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  • Media Membership Strategies – Beyond Pledges and Paywalls

    Date & Time:
    From 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM on August 26, 2015

    CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

    219 W. 40th Street

    New York, NY   10018

    Membership for most news organizations is still just another word for “subscription” or an excuse to hawk tote bags. We’ll blow up that idea on August 26 at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism at an important summit on what membership can mean for journalism.

    We’ll hear from membership, loyalty, and community-building experts both inside and outside of media. We’ll learn about innovative rewards for members and new kinds of contributions that members are making today. Walk away with ideas that you can put into immediate use whether you’re a public broadcaster, magazine publisher, local news organization or affinity-based niche site or service.

    Doors open at 9 am, and there will be a free networking reception following the day’s program. We’ll livestream, and you can follow the Twitter conversation with #membership .

    New Models for Media Membership
    9:30 AM Welcome Sarah Bartlett, CUNY J-School; Jeff Jarvis, Tow-Knight Center
    9:45 AM New Membership Payments, Awards, Incentives Melody Kramer, Visiting Nieman Fellow; Abby Feuer, DonorsChoose.org; Noel Hidalgo, BetaNYC;  Maris Kreizman, Kickstarter; Kathryn Minshew, The Muse
    10:40 AM Innovative Local Media Membership Programs Josh Stearns, Dodge Foundation; J.T. Kostman, Time. Inc.; Graham Page, The Guardian; Tracey Taylor, Berkeleyside; Andaiye Taylor, Brick City Live
    11:35 AM BREAK
    11:45 AM Membership Programs Outside of Media Amanda Michel, The Guardian; Gillea Allison, Blue State Digital; John Pine, NYU; Winston Shih, Harley-Davidson; Chris Woodard, Fresh Direct
    12:40 PM LUNCH
    1:30 PM So You Want to Launch a Membership Program… Liz Berg, WFMU; Mary Walter-Brown, Voice of San Diego;
    Andy Wallmeyer, MinnPost
    2:15 PM Brainstorming YOUR Next Membership Program Group; Kassie Stephenson, WBEZ; Amanda Michel, The Guardian; Josh Stearns, Dodge Foundation; Graham Page, The Guardian; Carrie Brown, CUNY J-School; Melody Kramer, Visiting Nieman Fellow
    3:15 PM Wrapup/What’s Next  Group; Jeff Jarvis, Tow-Knight Center



    Gillea Allison, Blue State Digital

    Gillea Allison is a digital strategist who believes deeply in the power of digital communication to empower and spark social change. She’s currently the Director of Marketing for Blue State Digital, an agency and technology company that builds and galvanizes communities for some of the world’s leading brands, nonprofits, and advocacy groups. Prior to this role, she managed digital strategy — including tech integration, fundraising, and programs — for Heifer International, US Olympic Committee, Sierra Club, Women in Need, and GODIVA as an Account Director.

    In 2012, she was the Digital Operation Vote Lead for President Obama’s  re-election campaign, based in Chicago headquarters. Her team ran 20 customized constituency digital programs, responsible for using data-driven targeting to reach core constituency groups, cultivating and engaging key communities, (Women, Latinos, Students, etc.), and bridging the gap between online and offline action. She previously was the Brand and Marketing Director for D Magazine, Dallas’ city magazine, and led social media strategy for method soap in San Francisco. She received her B.A. from Fordham University in History and International Studies. Follow her @gilleaa.

    Sarah Bartlett, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

    Sarah Bartlett is the Dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She joined CUNY in 2002 as the Bloomberg Chair of Business Journalism at Baruch College. She moved to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in 2006, after serving on its founding curriculum committee. She created and oversaw both the Urban Reporting and the Business & Economics subject concentrations and helped found the school’s Center for Community and Ethnic Media.

    For several years, she was also the host of U$A Inc., a half-hour, weekly show on CUNY-TV. She remains a board member of CUNY TV’s foundation.

    Dean Bartlett’s journalism career began in 1979, when she joined a documentary film company in London as a research assistant. In 1981, she returned to the United States and began covering business as a researcher/reporter at Fortune magazine. She then moved to BusinessWeek, where she served as a staff reporter and an associate editor from 1983 to 1988, and an assistant managing editor from 1992 to 1998.

    She was also a reporter at The New York Times from 1988 to 1992, covering urban affairs, business and financial issues, a contributing editor at Inc. magazine, and the editor-in-chief of Oxygen Media. Follow her @sarah_bartlett.

    Liz Berg, WFMU

    Liz Berg has worked in public radio for 13 years, the past 10 of which have been as the Assistant General Manager at independent, non-commercial WFMU in Jersey City. In addition to hosting a weekly radio show and podcast, Liz oversees the station’s fundraising campaigns, special events, remote broadcasts, podcasts, web-only programs, and web development projects. Alongside WFMU Station Manager Ken Freedman, Liz has recently been hard at work on Audience Engine, a suite of open-source software tools to help media makers build community and crowd-fund online.

    Carrie Brown, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

    Dr. Carrie Brown heads the CUNY J-School’s new M.A. in Social Journalism program. Dr. Brown’s research has focused primarily on how newsrooms can adapt to the rapidly evolving digital, mobile and economic climate, and has included extensive periods of observation at various news organizations. Dr. Brown also has professional journalism experience, having worked as a reporter and/or editor for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, CD Publications, and the Columbia Missourian. In addition, she traveled to more than 50 newspapers large and small across the United States as the manager of the Traveling Curriculum Program of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, helping newsroom leaders and staff find ways to preserve core values while adjusting to industry changes. Follow her @Brizzyc.

    Abby Feuer, DonorsChoose.org

    Abby Feuer is the Vice President of Marketing at DonorsChoose.org, an organization that makes it easy to help public school classrooms in need. Abby heads up initiatives to empower, educate and connect teachers as well as marketing initiatives across channels. Prior to joining the DonorsChoose.org team in this role, Abby earned her BA at Harvard and her MBA at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. She also spent time at Etsy working on engagement, retention and insight for Etsy’s over 1M sellers. Follow her @abbyfeuer.

    Sarah Galli, Panel Coordinator

    Sarah Galli is the Founder and Executive Producer of Born for Broadway, an organization whose mission is to fund spinal cord injury research and support individuals with paralysis in living full and active lives. Its annual cabarets feature established Broadway actors performing alongside emerging talent, including individuals with paralysis. An active supporter of volunteer executed social change, Sarah co-chairs the Political Action Network of WIN.NYC, a group dedicated to empowering young, Democratic, pro-choice women. Sarah’s work has been featured on The Today Show, Fox News, NASDAQ, and in Next New Deal, The Gotham Gazette, Freshly Pressed, and Thought Catalog. Sarah was a 2013 finalist for Manhattan Young Democrat of the Year, and sits on the Board of Directors at The Andi Foundation. www.sarahgalli.com. Follow her @sarahgalli.

    Noel Hidalgo, BetaNYC

    Noel Hidalgo is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of BetaNYC, the nation’s largest open government and civic technology meetup.

    Noel Hidalgo has a storied past in changing the world. In 2013, he joined the board of StreetsPAC, a political action committed to improving the safety, mobility and livability of one of New York City’s greatest assets: its streets. He was a charter member of the New York City Transparency Working Group (nycTWG), a group of NYC civic groups who advocate for greater transparency in city government. In 2012, nycTWG lobbied for the passing of NYC Local Law 11 of 2012, America’s premier municipal Open Data law. In 2009, he forged the NYC cycling community in to using #BikeNYC, a peer-to-peer tool to organize and communicate. In 2005, he co-founded one of the first Drupal User Groups, the NYC’s Drupal user group and hosted DrupalCamp.

    From 2009 till 2011, Noel served the New York State Senate as the Director of Technology Innovation where his team launched NYSenate.gov, one USA’s premier state legislative portal. His team organized the first unconference inside a State house, CapitolCamp. From June 2011 till October 2012, he worked at the World Economic Forum building internal technology and launched the Global Shapers Community Website. From November 2012 till December 2013, he worked for Code for America’s Brigade Program as NYC’s program manager. Follow him @noneck.

    Jeff Jarvis, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism

    Professor Jeff Jarvis is Director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.  A national leader in the development of online news, blogging, the investigation of new business models for news, and the teaching of entrepreneurial journalism, Jeff writes an influential blog, Buzzmachine.com. He is author of the books What Would Google Do? and Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live as well as the e-book Gutenberg the Geek.

    He has also consulted for media companies including the Guardian, Digital First Media, Postmedia, Sky.com, Burda, Advance Publications, and The New York Times company at About.com. Prior to coming to CUNY, Jarvis was president of Advance.net, the online arm of Advance Publications, which includes Condé Nast magazines and newspapers across America.

    He was the creator and founding managing editor of Entertainment Weekly magazine and has worked as a columnist, associate publisher, editor, and writer for a number of publications, including TV Guide, People, the San Francisco Examiner, the Chicago Tribune, and the New York Daily News. His freelance articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country, including the Guardian, The New York Times, the New York Post, The Nation, Rolling Stone, and BusinessWeek.

    Jarvis holds a B.S.J. from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He was named one of the 100 most influential media leaders by the World Economic Forum at Davos. Follow him @jeffjarvis.

    J.T. Kostman, Time, Inc.

    J.T. Kostman is a data scientist, mathematician and psychologist. Over the past 17-plus years, he has provided data-driven insights into human behavior for a variety of business organizations and the U.S. Federal Government. He is currently Chief Data Officer for Time, Inc., where he leads data and information strategy. Dr. Kostman holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from the City University of New York and finished his post-doctoral work in mathematics (focused on nonlinear dynamical systems theory) through the New England Complex Systems Institute at Harvard and MIT, as well as under an NSF fellowship studying at the University of Moscow as part of a NATO Advanced Study Institute. Follow him @JTKostman.

    Melody Kramer, Visiting Nieman Fellow

    Melody Kramer is currently serving a two-year term appointment with 18F. She is also a 2014-2015 Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and a weekly columnist for Poynter, where she covers people who live outside of SF/DC/NY who are doing amazing things in the news business. She just received a Knight Prototype Fellowship to build out Media Public, a public intranet for public media.

    She is a Peabody award-winning digital strategist and editor who spent the majority of her career at NPR, where she launched and then managed projects involving breaking news, analytics, archives, social media and long-term editorial strategies. She sat firmly at the intersection of NPR’s product and editorial teams.

    She previously launched and then led digital operations at WHYY’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, where she increased unique visitors to Fresh Air’s website by over 60 percent in two years, at a rate twice as fast as NPR’s flagship shows. Before that, she directed, edited, ran social media and wrote jokes for NPR’s humor show, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and wrote for National Geographic Magazine. Mel is a recipient of NPR’s Kroc Fellowship, a full-year paid reporting fellowship given to three early-career journalists each year. Follow her @mkramer.

    Maris Kreizman, Kickstarter

    Maris Kreizman is a publishing outreach lead at Kickstarter. She was previously the editorial director of digital content for Barnes & Noble/NOOK and a book editor at Free Press/Simon & Schuster and Counterpoint/Basic Books. She is a writer and critic whose work has appeared in the New York Times, BuzzFeed, The Hairpin, Vulture, Medium, and more. She’s also the creator of Slaughterhouse 90210, a blog and soon-to-be book (Flatiron Books, October 2015) that celebrates the intersection of literature and pop culture. Follow her @mariskreizman.

    Amanda Michel, The Guardian

    Amanda Michel is the Guardian’s Senior Editor, Strategy and Partnerships. She is also a co-founder and organizer of Spark Camp, a next-generation convener recently profiled by Fast Company.

    Michel keynoted ROOS Dagen 2014, the annual national broadcast conference in the Netherlands. She was profiled in the 20% Doctrine: How Tinkering, Goofing Off, and Breaking the Rules at Work Drive Success in Business and was recently cited in The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath.

    Michel was most recently the Guardian’s Open Editor, where she led a team in the US newsroom that produced stories and features through user input and collaboration. Previously she was ProPublica’s Director of Engagement and worked closely with editors to evolve the site’s culture to be more participatory and collaborative.

    New York Magazine named Michel one of the top new media innovators for her work at ProPublica. She was also awarded a Knight Batten Special Distinction Award for crowdsourcing techniques and, with peers, also won a 2010 Gannett Foundation Award for innovative investigative journalism. Prior to ProPublica Michel directed Huffington Post’s OffTheBus, for which she was credited by New York Magazine with “crafting the genre of citizen journalism.”

    Before working in media, Michel directed Howard Dean’s influential young organizing effort, Generation Dean, and belonged to John Kerry’s Internet team. With colleagues, she co-founded the New Organizing Institute, the leading training institute for progressive organizers and software developers. Follow her @amichel.

    Kathryn Minshew, The Muse

    Kathryn Minshew is the CEO and number one swashbuckler at the Muse. Kathryn has spoken at MIT and Harvard, appeared on The TODAY Show and CNN, and contributes on career and entrepreneurship to the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. She was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Media and Inc.’s 15 Women to Watch in Tech. Before founding The Muse, Kathryn worked on vaccines in Rwanda and Malawi with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and was previously at McKinsey.  She is a graduate of Duke University and a Y Combinator alum. Follow her @KMin.

    Graham Page, The Guardian

    Graham is The Guardian’s Operations Strategy Director. He has 14-plus years of experience designing and delivering change programs within the Media, Life Science and Automotive sectors. He has a Management Science degree from Aston University, an MBA from London Business School and a 6 Sigma Black Belt. Follow him @GrahamCPage.

    Laurie Peterson, Panel Coordinator

    Laurie Petersen is an independent writer, editor, consultant and conference producer based in Hoboken, N.J. Most recently as editor-in-chief of Aol Jobs, she was responsible for building a contributor network that drove 8 million unique monthly visits. Among the start-ups Laurie has been in on at the ground floor are iVillage, the first online women’s community, where she introduced online courses and ran the Career and Work from Home Channels, and BarnesandNoble.com, where she was editorial director for business and launched a professional bookstore and event-themed merchandising. She also launched a pioneering virtual world created with the Council for Economic Education to teach kids about money.

    Laurie has worked with Fortune 100 companies helping them to achieve digital transformation.  She was executive editor of Mediapost and founding editor of Media Central, the first web-based community built for the media and marketing community. Laurie is also a founding member of the Fox School of Business’s Innovation in Marketing Advisory Council at Temple University. She received a B.A. in Communications from Rowan University. Follow her @lauriepete.

    John Pine, NYU

    John D. Pine is the Director of Alumni Outreach & Programs at New York University. In this role, he oversees a team of five professionals who support and plan alumni programs for the vast network of over 400,000 NYU alumni in the United States. Prior to joining the team at NYU, he managed Alumni Relations for the Goizueta Business School at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. John is a native Bostonian who received his Bachelor of Arts from Bridgewater State College (University) and his Master of Education from the University of Georgia.

    Winston Shih, Harley-Davidson

    Winston Shih handles eCommerce and marketing for Harley-Davidson Motor Company of New York. Before joining Harley he was general manager of Mariposa Group Alite Designs and Boreas Gear outdoor brands and held a variety of product and supply chain management positions with The North Face and Sony DADC New Media and Entertainment. Previously he launched two companies and spent 10 years as a senior manager with Accenture.

    Winston received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Rutgers University and an MS in management from Troy State University.  

    Josh Stearns, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

    Josh directs the Dodge Foundation’s journalism sustainability project, where he works with journalists and newsrooms in New Jersey and New York to communicate their mission, expand their impact, and engage their communities. Prior to joining the Dodge staff, Josh spent 7 years running national advocacy campaigns in support of freedom of expression and media diversity. He is an award winning journalist and the author of numerous reports on local news, public media and media policy.  Josh has a B.A. in Writing from St. Lawrence University and a M.A. in American Studies from UMass Amherst. His articles have appeared online at the Columbia Journalism Review, PBS MediaShift, Orion Magazine and BoingBoing. Follow him @jcstearns.

    Kassie Stephenson, WBEZ

    Kassie Stephenson is a seasoned marketing professional with 20 years of experience across multiple disciplines including direct marketing, loyalty programs, CRM programs and licensing.   She has worked for several global brands including Groupon, FTD, Encyclopaedia Britannica and GARFIELD®.

    During her nearly 4 years at Groupon, Kassie held several positions to assist in the company’s transition from a new start-up to publically traded organization. She most recently directed the company’s global email program to maximize gross bookings driven from 200+ million email subscribers around the world.   Prior to this role, she completed a six-month assignment in Berlin Germany in which she led the international CRM/Email teams through the major transition from individualized regional programs to one global program.

    Kassie has an MBA from Butler University and BS in Marketing from Indiana University.  She lives in Wicker Park with her partner Jason and their two 4-legged children, Daphne and Grace.

    As the VP of Marketing & Membership, Kassie leads the organization’s fundraising efforts not only through our traditional pledge drives, but also by leveraging email, mobile and social media marketing channels to acquire and retain members.

    Andaiye Taylor, Brick City Live

    Andaiye Taylor is the founder and editor-in-chief of BrickCityLive.com, a local news website that covers her hometown of Newark, New Jersey. Andaiye holds a master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School, and was a fellow at the City University of New York’s Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. BrickCityLive.com is one of six pilot news sites in the Local News Lab, a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation initiative that seeks to bring the cutting edge in storytelling, content monetization, and sustainability strategies to local news startups.

    Andaiye has also had a long career in digital advertising and data, including as a product manager and director of business development at MediaMath, director of content marketing at Bitly, and her current position as director of content marketing at Rubicon Project, all in New York City. Follow her @andaiye.

    Tracey Taylor, Berkeleyside

    Tracey Taylor is a professional freelance writer and editor. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, the Financial Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her articles include business stories, features on food, homes and architecture, as well as profiles and interviews. Tracey has worked as an editor for various business-to-business magazines and at the Financial Times, as well as for private clients, including nonprofits and authors. She has edited two books — and worked as a professional blogger. Follow her @tktaylor.

    Andy Wallmeyer, MinnPost

    As publisher, Andrew oversees the business operations of MinnPost, a regionally focused nonprofit news organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prior to joining MinnPost in April 2014, he worked for McKinsey & Co., a management consulting firm, where he specialized in serving nonprofit and public-sector clients. He started his career as a newspaper and wire service reporter, working for Dow Jones Newswires, the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times, among other publications. He holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Follow him @wallmeyer.

    Mary Walter-Brown, Voice of San Diego

    As Publisher and Chief Operating Officer, Mary draws on her diverse background in media and marketing to build creative strategies for raising awareness and funding for Voice of San Diego. Mary spent 13 years in television as a writer and producer before transitioning to nonprofit marketing and management crafting successful membership and loyalty programs for  the San Diego Blood Bank before going on to form her own consulting firm. In addition to her work at Voice of San Diego, Mary also manages Ford Motor Company’s charitable giving in Southern California.

    Mary believes the healthiest way to build long-term sustainability for Voice of San Diego is by cultivating a passionate community of supporters made up of individual members, major donors, community partners and foundations. In her first year, the organization saw a 30% increase in revenue from these revenue streams. Follow her @mwbvosd.

    Chris Woodard, Fresh Direct

    Chris Woodard is Senior Director, Retention and Loyalty at leading online grocer, FreshDirect where he leads integrated marketing strategies with a focus on loyalty and retention.  With over 19 years of data driven, customer-centric marketing experience, Chris has been a digital strategy and marketing advisor/consultant to startups including Plated, Coupang, and Centric Digital (#1 in NYC in Inc.Mag’s 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies).

    Chris has also held marketing leadership roles at startups Noom (CMO) and BuyWithMe (VP Customer Engagement & Operations) and has extensive customer engagement experience at industry-leading brands WeightWatchers.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Chris received a B.S. in Marketing from Villanova University. Follow him @Chris_Woodard.

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    Last updated Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 at 9:00 am