2019 Speakers

We have two requirements of speakers: They must be subject-matter experts on the topic at hand, and they must be great presenters.  Being a “good” speaker doesn’t cut it for us.  For 2019, you can expect to hear fresh, new insights from the best of the best, whether they’re with pureplay Internet companies, local ad agencies, media companies, or top-level industry analysts.

Phillip Rather is an entrepreneur and technology veteran currently working on scaling Facebook’s media and platform products to companies across the world. Phillip was an early hire for Facebook, joining the company’s Austin operation in July 2010 and helping grow it into one of the company’s largest offices. He initiated many of the first relationships and ideas that ultimately became the Facebook Marketing Partner (FMP) program. As Head of Local, Phillip is now building technology and revenue channels to localize media across across franchised, agent or dealer driven industries.

Rebekah joined Google in September 2016 as Head of Local TV Partnerships for YouTube TV. Prior to Google, she was SVP of Advanced Digital Services for CBS.  She began her media career at HBO, where she spent 14 years in leadership positions in technology and distribution. She is a corporate board member of Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY), a trustee of The New York Foundling, and a fellow of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute. She earned a degree from The College of William & Mary and completed the Cable Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Fran Wills

CEO, Local Media Consortium

Fran joined the Local Media Consortium as CEO in July 2018. She’s a veteran marketing and digital executive for media, technology and retail companies serving in senior leadership roles for Cox Media Group, The Dallas Morning News and The Denver Post. Throughout her career, she has pioneered digital innovation and has been at the forefront of creating media partnerships with Google, Yahoo, Monster and Cars.com to increase revenue and bottom-line results. Fran is married with three incredible children and lives on the Georgia coast.

Tim Pirrone

President & GM, Townsquare Interactive
Tim is president of Townsquare Interactive, a digital marketing and services organization offering a comprehensive set of products to help local businesses connect to consumers online. It is a division of Townsquare Media Group, one of the nation’s largest media companies with 321 stations across 67 markets. Tim jumped into digital marketing nearly a decade ago and gained leadership expertise in rapid-growth, startup environments. He joined the small team that opened Townsquare Interactive’s doors in Charlotte, N.C., in 2012, as VP of Sales. Tim became the president and general manager of Townsquare Interactive in 2013 and has grown the company from 38 employees to more than 400 in the past six years.

Adam Ware


GM, STIRR, Sincair Broadcasting

Adam is General Manager of STIRR, Sinclair Broadcasting’s new “local-first” OTT service launching in 2018.  He has more than 30 years of experience in traditional and emerging media including senior management roles at the FOX network,  Interactive Corp, United Paramount Network, CJ Entertainment and now Sinclair. Ware is also Head of Digital Media for Sinclair-owned Tennis Channel, where in 2014 he launched the first ever TV network direct-to-consumer subscription OTT service called Tennis Channel Plus.  

Nancy Lane


President, Local Media Association
Nancy is president of the Local Media Association, whose mission is to help local media companies discover new and sustainable business models. LMA works with more than 2,800 newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, digital news sites, and several hundred R&D partners in the industry.  She has been with the organization since 2000 and led its transformation from a newspaper-centric association six years ago to a true umbrella organization that brings together all local media for the purpose of networking, collaborating and learning. Prior to 2000, Nancy spent 13 years in the newspaper industry as publisher, ad director and senior executive.  She is a graduate of Villanova University and president of its alumni association. When not working, Nancy is a fantasy football enthusiast who also enjoys international travel, golfing, hiking, social media and wine collecting.

Matt Coen

President & Co-Founder, Second Street

Matt Coen is the President & Co-Founder of Second Street, the leading provider of online promotions platforms and partner success services for the media industry. Matt also teaches entrepreneurship at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2006, Matt Co-Wrote and Produced the award winning documentary Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?

Asif Khan


Founder & President
Location Based Marketing Association

Asif is a global speaker, author and serial entrepreneur. In 2010 he founded the Location Based Marketing Association, an international group dedicated to research and education in the space, and serves as its president. Prior to LBMA, Asif built four start-ups and worked with companies as diverse as Limited Brands, Barclay’s Bank, PWC, Baxter Pharmaceuticals, Molson-Coors, American Airlines, and L’Oreal. A proud Canadian and avid technology evangelist, Asif holds a degree in economics and management sciences from the University of Waterloo. He is a regular guest lecturer at several universities and hosts a weekly video podcast, “This Week In Location-Based Marketing.”

Jim Brown

VP, Sales and Marketing, Borrell Associates

Jim has more than 15 years of innovative and results-driven leadership in fast-paced sales and marketing roles. Prior to joining Borrell Associates he was director of business development for for The Virginian-Pilot Media Companies in Norfolk, Va. He has worked in various sales and development capacities over the years, developing an expertise in sales development and sales management. At The Pilot, he served as one of the company’s first managers of interactive products and helped the company build a series of highly successful online news and advertising ventures in the Norfolk marketplace. He has a degree in business administration from Longwood University. Jim is married, has two children, and lives in Virginia Beach.

Gordon Borrell


CEO, Borrell Associates

Gordon is one of the media industry’s leading analysts. He is ranked in the top 2% among Gerson Lehrman Group’s 150,000 consultants worldwide. Prior to starting Borrell Associates, Gordon was vice president for new media for Landmark Communications, where he worked for 22 years. He started his career as a newspaper reporter and helped establish the first TV, newspaper, cable and network TV websites in the mid-1990s. He is chairman of the Local Media Association and is past president of the Newspaper Association of America’s New Media Federation. He is married, has five children, and lives in Portsmouth, Virginia, where he has been active on boards and organizations supporting public education and community sports.

Corey Elliott


VP Research, Borrell Associates Inc

Corey joined Borrell Associates in 2014 as director of research and was later promoted to vice president. Prior to Borrell, he was director of market intelligence at Gannett Co. Inc., where he managed the dissemination of market data and strategy to more than 80 local media properties. At The Dallas Morning News he led a B2B research team that helped create campaigns based on household-level consumer habits and clients’ own databases. His application of research as well as generation-based training programs have garnered awards from secondary research companies and were considered a Best Practice by Gannett Community Publishing. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University.

Here are a few of the speakers from our 2018 conference.

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