June 1-3, 2015

At the Marriott Marquis Hotel in San Francisco

The city by the bay

LiNC ’15 will be held at the modern and elegant San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Conveniently located south of Market Street in the SOMA district and nearby Moscone Convention Center, it’s just steps away from the Yerba Buena Gardens, renowned museums and cultural attractions, world-class shopping on Union Square, and AT&T Park, home of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

June 1

Pre-Conference Hackathon

Lithium’s SF Headquarters
225 Bush Street 15F
San Francisco, CA 94104

Google Map

June 2 - 3


Marriott Marquis
780 Mission St.
San Francisco, Ca, 94103

Hotel Details
Google Map

It’s all about experience

LiNC features a lineup of leading global brands, top industry analysts,
thought-leaders and business visionaries.

  • speakers

    Industry leading speakers

    Get inspired by the best and brightest in business

  • education


    Workshops, Certification & Social Strategy sessions with world-class, subject matter, experts

  • entertainment

    Networking & Entertainment

    Connect with industry peers to share insights and ideas.


Monday, June 1

8:30AM - 5:00PM Community Manager Certification II this course is now full - a waitlist is availableADD TO WAITLIST

This workshop is now at capacity. To be added to the waitlist please contact the LiNC '15 registration team.

Joe Cothrel, Lithium

Charlotte Kubler, Lithium

Conference Fee + Workshop: $1,795/person

Are you one of the 500+ people who are Lithium Certified Community Managers? If so, we have a new certification course for you. Community Manager Certification II prepares you to achieve higher performance in four areas:

  • Growing community membership and participation
  • Developing and managing superusers
  • Managing company participation
  • Driving business transformation

For each area, you’ll learn the key challenges faced, the tactics that separate success from failure, and the elements that make a program complete.

Building on the foundation laid with Community Manager I, this new course includes more data points, deeper case examples, new reusable assets, and more opportunities to collaborate with fellow attendees. The course is led by Lithium’s Chief Community Officer Joe Cothrel, whose experience includes helping more than 300 organizations create successful community efforts. The course is designed for community managers, executive or directors who manage them, or anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the state of customer community management today. Those who successfully complete the course and exam will earn Lithium’s new Level 2 Certification in Community Management.

Moderation Certification

Sandy Dorman, Lithium

Lesley Pfeifer, Lithium

Conference Fee + Workshop: $1,795/person

Lithium’s new Moderation Certification was developed using Lithium’s own moderation model. We highly recommend this certification for individual moderators, moderation teams, community managers, and community stakeholders interested in understanding community dynamics and learning best practices to improve the tone, quality, and management of community content.

The program covers:

  • Characteristics of an effective moderator and the overarching goals of moderation
  • Public and private community documents, including Terms of Service and Moderator Guidelines
  • Maintaining a positive atmosphere though engagement with users
  • Identifying and interacting with different types of community members
  • Identifying and handling violations using the Five Levels of Moderation

Beyond Content Moderation

Our certification goes a step beyond moderation of content by highlighting how moderators can recruit and engage with superusers, assist with the development and management of promotions, use escalations to raise the community team’s awareness of issues, and report on metrics and insights.

Applying Our Strategies & Practices

We’ll use several interactive scenarios to walk you through different approaches to effectively handle common community pitfalls. You’ll walk away with the knowledge of how to apply our best practices to your own community or social platform.

Thought Leadership

Moderation is one of the key elements of any successful community or social platform. Lithium has over 10 years of experience in moderation, and during that time we’ve developed best practices that transform moderation into a positive tool for change.

Taught by Lithium’s Manager of Moderation Services, Sandra Dorman (@SandyD), this certification is designed to equip moderators and moderation teams with the knowledge and skill set to maintain healthy and successful communities.

Social Response Certification (LSW)

Dave Evans, Lithium

Conference Fee + Workshop: $1,795/person

The Social Response Certification course is designed for social media professionals to advance their skills while developing a roadmap based on their specific business objectives for their implementation of social technology. This new certification is built around the latest Lithium Social Web technology, and it is filled with practical examples showing best-in-class integrations with the entire Lithium platform.

Participants will come away with an actionable plan for high-scale, efficient customer engagement and response.

Graduates gain the following professional benefits:

Tactical Mastery

  • How to best engage with customers on the social web to build brand advocates
  • What monitoring tools can and cannot accomplish
  • Techniques to improve social agents' performance
  • An understanding of recent trends in social behaviors

ROI Connection

  • How to optimize ROI for customer care teams; from call deflection to cost per resolution and the value of the solution created
  • Identification and success measurement in the context of those objectives

Thought Leadership

Taught by Lithium’s best-selling author and recognized social technology leader, Dave Evans, this course is designed for teams wanting to push their implementation of social technology beyond the traditional areas of support, sales, marketing and PR, and for those who want to tap the inherent knowledge of their entire organization when connecting with and engaging customers.

11:00AM - 8:00PM Hackathon 2015Lithium HQ

Hackathon Fee: free with conference registration, please RSVP during the registration process to hold your spot.

Calling all developers, partners, Lithium engineers, and sales engineers! Bring your laptops and join us for the 2nd LiNC hackathon—create interesting customizations and extensions on the Lithium community platform and catch an overview of some new API updates we're introducing to make developing for the platform even easier.

You can join a team or work on your own (we do recommend teams of three). We'll have great prizes for best use of the API, best on-community customization, and best off-community integration or extension. And of course there will be plenty of food and beer!

11:00AM - 4:00PM Lithium Executive Advisory Councilby invitation only

6:00PM - 9:00PM Welcome ReceptionJillian’s

Join us at Jillian's SF to kick off LiNC '15! The largest sports billiards lounge in SF, Jillian's is a relaxing venue to kick back and meet your fellow LiNC attendees while enjoying premium craft beers and a wide selection of California cuisine.

Day 1

Tuesday, June 2

7:30AM - 8:30AM Breakfast

8:30AM - 12:30PM General session & awards ceremony

Total Community

Rob Tarkoff, Lithium

We know that today’s customers have extreme expectations and that brands are struggling to keep pace with new ways of marketing, bigger stakeholder voices, an explosion of consumer content across every dimension of the web and competition from new (and sometimes unlikely) places. What we don’t always discuss is the right approach to address those expectations and close the brand-customer divide. Join us to hear how a Total Community approach can do just that—restoring trust between brands and people, helping everyone share better experiences and offering powerful economic rewards.

Digital Leaders in Customer Experience featuring Brooks Running, Comcast, Google & Sky

Loree Draude, Google

Tom Karinshak, Comcast

Sharon Reeves, Sky

Heather Snavely, Brooks Running

Learn how four radically different brands are embracing digital to exceed customer expectations, create new market opportunities and transform their business. Senior executives from Brooks Running, Comcast, Google and Sky will share their approach to digital, business outcomes and their aspirations for the future. Join us for these four company vignettes that show how these digital disruptors are achieving success and leading their industries into a new era of customer experience.

Lithy awards ceremony

Drumroll, please. The highly anticipated winners of the 2015 Digital Customer Excellence Awards, affectionately known as the "Lithys", will be announced. We will share a few amazing stories that come from all corners of the globe, and there may be a couple of other surprises too.

12:30PM - 1:30PM Lunch

1:30PM - 2:20PM Spotlight session I

Track A: Strategy

The next customer experience: Total Community

Patricia M. DiPasquale, Canon

Danielle Kovac, Rogers Communications

If you have Community…you’re already ahead of the digital transformation game. Continue to stay ahead by embracing your “Total Community.” Learn how others are developing their digital strategies as the gold standard of the industry. This exclusive conversation will feature how brands are empowering their organizations around a Total Community strategy for real business results.

Track B: Execution

Digital transformation – it's everyone’s job

Scotty Jackson, TELUS

Pegah Kamal, Aruba Networks, an HP company

Jaime Perez, MicroStrategy

Mike Schanker, Lithium

Matt See, HSN

Social is not a silo. Social strategies must be integrated throughout your entire organization, including across departments and all the systems that support the customer journey—everything from community, e-commerce and CRM systems.

Track C: Results

Social success = Revenue growth

Gregg Baker, giffgaff

Nico Henderijckx, Sony Europe

Catherine Kaiser, ‎Webroot

Jared Young, Barclaycard US

If you’re still focused on clicks and likes, you’re leaving money on the table. Total Community drives revenue. Now it’s time to use social to recognize purchasing cues, route sales leads and other activities that contribute to your company’s top-line. Hear from the brands that are taking a Total Community approach to achieve business objectives.

Track D: Developers

Self-service content publishing

Raju Kotha, iTalent

Fred Walters, iTalent

Lithium communities produce valuable content that you often want to share on your other digital properties. Join Lithium partner, iTalent, to hear how they created a self-service workflow to publish community content to an external knowledge base.

2:20PM - 2:30PM Break

2:30PM - 3:20PM Spotlight session II

Track A: Strategy

Empower every employee to deliver expert customer service

Paco Campos, Leroy Merlin

John Lewis, Sky

Your Total Community is layered and dynamic, and all of your stakeholders have unique value—including your employees. Hear how brands are putting their internal experts at the frontlines with customers and shifting strategies to meet extreme customer expectations.

Track B: Execution

An inside look at the HP Social Team: Learning from customers in the social age

Kriti Kapoor, HP

Every year, HP gets half a billion visits to its support site. Every month, they listen to 100,000 interactions from customers looking for help on 103 social media network sites across 95 countries. Learn how they use technology and human capital to turn vast quantities of unstructured data into social insights that they can act upon to improve products and services and to make it easier for customers to get from symptom to solution. In this session, HP will share how they listen to and learn from customers as well as share their challenges and how they overcome them.

Track C: Results

How digital strategies can drive savings

Tim Lopez, Symantec

Jared Schultheis, Comcast

Lois Townsend, Autodesk

Are your priorities and budget aligned with how your customers want to be served or on what social channel? Learn how to remove unnecessary costs across your digital customer lifecycle and streamline your customer care efforts. Hear from brands that are using social to achieve real, repeatable cost savings.

Track D: Developers

How to get content in the right place at the right time

Chris Blown, Hinterlands

Stéphane Akkaoui, The Social Client

User satisfaction on your community depends on users getting the right information to answer their questions or make a decision. Learn how two Lithium partners (from Australia and France, respectively) use different approaches to surface important content on their communities.

3:30PM - 4:00PM Break

4:00PM - 5:30PM Sharing The One World School House with Salman Khan, Khan Academy

Salman Khan, Khan Academy

Khan Academy is “providing free, high-quality education” to millions of students all over the world, each with their own unique story, learning at their own pace on Khan Academy every day. Sal and the Khan Academy take "Share the experience" to a global level. Hear the incredible story of Khan Academy’s evolution from his tutoring of a cousin using online videos, to a global community of teachers, students and parents, volunteers and donors who passionately believe in inspiring the world to learn.

7:00PM - 10:00PM LiNC evening event City View at Metreon

Join the LiNC party for an evening of great food, drinks and dancing.

Located on the fourth floor of the iconic METREON, City View lives up to its name with floor to ceiling windows revealing an unobstructed view of San Francisco’s renowned cityscape, from the Bay Bridge to the beautiful Yerba Buena Gardens. The interior is modern and opens to an expansive 12,000-square-foot garden terrace.

Mix and mingle in this innovative atmosphere for a truly unforgettable evening.

Day 2

Wednesday, June 3

8:00AM - 9:00AM Breakfast

9:00AM - 10:45AM General Session inc. Keynote w/ Nate Elliott, Forrester Research

Social has Matured. Has Your Digital Strategy Kept Pace? with Nate Elliott, Forrester Research

Nate Elliott, Forrester Research

In 2014, Forrester’s research showed that less than 0.1% of top brands’ fans and followers interact with their posts on big social networks. Marketers must focus their efforts on the social tactics that actually work. Forrester advocates that branded communities can help brands engage with customers all the way across the lifecycle. Brands can empower customers to play an active role in the evolution of the products and services they love. This means moving beyond push marketing to a direct engagement. Forrester Research’s Nate Elliott will share more about the challenges that face marketing leaders today, and which social strategies will bring success in 2015:

  • Consumers’ use of social platforms continues to shift. Hear Nate’s predictions on what’s next for the top social networks.
  • Learn why the “post and pray” method rarely works and find the right way to create word of mouth through brand advocates and communities.
  • Learn how smart marketers are finding success building social relationship tools into their own sites

Grow your Total Community

Katy Keim, Lithium

Michael Puhala, Lithium

Sunil Rajasekar, Lithium

Community isn’t a page on the website. It’s not just a Facebook engagement. Digital conversations can be harnessed across many properties to build a productive community. To remain at the forefront, brands must address all audiences that matter, including key front line employees and brand influencers, in addition to customers. Hear from Lithium CTO, Sunil Rajasekar, and CMO, Katy Keim, about defining a Total Community approach and the key steps to realizing this vision. Be the first to learn about the latest advancements to the Lithium platform and the future roadmap to better serve customers. 

10:45AM - 11:15AM Break

11:15AM - 12:00PM Breakout session I

Track A: Community Management

Understand your Total Community: Integrated Profile

John Dawes, Lithium

How can you understand your top contributors'/visitors' activity across all social networks, not just your branded community? This session will highlight how to tap known topical experts and influencers for community growth and quality participation. Learn how to leverage these insights to deliver a more personalized experience that helps increase community engagement and vibrancy.

Track B: Social Experts

Master social lead generation

Dave Evans, Lithium

Louis Peters, Lithium

Greg Thayer, HP

The social web is awash in data, but are you effectively leveraging it to understand your customers and gain new ones? Brands must proactively listen for and engage in social buying conversations at the right time and place in the customer journey or they miss out on potential revenue. Learn how to manage interactions across the social web, to turn conversations into measurable business leads. This session will cover a real-world example of how a social lead generation program brought knowledge to qualified buyers on social to drive revenue results.

Track C: Marketing Experts

The final frontier: influencer marketing use cases

Corey Andrew, Influencer

Eric Brown, Lithium

Bennett Wetch, Fair Trade USA

In an age where marketers are expected to do more with less, how can you get the most impact from your marketing programs? Learn how to leverage Klout to identify the right people to drive reach and awareness through influencer marketing as well as how to use community to meet your marketing objectives such as engagement, conversion and loyalty.

Track D: Developers

Using external services to extend community search  

Varun Luthra, Grazitti Interactive

Amanda Swan, Optimizely

Oftentimes, you want to supplement the community experience by bringing in content from other systems. In this session, Lithium partner Grazitti will share how they built a federated search customization (using an external service) to pull content from various business systems.     

12:00PM - 1:00PM Lunch

1:00PM - 1:50PM Breakout session II

Track A: Community Management

15 tips for new community managers

Colby Braun, OpenTable

Ben Shute, CommSec

Kelly Thompson, Lithium

In this session, we will present 15 of the most valuable tips for keeping your community healthy and alive. Topics covered include creating lasting relationship with your users along with how layout and design can influence conversations and increase member registrations. This session will include best practices and use cases. Join us and be a part of the conversation!

Track B: Social Experts

How to build a team of social agents

Philip Blum, Time Warner Cable

Neil DeLuca, Yahoo!

Bryan Person, Lithium

Building a team of social agents starts with identifying how many agents and what key metrics you should track to gauge success. This includes customer influence and relationship management. Join us for a lively discussion of what works, what doesn’t and what has to change when building a social customer care team.

Track C: Mastering Metrics

Metrics, metrics & more metrics: analytics and benchmarking

Joe Cothrel, Lithium

Booth Fellers, Lithium

There’s lots of metrics and analytics in the Lithium platform, but are you using them to their full potential? In this session, you’ll get an overview of what metrics and analytics you’ll find in the Lithium Community platform and Lithium Social Web. Then, we’ll look at how they are used day-to-day by managers and executives, focusing on the most used and most valuable reports. Finally, we’ll talk about benchmarking and share some benchmark metrics to help you assess your performance against communities like yours.

Track D: Developers

Supercharge your next development project

Doug Schroeder, LIthium

Jeff Yeldezian, Lithium

Whether you’re customizing your community, integrating with another business system, or creating your own applications using Lithium APIs, the Lithium platform can support you. Join Lithium developers to learn how to get the most out of the platform and improve your development efficiency.

1:55PM - 2:45PM Breakout session III

Track A: Community Management

Best Practices for Lithium Ideas & Tribal Knowledge Base

Becky Scott, Cisco Systems

Jennifer Chen, Intuit Demandforce

Michael Herbst, Consorsbank

Mark Hopkins, Lenovo

Charlotte Kubler, Lithium

In this session, we will show you how to crowdsource innovation by empowering customers to submit ideas, vote and provide comments along with using TKB’s to promote knowledge in your community.

Track B: Mastering Metrics

How to grow value and ROI with Lithium Social Intelligence and Lithium Social Web analytics

Joe Cothrel, Lithium

Booth Fellers, Lithium

Join us for an interactive session on ROI. We’ll explore the most common kinds of value that communities produce; including increased revenue, cost savings, and customer satisfaction. We’ll look at how those benefits are quantified: what are the actual inputs, formulas, and outputs for calculating the return on your community investment. The best practices you’ll learn in this course are those used by our customers to qualify millions of dollars of ROI every year. To gain the most value from this session, please come prepared with the data points outlined with in the Session Pre-Work document.

*This session requires that you bring your computer.

Track C: Gamification

How to build a successful customer engagement program using advanced gamification strategies

James Butler, Online Product Manager, Vodafone UK

Xavier Jimenez, Lithium

Thomas Pel, KPN

Businesses today face major challenges around customer motivation and engagement. Gamification strategies that focus on creating profitable customer behaviors, in community, can help brands overcome many of these challenges. Lithium customers deploying advanced gamification techniques are taking what makes games so exciting (shared purpose, challenge, reward) and deploying mechanics that make them work (points, badges, leaderboards) and combining all of this in order to attract more customers, engage these customers in a community of shared interest, motivate purchases and even better retain and encourage co-creation of meaningful long-term brand value.

Track D: Developers

Which community customizations are hot, and how you can make them perform at scale

Filip Klisic, Lithium

Venk Subramanian, Lithium

Looking for tips and tricks on how to get more out of your customizations? Join the Lithium Professional Services team as they highlight what customizations are popular, how to build them and how to make them perform at scale.

2:45PM - 3:15PM Break

3:15PM - 4:15PM General session, awards ceremony & closing

The art and the science of customer experience with Dr. Michael Wu, Lithium

Michael Wu, Ph.D., Lithium

Customer experience is the new benchmark for businesses everywhere, but how do you identify which channels to focus on, and more importantly, how do you make use of all of that big data to deliver above and beyond your customers' expectations?

Hackathon & Stars awards ceremony

4:15PM - 5:30PM Unconference

Industry speakers

Hear from the world's leading global brands, top-tier analysts and other industry visionaries – including Khan Academy Founder, Salman Khan.

Keynote speakers

Salman Khan

Educator, Entrepreneur and Founder of the Khan Academy


Sal Khan is the founder of the Khan Academy, a non-profit with the mission of providing free, high-quality education to "anyone, anywhere" in the world. Khan is also the author of The One World School House, which explores the potential impact of the web as a teaching tool. A number of classrooms worldwide are using Khan Academy to help build student mastery of topics.


Nate Elliott

Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research

As a Vice President and Principal Analyst serving Marketing Leadership Professionals, Nate Elliott helps companies develop interactive marketing strategies for global and emerging markets, with a special focus on branding channels such as social media and online video advertising. His clients come from nearly every industry — including consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, and financial services — and from all over the world.


Sharon Reeves

Head of e-Service Operations at Sky

Sharon has over 15 years’ experience in digital customer service; having joined the original internet bank Egg just before launch and subsequently managed its customer website presence; introducing one of the earliest comprehensive content management systems. She also pioneered online collections at the bank, before amalgamating the digital and contact centre operations. At Sky, she is responsible for online and all digital service content; as well as managing assisted service channels including Live Chat, automated IVR, Knowledge Management, Interactive TV, email and, of course, Social Media and Community; in which she has established one of the most respected customer service operations in the UK.


Loree Draude

Head of Communities and Social Engagement, Global Customer Services at Google

Loree manages the global online community forums and social media engagement for Google AdWords. Prior to joining Google in 2013, she co-founded a mobile app company and led marketing at PayNearMe and Previously, Loree was a management consultant for Bain & Company. Loree is a former naval aviator with over 300 carrier landings. She earned bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of San Diego and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


Heather Snavely

Sr. Director, Global Brand Marketing at Brooks Running

Heather Snavely joined Brooks Running Co. in 2011. Within her first three months she set a half marathon PR, completing in less than two hours, and shaving 20 min. off her previous time. She brings that same determination and spirit to her role with her top priority of creating a brand passionately loved by runners everywhere. Prior to Brooks, Snavely led Global & U.S. Consumer Communications for Xbox, helping the brand appeal to a broader audience and globally launching Kinect for Xbox 360 (second only to the iPad for the most successful consumer product launch of 2010). Her 20-plus years of consumer marketing experience span CPG, retail, toys, video games and tech, plus brands from adidas to Cranium to Target Stores.


Tom Karinshak

SVP, Customer Experience at Comcast

Tom Karinshak serves as Senior Vice President of Customer Experience for Comcast Cable. In this role, he and his team work cross functionally with the company’s care, technical operations, marketing, new product development and deployment teams to ensure a superior experience at every point in Comcast’s relationship with its customers. Before joining Comcast in November 2010, Mr. Karinshak served as Managing Director and Customer Experience Director for Barclay’s Bank of Delaware, where he designed and built a top talent customer experience, marketing, and operations organization. Prior to Barclays, Mr. Karinshak was at AOL, where he held a variety of senior leadership roles across marketing and operations.



Stéphane Akkaoui

Chief Technology Officer at The Social Client

Stéphane is one of the founders of Sociabliz, a social marketing agency. In five years, he has gained solid experience building social applications on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and such. He likes to play with APIs and to push the boundaries of platforms to develop new user experiences. Sociabliz was acquired in 2014 by The Social Client (part of Acticall). Stéphane now works to make everything possible on their clients’ communities. In addition, he is an entrepreneur and is involved in Envouthé (an online tea fans community and a monthly tea box delivery subscription), Chalandiz (a marketing agency focused on retail) and Cat's Corner (a vintage clothes shop). Before Sociabliz, Stéphane worked at Dimelo, a social CRM and engagement console editor, as a web developer.


Paco Campos

Social Media Manager at Leroy Merlin

Paco Campos is the Social Media Manager of Leroy Merlin Spain, the main home improvement retailer in Europe. He leads the digital transformation of Leroy Merlin to become a truly social company. The online community is a new tool which enhances human relationships between all of the employees, customers and every partner of the company (including DIY bloggers, contractors and suppliers) through the empowerment of do-it-yourself (DIY).


Scotty Jackson

Sr. Strategy Manager, Social & Digital Customer Experience at TELUS

Scotty began working with social media at TELUS since mid-2011, bringing 11 years of experience in operations, process development, service implementation and customer experience. Developing internal partnerships and fostering collaboration between teams, he has brought customer experience operations close together with marketing and public relations teams, enabling a robust and sustainable social customer experience through Twitter and Facebook off-domain platforms. Since, Scotty co-championed the development of an on-domain social community, the TELUS Neighbourhood, which seeks to draw TELUS social experiences closer to TELUS itself through conversation in forums, gathering of customer ideas and sharing community news through blogs.


Kriti Kapoor

Global Director, Social Customer Care at HP

As Director of Global Social Care, Kriti Kapoor drives innovation and thought leadership in the rapidly evolving social care field. Specifically, she is responsible for delivering solutions to HP customers’ support questions across social media channels, providing insights to customer support and product groups to help improve service and product quality and overseeing the build out and operations for HP’s Social Care Command Center. Kapoor directs a team of customer experience and community engagement managers who focus on improving customer experience and growing and engaging its community on HP’s award-winning consumer support forums.


John Lewis

Channel Development Manager: Digital Service at Sky

John Lewis is the Channel Development Manager for Sky UK, working within their Digital Service team. He is responsible for Sky’s social service strategy and the design, development and management of the Sky Community. John has over 10 years’ experience in Digital Service and Knowledge Management strategies.


Jared Schultheis

Executive Director, Digital Media Outreach & Executive Customer Relations at Comcast

Jared is responsible for the strategy, direction and operational performance of Comcast’s Digital Media Outreach team. Digital Media Outreach’s key focus is to build scale and operational excellence in the social media care space while maintaining the uniquely nimble and customer-focused social presence Comcast has become known for.


Fred Walters

General Partner at iTalent

Fred held a variety of senior management roles at Apple, Sun, Cisco, and Interwoven, where he led numerous customer-facing initiatives from CRM, ERP to complex e-commerce systems. In addition, he has founded and delivered SaaS solution offerings since 2000. In 2007, Fred joined iTalent where his unique combination of technical aptitude and business acumen was, and continues to be, essential to iTalent's growth of its numerous practice areas, including his leadership the Social Knowledge Management practice.


Gregg Baker

Head of Community Management at giffgaff

Over the last 15 years, Gregg has been involved in building communities for some of the largest companies in their respective industries. Currently Head of Community at giffgaff, the mobile network run by its members, Gregg is responsible for delivering a pioneering approach to community engagement.


Patricia M. DiPasquale

Sr. Manager, Internet Marketing at Canon

Patricia M. DiPasquale is Senior Manager of Internet Marketing for the Digital Marketing Services Division of Canon USA. Her responsibilities include consumer products website, consumer products dealer extranet, partial social responsibilities, community, email marketing and eCommerce. Patricia is a seasoned professional, and her career has revolved around the presentation of information—basically the UX of today—and always in a production environment with a heavy dose of client management and customer service.


Catherine Kaiser

Director, PR, Social Media & Digital Marketing at Webroot

Catherine Kaiser leads the digital, social media and PR strategy for Webroot’s global home, mobile and enterprise business. Catherine’s team is responsible for all aspects of customer engagement, including management of the Webroot Community – as well as two successful advocate programs, all social media channels and digital marketing tactics. Her work has been quoted in USA Today, Wall St. Journal, MSN Money, and the book, “Turning Brand Advocates into a Powerful Marketing Force to Drive Leads and Sales.” Prior to Webroot, Catherine was Director of Marketing at, a start-up focused on credit and debt management.


Raju Kotha

Chief Technology Officer at iTalent

Raju Kotha has over 15 years of experience in the technology and enterprise software space. Prior to joining iTalent in 2013, Raju held various positions at NetApp, including roles in Customer Self-Service enablement, an Enterprise Solutions Architect, Development, Project management, and IT Leadership.  He earned a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering. Raju leads all of iTalent's development activities, including direct oversight and management of iTalent's Hyderabad Center of Development Excellence.


Tim Lopez

Project Manager, Global Social Customer Care at Symantec

Tim started Social Customer Care for the Norton Business Unit at Symantec in 2010. Since then, Norton Social Support has grown from his part-time effort in to a global multi-lingual team dedicated to surprising and delighting customers through positive support experiences on social networks and beyond.


Matt See

Director, Social Media & Games at HSN

Matt is a digital marketing professional with more than 10 years of quality, hands-on experience with proven skills in social media strategy, project management, strategic planning and market execution with specialized skills in building engaging communities through innovative campaigns. He is a brand marketing trendsetter with additional expertise in; SEO, marketing automation, lead generation, email marketing, demand generation, content marketing, partner marketing, referral and relationship marketing.


Jared Young

Sr. Director at Barclaycard US

Jared Young is Senior Director of Consumer Markets at Barclaycard US, where he is the business owner for Barclaycard Ring. Barclaycard Ring has been lauded as the world's first social credit card. Jared led the team that pioneered the innovation and brought this unique crowdsourced credit card to market. Prior to Barclaycard, Jared worked in various marketing analytics functions for Advanta Corp, NextCard, Walker Digital, and First USA Bank (currently JPMorgan Chase).


Chris Blown

Founder at Hinterlands Consultancy

Chris is the Founder of Hinterlands Consultancy, a creative technology agency based in Australia that have partnered with Lithium over the past four years. Chris has over 15 years of digital experience working with Australia’s largest companies building user focused online experiences. He has a passion for user experience design and web technologies.


Nico Henderijckx

Head of Communities at Sony Europe

A 15 year Sony veteran who started in VAIO Engineering as Software test lead, Nico moved into Business Development and now currently plays in the field of Online Marketing, Forums & Communities.


Pegah Kamal

Social Media Marketing Manager at Aruba Networks, an HP Company

Pegah Kamal is a Social Media Marketing Manager at Aruba Networks, an HP company, and recent M.B.A. from University of Phoenix. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, she has over a decade of digital marketing experience elevating the online presence of renowned tech companies like Microsoft, Intel, and IBM. When she’s not Tweeting, this #GenMobile Millennial tries to disconnect by traveling and enjoying the outdoors. Connect with her on Twitter @PegahKamal.


Danielle Kovac

Director, Office of the President & Social Media Support at Rogers Communications

Danielle has been with the Rogers organization for over 20 years. As part of the Customer Experience team, her role encompasses three key areas: Executive Complaint strategy and operations, Survey Response operations and Social Media Support, including the Rogers Community forums. Most recently, Danielle has been involved in leading the Community Forums re-design and optimization program, a program designed to completely overhaul the customer’s experience on the community forums.


Jaime Perez

VP, Customer Success Operations at MicroStrategy

Jaime is a Customer Services Executive with more than 15 years of experience managing Customer Support teams. Over the last 4 years, Jaime has managed the global support operations at MicroStrategy where he has achieved above 90% customer satisfaction scores quarter over quarter. Jaime has expertise in Customer Support, Business Intelligence, Analytics, Data Integration, Knowledge Base management and Online communities.


Lois Townsend

Director, Social Media and Community at Autodesk

Lois is a hybrid of sorts. Her career is equal parts support operations and marketing. A passion area is the intersection and integration of support and marketing, because it offers a great way to connect and provide value to customers. And that’s why community and social media is a sweet spot place to spend her days (and nights). Lois is currently Director of Social Media and Community at software pioneer, Autodesk, Inc., where she leads a stellar global team that just won a 2015 Forrester Groundswell award and are in Harvard Business Review’s top 50 companies on Twitter in terms of Empathy Index. Prior to Autodesk, Lois had a lengthy career at Hewlett Packard, heading up both social marketing and support organizations.


Breakout session speakers

Corey Andrew


Klout Tastemaker, Corey Andrew, wears many hats; among them –Billboard Breakout recording artist, advertising copywriter, and social media savvy, brand buzz builder. As a top social media buzz builder, Corey Andrew was featured as a Klout Star in the company’s April 2014 blog after his originally written and produced music video celebrating Honey Nut Cheerios (one of his Klout perks) gained traction on YouTube. It caught the attention of Mega food giant, General Mills, who offered Corey a media deal to more extensively distribute the project through the official YouTube page of The Ellen Show, Pandora, Spotify, and other digital media outlets. In addition to his musical accomplishments, Corey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Arts, and he currently serves as Senior Writer for an international fitness/lifestyle brand.


James Butler

Digital Product Manager at Vodafone UK

James is a Digital Product Manager for Vodafone, one of the world's leading mobile communications providers. He manages digital strategy and product development across Vodafone’s social media and community platforms.


Michael Herbst

Sr. Expert, Social Media at Consorsbank

Michael has over 15 years’ experience in direct and indirect customer support. He began his career in telephone customer service and deepened his skills in customer care as a speaker at seminars, webinars, exhibitions and customer events. Michael is responsible for all communication and support via the Consorsbank social media channels.


Thomas Pel

Social Media Tooling Manager at KPN

Thomas is the Social Innovations Manager for KPN, a Dutch telco. He has extensive experience working with communities powered by Lithium, and he has been involved in the KPN Community since 2011 in various roles ranging from Community Manager to Business Owner.


Amanda Swan

Community Manager at Optimizely

Amanda Swan is the Community Manager at Optimizely. She’s fascinated with finding new ways to enable professionals to learn and collaborate with one another, and she is passionate about finding ways to continually improve user experiences. Since joining Optimizely 2 years ago, Amanda has worked on our Customer Success team, managed Optimizely’s online community, and she built an extensive User Group program. She holds a B.S. in Finance and International Business from California Polytechnic University, SLO.


Philip Blum

Sr. Manager, Social Media Customer Care at Time Warner Cable

Philip Blum is Sr. Manager, Social Media Customer Care at Time Warner Cable. With more than 15 years of experience in the cable/telecommunications industry, he is responsible for social care operations and strategy and the TWC Community Forums. Previously, he was Adelphia Communications and ClientLogic. He is based in Buffalo, New York.


Jenn Chen

Community Manager at Intuit Demandforce

Jenn Chen is a community manager at Intuit Demandforce, an automated communications and marketing system for small businesses. She has a passion for supporting and engaging customers, both on- and offline.


Mark Hopkins

Social Media Program Manager at Lenovo

Mark Hopkins is the Program Manager responsible for Social Support & Community in Lenovo’s e-services organization. During his career, Mark has a held a number of positions in technical support, product development and customer satisfaction. The Lenovo community, launched in 2007 with an all customer volunteer moderation team, has been one of the most personally rewarding projects Mark says he has ever been involved in.


Becky Scott

Social Knowledge Program Manager at Cisco Systems

Becky could be called a social media addict since she lives and breathes social media and community. In reality she’s quite passionate about bringing brands and their customers together—whether it’s on sites like Facebook and Twitter or company-owned properties like blogs or forums. She has managed online communities for 15 years and social properties since Live Journal was a “thing” and Facebook required university emails. Becky has a varied background that includes technical program management, marketing, editing, and writing. She honed her writing and editing skills on sites like AOL’s Aisle Dash, Ask Patty,, and She also fancies herself a photographer at times, busily filling her hard drive with photos. She doesn’t really like piña coladas or getting caught in the rain, but does sing a mean karaoke song.


Greg Thayer

Social Media Program Manager at HP

Greg started working at Hewlett-Packard in 1998. He currently works in Global Social Marketing as the Worldwide Program Manager for HP’s Blogs and Forums communities. He is also the Global Strategic Lead for HP’s LinkedIn presence.


Colby Braun

Global Community Content Manager at OpenTable

Colby Braun, Global Community Manager, joined OpenTable with extensive prior industry experience. Colby was invigorated by the challenge from OpenTable leadership to envision, re-design, build and implement a robust global support platform for the OpenTable community. Building upon a strong foundation, Colby was able to introduce new collaborative content types and interaction models that provide OpenTable's customers with exciting new ways to learn about OpenTable's products, highlight their creativity and interact with OpenTable.


Neil DeLuca

Social Media Engagement Leader, Operations Planning & Strategy at Yahoo!

Protector of the Yahoo! brand out on social media channels, Neil DeLuca manages the Yahoo! Customer Care Social Media Support team, which monitors and assists Yahoo customers in need of assistance on social media channels. He also manages the "Yahoo! Crisis Response Team" working closely with PR, Product Management and Marketing to provide insight and analysis on product issues affecting customers out on social media and to keep Yahoo's audiences updated until resolution.


Varun Luthra

Lithium Lead at Grazzitti Interactive

Varun is the Lithium Lead at Grazitti—with over 7 years’ experience of delivering communities on Lithium and other platforms—he leads the winning team at Grazitti that has delivered to Lithium clients, including Optimizely, Opentable and Centrify. Varun combines a deep technical understanding of enterprise/social applications and user behaviour with an intuitive design sense. As a leading member of the Lithium community—he has consistently been a top contributor over the last year.


Ben Shute

Manager, Social Business & Emerging Channels at CommSec

Ben Shute is Manager, Social Business and Emerging Channels for CommSec, Australia’s leading online broker, and he is responsible for the strategy and management of CommSec’s various social channels and engagement programs. Prior to CommSec, Ben was the Senior Manager of Strategic Integration for Yahoo!7, responsible for successfully delivering communication objectives for clients. He was also responsible for the commercialisation of Yahoo!7’s social media and was one of the key contributors to the development of FANGO, their social TV product. He has previously worked for ninemsn (now Mi9), and News Limited’s daily and weekend mastheads—The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph. Ben is a former Ad:Tech advisory board member on Social Media, as well as a blogger and speaker.


Bennett Wetch

Sr. Manager, Technology Innovation at Fair Trade USA

Bennett leads the technology work at Fair Trade USA, where he ensures that the non-profit certifier of Fair Trade goods is using digital platforms to efficiently achieve their mission of a market-based approach to alleviating global poverty. This work includes creating digital content strategies that enable Fair Trade USA to dramatically and efficiently increase awareness and advocacy of Fair Trade Certified products. Prior to joining Fair Trade USA, he created and executed social media strategies for some of the world's largest brands as Director of Strategy at a leading social marketing agency.


Lithium Speakers

Rob Tarkoff

President & CEO at Lithium

As President and CEO, Rob is responsible for the strategic direction and corporate vision at Lithium. Rob joined Lithium from Adobe Systems, where he served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Digital Enterprise Solutions business unit that had annual revenue in excess of $1 billion. Before Adobe, Rob held several executive positions at EMC Corporation, Documentum, Inc. and Commerce One.


John Dawes

SVP, Product at Lithium

As SVP, Product, John is responsible for the entire planning and direction of all Lithium products and for driving ongoing product strategy, product design and product management. John joins Lithium with over 25 years of enterprise software experience in leading product teams with a track record of delivering market leading solutions. Prior to joining Lithium, John was at IBM for two years leading their customer analytics product line, which included Tealeaf and Coremetrics. John came to IBM through the acquisition of Tealeaf, where he led products and strategy and helped grow the business to be a leader in customer experience management. Before Tealeaf, John worked at several startups in the eCommerce and security space. He was also at Netscape, responsible for its web and application server product line and at Adobe as one of the initial product managers on Acrobat.


Dave Evans

VP, Social Strategy at Lithium

Dave is the VP of Social Strategy at Lithium, based in Austin, TX. Dave is also the author of best-selling "Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day," as well as "Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement." Dave is a regular columnist for ClickZ on social technology and customer care, published in both the US and Asia.


Sandy Dorman

Manager, Moderation Services at Lithium

Sandy has over a decade of experience in moderation, consulting, and community management. She’s currently the manager of Moderation services at Lithium technologies, leading global a team of 75+ since 2011. Her group focuses on providing community management, administration, moderation, and consulting best practices advice and services.


Filip Klisic

Principal Technical Consultant at Lithium

Filip Klisic is an experienced Technical Lead/Consultant for Lithium, based in Zurich. Having spent nearly five years in this role, he is responsible for the discovery of the technical requirements, scoping and estimation of customizations and specific bespoke integrations with existing APIs or third parties, as well as their implementation. Prior to joining Lithium, he was a key member of the EMEA Professional Services team in an enterprise software company active in the telecommunication space, where he was responsible for the design and implementation of OSS/BSS integrations, designing solutions and doing product customizations for customers in the EMEA & APAC region.


Louis Peters

Director, Social Strategy Consulting at Lithium

Louis Peters is Director of Social Strategy Consulting at Lithium. He advises major brands on achieving tangible business results from their social initiatives, and helps implement long-term customer experience improvement programs. Louis has over twenty years of experience in delivering and running enterprise software services at leading companies including Siebel and Oracle. You can follow him on Twitter @lpetersjr.


Doug Schroeder

Lead Software Engineer at Lithium

As a Lead Software Engineer on the Lithium Development Network (LDN) team, Doug plays a key role in initiatives that expand our ability to customize and extend the Lithium community platform. Doug has been with Lithium since 2007. He has been on three core development teams and served as a member of our Professional Services group during that time.


Jeff Yeldezian

Sr. Product Manager at Lithium

Jeff is the product manager for the Lithium Developer Network, which enables developers to customize, extend and integrate Lithium's platform. He is responsible for Lithium's APIs, developer tools and developer evangelism.


Katy Keim

Chief Marketing Officer at Lithium

As Lithium’s Chief Marketing Officer and GM of Lithium Social Web, Katy is responsible for all strategic marketing activities for the company including branding, positioning, communications, go-to-market strategy and customer acquisition programs. She also leads Lithium’s overall product marketing group and product strategy for Lithium's Social Web business. Prior to joining Lithium, Katy was the EVP of Marketing at ServiceSource. Under her leadership, ServiceSource established itself as the market leader in delivering revenue results for blue-chip technology brands with its deep customer analytics and insights. Katy’s previous experience includes VP of Ecommerce at Intraware, where she participated in growing the company from an early stage concept to $100M+ in revenue and ultimately, an IPO. Her team was responsible for equipping a 100+-person sales team with lead generation programs, product marketing, and training for over 50 partners, including Sun, Oracle, and IBM.


Michael Schanker

Global VP, Marketing & Strategy at Lithium

Michael Schanker is the Global VP of Marketing and Strategy at Lithium Technologies. In this role, he is responsible for the company’s global go-to-market strategy, demand generation, and product marketing. He spends extensive time with customers, industry analysts, and other organizations discussing the fast-changing digital customer experience landscape, and using those insights to advance the company’s solutions. He has been in the technology industry almost 20 years and has served in marketing, product, and sales executive roles at companies including ServiceSource, Siebel Systems, and PTC. He also spent eight years at global consultancy PwC, working with companies in multiple industries on their deployment of technology to improve business processes and results. If pressed, he will admit to having started his career as a CPA.


Michael Wu, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist at Lithium

Dr. Michael Wu is the Chief Scientist at Lithium Technologies. Michael received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley’s Biophysics graduate program, where he modeled visual processing within the human brain using math, physics, and machine learning. He is currently applying similar data-driven methodologies to investigate and understand the complex dynamics of the social web. Michael developed the Facebook Engagement Index (FEI), Community Health Index (CHI) and many predictive social analytics with actionable insights. His R&D work at Lithium won him recognition as a 2010 Influential Leader by CRM Magazine, and his research and insights have been compiled and published in The Science of Social and The Science of Social 2.


Booth Fellers

Director, Global Value Engineering at Lithium

Booth Fellers runs the Global Value Engineering Team at Lithium, which helps customers and prospects identify and quantify the business opportunity that Lithium can bring to their business. He has been at Lithium for 4.5 years—originally starting out in Services as a Project Manager, launching new communities and making sure that customers achieved the results and goals they originally anticipated.


Charlotte Kubler

Sr.Community & Customer Relationship Management Consultant at Lithium

Charlotte is a senior community and customer relationship management consultant in London, where she provides her customers with detailed advice on launching and developing successful online communities and social engagement initiatives on the Lithium platforms. Being a true community management advocate, Charlotte has been deeply engaged with online communities for over 10 years, both on the “superfan” and on the community strategist side. Charlotte has experience working in the music and the videogames industry where she launched engagement platforms, loyalty programs and managed large passion driven communities for worldwide brands such as Clarins, Nokia, Orange and Bandai Namco Games.


Lesley Pfeifer

Team Lead, Moderation Services at Lithium

Lesley Pfeifer is a Team Lead with the Moderation Services department, based out of New York. She has over eight years of volunteer and professional moderation experience. As a Team Lead, Lesley is responsible for the training and management of moderators. She also works closely with the Training Services department, where she assists with the development of training materials, registration, operations, and publishing community content.


Venk Subramanian

Development Manager at Lithium

Venk began his career as a game developer for a small startup, building flash & mobile games for casinos and bars. Drawn to Lithium’s focus on bringing the gaming culture to social & community products, he joined them 5 years ago and has since worked across the stack on various projects ranging from Platform to customization to UI redesign. Currently a Development Manager at Lithium, his latest contribution has been to help customers monitor, maintain and improve their customization health by leveraging performance frameworks with intuitive UI.


Sunil Rajasekar

Chief Technology Officer at Lithium

As Chief Technology Officer, Sunil oversees core product, development and delivery of Lithium's enterprise platform. Sunil is a seasoned technology executive who brings more than 15 successful years of enterprise, small business and consumer software experience. Prior to joining Lithium, Sunil served as Vice President of Engineering, Operations and Program Management at Intuit Financial Services and held a variety of senior roles in the Intuit Small Business and Central Technology groups. His passion is building innovative and successful web and mobile offerings that companies and end users love. Previously, Sunil worked at Oracle, Cisco and several startups.


Joe Cothrel

Chief Community Officer at Lithium

In almost two decades of work, Joe has arguably touched more customer-facing social efforts than anyone in the world. More than 300 companies on four continents have created successful programs by following his advice and guidance. As Chief Community Officer, Joe plays an ongoing role in advising customers and in guiding the people at Lithium who help ensure our customer’s success. His previous roles include serving as head of research for a community management services firm, and as a consultant and researcher in management consulting practices at Andersen and Ernst & Young.


Eric Brown

VP, Global Communications at Lithium

Eric Channing Brown has worked for more than two decades as a comms pro in Silicon Valley. Eric’s career has spanned almost every aspect of tech from chips and enterprise storage systems to Internet, media, and consumer apps companies. He has worked for some of the best-known companies in the industry including Sun Microsystems, NetApp, Yahoo!, Skype, and Microsoft. Eric is now VP of Global Comms at Lithium Technologies.


Xavier Jimenez

Director, Social Strategy at Lithium

Xavier Jimenez is Director of Social Strategy at Lithium. Xavier spends his time focusing on building digital transformation and long-term customer engagement programs and solutions for Lithium’s enterprise retail, marketing and media customers. Xavier has been a featured speaker on topics including web analytics and digital branding, CRM and customer loyalty at, eMetrics, The Word Of Mouth Marketing Association and the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.


Bryan Person

Principal Social Solutions Consultant at Lithium

Bryan Person is a principal social solutions consultant at Lithium. In his role, Bryan works with customers to build, optimize, and measure their social customer care operations and online engagement within Lithium Social Web. Bryan is also the founder of the Social Media Breakfast, an event-and-networking series for teaching, sharing, and learning about industry best practices. The breakfasts began in Boston in 2007, and have since spread to more than 50 cities around the world. Bryan enjoys traveling and learning new languages. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife and two children.


Michael Puhala

VP, Worldwide Sales Engineering at Lithium

Michael Puhala is the Vice President of Worldwide Sales Engineering for Lithium Technologies. In this role, Michael leads the global Pre-Sales team as well as directs the technical sales function of the business. Having been at Lithium for 4.5 years, Michael helps to inspire prospects and customers around their digital transformation initiatives. Michael has been in Pre-Sales roles for enterprise software companies since 1999.


Kelly Thompson

Director, Training Services at Lithium

Kelly Thompson is the Director of Training Services for Lithium, and an experienced educator. For the past six years, Kelly has been leading training teams and thought leaders on delivery and development for social, digital media, and community software. Prior to joining Lithium she worked in the field of user experience, information architecture, and was an educator for HP, Nordstrom, TomTom, Volvo, DirecTV, and Mattel. When away from the classroom her hobbies include sailing, hiking, and traveling.



Thank you to our LiNC ‘!5 sponsors. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact us





The Digital Customer Excellence Awards, affectionately known as “The Lithys”, recognize and celebrate customers who are using Lithium to solve problems, create new products, innovate and engage with their customers at entirely new levels to generate true business value.

This year we have six award categories—some familiar ones and some new ones as well as regional recognition—which will showcase customers who are leading the pack in their space.

The submission and voting window is now closed. Winners will be announced and celebrated on June 2, 2015 at LiNC.


Got a topic you would like to see at the unconference?

Here’s your chance to drive the agenda at LiNC! Is there a burning topic you’re dying to discuss with other community managers? Are you hoping to network with your peers in a particular industry to discuss best practices? Let us know what you want and we’ll include in the unconference.


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