Consumer Marketing Summit


Ben McConnell
Author – “Creating Consumer Evangelists” and “Citizen Marketers”

Since 2001, Ben McConnell has been researching the effects of word of mouth on customer loyalty. Forbes calls his work in this field "the word of mouth gospel." Ben is the co-author of two books: "Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force," and "Citizen Marketers: When People are the Message."  The New York Times called "Creating Customer Evangelists" "the new mantra for entrepreneurial success."

As a business advisor, Ben has worked with Starbucks, Microsoft, Ulta, Discovery Education, Eli Lilly, PBS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and thousands of small and medium businesses at association conferences.  His work in researching passionate customer loyalty has been profiled by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Fortune, U.S. News & World Report, the Financial Times, Fast Company and several thousand blogs. In addition to his books Ben is co-author of the Church of the Customer blog.  He is a graduate of Arizona State University and spent eight years as a journalist at the Dallas Morning News.

Chris VanDyke
President & CEO – Nau

Chris Van Dyke has been a product creation and marketing professional in two of the most successful sports apparel companies in the world - Nike and Patagonia. He began his career at Nike after eight years of service to the state of Oregon, beginning as an Assistant Attorney General, and concluding in an elected position as the Marion County District Attorney.

Chris joined Nike in 1984 as its East Coast Corporate Legal Counsel. He subsequently moved into the Corporate Communications Department, and then into the product marketing side of the company as the Director of Marketing and Product Development for the Apparel Division. By 1995, Chris was Nike’s Asia Pacific Director of Marketing and Brand Development, where he was responsible for brand strategy development, action planning, and marketing plan execution, ultimately increasing annual revenues of the 11-country region to $900 million.

In 1999, Chris joined Patagonia as VP of Marketing and Product Development. There, he was responsible for the management of marketing and branding communications - including advertising, catalog, Website, retail, and PR - and management of product creation, including line planning, product design, merchandising, pricing, and product development. Chris co-founded the consulting firm of Van Dyke & Zilligen in 2004 to help corporations become financially stronger by making social and environmental responsibility a core value of their business and a key component of their branding message.

As Chief Executive Officer of Nau, Chris aims to grow the company to become a leader in the outdoor apparel marketplace. His commitment to performance is a hallmark of his leadership style and his commitment to corporate achievement in the context of environmental and social responsibility helps to guide the company into a successful future.

John Foraker
CEO – Annie's Inc.

John Foraker has been leading the rapid growth of Homegrown Naturals - owner of the Annie’s Homegrown, Annie’s Naturals, and Fantastic World Foods organic and natural brands - since the company was founded in 2004 as a platform to acquire and grow high-quality branded companies within the natural foods industry. Foraker has been involved in growing businesses and brands in the natural foods industry since 1994. From 1986 to 1993, he served as a vice president for Bank of America in the Northern California Commercial Banking Group, where he was responsible for a significant portion of the bank's California wine industry portfolio. 

Foraker holds a master’s in business administration from the University of California at Berkley and a bachelor of science in agricultural economics from the University of California at Davis.

Frederick Schilling
Founder – Dagoba Organic Chocolate

In 2001, at just 30 years old, Frederick Schilling founded Dagoba Organic Chocolates. As a chef, Schilling had developed a passion for bringing out the best in each ingredient, blending classic ingredients in new ways and delivering precise, deeply satisfying results. His first chocolate creation was a chai-infused bar, an early favorite that established Dagoba as a leader in intuitive innovation – creating new flavors that consumers would embrace.

Early on, Frederick researched cacao production and learned that in some cases it was associated with deforestation, agrochemical use, loss of heirloom varietals and labor concerns. He committed Dagoba to the principles of Full Circle Sustainability – blending quality, ecology, equity and community from the farm to the consumer.

Along with Dagoba’s sourcing partners, Frederick regularly travels to producing countries to locate high quality cacao, establish direct and equitable trading partnerships, collaborate on post-harvest processing, and support self-sustaining social and environmental programs. The company then uses artisan methods to craft this cacao into exceptional products, and integrates ecological practices across all operations. This approach has won several top honors for Dagoba, including “Best Organic Bars” and the “2005 Tastemaker Award” from Food & Wine, “Best Dark Chocolate” from the San Francisco Chronicle, the EPA’s Green Power Leadership Award and the “Spirit of Organic” Award from the Organic Trade Association.

Kathy Dragon
Owner/Founder – The Dragon's Path and

Kathy Moyer Dragon, Founder and Owner of The Dragon's Path and , has spent the past two decades in the center of the active and adventure travel industry. Having researched, designed, marketed, and personally escorted and facilitated the travel experiences of over 3000 guests on small group adventure and cultural trips around the globe, Dragon has developed front line experience that few marketing experts in the world can match.
Upwards of two-thirds of these customers were Boomer Women, lending to natural focus groups which proved to be the ideal arena for defining the growth of the active woman’s market – from how women select a trip, to why they are traveling, to products they love, can’t stand, or wish for and how different generations of women perceive themselves in an active environment. This direct involvement with Boomer Women and the mature market consumer on adventures around the world offered her a rare and coveted lens.
A passionate entrepreneur, Dragon has been instrumental in the growth of several niche companies, including Vermont Country Cyclers, Country Walkers, and her own company - The Dragon’s Path.  She founded Whole Journeys (a business unit of Whole Foods Market’s web portal and has the reputation of a trusted leader in all aspects of the active/experiential travel industry.
Dragon’s zeal for technological innovations led to the development on her blog based web portal which reviews travels and products from a women’s perspective. Understanding the importance of the Natural Foods industry, Kathy expanded her knowledge during her tenure as Marketing Director for Whole Foods Market in Boulder, CO. Her newest endeavor is to develop a travel pillar for , a community-based portal that invites the 50+ generation to live the fullest life possible. Travel, of course, will play an integral part of this site.

Lisa Johnson
CEO – The Reach Group Consulting Author – Don’t Think Pink and Mind Your X’s

Lisa Johnson is the co-author of Don’t Think Pink, author of Mind Your X’s and Y’s, and CEO of The Reach Group. A leading corporate trainer and brand consultant, she has up-to-the-minute knowledge of market forces, trends and consumers’ buying minds.

Johnson has worked with top companies internationally including Nike, Microsoft, Motorola, Starbucks, Kohler, Meredith Corporation, and Giant Bicycles.  SoundViews named her first book, Don’t Think Pink, one of the top marketing books of all time and her marketing concepts have appeared in Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, the New York Times magazine, The Chicago Tribune and on NPR’s Marketplace.  

Lynda Pearson
Co-Founder and Creative Director – Amazon Advertising

Lynda Pearson has filled the shelves of several agencies with awards, including a Lion from Cannes, a number of Clios, silver bowls, crystal obelisks, steel cubes and other phallic shapes in many materials. Fans of computer graphics know her as the mother of the Sexy Robot, a steel-breasted homemaker with the voice of Kathleen Turner.

She’s created campaigns for DHL, Bank of America, Sears, Jovan, Canon, Wells Fargo, Mazda, Harley-Davidson Motorclothes, Kraft, The Beef Industry Council, The Potato Board, Hunt-Wesson, Peter Pan and Southwestern Bell. In addition, Pearson introduced Acura and freelanced for Seagram, Coca-Cola and AT&T.

In 1996, Pearson and Millie Olson founded Amazon Advertising, attracting clients like Procter & Gamble, Wells Fargo, Canon, Philips Electronics, and Kashi. The agency is adept at finding enduring strategic and creative ideas, and surprising audiences with wit, truth and optimism.  Clients still quote lines Pearson has written and long since forgotten.

Shelley Gunton
Co-Founder/”Top Dog” – Castor & Pollux Pet Works

Shelley Gunton was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug early on.  After getting an undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario, an MBA from York University and completing an International Management Training Program with the Royal Bank of Canada, she began a mail order women’s clothing and accessory business and small retail outlet called Silver Linings, eventually leaving her position with the bank to run her new business full time.  When her husband Brian was offered a position in Hong Kong, Shelley sold Silver Linings and prepared for a new adventure.  There, she began work as the Executive Director for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Hong Kong branch, hosting Canadian officials on their visits to China. 

Due to strict Chinese rules, her beloved dog, Joey, was quarantined for six months when they arrived in the country.  The poor food fed to the animals motivated Shelley and Brian to begin flying in bags of Iams® dog food from a distributor in Singapore, which led to the couple’s next entrepreneurial adventure: an Iams distributorship.  With the way their little side business was growing, the couple developed a distribution agreement with Iams, and Shelley decided to devote all of her energy to making the business a success and to positioning Iams as the luxury choice for Chinese pet owners. 

Shelley’s entrepreneurial drive has helped the couple continue their success in the pet product market, from their Oregon/Washington Iams distributorship to their current company, Castor & Pollux Pet Works.  With her innovative thinking and dedication to see a business reach its ultimate potential, it’s no wonder this mom of three can lead her kids’ PTA organization to award-winning status while also running her own successful business!

Alex Moskvin
VP and Founder – BrandEmotions/ International Flavors and Fragrances

Alex Moskvin has over 25 years of experience in various senior marketing positions in Australia, the UK, Holland and the United States. For the past seven years, he has been working for International Flavors & Fragrances in their headquarters in New York City.  IFF is a global leader in the creation of flavors and fragrances and has worked with many well known national and international brand names. He is the VP and founder of BrandEmotions, IFF's unique, in-house boutique agency.  Alex is a passionate advocate of emotional branding and champions a 'right brain' approach to brand, product and consumer development.

Laurie Demeritt
President & COO – The Hartman Group

As President, Laurie Demeritt is responsible for the quantitative and qualitative market research and client service departments.  She also acts as the team lead on all consulting projects, including brand development strategies, retail services and new product market analysis.  Laurie was instrumental in developing unique systems for understanding consumer behavior and motivation as well as assisting in the creation of Hartman Interactive.  Laurie frequently participates as a speaker at industry events and directs much of her time to business development.  Prior to joining The Hartman Group, Laurie worked in Europe as an environmental consultant and in Canada as a marketing coordinator.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Cornell University and an MBA in Marketing and Environmental Management from the University of Washington.

Paul Anthony
Founder and “Big Fish” – Rumblefish

A musician, producer and pioneer in the field of music-based branding and marketing, Paul Anthony founded Rumblefish ten years ago after recognizing how the right music forges powerful emotional connections for both creative projects and companies.  His vision for Rumblefish was to help companies express their personalities and reach their audiences on a more human level through innovative, music-focused marketing campaigns.  Simultaneously, Paul recognized that in today’s fast-paced world of business, easy access to music is key to making projects successful and challenged Rumblefish to reinvent music licensing.  Often featured in media such as Billboard, The Wall Street Journal, MTV and CNN, Paul is a passionate champion for music and is also driven by a desire to help independent artists make a good living making and licensing great music

Gwynne Rogers
LOHAS Business Director – The Natural Marketing Institute

Gwynne's specialty, strategic analysis and planning for LOHAS related companies, evolves from her Masters in Environmental Management and MBA from Duke University. She brings five years of specific experience in environmental marketing where she served various companies such as Pitney Bowes, Advanced Coal Technologies, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Dave Howitt
Co-President and Founder – The Meriwether Group

David Howitt brings a deep expertise in building brands, communications, infrastructure, distribution, sales and marketing strategies to his clients.  Prior to founding The Meriwether Group, David played several roles at adidas America, including Corporate Council and Director of Licensing and Business Development for.  Before his time at adidas, David was an attorney in private practice with the law firm of Schwabe, Williamson and Wyatt.  He earned his BA from Denison University and his JD from Lewis & Clarke Northwestern School of Law.

Heather Howitt
Founder – Oregon Chai

Heather Howitt discovered Chai while trekking in the Himalayas, and brewed the first batch of Oregon Chai in her own kitchen in 1994.  She grew the company to 35 employees and distribution in all 50 states, Canada and Europe.  Since selling Oregon Chai, Heather sits on the Board of Advisors for several natural products companies and investment funds.  She also serves as the Director of Natural Products for The Meriwether Group.

Collin Dunn
Blogger –

Collin Dunn is a sustainability enthusiast based in Seattle, WA. He really digs modern design, music and pop culture, and believes that they all have a place in our greener world and are great ways to engage a mainstream audience in a greener lifestyle. At TreeHugger, he most often writes about ideas and products that can help us all be a little greener and live a little better without sacrificing looks, design and personal style. He figures if we’re going to change the world, we might as well like the way things look while doing it.

Collin’s sustainable heroes include the Eames brothers, Rogan Gregory, and Bill McDonough; they’ve all helped show the world that green can be hip, cool and sexy. When it comes to apparel, he believes that organic cotton feels better; with food, he thinks that there’s nothing like fresh basil from your local farmer’s market, and that organic food tastes better when you prepare it yourself. He believes in human ingenuity and the power of positive thinking, that the democratic process works when everyone engages in it, and that we should all vote with our dollars. He doesn’t think there is any reason to take ourselves too seriously all of the time. He knows that no one is perfect, and that’s okay.

When he isn’t blogging about these ideas, Collin daydreams of a sustainable future while feasting on indie rock and sipping java from independent coffee shops. He makes a mean paella, prefers pinot noir from the Willamette Valley and doesn’t mind walking in the rain. Collin believes everyone can do something every single day to make the world a better place.

Ami Kealoha
Managing Editor –

Born on a raspberry farm in Northern California, Ami worked at ReadyMade Magazine before moving to New York, where she freelanced for New York magazine and Time Out, among others. Now Cool Hunting’s managing editor, between hunting the cool and producing Cool Hunting Video with M ss ng P eces, she’s rarely bored. A sometime consultant to artists and curators, she has also run successful promotional campaigns for such clients as Marithé and François Girbaud, Reflex Advertising, Formavision Curating House, and Greenwich Letterpress.

Theresa Marquez
Chief Marketing Officer – CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley Family of Farms®

Theresa Marquez has been involved in food and farming since the mid 1970s, wearing a variety of hats throughout the past 30 years.  Her current job is Chief Marketing Executive for the largest organic farmers’ cooperative in the United States, CROPP Cooperative, and its brand, Organic Valley Family of Farms®.  CROPP consists of over 900 small and mid-size family farmers. The Cooperative markets over 200 certified organic products including; milk, soy, cheese, butter, cultured products, eggs, produce, and meat.   Theresa joined the Cooperative in 1995 and has helped to grow the business from $5 million to $355 million in 2006. 

Theresa serves on the Board of Directors of the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and The Organic Center for Promotion & Education, a non-profit organization dedicated to proving the benefits of organics.  In addition, Theresa has been a guest speaker at numerous events and conferences and pioneered the Food Alliance eco label.  She is currently working hard to start a new national tradition – The Earth Dinner.

Tracy Miedema
National Sales & Marketing Manager – Stahlbush Island Farms

Tracy Miedema is currently the National Sales & Marketing Manager for Stahlbush Island Farms, a thriving 4000 acre farm and food processor in

Oregon's Willamette Valley that produces both Oregon Tilth Certified Organic and Food Alliance Certified Sustainable fruits and vegetables. Tracy interacts daily with the natural products supply chain from the farm to the consumers of the company's 2 brands, Stahlbush Island Farms and Farmer's Market Foods. She has served as adjunct faculty at Western Washington University, creating and teaching a Green Marketing unit and also teaching Consumer Behavior. Her graduate research focused on knowledge management in the organic foods industry. While at Small Planet Foods, Tracy created an organic learning center for employees, retailers, and consumers.

She has also served as Food Policy Advocate for the Oregon Consumers' League and most recently was appointed by USDA to the National Organic Standards Board.

Tal Johnson
Founder – Adventure Funds

Tal Johnson has a unique combination of experience as an operator and investor. Prior to founding Adventure Funds in 2007, Tal spent a decade as CEO/President of Tazo Tea. He led a team that grew Tazo from early stage operations into a national premium tea brand. Prior to joining Tazo, Tal worked in private equity as an Endeavour Capital associate. He was part of a team that worked on investments in radio (Deschutes River Broadcasting), building products (Lone Star Plywood & Door), manufacturing (Michael�s of Oregon, Umpqua Feather Merchants) and beverage distribution (Columbia Distributing). Johnson graduated from Harvard and hold an MBA from Stanford Business School.

Jay Friedman
Attorney – Covington & Burling LLP

WJF is a former vice-chair of the National Organic Standards Board and currently practices law at Covington & Burling LLP, where he oversees the largest organic products practice in the U.S. He has been involved in most of the major federal organic policy issues since the program began in 2002. He will talk about the legal environment for organic claims and what the policy trends are in Washington as well as the rest of the organic world.

Gary Hirsch
Co-Founder – On Your Feet

Gary is the co-founder of On Your Feet (OYF), and has led programs with Nike, Warner Bros., FedEx, Intel, Saatchi & Saatchi, Mattel, and many others. He has been teaching and performing professional improv for 15 years. He has presented and taught at numerous iimprov festivals, and marketing related conferences. He is an adjunct instructor in the School of Business Administration, Portland State University. He is also a voracious doodler, illustrator and painter. (

Julie Sheldon Huffaker
Partner – On Your Feet

A cultural anthropologist with an MBA, Julie fell into business completely by accident. It began as a passionate affair with coffee rituals; Julie was part of the brand team driving experiential marketing at Starbucks in the early '90s, and then helped companies like Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard discover what the heck people in developing economies thought about new technology. As a partner in boutique consultancy On Your Feet, Julie now focuses on the place where business and the human spirit come together--namely, helping leaders and teams with communication, creativity and change. Julie is an insatiable traveler, a humble yoga practitioner, and a wannabe bike commuter. She finds human beings endlessly fascinating and, frankly, really quite extraordinary.

Katja Asaro
CMP, Managing Director – Henry V

As Managing Director for Henry V, Katja's key priorities include enhancing outcome-based strategic partnerships with clients, fueling new business development and continuing to build the company's core offerings in the area of consumer marketing, internal branding, B2B marketing and public events. Katja's 17-year career has been devoted to the live events industry and encompasses large scale live events including multiple city road shows, international product launches and sales meetings, and even the 2001 International Techno Music Awards. She is a passionate spokesperson for Henry V, a communications agency specializing in live events and experience marketing, whose clients include adidas, Freightliner, KEEN, RYKA, Hewlett Packard, The North Face, Spyder, Microsoft, Dr. Martens and a major microprocessor manufacturer.

Joshua Onysko
Founder & CEO

It was Pangea founder and CEO Joshua Onysko’s personal devotion and commitment to inspiring social sustainability that sparked the inception of Pangea Organics five years ago. He devised the selling of the highest quality organic, personal care products as a means to an even greater end. After seven years of traveling to the likes of India, Nepal, and Tibet, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Thailand, Onysko had an epiphany: He realized that corporations were inheriting the earth and that by leading by example there was potential to influence others to reconsider their ways. He up and moved to Boulder, Colorado, landed a job as a baker at Whole Foods, and made soap in his garage at night. Pangea Organics is now the largest cold-processed organic soap manufacturer in the US. In addition to bar soap, the line also includes liquid hand soap, hand and body lotion, shower gel, facial cleanser, facial toner, and facial cream. Throughout Pangea's growth, from its inception in 2001, Onysko, 29, has retained private ownership of his company, never straying from its vision: Ecocentric bodycare; always beneficial, never artificial. Onysko remains committed to creating products that are always organic, nurturing, handcrafted, fair-trade (whenever possible) and cruelty-free. These efforts were recognized at Natural Products Expo East ’05, where Pangea was awarded “Best New Green/Environmentally Friendly Product of 2006.”
Produced by: Maxwell PR. 503.231.5086