• forward_hero

    Forward 2016

    Celebrating the fusion of story and business.

    June 22 – June 23, 2016 – Westin Waterfront – Boston, MA

Forward 2016 Opening Keynote

Tom Gerace, Founder & CEO, Skyword – June 22, 2016


Sarah Hill, CEO, StoryUP VR



Jill Cress, EVP, MasterCard



Forward 2016


Background Image

Opening Keynote

Tim Urban

Since he started writing the long-form, stick-figure-illustrated blog Wait But Why in 2013, Tim Urban has become one of the internet’s most popular writers. According to Fast Company, Urban has “captured a level of reader engagement that even the new-media giants would be envious of.”

As a result, Wait But Why reaches upwards of 10 million monthly visitors some months, and has earned him famed readers like Elon Musk. Urban has also given talks at companies like Facebook, schools like MIT and Brown, and at the 2016 TED Conference in Vancouver.

Background Image

Closing Keynote

Jad Abumrad

Jad Abumrad is the host and creator of Radiolab (radiolab.org), a public radio program broadcast on 524 stations across the nation and downloaded more than 9 million times a month as a podcast. Most days, Radiolab is the 2nd most popular podcast, just behind This American Life.

In 2010, Radiolab was awarded the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and 2011 Abumrad was honored as a MacArthur Fellow (also known as the Genius Grant). The MacArthur Foundation website says: “Abumrad is inspiring boundless curiosity within a new generation of listeners and experimenting with sound to find ever more effective and entertaining ways to explain ideas and tell a story.”



Erika Velazquez Alpern

New Republic

Erika Velazquez Alpern is the Head of Marketing & Communications for the New Republic.

Read More

Siobhan Breagy

New Balance

Siobhan is a Global Digital Content Associate at New Balance and has been with the company for four years.

Read More

Michael Brenner

Marketing Insider Group

Michael Brenner is the CEO of Marketing Insider Group, and co-author of best selling book The Content Formula.

Read More

Bridget M Burns

Tom's of Maine

Bridget M Burns works as the Social Media Strategist for Tom’s of Maine.

Read More

Jill Cress


Recognized executive in the payments and technology space with a proven track record in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Read More

Christine Dailey

New Balance

Christine is an Associate Global Digital Producer at New Balance.

Read More

Melanie Deziel

The Overlap League

Melanie Deziel is an award-winning branded content strategist and consultant, and the founder of The Overlap League, the native ad newsletter.

Read More

Jim Duffy


Jim oversees content marketing for ADP®’s Small Business Services division.

Read More

Christa Dunlevy


Christa is a Marketing Manager for Uniform Rental at Cintas.

Read More

Paula Elias


Paula Elias is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for StoryUP a Virtual Reality native media company.

Read More

Allen Gannett


Allen Gannett is the CEO and founder of TrackMaven, the all-in-one marketing analytics platform. 

Read More

Darryl Gehly


Darryl Gehly brings 20+ years of digital marketing, communications and agency management experience to Skyword as the Executive Vice President.

Read More

Tom Gerace


Tom Gerace is founder and CEO of Skyword, a leading content marketing software and services company.

Read More

Sarah Hill

StoryUP VR

Sarah is a 20-Year veteran of the broadcast industry and a pioneer in Virtual Reality storytelling.

Read More

Andy Hilton


Andy Hilton is Vice President for Communications, Content & Brand for ADP, the world’s largest provider of technology and services for human resources management.  

Read More

Julie Hogenboom


Julie Hogenboom is the Editorial Lead on the Yahoo Storytellers team, where she works with brands creating content and guiding them with content strategy.

Read More

Pam Jones


With nearly two decades of online marketing experience in both the B2C and B2B arenas, Pam Jones is a firm believer in customer-centric content.

Read More

Victoria Keichinger

Coldwell Banker

A self-proclaimed content addict, Tori Keichinger, has found a way to turn her addiction into a marketing passion for one of the world’s leading real estate brands.

Read More

Tom Kendall


Tom Kendall is the WW Digital Marketing Leader for IBM Security, providing strategic leadership for multiple platforms (including SecurityIntelligence.com) and managing an amazing team spanning the planet!

Read More

Robert McKee

Robert McKee, a Fulbright Scholar, is the most sought-after screenwriting lecturer around the globe.

Read More

Amber van Moessner


Amber van Moessner is a content strategist, writer, and the Director of Content Marketing at Livestream, a global livestreaming platform.

Read More

Andrea Moe


Andrea Moe is Senior Director of Marketing for Videa.

Read More

Rob Murray


As President of Skyword, Rob is responsible for the go-to-market teams at Skyword including sales, marketing, strategic services, and writer services.

Read More

Lon Novak

Lon Novak is a Client Advocate at Sprinklr.

Read More

Rob Robinson

Tom's of Maine

Rob Robinson is the Integrated Marketing Communications Manager for Tom’s of Maine.

Read More

Jamie Samide


Jamie is a Senior Director of Marketing at Cintas. He’s worked with the company for 6 years overseeing marketing for multiple divisions, as well as leading corporate wide marketing and advertising.

Read More

Brian Sawyer


Brian Sawyer has over 17 years of experience with multiple brands in ecommerce and interactive business. He currently serves as Senior Managing Director: Digital for Build-A-Bear.

Read More

Eric Sheydwasser


Eric Sheydwasser is a Project Director for GroupM Search and Social based out of New York City.

Read More

Tory Starr


Tory Starr is the Director of Social Media at WGBH.

Read More

Jonathan Summey


Jonathan is the head of digital marketing at Ipswitch, a leading IT software management company.

Read More

Patricia Travaline


As CMO at Skyword, Tricia is responsible for elevating the company’s overall marketing initiatives and creating growth strategies for identified sectors to continue to fuel Skyword’s explosive growth.

Read More

Adam Weinroth


Adam Weinroth is Chief Marketing Officer for OneSpot.

Read More

Tim Whelan

MetroWest Daily News

Tim Whelan is a sports columnist and editor for the MetroWest Daily News and Milford Daily News.

Read More

DAY 1 – JUNE 22, 2016

  • 7:30 – 8:30 AM Breakfast and Networking
  • 8:30 - 10:15 AM Opening Keynote

    Tom Gerace, Founder & CEO, Skyword & Tim Urban, Wait But Why

  • 10:45 - 11:30 AM TRACK 1 - A Culture of Storytelling: How Coldwell Banker Developed a Team of Regional Content Creators

    Victoria Keichinger, Manager of Brand Engagement, Coldwell Banker

  • 10:45 - 11:30 PM TRACK 2 - How IBM Security Is Making More From the Daily News

    Tom Kendall, Digital Marketing Leader, IBM & Pam Jones, Digital Marketing Strategist, IBM

  • 10:45 - 11:30 AM TRACK 3 - Behind the Scenes: Pairing Brands and Contributors for Powerful Storytelling

    Linsey Morse, Associate Community Manager, Skyword
    Braden Becker, Editorial Manager, Skyword
    Molly Berry, Associate Community Manager, Skyword
    Bridget Burns, Social Media Strategist, Tom’s of Maine
    Liz Wellington, Freelance Journalist

  • 11:30 - 12:30 PM Lunch
  • 12:30 - 1:15 PM TRACK 1 - Beyond Personas: Build-A-Bear’s Approach to Getting Heard in a Crowded Market

    Brian Sawyer, Senior Managing Director, Digital, Build-A-Bear-Workshop

  • 12:30 - 1:15 PM TRACK 2 - Brand Storytelling: What Media Veterans Say About the Future of Content Marketing

    Erika Velazquez Alpern, Head of Marketing, The New Republic & Diana Ryan, Growth Editor, Fusion & Amber van Moessner, Director of Content, Livestream

  • 12:30 - 1:15 PM TRACK 3 - How the Skyword Platform Helps Brands Elevate Their Content Efforts

    Joe Breed, Director, Customer Success, Skyword

  • 1:30 - 2:15 PM TRACK 1 - Introducing the Content Marketing Continuum

    Patricia Travaline, CMO, Skyword & Ruben Sanchez, Director, Digital, Skyword & Ted Karczewski, Content Marketing Manager, Skyword

  • 1:30 - 2:15 PM TRACK 2 - The Laws of Creativity for Marketers: The Hidden Science of Creative Genius

    Allen Gannett, CEO and Founder, TrackMaven

  • 1:30 - 2:15 PM TRACK 3 - Excel Through Collaboration

    Molly Berry, Associate Community Manager, Skyword
    Sree Lenhart, Content Strategist, Skyword
    Katie Van Adzin, Editorial Manger, Skyword
    Peter Kringdon, Content Specialist, Skyword
    Dennis Pierce, Freelance Journalist

  • 2:30 - 3:15 PM TRACK 1 - READY for Brand Transformation? How to Merge Traditional Marketing and Storytelling Strategies for Success

    Christa Dunlevy, Marketing Manager, Cintas & Jamie Samide, Senior Director of Marketing, Cintas

  • 2:30 - 3:15 PM TRACK 2 - Is Your Site’s User Experience Killing Your SEO Strategy?

    Eric Sheydwasser, Project Director, MEC

  • 2:30 - 3:15 PM TRACK 3 - Find Your Hero

    Anne Handley-Fierce, Director, Editorial, Skyword
    Chuck Leddy, Freelance Journalist
    Laurie Mega, Senior Editorial Manager, Skyword
    Rachel Wudarcyk, Senior Content Strategist

  • 3:30 - 4:15 PM TRACK 1 - The Content Marketer’s Dilemma: How Much Time Should You Spend on Content Amplification?

    Christine Daily, Associate Global Digital Producer, New Balance & Siobhan Breagy, Global Digital Content Associate, New Balance

  • 3:30 - 4:15 PM TRACK 2 - Changing the Mold with Storytelling

    Andy Hilton, Vice President, Communication, Content, and Brand, ADP
    Jim Duffy, Senior Director, Corporate Communications, ADP

  • 3:30 - 4:15 PM TRACK 3 - Beers with Engineers: Open Forum on What’s Next for the Skyword Platform

    Keith Kost, VP Product, Skyword
    John Mihalik, Chief Technology Officer, Skyword

  • 4:30 - 5:30 PM Closing Keynote: VR as the Next Computing Platform

    Sarah Hill, CEO and Chief Storyteller for StoryUP, a VR native media company.

  • 5:30 - 7:30 PM Cocktail Reception & VR Playhouse

    Unwind with friends at the end of Day 1 by enjoying drinks, food, live music, games, and a VR Playhouse. Attendees will have an immersive virtual reality experience with Samsung Gear VR and Microsoft Hololens and talk one on one with VR experts from StoryUP.

DAY 2 – JUNE 23, 2016

  • 7:30 - 8:30 AM Breakfast
  • 8:30 - 10:30 AM Opening Keynote

    Jill Cress, Executive Vice President, MasterCard
    Rob Murray, President, Skyword

  • 10:45 - 11:30 AM TRACK 1 - 10 Steps To Defining Your Content Marketing ROI

    Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group

  • 10:45 - 11:30 AM TRACK 2 - Content In Context: Four Steps to Creating Brand Stories that Work

    Melanie Deziel, Branded Content Consultant

  • 10:45 - 11:30 AM TRACK 3 - From Journalism to Brand Storytelling

    Lauren DiZazzo, Associate Community Manager, Skyword
    Brianna Hand, Editorial Manager, Skyword
    Keith MacKenzie, Editorial Manager, Skyword
    Andrea Moe, Videa
    Tim Whelan, Freelance Journalist

  • 11:30 - 12:45 PM Lunch
  • 12:45 - 1:30 PM TRACK 1 - How Tom's of Maine Started Living the Brand Story Online and Off

    Rob Robinson, Integrated Marketing Communications Manager, Tom’s of Maine

  • 12:45 - 1:30 PM TRACK 2 - Elevate Your Brand Story with Digital Asset Management

    Nelson Sousa, Director of Human Resources, Learning and Development, Skyword

  • 12:45 - 1:30 PM TRACK 3 - Bringing Stories to Life With Media

    Jon Bettinger, Director of Animation, Skyscope
    Alex Dunn, COO, Skyscope
    Paula Elias, Director Strategic Partnerships, StoryUp
    Tom Sanford, Digital media Producer

  • 1:45 - 2:30PM TRACK 1 - Content Strategy Workshop: Fusing Storytelling with Business to Create an Always-On Audience

    Darryl Gehly, EVP, Skyword

  • 1:45 - 2:30 PM TRACK 2 - The 1:1 Marketing Era - How to Build A Loyal Audience Through Personalization

    Adam Weinroth, CMO, OneSpot
    Tory Starr, Director of Social Media, WGBH
    Lon Novak, Client Advocate, Sprinklr

  • 1:45 - 2:30 PM TRACK 3 - Creating Stories for an Audience That Can Smell Bullshit from a Mile Away

    Jonathan Summey, Head of Digital Marketing, Ipswitch
    Dan Baptiste, VP, Brand Partnerships, Skyword

  • 2:45 - 4:15 PM Forward 2016 Closing Keynote: Jad Abumrad, Host and Creator of Radiolab

    Jad Abumrad, Host and Creator of Radiolab (radiolab.org)

Proudly Sponsored By