April 30, 2015


An annual national social media
marketing conference.
Duluth, MN, April 30, 2015


We're tapping some of the best online marketing minds in the industry for one reason: To help YOU turn social media marketing into a moneymaker.

Online marketing agency aimClear and the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce will host the Fourth Zenith Social Media Conference April 30, 2015, in Duluth, Minnesota. Designed for anyone looking to embrace the incredible power of social media, Zenith Social Media Conference taps the best minds in the industry to provide attendees with the strategy, tactics and tools necessary to conquer social media, boost online engagement, increase social market share and avoid wasteful social media campaigns.

2015 is sure to impress you. Stay tuned for an impressive lineup of luminary speakers and an agenda that will knock your socks off! Details coming soon.



(Before Monday, March 30th)


(after March 30th)


Available to all Twin Ports students, through a partnership with Fuse Duluth's College Connection program. You must present your Student ID when checking in at the conference.


2015 Speaker Lineup Coming Soon

2014 Speakers



    Managing Director, Shovecom LLC

    Neal Rodriguez has a 10-year track record of successfully helping businesses market their products and services on the search engines, social media, and other online digital communities. Neal’s experience spans across many verticals including companies serving luxury markets, such as private jet charters and fractional homes, and B2B sales engagements.

    Neal has engineered SEO and social media strategy for many iconic brands, including Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek, the Nielsen Company, and AOL. Neal has been quoted on Forbes, PBS, and the City University of New York. Neal has been published on Forbes Magazine, the Huffington Post, and other popular digital marketing publications.


  • Don Ness


    Duluth Mayor | Social Media Enthusiast

    Don Ness was elected mayor in 2007 from a field of 12 candidates. Four years later, he became the first mayor to run unopposed since Duluth was incorporated in 1887.

    Mayor Ness takes a no-nonsense, solution-minded approach to his job. His administration has adopted the motto, "Own it - Solve it" and has developed an impressive record of accomplishment and problem solving.

    Melding his personal and professional life on Facebook, Mayor Ness is an impeccable example of how to succeed using social media as a public figure (& a genuine human being). From updating those on real-time events, to championing our region’s economic goals, he has succeeded in providing Duluth with a 24/7 public forum for citizens to voice their opinions, concerns, praise, or scrutiny. His honest and passionate interactions in social media have brought the community together to solve important issues, an etiquette that few in the public eye have perfected.

    We feel proud to call Don Ness Duluth's mayor, and honored to share with the community more about his social repertoire at the Zenith Social Media Conference.




    CEO MobileMoxie, LLC

    Cindy Krum is the CEO and Founder of MobileMoxie, LLC, a mobile marketing consultancy and host of the most cutting-edge online mobile marketing tool set available today. Cindy is the author of Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are, published by Que Publishing and now also available in German, Italian, Korean and Chinese. She brings fresh and creative ideas to her clients, providing on-site training and workshops, as well as speaking at national and international trade events on a regular basis.

    Cindy is an active member of the search community and has been published in Website Magazine, Advertising & Marketing Review, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, Marketing Land, SEOmoz, Search Engine Strategies Magazine, and quoted by many respected publications including PC World, Internet Retailer, TechWorld, Direct Magazine and Search Marketing Standard. She is passionate about bringing creative online marketing solutions to clients.




    Social PR Author, Evangelist, Journalist and Publicist

    Author of Social PR Secrets and named one of the top 40 Digital Strategists for 2013, Lisa Buyer is passionate and ambitious about how Public Relations, Social Media and Online Marketing influence each other.

    She is President and CEO of The Buyer Group, an interactive public relations and social agency located in Celebration, Florida and editor for Social #PR Chat covering trends in Social PR, Mobile PR, Brand PR and SEO PR. Lisa writes for several industry publications covering how public relations influences search and social and is a regular speaker with PubCon, SMX, ClickZLive (formerly SES), OMI and an instructor of the University of San Francisco’s online Advanced Social Media certificate program. Lisa graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism. Go Gators! Her favorite hashtags are #yoga, #sunsets and #surfing. Follow @lisabuyer for more.




    Director, PR and Emerging Media, space150

    Lisa has a strong background in integrated marketing communications with emphasis on public relations, digital brand strategy and social media. She has diverse experience working across organizations to develop and implement purpose-driven strategic communications strategies that bridge the traditional and digital media divide. As director of PR and emerging media at space150, Lisa’s time is devoted to building space150's PR and social media practice, developing and executing interactive marketing strategies for clients.




    Community Manager, offers.com

    Michelle hosts the money saving #STSMchat and co-hosts #SocialChat, a Twitter based live chat that covers a variety of topics geared towards social media marketing. She is a contributing writer for Search Engine Watch. Her passion for social media marketing has made her a regular conference speaker at events like Socialize Toronto, Search Marketing Expo, and Search Engine Strategies Conference. She has also been a featured guest on Webmaster Radio and several industry Hangouts on Air. At Offers.com she guides the strategy and execution for multiple aspects of the content and social marketing for a major tech company. In her free time she enjoys traveling, ballroom dancing, and reading great books. She is also a self-published Indy novelist.


  • Ric Dragon


    CEO, DragonSearch

    Ric Dragon is the author of Social Marketology and the DragonSearch Online Marketing Manual, both published by Mc-Graw Hill. He is the CEO and co-founder of DragonSearch, with more than 20 years of extensive experience in graphic design, information architecture, web development and digital marketing. As an artist, Ric has been shown in countless group and solo shows. He is a regular guest columnist for Marketing Land, and Social Media Monthly, and a speaker at many marketing and business conferences.


  • Joanna Lord


    CMO, BigDoor

    Joanna Lord is Chief Marketing Officer at Seattle-based BigDoor, a customer-loyalty technology startup. Before that she was VP of Growth Marketing at Moz (previously SEOmoz), a leader in the inbound marketing space. For the past ten years, Joanna has led marketing focused on customer acquisition, retention, analytics, and brand marketing. She is a frequent conference speaker and keynote on a variety of digital marketing topics.

    She is also Founder of ISITaYES (a social shopping mobile app), Techstars Mentor, Founders Institute advisor, board advisor to Attendly, and blogger for Entrepreneur.com, MarketingLand.com, and at JoannaLord.com. When she isn't talking marketing, fashion, or technology, Joanna is likely enjoying a cup of coffee and wandering the beautiful city of Seattle.


  • Merry Morud


    Social Advertising Director, aimClear®

    Merry Morud (UMD) Social Advertising Director is regarded as a consensus thought leader at the intersection of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn marketing and SEO. Facebook (the company) regularly draws on her as a resource for input and beta testing. She is an aimClear account manager handling major clients, including Siemens and several others. Merry is also adept at handling the unique online marketing needs of midsize and startup businesses.

    Merry has writen for Search Engine Watch and speaks all over the world. Appearances include SMX (West, Advanced, East, London & Sydney), SES (New York, San Francisco & Chicago), and PPC Hero. She is also a ClickZ trainer.


  • Marty Weintraub


    Founder & Evangelist, aimClear®

    Marty is Founder & Evangelist of aimClear® an integrated social, search, display and PR online marketing agency. After piloting aimClear to INC. 500 status in 2012, he is focused on guiding aimClear's extensive training programs, defining agency vision, writing, speaking, networking, and leading industry studies. Client credits include Intel, Firestone, Siemens, Tektronix, United Health Group, MarthaStewart.com, The Washington Post, Ning, SecondLife & other iconic global brands. aimClear was named a top workplace place in Minnesota by Minnesota Business Magazine in 2012.

    Marty is a fixture on the international conference circuit. His recent and upcoming speaking keynotes & panels include SES London, MediaPost Search Insider Summit, OMS, Charlotte Search Exchange, among others. Marty has appeared in front of audiences since 2007 at SEMpdx, mozCon, PubCon, eMetrics, and numerous other global search and social marketing conferences.


  • Kevin Jacobsen


    Anchor | Producer, KBJR 6 & Range 11

    Kevin Jacobsen is an Emmy-awarding winning news anchor, reporter and social media enthusiast at KBJR 6 & Range 11.

    When he's not anchoring the 6 & 10 p.m. news, or covering the state legislature in St. Paul, Kevin focuses on his newsroom's social networking outreach.

    He understands connecting with the audience through social media outlets isn't a one man effort, it's a team effort. Kevin is one of the most 'followed' journalists on Twitter in the Northland.


  • Josh Braaten


    Inbound Marketing Director, Collegis Education

    Josh Braaten is the Director of Inbound Marketing for Collegis Education, an education services company, where he is responsible for strategies in search, social, content, and conversion for higher education institutions in an effort to empower change through education. Josh also serves as the vice president Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association, contributes regularly to industry publications such as SearchEngineWatch.com and is the co-founder of the Google Glass startup, Glass en Masse.


  • Dennis Yu


    CTO & Founder of BlitzMetrics

    Dennis Yu is CTO and founder of BlitzMetrics. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He is also an author at InsideFacebook and AllFacebook.

    Dennis has held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines. He studied Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you.

    You can contact him at dennis@blitzmetrics.com, his blog, or on Facebook.

  • Regis Hadiaris


    Leader of Leaders and Pursuer of WOW! Translation-Director, Internet Marketing

    Regis Hadiaris leads several digital marketing and product development efforts for the nation’s largest online mortgage lender, Quicken Loans. He is a writer, speaker, advisor, and aspiring curler.

    In addition to providing expert marketing opinion in numerous mortgage industry publications, Regis’ work has been recognized by Forbes, Forrester Research, Money Magazine, US Navy, SproutSocial, Web Marketing Association, and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association.

    Regis has 18 years of marketing experience advising Fortune 500 companies and startups in financial services, education, retail (e-commerce), automotive, tourism, and consumer products.

  • Gretchen Egeberg


    Account Manager, aimClear

    As an Account Manager at aimClear, Gretchen specializes in ad research and production for Facebook, LinkedIn, AdWords, Bing, YouTube and Twitter, Gretchen helps fresh startups and Fortune500 companies create, manage and optimize ads that radically target and convert audiences. When Gretchen isn’t using her online marketing acumen to teach clients the ways of psychographic and keyword research, she can be found writing for the aimClear blog and attending industry conferences.

  • Megan Demarais


    Associate Account Manager, aimClear

    With a background in management, and knack for research and creative, Megan Demarais brings her diverse skill set to her role as an Associate Account Manager at aimClear®, an INC. 500-honored Search & Social Marketing Agency based in Minnesota. From rising startups to Fortune500 companies, Megan implements and manages integrated and radically targeted ad campaigns across Search, Social, and Display platforms for a variety of B2B and B2C clients.

  • Grant Tilus


    Associate Inbound Marketing Manager, Collegis Education

    Grant is an Associate Inbound Marketing Manager at Collegis Education; an integrated technology company that focuses on assisting education institutions through technology and analytics. He is responsible for a variety of different inbound marketing projects/activities in areas such as content, seo, social media and database marketing.

    He currently manages a team of inbound marketers throughout the process of ideation, content creation, distribution, outreach and paid social media management in addition to developing new inbound/content strategies. He has produced Google+ Hangouts on Air for over a year and takes pride in being on the leading edge of this technology.

  • Rob Karwath


    President & CEO, North Coast Communications

    Rob Karwath is President and CEO of North Coast Communications in Duluth, a company he founded after 25 years as an executive, top editor and award-winning reporter at some of the country’s largest and most innovative media companies.

  • Will Scott


    CEO, Search Influence

    Search Influence is a national, full-service, online marketing company based in New Orleans and a 2011 Inc. 500 honoree. For our hundreds of direct clients, we provide a holistic approach to Search, Social and Online Advertising. Search Influence is also the premier provider of platform based solutions for resellers like Newspapers, Publishers and Digital Agencies, giving them the ability to offer customers new media advertising services they’re looking for without development costs. Reseller partners have grown their client base, improved their retention rates and helped countless customers grow their businesses with Search Influence’s targeted, scalable SEO, Social Media Marketing and PPC solutions.

  • Joe Warner


    CTO, aimClear

    As Chief Technology Officer at aimClear Joe is responsible for the direction and implementation of enterprise-wide technology services and infrastructure. Leading a team of six rockstar administrators, developers, and graphic artists, Joe oversees activities for both internal and client-facing technology needs including services such as blended search & social demographic research, search engine optimization (SEO) technical audits, analytics monitoring, reputation monitoring, & consulting.

  • Katy Katz

    Katy Katz

    Inbound Marketing Specialist, Collegis Education

    Katy is an Inbound Marketing Specialist at Collegis Education; an integrated technology company that focuses on assisting education institutions through technology and analytics. From executing social media outreach on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and more; to writing epic blog articles, Katy enjoys staying at the forefront of industry trends in order to discover new insights and continually to drive business positive results.

  • Alex Houg

    Alex Houg

    CEO, BlitzMetrics

    Alex Houg is the 20 year old CEO of BlitzMetrics, an internet marketing firm based in Minneapolis with 21 employees worldwide. An international speaker and writer, Alex has presented at Social Media Marketing World, ICON14, Pubcon, L2E (Learn to earn). A regular contributor to internet marketing advice publications, Alex gives advice on InsideFacebook, SocialFresh, and Business2Community.

    An entrepreneur by the age of 14, he developed and later sold a successful gaming accessory website. His interests turning to internet marketing, Alex has managed campaigns for clients such as Adidas, The Golden State Warriors, Fuddruckers, and Jack Daniels.

    His focus with BlitzMetrics is the QuickStarts program, fully implementing and tuning Facebook ads with packages available for all levels of business. His other projects include The Untern Movement- A program designed to help college students discover what they love and gain valuable job experience in cooperation with universities. With this program, his goal is to provide participants with a certification program built around what they enjoy, free of charge.

  • Ryan McGrath

    Ryan McGrath

    Account Manager, aimClear

    Public relations and marketing strategist Ryan McGrath brings experience developing and executing integrated marketing communication campaigns for public and private organizations to his role as Account Manager at aimClear. He has worked with clients ranging from radical startups to Fortune 500, and B2B to B2C organizations in the technology, healthcare, consumer goods and manufacturing industries.

    He provides a voice to some of the world’s leading brands by fusing traditional marketing and PR with online and social marketing. Helps technology, manufacturing, health care and consumer clients market new products and services with a holistic approach while elevating competitive strengths and assessing the effectiveness of campaigns and ROI against KPIs.

    Additionally, manages the online presence of several companies, big and small, and regularly contributes to the aimClear blog.

  • Kathy Jalivay

    Kathy Jalivay

    Chief Business Development Officer, aimClear

    As a member of the leadership team for this highly regarded global online marketing agency, Kathy is responsible for external relationships, internal account leadership and the smooth execution of strategic online campaigns for our clients.

  • Josh Lysne

    Josh Lysne

    Director of Digital Strategy, Flint Group

    As the Director of Digital Strategy for the Flint Group of agencies, Josh is responsible for developing the digital strategy for Flint Group clients. In addition to strategy development,Josh is also responsible for internal and client education including the KNOW series. Josh has been a featured speaker at a wide variety of events including NAMA, North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, various local Chamber events, California Agriculture Communication Coalition, Rural Healthcare Conference, Agvocacy 2.0, FFA National Convention, Young Farmers of America and many others.

2015 Zenith Agenda Coming Soon

2014 Zenith Conference Agenda

Down & Dirty

Greysolon Ballroom
From newbie beginners to experienced marketers, this track offers tactics you can use NOW. This track is run and gun from beginning to end, totally stuffed with “How to,” “What Next” & “What For?”

The Down & Dirty track is not for attendees who want theory or futuristic bullsh*t. The focus is NOW, YOU, DO IT!

Channel Wizards

Greysolon Moorish Room
This track is for those with marketing interest in specific channels. The track begins with a session to flesh out real meat-on-the-bone to define what “Wins” mean using social analytics. Then our panelists will take seriously deep dives into Mobile, Facebook & Twitter.


Sheraton Conference Room
This track is for experienced social marketers and those who want a taste of serious geek-tech-marketing-talk-and-tactics-wow!

7:45 - 8:30

Registration, Introductions, Networking - Greysolon Ballroom
David Ross, Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO

8:45 - 9:30

Morning Keynote Address
Make Friends Or Go Bankrupt
View real case studies on how to make relationships using social tools in digital communities that helped generate millions of dollars. Learn how to use social media to build relationships that will increase your referral and customer base for life.
Neal Rodriguez, Managing Director Shovecom LLC

9:45 - 10:45

Down & Dirty Track
12 Essential Steps To Being A Profitable Community Manager
Marty Weintraub
Kevin Jacobsen

Channel Wizards Track
Using Social Media Analytics To Define ROI KPIs
Grant Tilus
Katy Katz

Advanced Track
Advanced Facebook & Twitter Social Advertising
Merry Morud

11:00 - 12:00

Down & Dirty Track
Growing Your Networks To Build Personal Brand & Advance Your Career
Michelle Stinson-Ross
Rob Karwath

Channel Wizards Track
Mobile Marketing: A Field Guide For Those Who Will Not Be Left In The Dust!
Cindy Krum

Advanced Track
SEO, Social Media & What Every Marketer (SRSLY) Must Do
Regis Hadiaris
Will Scott
Joe Warner

12:00 - 1:30

Lunch and Sponsor Booth Visits
General Attendee Lunch in Greysolon Ballroom

Special Professional Panel Lunch For College Students Only
How To Get Your Online Marketing Dream Job!
*Event limited to first 50 students to register for the Zenith Conference.

College Student ALERT! Are you a marketing & communications student looking for an amazing internship and/or a job after graduation at a world famous agency? BUZZER! Maybe you’d like an agency leader, who actually does the hiring, to review your resume and make suggestions. Zenith Social Media marketing conference is pleased to offer a completely unique networking opportunity for college students only.

National panelists speaking at Zenith impact hiring for hundreds of social media, SEO, PPC, content, community management and other online marketing jobs in five countries. There is no dedicated college student-networking event at any major online conference in the world. Heck, speakers of this caliber usually only appear together at conferences that cost 5X + airfare. Join internationally known agency leaders including:

Neal Rodriguez, Managing Director, Shovecom LLC, New York, NY
Lisa Buyer, Author of Social PR Secrets, Social PR Speaker, Orlando, FL
Lisa Grimm, Director, PR and Emerging Media, Space 150, Minneapolis- St. Paul, MN
Michelle Stinson-Ross, Community Manager, Offers.com, Austin, TX
Ric Dragon, Author of McGraw-Hills's Social Marketology, CEO DragonSearch, New York, NY
Rob Karwath, President and CEO of North Coast Communications, Duluth, MN
Josh Braaten, Inbound Marketing Director, Collegis Education, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Dennis Yu, Chief Technology Officer, BlitzMetrics, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Alex Houg, Chief Executive Officer, BlitzMetrics, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Will Scott, Owner, Search Influence, New Orleans, LA
Joanna Lord, CMO at BigDoor, Seattle, WA
Marty Weintraub, Founder & Evangelist, aimClear, Duluth, MN
Joe Warner, Chief Technical Office, aimClear, Duluth, MN
Kathy Jalivay, Chief Business Development Officer, aimClear, St. Paul, MN
Josh Lysne, Director of Digital Strategy, Flint Group, Fargo, ND
Regis Hadiaris, Translation-Director, Internet Marketing, Duluth, MN

This is a private networking event for college students to:

  • Get one-on-one face time with true movers, shakers and job providers
  • Receive feedback on resumes and other advice
  • Find out what online marketing employers are really looking for and how to approach them
  • Ask questions and otherwise network
  • Make new friends that matter, including amongst other students

If you say you want a career in marketing (social media included) and you do NOT attend this event in YOUR city, than you are full of hooey. Attend this session or read about it somewhere else. Or, you may hear that your friend who did attend made a contact that resulted in a job in San Francisco, Duluth, Italy, or Australia.

1:45 - 2:30

Afternoon Keynote Address
Don Ness, Duluth Mayor, Social Media Enthusiast

2:45 - 3:45

Down & Dirty Track
12 Social PPC Hacks You Can Use Tomorrow! Targeting, Distribution & Sales, OH MY!
Gretchen Egeberg
Megan Demarais
Ryan McGrath

Channel Wizards Track
Breaking Bad with Twitter! Game Changing Tactics & Prodigal ROI
Lisa Grimm
Lisa Buyer

Advanced Track
Content Marketing Master Class
Ric Dragon
Josh Braaten

4:00 - 5:00

Down & Dirty Track
Social Media Marketing “Live” Clinic
Panelists: William Scott, Lisa Grimm

Channel Wizards Track
Power Facebook Marketing For Professionals
Marty Weintraub
Dennis Yu

Advanced Track
Building Brand Evangelists & Encouraging Loyalty
Joanna Lord

5:00 - Whenever

Book Signing & Expanded Q&A/Cocktail Party

Meet the speakers for those burning questions you didn’t have time to ask. Located at Black Water Lounge. Near the Greysolon Plaza on Superior Street. 231 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802

Book Signing/Meet the Authors:

If you are interested you can purchase a copy of a book from one of the authors below before the conference, meet the author and get your booked signed.

Marty Weintraub, Founder & Evangelist, aimClear, Duluth, MN
Purchase: Killer Facebook Ads: Master Cutting-Edge Facebook Advertising Techniques
: The Complete Social Media Community Manager's Guide: Essential Tools and Tactics for Business Success

Ric Dragon, CEO DragonSearch, New York, NY
Purchase: Social Marketology: Improve Your Social Media Processes and Get Customers to Stay Forever

Lisa Buyer, Social PR Speaker, Orlando, FL
Purchase: Social PR Secrets: How to Optimize, Socialize, and Publicize Your Brand's News