2019 Speakers

John Denny

VP eCommerce & Digital Marketing

CAVU Venture Partners


Session: Friend or Foe: The Amazon Masterclass

Time: 12.10 pm - 12:50 pm

John is a recognized industry leader on the topic of Amazon, eCommerce, & Digital Marketing, who has been interviewed and quoted by The New York Times, Forrester Research, the Association of National Advertisers, and Clickz  for his innovative approach to creating breakout growth for insurgent brands. In 2019, Amazon invited John to speak at their inaugural AdCon in Seattle, and he is a past keynote speaker at Amazon's Advertiser and Vendor Conferences in 2015, 2016 and 2017. John is currently VP eCommerce & Digital Marketing for CAVU Venture Partners, working with portfolio companies to build high growth brands that disrupt the CPG marketplace.  Prior to CAVU, John was VP eCommerce & Media at Bai, where over four years he built the brand on Amazon from a tiny niche product to the #1 selling beverage on the platform-- passing industry giants Coke and Pepsi. (Bai was ultimately acquired for $1.7 billion-- only 7 years after launch-- by Dr Pepper Snapple Group in one of the largest food & beverage start up acquisitions of the decade.)

Carolyn Shelby

SEO Manager, Audience Development

Walt Disney Company

Session: Keynote: The Transformation of Search
Time: 09:10 – 09:40


Carolyn Shelby is a multi-award winning digital marketer with more than 24 years of experience in Internet technologies and digital publishing. She specializes in technical SEO, with in-depth experience in Google News optimization, enterprise systems, and publishers.

Carolyn’s career began in 1994 when she co-founded an Internet Service Provider and web hosting company. She is an internationally recognized speaker and trainer, and also contributes to a variety of digital and print publications, writing about search, digital marketing, and social media use by large corporations.

Carolyn has worked in a wide variety of verticals, including:
- Digital Media and Publishers (TV/Cable, News)
- Health and Medical Fields
- Ecommerce - Manufacturing, Retail, B2C, B2B
- Professional Associations, Medical Associations, and Non-Profit Orgs

In addition to consulting, speaking, and co-founding an ISP, Carolyn operated one of the first online city guides in the world (Lafayette Online), and helped the Journal and Courier become one of the very first print newspapers to have a web version in 1995. She was also one of the original three hosts of WebmasterRadio’s SEO 101 podcast, which logged more than 60,000 downloads per month at its peak.

Carolyn recently left her role as the Director of SEO for Tribune Publishing, where she worked on the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, and eight other Tribune newspapers, including a number of other digital properties (like ForSaleByOwner.com) around the United States.

Michael Akkerman

Global Head of Pinterest Partners Program


Session: You’ll Know it When You See it: The Future of eCommerce is Visual

Time: 09:40 - 10:10

As the Global Head of the Pinterest Partners program, Michael (@mikeakka) is responsible for growing and managing the ecosystem of strategic partners working with some of the largest brands and advertisers around the world and helping drive their success on Pinterest. The Pinterest Partners program has over 75 technology partners and spans six specialties: Advertising, Audiences, Content Marketing, Creative, Shopping, and Measurement. Before joining Pinterest, he was a Global Vice President at Kenshoo, an enterprise digital marketing software company. Michael regularly speaks at conferences about the intersection of marketing and technology and is currently saving ideas about 'France + Italy = Family Fun Time'.

Dave Fall



Session: You’ll Know it When You See it: The Future of eCommerce is Visual

Time: 09:40 - 10:10

A seasoned adtech and martech veteran with over two decades of experience, Dave Fall has worked for some of the industry’s heaviest hitters. Before taking the helm at Brand Networks in 2017, he was the COO at Tapad (acquired by Telenor Group, 2016). Dave began his career in consulting before spending over 10 years at DoubleClick and Google in product, technical services, and corporate development roles. After leaving Google in 2009, Dave led operations at Clickable (acquired by Syncapse, 2012), and held both COO and CPO roles at Syncapse (acquired by LookSmart, 2013). Dave has helped advance the industry over the last 10 years by serving as a board member at both the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) between 2006 and 2012, and the National Advertising Initiative (NAI) between 2015 and 2017.

Kerry Curran

Executive Director, Marketing Integration

Catalyst (GroupM)

Session: Flip your performance marketing mindset: 5 things DTCs and legacy brands can learn from each other 

Time: 10:10 - 10:30

Kerry Curran, Executive Director, Marketing Integration, has over 20 years of experience in digital marketing, business strategy and development, and financial services.  A passionate digital strategist, Kerry leads Catalyst’s efforts in developing thought leadership, cross-channel strategies to drive business results, and providing solutions to client business challenges through customized Search, eCommerce, & Social strategies. Her experience includes developing enterprise marketing programs integrated with digital and traditional media plans as well as global search programs. Kerry has been shortlisted for both the Bing Executive of the Year Award (2017, 2018) and the Search Engine Land “Landys” Search Marketer of the Year – Female Award (2017). 

Kerry’s prior experience includes VP/Group Director at DigitasLBi and Client Relationship Manager at iProspect, successfully leading client programs across B2B, eCommerce, lead generation, and brand engagement with cross channel tactics including, Social, Paid Search, SEO, and Display marketing. Past clients include: P&G, American Express, GE, Kraft, Sears, Land Rover, BP, Unilever, TJX, Victoria’s Secret, Liberty Mutual, and BlackRock. 

Prior to entering the Digital Marketing Industry, Kerry worked in the financial industry. She holds a BA from Boston College and MBA from University College Dublin, Ireland. She lives in Newton, Ma with her husband and two children.

Adam Broitman

Senior Expert, Digital Marketing

McKinsey & Company

Session: Panel Moderator: Embarking on a search transformation project

Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

John Shehata

VP, Audience Development Strategy

Conde Nast

Session: Panellist: Embarking on a search transformation project

Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

John Shehata is Vice President of Audience Development Strategy at Condé Nast overseeing SEO, Social Media Strategy, and Email Operations & Strategy for 20 premium brands (Wired, Epicurious, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Vogue, The New Yorker, GQ, etc.). John has 18+ years of experience in the digital marketing space working with top national brands and fortune 500 companies. John also the found of NewzDash.com, the first News SEO tool in USA.

Previously, John was the Executive Director of Search, Social Media at Disney ABC TV Group. Shehata lead SEO and social strategies for (ABC News, ABC TV, Oscars, and Disney Channels) and worked closely with all TV shows (GMA, Nightline, 20/20, World News, etc.).

In his long career focusing on editorial SEO and Social Strategy, John has trained many writers, bloggers, journalists and editors on Search Engine Optimization and Social Media and how to write news while keeping Search and Social channels top of mind.
Shehata is recognized particularly for his SEO strategies for News and Technical SEO. He built multiple SEO products and has written several articles and continues to speak at conferences which focus on SEO and Social Media.

Noël Reilly

Strategic Account Director


Session: Panellist: Embarking on a search transformation project

Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Noel Reilly is a Strategic Account Director for Microsoft Advertising. She’s been working in the digital media landscape for over 13 years, the last 4 of which have been at Microsoft partnering with their largest clients on their SEM & native strategies. She brings her strong agency background leading global partnerships and digital brand strategy to her work at Microsoft, guiding clients in their digital transformation and helping them navigate how to better plan for the future of search.

Trevor Hettesheimer

Manager, KPI’s, Analytics, Search & Planning

Volvo Cars USA

Session: Panellist: Embarking on a search transformation project

Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Trevor Hettesheimer is the Marketing Manager for KPIs, Analytics, Search, and Planning  at Volvo Cars USA.  He has over 20 years of experience in the Automotive industry in a variety of roles including Digital Marketing Manager, SEO, SEM, and CRM.  In his current role, Trevor is responsible for the Volvo marketing analytics practice working to support and optimize paid media and works closely with Volvo’s executive management to provide descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics as part of the Strategy, Planning, and Insights team.    Trevor received Volvo Cars USA’s “Driver of Excellence” award in 2010 and was on the team that brought the award-winning Volvo XC90 SUV to market.  Trevor enjoys learning languages, and is conversational in Korean and Swedish.  Trevor has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Management from Dominican College of Blauvelt, and lives in Newburgh, NY with his wife.

Tarik Mughisuddin

Sr. Partner, Group Director Search & Social


Session: Panellist: Embarking on a search transformation project

Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Tarik has over 20 years of digital marketing experience in SEO, SEM, and paid social. Currently serving as a Group Director at Mindshare, Tarik has led global search and social campaigns across a wide range of industries including finance, automotive, luxury, jewelry, and CPG. Passionate about innovation and cutting-edge digital strategies, Tarik excels at identifying new opportunities for advertisers to maximize their business results through search and social channels. Tarik was named Trailblazer of the Year at the 2019 Microsoft Advertising Agency Awards and led his team to win Account Team of the Year at the 2017 Microsoft Advertising Awards. Tarik is fluent in Turkish and holds a MBA from Babson College. He lives in Boston with wife and daughter. 

Allen Hammock

Global Strategist for Search


Session: Why Feed Based SEM Is Making A Comeback

Time: 12:00 pm - 12:10 pm 

Amine Bentahar

Chief Digital & Marketing Officer | Author |
Digital & eCommerce Strategist

Advantix Digital & Forbes Council Member

Session: Moderator: Optimizing for position 0: Everything you need to know
about Voice Search

Time: 1:50 pm - 2:20 pm

Session: How to start on Voice Search
Time: 3:40 pm - 4:10 pm

Amine Bentahar is the Chief Digital Officer at Advantix Digital, a 5x Google All-star and Inc. 5000 Digital & Consultancy agency, which services clients ranging from Fortune 500 to startups throughout the U.S. and Canada. Amine has helped many brands transform their digital presence and serves as a consultant to major retailers in the U.S. and Canada. He is the co-Author of the book " Voice Search: The next search engine" and was among the first marketers to predict the Voice Search revolution we have been experiencing.

Prior to that, he was a General Manager at TutorGroup, an EdTech company backed by Alibaba. During his time there, he managed a team of 40+ in Silicon Valley, CA and Asia. He also worked as the head of eCommerce and Marketing at the Apparel Group and was responsible for the successful launch of Enro.com, an award-winning eCommerce site. 

Additionally, Amine has worked for Fortune 500 companies, including Hilton Worldwide and Microsoft in various Digital and eCommerce roles. Amine has written and/or been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, RCI Magazine and has given interviews to over 20 international media outlets in different languages. He has spoken at multiple digital events around the globe. 

Guillaume Conteville

SVP, Global Digital Marketing


Session: Panellist: Optimizing for position 0: Everything you need to know
about Voice Search

Time: 1:50 pm - 2:20 pm

Ashwin Ramesh



Session: Panellist: Optimizing for position 0: Everything you need to know
about Voice Search

Time: 1:50 pm - 2:20 pm

Stephen Kraus

Head of Digital Insights


Session: Paradigm Shifts In Search: How To Thrive in the New Search Ecosystem

Time: 2:20 pm - 2:30 pm

Courtney Messerli

Director E-Commerce & Search


Session: Optimizing for the world's second largest search engine: YouTube

Time: 3:00 pm - 3:40 pm 

Courtney Messerli is a seasoned SEO and eCommerce enthusiast with a focus on enterprise-level SEO for lifestyle and retail brands. She is an expert in matching user intent to quality content and products, and has over seven years of SEO experience, across both in-house and agency-side roles. Courtney has expertise in website migrations, global SEO strategy, YouTube optimization, as well as an integrated approach to SEM and SEO. She is a SEMPO Cities Los Angeles board member and enjoys discussing search strategy with like-minded individuals. When she's not optimizing websites, Courtney enjoys seeing live bass music, going to Pilates and HIIT classes, traveling, and trying new restaurants and recipes. 

Jake Grabczewski

Head of Product, Copilot


Session: The AI Advantage: Live and In-Person

Time: 4:10 pm - 4:50 pm 

Jake Grabczewski leads the product and data science teams behind Copilot, Xaxis’s AI-powered optimization technology.  With Copilot, Xaxis offers brands a consistent and powerful optimization layer on top of their chosen DSP to deliver business outcomes.  Jake has over a decade of experience in digital advertising and technology, and has previously held roles in analytics and operations.

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