DAA Dallas Symposium 2018 Speaker Biographies

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Merritt Aho
Marketing Director, Testing & Optimization
Dun & Bradstreet

I lead the testing and optimization program for marketing websites at Dun & Bradstreet with a focus on lead generation, but really my job is create excellent customer experiences and to help others in the organization to do the same. Prior to D&B, I worked for Volusion as a Sr. Digital Analyst where my job was very similar, though at a smaller scale. I cut my teeth in digital analytics and CRO at Dell as an Optimization Manager for the US consumer business. I have an MBA from BYU and a fondness for the outdoors and witty humor. I live with my wife and 3 kids in Austin (if you're pushy I'll admit to living in Pflugerville). And I refuse to write about myself in the 3rd person.


Valarie J. Bell, M.A., Ph.D.
Computational Social Scientist, Instructor of Digital Communication Analytics
University of North Texas
Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism

Dr. Valarie Bell, is a computational social scientist, who joined the UNT faculty in the fall of 2017 as part of the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism's new Master of Science in Digital Communication Analytics program. She holds a PhD from Texas Woman's University, a Master's in Social Psychology from the University of Nevada-Reno, a Master's in Forensic Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Bell spent a decade in industry as a marketing development manager working with Fortune 500 companies to develop and launch new brands through innovate marketing strategies. She also managed national product recalls and crisis communications for both international and national corporations in the medical device, pneumatics, and superconductor industries.


Vamsee Reddy
Director of Analytics and Research

Vamsee Reddy is a Director of Analytics and Research at Intuit, who partners with marketers, sales, product and finance professionals to help them solve complex business problems and maximize value from their data. He has domain expertise in verticals such as travel management, private equity, healthcare, finance services and technology. He is an avid technology enthusiast who helps business leaders evaluate opportunity through data driven analysis and competitive research. With more than a decade of experience in analytics, he specializes in helping leaders execute on strategies related to customer acquisition, conversion, retention etc.,

Marilee Yorchak, CAE

Aaron Rubi
Director, Decision Science Analytics

Aaron started his career in the US Air Force as a Communications officer, learning to integrate and deploy complex mobile IT infrastructure in austere locations. He jumped into the civilian world as a Logistics and Distribution Manager with Stryker in Dallas, Texas. Being a member for over a decade, Aaron jumped at a job opportunity at USAA as a business analyst in 2008, and never looked back. He helped build USAA's first Natural Language IVR application and researched solutions for shifting customer behavior from the phone channel to the then-burgeoning .com and mobile experiences.

He currently serves USAA by leading a team of seasoned analysts to deliver meaningful insights about our digital channels for our our membership and our association.

Aaron has a Bachelor's of Science in World History from the US Air Force Academy, and an MBA from the University of Texas in San Antonio.

Marilee Yorchak, CAE

Marilee Yorchak, CAE
Executive Director
Digital Analytics Association

Before joining the DAA, Yorchak served as Executive Director of the Colorado Chapter of the Business Marketing Association (BMA), where she presided over the organization's growth from 75 to more than 500 members. She is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Colorado-Boulder and an MBA from New Mexico State University.

She is well regarded in her profession. She was named "Communicator of the Year" by BMA Colorado and "Association Professional of the Year" by the Colorado Society of Association Executives, and, while in graduate school, she was awarded a Kleid Fellowship from the Direct Marketing Association. She is a frequent speaker/panelist at association executive events. She served on the national editorial advisory board for Association News, and is currently the chair of the editorial committee for the Colorado Society of Association Executives. She is also on the advisory board for the University of Northern Colorado Monfort College of Business, Department of Marketing.