Maria Perez

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      Media - Other
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    Upcoming Twitter Q&A: Writing About Your Life

    Thursday, March 31, 2016, 8:55 AM [#ConnectChat]
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    Writing about your own life can be tricky. How much do you divulge? Do you tell the people you’re writing about that you’re writing about them? How do you find publications that take essays? Should you write your memoir?

    For our next #ConnectChat, Jen A. Miller, author of the new memoir “Running: A Love Story,” will share her insights and advice for writers interested in writing about their own lives.

    Jen is an award-winning freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Post, Runner's World, Running Times and espnW. In her latest book, “Running: A Love Story,” Jen shares her witty, brutally honest account of her lifelong relationship with running, and an exploration of the many ways that the sport carves a path to empowerment. As a middle-of-the-pack but tenacious runner, Jen hones her skill while navigating relationships with men that, like a tricky marathon route, have their ups and downs. As she pushes herself toward ever-greater mileage, running helps Miller learn to love herself first, revealing independence, discipline, and confidence she didn’t realize she had.

    The chat will take place Tuesday, April 5, from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT. To participate in the chat, just follow the #ConnectChat hashtag. We’ll start the chat off with a few questions for Jen, but you can jump in at any time with your own questions. Just make sure to use the #ConnectChat hashtag at the end of your tweet.

    Expert Spotlight: Steven Rothberg, College Recruiter

    Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 1:42 PM [Expert Spotlight]
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    We periodically spotlight an expert from the ProfNet network that we think journalists will find interesting and timely. With a network of hundreds of thousands of experts and communicators, ProfNet connects journalists with sources on virtually any topic imaginable, whether experts or “regular people.” Need a source? Submit a ProfNet query – it’s easy and free.

    Spring is the height of internship hiring season, when employers and students start to get serious about summer jobs. With that in mind, this edition of Expert Spotlight shines the light on Steven Rothberg, president and founder of College Recruiter, an interactive recruitment media company used by college students and recent graduates to find great careers.

    Rothberg’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident from an early age. Disciplined in fifth grade for selling candy during math class and in college for running a massive fantasy hockey league, Rothberg managed to channel his passions into something more productive after graduate school.

    A fully recovered lawyer, Rothberg founded the business that morphed into College Recruiter and now, as its visionary, helps to create and refine the company's strategy and leads its business development efforts.

    We sat down with Rothberg to find out more about what he does and to get some tips on internships:

    Steven, can you tell us a little more about College Recruiter?

    At College Recruiter, we believe every student and recent grad deserves a great career. We believe in creating a great candidate and recruiter experience. Our interactive media solutions connect students and grads to great careers. Our clients are primarily colleges, universities, and employers who want to recruit dozens, hundreds, or thousands of students and recent graduates per year.

    How can students go about finding the right internship for them?

    There are a number of ways of finding an internship, entry-level job, or any other type of employment opportunity. A mistake some job seekers make is putting all of their eggs into one basket -- they'll only network; they'll only participate in on-campus recruiting; they'll only use social media sites; they'll only use job boards. The correct approach is to use a variety of methods, and modify your strategies and tactics as you learn which ones are working and which aren't. 

    We'll hear sometimes that a student has applied to 200 internships using a job board and received no interviews. Clearly, their approach isn't working. If you've applied to 200 jobs without getting a bite, you've got to expect no bite if you repeat the same process another time. 

    So, what do you do? Well, if you're just using job boards, then start networking. And networking, by the way, doesn't mean asking everyone you know for help finding a job. Networking is about helping others, knowing that some will choose to reciprocate by offering to help you.

    Bottom line: The process of finding a job is a job. Get out of your comfort zone. Don't just apply to jobs that are advertised online. Do apply to those, as those employers are actively hiring, but also network, volunteer, go to job fairs, participate in on-campus recruiting, set up a meeting with your school's career service office and follow their suggestions, and keep adapting as you learn what works and what doesn't. 

    What are the biggest mistakes students make when selecting an internship or looking for their first full-time gig?

    Too many students who are choosing between potential internships are too focused on the perceived sexiness of the employer's brand. Employers with strong brands attract a disproportionately large number of candidates, but that also means it is easier to find a great internship with an employer that offers a great place to work but isn't as well-known. The employers with the strongest brands are typically those that sell products and services to consumers. Look for employers in the business-to-business world, because they sell their products and services to other employers. 

    With so many graduates looking for jobs at the same time, how can they stand out from the crowd?

    What employers value above all else is a candidate who can demonstrate they're able to do the job for which they're being hired. That means work experience matters more than high grades and even prestigious schools. If you're an accounting major, get work experience by volunteering to do the taxes for your friends, family, and friends of family. Volunteer to do the books for a local nonprofit. Then convert that excellent, practical experience into a part-time job or even a paid internship, perhaps with a small business. Then convert that experience into a paid internship with the kind of organization for which you want to work upon graduation.

    What are you working on now?

    We're finding tremendous success in helping our mostly Fortune 1,000 and government agency clients hire dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of one-, two-, and four-year college and university students and recent graduates with zero to three years of experience by using a multi-pronged approach to driving high-targeted candidates to the career sites of the employers to apply.

    For our employer clients with large or difficult hiring needs, this is where the real magic happens. We proactively reach out to high-quality, passive candidates through our 1.5-year-old "right opportunity to the right person at the right time" targeted display and mobile banner ad solution. There are two basic ways other websites deliver banner ads. They either follow the Facebook or Google models:

    • Facebook delivers banners based upon the demographics of the user, so the right opportunity to the right person but rarely at the right time, as people on Facebook are often looking at videos of cute kittens.
    • Google delivers banners based upon the content the person is reading, so the right opportunity at the right time but rarely the right person, as the people who are looking at articles about whether a home office is deductible are rarely accountants and people who are reading about the symptoms of the flu are rarely nurses.

    College Recruiter delivers the right opportunity to the right person at the right time. We look at their demographics like Facebook but only deliver the ads when those people are looking at content related to the opportunity. For example, we'll deliver the ad for an accounting firm when a Californian who is diverse, military veteran, and graduated in 2015-2016 from any four-year college and majored in accounting is reading an article about accounting or finance. For more information, see

    For media interviews, reach Rothberg via emailLinkedIn and Twitter.

    Expert Roundup: Earth Day

    Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 12:25 PM [Expert Alerts]
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    Following are experts who can discuss various topics related to Earth Day. To find additional experts, send a ProfNet query -- it's easy and free. Just fill out this quick form: ProfNet Query Form.

    Agriculture, Soil Nutrient Management
    Dr. Howard Brown
    Director of Nutrient Management and Environmental Stewardship
    GROWMARK, Inc.
    "Improved nutrient stewardship is not just about accountability, it is about profitability. Nutrients lost to the environment are an added expense to crop production. Improved nutrient stewardship will not be achieved with a focus on reducing nutrient use; it will be achieved with a focus on utilization of what is applied. There's nothing wrong with M.O.M.: Minimizing environmental impact of nutrient use by Optimizing harvest yield and Maximizing nutrient utilization."
    Dr. Brown is available to discuss agriculture, soil nutrient management, water quality, and farming. His mission is to help improve environmental stewardship within the GROWMARK system of member cooperatives by working with the GROWMARK System of member cooperatives and divisions and by working with other organizations focused on nutrient stewardship at the farm gate. He received his B.S. degree from Southern Illinois University, his M.S. degree from Purdue University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He has served production agriculture in various positions throughout his career. He has served as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Illinois for the past 15 years, instructing courses such as Soil Fertility in Cropping Systems and Nutrient Management and Environmental Stewardship in the off-campus master's program. He is a past chair of the International Certified Crop Adviser Board and serves on many other advisory groups and committees involved in agriculture production and nutrient stewardship.
    Contact: Matt Wettersten,

    Air Quality
    Ziv Lautman
    Co-founder and CMO
    Lautman is co-founder and chief marketing officer of BreezoMeter, a company recently named one of the 20 most promising startups in the world. BreezoMeter's mission is to improve the wellbeing of billions of people worldwide by changing the way smart cities and businesses of the future think about their control over the air we breathe. In 2008, after hiking all over the world and seeing massive environmental degradation, Lautman refocused his passion on studying environmental engineering at the Technion, Israel's Institute of Technology. After graduating summa cum laude in 2012, Lautman joined the Ministry of Environmental Protection, interning at the office of the senior deputy to the Director General's office, as part of the Milken Institute Fellows program. Towards the end of the fellowship, Lautman received a phone call from a colleague who had a problem: finding the healthiest place to live in Israel. Lautman's solution: BreezoMeter.
    Contact: Deana Cardona,

    Climate Change
    Cameron P. Wake, Ph.D.
    Research Professor in Climatology and Glaciology
    Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space
    University of New Hampshire
    Wake is available to discuss climate change, health impacts, sustainability as it relates to climate change, and the importance for preparedness and building community resilience. He leads a research program investigating regional climate and environmental change through the analysis of ice cores, instrumental data, and phenological records, with a focus on the northeast United States, the Arctic, and central Asia. His collaborative research on several regional climate assessments in the northeast United States has been shared with state and federal agencies and representatives, has been covered widely in the media, and has been cited by several as motivation for policy action. His recent involvement in climate change research looking at the New Hampshire seacoast had him commenting that "New Hampshire's climate is already changing and having an impact on people's lives. It's hotter and wetter, there are more extreme precipitation events, our sea levels are rising and our health is being affected." Wake is also the Josephine A. Lamprey Fellow in Climate and Sustainability at UNH's Sustainability Institute, and the director of Climate Solutions England (CSNE New).
    Contact: Robbin Ray,

    Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
    Alba Garcia
    Garcia, aka "SunKissAlba," is a social media celebrity whose content focuses on living a healthy, non-toxic lifestyle. The motto of all content produced by Garcia is "Where Beauty Meets Health." On YouTube, the SunKissAlba channel has over 661,000 subscribers and has received over 34 million total video views. She is widely known by the millennial, young adult audience, and can serve as a great expert for Earth Day on pieces related to the importance of recycling and how it relates to beauty and living an eco-friendly lifestyle.
    Contact: Brooke Franco,

    Eco-Friendly Toys
    Jeff Freeland Nelson
    Founder and Chief Executive Officer
    Nelson, inventor of the YOXO sustainable building sets, is a part-time carpenter, designer, electrician, musician, sculptor, painter and restorer of old barns. He has 20 years of leadership experience in creative and executive roles across the for-profit, non-profit and government sectors, including the Minnesota Children's Museum and American Public Media. He was recently recognized as Catalytic Leader of the Year by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and as one of the Twin Cities' most successful professionals under age 40 by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. He holds a BA in theater from Hamline University and an MPA from Harvard University. He is available to discuss eco-friendly toys for kids.
    Contact: Stacy Duke,

    Energy Awareness and Sustainability
    Mitch Moore
    Marketing and Outreach Manager
    Energy Upgrade California
    Moore is marketing and outreach manager for Energy Upgrade California, a state initiative to help Californians take action to save energy and conserve natural resources, help reduce demand on the electricity grid, and make informed energy management choices at home and at work. He promotes energy awareness and sustainable practices to California residents and small business owners through retail programs, mobile events, and partnerships.
    Contact: Casey Brogan,

    Energy Efficiency
    David Cohen
    Manager Programs & Partnerships, Statewide Marketing, Education and Outreach
    Energy Upgrade California
    Cohen leads the planning, coordination and implementation of integrated statewide marketing, education and outreach (ME&O) for seven Financing Pilot Programs designed under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) to facilitate the uptake of energy efficiency and demand response upgrades. These pilot programs are marketed in coordination with the Energy Upgrade California statewide marketing, education and outreach program and in coordination with local and regional programs and program partners, including the investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and contractors and other affiliated partners. Cohen leads the implementation of this plan to include such tasks as oversight of training of contractors and affiliated professionals, development of educational information and tools for contractors and consumers, and ongoing support to contractors and financial institutions through a variety of channels such as cooperative marketing campaigns.
    Contact: Casey Brogan,

    Energy Reduction and Climate Change
    Pamela Wellner
    Senior Outreach Manager, Statewide Marketing, Education and Outreach
    Energy Upgrade California
    As senior outreach manager for the Center for Sustainable Energy, Wellner provides strategic communications and brand management for Energy Upgrade California, a state initiative to help Californians take action to save energy and conserve natural resources, help reduce demand on the electricity grid, and make informed energy management choices at home and at work. She engages with and educates residential and small-business consumers about energy concepts and stimulates their interest in demand-side energy management. She is also the program manager for the CoolCalifornia Challenge, a statewide program that encourages residents and communities to work together to achieve California's energy reduction and climate change goals through a statewide city-to-city competition and collaboration.
    Contact: Casey Brogan,

    Energy Use in Buildings
    David Underwood
    American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
    ASHRAE is a non-profit organization with over 50,000 members worldwide who volunteer their time to develop standards of energy efficiency and indoor air quality for the built environment. Underwood, a practicing engineer from Canada, can speak about energy use in buildings. ASHRAE's energy standard serves as the basis for the U.S. energy code, and its focus is saving energy in commercial and institutional buildings. Buildings use 40 percent of the energy in the United States -- more than transportation or any other sector. Finding ways to reduce that energy use should be part of any conversation on Earth Day.
    Contact: Jodi Scott,

    Energy/Water Usage
    Michael Quinn
    AM Conservation Group
    AM Conservation Group has facilitated some of the largest and most effective conservation programs, products and consulting in U.S. history, working with major utilities, government agencies, energy contractors and municipalities. Quinn can discuss: 1) types of gadgets for a home that will significantly reduce utility bills this winter (as a third-party source); 2) lifestyle changes that are easy to implement, yet proven to decrease energy and water usage; 3) how and why utilities are encouraging Americans to use less energy and water and, contrary to popular belief, do not benefit from peak seasons; 4) what we can expect in energy and water demands in 2016 and how it will affect the everyday consumer.
    Contact: Laura Fiala,

    Environmental Science
    Dr. Monty Hempel
    Professor, Environmental Studies
    University of Redlands
    Hempel is available to discuss environmental science, environmental politics, sustainability concepts and practice, environmental documentary filmmaking, climate disruption, climate science, policy and ethics, Maine environmental studies, global environmental governance strategies, human population stabilization, solar energy policy, international coral reef protection, sustainable community development, and solar energy development.
    Hempel joined University of Redlands in 1999 and has served as chair of the Environmental Studies Department. Before his appointment to Redlands, Hempel directed the graduate program in public policy at Claremont Graduate University for 12 years. He has a Ph.D. in Government – Environmental Policy, Claremont Graduate University; an M.A. in International Environmental Policy, Claremont Graduate University; and a B.A. in Ecology and Public Policy (joint degree UWW, 1974), University of Minnesota. He teaches a broad set of courses including marine environment studies, global environment, climate disruption and environmental policy.
    Contact: Jennifer M. Dobbs,

    Environmentally Conscious Living
    Logan Strenchock
    Environmental and Sustainability Officer 
    Central European University
    "Environmentally conscious living begins and ends with consuming less: use less, buy less, use all of what you have throughout its functional lifetime, fix what is repairable, get new life out of what you already have, and then, if you are really left with the dilemma of making a purchase, buy something directly from the person who made it while being able to confirm their socially and environmentally responsible principles through personal contact."
    Strenchock is available to discuss recycling, upcycling, conscious farming and consumption, reducing energy consumption, and sustainability. He is the environmental and sustainability officer at Central European University, the recipient of first BREEAM environmental certification for a higher education institution in Central/Eastern Europe for new campus design.
    Contact: Colleen Sharkey,

    Fracking and Climate Change
    Lance Simmens
    Politician, Educator and Author
    Simmens is a Washington political insider, author, lecturer, and environmental activist. He was summoned by Vice President Al Gore to be a climate change messenger, and has spoken to organizations, corporations and colleges throughout the country on how we can be proactive in slowing global warming and bettering the planet. Simmens is releasing a new book called "Fracktured" (March 2016), a fictional tale based on factual events that occurred during his time serving Governor Ed Rendell and dealing with the water crisis in Dimock. "Fracktured" summarizes the disastrous effects fracking has on the environment, as fracking becomes more and more widespread and its effects are now beginning to surface with the recent Porter Ranch Gas leak. Simmens would love to share more on this man-made crisis, the negative effects of fracking and what we should do about it to invoke positive change.
    Simmens has spent nearly four decades involved in public service at all levels of government: federal, state and local. He most recently served as the California State Director for Gasland Grassroots, an organization devoted to public education on the issue of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and promotion of the current HBO documentary "Gasland 2," and was California State Director for the Citizens' Trade Campaign, organizing efforts to defeat the Trans Pacific Partnership. He has served two presidents, two U.S. senators, two governors, the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He also served as senior advisor on the President's Council on Y2K Conversion in 1999, and was appointed by President Clinton to help establish the federal government's first Office of Sustainable Development in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1993. Over the years, he has written extensively, drafting statements for the Congressional Record and Committee publications, op-ed articles, and speeches. He has published nearly 180 articles in Huffington Post; co-authored an article for the Loyola Entertainment Law Review; and is regularly quoted in newspapers and magazines. He has also appeared in several political documentaries, including "14 Women," "Electile Dysfunction" and "Gasland 2."
    Contact: Dana Lewis,

    Green Living
    Paige Wolf
    Author, Green Living Expert
    Paige Wolf Media and Public Relations
    Wolf is a publicist, author, and green living expert who uses her media savvy and personal moxie to promote manageable eco-chic living. Her firm, Paige Wolf Media and Public Relations, is a B Corporation certified eco-friendly PR firm focused on sustainable clientele. She is the author of "Spit That Out! The Overly Informed Parent's Guide to Raising Healthy Kids in the Age of Environmental Guilt." She regularly appears on television as a green living expert, and she has been featured in publications including Boho,,, and She frequently speaks at green living conferences and expos and has written about green living for several publications. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, two children, and an American Hairless Terrier.

    Greenhouse Gas (Methane) Emissions
    Ruth K. Varner, Ph. D.
    Associate Professor in Biogeochemistry
    Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space and the Department of Earth Sciences
    University of New Hampshire
    Varner was part of a team of researchers that looked at data from previously reported measurements of emissions and found that naturally occurring emissions of methane, a more effective, or potent, greenhouse gas from far northern bodies of water may be larger than previously thought. The research, published earlier this year, shows that freshwater lakes and ponds at high northern latitudes are one of the largest natural sources of methane and they estimate that annual emissions from the over 700 northern bodies of water included in the study were a dominant source and will increase by 20 to 54 percent before the end of the century if ice-free seasons are extended by 20 days. Says Varner: "Much of the focus of methane emissions in these regions has been on the wetlands, but this review puts the spotlight on the lakes and ponds. The naturally occurring methane being released from these northern lakes and ponds is significant and should be taken into account when talking about understanding climate change."
    Varner's work also includes carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide exchange using autochamber technology in terrestrial ecosystems: boreal (BOREAS, NASA), temperate and tropical forests (LBA, NASA). Currently, her research focus is on the measurement of trace gas emissions from agricultural and wetland ecosystems with funded projects from the USDA, USGS and NSF. Ruth is also the director of the Northern Ecosystems Research for Undergraduates program, an NSF-funded REU site. She is available to discuss methane emissions, greenhouse gases, climate change (as it relates to emissions).
    Contact: Robbin Ray,

    Light Pollution
    Dr. Tyler Nordgren
    Astronomer, Associate Professor of Physics
    University of Redlands
    Nordgren is available to discuss astronomy, space exploration, national parks, light pollution, night sky events, NASA and Mars exploration. He earned his BA in Physics from Reed College and an MS and Ph.D. in Astronomy from Cornell University. Before coming to the University of Redlands, he was an astronomer at the U.S. Naval Observatory and Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona where he helped build a new type of telescope to directly observe the size and shape of such household stars as Pollux and Polaris (the North Star). In 2004, he was part of small team of seven astronomers and artists who converted the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Rover camera calibration targets into functioning sundials and saw them land safely in Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum. He continues to be involved in scientific research and outreach to the public. All told, this work has taken him from Alaska to Australia and the Hopi Reservation to the downtown streets of Rome. Since 2007 Tyler has been a member of the National Park Service Night Sky Team working closely with astronomers and park rangers around the country to protect our park's dark skies and promote astronomy education through their continued enjoyment. In 2010, he wrote "Stars Above, Earth Below: A guide to astronomy in the national parks." In 2015, he was invited to design the poster for the White House Astronomy Night and visit the White House to participate in the event.
    Contact: Jennifer M. Dobbs,

    Making Wastewater Solids Safe for Re-use
    Jennifer Becker
    Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Michigan Technological University
    Research being done under a Water Environment Research Foundation award could help small-town water resource recovery facilities inactivate disease-causing viruses and bacteria, making the organic solids from wastewater treatment safe for other use.
    News release about the research:
    Contact: Jennifer Donovan,

    Organizational Sustainability
    Jennifer deHart
    Chief Sustainability Officer
    Unity College
    deHart can weigh in on a host of issues pertaining to organizational sustainability. Prior to coming to America's Environmental College in 2015, deHart led sustainability efforts on college campuses throughout the country, including Harvard University and her most recent post as sustainability coordinator for Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., where she engaged diverse audiences in sustainability initiatives. She also has served as an industrial program associate for the Consortium for Energy Efficiency in Boston. She is certified in the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program; accredited by the Green Building Council; an energy manager in the association of Energy Engineers; and a member of other recognized environmental and sustainability organizations. She holds a Master of Science in Facilities Management from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy; a Master of Arts in Teaching from the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education at Johns Hopkins University; and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Swarthmore College.
    Contact: Bob Mentzinger,

    Organizational Sustainability
    Alan France, CS-P, CSR-P
    Director of Sustainability, Environmental Services
    ABM Industries
    France can share advice for businesses on how they can be more environmentally conscious. He has helped design, plan, and manage sustainability efforts for many ABM clients, including AEG, Staples Center, Levi Stadium, Kings Stadium, and Hudson Yards. He can speak to sustainability, green cleaning programs, and LEED-certified commercial space programs.
    Contact: Donna St. Jean Conti,

    Organizational Sustainability
    Ann Calamai
    Director of Sustainability
    "Businesses can make a more concerted effort to be environmentally conscious by measuring their impact on the environment. From there, they can begin to strategize ways for reducing that impact through various methods like increasing recycling or adjusting the energy supply. Since environmentally conscious changes often require an investment -- both with time and money -- it's important to present decision-makers with something measurable to help them understand what that investment is worth in the long run, including potential cost savings down the line."
    Calami is available to discuss retail supply chain sustainability, circular economy, challenges and opportunities around recycling e-waste, engaging employees around sustainability, and more. She leads Optoro's efforts to build out environmental impact models for clients, to help quantify sustainability benefits that retailers can achieve with the Optoro solution. Prior to joining Optoro, Calamai worked at the EPA's Office of Research and Development on the hydraulic fracturing task force. Her earlier research focused on natural resource taxation, renewable energy subsidies, and regulatory frameworks for nanotechnology. She graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and earned an M.S. in Environmental Policy from Bard College.
    Contact: Shamiram Barooshian,

    Physiological Ecology
    Dr. Lei Lani Stelle
    Associate Professor, Biology
    University of Relands
    Stelle is available to discuss physiological ecology and behavior of marine mammals, marine biology, gray whales, marine mammals, river otters, whale watching, anthropogenic effects on marine mammals. She joined the department of biology at the University of Redlands after spending six years as an assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. She has taught both non-majors and majors courses in introductory biology, along with upper-division courses in comparative animal physiology, animal behavior, marine biology, marine mammals, and research. She is an advocate for study abroad and has led her own travel courses to Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, and Canada. Her research interests are the physiological ecology of aquatic mammals. Her current projects focus on the genetics and behavior of river otters utilizing marine habitats and the distribution and diving physiology of gray whales. These projects require technologies such as remote field cameras, PCR, theodolites, SCUBA, and GIS analysis. She includes students in her research locally along the California coast and on expeditions to Baja, Mexico and British Columbia, Canada. She recently partnered with a master's graduate student to develop Whale mAPP, an app for users to track and document whale sightings.
    Contact: Jennifer M. Dobbs,

    Recycling and Community Beatification
    Jennifer Jehn
    President and CEO
    Keep America Beautiful
    Keep America Beautiful is the nation's leading nonprofit that inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. In her role as CEO, Jehn is tasked with providing the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering, improve recycling, and beautify America's communities through Keep America Beautiful's national network of more than 600 community-based affiliates. She has also held several leadership positions within Dow Jones & Company. She currently serves on the board of governors for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, and board of directors for Trinity Café and RENEW International. She is an associate board member of the University of Wisconsin Memorial Union and a trustee of Northland College. She is available to discuss recycling importance and best practices, as well as community beatification and the positive impact of greening programs.
    Contact: Brooke Franco,

    Renewable Energy, Fracking
    Dr. Tim Krantz
    Professor, Environmental Studies
    University of Redlands
    Krantz is available to discuss renewable energy systems, endangered species, physical geography, natural history, birds, wines, flora of San Bernardino mountains, endangered species of the San Bernardino mountains, endemism, Salton Sea, physical geography, restoration efforts, natural history of French Polynesia, invasive species issues in French Polynesia, endangered species of California and Hawaii, biogeography of birds of the world, sustainability, environmental impact, green energy, renewable energy. He is a recognized authority on flora of the San Bernardino Mountains; as well as the geography of the Salton Sea, where he served as the Salton Sea Database program director for eight years, overseeing a $4.7 million federal-assistance grant to develop a regional geographic database for the area. He served on the Salton Sea Science Subcommittee, an inter-agency panel established by then-Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt; is the senior editor of the Salton Sea Atlas, and author of several encyclopedia entries on the Salton Sea and related topics. More recently, he has been speaking and writing about the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," in California.
    Contact: Jennifer M. Dobbs,

    Solar Energy
    Suvi Sharma
    An industry thought leader in solar PV innovation, Sharma is responsible for overseeing the growth of Solaria and leading its strategic expansion as it extends the applications of its technology. He joined Solaria in 2003 and recruited a world-class management team, developed partnerships with industry-leading solar companies and raised close to $200 million from strategic financial investors. He is a seasoned entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in company formation, fundraising, talent recruitment, business development and global operations of innovative companies in renewable energy, information technology and private equity. He started his career as an associate at the venture capital firm Geocapital Partners, a $500 million international private equity firm; and founded and ran IVUS, an outsourced CRM provider. Prior to his life in technology, Sharma worked in rural development in India, with an emphasis on political development. He founded COMPASS, a volunteer organization that trains college students to teach in inner-city schools. He holds a B.S. in Statistics from Northwestern University.
    Contact: Susan DeVico,

    Solar Energy
    Dan Shugar
    Shugar has spent over 28 years advancing solar and renewable energy industry. Before founding NEXTracker, Shugar was the CEO of Solaria. Prior to taking the reins at Solaria, Shugar was president of SunPower Corporation, Systems. Prior to that, during his tenure as president of PowerLight (acquired by SunPower), Shugar oversaw revenue growth from less than $1 million to over $800 million and was responsible for the completion of approximately 500 solar projects serving commercial, industrial, and utility clients worldwide, including FedEx, Lowe's, Target, Toyota, Johnson and Johnson and the U.S. military. Shugar has invented various PV system applications, holds multiple U.S. patents and has published over 50 technical papers. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and MBA from Golden Gate University. He has been active in solar power and environmental protection since 1988.
    Contact: Susan DeVico,

    Solar Energy
    Joshua Pearce
    Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Michigan Technological University
    With a focus on solar energy, Pearce's interdisciplinary research into materials and electrical systems shines when it's put to use. Embracing 3-D printing and open source in his Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology Lab, he wants to make solar better and available to more people and businesses.
    Contact: Jennifer Donovan,

    Supply Chain Sustainability
    Toby Brzoznowskik
    Co-Founder and Executive Vice President
    LLamasoft, Inc.
    "The supply chain landscape is constantly changing, and while the U.S. is beginning to expand into areas such as Cuba or even in dealing with moving goods through areas that have experienced natural disasters or political unrest, there are pretty intense effects on the environment to consider. One of the most important, almost instant ways businesses can both save money and cut down on environmental impact is by modeling their supply chain for CO2 emissions."
    Brzoznowskik can share some real-world examples of what this type of modeling looks like, as well provide real-world examples of how organizations have done so to decrease emissions and increase savings. LLamasoft is a provider of supply chain design, analytics and optimization solutions for major brands worldwide.
    Contact: Liz Erk,

    Sustainability and Resource Effectiveness
    Betsy del Monte, FAIA, LEED BD+C
    Founding Principal, Transform Global
    Adjunct Professor, SMU Lyle School of Engineering
    As a registered architect, del Monte's experience and expertise includes high-performance building design, sustainable and resilient community design, and fully integrated project delivery. She was formerly a principal architect and director of sustainability for The Beck Group. She helped create and teaches a Master of Sustainability and Development course at the Lyle School of Engineering of SMU. She has been a visiting lecturer at University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at Arlington, Rice University, University of Virginia, and Boston Architectural College. She is past president of AIA Dallas and North Texas Green Building Council. She sits on the boards of Habitat for Humanity, bcWorkshop and The Trinity Commons Foundation. She is involved at national, state and local levels with the ULI, AIA and other groups focused on sustainable environments. She has been named a Fellow by the AIA and a Senior Fellow in the Design Futures Council. She is a national instructor of volunteers for ULI's Urban Plan exercise. Del Monte received her Bachelor of Science degree in architecture from the University of Virginia, and a Master of Architecture degree from Rice University. Her experience includes work at architecture firms in Atlanta and Houston, as well as nine years with Philip Johnson and John Burgee in New York. She founded Transform Global to engage communities through collaboration, advocacy and education, while protecting the environment and natural resources. She is available to discuss efficiency, sustainability, resource effectiveness and resilience.

    Sustainable/Impact Investing, CSR
    Lisa Woll
    US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment
    Woll can discuss topics related to sustainable, responsible and impact investing, such as the growth of SRI (up 76% to $6.57 trillion, according to US SIF data, or one out of every $6 under professional management in the U.S.), how to get started and types of investments. She can also discuss environmental, social and governance issues, such as corporate social responsibility and corporate diversity, and their impact on investors. US SIF is a Washington, D.C.-based professional organization that advances sustainable, responsible and impact investing through research and policy initiatives. US SIF members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, community investing organizations, nonprofit associations, and pension funds, foundations and other asset owners. 
    Contact: Michelle Manoff,

    Sustainable Packaging, Recycling
    Elisabeth Comere
    Director, Environment and Government Affairs, U.S./Canada
    Tetra Pak Inc.
    Comere is available to discuss sustainable packaging, recycling (with a strong focus on carton recycling), renewable resources, responsible sourcing of paperboard and sugar-cane, bio-based plastics, climate change (post-COP21, etc.), life-cycle assessments, circular economy, bio-economy, low carbon economy, and disruptive/environmental innovation. She serves as director, environment at Tetra Pak US and Canada. Tetra Pak is the world leader in packaging and food processing solutions. She joined the company in 2006 as environment manager for Europe where she helped define and drive Tetra Pak's environment strategy and contributed shaping recycling for cartons in Europe. Since 2010, she is based in the U.S., focusing on advancing Tetra Pak's commitment to sustainability and recycling in the U.S. and Canada. She is a founding member and board member of AMERIPEN and a member of The Sustainability Consortium, U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development (USBCSD) and PAC. She is also contributing in the rollout of the recycling strategy developed by the Carton Council in the U.S. and Canada serving as vice president, government affairs. Prior to this, she served as a political adviser to a member of the European Parliament in Brussels, and headed the environment department of Food & Drink Europe, a European trade industry organization in Brussels. She was educated in France, the UK and Belgium. She graduated from Law School of Bordeaux University in France and Cardiff Law School in the UK (LLM) and earned an Environmental Sciences Master from Brussels University.
    Contact: Kendall Huber,

    Sustainable Winegrape Growing
    Aaron Lange
    Elected Chairman
    California Association of Winegrape Growers
    Lange is also the head of Viticulture Operations for LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards, which was awarded the 2014 Botanical Research Institute of Texas Award of Excellence for Sustainable Winegrowing and was the first recipient of the California Leopold Award for Environmental Conservation and Dedication in 2006. He is an expert on sustainable winegrape growing in draught-ridden California; endangered species recovery; resource conservation; sustainable pesticide regulation.
    Contact: Jessica Glackin,

    Textile Waste/Recycling
    Tony Shumpert
    Vice President of Sustainability
    Behind big oil, the fashion and textile industries are quickly becoming some of the largest polluters in the world. This Earth Day, consider the environmental impact of textile waste. Shumpert leads supply chain operations for Savers, an international thrift store chain with 330+ stores. Among other related topics, he can speak to: what consumers can do to reduce textile waste; why choosing to shop and donate thrift is one of the easiest ways to be green this Earth Day, and every day; how Savers keeps 650 million pounds of reusable goods out of landfills each year.
    Shumpert has 15+ years of experience managing supply chain operations with a focus on textile reuse, and is an active member of national associations and councils that promote high standards and best practices for reducing solid waste through the reuse and recycling of textiles.
    Contact: Nick Stubberfield,

    Turning Trash Into Environmental Treasure
    Gerard Caneba
    Professor, Chemical Engineering
    Michigan Technological University
    As a chemical engineer, Caneba knows how to take trash -- whether bauxite tailings, rust or oil spills -- and turn them into something useful. His work through the Sustainable Futures Institute focuses on materials with multiple uses and emphasizes their environmental impact.
    Contact: Jennifer Donovan,

    Expert Spotlight: Temple Grandin, Activist and Author

    Monday, March 7, 2016, 11:19 AM [Expert Spotlight]
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    We periodically spotlight an expert from the ProfNet network that we think journalists will find interesting and timely. With a network of hundreds of thousands of experts and communicators, ProfNet connects journalists with sources on virtually any topic imaginable, whether experts or “regular people.” Need a source? Submit a ProfNet query – it’s easy and free.

    With Autism Awareness Month around the corner, this edition of Expert Spotlight features the world’s most famous person with autism, Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

    You likely know Dr. Grandin from the 2010 Emmy-winning HBO biopic about her life. She speaks internationally on autism and has transformed people’s perception of autism spectrum disorders. In her first book, “Thinking in Pictures,” Dr. Grandin explained the way she thought, opening the eyes of doctors, psychiatrists, educators, and parents, many of whom thought their child or patient was “retarded.” She has expanded understanding with many subsequent books, including “The Way I See It,” “Different . . . Not Less” and, most recently, “The Loving Push.”

    What you might not know about Dr. Grandin is that she is also renowned in the world of animal science. A professor and advocate for the humane treatment of animals, she has helped improve our understanding of how animals should be handled humanely and has designed many of the largest animal handling facilities in the world.

    Dr. Grandin will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Autism Conference (in Omaha on March 11 and Orlando on May 1), hosted by Future Horizons, the world’s largest distributor of resources on autism, Asperger’s, and sensory issues. Even with her very busy schedule, Dr. Grandin was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

    There are so many resources available for autism now that weren’t available when you were younger. What has been the biggest change you have seen in society’s interaction with autistic individuals?

    Getting really good early intervention programs in place. This is so important. You have 2- and 3-year-olds that aren’t talking. You’ve got to start working with these kids now. You have to get good early intervention.

    Also, a change in diagnostic criteria. A diagnosis for tuberculosis is definitive. The problem with autism is that there are no tests like that. It’s a behavioral profile. If a child shows certain behaviors, you give them an autism label.

    Over the years, doctors have been changing diagnostic guidelines. Back in the ‘80s, to be labeled autistic, the child had to have speech delay. Then in the early ‘90s, they added Asperger’s. So you now have autism with speech delay, and Asperger’s with no obvious speech delay. In 2013, they removed Asperger’s and, basically, the autism with speech delay and with no speech delay all merged together.

    What’s the impact of that?

    The impact of that is not good. You now have a huge spectrum that goes from a genius programmer working in Silicon Valley to someone who can’t dress themselves. Really smart kids are put in the same classroom as really severe kids.

    There are three different levels: normal (or higher) and socially awkward; a mid-range group with some speech; and then very severe kids that stay severe, with no speech and severely impaired. One of the mistakes that’s made when they get older is that they’re all being treated the same way.

    What’s the solution?

    If you don’t do early intervention, you definitely have a higher probability that they’re going to do badly. You’ve got to do early intervention. The worst thing you can do is do nothing.

    You are also a big proponent of animal welfare and improving standards in slaughterhouses. How did you get involved with that?

    I was exposed to beef cattle when I went to my aunt’s ranch when I was 15. This brings an interesting point that kids get interested in things they’re exposed to. Schools are cutting funding for arts programs and kids aren’t getting exposed to enough career options to find out what they want to do.

    What were some of the problems you saw in the industry?

    I saw cattle being treating badly. In 1999, I was hired by McDonald’s to implement a simple scoring system to evaluate floor plans [in slaughterhouses].

    The first thing you have to do is get people to manage stuff right. I have a real emphasis on finding practical solutions to making things better. I can fix equipment, but I can’t fix people management problems with equipment.

    You were the focus of the HBO film “Temple Grandin.” What was it like to see your life depicted on the screen?

    They did a beautiful job. Emily Gerson Saines, the producer, is the mother of an autistic child, and she did everything she could to make it good. It showed me accurately what I was like as a teenager. It was sort of like going through a time machine.

    To find out more about Dr. Grandin, visit her website at For media interviews, reach her through Lyn Dunsavage Young at Future Horizons: or (800) 489-0727.

    Expert Roundup: Travel Tips

    Friday, February 26, 2016, 12:57 PM [Expert Alerts]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    With spring and summer travel season coming up, here are experts from the ProfNet network who can share a variety of travel tips with your readers. You can also submit a query to the hundreds of thousands of experts in our network – it’s easy and free! Just fill out the query form to get started: Send a query

    General Tips

    Arabella Bowen
    Vice President and Editor in Chief
    Fodor’s Travel
    Bowen is a true travel expert with over a million miles under her belt and having visited 65+ countries. She has travel tips on almost everything you can imagine -- how to pack, how to sleep on an airplane, etc. She utilizes her extensive travel knowledge to lead the respected brand’s content strategy across all formats, from guidebooks to to mobile apps. As Fodor’s spokesperson, Bowen has shared recommendations and travel expertise with various outlets, including TODAY, CBS This Morning, CNN, USA Today, the Associated Press, among others.
    A native of Toronto, Bowen began her career as a journalist covering everything from politics to arts and culture for daily and weekly Canadian newspapers. Bowen's travel career began in 1999, after a three-month solo trip through Southeast Asia with nothing more than a guidebook for company inspired her to write travel guides herself when she returned home. She subsequently contributed to several titles for the Rough Guides series, including their inaugural Montreal and Caribbean guides. A world traveler from a very young age, Bowen has visited more than 65 countries, and every continent except Antarctica. Averaging at least a dozen trips a year, Bowen’s impressive travel resume spans the globe, providing the first-hand destination expertise that is synonymous with Fodor’s Travel.
    Contact: Lauren Hanafin,

    Carrie Peters
    Senior Travel Editor
    Peters frequently travels for work and for leisure and is passionate about passing along the “Travel Geek” spirit to her two children. She can share great tips for traveling with kids, packing hacks, how to find the best deal, planning spontaneous getaways, and generally how to get the very most out of travel. She can also share data on how and where people are traveling, unique spring break destinations and more.
    Contact: Anita Lavine,

    Henrik Kjellberg
    Kjellberg, president of Hotwire, is a 17+-year veteran of the travel industry. Henrik took 40 trips last year, many of them for business and many of them international, so has lots of best practices and tips to share, as well as industry trends and insights.
    Contact: Anita Lavine,

    Gabe Saglie
    Senior Editor
    Saglie is a leading expert on travel deals, travel tips and trends. He has appeared on dozens of highly rated national and local news programs, including CNN, NBC's “Today” show, CNBC, MSNBC, ABC News and FOX News, as well as numerous affiliate stations in major markets around the country, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and many others. He has uncovered hundreds of valuable travel deals and has become an authority on topics such as tips for finding great travel deals, family travel, golf getaways, culinary vacations, cruises, island adventures, gaming vacations and ski getaways. Saglie has an extensive journalistic background. He earned a Master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC in Southern California, and then worked as a news writer and field producer for KGTV (ABC) in San Diego and as anchor and weathercaster for KEYT (ABC) in Santa Barbara.
    TV segments:
    Contact: Karyn Ravin,

    Mary White
    Founder and CEO
    “One tip for travelers is to closely examine exactly what the room rate includes. Bed & breakfasts include homemade daily breakfasts in their rate (these meals are often multiple courses), easily reflecting a value of $25/person. Many also include extras like afternoon snacks, a complimentary wine hour, high-speed Internet (this all varies by property) and more, which provides even more value.”
    Having worked in the bed & breakfast industry for nearly 20 years, White is a trusted advisor to thousands of inns looking for tips on just about every imaginable topic, a major one being value. She combines her years of experience with a cost-conscious traveler mentality, and can speak with authority not just on what travelers should look for, but what innkeepers are doing to provide value for money. She’s even authored a book, “Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies,” for current/aspiring innkeepers.
    A former securities broker, White decided to embark on a new venture -- Internet marketing -- nearly 20 years ago and developed a user-friendly website that places B&Bs and inns on a competitive level with larger hotels and resorts. Today, earns the industry’s highest rankings and provides compelling content for guests. White has been named a bed and breakfast industry leader by Innkeeping Quarterly magazine and is the recipient of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International’s Award of Merit.
    Contact: Robyn Lanci,

    Richard Calvert
    President & CEO
    Celebration Travel Group
    Calvert can speak to celebration and group travel, including tips, personalizing trips, excursions and how travelers can save money and time while planning. He can also discuss tourism/travel, destination weddings and honeymoon trends, LGBT travel, emerging destinations, and hotel and resort innovations and offerings. In addition, he is well-versed in the U.S., Canadian and UK markets.
    PR Contact: Madison Savaria,

    Amanda Festa
    As editor for Cheapflights, Festa authors destination guides, travel tips, quizzes and blog posts on everything from the 11 people you meet at every tourist hotspot to top 10 summer solstice celebrations around the world. Her advice pieces range from an in-depth guide to multigenerational travel to easy DIY travel gifts. She writes frequently on essential travel tips, and can speak on a wide range of topics, including: how to save on flights, how to avoid fees, packing tips for every type of travel, multigenerational travel advice, travel etiquette, traveling with kids and navigating security.
    Contact: Ilona Biro,

    Vikram Seshadri
    Corporate and Luxury Travel Advisor
    Protravel International
    “Plan ahead, plan smart and always get travel insurance. Those are my three key advice to clients as they look to take their next big memorable trip. 2016 is proving to be a busy travel year, with flight and hotel availability filling up rather quickly already. Despite airlines offering new domestic and international destinations from new cities all over the U.S., airlines are flying fuller planes and people are traveling more. Americans are refocusing their attention locally, as well as to Western Europe and Asia, where the perception of safety and comforts are higher. Add to the fact that the U.S. dollar is strengthening against currencies such as the British Pound, the Euro and the Japanese Yen, and you have a travel situation that’s more favorable to Americans like never before. It’s therefore more important than ever to plan ahead and book travels months and even a year in advance. I provide this advice to all of my clients every time I talk to them so that they’re not disappointed with being unable to get into their dream vacation spot down the line.”
    Seshadri is a 15-year veteran of the travel industry, including five years as a travel advisor. He grew up in Asia and lived in Europe and the East Coast before becoming a die-hard Californian 16 years ago. He has strong relationships with key hotels around the world and knows the airline industry inside out.
    Contact: Steve Loucks,

    Konstantinos Bastas
    Luxury Travel Advisor
    Protravel International
    “Traveling during peak season at times can be a bit more hectic than other times. My tips: 1) Work with a travel advisor. It is our job to best counsel our clients to make sure that they have all the details taken care of. We have local connections and arrange guides, transfers, and special experiences to make your trip a memorable one!” 2) “Be flexible with travel dates. Everyone wants to go to Europe in July and August, normally when schools are closed -- but consider traveling in June or even September. Flight loads are usually lighter, hotels have greater availability, and destinations are not as full with visitors.” 3) “If you are ready to book something, book it! Airlines at times put some great promo fares, especially in business class, that save you thousands of dollars. If you find one of those fares, book it! Don’t expect that the fare will be available the next day.” 4) “Use private greeters and guides whenever possible. Although there is a cost involved, arrange for greeters to meet you at connecting airports or arrival airports to help you through the process. Greeters usually have carts that whisk you to the front of security lines/passport control, and help you with your luggage. They’re very helpful, especially when traveling on long flights, or traveling with kids or pets. It’s an extra set of hands that make life a lot easier.” 5) “Arrange as much as you can before you leave. Make as many dinner reservations as you can, and make sure you have airport transfers booked.” 6) “Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months and you have plenty of pages -- a mistake that so many make: showing up to the airport with not enough validity or empty pages for visas.” 7) “Be realistic with airline points. It is very difficult to find low-mileage redemption tickets on popular routes during peak season. At times, the airlines don’t even release mileage tickets on these routes. Be realistic and look at alternative options.”
    Based in New York, Bastas is a Protravel international luxury travel advisor specializing in the art of hospitality. His passion is taking care of every imaginable detail for his clients in a way that feels like pure luxury -- effortlessly and seamlessly. Through his proprietary method, he works directly with his clients in creating personalized travel itineraries that meet and exceed their travel demands. Through his strong global networks, he deals directly with travel operators, hotels, and airlines, ensuring that his clients are treated like VIPs at all touch points of the trip. For those clients seeking private guides and exclusive unique sightseeing opportunities, Bastas works with local on-site providers to customize exclusive opportunities that are closed to the public (private museums, shows, and monuments), day trips to locations known only to the locals, and even restaurant “musts.”
    Contact: Steve Loucks,


    Greg Geronemus
    “China and Colombia are two great summer destinations. The warm weather over the summer in China allows you to get out and really enjoy some of the great attractions in the whole world --- Great Wall, Forbidden City, the Bund, and more! While you will pay a bit more over the summer to go to China versus the middle of the winter, you can still go for 10 days, with international airfare, four-star hotels, comprehensive sightseeing, and English-speaking guides for well under $2,000 per person. Colombia is beautiful all year round, and it's a plus to avoid rainy season. Thankfully, the summer is nice and dry in Colombia, allowing travelers to see the diverse country that includes bustling Bogota, the serene Coffee Triangle, and charming Cartagena. Travelers can visit for 11 days, with international airfare, four-star hotels, comprehensive sightseeing, and English-speaking guides for well under $2,000 per person.”
    SmarTours is a guided tour company based in New York City.
    Contact: John Goodman,

    Rene Syler
    Live Well Network
    With an eclectic and successful career in broadcast TV, Syler is host of Sweet Retreats on the Live Well Network, highlighting awesome locations for vacations (oftentimes on a budget). With the spring and summer travel seasons upon us, Syler can talk about how it is a great time to begin looking into vacation rentals for the coming months (the closer we get to Memorial Day Weekend, the lesser selection you have!). She can discuss how they are a wonderful option for a group of friends or family, and how much bang you get for your buck -- they are often cheaper than hotels, especially if you are traveling with a larger group, and provide an astronomical amount of amenities in comparison. Your own private pool? Can’t beat it.
    Example episode:
    Contact: Dina Binney,

    Thomas Carr
    President and CEO
    All Inclusive Outlet
    As a top all-inclusive vacation expert, Carr can speak to trends, resort innovation, top areas for inclusive products and emerging destinations. He is also well-versed in tourism trends as it relates to Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and the Caribbean Islands.
    Expert Contact:


    Dr. Michael Zimring
    Director, Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine
    Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore
    An internist, Zimring is co-author of the book, “Healthy Travel.” He is a veteran of numerous print and broadcast interviews in local, national and international news outlets. A graduate of the University of Maryland Medical School, Dr. Zimring joined Mercy Medical Center in 1973 as part of university’s residents program. His clinical background includes study in geriatric and emergency medicine. Dr. Zimring has been in private practice since 1976. In 2007, he successfully completed the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM)'s Certificate of Knowledge Examination and has been awarded the Certificate in Travel Health.
    At Mercy, he oversees The Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine, which offers immunizations for travel, pre- and post-travel consultations, treatment for travel-related medical conditions, and even coordination of emergency medical care and evacuations. The center utilizes the resources of Medex Assistance, which ensures the availability of competent health care as promptly as possible in situations where health care may not be available or not be up to U.S. standards. The center also provides medical evaluation and certification for scuba diving and medical preparation for the traveler for: chronic disease management, tropical disease exposure, environmental hazards, traveler’s diarrhea, high-altitude adventure, Third World/underdeveloped countries, wilderness experience, and “Economy Class Syndrome” (development of venal thrombosis, i.e., blood clots, typically a problem for travelers forced to sit for long periods during air travel).
    Contact: Dan Collins,

    Richard Shane, Ph.D.
    Sleep Easily
    A psychotherapist and sleep expert, Dr. Shane can comment on travel tips as it relates to sleep, fatigue and adjusting to new time zones. He has been a psychotherapist since 1977. He is the behavioral sleep specialist for New West Physicians, Colorado, with 85 physicians serving over 170,000 patients. From 2010 through 2014, he was the behavioral sleep specialist for Lutheran Medical Center Sleep Center in Denver. He is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Society for Behavioral Sleep Medicine and the National Sleep Foundation.
    ProfNet Profile:
    Contact: Mary Cochran,


    Beth Godlin
    Aon Affinity Travel Practice
    Godlin is available to discuss: how can travelers make sure they buy the right travel, tour, flight and cruise insurance policy; travel insurance vs. credit card travel coverage; when you should and shouldn’t buy travel insurance; the most common trip disruptors; and more. She has worked in the travel insurance industry for more than 25 years. In her current role, she leads a team in the development and delivery of customized travel insurance and protection programs for the world's most renowned travel companies. Beth oversees program consultation, brokerage and administration of online travel agency flight, car rental, cruise and package travel insurance; cruise line and cruise insurance; tour operator guest protection; and travel agency travel protection. Aon Affinity’s Travel Practice is an active member of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), United States Tour Operator Association (USTOA) and United States Travel Insurance Association (UStiA).
    Contact: Astrid Greve Spencer,

    Jim Krampen
    CRO and Co-Founder
    Seven Corners
    According to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association, one in eight U.S. adults had their travel impacted due to natural disasters or world events, yet only 29% of those affected had travel insurance. However, of those who bought a policy, 96% reported that they were satisfied with their purchase. There are multiple types of travel insurance to consider, including: 1) Trip cancellation: In the event a sudden illness or natural disaster, for example, prevents travel, this insurance covers the cost of the trip, in addition to any trip interruptions, delays or missed connections. 2) Travel medical insurance: Protects against financial hardship due to unexpected medical expenses that a customer’s standard health insurance may not cover including accidents, sickness and medical evacuation. 3) Baggage protection: Many consumers often travel with valuable equipment, tools and supplies, which are covered under this type of insurance in case of loss, theft or damage.
    Krampen believes all travelers should consider travel insurance to cover a variety of aspects of their trip based on price, location, activities and more. With more than 25 years of experience in the travel insurance industry, Krampen is passionate about personalized customer service and high-quality products to serve travelers across the globe. He currently services as a board member and membership chairperson for the UStiA and offers extensive knowledge and expertise in making sure travelers and adventurists are safe and secure as they explore the world.
    Contact: Britny Kalule,

    Luxury/Upscale Travel

    R.D. Gavel, CTC
    Travel Repertoire, an affiliate of Travel Experts, Inc.
    Gavel’s experience focuses on luxury travel with specialties in family/multi-generational and solo travel. She has been quoted in several industry publications within the past year, and was the subject of a recent feature article by Laura Del Rosso in Travel Weekly. She is the author of “Key to the Club,” a book about Walt Disney World, and has authored hundreds of articles and posts that provide destination- and traveler-specific tips. She is the agency owner and creator of several travel brands: Travel Repertoire (, which focuses on luxury world travel; Whimsical World Travel (, on luxury Disney experiences; Monologue Travel (, on luxury solo travel; and Key to the Club (, about concierge stays at the Walt Disney World Resort.
    Contact: Victoria Walden,

    Mickey Weill
    Vice President of Sales and Marketing
    Protravel International
    Weill offers the following spring travel tips for the upscale traveler: 1) “Work with a travel advisor! Advisors have the ability to not only procure the best rates, but the best value with added amenities like room upgrades, food/beverage credits, spa credits, and more.” 2) “Utilize airport lounges for comfortable access to Wi-Fi and complimentary pre-flight bites and beverages to connect and refresh. Priority Pass is the largest independent airport lounge access program and offers different membership levels with access to 850 lounges worldwide.” 3) “Don’t delay! Spring break is a popular time to travel, so make plans in advance to avoid higher costs and fewer available options.” 4) “Always buy travel insurance. Life is unexpected, and having the assurance that your plans are protected in case of inclement weather, trip cancellation/interruption, or medical emergencies ensures peace of mind, along with 24/7 assistance.” 5) “Travel smart. Pack an extra change of clothes in a carry-on in case of misplaced or delayed luggage (29 million pieces are lost or delayed every year). Also, account for check-in times. Most properties will check baggage and allow guests to still utilize the facilities if arrival is prior to check-in time, so easy access to a swimsuit in carry-on helps too!”
    Weill, a 20-year veteran with a reputation for integrity in the travel industry, has served as vice president of sales and marketing of Protravel International since 2005. Operating out of the agency’s Beverly Hills office, Weill helps to lead the agency’s growth in corporate and leisure travel in the robust West Coast market. He is a popular and respected member of the travel industry, serving on several influential travel advisory boards.
    Contact: Steve Loucks,

    Multigenerational Travel

    Theresa Jackson
    Personal Travel Designer
    Enlightened Journeys Travel, an affiliate of Travel Experts, Inc.
    “Multigenerational travel -- whereby the whole family, grandparents to grandchildren, travel together, or the grandparents travel with the grandkids -- can be used to provide terrific educational (but fun) experiences for the grandkids, time for strengthening connections in the family, and/or making memories together. “
    Contact: Victoria Walden,


    Janine Devine
    Director of Leisure
    Protravel International
    “With the (literally) billions of dollars we Americans spend on our pets, it doesn’t come as any surprise that the number of animals being brought along on family vacations is on the rise. There are some hotel brands that are more pet-friendly than others -- some that actually welcome the little critters for a very long time -- but policies and rules can change within a brand, as well as be subject to local regulations. So, the very first thing to do is ask your travel advisor to confirm your hotel’s pet policies. Size and weight restrictions, as well as deposits (refundable or not), can vary greatly. And then don’t forget to call a few days in advance and confirm your arrival and your four-legged extra ‘gear.’”
    Devine also offers the following tips for packing for your pets: 1) “Pack a recent statement from a vet visit. In addition to your vet contact information in case of an emergency, these most often include pet’s breed, weight and age, and up-to-date information on vaccinations. If something unforeseen occurs and you are in need of a kennel to board your animal in an emergency, this information and your possession of it will make or break you.” 2) “Food is an obvious consideration, but don’t forget water. Don’t rely on local tap water once you arrive. Between the stress of a road trip or flight and disruption of routine, you are asking for tummy troubles. Divert them by feeding your animal his/her regular food (even though I’ve seen many room-service menus with a page dedicated to tantalizing “furry friends”) at regular times and purified water that you should get at a nearby convenience/drugstore. Don’t forget dishes for food and water, although many hotels are happy to provide these. Also, don’t forget your pet’s medication.” 3) Crates are required by airlines for pets in cabin and in cargo -- just as car seats are required for children in the U.S. -- and I recommend every traveler to use one when you’re driving with your pet. Once you’re on the ground, though, the housekeeping staff in hotels will appreciate it very much if you crate your animal when you’re away from the room. In some hotels, this is a requirement. For dogs, crate training is essential and should be learned early on (puppyhood is preferable). Dogs are den animals and will find it comforting to be able to retreat to a “den” and feel safe in a new environment. Although some hotel brands or chains even go so far as to provide pet beds, your four-legged girl or guy might eye it suspiciously.” 4) “Toiletries”: You can never have enough pick-up bags, even if most pet-friendly hotels are happy to provide them. Better safe than very sorry. Additionally, don’t forget wipes. They come in convenient packages and are easy to find.” 5) “Finally, friends and acquaintances are great resources, particularly if you subscribe to a breed or herding/agility/tracking list or part of an online group. If you’re thinking that perhaps bringing furry Fred/Fiona is not as a good an idea as it first sounded and will not add to your relaxing family experience, you may be right. In any case, there are many hotels across the U.S./Canada and elsewhere with a resident “animal” or two on hand in case you need a dog (or cat) fix.”
    Devine is a 30-year travel industry veteran with particular passion for hotels. With insider knowledge of countless luxury properties around the world, Devine also is an animal lover and pays close attention to pet-friendly hotels and has experience in arranging travel with pets.
    Contact: Steve Loucks,


    Gary Lee Kraut
    France Revisited
    Kraut, a Paris-based expert on travel in France, is able to discuss travel in a period of unease with respect to terrorism, as well as family travel, Jewish travel, and war touring (WWI and WWII). An American journalist, lecturer and editor who has lived in Paris for more than 25 years, Kraut is the editor of the award-winning online travel and culture magazine France Revisited. He has lectured extensively in the United States relative to his expertise in France and has been interviewed in print and on television and radio. In the days following the Nov. 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris, Kraut appeared on NBC-TV and MSNBC in segments concerning the attacks and their effect on tourism.
    Contact: Beth Brody,

    Elaine Carey
    Travel Experts, Inc. Affiliate
    Carey offers the following tips to clients: 1) “Carry a copy of your passport page separate from the real thing. I always keep a copy of my client’s passport page just in case. I can fax them anywhere in the world if need be.” 2) “Don’t travel/dress like a tourist. No flashy clothes or jewelry -- leave any jewelry home if you can’t live without it in case it gets lost or stolen.” 3) “Keep your money well-hidden and not all in one place (and don’t carry all of it) -- just take one or two credit cards with you (one each in case the other gets lost or stolen; you will have the other to rely on in case of emergency). I use my credit card for most purchases.” 4) “Don’t open your wallet where everyone can see what’s in it and don’t let your credit card out of your sight when paying for something.” 5) “Don’t hold your passport open for all to see.  Some people will take a quick photo of it with their phone. This works with anything else that will allow someone to know where you’re staying and which room.” 6) “Always be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye open for everyone around you. There are people out there that can pick your pocket without you even knowing they’re that close to you. Men, keep your wallets in your front pockets. Ladies keep your purse/bag in front of you, never just on one shoulder or on your back (if you have a backpack, always hold onto the straps and keep it securely closed).”Carey is a proud member of Virtuoso, a V.A.S.T. member and a Voyager Club host. Her specialties include, but are not limited to: luxury travel, multi-generational travel, Ireland and the UK, Italy and a lot of the Mediterranean. Cruising is her passion.
    Contact: Victoria Walden,


    Tim MacDonald
    Executive Vice President of Platform & Data Services
    Concur Technologies
    MacDonald leads Concur’s initiatives to foster an ecosystem of TMCs, suppliers, and third-party apps that create value for clients, their employees and the travel suppliers who support them.  MacDonald’s travel industry experience prior to Concur includes senior vice president and general manager of Expedia US, chairman and president of luxury travel provider Classic Vacations, and vice president of product management at Hotwire. MacDonald can discuss a number of travel technology topics, namely the best apps to download prior to taking your trip (apps that collate your travel plans, quickly expenses on business trips, help you secure last-minute reservations at popular restaurants). He can also discuss the latest trends at the intersection of travel and technology, as well as share insights from Concur.
    LinkedIn profile:
    Contact: Caroline McMeekin,

    ProfNet Success Story: David Giannetto, Author of ‘Big Social Mobile’

    Thursday, February 25, 2016, 12:48 PM [Success Stories]
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    For this month’s featured success story, we caught up with David Giannetto, author of “Big Social Mobile: How Digital Initiatives Can Reshape the Enterprise and Drive Business Results.”

    Giannetto has been featured in numerous publications as a result of ProfNet, including Forbes, Strictly Marketing, and VentureBeat. Check out all of his clips here:

    Very impressive!

    We asked Giannetto to share his advice for making the most out of ProfNet queries:

    David, how do you choose which ProfNet queries to respond to each day?

    I try to respond to ProfNet queries that are very close to my expertise and something that I have both a unique perspective on and real experience working with actual clients on. Since my goals are to build long-term relationships with media who consistently write about my topics and to use those media placements to reinforce me expertise, I've found that the closer I stick to the topics I really know most intimately -- progressive technology and techniques that use information to drive business strategy -- the more successful I am at getting the media's attention. These writers and outlets are then more likely to come back to me unsolicited for future comments.

    Also, I only respond when I will have time to actually do the work they are asking for. If I know my schedule won't really allow me to work on a big article for someone, then I don't offer, because chances are, if I disappoint them the first time, they won't work with me in the future.

    What do you include in a typical response?

    When I respond to a ProfNet query, I typically open with a statement that gives me credibility -- so they know my insight is based upon real-world work and not simply my opinion -- and then go right into a very short description of what my unique perspective is. I try to stay as close to their request as possible, and provide them exactly what they are asking for so they know I care about what they are writing about, and not just promoting my own agenda.

    From there, I might tie it into why I believe what I do (based upon some example of a company that I've worked with) and perhaps tie it to a topic that is important that they might not have seen from another ProfNet respondent.

    After that, I point them at my website or my book's description and the positive reviews that it has gotten, so that if they are interested, they can jump right out to it and verify my credibility very quickly. I believe they appreciate the brevity and by giving them everything they need, they will feel I am someone they want to work with.

    Do you have tips for others for responding to ProfNet queries?

    When working with the media through ProfNet, I believe the most important thing to do is respect their time and request. They are interested in working with someone who has something insightful to say on the exact topic they put into their query. If their topic is wide or loosely focused and they want broad responses, they'll ask for that. If not, stay as much on topic as possible. This is important because, over time, you will see the same writers in your field, and they will remember how helpful you were in the past.

    And remember, getting into the media is only a part of it. You are going to want to share your media placement with your audience, and if the topic you are commenting on isn't close to your overall message, then it won't be effective for you down the road. So, if you are busy, don't waste your time on every query you could respond to; respond to the ones you can really put some thought into so you are more likely to get the placement and can then use it more effectively.

    That is a great point we haven’t heard much before, but makes so much sense. Thank you for your insightful advice!

    Here’s more about Giannetto:

    David F. Giannetto is SVP of professional services at Astea International and a nationally respected thought-leader in the areas of business intelligence, enterprise performance management, information management, big data and analytics. He helps organizations leverage information -- providing both the technology and the methodology necessary to create, understand and utilize it to improve performance. He has led some of the most complex information-driven initiatives for today's leading brands and has been listed as a thought leader by the American Management Association, Business Finance Magazine and Consumer Goods Technology Magazine.

    In “Big Social Mobile: How Digital Initiatives Can Reshape the Enterprise and Create Business Value” (Palgrave Macmillan 2014), Giannetto explains how organizations can integrate social media, mobile technology, and big data to create tangible improvements in revenue and profit. The book builds on his first, the award-winning management methodology, “The Performance Power Grid, The Proven Method to Create and Sustain Superior Organizational Performance” (Wiley, 2006), which defined how organizations use internal information to improve performance.

    A former columnist for USBusiness Review, Giannetto currently writes for the American Management Association and Huffington Post, is a columnist for Strictly Marketing Magazine, and has contributed to numerous national magazines. He is a frequent keynote speaker on topics ranging from improving the effectiveness of digital initiatives, organizational performance, risk management and the impact of technology on organizations and consumer behavior.

    You can learn more about Giannetto and “Big Social Mobile” here:

    If you’re a writer, reporter, producer, blogger or any other type of content creator, find out how ProfNet can help *you* find the sources you need, whether they’re experts or “real people.” Just go to to get started or go directly to the journalist query form to submit your query.

    And if you have a ProfNet success story to share, let us know and you might see your smiling face on the Times Square sign!

    Pitching TV Reporters: How to Make Your Pitches More Compelling

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 9:35 AM [#ConnectChat]
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    Is part of your communications strategy to get your clients covered in broadcast outlets? Make sure you know what TV reporters want before you pitch them.

    Elizabeth Yekhtikian, vice president of media strategy for InkHouse Public Relations, is a former television reporter who covered local news. Elizabeth now focuses on strategic media relations at InkHouse and trains the firm’s clients on how to create and cultivate relationships with top-tier business, consumer and broadcast press.

    We asked Elizabeth to share her top tips for making sure your pitches are compelling for TV reporters:

    What’s the difference between pitching broadcast reporters vs. print media?

    The story needs to be visual and easily told in less than two minutes. It also should be part of a bigger trend that people can easily relate to.

    What are the biggest mistakes people make when pitching TV/broadcast outlets?

    Calling in the middle of the show. Know the audience and viewers, and know what is happening in the world. Also, pitching the product or company and not a newsworthy trend.

    What is the best way to lead a pitch to get local TV reporters' attention?

    Lead with the most important trend or fact that has the most impact to the most people.

    How does timing come into play when pitching broadcast outlets? Is there a right/wrong time to reach out?

    Know when the show is on air. Be aware of breaking news, as it trumps all. Realize the pitch will likely need to be by phone.

    How do you find the right contact to pitch? Do you reach out to producers, editors, on-air talent?

    Start with the assignment desk, producers and bookers to sell your story, since they usually decide what will be covered.

    How do you find out who's on the assignment desk? Is that typically on their website?

    In a perfect world, you could look it up, but it changes daily. It's all about calling when pitching broadcast.

    With election season in full swing, is it harder than usual to pitch TV news shows?

    It is tougher than ever. We are seeing a saturated news cycle. One of the things that has been helpful at InkHouse is pitching tech and data that track election trends.

    What should pitches include?

    The who, what, when and how – and, most importantly, why viewers should care.

    Is it important for PR pros to already have some type of video available?

    Most stations prefer to use their own video. Having video and other graphics will help tell the story, but it must be compelling visually to start with.

    What kinds of questions should PR pros be ready to answer once they make contact?

    Has the spokesperson done broadcast? What is the bigger story and trend you are connecting to? Why should my viewers care? Linking to a video clip of the spokesperson helps. Also, mentioning other on-air interviews the spokesperson has done will help sell them.

    Should the initial pitch be done via email or phone? It feels like no one picks up the phone anymore.

    A lot of TV producers prefer phone calls. They are not as immersed in email as other media. I start with a phone call and then follow up with an email. It's true that it's hard to reach people live. Getting actual feedback helps inform the rest of your pitching, and they may direct you to right person.

    How far in advance would you pitch a broadcast show for a feature story?

    Two weeks -- they are dealing with unknowns in terms of what will break. It would be hard to commit a month out.

    How do you plan for breaking news?

    Can your spokesperson tie in to that news in an appropriate way? Also, be prepared for the interview to be cut short, or even be cancelled, due to breaking news. Don't take it personally.

    What is involved in media training? What makes someone good in front of a camera?

    Being comfortable with the topic, practicing your responses, and making it something that most people can relate to. In my role at InkHouse, I do a lot of mock interviews to prepare spokespeople so they can practice.

    What should experts anticipate for the actual interview? What should they know about the process?

    Write down three things you want to convey no matter what the reporter asks. Stay on topic and bridge to key messages when you can. Only a small portion of the taped interview might be used. For live TV, it will be a very quick interview -- under five minutes usually.

    Are you a TV reporter in need of experts? Send a ProfNet query – it’s easy and free! Just fill out this quick form and we’ll distribute your request to the thousands of experts in our network:

    Expert Spotlight: John Sweeney, author of ‘The Innovative Mindset’

    Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 10:22 AM [Expert Spotlight]
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    Each month, we spotlight an expert from the ProfNet network that we think journalists will find interesting and timely. With a network of hundreds of thousands of experts and communicators, ProfNet connects journalists with sources on virtually any topic imaginable, whether experts or “regular people.” Need a source? Submit a ProfNet query – it’s easy and free.

    If you look at some of the most successful companies in history, there is one thing they have in common: innovation. With World Innovation Week coming up in April, we decided to sit down with John Sweeney, co-author of “The Innovative Mindset,” to find out how companies and individuals can embrace innovation and revolutionize the way they work.

    Sweeney is the co-owner and executive producer of the Brave New Workshop, America’s longest-running satirical comedy theater. He uses his 20+ years of improvisational performance, speaking and training to influence human behavior and to create simple, but groundbreaking, tools that have ignited cultures of innovative behavior within Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft, PwC, General Mills and many more. The first-ever MNovation seminar takes place Feb. 25 in Minneapolis. Get the details here: MNovation Seminar Series.

    You may also recognize Sweeney as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ beloved superfan Jiggly Boy, who has helped raise thousands of dollars for Smile Network International through

    John, thanks for taking the time to tell us more about what you do and how innovation can help us in our daily lives.

    You’re known as an “innovation behaviorist.” What does that mean?

    When people approach the Brave New Workshop’s Creative Outreach arm to work with them on their company’s innovation programs, I start by having a simple conversation to get to know them. I always ask them to begin by telling me about their current innovation system. They usually tell me all about their innovation initiatives, chief innovation officers come and gone, programs launched and research they’ve done. But very rarely do they tell me about what their company is doing to help their teams behave innovatively. That’s where I come in.

    We often forget about how much basic everyday behavior affects our ability to come up with great new ideas. Often, innovation leaders assume behaviors will automatically change once a great system is in place. The teams that work on those programs often overlook a very basic ingredient of a successful innovation effort: the people who need to fuel it – and all their fears and emotions.

    I help people work on changing their actual day-to-day behavior, with the end result being that innovative ideas can flow more freely and arise naturally. No system will work if people don’t act in a way that promotes innovative thinking.

    You recently co-authored a book called “The Innovative Mindset.” What is the innovative mindset, and how can someone get into it?

    The book, which I co-authored with my colleague Elena Imaretska, came out from Wiley in October, and we’re really excited about it. An innovative mindset embraces a Mindset of Discovery, rather than a Mindset of Fear.

    The Mindset of Discovery is a choice to not spend a disproportionate amount of time or energy on fear, and to live a life of engagement, authenticity and forward-looking action. It stems from more than 55 years of improvising off and on stage at the Brave New Workshop, the longest-running satirical comedy theater in the U.S.

    The Mindset of Discovery works in contrast to the mindset of fear – fear of failure, fear of judgment, fear of conflict. We often don’t even realize when we start on a downward spiral of negative thoughts: What if I can’t do it? What if I draw a blank? What if people think I’m stupid?

    We are capable of making the fear of failure irrelevant and transforming that negative emotion into a productive drive that can allow us to perform to the best of our abilities and maximize the opportunities that life presents us. The key is to turn the fear of failure into excitement to discover. Embracing a Mindset of Discovery requires practice, and that’s where behaviors come in.

    In the business world, we’re often expected to execute, execute, execute day after day, with less attention paid to actually practicing new skills and behaviors. But for real improvement and meaningful behavioral changes to occur, we need to spend time practicing integrating these behaviors into our daily lives.

    You’ve made a name for yourself in recent years as a seasoned speaker. What are the top tips you share with an audience to ignite innovative behavior?

    There are five behaviors – which I call “The Big Five” behaviors – that improv actors use every day that can spark a significant change in an organization’s ability to innovate. Luckily, you don’t even have to set foot on a stage to practice these behaviors.

    1. Listen. Listening – really, fully listening – makes the people you’re innovating with feel validated, respected and trusted, which leads to them producing better ideas.

    2. Defer judgment. A key behavior to spark innovation is to simply defer judgment – put some space between the moment that new information comes your way and the beginning of the judgment process.

    3. Declare. A declaration is a clear, concise way of letting our colleagues know our point of view and what we want to accomplish.

    4. Reframe the situation. Reframing is about taking a look at a challenge or opportunity through a new lens.

    5. Jump in. Staying in information-collection mode may seem like the safest route, but if you’re looking to innovate, you don’t need all the data, you just need to jump right in and get started.

    Practicing these behaviors every day helps foster an innovation-friendly environment where organizations can generate new ideas and spark a culture of innovation.

    I’m a task-oriented person, so innovation is a difficult concept for me to grasp. What advice do you have for someone like me to better understand and spark innovation?

    It sounds like you could benefit from spending a little extra time this week, this month or even this year, working on reframing, one of the Big Five behaviors I mentioned earlier. You might try setting aside some time in your day to think creatively from new perspectives.

    One exercise I encourage people to try is to create a few profiles of some typical customers or collaborators you work with. Use their point of view to problem-solve, or come up with some ideas you think they’d benefit from. For example, “How would Becky look at this?” or “What would this mean to Archie?”

    Another great exercise to try when working on a challenging project is to ask yourself, “How would I complete this if I had an unlimited budget?” After you’ve brainstormed some great ideas, ask yourself, “How could I complete this if I had no budget?”

    Or, try finding a solution to your problem from a 12-year-old’s perspective.

    These exercises will help you think from new perspectives, perhaps coming up with ideas you never would have considered when approaching innovation from your own point of view.

    A little birdie told me you are also the Minnesota Timberwolves’ beloved superfan Jiggly Boy. How did that get started? And aren’t you ever cold? Minnesota is not really known for its heat waves!

    I first developed the Jiggly Boy character in 2003 after the Minnesota Timberwolves, one of the Brave New Workshop’s clients, asked me to help engage their customers and generate more excitement at the game. We created a character who was so excited about the game and team that he took off his shirt and danced in the stands, only to be promptly ejected by “security guards” who were actually Brave New Workshop actors. Still to this day, many don’t realize the security guards were actors!

    Fast-forward to February 2015, when the Timberwolves asked me to reprise the popular character to welcome NBA legend Kevin Garnett back to the team. They played the 2003 video on the Jumbotron, and then showed me in the stands looking uncomfortable, until the growing applause finally coaxed me from my seat. And then I burst into my Jiggly Boy routine, giving it everything I had, tearing off my shirt to reveal “Welcome Back, KG” on my chest. Once again, the plan worked. The stadium went nuts.

    This time around, I enlisted some partners to help turn my 15 minutes of fame into an effort to change kids’ lives by literally giving them new smiles. Within hours after Jiggly Boy’s comeback, we created a website – – to leverage the momentum and raise money for Smile Network International, a nonprofit doing miraculous work worldwide on missions that provide cleft palate and lip surgery for children. On the site, you can view the video, create a customized meme, shop for Jiggly Boy merchandise (all proceeds go to Smile Network International!) and, most importantly, donate directly to Smile Network International.

    I continue to marvel at how the Jiggly Boy phenomenon is still going strong – we’re up to 150 million video views worldwide, and counting. If you need a bit of laughter in your day or an easy way to help transform a child’s life, a click to is worth a few minutes of your time!

    Luckily for me, the Timberwolves play indoors, so I don’t have to worry about being cold!

    What are you working on now?

    Creating comprehensive and meaningful learning experiences for our corporate clients is the name of the game these days! My team and I have developed a whole suite of both live sessions and digital tools that can move the needle for a company’s culture. We all know that behavioral change takes time, effort and intention and we are excited to support our corporate clients in inspiring their employees to cultivate a Mindset of Discovery and spark innovation on an enterprise level.

    From train-the-trainer certifications, to drop-in innovation workout sessions, to an app which allows continuous practice and social learning, to an easy-to-use video learning course based on our book “The Innovative Mindset” hosted on, we are excited to provide customized programs that create a solid behavioral foundation for any innovation effort or initiative.

    Anything else you’d like to add?

    I’m always open to talk with media on any number of topics, from innovation to improv. The best place to reach me is at

    For more information, visit or

    Upcoming Twitter Q&A: How to Make Pitches More Compelling for TV Reporters

    Friday, February 19, 2016, 10:01 AM [#ConnectChat]
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    If part of your communications strategy is to get your clients covered in broadcast outlets, you won’t want to miss our next Twitter Q&A, featuring Elizabeth Yekhtikian (@elizyekh), vice president of media strategy for InkHouse Public Relations.

    Elizabeth, a former television reporter who covered local news, focuses on strategic media relations at InkHouse and trains the firm’s clients on how to create and cultivate relationships with top-tier business, consumer and broadcast press. She will share her top tips for making sure your pitches are compelling for TV reporters, as well as how to prepare for the interviews themselves.

    The chat will take place Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. and last for about 45 minutes. To participate in the chat, just follow the #ConnectChat hashtag. We’ll start the chat off with a few questions for Elizabeth, but you can jump in at any time with your own questions. Just make sure to use the #ConnectChat hashtag at the end of your tweet.

    About Elizabeth Yekhtikian
    The pinnacle of Elizabeth’s 20-year career in PR and broadcast journalism came from the sound of a telephone ringing and Peter Jennings on the other line back in 1999, when he was producing his Century Series for ABC News. She went to WABC-TV in New York and waited for four hours for Jennings’ producer to take archived footage of the Armenian Genocide so he would include it in his coverage of the 20th century. He did just that -- and also pronounced her last name perfectly (a major milestone of its own!) when he called her, thanking her for her tenacity. Motivated by this experience, she then pitched and persuaded PBS to do a series about Armenian-Americans.

    Perhaps Elizabeth’s theme song could be set to Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” as it sets the perfect backdrop to explain her determination with the media and herself to not just cover a story, but cover it correctly. From an early age, she realized she was good at promoting things. Whether working in high school for her brother’s company selling motor oil and antifreeze over the phone, or organizing fundraisers and getting her brother in law’s band on local radio stations, she thrived at the art of persuasion.

    Elizabeth received her Bachelor’s degree from Boston University’s College of Communication and a Master’s in broadcast journalism from Emerson College. She worked most recently at Blanc & Otus PR, serving for 11 years and managing both client and internal teams. She helped large enterprise technology companies such as CA Technologies with thought-leadership campaigns and product launches in the enterprise security and storage space, as well as smaller consumer tech companies such as Ziggs and Digitalsmiths find their voice in crowded markets. Her PR career also included work at Northeast Human Resources Association.

    Elizabeth’s strong passion for media even extended in front of the camera. She was a general assignment reporter for News 12 in Connecticut and New York, covering breaking news for local TV. Referring to her stint as “Bonkers in Yonkers,” she covered all things local, from cats stuck in trees to road-rage incidents.

    Expert Roundup: Justice Scalia and the Supreme Court

    Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 11:12 AM [Expert Alerts]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Following are experts from the ProfNet network who can discuss Justice Antonin Scalia’s legacy, as well as the impact of his death on future cases, the makeup of the Supreme Court, and the presidential election.

    You can also submit a query to the hundreds of thousands of experts in our network – it’s easy and free! Just fill out the query form to get started: Send a query.

    Stephen McAllister
    E.S. & Tom W. Hampton Distinguished Professor of Law
    University of Kansas School of Law
    “Irrespective of one’s views about the Constitution, it cannot be denied that Justice Scalia was a giant on the modern court, exerting significant influence on many constitutional and other legal doctrines, and writing with the most eloquent pen and sharpest wit. He often was a dominant figure during oral arguments and drew more laughs in the courtroom than any other justice. His untimely death during the middle of a term and a presidential election year is likely to have numerous consequences for the court and the country. The outcomes in some pending controversial cases likely will be affected by his absence, and replacing him may lead to a prolonged political battle between the president and a Republican-controlled Senate. Given the close balance on the Court, Justice Scalia’s replacement could dramatically affect the court going forward for years to come.”
    Professor McAllister can discuss Justice Scalia, his history with the Supreme Court, the court's future and Scalia's legal career and personality. McAllister has argued before Scalia and the Supreme Court nine times, and knew him personally, having hosted him during campus visits and teaching with him during a study abroad program in Turkey.
    Contact: Mike Krings,

    Gil Seinfeld
    Professor of Law
    University of Michigan
    A former clerk for Scalia during the October 2002 term, Seinfeld says: "The Supreme Court decided many contentious cases that year, including the affirmative action cases involving the University of Michigan. I was the liberal clerk in chambers that year (Scalia often made a point of assuring that he had one liberal clerk in the mix), and there were plenty of opportunities for disagreement. Those disagreements were the highlight of my experience. The justice had an insatiable appetite for argument and discussion, he always engaged my points head-on, and he consistently made me feel like he valued my opinion -- though I succeeded in changing his mind about something of even mild consequence only once, so far as I know. He was incredibly energetic and witty, and, yes, he could be combative, but even in his most combative moments -- at least with me -- it was obvious how much he loved and took pleasure in the exercise of working through a complex and contentious legal issue. It was a privilege to clerk for him."
    Seinfeld teaches and writes about federal jurisdiction, the constitutional law of federalism, and civil procedure.
    Contact: Jared Wadley,

    Richard Friedman
    The Alene and Allan F. Smith Professor of Law
    University of Michigan
    "The president is obviously right to nominate a candidate. As a political matter, it is not at all surprising that Republicans are taking the view that they won't move on it. Getting a confirmation when a presidential election is looming is always more difficult. One could easily imagine that if the tables were reversed, so would be the positions. Similarly, when Thurgood Marshall was nominated, Ted Kennedy said that the Senate should not pay attention to the ideology of the nominee. When (Nixon nominees) Haynsworth and Carswell, and later (Reagan nominee) Bork, were nominated, he took a different view. I assume we will now have a vacancy of a year, and perhaps more. This is unfortunate, but it does not create a crisis for American government. As it is, the Supreme Court probably decides fewer cases than it should, but the sky does not fall. Some more cases will fail to be resolved on a national level, and that means that some conflicts among courts will continue to fail to be resolved for now, but there are always unresolved conflicts. And remember that almost everything the Supreme Court does is reviewing the decision of another court. So a 4-4 decision just means that the decision of the lower court stands, without the Supreme Court setting any precedent."
    Friedman is an expert on evidence and U.S. Supreme Court history.
    Contact: Jared Wadley,

    Dr. John R. Vile
    Professor of Political Science; Dean, University Honors College
    Middle Tennessee State University
    On Justice Scalia: “Scalia was a leading intellectual on the court. His contribution to the right is equivalent to that of Justice William Brennan on the left. He has been a particularly strong proponent of originalism, explaining that he was not looking for private meanings but for publicly accessible meanings when the U.S. Constitution was written and ratified. Scalia was one of the great linguistic craftsmen on the court, ranking with Hugo Black and Oliver Wendell Holmes.  One didn’t have to be a scholar to understand what he was saying; he definitely knew how to turn a phrase. He was an individual of great energy who is known for personal friendships across party lines.”
    On the nomination process: “I have no inside information on this point, but recent presidents almost always appoint appellate court judges. Obama might find it to his advantage to nominate a sitting senator in hopes of getting confirmation. Republicans probably can block the nomination as they did in 1968 (Abe Fortas).  It would be quite ironic, however, if Obama were succeeded by an even more liberal President (Sanders, for example), who would be even less likely to nominate a candidate that the Republicans could accept. This further complicates an already contentious presidential election and more clearly highlights what is at stake. Had Scalia been a middle-of-the-road justice, his replacement would be far more contentious, but he (with Thomas) are clearly among the most conservative justices on the court, and a replacement is thus more likely to have an impact. I was a bit disturbed to hear Republican candidates bashing Justice Roberts. Although two of his decisions have upheld Obamacare, one has plenty of ammunition for Republicans wanting to limit existing interpretations of the commerce clause, and the other isn’t exactly complimentary of the legislation. In my judgment, Roberts has provided solid moderate-conservative leadership, and Republicans would be quite lucky to get some more like him.”
    Dr. Vile is the author and editor of numerous books, including “Essential Supreme Court Decisions: Summaries of Leading Cases in U.S. Constitution Law” and “A Companion to the United States Constitution and Its Amendments” (now in its sixth edition).
    Expert Contact:

    Douglas Edlin
    Associate Professor of Political Science
    Dickinson College
    On the nomination: “Given their control of the Senate, Republicans can block any nomination made by President Obama. Sen. Mitch McConnell has indicated that this would be the Senate Republicans' posture toward anyone President Obama is likely to nominate. Whether they should depends on one's understanding of the Senate's ‘advice and consent’ authority under Article II. Justice Scalia was confirmed to the Supreme Court by a vote of 98-0.
    On what happens to existing cases: “They will be decided by the remaining eight justices. A justice's vote on a pending case is not final until the opinion is released to the public. So, even where it may be clear how Justice Scalia was planning to vote, his vote cannot be counted in cases that have not been released. In the event of a 4-4 tie among the eight justices, the lower court's ruling is affirmed.”
    Edlin is author of the forthcoming book, “Common Law Judging.” In it, he discusses Scalia in relation to judicial independence and the law-making function of judges. Edlin’s research and teaching interests are in comparative constitutionalism, the judicial process and judicial review.
    Contact: Christine Baksi,

    Mark C. Miller, J.D., Ph.D.
    Professor and Director, Law & Society Program; University Pre-Law Adviser
    Department of Political Science
    Clark University, Worcester, Mass.
    On Scalia’s legacy: “Justice Scalia will be remembered for his textualist approach to judicial decision-making. He will also be known for D.C. v. Heller, which declared that the Second Amendment grants an individual right to own a gun, as opposed to the previous understanding, where the Second Amendment granted the states the right to have armed national guards.”
    On the next nominee: “It all depends on whether President Obama wants to nominate a liberal to please his base with no hope of confirmation, or a moderate who might have some chance of getting confirmed by the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee chair, Sen. Grassley (R-IA), will decide whether the committee will even hold hearings on an Obama nominee. Grassley also decides if the committee will vote on the nomination. If the nomination gets out of committee and to the Senate floor, then it is subject to a filibuster, which would require 60 votes to confirm the nominee. The Republicans must decide whether to appease their conservative base and entirely block the nominee or whether public opinion will see Republicans as obstructionists, especially important in tight Senate races for several Republican incumbents. Interest groups on both sides will be using this opportunity to raise a lot of money among their base. The mood of the voters will decide whether Republicans block the nomination or allow a floor vote.”
    On what happens to existing cases: “All Scalia votes are now void. If his vote didn’t matter, then the Supreme Court will release the ruling as usual. If his vote did matter, then the Court might be tied 4-4 on various cases. A tie vote affirms the lower court ruling without opinion and without creating Supreme Court precedent. In the case of a tie vote, the Chief Justice could decide to carry the case over until next year, with new oral arguments presumably after a new justice is confirmed.”
    Miller is professor of American politics at Clark University and former chair of the Department of Political Science. He is also the director of the Law and Society Program at Clark and is the pre-law adviser. Miller served as the Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court from 1999-2000; he was a Congressional Fellow in 1995. During 2006-07, he was a visiting scholar at the Centennial Center for Public Policy of the American Political Science Association. During the spring of 2008, he was a Fulbright scholar to the American Studies Program and the History Department at Leiden University in the Netherlands.  He published “The Supreme Court as an Issue in Presidential Campaigns in the United States” in the academic journal Leidschrift in 2012. Miller is also author of “Judicial Politics in the United States” (2014).
    Contact: Angela M. Bazydlo,

    Scott Waller
    Professor of Political Science
    Biola University
    On Scalia’s legacy: “Antonin Scalia will undoubtedly be remembered as the most consequential Supreme Court justice of our generation. There is no question that his legacy will come into sharper focus in the years ahead as we see the court either move further and further from his line-drawing dissents or, like Justice Harlan's famous dissents of 100 years ago, come to be embraced by future court majorities who eventually see the wisdom of Scalia's legal and constitutional philosophy. Scalia's legacy will be the loud and clarion voice of a dissenter.”
    On possible nominees: “It is hard to say exactly whom the president will nominate, but it is almost certainly the case that he will nominate someone to the court in the short term. Both sides of the political aisle have a farm team of potential candidates for the court, and it is probably only a matter of days or weeks before Obama puts someone forth for the Senate to consider. My guess is that he will nominate someone who possesses certain demographic characteristics that will make it very difficult for the GOP-controlled Senate to either ignore or not ultimately confirm. What might these demographics be? My guess is that it will be an African-American woman or someone else that represents a minority slice of the population. He will ask, ‘How can those mean Republicans deny the office to such a person?’”
    On whether Republicans can/will block the nomination: “The short answer is that they sure can. The Senate has advise-and-consent powers when it comes to court nominations. The real test is whether the Senate will take the position that a lame-duck president's nominees should not even be considered (i.e., ignoring the inevitable nomination) or whether the GOP-controlled Senate will simply vote to reject whoever the president puts forth. [Whether they should] depends on what side of the aisle you show allegiance to. Regardless, the direction of the court (short of any more retirements or deaths of its members) will largely be determined by the next appointment. Given that Justice Scalia represented the most conservative and most vocal member of that wing of the court, almost any nominee Obama would put forth would pretty wildly swing the balance of the court to the left. So, if you're a conservative, you are almost assuredly wanting the GOP to hold firm and not confirm anyone Obama puts forth.”
    Dr. Waller holds graduate degrees in both philosophy and political science. He has an M.A from Talbot School of Theology in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics and an M.A. in Politics and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University in the fields of American Politics and Political Theory. His research interests involve the intersection of religion and politics, jurisprudence surrounding the First Amendment religion clauses, and the evolving role of the judiciary within the American political order. He is a frequent guest on local radio discussing American politics and a frequent speaker to the general Christian community on issues of importance for believers to consider.
    Contact: Jenna Loumagne,

    Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr.
    President and CEO
    Hip Hop Caucus
    On Scalia’s legacy: “Justice Antonin Scalia will be remembered as one of the most influential judges to ever serve on the Supreme Court. As a former U.S. Air Force Officer, I appreciate his service to our nation, and while many didn’t always agree with him on a number of important cases, there is no questioning his intellect or his love for our country.”
    On likely nominees: “The question isn’t who should fill this seat on the Supreme Court, but what values a Supreme Court Justice should possess. We need someone who understands that our laws and Constitution were designed to protect the rights of ordinary Americans, not powerful special interests. The right qualifications and principles are more important that any particular nominee. In the words of President Obama, the duty of a president to nominate Supreme Court justices is ‘bigger than any one party.’”
    On Republicans blocking the nomination: “Americans deserve a judicial system that works. Our courts shouldn’t be held hostage to the same partisan gridlock that’s crippled the rest of our government. Anyone who says our current president shouldn’t fill this pressing vacancy -- or that the Senate shouldn’t give his nominee fair consideration -- is putting politics above the rule of law. The Constitution has clear guidance for how to address a vacancy: It requires the president to nominate and the Senate to give fair consideration to Supreme Court justices. Both the president and the Senate are obliged to perform their constitutional duties. There’s no exception for election years. The Supreme Court shouldn’t be a tool of any party or ideology; it should apply the core principles of our Constitution (democracy, justice, equality under the law) to the cases before it. We need a justice who will put fidelity to our Constitution and laws above any partisan agenda.”
    On the Supreme Court: “Our communities are suffering! We see mounting casualties, not just from poor school systems, violence and escalating crime levels, but witness the human toll emanating from gentrification, limited access to health care and limited economic renewal. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the country -- it has the final say on interpreting our Constitution and laws. Its nine justices serve for life, and the decisions they make directly influence the lives of every American. They should be fair-minded, committed to protecting the rights and freedoms of all Americans.”
    Rev. Yearwood leads the national Respect My Vote! campaign and coalition, which encourages the youth and minority communities, through celebrity involvement, to register to vote, regardless of their political affiliation. As president and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus, Rev. Yearwood is rapidly becoming one of the most influential leaders in America’s political and social landscape. He has been a guest panelist on such media outlets as CNN, MTV, MSNBC, BET, C-SPAN and featured in Huffington Post, Newsweek, The Nation, and The New York Times.
    Contact: Joe Wiggins,

    Michael Moreland
    Professor of Law
    Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
    “The debate of replacing Justice Scalia is likely to be the most contentious in decades, since Mitch McConnell has already stated that the Republican majority will block any nominee until after the presidential election. The president may also attempt to appoint a justice during a Senate recess. Pending cases on abortion, affirmative action, immigration, and other issues hang in the balance."
    Professor Moreland served as associate director for domestic policy at The White House under President George W. Bush, where he worked on a range of legal policy issues, including criminal justice, immigration, civil rights, and liability reform. At Villanova, Moreland has taught Constitutional Law II (First Amendment and Equal Protection), Justice and Rights, Torts, Evidence, Bioethics and the Law, Advanced Torts, and seminars in law and religion. In addition to speaking about Scalia from a legalistic standpoint, Moreland can also talk about how the Scalia’s faith may have informed his court opinions.
    Contact: Kathleen Scavello,

    Scott Douglas Gerber
    Professor of Law, Pettit College of Law
    Ohio Northern University
    “Justice Scalia's legacy will be as the most beautiful writer on the Supreme Court in generations and the intellectual leader of the most influential theory of constitutional interpretation in American history. That's quite a legacy.”
    Professor Gerber teaches American Legal History and Constitutional Law at the second-oldest law school in Ohio. He has published a number or articles about the U.S. Supreme Court and its justices. He expressed his thoughts about Justice Scalia in an article on Huffington Post:
    Contact: Mary Wilkin,

    Chad Ruback
    Dallas Appellate Lawyer and Legal Expert
    “Scalia’s legacy will be the scores of extreme positions he has taken in his written opinions. When these same topics arise in future cases, justices authoring opinions in those cases will have no choice but to address Scalia’s reasoning, whether they agree with him or not. Perhaps more than any other justice in the court’s history, Scalia’s writings will play a role in the court’s future decisions long after his death. Scalia’s ghost will haunt the Supreme Court for at least a century.”
    Ruback is a respected Dallas appellate lawyer with extensive appellate law experience in every type of case imaginable. In addition, he represents clients at the trial court level in matters that are likely to be subject to appellate review. He has written numerous articles and is a frequent commentator on a wide variety of legal and appellate related topics in the news.
    Contact: Robert Tharp,

    Brad LaMorgese
    Family Law and Appellate Attorney
    Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson, LLP, Dallas
    One of the few appellate family lawyers in Texas, LaMorgese has handled appeals in courts throughout the country. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. During his nearly two decades in practice, he has achieved success in dozens of cases in Texas appeals courts and the Texas Supreme Court, as well as the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. He also serves on the Irving (Texas) City Council. He notes that Scalia’s impact was the result of his view of Constitution and the positions he took: “I remember him saying words to the effect that if the Constitution can mean anything to the interpreter, then it means nothing. It must stand for something.”
    Contact: Rhonda Reddick,

    Craig B. Garner
    “With the passing of Antonin Scalia, our focus should be on his storied, 30-year legacy as a Supreme Court Justice and not the panic over health care reform’s future that continues to resonate louder with each passing day. The same justice who once stated that the United States Supreme Court has no free-floating power ‘to rescue Congress from its drafting errors’ would also be quick to point out that one justice does not make a health care reform. The issues making top headlines today include whether the 44th or 45th president will select a replacement for Justice Scalia, and to what extent congressional rules and regulations will control. The Affordable Care Act is neither fleeting nor finished, but it has become the foundation of health care in the United States. To be sure, Justice Scalia will be missed, but the institution of the United States Supreme Court shall prevail as the preeminent moral compass for this great nation.”
    Garner is a recognized expert in the healthcare field and understands the challenges we face in the current healthcare environment. As the former CEO of a community hospital, Garner holds a unique vision on the impact of the Affordable Care Act, its changes and compliance. He shares his views in a refreshing, candid and understandable way, giving the rest of us access to what Obamacare and America's evolving health policy means. As vice chair of the California Bar Association Health Law Committee, Garner often interprets health care legislation and the changing nature of the law for attorneys. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is an adjunct professor of law at Pepperdine University School of Law. He teaches a health care law course that surveys issues that frequently arise in related health care environments. An attorney and health care consultant, Garner specializes in issues surrounding modern American health care and the ways it should be managed in its current climate of reform. His established law practice focuses on health care regulatory compliance and counseling to represent providers in all matters pertaining to contemporary health care in the United States, including ACOs, hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, medical groups, clinical laboratories, and other health care practitioners. Garner is admitted as an attorney and counselor at law in the State of California (1995), District of Columbia (1996) and the State of New York (2001).
    Contact: Maureen O'Crean,

    Allan Lichtman
    Distinguished Professor of History
    American University
    "Scalia's passing points the focus of the 2016 presidential campaign upon the Supreme Court. Two issues are posed: What type of justice should be selected to replace Scalia, and what is the constitutional right and responsibility of the president to make an appointment during his term and the responsibility of the Senate to ‘advise and consent’ regarding a presidential appointee?"
    Lichtman is author of "The Keys to the White House" (forthcoming early 2016, Rowman & Littlefield). He is an expert on presidential and congressional campaigns and can discuss voting behavior, public opinion, party conventions, politics, and American political history. He is well-known for his "13 Keys" system, which enables him to predict the outcome of the popular vote solely on historical factors. He has correctly predicted the outcomes of all U.S. presidential elections since 1984.
    American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.
    Contact: Rebecca Basu,

    Jessica Waters
    Associate Dean, School of Public Affairs
    American University
    “Justice Scalia's death will have a monumental impact on the court. In the immediate future, several of the blockbuster cases before the court -- including the most significant abortion case in decades, Whole Women's Health -- now hang in the balance. The long-term impact is also tremendous; Justice Scalia's replacement has the potential to shift the direction of the entire Roberts' court."
    Waters is also a faculty member in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology and an adjunct faculty member at the Washington College of Law. Her research focuses primarily on reproductive rights law.
    American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.
    Contact: Rebecca Basu,

    Todd Eisenstadt
    Professor of Government
    American University
    “On Feb. 10, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the president's efforts to start regulating U.S. power plants using the 1970 Clean Air Act.  Many view this early decision by the Supreme Court, before the legality of Obama's executive action has even been adjudicated, as partisan meddling, and indeed the vote was 5-4 with the Republican-nominated judges creating the narrow majority, before Justice Scalia's untimely death. The balance of the court has been thrown open on this and a range of other issues, giving extra urgency to the 2016 election as a harbinger of U.S. climate change policy for decades to come."
    Eisenstadt focuses his research on the intersection of formal institutions and laws with informal institutions and practices, mostly in democratizing countries in Latin America. He can discuss ramifications related to the fulfillment of President Obama's climate change pledges and the leadership of the U.S. in “getting to yes” on the Paris Climate accord.
    American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.
    Contact: Rebecca Basu,

    James Thurber
    Director, Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies; Distinguished University Professor
    American University
    Thurber is an expert on campaigns and conduct. He is also an expert in congressional-presidential relations, interest groups and lobbying, and campaigns and elections. He is a co-editor and author of the new book "American Gridlock."
    American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.
    Contact: Rebecca Basu,

    Jeffrey Rosen
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    National Constitution Center
    Rosen is a professor at The George Washington University Law School, where he has taught since 1997. He is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he explores issues involving the future of technology and the Constitution. He has recorded a lecture series for the Teaching Company’s Great Courses on Privacy, Property, and Free Speech: Law and the Constitution in the 21st Century. Rosen is a highly regarded journalist whose essays and commentaries have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, on National Public Radio, and in The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer. The Chicago Tribune named him one of the 10 best magazine journalists in America and a reviewer for the Los Angeles Times called him “the nation’s most widely read and influential legal commentator.” He received the 2012 Golden Pen Award from the Legal Writing Institute for his “extraordinary contribution to the cause of better legal writing.” He is the author of several books, including “The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America,” “The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America,” “The Naked Crowd: Reclaiming Security and Freedom in an Anxious Age,” and “The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America.” His most recent book, as co-editor, is “Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change.” Books about Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and President William Howard Taft are forthcoming. Rosen is a graduate of Harvard College; Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar; and Yale Law School.
    Contact: Alexandra Stromer,

    Charles L. Zelden
    Professor of History and Political Science
    Nova Southeastern University
    Zelden teaches courses in history, government and legal studies within the Department of History and Political Science of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. He has been a member of the NSU faculty since 1993. From 2003-2005 he served as the chair for the history major, as well as the lead faculty member for the college’s Intro to American Government class. In 2012, he was named the Distinguished Professor of the Year by the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences.
    A legal-constitutional historian by training, Zelden has published seven books to date: “Justice Lies in the District: The U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 1902-1960” (1993); “Voting Rights on Trial” (2002); “The Battle for the Black Ballot: Smith v. Allwright and the Defeat of the Texas All-White Primary” (2004); “Bush v. Gore: Exposing the Hidden Crisis in American Democracy” (2008); “The Supreme Court and Elections” (2009); “Bush v Gore: Exposing the Hidden Crisis in American Democracy, Abridged and Updated 2nd Edition” (2010); and “Thurgood Marshall: Race, Rights and the Struggle for a More Perfect Union” (2013). Zelden is also the general editor of ABC-Clio Press’ three-volume “About Federal Government” encyclopedia (for which he was volume editor of Vol. III on the federal judiciary). He has published a number of scholarly articles, the most recent of which are: The Southern Roots of the Reapportionment Revolution, in Sally Hadden and Patricia Minter, eds., Signposts: New Directions in Southern Legal History (University of Georgia Press, 2013). “Old Vinegar in a New Bottle: Vote Denial in the 2000 Presidential Election and Beyond,” in Winning While Losing? Civil Rights, The Conservative Movement and the Presidency From Nixon to Obama (University of Florida Press, expected publication date January, 2014), “’In no event shall a Negro be eligible’: The NAACP takes on the Texas All White Primary, 1923-1944,” in Long Is the Way and Hard: One Hundred Years of the NAACP (University of Arkansas Press, 2009).  His current project is “The American Judicial System: A Very Short Introduction” for Oxford University Press.
    A regular commentator on politics and current events for local media outlets, Zelden offered extensive commentary and analysis of the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 presidential elections on TV, radio and print, as well as the midterm elections of 2010 and 2014.
    Contact: Marla Oxenhandler,

    Nathan P. Kalmoe
    Assistant Professor of Political Science
    Monmouth College
    Kalmoe is available to discuss how the vacancy will affect the presidential election and the ideological dynamics in Congress. With mixed methods and innovative measures, Kalmoe integrates political communication, public opinion, psychology, and history, often on partisanship and aggression in the U.S. and abroad. His articles appear in Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Communication, Political Psychology, Political Behavior and others. Several of his projects investigate how violent metaphors and the public’s aggressive traits shape political behavior, including partisan polarization and voter turnout. He completed a book draft on the scarcity of mass ideology (with Don Kinder), and his book on partisanship and violence in the American Civil War will be done in 2017.
    Contact: Nancee Long,

    Richard B. Phillips
    Appellate Partner
    Thompson & Knight LLP, Dallas
    Phillips is available to discuss the procedural aspects and status of current matters pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the legacy of Justice Scalia. He focuses his practice on appellate matters and has represented clients before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the Texas Supreme Court. He is board-certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
    Contact: Barry Pound,

    Eric Grant
    Appellate Attorney
    Hicks Thomas LLP, Houston
    With 25 years of experience, Grant has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, and numerous federal and state appellate courts. He is an Appellate Specialist, as certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization. He served as law clerk to Associate Justice Clarence Thomas during the U.S. Supreme Court’s October 1994 term. Last year, Grant filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the two legal scholars who spearheaded the attack on the Affordable Care Act’s public subsidies.
    Contact: Kit Frieden,

    John Greabe
    Professor of Law
    University of New Hampshire School of Law
    Greabe is using a Scalia book to teach his constitutional theory course at UNH Law, and his constitutional law students are submitting a paper this week asking them to apply one of Scalia’s theories to a pending lawsuit in Georgia. Greabe is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and, prior to teaching at UNH Law, held a federal appellate practice and clerked for a number of federal appeals and trial judges within the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
    Contact: Robbin Ray,

    Albert (Buzz) Scherr
    Professor of Law
    University of New Hampshire School of Law
    Scherr is a nationally recognized authority on forensic DNA evidence. He has more than 20 years of experience as a trial and appellate lawyer, and is chair and president of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, a member of the ACLU's national board of directors, and chair of the board's Patents and Civil Liberties Committee.
    Contact: Robbin Ray,

    Artemus Ward
    Professor of Political Science
    Northern Illinois University
    Ward is a leading expert on the politics of Supreme Court appointment and has written six books on the topic: “Deciding to Leave: The Politics of Retirement from the United States Supreme Court” (2003); “Sorcerers' Apprentices: 100 Years of Law Clerks at the United States Supreme Court” (2006); “In Chambers: Stories of Law Clerks and Their Justices” (2012); “The Puzzle of Unanimity: Consensus on the United States Supreme Court” (2013); “American Judicial Process: Myth and Reality in Law and Courts” (2015); and "Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Supreme Court” (2015). His articles have appeared in such outlets as Congress & the Presidency, Journal of Supreme Court History, Justice System Journal, Marquette Law Review, Political Analysis, Tulsa Law Review, and White House Studies. His research and commentary has been featured by the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, NBC Nightly News, Fox News, and C-SPAN. He is a two-time award winner of the Hughes-Gossett Prize for historical excellence from the Supreme Court Historical Society. He received his Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University and was a Congressional Fellow on the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C.
    Contact: Max Bever,

    Aaron Kall
    Director, Debate Program and Debate Institute
    University of Michigan
    Kall can offer analysis on presidential debate discussions about finding a replacement for Scalia.
    Contact: Jared Wadley,

    James Robenalt
    Thompson Hine
    Robenalt can explain how our times resemble the fractious times in 1968: With the sudden passing of Justice Scalia, the question is: Will we see a reprise of 1968, when Republicans blocked LBJ’s choice to replace Chief Justice Earl Warren? LBJ nominated a sitting justice, Abe Fortas, who became the subject of the first-ever Senate filibuster in connection with a Supreme Court nominee. Nixon worked behind the scenes to keep Fortas from getting the nomination, believing he was going to win in November 1968. He was successful. Fortas’s nomination failed, Nixon won, and he appointed Warren Burger to the court as Chief Justice. But Nixon was not done with Fortas. Pointing to financial irregularities and a retainer arrangement with a man under indictment, Nixon’s men convinced Fortas to resign. Nixon used that seat (a traditional Jewish seat) to nominate two Southerners (Haynsworth and Carswell), both of whom were rejected by a Democratic Senate in retaliation for the Fortas fiasco. Blackmun emerged as Nixon’s third choice and was approved. Robenalt believes we may be in for another round of this sort of chaos with the Scalia situation. Ironically, abortion (Blackmun and Powell were the central players in Roe) will now be the hot button for Senators like Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee (Ted Cruz is also a member).
    A presidential and Supreme Court historian, Robenalt is the author of “January 1973, Watergate, Roe v. Wade, Vietnam, and the Month That Changed America Forever” (Chicago Review Press, May 2015). He is also a contributing writer to a new book about presidents and the Constitution, due out this May, “The Presidents and the Constitution, A Living History” (Gormley, ed., New York University Press, May 2016). He lectures nationally with John Dean, Nixon’s White House Counsel, on Watergate and legal ethics; they also just prepared a seminar on the Nixon Court. Robenalt interviewed Justice Lewis Powell’s law clerk on his role in the fashioning of Roe v. Wade for “January 1973.” He was the first to interview an insider on how Roe came about. Powell was the secret author of the viability standard that is at the core of Roe. His law clerk was deeply involved in formulating that decision. In writing “January 1973,” Robenalt told the story of how Nixon came to appoint Warren Burger, Harry Blackmun, Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist. As two Nixon appointees ruled the court as Chief Justice for 34 years (Burger and Rehnquist), the story of the Nixon Court is central to our nation’s history.
    Books: and
    Contact: Sheila Turner,

    Larry Evans
    Professor of Government
    College of William & Mary
    Evans, who specializes on Congress, is a former co-editor of the Legislative Studies Quarterly, the leading scholarly journal about Congress. He once worked as a congressional staffer for the House and Senate for about four years, and the first of his books was about Senate committees (where one of the cases was Judiciary). He can address the how other eight-year Supreme Court nominations have fared, and walk through the potential political ramifications of the nomination battle lining up for Obama.
    Contact: Suzanne Seurattan,

    Christine Nemacheck
    Assistant Professor of Government
    College of William & Mary
    Nemacheck specializes in judicial selection and is the author of “Strategic Selection: Presidential Selection of Supreme Court Justices from Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush.”
    Contact: Suzanne Seurattan,

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