2013 Communications Conference for Senior Professionals: Speakers

Jamie Ceman

Jamie CemanJamie Ceman is the executive director of integrated marketing and communications at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Primarily responsible for the oversight of the university communication strategy and ongoing roll-out of a new brand for the university, she is also evolving online marketing tactics and best practices with a strong focus on data and analytics.

In 2011, the university’s office of integrated marketing and communications was named the American Marketing Association’s Education Team Marketer of the Year. Ceman’s background consists of a mix of IT/Web and marketing consulting and Internet strategy for a variety of industries including city and county government, B2B Internet marketing, and corporate marketing.

Ceman is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where she received a BBA in Management Information Systems; she earned her Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications through West Virginia University.

Jim Coll

Jim CollJim Coll became the chief communication officer at The University of Southern Mississippi in December 2010, continuing a career in public relations that began six years earlier with the Southern Miss Alumni Association.

In his current position, Coll is charged with providing the overall leadership and management of the marketing and public relations functions of the university, including public information, advertising campaigns, interaction with members of the media, and branding. During his time in this position he has dealt with a sorority blackface incident; a racist pep band chant; changes in the university’s presidency; an E4 tornado; a 0-12 football season; multiple online petitions and numerous public records requests from the New York Times.

Jim has two degrees from Southern Miss and is a dissertation away from a Ph.D. in mass communication. He and his wife, Deedré, have two daughters, Anna Grace, 4, and Macy, 2.

Lori Croy

Lori CroyLori Croy is the director of web communications at the University of Missouri-Columbia. An early and pioneering advocate of the web, she has shepherded the MU site from a small, underfunded endeavor to a major web presence involving scores of sub sites and a wide range of web authors from across the university. Croy has nearly 10 years of experience managing a complex web environment and balancing the ever-growing challenges of a public research university infrastructure. From launching Mizzou’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign on the web to supporting @Mizzou, the university’s CASE gold award-winning e-newsletter, Croy continues to explore the intersection of new technologies and emerging communication needs. She brings an unusual combination of clear thinking, communications prowess, broad hands-on experience in a large Research 1 setting, and an unfailing sense of humor to the faculty.

Bob Garfield

Bob GarfieldBob Garfield is a commentator and analyst of advertising and marketing. For 25 years, his weekly AdReview evaluated, vetted, parsed, deconstructed and offered uncanny prognostications for thousands of ads from hundreds of agencies worldwide based on such criteria as strategy, communication, taste, ethics, brand relevance, cultural relevance and craftsmanship. Over the past decade, he has chronicled the digital revolution, culminating in his landmark 2009 book, The Chaos Scenario. His previous marketing book, the 2003 manifesto on advertising And Now a Few Words from Me, is published in eight languages. His forthcoming Can't Buy Me Like, co-authored with Doug Levy, will be published in March 2013. His weekly MediaPost column explores the frontiers of 21st century marketing and media, and he also writes a bi-weekly column for The Guardian.

Jonathan Gottschall

Jonathan GottschallJonathan Gottschall, an American literary scholar specializing in literature and evolution, teaches at Washington and Jefferson College (Pa.). His work has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, Scientific American Mind, New Scientist, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nature, Science, BBC Radio and NPR. Gottschall’s blog, The Storytelling Animal, is featured at Psychology Today. He completed graduate work in English at State University of New York at Binghamton and lives with his wife and two young daughters in Washington, Pa.

W. Ken Harmon

Ken Harmon is the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Kennesaw State University (Ga.). Prior to this appointment, he served as dean of KSU’s Coles College of Business. Harmon also served on the faculty of seven business schools across the United States and has held administrative appointments at five of those institutions. He was an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers, was president of his own software company, and served as a consultant to numerous companies and universities.

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Harmon holds a doctorate in accounting from the University of Tennessee. His areas of expertise include accounting, information systems, strategy, leadership, and corporate culture. Harmon has been a journal editor, authored numerous publications and served on 10 editorial boards. He currently sits on advisory boards at institutions in India and Turkey and on an advisory board at the Henssler Financial Group. Today, Harmon’s passion is writing and lecturing on the subject of happiness and how the research on happiness can influence management and leadership.

Rick J. Kaufman

Rick J. KaufmanRick J. Kaufman is the executive director of community relations and emergency management for the Bloomington (Minn.) Public Schools. He formerly served as the executive director of communications for Jeffco Public Schools, Colorado’s largest school system, from 1998-2006. In April 1999, Kaufman led the crisis response team to the Columbine High School shooting tragedy in Littleton, Colo. Among the first to arrive at the high school after the attack began, Kaufman was responsible for coordinating all aspects of the communications program, including chief spokesperson, media relations, and community response and recovery efforts.

Kaufman is a nationally respected consultant on crisis management and communications. He has provided counsel to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for the Timothy McVeigh execution; the New York Education Commission and New York City Schools following the 9/11 terrorist attacks; the U.S. Department of Education; and the Los Angeles Office of the FBI. Further, Kaufman has led training sessions for thousands of local and state law enforcement and emergency planning agencies, universities and school systems throughout the U.S. He is the author of the Complete Crisis Communication and Management Manual, published in 2009.

Matthew J. Kilcoyne

Matthew J. KilcoyneMatthew J. Kilcoyne is a senior consultant with R.H. Perry & Associates. Since joining the firm in 2002, Kilcoyne has assisted its principals on more than 200 presidential and senior administrative search assignments, focusing primarily on client marketing, candidate identification and management, and due diligence. In addition, Kilcoyne partners with Paul Doeg in directing the firm’s Value-Added Search Services (VASS) program for college and university search committees conducting their own searches. He previously worked as a marketing associate for the private equity investment firm JP Morgan Partners. Kilcoyne received his B.A. from Georgetown University in 1993 and resides in New York City. 

Walter Kraft

Walter KraftWalter Kraft was named vice president of communications at Eastern Michigan University in 2009. Before arriving at EMU, Kraft was the executive vice president of Caponigro Public Relations in Southfield, Mich. His experience includes working with clients in education, health care, banking and transportation, where his responsibilities included leading media relations efforts, strategic planning, crisis management and a wide range of external and internal communications activities. From 1992-1997, Kraft was news director at WXYZ-TV7 in Detroit, where he was responsible for day-to-day editorial overage and supervised a staff of 100. Prior to his work as news director, he was a writer and producer at the station and earned three Detroit Emmy Awards. Kraft holds a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from Michigan State University.

Kyle Lacy

Kyle LacyKyle Lacy, author of two acclaimed books, Twitter Marketing for Dummies and Branding Yourself, is a principal of marketing research and education for ExactTarget, a leading global provider of interactive marketing solutions. He has an in-depth understanding of the application of social and interactive media for both small and large businesses and regularly speaks on topics ranging from social media adoption to interactive marketing trends across email, mobile and social media. Lacy has been recognized as one of Indiana’s Forty-under-40 by the Indianapolis Business Journal, and as Anderson University’s Young Alumni of the Year and TechPoint’s Professional of the Year. He also serves on the board of directors for Exodus House, Earth House Collective and Paramount Theater.

Arlethia Perry-Johnson

Arlethia Perry-JohnsonArlethia Perry-Johnson is vice president for external affairs at Kennesaw State University (Ga.), as well as the project director for the University System of Georgia’s Afridan-American Male Initiative (AAMI). She joined Kennesaw State in October 2006 after serving nearly 12 years as associate vice chancellor for media and publications with the board of regents of the University System of Georgia.  In her current role, Perry-Johnson is responsible for oversight of KSU’s Division of External Affairs, which encompasses the University Relations department and the institution's legislative, community and public affairs operations. She also is a member of the President's Cabinet, the administrative body of the university, and has been charged with enhancing KSU’s national visibility and academic profile, and with expanding the university’s external positioning.  Perry-Johnson’s 30-year communications career spans public, investor and media relations and was launched after early success in print journalism and commercial and cable television. A wife and mother, Perry-Johnson has also wrote as a freelance writer, contributing to such publications as the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Philadelphia Tribune and Black Issues in Higher Education, among others. In March 2012, she was named one of the 25 “Women Making a Difference” by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Jason Simon

Jason SimonJason Simon joined the University of California System in 2009, just in time to be on the front line of the nearly $1.6 billion in cuts in state funding that UC has endured over the last three years. During that same time, he has overseen a reorganization of the communications unit while managing a team tasked with system branding, advocacy, recruitment, outreach and digital strategies. Prior to joining the UC System, Simon was the executive director of marketing and creative services at North Carolina State University, where he was responsible for the launch of an integrated branding campaign, new enrollment strategies and the launch of a billion-dollar capital campaign. He began his career with a branding agency in Raleigh, N.C., where he was the chief strategist for clients such as Sony Ericsson, Red Hat and IBM.

Kaiya Waddell

speakers photo holderKaiya Waddell is a client partner at Facebook, where she focuses on driving strategic marketing initiatives with political organizations, government agencies and advocacy groups. Prior to managing the Facebook relationship with progressive independent groups during the 2012 election, Waddell was the PAC & nonprofit sales manager at NGP VAN, a Democratic political software and new media firm. She previously served as the National Events Coordinator for EMILY's List, which works to recruit, train and elect pro-choice Democratic women to public office. Waddell holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Eckerd College.  

Richard H. Wells

Richard H. WellsRichard H. Wells took office as the tenth chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh on October 1, 2000. Prior to his appointment, Wells served as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Indiana State University, and as dean of the college of arts and sciences at West Chester University. He received his B.A. from William Penn College, his M.A. from the University of Arkansas, and his Ph. D. in sociology from Texas A&M University. His 18 years of college teaching experience include appointments at the University of South Alabama, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and at Coker College in Hartsville, S.C. Wells has fulfilled major leadership roles, establishing innovative collaborative organizations and programs among different types of post-secondary institutions. During his tenure at UW-Oshkosh, Wells has engaged the academic community in developing a shared vision for the future of the university.

Jennifer Wyatt

Jennifer WyattJennifer Wyatt is an executive, life coach, adjunct college professor and former university administrator. She is the owner of Her Executive Coach, a coaching and consulting firm specializing in the professional development needs of individuals and organizations. Wyatt boasts a diverse national corporate client registry representing various industries including healthcare management, insurance, banking and finance, transportation, retail/spa and education. In addition to being a corporate consultant, Wyatt is an accomplished professional speaker and corporate trainer. She is particularly passionate about working with college students, whether it is empowering them to be great leaders, helping them discover their professional strengths or educating them on wellness issues. Wyatt holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Mississippi, as well as an educational specialist degree and a doctorate from Union University.


Planning Committee

2013 Communications Conference - Planning Committee