Speakers

We are thrilled to announce our speaker line-up for the 2015 Garden Bloggers Conference!

bunnywilliams_2014-377Bunny Williams is a designer with a modern vision, a sense of history, and the confidence to take the unexpected path. Both a trailblazer and a tastemaker, Williams’ style is classic, but never predictable.

By day, Bunny is one of New York’s most successful interior designers, a woman whose hours are filled with high-powered meetings, magazine photo shoots, and detailed consultations with clients. But when the week shades into Friday evening, Bunny can be found in the idyllic retreat of her Connecticut garden, the emotional center of her life and the source of perhaps her greatest creative efforts. After five days at the top of the design world, nothing means more to this warm and brilliant woman than to spend the next two with her hands in the dirt, musing about the effect of trees and flowers, paths and benches.

The passion Bunny feels for her garden is a deep one shared by countless others — in the country, in the suburbs, and even in the city. Gardening has become America’s favorite pastime, but its vocabulary remains intimidating, even to those fluent in the language of style and design. Applying the lessons we’ve learned about interior space to the outdoors is a good idea, but it doesn’t work without help: before we can decorate the outdoor room we need to understand its character, and few people can guide us to that understanding better than Bunny Williams.

A native of Charlottesville, VA, Bunny began her career at Stair & Co., the prestigious English antiques dealer, followed by 22 years with the venerable firm, Parish-Hadley Associates. She formed her own firm, Bunny Williams Inc. in 1988. Today she not only runs her design firm, but with her husband John Rosselli, owns Treillage Ltd., two shops selling garden objects, antiques, and decorative accessories, based in New York City. In 2008 she introduced a celebrated home furnishings collection, BeeLine Home, which continues to expand and introduce new pieces at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC. Bunny’s’ fourth book, “Scrapbook for Living” was published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang in November 2010.

Marcus_Sheridan_photo200pixMarcus Sheridan
Partner, River Pools and Spas
Founder, The Sales Lion

Marcus Sheridan is the founder of The Sales Lion, one of the internet’s fastest growing marketing websites focusing on the transformational powers of inbound marketing on small businesses. But before spreading the good word about marketing, Sheridan, who also owns a prominent swimming pool company, established the most popular swimming pool website in the world through content marketing.

Known for his contagious enthusiasm and boundless energy when on stage, Sheridan has since become a popular speaker and has been called the ‘Gary Vaynerchuk of the Swimming Pool Industry.’

shawna-coronado-440Shawna Coronado is an author, on-camera spokesperson, newspaper columnist, photographer, internationally recognized keynote speaker, and successful social media marketer with over eighteen years of experience with sales, marketing and public relations.

As an experienced spokesperson with green lifestyle living, organic gardening, social media, and eco content creation, she campaigns for social good online and speaks internationally on building community, simple living, and green lifestyle tips for the everyday person. Shawna’s social media expertise has propelled her far within the online industry – she has over 200,000+ followers on her social media outlets and 170 videos on YouTube with a million+ views. Her goal with her online presence is to better the world by utilizing community involvement and simple green living as tools to encourage social good.

Shawna appears regularly on international radio and national American TV as well and has been featured on many stations including ABC, NBC, WGN, and PBS TV. Her organic living photographs and stories have been featured both online and off in many international home and garden magazines and multiple books. You can learn more about her at http://www.shawnacoronado.com.

Jan_Bills-150x150Jan Bills owns and operates Two Women and a Hoe®, a boutique indoor/outdoor sustainable landscape design, installation, and landscape management company in Michigan.

In 2006, she developed her business plan and strategy to exit corporate America to start her business. In 2008, she replaced her corporate high heels with Wellies and never looked back! Today she is living her dream and mixing business with pleasure!

In 2012, Jan launched a new business venture in her off-season, Social Media Millionaire Makers. Her passion for social media affords her the opportunity to consult and train small business owners, bloggers, and non-profit organizations. She also developed an e-Course entitled, ‘Numbers Don’t Lie’. With over 225,000+ Fans on her business Facebook page and a robust social media presence, she is anxious to share her strategies with others.

Jan holds a Masters of Art in Organizational Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management. She is an Advanced Master Gardener and Certified Landscape Designer. She is also a contributing writer for State-by-State Michigan Gardening.


syed-balki-photo-141Syed Balkhi
President
Awesome Motive Inc.

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner. He is known for his aggressive marketing skills, creative designs, and expertise in SEO. Syed has been in the industry for over eight years, and he has worked with some of the top brands in the industry. Syed is known as “the WordPress Ninja” among his clients because he is a total WordPress geek. What makes this more impressive is that he’s only 21 and started doing “online stuff” when he was just 12.

Awesome Motive Inc. is a small media company with numerous popular web properties including WPBeginner, the largest WordPress resource site, List25, a fast growing entertainment site. Awesome Motive also owns Uzzz Productions, the company that provides web development and social consulting services to clients.

rob-ciampa-photoRob Ciampa
Chief Marketing Officer
Pixability

YouTube-certified, award-winning innovative CMO & entrepreneur @Pixability. Passionate & wickedly opinionated about sales, marketing, startups, food, & wine.

Ciampa is the co-author of Pixability’s Top 100 Global Brands On YouTube, one of the most comprehensive and data-intensive studies of YouTube ever conducted. A dynamic spokesperson for the company, Ciampa is known not only for his sharp criticism of viral video promises and faulty digital video advertising, but also for his prescriptive YouTube strategy, content marketing, and advertising work with brands. He is YouTube-certified.

Ciampa is that rare executive who uses his sales, marketing, and domain expertise to become a genuine trusted advisor for customers. He is very effective working with major brands on YouTube strategy, marketing, and advertising. With his ascent to CMO as part of Pixability’s expansion, Rob and his growing marketing team spearhead major content and brand initiatives, including detailed analyses of brands and industries on YouTube.

beth-lamanach-photo-256Beth Le Manach
VP Programming, Kin Community and
Host, Entertaining with Beth

Beth Le Manach has been cooking and entertaining for over 20 years. She grew up in a family that always entertained, and throwing together a last minute party, has always come naturally. She is a home cook that has refined her cooking skills by cooking, constantly; as well as producing over 500 episodes of food content for both cable and online networks.
She is inspired by her French husband and their many trips to France where she has learned how to cook his favorite French foods, directly from her in-laws. She is also an avid gardener and her extensive vegetable garden serves as the basis for many of her favorite recipes. Her mantra is “minimum effort, for maximum impact.” She lives in Los Angeles, with her husband and two children.

Joe Herbrandson-photo-599Joe Herbrandson
Researcher and Account Manager, Sucuri
Project to project, I taught myself to build websites as a kid and never stopped tinkering. Always fascinated by security concepts and practices, I’ve grown to love the journey of trying to understand and fit every technology into a grand secure plan.

I am a researcher and account manager with Sucuri. I work with malware and website security issues on a daily basis and I’ve cleaned thousands of infected websites. My passion is helping people up their security.


brett_vankoski-267Brett Vankoski
Vice President and Co-Founder, Latitude Beverage Co. ,
Ninety+ Cellars
Sitting in his cubicle one day in 2007, Brett realized that all he could expect to measurably accomplish in another decade of corporate confinement was a few more totally awesome PowerPoint presentations. Not satisfied with this vision of the future, he left the corporate world to pursue his MBA. Brett’s Masters in Beverage Appreciation consisted of compiling a small wine collection in his son’s closet; arguing that dry rose is a great choice for beer drinkers; and discovering that not everyone likes the wines he likes no matter how crazy good they are. Impressed by his bodacious wine skills, in 2009 Kevin asked Brett to help him to launch 90+ Cellars. Since then, he spends most of his days, evenings and weekends tasting, selecting, selling and promoting the wines of 90+ Cellars.

Brett has a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard University and has successfully completed Boston University’s Wine Studies Program. He lives in Brookline with his lovely wife, two sons and Norma, the wine lovin’ English Bulldog.

Jonathon-Alsop-photo-172Jonathon Alsop is founder & executive director of the Boston Wine School and author of The Wine Lover’s Devotional: 365 Days of Knowledge, Advice & Lore for the Ardent Aficionado published by Quarry Books.

Jonathon started life as a wine writer covering wine, food & travel in 1988. He is author of the wine column In Vino Veritas by Jonathon Alsop as well as many articles for the Associated Press, Frequent Flyer, La Vie Claire, Beverage Business Magazine, Mobil Travel Guides, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Boston Globe, and many others. He founded the Boston Wine School in 2000 where he teaches wine and food classes.


kika-gilbert-photo-361Kika Gilbert
Head of Community at @Tinybop

Kika hails from London, having done a few short stints in New Jersey and Tokyo as well. She came to the states at age 18 to attend Smith College where she studied art and education.

Kika spent a few years working with artists and art startups before taking a year to immerse herself in the NYC public school system as a teaching assistant in a kindergarten class. Kika is passionate about innovative education and making learning just as fun as real life. She can most often be found eating in Brooklyn and hanging out with her two dogs. She loves learning new things!

Tinybop is a studio of designers, developers, and artists which has focused on building truly special apps for kids. Their first app “The Human Body” was chosen as App of the Year by Apple and was one of the most successful children’s apps in 2013.

Bekka Palmer
Former GM of Tattly, 9 million Pinterest followers, works with many digital companies on content and production.
Bekka Palmer spent her childhood alternating between sitting on the floor of her mom’s sewing room and helping her dad in his wood shop. She watched them with a careful eye and picked up their incredible attention to detail. Now, she’s a photographer, designer and maker living in Brooklyn. Every Wednesday, she and her friend Dave publish interviews with strangers about their days at On A Wednesday.

Bekka recently launched an app called Songfight with friends Dave & Jonny. She documents her days on Instagram, collect things she likes on Pinterest & occasionally Tweets. Bekka’s clients include: Disney Parks, Piperlime, Verizon, Crest, Old Navy, Creative Mornings, The Feast & A Cup of Jo.

Carly Ayres
Chief Content Officer at Creative Mornings.
Designer and content creator for a global monthly breakfast series.

Carly Ayres is a person, living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She considers herself a specialized generalist or general specialist. Generally, Carly specializes in content: consuming, creating, and curating it in various forms. She loves talking to people, taking that experience, and synthesizing it into digestible words, sentences, paragraphs for others.

After spending four years welding metal and carving wood, Carly abandoned product design in lieu of her favorite part of the process, speaking with users, digging into their needs, and making sense of that. Sometimes, that seeps into other things she’s doing and ends up making something tactile.

Born and raised in the sunshine state, she’s adapted, albeit unwillingly, to cooler climates after a stint in Rhode Island and now call Brooklyn, NY home. She works for CreativeMornings, a lecture series for creative types, is a contributor for Core77, and helps out with unti-tled. She works from Studiomates, a co-working space of nice folks. When she’s not doing that, I’m a voracious reader, pie baker, and aspiring indoor-plant horticulturist.

 

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