Category Archives: Instructors

Steve Rae

Steve Rae was President of Raedio Inc. owning and operating radio stations in Canada until being bought out in 2011 allowing him to retire from day to day business.

Steve continues to partner with the Wizard of Ads group, an advertising consulting company in Austin Texas and as one of the Senior partners provides direction and assistance to partner teams for clients all over the US and Canada.

He is on the faculty of the Whisk(e)y Marketing School and is a Whisky Sommelier himself. His Scottish heritage seems to assert itself anytime there is a dram of whisky in his hand.

He and his family have lived in Stratford, Ontario, Canada since 1983 and have been active participants in the Stratford community. He is a Past President of the Stratford Rotary Club, is on the Senate of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada. He is known for his auctioning skills as auctioneer at many charity events, is a past President of the Stratford Friends of the Festival, was a founder of Stratford Community Players. He was presented the “Personal Achievement Award” at the Business Excellence Awards by the Stratford and District Chamber of Commerce and serves as a board member of the Stratford Perth Community Foundation. He was the General Director and chairman of the 14th World Festival of Children’s Theatre held in Stratford in 2016.

Steve was a contributing author in “Accidental Magic” published by Bard Press and his book entitled “Exercising Your Imagination, Turning Dreams into Reality” was published in 2003. He is also an accomplished singer, songwriter and performer.

Steve was a member of the third ever class of the Wizard Academy when it was still held in the offices in Buda, Texas.

Michele Miller

Michele Miller has been an avid student of human behavior for nearly 30 years. As a partner in the Wizard of Ads consulting firm, Michele maintains a powerful roster of dynamic businesses across North America, ranging from small businesses to major brands like Best Buy and Timberland.

She maintains a busy schedule as an international speaker, with keynote speeches, presentations, and workshops on capturing the heart of consumers.

Michele is the author of The Soccer Mom Myth, a “Top 20″ marketing bestseller on Amazon.com, andUnzipped: The Anatomy of the Female Customer, which reached #2 on Kindle’s business bestseller list. She has been the online marketing columnist for Inc. business magazine.

A classical musician by training, she also holds degrees in education and business administration. She has worked for companies as small as Diapers Unlimited delivery service (where she discovered the true meaning of customer service and loyalty) and as large as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Sirius Satellite Radio. She also devoted seven years to growing her own public relations firm in New York, with clients ranging from major record labels to the “Live From Lincoln Center” television series.

She resides with her husband, composer Ron Nelson, in Arizona.

www.wonderbranding.com

David Freeman

David’s not just a teacher –– he’s a writer. As every writing teacher should be.

He has sold or optioned scripts and ideas to Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, MGM, Castle Rock Entertainment, Buena Vista Television, Hearst Entertainment and others. He co-wrote a film being made this year in China. (He’s been there 9 times.)

He’s been brought in to teach at Pixar, Disney, and at television and film companies around the world. You’ll find the entire list in his bio. (There’s a link at the end of this page.)

David works part time as a high-level drama series consultant to News Corp in India. News Corp, called “Star TV” in India, is the dominant television force in the country. There he helps develop television series which are watched by 400 million people.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) represents the six major Hollywood Studios.  When they hold film conferences in China and Korea, David is their screenwriting and script development instructor.

With one foot in the future, David enjoys contributing to the unceasing evolution storytelling.

For instance, he wrote a 500-page book, “Creating Emotion in Games,” packed with 300 techniques to make interactive storytelling in video games emotionally immersive. It’s had a huge impact on the game industry.

(Do you know of “World of Warcraft,” the largest online game in the world? The President and Creative Director of the company that made it –– Blizzard –– took “Beyond Structure.”) David himself has worked on the scripts for numerous high-profile games.

For more info:
www.BeyondStructure.com

Michael Drew

MichaelR.Drew
Founder & CEO, Promote A Book

Michael is a maverick who gets results.

Marketing books for his entire career (16 years), he’s become the world’s most successful book promoter, having launched 85 consecutive books onto best-seller lists, many of them number-one titles.

Beyond merely helping authors’ books to sell well, Michael has benefited from these writers’ insights into social trends. He himself has observed up-close the shifting dynamics of society — as with his work on Pendulum — and has seen firsthand the rapid and long-term changes in the publishing industry and how content reaches today’s varied audiences.

Michael honed his skills at such respected publishers as Bard Press, Entrepreneur Magazine, Longstreet Press and Thomas Nelson Publishers, among others. He has mastered the intricacies of publishing and, in adapting to today’s fast-evolving industry, Michael founded Promote A Book to work directly with writers to help them spread their message.

Michael has also helped thought leaders, speakers and entrepreneurs build upon an essential component of continuing success, creating a platform for their writing and their message so that they can expand their audience and adapt to social shifts. Through Michael’s skills in website creation, his strengths as a speaker, his career coaching, and in his innovative use of personas to intensify the effectiveness of all sorts of writing, Michael has been a force in the creation of a new generation of thought leaders. He has helped them to become even more effective entrepreneurs who nourish today’s idea-hungry marketplace.

As the shifts in society continue, Michael has expanded Promote A Book’s services to include consulting and planning on everything from Internet distribution and website-building to video creation, book trailers, podcasting and more.

In his personal time, Michael loves cheering for BYU teams, dining at “the best sushi house in North America” — Uchi’s, in Austin, Texas — and spending time with his daughter, Savannah.

Bill Segura

With a richly varied background in psychology, management, drama, and athletics, Dr. Bill Segura is a former CEO who has worked successfully with dysfunctional groups in both the public and private sectors for over 40 years.

When Bill was Chancellor of the Texas State Technical College System (TSTC), he transformed it into a national model of efficiency and effectiveness with an overall budget in excess of $135 million and almost 2,000 employees. He has extensive experience in the design and facilitation of major organizational change efforts, in labor contract negotiations, and in conflict resolution.

Dr. Segura is the principal in the OrgScripts Group, which is invested in the study and application of narrative analysis and re-scripting for group and organizational revitalization.

Ray Bard

Ray Bard’s publishing experience includes more than 35 years of writing, producing, and publishing books and multimedia material. He has written or co-authored 10 business books published by major houses, such as Doubleday, William Morrow, Jossey-Bass, and Addison-Wesley. In 1972, he founded and directed a small press before selling it to a subsidiary of the New York Times.

In 1982, he established Bard Productions and produced books for major publishers in New York, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. He also helped start-up presses around the country get off the ground until narrowing the company’s focus to publishing exceptional business books. Since the founding of the Bard Press imprint in 1996, 50 percent of its books have become national bestsellers, with many winning book-of-the-year awards.

Dan Roitman

Dan Roitman is committed to enhancing the lives of others through a business that has experienced astounding compounded annual growth of over 70% since 2002, and 105% percent growth in the past year.

He is founder and CEO of Stroll, a Philadelphia-based education e-commerce platform company that has been named one of the fastest-growing businesses in America. Beginning in his dorm room at the University of Maryland, Roitman moved the company to Philadelphia in 2003.  Stroll is a professionally managed organization with over 160 employees whose 2012 sales of $80 million were up from $35 million in 2011.

Roitman holds incredibly high standards for the operation and growth of Stroll. He is actively seeking educational products to sell through his e-commerce platform, with a goal of becoming a $1 billion + business by 2020.

Roitman’s fascination with personal development products began in college when he needed to quickly learn how to build and manage a business. Roitman was able to self-fund the growth of Stroll through his own constant commitment to business improvement and the ability to leverage sophisticated marketing analytics and advanced e-commerce techniques.

Roitman’s proof case is Pimsleur Approach, a once forgotten language learning program that he has transformed into the leader in audio-based language learning. Roitman’s secret is his ability to cost-effectively market the product to consumers through an array of online channels and an in-house call center located in Philadelphia.

Peter Nevland

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I left behind my engineering job at Motorola in September, 2002, to follow my dreams on a road called Spoken Groove. I had no record deal or name recognition, but I had Paul Finley, a struggling Catholic guitarist who calls his guitar “Mary.” We started performing for any audience who would listen, giving us front row seats to stories exploding with witty comedy, perseverance through struggle, and compassion for the outcasts of society.

I love stories. I love telling them and hearing them. I’ve performed on countless tours across the U.S., Canada, England, Germany & Australia, connecting with just about every audience imaginable. It never gets old. I haven’t found an ethnic group or cultural segment whose hearts are too different to be mesmerized by passion about what’s important to them. After all, why do we need to have all the right qualifications to pursue our dreams?

Dean Rotbart challenged me to write something in 70 words or less about performing. I used 63 words and did it in 10 minutes. See how it relates to your business…

Performing” – Jan 17, 2008

Everyone quivers and shakes.
They say confidence is all it takes
To capture the roar of a crowd.
But even mistakes and doubt,
When admitted and let out,
Hold the power to make grown men SHOUT with glee.
Children sit still on their mother’s knee.

If you know who you are
And care what they need,
They’ll throw roses at your feet.

Let me know if I can help you get some roses…

 

Gair Maxwell

His international debut as a published author resulted from a 4 a.m. visit to a local coffee shop, simply by being willing to accept a challenge to just sit down, watch, listen and learn. Described as a “shock stick of clarity” and a “mind-bending idea generator”, this author, branding expert, and entrepreneur speaks at many national and international conferences, focusing on building brands that stick.

Combining humor, multi-media and in-the-trenches experience, Gair has shown hundreds of CEO’s how to obtain more mileage from their marketing dollar by creating their own iconic brands; in effect becoming the “Apple” or “Starbucks” of their specific market or category. His highly-acclaimed book, NUTS, BOLTS AND A FEW LOOSE SCREWS – available at Amazon.com and Chapters.ca – provides the framework for his keynotes and seminars and has catapulted him to stages with Richard Branson, Kevin O’Leary and Gene Simmons. Gair is also a sought after speaker for TEC Canada, the country’s leading CEO organization, as he facilitates branding workshops to the ‘best of the best’ in Canadian business.

Co-founder of The Seamless Brand™, a marketing firm that transforms companies by sharpening their message and anchoring their story, he is also a former broadcaster who racked up more than 10,000 interviews and 30,000 broadcasts in a two-decade Radio and Television career – which included a stint working alongside future Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean.

Known as “The Branding Provocateur”, Gair plays golf in the 90’s, grooves on music of the 80’s and became a lifelong fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers back in the 70’s. Active in his community as a volunteer on many projects, he also completed his first marathon in 2005 with less than a week of preparation.

Like we said … a little unconventional.

gairmaxwell.com

Jeffrey Eisenberg

Jeffrey Eisenberg is a recognized authority and pioneer of Internet marketing strategy; improving online conversion rates for sales and lead generation. Jeffrey speaks Spanish with native fluency and has transacted business in 26 countries.

Jeffrey is the co-author of the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today and New York Times bestselling books “Call to Action” & “Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?” He has written for the popular marketing optimization blog GrokDotCom, eMarketing & Commerce Magazine & Forbes.com. Jeffrey has been a speaker and delivered the keynote speech at conferences like Salesforce’s Dreamforce, Search Engine Strategies, WSI Excellence & Innovation, Shop.org, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, AD:Tech Miami, Search Engine Strategies Latino, NAB, Canadian Marketing Association and at corporate events like Intel’s retail customer appreciation summit.

In 1998, Jeffrey Eisenberg co-founded FutureNow Inc. (Bryan & Jeffrey are no longer associated in any way with FutureNow) and served as CEO until September 2009. During his tenure at Future Now he helped businesses generate more engagements, leads, subscriptions, and sales with the framework he co-invented, Persuasion Architecture®. His proudest professional accomplishments are the thousands of companies, students and clients, including HP, NBC Universal, GE, WebEx, Overstock and Dell, that have consistently enjoyed dramatic improvement in online sales and lead generation as a result of guidance he has offered.

Adrian Van Zelfden

Eugene Adrian Van Zelfden, Jr. is jointly licensed as both a Certified Public Accountant and Attorney, actively practicing in Austin, Texas in both fields since 1979.  Adrian is an Eagle Scout, a Distinguished Honor Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy graduate and, a graduate of Case Western Reserve Law School. Adrian’s loyal following of diverse business owner clients frequently remark about his friendly, easy-to-understand, insightful approaches to complicated business ownership and asset protection issues.

A prolific writer and much-sought-after presenter and trainer, Adrian’s latest work in softbound book format, Fearless Business Ownership……How to Build your Business and Protect your Assets, (coauthored with Laura Fowler and John G. Pearce)  is the culmination of a lifetime of experience counseling with business owners in every imaginable field of endeavor. From the food cart vendor to the multinational ad agency, Adrian’s delightful observations about his clients’ hopes and dreams and fears, describe the issues of and solutions to taxation, risk management, litigation, asset protection and fear in terms everyone can understand and embrace. Adrian says his clients of the last three decades are all the heroes of his book…with all the names changed of course!  Published and distributed by North Publishing Company. Go to: www.northpublishingcompany.com  and order a copy today.

 

Fearless Business OwnershipFEARLESS BUSINESS OWNERSHIP by Adrian Van Zelfden, Laura Sanders Fowler and John G. Pearce

If you are a business owner and you can read only one book this year, Fearless Business Ownership is that book! Written by two practicing attorney-CPA’s and a trial lawyer who have all successfully solved many problems faced by business owners. The authors have also owned and managed successful businesses themselves. Fearless Business Ownership empowers its readers to go forth and operate…WITHOUT FEAR!

Bryan Eisenberg

Bryan Eisenberg is the co-author of the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today and New York Times bestselling books “Call to Action”, “Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?” and “Always Be Testing”. Bryan is a professional marketing keynote speaker who has been the keynote speaker for corporate events and conferences such as Search Engine Strategies, Shop.org, Direct Marketing Association, DreamForce, E-consultancy, Emerce, Gultaggen Norway and the Canadian Marketing Association. He is also the co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Web Analytics Association (now the Digital Analytics Association). Bryan serves as an advisory board member of Search Engine Strategies, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit and several venture capital backed startup companies (e.g., Bazaarvoice, UserTesting.com, Monetate, Nomi, TagMan, BoostCTR, OneSpot etc.).

Bryan Eisenberg is an internationally recognized authority and pioneer in online marketing, improving online conversion rates, persuasive content, and persona marketing. Bryan was been recognized by eConsultancy members as one of the top 10 User Experience Gurus; he was selected as one of the inaugural iMedia Top 25 Marketers, and a Marketing Edge Rising Star Award winner in 2010.

Bryan has been a featured expert by The Wall Street Journal and the The New York Times and been quoted in Business 2.0, CXO Europe, Advertising Age, CNN, Forrester Research, Jupiter Research, Miami Herald, Publish, Internet Advertising Report (IAR), Chicago Business Tribune, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, Target Marketing, DM News, Microsoft’s bCentral, MarketingSherpa, the Toronto Star, Smart Money & Internet Retailer for his thought leadership in the critical area of internet marketing and improving online conversion rates.

In 1998, Bryan co-founded FutureNow Inc. (Bryan & Jeffrey are no longer associated in any way with FutureNow); the company has been helping businesses generate more engagements, leads, subscriptions, and sales with its unique framework he helped develop, Persuasion Architecture®. Bryan’s proudest professional accomplishments are the thousands of companies, students and clients, including Google, HP, NBC Universal, GE, WebEx, Overstock and Dell, that have consistently enjoyed dramatic improvement in sales as a result of his advice.

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser — “Serial Entrepreneur”. 

Does the word ”Serial” scare you?    Don’t let it.

Scott has worked since he was 6 years old.  He started his first business at the age of 22.  Since that time  Scott has opened, run and sold several businesses.  Restaurants, Nightclubs, Petroleum Stations and Gaming Corporations… each started and run on a shoestring while he developed them into vital, successful businesses.

His innate ability to analyze a business category, seize the opportunities within a market and develop profoundly effective “UFO’s” separates the business he works with from their competitors.

As an ex-semi-pro athlete, he takes this ability to the sports arena and his skill development schools. With several Provincial Championships to his credit, Scott is a conduit for [what he coins] “self actualization through sport” – proven over and over again by the kids that he works with.

He’s adapted his coaching strategies to the important ”people” portion of his marketing – developing and celebrating the talent of the people within the companies and organizations he works with.

Included in his portfolio are the extremely successful events, fund-raisers, and festivals that he has organized, raising over 10 million dollars for charities in a market of less than 35,000 people.

Scott is a proven survivor.  A proven thriver.  He doesn’t just talk it.  He’s done it.

Scott’s entrepreneurial instinct and experience add an important dimension to the Wizard Partner pool of talent

Dr Richard Grant

For over fifteen years, Dr. Grant has trained corporate and government officials in effective communication. He is an expert on Myers-Briggs personality analysis and is a very entertaining speaker.

Richard D. Grant, Jr. received his Ph.D. in 1973 from the University of Texas at Austin.  He has taught an Auburn and Texas A&M universities, and, since 1977, has been a counseling/consulting psychologist in Austin, Texas.  He has authored four books, most recently Recovering Connections, with Andrea Miller.

Dr. Grant is a frequent presenter for the executive business programs at the University of Texas, Texas Christian University, Southwest Texas State University, and the Texas Governor’s Executive Development Program.  His private clients have included The Gartner Group, Perot Systems, IBM, 3M, SEMATECH, Applied Materials and several other technical firms.  In 1993, he was the first recipient of the prestigious national award for  Innovations in Training and Education from the Association for Psychological type, recognizing his contributions in applying psychological type concepts to business.

 

Massimiliano Giorgini

Employed now as
(1.) a professor in higher education,
(2.) an internationally-recognized music producer, and
(3.) a code-breaker for an elite government organization known primarily by its initials, Mass Giorgini is one of the most fascinating people you’ll ever meet. Sherlock Holmes, James Bond and Indiana Jones, all in one.

Jean Backus

Orphan turned successful entrepreneur

Jean is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner. She is a founding principal of Carpenter & Langford, PC, an Austin, Texas based CPA firm. The firm began operations in 1991 and she has worked successfully with her business partner, Joe Langford, for twenty years. Her firm specializes in all aspects of accounting, consulting and tax services. Prior to that, Jean had two other successful businesses that began in the early eighties: another CPA firm and a computer company, both of which were subsequently sold. Jean loves to serve in this area and makes the mysterious world of money understandable, fun & easy. Her firm has been recognized by the Austin Business Journal for nine consecutive years as one of the top 25 accounting firms in Austin, Texas.

Jean has participated in public speaking engagements, has served on non-profit boards and makes financial presentations to various businesses and associations. She also developed and taught a financial course at Austin Community College for many years. Through the years of her successful practice including decades of experience, she became increasingly aware of the psychological and spiritual elements invariably present in many people who appear to have financial anxiety and fear. She has been known as a “financial therapist” because of her creative and witty approach to assist clients with either making money, saving money or reducing the anxiety around money. She utilizes spiritual principles in creating realistic expectations and financial transformation based on each client’s unique set of circumstances. This “money magnet” will teach you how to vibrate at the frequency of prosperity. Her popular financial presentations are heart-felt and outrageous.

She is co-writing a book about a unique system and approach to finances with well-known author, presenter and ER physician Todd Michael. She lives in the Austin Hill Country with her fabulous husband, Andrew, and two Himalayan cats.

Chris Maddock

Chris Maddock’s classes run the gamut:  a multi-media writing class that, in the end, will teach you that the media should have little influence on your words; a straight up ad writing class designed to show you precisely what works and why; and an Advanced Wordsmithing class every wanna-be writer should take.  Whether you write fiction or Google ads, in Maddock’s words, “knowing what about great writing communicates with humans is key.”

He lives in Austin, TX with his cactus.