The Sunrise Executive Series brings together top executives and thought-leaders to inspire you with new ways to solve marketing problems. You’ll participate in active and engaging Q&A sessions with market leaders and gain valuable insights that directly impact your market strategies.

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Upcoming Sunrise Events

Marketing Team of One: Interactive Online Panel

Wednesday, June 5
8:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Online via Zoom
Test your system at
Link will be emailed to registered guests 30 minutes before the event

Do you find yourself carrying the entire load of marketing responsibilities for your company? Whether you own a small business, founded a start-up or work for a non-profit, there’s no doubt that it can be overwhelming and daunting to be the only person managing all of the marketing tasks. How does one person take on everything from lead generation to content creation to website management to email marketing to events to brand positioning and get great results?

Marketing Team of One: Interactive Online Panel event will help one-person marketers learn how to prioritize their marketing efforts to drive results. Especially today with so many new digital channels, social platforms and technologies, the event will help marketers learn how to narrow down the endless amount of options for marketing tactics and make the best decision for their organization.

Speakers’ bios are listed below. They include:

  • Jackson Flores, Co-Founder of DishRoulette
  • Tom Fecarotta, Head of Marketing for Rheaply
  • Curtis Shaw Flagg, Director of Marketing for Open Books
  • Thom Duncan, Integrated Marketing Director at American Board of Medical Specialties

This live interactive panel will be via Zoom, with plenty of opportunities for engagement, questions and connection. Registrants will receive the link for online access to the event 30 minutes before the start time.

Key Takeaways:

  • Speakers to discuss strategies, tools, and techniques marketing professionals can use to develop an easy-to-use marketing strategy, set priorities and get results.
  • Gain insights into how to save time, cut costs and accomplish a lot when you have limited time and resources
  • Learn narrow down the clutter of an endless amount of possible marketing tactics
  • Learn how to build a network of great resources and leverage people with specializations in certain areas to help you get your work done

8:00 a.m.: Access link will be emailed to registrants
8:30 – 10:00 a.m.: Program and Q&A

Registrants will receive the link for online access to the event 30 minutes before the start time.


Jackson Flores


Jackson Flores is the Co-Founder (2014) of DishRoulette, a hospitality service management and marketing company in Chicago, Illinois that lists several high-profile restaurants amongst their clients. Jackson’s passion for hospitality, as well as a strong connection to her community and upbringing as a child of immigrants, motivates her goals. She one day aspires to run a not-for-profit focused on health and nutrition in underserved LatinX communities.

Tom Fecarotta
Head of Marketing


Tom Fecarotta is the Head of Marketing for Rheaply, a SaaS asset management technology that allows organizations to capture the most use and value out of existing internal resources. Rheaply’s client base comprises a range of institutions, businesses and enterprises – from world leading R&D institutions to smaller public and private institutions, K-12 schools, and non-profit organizations. Tom’s biggest responsibilities at Rheaply include running all marketing/brand strategy development and sales enablement, corporate communications, event marketing and sponsorships, customer insight/support, and content creation.

Prior to joining Rheaply, Tom worked for 10+ years as a digital and content marketer for various life science, and technology brands, developing campaigns and launch strategies for premier conferences in biotech and healthcare, including SLAS, JP Morgan Conference, SFN, BIO and others.

Curtis Shaw Flagg
Director of Marketing 
Open Books


Curtis Shaw Flagg is an Illinois-native who began his course with Open Books as a Reading Buddy at McCutcheon Elementary school. With a background in Biology, but a love for literacy, he began to speak the gospel of Open Books programs to anyone that would listen. This eventually earned him a place at the associate board table and, consequently, a spot on the Executive Committee serving as Chair. He continues to spread the word about Open Books as an executive member of the staff. You can still see him walking around neighborhoods and events around Chicago, wearing an Open Books t-shirt and talking about the bookstore and other programs to anyone who gives him the time of day!

Thom Duncan
Director, Integrated Marketing 
American Board of Medical Specialties


Thom Duncan is Director of Integrated Marketing for American Board of Medical Specialties. His career path started in commercial photography, veered left to magazine publishing, then got on course doing marketing at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. At Kellogg, he built out the creative team, ultimately serving as the senior director of marketing and communications, and providing strategic direction to 16 writers and designers.

In 2013 Thom joined a startup technology education company, where as director of engagement he became a marketing team of one, greatly expanding the skill set he next put to use as a marketing consultant. Now he’s back to managing a small team at the American Board of Medical Specialties, where he still draws on his team-of-one skills every day. Thom has a BA from Washington University in St. Louis, and a General Management certificate from Kellogg’s Executive Education Program.

Past Sunrise Executive Series events

December 4, 2018 – KPIs to Care About

KPIs to Care About
Tuesday, December 4
8:00 to 10:00 a.m.

West Monroe Partners
222 W Adams St., 11th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606

Sponsored by:

Key performance indicators should be more than a dry set of data. They should be the dynamic conversation in a company that keeps marketers’ day-to-day activities firmly anchored to the enterprise’s goals. Do you use KPIs to keep the marketing team’s work relevant and recognized? In this talk, you’ll learn how to:
• ensure the marketing teams goals clearly align with the corporate goals
• understand ideal reporting cadences for the CMO, the CEO and the board
• use KPIs to get innovative work noticed

8:00 – 8:30: Registration & Networking
8:30– 10:00: Presentation and Q&A

Special Directions:
West Monroe’s offices are located at 222 W. Adams Street, 11th floor. Be sure to use the Adams Street entrance, then head to the security desk to check in for West Monroe Partners. The guard will ask for a photo ID and print you a visitor badge. The elevator bank is located to the left of the security desk. Please take these elevators up to the 11th floor and you will be directed to the space for the event.

Our Speaker

Julia Fitzgerald is a Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Executive with 20+ years of proven experience, specializing in strategic work that reinvents brands and drives growth. Julia has led marketing successes driving financials with Thermos, Sylvan Learning, Sears, Kmart, Vtech, Hallmark, Azek and Timbertech, always choosing brands that seek dynamic, creative marketing pivots.

Fitzgerald’s experience spans CPG, retail, franchising and B2B business models. She attributes her success to a knack for developing high-performing teams and leading brand-positioning that connects with consumers. Through integrated marketing, she’s consistently driven growth in top line revenue, market share, and EBITDA, as well as creating unique, memorable campaigns. She’s also proven herself a force in the digital arena, driving e-commerce and omni-channel campaigns as the Chief Digital Engagement Officer at Sears Holdings. She launches high-conversion sites, CRM programs, content strategies, and AR/VR applications to drive leads, loyalty and e-commerce.

Julia earned a BA in Spanish and a BS in International Business at The Ohio State University and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

Thursday, August 9, 2018 – Visual Design 101 & Canva Training

Visual Design 101 & Canva Training
Date: Thursday, August 9
Time: 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Location: EvolveHer, 358 W. Ontario, #3W, Chicago, IL 60654

Knowing the basics of great design and branding is essential to help conveying a clear, honest, and direct brand direction that will help potential customers know who you are and what you stand for. Today’s DIY culture makes it more accessible to create elements of your brand & promotional materials on your own, but it’s important to understand the fundamentals of design before creating any visuals that will represent your brand.

Through this session, you’ll learn all the visual design fundamentals, how to leverage all the branding components that you already have and build a cohesive visuals to uplevel your brand experience. Plus we’ll also be learning how to use Canva so you can take charge of the brand designs yourself.

To go for free, join or renew your membership before you register.
8 am- 8:30am: Registration and Networking
8:30 am- 9:30 am: Program and Q & A
Light breakfast will be served.

Our Speaker

Co-founder of Evanston-based Chykalophia, Ari Krzyzek offers through her design studio a unique and vibrant international perspective. Exhibiting innovative flair enhanced by latest techniques, her designs serve an array of interests—commercial, promotional or personal—to achieve her clients’ goals.

The captivating vitality of her design garnered Ari recognition as winner of the Annual Design Award 2010 for Best Product Packaging Design (client: Bacio, a popular Bali nightclub, where she served as graphic designer from August 2008–July 2009). Further evidence of her versatility, Ari has worked in a corporate environment, executing email campaigns as digital designer for Sears Holdings Corp.

Thursday, May 3, 2018 – How to Create Spectacular - and Effective - Infographics

How to Create Spectacular – and Effective – Infographics
Date: Thursday, May 3
Time: 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Location: Co-Optim West Loop, 550 W. Washington Blvd #Suite 201, Chicago, IL 60661

Sponsored by:

Infographics are not new, but DIY tools in the space have become remarkably more advanced and empowering. It is now possible for a market researcher with no design background to craft eye-catching and superbly effective infographics.

See how one team of self-described nerdy researchers at Fidelity did it. They spent a year exploring DIY options, learned various techniques and tricks, and deployed them with business partners. They will describe eight steps to design an effective infographic that easily translates to all types of research. They also will highlight how Fidelity has used infographics as a communication tool for media and customers in both the B2C and B2B markets.

Join us for a highly visual presentation filled with engaging examples of infographics – both good and bad.

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.: Registration and Networking
8:30 – 10:00 a.m.: Program, with Q&A to follow

Light breakfast will be served.

To register for free, join AMA Chicago or renew your membership.

Our Speaker

Joe Hopper, Ph.D., is President of Versta Research, a company that helps research and marketing teams with cutting-edge research that Turns Data Into StoriesTM. The company’s work has been featured in nearly all major news outlets, market research industry journals, and peer-reviewed academic journals as well.

Joe has served on the Board of Directors of the American Marketing Association (AMA) in Chicago. For five years after receiving his Ph.D., Joe was on the teaching and research faculty at the University of Chicago and the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), heading projects funded by postdoctoral grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Tuesday, December 6, 2017 – Use Your Data to Influence Customer Behavior

Use Your Data to Influence Customer Behavior
Hosted by:

Date: Wednesday, December 6
Time: 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Location: West Monroe Partners, 222 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60606

Through four unique case studies, West Monroe Partners, CBRE, Relativity and the Chicago Cubs will demonstrate how companies across industries have been using data to influence customer behavior to increase revenue. Using these best practices and lessons, the four speakers will explore ways that you can use your data effectively to drive sales and improve customer experiences.

Come prepared to talk about your challenges and problem-solve with other executives. Breakfast will be served.

Event Speakers

Kelly Linstroth
Director, Marketing & Fan Insights, Chicago Cubs
Kelly Linstroth serves as the Director of Marketing & Fan Insights with the Chicago Cubs. In her role, Kelly oversees integrated marketing communications across all fan-facing channels. She also works closely with the IT and Analytics departments to add a marketing lens to the Cubs CRM platform to leverage 1:1 customer data to inform business decisions. Prior to the Cubs, Kelly was a member of the Customer Insights & Loyalty team at Walgreens, where she supported the pilot and nationwide launch of the Balance Rewards Loyalty Card Program which currently serves more than 100M members. Kelly received her BBA in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Shawn Gaines
Director of Marketing, Relativity
LinkedIn | Twitter
Shawn Gaines is the director of communications at Relativity—the rapidly growing e-discovery software company—where he guides content strategy, PR and analyst relations, social media and online community-building, and brand messaging. Prior to kCura, Shawn worked in technical writing for organizations like and as a journalist at various publications, including The Cleveland Free-Times and Strategize magazine. He holds an MBA in marketing management and social enterprise from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Dan Magestro
Senior Manager, Advanced Analytics, ‎West Monroe Partners
Dan Magestro is a senior manager in West Monroe Partners’ Advanced Analytics practice. He is an accomplished analytics executive with the breadth of experience and skills to guide organizations and their customers to measured, sustained value from data and analytics initiatives.

Katie Tiernan
Marketing Manager, CBRE

August 3, 2017 - Managing Up: Promote Your Worth!

Managing Up: Promote Your Worth!

Prove your relevance in an uncertain market

Thursday, August 3, 2017
8:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
1028 N. Rush St. Chicago, IL 60611

Marketers face increasing scrutiny. The pressure is especially critical for CMOs who may face elimination if they don’t deliver results within two years. In fact, according to, an estimated 30% of CMOs will lose their jobs this year.

Linda Bartman, CMO of Trunk Club, and Terry Boyle, President of, will discuss what they’ve learned while leading these popular online retail brands. Bartman and Boyle will show just how relevant marketers are today in an environment that sometimes questions if that relevance still exists, and they will provide you with tools and tactics you can use to demonstrate value in your business.

Get your tickets now for this high-demand event! You’ll enjoy breakfast and networking with senior-level marketers, learn strategies and tips vital to your career and business growth, and still get to work before you’re missed!

Speaker Bios

Linda Bartman – Chief Marketing Officer, Trunk Club

Linda is the CMO of Trunk Club, a highly personalized service that employs an expert stylist to pick out clothes based on your preferences, then mails them right to you. She joined Trunk Club in October 2016 to head up marketing and build the next phase of the Trunk Club Brand. Passionate about brand, customer insights, and understanding how human beings tick, Linda has experience from across industries with brands such as AT&T (formerly Ameritech), BP, GE and

LinkedIn   |   Trunk Club:  Twitter  Facebook

Terry Boyle – President,

Terry is the President of Trunk Club and, Nordstrom’s online, off-price division. He joined Nordstrom when HauteLook was acquired in 2011, and in 2014 he led the design, build-out, and launch of Prior to Nordstrom, Terry was a senior executive at several consumer tech startups including a 3G wireless company acquired by Virgin Mobile and an Internet Service Provider (ISP) acquired by EarthLink. Terry graduated from Harvard magna cum laude with a BA in Social Studies.

LinkedIn   |   Trunk Club:  Twitter   Facebook

May 11, 2017 - Whose job is it anyway... PR or Marketing?

Thursday May 11, 2017 from 8:00am to 9:30am
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
1028 N. Rush St. Chicago, IL 60611

There is so much overlap between PR and Marketing. This lively debate will be a face-off between PR and Marketers discussing who should take responsibility for those duties that overlap: crisis communications, social media, thought leadership and content creation, the list goes on and on. Each side will discuss why PR or Marketing should be the team that “owns” that work, and then discuss how they would approach the responsibility.

Key Takeaways:

The goal, is that the audience will walk away with new creative strategies for approaching these responsibilities, and that the audience can get a better understanding for who should be handling which responsibilities. Target audience: PR and Marketing professionals at all levels AND managers over these two groups

  • PR and Marketing professionals will have new ways to approach their everyday responsibilities
  • Get insight into how a PR professional or Marketing professional approaches these issues / problems
  • If you don’t have one of these two teams, you’ve now learned how to handle / manage the responsibilities these two groups face
  • Managers will get better insight into how to divide responsibilities between the two teams
  • Speaker Bios: 

    Luke Cushman

    Wilks Communications Group

    Luke Cushman brings a decade of public relations experience, achieving high-level results that combine the expertise of B2B and B2C marketing with media relations, brand messaging and content development for clients across many industries, including: financial and professional services, technology, health care, higher education, non-profits, consumer products and hospitality.

    Luke has held a series of increasingly responsible leadership positions at several global agencies, including most recently the health practice of Edelman. Prior to that he served in the corporate and financial communications practice at Fleishman-Hillard, and the brand marketing and corporate reputation practices at WPP’s Burson-Marsteller and Hill + Knowlton Strategies. He began his career at Cushman/Amberg Communications — and since then, has represented a diverse range of clients. Among some of his notable work includes visibility and media relations campaigns for Aflac, Bank of America, Coldwell Banker, and TGI Fridays; online and content programs for Cochlear Limited, itelligence SAP Solutions and South Loop Montessori School; and strategic planning initiatives for Alzheimer’s Association, Federal Signal and Get Covered Illinois.

    Luke earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the College of Business at Drake University and endorsements in public relations from its School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He is a past president and serves the board of directors for the Publicity Club of Chicago, the nation’s largest and oldest independent public relations membership organization, and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

    Learn more about Luke on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook

    Susan Szymanski


    Susan Szymanski

  • Brings a 23 year history in foodservice publishing working for Nation’s Restaurant News, Restaurant Business and R&I Susan brings a broad industry view.  Susan is a graduate of Philadelphia University and resides in Chicago, IL. 

    Learn more about Susan on Twitter or Facebook

    Erin Williams

    Bright Pink

    Erin Williams spent 10 years in the for-profit digital marketing world, leading creative and content strategy at Razorfish for clients such as Kellogg’s and Abercrombie and Fitch. Her current passion is bringing Bright Pink’s life-saving mission to as many people possible. 

    Learn more about Erin on Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook

    Kelly Shannon 

    Loyola University Chicago  

    Kelly Shannon’s responsibilities include managing brand marketing, university websites, media and public relations, crisis communications, internal communications, and advancement communications.

    Before joining Loyola, Shannon was director of brand marketing for the Chicago Tribune and related news products. She spent 10 years at the Tribune Company in various management roles. Shannon also served as director of communications for the Minnesota Department of Transportation; was a news editor/producer for Conus Communications, an international satellite newsgathering corporation; an award-winning television anchor and reporter for WDIO-TV (Duluth, MN); and a news producer for KSTP-TV (Minneapolis-St. Paul).

    Shannon graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota. She belongs to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

    Learn more about Kelly on Twitter

    Sam Randall

    Cook County Sheriff’s Department

    Sam Randall is responsible for creating and executing the communications strategy for the Sheriff’s office. He calls upon his more than eight years of experience in securing high-level placements and developing media relationships to nationally promote the Sheriff’s progressive policies and programming. Sam also frequents Springfield, Ill. to provide communications support for the Sheriff’s legislative agenda. Finally, crisis communications strategy and execution are essential due to the sometimes volatile nature of inmates in the Cook County Jail.

  • Prior to his position with the Sheriff’s office, Sam worked for leading global public relations firms Edelman and Hill & Knowlton Strategies where he supported local, national and global accounts with media relations, messaging and social media strategy. At Edelman, Sam worked in the corporate technology practice supporting brands such as eBay, PayPal, KONE and Life Fitness. At Hill & Knowlton, he worked primarily on Aflac and Mazda. Sam started his career at smaller PR firms Fishman Public Relations and Alpaytac (now O’Malley Hansen).
  • Sam earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing communications from Columbia College Chicago, where he graduated with honors. He has also served as the Public Relations chair for the junior board of the Chicago Parks Foundations and volunteered at Citizen Schools.