Fred Afflerbach, Author
Fred Afflerbach first attended Southwest Texas State University in 1975, but after one restless semester he dropped out and earned a commercial driver's license. He bought his first diesel rig at age 22, in 1978, and for six years lived on the road full-time. He's driven tractor-trailer rigs across the 48 contiguous states and Western Canada. He returned to higher education in 2003, and as a student and independent truck driver, Fred sometimes drove his 18-wheeler to night classes at Austin Community College. In spring 2007, at age 50, Fred earned English and mass comm. degrees from Texas State. After graduation, he worked as a staff writer for a Central Texas daily for almost three years. Roll On is his debut novel, He has recently completed his second book and is now revising and rewriting.
Arellano writes the syndicated column ¡Ask a Mexican!, with a circulation of more than 2 million in 39 newspapers, including the San Antonio Current. His commentaries on Latino culture have also appeared in the LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle and on National Public Radio. He has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning American and the Colbert Report. Arellano is editor of the Orange County Weekly and author of several books, most recently “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.”
Kala Brock, NEXTMedia
Kala Brock is a Media Assistant at NEXTMedia, a media planning/buying agency in Dallas, Texas. She plans and buys national media for brands such as Western Union, Midas, FASTSIGNS and Texas A&M. She earned her B.A. in Advertising with a minor in Sociology from Texas State University. While at Texas State, she served as the Media Director for Texas State's AAF NSAC team, as Writing Intern for the Innovate Texas Foundation, and as Public Relations Intern for Ashleigh Stone & the Divine Anthology, a band from San Marcos. Brock was also a member of the Texas State Ad Club and the Austin Ad Federation. She also taught U.S. History for approximately two years as a Supplemental Instructor at Texas State and worked as Promotions Assistant for one year at KTSW-FM.
Aubrey is the Senior Director of Community Relations for the North East Independent School District. NEISD is the eighth largest public school district in the state, with approximately 68,000 students, more than 70 campuses and 9,000 employees. Prior to NEISD, Aubrey held a similar position at Judson ISD. Before entering the field of school public relations, Aubrey spent nearly 11 years as a television anchor/reporter, the most recent being at WOAI in San Antonio. Aubrey graduated from Southwest Texas (Texas State) with a BA in Mass Communication – Broadcasting.
Amy Lane, Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy
Amy Lane is the Associate Director of the Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy in San Antonio. As the public relations coordinator for the city’s youngest and fastest growing park, Lane specializes in media relations, website development, SEO, and event planning. She is the lead chair for the park’s annual Farm to Fork event to promote eating local, sustainable food. Previously, Lane worked for the Texas Department of Agriculture where she revamped the department’s website and planned the Family Land Heritage event to honor Texas farms and ranches in continuous use for over 100 years. Lane received a B.A. from Texas State University in journalism and an M.A. from Baylor University in corporate communications. She is currently the conservation columnist for an online culture magazine.
Mike Leary is the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who is editor and senior vice president of the San Antonio Express-News. Leary's background includes a variety of reporting and editing assignments, from leading multimedia projects to working as an international correspondent. At the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he was deputy managing editor of news and investigations, Leary directed and edited a print and online series on school violence, “Assault on Learning,” which won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service. The stories used print and video to detail pervasive student-against-student violence in Philadelphia schools, leading to safety reforms. He started in the news business at the Inquirer in 1972 when he was 23 years old. He spent 28 years there on a variety of assignments: editor of sports projects and investigations; editor of the commentary page and book review section; night city editor and as a foreign correspondent for the paper based in London, covering Europe and the fall of communism. Leary also was based in Houston from 1983 to 1986, working as a national correspondent covering the Southwest, including border issues and the energy industry during the oil bust.
Monique graduated from Texas State University in 2009, with a BA in Mass Communication-Advertising; she will receive an MA in Mass Communication-New Media in May 2012, also from Texas State. While in grad school, Monique was a Graduate Assistant for multiple undergraduate Advertising classes and interned at LatinWorks Marketing in the Account Service department. Last summer Monique landed a position at GSD&M in Austin, TX as an Assistant Media planner. She has since returned to LatinWorks, and is currently working in the Promotions department.
Robert Rivard has worked for five Texas newspapers over his 28-year career, and also has served as a foreign correspondent in Central America and as a senior editor at Newsweek magazine in New York. In April 2000, he was chosen by Editor & Publisher magazine in New York as its first annual "Editor of the Year."After a long career as a journalist, newspaper editor, columnist and writer, Robert Rivard went digital with The Rivard Report, which he calls "local, independent and all about San Antonio." He will talk about the transition, both the good and the bad.
Mary Rose Brown, NuStar Energy L.P.
Mary Rose Brown serves as Executive Vice President of Administration for NuStar Energy L.P., which is one of the largest asphalt refiners and marketers in the U.S. and the second largest independent liquids terminal operator in the nation. Brown oversees the company’s Corporate Communications, Government Relations, Human Resources, Corporate Services and Aviation departments. She has helped build the company’s reputation as an industry leader with an unwavering commitment to safety, environmental excellence and community service. Prior to transferring to NuStar in 2007, Brown served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for Valero Energy Corporation. She joined Valero in 1997 as Vice President of Public Relations, and was subsequently promoted to Vice President of Corporate Communications and named an officer of the company. As a member of Valero’s senior management team, she played an important role in the company’s growth from a regional energy company in 1997 to the largest petroleum refining and marketing company in North America, with approximately 22,000 employees and annual revenues of over $90 billion. Previously, Brown served as Vice President of Public Relations for The Atkins Agency, which during her tenure was one of the most successful public relations and marketing firms in South Texas. During her 14 years with Atkins, Brown directed public relations campaigns for a wide variety of clients, including Valero, the City of San Antonio, Broadway National Bank, Waste Management, Friedrich Air Conditioning, Ernst & Young, Hard Rock Cafe and other local, regional and national accounts. She also was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame for her many professional and personal achievements. Additionally, her work has earned more than 20 Silver Spur and Best of Texas awards from TPRA, and a Silver Anvil award, one of the Public Relations Society of America’s highest national honors. Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas State University.
Annie Werner, Tumblr
After graduating from San Marcos High School in 2008, Annie headed to New York University where she studied New Media and Public Discourse in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. While there, she worked at both BlackBook Media Corp. and Village Voice Media as an editorial intern and contributing blogger. She has worked at Tumblr for two years, starting as a Community Intern and developing a full-time position on the Strategic Outreach team. Her current role as Arts Evangelist is to build the arts community on Tumblr and develop partnerships in the arts industry. “I work with artists and arts organizations to help them leverage the platform effectively,” Annie says. Annie also arranges arts events and digital marketing strategies to promote members of the Tumblr arts community, manages a community blog and collects feedback to present to Tumblr and third-party organizations. You can always check out what’s happening in the arts on Tumblr at tumblropenarts.tumblr.com.