Speaker Bios – 2019 Forum
SVP Marketing & Brand
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
As Sr. Vice President Marketing & Brand, Heather Malenshek is responsible for leading all aspects of the marketing function including global and regional marketing plans, marketing strategy, content strategy and creation, consumer experiences, agency management, advertising and promotions, marketing communications, CRM and global brand management.
Prior to joining Harley-Davidson in 2014 she led a 300 person, award-winning global team which ran the global business for Mars Inc. for DDB Worldwide and Omnicom, was the head of global strategic planning on a wide variety of categories and brands such as Jeep, Budweiser, Capital One, Bristol-Myers Squibb. She started her career in marketing working for QANTAS Airways and British Airways in global brand management and leisure brand marketing roles.
Malenshek earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Aberdeen University in Scotland. She’s ridden motorcycle since she was 12 years old and is currently the proud owner of a Fat Boy, a CVO Road Glide and a Ultra Tri Glide.
Formerly, VP Global Brand Systems
Making the world work better through 100 years and 100 icons of progress was core to IBM’s acclaimed Centennial program.
Leading the Centennial campaign was part of Kevin’s role as head of the IBM Brand System—a system to inculcate IBM’s unique and distinct culture into the working lives of 430,000 IBMers in over 170 countries round the world.
Kevin’s expertise in shaping brand, culture, and leveraging an anniversary for strategic advantage is second to none. It begins with the “think” phase—an IBM slogan for over 100 years, but one that has not lost its power or relevance.
Prior to this role, Kevin was Chief Marketing, Communications and Citizenship Officer for IBM Europe and Chairman of the IBM Foundation in the UK and Europe.
Outside of his career in IBM Kevin is an abstract expressionist painter; a humanist; a generative, systemic and narrative thinker; and a change leader. After 30+ years with IBM, first as a manufacturing systems engineer, then sales and marketing lead to IBM’s Chief Brand Officer, he’s now working on a start-up to build a community of leaders dedicated to mind fitness and innovation that is being pioneered in Japan, but made for the world.
Kevin is thrilled to be a “Milestone Master” with Anniversary University® and looks forward to the prospect of helping Leaders to shape Anniversaries for maximum impact. He uses systems thinking to help clients identify critical touch points and engineers each moment to delight employees and customers alike.
Kari S Evans
Ex. Dir. Bicentennial
University of Virginia
Kari S. Evans has served as the Executive Director of the Bicentennial at the University of Virginia since 2014. She is responsible for strategic planning and development, oversight, and execution of programming and content to commemorate this extraordinary milestone in the University’s history.
The celebration launched October 5-7, 2017 and will continue through the bicentennial of the University’s charter on January 25, 2019, and beyond.
Additionally, Ms. Evans is the University’s Protocol Officer, offering training in protocol and etiquette as well as supporting efforts to bring Ambassadors and other foreign dignitaries to the University, providing the community the opportunity to learn from and engage with international leaders.
Ms. Evans was previously the Director of Donor and Constituent Relations at UVA, where she managed stewardship of the university’s major donors.
VP Global Brand
Karen Kozak is a decisive, visionary leader who inspires others to achieve success. She is a brand and marketing veteran with over 25 years of experience across a broad range of industries. Karen is currently the VP of Global Brand at Cargill, the largest privately-held company in the US and a global leader in the food, agriculture and innovation space.
Karen is responsible for developing and implementing Cargill’s brand strategy, positioning and architecture, and she led the company’s year-long 150th Anniversary program that engaged over 150,000 employees in more than 650 activities and events on 6 continents. Karen currently leads a global team in creating a cohesive brand experience that benefits multiple internal and external stakeholders around the world.
Prior to joining Cargill, Karen spent the majority of her career in a variety of roles at Eastman Kodak Company, including managing strategic growth initiatives in emerging markets in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Karen led all e-commerce, online marketing and demand generation programs for Kodak’s B2C and B2B businesses for the US, Canada, and Latin America regions. She directed Kodak’s global corporate sponsorship and brand events organization, including oversight of Olympics, motorsports, golf, entertainment, and industry conference programs.
Karen lives in Minneapolis and enjoys hiking, photography, and traveling, particularly internationally to learn new cultures and trends. Karen serves as an advisor on the development committee at Childspring International, a non-profit organization providing medical surgeries to children in developing countries around the world.
Formerly, Sr. Dir. COMM's
Matt Weismantel successfully led Rutgers University’s 250th year-long Anniversary, for which the planning began more than 4-years prior. The Anniversary encompassed the past, present and future of Rutgers and engaged students, faculty and staff, alumni, and the general public in programs and events to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime milestone.
From securing the sitting President of the United States as the commencement speaker-- a first in the school’s long history-- to academic colloquia, books and publications; from concerts, to institution-wide simultaneous celebrations on the four major campuses across the state, the multifaceted initiative included something of relevance for everyone, living out its tagline: "Revolutionary for 250 Years."
In Matt’s 30+ career in higher education he’s held many positions from student affairs to serving on the leadership team of a Big Ten university communications and marketing unit. Matt helped found the Collegiate Information and Visitor Services Associations with over 1,200 professionals and served 18 years on the national leadership team on the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, representing over 100,000 professionals worldwide. Matt is honored to be considered a "Milestone Master" with Anniversary University®.
While working for a leading global communications agency I had a light bulb moment that would ignite a passion and illuminate a higher purpose that would take me on an exciting entrepreneurial adventure.
My journey began when a client engaged us to produce their 150th Anniversary global celebration, a purely positive experience. To do more of this challenging and rewarding work I needed to know more about how great organizations leveraged their anniversary, beyond the celebration.
Because there was no central place to go for information, I gave myself the best education available by speaking with more than 130 “masters” who were Fortune 500 senior executives in communications, marketing, brand and CSR professionals who led successful anniversary campaigns. What I learned expanded my thinking beyond what I ever could have imagined an anniversary would accomplish. I call these outcomes “The Anniversary Effect.”
Executives revealed that a unique challenge was never having led an anniversary campaign and that best practices and key learning would have been invaluable. I answered this call by creating The Anniversary Forum in 2014 as the only event of its kind dedicated to corporate anniversary planning and execution. The inaugural Forum sold out to world class organizations and has been growing year over year.
The Anniversary Forum is the foundation for Anniversary University®, which will grow to provide greater education, resources and connection to “the masters”– on demand. If you have an anniversary story to tell, anniversary work in your portfolio, or need guidance as you begin to plan, please connect.
Prior to founding Anniversary University® and The Anniversary Forum, I was part of the lead team establishing three of our nation’s premier conferences for women with over 20,000 attendees. Maya Angelou, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Jack Welch, Melinda Gates, Hillary Clinton, Indra Nooyi, Zaineb Salbi, and Jane Goodall were among our speakers.
I’ve been executing great ideas and building powerful relationships for common good my entire life and I love what I do.
My business degree is from New York University. I have two beautiful children who were given roots in a lovely town across the Hudson River in NJ. Those roots gave them wings to pursue their passions in New Orleans and Boulder Co.
Michael Merk, CCO designvox
Formerly, Director of Comms.
Michael Merk is a seasoned global corporate communications and marketing leader who spent the last 18 years at Steelcase, a Fortune Most Admired premium global office furniture brand.
As the Director Corporate Communications, Michael was the lead for the Steelcase Centennial, collaborating with executive management and cross-functional leaders to develop a complex global strategy. This award-winning campaign positioned Steelcase as a thought leader in the eyes of their most important stakeholders and the public. The Centennial theme, 100 Dreams 100 Minds 100 Years was a highly effective campaign, which propelled business and garnered tremendous media.
Michael’s 70-page post-anniversary de-brief is one of-a-kind playbook for communications professionals to follow,
With more than 30 years in the office furniture industry, he has developed a discipline aligning culture to drive business success. Working and living in the U.S., France, and Germany, he brings a global mindset with multicultural understandings.
Michael wholeheartedly believes in the power of sharing and is honored to be considered a “Milestone Master” with Anniversary University®.
Philippe Bergeron is Founder and CEO of PaintScaping, the world’s leader in 3D projection mapping. Time Magazine calls his work a breakthrough.
"3D projection mapping isn’t just a fad, it is a profound paradigm shift," says Bergeron, "it’s incredibly exciting. The real world becomes your canvas. We're about emotion. Stories. And, connecting with your audience.”
Topping the list of PaintScaping’s projects was the mapping experience created for the Bicentennial of the University of Virginia. Projected onto the University’s rotunda in front of 23,000 people, the experience brought the dramatic landmark’s history to life in a powerful way.
PaintScaping has designed and executed original mapping shows all over the world for clients including Gucci, Pasadena City College’s 90th Anniversary, The New York Public Library, Rihanna, Porsche, Sony Pictures, Ariana Grande, 375th Anniversary of Cape Cod’s oldest town, Ritz-Carlton, Westin Hotels, Tiffany, LA Dodgers, Sam Adams and more.
3D projection mapping experiences transforms worlds. And destroys them. Tell stories. Goes big and small. Paints landscapes and water.
PaintScaping simulates INCREDIBLE imaginary worlds. Your World is our Canvas.
Bergeron is also an actor, and CGI pioneer. As an actor, he has appeared in "Iron Man 2," "Mad Men," "Rush Hour 3," "Entourage," "Family Man," "Contact," "Godzilla," "E.R.," and guest starred on the season premiere of "The Sopranos" final season. Bergeron holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in computer science from University of Montreal.
D S Simon Media
Doug Simon is the CEO of award-winning video firm D S Simon Media. The company advises and executes broadcast and social media video communications campaigns for corporations, brands and non - profits.
The firm has done extensive work on anniversary campaigns including: The 75th Anniversary of the Macy’s Parade, The 50th Anniversary of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),100thAnniversary of the Girl Scouts, United Airlines and the 60th Anniversary of the flight attendant, The 50th Anniversary of the Nestlé Toll House Morsel and Spotify’s 10th Anniversary.
D S Simon Media specializes in brand documentaries partnering with the Ken Burns production team, most recently, for the grand reopening of the iconic FAO Schwarz store as well as live broadcasts of major events to news media and social channels including the opening of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
The firm is an industry leader in providing broadcast television exposure to executives on stations across the country through Satellite Media Tours as well as distributing media content to journalists and broadcasters globally. D S Simon Media has pioneered the use of Social Media LIVE™ to reach audiences on social channels.
Doug and is frequently quoted in top media across platforms. Television appearances include Reuters, NBC, PBS, CNN, Fox News Live and WNBC. He’s appeared on NPR and been quoted in USA Today and in The Huffington Post. This is the third Anniversary Forum that Doug has participated in.
Head of Strategy & Partnerships
Anne Keenan is Head of Strategy and Partnerships at Purpose and a member of the Executive team. She brings nearly twenty years of digital marketing and advocacy expertise to Purpose’s partners, with experience at both progressive advocacy organizations like Planned Parenthood and creative agencies including iCrossing. Purpose focuses on how organizations can use the power of purpose to build participation and impact. Anne leads teams to meet strategy, campaign, and branding challenges for clients, and works to build our partnerships across the company..
Anne’s nonprofit experience includes serving as the Director of Online Content and New Media Strategy at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, overseeing online content, strategy and implementation for the organization. She also worked at Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC), building the organization’s grassroots organizing program, planning and implementing large-scale marketing campaigns, and serving as the Director of PPNYC’s electoral organization.
On the agency side, Anne was the SVP of Strategy for Hearst’s iCrossing, a full-service digital marketing agency. In this role, she was responsible for strategy in the East and Central regions, as well as the agency’s social media practice.
Anne graduated summa cum laude from Smith College and lives in Brooklyn. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), and a former board member and chair of the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF) and the Eastern Massachusetts (EMA) Fund.