Ebony Grimsley-Vaz
PR/Marketing Track Captain

Ebony T. Grimsley-Vaz is the PR/Marketing Track Captain for Startup Week Tampa Bay and owner of Above Promotions, a digital marketing and public relations company in Tampa and the author of the book titled, “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation”. With over 10 years and 70+ brands, Ebony has had the opportunity to work with campaigns for large businesses such as AT&T, AAA, AOL, Cold Stone Creamery and Verizon Wireless to smaller national and international businesses and non-profit entities like the University of South Florida. She has been featured on MSNBC.com, Food and Wine, Social Media Today, BizBash, AdWeek, PR Daily, Yahoo.com, the Retail Customer Experience, Business 2 Community, NewsOne.com and other publications, an industry speaker and is also a contributing writer on diversity and technology for Moguldom.com.

Check out Ebony’s video about the track here

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Monday, February 12 – 11:00am – 12:00pm
Economic Insights from Big Data and Dynamic Visualizations
Speaker: Moez Limayem, Balaji Padmanabhan, Shivendu Shivendu

Moez Limayem
Muma College of Business, University of South Florida

Balaji Padmanabhan
Muma College of Business, University of South Florida
Professor and Director of the Center for Analytics and Creativity

Shivendu Shivendu
Information Systems
Associate Professor

Monday, February 12 – 01:00pm – 02:00pm
Why Creating Compelling & Targeted Content is Key w/ Liz Newman
Speaker: Liz Newman

Liz Newman
Content & Digital Branding Strategist

Monday, February 12 – 02:00pm – 03:00pm
Marketing Lessons Learned: Stories on Pivoting Towards Success
Speakers: Pat Bhava, Jose Gomez, LaTecia Johnson, Andrew Machota

Pat Bhava
Serial Entrepreneur

Jose Gomez
Net Ministries Foundation

LaTecia Johnson
Visionary Rising Agency

Writer & Digital Entrepreneur

Andrew Machota
New Town Connections

CEO & Founder

Monday, February 12 – 04:00pm – 05:00pm
Pitch the Press
Speakers: Diane Egner, Ernest Hooper, Alexis Muellner, Sarah Perez, Camille Spencer

Ernest Hooper
Tampa Bay Times

East Hillsborough Bureau Chief and Columnist

Diane Egner
83 Degrees Media

Publisher & Managing Editor

Alexis Muellner
American City Business Journals

Sarah Perez


Camille Spencer
ABC Action News, WFTS-TV

Planning/Assignment Editor

Tuesday, February 13 – 01:00pm – 02:00pm
Campaigns to Reach the Masses
Speakers: Shaleria Faison, Chris Gent

Shaleria Faison
Taylor Media Corporation

Senior Manager of Social Media

Chris Gent
Kissimmee Utility Authority

Vice President of Corporate Communications

Liana Lopez
Hillsborough County, Florida

Chief Communications Administrator

Colleen Thayer
cjt Strategies, LLC


Wednesday, February 14 – 02:00pm – 03:00pm
Automake your business: The most important activities to set and forget
Speaker: Brandon Marcum

Brandon Marcum
Health Insurance Innovations

VP Marketing

Wednesday, February 14 – 03:00pm – 04:00pm
The Psychology of Marketing
Speaker: JR Griggs

JR Griggs
Red Wall Marketing

President & Founder

Wednesday, February 14 – 04:00pm – 05:30pm
Instagram for Brick & Mortar Entrepreneurs
Speakers: Ren Altizer, Tona Bell, Julie Curry, Seanissey Loughlin, Jenn Bischof

Ren Altizer
Wolf & Rabbit Marketing


Tona Bell
The Paper Seahorse


Julie Curry
Bake n’ Babes


Seanissey Loughlin
Tampa Indie Flea


Jenn Bischof
Keeping It Social


Friday, February 16 – 10:00am – 11:00am
From Local to Global: Learn the Growth Hacking Strategies of Successful Companies
Speakers: Jorge Brea, Jacqueline Darna, Ericka Perry

Jorge Brea
Symphonic Distribution


Jacqueline Darna
NoMo Nausea, NoMo Migraine, & NoMo Sleepless Nights

CEO & Medical Inventor

Ericka Perry
The Stork Bag


Friday, February 16 – 11:00am – 12:00pm
Selling for the Non-Salesperson
Speaker: Leighton Kyler

Leighton Kyler
Peak Performance Technologies, LLC