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Sean Lee - Pure Romance, Vice President of Digital Marketing

Sean is a Cincinnati native and the Vice President of Digital Marketing at Pure Romance, a $200M relationship enhancement and bath/body company. Sean received his undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Cincinnati and his MBA from Xavier University. Before Pure Romance, he had Eight years of versatile and proven Brand Management leadership experience at P&G. Sean led strategy and marketing plans for Iams Pet Food and Old Spice during his first four years at P&G. Then he led the digital web presence strategy across all Brands for the company as the first digital platforms and innovation Brand Manager. Most recently, he co-founded the Digitally Native Zevo Brand at P&G. Zevo is a safe and effective insect control brand that sells direct. Sean has also dabbled in entrepreneurship on his own by founding an e-commerce novelty retail company that he grew profitably for three years. In his free time, Sean is active in the local community. He sits on the Board of the Southwest Ohio Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and he co-chairs the JDRF Emerging Leaders Council.

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Pete Blackshaw - Nestle, Global Head Digital & Social Media

Pete Blackshaw, whose professional background encompasses public policy, digital marketing, and brand management, is the new Global Head of Digital Marketing and Social Media for Nestlé S.A., based Vevey, Switzerland since March 2011.Most recently, he served as former CMO of NM Incite, a recent joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey centering around enterprise social media strategy and insights. He is author of a recent book by Doubleday entitled “Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000: Running a Business in Today’s Consumer-Driven World,” and writes a regular column in Advertising Age centered around the book’s themes.Pete founded PlanetFeedback.com, co-founded the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), and served as Chairman of the Board of the National Council of Better Business Bureau and a member of the National Advertising Review Council. He’s a 2010 Grand Prize winner of the “Great Minds” award from the Advertising Research Foundation. Pete is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Wendy Lea - Cintrifuse, CEO

Wendy Lea is CEO of Cintrifuse, a public private partnership designed to build a tech-based economy in the Greater Cincinnati Region. In collaboration with its founding members, P&G, EY and The City of Cincinnati, Cintrifuse assists the global organizations in the Region access innovation and talent through the development of a vibrant startup ecosystem. Her dedication for innovation and business building, has lead her to serve on the boards of Techstars and Xyleme, both headquartered in Boulder, Colorado.

With a deep passion for entrepreneurship, Wendy is an angel investor and advisor to a number of startups in California, Colorado and Ohio. A entrepreneur at heart, she is a dedicated mentor to the Techstars Accelerator Network and most recently at The Brandery, UpTech and Ocean in the Cincinnati Region.

As an executive and co-founder of The Sales Consultancy (acquired by OnTarget in 1998; OnTarget acquired by Siebel Systems in 1999), Wendy consulted with global technology organizations in the design and implementation of their channel and alliances strategies, delivering engagements for Oracle, HP, IBM, Microsoft and Cisco in over 30 countries. Over the past decade, she’s applied her experience and knowledge to private boards as well as operating high growth venture-backed startups. Prior to her role at Cintrifuse, she served as CEO and the Executive Chairman at Get Satisfaction in San Francisco.

Wendy is a member of the Committee of 200, Cincinnati Women’s Executive Forum and The Women’s Capital Club. She serves on the board of The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, The Health Collaborative in Cincinnati and Techstars in Boulder, Colorado. She has been honored as a Women of Influence in both Silicon Valley and San Francisco. She has deep southern roots and graduated, cum laude in Business, from The University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi.

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Brett Stover - Saatchi & Saatchi X, Strategy and Insights Officer

Brett is a global executive leader and advisor in omni-channel shopper marketing, one of the fastest-growing, in-demand segments of marketing today. As one of the world’s acknowledged authorities in omni-channel shopper marketing and insight identification and application, Brett has helped clients in more than 175 organizations and 27 countries deliver outstanding and sustainable business results.

Brett has lived in Geneva, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York, and Cincinnati, giving him valuable firsthand knowledge of consumers, shoppers, and retailers around the world.

Brett graduated from Miami in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a minor in Arts Administration.

Brett is serving or has served, on the boards of Miami University Farmer School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council, Dean’s Advisory Council University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Opera America, Chorus America, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s May Festival, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Ballet, Taft Museum of Art, and Contemporary Arts Center.

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Dan Rajczak - totes ISOTONER, CEO

Dan Rajczak is currently President and Chief Executive Officer for the totes-Isotoner Corporation, a Cincinnati-based company that is the world leader in branded, functional accessories for rain, cold weather and footwear products. Before joining totes-Isotoner, Dan most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer for the Shaklee Corporation, a leader in natural nutritional health products. Prior to Shaklee, he spent 26 years at Procter & Gamble, progressing through roles in R&D, Marketing and General Management. Dan ran P&G’s Household business in Japan, he later led the company’s Corporate New Business and Innovation group and, finally, was Senior Vice President overseeing P&G’s global Pet Care and Snacks businesses. Dan has his degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

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Tony Blankemeyer - 84.51˚, Head of Partnerships

Tony Blankemeyer drives business growth and acceleration by building strategic connections between people, companies and ideas. Blankemeyer leverages his diverse experience across high growth technology companies and global agencies to lead these efforts. Blankemeyer cultivates customer strategy and activation through partnership. Also serving as the Startup Liaison, Tony infuses innovation through their Startups in Residence program and strategic investments. 84.51° is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Company.

Prior to 84.51°, Blankemeyer served as Director of Strategy & Marketing at the venture-backed company, Zipscene. During his tenure Blankemeyer functioned as a strategist for some of the world’s largest restaurant brands, and led brand communications as the company tripled in size.

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Brian Powell - CompleteSet, CTO

Brian Powell has spent more than 10 years building companies around solutions in emerging device and technology markets. His technology leadership and development experience ranges from interactive television to mobile applications to big data/cloud solutions. As the CTO of CompleteSet, he leads a team of talented developers on the quest to overhaul the way people find, exchange, and value collectables.

Prior to CompleteSet, Brian served as the CTO of Strap (Brandery 2014), VP of Engineering for Ensequence, founded Devici and Inset Solutions, and managed competitive intelligence for Maritz. He is a mentor and advisor for Atumsoft (Brandery 2016), ButterflyHub, and Wyzerr (Brandery 2015). He utilizes his love of building technology and businesses to help early-stage companies approach their technology solutions in ways the expedite their time-to-market while anticipating scale. He was named AngelHack’s “2015 Global Mentor of the Year.” Brian holds a Masters in Software Engineering from California State University Fullerton and a BSBA in Marketing and International Business from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Shashank Saxena - Kroger, Director of Digital & eCommerce

Shashank is currently serving as the Sr. Director for Strategy Development and Integration at The Kroger Co. As part of this role he manages the Web, Mobile, Tablet, Kiosk/in-store and shared service app development teams.

Prior to joining The Kroger Co., Shashank was at Citigroup where he led the Strategy and Planning function for the Global Mobile Banking line of business. Prior to that, Shashank was part of the Project Management Office (PMO) at Citi where he successfully led multiple Internet and Mobile programs. He was responsible for managing the Google Wallet, Mobile Check Deposit, Mobile P2P payments, Latin American Mobile banking and multiple other programs for Citibank. He was one of the founding members of the Global Mobile Center of Excellence (CoE) at Citi.

Prior to this four year stint with Citi, Shashank worked at Uptown Consortium, Dell Computers and Target Corp. He has an MBA in Finance and an MS in Information Systems from the University of Cincinnati.

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Christina Bechhold - Samsung NEXT Ventures, Principal

Christina Bechhold is a Principal at Samsung NEXT Ventures, based in New York, focused on early stage investments in software and services, particularly in mobility, IoT and fintech. She is also Co-Founder and Managing Director of Empire Angels, a member led angel group of young professionals investing in technology startups with a focus on supporting young entrepreneurs. Christina is a Regular Contributor for the Wall Street Journal on startups and small business, a columnist for Inc.com, a mentor at The Brandery and Venture for America and a member of VFA’s Rise Committee focused on increasing diversity in entrepreneurship. She is a frequent speaker and panelist at events in the U.S., Europe and Asia, a TEDx speaker, and was recognized by the New York Business Journal as a 2016 Woman of Influence.

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Marvin Abrinica - Thrivera, CEO

Marvin is a leadership trainer, entrepreneur, & advisor to many companies. He is the CEO of Thrivera, a digital agency that helps companies create a story to brand, fund, & grow. Previously, Marvin spent 18 years with Procter & Gamble in Brand Management, Sourcing, and HR.

He was a corporate trainer with P&G’s Leadership Academy teaching the art of strategy, branding, and effective communication. “I’m the son of two Asian immigrants who struggled with English. So, I grew up helping them get their voices heard, and that’s where I found my mission to help others find their voices too.”​

Marvin is a two-time TEDx speaker, and now gives talks at conferences, accelerators, incubators, & universities sharing his secrets to Brand Storytelling. He’s also a leading advocate for Cincinnati’s growing startup economy, and mentors for accelerators like the Brandery and 500 Startups.

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