivered an Ignite Lincoln presentation entitled Peacocks, Pioneers and Purpose.
Lyn and husband, Neil, live on a historic farm where they raise a small flock of peacocks. They enjoy spending time their kids and new grandbaby Ronin.
Connect with Lyn on LinkedIn @lynwineman.
Norberto (Rob) Ayala-Flores
President, Puente Marketing Communications, LLC
Norberto is an advertising and marketing veteran in both the general and Hispanic market arenas. He is a first-generation Latino, born and raised in western Nebraska with his 15 brothers and sisters, where he was fortunate to grow up in a vibrant bicultural community anchored by his family and his rural community. He brings a deep respect and passion for the Latino culture to his clients who engage Puente Marketing when they want to know more about connecting with the growing Latino market in the U.S.
Rob founded Puente Marketing in 2003 and has worked with clients in multi-unit retail operations, pet care, financial services, telecommunications, multi-unit retail operations, healthcare insurance, health & wellness, and with a number of non-profit entities.
Rob has served as an adjunct professor for the graduate program at University of Kansas-Edwards Campus in Multicultural Marketing Communications. He has participated in a number of Professional In-Residence teaching programs for the University of Iowa, University of Nebraska, University of Missouri-Columbia, and University of Central Missouri. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has an M.A. from Wichita State University with an emphasis in Latin American Literature and Culture.
He currently serves on the board of Resurrection Catholic School in KCK, The University of Kansas Medical Advancement Board, The University of Kansas-Edwards IMC Advisory Board, Kansas City Ad Club, The Center for Practical Bioethics and is a past Board Chair for The Nelson Atkins Museum Friends of Art Council and El Centro Inc. He and his wife Rebecca have four daughters and have lived in Kansas City, MO since 1997.
Shelton is UX Director and Vice President at Swanson Russell with over 20 years of experience. With a passion for technical exploration and visual innovation, he’s built a diverse team of Digital Designers, UX Designers and UX Engineers. Under his leadership, the agency has become a strategic force using immersive experiences to achieve impactful business results. Shelton has a passion for engaging, entertaining, and educating consumers in powerful and personal ways. His commitment to raising the digital bar is driven by his dedication to an ever-changing web landscape and a consistent desire to learn, grow and evolve with the industry.
Shelton is a graduate of Dana College, where he studied graphic design and fine arts.
He and his wife have a son and daughter that arguably, keep them too busy with their sports. Shelton is also an avid gamer in all its forms and truly believes gaming (digital or tabletop) provides ways to strengthen the mind through storytelling, creativity, and problem solving.