ARF Industry Leader Forum - Speakers

ARF Industry Leader Forum - Speakers

Kurt Abrahamson Kurt Abrahamson – CEO, ShareThis

Kurt Abrahamson is the CEO of ShareThis. Prior to joining the company, Kurt served as CEO of, a leader in online display advertising, which was acquired by LivingSocial. Prior to, Kurt worked for Google where managed the direct sales channel for publishers and helped lead the global launch of Google AdSense as Director of the Content Media Group. Abrahamson also served as the Director of Global Sales & Operations Strategy and as Director of Sales Operations for North America. Before joining Google, Kurt served as Chief Operating Officer of Jupiter Communications and as President of Jupiter Media Metrix, where he helped build their business from a small 12-person group to 520 employees worldwide, establishing Jupiter as one of the leading Internet research organizations. Kurt received his Bachelor of Science in communications from Cornell, and a Master's degree in public policy from Harvard.

Jonathan Carson Jonathan Carson - General Manager, Digital, Nielsen

Jonathan Carson is CEO of Telecom at Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers watch and what they buy. He also leads client services for Online in North America. Previously, he was President of International for Nielsen Online, managing operations in 30 markets. Jonathan first came to Nielsen in 2007 when BuzzMetrics, the social media measurement company he co-founded and led as CEO, was acquired by Nielsen.

Nathan Eagle Nathan Eagle - Co-Founder and CEO, txteagle; Adjunct Professor, Harvard University

Professor Nathan Eagle is the co-founder and CEO of txteagle, a Boston-based company that engages the over two billion consumers in emerging markets. He is also an award-winning technology innovator and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Harvard University, also holding positions at MIT and Northeastern University. He is regularly featured in the mainstream media including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and CNN. Professor Eagle holds a Ph.D. from the MIT Media Laboratory and three engineering degrees from Stanford.

Mark Earls Mark Earls – Author and Consultant, HERD Consulting

Mark Earls (AKA Herdmeister) is that rare thing: a marketing strategist who is passionate about consumer data, how we collect and interpret it. Previously a senior planning executive at leading creative agencies, he now writes and works independently under the banner of HERD Consulting. His main focus is helping people and organizations come to terms with the insights into human behavior and how to change it which contemporary behavioral science is revealing. His clients range from corporations such as Unilever, Converse, Sony & Bacardi & the UK’s influentlal Channel 4 TV to government and security services and 3rd Space organizations such as The School of Life and Greenpeace.

Mark’s work has won lots of awards (including Best New Thinking at MRS 2003, Best Overall Paper at the 2007 ESOMAR Congress in Berlin & the prestigious Emerald Insight Awards for top 50 in the world in management science articles in both 2004 & 2008). His last book, HERD [Wiley 2007/2009] continues to win new fans - ‘like Malcolm Gladwell on speed” (the London Guardian). His next, I’ll Have What She’s Having (MIT Press), a collaboration with Professors Alex Bentley and Mike O’Brien, is out in the Fall of 2011. In the last year, Mark has given keynotes in Rotterdam, Johannesburg, Capetown, Dublin, Amsterdam, Basel, Prague, New York, San Francisco, Leeds, Chicago, Paris, Shanghai, Bonn and of course, London where he lives. His blog ( is on Brand Republic’s Top 150 and Ad Age’s Hot 150.

Sara Farmer Sara Farmer - Chief Platform Architect, UN Global Pulse

Sara Farmer is Global Pulse’s Chief Platform Architect. She’s spent over 20 years as a lead engineer, innovations strategist and manager of fast-paced creative small teams developing new technologies and business cultures, and is passionate about turning theory into reliable practice. Her specialist areas include innovations theories, technology strategy, business analysis, intelligent systems, systems engineering, information fusion and autonomy.

Gian Fulgoni Gian Fulgoni - Executive Chairman & Co-Founder, comScore, Inc.

Mr. Fulgoni is Executive Chairman and Co-founder of comScore Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR), the global leader in measuring the digital world. From 1981 to 1998, Mr. Fulgoni was President / CEO of Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), the leading global supplier of retail scanner data to the CPG industry, where he grew the company's revenues at an annual rate of 40% to more than $500 million annually and its market value to $1.5 Billion. In 1996, IRI was recognized by Advertising Age magazine as the largest U.S. market research firm. In 1991 and again in 2004, Mr. Fulgoni was named Illinois Entrepreneur of the Year, the only person to have twice received that honor. In 1992, Mr. Fulgoni received the Wall Street Transcript Award for outstanding contributions as CEO in enhancing the overall value of IRI to the benefit of its shareholders. In 2008, Mr. Fulgoni was inducted into the Chicago Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, joining such luminaries as Leonard Lavin, founder of Alberto Culver and Gordon Segal, founder of Crate & Barrel. Also in 2008, Mr. Fulgoni was named Ernst & Young® Entrepreneur of the Year.

Mr. Fulgoni has long been involved in the growth of hugely successful public companies. From 1991 until 1999, he served as a member of the board of Platinum Technology, Inc., during which time the company grew from $80 million to more than $1 Billion in annual revenues and established itself as a global leader in the software services industry. In 1999, Platinum Technology was acquired by Computer Associates in an all-cash transaction valued at $4.0 Billion -- at the time the largest-ever acquisition in the software industry. Mr. Fulgoni also served on the board of U.S. Robotics prior to its acquisition in 1997 by 3 Com in a transaction valued at $8 Billion. More recently, Mr. Fulgoni served on the board of, a leading supplier of permission-based e-mail services. In March 2000, was acquired by CMGI for approximately $700 million. Today, Mr. Fulgoni serves on the boards of PetMed Express (NASDAQ:PETS), the nation's largest pet pharmacy; InXpo, the leading supplier of technology for hosting virtual events; Prophet, a brand and marketing consultancy; the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF); and the North American Foundation for the University of Manchester (NAFUM). Educated in the U.K., Mr. Fulgoni holds a B.Sc. degree (with Honors) in Physics and a M.A. in Marketing. He is the co-holder of a U.S. patent governing comScore's data collection technology.

David Hughes David Hughes - Director of Marketing, IBM Global Business Services

David is Director of Marketing for IBM Global Business Services (management consulting). David is responsible for market strategy and market management for growth initiatives including Cloud, Smarter Planet, Smarter Commerce, and Business Analytics. Previously, David was a Senior Marketing Manager in IBM’s Global Technology Services (GTS) business unit. David led a team focused on providing strategy and planning across Service Lines including portfolio management, routes-to-market strategy, strategic planning, and product launch management. In addition to his marketing roles, David has 12 years of client-facing management consulting experience in market strategy, product strategy, go-to market strategy and new venture launch and acceleration. Prior to joining IBM, David led strategy and operational consulting engagements as a Senior Manager at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Ernst & Young, and Andersen Consulting.

Jon Jenkins Jon Jenkins - Senior Research Scientist, SETI Institute at NASA Ames Research Center

Jon Jenkins is a senior research scientist for the SETI Institute at NASA Ames Research Center. He is the Co-Investigator for Data Analysis for the Kepler Mission ( ), NASA’s first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars. Dr. Jenkins is responsible for developing algorithms for the Kepler Science Operations Center science pipeline that processes the data and detects the planetary signatures therein. In 2010 Dr. Jenkins received NASA’s Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal for his numerous technical achievements throughout development, commissioning and operational phases, which have been critical to the success of Kepler.

Max Kilger Dr. Max Kilger - Chief Behavioral Scientist, Experian Simmons

Max Kilger Ph.D. is a Stanford-trained social psychologist and has more than 12 years of market research and research methodology experience as the Chief Behavioral Scientist at Experian Simmons. His areas of research and expertise include the nature of relationships between people and technology, the nature and measurement of engagement in cross-media platforms, consumer reactions to online privacy issues. He is also the co-inventor of a U.S. patented method of integrating large data sets containing disparate individuals using behavioral measures. He is one of the country's leading experts on the motivations of malicious actors on the Internet. His research appears in books and research journals and he is a frequent national and international speaker. He has been quoted and appeared in numerous media channels, including The Today Show, The New York Times, the BBC, the Associated Press, USA Today and Australian National Radio.

Naga Krothapall Naga Krothapalli - Global Director of Analytics, Microsoft Advertising

He is responsible for providing actionable insights and analytics to advertisers with Microsoft Advertising, leveraging both primary and syndicated data. His team provides audience and campaign insights on various Microsoft products such as MSN, Bing, Windows Live, and Xbox, as well as competitive and vertical insights. He also leads product development effort to automate insight generation for Microsoft Advertising Sales. Some of the products are also used by Yahoo for Search advertising as part of Search Alliance.

Prior to Microsoft, Naga was the Director of Operations at iProspect, part of Aegis Media, where he was responsible for overall operations of the search engine optimization group including product delivery, resource management, service quality, and client satisfaction. He was also involved in new product development and his work was a key input into securing top ratings from Jupiter and Forrester. At iProspect, he also held Director of Business Analytics role, supporting the CEO and the leadership team in decision making with analytics. He has spoken at numerous events, including INFORMS (Institute of Operations Research and the Management Sciences), SEMPDX, and IERC (Industrial Engineering Research Conference), and has written articles in journals such as IIE Transactions and the International Journal of Production Research. Naga has also worked on several research projects sponsored by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and the NSF (National Science Foundation). He holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

John LaRocca John LaRocca – Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, dunnhumbyUSA

A well-recognized figure within the marketing and research industry, John LaRocca brings over 25 years of experience in marketing analytics to the dunnhumbyUSA team. As Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, LaRocca is responsible for developing the company’s partnership strategy within media and analytics, identifying and leveraging collaborative partnerships with companies that have complementary data assets and capabilities in order to develop innovative, customer-driven solutions for dunnhumby clients. He plays a critical role in enhancing dunnhumby’s media measurement solutions and works to expand the company’s capabilities in this area.

LaRocca spent three years as Senior Vice President, General Manager at Ipsos Marketing, a division of Ipsos that provides consultation on market insights and brand research. Prior to Ipsos, LaRocca served as Senior Vice President, Analytical Insights at Information Resources, Inc. where he spent over fifteen years providing analytical solutions and intelligence for clients in consumer packaged goods and retail industries. He also held roles at consumer packaged goods companies, working as a marketing scientist for both Avon Products and Kraft Foods. LaRocca holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Ohio University.

Ted McConnell Ted McConnell – EVP, Digital, ARF

Ted McConnell is the executive vice president of digital at The Advertising Research Foundation. Ted spent 32 years in diverse positions in Procter and Gamble. In the late 1980's he ran the global communications organization, and as the Internet began to grow in the early 1990's, Ted was asked to figure out how P&G could win on the Web. This began a 15 year quest in which he built and ran innovation capability designed to make marketing better using the options that technology and the Internet have to offer. Good measurement, he believes, is the key to implementing sustainable change.

Scott McDonald Scott McDonald - Senior Vice President for Research & Insights, Condé Nast

In this capacity, Scott oversees consumer, development, advertising and strategic research for all of the Condé Nast properties -- including such well-known magazine and web brands as Vogue, Architectural Digest, Glamour, Self, GQ, Vanity Fair, Bon Appetit, Epicurious, GourmetLive, Condé Nast Traveler, Allure, Wired, Ars Technica, Reddit, Concierge,, Lucky, Bride's, W, Details, Teen Vogue, Golf Digest and The New Yorker . Prior to joining Condé Nast, Scott worked in various research positions at Time Inc. and Time Warner Inc., covering print media, television and digital media. Current areas of research include consumer behavior with e-readers, tablets and mobile media; next-generation metrics for measuring media engagement and advertising effectiveness, and emerging economic models for magazine media.

Scott has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Advertising Research Foundation, and he presently is the Chairman of the Print & Digital Research Forum (formerly known as the Worldwide Readership Research Symposium). He has served as a director or trustee of several industry bodies, including MSI and the MRC, and has delivered scholarly papers before groups as diverse as AAPOR, the American Sociological Association, the Population Association of America, the American Statistical Association and ESOMAR. Scott comes to the media research business from an academic background in both demography and survey statistics. He holds an A.B. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University. Since 1997, he has taught as an Adjunct Professor at the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University, and he previously taught in the sociology departments at both Harvard and NYU. He has also lectured and published on a broad range of topics in the social sciences. He has been a recipient of the National Science Foundation Fellowship and of the Charles Abrams Fellowship of Harvard and MIT.

Keary Phillips Keary Phillips - Senior Manager, Allstate Internet Acquisition Programs & DRTV

As a Senior Manager in e-Business & Direct Marketing, Keary oversees all of Allstate’s corporate based customer acquisition & lead-gen oriented online marketing efforts. In this role, Keary leads efforts to maximize the efficiency and scale of display media, Paid Search, Affiliate Marketing, Internet Lead Partnerships and Direct Response Television (DRTV).

Dr. Todd Powers Dr. Todd Powers – Chief Research Officer, ARF

Dr. Todd Powers, the ARF's Chief Research Officer (CRO) comes to The ARF by way of IBM, where he served as Director of Brand and Advertising Research in the Market Insights organization. Dr. Powers, who joined the ARF in September 2010, provides a strong leadership vision for industry topics including advertising ROI, leveraging data analytics for insight, establishing research-guided roadmaps to better manage decision-making complexity, digital measurement, and the real marketing role of the social media movement.

Nick Sorvillo Nick Sorvillo – SVP Consumer Insight & Strategy, Kraft Foods

Nick brings a wealth of business experience to Kraft, including global senior leadership positions with Gillette, Campbell Soup, AC Nielsen and SAMI/Burke. Nick also spent nine years with Kraft on the General Foods businesses in the mid-1980s and as Director, Kraft Marketing Information, in Chicago in the '90s. Most recently, Nick has worked for ImmediateFX, having responsibility for the development of new strategic marketing practices that deliver consumer insight and positioning to consumer products companies. Nick was instrumental in leading the development of the Innovative Marketing Intelligence platform at Gillette, which provided competitively advantaged insights that contributed to Gillette's market value appreciation. His leadership on strategic initiatives, such as ACNielsen's Mega Panel and global focused analytics at Campbell Soup, led to industry best practices and applications that culminated in significant top- and bottom-line growth. Nick's business experience, coupled with his passion for insights and his track record of transformational leadership, will be invaluable as Kraft continues to build a world class CIS organization.

Leon Zemel Leon Zemel – Executive Vice President, Chief Analytics Officer - [x+1]

A recognized analytics expert and internet optimization strategist, Leon Zemel has 15+ years of experience developing analytical marketing strategies and business intelligence. At [x+1], he leads the team responsible for driving innovative and actionable analytics for clients’ interactive marketing, including the development of the patented Predictive Optimization Engine (POETM), utilizing a full suite of analytic, campaign management, optimization, audience segmentation, and business intelligence technologies. Zemel has delivered analytical marketing services for cross-channel business/product strategy and focused programs for web, direct mail, telemarketing, and direct response TV. Among the brands he has directed programs for are AOL, American Express, Barnes & Noble, IBM, and the New York Times. Prior to joining [x+1] in 2004, Zemel served as VP/Director of Strategy at Digitas, and before that Partner, Strategy Consulting at OgilvyOne, and Director of Strategy at Wunderman. He received his MBA from Columbia Business School and a degree in economics from Yeshiva University.


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