Jennifer Stauss Windrum
If you live in Omaha, Nebraska, you probably remember Jennifer Stauss Windrum as a news reporter on Channel 3, but if you live anywhere else, you may know her now as the founder of SMAC! Sock Monkeys Against Cancer, which provides tangible support to those battling cancer.
You can read about her massive professional accomplishments on LinkedIn, but she has influenced us and many to focus on the philanthropic opportunities all around us. She’s an accomplished social media expert, but has inspired many to focus on cancer victims.
“Cancer can be a very lonely existence,” Windrum says. “Family and friends can’t always be there. My Mom lived more than 1,200 miles away, making her appointments, tests, scan results and treatments that much harder for both of us. This is why I created SMAC! — to give Mom a “buddy” she could hug to remind her that I am with her.”
When you buy one SMAC! monkey, a second is given to a cancer patient to remind them that they’re not alone. Other charities are already following her lead, influenced by her grit and determination.
If you don’t have a sense of humor, don’t follow Jenny Lawson. Don’t check out her book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – a Mostly True Memoir, and whatever you do, do not read her blog.
Lawson used to write for the Houston Chronicle but said she needed somewhere that didn’t censor her, that let her talk about ninjas, and lets her cuss. So she built her own place, and now graces stages across the nation. Lawson has inspired a generation of bloggers to let their hair down and to allow their sense of humor show. Thanks for making the f-bomb more acceptable, Jenny!
Kami Watson Huyse
Founder of boutique social media marketing strategy and communication firm, Zoetica Media, Kami Watson Huyse is an extremely talented public relations veteran, practicing since 1994 and blogging since 2005.
Huyse asserts that shiny trends may come and go, but people are always looking for ways to authentically connect.
She was a 2010 fellow of the Society for New Communications Research where she pursued a study on how cause marketing in social communities can benefit companies. She is is also the cofounder and organizer of the Social Media Breakfast Houston.
Her ideas are frequently referenced by top social media strategists, and she has influenced the industry in a tremendously positive way, helping people to understand how to communicate effectively.
Best known as Pistachio on Twitter, Laura Fitton is one of the original breakout stars of Twitter, founding the first Twitter for Business consultancy (Pistachio Consulting) and has gone on to co-author Twitter for Dummies, and founded oneforty.com which was acquired by HubSpot in 2009.
She has said many times on stage that she believes that everyone can benefit – dramatically – from realtime technologies like Twitter because of their power to overcome isolation.
Fitton is an influential figure not only for being one of the first talents to recognize the value of Twitter, but for her continued efforts to help brands to understand how to be effective, yet never condescending her followers (which isn’t exactly a common trait for someone of Fitton’s caliber).
As the Director of Merrybubbles Communications, a marketing and communications agency that caters primarily to the technology ecosystem, Liva Judic mentors the next great innovators to go international.
She served for four years as the Head of International Communication at the Office of President of Madagascar, and advised as part of the official delegation at the 1st World Summit On The Information Society.
Judic writes at Wired, VentureBeat, as well as ClickZ and Search Engine Watch – she knows what she’s talking about and has influenced her industry to stay on the ball, and she never lets up on pursuing the truth and illuminating the path for others.
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