Mark G. Auerbach, Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations

Mark is principal of a firm that has provided strategic planning and hands-on campaign management for a variety of marketing, advertising, public relations, special events and development projects since 1987.

Mark’s clients have included broadcast media programs and outlets, performing arts organizations, travel organizations and programs, and educational institutions. Some of his best known clients have been: New England Public Radio (WFCR), The David Pakman Show, Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, Suffield Academy, The Jazz Ensembles at Mount Holyoke College and authors Victor Acquista MD and Harriet Scott Chessman.

Mark learned his craft on-the-job in a progressive series of positions at nationally known cultural organizations such as Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC); Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet; Connecticut Ballet; Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestra; and StageWest (MA). He is currently the theatre reporter for the Westfield News Group in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and a contributor to PRIME Magazine. He also worked as a journalist with print publications including: Symphony News, The Jewish Weekly NewsThe Valley Optimist; and broadcasting outlets WSPR-AM, and WNNZ-AM.

A native of Longmeadow, MA, Mark studied at Northfield Mount Hermon School, American University, and the Yale School of Drama. You can find more information about Mark at Facebook (Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations) and LinkedIn.

Michelle van Schouwen, van Schouwen Associates, LLC

Michelle is president of van Schouwen Associates, LLC (vSA), a business-to-business marketing company founded in 1985 and based in Longmeadow, MA. The company is known for vSALaunch™, its proprietary, modular and scalable system for B2B marketing launches. vSA has expertise in manufacturing, financial services, health care and medical manufacturing, non-profits, and specialized technology offerings. Many of the company’s clients have complex or technical product or service offerings and require outreach to multiple vertical or geographic markets. van Schouwen Associates has earned a reputation for providing effective, high-level strategic marketing for technical, new or complex products and services.

Michelle regularly speaks to business and entrepreneurial groups about business development, management and marketing; blogs at Outside the Box, vSA’s company blog; writes and acts as a resource for various business publications; serves on the board of directors at Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, and mentors entrepreneurs at Valley Venture Mentors. Michelle earned a BA from Tufts University in 1979 and has been deeply involved in marketing, product development and business management since that time, including early stints at Coleco and MassMutual.

Michelle and the vSA team provide regular updates and marketing commentary on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+.

Karen Utgoff, Karen Lauter Utgoff Consulting

As Principal of Karen Lauter Utgoff Consulting, which she founded in 1991, Karen works with a variety organizations on issues concerning entrepreneurial/start-up marketing and sales; strategic marketing; market-oriented business strategy; and business planning. Her clients include emerging technology-based businesses, established businesses, and non-profit research-driven organizations. In addition to her consulting practice, Karen teaches Technology Management: Innovation & Entrepreneurship at UMass Amherst. She earned her AB from Oberlin College and her MBA from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania. While an MBA student she was trained as a consultant at the Wharton Applied Research Center, then a program of The Wharton School.

Karen has long been active in efforts to expand and strengthen entrepreneurship, new venture development and industry clusters in western Massachusetts.  Currently, she is a member of the Executive Committee of the Advisory Board for the Springfield Business Incubator at Springfield Technical Community College’s Scibelli Enterprise Center. For more information, please visit Karen Lauter Utgoff Consulting. Karen also contributes to another blog co-authored by former contributor Laurie Breitner. You can read their work here.

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