The list of speakers for IFBC 2018 in New Orleans is coming together! Stay tuned for announcements and our Call for Content in the coming weeks by subscribing to the IFBC newsletter (on the right) or by following us on social media. In the meantime, we’re pleased to announce this year’s Keynote Speaker:
Michael W. Twitty | Keynote Speaker | Afroculinaria
Michael W. Twitty is a renowned culinary historian and food writer from the Washington D.C. area. He blogs at Afroculinaria and has appeared on Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, and has lectured to over 300 groups. He has served as a judge for the James Beard Awards and is a Smith fellow with the Southern Foodways Alliance. Additionally, Mr. Twitty is a TED fellow and speaker and the first Revolutionary in Residence at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He was named one of the top twenty greatest food bloggers of all time by FirstWeFeast.com as well as one of Southern Living‘s “Fifty People Changing the South.” HarperCollins released Mr. Twitty’s The Cooking Gene, in 2017, tracing his ancestry from Africa to America and from slavery to freedom.
Elliot Hutchinson | Zehnder Communications
Elliot has a wide variety of public relations experience, including government relations, issues management and grassroots outreach. He also specializes in crisis communications and client media training.
Elliot manages strategic public relations planning and execution for DuPage Medical Group in Chicago that focuses on both the client’s business and community outreach. He also oversees strategic public relations planning for Origin Bank, within its core market of north Louisiana, as well as in its emerging markets of Mississippi and Texas. In addition, Elliot manages public relations, social media and signature events for the world-renowned luxury hotel Royal Sonesta New Orleans, including its food and beverage outlets.
His previous experience includes media relations, content-marketing collaboration and overseeing logistical accommodations for news conferences, media briefings and various types of special events. Elliot has also handled coordinating communications with large client groups and organizing scenario-based crisis communications planning drills and training exercises.
Kate Lundin | Zehnder Communications
Kate joined Zehnder shortly after graduating from Louisiana State University and has been part of the team for almost nine years. She handles the media planning and placement duties for some of the agency’s largest accounts, including Ericsson, Visit South Walton, and Sazerac. Her strong relationships with tourism and hospitality vendors have allowed Kate to leverage exceptional media buys and placements on local, regional, and national levels. She has extensive knowledge and expertise with all forms of media, including interactive, which is constantly evolving.
Rachel Miller | Rachel Miller.com
Serial online entrepreneur and mom of six kids, Rachel began as a blogger and went on to build audiences ranging in the millions. She is a published author of multiple books including a best seller that sold more than 100,000 copies, and has had her vitals featured on Good Morning America and other national magazines and syndicated shows. She will share how vitals can help you build an audience.
Stefani Pollack | The Cupcake Project
Stefani Pollack’s blog, Cupcake Project, began in 2007 as a way of documenting her quest to master the cupcake in time to bake hundreds of cupcakes for a friend’s wedding. Since then, her recipes have been featured regularly in Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, she’s been a contributor for Parade Magazine, Paula Deen, and Chowhound, and she freelances for magazines like Fine Cooking and AllRecipes. As readers have moved from blogs to Facebook and then to Instagram, Stefani has made Instagram a top business priority. She has over 750,000 followers on her @cupcakeproject Instagram account and grows her account by 500 to 1000 new followers a day. Stefani has a background in corporate training and she’s passionate about teaching others to use Instagram to achieve their business goals.
Allison Stiel| Zehnder Communications
Over the past 15 years Allison has taken the art of grassroots promotion to an entirely different level. Integrating outreach and high-level social media strategy into transitional public relations, she successfully promotes multiple clients including Visit South Walton and Sazerac Company. Coming from a strong PR background, one of her true strengths lies in her ability to form familiar, lasting relationships with media bloggers and other key social influencers. She’s constantly building interest and awareness as she also manages the intricate details of major sponsorship partnerships with large events like South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, the Beverly Hills Film Festival in California, and game-day festivities for major college sports programs.
Allison’s networking and media relations abilities have garnered attention for client brands in industry trade publications as well as nationally distributed media like Huffingtonpost.com, the HDNet TV network, InStyle magazine and Hemispheres, the in-flight magazine for United Airlines and Continental Airlines.