Social Media Week Chicago Returns For A Second Year Zocalo Group and Chicago Tribune Partner To Host; Leading Brands and Institutions Join as Advisory Board to Guide Event

CHICAGO, June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on last year's 80 different events and 200 speakers in more than 30 venues across Chicago with more than 7,200 registrants, Social Media Week Chicago returns September 24 -28. Also returning are organizers Zocalo Group, an Omnicom company and leader in the word of mouth and social media marketing space, and the Chicago Tribune, one of the country's leading multimedia companies. Social Media Week Chicago features free educational and networking events open to the public at various locations across the city.

Through a series of interconnected activities across the world, Social Media Week offers a global conversation focused on the theme Empowering Change through Collaboration. Along with the Social Media Week in Chicago, similar events will take place simultaneously in Barcelona, Berlin, Bogota, Doha, Glasgow, Hong Kong, Jeddah, London, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Torino and Vancouver.

"Zocalo Group is thrilled to partner with the Chicago Tribune once again to showcase the city's prowess in this increasingly important field," said Paul Rand, President and CEO of Zocalo Group. "Social media has become critical for brands and consumers and Social Media Week helps bring this discussion to a global playing field."

The diverse Advisory Board assembled to guide Social Media Week Chicago represents the variety of organizations involved with and impacted by social media. (See Advisory Board list below.)

"The tremendous enthusiasm and expertise of our Advisory Board only underscores what a successful Social Media Week we expect to have," said Joyce Winnecke, Vice President and Associate Editor of the Chicago Tribune.

Beginning June 5, members of the public are invited to submit their creative ideas for events at Please follow @SMWChicago on Twitter and connect on Facebook for real-time updates. A preliminary event schedule is due to release in early August with event registration opening at the beginning of September. To get involved, visit

To date, Social Media Week Chicago Advisory Board Members include:


  • Frank Helmert, Vice President, Global Interactive Marketing


  • Mark Himmelsbach, Director, Digital Strategy North America

Beam, Inc.

  • Paula Erickson, Vice President, Global Communications & Public Relations


  • Steve Lundin, Chief Hunter & Gatherer

Broadway in Chicago

  • Eileen LaCario, Vice President, Marketing

Built In Chicago

  • Maria Katris, President


  • Lauren McCadney, Senior Manager Social Media

Chicago Architecture Foundation

  • Jennifer Lucente, New Media Manager

Chicago Cubs

  • Wally Hayward, Executive Vice President/Chief Sales & Marketing Officer

Chicago Loop Alliance

  • Laura Jones, Associate Director

Chicago Magazine

  • Rich Gamble, Publisher & General Manager

Chicago Public Media

  • Alison Scholly, Chief Operating Officer

Chicago Tribune Media Group

  • Bob Fleck, Senior Vice President of Advertising & Chief Revenue Officer

ConAgra Foods

  • Stephanie Crase Moritz, Senior Director, Public Relations & Social Marketing

Cricket Communications

  • Tyler Wallis, Senior Vice President, Product & Marketing

DDB Chicago

  • Peter McGuinness, Chief Executive Officer
  • Azher Ahmed, Senior Vice President, Director of Digital Operations


  • Kathy Hines, Director of Social Media, Digital & Experiential Marketing


  • David Armano, Executive Vice President, Global Innovation & Integration

Exelon Corporation

  • Howard N. Karesh, Director, Corporate Internal Communications

Experian Marketing Services

  • Pamela Robertson, Director of Marketing


  • Maureen Moore, Vice President, Corporate Marketing & Communications


  • Amy Korin, Midwest Community Manager, Google+ Local

Hyatt Corporation

  • John Wallis, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Amy Patti, Director, Social Business Integration

Hyatt Regency Chicago

  • Jennifer Kedinger, Social Media Marketing Manager

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

  • Geoff Alexander, Vice President & Managing Partner


  • Sosti Ropaitis, Global Digital Communications Lead


  • Jeff Plaisted, Director of Social Sales & Strategy, Mobile Advertising


  • Steve Mura, Director of Digital Marketing

Motorola Mobility

  • Blagica Bottigliero, Global Director of Social Media


  • Melissa Giovagnoli Wilson, Founder/President

Northwestern University

  • Tom Collinger, Executive Director Spiegel Digital & Database Research Initiative, Medill IMC
  • Randy Hlavac, Professor, Integrated Marketing

Office of the Mayor at City of Chicago

  • Kevin Hauswirth, Social Media Director

Rockit Ranch Productions

  • Billy Dec, Founder/Chief Executive Officer

Rotary International

  • David Alexander, Manager, Public Relations Division

Saper Law

  • Daliah Saper, Intellectual Property & Business Attorney, Adjunct Professor at Loyola University Chicago College of Law

Sara Lee Corporation

  • Jon Harris, Senior Vice President, Global Communications

Sears Holdings Corporation

  • James Hills, Social Media Marketing Manager

The Second City

  • Kelly Leonard, Executive Vice President

Solo Cup Company

  • Angela Chaplin Gorman, Director of Communications

Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy

  • Howard Tullman, President & Chief Executive Officer
  • Edward Glassman, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development   

University of Illinois

  • Rhiannon Clifton, Program Director, Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising


  • Suzanne Fanning, President

About Zocalo Group
Zocalo Group is a full-service word-of-mouth and social media marketing agency, helping leading consumer and business to business brands become the most talked about and recommended in their category. Based in Chicago, Zocalo Group has received numerous industry awards for brand programs and measurement initiatives. Zocalo Group is a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) and Ketchum. For more information, please visit

About the Chicago Tribune
For 164 years, the Chicago Tribune has been a market-leading publication of the Tribune Company.  Reaching five million readers each week in print, online and through radio, television and live events, the Tribune is known for its public service journalism and watchdog reporting. In 2010, the Tribune launched Trib Nation, a community outreach and audience engagement program that includes a broad menu of live events such as Chicago Forward: Conversations About the Future, a series of public policy discussions; programs by columnists and other journalists; literary events including Author Talks, Lit Fest, and Literary Awards; and classes and seminars under the banner TribU: Lessons for Life.

About Social Media Week
Social Media Week is owned and operated by Crowdcentric Media LLC and is a global platform connecting people, content, and conversation around emerging trends in social and mobile media. Delivered primarily through a network of internationally hosted conferences and online through social media, Social Media Week literally connects hundreds of thousands of people every year through learning experiences that aim to advance our understanding of social media's role in society. To learn more, visit

SOURCE Social Media Week Chicago


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.


PR Newswire Membership

Fill out a PR Newswire membership form or contact us at (888) 776-0942.

Learn about PR Newswire services

Request more information about PR Newswire products and services or call us at (888) 776-0942.