DAA Raleigh 2017 Speaker Biographies

 


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Brooks Bell, Founder of Brooks Bell

Brooks Bell, Founder and CEO, Brooks Bell

Brooks combined her study of psychology with a love of digital design and analytics launching Brooks Bell in 2003. Her goal: make the Internet easier for customers to use. Today, Brooks Bell leads the industry in helping large consumer brands optimize their web properties, while connecting with their customers through data and experimentation.

Brooks is a leader in the Raleigh business community and has been named "40 Under 40" by the Triangle Business Journal and "Top 50 Entrepreneurs" by Business Leader. A recognized thought leader in the optimization and technology space, Brooks has been featured in publications including Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Washington Post, and Techonomy and speaks regularly at national conferences and events.

A passionate entrepreneur, Brooks co-founded HQ Raleigh and ThinkHouse Raleigh—two communities that help empower, foster, and cultivate companies that produce long-term job growth and positive social impact. She is dedicated to social issues and serves on the board of WalkFree.org, the largest largest online movement in the world dedicated to ending modern slavery. She has also served as the president of the Entrepreneurs Organization, as a member of the Duke University Entrepreneurship and Innovation Task Force, and on the boards of the Digital Analytics Association and the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

A native of Alaska and lifelong member of the Democratic Party, Brooks earned her bachelor’s in psychology from Duke University in 2001. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband.

 

Casey Carey, Google

Casey Carey, President, Digital Analytics Association

Casey leads the product and demand marketing for Google Analytics Solutions. Casey began his passionate pursuit of making marketing better through data, technology, and analytics at Customer Insight Company, which was the first company to put a marketing database on a desktop computer. His journey has spanned leadership roles at companies including MatchLogic, DoubleClick, Epsilon, Webtrends, and most recently Adometry. Casey is a regular speaker at regional and national conferences and President of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA).

 

Margaret Escobar, Manager, Digital Analytics Group (DAG) Analytics & Data Team IBM Digital Transformation & Operations

Margaret Escobar, Manager, Digital Analytics Group, IBM Digital

Margaret Escobar leads a global team of 50 digital analysts who partner with digital marketers throughout IBM to help them understand and improve their digital marketing activity. She's originally from Bethesda, Maryland, has lived in Raleigh since 1995, and has traveled extensively. She speaks 5 languages more or less -- some more, some less. She enjoys solving puzzles and learning new things, which is a good thing in the technology world. She has a liberal arts degree from Wellesley College and an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas.

 

Adam Greco, Senior Partner, Analytics Demystified

Adam Greco, Senior Partner, Analytics Demystified

Adam Greco is a longstanding member of the web analytics community who has consulted with hundreds of clients across every industry vertical. Adam has run web analytics at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Salesforce.com and was also one of the founders of the Omniture Consulting group. While at Omniture, Adam managed accounts large and small and helped clients maximize their use of Omniture technologies. In 2012, in partnership with Adobe, Adam published the first-ever book on Adobe SiteCatalyst – The Adobe SiteCatalyst Handbook: An Insider’s Guide.

 

Sig Mejdal, Director of Decision Sciences, Houston Astros

Sig Mejdal, Director of Decision Sciences, Houston Astros

Sig is an analyst and former NASA engineer, currently working as a Special Assistant to the GM in Process Improvement for the Houston Astros. From the years 2005-2011, he was with the St. Louis Cardinals where he created the processes and formulas that combined scouting evaluations with on-field performance. In that time period, the Cardinals drafted more major leaguers than any other organization. Sig went with Jeff Luhnow in 2012 to the Houston Astros where Jeff became the GM and Sig, the Director of Decision Sciences. Sig set up a new analytics department (which has since grown to 9 analysts) and new decision making processes within the Astros. Much of his focus now is on the implementation of the analytical findings throughout the system and the continued exploration of new technologies.

 

Sig Mejdal, Director of Decision Sciences, Houston Astros

Michael Rappa, Founding Director, Institute for Advanced Analytics, Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University

Michael Rappa is the founding director of the Institute for Advanced Analytics and a member of the faculty in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. As head of the Institute, he leads the nation’s first Master of Science in Analytics as its originator and principal architect. Before joining NC State as Distinguished University Professor in 1998, for nine years he was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Appointed the inaugural Goodnight Director in 2015, his current endowed position is named in honor of NC State’s distinguished alumnus and prominent business leader Dr. James Goodnight.

Dr. Rappa has over 25 years of experience working across academic disciplines at the nexus between management and computing. An accomplished researcher and instructor, his passion is to bring an entrepreneurial and forward-thinking mindset to innovation in higher learning. His current role is to prepare a new generation of data savvy professionals for leadership in a digital world.

Since launching the Institute in 2006, the Master of Science in Analytics has quickly become one of the largest and most selective degree programs on campus, and his students among the most sought-after and highly compensated graduates of the university. The Institute is recognized from coast-to-coast for producing top-notch analytics professionals, and its success has spawned over 100 similar degree programs at universities worldwide. In 2016, the Institute was named one of three finalists by INFORMS for the UPS George D. Smith Prize.

A study published in 2006 in the British journal R&D Management identified Dr. Rappa as a leading scholar in the field of technology management, ranking him in the 99th percentile among 9,000 authors in terms of research productivity in top journals over a period of 50 years. His work has garnered honorable mentions on three occasions as outstanding contributions to the field, and his early influential writing on Internet business models continues to be widely read and frequently cited.

Earlier in his career Dr. Rappa was perhaps best known as creator of Managing the Digital Enterprise, an award-winning Web site devoted to the study of management in the digital world. Begun in 1999, originally for a course he taught, the site was adopted by hundreds of instructors and reached millions of learners around the world—a precursor to massive open online courses (or MOOCs) a decade later. An early and vocal advocate for open courseware, he formed the Open Courseware Lab to promote openly accessible educational resources on the Web. It was there he and his students created OpenSeminar, an innovative open source platform for hosting collaborative courseware. Dr. Rappa presided as general co-chair at the 19th International World Wide Web Conference, the premiere annual gathering of the Web research community, and co-chaired TechAmerica Foundation’s Big Data Commission. He served on the Board of Directors of the Digital Analytics Association and is currently a member of the INFORMS Analytics Certification Board. Dr. Rappa regularly advises schools worldwide looking to develop analytics and data science programs and is frequently serves as a peer reviewer on degree proposals. He is a member of the Analytics Curriculum Advisory Group for The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the governing body for accrediting business schools worldwide.

Dr. Rappa has been recognized on several occasions for his contributions to teaching, research and service to the community. He is a recipient of the Award for Graduate Teaching Excellence, the Outstanding Extension Service Award, and the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology. He is also winner of the MERLOT Award for Exemplary Online Learning; a four-time recipient of IBM Faculty Research Awards; and was twice named a finalist for the Epton Prize by the editors of R&D Management.

Dr. Rappa graduated with honors from Union College and soon thereafter began his teaching career at the University of Minnesota, where he earned a doctorate in 1987. He subsequently moved from Minneapolis to Cambridge after accepting an invitation to join the faculty in the Sloan School of Management at MIT.

 

Amy Sample, Director, DAA and Senior Directore, Strategic Insights, PBS

Amy Sample, Senior Director, Strategic Insights, Digital Analytics, Public Broadcasting Service

Amy Sample has been analyzing digital consumer behavior for nearly 20 years. As a Senior Director of Strategic Insights at PBS, she and her team are responsible for providing cross platform analytics and consumer insights to drive strategic initiatives. Prior to PBS, she conducted primary research and audience analysis at AOL for 8 years. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Digital Analytics Association and co-leader of the Washington D.C. Chapter. Amy holds an MBA from Georgetown University and a BS in Marketing from DePaul University.

 

Sarah Egan Warren, Technical Communication Specialist, North Carolina State University, Institute of Advanced Analytics

Sarah Egan Warren, Technical Communication Specialist, North Carolina State University, Institute of Advanced Analytics



 

 

Charlotte Whitmore, Founder, Analytics Pros

Charlotte Whitmore, Founder, Analytics Pros

Charlotte and her husband, Caleb, founded Analytics Pros in 2009. Since the founding, Charlotte has served in a variety of leadership roles, including CEO and Human Resources. In addition to her role in the Seattle Chapter DAA, Charlotte speaks at various events from Superweek and the DAA to Shared Assessments and the Global Leaders Summit. Charlotte is passionate about company culture, understanding Millennials, and championing digital analytics in the wider world. Charlotte currently sits on the board of Career Pathways and Entrepreneur’s Organization. She is also a member of the DAA Corporate Advisory Board and the DAA Seattle Chapter Board. In addition to her 14 years of volunteering with Medical Teams International, Charlotte has assisted in fundraising efforts and the planning of their annual event.

 

Marilee Yorchak, CAE, Executive Director, DAA

Marilee Yorchak, CAE, Executive Director, DAA

Marilee Yorchak is the Executive Director of the Digital Analytics Association, a 4,000 member organization. She was previously the Executive Director of the Colorado chapter of the Business Marketing Association. She holds the CAE designation (Certified Association Executive), and earned a BS in Marketing from University of Colorado-Boulder and an MBA from New Mexico State University.

Marilee has been honored with the Communicator of the Year from BMA Colorado as well as Association Professional of the Year by the Colorado Society of Association Executives, and is a frequent speaker/panelist for association executive forums/conferences.

She is the chair of the editorial committee for the Colorado Society of Association Executives, which produces a quarterly magazine, The Executive Memo. Marilee is also on the board of advisors for the Monfort College of Business Marketing Department at the University of Northern Colorado.