CEO, MOTHER NATURE NETWORK and its parent company NARRATIVE CONTENT GROUP
Prior to launching Narrative, Joel spent over 30 years in the advertising and public relations industry.
He began his career at McCann-Erickson, where he worked on The Coca-Cola Company account, and was a co-founder of Babbit & Reiman Advertising (acquired by Gold Greenlees Trott) and 360 (acquired by WPP’s Grey Global Group). He also previously served as President of WPP’s GCI Group and Executive Vice President of Chiat/Day.
Following Atlanta’s selection as host for the 1996 Olympic Games, Joel took a leave of absence from the private sector and was appointed as the City’s first Chief Marketing and Communications Officer and a member of Mayor Maynard Jackson’s cabinet. He has been active in numerous civic and non-profit organizations including Young Presidents Organization, The CDC Foundation Board of Visitors, Management Executive Society, GCAPP, The Atlanta History Center, and The Anti-Defamation League.
He is a Director of Primerica (NYSE: PRI), GreenSky Credit, and The National Health Museum. In 1992, Joel received the John Drewry Award for Distinguished Achievement in Journalism and was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 1997. In 2015, he was awarded The John Holliman Lifetime Achievement Award by his alma mater – The University of Georgia’s Henry Grady School of Journalism.
Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, ZILLOW GROUP
Katie joined Zillow in 2008 as employee #150. Over the past ten years, she has headed company communications through a period of incredible growth. Zillow Group, headquartered in Seattle, now employs more than 3,500 people in nine offices.
Katie has overseen every aspect of communications, taking Zillow Group through its IPO and 13 acquisitions, including Trulia. She currently oversees the Zillow and HotPads brands public relations, employee communications, public affairs and government relations and corporate and business communications.
She is a leader who enjoys growing and managing a high-achieving and fast-moving team. Prior to joining Zillow, Katie worked as a journalist for five years.
Director of Public Relations and Communications, BEN & JERRY’S
After spending a few extra years at the University of Vermont working for his undergraduate degree, Sean gave in to his calling and joined Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.
Starting in 1988, Sean has seen the triumphs and tribulations during his many years with the company. His title of Grand Poobah of P.R. has been earned one scoop at a time. From experiencing Flavor Graveyard creations like Sugar Plum ice cream to flavor sensations like Cherry Garcia, Sean has experienced what a long strange dip it’s been.
In his PR position Sean has created programs, helped with flavors, and managed relationships working with the likes of Sir Elton John, Stephen Colbert, and more. Sean directed the communication of the company’s global climate initiative and Save Our Swirled campaign kick off, the equity and EmpowerMint campaign to highlight systemic racism, and quarterbacked the launch of The Tonight DOUGH starring Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show’s 1st anniversary, as well as the unveiling of Ben & Jerry’s Non Dairy/Vegan line.
When not Poobahing, Sean serves as Director of Public Relations and Communications at Ben & Jerry’s headquarters in Vermont, resulting in billions of annual impressions served. He often can be found loafing near the Research & Development Lab volunteering as a taste tester and enjoying the company benefit of three free pints of ice cream per day. His favorite flavor is Cherry Garcia.
Ward De Grieve
Commander Senior Grade, Head of Communications and PAO, BELGIAN NAVY
Since September 2016, Ward De Grieve is Strategic Communications Advisor to the Commander of the Belgian Navy.
Previously, he served within NATO in the Capabilities and Targets Review branch of Allied Command transformation Staff Element Europe (MONS), where he was responsible for the definition of military targets. Also at NATO, he was staff officer within the J5/Policy and Concepts Implementation section, with responsibility over the NATO Response Force concept.
Earlier in his career, he was the commanding officer of the naval base in Zeebrugge. In 1999, and was commanding officer of the minehunter M923 NARCIS, where he conducted several mine clearance operations in the Baltic sea.
Also, he was staff officer at the Joint Defense staff as specialist CBRN and Firefighting for the entire defense sector and represented Belgian Defense at numerous seminars and international working groups. After his education as Damage Control and environmental officer, he is appointed Head of the XO department onboard the frigate WIELINGEN.
Commander s.g. De Grieve was born in the “Parisian banlieue” town of Saint-Germain-En- Laye. He joined the Royal School of Cadets, Division Interforces in 1983 and started a year later his nautical and officer’s education at the 124th All Weapons promotion of the Royal Military Academy. He graduated in 1989, completing half of it in each national language (French and Dutch) and spent a period onboard USS CAPODANNO as part of a Personnel Exchange Program.
He is married and the father of two children and lives near Bruges.
Chief Reputation Officer, REPUTATION INSTITUTE
Stephen Hahn-Griffiths is the Chief Reputation Officer at Reputation Institute. Stephen is a driving force in reputation thought-leadership, content development, integrated marketing communications, and brand management. As a champion of reputation intelligence, he plays an active role in spearheading best practices.
In prior roles, he was as Chief Strategy Officer at leading multi-national agencies, including Leo Burnett, Mullen, and Saatchi & Saatchi. He was also previously a co-owner of Protobrand, a boutique brand consulting company. His academic credentials include a MBA from Stern, NYU. Stephen is often cited in leading media outlets, including Forbes, WSJ, USA Today, Financial Times, Associated Press, NPR, and Lexis Nexis.
Director, NATIONAL SUMMIT ON STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS, and Director, Master’s Degree Program in Global Strategic Communication, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Robert W. Grupp is a corporate communications executive and public relations consultant with 30+ years’ experience in companies, associations and universities in the USA, Europe and Asia.
Bob is President of Grupp Global Partners LLC, a management consultancy with a strategic focus on corporate communications and international public relations. Also, he is the Director and an Adjunct Instructor for the University of Florida’s online Master’s Degree Program in Global Strategic Communication in the College of Journalism and Communications.
Bob chairs annual Summits on Strategic Communications in Washington DC and London. The popular conferences are focused on sharing best practices in corporate, military and government communications and public affairs. He also chaired Digital Pharma China in Shanghai for Chinese e-marketing and digital brand teams in the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences sectors.
Previously, Bob was President and CEO of The Institute for Public Relations where he also served as a Trustee for 8 years. Bob was Vice President of Corporate and Public Affairs at Cephalon, Inc. an international bio-pharmaceutical company. Earlier in his career, Bob held senior positions leading corporate communications at Eli Lilly and Company, at Dow Corning Corporation and Consumers Energy.
He is past president of the International Public Relations Association. Along with former Chinese Ambassador to the USA Li Daoyu, Bob co-chaired the IPRA Public Relations World Congress in Beijing, which attracted 500 senior practitioners from 40 countries.
He is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, and he is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society.
Senior Vice President, Communications, Government Relations & Policy, BAYER CORPORATION
Ray Kerins leads all communications, government relations and policy for Bayer Corporation. He oversees the Bayer U.S. Foundation and is a member of the Bayer U.S. Country Council. Ray also serves as Vice-Chair of Bayer’s political action committee.
Previously, Ray was Vice President of external affairs & worldwide communications, and he was the chief global spokesperson for Pfizer. Ray was part of a team that managed the $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth and $2.3 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Prior to Pfizer, he was Executive Director of public affairs for Merck & Co. Before Merck, Ray spent nine years at GCI Group where he was executive vice president/managing director overseeing both the corporate communications & media relations practices. Prior to GCI, he spent five years at Porter Novelli.
Ray was named “2017 Outstanding In-House Professional Award” by PRWeek Magazine; “2010 Public Relations Professional of the Year” by PRWeek Magazine; “2010 Media Relations Professional” by Bulldog Reporter. Ray holds a Master of Science degree and Bachelor of Arts degree from Iona College.
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, CHICK-FIL-A INC.
Carrie Kurlander is Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for Chick-fil-A Inc., a $9 billion, privately held company in Atlanta. She joined the company in 2013.
Prior to that, Carrie was Vice President of Communications for Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest investor-owned utilities. She also served as communications director and press secretary for the governor of Alabama, worked as an account executive for a California-based public relations firm and was an award-winning news anchor, reporter and producer.
She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Executive Development Program. She and her husband, Brian, have two children.
Keyboardist, THE ROLLING STONES; Co-Founder, MOTHER NATURE NETWORK
Chuck Leavell has been the keyboardist for The Rolling Stones for more than 30 years. Prior to joining The Stones, he was a member of The Allman Brothers Band – receiving a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2012 for his tenure with the band. His piano and keyboard work also has been heard on the works of Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, John Mayer, The Black Crowes, George Harrison, The Indigo Girls, Blues Traveler, Train, Montgomery-Gentry, Lee Ann Womack and many, many more artists.
In addition to being well established in the music industry, Chuck is one of the nation’s most respected voices for land conservation and the environment. He is also a published author, long time tree farmer, co-founder of the popular website The Mother Nature Network. He has been a board member of several important and influential organizations including the American Forest Foundation and The U.S. Endowment for Forests and Communities. Well known on Capitol Hill, his testimony to the U.S. Congress played a critical role in forming the past two U.S. farm bills.
In 1999, Chuck and his wife Rose Lane were named National Tree Farmers of the Year for the management of Charlane Plantation, their 2,500-acre farm near Macon. In 2012, the U.S. Forest Service appointed him an Honorary Forester, only the second person to ever receive that honor. He is the author of four books – “Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest,” “Between Rock and a Home Place,” “Growing a Better America,” and “The Tree Farmer,” which received the American Farm Bureau’s Book of the Year award.
Command Sergeant Major Patrick L. McCauley
Command Senior Enlisted Leader, USSOCOM
CSM McCauley is the ninth Command Senior Enlisted Leader of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), headquartered at MacDill AFB, Tampa, Florida. USSOCOM is one of nine combatant commands within the Department of Defense unified command structure.
He has deployed multiple times throughout his career, supporting Operations JOINT ENDEAVOR, UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and INHERENT RESOLVE.
CSM McCauley was assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) in 2015 as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader and was subsequently selected for his current position at US SOCOM.
CSM McCauley initially enlisted in The United States Marine Corps in 1986, and he was trained as an Armor Crewman and subsequently assigned to A Company, 8th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division.
In 1988, CSM McCauley transferred to the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Analyst, serving tours with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea and the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. In the summer of 1989, CSM McCauley volunteered for and successfully completed the Special Forces Assessment and Selection course, graduating from the Special Forces Qualification Course in 1990. He was then assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, where he served as a Special Forces Communications Sergeant. In 1995 CSM McCauley successfully assessed for a Special Mission Unit where he would go on to serve as a Team Member, Assistant Team Sergeant, Team Sergeant, K-9 Troop SGM, Assault Troop Sergeant Major, Operations Sergeant Major, Squadron Command Sergeant Major, and Unit Command Sergeant Major.
CSM McCauley graduated Suma Cum Laude from Norwich University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Strategic Studies.
Chief Communications Officer, PERATON
As Chief Communications Officer at Peraton, Matt serves as the company’s senior communications advisor and leads an integrated team with responsibilities for branding, media relations, employee and executive communications, digital and social content, and tradeshows and events.
Prior to joining Peraton, Matt spent more than 18 years with Northrop Grumman, most recently as director of communications for its Cyber and Intelligence Mission Solutions and Space ISR Systems divisions. He also had responsibility for the enterprise cyber branding efforts.
He previously held senior leadership roles in strategic communications, government relations, strategic planning, and business development at Northrop Grumman.
Matt earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations from the College of Wooster, and a master’s degree in organizational science from The George Washington University.
Senior Director, Communications, DICK’S SPORTING GOODS
Jennifer Moreau serves as the Senior Director of Communications for DICK’S Sporting Goods. She is responsible for developing, driving and executing the company’s communications strategy across all lines of business and brands to serve both internal and external audiences. With responsibility for corporate communications, brand communications, crisis and issues management and employee communications, Jennifer also leads special events, community engagement and public affairs. She serves as the Vice President of The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, which focuses its efforts on inspiring and enabling youth sports participation.
Following the tragic events in Parkland, Fla., in February 2018, DICK’S Sporting Goods announced changes to its firearms policy including: no longer selling firearms to anyone under 21 years of age, continuing its ban on high capacity magazines and removing all assault-style rifles from its stores nationwide. Jennifer provided strategic communications counsel to DICK’S executive leadership team regarding the policy change and continues to oversee public affairs, advocacy group relationships and communications related to the company’s ongoing efforts to support common sense gun reform.
formerly Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, THE BOEING COMPANY
Phil Musser has more than 20 years of strategic communications and public relations experience, including more than 10 years as a consultant and chief communications officer at The Boeing Company.
When his November 2018 departure from Boeing was announced, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said: “For more than a decade – first as a consultant and then as a member of our Executive Council – Phil has brought passion, creativity, energy and a digital mindset to Boeing Communications. He’s made meaningful contributions to the company, leading important new investments in our social media strategy and digital and analytics capabilities and driving a new Boeing brand platform.”
Musser also served as chairman and CEO of IMGE, an Alexandria, Virginia-based digital communications firm he co-founded in 2013. Prior to his role as the co-founder of IMGE, Musser was the executive director of the Republican Governor’s Association and a senior vice president of Dutko Worldwide, a leading bi-partisan public policy management firm.
He also served as deputy chief of staff and senior policy advisor of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the second Bush Administration and was a deputy director of the 2004 G-8 Summit in Sea Island, Ga., for the U.S. Department of State. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College.
General Paul Nakasone
Commander, UNITED STATES CYBER COMMAND; Director, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY; Chief, CENTRAL SECURITY SERVICE
General Paul M. Nakasone assumed his present duties as Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service in May 2018. He previously commanded U.S. Army Cyber Command from October 2016 – April 2018.
A native of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, GEN Nakasone is a graduate of Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he received his commission through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. GEN Nakasone has held command and staff positions across all levels of the Army with assignments in the United States, the Republic of Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
GEN Nakasone commanded the Cyber National Mission Force at U.S. Cyber Command. He has also commanded a company, battalion, and brigade, and served as the senior intelligence officer at the battalion, division and corps levels.
GEN Nakasone has served in Joint and Army assignments in the United States, the Republic of Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. His most recent overseas posting was as the Director of Intelligence, J2, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Kabul, Afghanistan.
GEN Nakasone has also served on two occasions as a staff officer on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
GEN Nakasone is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, the Command and General Staff College, and Defense Intelligence College. He holds graduate degrees from the U.S. Army War College, the National Defense Intelligence College, and the University of Southern California.
GEN Nakasone and his wife are the proud parents of four children, who form the nucleus of “Team Nakasone.”
Senior Social Scientist, RAND CORPORATION; Professor, PARDEE RAND GRADUATE SCHOOL
Christopher Paul is a senior social scientist at the RAND Corporation and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He is also a member of the adjunct faculty in the Center for Economic Development in the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University.
Prior to joining RAND full-time in July 2002, Paul worked as an adjunct at RAND for six years and on the statistics faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2001–02. Paul has developed methodological competencies in comparative historical and case study approaches, evaluation research, various forms of quantitative analysis, and survey research. Paul received his Ph.D. in sociology from UCLA.
Vice President, Strategic Communications, NORTHROP GRUMMAN
Tim Paynter was named Vice President, Strategic Communications, at Northrop Grumman in January 2017. He has responsibility for ensuring appropriate media coverage of the corporation and will serve as the company’s principal spokesperson. He will also act as the primary communications interface with the company’s corporate business development organizations.
Paynter joined Northrop Grumman in 2005 and has served in a variety of communications leadership roles in different business areas supporting marketing communications, international communications and significant business priorities. Prior to his current role, he led communications and advocacy efforts for a significant business pursuit.
A former U.S. Navy chief journalist, his awards have included the U.S. Navy Broadcast Journalist of the Year award, Rear Admiral Ravitz Excellence in Public Affairs award and the Defense Meritorious Service medal.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also a graduate of the Defense Department’s Defense Information School in print journalism and broadcast journalism.
Author and Chief Innovation Officer, W2O GROUP
One of the pioneers of social media marketing, Bob Pearson is globally recognized as a marketing visionary. Bob is an author, vice chair and chief of innovation officer for W2O Group, an independent network of digital communications and marketing companies.
He is an author, frequent speaker, and blogger on digital marketing, as well as an instructor for the Syracuse Center for Social Commerce and the US State Department’s Marketing College. He has written two books (Pre-Commerce and Storytizing) based on key learnings from the firm’s work with innovative companies and individuals.
Prior to W2O Group, Bob worked as VP of Communities and Conversations at Dell. Before Dell, Bob was Head of Global Corporate Communications and Head of Global Pharma Communications at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Basel, Switzerland, where he served on the Pharma Executive Committee, and he served as Vice President, Media and Public Affairs, for Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi).