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Rita is a creative, digital-savvy marketing leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and over twenty years of experience transforming iconic brands, including 3M, Nestle, DreamWorks, City Winery, and Choose Chicago, to name a few. Rita is the Vice President, Marketing at Choose Chicago and has been in tourism for over six years. She is honored to lead the Choose Chicago Marketing team and share her love of Chicago with others from around the world. Learn more: ritaschen.com
Tchicaya Ellis Robertson, Ph.D. is a Thought Leader in the Talent & Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access space. As the Global Talent & DE&I Research Lead at Accenture, Tchicaya enjoys using data and analytics to tell compelling stories. She brings close to 30 years of experience uncovering what leaders, workers and customers need and how organizations can accommodate those needs to solve business problems. Dr. Robertson earned her doctorate in Applied-Experimental Psychology where she studied applied research methods with a focus on measurement, evaluation, and psychometrics with a specialization in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
Brooke is a Fulbright Scholar and associate professor of marketing, Brennan School of Business, Dominican University. Her work has been published in scholarly outlets such as International Journal of Advertising, Journal of Marketing Education and Marketing Education Review, among others. She is also an author of the textbook Digital Marketing Foundations and Strategy, Cengage Learning, 3rd edition 2023. Brooke’s academic work focuses on the intersection between digital marketing and market research.
Frankie Lipinski is the project manager and analyst for the IDEA Council Demographics Research and an Insights Analyst on the consumer and retail team at Escalent, a full-service research consultancy that helps translate human behavior into ideas that change the world. Frankie's passions center around access & empowerment, inclusive design, and awareness building as it relates to societal wellness, and these are the vehicles that drive her research career forward. She is an active member of the Insights Association, QRCA, and a graduate of the MSU Master of Science in Marketing Research program (MS, 2020).
DesTenee Green is a multifaceted chemist, diversity and inclusion expert, and scholar hailing from Utica, Mississippi. Currently serving as a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Champion lead for Research & innovation (R&I) at L’Oréal USA, DesTenee is actively working to drive inclusivity among her fellow colleagues, understand diverse consumer behavior and beauty needs to help evolve the current evaluation methodologies used in the US and globally within R&I. As co-lead of the Inclusive Evaluation task force, DesTenee works alongside other industry experts to implement impactful change across recruitment language for screeners, method development, hair and skin scales, and the correlation between race/ethnicity to skin tone. In parallel, DesTenee also serves as a Senior Scientist. In this capacity she works to analyze essential insight into specific brand identities, market trends, product development, and consumer experiences to accurately bring the consumer voice to the L’Oréal portfolio across all categories. With her expertise in clinical claims testing and consumer focused evaluation methods, DesTenee is skilled in bringing multiple voices together from marketing teams, chemists, and experts in skin care, hair, and make-up to effectively understand the best course of action for performance evaluation. In addition, DesTenee is passionate about mentoring and sharing the keys to career success with other young professionals.
Cassini Nazir is a designer of conversations, curricula, and interfaces. His current research explores how curiosity can be meaningfully infused into design processes. Because curiosity is also linguistically rooted in notions of care, he explores ways that designers can extend care to those for whom they build as well as that which they choose to build.
He is an Assistant Professor in the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas, where he teaches classes in interaction design. In the spring of 2020, he was Designer-in-Residence for the SMU Masters in Design and Innovation (MADI) program.
Prior to joining UNT, Cassini taught at The University of Texas at Dallas for 10 years, where he directed two research labs. He was the founding director of the Arts and Technology Usability Lab, which fosters collaborative research with community partners and offers experiential learning to students. He was also Director of Design for the ArtSciLab, a transdisciplinary research lab helping the arts, science, and technology communities by pursuing initiatives of societal urgency and cultural timeliness.
His academic projects include collaborations with art historians, biochemists, brain scientists, futurists, materials scientists, new media artists, and a university press. He has worked with industry partners such as Intuit, Toyota, Sabre, DFW Airport, and projekt202.
Stacy Byers is Senior Vice President of Experience, Design, & Digital for Highmark Health. In this role, Stacy is responsible for setting the vision and experience strategy for the enterprise, partnering with business teams to transform the way we work together to meet and exceed customer needs, and embedding research, insights, and human-centered design into our approach. Stacy and her team are responsible for Highmark’s digital transformation, working together to create remarkable digital experiences that will allow our customers and clinicians focus on health. At Highmark since 2001, Stacy spent much of her career focused on delivering digital solutions. She has led diverse teams throughout her career at Highmark, including strategy and design, digital operations and software development, social media, e-commerce and CRM, content and copy, and cost transparency solutions. Prior to joining Highmark, Stacy was a professor of English at Clarion University. She also taught writing workshops for high school students in partnership with the International Poetry Forum and the Indiana County Summer Happening arts program. Stacy holds a BA in English from Clarion University and a MA in Literary and Cultural Theory from Carnegie Mellon University.
Kevin Davis is a proud native Detroiter. Kevin has over 20 years of marketing and branding experience in the higher education and nonprofit sectors, including roles with City Year Chicago, North Park University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He currently serves as the Senior Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy for Erie Family Health Centers, a $100M nonprofit community healthcare organization with over 80,000 patients and 700 employees. He oversees all marketing and community engagement activities of the organization.
Kevin is a speaker and and presenter on personal branding, leadership, organizational branding, and more. He has spoken all over the country for organizations such as Daniel Murphy Scholars Fund, Illinois Primary Health Care Association, Morgan State University, North Park University, Association of College Unions International, and more. He attended Eastern Michigan University, and completed his bachelors degree in marketing at Colorado State University. Kevin is an Allstate Foundation Scholar in Northwestern University’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership program in the Kellogg School of Management. Kevin is currently pursuing a master’s degree in management at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the recipient of Ford Motor Company Foundations’ Freedom Unsung Award, Eastern Michigan University Black Alumni Elite Award, and the Lupus Foundation of America’s top fundraiser award. Kevin is also a life member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and a member of the 100 Black Men of Chicago. He is a proud father and husband and resides in Chicago, IL.
Terrae Schroeder is an accomplished insights leader with experience driving accelerated growth and breakthrough innovation for the biggest brands in the world at Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s, and Clorox. Terrae has a passion for new and evolving research and data techniques, allowing her to bring the best and brightest insights to her organization. Terrae serves as a board director for the Insights Association, Voxpopme and eCommerce Insights AI.