2018 Speakers

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Bill Kennedy - President | Kennedy Communications Ltd.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Bill began his career in communications as a Research Editor at his alma mater.  While there he edited research reports and did some of his own research and published two research articles on word use in juried publications. Then Bill “got milk” as the communications director of the American Dairy Association of Wisconsin and followed that up with a position at a large advertising agency in 1981. As part of onboarding at the agency, he attended a conference on market research where he got his first epiphany of how his research background could mesh with the world of advertising.  His real education in advertising was beginning.

He was assigned to work on the Culligan Dealers account for the Madison and LaCrosse markets.  There he learned the power of a brand, and began using branding principals for all his clients. Research informed brand development but serious ad men soon learn from Mcluhan that the medium is the message.  Bill was assigned the role of media director as well as his account duties and he developed the third pillar of his understanding of advertising, media channels.

In 1983 he founded Kennedy Communications.  He currently and has worked on accounts as varied as Pizza Hut, Pepsi, Cost Cutters Hair, Car X Auto and over 200 political campaigns.

Awards, recognition and business success has followed.  Since then Bill has been elected president of the Madison Advertising Federation, twice, been named Dane County’s Small Business of the Year and the Wisconsin Small Business of the Year; named winner of the American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award and serves on three foundation boards and two business councils. 


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Armida Markarova - Founder & Chief Strategist | Marketing Strategy Hub

Armida Markarova is an award winning Brand and Marketing Strategist who partners with companies to help them turn their marketing dollars into business outcomes that matter. As the Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Marketing Strategy Hub, Armida and her team are focused on making sure that their clients stay on top and ahead of marketing trends by providing them with strategic marketing plans and educational workshops that help them acquire new customers and keep more of the ones they’ve already got.

With over 15 years of experience in marketing, Armida Markarova is one of the pioneer digital marketing strategists generating results and driving value for companies when Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn didn’t even exist.

Armida’s approach to digital marketing is deeply rooted in understanding of the customer’s journey to purchase vs. just the final step of selling.

Armida is a strong believer in data driven marketing and storytelling. She uses analytics and data to drive her recommendations for her clients, which have proven to increase ROI and deliver desired business outcomes.


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Margaret Weber - SEO Expert  | Wpromote

Margaret Weber graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism, majoring in Advertising and Public Relations. While in school, she worked as a B2B Marketing Intern for Starwood Hotels, which initiated her interest within the digital marketing space. In addition to her degree, her internship experience within the hospitality industry helped her land her first job working at an agency in Chicago managing SEO campaigns for hotel websites. This was an exciting experience for her as she was able to work with well known brands such as Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, Hilton and more.

After two years working exclusively in hospitality, Margaret moved onto a new role at her current agency, Wpromote to grow her experience into other vertices. As an SEO expert, Margaret works with her clients to leverage the latest on-page search engine optimization techniques to increase organic website traffic, backlinks, keyword rankings, revenue, leads, and more.


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Art Aiello - Marketing Communications and Public Relations | Generac Power Systems
 

Art Aiello has been focused on marketing communications and public relations for his nearly 30-year career. As senior public relations and marketing communications manager at Generac Power Systems in Waukesha, he and his team are is responsible for media relations, social media, responding to online product reviews and questions across a variety of platforms and providing external communication counsel and support to stakeholders across the organization.

Aiello also has experience in trade publishing, having spent two years as managing editor for Diesel Progress magazine — an experience he believes makes him a better PR professional. Aiello earned his undergraduate degree in technical communication from Michigan Technological University and a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Kent State University.


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Allie Johnson - Junior Art Director | Geometry Global 

Allie Johnson is a 2017 UW-Whitewater alum graduating with a double major in advertising and graphic design. Post graduation, Allie interned at the global communications marketing firm, Edelman Chicago, where she worked on several reputable accounts such as Barilla, Bush’s Beans, Wrigley and Kellogg’s. This experience led to a Junior Art Director position at Geometry Global, a shopper-marketing agency rooted in brand activation. Allie is currently on the Unilever account at Geometry Chicago working on numerous brands such as Dove, Tresemme, Axe and Nexxus.


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Rochelle Mitchell - Vice President/Marketing Director | PremierBank

Rochelle Mitchell is a 1991 UW-Whitewater alum graduating with a major in Communications – Public Relations and a minor in Marketing.  For the past 18 years, Rochelle has successfully managed all of PremierBank’s marketing, advertising and public relations initiatives.  During her tenure, PremierBank has grown over $250 million in assets (currently $427 mil), and from six locations in Jefferson County, to ten locations in Jefferson, Rock and Walworth Counties. 

The most recent acquisition occurred this past October when PremierBank purchased another long standing community financial institution, Commercial Bank, located here in Whitewater.  Prior to joining PremierBank, Rochelle was Marketing Director for two area automotive dealerships.  That industry was booming in the 1990’s and she was responsible for advertising not only in their local market, but the Madison and Milwaukee markets as well.  Rochelle also has experience in managing relationships with several Wisconsin advertising agencies. She knows the importance of, and loves to collaborate with talented, creative individuals!