Newest Addition to Conference...LGBTbiz Talks
| By Andy DiAntonio
Join three of America’s leading LGBT innovators in tech, research, and advertising as they explore the importance of connecting your identity and experience to your business. Designed to help you think bigger during the 2016 NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference, these speakers are guaranteed to move and inspire you to take your business—and your connections—to a higher level. Be sure to join the conversation live during the talks using #NGLCC16 on your Conference App!
Aaron Walton: Marketing Agency Pioneer
Aaron Walton is co‐founder of Walton Isaacson (WI), a full service advertising agency, with offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Tokyo. His boundless creativity and strategic acumen have made him one of the most admired executives throughout advertising, brand marketing and the entertainment industry. Under his leadership, Walton Isaacson was honored this year with ‘Advertising Agency of the Year’ by Black Enterprise, and in 2012 was named one of the ‘Small Agencies of the Year’ by Ad Age.
With an expressed mission to be the “Planet’s Most Interesting Agency”, WI was founded in 2006 by Walton and fellow industry leader Cory Isaacson, in partnership with famed NBA superstar/entrepreneurial legend, Earvin “Magic” Johnson. The company’s mission has been a breakout success, leading to inventive and dynamic business relationships with brands and organizations including Lexus, Verizon Wireless, One.org, Tequila Avión, Jim Beam’s Courvoisier, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden, Kilbeggan and Skinnygirl Brands, Right Gin, Unilever’s Axe, Dove, Clear and Degree Brands, Samsung, McDonald’s and Forbes magazine.
Walton began his career as a marketing executive with the Pepsi-‐Cola Company in Purchase, New York. He joined Pepsi-‐Cola as a marketing analyst and was quickly promoted to brand management for the Pepsi and Mountain Dew Brands. Walton’s resounding knowledge of the entertainment industry and pop culture proved invaluable to a company that was making huge competitive gains through its identification with popular music. He soon became Entertainment Marketing Manager for Pepsi and developed the entertainment marketing strategy for the entire company. After his stint at Pepsi, he started his own company, Aaron Walton Entertainment (AWE), which he later sold in 2001 to Omnicom’s DAS division and took on the additional responsibilities as President of the Radiate Entertainment Group: a network of 40 experiential marketing agencies housed in Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services division; he left Radiate in 2006.
Walton has received numerous advertising and creative awards. He has been honored with the advertising and marketing industry’s prestigious ADCOLOR® Advocate Award (2011) and was selected by Out magazine as one of the “100 Most Compelling People of 2010.” Additionally, WI was named Southern California’s Minority “Supplier Of The Year” for their work with Toyota Motor Sales Lexus Division in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Born in 1961, Walton grew up in Massachusetts and attended Babson College in Wellesley, MA. In 1983, he received a Bachelor of Science Degree with a double major in Management/Organizational Behavior and Communications. As just one of two African-‐American students in his graduating class, Walton was elected student body president in 1982, and recently completed his appointed term as a Trustee at the College. Walton is a board advisor for the HollyRod Foundation, which is dedicated to providing compassionate care to those living with Autism and Parkinson’s disease.
Heidi E. Lehmann: Entrepreneur & Investment Expert
Mobile technology and media entrepreneur; expert at bringing new ideas, products and platforms successfully to the market; creating rapid adoption, visibility and scale. She is currently focused on wearable technology as the next phase of mobile computing and is currently Chief Commercial Officer for Kenzen, a new wearable diagnostic and precision health company.
Heidi has also recently been advising + consulting with venture capital firms, start-ups and brands to launch wearable technology /connected device companies including Trellie (smart jewelry company backed by Ron LeMay, former CEO of Sprint PCS) Manufacture New York (incubator for smart textiles and recipient of $75m MIT innovation grant), Anser Innovation (internet based consumer electronics/robotics company) Healthy You Now a mobile centric subscription health and wellness company founded by Tonya Lewis Lee that recently launched it’s own private label vitamin line, and Responsive Ads where she is extending the Responsive creative ad platform to reach the wearable screen (smart watches, fitness trackers and smart jewelry). Heidi maintains a strategic advisor role at all of these companies in addition to advisory roles at Women In Wireless, new AI venture capital firm Glasswing VC, and LGBT start up organization StartOut.
Previously, Heidi was founder of one of the first mobile advertising platforms, Third Screen Media, acquired by AOL for $100m+ and early employee and head of sales for automotive research company Autosite acquired by Autoweb for $20m and then purchased by Microsoft. Heidi was also co-founder and CEO of MoxieQ a mobile first influencer platform with distribution across all US mobile carriers, a video and social media partnership with BravoTV and a silo of top tier celebrity experts. She has led business development at venture-backed start-ups including Kaon Interactive (3D object capture technology) and Artificial Life (AI bot technology).
Heidi is also the Founder of a media company (SWSI “smart women, smart ideas”) which sold it’s first show to BET after a successful digital run on OraTV, a joint venture between Larry King + Carlos Slim. SWSI just received funding for it’s second show “Fashion Geeks” featuring female founders of wearable technology
Heidi has been featured and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Ad Age, Adweek, Mediapost, ClickZ, The Daily Dot, The Advocate, SheWired, The Kansas City Business Journal, Curve Magazine and in multiple Mobile Marketing publications and spoken on and moderated panels at events such as M1 Summit, SXSW, 3GSM Mobile World Congress, CTIA, Product Innovation Apparel, AdTech, OMMA, World Future Society, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, New York Economic Development Council, New York Times Innovation Day, Reuters Media Day, Start-Out, iMedia Summit and Digital Hollywood.
Heidi was voted a 2015 Woman of Influence by The New York Business Journal, 2014 Most Influential Woman in Tech, 2011 Female Founder to Watch by Women 2.0, a 2011 Most Influential Woman in Wireless by Fierce Wireless, and a 2010 Woman to Watch by Mobile Marketer.
Bob Witeck: LGBT Research & Economics Gurg
Bob Witeck is President of Washington, DC-based Witeck Communications, Inc., for over 25 years a pioneering communications expert helping design effective strategies that respect and reach lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities around the world. On their 25thanniversary, American Demographics magazine selected Bob Witeck as one of 25 global leaders ‘who have made significant contributions to the worlds of demographics, market research, media and trend spotting’ for his early work on America’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population. In 2006, he authored the first book on LGBT marketing, Business Inside Out. He was the first LGBT consultant retained in 2010 by the U.S. Census to help inspire LGBT participation in that year’s count. Before opening his own practice in 1993, he was senior vice president for Hill & Knowlton Public Affairs. On Capitol Hill, Witeck also served as communications director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as well as a Senate press secretary and legislative assistant. He is a graduate with distinction of the University of Virginia, where he was an Echols Scholar.
In addition to advising global corporations and nonprofits, Witeck has served on the boards of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), GLAAD, GLSEN, PFLAG’s Business Advisory Board and the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Council. He was recently appointed by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to serve a on the Board of Visitors of George Mason University.