After Power Trio Wows Keynote Attendees, Expo Educational Sessions Build on the Buzz

SAN DIEGO — MTC Expo attendees were left agog following the Keynote Event on April 24, featuring leaders and motivators Allison Massari, Janet Evans, and Carey Lohrenz. Many long-time attendees of the Expo’s keynote presentations were overheard using terms like “stellar” and “best ever” in the hours and days following the 90-minute event.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the keynote speakers,” said Grace Torres, San Diego-based senior media manager for AIG Direct.

Fern Lee, leader of New York-based THOR Associates and a 2018 inductee to the DR Hall of Fame, added, “Thank you for an amazing keynote — great speaker choices.”

DR host and personality Tracy Metro added, “I just loved how the three women shared their stories of growth in the face of adversity. While all diversity is not created equal, growth is!”

Massari — whose artistic style beautifully underscores her struggle back from a pair of devastating car accidents that left her with severe burns over more than half of her body — was the evening’s leadoff hitter. Following Massari’s 20-minute presentation, four-time Olympic gold medalist Evans shared her story of growth from “a winner to a champion.” Closing out the evening, Lohrenz — the first female F-14 Tomcat fighter pilot — awed attendees with her stylish and amusing presentation about precision, pressure, and overcoming obstacles.

“Allison, Janet, and Carey are three amazing women and amazing storytellers with incredible stories to share,” said Steve Netzley, CEO of Carlsbad, Calif.-based Havas Edge, the keynote event’s sponsoring agency. “We were honored to be a part of bringing them to this year’s Expo. I hope their messages and insights resonated with all those who shared the experience.”

MTC Expo speakers
MTC Expo’s lively educational sessions featured a who’s-who of marketers,
network executives, and other leaders in the fields of media, technology, and commerce.

MTC Expo’s educational sessions averaged nearly 75 attendees across 13 sessions on April 25-26. Leading marketers from across the spectrum led a series of panel conversations in tracks focused on media, technology, and commerce. Topics included social media marketing, retargeting, lead-generation, podcasting, blockchain, millennials, over-the-top (OTT) television, Amazon, media mixes, and more.

“The sessions were terrific and well attended,” said Rus Sarnoff, leader of Los Angeles-based Integrated marketing.

“Matt Cote was an A+ moderator,” added Scott Berger, general manager, direct response and multicultural, for New York-based Dish Media sales, who was a speaker on the “Reaching New Heights With New Media” panel on April 25. “With Michaela (Giovengo) chatting about Hulu and Brian (Judge) about Discovery’s OTT products, it felt very natural and very cohesive.”

Ava Seavey, queen bee of New York-based Avalanche Creative Services, moderated “Making the Most of Your Media Mix” on April 26. “The folks that attended the session were clearly engaged, intrigued, and inspired — and that’s what it’s all about,” she said.

Among leaders taking the stage at MTC Expo for the first time were Martha Brown of UCHealth, Morgan Chemij of, Ethan Frame of MVMT, Dean Hamilton of Church & Dwight, Wendy Lecot of HyperX, Bruce Millard of Safelite, Lauren Mitchell of Nutrisystem, Kathi Moore of Fareportal, James Pollerana of the Movember Foundation, and Brian Yip of Honey.

DR Hall of Fame 2018 inductees
From left, Dick Wechsler, Cathy Mitchell, Fern Lee, Keith Mirchandani, Steve Netzley, Colleen Szot,
and Hal Altman celebrate their induction to the DR Hall of Fame on April 26.

For the sixth year running, a panel of the inductees to the Direct Response Hall of Fame highlighted Thursday’s educational bill. Prior to the induction ceremony at the Hilton Pool Club, inductees Hal Altman, Fern Lee, Keith Mirchandani, Cathy Mitchell, Steve Netzley, Colleen Szot, and Dick Wechsler (the first time all inductees have been in attendance) spoke at length about the past, present, and future of the business in a session moderated by reigning DRMA Member of the Year Rick Petry.

“The roundtable was on point and — most of all — interesting and informative for the audience,” Altman, president and CEO of Chino, Calif.-based Motivational Fulfillment & Logistics Services, said. “As a participant, I learned about the accomplishments and history of my fellow inductees that I never knew.”