SXSW Interactive 2012 speakers

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Alyce Myatt

Dir, Media Arts, National Endowment for the Arts

Alyce Myatt is the Director of Media Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts. She previously served as the founding executive director of Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media after working as a consultant to independent media organizations and the philanthropic community. As a consultant her clients included the Center for Digital Democracy, the Council on Foundations, Free Speech TV, the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, Emerson College, TVE Brasil, the Heinz Endowments, and the Annie E. Casey and Skillman Foundations. Prior to her return to consulting, she was vice president of programming for PBS and was a program officer for media at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Over the years she has provided program development, production and planning services to a variety of clients in television, radio, and digital media. Her production credits include the Smithsonian Institution, Nickelodeon, and the ABC News magazine, "20/20."

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Asa Kalama

Sr Technical Staff, Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development Inc

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Beth Burns

Artistic Dir, The Hidden Room Theatre

The Hidden Room is a theatrical curiosity shop. We specialize in the unexpected. Our last production, an award-winning "You Wouldn't Know Her, She Lives in London," is a groundbreaking collaboration with our UK partners Look Left Look Right, linked UK and the US audiences live via Skype and engaged in interactive storytelling between the countries. Our next production is Rose Rage, Propeller's adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy. We are using actors both in Austin and in London, rehearsing via Skype, then bringing them together just before the show as a complete international team. Artistic director Beth Burns teaches improvisation and Shakespeare, and worked for LA's Groundlings Theatre for over ten years. Her last round of workshops sold out in London.

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Carl Settles

Exec Dir, Media Communications Council

Carl Settles Jr. is the founder of Media Communications Council and President,CEO of E4 Youth which takes students through the sequence of engagement, education, employment and entrepreneurship. In addition to 6 years as a science and math teacher in urban schools, Carl Settles Jr. has worked extensively in educational publishing, software development, music, interactive media and advertising as a developer, producer, and consultant for more than 15 years. Mr. Settles’ clients have included GSD&M, Dell, Liz Claiborne, Whole Foods, MPOWER Labs, Motorola, Applied Materials, Xerox, Harcourt Achieve, Walt Disney Records and a host of others. Mr. Settles has received two National American Advertising Federation Club Achievement Awards for diversity initiatives. In 2011, Mr. Settles received the SXSW Dewey Winburne Community Service Award, a proclamation from the Texas State Legislature and in 2012, he was recognized as the Capital City African American Chamber Ambassador of the Year. Recognizing the need for self-sustaining approaches to diversity, Mr. Settles, in cooperation with University of Texas at Austin Division of Diversity's Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium, is dedicated to cultivating business, educational and community infrastructure that exposes underserved populations to a vast array of career paths.

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Chris Burke

Creator/Dir, This Spartan Life

Director Chris Burke graduated from NYU Film School and went on to work on-set with directors such Robert Altman and Lucio Fulci. Working as a composer, he has scored six independent feature films and had three CDs and several digital releases of original music. In the 1990s, Chris started Bong + Dern, Inc., creating interactive audio projects for Bjork, MTV and others. In late 2004 Chris created This Spartan Life. A talk show in “game space”, This Spartan Life uses Xbox Live and the videogame Halo as its backdrop and has been lauded for its brilliant combination of traditional filmmaking with the creative, interactive possibilities of videogame technology. Guests have included Malcolm McLaren, McKenzie Wark, game designer Katie Salen, the rock band OK Go, Kurt Andersen and many others. This Spartan Life has attracted the attention of countless mainstream media outlets, including Wired Magazine, who likened it to "a mash-up of The Charlie Rose Show and Doom," The BBC, Reuters, Stuff Magazine, and BusinessWeek, and won Best Machinima Series at the 2005 and 2008 Machinima Festivals. This Spartan Life has also created exclusive online content for Spike TV’s Videogame Awards, and as well as a spin-off series for Halo Waypoint on XBox Live.

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Conor Roche

Head of Broadcast & New Media / NESTA Fellow, Roundhouse

Currently responsible for the creative use of new technologies at the Roundhouse, London and a NESTA Fellow as part of the Clore Leadership Programme.
I am particularly interested in pursuing best use of new technologies to enable creative collaboration, enable artists to reach new audiences, encourage innovation in traditional art forms, develop new business models for the arts and encourage creative led learning in education.
My main interest is in developing new work specifically for online audiences while challenging the idea that true live experiences can only exist for audiences physically in the same space as the performance.

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Craig Crossley

SVP New Media & Business Dev, Crossley Media/Smith Global Management

Craig Crossley has used his experience in and around the communications, technology, marketing, and entertainment industries to cultivate a niche expertise in New Media Business Development. Over the years he has played a role in consulting, developing and operating digital media commerce and marketing solutions for high-level entertainers, multi-media, technology, and retail companies. His work includes clients and partners such as Funimation Entertainment, Sears Holdings Corporation, Kmart, Cisco, Konami Digital Entertainment, Will Smith Enterprises, Aftermath Entertainment, Universal Music Group, TVT Records, Sanctuary Records, Olympusat Television Networks, Mixcast TV, and others… As the Vice-President of Navio Systems Entertainment Division, he developed and implemented the initial direct to consumer rights based digital strategy implemented across various labels within the Sony Music label system. Through he joint venture with Smith Global he founded a retail digital marketing company, which designed, implemented, and operated an integrated in-store entertainment network (including music and video content production and distribution) for Sears Holdings Corporation. He started his entertainment career by the side of Will Smith as part of his management team and later evolved into various capacities with the Will Smith/Overbrook Entertainment family of companies. Before partnering with his college friend, Harry Smith and Smith Global Management to spin off his own company, he served in a versatile business development position that integrated new media opportunities and corporate sponsorship with talent management. Here he started and operated a portfolio of companies in marketing, entertainment, technology, and hospitality for the Smith Family. Craig received his degree in Finance from Hampton University in Hampton, VA.

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Crystal Wall

N/A, Crystal Wall

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Dana Vachon

N/A

Dana Vachon's writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, Slate, Salon, Esquire and The New York Times. He recently adapted Robert Greene's The 48 Laws of Power as a drama for HBO. He lives in Brooklyn.

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Jeffrey Schnapp

Professor, Harvard University

Before moving to Harvard in 2011, Jeffrey T. Schnapp occupied the Pierotti Chair of Italian Studies at Stanford, where he founded the Stanford Humanities Lab in 2000. A cultural historian with research interests extending from antiquity to the present, his most recent books are Speed Limits and The Electric Information Age Book (a collaboration with the designer Adam Michaels of Project Projects (Princeton Architectural Press, January 2012). Also forthcoming in 2012 are Digital_Humanities (MIT Press), a book co-written with Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, and Todd Presner; Modernitalia (Peter Lang), a collection of essays on 20th century Italian cultural history being edited by Francesca Santovetti, and Italiamerica (Il Saggiatore), vol. 2, co-edited with Emanuela Scarpellini. His pioneering work in the domains of digital humanities and digitally augmented approaches to cultural programming includes curatorial collaborations with the Triennale di Milano, the Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Canadian Center for Architecture. His Trento Tunnels project — a 6000 sq. meter pair of highway tunnels in Northern Italy repurposed as a history museum– was featured in the Italian pavilion of the 2010 Venice Biennale and is currently on exhibit at the MAXXI in Rome in RE-CYCLE. Strategie per la casa la città e il pianeta (fall 2011). Faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, he is Professor of Romance Languages & Literature and also on the teaching faculty in the Department of Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He is the faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard.

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Josephine Dorado

Professor/Live Events Producer, The New School/This Spartan Life

Josephine Dorado is a social entrepreneur, educator, interactive events producer and skydiver. In her work, she explores the extension of the performance environment with technology and the process of cultural exchange through creative interplay in virtual spaces. She was a Fulbright scholarship recipient and initiated the Kidz Connect program, which connects youth internationally via creative collaboration and theatrical performance in virtual worlds. Josephine also received a MacArthur Foundation award to co-found Fractor.org, which matches news with opportunities for activism. She currently teaches at the New School and is the live events producer for This Spartan Life, a talk show inside the video game Halo. Commissioned performances include interdisciplinary productions for the ISEA and Romaeuropa Festivals as well as speaking engagements at SIGGRAPH, PICNIC (Amsterdam), Queen’s University (Belfast), and London Knowledge Lab. Upcoming ventures include reACTor, a location-based mobile gaming app that connects news with social action, as well as ongoing projects in mixed reality and networked performance. Josephine’s experience ranges from theater for at-risk children to technology and design, and brings perspectives on theater-inspired collaborative methodologies as well as the issues of working within a virtual context. http://about.me/funksoup Twitter: @funksoup

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Justin Rojas

Sr Social Media Mgr, FUNimation Entertainment

Justin Rojas began his career with FUNimation Entertainment, North America's leading distributor of anime, in 2008 as an Assistant Brand Manager and in just three short years worked his way up to Senior Social Media Manager. In his current role, Justin works with internal and external teams to strategize promotions for hundreds of brands in the online social media space, in addition to hosting events and conventions. His role allows him to interact with thousands of fans every day as he strives to build strong relationships with both consumers and other geek-centric companies like Capcom, BioWare, Sega, MTV Geek, Microsoft, and Sony.
While matriculating at the University of Texas at Dallas – where he earned a degree in Business Administration – Justin was brutally pistol whipped by a villainous miscreant. When he's not busy making the anime world a better place through social media, Justin practices the martial art of Kenju-ryu in hopes of one day finding the unknown assailant and reclaiming his honor.

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Kelli Coleman

Exec VP, GlobalHue

Kelli M. Coleman
Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications, GlobalHue
President/CEO, GHV of New York Kelli Coleman is Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications for GlobalHue, a full-service marketing communications agency with total market and cultural expertise. As GlobalHue’s Executive Vice President, Coleman oversees corporate communications and is an integral part of senior management. Additionally, she is President and CEO of GHV of New York, an independent venture company that seeks opportunities in media, marketing and advertising to create alternative business for GlobalHue clients. Coleman’s leadership within the advertising industry has led to a number of accolades and honors. Most recently, she was named in Black Enterprise’s 2012 “40 Rising Stars 40 & Under” list. Coleman was also listed in Essence magazine in their “Fierce and Fab Under 40” list. In 2010, she received the Women in Business Award from NV Magazine, and Black Enterprise named her one of their “40 Next.” Additionally, Coleman is a founding board member of the charter school Success Bronx Academy, under the Success Charter Network, founded by Eva Moskowitz. She received her bachelor’s degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2006. Coleman says that she wholeheartedly lives by the passage, “To whom much is given, much is required.” She is committed to uplifting multicultural youth and strives to ensure that her own and future generations have access to innumerable opportunities and are able to take full advantage of them.

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Lena Chen

Blogger/Writer

Lena Chen is a Boston-based writer, "sexpert", and the author of the blog SexAndTheIvy.com. She hosts "Sexy Times With Lena Chen" on gURL.com, Alloy Digital’s award-winning alternative web portal for adolescent girls and previously produced "Sex Really with Lena Chen", a webcast for The National Campaign To Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy. Lena has been featured in media outlets worldwide and regularly speaks on feminism, relationships, and healthy sexuality at colleges across the country. In 2010, she co-founded Feminist Coming Out Day and the online campaign, the Feminist Portrait Project (now a part of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s national campus programming). She graduated from Harvard College in 2010 with a degree in sociology. She is currently working on a novel based on her blog and planning a transcontinental move to Berlin.

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Leslie Wingo

Senior Vice President, Sanders\Wingo

Leslie Wingo: Senior Vice President, Group Account Director Leslie began her career in media and account services, building brand momentum for Whataburger and Time Warner Communications. She’s partner and senior vice president at SandersWingo, a leading national advertising agency in African American, Urban and Hispanic markets. Leslie has also developed brand initiatives for Shell Oil, Fuddruckers, Sprint PCS and State Farm, and currently leads SandersWingo’s work for the United States Postal Service. Leslie holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at El Paso. She also serves on the boards of the Austin Planetarium, AIDS Services of Austin and the AMOA, and she guest lectures about the importance of diversity in advertising at the University of Texas and conferences around the state. These cultural and educational opportunities to motivate Austin’s youth are what inspire Leslie and her team to give back to the community and make a difference. The part that feeds the soul? That’s just lagniappe. The Austin Advertising Federation recently recognized her outstanding contributions to the industry, as well as her philanthropic efforts, with the 2011 Silver Medal Award.

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Lisa Bodell

CEO, futurethink

I'm the founder and CEO of futurethink, an internationally recognized innovation research and training firm. I founded my company on the principle that with the right knowledge and tools, everyone has the power to innovate. I have developed training programs for hundreds of innovators at leading companies such as 3M, GE, and Johnson & Johnson. As a thought leader on innovation, I have appeared on FOX News, and in publications such as Crain’s, Business Week, The New York Times, WIRED, Investor’s Business Daily, Successful Meetings, Harvard Business Review, and The Futurist. I serve as an adviser on the boards of the Institute of Direct Marketing in London, The Women’s Congress, the Association of Professional Futurists, and the Institute for Triple Helix Innovation think tank. I have also taught at American University, Fordham University, and the American Management Association.

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Lux Alptraum

Editor, Fleshbot

Lux Alptraum is a writer, sex educator, and CEO of Fleshbot, the web’s foremost blog about sexuality and adult entertainment. Prior to working at Fleshbot, she worked as a sex educator at an adolescent pregnancy prevention program, an HIV pretest counselor, and founded ThatStrangeGirl, an alternative porn site, and Boinkology, a blog about sex and culture.

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Margo Yabs

Partner Operations Manager, Video Unlimited, Sony Network Entertainment

Margo Yabs graduated from the University of North Texas with a BA in Radio, TV and Film and has over 6 years professional experience working in live broadcast TV, new media and digital video. As a Partner Operations Manager at Sony Network Entertainment, she works closely with major and independent studios, TV networks, and top anime studios to globally distribute their digital video content on the PlayStation Network and Video Unlimited storefronts - reaching a widespread audience through multiple devices. In her previous role, Margo worked at FUNimation in digital video post-production which included leading the production team in streaming web simulcasts as well as distributing top anime content on PlayStation, iTunes, Xbox, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon. She has a deep passion for all forms of digital entertainment and is excited to see what the future holds in the world of digital.

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Mark Gilbreath

Founder and CEO, LiquidSpace

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Maureen O'Connor

Reporter, Gawker Media

Maureen O'Connor is a reporter for Gawker. She often covers (and sometimes breaks) digital sex scandals.

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Mike Dacks

Legal Services, Avid Life Media

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Mike Laidlaw

Creative Dir, Bioware (A Division Of Electronic Arts)

Reviewer from 2000-2003 and developer since, Mike has been involved with the video game industry for over a decade. Since joining Bioware, he has led the writing team on Jade Empire, contributed to Mass Effect and now has the honor of working with the Dragon Age team as the brand’s creative director. In addition to the core games (with sales in excess of 7 million copies combined), he works with partners like FUNimation and Dark Horse to see Dragon Age grow into additional media types, from webseries to comics to feature-length animations like Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker.

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Paul Marino

Lead Cinematic Designer, BioWare

Paul Marino is Lead Cinematic Designer at BioWare Austin (Star Wars: The Old Republic) and was previously part of the Mass Effect 1 & 2 cinematic design teams at BioWare's Edmonton studio. Prior to joining BioWare, Paul was involved with the practice of filmmaking using game technologies, also known as machinima. He contributed to a number of productions, including co-creating the pioneer machinima team, The ILL Clan, as well as projects with MTV, Spike TV, The Independent Film Channel and Rooster Teeth Productions. Paul authored the first book on machinima (3D Game-based Filmmaking: The Art of Machinima, Paraglyph Press, 2004) and co-founded the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences (AMAS), producers of the Machinima Film Festival from 2002 to 2008. As a part of AMAS, Paul has spoken widely about machinima, with presentations at Harvard Law School, SF-MoMA, The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (Melbourne), the Edinborough Fringe Fest, the FMX Animation Festival (Stuttgart) and Ars Electronica (Vienna). Earlier in his career, Paul was involved with designing creative for Rollingstone.com & MP3.com, ad agencies Ogilvy & Mather and BBDO, as well as for broadcast television, where he won Telly and Emmy Awards for his work with Turner Broadcasting.

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Paul Wall

Rapper, Paul Wall

MC and DJ Paul Wall (born Paul Slayton) grew up as a hardcore disciple of fellow Houstonian DJ Screw and became so familiar with the pioneering DJ's woozy, slowed-down style of remixing that he had to adjust to hearing hip-hop at any other tempo. Prior to making a nationwide breakout in 2005 with a guest spot on Mike Jones' "Still Tippin'" and his major-label debut, The Peoples Champ, Wall was involved with promotional street teams, DJed parties, put together underground mixtapes, and was half of the Color Changing Click with Chamillionaire. He recorded 2002's Get Ya Mind Correct with his partner, and then followed that with 2004's solo Chick Magnet. Controversy Sells, another disc billed to Wall and Chamillionaire, hit the streets in early 2005, just months before Wall kicked off support for the chart-topping Peoples Champ LP with "Sittin' Sideways." Two years later, Get Money, Stay True was introduced by the single "Break Em' Off" with Lil' Keke. Fast Life followed in 2009. Affiliated throughout the years with Paid in Full and Swisha House, Wall has also held down a lucrative business as a maker of diamond-laced grilles. His clientele includes Lil Jon and T.I. ~ Andy Kellman, All Music Guide

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Quincy Jones III

CCO, Feel Rich

QD3 (QDIII prior to 2000) grew up in Stockholm Sweden were he got his start in Hip Hop by touring as a break-dancer. At age 13 QD3 got his first drum machine and started producing demo’s for local
Hip Hop acts which eventually lead him to his first gold record at 16 years old. At that point QD3 packed up and moved to New York to pursue his dream to be a rap producer in the US. He spent a year
and a half in New York working with old school legends such as T La Rock (1st artist signed to Def Jam) and Special K (of the group Treacherous 3 featuring Kool Moe Dee) for Sleeping Bag Records.
At that time (1986) Hip Hop had not developed into a profitable business yet and QD3 decided to attend Berklee College of Music to learn more about mixing records and studio technology. After a
year at Berklee, QD3 moved to Los Angeles where he immediately hooked up with Dr.Dre/Ruthless records and produced a project there and the rest is history. With many gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums and singles to his name, QD3 is a bonafide hitmaker in Rap, R&B and Pop. In addition to his many hits on artists such as Tupac, Ice Cube and
L.L. Cool J., QD3 has remixed singles for artists such as Prince, Ronald Isley, Queen Latifah, Coolio, Naughty By Nature, Everlast and Morcheeba, among others. For this work QD3 was nominated for a
Source award for “Producer of The Year” along with Dr.Dre and others. QD3’s activity in the Film and Television arenas includes the score for the critically acclaimed box office smash, Menace to
Society, as well as songs featured in Gang Related, Panthers and Jason’s Lyric. QD3 composed theme songs for the In The House comedy series, starring L.L. Cool J., Out All Night, featuring Patti Labelle,
and most recently The PJ’s, Eddie Murphy’s weekly animated comedy series (for which QD3 received
an Emmy nomination), as well as the theme for Grown Ups, starring Erkel. ASCAP honored QD3 with the 1993 ASCAP Composers Award for his work on Fresh Prince of Bel Air, starring Will
Smith. In 1999 QD3 expanded by adding a film and TV production arm to his company which goes by the name QD3 Entertainment. QD3 Entertainments first project is a 12 part series of documentary films
documenting Hip Hop culture and it’s most important artists ala’ Ken Burn’s hugely successful “Jazz”
series. The first installment in the series was Tupac Shakur-Thug Angel which is nearing 3x platinum
on DVD, the next major release from QD3 Entertainment is “BEEF-The Definitive Look At The Harsh
World Of Hip Hop Feuds” set for a Sept 30 release featuring 50 Cent, Tupac, Ja Rule, Snoop, Mobb
Deep, Dr.Dre, Afeni Shakur, Russel Simmons & more.

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Robert Matney

Web, mobile, social dev/PM, Polycot Associates LLC

A theater-maker, and web, internet, and mobile technology consultant. SXSW 2012 Panel – "Performance and Technology: Keeping Arts Alive" Current positions: Director of technology for The Hidden Room Theatre, board trustee for Austin Shakespeare, principal at Social Web Strategies (Austin), project manager for Polycot Associates drupal development, and social web consultant at SkillBase (Kuwait City) and Janet Mitchell Group (Austin). Robert has been the director of communications and client services for Amicus, Inc., a hosted web applications firm. Prior, Robert worked in the AppleCare division of Apple Inc. Robert produces, directs, and acts for the stage, and voice-acts for video games. Recently, Robert co-produced the New Russian Drama Festival in Austin, featuring English-langauge premieres of Russia's some of exciting new plays and which included the attendance of playwrights called “the light and hope of Russian theater” by the Moscow Times. You can battle Robert's voice in the shape of DC Universe Online's villain Doctor Psycho.

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Ryo Yamaguchi

Anime Specialist, Nico Nico Inc

Ryo Yamaguchi began his career with Niconico, Inc. in 2011 as an Assistant Director. Ryo has MC’d over 10 anime conventions including Sakura Con, Anime Expo, San Diego Comic Con, New York Comic Con and many more. Recently, He MC’d at a Japanese culture event called Hyper Japan in London, UK. As an Anime Specialist, he will be running around many anime conventions interviewing cosplayers and various key figures who attended these conventions.

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Sergio Alcocer

Pres, LatinWorks

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Shawn Ullman

CEO, Feel Rich

Shawn Ullman is the Co-Founder and CEO of Feel Rich, Inc. Feel Rich is a media and entertainment company, which produces health content to empower, inspire, and engage the global community by leveraging the positive influence of musicians, celebrities, and athletes. Prior to Feel Rich, Shawn served as Vice-President of investment firm, Barshop Ullman Media where he quickly became partner. Based in Austin, the investment firm has a concentration in funding entertainment start-ups. The portfolio companies consist of a unique strategy to help bridge the gap between technology and entertainment. Ullman was instrumental in several notable projects for the group specifically, Mytoons, which was acquired by IVT Web. He also oversaw business development for portfolio company, Bento Box that has the highly comedic and successful Bob's Burgers and new Jonah Hill comedy, Allan Gregory produced by Chernin Entertainment. Both animated series are on Fox and distributed by 20th Century Fox Television. Shawn served as Vice President of Business Development for the World Famous Laugh Factory where he developed and implemented the company's growth strategy and oversaw the daily operations in Los Angeles. With a focus on brand expansion and new market penetration, Shawn developed a deal which made the Laugh Factory the first comedy business with its own channel on an airline and secured a lucrative deal between Laugh Factory and International Management Group (IMG) to produce comedic content for i-tunes, mobile phones, and a multitude of digital nonlinear platforms. Shawn’s brand expansion strategy increased revenue in its first year and turned the Laugh Factory into the first “digital comedy club”.
Before joining the Laugh Factory, Shawn was Business Development Director for Quincy Jones III’s digital company QD3 Entertainment. While at QD3 Entertainment, Shawn negotiated a deal to create QD3’s own television channel on Comcast called QD3TV. The channel is currently in 13 million homes in all major markets and has grown each year since its inception in 2004. Shawn completed his business expansion strategy with penetration to the cellular market and multiple MVNO partnerships allowing cellular phone users to download and stream QD3’s music and videos. During his time at QD3 Entertainment, Shawn executive produced several films including stand up comedy DVDs for Saturday Night Live’s Finesse Mitchell and the legendary comedic influence Paul Mooney.
Ullman began his career in the prestigious William Morris Agency mailroom. Shawn is a mentor with The Big Brother organization. Within this group, he has been instrumental in the success of helping its mentees achieve measurable outcomes – educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors and greater self-confidence. Shawn has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Financial, and many other major press outlets. In 2011, Quincy D. Jones III and Shawn were invited to speak at the White House and The World Congress of Healthcare. He is a sponsored triathlete, and graduated with a degree in Radio, Television, and Film from The University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Ullman resides in Austin, Texas.

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Slim Thug

Rapper, Immahogg.com

An imposing figure with a voice to match, Slim Thug had been dropping in for guest verses -- on mixtapes and other artists' albums -- for several years before making his full-length debut through the Neptunes' Star Trak label. Based out of the northern part of Houston, the MC fell in with Swisha House's Michael Watts and established a following in short time, which had a lot to do with his business instincts -- mixtapes released on his own Boss Hogg Outlawz label circulated throughout the region. (He also acquired a couple record stores and became involved with real estate.) Already Platinum, distributed by Geffen, sustained several release-date delays before its July 2005 street date, and featured production work from the Neptunes and Jazze Pha. ~ Andy Kellman, All Music Guide