Tuesday, November 7

9:00 am – 10:15 am


T2:  Empowering the next generation of leaders and 5 things current leaders can do to support them

Dr. Jan Ferri-Reed, President, KEY Group

Young managers need to know how to lead, and their definition of “leading” may be far different from ours.  This new generation of managers has unique and fresh ideas on how to lead, so what do you need to do to adapt to their style of leadership while coaching them and giving them autonomy?  And what do the new leaders need to do to communicate effectively to make certain their team members are on the same page, and heading in the right direction?

Learn valuable tips on what leaders can do to empower new leaders, in a session that will include tools to help first-time managers start strong and thrive as their responsibilities grow.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to coach new leaders to take responsibility
  • How new leaders can communicate effectively to their teams – and it’s not by texting
  • Lessons from other new leaders – beyond the first 90 days
  • How to re-charge the culture – what skills are necessary to do the job well?
  • The art of learning new skills so someone else is not determining your fate

T3:  The trust factor:  The role communicators play

Chuck Gose, Founder & Vice President, iCology & Staff Connect & Rocky Walls, Cofounder & CEO, 12 Stars Media

Communicators can churn out message after message on vehicle after vehicle and none of this may matter due to one critical missing element…trust. Trust, or lack thereof, impacts the effectiveness, reach and impact of communication across organizations of all sizes in all markets.  Thanks to numerous studies from Edelman and other “trusted” sources, we know trust is on the decline across all facets of our lives, not just communication at the workplace.

In this session, veteran speakers and communicators Chuck Gose and Rocky Walls explore the importance of trust in communication, leadership and technology with examples to back it up. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of:

  • The deeper and more relevant meaning of trust
  • The effect of trust on communication and leadership
  • The current state of trust in the US and globally
  • How culture both internally and around the world affect who and how we trust
  • How communicators can measure trust internally
  • How to create content to build trust

Student 4: Your future starts now…whether you want it to or not

Steve Radick, Vice President and Director of Public Relations, Brunner

You’re going to graduate soon with a degree in communications, marketing, or PR and become a very small fish in a very big pond. Everyone’s going to follow the same playbook when looking to get that first job. Everyone knows the best practices. But when everyone is following the same playbook, how do you set yourself apart from everyone else? Why should they choose YOU? Students will learn the answer to these and other pressing questions in this engaging and informative session.


9:00 am – 11:45 am

T4:  Taking the mystery out of measurement:  Get the ammunition you need to create communications that motivate, educate and engage your employees

Cindy Crescenzo, Principal, Crescenzo Communication

No communication plan is perfect. Nothing works all the time. That’s why it’s crucial that communicators find out what works and what doesn’t. Want to change employee behavior? Are you hitting your goals? Do your internal communication channels work? Join Cindy Crescenzo to learn how to put together a strategic communication plan that is agile, effective and gets results.

During this session, attendees will learn:

  • What employees think vs. what they know — how to use qualitative and quantitative research
  • How to interview executives (which, done properly, establishes you as a business partner) and gain support for your plan
  • The best strategies for conducting focus groups that don’t turn into gripe sessions
  • Survey dos and don’ts — develop a survey that fuels your plan
  • How to use the relevance formula to create content that wins employee attention
  • How to tie it all together — research as the basis of your communication strategy


10:30 am – 11:45 am

T5:  Dimensions of diversity:  Expanding the conversation through inclusiveness

Lachandra Baker, MBA, ABC, CTA, Manager, Communications Business Partner, Cardinal Health

Achieving an inclusive culture requires that each of us make an individual commitment to that success. Communication is pivotal to bringing inclusiveness to an organization. Bridging gaps between leadership and the frontline, as well as peer-to-peer, is very important to workforce engagement and the company’s bottom line.

Every company, whether domestic-based or global, should be working on an inclusion strategy for their workforce. While representation numbers of gender and race have historically been the key metric, there are many other dimensions of diversity that are at play. Inclusion takes a lot of hard work, and all levels in the organization need to be working together. In this session, Baker will share Cardinal Health’s journey to inclusiveness and provide insight into some best practices for making it work in your organizations.

T6:  Design thinking: How to leverage internal and external resource to produce great in a pool of good

Gary Spondike, Director of Business, Pitch Black Media with special guest Hope Sowders, District Sales Manager and Digital Specialist for Mohawk Fine Papers

Design is a strategic asset that is most effective when employed early in your planning process. In this fast-paced world everyone has impending deadlines that they are up against. Whether it’s an internal newsletter that needs to go out, a product launch or an annual report, it’s important to look at whether your internal communication team has the bandwidth and expertise to take on a larger-than-life project, versus handing off your project to a trusted design firm.

In this session attendees will explore, through an interactive experience, the philosophy behind Design Thinking and the value it plays in today’s marketplace. The presentation will showcase several real-world examples from around the globe to demonstrate how and when to leverage internal and external design resources to create effective communications.

The competition for your audiences’ attention has risen to a fever pitch

They are overwhelmed, bombarded with more-more-more, with less impact. What we make needs to matter, to make an impression, to elevate itself from the endless churn of communication.


Make effective things, great things, that slow people down, activate their senses and command their attention. The Mohawk Maker’s Field Guide is here to help you do that by teaching you how to use uncoated textured and colored papers as a tool to move the needle from good to great. Who is Hope Sowders and why should I spend some time with her? She is the District Sales Manager and Digital Specialist for Mohawk Fine Papers.  This session is guaranteed to leave you wondering if she drinks a lot of caffeine or is she really that excited about paper – you decide!

T7:  What your agency really thinks about you: How to build a more successful client-agency relationship

Guy Westermeyer, President, Westcomm, Camille Downing, President, Downing Communications & Jeff Hutson, Chief Communication Officer, Indiana Public Retirement System

Many corporate marcom professionals have to outsource work to marketing/communications agencies without having a good understanding of how agencies operate and how to get the most out of their company’s investment.

This presentation focuses on improving the client/agency relationship so that it’s a win for both parties. Learn from three industry experts how agencies often feel when managing client projects and how to improve the client-agency relationship.

Using case studies from both agencies and clients, this interactive session will cover effective tips on making your projects run smoother, staying within budget, and how to avoid having your agency use your picture on the dartboard during happy hour on Friday. Attendees on the agency-side may also benefit from hearing feedback from corporate clients on their experiences outsourcing work to an outside communications firm.

Student 5: Today’s efforts, tomorrow’s leaders

Jonathan Mancuso, Marketing Coordinator, Pittsburgh Steelers

Focusing on leadership development, the change in communications, and the opportunity ahead, this presentation will serve as a frame to understanding what “being a leader is all about.” As a young professional, Jonathan will share his techniques and views on how students today can become tomorrow’s leaders.