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Meet our Speakers!

Meet the Producer of the EEP-SU Marketing Summit
Nancy Craun- 
Nancy Craun, founder and owner of Encore Elite Partners, has over 30 years experience as an entrepreneur. Nancy excels at grant writing the winner of five grant awards for businesses in the past four years totaling $150,000. Working on her fourth entrepreneur adventure. Encore Elite Partners (EEP) specialties are Brand Management, Digital Social Media Management and Public Relations. EEP utilizes a Blue Ocean Marketing platform to create a unique marketing ecosystem bringing businesses                                     in the tourism industry together to collaborate on marketing campaigns.

These include:

Virginia Kids Trail promoting multi-generational travel

  • Taste of Blue Ridge Root to Table Culinary Series connecting people passionate about food and where it is resourced including chefs, farmers, and consumers.
Nancy is also a passionate grandmother of two wonderful granddaughters. She is an avid gardener with a love of painting a landscape thru live plants.

The Brand: 50 Years of a Brand- Tradition blending with new generations

Rita McClenny-
Rita D. McClenny serves as president and chief operating officer of the Virginia Tourism Corporation a state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel destination and film location. The missions of VTC is to expand domestic and international in-bound travel and motion picture production to generate revenue and employment in Virginia. Ms. McClenny was born and raised in Southampton County, VA and presently resides in the City of Richmond. In her spare time,                                     Rita enjoys horseback riding, playing polo, and clay target shooting.

The Reach: How to attract, inform, engage, and sell to your Audience 

Shannon Johnson-
Brand Director for the Virginia Tourism Corporation by day, and Supermom, the-best-wife-ever and self-proclaimed food and home chef by night. For the past twenty years, Shannon worked in event planning, marketing, brand development and public communications so taking on the role as the “caretaker of the Virginia is for Lovers brand” is a position she was made for.

Susan Zirkle- 
Susan Zirkle develops media strategy and buy recommendations, while acting as a steward for successful partnerships. You could say she is a real triple threat. Between overseeing media strategy, executing buys and optimizing media mixes to deliver against KPIs, it’s no wonder that her client portfolio spans so many industries. From travel, to financial, to retail, to CPG, Susan hasn’t met a media challenge she couldn’t overcome. Her clients include CarMax, Benjamin Moore, TIAA, Land                          O’Lakes, Virginia Tourism and Colonial Williamsburg where she made a successful impact on driving                                 awareness, ticket sales and hotel sales.

Internships: How to develop a successful internship experience from Shenandoah University

Dr. Giles Jackson- 
Giles is a "Practicing Academic" with a doctorate from Virginia Tech and over 25 years experience starting and running companies in a wide range of sectors, from wind energy to physical therapy. He teaches in the areas of marketing, management, and sustainability and all of his courses include practical hands-on projects with for-profit and non-profit organizations. His newest clients include Massanutten Resort and Quantum Sails, co-founder of the 52 SUPER SERIES, the world’s leading                             grand prix monohull yacht racing circuit, sponsored by Rolex.

The SU Experience:

Dr. Fritz Polite-
Dr. Fritz G. Polite is the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at The Harry F. Byrd Jr., School of Business at Shenandoah University (VA). He has over 30 years of experience in business, sports, management, coaching, and teaching to include 20 years of International experience. From the Harlem Globetrotters to the New York Football Giants to working eight Super Bowls to the Kentucky Derbys to the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan 2020… it would take hours to cover where this man                                       has been been.

Dr. Montressa Washington-
Assistant Professor of Management at Shenandoah University, Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business. With over 20 years of management consulting experience coupled with academic research skills and keen business acumen, Montressa is the quintessential scholar-practitioner. Montressa, enjoys coaching budding entrepreneurs as well as seasoned business owners who desire to expand their enterprises. Well-being is important to Montressa and she incorporates her training as a certified                                            yoga instructor and meditator into her business coaching philosophy.

Dr. Sally Kim-
Dr. Kim is Professor of Marketing and teaches marketing management & strategy, marketing research, consumer behavior, and professional selling. Before she earned her Ph.D. in Marketing from the George Washington University, Dr. Kim had worked in the hotel industry. Her research interest includes customer satisfaction and retention, consumer penalty, and relationship marketing. Her research has been published in many different academic journals including Business Horizons,            Journal of Business Research, Journal of Service Research, and Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing.          Dr. Kim uses a pedagogical approach of “learning by doing” and values partnerships with local            communities and businesses.

How to Work with a Limited Marketing Budget:

Carissa Zanella-
In 2004, the Zanellas purchased the beautiful 17-acre property that is the Hillbrook Inn. The Inn itself has been in business since 1985 and has appeared in magazines such as Southern Living and The Washingtonian. It is a European-style English Tudor. The grounds consist of the main building plus a gatehouse, a springhouse, and a cottage that features four spectacular suites. The Zanellas found the perfect business mix. Carissa graduated from Edinboro University with a Communications Degree and                                               is a proud mother of 3.

Seth Miller-
Seth Miller is former teacher turned entrepreneur. In 2015, alongside his brother, founded Spectrum Martial Arts Academy which is now the largest and fastest growing martial arts academy in the Eastern panhandle. Through forward-facing and innovative practices, they now serve over 200 youth and adult students. 

Rene Hollebrandse- 
He is from the Netherlands, and received his Master in Business Economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He then had a global career of 15 years in business and IT in the domain of business process re-engineering during which, in 2002 he moved to the U.S. In 2008 he started his career in business coaching with the world's biggest business coaching franchise where he got recognized at the number 1 business coach in Virginia. RenĂ© prefers to work with clients that want to double their                   business while working at least 50% less hours.

John Judy-
John is a proud 2014 graduate of Shenandoah University’s Byrd School of Business with a Major in Business Administration and a Minor in Entrepreneurship. John has 5 years of experience in golf course operations/ management as well as 8 years of experience in small business management with Northside Pro Shop in Winchester, VA. Golf and bowling have been his passion of mine since he was in diapers. John has done both golf and bowling competitively since he was 8 years old.

Photography Tips: What you need to know

Lauri Bridgeforth-  bridgeforthphoto.com
Photographer Lauri Bridgeforth has owned and operated her studio, Bridgeforth Photographics, for over 31 years in Old Town Winchester, assisting business owners and marketing executives tell their corporate stories with professional photography of people, facilities, manufacturing processes, and products. Her work is mostly commercial and portrait imagery, but she also provides photo-restoration services in the region, many samples of which are on her website.

Kerri Mariano- kerrilanestudio.com
Kerri Lane’s work is as vividly hued, curious, and unique as she is. Her art has been displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris, New York at the ArtExpo and several local galleries. Kerri Lane’s art has been included in articles on Cosmopolitan, People & Vogue Italia showcasing her work. Her Painted Lady art can also be found at the Playboy Mansion where she created a painting for Hugh Hefner’s 88th birthday of his wife. Kerri Lane’s work has also been featured in numerous art magazines and she                                 is a multi-award winning international artist.

Cory Hammons- altamirafilm.co
Cory is a 2015 Graduate of Shenandoah University’s Byrd School of Business and recipient of the 2015 Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Award. While attending Shenandoah, Cory founded Altamira Film Co. to merge his passions of photography and business. Since launching in 2014, Cory and his team have shot national TV commercials, toured internationally with chart-topping artists, and captured hundreds of weddings and elopements across the country. When he’s not shooting photos,                  he’s shooting birdies (on the golf course, of course). 

Hottest Marketing Trend for 2019: How to have an Influencer Campaign

Amy Mascot- teachmama.com
Amy is the creator of teachmama.com, where since 2008, she has shared tools and resources parents can use to become the best teachers they can be for their children. A reading teacher, author, and influencer, Amy has truly expanded the walls of her classroom, lending her expertise at local and national events all around the country. Amy resides in the DC Metro with her three crazy-cool kids, a  dog, a bird, and a hamster.

Liz Thomson- iheartvegetabels.com 
Liz is the author of the vegetarian food blog I Heart Vegetables. She loves creating recipes and sharing ideas to help others live a healthier, happier life. Her book, The Truly Healthy Vegetarian Cookbook, has been a popular resource for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. When she's not recipe testing, she can be found photographing her breakfast, stretching on her yoga mat, or exploring her neighborhood in Richmond, VA.

Alexie Malloy- lansdowneresort.com 
As the current Social Media and PR Manager of Lansdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg, V.A., Alexie Malloy believes that good communication is able to transcend the screen to make any brand stand out. She uses the power of strategically impactful marketing campaigns through public relations, social media and brand content creation to curate connections. Malloy is furthering her knowledge in the Marketing field as a Masters of Professional Studies candidate at LIM College in Manhattan,                                      NYC with a concentration in Fashion Marketing.

Christie Horgan-
Christie is a Key Account Consultant for Meltwater. Meltwater is the global leader in media intelligence to help clients better understand the World around them by providing insights on how themselves, their competitors and their industry is being talked about in the news and on social media. Meltwater’s social influencers tools allow you to find, vet, and manage relationships – as well as measure the success of your campaigns. Christie has been with Meltwater for 5.5 years and                                      works exclusively with Meltwater’s Enterprise clients and Key Accounts such as TripAdvisor,                           Charlottesville Albemarle CVB, Old Dominion University, and APCO Worldwide.

Allison Mayhew- 
Allison Mayhew is a recent graduate of Shepherd University with a passion for and interest in marketing trends. She began working for EEP as an intern at the beginning of 2017 and has enjoyed gaining experience and growing alongside the company. Her expertise lies in digital content creation and influencer campaigns.

#Hashtags: How to use them to your advantage

Georgiana Dearing-
Georgiana is part analyst, part artful yogi, George was the only person in her high school Calculus class seeking a career in The Arts. Now leading a team of creative professionals, she’s putting both sides of her brain to work by helping manufacturers navigate the rapidly changing landscape of modern marketing campaigns. As part of their commitment to helping regional, locally-sourced food brands succeed, the Water Street team launched vafoodie.com, a digital brand devoted to “yummy                                          advocacy,” promoting the Good Food, Good People, and Good Brands in and around Virginia.

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