Saturday, October 20, 2012
Speaker Bios, Thursday, Nov. 1
Rebecca Aguilar is an multiple Emmy award winning reporter from Dallas. She started in TV news and in 2008 transitioned into online news. She quickly built her "social media brand" on the web and soon was being offered freelance work, speaking engagements and even journalism leadership roles. She’s a board member with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) and SPJ Fort Worth Chapter. In 2007, she was named the national Broadcast Journalist of the Year by NAHJ. Find out her formula for success. As she puts it "It's not always what you know, but who knows you."
Will Brown is a journalist with five years experience in daily newspapers. Immediately after graduating from Florida A&M University he accepted a position as a business reporter at the Tallahassee Democrat. He spent nearly two years covering small business, tourism and sports business during the Great Recession. In August 2009 Will became a sports reporter for the Democrat, primarily focusing on prep sports. As part of his new duties, he established a Twitter handle (wwbrown19) and a professional Facebook page. In July 2011 Will moved to South Texas to report on community and high school sports for the Victoria Advocate. In the three years Will has been a sports reporter he has used social media, specifically Twitter, to interact with athletes and those who follow sports. Those experiences came to the forefront during the 2012 Texas Water Safari when organizers were relaying news and information through social media, as opposed to traditional forms of dissemination.
Brett Cannon, Paper Thin Media
Brett Cannon is a music industry professional who has backgrounds in business and public relations. Currently, he is the owner of Paper Thin Media, an artist management & publicity company that also specializes in event publicity, regional film press, artist publicity, brand/identity and marketing. Brett has had more than 9 years of experience in the music industry. At 17 years old he became a talent buyer at local venues in his hometown in South Texas. During this time he worked with many high-profile artists and developed industry contacts. After booking he went on to manage and promote a graphic design and artist merchandising company. There he was able to win countless bands and artists as clients. Since then, he has been successful managing, promoting and advising the careers of artists who have achieved national recognition. Some of the highlights of his publicity career are pitching stories that appeared in The New York Times, SPIN, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, ABC's 20/20 and Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Ronnie Dugger, Texas Observer
Ronnie Dugger, founding editor of the Austin-based news organization, The Texas Observer, has helped shape the nature of investigative, political and societal news coverage in Texas for nearly six decades. In 1994, as owner-publisher, he transferred the Observer to the nonprofit Texas Democracy Foundation, which continues to publish the magazine monthly in print and daily online at texasobserver.org. During his time at the Observer, Dugger served as a mentor for journalists including Kaye Northcott, Molly Ivins, Willie Morris and Jim Hightower. He received the 2011 George Polk Career Award in Journalism. Born in Chicago and educated in San Antonio, The University of Texas at Austin and at Oxford University, he has taught at the University of Virginia, Hampshire College and the University of Illinois. Dugger began his career as a sports reporter at the San Antonio Express-News and as editor of The Daily Texan at UT. He was a Texas correspondent for The Washington Post during the early 1960s and covered the Kennedy assassination. He has written four books including a biography of Lyndon B. Johnson and countless articles for the Nation, the New Yorker, Harper's, Atlantic, and others, He continues to write essays, poetry and books on societal issues.
Leslie Hancock, Leslie Hancock Communications
Leslie Hancock has been a freelance writer for over 18 years, working with a variety of clients ranging from business magazines to health care consumer publications. Her current passion is social media, and she enjoys helping publishers and companies establish or improve their social media strategy, implementation, and measurement. Leslie holds two Master’s degrees: an M.A. in English (Rhetoric and Composition) from the University of North Texas, and an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership from Lamar University. She also holds leadership roles among Austin social media professionals, serving on the board of the Social Media Club of Austin as Sponsorship Chair and previously on the governing committee of Freelance Austin as its Social Media Coordinator .
Debbie Hiott, Austin American-Statesman
Debbie Hiott is editor of the Austin American-Statesman newspaper and its affiliated websites and weekly newspapers. She is a 1992 graduate of Southwest Texas State University who started at the newspaper as an intern, then worked as a reporter for eight years before moving into editing and working her way up through the leadership ranks in the newsroom. She has served as a Pulitzer juror and is currently a board member for the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors.
A native Austinite, Lance grew up on the quiet east side near the old Mueller airport and Bartholomew Park. His youth was packed full of church activities, childhood lemonade stands (one of which was busted by the police because he didn't have a permit), and simmering summer afternoons riding his bike to the local library to browse the sci-fi and fantasy novels glittering on the creaking, tree-like stands. Then came High School: New school. Few friends. Not a smart kid. Hard, hard work. Skating rink job. Graduation. Thank God. College! His college education consisted mostly of Texas State University and Austin Community College. There he studied fine art and graphic design for his undergrad degree and then completed a Masters degree in English and walked away with great calves because he trudged the same hills you do. Ever had a job so boring that your brains leaked out of your ears? During grad school and beyond, he was stuck as a receiving manager of a furniture store four . . . long . . . years. Finally, he was fired (never underestimate a good firing), then worked at Barnes & Noble for a couple of months before he was offered his first professional job. A local association management company needed someone to sell a mailing list for them. He took the job thinking he'd move into the graphic design position. That position filled and instead he was given the responsibility of selling advertising for one of the magazines they managed. That led to another magazine, then another until all he was doing was selling full-time. In 2004, half of the sales force were laid off (himself included). After a few weeks of soul-searching, he decided to embark on his own business venture, doing what he did before: advertising sales for association publications. In 2009, he took a huge step and incorporated (not a task for the frail of heart) his company, New Covenant Consulting, Inc. Despite all of the ups and downs, his business has been richly blessed. Now he is in the process of looking for his first employee.
Bharati Naik finished her grad studies in the fall of 2005 in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State. While in the program, Bharati interned at CNN Domestic, New York. After graduating, she went on to work as Associate Producer/Production Assistant, CNN Domestic, New York, and then as a field producer for CNN International, New Delhi, India. She now lives in London. She will be honored as Outstanding Alumna at the 15th Anniversary Graduate Celebration on Nov. 1.
Internet connected and active cyber citizen since 1988, Fazia has seen the online world move through a multitude of changes. As University Webmaster for Texas State University-San Marcos from 1999 to 2005, Fazia implemented major web site improvements, developed university-wide guidelines and procedures, helped steer web application development projects, and served in advisory capacities. Her understanding of user behavior, technology adoption, digital community formation and online cultural norms informed software development projects and user support. As a graduate student of anthropology she studied the formation of cultural norms and communities online. She is frequently a spokesperson for technology projects to end-users. These days Fazia is a writer working on several books, and an actor represented by Acclaim Talent. She’s also an active user of social media and you can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter etc.
Jesse Spielvogel, Split Aces Media
Jessie Spielvogel is the founder of Split Aces Media, and online marketing company helping small businesses get started with social media. After leaving her cubicle job at Discovery Communications, she began taking on clients to help plan their strategies. She's working on building up a media company (and is actively bringing on interns)! Jessie works while traveling around the world, because all she needs to keep in touch with her clients is a wi-fi connection.
Kristen Williams, Spanish Is Your Amigo
Kristen Williams has a passion for teaching the Spanish language in the simplest way possible. She founded Spanish Is Your Amigo after recognizing the need for a concise Spanish textbook and workbook with relevant, updated vocabulary. After writing a Spanish language textbook, she branched out into doing YouTube videos that take complex grammar concepts and simplify them for Spanish learners. Kristen is currently building her business through the power of networking, social media, and good old-fashioned hustle. She uses crowd funding, personally managed public relations strategies, and the students she tutors to help spread the word about her business.
Posted by Cindy Royal at 1:43 PM