Social Media Bootcamp: Speaker Lineup


If content is king, then our 2-Day Social Media Training Bootcamp is the Elvis Presley of social media bootcamps (minus the peanut butter, bacon, and banana sandwich). This year, we have a jam-packed program featuring some of Minnesota’s brightest content creators and strategists!
Our 2014 speakers include experts from BringMeTheNews, Neidt Writer, The Social Lights, GoKart Labs, General Mills, and Miles Interactive.

Join us on Wednesday, June 25 and Thursday, June 26 2014 for Social Media Training Bootcamp Twin Cities.

Meet Our Speakers 

Opening Keynote: Think Like a News “Preditor”
Speaker: Erica Hanna, BringMeTheNews

Erica is a creative television “preditor” (producer, writer, shooter, director, editor)turned Social Media Engagement and Branding Director at @BringMN.  Throughout the years, she’s worked with folks like Ellen DeGeneres; and local legends Prince, Don Shelby, and Rick Kupchella. She’s now taking those wacky ideas and tease writing skills from the land of TV at WCCO to the social media landscape at, where new social practices put into play have caused tremendous website growth.
Her speaking experiences stretch from AdFed to The Minnesota Bloggers conference, Associate Collegiate Press, Midwest Journalism conference, and she was also named one of the top “under the radar leaders” in the Twin Cities. As a Geek Girls Guide “Geek of the Week”, she has learned to embrace her nerdiness.
Weekends outside of social are spent on the production side of things with her business “Puke Rainbows Creative.” But, her number one passion is raising almost $30,000 for water wells in Africa through social media (which earned her Klout’s national “Klout for Good” award). She loves sarcasm, stories, cats, karaoke, and says “dude” a lot. Her motto is, “When life gives you rainpuke a rainbow.” Gross, but effective.
Twitter @meeterica @BringMeTheNews

Content Strategy – Part I: Getting the Story Straight
Speaker: Jeff Neidt, Neidt Writer

Jeff Neidt is founder and head of content for Neidt Writer, a content and strategy agency based in the Twin Cities. His work spans mega-brands including Microsoft and Google to local craft companies Bent Brewstillery and Gold Nugget. Jeff’s claim to fame is having one of his clients named a top place to eat by City Pages—and they don’t even serve food. A background in poetry allows Jeff to bring a unique perspective to content and strategy
Twitter @neidtwriter

Content Strategy – Part II: Content Development & Promotion
Speaker: Martha McCarthy, The Social Lights
Martha McCarthy is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Social Lights®, a women-owned boutique agency that specializes in social media strategy, training, and community management. She has become a recognized leader in developing and implementing strategies that drive measurable increases in participation and support of products, services, and events.
Since founding The Social Lights® in January 2011, Martha and her team have developed custom social media marketing materials for over 40 companies – ranging from startups to Fortune 10s. In June 2014, The Social Lights® agency was awarded a Eureka! Award for their development of the first-ever Community Manager Training Program and Traveling Community Manager position.
Martha holds degrees in Entrepreneurship and Business Communications from The University of Saint Thomas. She is an active member of AdFed MN, Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association, MOJO Minnesota, the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, and UST Practicing Entrepreneurs.
Martha has been quoted in Finance & Commerce, Twin Cities Business, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Pioneer Press; and her personal blog has been highlighted in the Huffington Post and Fast Company.
Twitter @MissMarthaMae | @TheSocialLights
Topic: Content Driving Brands
Jim Cuene, GoKart Labs

Jim Cuene is the Vice President of Marketing Strategy at GoKart Labs, a digital innovation consultancy in Minneapolis. At GoKart he leads the overall marketing and brand building strategy for GoKart and their clients, helping them to unlock new growth through innovative marketing and brand building approaches.
Prior to GoKart Labs, Jim was the Director of Interactive Marketing at General Mills, leading the internal digital strategy and operations for the enterprise. There, he oversaw brand strategy teams, social media and community management teams, and the relationship marketing teams. He also oversaw the digital innovation program, driving brand, media and content experimentation in the Brand Lab. In addition, the team developed and produced the content strategies and plans for core platforms including, and
Prior to General Mills, he was Vice President of Interactive Strategy at Ameriprise Financial, spun off from American Express. At Ameriprise, Jim led the planning for consumer retention, digital channel optimization strategy, and data & metrics strategy. He joined American Express in 2004, from Ciceron Interactive, where he was president.
Jim is a frequent speaker at industry events, including iMedia Brand Summit (2012), Digiday Brand Summit (2012) and MIMA (Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association).
Jim graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Entrepreneurship and has a MA from Purdue University.
Twitter @jcuene | @GoKartLabs

Topic: A Day in the Life of a Community Manager
Speaker: Kate Sommers, General Mills

Kate Sommers has been inseparable from the internet from the tender age of 8 when her parents finally invested in Prodigy after many months of begging. While her fascination with chat rooms and message boards has faded, she continues her internet legacy as the Community Engagement Specialist on one of America’s most iconic brands, Cheerios. During her time on the brand she has experienced the fall-out of internet “hacktivists” who took over the Cheerios Facebook community, social uproar about a multi-racial TV commercial, and organized and managed a Social Media war room surrounding Cheerios Super Bowl commercial.  In addition to her work on Cheerios franchise messaging, she has tweeted as the voice of Buzz the Bee and serves as the driving creative voice and creator behind the development of Hello, Cereal Lovers. A “retired” food blogger, photographer, and mother of twins Kate remains passionate about the internet and food outside of her daily work life.  She has photographed two cookbooks, over 60 weddings and is a contributing photographer to the Heavy Table.
Twitter @ForkKnifeSpoon | @HelloCereal | @cheerios
Topic: Making Content Work for Business
Speaker: Gino Giovannelli, Miles Interactive

As a proven leader in the interactive marketing space, Gino Giovannelli created Miles Interactive in 2006 to help clients identify how to best leverage the Internet to delight customers and maximize business success.  Current Miles Interactive clients include Caribou Coffee, Famous Dave’s and Life Time Fitness.
Prior to starting Miles Interactive, Gino served as Vice President of Carlson Interactive, an interactive agency within Carlson Companies.  During his tenure at Carlson, Gino was responsible for the online success of all Carlson businesses such as Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Country Inn & Suites, TGI Fridays, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Carlson Wagonlit Travel.  In addition, Carlson Interactive also served the needs of external clients such as The Home Depot, Saturn, Northwest Airlines and British Airways.
Prior to Carlson, Gino served as Vice President of e.Media Group, a Minneapolis based interactive agency, specializing in web marketing and website design and development.
Gino received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University, and attended the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, Austria. He is a graduate of the MBA Program at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, and completed the Carlson Companies Executive Leadership Program at the University of Minnesota.
Currently Gino is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas and has been a guest speaker at the University of Minnesota.  He is also a featured presenter for AMA (American Marketing Association) and MIMA (Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association).
Twitter @sgiovannelli

There are a few spots left for Social Media Bootcamp 2014 – don’t miss out on this enriching educational program!

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Background on The Social Lights
The Social Lights® is a social-first agency headquartered in Minneapolis that partners with clients to grow their business through strategy development, creative production, media buying, and social media management. Current clients include General Mills, Ecolab, Cargill, Caribou Coffee, Kwik Trip, Polaris and Massage Envy. The Social Lights was founded in 2011 and is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise. Learn more at The Social Lights.

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