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Board of Directors
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The 2016-2018 SEMPO Board of Directors consists of 15 SEMPO members:

  • Chris Boggs, CEO/Founder, Web Traffic Advisors, LLC
  • Michael Bonfils, Intl Managing Director, SEM International
  • Mike Corak, VP/GM, DAC Group
  • Marc Engelsman, Director, Strategy & Analytics, Digital Brand Expressions
  • John Gagnon, Bing Ads Evangelist, Microsoft
  • Mike Grehan, CMO, ACRYONYM
  • Michael Gullaksen, COO, iProspect
  • Simon Heseltine, Global SEO Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Krista LaRiviere, CoFounder & CEO, gShift
  • Bill Leake, CEO, Apogee Results
  • Corey Morris, Director of Digital Strategy, ER Marketing
  • Cristie Reed, Digital Marketing Strategist, Thomson Reuters
  • Francis Skipper, Partner, 451 Marketing
  • Dave Tan, Director, Agency Business Development, Google
  • Michael Yang Xu, Co-President, Gridsum

Chris Boggs - VP of Education
Founder, Web Traffic Advisors

Chris has been a digital marketer since 2000, starting in-house in the insurance space and subsequently assuming growing leadership roles across large agencies and SEM firms. He recently founded in upstate New York. Chris consults with and coaches business and agency teams ranging from senior executives to technical, brand, content and legal groups; helping to improve validation, efficiency, internal acumen and implementation. Chris has diverse experience across major ecommerce platforms, pharma, retail, and other industries.

Since 2004 Chris has been a highly rated speaker, moderator, and content advisor at conferences and partner events all over the world, covering search engine marketing, social media, analytics and evolving tactics including the promotion of better SEO integration across marketing channels. He has served on the Global Board of Directors of SEMPO since 2006, and co-hosts the weekly podcast SEO Rockstars. Chris blogs for various industry publications but most of his writing involves analysis and recommendations for clients, while promoting integrated online marketing and branding to a qualified target audience. @boggles or add me to your circle on Google+ 

Michael Bonfils, VP of Membership
International Managing Director, SEM International

Since 1996, Michael has helped pioneer best practices in the global digital marketing industry and has been involved in leading innovations in technology advertising. After selling his first agency in 2004, he launched SEM International starting with his first global office in China, which grew quickly and eventually expanded into Asia, Europe, and Latin America. By 2009, it turned into one of the largest global alliances of international online marketing service firms serving both agencies and Fortune 500 in-house digital marketers.  Now the group has over 20 global offices, covering over 40 languages in over 50 countries worldwide.

Today, Michael and his global associates at SEM International focus on worldwide digital marketing campaigns custom tailored for agencies and multinational corporations. He is also involved in running  programmatic systems used for omni-channel targeting and focuses heavily on multi-channel attribution based projects within Paid Search, SEO, Social, Display, Video and Global Strategy. Headquartered in California, the company is part of the Digital Innovation Group based out of London, UK.

Mike Corak - Secretary/Treasurer
VP / General Manager, DAC Group – Louisville

C-level managing director and digital marketing strategist with full revenue, thought leadership and P&L responsibilities. Proven 18 year track record of designing and orchestrating successful integrated digital marketing programs for clients such as Bank of America, Chase, Coca-Cola, Conoco-Phillips, Farmers Insurance, FedEx, General Motors, Nike, US Bank, Walt Disney and Waste Management. Includes 10 years of experience developing, architecting, and implementing agency operational structures, service design and productization, and go to market strategies.

Marc Engelsman - VP of Research
Director, Strategy and Analytics, Digital Brand Expressions

Marc has been an active member in SEMPO ever since he joined Digital Brand Expressions more than 7 years ago. He first served on the Marketing Committee and helped lead the update of marketing/member materials. Then he joined the Research Committee and took over the lead role for SEMPO's Annual State of Search Survey – expanding on capturing agency and advertisers' perceptions on the role of search as part of an integrated digital marketing mix.

In addition to his search and digital marketing expertise, Marc brings 25 years of experience in marketing and advertising with New York City agencies across a wide range of clients in the consumer, B2B, and not-for-profit sectors. He repeatedly garners praise from clients for his strategic guidance and for his ability to translate strategies into integrated, multi-faceted tactical action plans.

Marc is a frequent speaker at search and broader marketing conferences including SMX, SES/ClickZ, OMS, Marketing Profs, and Direct Marketing Association, among others.

He recently served 4 years on the Board of Directors for the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG). MENG is a non-profit national membership organization (with local chapters) that faces many of the opportunities/challenges that SEMPO is addressing today.

John Gagnon
Bing Ads Evangelist, Microsoft

John is the Evangelist for Bing Ads and also leads training strategy for paid search marketing at Bing. John is an award-winning speaker and travels to digital marketing conferences around the world. He is regular contributor for industry publications like Search Engine Watch, the Bing Ads Blog and ClickZ, and has written for many others like Huffington Post’s Small Business. With nearly a decade of PPC experience, John has an unstoppable passion for helping others get smarter about optimizing their marketing budgets.

John has worked for both Bing and Google. Before he became the Bing Ads Evangelist, John honed hardcore optimization skills running the online media team for Bing Ads and managing Fortune 100 Bing Ads marketing. A Seattle native, he is convinced that caffeine is responsible for many of his best decisions.

Mike Grehan - Chairperson
CMO, Acronym

The current Chairman of SEMPO, Mike is CMO & Managing Director at Acronym where he is responsible for directing thought leadership programs and cross platform marketing initiatives, as well as developing new, innovative content marketing campaigns. Prior to joining Acronym Mike was Group Publishing Director at Incisive Media, publisher of Search Engine Watch and ClickZ, and producer of the SES international conference series. Previously, he worked as a search marketing consultant with a number of international agencies handling global clients such as SAP and Motorola.

Recognized as a leading search marketing expert, Mike came online in 1995 and is the author of numerous books and white papers and is currently in the process of writing his new book "From Search To Social: Marketing To The Connected Consumer" to be published by Wiley. @mikegrehan

Mike Gullaksen - President
Chief Operating Officer, iProspect

As Chief Operating Officer, Mike creates operational excellence by aligning our people, processes and technology to create product innovation and support agency growth. Mike joined iProspect through the acquisition of Covario where he held the position of CEO. Prior to running Covario, Mike worked for 9 years at iCrossing as the Senior Vice President of Search. He has built a reputation for creating award-winning digital marketing teams, and developing proven digital strategies that drive business growth for Global 1000 clients. Mike also serves on the Board of Directors and as President for SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization), helping drive clarity for today's digital marketing professional

Simon Heseltine
Global SEO Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Simon Heseltine is the Global SEO Business Lead for Hewlett Packard Enterprise in NYC. Previously, he ran the Audience Development at AOL Inc. where he and his team were responsible for organic search and training across all AOL properties, including TechCrunch and Huffington Post. Simon is the immediate past VP for Education for SEMPO, and until recently taught Online Marketing at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., as part of their Digital Media Management program. He's been a columnist for several industry leading sites, photo blogs MLS soccer games for Huffington Post in his spare time, and is currently writing a book in his spare, spare time. Simon is a frequent speaker / trainer / moderator at conferences around the world on a variety of online marketing topics. He has a BA (Hons) from the University of Humberside, and a Masters in IT from Virginia Tech.

Krista LaRiviere - VP of Cities
Co-Founder & CEO, gShift

Krista LaRiviere has been speaking and writing about SEO, content marketing, and social media for over ten years. She is the co-founder and CEO of gShift, a web presences analytics company that helps inform the content marketing workflow process and prove engagement and performance in search and social.

Prior to founding gShift she co-founded Hot Banana Software, a web content management system for marketers. Krista holds degrees in Economics, Business Administration, and Information Technology.

Bill Leake

CEO, Apogee Results

CEO of, a McKinsey & Co. and Dell Computer veteran, Bill draws on a deep expertise in both business and marketing to help increase revenues for a wide range of clients. Bill has been driving provable revenues through Internet marketing techniques since the mid 1990s when, as part of the management team at Power Computing, he built the first company to sell $1 million of product over the Internet. Most recently, he led all customer- prospect- and influencer-facing marketing functions for Rimini Street, a pre-IPO tech company. While there, revenues grew from 68 million to a 130 million run-rate.

Bill has guided Apogee-branded marketing companies from inception to success, creating one of the largest independent online marketing agencies in North America and one of the fastest growing companies on the Inc. 500 list. Apogee has been particularly instrumental in building dozens of “Internet Retailer 500”, “Software 500”, and VC-backed companies, growing more Inc. 500 / 5000 companies than anyone else in the industry, and serving top global brands like Whole Foods, IBM, SAP and Hewlett Packard.

Bill also serves as president of the Austin Interactive Marketing Association, and speaks frequently at national and international shows, including Search Marketing Expo, South by Southwest Interactive,, Internet Retailer, Search Engine Strategies, DreamForce, and ad:tech. In late 2012, Wiley Publishing issued Bill’s new book on integrated online marketing, “Complete B2B Online Marketing” with strong sales. Bill received an MBA w/ honors from the University of Texas at Austin and his B.A. from Yale University.
Corey Morris

Director of Digital Strategy, ER Marketing

Corey Morris serves as the Director of Digital Strategy for Kansas City-based integrated marketing agency, ER Marketing. With more than a decade of experience in the digital marketing and web agency world, he leads strategy for digital marketing campaigns and website projects for clients across a wide range of industries and company types. His analytical and competitive abilities make him a natural at leading local and national brands to success in the digital field. His ability to build sustainable ongoing strategies has resulted in numerous brands receiving staggering results and increased ROI. Corey serves as a key thought-leader for technology teams, his agency and his clients. His vision and drive lead his previous agency to a 750%+ increase in digital marketing revenue.

Corey enjoys the fast paced worlds of marketing and technology and previously co-hosted Tech Circuit–Kansas City’s first radio show dedicated to the region’s growing status as a tech hub. He’s an elected member of the SEMPO board of directors. Additionally, in 2015 he served as the Leader for the Kansas City presence in the SEMPO Cities program organizing the KC Search Conference and served as MC for the event. His passion for sharing knowledge and strategies within the industry has featured many national and regional speaking appearances including SMX and the SEMPO Member Forum. The passion to continue learning daily and to share learnings with others in the industry is what fuels his success and growth. @coreydmorris or on connect on LinkedIn.

Cristie Reed- VP of Sponsorship  
Digital Marketing Strategist, Thomson Reuters

An online marketing junkie at heart, Cristie creates and implements comprehensive search engine optimization strategies that increase the relevance of Web sites and other digital assets to search engines while complementing SEM, SMO and other offline marketing efforts. She has 16+ years of digital experience growing small, medium and enterprise level businesses. She’s also an avid water hiker, trail runner, foodie, photographer, and LOVES the color purple. Follow Cristie on Twitter @cristiereed.

Francis Skipper
Partner, 451 Marketing

With more than 15 years of experience in global digital marketing including search engine marketing, social media marketing, and digital advertising, Francis Skipper serves as Partner at 451 Marketing. At 45, Francis oversees award-winning global digital marketing campaigns for clients including AstraZeneca, HP Hood, The Yankee Candle Company, Bob’s Discount Furniture, and Ericsson. Prior to 451 Marketing, Francis has led successful online marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 level companies in the pharmaceutical, consumer packaged goods, healthcare, consumer electronics, B2B, and retail spaces at iProspect. Francis holds a masters of business management from Cambridge College. A South Carolina native, Francis earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of South Carolina Upstate in chemistry. @451marketing

  Dave Tan

Head of Performance Media Agency Development, Google, Inc.

Dave Tan heads up the US Performance Media Agency Development Team at Google, focusing on developing and liaising with top Holding Company and independent Performance Agencies and Groups in North America. Prior to joining Google in 2011, Dave was on the Executive Team at Resolution Media (OMC) serving as vice president of innovation, product development and content solutions. As a leading voice and thought leader in the digital agency community, Dave has an extensive 19-year career specializing in brand/search/interactive marketing, online publishing, product development and general management and has held senior marketing positions at Navteq-Nokia, Chicago Tribune Interactive and Shure Inc.

Dave holds an MBA with honors in marketing from DePaul University's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business and a bachelor's degree with honors in history from Connecticut College.

Michael Y. Xu
SVP, Beijing Gridsum Technology Co., Ltd.

Michael has more than 15 years of digital marketing and financial services experience serving Fortune 500 clients and China's top-tier state owned enterprises in both North American and Northeast Asian markets. He joined Gridsum Technology, China's leading online business optimization company, in early 2008 as Vice President of Business Operations. Michael manages Gridsum Technology's strategic cooperation, business development, and marketing teams, while determining how Gridsum Technology could use partner connections to deliver the best results for clients and the entire ecosystem. Under his leadership, Gridsum Technology successfully initiates solid partnership with iCrossing and Microsoft.

Michael worked in Strategic Investment Department of Sinochem, China's top national oil company, with 19 entries into Fortune 500, from 1994 to 1999, where he got deeply involved with major transactions, including China Unicom, Shanghai Grand Hyatt, Suzhou Industrial Park, WEPEC, and Zhejiang Aoshan National Petroleum Base. He then joined one of China's leading real estate companies as Financial Controller. Before joining Gridsum Technology, Michael was Vice President of one of the world's largest PVC production companies, in charge of North American sales and marketing.

Michael is currently the Co-Chairman for SEMPO's Greater China Working Group and member of Global Committee. Through his coordination, SEMPO Greater China formed an in-depth partnership with Baidu, China's top search engine. He also speaks at conferences on online business optimization and SEO/SEM. Michael received his MBA and MS degrees from California State University in 2003, and his BA degree in Accounting from Renmin University of China in 1994.

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