October 2, 2014Chicago, IL


Content Jam is a one-day conference on October 2, 2014. Experts in content strategy and creation, SEO, analytics, promotion, and marketing automation will share their smartest tools and techniques. You’ll learn how to create, manage, promote, share, and measure your content marketing efforts.

Scroll down to see the list of speakers from last year, or check back in a few weeks for updates.

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Listen up, y'all.

Web Strategist and Co-Founder of Orbit Media Studios

Andy Crestodina


Andy Crestodina is a co-founder and the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, an award-winning 35-person web design company in Chicago. 

Andy loves this stuff. It’s fun to translate complex content marketing tactics into simple, practical content marketing advice that anyone can understand.

Andy writes Orbit’s beloved, bi-weekly marketing newsletter. He's also the author of Content Chemistry a handbook for content marketing and he’s written hundreds articles for many of the top sites in the industry.

Writing is nice, but face-to-face is better. Andy teaches and speaks at conferences around the country on topics including content strategy, Analytics, social media, SEO and email marketing. He’s also provided web strategy and advice to more than 1000 businesses in Chicago and around the country.

Art and science. The best web marketing is a combination of both. Style and substance. The best teachers combine them. It’s that clarity and passion that Andy hopes to bring to every conversation.

Owner, StoryStudio Chicago

Jill Pollack


Jill Pollack is the founder and director of StoryStudio Chicago, overseeing writing and storytelling training for more than 1,200 students each year. She is a presenter on using stories in our personal and professionals lives and was again included in the Newcity Lit Top 50 list of literary leaders in Chicago. 

As an award-winning communications consultant, writer, and editor, Jill has helped Fortune 1000 companies, higher education institutions, and not-for-profits take advantage of changing technology to deepen their connections to customers, employees, and other stakeholders.

Principal, Mightybytes

Tim Frick


Tim is the owner of Mightybytes, a web design and digital marketing company located in Chicago. Mightybytes is a full service creative firm for conscious companies and an Illinois B Corp to boot.

Tim is the author of several books on media and marketing, including "Return on Engagement: Content, Strategy and Design Techniques for Digital Marketing" from Focal Press and "Managing Interactive Media Projects," an interactive media process guide from Delmar-Cengage Learning.

Tim’s books are used at higher learning institutions across the U.S. and Europe, including Johns Hopkins University, the Art Institutes, and Full Sail University, among others. He regularly presents at conferences, offering workshops on various aspects of marketing, digital media, social responsibility, and entrepreneurship.

Tim has contributed to a variety of publications, including Spin Sucks, Marketing Profs, and Business Insider. He also sits on the board of Climate Ride, a national charity bike ride for sustainable solutions, as well as the advisory council for Eco-Andersonville.

Founder/CEO, Arment Dietrich

Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communication firm. She also is the founder of the professional development site for PR and marketing pros, Spin Sucks Pro, and co-author of Marketing In the Round

Gini is the author of the PR and marketing blogSpin Sucks, which is a 2012 Cision Top 100 Blog, the 2010 and 2011 Readers Choice Blog of the Year, a Top 42 Content Marketing Blog from Junta42, a top 10 social media blog from Social Media Examiner, and an AdAge Power 150 blog. And she is co-host of Inside PR, a weekly podcast about communications, social media, and where they all meet and intersect. 

She delivers numerous keynotes, panel discussions, coaching sessions, and workshops across North America and Europe on the subject of using online technology in communication, marketing, sales, and HR.

Marketing Scientist, Moz

DR. Pete Meyers

“Dr. Pete” Meyers is Marketing Scientist for Moz, where he works with the marketing and data science teams on product research and data-driven content. He has spent the past year building research tools to monitor Google, including the MozCast Project, and he curates the Google Algorithm History, a chronicle of Google updates back to 2003.
Dr. Pete is a cognitive psychologist and computer scientist by training. He spent eight years building a web-based event start-up (eventually as Executive VP) before starting his own SEO and CRO consultancy. After chronic indigestion from a steady diet of Alta Vista keyword stuffing led him to flee SEO in the late 90s, he fell back into the community in 2006 and joined Moz full-time in 2012.


Founder, SquarePlanet

Brian Burkhart

Brian believes nothing in business is more powerful than communications. It’s the backbone of every industry and operation. Based on principles found in science and psychology, Brian and his team at SquarePlanet Presentations & Strategy help individuals and organizations connect with audiences at a deeper level, with real authenticity, to drive growth.
Brian’s method may seem simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. Weaving together elements of social interaction, storytelling, and cognitive theory, Brian challenges the norm by raising ”the ugly truth”– that most of the time we miss the opportunity to connect when we communicate. Through his keynote speeches and workshops, he will challenge your thought process and strategy while providing a fool-proof method for effective communications.
The founder and principle force behind SquarePlanet, Brian is also an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University’s NUvention program through the Farley Center for Entreprenuership & Innovation.
Active in the midwest’s exploding entrepreneur culture, Brian provides content development and presentations skills seminars to technology start-ups every month at Chicago’s Technori pitch competition and regularly coaches TED speakers across the globe. Additionally, he’s very proud to be the highest-rated faculty member of the prestigious Junto Institute of Entrepreneurship. 
Brian and his wife Shawna live in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood where the commute to SquarePlanet’s River North office is no more than an 8 minute bike ride, weather permitting of course. 
President, The Founding Moms

Jill Salzman

Jill Salzman is currently growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, the world’s first and only kid-friendly collective of offline meetups and online resources for mom entrepreneurs that was just named a  Top 10 Website for Women Entrepreneurs in 2013 by Forbes. She recently launched her fourth, The Founding Kit, which helps startups get started. 
A graduate of Brown University and law school, she started a music management firm and then launched a baby jewelry company before creating her current venture. Jill has been featured in national media outlets including People Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Daily Candy Kids, NBC5 and WGN TV. She is the author of Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs, one of the Best Chicago Marketing Speakers in 2014 (according to Orbit Media Studios,) a co-host of the entertaining business podcast, Breaking Down Your Businesshost of the Tip Top Tips for Entrepreneurs video series, gave her own TED talk on 11/11/11, and most recently was dubbed a “mommy mogul” by CNNMoney. In her spare time, Jill enjoys kloofing, baking, and erasing her daughters’ crayon artwork from the kitchen walls.
Founder, LightSpanDigital

Mana Ionescu


Mana Ionescu believes in purpose and storytelling as the keys to digital marketing success. Mana is the founder of Lightspan Digital where her team focuses on driving traffic to clients’ websites and building profitable connections through social media and content marketing.

From Techweek to CES, from Social Media Week to MPI TechCon, from 312Digital to DePaul University, Mana took the stage over 40 times in the past 2 years, busting social media myths and showing measurable results are possible.

Mana is a passionate SCUBA diver and opera lover and a … wannabe runner who took up half marathons a couple years ago. She was born and raised in communist Romania by her grandparents and lived in Bulgaria before moving to the United States. She is slowly forgetting four of the five languages she once spoke.

Digital Marketing Director, Sears Parts Direct

Sean McGinnis

By day, Sean McGinnis pulls double duty as the marketing team lead at Sears PartsDirect and the paid search & organic search lead for 7 different lines of business at Sears Home Services and Home Appliances. By night, he runs 312 Digital, a boutique web development and SEO agency based in the Chicago suburbs that serves the digital marketing needs of small and mid-sized businesses throughout the Midwest.
Sean is an actor and lawyer by training, and a digital marketer by instinct and experience. He launched his first web site (DVD Verdict) in April 1999 and has managed large and small SEO & PPC teams and served as General Manager of an online learning business. Recently, Sean served as an Adjunct Professer at Elmhurst College where he taught an MBA class on Social Media.
Principal, Anchor Advisors

Brad Farris


As principal advisor at Anchor Advisors, Ltd, Brad Farris guides business owners through the pitfalls and joys of growing their business. Brad is a speaker and author, co-host of the Breaking Down Your Business podcast, and also heads EnMast.com, an online business owner community. Brad is passionate about business and helping business owners find better ways to do things, make more money and enjoy life more.

Speaker/Author/Coach, Jeffkorhan.com

Jeff Korhan


Jeff Korhan, MBA, is a sales and marketing expert, and the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business.

Korhan was a Fortune 50 Sales and Marketing Executive for the first decade of his career. He then founded a landscape services company that was twice named Small Business of the Year during its two decades of operation, with predigital content marketing contributing to that success.

Jeff now helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional sales and marketing practices to a digital, social, and global business environment. He is a trainer and coach for small businesses, and a keynote speaker for the associations and member organizations that support them.

Korhan is a syndicated publisher and regular content contributor to leading business publications, with his own New Media and Small Business Marketing site ranking among the Top 100 Small Business blogs in the world.

He lives in suburban Chicago, IL

Digital Strategist, TMP Worldwide

James Ellis


These are some of the James Ellises on Google: Fitness model, Irish stage actor, Four-star US Navy Admiral, British cryptographer, Dean of USC Business School, British stationary store, Mayor of Ottowa, Australian politician, and Co-Inventor of the Usenet. This James Ellis is not them. He is taller and knows Google Analytics.

Digital strategy is what I've been doing for more than ten years under a variety of job titles.

Specialties: Digital Channel Strategy and Content Marketing Strategy. Also: Web Marketing and Promotion, Brand Development and Repositioning, Web Analytics, Social Networking/Emergent Web Technology, Online Media Buying (SEO/SEM/PPC), Presentations, Training, and Metaphor Creation.

President, Riverside Marketing Strategies

Heidi Cohen


As president of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an actionable marketing consultancy, Heidi Cohen has over 20 years of experience simplifying the complex concepts behind evolving marketing challenges.

Heidi has held senior-level marketing positions at global businesses including The Economist, Bertelsmann/Bookspan and Citibank.

She has taught university-level marketing at New York University, Rutgers and CUNY. Additionally, she develops and delivers both online and corporate training.

Since 2004 Heidi has written for several marketing publications including a regular ClickZ column. Her blog, Actionable Marketing Guide, is a top ranked social media and content marketing resource.

Heidi Cohen has spoken and keynoted events in the US and globally.  Heidi has led tailored company workshops, keynotes, panel sessions, online conferences and webinars for a variety of organizations.

Director of Editorial, Digital Marketer

Russ Henneberry


Russ Henneberry is a content marketing and analytics professional.

Russ has worked in a content marketing and analytics capacity for companies like CrazyEgg, Salesforce.com and Network Solutions. He is currently Director of Editorial at Digital Marketer.

President, Argentum Strategy Group

Susan Silver


Susan Silver is President of Argentum Strategy Group, a Chicago marketing strategy consulting firm.  After spending 10 years in Brand Management at Kraft Foods and additional time running marketing for Equal Sweetener, Susan started Argentum seven years ago.

Argentum specializes in working with small to mid-sized businesses and provides clients with team members who act like a Timeshare VP of Marketing®.  Clients have ranged from Power2Switch, a technology start up to Insight Promotions, a company that has automated the process of toy insertion into cereal boxes.  

As an active mentor in the Chicagoland entrepreneurial community, Susan teaches marketing at 1871, works with students at Booth’s Polsky Center, and is a TechStars mentor.  She is also on the advisory board for GiveForward and ZipFit.  In her free time, Susan is an intrepid traveler, passionate water skier and baker of tasty cookies.

Creative Technical Director / Founder, EDUCO

Chris Mickens


Chris Mickens is the Creative Technical Director and Co-founder of EDUCO Web Design, a Chicago-based web design firm that focuses on client-empowerment and education. She’s super excited that EDUCO was named one of Sourcing Line’s Top 10 Drupal Web Design Agencies in the nation as well as one of their Top 10 Web Design Companies in Chicago in 2014.

Chris has appeared on Fox News and various radio programs to discuss developments in technology and has participated in panels at the Chicago Chamber of Commerce, Techweek Chicago, and Social Media Week. She speaks passionately about open source technology; content management systems and governance; and building and maintaining client relationships.

Chris spends her spare time marathoning Netflix series and 80’s cartoons; trying to finish an illustration every now and again; and serving as Secretary on the board of West Suburban PADS to combat homelessness in Chicago and the Western suburbs. She doesn’t tweet as much as she should. She’s working on it.




Deputy Director, New Mexico Compass

Joe Cardillo


Joe is a former product/ops guy now doing content/growth/analytics, partnerships, and comms strategy for the New Mexico Compass, as well as moonlighting for startups in content/growth/analytics.

He digs media, design, startups, data, PR/marketing, rocanroll, anything science-y, and thinking about how to become a better human. You can find Joe on TwitterGoogle+, Medium, and his personal blog.



President, the e-tailing group, inc.

Lauren Freedman


Lauren is a seasoned 20–year e-commerce veteran, author of It’s Just Shopping as well as a recognized and respected figure in omni-channel retail, She has a passion for merchandising that she has parlayed as president of the e-tailing group, evangelists for merchandising and customer service best practices. Her company’s annual mystery shopping and merchant surveys provide a comprehensive overview of cross-channel commerce, setting industry standards while simultaneously highlighting best practices.

She founded the e-tailing group in 1993 after an extensive career as a buyer/merchandiser and her company has evolved to be one of the premier ecommerce consultancies. They advise retailers on merchandising, strategy and customer experience best practices while simultaneously developing thought leadership and go-to-market strategies for top technology companies.

Lauren’s subject matter expertise coupled with her candid and charismatic style make her a sought after speaker at conferences and a go-to-resource for the press.

Chief Strategist, Compass(x) Strategy

Nancy Goldstein


Nancy Goldstein founded Compass(x) Strategy with a mission to make marketing a Force for Good. As Chief Strategist, Nancy brings 20 years of experience growing businesses of all shapes and sizes. Her specialties include: marketing strategy development, value propositions and positioning, brand communications, new product launches and business model development.

Prior to launching Compass(x) Strategy, Nancy was a Director of Consulting at Zyman Group, a boutique marketing strategy consulting firm founded by Sergio Zyman, the former CMO of Coca-Cola. While at Zyman Group, Nancy led projects for clients as varied as: beverages, not-for-profits, pet food, industrials and financial services.

Nancy honed her business building and marketing skills running some of the world’s most iconic brands, such as Pillsbury Baked Goods, Old El Paso Mexican Food and CorningWare.

Nancy earned an MBA from the Olin School at Washington University and a BA in Economics and Psychology from Tufts University.

In her free time, Nancy serves as Board Member for Climate Cycle, a Chicago non-profit whose mission is to “Inspire students to green our world.”  Please chat with her about music, film and all things Joss Whedon.


Project Manager, Mightybytes

Kate Eyler-Werve


Kate spent two years training Walmart associates throughout the United States and Canada on environmental and social sustainability. Along the way, she overhauled the structure and interface of the system Walmart used to measure the positive impact of their associate's efforts. The resulting system wound up being developed into a separate desktop product, although let's face it: it probably morphed into an app years ago!

As a project manager with Mightybytes, a web design and digital company located in Chicago, Kate ensures that her projects have goals and KPI's identified BEFORE the design and dev work is done.

Her biggest professional accomplishment is having O’Reilly Media put one of their iconic engraved animals on the cover of her book: The Civic Apps Competition Handbook. It’s a pheasant, y’all!

Founder, ONE80, LLC

Mark J. Carter


Carter started 15 years ago creating, teaching and training business networking and referral systems both online and offline. These were created through interviews with amazing people (from CEO’s and authors to multi-platinum musicians and sports figures).

The common thread? Constant curiosity and the need to discover and share genius.

Favorite projects and career highlights include: Running the book launch and tour for former CSO of Yahoo! and NY Times Bestselling Author Tim Sanders for “Today We Are Rich”, the social media campaign for Bestselling author Mark Sanborn’s launch of “Up, Down or Sideways”, events for the launch of Lou Imbriano’s (the former Chief Marketing Officer of the New England Patriots) book “Winning The Customer”  and working with Richard Saul Wurman (Founder of the TED Conferences) on 2013’s “The WWW Conference” from the planning stages through handling over 50 of the world class presenters. Carter helped refresh and relaunch Chicago’s Chapter (the world’s largest chapter) of Meeting Professionals International content marketing strategy and played a key role in creating their branding statement “Grow Your Career and Build Your Business”. 

In 2014, 15 years came together with the creation of Idea Climbing™ and EventCentric™ Marketing for events and mentoring programs.



Where the magic happens.


Columbia College Chicago

Film Row Cinema Building, 8th Floor
1104 South Wabash, Chicago, IL 60605
Get Directions › 




Time to get schooled.

Sessions at Content Jam are facilitated by industry leaders and are approximately 60 minutes long, including allotted time for attendee questions. Our sessions are separated into five tracks:

1) Strategy sessions cover the big picture: positioning, research, personas and best practices for content strategies.

2) Creation sessions are about making content: writing, visuals, storytelling and all things related to generating compelling web content.

3) Promotion sessions are about driving traffic: keywords and search, email and social media, building connected communities.

4) Conversion sessions are about getting your audience to act. Learn to convert visitors into leads, subscribers and lifetime customers.

5) Measurement sessions bring everything together into metrics. Use Analytics to continually improve; make smarter decisions with greater impact.

Attendees can attend any track they wish in any order they want. Check back for details on the specific sessions.



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Much thanks to everyone who helps us jam!

Website Design: Orbit Media Studios

Photo credit: michaelcourier.com


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