Speaker Presentations – 2023 Forum

Milestone Master Presenters

M-EdwardsShellie Frey
VP, Chief Branding &
Communications Officer
Golden State Foods Golden State Foods 75th Anniversary
An Unforgettable Campaign that Indulged all Stakeholders
Celebrating a milestone anniversary is exciting and daunting, especially for organizations like Golden State Foods, a family of global companies. The 75th Anniversary took years of planning and alignment at the highest levels. And it required pristine execution of multi-faceted programs which engaged all stakeholders in GSF’s journey from the beginning to what’s next.
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Shellie Frey will detail how she effectively led her Global Brand and Communications team to create a year-long emotional souvenir for its 6,000 associates and 125,000 customers to bring GSF’s 75-year legacy to life in a way they had not done before. From creating multi-media programs, rich storytelling, gamified learning maps, and trivia contests to establishing signature scholarship and community service programs, you’ll understand why the media couldn’t resist covering their Anniversary.

Takeaways Include:

  1. Developing a viable road map for planning successful milestone anniversaries while maintaining effective budgeting with discipline and flexibility
  2. Engaging associates and partners at all levels for success: associates, executives, cross-functional steering committee, and third-party support
  3. Leveraging an organization’s culture to achieve the celebration’s goals and objectives, while producing immersive, multi-media legacy programs that inspire, educate, and entertain
  4. Illustrating the process of publishing commemorative anniversary books and creating captivating storytelling throughout the anniversary year
  5. Leveraging CSR: community service, scholarships, and giving back as part of a milestone year of celebration


Ted RyanDr. Tina Bernot
Executive Director of Development
Murray State University

How Murray State Racers Stayed on Track to Deliver a Winning Centennial

An anniversary celebration requires time to plan and bold leadership to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime celebration. As co-Chair for the Centennial, Tina Bernot will share the strategic planning process, goals they established, and how they methodically centennialized existing programs and created signature anniversary elements designed to engage key constituent groups who experienced the “good feels” of 100 years!
[read more=”Read More” less=”Read Less”]Tina will also share how the team established the budget, created a multi-faceted marketing and branding campaign, and organized the year-long anniversary that resulted in transforming aspects of Murray State University. The Centennial planning team learned a lot about the greatest stories of Murray State’s institutional history, a privilege that comes with working on an anniversary![/read] Blayne Beal
Director of Centennial Coordination
Texas Tech University

Eyes on the Horizon: Texas Tech’s Centennial Celebration

Leading by example has been the key to success for Blayne Beal as he has led Texas Tech University’s Centennial efforts over the last four years. Being both a leader and doer has ensured that this massive undertaking has been a success. Eyes on the Horizon, Texas Tech’s Centennial Campaign, originated after thorough research across the universities various stakeholder groups and has grown into the University’s largest and most comprehensive marketing campaign.
[read more=”Read More” less=”Read Less”]Blayne Beal, in his 22nd year at Texas Tech, will share the University’s approach to its Centennial and provide valuable insight on how such a large organization came together for this milestone occasion. [/read] Angie-MarcheseAngie Marchese
Vice President of Archives & Exhibits
Elvis Presley Enterprises

Elvis Has Not Left the Building, Especially at Graceland

The King of Rock and Roll died in 1977, but his legacy lives on at Graceland, something we continually mark with relevant milestone celebrations by sharing aspects of his life not commonly known.

Since joining the team in 1989, Angie Marchese has been integral to keeping Elvis’ legacy alive. As VP of Archives and Exhibits, celebrating the milestones in Elvis’s life and marking major milestones in Graceland’s history is essential to keeping the story of Elvis relevant for generations to come.
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When Graceland opened for tours in 1982, we thought that by 1987 everyone who wanted to see Graceland would have visited. However, here we are 40-plus years later, welcoming people from around the world and introducing a whole new generation to Elvis Presley.

By buying Graceland in 1957, Elvis fulfilled a childhood promise to ensure his parent never struggled again. What he didn’t know was that over 23 million people would visit Graceland since opening for tours in 1982.

Graceland is Elvis, and Elvis is Graceland.[/read]

Jennifer-MuccioliJennifer Muccioli
Director, Corporate Affairs
Lakehouse Communications

Beyond 125: Celebrating Our Legacy, and Our Path Forward

Throughout our history, KPMG has risen to the occasion. For 125 years, we have been essential to significant moments of history and have evolved to meet the needs of our people, clients, and society. Our 125th Anniversary – Beyond125 – was a moment in time to celebrate all we’ve done and all we can do in the future – it served as a connection from our past to the future and gave us pause to reflect with pride on where we’ve been and where we’re going.
[read more=”Read More” less=”Read Less”]In her conversation, Jennifer Muccioli, Director of Corporate Affairs for KPMG Lakehouse, will bring you through the firm’s 125th Anniversary planning and how they used this as an opportunity to create a year-long campaign celebrating their amazing professionals, clients, and the local communities in which they live and work through volunteer service. Through several tent-pole moments (a term adopted from this Anniversary Forum!), the firm created storytelling opportunities that engendered pride in their people and anchored to the firm’s rich culture, purpose, and the important role it plays in society. Stories of the past acted as the prologue to set the future vision and the ambition of diversity, equity, and inclusion as an everlasting firm priority. All of this culminated in a celebratory day of service across the entire firm on August 2, 2022, a day that has now become an annual day to give back.
[/read] Hallie HarenskiHallie Harenski
SVP, Marketing & Communications
Crum & Forster

Crum & Foster’s 200th Anniversary: Where Legacy and Innovation Meet

Mark-RushingVern Oakley
Founder, CEO, Chief Creative Officer
Tribe Pictures

Video Storytelling to Transform Milestone Moments into a Movement

Most organizations understand that video is an important addition to their content distribution plan, but exceptional organizations understand how to make video a strategic part of their communications efforts. Throughout the session, Vern Oakley, owner of Tribe Pictures, professor of corporate communications, and creative director behind multiple award-winning anniversary films will discuss how to leverage the power of video storytelling to unite your people around a mission.
[read more=”Read More” less=”Read Less”]From creative ideation to production to distribution, Vern will discuss how prioritizing strategic storytelling at every step of the process will make your video content have ripple effects that last far beyond your organization’s anniversary celebration. In addition, Vern will share a selection of proprietary creative development tools to help guide you through the initial phase of your video strategy.
[/read] Lisa Alonge
Anniversary University®

Making Milestones Matter

Whether you’re marking your twenty-fifth year in business, a bicentennial, or anything in between, anniversaries offer an opportunity to pause, reflect on all you have accomplished, and forge a path to where you want to take your organization next. Leaders, communicators, and marketers worldwide have successfully integrated milestone anniversaries into their growth plans. Now it’s your turn, and taking advantage of Anniversary University resources will set you on the right path, starting with attending The Anniversary Forum.
[read more=”Read More” less=”Read Less”]As the Founder of Anniversary University®, Lisa had the privilege of interviewing hundreds of executives who embraced the challenges and opportunities of planning a milestone campaign. Their collective insights added to her own, and one of them is that there are common threads of best practices, regardless of the sector, no matter how large or small, global or local, big budget or none. Lisa will share key planning considerations detailed in her playbook Milestone Anniversary Planning, a comprehensive playbook for leaders. Lisa will also talk about the “Anniversary Effect,” which contributes to transformative and measurable outcomes beyond what may be imagined.
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lisa@anniversary-university.com 908-301-0219