Convention Presenters and Sessions

The 2018 INA Convention and Trade Show will feature high-caliber speakers from across the country. Find out more about each of them below.

Tom Clegg, White Rabbit Group

Tom Clegg is the Lead Facilitator of the White Rabbit Group. With more than thirty years of public speaking experience, his warm, energetic, humorous, and engaging style makes him a favorite with audiences.

He is a gifted speaker, facilitator, coach, and consultant who serves leaders and their teams in navigating the complexities of change, developing leaders, and making a positive impact on the world.


The Four Keys to Solving Hard Problems
Whether it’s moving employees from busy work to strategic action, helping a team discern the best solution to a nagging problem or prioritizing competing deadlines: leaders face thorny issues every hour of every day. In this lively and insightful session participants will receive an easy to remember yet powerful process to equip them to quickly gain the four strategic insights needed to lead in today’s complex workplace. The session leader will guide listeners to learn how to capitalize upon strengths, make necessary adjustments, gain clarity and fill gaps in order to coach their team into immediate strategic action. Length: 45 minutes.

Fine Tuning Your Leadership
Leading a workforce of widely divergent people in a rapidly changing world is a challenge facing every manager. Learning how to identify and lead employees, as well as understanding the demands of roles, responsibilities and relationships is a critical skill for leaders at all levels. In this session participants will be given an elegantly simple yet powerful way for quickly gaining critical insights into employees and how they relate to each other and the tasks they are asked to fulfill. Applied too new hires, creating new roles or responsibilities, performance reviews, building teams or simply understanding the workplace environment; this unique approach for quickly understanding people and the work they do is an indispensable for leaders of all kinds. Length: 45 minutes.

Matt Coen, Second Street

Matt Coen is the President & Co-Founder of Second Street, the leading provider of online promotions platforms and partner success services for the media industry. Coen also teaches entrepreneurship at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2006, Coen Co-Wrote and Produced the award winning documentary Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?


Digital Revenue Lies Beyond the Digital Display
Digital display won’t be enough to support the media company of the future, but engagement campaigns centered around promotions and interactive content deliver the measurable results your advertisers want to invest in and the profits your company is striving for. Learn how you can offer scalable solutions that meet your advertisers’ needs.

Ballots - The King of Revenue and Audience Engagement
Time after time, ballots standout as one of the single biggest revenue generators of the year often bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars. But, it’s not all about revenue. Your audience wants to feel like their opinions matter – a ballot does just that. And with the versatility of ballots, you’ll be able to tap into every single person in your community.

Craig Crile, Group C

Craig Crile is the founder & CEO of Group C Digital Marketing + Consulting, a data driven digital advertising firm in Des Moines. Craig has lead sales teams for Gannett and has directed digital strategy in the automotive and political advertising space for the past decade. He has lead sales training for media companies like Saga Communications and advises clients on how to evaluate their digital budgets based on data.


The Digital Media Landscape
This session will cover:
▪ The changing media market-place
▪ Understanding online advertising + the digital eco-system
▪ The importance of measurement + attribution
▪ 3rd party vs. 1st party data
▪ Language + terminology

Expected Outcomes
As a result of attending this course, your team will be able to:
▪ Better understand ad-tech platforms + how they can be used by marketers
▪ Understand the new advertising supply chain
▪ Learn more about how digital ads are served to consumers
▪ Explain how data + ad-tech platforms are used in marketing to key stakeholders and prospects.
▪ Differentiate types of attribution + data

Jane Elizabeth, American Press Institute

Jane Elizabeth is director of the accountability journalism program at the American Press Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank that focuses on media advancement. As former Washington Post editor, she has worked as an editor and reporter at four other U.S. newspapers and has taught journalism at three universities. She was a 2017 Knight-Nieman fellow at Harvard University.


Trust Us, We’re Journalists
What’s behind the lack of trust in American media and its continuing decline? The American Press Institute’s ongoing research looks at what causes readers to either trust or dismiss your news organization and its content, how this might change, and why it’s urgent to address the issue of trust today.

Practical Ways Newsrooms Can Build Trust
It doesn’t necessarily take an expensive marketing campaign to help readers recognize your news brand as competent, knowledgeable and trustworthy. We’ll discuss and develop some specific trust-building actions that any newsroom can accomplish.

Zack Kucharski, Cedar Rapids Gazette

Zack Kucharski serves as Executive Editor at The Gazette in Cedar Rapids where he is responsible for all reporting and content. He began as a freelance reporter in 2000 and has worked in reporting and editing roles. He's also been leading the organization's Iowa Ideas Conference, a statewide conference focused on challenges facing the state of Iowa.

Kucharski serves on a variety of professional boards including the Government Relations Committee of the Iowa Newspaper Association, the professional advisory board for the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication and is the 2018 president of the Iowa FOI Council. 

Originally from Chicago, Kucharski is a graduate of the University of Iowa where he worked at The Daily Iowan. 


50 MORE Story Ideas in 50 Minutes
This fast paced session returns with at least 50 more ideas scalable to all size newspapers and outside of your typical city council-type story.

Charlie Helt, Gannett

Charlie has 25 years of experience in marketing research. He joined Gannett as Director, Research Operations in 2001 following 10 years with Maritz Marketing Research in Minneapolis. Prior to joining Maritz, Charlie conducted research for newspapers while working for Frank N. Magid Associates in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He has extensive experience conducting media research and large-scale tracking and customer satisfaction studies. Charlie received a B.S. degree in Statistics and Marketing at Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Iowa.


The Strength of Newspapers in Iowa
Charlie will present the results of the latest research about newspaper media in the state of Iowa. The main objective of the research was to document the importance of Iowa newspapers -- in print and online -- in the media mix. One thousand telephone interviews were conducted with Iowa adults to learn about how they engage with media for news, information and advertising. Charlie will examine newspaper audiences by platform in terms of reach, demographics and attitudes toward advertising, as well as cover the importance of newspapers in several key advertising categories. The bottom line is that newspapers are important to Iowans -- and this is a story you -- and your advertisers -- need to hear.

Jim Olson, Retired Chief of Counterintelligence, CIA

Professor Olson received his law degree from the University of Iowa in 1969. He is a Senior Lecturer at the Bush School, where he teaches courses on intelligence, national security, and international crisis management. He served for over 25 years in the Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency, mostly overseas in clandestine operations. In addition to several foreign assignments, he was Chief of Counterintelligence at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Professor Olson has been awarded the Intelligence Medal of Merit, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the Donovan Award, and several Distinguished Service Citations. He is the recipient of awards from the Bush School and the Association of Former Students for excellence in teaching. Professor Olson is the author of FairPlay: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying.

Kick-Off Speaker

A Different Kind of Career: Undercover in the CIA
Imagine living a lie for 31 years. That’s what James Olson and his wife Meredith did while spying for the CIA. Spying for his country was the furthest thing from his mind when Olson, a farm boy from Iowa, received a mysterious phone call that changed his life forever. In his presentation, Olson takes you inside the real world of being a CIA spy. He describes the rigorous training they receive and the difficult dilemmas that they face in the field on a daily basis. Olson explains how the global war on terror affects everyone and that the country needs to know that the United States will be hit again within its borders. The United States needs spies to protect the country and its vital interests.

Chris Rhoades, Enterprise Publishing

Chris Rhoades began his career as a financial advisor for Edward Jones Investments in Omaha, where he honed his skills in sales and customer service. Ten years ago he joined Enterprise Publishing Company in Blair, the Rhoades’ family-owned newspaper and publishing business, with 13 newspapers in Nebraska and Iowa. In early 2015, Chris and his team launched Courtside Marketing, LLC. This company provides digital marketing solutions in an agency format, in addition to niche print publications and other marketing services. Chris received the Nebraska Press Association’s Outstanding Young Journalist Award in 2011 and was NNA's Daniel M. Phillips Leadership Award winner in 2016. He now serves as associate publisher of Enterprise Publishing Co., and president of Courtside Marketing.


Selling Against Social
Social media and on-line marketing is a hot topic these days.  But, what do we say, when our customers tell us they "only advertise on Facebook"?  Or that "everything is on-line now".  How do we combat this public perception that social media is the be-all, end-all when it comes to marketing?  This session will uncover some misconceptions about social media, and why it might not be all it's cracked up to be.  We'll also discuss sales strategies to show the power of print versus on-line.  In addition, we will spend time overcoming other general sales objections, and share an easy strategy to overcome ANY objection that you might face when selling to your customers. 

Talia Stroud, Center for Media Engagement

Natalie (Talia) Jomini Stroud is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Journalism and Director of the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. The Center’s work on identifying commercially viable and democratically beneficial ways of improving digital news coverage has received funding from the Democracy Fund, Hewlett Foundation, and Rita Allen Foundation, among others. These efforts have led to changes in practices at news organizations across the country. Her research has received numerous national and international awards, including the International Communication Association's prestigious Outstanding Book Award for her book Niche News: The Politics of News Choice.


Online Engagement Tools
In this session, we will share information on a number of different online engagement tools and best practices for using them. We will discuss comment sections, online polls and quizzes, and social media, among other tools.

Testing and Writing Headlines
This session will look at strategies and best practices for testing headlines. We also will share our research on best practices for headlines. The research spans solutions journalism headlines, curiosity gap headlines, and social media headlines.

Iowa College Media Association Sessions

Challenges and Rewards of Student Media Leadership
College Media Panel
Whether it’s covering campus crisis or calling your roommate (who is also your staff member) out for not making deadline, student media leadership often feels like a Game of Thrones episode complete with dragons and epic feats of heroism.  This student panel will discuss challenges, rewards and specific strategies for leading student media organizations.

Winning the Pulitzer Prize
Art Cullen, Storm Lake Times
What does it take to win the biggest prize in American journalism? Art Cullen of the Storm Lake Times in northwest Iowa won the Pulitzer for Editorial Writing last spring for his newspaper’s work in challenging government secrecy in Buena Vista County. Cullen will speak about the importance of reporting in editorial writing and how the Pulitzer has changed his life and his newspaper’s role in the community.

Iowa: Heaven to Filmmakers 
Liz Gilman of Produce Iowa
Join Liz Gilman of Produce Iowa as she talks about her role in attracting Hollywood to our state and how you can get involved with film and media production right here.
Liz Gilman is the Executive Producer of Produce Iowa—State Office of Media Production. Prior to her work for the state, she produced numerous national television projects throughout the United States from locations ranging from Walt Disney World in Orlando to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. Clients have included HBO, Comcast and Time Warner Cable to name a few. Liz graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Journalism and Mass Communications and Tele-Communicative Arts.

Writing for Non-Readers
Tim Harrower, Newspaper Consultant
Do today’s readers find your news presentation too old-fashioned? Too predictable? Too . . . . boring? Unfortunately, yes. But here’s how to make your content more engaging — by repackaging your stories, rethinking your headlines, modernizing your design and helping staffers collaborate more effectively. 
Tim Harrower has been an editor, designer and columnist at newspapers large (The Oregonian) and small (the Times weeklies in suburban Portland.).  He became a journalist in the ’80s after his first career choice — rock ’n’ roll super legend — fizzled out. 
Harrower’s first book, "The Newspaper Designer’s Handbook," has been a fixture in newsrooms and classrooms around the world, with translations into Russian, Chinese and Polish. And his "Inside Reporting" has been a popular news writing textbook on college campuses for over a decade.  

New Tools of the Trade
Chris Snider Associate Professor, Drake University
Find out what the latest fun tools you can use to do better journalism from Chris Snider, associate professor of journalism at Drake University and aficionado of technological innovation for journalists. Attendees will have a chance to get hands-on with technology including 360 cameras, Snap Spectacles, virtual reality and more.
Chris Snider joined Drake University full-time in 2010 after spending three years as an adjunct instructor. He moved to Des Moines in 2005 to work as editor of Juice magazine, a weekly publication for readers age 25-34. In 2007, he became assistant managing editor for digital and innovation at the Des Moines Register.
At the Register, Chris was a leader in how media companies use social media, live content and mobile. He was named the top digital editor in the Gannett company in 2008, and he was named to Presstime Magazine’s 20 under 40 list the same year.
Prior to moving to Des Moines, Chris worked as a designer and news design director at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for six years. He began his career as a designer at the Baltimore Sun.