Speakers

Keynotes

Andy Boyle

Chicago Sun Times

Director of Product Engineering

Andy Boyle is a writer, web developer and journalist with more than 15 years of experience in media and startups. His work has been featured in Esquire, NBC News, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe and The New York Times Regional Media Group, where a project of his was cited in the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News. He has also helped lead major technology decisions at Axios, a fast-growing digital media startup, and currently develops digital products on the content strategy team at the Chicago Sun-Times. His first book, “Adulthood for Beginners,” was released by Penguin Random House in 2017 to rave reviews. His second, “Big Problems,” was released in 2020 during a global pandemic. He lives in Chicago with a fluffy cat and a massive squat rack.

Derek L. Walker

Brown & Browner

Instigator/Owner

Yeah, I’m breaking the 4th wall, but that’s what I do – advertising. I break through the clutter with a message that says something human to get and hold your attention.

After a lifetime of promoting other people, their companies, products or services, I’ve grown to dislike talking about myself. Who am I kidding, I never liked talking about myself.

I’m a creative, who has been blessed to work in advertising for nearly 30 years. I’ve worked at great shops, and I’ve worked at bad shops (so bad). I’ve done work that I am so proud of, and then I have done work that years of therapy is just now helping me recover from.

I am a creative.

I’m an instigator.

Lisa Babb

AIGA National Board

Lisa Babb comes from a rich history of activism and social progress through engaging citizens. She has been a systems-based Graphic Designer for more than twenty years and served in Graphic Design education at the collegiate level for nineteen years. Having both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Graphic Design, Lisa credits Graphic Design for giving her a platform to create change in her life and others. Within design education specifically, she has built a Graphic Design department from the ground up and always makes a point of teaching in places that encourage diversity in demographics, ideologies, and models. Living by the mantra, “if you want a better world, make one,” she honestly believes that design is one of the few things that can defeat habits, for better or for worse. Currently, she teaches at Georgia Tech and proudly serves as the Director of Programs for the STEAM Truck to build stronger communities and champion education reform. Lisa is from Brooklyn (even before it became the brand that it is now) and has lived in Atlanta for thirteen years.

Morning Breakouts

Greg Daake

Daake

Principal & Creative Director

Like his distaste for cilantro—branding is in his DNA. Greg Daake has led the award-winning brand agency, Daake, as its principal and creative director for 20 years. He’s considered a black coffee and stand-up comedy junkie by some, a mortician’s brother by a few, and a thought-leader in the field of institutional rebranding by most. He’s reasonably modest, but if you prod, he may reluctantly mention the many national awards the Daake team has won, including Aster, AMA Pinnacle, AIGA, National Advertising, Graphis, Communication Arts, Logo Lounge, Print Magazine, Healthcare Advertising, Public Relations Society of America and more. He doesn’t like fireworks, but that’s his problem isn’t it?

Mary Kate Gulick

KidGlov

VP, Executive Creative Director

Mary Kate Gulick is an award-winning creative and digital marketing leader. Over the last 20 years, she’s helped agencies provide results-getting creative and strategy for clients and built content and digital marketing programs for Fortune 500 companies. She’s also an Amazon #1 bestselling author, content marketing coach, Clubhouse junkie, true crime dabbler, and fantasy/sci-fi nerd.

Megan Longo

Buildertrend

Vice President of Communications

Megan is an experienced marketing and communications professional with more than 15 years of experience in brand, marketing and communications strategy. She is a fierce proponent of creating customer and employee-centric experiences, and has had the opportunity to influence and evolve these strategies at Buildertrend since 2018. Buildertrend is an Omaha-based SaaS company that is building a local and national reputation as an award-winning workplace.

Megan is J-school and American Studies grad of the University of Kansas. She volunteers for Habitat for Humanity of Omaha and is a member of Buildertrend’s DEI council as well as the AMA Omaha executive advisory council. Megan is a Nebraska-raised resident of Omaha, where she lives with her two children and husband Dan. She is a hobby knitter, pianist and violist and is a frequent purveyor of Omaha’s amazing dining scene!

Liz Ernst

Quantum Workplace

Employee Success Trainer

Originally from Lincoln, NE, Liz moved to Omaha to attend Creighton University where she studied Philosophy, Business, and Legal Studies.

Upon graduation, Liz accepted a full-time offer as a Recruiter at Flywheel, a local software company. Throughout her 4 years at Flywheel, Liz spent time in Training and Sales Operations while also coordinating Flywheel’s summer internship program.

She was drawn to Quantum Workplace by the opportunity to help build the Employee Success function from scratch and establish a culture of training within the company. At Quantum Workplace, she serves as the Employee Success Trainer. She is responsible for new hire training, all company training initiatives, and manger and leadership development. Her team supports internal communications and DE&I efforts. She’s passionate about developing and retaining exceptional talent.

Liz lives in Omaha, where she is planning a wedding with her fiancé, Jack. She loves listening to podcasts and spending time outdoors.

Brei Wagner

Spreetail

Employee Experience Manager

As the ecommerce industry continues to grow at a rapid rate, Brei
focuses on crafting experiences and communications to support
Spreetailers and their communities. Her previous experience in
hospitality and event coordination prepared her to develop opportunities to help teams celebrate big wins together and give back to local nonprofits as a People & Culture leader at Spreetail.

As Spreetail’s Employee Experience Manager, Brei launched an intranet to streamline communication for team members across eight cities as Spreetail scaled from 200 to 1300+ employees. Through weekly company meetings to quarterly All Hands, she builds strategic and proactive communications that help connect Spreetail’s teams to the right visibility of information at the right time.

Brei is a graduate of UNL and current resident of Omaha. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time exploring local trails with her dog, Dez, and fiancé, Steven. When she’s not busy coordinating friends’ weddings, you can find Brei on a patio enjoying margaritas and chips with queso.

Afternoon Breakouts

Devin Owens

Less The Agency

Founder

Drawn to all things earth tones and eco-friendly, Devin is a heart-led entrepreneur and minimalist who enjoys pushing herself and others to new limits—ask her about her scuba diving certification!

The proud Founder of Less the Agency, to her team Devin brings more than 10 years of communications experience with a knack for brand development and copywriting. She is committed to elevating the stories and lived experiences of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people
of color) owned brands and companies, while actively dismantling the systems which suppress these voices from being heard.

Devin is a 2018 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a 2012 graduate of Benson High School. Though grateful for her academic endeavors and accomplishments, she believes the best teacher is seeing the world. To date, Devin has solo-traveled to more than eleven countries, including: Senegal, Iceland, Morocco, and the Netherlands, sharing those stories on her Instagram account, @dayswithdev.

In her free time, she enjoys watching nature and travel-related documentaries, planning her sustainable home build, and snuggling with her pup, Penelope!

Regional Case Study

Coming Soon!

Regina DeMars

FNBO

Director of Content Marketing & Social Media Strategy

Regina DeMars is the Director of Content Marketing & Social Media strategy at FNBO. She drives engagement and brand advocacy with existing customers and employees and attracts new customers by providing added-value content, elevating FNBO’s reputation in the marketplace as an industry leader and employer. Her and her team are responsible for the FNBO Insights Blog; FNBO social channels; Dollar Belles & Bills video series; Cashology Facebook Group; Brand Ambassador Program & more.

Tayte Jussel (he/him)

Jacht Agency

Student & Social Media Team Lead

Regina DeMars is the Director of Content Marketing & Social Media strategy at FNBO. She drives engagement and brand advocacy with existing customers and employees and attracts new customers by providing added-value content, elevating FNBO’s reputation in the marketplace as an industry leader and employer. Her and her team are responsible for the FNBO Insights Blog; FNBO social channels; Dollar Belles & Bills video series; Cashology Facebook Group; Brand Ambassador Program & more.

Emily Mazurek

Bailey Lauerman

Head of Social

In today’s digital environment, Emily has a knack for building strategic communications plans that integrate social media, influencer relations, earned media and creative content for local and national clients.

As Head of Social at Bailey Lauerman, Emily helped develop and launch the Everything-In-Between Influencer Network – a collective of real people with real followers who represent the pride, values, attitudes and opinions of the 92% of Americans that live outside of the top 10 largest cities. Prior to joining BL, Emily lived in Kansas City and worked on variety of clients in CPG, nonprofit and healthcare industries leading PR and social strategies.

Emily is a proud UNL graduate. Outside of the office, she serves on the PRSA Nebraska Board of Directors and can often be found exploring the Omaha brewery scene or relaxing outside with her husband, daughter and mini-poodle.

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Maria Corpuz

Maria Corpuz has been exploring ways to utilize the power of collaborative conversation to improve her community. Her work spans across multiple platforms in efforts such as grassroots journalism, GOTV campaigns, tour management and branded merchandising. Working to redefine an “influencer” as someone who influences change, she has found her passion as fostering a relationship between art, social movements and the Omaha community.

In 2018, she founded Nite Caps, a late-night show that impacts the community culture by hosting conversations for those that hold diverse influences and perspectives within the Omaha community. Non-profit community leaders, artists, politicians and activists alike gather to discuss topics relevant to today’s socio-political climate. Maria has helped community projects such as Farnam Festival, NOISE Omaha and is currently in the process of starting an AAPI caucus within the Nebraska Democratic Party.

She currently works at Soul & Swag, a women-owned company, acting as an extension of local businesses’ marketing teams helping to curate branded merchandise. Maria graduated from Creighton University’s School of Journalism, Media and Computing in 2016 and was a member of PRSSA during her time there.

Emcee

Michael Johnson

Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce

Senior Director, Brand & Communications

Michael spent a decade and a half as a copywriter, building brands at Bailey Lauerman, Bozell and Swanson Russell. Once he ran out of creative directors to tick off, he jumped ship and now spends his time leading a team that lifts up the Omaha business community. He’s a former AAF Omaha president and even tricked them into naming him 2015 Ad Pro of the Year. He loves his yard, his son, his wife and Nebraska football (not necessarily in that order).

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