Engage 2017

Engage 2017 Speakers

We heard from experts at some of the largest enterprise brands and most powerful networks

Sheela Sant
Partner Operations Manager, Google My Business

Sheela is a partner operations manager for Google My Business. In this role, she focuses on gathering insights from large chains and agencies to help make Google My Business a better product for all users. Sheela earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.

Alex Yale
Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook

Alex Yale is a Client Partner at Facebook working with some of the largest Restaurant businesses in the US, focused on strategy and investment across Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger products. Prior to joining Facebook, Alex was responsible for new partnerships across the APAC region for AppNexus, and a senior strategy consultant at Deloitte focused on mergers and acquisitions.

Marinn Jackson
Head of Industry, Restaurant’s, Facebook

Marinn Jackson is a seasoned media & marketing executive with a passion for the space. She is currently the Head of Industry at Facebook leading the sales efforts across the Restaurant category for enterprise accounts. Marinn works with clients across Marketing, IT and Operations to advise companies through digital transformations.

Nate Evans
Sr. Manager, Business Development, Yelp

9 years of Yelping, formerly Local and National sales, currently Biz Dev building the partner program. PR and Marketing prior to Yelp. Bay Area native, outdoor enthusiast and proud Cal Bear!

Phil Schaben
Senior Business Specialist, Snapchat

Surf. Tech. Sales. Phil Schaben is as Californian as it gets. He joined the Snapchat SMB Agency team from our Venice neighbor, Google, and has brought a wealth of knowledge along with him. Phil has built a reputation for helping his clients navigate new platforms and exceed their performance goals.

Karlee Szeliga
Insides Sales Specialist, Snapchat

Hailing from the land of 10,000 lakes, Karlee Szeliga is a founding member of the Snapchat SMB Agency team. Having worked in digital across BBDO and Edelman she brings a wealth of experiences to the Snapchat team. Fun fact: it’s not possible to love corgis more than Karlee does.

Elliot Danforth
Sr. Manager Strategic Partnerships, Foursquare

Elliot Danforth leads the Listings Partner program at Foursquare, where he empowers businesses to leverage the power of Foursquare’s location technology products that power some of the world’s most popular apps.

Jason White
Director of SEO, Hertz

Jason White is Director of SEO at Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty, the largest global car rental company with 3,200 locations worldwide. Remaining on the cutting edge of digital marketing means outpacing the technology driven changes happening in the consumer and business markets. With his finger on the pulse of a wide range of digital strategies, Jason leads the way as he drives change and incremental gains in a host of verticals. Jason’s work has been featured in numerous print and digital publications and he has spoken at SMX New York, Milan and Advanced, New York University, American Marketers Association, AMPlified and WordCampNYC among others.

Laura Baylie
Voice of the Guest, Red Lobster

Laura Baylie is a Strategy & Insights professional with more than two decades of experience. She champions a customer-centric approach to drive critical decision making in the hospitality and restaurant industries. She is currently the ‘Voice of the Guest’ for Red Lobster and leads the Guest Satisfaction, Social Media Insights, and Customer Care teams for the brand. Laura brings diplomacy skills, an innovative spirit, customer service excellence, and a data-driven mindset to bear on strengthening business results by putting the customer first.

Mark Hardison
VP of Marketing, El Pollo Loco

Mark Hardison, Vice President of Marketing, joined El Pollo Loco in 2001. In his long tenure with the thriving QSR-Plus chain, Mr. Hardison has played an integral role in positioning El Pollo Loco for nationwide growth and leading the company to achieve record sales.

Melissa Arce
Marketing Manager, El Pollo Loco

Melissa is the Marketing Manager in charge of Social Media and Public Relations at El Pollo Loco. Her focus is growing the brand’s online presence, engaging the local communities that El Pollo Loco serves, and establishing content consistent with the brand’s overall vision. Melissa earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from UC Irvine and a Master of Arts Degree in Communications from Cal State Fullerton.

Leslie Dethloff
Marketing Consultant, El Pollo Loco

Working with El Pollo Loco’s Marketing team for over 16 years, Leslie leads the brand’s digital initiatives in close collaboration with both Marketing and IT. Passionate about digital marketing, she aims to build customer access and brand engagement through web, mobile, app and CRM. Leslie brings to the El Pollo Loco table her experience with numerous restaurant brands including Taco Bell, Burger King, Mimi’s Cafe and Chick-fil-A as well as a variety of packaged goods companies.

Benjamin Rudolph
Founder and CEO, Relevance Advisors (Zaxby’s Agency)

Benjamin Rudolph is the President & CEO of Relevance Advisors, an Atlanta based agency which specializes in search engine marketing.

Mary Newell
Director, Brand Loyalty, Texas Roadhouse

Mary is Director of Brand Loyalty for the Texas Roadhouse marketing team, overseeing brand and digital strategy, creative, content and loyalty for Texas Roadhouse and the company’s newest concept, Bubba’s 33. She began her career in advertising agencies, as a copywriter and eventually creative director supporting a variety of clients that included health care, banking, QSR and consumer goods.

Phil Batzner
Director of Marketing, Cousins Subs

As Wisconsin-based Cousins Subs Digital and Social Media Specialist, Phil Batzner is responsible for providing digital and social media strategies for the brand and leading major digital projects—including a consumer website launch and development of loyalty program infrastructure.

Katherine LeBlanc
Director of Brand Marketing, Smoothie King

Katherine’s career spans high-end luxury brands, non-profit and agency life. Currently she is the Director of Brand Marketing at Smoothie King Franchises, Inc.

Katie Wallace
Social Media Coordinator, Zaxby’s

Katie Wallace is the Social Media Coordinator for Zaxby’s Franchising, LLC. Katie collaborates with internal teams and agency partners for brand level social media strategy and then translates that strategy and insight into the local social media program for the Zaxby’s licensee community.

Kristen Pechacek
Sr Manager Digital Marketing, Anytime Fitness

Kristen Pechacek is the Senior Digital Marketing Manager at the Self Esteem Brands, home of Entrepreneur’s Top Global Franchise, Anytime Fitness, and promising newcomer Waxing the City. By day, she focuses on customer acquisition through digital mediums. By night, she is dedicated to digital marketing tools and technologies and serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.

Vicki Hormann
Senior Field Marketing Manager, Applebee’s

Vicki Hormann is an industry expert with over 15 years restaurant marketing experience. She has a proven track record of designing successful sales and traffic building strategies and programs. In her current role, she is responsible for supporting franchisees representing over 900 restaurants. She works across functions to activate the Applebee’s brand strategy and identify local scalable opportunities to drive the business forward. Vicki has in depth experience within the franchise space working for market leaders such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Little Caesars Pizza.

Matt Hood
CMO Habit Burger

Matt Hood is the Chief Marketing Officer for Habit Restaurants, Inc. and was a part of the management team that took the company public in 2014. Since joining the Habit, the company has doubled in size growing from 90 restaurants to almost 200 in 13 states. Prior to the Habit, Mr. Hood was the original CMO at BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. from 2008-2014 and has served as a Board Member for the NRA and a Restaurant Industry Consultant to Google.

Paul Nicholson
Director of Marketing, Logan’s Roadhouse

Paul has a diverse background of digital marketing experience ranging from IT e-commerce, healthcare B2B consulting, fashion retail, and casual dining. His specialty is integrating big-picture campaigns that combine digital marketing with traditional marketing & internal culture building.

Kevin Planovsky
Founder, Vert Agency

As co-founder and Principal of Vert Digital, Kevin Planovsky leads the Account Strategy, Brand Strategy & Data Marketing Teams that fuel the thinking, insights & messaging for the agency’s Fortune 1000 consumer brand clients. He also serves on the board of UGA’s New Media Institute, an interdisciplinary program that Vert was borne out of over 9 years ago.

Lauren Zarzour
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Vert Agency

Lauren Zarzour is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Vert, a boutique digital agency in Atlanta helping Fortune 1000 brands drive real results through mobile-first strategy and execution. Her primary focus is developing digital strategy for brick-and-mortar retail and B2B clients. Her team’s work with brands like Hooters, AT&T, and HoneyBaked Ham has generated millions in ROI from mobile + social campaigns, with the agency growing to earn a spot on the Inc. 5000.

Jill McFarland
Founder, Stellar Digital

Jill McFarland is the founder of Stellar Digital Marketing, an agency specializing in driving impactful results through emerging media. Stellar Digital works with global as well as local brands to identify what motivates their audience and the right social/digital levers to drive results.