The Power of Social Media March 30 - April 2, 2015

Watch the 2015 Sessions

PDF Schedule    @UTSMW      @utsocialmediaweek



WATE-TVcocacola  dead end bbq

A Special Thank You to Our Sponsors!


Monday, March 30, 2015 1:00 - 1:25 pm, Location: Scripps
"Kickoff Event With Special Proclamation"

 mayorburchettPanelists:  Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett; Knoxville City Mayor Madeline Rogero, & special appearance by Chancellor Jimmy Cheek

 Biography:  Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett took office in Sept. 2010.  Prior to that, he started a successful small business, before serving 16 years in the state legislature – four years in the State House, followed by 12 years in the State Senate.  In the legislature, he chaired the Budget Subcommittee in Finance and was secretary of the Finance, Ways and Means Committee, and served on several other influential committees.  As Mayor, his accomplishments include keeping the county tax rate low, cutting debt and paying cash for a new elementary school.

 Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @timburchett     Facebook| Mayor Burchett

mayormadelineBiography:  Madeline Rogero was elected the 68th Mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee and took office in December 2011.  She is the first woman to hold the office.  Her career includes serving as the city’s community development director, Knox County commissioner, non-profit executive, urban and regional planner, community volunteer and neighborhood champion.  She is a former consultant to Capital One and America’s Promise, and former executive director of Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Foundation and of Knoxville’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth.  She has a B.A. in Political Science from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from The University of Tennessee.   Mayor Rogero is dedicated to promoting a vibrant local economy, strong neighborhoods, a high quality of life, a thriving downtown and a greener Knoxville.  She believes Knoxville’s strength comes from the diversity of its people and the beauty of its natural resources. 

Social Media Accounts: Twitter|  @MayorRogero; @cityknoxvilletn     Facebook|  Mayor Rogero; City of Knoxville     Blog

Monday, March 30, 2015 1:30- 3:00 pm, Location: Scripps
"Social Media-Power Up"

Nigel HolderbySpeakerNigel Holderby, Vice President of Communications, United Way of the Ozarks

Biography:  Nigel Holderby, a lifelong Missouri girl, found her calling in nonprofit work while serving as a volunteer for the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri.  A Missouri State University graduate, with a degree in Interior Design, her passion for communication was born during her first disaster deployment, to Joplin Missouri in 2011. Given the opportunity to take a paid staff position with the chapter, she became the Regional Communication Officer and obtained her master’s in communication from Drury University in 2014. Currently Nigel serves as Vice President of Communication for the United Way of the Ozarks.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @GirlNigel; @UnitedWayOzarks@RedCross           Instagram| Nigel Holderby, UWOzarks, American Red Cross

Session Description:  Social Media is a powerful tool for communication personally, professionally, and for an organization. In this session we will explore ways to “power up” your content through understanding the power of relationships and knowing your platform audiences.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015   9:40- 10:55 am, Location: Scripps
"Facebook for Business: The Story & The Stats"

*based on speaker request this session will not be live streamed*

Morgan AshpitzSpeaker: Morgan Ashpitz, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook

Biography: Morgan Ashpitz (BA/CMST '12) is on the Global Marketing Solutions team at Facebook where she focuses on helping brands drive business results through the power of Facebook marketing. Prior to beginning her career at Facebook, she graduated from The University of Tennessee School of Communication Studies (2012). Since graduating, Morgan has moved back to her hometown of Austin, Texas and also worked for a local advertising agency. Her foundation of knowledge from UT has helped drive her passion for connecting people to the brands they care about.

Social Media Accounts: Facebook| Facebook

Session Description: Founded in 2004, Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. During this session, I am going to talk about how Facebook is making marketing personal again through the evolving landscape and our suite of solutions.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015      11:10 – 12:25 pm, Location: Scripps
"The Power of Social Media in Collegiate Recruiting"

Tommy Thigpen

Panelists: Coach Tommy Thigpen, Linebackers Coach, UT Football, Zac Ellis, Writer, Sports Illustrated,, Brent Hubbs,, & Moderator Michael Spencer, Sports Director at WATE

Biography: Tommy Thigpen, coached and played in seven bowl games in his career including Vols 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl Championship team. He spent 2009-12 seasons in the SEC at Auburn, winning the 2010 season BCS Championship. Thigpen was named the National Recruiter of the Year a second time by in 2013 after helping to sign the No. 5 recruiting class in the nation. Before coming to The University of Tennessee Knoxville, he worked as Tigers' linebackers coach in 2012 after serving as safeties coach from 2009-11. He previously coached at Illinois and Bowling Green. After an All-ACC career at UNC, was drafted by the New York Giants in the fifth round of the 1993 draft.  He also played for the Barcelona Dragons in the World League of American Football in 1995-96. Thigpen and his wife, Jacinda, have two children, Asia and Naja.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @UTCoachThig

 zacellisBiography: Zac Ellis (BS/JEM '11)  Zac Ellis is a writer for Sports Illustrated and He has been with SI since 2011, where he primarily covers college football and serves as's primary Heisman Trophy writer. A Knoxville native, Zac served as editor of The Daily Beacon and Scoop Magazine while at UT.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @ZacEllis



Brent HubbsBiography: Brent Hubbs began doing the website in January of 2000 and over that time the website has gone from zero paid subscribers to over 7600.  The site is one of the five biggest in the network which is owned by Yahoo. Prior to starting the website he worked for WIVK radio producing and reporting for the show Sportstalk. He has been covering football recruiting since 1994.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @Brent_Hubbs, @Volquest_Rivals


Michael SpencerBiography:  Michael Spencer will be our moderator for this session. Michael graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 2010. He's currently the Sports Director at WATE Six On Your Side.  Before moving to Knoxville, Michael worked as a sports broadcaster in Midland, Texas and Amarillo, Texas.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @WATEMichael


Session Description: More than ever before social media is playing a key role in the recruitment of high school athletes. This panel will explore the use of social media from various "players" in the collegiate recruiting world. From Twitter to Pinterest, social channels continue to shake up national signing days.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015      2:10- 3:25 pm, Location: Scripps
"UT's Brand and the Power of Our Social Media Voice"

RebekahPanelists: Rebekah Winkler, Social Media Manager  & Jacob Rudolph, Marketing Director, UT Communications & Marketing

Biography:  Rebekah Winkler has been with UT's communications and marketing office for seven years and has led the university's social media efforts since 2010. She became UT's first social media manager in October 2014 and can often be found roaming the campus, looking for students wearing orange for #BigOrangeFriday photos. Rebekah has a degree in English from Carson-Newman University with a minor in mass communications, concentrating in public relations and journalism. She has the best job on campus.

Social Media Accounts:  Twitter; Instagram| @UTKnoxville   Facebook; Pinterest| UTKnoxville    YouTube| UniversityTennessee

 jacobBiography:  Jacob Rudolph (BS/JEM '00) is UT's marketing director and a core member of the university's Branding Team. He led the launch of the "Big Orange. Big Ideas." campaign in 2012 and is currently leading the rollout of our new logo. He manages the university's marketing and communications plan, working closely with colleagues across campus to advance UT's reputation. A proud UT alum, Jacob graduated from the College of Communication and Information in 2000, received a film degree from UNC Wilmington, and earned his master's degree from Appalachian State University.

Social Media Accounts:  Twitter| @jacobrudolph

Session Description:  UT's social media accounts are key pieces of the university's strategic communications efforts- unrivaled in their ability to connect us, one-on-one, with current and prospective students, alumni, and fans. Each time we Instagram a photo or send a tweet, we hand deliver a piece of Big Orange to our followers. How does our voice reflect and enhance the University's brand?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015      10:15- 11:30 am, Location: Scripps
"A #VFL's view on Social Media"

stephenSpeaker: Stephen Anfield, VFL and Social Media Consultant

Biography: Stephen (BA/CMST '04) after serving as a student leaderat the University of Tennessee as a resident assistant, orientation leader, UT Ambassador, and ASB team member, Stephen knew that he wanted to continue serving others. He moved to Washington, DC in 2004 to service with City Year, an AmeriCorps-funded program where he led a team of 9 corps members in full-time service to students in the DC public school system. Upon completion of his year of service, he worked for several for-profit companies while concurrently pursuing his interest in the nonprofit sector through volunteering and contracting opportunities with a variety of organizations to include AARP, AARP Foundation, and a number of smaller nonprofit organizations.  Stephen has held leadership positions with the DC chapter of the UT Alumni Association, AmeriCorps Alums, Hands On DC, and the Presidential Inaugural Committee.  Fun facts: He has been in two presidential inaugural parades, he was in the national commercial for the University of Tennessee, and he loves bacon.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @StephenAnfield    Facebook| Stephen Anfield     LinkedIn| Stephen Anfield  Instagram| wstephenanfield Pinterest| StephenAnfield  Google+|

Session Description: A look at how a #VFL's view on social media has impacted his career, in a good way.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015     11:45- 1:00 pm, Location: Scripps
"Becoming Multimedia: The Transformational Power of Social Media "

Panelists: Tearsa Smith, WATE 6 On Your Side Anchor, Taylor Shaw, WATE 6 On Your Side Social Media Producer, Annie Sadler, WATE 6 On Your Side Digital Director, Sarah Burton, WATE 6 On Your Side Digital Sales Manager, & Moderator Melanie Morris, WATE 6 On Your Side Director of Programming & Development

Tearsa SmithBiography: Tearsa Smith:  Tearsa has co-anchored Good Morning Tennessee on WATE 6 On Your Side for ten years now. She's worked in broadcast journalism in Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky and Miami, FL. A proud Florida A&M University Rattler, Tearsa has worked as a field producer, associate producer, reporter and anchor. She uses Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to connect with viewers.

Social Media Acounts: Twitter| @TearsaSmith, @6News   Instagram| tearsa_smith, 6News      Facebook| WATE.TearsaSmith, WATE6OnYourSide

Taylor ShawTaylor Shaw: Taylor is a recent graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. where she received a master’s degree in journalism.  She received a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Peace College in Raleigh, NC.  Taylor is responsible for creating content for the station’s website, mobile platforms, and social media.

Social Media Accounts:  Twitter| @TaylorCShaw, @6News  Instagram: 6News   Facebook: WATE6OnYourSide

 Sarah BurtonSarah Burton: Sarah studied Broadcast Journalism at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  She began working for a digital ad agency before people really knew what to do with digital ad agencies.  She has been selling digital marketing plans for 12 years, and with WATE 6 On Your Side for 10 years.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @watesarahburton  Instagram| watesarah


Melanie Morris

Melanie Morris: Melanie (BA/CCI '03) will be our moderator for this session. Melanie is a 2003 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communication & Information.  She made Knoxville her home and has worked at WATE 6 On Your Side for 10 years.  She manages programming and community partnerships & development for the station.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @melmorris26

Annie SadlerAnnie Sadler:  Annie graduated with her bachelors in Electronic Media Broadcasting/Communications from Appalachian State University in 2011. She worked as a digital media platform producer and later digital director for WATE 6 On Your Side, growing their digital platforms to reach millions of unique users.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @annieleesadler@6News   Instagram: 6News   Facebook: WATE6OnYourSide


Session Description:  In this session WATE 6 On Your Side will discuss the changing landscape of traditional media and what it takes to stay relevant.  Social media has revolutionized news and media consumption, and traditional media outlets will adapt or vanish.  We are not just a television station.  We are a multimedia company.  How does social media impact our business?  From news to marketing and from sales to public relations, find out how television stations are making the multimedia transformation.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015    1:30- 3:00 pm, Location: Scripps
"The Science of Social Media"

alexgSpeaker: Alex Goldschmidt, Tiny Horse

Biography: Alex Goldschmidt is a former college a cappella singer and public relations major. After graduating from Boston University, he moved back to New York and worked for a small public relations firm while, at the same time, satisfying his insatiable thirst for pop culture through social media and building a strong personal following. Social media eventually became a full time profession when he left his public relations firm in 2014 for a digital strategy firm named Tiny Horse, where he has worked on America's Got Talent and is now working on The Voice. He now lives wherever the work is.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Instagram; Vine;Tumblr| @alexandergold        Snapchat|  @mralexandergold

Session Description: Tips and tricks from a social media personality on how to leverage the Internet to change your life and career.

Thursday, April 2, 2015     9:40- 10:55 am, Location: Scripps
"Do What You Love"

Luke Burke

Speaker: Luke Burke, HLN- Social Media Producer

Biography: Luke Burke began his career at MTV Networks. During his tenure at MTV News, Luke coordinated over 250 daily news shoots with celebrity talent. In 2010, Luke joined the BET News team and launched the departments’ social media platform -- integrating social media into the daily news cycle. In 2013, Luke signed on with True Entertainment as a field AP for Bravo's hit series "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." Season six gained record numbers for the housewives franchise and the BRAVO Network. In 2014, Luke returned to news as Social Media Producer at Turner's Headline News (HLN)

Social Media Accounts: Twitter; Instagram| @LukeBurke

Session Description: What do you want to be when you grow up? A question we have all been asked and often ask ourselves throughout our lives and careers. Social media is a fairly new phenomenon that began for use as leisure and has now become essential to the news cycle. Exploring how we got here and where we will go.

 Keynote Luncheon  (This event is invitation only due to room capacity.)   11:30 am– 12:30 pm, Location: Scripps

*based on speaker request this session will not be live streamed*

Speaker: Butch Jones, The University of Tennessee Head Football Coach

 Butch JonesBiography: The University of Tennessee announced on Dec. 7, 2012 the hiring of Butch Jones as the 24th head football coach of the Vols. Since taking the helm of the Tennessee program, Jones and his staff have instilled tremendous optimism for the future of Tennessee football, exemplified by a significant influx of talent as well as a return to winning seasons and bowl championships.  Jones owns a 62-40 record in eight seasons as a head coach, and his teams have earned bowl appearances in six of his eight seasons as a head coach.  Tennessee finished its second season under Jones with a 7-6 record that included a 45-28 win over Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville which marked the first January bowl game for UT since the 2007 season. The Vols opened the 2014 season by playing 21 true freshmen in a 38-7 win over Utah State, the most true freshmen to play in a season opener in UT history. Coach Jones understands the importance of building relationships within our fan base and community. Go on Twitter and search for “VolNation” or “BrickbyBrick” and you will see thousands of tweets from die-hard Tennessee fans pledging their allegiance to their program, their coach, and potential Volunteers. He truly is the Power behind UT football.

Sponsored by: Dead End BBQ

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @utcoachjones

“So many of these relationships in a recruiting class are built at an early age with all the different camps throughout the country,” Jones said. “They really start to build relationships. I think that’s the biggest difference in recruiting. No matter what part of the country you’re from, you develop these relationships with these individuals because of the amount of camps they go to and Facebook and Twitter and all the social media things these individuals can do to build relationships.” -Butch Jones