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2008 Conference: Keynote/Plenary Speakers

The 2008 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media featured the following prominent speakers:

Tuesday, August 12

Photo: James SurowieckiJames Surowiecki is a foremost authority on how to harness the collective wisdom of your organization. He has written a well-received book on the theory and practice of collective intelligence, the New York Times' bestseller The Wisdom of Crowds In The Wisdom of Crowds, Surowiecki describes systematic ways to organize and aggregate the intelligence available in your organization in order to arrive at superior decisions—often better than those that even the smartest individual, no matter how expert, would make. He also offers insights into the group dynamics that often lead organizations astray. Surowiecki writes a twice-monthly financial column for The New Yorker that is typically pegged to current events and incorporates the kind of insights from economics, sociology, and business history that make The Wisdom of Crowds so valuable. He has written for a broad range of other publications on a wide variety of topics. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Wired, and The Wall Street Journal and other major publications. He wrote "The Bottom Line" column for New York magazine, and was a contributing editor at Fortune.

Wednesday, August 13

Photo: J. Walker SmithJ. Walker Smith is President of Yankelovich, Inc., a leading marketing services and research company specializing in database marketing solutions and consumer lifestyles trends. Dr. Smith is a recognized authority on marketplace trends and consumer buying motivations.

Described by Fortune magazine as "one of America's leading analysts on consumer trends," Walker is a much-sought-after speaker and authority on social trends in America whose quotable insights appear regularly in the national media and business press. He is the co-author of four books including the recently published, Generation Ageless, about aging Baby Boomers, Rocking The Ages: The Yankelovich Report on Generational Marketing, and Life is Not Work, Work is Not Life: Simple Reminders for Finding Balance in a 24-7 World, selected by the Wall Street Journal as one of the ten best work-life books of 2001. Walker and his wife Joy make their home in Atlanta.

Photo: Jack WakshlagJack Wakshlag, chief research officer for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), is among the leading research and performance analysts in media today. His portfolio includes all research supporting the company’s strategic development, marketing, distribution and ad sales. In addition, he is responsible for research supporting Turner initiatives in innovation, online metrics and new delivery platforms.

Before joining TBS, Wakshag was executive vice president and head of research for The WB television network, director of research for TBS New Media and Television Stations and director of primary research for TBS Television Stations.

Wakshlag was an associate professor of telecommunications at Indiana University from 1977 to 1986.  The author of numerous articles and textbook chapters, Wakshlag serves on the Board of Directors of The Advertising Research Foundation, is a member of the CTAM Research Committee and is a Steering Committee Member of the Board of The Council for Research Excellence. He has served on the board of the Broadcast Education Association and the editorial board of The Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media.  Acknowledged for his industry leadership as part of the CableFAX 100 twice, Wakshlag is a frequently quoted source and presenter at industry events.

Thursday, August 14

Photo: Sandra ThurmanSandra Thurman is the President of the International AIDS Trust (IAT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to policy and leadership development in the global effort to combat HIV/AIDS.  Under her leadership, IAT created the first AIDS Leadership Programs for Heads of State, Parliamentarians, and women leaders from around the world. From its inception, IAT has worked closely with its founding co-chairs, Former President Bill Clinton, Former President Nelson Mandela to support the active involvement of leaders in all sectors in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

From 1997-2001 Ms. Thurman served as the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) at the White House and was appointed by President Clinton to serve as the first Presidential Envoy for AIDS Cooperation. During her tenure in the White House expanded the portfolio of ONAP to include international AIDS programs. Ms. Thurman led the efforts to triple funding for the US government’s international HIV/AIDS programs, and double funding for domestic HIV/AIDS programs increasing total US spending on HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs to over $10 billion annually.

Ms. Thurman has served on the boards of a variety of nonprofit organizations including the March of Dimes, National Kidney Foundation, Atlanta Ballet, National Episcopal AIDS Coalition and the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Ms. Thurman currently serves as the Director for the Interfaith Health Program at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.

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