Chief Executive Officer
MCI Headquaters, Worldwide
Web Address:MCI Worldwide
Having picked up a string of business qualifications on both sides of the Atlantic (BSBA, MBA, & Masters in Entrepreneurship). Sébastien Tondeur has a persona as multinational as the company he works for. He is the Chief Executive Officer at MCI’s head office in Geneva, where his responsibilities span company strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, strategic meeting management, branding and key account management. He says he wants to create the largest communications, associations and events management group in the world and, with 47 offices to date in 23 different countries, the 25 year old company he is growing with his father, is well on the way there already. The aspects of the business that particularly interest Tondeur in include branding, meeting consolidation, supply chain, corporate finance, technology and entrepreneurship. He is a frequent speaker at industry events, on topics such as mergers and acquisitions, meetings and events, procurement and trends in the meetings industry. He has had several articles published. Sebastien is a co-Founder of EO Geneva, MPI’s past-European Council President 2006/2007 and served as Chairman of the MPI International Board 2011/2012. And he still finds time for a private life! He enjoys reading and music, plays the guitar and is never happier than when fishing and hiking in remote mountain areas. A lot can happen in business but he now says the most exciting and emotional moments of his life are when he is with his wife and three daughters.
Eric Rozenberg, CMM, CMP, HOEM, FONSAT, is President of Swantegy, a company with offices in Chicago, Brussels and Singapore and consulting with Fortune 500 corporate clients on how to align meetings with strategy and improve their business performance. Eric also consults for Reed Travel Exhibitions as their non-Executive Chairman of the Meetings & Events Portfolio.
For about 18 years, Eric has been working for corporate clients in various industries and has been running projects in more than 50 countries worldwide. He speaks several languages and holds a Masters degree in International Management Sciences, an Executive Master in Marketing and Advertising and attended Executive Programs at INSEAD and MIT.
Eric is a regular writer and speaker in the Meetings and Events Industry and served as Chairman 2010-2011 on the International Board of Directors of MPI (www.mpiweb.org – Headquartered in Dallas, USA. MPI is the largest professional organization in the Industry with 23.000 members worldwide). He currently serves as a volunteer in the Weizmann Foundation for Sciences in Belgium and in the Demoucelle for Parkinson Foundation.
Regional Director Business Development
MCI Middle East & India
Web Address:MCI Worldwide
An energetic, and enthusiastic person who has a working experience of over 15 years. A career that has spanned across India, UAE and USA. Starting a career with the Taj group of Hotels in India, Alex moved to the Jumeirah Group of hotels, with the highlight of being part of the core opening team of Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Essex House in New York.
Since 2006, Alex moved across to the Global leader in Association Management, Communication and Event Management, the Swiss Based MCI Holding. With over 48 offices across the world, MCI Middle East was a startup office and Alex was part of the founding management team and has together with the Middle East team grown the business by over 1000% in the last 6 years.
He is now part of the regional office and is responsible for Business Development in the Middle East, India and Africa. With a proven track record of successfully managing events at the highest levels, Alex and his team help in creating and implementing strategy; driving innovation; building, developing, leading and motivating customers and their various eco systems.
His education started in Muscat, Oman, followed by that he did his Bachelor of Commerce (Bcom) from Bangalore University, India and completed his MBA from Massey University, New Zealand.
Alex, was also the past President of the SITE Chapter in formation for the UAE. Alex is a frequent contributor to number of industry related publications and uses every opportunity to educate people about the meetings industry.
Area Sr Manager of eCommerce Strategy
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Jennifer Kedinger is the Area Sr Manager of eCommerce Strategy. She oversees the area hotel’s digital marketing strategy for transient and group business, including incorporating social media communications and consulting for in-house and citywide groups. Jennifer particularly enjoys fostering relationships with guests, media and partners online and off.
Prior to joining the team at Hyatt to pursue her passion for new media and travel, Jennifer worked in the global marketing and event space with a telecommunications organization. Within the past eight years, she has developed marketing plans for events, social media strategy, eCommerce, CRM development, relationship marketing, training and online reputation management.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company with a proud heritage of making guests feel more than welcome. Thousands of members of the Hyatt family strive to make a difference in the lives of the guests they encounter every day by providing authentic hospitality.
Sean McGinnis is Founder of 312 Digital, a digital marketing training company that provides in-person courses to help small business owners and marketers better sell and market their products and services online. Sean consults, speaks, and writes on a variety of topics related to digital marketing and sales and has led four different internet businesses and digital marketing teams since 1997, including one of the largest organic SEO teams in the US.
A lawyer and native Chicagoan, Sean participates in dozens of live & virtual events annually, speaking about search engine trends, the convergence of search and social, the importance of creating shareable content and of social networking in the new millennium.
Founder and President
Web Address:Lightspan Digital
Mana is the president of Chicago Social Media Marketing company Lightspan Digital. Mana believes in purpose and storytelling as two main drivers of social media success. She helps clients with extraordinary stories, show and tell those stories and build new profitable connections, through content marketing and social media. Lightspan also offers social media training, strategy and execution.
Huffington Post Live
Web Address:Tim McDonald
Tim McDonald leads the field as a continual student and practitioner of new media. As the Community Manager for HuffPost Live, Tim is building and managing a community for Huffington Post’s live streaming network. Continuing his passion for community management, Tim founded My Community Manager, a resource for community managers and a community of community managers. He is the founder of Lake County Social Networking and the former Director of Communications and Community Manager for Social Media Club Chicago.
Tim’s dedication to his clients’ satisfaction is matched by his exceptional coordination and negotiation skills, which are evident throughout each of his transactions. Tim is a client advocate and his first priority is to meet his client’s goals as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Community & Business Development Manager
Web Address:Veronica Ludwig
Veronica has been organizing events since 2007 and consults for private companies to run internal team-building and employment branding events. She is the co-founder of Ji-V (Gee-Vee) Hack, Chicago’s first hackathon series run by women, has been in charge of SocialDevCamp Chicago’s unconference since 2010 and created a small event series through Code For America called IdeaHack Chicago. She is currently in New York City working with CollabFinder.com and the Bloomberg administration to run BigApps 2013, the oldest and largest civic software competition in the world.
Director of Strategic Technology
Web Address:Maritz Travel
Neal Thompson is Director of Strategic Technology at Maritz Travel. He joined Maritz in 1993 and was the business architect for all internet based technologies. Today he continues his leadership role, responsible for emerging and strategic technologies by combining his technical depth of knowledge with his experience leading client projects focusing on social networking, virtual event technologies and other emerging technologies. Neal has a Masters in Human Computer Interactions (HCI) from the University of Maine and is currently an adjunct professor with the Keller Graduate School of Management.
President and Founding Principal
One Smooth Stone
Web Address:One Smooth Stone
Kevin Olsen’s distinction for pushing the limits of creativity over his twenty-five plus years in the meeting/events industry launched him into his ultimate creative endeavor in 1995, establishing One Smooth Stone. Over the last seventeen years, Kevin has created an event and communications agency that consistently achieves impact for its clients. He forges the way as One Smooth Stone enables their clients to build relationships critical to the success of their business.
Committed to results and practical creative solutions, Kevin has not drifted far from the client contact that energizes him. Drawing on knowledge gleaned from diverse industries, Kevin generates innovative ideas and inspires his clients to achieve greatness.
His active participation in MPI since 1990 is reflective of his commitment to the industry. As a faculty member, Kevin hones his presentation skills and shares his industry expertise via live, virtual and written educational channels. He joined the MPI Foundation board in 2003 and has served on the executive committee since 2008. As the Immediate Past Chairman for the MPI Foundation, Kevin remains passionately committed to supporting the mission of bringing vision and prosperity to the meeting and event community.
One Smooth Stone
Web Address:One Smooth Stone
Andrea offers a fresh creative perspective and energetic zeal to the team. Her experience prior to One Smooth Stone coordinating events for volunteer groups in Chicago provides a great foundation for the industry. As a volunteer, she partnered with the Chicago Bulls, Converse, 37signals, and other Chicago businesses to create a holiday store benefiting over 400 children in need, leading a team of 20 to oversee registration, environmental design, and event flow.
Online events and engagement is a staple of her everyday work. She leads teams during the creation of online environments that are engaging, interactive and targeted to solve organizations’ business needs. Her technological expertise has assisted clients in understanding the strategic importance of incorporating technology into an overall event engagement strategy.
A B.A. in Business Communications has been put to good use producing physical and online events for clients such as Mayer Brown, American Association of Diabetes Educators, Sirva, McDonald’s and Carol Anderson By Invitation. She is also an active member of MPI (Meeting Professionals International).
Web Address:Travis Inc.
Travis Reedy is a 20-year veteran of the event solutions industry. He is the founder of TRAVIS Inc., a full-service Audio, Visual and Event Design Company.
His adventures start with a vision and a desire to challenge what once was thought impossible. While converging digital technology with creative artistry he continues to push the limits of live events. Often times the barriers to creative, are the limitations in technology; Travis breaks through these barriers by translating the emerging technologies found in concerts down the path to corporate theater. His spin on traditional is what captivates his audience and brings impact to his events regardless of budget boundaries, providing an Academy Awards feel on an Advisory Board Budget.
Some of his most recent projects include: The Home Depot Global Managers, BP Global, Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthier America, FSI Annual Franchise Expo, GEOINT, Oracle, Novo Nordisk
Social Video Marketing Expert and Content Strategist
Grant Crowell is a highly regarded corporate strategist, content marketer, and thought leader in the online video industry dating back to 2005; and with roots in the online marketing industry since 1996. His online video best practices helps clients reach targeted audiences that convert with real-world business goals, including specialties of R&D, SEO, social media, content marketing, e-commerce, usability, ROI, legal, relationship marketing, and reputation management. He serves as a consultant, trainer, and media director to both large enterprises and startups, with clients including Sears and Insurance Auto Auctions. He is also a regularly featured speaker at conferences including Blogworld / New Media Expo, Search Engine Strategies, Search Marketing Expo (SMX), Streaming Media, Mediabistro, ad:tech, PubCon, and the American Bar Association (ABA). His long-time coverage of the online video space includes being one of the first regular columnists and media producers for ReelSEO.com, the #1 Google-ranked publication dedicated to covering the business, culture, and technology of online video. He was also the head researcher and co-editor of “Socialized! How the Most Successful Businesses Harness The Power of Social.” Currently he works as a professional bi-weekly columnist for Onlinevideo.net, and is an editorial board member of SocialMediaClub.org. Grant is a graduate of University of Hawaii-Manoa and attended University of Colorado at Boulder, moonlighting as a professional cartoonist and in AM talk radio. He is also a former documentary video producer with some of his work appearing on HBO (all 15 seconds of it. When he’s not tipping sacred cows, Grant enjoys following Chicago politics and brewpubs, with an interesting mix of results.