5:15 p.m. – Check-in outside of 213 Gregory Hall

5:30 – 6 p.m. – Welcome/Keynote, 213 Gregory Hall

"Say yes, unless you must say no."Shawn Neidorf
Keynote speaker: Shawn Neidorf 

Shawn Neidorf is the research director for the Arizona Commerce Authority, where she oversees a team of permanent staff and interns who produce easy-to-use customized data and reports about Arizona's competitiveness for economic development projects. The team also completes deep-dive profiles of industries, companies and individuals and assists with strategy development and marketing. Prior to joining the ACA, Shawn was a pollster at the Pew Research Center in Washington, DC, where she focused primarily on surveys concerning media, economics and politics. Previous to that, Shawn was a journalist for about nine years, working at two newspapers (The Union of Grass Valley, California, and The Mercury News of San Jose, California) and two magazines (Venture Capital Journal and In These Times).

Shawn is the founder of Arizona Data Geeks, a group of, well, data geeks, most of whom work for state agencies, local agencies and organizations or universities. The group gets together to share information and learn about sources of data and analytical tools (or sometimes just to socialize). 

Shawn has a master's degree and doctorate in economic and organizational sociology from UIC, as well as a certificate in survey methods. She completed her bachelor's in news editorial at Illinois. Shawn lives in the Phoenix area with her husband and son. 

6 – 8 p.m. – Panels (2 rotations for 60 minutes each) on the second floor of Gregory Hall

Each panel will have 3-4 participants (alumni and friends of the College) to speak on a specific industry or trend and to participate in Q&A.  The topics include:

A practical look into the advertising world: 215 Gregory Hall
Moderator: Professor Jan Slater

  • Ed Gold ‘87 ADV
    Advertising Director, State Farm
  • Kate Orloff ’04 LAS
    Client Development Manager, Conversant
  • Max Braun ‘15 ADV 
    Digital Strategist, VSA Partners
  • Miles Beauseigneur ‘16 ADV
    Junior Art Director, Energy BBDO

Journalism in the digital age: 217 Gregory Hall
Moderator: Associate Dean Julian Parrott

  • F. Amanda Tugade ’14 JOUR
    Editor, The Tinley Junction (22nd Century Media)
  • Jason Koch ’06 JOUR
    News Editor, Belleville News-Democrat
  • Lauren Traut ’05 JOUR
    News Operations Manager, Patch.com
  • Ted Kemp ’99 MS JOUR
    Senior Editor, CNBC

The many facets of working in TV and radio: 219 Gregory Hall
Moderator: Elizabeth Westfield ’07 JOUR, Communications Manager, Illinois Public Media/WILL Radio.TV.Online

  • Barb Markoff ’94 JOUR
    Investigative Producer, ABC7 Chicago
  • Emily Siner ’13 JOUR
    Assistant News Director, Nashville Public Radio
  • Sabrina Santucci ’11 JOUR
    Journalist, NBC Chicago (WMAQ-TV)
  • Lon Tay
    Sports Radio Host, SJ Broadcasting

The broader perspective: marketing, corporate communications & PR: 207 Gregory Hall
Moderator: Casey Ludwig, Assistant Director, Roger Ebert's Film Festival

  • Brittney Borowicz ’11 JOUR 
    Vice President of Marketing, Grid Connect Inc.
  • Bruce Miller ’89 BUS/’90 MS ADV 
    Head of Marketing, Two Brothers Artisan Brewing
  • Dan McDonald ’06 JOUR
    Vice President, Edelman
  • Kurt Winter ‘91 JOUR
    Vice President of Marketing, Allstate Insurance
  • Renee Mailhiot ’11 JOUR
    Public Relations Manager, Museum of Science and Industry Chicago

Where sports & media intersect: 205 Gregory Hall
Moderator: Cari James, Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement and Special Events

  • Chris Hartweg ’92 LAS
    Partner/Founder and Executive Director, Huddle Pro and Painless Networking
  • Mary Lee Gilliland  
    President /CEO, Madison Sports Partnerships
  • Sam Panayotovich
    Sports Anchor/Reporter, Blackhawks Radio (WGN Radio)
  • Seth Gruen ’07 JOUR
    National Baseball Columnist, Bleacher Report

8:00 - 9:00 p.m. – Networking event in the Swetland Room at the Newman Center

Twitter: To participate or follow along via Twitter, see the MCS handle (@IlliniosMCS) and use these hashtags: #MediaCareerNight and #ILLINOISmedia

Student comments:

"I really enjoyed hearing about how the panelists got their jobs and moved up in the industry. It's reassuring to hear that even those who started out in small towns have become very successful in big markets. Lots of good advice all around."

"Every panelist brought great insight and motivating words. Thank you for putting this together!"