Sarah Lee is the Director of Marketing & Communications for award-winning company Greenleaf Hospitality Group and a social media strategist. In her role she directs and manages the marketing initiatives with her team for the various restaurants, retail, hotels and Wings Stadium marketing efforts. Previously she served as the director of communications for the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce. In addition, she founded two social media groups called TweetUp Kalamazoo and Foursquare Kalamazoo. Visit http://about.me/SarahLWLee to learn more about her or follow her on Twitter at @SarahLWLee to start a conversation.
Jen Eyer has been building online communities for more than a decade. As a news producer for MLive.com in the early 2000s, she managed the company’s first reader forums, and later helped pioneer comments on blogs on MLive. She moved into the realm of audience engagement on AnnArbor.com, using statistics to maximize the reach of digital content, creating online communities around certain topics, and developing ways to maintain civility in online discussions.
Penny Weller brings a wealth of experience in performance insights related to global business services, benchmarking, and service delivery; including outsourcing and captive models. Penny works directly with senior leadership of 100+ companies to provide insights, research, and guidance toward World-class operational performance. She is an active member of the IMA and has served as National Vice President, Michigan Council President, Kalamazoo Chapter President and remains active in her chapter and the Michigan Council.
Matt Hampel has worked with nonprofits, newspapers, universities, and other organizations to build tools for the public good. Before founding LocalData, he was a Code for America Fellow at the City of Detroit. His team made public information more public and helped residents engage with the city through technology. Previously, he worked as a technology project manager at the University of Michigan.
Ethan Alexander is the Executive Director of the Open Roads Bike Program, an emerging non-profit organization. With a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, Ethan has over 10 years of experience in child and family therapy. He has worked in home-based programs, day treatment facilities, as well as residential and in-patience psychiatric programs. He also is a Positive Behavior Support Specialist at Kalamazoo Regional Educational Services Agency (KRESA). He specializes in classroom management training. Ethan has also worked extensively in training and coaching in non-structured school areas such as playgrounds and cafeterias. Ethan lives with (and is eternally grateful for) his wife, Maura, and their two boys, Otis and Murphy in the magical town of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Dr. Charles Severance is an early pioneer in massive online open courses and open-source software. The associate professor at the University of Michigan teaches the history of the internet on the cutting-edge Coursera teaching platform to students around the world. His first free Coursera class was attended by 56,000 students online. He is also the former Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation, a community of educators collaborating to create open software that advances teaching, learning, and research. He has the software logo tattooed on his arm.
Severance is the editor of the Computing Conversations column in IEEE Computer magazine that features a monthly article and video interview of a computing pioneer. He has authored several books.
Danny Ellis, a 25-year-old native of Portage, isn’t allowed to sell the autonomous aerial vehicles, or flying drones, he creates yet, but his company is on track to be among the first market players when — and if — permissible legislation passes. Ellis, CEO of SkySpecs, joined forces with the University of Michigan professors he met on his first day of college to develop a company that has raised more than $100,000 in grants and competitions awards since its conception in 2011. The company is essentially the continuation of his senior design project and now employs more than a dozen people. Ellis is currently working with legislators in Washington, D.C., to be able to launch his company, which will manufacture and sell small, easy-to-use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Ellis believes the products provide a more accurate method for inspections for certain industries, such as railroads or wind turbines. He says UAVs will improve public safety and cut inspection costs, despite a growing distrust of drones among the public due to privacy concerns.