Jan 21-22, 2010

Denver, CO

The Faculty

Keynote Speakers

Andy Goodman

Andy Goodman is a nationally recognized author, speaker and consultant in the field of public interest communications. Along with Storytelling as Best Practice, he is author of Why Bad Ads Happen to Good Causes and Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes. He also publishes a monthly journal, free-range thinking, to share best practices in the field.

Andy is best known for his speeches and workshops on storytelling, presenting, design and strategic communications, and has been invited to speak at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton, as well as at major foundation and nonprofit conferences. He currently serves on the faculty of the Communications Leadership Institute, which trains nonprofit executive directors and grantmakers.

In 2007, Al Gore selected Andy to train one thousand volunteers who are currently helping the former Vice President engage more Americans in the fight against global warming. In 2008, Andy co-founded The Goodman Center to offer online versions of his workshops and additional communications and marketing classes to nonprofits, foundations, government agencies and educational institutions across the U.S. and worldwide.

When not teaching, traveling, or recovering from teaching and traveling, Andy also serves as a Senior Fellow for Civic Ventures and is on the advisory boards of VolunteerMatch and Great Nonprofits.

Holly Minch

Holly has spent her entire career helping do-gooders do better. She works with nonprofits and philanthropies to unlock the potential of strategic communications so they can get busy changing the world.

Her work was recently honored by the Council on Foundations with a Gold Award for Excellence in Public Policy Communications. Holly was named by PR News as a “Young PR Star” recognized as a PR leader and creative practitioner in the industry. She was Editor of Loud and Clear in an Election Year, a guidebook created to help nonprofits convey their messages in the crowded election environment. 

Holly’s experience includes her work as Vice President of Spitfire Strategies, where shecreated communications programs for grantees of the nation’s largest foundations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Holly was Executive Director of the Communications Leadership Institute, which helps nonprofits use high-impact communications to achieve social change. In addition to guiding CLI’s key programs, she led flagship training retreats for nonprofit leaders and grantmakers.

Holly also served as Director of the SPIN Project, assisting hundreds of grassroots groups with strategic communications resources. She launched the successful SPIN Academy – currently celebrating its tenth year – and created much of the SPIN Project's training curriculum and online tools.

Holly started out as press secretary for the Sierra Club, alternately doing battle with and cozying up to the Washington, D.C. press corps. She was primary contact for the national media, and created national, regional and local campaigns.

Because she wanted to be an English teacher when she grew up, Holly holds a B.A. in English literature and language from the University of Southern California.  She lives in San Francisco with her husband and their imaginary dog.

Rashad Robinson
Senior Director of Media Programs

Rashad Robinson serves as Senior Director of Media Programs for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and is based in New York. GLAAD is one of the largest national LGBT organizations and the only one dedicated to ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of LGBT people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Rashad joined GLAAD in May, 2005.

An experienced organizer, advocate and communicator, Rashad has mobilized people to engage and reform their educational and political institutions. In his current role at GLAAD, he oversees GLAAD's advocacy and programmatic work. Specifically, he leads the thirty staff members, consultants and fellows in GLAAD's New York and Los Angeles offices that comprise the Digital & Online Media, Entertainment Media, Media Field Strategy, Messaging and Media Research, National News, Religion, Faith and Values, Sports Media, Spanish Language Media, Young Adult Media and the organization's cultural outreach into media serving Communities of African Decent and Asian Pacific Islander Communities.

In his tenure at GLAAD, Rashad has overseen the implementation of three new programs: The Sports Media, Young Adult Media and Religion, Faith and Values Media Programs. Rashad has also increased the organization’s presence and work in local and regional communities and worked with staff to overhaul the organization’s signature Media Essentials Training Curriculum. During his tenure the Media Programs team has experienced tremendous success with the development of a large scale Public Service Ad Campaigns that has been widely broadcast on TV and online, the creation of a host of media resources for journalists and local activists and increased visibility in combating media defamation of the LGBT community locally and nationally.

Before joining GLAAD, Rashad served as National Communications Director for the Right to Vote Campaign, a national collaboration of eight major civil rights organizations, including the NAACP, People for the American Way and the ACLU, working on voter disenfranchisement. He also served as National Field Director with the Center for Voting and Democracy. In 2003, he served as lead organizer for the Claim Democracy Conference, which featured national civil rights leaders, presidential candidates and congressional leaders.

A popular speaker on LGBT and progressive issues, Rashad has the ability to clearly articulate the essence of complex issues to general and movement-centric audiences of any size. He is a frequent spokesperson in print, radio and television, and has appeared in hundreds of news stories on programs ranging from Access Hollywoodto The O'Reilly Factor and for outlets such as: ABC, BET, CNN, Fox News, The Associated Press, Reuters, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation and Vanity Fair, among others. In 2004, he appeared as the youngest contestant (Campaign Manager) on Showtime’s Political Reality series American Candidate.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) www.glaad.org, with offices in New York City and Los Angeles, is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

GLAAD’s work and influence within the entertainment industry, national and regional news organizations and with journalists at all levels has led to sweeping change in the ways that LGBT people are portrayed in the media. The widely known and popular GLAAD Media Awards has recognized the best of such images for 19 years.

Other speakers

Celia Alario
Grassroots Media Strategist & Web 2.0 Imagineer

Alario is a PR and media strategist, grassroots communications consultant, media skills trainer and facilitator.  She works at the intersection of campaigning, grassroots organizing and marketing to support organizations, film makers, artists and authors in engaging key audiences for their stories, tapping both traditional media/marketing and new media/web 2.0 tools to create meaningful opportunities for engagement.  

As founder of ‘PR for People and the Planet’ she’s helped spin groundbreaking social action campaigns, provided one-on-one trainings for incoming Communications Directors, trained thousands of spokespeople and placed hundreds of stories about critical social justice and environmental issues in prominent national and international media outlets over the last 14 years. Alario is dedicated to building media skills and power at the grassroots level, and her commitment extends far beyond the development and execution of a media plans on a client’s behalf.  She creates successful media campaigns while also providing the training, leadership development, skills sharing and mentoring necessary to build lasting media capacity within the grassroots organizations she serves.  Alario is committed to making sure that those most disproportionately impacted by issues have the skills and support they need tell their own stories in the mainstream media, and educates journalists and opinion leaders to respect the value of those grassroots voices as the experts that they indeed are.

Alario serves on the Board of Directors of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the Advisory Boards of BEN (Business Ethics Network) and IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War).  Follow Alario on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/celiaalario.

John Atlas
National Housing Institute

John Atlas is president and founder of the National Housing Institute, which publishes Shelterforce. He has just completed a book about politics, democracy and poverty through the work of Acorn. His book Seeds of Change, The story of America's Most Controversial Anti-Poverty Organization is published by Vanderbilt University Press, due out in 2010. It is the first narrative  history of ACORN.  For over 35 years, he has been a public-interest lawyer, activist, writer, radio talk-show host, and organizer. He co-authored Saving Affordable Housing.  His work has appeared in numerous publications including, The  Star LedgerThe New York Times, Huffington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Tikkun, The American Prospect, The Nation, Dissent and Social Policy. Atlas holds a law degree from Boston University, a Masters of law from George Washington Law Center, and  a Revson Fellowship from  Columbia University.  For 22 years he was the executive director of the nationally recognized Passaic County Legal Aid Society and helped publicize many public interest organizations.

Jed Alpert
Founder and CSO
Mobile Commons

Jed Alpert is founder and CSO of Mobile Commons, the leading mobile technology company focusing on cause related marketing, campaigns, advocacy and government services. Mobile Commons customers include Aveda, Carnegie Museums, CREDO, the California Department of Public Health, The NY State Democratic Committee, the New York City Department of Health,  Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Guggenheim Museum, the the National Urban League, NRDC, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health the United Nations, Save Darfur, People for the American Way, UFCW and SEIU. Mobile Commons was recently named a “Fast Company Magazine Fast Fifty Company.”

Prior to founding Mobile Commons he served as the President of Sunshine Amalgamedia and created innovative marketing and sponsorship programs for clients such as Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Samsung, and Pepsi. As a partner at Rudolph and Beer, Jed’s practice focused on entertainment and media law. He was also an associate at Paul Weiss.

Jed has produced numerous feature films, including Sunday, winner of the 1997 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. He serves on the boards of Riverkeeper and the Bay Area Video Coalition and has also served on the boards of a number of film festivals and arts organizations, including Genart, The Newport Film Festival, and Thread Waxing Space.

Jed holds a BA from Connecticut College and a JD from Cardozo School of Law.

Jen Caltrider
Executive Producer

Award-winning television producer Jen Caltrider brings journalistic instinct and know-how to ProgressNow. A network producer for CNN, specializing in technology journalism, Ms. Caltrider traveled the United States to cover the latest in high-tech happenings. With accurate investigative research and diligence, Ms. Caltrider entered the hidden world of computer hackers and provided viewers rare glimpses of these secretive people and their incredible skills.

Working as the Executive Producer at Denver, Colorado based ProgressNow since 2005, Ms. Caltrider is recognized as a pioneer in the use new media for online organizing. Her online videos, viewed by millions, have been covered by the NY Times, MSNBC, CBS News and many others.  Ms. Caltrider designs and coordinates new media campaigns, utilizing all the web has to offer to fight for causes ranging from justice for a murdered transgender teenager, to helping citizens in Longmont, Colorado win a rare victory in the civic fight against mega-church expansion in their community. 

Described as creative, strategic and personal, Ms. Caltrider understands how to take all aspects of new media and turn them into a story to help better communities everywhere.

Thom Clark
Community Media Workshop

Thom Clark is president of the Community Media Workshop that works annually with over 2,000 nonprofit communicators and hundreds of journalists in and around the Midwest to promote news that matters. During his 35 years as an editor, photojournalist and social enterprise entrepreneur in Chicago’s nonprofit sector, Clark has developed affordable housing; co-founded and directed the Chicago Rehab Network; served as editor of award-winning monthly, The Neighborhood Works published by the Center for Neighborhood Technology; and labored as a newsletter editor and photojournalist before co-founding the Workshop in 1989.

Since then he has trained thousands of grassroots leaders and nonprofit executives to tell their stories more effectively, in Chicago and across the country. Recent communications consults include Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Michigan Land Use Network, North Suburban Library System, Axelson Center @ North Park College, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, South West Organizing Project, LISC-Chicago, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Chapin Hall, and Advocate Charitable Foundation, amongst others. Among his honors and awards he was recently named one of Business and Professional People’s “40 Who’ve Made a Difference” and he received a Studs Terkel Community Media Award from the Workshop for his journalistic leadership. In 2009 he co-authored The NEW news: Journalism We Want & Need for the Chicago Community Trust.

Thom teaches in the graduate journalism program at Columbia College Chicago where the Workshop is based and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists/Chicago Headline Club, the Publicity Club of Chicago, the Black Public Relations Society, the Illinois Education Association, United for Peace, and the St. Nicholas Church Peace & Justice Committee. Contact him at thom@newstips.org.

Lark Corbeil
Public News Service

Lark Corbeil is founder and CEO of Public News Service (PNS), a multiplatform and bilingual network of state-based news services currently reaching an audience of 24M per week on over 8,000 news outlets from Pacifica stations to the Clear Channel Network. PNS currently runs independent news services covering the progressive community at the state level in 30 states, and welcomes partners to help launch in the remaining.

In addition to PNS, Ms. Corbeil founded 501c3 Media in the Public Interest to help non-profits interact more strategically with all media, assist other journalists in covering the nonprofit sector and incubate innovative news and information outlets, such as OndaLatina, a Spanish language radio news service. Another project Lark has started this year, called Soundbite Services, serves the socially responsible corporate and political communities.

Ms. Corbeil lives in Boulder, CO but grew up bridging the red/blue divide literally as well as figuratively, with one foot in Topanga, California and the other in McCall, Idaho. She has lived and worked in France, Israel, Taiwan and New York and started PNS based on her experience with Reuters TV and Channel One. She is a working mom, has over 25 years experience in news and communications and is currently on the coordinating council of The Media Consortium.

Melissa Daar
Senior Vice President
Full Court Press

FCP Communications has vast experience in media outreach, public affairs strategy, grassroots/community action programs, and online organizing and advocacy..

Melissa led FCP’s efforts to assist California’s health and human services advocates to protect safety net services from drastic budget cuts that generated hundreds of stories throughout California. In re-launching Next 10’s Budget Challenge, an online tool to solve the state’s budget crisis, Melissa led the FCP team to develop an integrated public relations and online strategy; the campaign attracted more users for the Challenge than in any year since its founding

Social media plays a key role in Melissa’s efforts at FCP. Melissa and her online team assisted California Health Access in building the fastest growing online constituency for federal health reform during the 2009 public debate. Melissa also helped to launch “Postcards from Bosnia,” featuring blogging by two leading Earthjustice attorneys reporting from a climate summit that drew international visibility.

Before joining FCP, Melissa was the California Policy and Field Director for People For the American Way and played a leading role on the political team for Working Assets. Her previous experience includes communications for the ACLU of Northern California, staffing a San Francisco Supervisor, leading on-line advocacy on a ballot initiative, and public relations for a San Francisco tech start-up.

Melissa spent a decade as a social entrepreneur. She founded and led an Oakland-based business for a decade that organized cultural exchange travel to Cuba and Brazil.

Jimmy Durchslag
Executive Director
Mainstream Media Project

Jimmy Durchslag heads the Mainstream Media Project (MMP), a nonprofit media support services organization which schedules interviews, primarily on talk radio, to expand the national discussion of critical economic, social, environmental and security issues. In this capacity, he is responsible for relationships with its many prior and current funders, which include the Ford Foundation, the Ploughshares Fund, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Rockefeller Bros. Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Durchslag also gives workshops on broadcast interview techniques and on making contact with broadcast media. Until April, 2008, he was the MMP national media coordinator, scheduling interviews with outlets such as CNN, Associated Press, Talk America and Air America. He has been involved in media as a radio programmer, as owner of a record label, and as founder of a community radio station. Durchslag has managed several non-profit organizations and businesses. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English from Yale University in 1970.

Karl Frisch
Senior Fellow
Media Matters for America

Media Matters for America is the nation’s premier progressive media watchdog, research, and information center. A fixture on the progressive talk radio circuit, Frisch has also appeared on major news outlets, including ABC News, MSNBC, and CNN. His weekly column has run in newspapers around the country.

Over the past dozen years, Frisch has worked for numerous candidates and political organizations at the local, state, and national level. After leaving his post as deputy communications director for the California Democratic Party in 2003, Frisch served as the multimedia communications director on the renowned Web team of Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign.

In 2005, he was press secretary for Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) on the House Rules Committee helping to expose Republican ethics abuses in Congress. The following year, he served as communications director for Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett in his short-lived bid for a U.S. Senate in Ohio, then as national press secretary for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in an election cycle that saw Democrats regain the Senate majority.

Prior to his work in progressive politics, Frisch worked for Republicans for several years, including for former Congressman Jim Nussle (R-IA) and on the 2000 presidential campaigns of Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

A media critic, experienced political operative and technology enthusiast, Frisch speaks regularly about the modern media landscape, political issues of the day and the intersection of technology, media and politics.

Mark Eddy
Mark Eddy Communications

Mark Eddy is founder and principal of Mark Eddy Communications, a strategic communications/ messaging/ public education firm specializing in public policy issues. Mark spent more than 16 years as an editor and reporter at The Denver Post before starting his communications firm in 2001. He has worked with a number of foundations and non-profit groups, city governments and for-profit companies ranging from a two-person disability rights law firm to an $18-billion multinational corporation. Mark has worked on issues as varied as the environment, LGBT, consumer protection and homeless to name just a few. Mark has also worked on a number of candidate and issue campaigns. As a journalist, Mark did investigative work on the construction of Denver International Airport, the Oklahoma City bombing, covered city government, education and the environment and was part of The Denver Post team that was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the Columbine tragedy. Mark continues to write and is a contributor to the recently released “How the West was Warmed.” Mark also helped start a non-profit that is building schools in Tanzania and serves on its board (africaschoolassistanceproject.org).

Glen Gardner
Public News Service

Glen Gardner is the Co-COO of the Public News Service with a background in multi-platform marketing, database loyalty and traditional news delivery. Glen Gardner is a recognized expert in using both new and traditional technologies to help organizations reach their goals.

Glen Gardner developed some of the first media web sites in the world. He was also one of the first to build independent streamed audio Internet radio stations. Glen has been a driving force in developing programs that use the strength of new media to augment traditional media plans. That includes streamed video, streamed audio, database loyalty programs and Web 2.0.

Gardner began his media career at WAAF in Boston and has managed media companies in Iowa, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois and Wisconsin. He also served as the United Press International bureau chief in Madison, Wisconsin.

Glen Gardner is a pioneer in helping develop database loyalty programs that are designed to motivate specific behaviors. These programs have been successfully implemented across the United States, Canada and the UK.

Gardner has also been at the forefront of developing hyper-local news platforms on the Internet, serving as a marketing consultant on a geo-targeted delivery system that went live in 2009.

Henry Griggs
Co-author of Strategic Communications for Nonprofits

Henry Griggs is a freelance writer, editor and consultant specializing in nonprofit communications and advocacy campaigns. His recent clients have included The Opportunity Agenda, the National Academy for State Health Policy, Communications Consortium Media Center (CCMC), the Women’s Refugee Commission, and the Center for State and Local Government Excellence. Henry is co-author of Strategic Communications for Nonprofits, published by Jossey-Bass, an imprint of Wiley & Sons. The book has been in print continuously since 1999; the second edition was published in September 2008.

He was Communications Director of Human Rights First in New York, where he managed media outreach and placement, strategy and message development, supervision of print and online content, drafting of fundraising materials, and media training. He held the same post at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank in Washington, D.C. focused on budget, tax and fiscal issues affecting low- and moderate-income people. The Center has been cited as one of the most effective nonprofits, in part for its highly active and well-regarded communications program. Henry was a co-founder in 1989 of CCMC. Earlier in his career he worked in the Public Affairs Unit of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and in the Election and Survey Unit of CBS News.

Dean Hollander
Chief Digital Officer
Fenton Communications

He is the former CEO and founder of Involve Inc., an award-winning interactive communications agency later acquired by Kintera, a NASDAQ-traded software company. Involve Inc. received numerous accolades, including Webby Awards and Web Marketing Association awards for its work with leading nonprofit organizations such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare and People for the American Way. At Kintera, Hollander served as vice president of strategic partnerships, forging new alliances, breaking into new markets, and building a large network of interactive-agency partners across the country to service the unique needs of nonprofit organizations as they adopted new software solutions for online community building, advocacy and fundraising.

Hollander has worked as a strategic consultant for nonprofits, start-up ventures and companies including BP Alternative Energy and Weiden and Kennedy. He has developed unique strategic initiatives for brands such as Starbucks and Coca-Cola, and has forged sponsorship deals including the inclusion of alternative-energy education into the newest version of Sim City with Electronic Arts for BP. His expertise is applicable to overall communications strategy, leveraging new media technologies, effective brand building through interactive experiences, and developing unique strategic partnerships between companies and organizations in different industries that can benefit from one another's communications initiatives.

Before the rise of the Internet, Hollander did time in the entertainment industry writing, directing and producing television and film. He has also taught numerous college courses in mass communications at Emerson College's Los Angeles campus and has been a guest speaker at Harvard University, Wharton Business School, AdTech and numerous industry trade shows. Hollander's independent film and writing awards include an award from the Eastman Kodak Company, the Chesterfield Writing Competition, and a Student Academy Award for a film he wrote, directed and produced.

Michael Huttner
Executive Director
Progress Now

Michael Huttner is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ProgressNow a network of state-based online organizations that reaches over 1.5 million people.  In 2003, Huttner started ProgressNow in the back of his Denver law firm with his list of 700 email addresses.  Now the twelve ProgressNow partner states combined membership exceeds 1.5 million individuals.

Before starting ProgressNow, Huttner worked as Policy Advisor to Colorado Governor Roy Romer and he clerked at the White House for the Office of the Counsel to President Clinton.  Huttner and his wife Debbie live in Boulder with their two year old son Lee and one year old daughter Evy.

Omar Jabara
Senior Director of Communications and Media Relations
Newmont Mining Corporation.  

For 18 years Jabara developed and led communications programs in some of the most competitive markets in the country including, Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA and Denver, CO.  Today, along with teams in Newmont’s various operating regions, he manages the company’s communications efforts around the globe.

Competing with nearly two-hundred writers who applied, Jabara was among the first to be selected in 1999 as a Colorado Voices columnist with The Denver Post.  In his columns Jabara caught the attention of readers with his novel ideas as he tackled controversial issues. 

Jabara boasts extensive experience in the high-pressure environment of political communications where he served as press secretary and spokesman for US Senate candidate and former Colorado first lady Dottie Lamm.  He also worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC as Communications Director for Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, where his innovative approaches helped to significantly increase her national profile and reposition her to win one of the most hotly contested elections in 1996.

Jabara holds an Honors BA in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Timothy Karr
Campaign Director
Free Press

Timothy Karr is the Campaign Director for Free Press, the leading national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working on media and technology policy in the public interest. Tim manages all of Free Press’s online initiatives — including SavetheInternet.com, StopBigMedia.com and InternetforEveryone.org. Before joining Free Press, Tim was executive director of MediaChannel.org and vice president of the Globalvision News Network. He has also worked extensively as an editor, reporter and photojournalist for the Associated Press, Time Inc., the New York Times and Australia Consolidated Press.

Tim has been quoted in publications across the country and has been featured as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, NPR, ABC News Radio and Democracy Now, among other places. He blogs for The Huffington Post and at MediaCitizen.

Marty Kearns
Executive Director
Green Media Toolshed

Martin Kearns is an innovator in the field of netcentric campaigns and advocacy. He is also Co-Founder and Executive Director of Green Media Toolshed. He has pioneered integration of network-centric principals to the field of civic organizing and social change work. He is designing software and services targeted to create value at the multi-organizational and movement scale. He is the catalyst behind MobileActive, a global network of activists who use cell phones for civic action and engagement. Kearns is currently working on MediaVolunteer, the first peer-produced, massively distributed research project designed to help advocates and citizens engage the media. Previously, Kearns also successfully founded the Georgia River Network, a group dedicated to preserving Georgia's rivers.

Kearns worked on local, state and national political campaigns. He is a dynamic speaker and is often found at communications, technology and organizing strategy venues supporting progressive civic engagement. He volunteers on the Advisory Board of the New Organizing Institute. He spent three years working at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Kearns has a Bachelors of the Arts from LeMoyne College and a Masters in Environmental Science from Yale University.

Kearns spent two years as a Jesuit International Volunteer in Kingston, Jamaica teaching computers at St. George's College and working with inner city youth. He is a runner, hiker and fisherman. He and his wife Maryann are raising their three children in Silver Spring, MD. Kearns writes a daily blog, Network-Centric Advocacy : Advocacy Strategy for the Age Connectivity.

Emily Lockwood
Internet Director
Emily’s List

Emily Lockwood is a new media professional with extensive experience working with non profit organizations and political campaigns. Emily currently serves as the internet director for EMILY's List. In that role, Emily has expanded the organization's online presence by engaging new supporters, raising money, and advising candidates for Governor, U.S. Senate and U.S. House on new media strategies. Emily joined EMILY's List after serving as the deputy internet director for online organizing on Senator Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. In that position, she developed the strategy for online programs in primary states and managed the execution of the national e-mail program. Prior to that, Emily was with Planned Parenthood Federation of America where she developed and managed the organization’s national online advocacy and fundraising campaigns, directed national and local blogger outreach and was the voice behind "I Am Emily X: The True-Life Stories of Planned Parenthood Workers and Activists." Emily got her start in politics working in the communications shop for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and began her online career at Carol Trevelyan Strategy Group, a firm that provided online strategy and tools to non-profit organizations.

Heather Mansfield

Heather Mansfield has over fifteen years of nonprofit fundraising and online community organizing experience. Originally from Springfield, MO, Heather moved to Los Angeles at 19 to pursue a bachelors of arts in political theory from U.C.L.A. Study abroad programs led her to Mexico, Chile and Argentina to study Spanish and anthropology. She is fluent in Spanish and graduated with honors.

After college Heather moved to Washington, DC where she worked by day at the Pew Center for Civic Journalism. By night and on the weekends she volunteered with the Guatemala Human Rights Commission. Inspired by their work, she then went to Guatemala where she volunteered with a school for street children.
Upon returning to the United States, Heather moved to San Francisco. In 1999, Heather went on tour with the Lilith Fair Music Festival as a spokesperson for Global Exchange. She then worked with Asista.com and Passporta.com – both of which went out of business in the dot.com bust of 2001. In late 2001, she became the Communications and Outreach Director for International Development Exchange.

Heather’s career in web and e-mail communications received national recognition when she launched her own eActivist.org on July 23, 2000. She spoke at conferences all over the country and built one of the most popular e-activism websites on the Internet. She sold eActivist.org in 2004 to Capitol Advantage in Washington, DC.
In late 2004, Heather returned to Springfield to take a job as Web Editor at Drury University. She launched DIOSA | Communications in February 2006 and then delved into the online metropolis of MySpace and launched myspace.com/nonprofitorganizations. Since then, she has become one of the leading experts in the nation on how nonprofit organizations can also use Twitter (@nonprofitorgs), Facebook (facebook.com/nonprofitorgs), YouTube (youtube.com/nonprofitorgs), MySpace, LinkedIn and Flickr to advance their online communications and development strategies.

In 2007, Heather left Drury University to become the Nonprofit Community Manager for Change.org and focus on her own business. She was one of the first social media trainers for the nonprofit sector in the country and to date has given almost 300 Webinars on how nonprofits can use social media. In 2009, she was named a Fundraising Star of the Year by Fundraising Success Magazine and currently serves on the board for the Latin America Working Group.

Wendy Norris
Editor and Publisher
Western Citizen

Wendy Norris is the editor and publisher of Western Citizen, an online news network that combines accountability journalism with online tools to encourage direct civic action and public deliberation on community issues across the Rocky Mountain states. Western Citizen was inspired by the USC/Annenberg School/Knight Digital Media Center, where Norris is a fellow in the news entrepreneur program.

She is the former state editor of The Colorado Independent, an award-winning online political news organization, and served as the political columnist for the Rocky Mountain Chronicle.

Jason Salzman
Media Consultant and Writer

Jason Salzman is a writer and media consultant. He is co-founder of Effect Communications, which serves progressive organizations. (Effect Communications, was known as Cause Communications until the name “Cause Communications” was sold last year.)

Jason’s first book, Making the News: A Guide for Activists and Nonprofits, was published in 1998. It’s been translated into Chinese and the book’s second edition was published in 2003 by Basic Books. His second book, which he wrote with Ben Cohen, was titled 50 Ways YOU Can Show George the Door in 2004. It was obviously a failure. His third book (with co-author Michael Huttner) is titled 50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America. From 2004 until 2009, Mr. Salzman was a media critic for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver.

Jason is a former national campaign director for Greenpeace and research associate for the Natural Resources Defense Council. He was co-founder of RepentantNaderVoter.com, which received wide attention for urging former Nader backers to support Kerry in 2004.

He is married and has a daughter, Nell, who never stops, and a son, Dylan, who never sleeps.

Karlos Gauna Schmieder
Communications Strategist
Center for Media Justice

Before joining the Center for Media Justice, Karlos Gauna Schmieder worked for nearly a decade as a community and communications organizer with SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP). As co-chair of communications for the 2007 U.S. Social Forum, he coordinated media strategy for this groundbreaking event. He is also a former steering committee member of Grassroots Global Justice, resource ally with Right to the City Alliance and editor of Voces Unidas.

Karlos is currently a member of Progressive Communicators Network’s Leadership Council and co chair of communications working group of the 2010 U.S. Social Forum. He has trained hundreds of community leaders and organizers in strategic communications. His recent work includes coordinating a community communications strategy to support the defeat of Proposition 6; in November 2008, Prop 6 became the first piece of so-called “tough on crime” hate legislation aimed at young people of color to be defeated in the state of California.

Karlos has appeared on affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and ClearChannel News, as well as on CounterSpin, NPR, and the Laura Flanders Show, and in the Dallas Morning News, the Albuquerque Journal, the Albuquerque Tribune, the East Bay Express, the Grassroots Fundraising Journal, Wiretap, Youth Today, YES magazine, and more.

His media strategy work has lead to grassroots voices and spokespeople appearing on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, BBC, CBC, PBS, and Telesur, and in USA Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New Orleans Times Picayune, the Oakland Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and most major and progressive news outlets from all over the world. s

David Sirota
Author and Talk Show Host

David Sirota is a journalist, nationally syndicated weekly newspaper columnist and bestselling author living in Denver, Colorado. As one of the only national columnists living and reporting outside of Washington, D.C., he reports on politics and pop culture, with a specialty in economic issues. He blogs at OpenLeft.com and is currently working on his third book – this one about the intersection of politics and movies, television, video games and toys.

In reviews of his work, the New York Times called Sirota a “populist rabble-rouser” with a “take-no-prisoners mind-set,” while the Philadelphia Daily News labeled him “a progressive powerhouse.” His weekly column is based at the Denver Post, San Francisco Chronicle and Seattle Times, and now appears in newspapers with a combined daily circulation of more than 1.6 million readers. In 2008 and 2009, Sirota was named best columnist by 5280 magazine - the largest general-interest magazine in the Rocky Mountain West and one of the nation’s largest circulation regional publications. In its inaugural listing of national journalists, Mediaite.com ranked Sirota as the 38th most influential columnist in America.

Sirota, whose two books (Hostile Takeover and The Uprising) were both New York Times bestsellers, has contributed to The New York Times Magazine and The Nation and has hosted talk radio on Denver’s Clear Channel affiliate. He is a senior editor at In These Times magazine and Huffington Post contributor, and appears periodically on CNN, Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, Fox News, and National Public Radio (see some of his archived television appearances here). His writing has won praise from across the political spectrum. The liberal American Prospect said Sirota is “the kind of pundit you’d like to have on your side in a knife fight and wouldn’t want to cross in a dark alley.” Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins said, “Sirota is a new-generation populist who instinctively understands that the only real questions are ‘Who’s getting screwed?’ and ‘Who’s doing the screwing?’”

Before becoming a full-time journalist, Sirota was a Democratic political strategist serving as a senior campaign aide to Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Montana’s first Democratic governor in 16 years; a campaign adviser Connecticut’s antiwar icon Ned Lamont, who defeated Sen. Joe Lieberman in the 2006 Democratic primary; the chief spokesman for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee; the press secretary for Vermont Congressman Bernard Sanders, the longest-serving independent in congressional history.

Sirota received a degree in journalism and political science from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. After graduating in 1998, he lived for five years in Washington, D.C., and then for two and a half years in Helena, Mont., before moving to Denver in 2007 with his wife, Emily, and his dog, Monty.

Debbie Courson Smith
Managing Editor
Public News Service

Debbie Courson Smith is the Public News Service managing editor with extensive background in both traditional and multi-platform delivery of news and information.

Pippa Sorley
eConscious Market

Over the past 12 years Ms. Sorley has worked for both nonprofit organizations and corporations within the Natural Products, LOHAS, and Sustainable Business sectors. She served as Marketing Director at Whole Foods Market in Boulder and Education Manager at Wild Oats, and has consulted with a diverse group of sustainable businesses dedicated to effecting change, including elephant Journal, Sustain Lane, Sustainable Resources, Thistle Community Housing, the National Community Land Trust Network, and Pangea Organics.

In 2006, Ms. Sorley joined Mr. Gerson with the mission of creating a marketplace that merged consciousness with capitalism, and, eConscious Market was born. Pippa earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Colorado and University of Lancaster in the U.K. She has a passion for travel and photography, dogs, trail running, laughing at herself, and people watching.

Robyn Stein

Since Spin 2007, Robyn L. Stein has deeply imbedded herself [along with the rest of us] into the realms of social networking and internet marketing. She spent a majority of that time as Senior Director of External Affairs at NYU’s Robert Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, working with faculty and staff to create and implement strategies to build internal capacity and raise new awareness for the school. Among the great projects she spearheaded there, she produced a marketing video, started an event blog, upgraded materials both on and off the web and consulted with faculty and centers on such issues as the Presidential transition and shaping a new paradigm for international microfinance. Anyone interested in graduate studies in public service and public affairs, especially those interested in local/state government and international NGO work, should talk to her during the Spin conference.

Stein’s passion for advocacy and effective communications grew from deep seeded 1970’s activism both around protests at Rocky Flats Nuclear Facility and securing reproductive rights and access to healthcare after the Supreme Court’s Roe decision. With a background as a graphics artist for 15 years, combined with an MBA in non profit management and 20 years in PR and marketing, Stein started the RL Stein Group in 2007.

From 1990 to 2006, Stein was the managing director of Pro-Media Communications for nine years and at Planned Parenthood Federation of America for seven. Her practice at PPFA included media relations, national awards programs, special events and managing their celebrity board. At Pro-Media, she ran scores of accounts covering issues of voter rights, hunger relief, domestic violence, racial and gender equity, and economic/social/environmental justice, to name a few.

Reverand Billy Talen
Pastor of the Church Of Life After Shopping

A student of the writers Charles Gaines and Kurt Vonnegut, Reverend Billy Talen moved to New York City in 1994 and joined the sidewalk preachers of Times Square, specializing in retail interventions in companies and opposing the gentrification of neighborhoods. As Pastor of the Church Of Life After Shopping he has been jailed more than 50 times and has produced fabulous revivals, albums, the feature film What Would Jesus Buy? with Morgan Spurlock (SuperSize Me!, 30 Days), and a TV show for FreeSpeech TV.

Mason Tvert
Executive Director
Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation

Mason Tvert is the co-founder and executive director of SAFER (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation) and the SAFER Voter Education Fund. He is co-author of the recently released book, Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?, and he appears frequently in the news discussing the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol. Mason resides in Denver, where he coordinated successful marijuana-reform ballot initiative campaigns in 2005 and 2007, and he often travels the country to speak about marijuana policy reform and promote activism on college and university campuses. He currently serves on the Denver Marijuana Policy Review Panel appointed by Mayor John W. Hickenlooper, and he is an alumni -- and alumni board president -- of the Center for Progressive Leadership Colorado Political Leaders Fellowship. 

Ken Weine
Vice President of Communications
Consumers Union

The Consumers Union is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just and safe marketplace for consumers.

Weine manages communications and media strategy for Consumers Union and Consumer Reports. For Consumer Reports' magazine and Web site, he directs editorial and trade publicity, and oversees creation and distribution of CR's syndicated television news service, newspaper column, and radio program. He also conceived and manages Consumer Reports en Espanol. For Consumers Union, Weine manages publicity of the advocacy and public education campaigns on health care, food and product safety, and financial privacy. A member of CU's Senior Leadership Team, he also manages internal communications for Consumers Union's staff of more than 600 employees.

Before joining CU, Weine worked for over six years at Newsweek. As Communications Director he managed publicity for Newsweek's U.S. and international editions, and Newsweek.com. His tenure also included managing the Creative Services department, which was responsible for creating all messaging and marketing materials for the worldwide sales staff. His accomplishments include helping position Newsweek to win three National Magazine Awards, and landing "Executive Team of the Year" honors from AdWeek and MediaWeek magazines in 2004.

A lawyer and political organizer by training, Weine previously was a Staff Attorney and the Communications Director at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. He designed and implemented marketing and communications strategy for this nonprofit legal institute involved in litigation, public education and scholarship on campaign finance reform, ballot access, judicial independence and poverty law.

Mr. Weine is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (Yeshiva University). He lives with his wife and two children in New York City.

Heath Wickline
Senior Account Manager
Underground Advertising

At Underground Advertising, Heath helps non-profits figure out who they need to be talking to, and what it is they need to say to them. Once a strategy is agreed on, he works with clients such as the National Resources Defense Council, Welcoming America and Underground's creative team managing projects from ad campaigns to viral videos and print collateral.

Prior to joining Underground, he served as the Director of the SPIN Project, a nonprofit communications capacity-building organization. While with the SPIN Project, Heath worked with hundreds of nonprofit communications professionals from organizations across the country, supporting the development of communications strategies and media campaigns. He also created and led workshops and edited several publications on topics related to non-profit communications. Previously, he helped plan AIDS Walks in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. He holds a BA in English Literature from Boston University and an MA in International Relations from San Francisco State University. He lives with his wife Erica in San Francisco, and blogs semi-regularly at hwickline.com and tellingamericanstories.com.

Rebecca Wind
Senior Communications Associate
Guttmacher Institute

Rebecca Wind has served as the Guttmacher Institute’s primary media contact since 2001. Her responsibilities include managing the Institute’s domestic strategic communications activities, public education resource development and oversight of the Institute’s marketing and outreach efforts to position the Institute as the leading think tank in the field of reproductive health. She works closely with colleague organizations and communications coalitions on a wide range of reproductive health topics, bringing together diverse research and policy information into an integrated communications strategy and ensuring that colleagues at the state and national levels have the information they need to effectively advocate for programs and policies. Ms. Wind came to the Institute from Hill and Knowlton, Inc., where she worked on a variety of corporate and marketing communications media relations campaigns. Ms. Wind received her B.A. in international relations and Judaic studies from the University of Delaware, and her M.A. in public policy and administration and M.S. in social work from Columbia University.

Denice Zeck
Executive Director
American Forum

Denice Zeck has served as executive director of American Forum, a national clearinghouse for editorial opinion, for the past 25 years. The Forum (and its network of state Forums) produces and distributes op-ed commentary pieces and other related materials for use by the print, broadcast – and new media – helping to bring progressive voices and commentary onto the editorial pages and into the commentary continuum. The Forum works closely with daily and weekly newspapers, radio and televisión stations across the country – as well as online media, blogs and social media outlets. Editors often look to the Forum for informative, well-researched commentary and Forum pieces appear in outlets such as the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Raleigh News & Observer, Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, among others. In 2005, the Forum launched the National Women’s Editorial Forum which provides op-ed writing and media training – including an intensive “Ready for PrimeTime” training – to women from around the country. Ms. Zeck has extensive experience working as a media trainer and media spokesperson and is a frequent panelist at nonprofit conferences. She is a long-time member of the National Press Club. She is author of Op-Eds: A Cost Effective Strategy for Advocacy, part of the Benton Foundation’s series of media guides entitled Strategic Communications for Nonprofits. She also serves on the advisory board of the Progressive Media Project.