KEEN—for Keeping Entrepreneurs Engaged and Networking—is convening an eclectic and exciting group of top digital tastemakers, leaders, founders and innovators all under one roof from October 24 to 27, 2013 in a three-day B2B and B2C event and expo. This inaugural conference in Nashville welcomes social influencers, journalists, editors, developers, start-ups, small businesses and Fortune 500 brands to come meet, collaborate, and learn about innovative technologies and new platforms in the areas of travel, technology, food and spirits, family and entertainment.

Omni Nashville, which opened its doors on Sept. 30, is KEEN’s official hotel sponsor and the site of all content and programming. Speakers and special guests will engage their audiences on all levels with talks about targeted advertising, using social for good, Millennial marketing, email campaigns, visual messaging, digital media ethics and much more. Keep up to date with the summit schedule as it evolves.

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Food + Spirits [clear filter]
Friday, October 25

12:15pm CDT

30 Minutes with Nashville Lifestyles: Shucking Reality + Following Your Passion
avatar for Erin Murray

Erin Murray

Managing Editor, Nashville Lifestyles
In 2009, Erin Byers Murray ditched her day job as an online lifestyle editor to work as a farm hand at Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury, Mass. She spent 18 months working side-by-side with a crew of oyster farmers to learn the business of bivalves. The product of her journey is... Read More →

Friday October 25, 2013 12:15pm - 12:45pm CDT
Omni Ballroom C + D

1:15pm CDT

Food Track: Round Tables
The first part of the Food & Spirits track will feature 20-minute round tables with six industry experts covering the following information:

  • Partnering with PR
  • Recipe Development
  • The Art of Pairings
  • Food Styling
  • Food Photography

avatar for Kristy Bernardo

Kristy Bernardo

Personal Chef and Food Writer, The Wicked Noodle
Kristy Bernardo is a personal chef, cooking instructor, spokesperson, and food and travel writer. She works with many national brands developing recipes, has performed as both judge and host in a professionally filmed cooking series and is a frequent television guest. An avid... Read More →
avatar for Katie Jacobs

Katie Jacobs

Art Director and Stylist, Styling My Everyday
Katie is the former creative director of Nashville Lifestyles magazine where she produced and styled photoshoots with Sheryl Crow, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan and many more. Currently she is a graphic designer and photographer as well as the art director and creator... Read More →
avatar for Larry McCormack

Larry McCormack

Photojournalist, The Tennessean
Larry McCormack, a photojournalist with the Tennessean in Nashville, got his start in small town newspapers. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University in 1980 with a degree in Mass Communications he worked for the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro until July 1981... Read More →
avatar for Beth Sachan

Beth Sachan

Director of Marketing, Goo Goo Cluster
Beth Sachan’s love of food led her to create the blog, Eat. Drink. Smile., which has been named “Best Food Blog” in Nashville Scene’s Best of Nashville poll. Since beginning her blog 5 years ago, Beth has gained quite a following not only in Nashville, but around the world, as people reach out to her for advice on food, drink and travel in Music... Read More →
avatar for Vivek Surti

Vivek Surti

Marketing and Communications, Nashville Wine Auction
Vivek Surti is a first generation Indian-American who was born and raised in Tennessee. He developed a love for great food and drink growing up watching his grandmother and mother cook traditional Indian food daily. After a few years of working on numerous national political campaigns... Read More →

Friday October 25, 2013 1:15pm - 2:55pm CDT
Omni Ballroom C + D

3:15pm CDT

30 Minutes with Pizzazzerie: Getting "In" with the Big Brands
avatar for Courtney Whitmore

Courtney Whitmore

Stylist & Cookbook Author, Pizzazzerie
With a love of entertaining, Courtney Whitmore has become a well-known stylist and writer in the field of party design and food styling. Growing up in the South, she attended Vanderbilt University earning both a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in organizational... Read More →

Friday October 25, 2013 3:15pm - 3:45pm CDT
Omni Ballroom C + D

3:55pm CDT

Creating Virtual Buzz for Your Beverage Brand
avatar for B.J. Lofback

B.J. Lofback

President, Nashville Food Truck Association
B.J. Lofback, owner of the food truck Riff's Fine Street Foods, recently opened Riff's Cafe at Highland Ridge with partner Carlos Davis. He is also the president of the Nashville Food Truck Association, which largely grew their presence locally through the use of social media.

avatar for James Hensley

James Hensley

Sales Manager, Nelson's Green Brier Distillery
Before taking on the roll of Sales Manager and Mixologist for Nelson's Green Brier Distillery, makers of Belle Meade Bourbon, James had many years of experience managing groundbreaking bar and restaurant concepts in Nashville. James has been instrumental in shaping bar programs that have garnered high praise from the nations top food and lifestyle magazines... Read More →
avatar for Sloane Scott

Sloane Scott

Chief Marketing Office, Fishbowl Spirits and Blue Chair Bay Rum
Sloane Scott has a colorful past, from running restaurants like Ed Debevic’s in Chicago and Nashville’s Wildhorse, to a brief stint selling office furniture with Herman Miller. Sloane is an expert entertainment sponsorship dealmaker. While at George P. Johnson, the world’s... Read More →
avatar for Stephanie Stewart-Howard

Stephanie Stewart-Howard

Food & Spirits Writer, Author and Blogger, Buttermilk Trace
Stephanie Stewart-Howard is a Franklin-based lifestyle journalist, editor and blogger. The former managing editor at Nashville Lifestyles is currently a contributor to a number of local and national publications, including Nashville Arts, Livability.com, Renaissance magazine... Read More →

Friday October 25, 2013 3:55pm - 4:45pm CDT
Omni Ballroom C + D

5:00pm CDT

30 Minutes with Otaku South: The Birth of a Restaurant through Social Media and Storytelling
Music industry veteran Sarah Gavigan always dreamed of being a chef. After a move back to her homestate of Tennessee she saw an opportunity to bring the beloved Japanese dish RAMEN to Nashville. But how? One night at a time and by having an open dialouge with her fans and critics. Here she shares insight on how to launch a food concept without opening a bick and mortar.

avatar for Sarah Gavigan

Sarah Gavigan

Founder, Otaku South
Sarah Gavigan is a Tennessee native who previously spent 17 years in Los Angeles working in music marketing before returning to her roots. It was in California that she developed a deep love for Japanese food in all its forms: sushi, yakitori, robata, sukiyaki, and steaming bowls of noodle sou... Read More →

Friday October 25, 2013 5:00pm - 5:30pm CDT
Omni Ballroom C + D
Saturday, October 26

1:15pm CDT

There's an App for That: Marketing Your Mobile Idea
avatar for Jennifer Justus

Jennifer Justus

Journalist and Author, freelance food writer
Jennifer is author of The Food Lovers’ Guide to Nashville (Globe Pequot Press, November 2012), and she worked as food culture reporter at The Tennessean for the past six years. Her work has been included in editions 5 and 6 of Cornbread Nation: the Best of Southern Food Writing... Read More →

avatar for Steven Buhrman

Steven Buhrman

Founder and CEO, Wannado
Steven is an entrepreneur, organizer and teacher. He currently serves as CEO and founder at Wannado, a Nashville-based company focused on tech powered community solutions. Steven's interest in social entrepreneurship springs from nearly a decade of research and teaching in the fields of religion, culture, theories of leadership and change. Steven holds degrees from University... Read More →
avatar for Shaun Shankel

Shaun Shankel

VP, Merchant Sales & Support, ToGoTechnologies
Shaunk Shankel is one of five partners behind ToGoTechnologies.com, which launched 18 months ago and has nearly 200 restaurants on its platform. Currently, ToGoTechnologies builds mobile/online ordering systems for both small local restaurants and several national franchises, including a food truck platform. ToGo powers the Nashville Food Truck... Read More →

Saturday October 26, 2013 1:15pm - 2:05pm CDT
Omni Ballroom A + B

2:15pm CDT

30 Minutes with Chef Brandon Frohne: Kitchen Social
Building Friendships that Grow Influence.

avatar for Brandon Frohne

Brandon Frohne

Executive Chef, Mason's Nashville
Chef Brandon Frohne approaches contemporary American and European cuisine with energy and creativity, while honoring ingredients of quality and paying respect to the origins of Southern cooking. His creativity, connection to the local culinary community and passion for farm-to-table cooking contribute... Read More →

Saturday October 26, 2013 2:15pm - 2:45pm CDT
Omni Ballroom A + B

2:55pm CDT

Anatomy of a Successful Kickstarter Campaign
Three successfull F&B companies will share the secret sauce behind creating a successful Kickstarter campaign.

avatar for Steve Cavendish

Steve Cavendish

News Editor, Nashville Scene
A native Nashvillian, Steve Cavendish is the news editor of the Nashville Scene, where he's written about everything from butchers to politics to basketball. After spending much of his career as an art director and manager at papers like the Washington Post and the San Jose Mercury News, he returned to writing while at the Chicago Tribune and came home to... Read More →

avatar for Kyle McCollom

Kyle McCollom

Co-Founder and CEO, Everly
Kyle launched Everly via Kickstarter with his co-founder Chris to challenge the artificial drink mix market with a line of powder packet drink mixes made from simpler, natural ingredients. They nearly tripled their goal on Kickstarter, putting their project in the top 1% of Kickstarter... Read More →
avatar for Matt Rogers

Matt Rogers

Co-Founder, Pure Sodaworks
Graphic designer and entrepreneur Matt Rogers started Pure Sodaworks in 2011 with his wife Tiffany and their friend Shawn. The trio's mission: To create the most delicious, all-natural handcrafted sodas on the planet. In barely a year--and thanks to a round of Kickstarter funding--Pure Sodaworks morphed from a cart in the Chattanooga Market to a storefron... Read More →

Samantha Williams

Founder, Sunday Morning Pancake

Saturday October 26, 2013 2:55pm - 3:45pm CDT
Omni Ballroom A + B

3:55pm CDT

30 Minutes with ManBQue: Marketing Food Content and Events
A look at marketing food content across demographics and connecting a social media presence to monetized public events. This includes John and Jesse's lessons learned in both social media strategies and content messaging.

avatar for John Carruthers

John Carruthers

Founder and Cookbook Author, ManBQue Enterprises
John Carruthers is the managing editor and food director for ManBQue. A medical magazine editor and former newspaper writer, John came to the club in 2009 and helped turn the website from a social calendar into an online magazine offering a broad array of original content. ManBQue is a grilling organization and lifestyle brand based in Chicago... Read More →
avatar for Jesse Valenciana

Jesse Valenciana

Founder and Cookbook Author, ManBQue Enterprises
Jesse Valenciana is the founder and president of ManBQue. Born and raised in Chicago, he's turned a passion for grilling and a talent for social media and personal networking into his full-time job.ManBQue is a grilling organization and lifestyle brand based in Chicago that stages... Read More →

Saturday October 26, 2013 3:55pm - 4:25pm CDT
Omni Ballroom A + B