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Washington State University
Carson College of Business Marketing Symposium

Marketing Symposium

April 17, 2024 • CUB Senior Ballroom

Save the Date for the 3rd Annual Marketing Symposium!

The Marketing Symposium provides students the opportunity to connect with industry professionals in both a panel and networking setting. The event is broken down into multiple segments so students may attend as much of the symposium as their schedule will allow.

Check out last year’s event schedule and guest speakers!

Event Schedule

11:00 – 11:05 a.m.Check in
11:05 – 11:10 a.m.Welcome address
11:10 – 11:50 a.m.Keynote
11:50 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.Break
12:05 – 1:20 p.m.Panel #1
Emerging Trends Within Digital Marketing
1:20 – 1:30 p.m.Break
1:30 – 2:45 p.m.Panel #2
The Spectrum of Marketing
2:45 – 3:00 p.m.Break
3:00 – 4:30 p.m.Networking reception

Event Questions?

Lisa Wood
Marketing & Int’l Business – Administrative Assistant

Kunter Gunasti
Marketing & Int’l Business – Associate Professor

Students may earn amplifier credits for this event. Login to Suitable for more information.

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Speaker Info:


Amber Whiteman

Amber Whiteman is an accomplished professional and leader with more than 18 years of experience in the marketing and communications industry. Currently serving as the President of Metia, Amber has been an integral part of the company since 2004, when she joined as a Writer after graduating with a degree in communication from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

Amber is responsible for Metia’s US business with offices in Seattle and Austin, where she oversees the company’s operations, drives growth, and ensures the delivery of high-quality services to clients. She is a strategic thinker with a strong focus on innovation and has a proven track record of leading successful teams.

Over the years, Amber has demonstrated her leadership skills and ability to drive results through various roles at Metia, helping to secure and maintain a robust client base that includes some of the biggest names in the technology industry, including Microsoft, Dell Technologies, Amazon, and Google. She has been instrumental in building and strengthening relationships with clients, providing them with strategic guidance and delivering exceptional results. Under her leadership and guidance, Metia has won several awards, including Microsoft’s Supplier of the Year and the KonyDBX Strategic Alliance Partner of the Year.

Panel #1 – Emerging Trends Within Digital Marketing


Alex Fischer
Account Executive

Alex graduated from Washington State University in 2013 majoring in International Business with a minor in political science. As current chair of the Marketing Board for the National Board of Advisors, he looks to make an impact through connecting with students and faculty.

After graduating in 2013, Alex joined Google working with small to medium sized businesses (SMB). Alex helped accelerate growth for SMBs using Google’s properties such as Google Search, Gmail, Waze and YouTube. Alex moved back to Seattle and currently leads a team focused on portions of the Amazon/Google Partnership, specifically Amazon Web Services (Global), Amazon Business and Amazon’s Gaming Bets

In his spare time Alex loves spending time with his wife, son and dog, golfing, cheering on his Cougs and getting away from his computer!


William Diiorio
Account Manager

Will Dilorio is a WSU Men’s Basketball team alum turned brand strategist and marketing expert. With seven years of experience developing marketing and advertising strategies for startups and Fortune 500 companies like Google and Nike, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his role as Brand Partnerships Account Manager at Overtime.

Will focuses on building cohesive media strategies to activate the next generation of sports fans for brands partnering with the company and their disruptive sports leagues. Leveraging his industry knowledge and innovative approach, he has a proven track record of success in helping brands achieve their goals and stand out in a crowded market.

Mitch Williams
Senior Customer Success Manager

Proud third-generation graduate of Washington State University. Four-year member of WSU’s Men’s Crew Team. Selected to the All Pac-10 Rowing Team in 2009 and Pac-10 All-Academic Team in 2008 and 2010.

Mitch Williams is an accomplished account leader and customer success professional with 9+ years of experience in the support and sales of digital marketing and SaaS technology, with an early-career foundation of strengths in financial analysis and operations. Throughout his career, he has worked for many diverse companies, including Boeing, Sincro Digital, Namogoo, LinkedIn, and now Invoca.

Mitch’s work has taken him around the country and globe, meeting clients and coworkers in places like China, Hong Kong, Israel, Finland, and the Netherlands. He has lived in Detroit, New York City, and Seattle in support of his work in marketing and e-commerce technology. Mitch now resides in Seattle, WA with his wife, Kim and son, Jackson.

Jeff Dubois
Director, Narrative Architect

An acclaimed storyteller, Jeff Dubois uniquely understands the art of impactful communication. For years, he brought the news of the day into people’s homes—humanizing world events and keeping communities connected. After two decades reporting stories of human triumph and tragedy, Jeff brought his award-winning journalism skills to the corporate world.

At Microsoft, he fueled a culture of curiosity through the power of storytelling—making business opportunities personal, relatable, emotional, and memorable. With roles across product marketing, business strategy, and executive communications, he helped teams win the hearts and minds of customers through communication strategies that put the human experience at the center.

Kelsey Knutson
Podcast Host, Public Speaker,
Hypewoman, Business Coach

Kelsey Marie Knutson graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Entrepreneurship in 2012. After placing 2nd in the Business Plan Competition (with Whole Logic LLC), she was recruited to be the Director of the WSU Innovation Assessment Center while continuing to work alongside the start up.

In her time with Whole Logic, Kelsey was a part of securing SBIR funding that allowed the project to continue on. She also moved to the WSU Seattle office and began working with WSU Economic Development to help small businesses successfully launch and scale.

Eventually Kelsey left the “corporate” world to completely pivot her career. She ended up enrolling in cosmetology school, getting a scholarship for half of tuition, and climbing to the top level of her classmates. She apprenticed under two top Seattle-area stylists, grew her clientele, and eventually left to open her own hair salon.

Her salon, Gather + Co, was a hybrid of cut and color services and wedding/special event hair. After 10 months of opening, Kelsey’s business breached 6 figures in revenue. Colleagues in industry took notice and started asking Kelsey for business advice on how to do the same.

What started as a passion turned into a full blown business that required Kelsey’s full attention. She has since closed the salon to focus 100% on consulting service-based business owners on how to scale without burning out. Her clients have: launched businesses, hired talent, expanded locations, 3x revenue, streamlined systems, and ultimately gained the tools to confidently run their business like someone who studied it in college!

She also hosts two podcasts: Get Sh*t Done and The CougsFirst! Podcast designed to inspire and motivate people to take action on their goals. She is also the co-founder of 2 local networking groups (Empower PNW and CEO Society Seattle). WSU has been a constant in her career and she is extremely passionate about supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs to take on the world!

Panel #2 – The Spectrum of Marketing


Brea Starmer
CEO and Founder
Lions + Tigers

Brea Starmer is Founder and CEO of Lions & Tigers, a professional staffing and workforce solutions partner. As an entrepreneur and mother, Brea humanizes the Future of Work. She builds blended work ecosystems that create belonging for both employees and the 50% of our labor force opting into independent work.

An alum of Washington State University and the 8th female student body president in history, Brea sits on the Advisory Board at the Carson College of Business. She also advises Women in Cloud, Women Channel Advisory Network, and is a pay equity advisor.

She is the author of “Avoiding the All-Or-Nothing Workplace: Enabling People to Operate at their Highest & Best Use”, a playbook for building an integrated workforce, published in 2023.

Microsoft, Google, Alaska Airlines, and startup organizations call on her team to transform how they work in two ways: by helping leaders change organizations from the inside to build a culture of inclusion and impact, and by scaling with a secondary workforce, powered by fractional underrepresented consultants.


Catherine Captain
Division VP, Communications & Community

Catherine Captain joined REI as the VP of Communications & Community in December 2022. Just prior, she was Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for GE Digital and then led brand strategy and communications planning for the pending spinoff of GE Vernova. Previously, she held VP roles at T-Mobile in Brand Strategy, B2B Marketing, and Communications, and the Office of the CEO, as well as marketing and communications roles at NBC News and USA TODAY.

Catherine is an adjunct instructor for the University of Washington’s Communication Leadership program teaching graduate-level seminars including “Story-Based Marketing: Using the Power of Story to Achieve Business Success” and “Why Brand Matters.” Catherine went to the “the writing university” (the University of Iowa), where she double majored in English and Journalism. She has a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University and later earned her second master’s degree in Strategy and Leadership as a recipient of the Sloan Fellowship at London Business School. She currently lives in the greater Seattle area.

Jay Wampold
Pulumi Corp.

Jay Wampold is a senior marketing/communications leader with 20+ years of success driving breakthrough revenue, customer, and market share growth within highly competitive B2B/B2C technology categories. Jay is an expert strategist, comfortable defining and “owning” the company-wide marketing vision, in addition to leading teams in the execution of complex tactical demand generation campaigns across multiple channels (digital, print, social) to drive customer awareness and acquisition.

Additionally, Jay is able to guide key communications and storytelling initiatives involving customers, investors, and strategic partners — and to identify and create first-in-kind market segments, help organizations foster positive relations with industry analysts and achieve acknowledgment within the Gartner Magic Quadrant. His industry background spans a wide gamut of technology sectors and company lifecycle stages, ranging from assisting Fortune 500 players such as Amazon/AWS to helping multiple startups such as CHEF, Isilon, Quomolo, and RealNetworks grow exponentially and/or reach IPO stage.

David Cox
Director of Marketing
NHRA: Championship Drag Racing

David Cox has an extensive sports and live event marketing background that includes time with the Seattle Seahawks, Oak View Group (OVG), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), Veritiv (ATL B2B Fortune 500), and now with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).

David is a 05’ alum who you may see waving the Ol’ Crimson on College Game Day when it’s in the South. David currently resides in Alpharetta, GA with his wife Mandi, two kids, and a Belgian Malinois…because you have to mention the cool dog, right?

Jason McClendon
Manager, Customer Strategy & Insights
Deloitte Consulting

After graduating from the Carson College of Business, Jason McClendon started his career at Bose Corporation in the Voice of Customer (VoC) group leveraging consumer insights and analytics to influence and support both current product marketing and future product development. Since leaving Bose Corporation for the consulting industry seven years ago, he has continued to advise and deliver expertise in his field to many clients across sectors and industries during his tenure at Hall & Partners, KPMG, and Deloitte.

Jason has over 10 years of experience leading end-to-end Customer Experience (CX) and Market Research (MRX) strategy initiatives across a diverse profile of companies and non-profit organizations. Specifically, Jason and his teams partner with the Chief Customer Officer (or equivalent) and focus on enhancement of the customer journey, development of CX metrics, VoC program design, implementation, governance and strategy.