Engage 2018 Speakers

Professional portrait of Evan Becker

Evan Becker, TripAdvisor
Special Presentation: TripAdvisor

Evan Becker is the Head of Key Accounts on the Restaurants team at TripAdvisor. He leads the global team at TripAdvisor that provides solutions for restaurant groups, marketing agencies, and resellers, as well as overseeing all integrations with 3rd party platforms across the reservation and delivery space.
Evan has an extensive background in business development, marketing, and product throughout his career in spaces including online travel, food delivery, and loyalty programs.

Professional portrait of John Bennardo

John Bennardo, Pinch-A-Penny
How Reputation Drives Your Bottom Line: Why it Pays to Have a Comprehensive Review Strategy

John is the Digital Marketing Manager for Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa, a retail pool and spa supply franchise. He and his team use a wide range of digital tactics to drive traffic and sales to their more than 245 locations. John’s been on the marketing team at Pinch A Penny for 18 years in a number of creative roles but transitioned to digital a few years ago.

Professional portrait of Brooke Boocock

Brooke Boocock, Jamba Juice
Restaurant Marketing Roundtable: Different Perspectives on Achieving Success

Brooke is a SoCal native who has spent the last 15 years in the hospitality industry. Her experience ranges from shopping center management/ development to restaurant and brand marketing (company and franchise.)


For the last 10 years, Brooke has lead the field marketing evolution at Jamba Juice. Starting as a team of one, she spearheaded the field marketing charter including building infrastructure along with defining and refining local strategies and programs in both mature and emerging markets. She also successfully transitioned local marketing through Jamba’s asset light model shift, in addition to evolving the CSR platform, and implementing several new partnerships, systems and tools to enable franchise partners to build the brand and sales locally.


Brooke’s core values are gratitude, integrity and authenticity. These guiding values have played a key role in her professional leadership, as well as in her personal life as she raises three young sons.

Professional portrait of Steven Chen

Steven Chen, Google
Special Network Partner Presentation: Google My Business

Steven Chen is a senior product manager at Google, focused on Google My Business for large businesses. At Google, he has also worked on the payments platform for AdWords and Google Play and on an imaging satellite initiative.

Professional portrait of Marcus Collins

Marcus Collins
2018 Keynote Speaker

This year’s ENGAGE conference will feature Marcus Collins, a TEDx speaker and recipient of Advertising Age’s ’40 Under 40′ award. Marcus is a translator of culture whose strategies and creativity have contributed to campaigns for PotBelly, Budweiser and State Farm, to name a few. Before advertising, he led iTunes + Nike sport music initiatives at Apple and ran digital strategy for Beyoncé.


He is also an award winning faculty member at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and currently serves as the Chief Consumer Connections Officer at Doner advertising where he helps brands create culturally contagious ideas.

Professional portrait of Matthew Furman

Matthew Furman, Robeks
Driving Interest and Foot Traffic Through New Product Launches

As the VP of Marketing for Robeks Fresh Smoothies and Juices, Matt is responsible for driving innovation and overseeing all marketing activity for a national QSR franchise corporation. With a background in advertising and marketing, specializing in brand strategy and positioning, Matt is constantly striving to ensure the brand is at the focus of all company initiatives, especially product development. With Robeks being a completely franchised organization, Matt is constantly focused on developing culture and making sure all strategies can be executed on both national and local levels. Prior to his time with Robeks, Matt held several positions with various advertising and marketing firms, working with clients like the Los Angeles Clippers, Smart & Final Grocery stores, and Kia Motors among others.

Professional portrait of Sheela Galendo

Sheela Galendo, Sephora
Building the Right Audience for Effective Paid Media

Sheela is the Director of Marketing for Sephora inside JCPenney. Her primary focus is developing innovative marketing strategies both on and offline to drive new clients to SiJCP stores. Prior to joining Sephora early last year, she was the Director of Marketing at CalvinKlein.com in New York. Sheela has over 18 years of ecommerce marketing and merchandising experience and has worked for companies such as Williams-Sonoma, PBTeen, West Elm, Kmart and Spiegel brands. Sheela grew up in New York City and relocated to the SF Bay Area last year with family.

Professional portrait of Ben Gaddis

Ben Gaddis, T3
The Digital Loyalty Ecosystem: tying an app, email club and ecommerce together

Focusing on innovation, Ben sets the vision for T3 to help clients build Useful Brands through a culture driven by collaboration, prototyping and making cool stuff happen. He oversees all T3 offices.

Ben has helped craft innovation, marketing and loyalty strategies for 7-Eleven, Staples, UPS, Allstate, Coca-Cola, Sprite and other clients. He launched T3’s Innovation Labs to help clients take an agile approach to conceptualize and bring new tech, digital experiences and products to market. He also created T3 Ventures that invests in, and provides consulting and services to, early stage startups.

Before T3, Ben helped American Airlines launch its first mobile initiative while at T:M Interactive. He was VP of business development at Omnicom-owned ipsh, developing enterprise-level mobile strategies for Frito-Lay, Nokia and AT&T. He started in account service at The Richards Group. Ben also serves as a Techstars mentor, Wired contributor, and a frequent speaker at events.

Professional portrait of Akilah Hodge

Akilah Hodge, Floor & Decor
How Reputation Drives Your Bottom Line: Why it Pays to Have a Comprehensive Review Strategy

Akilah Hodge is one exceptionally hard-working, adaptable, and enthusiastic visionary. With her on the ball thinking, she transforms consumer engagement across social media as the Manager of Social Reputation for Floor & Decor, a specialty retailer in the hard surface flooring market, offering the broadest in-stock selection of tile, wood, stone, and installation materials. Akilah exudes passion and humility towards data-driven productivity and results, based on but not limited to eCommerce and store analysis, which increases awareness to key and critical areas of opportunity as well as the growth of company culture.

Professional portrait of Catherine Hoffman

Catherine Hoffman-Seaton, Torrid
Growth Mindset: Marketing a Rapidly Growing Brand

Catherine Hoffman Seaton is the Director Online Marketing at Torrid, the fastest growing omnichannel brand in women’s fashion with over 575 stores in the US and Canada. At Torrid, she leads all organic and paid digital marketing including email, app, social, display, search, affiliate, and influencer programs. Prior to joining Torrid, she has held roles at Gap Inc., HSNi, Harbor Freight Tools, and Harry & David.

Professional portrait of Pete Hurtubise

Pete Hurtubise, CEO of Centril Software
The Future of Local and Mobile: Optimizing Your Use of Mobile Tech for Brand Success

Pete Hurtubise is CEO of Centril Software, a digital marketing SaaS platform. Prior to Centril, Pete was CEO of UCentive, a campus retail SaaS platform. Pete has also held senior executive positions at Hubspan, Cyclone Commerce, Netscape and GE.

Professional portrait of Kathleen Koehler
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Kathleen Koehler, TDn2K
The Levers That Drive Best in Class Performance

Kathleen has managed TDn2K’s White Box Social Intelligence product since 2014 and is responsible for Member Services for all TDn2K “Trifecta” members – restaurant brands who are members of People Report, Black Box Intelligence, and White Box Social Intelligence. She is passionate about helping members find value across Finance, Operations, Consumer Insights, Marketing, and HR by combining financial, human capital, and guest feedback data.


Previously Kathleen managed a small digital marketing agency (Social Strategy1) and worked in marketing across several categories including sports sponsorship and Olympic marketing (The Marketing Arm), CPG brand management (Newell Rubbermaid) and professional services marketing (Schneider Downs). Kathleen graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Marketing from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. Upon graduation, she received the Wesley C. Bender Award presented annually to the student with the highest GPA in Marketing coursework.

Professional portrait of Becky Maree
First Watch logo

Becky Maree, First Watch
Restaurant Marketing Roundtable: Different Perspectives on Achieving Success

Becky leads digital marketing for First Watch Restaurants, a breakfast, brunch and lunch chain with a portfolio of 300+ locations. She oversees First Watch’s web, email, social and mobile presence in addition to managing customer data and customer-facing technology & innovation. Since joining the First Watch team in November 2016, she has launched a mobile app, campaign management system, a new firstwatch.com and oversaw the redevelopment of the First Watch social media channels.

Professional portrait of Stacey Michel

Stacey Michel, Shipley Do-Nuts
Growth Mindset: Marketing a Rapidly Growing Brand

As Marketing & Events Director of Shipley Do-Nuts, Stacey has been an integral part of developing franchise owners in key marketing initiatives resulting in increased sales. She has a strong intuition for cost effective strategies that have empowered the franchisee to make intelligent business decisions. Stacey has successfully led her team in developing a community fun-run, that has raised over $50k for a local non-profit. She continues to look for opportunities that incorporate her companies willingness to give back to the community, in order to drive traffic into locations.

Professional portrait of Tom Newitt
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Tom Newitt, A&W
Driving interest and foot traffic through new product launches

Tom joined A&W Canada 5 yrs ago and been part of a dramatic and successful repositioning of the brand. Tom has held a variety of marketing positions with brands including Nature’s Path Foods, Kellogg’s and Reckitt Benckiser. Tom is originally from the UK, was educated at Oxford University and now lives in Vancouver Canada.

Professional portrait of Bryan Phelps
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Bryan Phelps, Big Leap
Demystifying Voice Search: What Matters Today and How to Plan for Tomorrow

Bryan Phelps is the founder and CEO of Big Leap, a digital marketing agency that specializes in four core channels – SEO, content marketing, social media, and marketing automation. For over 15 years, Bryan and his team at Big Leap have been leading organic marketing strategies for medium-to-large companies in multi-location, eCommerce, retail, and technology industries.

Professional portrait of Kevin Planovsky
Vert logo

Kevin Planovsky, Vert
Restaurant Marketing Roundtable: Different Perspectives on Achieving Success

Kevin really appreciates you. No, honestly – thanks for reading his bio… Kevin knows there are a LOT of bios out there & you are choosing to read about how he started Vert Digital over 9 years ago, loves snowboarding, is a father of two, and thinks Atlanta is the best place in North America to scale a digital marketing agency. Kevin currently serves as co-founder & Prinicpal, Account Strategy at Vert – leading their three marketing strategy teams (data, brand & client/business) with executive focus 100% aimed at growth and business development. When not forging partnerships with leading brands like Hooters, Momentfeed, and First Watch Restaurants, he also serves on the steering committee for the University of Georgia’s New Media Institute, his alma mater. When you meet Kevin, strike up conversation about his adopted daughters (4 & 2), his urge to snowboard Whistler, or mid-century modern homes & design.

Professional portrait of Jerry Shen
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Jerry Shen, Blaze Pizza
The Digital Loyalty Ecosystem: Tying an App and Email Club Together

As Director of Digital Marketing, Jerry has been marketing the Blaze Pizza brand since 2013. His focus is integrating Blaze’s digital presence across loyalty, email, mobile app, web and social platforms to provide tailored content that resonates with guests on a personal level.

Professional portrait of Dylan Swift

Dylan Swift, Yelp
From Click to Brick: The New In-store Experience

Dylan joined Yelp in 2009 and currently leads the company’s National Marketing team. He began his marketing career in 1999 at eBay, where he spent 6 years growing the community via online marketing and business development. Dylan has also led online marketing at Prosper and Lending Club. He has an MBA from Wharton and a BA in art history from Bowdoin College.

Professional portrait of Jason White
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Jason White, Hertz
The Future of Local and Mobile: Optimizing Your Use of Mobile Tech for Brand Success

Jason White is Director of SEO at Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty, the largest global car rental company with 13,000 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.

Professional portrait of Robert Blatt
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Robert Blatt, MomentFeed
Winning Mobile Moments: From Immersion to Conversion

Robert Blatt serves as the Chairman and CEO of MomentFeed and has more than 25 years of senior management experience across telecommunications, enterprise software, business-to-consumer and SaaS companies.


Robert’s previous roles include SVP of Product and Service Development at Ascent Media, VP and GM of Personal Media at AOL, and CEO of Outcome. Robert has successfully transformed visions into reality at many companies because of his constant focus on customer success, flawless execution and innovative teams.

Professional portrait of Carey Bettencourt
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Carey Bettencourt, MomentFeed
Creating Momentum out of Moments

Carey has more than 25 years of domestic and international experience in the software and consulting industries. Prior to joining MomentFeed, she was founder and managing partner of Propelus, a management consultancy. Prior to Propelus, Carey was Sr. VP of Customer Solutions at Accruent where she built and led the top-ranked professional services organization for three consecutive years according to the SPI Research Maturity benchmark, a firm she later joined as a managing director. Carey has also held leadership roles with market-leading software firms including Oracle, ChannelPoint (now Trizetto) and J.D. Edwards.


Carey has an economics degree from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Professional portrait of Cynthia Countouris
MomentFeed logo

Cynthia Countouris, MomentFeed
The Impact of Integration: Harnessing Market Forces [Product Keynote]

Cynthia brings over 24 years of experience across marketing and product management, Ecommerce, operations and development for both global and start-up technology firms.


Prior to MomentFeed, Cynthia led both product and marketing for Movoto Real Estate, the 2nd largest online brokerage in the US. She has served as an executive and product leader for several Silicon Valley firms, including HireMojo, a Saas Hiring Automation solution for SMB market, Sawyer Media Systems and MarketFirst Software, Inc., a founder of the Marketing Automation space. Prior to MarketFirst, Cynthia led marketing technology and IT groups for industry leaders like Autodesk and Silicon Graphics.


Cynthia received her BS in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University and her Masters degree focusing on Marketing and Information Technology from CMU’s Tepper School of Business.

Professional portrait of Kyra Ulmer-Purvis
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Kyra Ulmer-Purvis, MomentFeed
Building the Right Audience for Effective Paid Media

Kyra is the Vice President, Facebook – Strategic Partner Management and is responsible for MomentFeed’s overall strategy and partner relationship with Facebook. Prior to that, she was EVP, Revenue and Partnerships at Brand Networks where she developed and managed channel partner relationship with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat in addition to leading sales in Western US and APAC. She has worked on brands like Zillow, ABC, NBC, Hyundai, Overstock, Adidas, Unilever and Loreal. Kyra has also worked for software companies like Microsoft, CDK and Who’s Calling.