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SIMA 2022 Leadership Forum

August 8-9, 2022

Omni Barton Creek Resort
Austin, TX

Speaker Bios & Session Descriptions


Deb Gabor

Irrational Loyalty

The best brands in the world create emotional bonds with their customers that we call Irrational Loyalty. This is a bond so strong that your customers would feel they were cheating on you if they used a competitor’s product or service. 

Brands achieve Irrational Loyalty when they empower their customers to solve problems, present a positive image to the world, and make them the hero in their own stories. 

Think about what happens when you feel like you’re on top of the world and everything is working out the way you hoped it would. The best brands in the world are the ones that give ALL their customers (B2B too!) the feeling that they have the world on a string, and that feeling is what connects deeply with their emotions. 

Deb Gabor is an author with bestsellers Branding is Sex and Irrational Loyalty. She's the founder and CEO of Sol Marketing, a strategy-led marketing firm obsessed with solving major business and branding problems for clients in every industry. 

Deb and her team at Sol Marketing have introduced her revolutionary brand strategy for organizations ranging from international household names like Allrecipes, The Associated Press, Dell, Microsoft, NBC Universal, NPR, NTT Data, and Siemens, to exciting emerging brands like hint water and Indagare. 

Deb also lends her brand authority with frequent contributions and commentary to major news outlets such as Entrepreneur, Forbes, FORTUNE, Inc., MediaPost, New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Paige Velasquez Budde

The Modern Business Influencer

How to make the right first impression online as an executive. Speaker: Paige Velasquez Budde.

In today’s environment, the first place most customers, journalists, investors and thought leaders will interact with you and your “brand” is not in person or over the

phone—it’s online via your website or social media channels. Your entire first impression as the CEO now happens directly on page one of Google. In this workshop, we will walk you through how to conduct an online brand audit to ensure your personal brand is accelerating your business and share the strategies used to build platforms for some of the world’s leading thought leaders and companies.

Paige Velasquez Budde is CEO & Partner at Zilker Media, an Austin-based agency building people-driven brands. She has been featured as a speaker on digital marketing strategy and led workshops at national venues such as Harvard Medical School, Austin’s own Alamo Drafthouse, and for organizations such as Women Presidents’ Organization and Camp Gladiator.

She has led the marketing campaigns and strategies for some of the world’s most recognized authorities, including The New York Times bestseller and Fortune Magazine Senior editor-at-large Geoff Colvin, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller and Hall of Fame speaker Sally Hogshead and many others. Paige has also counseled leading international brands such as Russell Stover and a2 Milk. 

Paige graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she served on the alumni Texas Exes Communications Committee.

Mike Rorie

After the Snow Falls - What it takes to succeed in business beyond the outdoors

In this interactive session, Mike Rorie will provide you with personal experiences and examples of what it takes to be successful beyond snow and ice. Mike will address topics such as what do you need to do to maximize the value of your business. When is the right time to consider diversifying your business interests and potentially make your business ‘built to sell’. How to identify strategic business acquisitions for growth. What considerations should we have in our next business ventures and what risks are we taking when we consider changing what types of business we own and operate. With lessons learned in over 40 years as a business owner, Mike’s personal stories and tips will help you as you plan your future.

Mike Rorie has been involved in commercial grounds management for over thirty years. He began his Cincinnati-based commercial maintenance company in 1979 with one truck, and grew it to a multi-branch, regional platform before selling to a national provider in 2006. He now serves as CEO of Go iLawn, an online measuring program designed to help landscaping and snow removal contractors measure more properties, bid more jobs and win more sales.

Dave Murray

Retain your Top Talent in an Employee Market

The most challenging issue that all companies face can be summarized in one word: communication. By improving communication within departments, locations, and other teams, your organization can create a world-class employee experience that people won’t want to leave.

Your departments will better understand the roles and responsibilities of others and will understand how their role impacts other departments and customers in the overall experience. Each team will better understand the importance of their INTERNAL customer. After all, a customer is whoever depends on the work that you do. 

Dave has 25 years of experience in customer service, marketing, and sales, primarily in the sports and entertainment industry. His experience has varied from leading call centers and front-line team members, to working closely with key partners and stakeholders.
As a Senior Customer Experience Consultant with The DiJulius Group, Dave leads clients in generating ideas, turning those ideas into systems, and then implementing and executing them enterprise wide. He is also an accomplished keynote speaker full of insight and wit; leaving audiences motivated, entertained and walking away with great content to implement immediately.

Jack Daly

Life by Design

All too often, entrepreneurs and business owners invest and prioritize their time and energy to build a successful business at the expense of a successful personal life. It doesn’t have to be that way! In fact, many of the habits, strategies, and tactics employed with running your business can be successfully applied to your personal life, as well.

Jack will help people discover the things they value most in life and how best to achieve and accomplish them. Learn how to live a more balanced life, how to prioritize actions to build a quality life along with a quality business, how to create a system to hold yourself accountable for achieving your personal goals, and so much more.

Jack Daly is a leading sales speaker and trainer with over 30 years of sales and executive experience. Jack’s track record is a testament to his real-world knowledge and extensive expertise in sales and sales management. He started his professional journey at CPA firm Arthur Andersen and rose to the CEO level of several corporations, building six companies into national firms along the way, two of which he subsequently sold to the Wall Street firms of Solomon Brothers and First Boston.

In addition to his comprehensive professional background, Jack holds a BS in Accounting, as well as an MBA, and was a Captain in the U.S. Army. Jack Daly is an Amazon Best Selling Author and has written and contributed to many books, including Hyper Sales Growth and The Sales Playbook for Hyper Sales Growth. Jack is a 15-time Ironman competitor and has completed over 93 marathons in 50 states and on seven continents. He achieves these goals and lives life to the fullest by following his own Life by Design techniques.

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