Keynote Speakers

Will Bowen | founder of the Complaint Free Movement

Will Bowen

Why a Complaint isn't Always a Complaint

Becoming a Complaint Free person means practicing healthy communication skills and speaking directly and only to the person who can resolve your issue.

You, your co-workers, and managers may hear hundreds of complaints on a weekly basis. In this fast-paced, informative and humorous presentation, you’ll walk away with tips to help better understand why a complaint isn't always a complaint, how to become a better listener, and learn: 

  • What’s wrong with complaining? (Complaining’s destructive effects on health, happiness, relationships, and career)
  • What is (and isn’t) a complaint?
  • The 5 reasons people complain (as remembered by the acronym G.R.I.P.E.)
  • How to get other people (and ourselves) to stop complaining
  • Positive leadership in a negative world

Once you understand that people only complain for 5 reasons you can break out of the negativity spiral and work towards a solution.

Peter KageyamaPeter Kageyama | Author - For the Love of Cities


For the Love of Cities... Revisited

Join author Peter Kageyama for a conversation about emotionally engaging with our places and how the stories we tell create the basis for that relationship.  The role of communications is central to healthy relationships and Peter will explain how we are in relationships with our places, but too often do not think about that connection.  

Peter is the author of For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places, the follow ups, Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places and, The Emotional Infrastructure of Places.   In 2021, he released For the Love of Cities REVISITED, a revised and updated version of the award winning book.   Peter is a Senior Fellow with the Alliance for Innovation, a national network of city leaders and a special advisor to America In Bloom.

Mark Weaver | Communications Counsel, Inc.

Mark Weaver

Strengthen your Crisis Communications Response with the Right Foundation

Facing the news media can be nerve-racking even under the best conditions. Now imagine yourself in a crisis or emergency situation facing hostile reporters who want answers to their tough questions. What would you do? What do you say? 

Learn the basics of news media and the rules of engagement (what you should & shouldn't say). Get tips for composing an effective message and compiling a plan to advance that message using earned media tactics such as print, radio, TV and social media. 

By the end of the session you’ll not only have a much better idea of what it feels like to face the media, especially in a crisis communications situation, you’ll have a summary of specific take-away points to help you face a crisis communications situation in real life. 

Ashley Aniton - US Politics & Government Outreach | Meta

Ashley Aniton

Facebook’s New Pages Experience & Best Practices

The New Pages Experience makes it simpler for public figures and organizations to build community, share important information, and connect with constituents and supporters. Join us to learn about the latest tools, products, and resources that you can use to connect and engage with your communities.

Ashley works on Meta’s Politics and Government Outreach Team where she focuses on supporting local elected officials, political candidates, advocacy groups and government agencies build and optimize their presence on Facebook, Instagram and their family of applications. In her role, Ashley works closely with local emergency management agencies, county elections offices and public health departments to foster community engagement, response to crisis, and ensure the integrity of local elections. Prior to Meta, Ashley worked at a US State Department grantee organization working on global diplomacy and political exchanges with the American Council of Young Political Leaders.