Minal Bopaiah, Founder and Principal Consultant, Brevity & Wit (Silver Spring, MD)
Minal Bopaiah is Founder and Principal Consultant at Brevity & Wit, a strategy and design firm dedicated to “designing a more equitable world.” The original focus of Minal’s agency was on graphic design. Today, the agency provides full-scale, full-service, human-centered graphic design; strategic marketing and communications; and the application of behavioral change science and organizational development to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Typical clients are mid-size companies of 200 to 3,000 employees, but Brevity & Wit has also engaged with public media work, non-profits, and tech and government agencies.
Mike Maynard, Managing Director and CEO, Napier Group (Chichester, England)
Mike Maynard is Managing Director and CEO at Napier Group, an agency focused on marketing technical products to technical audiences. Clients include major companies selling semiconductors, industrial automation systems, cellular communications infrastructure, complex software, and even a baggage-handling system manufacturer. The customer audience for these products is super-targeted and super technical.
Annie Scranton, Founder and President, Pace PR (New York, NY)
Annie Scranton is Founder and President at Pace PR, a media relations shop that partners with its clients to discern and achieve goals through getting its clients featured in the media. Annie believes that traditional media (television) is still strong and its real-time immediacy brings credibility to a person or a brand in a way that holds a lot of meaning and is different from a newspaper article or a digital article or a podcast.
Emily Heck, Owner, and Founder, Evergreen Strategic Communications (Indianapolis, IN)
Emily Heck, Owner, and Founder at Evergreen Strategic Communications started her agency in the fall of 2019. With no career plans, she started meeting with people, chatting over coffee, and trying to figure out her next chapter. Emily picked up some freelance marketing projects from a former co-worker and networked more intensely. Her business, helping nonprofits and small businesses organize their marketing, establish processes and systems, and more efficiently engage their audiences, grew.
Robin Blanchette, CEO and Founder, Norton Creative (Houston, TX)
Robin Blanchette is CEO and Founder at Norton Creative, an agency focused “narrow and deep” on restaurant and hospitality branding. Their primary client base includes multi-unit operators, mid-size and larger chains, and franchises. They also work with independents . . . but never with conflicting brands or direct competitors in the same time frame.
David Finberg, CEO, Peaks Digital Marketing (Denver, CO)
David Finberg is CEO at Peaks Digital Marketing, an SEO and lead generation firm that focuses on a comprehensive, aggressive approach to “addressing all seven areas of an SEO campaign to get ROI rolling as early as possible.” Clients range from small, local businesses to major enterprises. Today’s solutions must be comprehensive.
Erica Salm Rench, Chief Operating Officer, Rasa.io (New Orleans, LA)
Erica Salm Rench is Chief Operating Officer at Rasa.io, a company that supports marketers, business owners, and large associations by applying AI to generate automated, smart, personalized email newsletters. Rasa’s mission? T0 better inform the world through relevant content.
Flynn Zaiger, CEO, Online Optimism (New Orleans, LA; Washington, D.C.; and Atlanta, GA)
Flynn Zaiger, CEO at Online Optimism, started his agency on a laptop in 2012 by reaching out and offering SEO services to the 6 companies where he had interned while he was in college. Today, his remote, across the country staff of 23 supports businesses with “everything they do online” – social, search, SEO, SEM, and website design. Clients are small- to medium-sized businesses (5 to 500 employees) that are either startups looking to rapidly expand or more traditional family businesses, that, in the process of being passed down to the next generation, are looking to expand.
Donna Loughlin, President and Founder, LMGPR (San Jose, CA)
Donna Loughlin, is President and Founder at LMGPR, a public relations agency that works with “emerging market players and visionaries” to help them build out their Leadership (the “L” in the agency’s name), Momentum, and Growth. Key to this effort is researching the client’s “story” and the drivers for the client founding the business. The client/agency relationship typically takes a minimum of a year to launch and continues, in some cases, for up to 8 years until the client goes through its IPO. Media relations initiatives include earned content – “talking to the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg and trade publications” – and/or “creating original content” (such things as whitepapers and podcasts).