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CMSWire Interviews

Warby Parker CEO: Great CX Starts With Happy Employees

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I wear glasses ... and have always been frustrated by the exorbitant cost of both frames and lenses. So I was happy when I had the chance to meet Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, a lifestyle brand with a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a reasonable price while conducting business in a socially-conscious way.

Warby Parker retails frames and prescription lenses for $95, what is arguably a fraction of the cost of comparable glasses.

And for every pair sold, a pair of glasses is distributed to someone in need in the developing world. Working with an established non-profit, Warby Parker has distributed more than one million pairs of glasses to people in need. 

As both a businessman and an eyeglass wearer, I've long been intrigued by the company's products, business strategy and, truth be told, its very cool location on Greene Street in downtown New York City.

Blumenthal received an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. Next month, he and Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa — a fellow Wharton MBA alumni — will be the featured speakers at the School’s MBA graduation in Philadelphia.

Geoff Garrett, Dean of the Wharton School, said the duo "embody the spirit of Wharton – to do well and to do good."

Ad Pioneer Jane Maas: We Never Drank Before Noon

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Jane Maas is the author of Mad Womenthe true story of what it was like to be an advertising women in the sexy, sexist era of Mad Men. 

She clawed her way up from secretary to copywriter to creative director at Ogilvy & Mather and Wells Rich Greene.  But she denies that she is the real Peggy Olson — the character immortalized in AMC's long running series Mad Men.

Maas was a creative director at Ogilvy & Mather and Wells Rich Greene, and president of Earle Palmer Brown. She was Advertising Woman of the Year, won 47 creative awards, wrote five books and raised two children. Today, she describes herself as a creative consultant and a warm and witty keynote speaker.

Todd Klindt: I'm Not Smart Enough for PowerShell

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Jeff Hicks is a PowerShell MVP, all-around smart guy — and he’s apparently doing community service for something, because he agreed to share his expertise with us.

As he told us, "I had nothing else to do tonight, so I figured I might as well do this. I was literally just going to sit in the corner and stare at the wall until this came up."

Those of you who watch my show know I’m a huge fan of PowerShell. Got a big old crush.

I used to do the PowerShell tip of the week until I ran out of things that I knew about PowerShell. Which means there were only like three weeks of PowerShell tips.

It was very short-lived. But you know, Jeff Hicks and I still travel in the same circles, speak at the same conferences. Our paths have crossed. We’ve chatted about PowerShell. So I wanted to bring him on and just kind of get some honest to goodness PowerShell talent in here to talk about some stuff.

Want a Great Career? Just Create It

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Where do you turn for leadership insight? A lot of people in media and entertainment turn to Heidrick & Struggles, a global provider of executive search, leadership consulting and culture shaping services.

And more specifically, they turn to Angela Gardner, who rejoined the firm last November as Partner within the global consumer markets practice.

Based in Los Angeles, she's tasked with delivering leadership insight to clients across consumer- and technology-facing industries, including digital platforms, in the firm's Media and Entertainment Practice.

Your Brand is Only as Good as Its Reputation

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Ask Karen Spiegel to define a brand — and she'll tell you that it's only as good as its reputation and the people who work there.

Spiegel knows a lot about brands. She's been working in advertising, marketing and digital agencies for nearly two decades, in roles as diverse as creating public relations strategies for client engagements and large corporate events to overseeing social media, thought leadership and internal communications initiatives.

She said her experience has imbued her with a strong understanding of the role technology and digital media play, along with a global perspective. "Personally," she said, "I am passionate about the intersection of how design helps simplify complexity and technology magically expands what is possible."

The Real Mad Man Says: Creating Buzz is Not Creating a Brand

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Keith Reinhard is unlikely to confirm speculation that he's the legend behind the legendary Don Draper on AMC's long running Mad Men — even on the eve of the series finale.

After all, Reinhard has yet to confirm another piece of eternal speculation: A rumor that he paid a guy at his ad agency $50 to chase a "beautiful young woman, now my beautiful wife of 38 years, into my office."

Starting to see the parallels with Don Draper? So did Ad Age, which recently referred to Reinhard as one of the stars of the "Real Mad Men Diaries:"

Don Draper and Peggy Olson might be pitching Burger Chef on "Mad Men," but in real life during that time Keith Reinhard, then a creative at Chicago's Needham Harper & Steers, was busy landing McDonald's for the agency. At the time, the fast-feeder was just going national and it had a massive budget by 1970 standards: $35 million."

Reinhard is the chairman emeritus of DDB Worldwide, one of the world's largest advertising agency networks with 206 offices in 96 countries.

Coke's Happiness Formula: Compelling Stories About Real People

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Tim Goudie is a pilot, a camper, a hiker, a swimmer, a skier.

But he's also an international marketer with global experience in a variety of packaged goods industries.

He's director of social media, sustainability, for The Coca-Cola in Atlanta, where he specializes in driving corporate trust and brand love.

His 15-year career with the company spans three countries and includes roles in global interactive marketing, sports marketing and strategic brand marketing, among others.

Ex-Ford Visionary Scott Monty Tells You His Social Secrets

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It's not every day you get to sit down with an "an unstoppable force of nature" — a guy Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford Motor Company, described as "a visionary."

But those effusive words seem less important to Scott Monty that a few simple realities. He describes himself as a husband, a dad and "generally nice guy," who enjoys writing about the changing landscape of business, technology, communications, marketing and leadership.

Monty is executive vice president of strategy at SHIFT Communications, a public relations firm with offices in Boston, San Francisco, New York City and Austin. He's also editor and co-host of I Hear Of Sherlock Everywhere, "news and information about Sherlock Holmes in popular culture in one convenient site and podcast."

Tery Spataro: You Have to Know What Your Customers Want

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Tery Spataro is passionate about digital marketing. For 20 years, she's been providing strategies that define the role digital and technology play with the brand and in the life of the customer.

Her current title is director of research at ATOMdesign/STREAM Research in Scottsdale, Ariz., a product development and design firm. She oversees the method, strategy, identification of insights, analysis of data for product and marketing research to aid in the experience design process.

But if you ask her what she does, she's likely to put things much simpler.

"I bring digital and tech to life in the physical world," she explains on Twitter.

Kate Cox: Why You Should Care About Net Neutrality

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Kate Cox says she "make words about tech, politics, government, regulation, consumer stuff, video games, and lots of other things, mostly for Consumerist, a site owned by Consumer Reports.

Consumerist offers consumer tips, like how to return products and how to confound a telemarketer, and covers shopper complaints, like excessive retail markups. And in recent weeks, it's also become one of my favorite sources of information on Net Neutrality, thanks to Cox.

Doreen Lorenzo: What a Cat Herder Can Teach You About Leadership

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Doreen Lorenzo is a little quirky – and not just because she lives in Austin, Texas, the city that embraces weird like no other. Her eccentricity is mostly professional (with a nod to the fact she describes herself as a kitten herder on Twitter.)

But here is the bigger bit of quirkiness: From 2013 to 2015 Lorenzo was President of New York City-based Quirky, where she oversaw product development and operations for this fast-growing invention company.

Before that, she spent 16 years at frog design, a San Francisco-based product design and brand strategy company. For seven of those years, she was the company president, driving strategy, overseeing worldwide operations and delivery, and leading the design firm to record growth.

Beyond kitten herder, Lorenzo is a business leader, advisor to multiple start-ups and a strategic thinker. Her passion: "Helping creative people succeed."

Ex-Kodak CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett Warns: Adapt, Change or Die

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Jeffrey Hayzlett describes himself as a maverick marketer in cowboy boots ... among other things.

A primetime TV and radio host, his eclectic career includes mentorship, corporate governance, brand building — and a three-season stint as a judge on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump.

A best selling author and public speaker, he was the CMO of Kodak from 2006 to 2010. I met him in 2009, when he was helping the photography pioneer reinvent itself for a world dominated by digital competition.

During his tenure, he was responsible for Kodak's worldwide marketing operations including the design and implementation of all marketing strategies, investments, policies and processes, as well as brand development, corporate communications and public relations.

Hayzlett left Kodak in 2010 and capitalized on decades of experience in business growth, communications and marketing to create his own marketing empire.

Relationship Expert Andrea Syrtash on Love, Sex & Personal Branding

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The hearts … the flowers … the throngs of perplexed men at the corner pharmacy, agonizing over a Whitman's sampler or a Hershey's Giant Kiss. It can mean only one thing: that most beloved and most dreaded of all Hallmark holidays, Valentine's Day, is near. 

So who better to turn to for real life advice on love, sex, romance — and marketing and social media strategies — than Andrea Syrtash, a dating and relationship writer, online broadcaster and author.

She is the author of He's Just Not Your Type (And That's a Good Thing) and Cheat On Your Husband (With Your Husband), co-author of It's Okay to Sleep with Him on the First Date: And Every Other Rule of Dating Debunked and editor of two more.

She has shared her advice in more than a dozen relationship books, on numerous popular websites and on hundreds of media outlets including The View, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, The Wendy Williams Show, On-Air With Ryan Seacrest, VH1 and CNN. She's also hosted multiple on-air shows and represented several popular brands, including Skype, Movado and MSN Living.

Let's just say she's an expert on love, romance … and personal branding.

MRY's David Berkowitz: The Power of Ideas and Collaboration

Ad man David Berkowitz is Chief Marketing Officer at Publicis Groupe's MRY, a New York City-based digital marketing and technology agency. He heads up marketing operations, directs the agency's communication strategy and tries to gain visibility for clients such as Visa, Coca-Cola and Adobe.

MRY, formerly known as Mr. Youth, was founded in 2002. The agency was acquired in 2011 by LBI, which in turn was purchased by Publicis a year later. MRY absorbed LBI’s North American operations when LBI combined with another Publicis digital agency, Digitas, in 2013. 

Since joining the firm shortly after that merger, Berkowitz launched pilot programs such as Mobile Week and the world's first Vineathon, "an event where people come together to create content for no reason other than to learn by doing." In addition, MRY won accolades in 2013 as Mashable's Digital Innovator of the Year and MediaPost's Social Agency of the Year.

Media Trainer Jim Cameron: How to Handle a PR Crisis

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill SobelNew York City area commuters are still feeling aftershocks from the deadliest train accident in the history of the Metro-North Railroad. Earlier this week, six people — five men inside the train and the woman behind the wheel of an SUV stopped on the tracks — died in the accident in New York's suburban Westchester County. 

The force of the fatal crash between the train going nearly 60 mph and the car was so severe that the electrified third rail broke off and pierced the vehicle's chassis and gas tank before penetrating the first train car and igniting a "fierce fire," investigators said Wednesday. 

At least 15 others were injured.

The accident hit close to home for media consultant Jim Cameron, a 19-year member of the Connecticut-Metro North Rail Commuter Council and founder of a new advocacy group, The Commuter Action Group.

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