Global Leader in Digital Media to Speak at Walsh Commencement

TROY, Mich., Jun. 11, 2019 — Lon Otremba, Chief Executive Officer of Bidtellect Corporation, will address graduates and receive an honorary doctor of laws at Walsh’s 113th commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at Zion Church in Troy, Michigan. Bidtellect is currently one of the largest and fastest-growing digital advertising platforms, serving global brands such as Microsoft, Hilton, Toyota and many other Fortune 500 companies.

Otremba has over 25 years of experience in technology and media as an operating executive, investor, and adviser in the internet publishing, mobile, and broadcast music industries and is considered a pioneer in digital media. He was the founding EVP of CNET Networks, the founding COO and President of Mail.com, EVP of AOL, CEO of Muzak Corp., CEO of Access 360 Media and CEO of Tylted. Otremba also holds two patents in mobile ad technology.

“We are honored to welcome Lon to share his journey with our students as they embark upon their own paths,” said Michael Plotzke, chair of the Walsh Board of Trustees. “Lon epitomizes the meaning of hard work, coupled with tenacity to achieve the success he has experienced. We are truly grateful for the message and inspiration he will deliver to our graduating class of 2019!”

A Michigan native, Otremba grew up in Eastpointe and graduated from East Detroit High and Michigan State University. He currently resides in Lantana, Florida.

For more information about Walsh, visit www.walshcollege.edu/future-students

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ABOUT WALSH
Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of the region’s largest business schools and Michigan’s third largest graduate business school, offering classes in several locations as well as online. Our nationally ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit www.walshcollege.edu.

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (www.acbsp.org).

1,000,000 views later. My secret to social media success.

By Eric Thomas
Senior Partner and Brand Specialist
Saga Marketing

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

My Social Media Stats (Built in 15 Months):

Blog views: 1,697,925 (and counting)

Linkedin: 4,501 Followers

Facebook: 3,601 Friends

Instagram: 1,048 Followers

Published or Cited by: New York Times, Free Press, Metro Times, Next Shark, Web Designer News, Deadline Detroit.

Speaking: TEDxDetroit, IDSA Design Conference, Pancakes and Politics, Creative Mornings, Black Women’s Expo, P.U.L.S.E. Adult Literacy Conference, Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2016, The Start Up Effect, Millenials Change at Microsoft, Launched / She Is Project, Urban Consulate, Branding Your Story 101, The PR MANdate, PRSA of America – Video Storytelling, Biz Grid Live, Appearances on the Karen Dumas Show, Appearances on Brenda Perryman

It has been 15 months, 32 blogs, and over 1.6 million views (not counting republishing) since I first started sharing my thoughts on LinkedIn. The success of my blogging has changed my life. But this didn’t all happen by mistake. This is actually the result of an experiment that popped into my head in the Spring of 2015.

My business partner and I were revamping our marketing agency and realized that it was our opportunity to create something that the world actually needed. The Storytelling Agency — Saga . A hybrid between a marketing and branding agency, it leverages our unique cultural identity and experience in business development. We decided to get back to basics. How do humans communicate? What makes them tick? How do ideas spread?

This started us on a journey to create a brand, build a skill set, and develop a circle of influence that fit the type of impact that we wanted to make. If you are trying to change career paths, build a company, or develop a media presence these are the steps I used to go from “that graphics guy” to “Storytelling Expert” in a little over a year.

The Law of Random Collision

The universe in all of its vastness is mostly atoms and matter, colliding and creating new things. True magic happens when there is density. I fundamentally believe that everything in the universe operates this way. Everything from bumping into an old friend to life its self is a result of happenstance. Greatness happening is a matter of creating more opportunities for that greatness to happen. Simply put, you’re more likely to go viral if you create more chances for yourself to go viral. You’re more likely to be seen if you’re in the public more often. This sounds simple, but it’s a crucial part of creating a brand that we don’t see as a part of our career strategy. So how did we leverage this universal law to build our brand?

Build and Activate a Network

March 2015 I had about 1300 Facebook friends, 300ish LinkedIn Connections, no Instagram, and a basically dead Twitter. I had to decide where to focus my energy and what to build up. Two master networkers in my life, James Logan and Lakyra Shackelford, kept telling me about the power of Linkedin. My expertise was mostly business based, so that became the home for my professional identity. Facebook was by far my largest network and much more informal. It’s where I could be myself and build an audience in an organic way.

On LinkedIn I reached out to people that made sense for my network who seemed to be thought leaders or success. I sent each person a personal message about why we should connect. I did that for 5 months before I even published my first blog. Why blog where there are no readers?

Important point: My channels might not be your channels. Think about where you can make the most impact with the skills you have. Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all different and require different strategies and strengths.


MORE: Check out more ways to grow your social media following and tell your brand’s story at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.


Produce. Provide Value. Be Authentic.

David Ogilvy, sometimes regarded as the father of modern marketing, placed a heavy emphasis on writing. He often preached that great campaigns started at the written word. I figured that writing a blog would be great practice to creating the types of campaigns I dreamed of. My biggest challenge? I didn’t know how to write yet, or so I thought. The last time I wrote anything was before I dropped out of college almost a decade prior. One day my business partner and I realized, “Hey, if people like the things I say, maybe they’ll like them if I write them down too?” But what to write about? The things I care about. I can’t be the only one that worries about these things.

“Write the way you talk. Naturally.” – David Ogilvy

People will always parse words and even data, but it’s hard to rebut your genuine lived experience. Taking something you’ve studied and worked in for years and filtering that through the unique lens of your identity creates the type of content that can’t be copied. Most importantly, it can make topics that have been covered before fresh again.

“Experience + Expertise is a powerful combination.”

The Virality Equation

Content + People + Timing

First, if you don’t produce you won’t be seen. Second, if no one is around to see what you create then it won’t be shared. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to snapchat it, does it really matter? Thirdly, going viral is like a lightening strike. It happens when you least suspect it, but only when the conditions are right. The bulk of my LinkedIn audience came from being a first mover on the design disaster that led to Steve Harvey botching the Ms. Universe contest. How Bad Design Wrecked Steve Harvey’s Universe is by far my most read blog.

Analytics for my blog “How Bad Design Wrecked Steve Harvey’s “Universe”

Analytics for my blog “How Bad Design Wrecked Steve Harvey’s “Universe”

I wrote this the night it happened, published it at around 2AM and woke up to thousands of reads. Much more than my typical average of 200 or so at the time. I didn’t just cover what happened, I provided a solution, based on my particular skill set, complete with a redesign. 1.5 million views on LinkedIn is rarified air. As far as I can find I’m in the top 20 most read ever. Even the CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, weighed in and shared it.

Stay Relevant. Take a Stand.

Even with the international reach of my Steve Harvey blog, nothing has had such a profound impact on my daily life like Why I Hate Detroit. I’m stopped almost daily by someone that’s read it. It’s become the way I’m introduced. Though the Linkedin post only got a little north of 130,000 views, one could speculate that it’s been much more widely viewed. It was republished in the Metro Times, published in an abridged form by the Detroit Free Press, and covered by Deadline Detroit and Mlive. I landed television interviews and it was even cited by the New York Times which resulted in a call from Soledad O’Brien. Not bad for an opinion piece that I thought was too long and frankly too dangerous for my career to post. Why all the shares and love? It was honest, grounded in facts, rooted in my experience as a life-long Detroiter, and most of all timely. Even Dan Gilbert, reigning king of Downtown Detroit, told me he thought it was a good read.

“No Brand with values is for everything or against nothing.”

At the end of the day, speak openly and authentically to your tribe. They will reward you with loyalty.

Set Goals. Leverage Success.

When I first started blogging I set a modest goal. 1,000 reads per month. If I could expose 1,000 people to my personal brand each month I’d be happy. At this point, that would be 15,000 reads. I’ve exceeded that goal by a great deal. Next was to speak at conferences and become a thought leader around storytelling.

In the past year I’ve been fortunate enough to lead storytelling workshops, speak at the IDSA Design Conference with heroes, present at TEDxDetroit, share a Crain’s 20 in their 20 award with my business partner, sit on numerous panels, and elevate the relevance of storytelling in business from a buzzword to a business function for many businesses in the city of Detroit and beyond. More importantly, I’ve had the opportunity to share a story of success and opportunity while representing my community and neighborhoods like mine in what I hope is a positive and authentic way.

When setting out to build your brand, be honest and realistic. My goal was to move the needle significantly within 2 years. I think I’m well on my way. Even overnight successes don’t happen overnight. Aim, strategize and get closer every day. It’s time for me to switch into the second phase of my grand experiment. I hope you use what I learned in Phase 1 to build strong and impactful brands.

Eric Thomas will deliver the closing keynote with his business partner Marcus Burrell at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp.

←Back to Digital Marketing Boot Camp

BlueWater Technologies presents TechExpo14: Journey to Innovation, Explores Future Technology and its Impact on Consumer and Employee Engagement

Join area decision makers at TechExpo14: “Journey to Innovation” with keynote address by Michael Rogers (Futurist-In-Residence for The New York Times and author of the “Practical Futurist” column for MSNBC). This full day of technology thought leadership, networking and hands-on experiences promises to change the way you think about employee and customer communication.

Mark your calendar! TechExpo14 will be held at The Fillmore – Detroit on May 21, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This 6th annual Signature Event will kick-off with a keynote address by Michael Rogers, Futurist-In-Residence for The New York Times and author of the “Practical Futurist” column for MSNBC. Roger’s topic, “Business Technology by 2020: Science Fiction Becomes Reality” will set the stage for further discussion and exploration throughout the day, including break-out sessions, panel discussions and more.

Rounding out the event will be the Exploration Stations in the Main Theater where over 30 industry leaders in a/v technology will present their latest cutting edge product solutions.

Tickets are now on sale. $55 in advance and $65 at the door, which includes the Keynote Address, all educational sessions, open access to the exhibits, innovative lunch and cocktail reception fare by Cutting Edge Cuisine, plus open bar and entertainment by DJ Captin20 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

Full event schedule and registration information available at http://bluewatertechexpo.com .

BlueWater Technologies rises to #16 in key industry ranking of Top 50 Systems Integrators

For 10th consecutive year Systems Contractor News names privately held Michigan AV firm BlueWater Technologies to 2013 Top 50 Systems Integrators list

SOUTHFIELD, MI – BlueWater Technologies Inc., an industry leading provider of custom audio visual integration and event technology, moves up two spots to #16 in key industry ranking of Top 50 Systems Integrators by Systems Contractor News (SCN). This is the 10th consecutive year BlueWater Technologies has appeared on the annual list which is published annually in the December issue of SCN magazine—an industry resource for more than 20 years.

BlueWater has been rising in the listing since the program’s inception in 2004. The list is developed from voluntary submissions to an SCN annual survey. SCN ranks the U.S. and Canada’s leading integrators based on projected revenue and growth from one year to the next, from those firms willing to share their internal numbers to establish an industry snapshot.

“Making the SCN Top 50 again this year is a testament to our employees’ dedication to delivering exceptional service and adding value to our customers,” said Vice President of Sales Mack Truax. “The SCN list reflects the strength and increasing value of our industry, and BlueWater is proud to help set the benchmark for AV firms both large and small.”

As BlueWater Technologies’ revenue growth continues along with its upward trajectory in this SCN Top Integrator listing, the company proudly supports the local Michigan economy and hires within the state to support integration services as well as digital activations and live events.

BlueWater Technologies is a national provider of Meeting & Event Technology, Audio Visual Integration, Digital Activations, and Custom Displays & Fixtures. We are an industry leader in the design, engineering and implementation of custom technology-based solutions. Our solutions have been exceeding client expectations for nearly 30 years. We are a certified woman-owned business headquartered in Southfield, Michigan with additional locations in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Mesick, MI; Indianapolis, IN; Orlando, FL and Washington D.C.

EWI Worldwide Names David Bean Corporate President

DETROIT – June 18, 2013 – EWI Worldwide, a global live communications company, today announces David Bean corporate president, effective May 20. In this role, Bean will serve such industries as healthcare, technology, aerospace, financial services and automotive by leading the company’s service groups, which represent a unique mix of exhibits, events, retail, digital engagements and on-site labor capabilities.

“David brings deep knowledge and first-hand experience to every aspect of the business we handle,” said Dominic Silvio, chairman & CEO, EWI Worldwide. “His solid credentials and displays of character speak for themselves, making him the right fit for leading EWI Worldwide and what’s next for live communications.”

Bean has developed multi-channel programs for global brands domestically and abroad, covering more than 30 countries, and has lived or worked as an expatriate in Europe and Asia. He has delivered solutions across the broad landscape of live communications for brands such as IBM, Motorola, Cessna, Medco Health Solutions and LaSalle Bank, as well as significant automotive OEMs. Throughout his 30 year career, he has served in many roles including creative, operations, production, services and business development.

“Business – like any personal relationship – is best done up-close and in-person,” said Bean. “With the world’s buying habits changing, world-class marketers are recognizing the need to put products in hands, place butts in seats and create moments in which their full suite of service offerings can be experienced. This is an exciting time for our industry because there is no better way to build deep connections between brands and customers.”

EWI’s 2012 revenue was approximately $160 million and it delivers nearly 900 live brand experiences a year. The company continues to grow strategically, adding services, resources and subject matter expertise to best serve client needs and respond to the global marketplace. Clients include Ford Motor Company, HTC, Chrysler, Abbott Medical Optics, Kia Motors, Dana Corporation, Henry Schein and AT&T.

Bean joins Silvio working out of EWI’s world headquarters in Livonia, Mich. Bean has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in design and an art teaching certificate from the University of Michigan. He is a member of the EWI Worldwide board of directors.

About EWI Worldwide

EWI Worldwide strengthens brands by integrating live experiences strategically across all kinds of spaces from exhibits, customer and consumer events to retail stores, visitor centers, live and online activations. The company designs programs as sequences of connected experiences—chapters of the brand story. For more information, visit www.ewiworldwide.com, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/yourstoryalive and read our blog at www.yourstoryalive.com.

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MCCI (Mort Crim Communications, Inc.) Continues Growth, Names Rich Donley SVP, PR/Marcom

MCCI Names Seasoned Public Relations Executive Rich Donley as SVP, PR/Marketing Communications

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., May 6, 2013 — As part of its continued growth, integrated marketing agency MCCI has named Rich Donley, APR, as senior vice president, PR/marketing communications. In this newly created position, he will be responsible for managing the company’s public relations, marketing communications and social media portfolio, as well as developing new business. Donley will report to MCCI President and CEO Terrence Oprea.

“I have known Rich for 25 years, initially as an intern at WDIV-TV in Detroit, and I am delighted to be working with him again as part of our talented and expanding MCCI team,” Oprea said. “Rich has an outstanding work ethic and solid expertise in public relations, marketing communications and executive training gained from decades of experience assisting companies to boost their business, improve their messaging and enhance their communications skills.”

Most recently, Donley was a vice president at Airfoil, where he managed a diversified, profitable account portfolio of key clients, including Faurecia, NVIDIA, Delphi and FordDirect. He had responsibility for strategy, execution, budgeting, metrics, growth and client satisfaction. Prior to this, he was vice president and partner at Bianchi Public Relations where, for 12 years, he oversaw several of the agency’s accounts and was responsible for new business initiatives. Donley is a former journalist who served as a news editor for Monday Morning Newspapers (Tech Center News and Detroit Auto Scene).

Accredited in public relations (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America, Donley was the 2010 PRSA Detroit Chapter president. He is a founding member of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s PR/Marketing Advisory Council, a member of the OESA Automotive Public Relations Council and is active in school/church functions, including serving as committee chair of major fundraisers.

Donley graduated cum laude from Wayne State University in Detroit with a bachelor’s degree, majoring in both journalism and radio/TV. He is a native Detroiter and currently resides in Royal Oak, Mich.

About MCCI
Founded in 1993 as Mort Crim Communications, Inc., MCCI is an award-winning integrated marketing agency that specializes in PR/media relations, video, web/digital, social media and marketing/advertising. MCCI’s clients represent various industries, including automotive, education, energy, government, health care, nonprofit, supply chain and technology. The firm has offices in Detroit; Southfield, Mich.; and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.MCCICorp.com, https://www.facebook.com/MCCICorp or https://twitter.com/MCCICreates.

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