Speaker Lineup

Jeff Gomez

Jeff Gomez is the world’s leading producer of transmedia entertainment properties. He is an expert at incubating new entertainment franchises, strategic planning and production for cross-platform implementation.

As CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment, a New York-based digital production company, Jeff transforms intellectual properties into global franchises that successfully leverage an array of media channels and mass audience touchpoints. He also extends niche properties such as toys, animation or videogame titles across multiple platforms, which in turn generate multiple revenue streams for Starlight Runner’s partners and clients.

Jeff has worked on such blockbuster universes as Disney’s Pirates of the CaribbeanTron Legacy and Fairies, Microsoft’s Halo, James Cameron’s Avatar, Hasbro’s Transformers, Mattel’s Hot Wheels and Coca-Cola’s Happiness Factory. Jeff has also delivered his seminar, Creating Blockbuster Worlds: Developing Highly Successful Transmedia Franchises, to the MIT Futures of Entertainment Conference, Game Developers Conference, Kidscreen Summit, O’Reilly Tools of Change, the New York State Bar Association and the Producers Guild of America. He spoke at the Meet the Media Guru conference in March of 2012, and is a consultant on multi-platform implementation of participative narrative to national and international government and non-government organizations.

Jeff is a board member of the Producers Guild of America East, and sits on the advisory board of the PGA New Media Council. Jeff and Starlight Runner have recently been featured in ForbesBusinessWeekVariety, Publishers Weekly andThe Wall Street Journalhttp://www.starlightrunner.com

Rohit Bhargava

Rohit Bhargava is a marketing expert focused on how to bring more humanity back to business. He is a founding member of the world’s largest team of social media strategists at Ogilvy and the best selling author of Personality Not Included, a guide to building a brand personality through storytelling. His award winning Influential Marketing blog and other writings have been featured in media globally including Fast Company, Inc, The Guardian (UK), MarketingChina, and New York Times – and he is commonly recognized as the “inventor” of Social Media Optimization (SMO).

He teaches marketing at Georgetown University and is a frequent “non-obvious” keynote speaker on business topics around the world. Rohit’s second book called LIKEONOMICS will be published globally in May of 2012 and explores why some people or companies are more believable than others, and offers a guidebook for anyone to build more trust and become more believable.


Margot Leitman

Standing 5 feet, 6 inches tall by fourth grade, Margot developed a thick skin and a sharp sense of humor instead of learning how to play basketball. Measuring 5 feet 10 inches today, Margot’s off-beat, brutally honest, fearless comedy has earned her the title of Moth Grandslam Champion , two ECNY “Best Female Stand Up” nominations, an ECNY “Best Storyteller” nomination and the “Joke of the Week” in Time Out New York. However, Margot’s most prized accomplishment remains winning $1664 on “The Price is Right.” That was…until she won a car on “Let’s Make a Deal!

Margot appeared regularly as various characters, including the cult favorite Gynoblast on “Late Night With Conan O’ Brien,” in addition to appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live!,VH1’s “Best Week Ever,” ESPN’s “Cheap Seats,” AMC, the Style Network, E!, Comedy Central, MTV and NBC Broadband. This spring she can be seen in the upcoming sketch show, “Stevie TV” on Vh1. She and Giulia Rozzi co-host the wildly popular, sex-themed storytelling show “Stripped Stories” at its home base, the UCB Theatre. Now touring nationally, “Stripped Stories” was just voted “the best thing to do in Manhattan with your clothes on,” by the NY Press. A four time Moth Storyslam winner, Margot has been featured in Glamour Magazine, and the books “Fifty Dates Worse Than Yours” and “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Jokes.” She has written online for the Lifetime Network, College Humor.com, EHow.com, and in print for Playgirl Magazine and NY Press. She has just completed her first book, tentatively “Gawky…True Stories From the Tallest Girl at the Dance.” Margot currently teaches storytelling through UCB Theatre and various other clients, and is thrilled to have travelled to Australia last winter to work and perform with Blue Room Theatre Company.


Oren Klaff

As Director of Capital Markets for investment bank Intersection Capital, www.intersectioncapital.com, Oren Klaff is responsible for managing the firm’s capital raising platform which includes both direct capital raising and deal syndication . Oren oversees business development and product development and is responsible for the firm’s flagship product, Velocity. He also sits on the investment committee at Geyser Holdings where he has been a principal since 2006. During its growth he was responsible for, marketing, product development, and business development. In the previous five years in the securities markets, Oren has supervised and assisted in the placement of over $400 million of investor capital. Previously, he was a venture analyst and partner at several mid-sized investment funds. He attended the University of Delaware for Mechanical Engineering, and lives in Los Angeles, CA.


Jonah Sachs

Jonah is an internationally recognized storyteller, author, designer and entrepreneur. As the co-founder and creative director of Free Range, Jonah has helped hundreds of social brands and causes break through the media din with campaigns built on sound storytelling strategies. His work on legendary viral videos like The Meatrix and The Story of Stuff series has brought key social issues to the attention of more than 60 million viewers and his interactive work has been honored with ‘Best Of’ awards three times at the standard-setting South By Southwest interactive festival.

Jonah’s passion lies in exploring the crossroads of ancient storytelling techniques, social responsibility and emerging technologies. Due out in June 2012 by Harvard Business Review Press, his book Winning the Story Wars calls on case studies from his own body of work and some of the most successful brands of all time to show how values-driven stories will not only revolutionize marketing, but represent humanity’s greatest hope for the future. Jonah and his work have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, FOX News, Sundance Film Festival, NPR, The Colbert Report, and in FastCompany Magazine, which named him one of the 50 most influential social innovators. He lives in Oakland with his wife Chelsea, their daughter Mira, and son Orion.


Bo Eason

A former NFL standout, acclaimed Broadway playwright and performer, and Presence/Story Coach to some of the most successful people in the world. His play, Runt of the Litter which is written and performed by Eason, has toured over 50 cities nationally. Runt opened in New York to rave reviews. The New York Times named it, “One of the most powerful plays in the last decade.” Soon to be a major motion picture, Bo is adapting Runt for the big screen. Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) is producing. After seeing a performance of Runt, Leonardo DiCaprio hired Bo to write a screenplay for his company based on the 1924 Olympic Rugby Team. He is the co-founder of World’s Greatest Speaker Training with Brendon Burchard and a Senior Fellow with CEG Worldwide where he is the co- founder of Perfecting Your Personal Story and Power of Presence. Bo Eason’s Personal Story Power Programs have reinvented how speakers communicate.


Kahlil Ashanti

Kahlil Ashanti is an actor and award-winning performance storyteller with a business brain. He enjoys fewer meetings and more doings. Building stories, live performances and character development are his meat and potatoes. He was selected for Cirque Du Soleil as a physical character actor in 2010. Ashanti is Co-Founder of a Vancouver tech start-up and he’s currently in a television development deal based on his life story.  Kahlil still enjoys performing but not as much as he enjoys helping people realize their story mojo. And there’s also cooking. Dad, husband, menace with a fork. He’s looking to jam with creative people who want to do big things but haven’t forgotten the magic of fundamentals.


Casey Hibbard


Leading business-to-business (B2B) and technology companies rely upon Casey Hibbard and her company – Compelling Cases Inc. – to capture customer success stories and case studies that earn trust, land million-dollar sales deals, earn major PR in industry publications, and secure funding.  Casey is author of the first book on creating, managing and leveraging customer stories, “Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset.”


Robert Richman

Robert Richman is the product manager of Zappos Insights, the Zappos Family company dedicated to helping businesses with their cultures. As an intrapreneur, Robert built the model from the proof-of-concept web site to a thriving business helping over 1000 people every month.  Business leaders, managers and entrepreneurs take the Zappos Insights training to discover how a workplace can help people grow, inspire amazing service, and ultimately drive revenue.

Previous to joining Zappos, Robert developed digital marketing strategies for brands including Tony Robbins, Sony, Billboard, and best-selling business authors. Robert co-founded the Affinity Lab, a collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs that continues to graduate over 150 businesses in Washington, DC. He is also a Georgetown-trained leadership coach, delivers keynote speeches on company culture, and advises leaders how to create self-sustaining cultures in their own organizations.


Debbie Weil

Debbie Weil is a web pioneer and veteran blogger, author, speaker and content marketing expert. She is the author of one of the first and most definitive books about business blogging, The Corporate Blogging Book, published by Penguin Portfolio. She self-published the updated edition, now available on Amazon Kindle for $1.99. Note: you can read the Kindle edition on any device.

She recently founded Voxie Media, a boutique publishing company that provides a range of services for business authors who want to self-publish short books. Voxie Media’s signature program is Beta Author Boost, a hands-on course that enables up-and-coming business authors to write a short, kick-ass eBook in 8 weeks.

She is passionate about books, e- or print, as vehicles for storytelling. And she is convinced that eBooks are what come after blogging. Just as blogging enabled every company to become a content publisher and connect directly with customers, the self-publishing revolution opens the doors for business experts to connect directly with readers via professionally-edited and packaged eBooks.

Jim Signorelli

Jim Signorelli has always had a passion for advertising. His favorite class in grade school was Show and Tell. As a paperboy, he would add subscribers by copy testing leaflets (“If you buy from me, I promise not to throw your paper in the bushes,” out pulled “You need the news, I need the money.”)

 He was able to refine his knowledge of advertising as both an undergraduate and in the advertising Master’s program at Michigan State University. He then moved to Chicago to begin what is now a 32 year career in advertising, all spent on the agency side of the business. From Chicago, he moved to New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore and then back to Sweet Home Chicago amassing experience on a wide variety of major accounts like Citibank, Kraft Foods, Burger King, General Electric, Toshiba, Arby’s and many others.  He somehow became a 2 million miler with American Airlines in the process.

In 1999 Jim started his own agency that today goes by the name esw StoryLab. The agency has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing independent companies in the U.S., the last three years straight. Somewhere along the way,  he became a story buff.  And before too long, that buffery turned into a major pursuit: to learn why stories are so powerfully persuasive and how brands could become powerful stories.   It’s a subject that has no ending.  But what he know so far is all contained in a book that was recently published by Greenleaf Books entitled StoryBranding: Creating Stand Out Brands Through the Power of Story.  It contains a forward written by the former NASA scientist, now foremost story expert and great teacher, Kendall Haven. When Jim isn’t working or telling a story, he’s an avid golfer, tennis player, and drummer. And when he’s not hitting a ball or drum with a stick,  he’s traveling to out-of-the way places for free with his lovely wife, Joan.

 Marie Forleo

Marie Forleo is a marketing and lifestyle expert who teaches entrepreneurs to live Rich Happy & Hot. Her company delivers kick-ass small business & personal development programs that are easy to consume, outrageously fun and get results. She mentors over 50,000 small business owners in 108 countries – many who tune in weekly to MarieTV.com, her free web TV show. Her bestselling book, Make Every Man Want You: How To Be So Irresistible You’ll Barely Keep From Dating Yourself is published in eleven languages.

Marie was recently interviewed by Tony Robbins for his DVD program The New Money Masters and mentored young business owners at Richard Branson’s Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa. She’s been featured in media outlets such Forbes.com, Oprah Radio and The New York Times among others. Get access to free training and more when you sign up for email updates at MarieForleo.com.


Mike Koenigs

MIKE KOENIGS is the “2009 Marketer of the Year” winner, entrepreneur, filmmaker, speaker, author and holds a patent in “Cross-Channel” Marketing Technology. He is the CEO, “Chief Disruptasaurus” and Founder of Traffic Geyser and Instant Customer. His products simplify marketing for tens of thousands of small businesses, authors, experts, speakers, coaches and consultants worldwide.

Mike’s companies have produced five consecutive online product launches with the largest grossing over $9.1 million dollars. He also generated over $3 million dollars in sales during a “direct to camera” live webcast. Originally from Minnesota, Mike lives in San Diego, CA with his wife and son. He loves the ocean, is an avid boater and plays the “didgeridoo.”


Robert Tercek

Robert Tercek is one of Hollywood’s most prolific creators of interactive entertainment. He has produced hit titles on every digital platform, from TV to games to online and mobile devices. He served as President of Digital Media for The Oprah Winfrey Network, and previously served as Senior Vice President of Digital Media at Sony Pictures Entertainment and earlier as Creative Director at MTV: Music Television. He also co-founded five startup ventures, including 7th Level, Inc which went public in 1993.


Dan Mezick

Dan Mezick coaches organizations and is the author of The Culture Game, the tutorial and reference guide for company leaders, change-makers and culture hackers. The book describes sixteen organizational learning patterns derived from Agile software development, and how to actively socialize these patterns throughout your organization. His company New Technology Solutions Inc provides business Agility training and Scrum training to organizations of all sizes. Dan Mezick is a facilitator of Open Space, a leader of the Culture Hacking movement, and a software patent holder. Reach him at dan@newtechusa.net or 203 915 7248.


Corbett Barr

Corbett Barr is founder of Insanely Useful Media, which publishes blogs including Think Traffic and Expert Enough to an audience of over 100,000 monthly visitors. Through his courses and consulting, Corbett has helped students and clients launch or grow over 1,000 blogs and websites in the past three years.



Slash Coleman

NPR calls award-winning writer/performer Slash Coleman, “Extremely provocative and entertaining,” and WGBH Boston says, “Slash has the power to change the way people think.” Best known for his PBS special and Off-Broadway one man show, “The Neon Man and Me,” over the past decade Slash’s work has been featured in TheWashington Post, The New York Times, American Theatre Magazine, and most recently on the NPR series, “How Artists Make Money.”

As a performer, he’s been featured at: The International Storytelling Center, Pete Seeger’s Clearwater Festival and The National Storytelling Festival. Currently at work on his 2nd PBS special which is about the re-birth of storytelling in America, Slash lives in New York City and splits his time between performing and writing new material for the stage, film, and television. A featured blogger at Psychology Today his recent writing has appeared in the following anthologies: Unstuck (Voyageur Press, 2011) and Robot Hearts (Pinchback Press, 2010).

John Capecci and Tim Cage

John Capecci and Tim Cage met as classmates more than 20 years ago in a graduate school course about bringing stories to life. Today, as communication trainers and educators, they’ve helped thousands of advocates and hundreds of organizations share their stories in compelling and engaging ways in order to increase awareness, educate or raise money.

John and Tim have worked with a wide range of clients, from “ordinary” people and first-time speakers, to CEOs and entrepreneurs, to some of the best-known celebrities, media personalities and professional speakers in the world. Their clients work in the arts, healthcare and wellness, manufacturing, financial, consumer marketing, travel, design and high-tech industries.

John’s home base is Minneapolis where he has Capecci Communications, and Timothy Cage Communication Training is headquartered in New York. John and Tim are authors of Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference (2012) and conduct their popular presentation and media skills workshops around the world.

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