President, Co-Founder, Keep
“In e-commerce, it's actually not so difficult to stay ahead of the game. The game has just begun, the rules aren't yet written, the layers are just getting onto the field.” — As told to Sydney Brodie, “Meet MaryAnn Bekkedahl,” Career Contessa, October 2013
Keep is revolutionizing the way stylish women discover and shop for trending products across the entire web.
As president and co-founder, MaryAnn oversees Keep’s brand strategy, customer acquisition, branding and business development initiatives.
She is an accomplished media executive with 18 years experience in consumer magazine and website publishing. Prior to joining Keep, she was EVP, Group Publisher at Rodale, a global content company in health and wellness, and the publisher of Men’s Health, Women’s Health, and Runner’s World properties, amongst others.
MaryAnn is a recognized media industry leader, with accolades including:
• Publishing Executive of the Year, 2009, Adweek Media
• Most Intriguing People, 2004, min magazine
• 40 Under 40, 2003, Gotham
• Woman to Watch, 2003, Advertising Age
Founder, 2929 Entertainment
“Sometimes the perfect is the enemy of the good, Right? Paralysis via analysis.” —As told to Richard Feloni, “The ‘Shark Tank’ Entrepreneurs Who Lost Out on $250,000 Prove Why ‘Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good,’” Business Insider, 2014
Professor of Communication and the Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School of Communication, the University of Pennsylvania
“Michael Delli Carpini has helped to advance and re-orient the study of public opinion and democracy. As a respected and prolific authority on the changing media landscape, he continues to have a profound impact on political communication research.” — the American Political Science Association.
Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania faculty in July of 2003, Dean Delli Carpini was Director of the Public Policy program of the Pew Charitable Trusts (1999-2003), and member of the Political Science Department at Barnard College and graduate faculty of Columbia University (1987-2002), serving as chair of the Barnard department from 1995 to 1999. Delli Carpini began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Rutgers University (1980-1987). His research explores the role of the citizen in American politics, with particular emphasis on the impact of the mass media on public opinion, political knowledge, and political participation.
Head of Business Development, ZelnickMedia
Sheila Dharmarajan joined ZelnickMedia in 2014. Ms. Dharmarajan is Head of Business Development at ZelnickMedia and is responsible for originating investment opportunities and outreach.
Prior to joining ZelnickMedia, Ms. Dharmarajan was an on-air television reporter for CNBC and Bloomberg Television, where she regularly reported on a wide range of business news and breaking stories. She has also served as the host of “The Future Is Now”, a Yahoo! web series focused on innovation and cutting edge technologies.
Before her foray into television, Ms. Dharmarajan was an investment professional at both Permira and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, where she focused on analyzing and executing private equity investments across a range of industries including healthcare, consumer / retail and information services. Ms. Dharmarajan began her career as an investment-banking analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and was an associate director in the mergers & acquisitions group at IAC/InterActiveCorp.
Ms. Dharmarajan graduated from the Wharton School at the University Of Pennsylvania, earning a BS in Finance and Management. Ms. Dharmarajan also earned her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Partner, First Round Capital
Chris has focused on a number of First Round Capital's investments in areas such as Advertising Technology including Invite Media (acquired by Google) and Demdex (acquired by Adobe), Social Media including CoTweet (acquired by ExactTarget) and myYearbook (acquired by QuePasa), eCommerce, Gaming, and more.
Chris has over 25 years of technology industry experience, including significant Internet sales and business development roles since 1996. He was Vice President of Business Development at Nextron, Director of Business Development at America Online, and an Account Manager at Oracle focused on their early Internet offerings for some of their largest accounts such as AOL and Time Warner. Earlier in his career, he held senior sales and management roles in the computer reseller and consulting services industry for companies including The Computer Factory, BusinessLand, and ComputerLand/Vanstar where he was responsible for over $100 million in hardware, services, and consulting sales.
Chris is a board member of the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute (formerly the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management). He has attended and been involved with the TED Conference since 1994 and helped launch TEDTalks, which have been viewed over a billion times. Chris is a co-inventor of two US Patents for listing goods for sale.
Bob is a columnist, critic, broadcaster, author and lecturer who has devoted his career to the media and marketing landscape. A MediaPost editor-at-large, he previously spent 25 years as the advertising critic for Advertising Age. For the past 15 years has been co-host of public radio's “On The Media.” A recipient of many journalism awards, including the Peabody, he is the author of five books and has lectured in 37 countries on six continents. A visiting lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, he is also a senior fellow at the Wharton School's SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management. His seminal 2007 book, The Chaos Scenario, preciently described the apocalyptic disruptions of the media economy in the digital age,
PHOTO: Michael Albans
Innovator in Residence, Knight Center & School of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin
Independent Consultant & Advisor, Focused on Revenue and Audience Growth, Product Development, Consumer User Experience and Digital Strategy
Tim Griggs is the Innovator in Residence at the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and University of Texas School of Journalism. He’s also an independent advisor to media organizations, digital startups and foundations, focused on entrepreneurship, revenue growth, sustainability, product development, consumer user experience and digital strategy.
Griggs was previously Publisher and Chief Operating Officer of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that covers state politics and public policy. In two years at the helm, The Tribune grew revenue by more than 30 percent and audience by 45 percent, and built the largest statehouse press corps of any news organization – for profit or nonprofit, digital or legacy – in the United States.
Prior to joining the Tribune, Griggs worked for The New York Times Company for 15 years, where he held several posts. He was the executive editor of the Star-News in Wilmington, N.C., a NYT regional newspaper, where he led an early transition from print to digital. In 2008, Griggs joined The New York Times as Director of Strategic Planning, where he led projects such as its partnership with nonprofit news organizations across the country. In 2011, he was named Director of Paid Products, where he grew The Times’s user base to more than 850,000 paid digital-only subscribers. And he was Executive Director of Cross-Platform Monetization, where he was responsible for revenue-generating products across The Times’s digital platforms (web, tablet, smartphone, email, games and video) and led teams responsible for the company’s digital subscription business, as well as email, e-commerce and digital advertising products.
Griggs is a graduate of Virginia Tech and holds an executive MBA from UNC-Wilmington. He is a board member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, a 2014 Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow (studying the application of growth hacking for digital news audience growth), a 2013 Knight Foundation-funded fellow (investigating business models for non-profit news organizations), and a 2010 Fellow at the Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at Columbia University. In 2003, he was named one of Presstime Magazine’s “20 Under 40” industry achievers. Griggs is also a sleep-deprived new father and a competitive Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner.
CEO, Digital Content Next
Jason Kint is CEO of Digital Content Next, the only trade association to exclusively serve the unique and diverse needs of high-quality digital content companies that manage trusted, direct relationships with consumers and marketers. Jason is focused on guiding the organizations’ diverse and powerful group of members — from established media brands such as The New York Times, NBC, Conde Nast and ESPN, to digital natives, such as Vox, Slate and Business Insider — into the future and on setting the agenda for discussions on issues ranging from net neutrality to revenue innovation to privacy.
A 20-year veteran of the digital media industry, Jason led the evolution of CBS Sports into a multi-platform brand offering premier broadcast, online and mobile sports content as SVP and General Manager of CBS Interactive’s Sports Division and served in various executive roles launching and leading the websites for Sporting News and all of Times Mirror Magazines’ flagship websites under the ownership of Times Mirror, Paul Allen and later Condé Nast. Jason has a deep passion for journalism and evolving venerable brands into their multi-platform digital future.
Founder, The Wirecutter
“Focus on the big picture and focus hard on each step, because it's too easy to get lost in a bunch of little meaningless tasks.” — As told to Tessa Miller, “I'm Brian Lam, and This Is How I Work,” Lifehacker
Founder and CEO, Simulmedia
“There is an inevitable massive disruption coming ... one of the problems that television has is that in spite of growing viewership or solid viewership, the efficiency with which it sells it to ads is declining.” — As told to Betty Liu, Bloomberg TV, 2014
CEO and Chairman, Rodale Inc.
Maria Rodale is CEO and Chairman of Rodale Inc., an independent healthy, happy living company whose mission is to inspire health, healing, happiness and love in the world, starting with you. Dividing her time between Rodale Inc.’s Emmaus, Pennsylvania headquarters and Manhattan offices, Maria oversees a global business with partners around the world in 70 countries. Rodale is the publisher of New York Times bestselling books such as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, Jessica Alba’s The Honest Life, Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, and Thug Kitchen by Matt Holloway and Michelle Davis; brands that include Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Runner’s World, Bicycling, Prevention magazine and Rodale’s Organic Life; and creator of the e-commerce brand Rodale’s. Maria has authored numerous books, including 2010’s Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe. She just released her first cookbook, Scratch: Home Cooking for Everyone Made Simple, Fun and Totally Delicious (October 2016). She is also the co-chair of the Rodale Institute.
Photo: Cedric Angeles
Media Consultant; Former NYT, NPR, NBC, Twitter
“There is a massive change on the horizon ... if you don't aggressively reach out to new audiences on new platforms, someone else will.” —As told to Eileen Mullan, “The Secrets of Public Media,” EContent, 2011
Vivian Schiller is a longtime executive at the intersection of journalism, media and technology. Most recently, Schiller served as the Global Chair of News at Twitter. In this role, she led the company’s strategy for news and partnership with journalism organizations and the news publishing ecosytem.
Just prior to joining Twitter, Schiller served as Senior VP & Chief Digital Officer for NBC News where she had strategic and operational oversight of the networks‘ presence on the web, mobile, devices, and social media. Properties in her portfolio included NBCNews.com, TODAY.com, MSNBC.com, iVillage.com, and BreakingNews.
Prior to NBC, Schiller served as President and CEO of NPR, leading all of NPR's worldwide media operations,. She was Senior Vice President and General Manager of NYTimes.com and Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Discovery Times Channel, a joint venture of The New York Times and Discovery Communications. Earlier in her career, Schiller was the head of CNN Productions, where she led CNN's long-form programming efforts. Documentaries and series produced under her auspices earned multiple honors, including three Peabody Awards, four Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, and dozens of Emmys.
“Never before could you have had a billion customers like Facebook does ... and to have a small slice of that ... that is an incredible amount of customers to reach ... You can go viral in a way that just wasn't possible before the Internet became the major communications medium.” —“On the Red Couch with Inc Editor Eric Schurenberg,” Inside Flipboard, 2012
Eric Schurenberg is the president and editor-in-chief of Inc. Before joining Inc, Eric was the editor of CBS MoneyWatch.com and BNET.com and managing editor of Money Magazine. As a writer, he is a winner of a Loeb and a National Magazine Award.
CEO, The New Republic
“The most exciting part of ... successes has been that they've been achieved through an array of different strategies — all of which use technology in the service of journalism — leading to more distribution and creative ways of telling stories made possible only through digital means.” — As told to Chris Lehmann, “Purple Reign – The Unmaking of Yahoo,” The Baffler, 2015
Prior to his role at The New Republic, Guy was the general manager of Yahoo News. During his tenure, Guy helped hire Katie Couric and revamp the Yahoo News video team. He launched Yahoo’s Tech Magazine with David Pogue as Editor-in-Chief, and developed the Yahoo News Digest, winner of the Apple Design Award.
Prior to joining Yahoo News, Guy held leadership roles at Perfect Market, The Washington Post, 2ergo Americas Inc., and Oddcast Inc.
Guy Vidra received a MA from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and a BA from The University of Michigan. He lives in New York City with his two boys Alex and Zach.
CEO, New York Pubic Radio
“The imperative for public media is to fill the void that's being left in journalism for really high quality, in-depth news reporting and deep conversation around issues.”
Laura R. Walker is President and CEO of New York Public Radio (NYPR), a nonprofit media organization dedicated to producing award-winning enterprise journalism and cultural content. NYPR owns and operates eight public radio stations, including WNYC and WQXR, the most-listened-to public radio station and one of the most-listened-to classical stations in America, respectively.
Under Ms. Walker’s leadership, NYPR’s audience has grown from 1 million to 16 million, more than $100 million in funding has been raised for long-term investment, and as NeimanLab’s Ken Doctor describes it, WNYC is on “innovation overdrive.” Under her leadership, NYPR has been honored with nine George Foster Peabody Awards in the last eleven years and produces some of public radio’s most popular programming including Radiolab, The Takeaway, Freakonomics Radio, On the Media and Death, Sex + Money.
Ms. Walker was honored with an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and was named one of New York City’s Most Powerful Women by Crain’s New York Business. She is also the recipient of Public Radio International’s Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a Distinguished Alumna Award from Wesleyan University. In addition to the NYPR Board of Trustees, Ms. Walker sits on the boards of The Tribune Media Company, Saint Ann’s School, Yale Center for Customer Insights, The Eagle Picher Trust and is a member of The Women's Forum. She is also the Chair of the Station Resource Group. Ms. Walker holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA in History, magna cum laude, from Wesleyan University where she was an Olin Scholar.
PHOTO: Janice Yi
Lauder Professor and Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School
Jerry Wind is the Lauder Professor and Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School and the founding Director of the Wharton SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management, the Wharton Fellows program (whartonfellows.com) and the Wharton Future of Advertising Program (wfoa.wharton.upenn.edu). He joined Wharton in 1967 with a doctorate from Stanford. From 1995 to 1997, he led the development of the Wharton globalization strategy. Dr. Wind led the reinvention of the Wharton MBA curriculum (1991-93) and the creation of the Wharton Executive MBA Program (1974). He was founding director of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute, the Wharton International Forum, and was the founding editor of the Wharton School Publishing. He has edited top marketing journals, published over 250 articles and 20 books, and received the four major marketing awards: Buck Weaver, Charles Parlin, Converse, and AMA/Irwin Distinguished Educator Award. He was one of the original Legends in Marketing, with an 8-volume anthology published by Sage in 2014. He has consulted with over 100 companies and testifies in intellectual property and antitrust cases. He sits on various advisory boards, is Trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Chair of its Marketing Committee. In 2015, he will be inducted into the inaugural cohort of the AMA Fellows Program. His current research focuses on marketing-driven business strategy, the Network Challenge; the future of advertising and marketing; creativity and innovation; and challenging one’s mental models.