Meet Your Speakers

Carl Landau - Keynote

Carl Landau has more than 25 years of experience as a niche magazine publisher, entrepreneur, and event organizer. Carl launched and sold five national niche magazines: Computer Language and AI Expert, the first microcomputer magazines for professional programmers; Brew Your Own and WineMaker, the leading craft beer and wine hobby magazines; and BrewPub, a trade magazine. Carl has leveraged his deep magazine experience into a series of educational programs and seminars for publishers and ad salespeople. The Niche Magazine Conference is a national conference specifically for small to medium-sized target audience publishers. Carl also runs the Niche Digital Conference, which helps publishers increase online revenues. Carl is interested in helping magazine publishers, associations, and event promoters successfully market Niche Events. And he's launching the Niche Event Summit in 2014. His 15 minutes of fame took place in the mid-eighties when he launched his famous, "Buy an Ad, Get a Cat" ad campaign. This generated a big stir in the advertising community, but he has long since patched things up with the SPCA.

Debra Bates-Schrott - General Session

Debra is the founder and chief communications strategist of Bates Creative Group. For nearly 20 years, she has led award-winning teams in creative art direction, branding, magazine design, and marketing collateral development. Debra’s more than 80 design awards recognize her exceptional work for organizations as diverse as Cisco Systems, the American Association for Cancer Research, Land Trust Alliance, Experimental Aircraft Association, and the U.S. Marine Corps. Debra has a strong understanding of marketing communications and design issues, and is intimately involved with every client project. She has a proven ability to anticipate changing business situations, make a rapid and accurate assessment of the opportunity, and respond with creative communications solutions.

Ryan Dohrn - General Session

In addition to being the founder of Brain Swell Media, an internet consulting firm focused on the publishing industry, Ryan is an Emmy award winning TV producer and has overseen more than 3,000 website builds. This nationally acclaimed speaker is also a business book author and has been featured in USA Today, on ABC, CBS and FOX TV stations, and Ryan currently works on a daily basis with 45 publishers and their related sales and editorial teams; he has personally impacted millions of dollars in online and related media revenues for media companies.

Holly Bourquin

Holly Bourquin is a communications professional with more than 15 years of experience in writing, editing, publication management, content development, and education. She is currently working as a consultant and contractor, including with the social media marketing agency, Make Me Social, where she provides content and community management. Previously, Holly was the vice president and director of publishing at Software Quality Engineering where she oversaw the production of publications such as Better Software magazine and Since 2008, she has been an active member of the Florida Magazine Association board of directors, serving as vice president from 2011-2012.

Andrew Corty

Andy is publisher of Florida Trend, the statewide magazine that is widely read by 250,000 business executives, government officials, and civic trend-setters. As publisher, Andy is responsible for Trend's monthly content, for all business operations, and for Trend's widening array of digital offerings. Andy joined the Times Publishing organization, Trend magazine’s parent company, in 1978 as assistant to the publisher. He left the Times in the mid-eighties for a five-year stint at The Washington Post, returning to head marketing for the St. Petersburg Times, now the Tampa Bay Times. For 15 years he acted as vice chairman of Congressional Quarterly, a subsidiary of the Times until it was sold in 2009. Andy sits on the board of directors for Times Publishing and serves as a trustee of The Poynter Institute, the not-for-profit school that owns the Times. Andy received his bachelor's degree from Harvard College and his M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Andy serves on the board of trustees as treasurer of the Salvador Dalí Museum and on the board of Enterprise Florida, among other activities.

Doug Damerst

Doug Damerst, Florida Realtor magazine editor and director since 2004, is a publishing veteran with over 35 years experience as a professional writer, editor, and editorial director. A winner of editing awards and honors, Damerst has led editorial efforts for associations and commercial publishers. His longest tenure was at AAA where he reached the association’s highest publishing position, AAA National editor-in-chief and publisher. From AAA, Damerst developed a custom magazine publishing group for South Florida Newspaper Network, a division of the Tribune Co. Then, as editorial director for Hemmings Motor News, he created a strategic makeover that diversified Hemmings’ brand to magazines, books, calendars, and websites. Damerst consulted with several publishers to develop or revamp editorial products, including Bonnier Corporation magazines, Caribbean Travel & Life and Garden Design. He is a seasoned public speaker and trainer with experience addressing consumers, media, associations, and professional organizations including governors’ conferences and national industry forums. The Colorado native majored in biology and minored in psychology at Nebraska University’s Chadron State College.

Elizabeth Hudson

Elizabeth Hudson is a native of North Carolina and grew up in a small rural community called Farmer. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and began her publishing career in 1997 at Our State magazine, where she started in the circulation department answering telephones before moving to the editorial department. She held various editorial titles for 10 years before becoming editor in chief of the 80-year-old publication in 2009. In 2011 and 2012, under Elizabeth's editorial leadership, Our State won consecutive Gold Eddies for "Best Issue" of a regional magazine in the country, the top honor from FOLIO, the magazine industry's leading publication recognizing editorial excellence.

Sandy Klim

Sandy Klim is Editor-in-Chief of AAA Going Places magazine. The award-winning publication reaches 4.2 million AAA member households in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. The AAA member publication is travel-focused with stories on drive-to and domestic destinations, as well as articles on international travel, cruises and tours. Going Places also features lifestyle stories on healthy living, finance, insurance and topics of general interest. Klim has been the editor of the publication for the past 17 years and has received both writing and photography awards for her Editor's Notes column and travel articles.

Tom McGrath

Tom McGrath has been the editor of Philadelphia Magazine since 2010. During his tenure as editor the magazine has been nominated by the City and Regional Magazine Association for more than three dozen awards, winning 10. He's also led the magazine's digital growth, overseeing seven daily blogs and reaching an audience of nearly 2 million unique visitors every month. A former executive editor of Men's Health, he's the author of MTV: The Making of a Revolution, and his work has appeared in the Best American Medical Writing.

Cassie Morien

Cassie Morien was previously the web editor, shop editor and social media manager for Boca Raton and Delray Beach magazine. After graduating from University of Central Florida with a B.A. in Journalism, she became self-taught in HTML. In 2012, she helped lead the redesign and relaunch of with a mobile website.

She now lives and writes in Austin, Texas. When she's not juggling social media and code, she can be found permanently damaging her eardrums at major music festivals and concerts around the country.

Kate Palmer

Kate Palmer is The Huffington Post's National Editor, where she has managed teams of editors and reporters and contributed to site-wide editorial strategy since April 2012. Prior to joining HuffPost, she was the Managing Editor of The Onion, where she ran editorial operations for the satirical site and paper. In October 2012, Little, Brown published her team's parody encyclopedia, The Onion Book of Known Knowledge. Prior to that, she was deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy Magazine in Washington, which won several National Magazine Awards and Folio Awards during her tenure. Her writing and commentary has appeared in BusinessWeek, NPR, CBS, among other outlets.

Curt Patterson

Curt Patterson has been working in the magazine industry for over 25 years, starting with his recruitment by noted publisher Larry Dobbs as advertising representative for Mustang Monthly magazine. Curt launched his own company, Automotive Catalog Showcase (ACS), in 1996, while continuing to develop and launch new titles, including Florida Golf Monthly, Florida Living, and Muscelcar Magazine. He eventually folded all of his existing businesses into Patterson Publishing; which includes three new niche magazines; Mustang Magazine for classic 1964-1973 Ford Mustangs, Fox Mustang Magazine for 1979-1993 “Fox Body” Mustangs, and The Lakelander, a high-end local magazine featuring the people and places of his beautiful hometown of Lakeland.

Mark Poulalion

Mark Poulalion joins Adobe from Bonnier Corporation where he was the resident Adobe Certified Expert responsible for publishing-related technologies, including InDesign and InCopy. He has also been instrumental in various digital solutions including Mag+ and Adobe Digital Publishing Suite worldwide. Mark worked as a Senior Art Director for World Publications (now Bonnier) where he designed, photo edited and produced Sport Diver magazine, and over the years wore a number of hats including Digital Asset Management implementation, trainer/curriculum developer and most recently Publishing Systems Integrator where he administered the set up and training of the Woodwing Publishing System for The Parenting Group. Mark was instrumental in setting up the digital workflow for Popular Science using Mag+ and the set up and upgrades for Bonnier Digital's newspapers in Stockholm, Sweden, using Adobe DPS.

Ron Reason

Ron Reason is a publication design and branding consultant who has helped reinvent news organizations worldwide for more than 20 years. He is a faculty affiliate at The Poynter Institute where he previously served as Director of Visual Journalism. Redesign clients this year include the magazines Modern Healthcare; Grid, the business and networking magazine from Sun-Times Media Group; and Capital Ideas, the magazine of research and ideas from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. He also recently has redesigned the Chicago Reader into a more magazine-like format; Atlanta's Creative Loafing; the Cincinnati Enquirer; and Tampa Tribune and its nearly 30 sister newspapers of Media General. A journalism graduate of IU-Bloomington, he got his start as an editor and design director at the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times). His blog contains case studies, visuals, and tips at, and he can be reached at [email protected].

Ted Spiker

Ted Spiker is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Florida, where he heads the journalism department's magazine program. A former articles editor at Men's Health, Spiker is also a freelance magazine writer whose work has appeared in Fortune, O The Oprah Magazine,, Outside, Reader's Digest, and many others. He's co-author of the best-selling YOU: The Owner's Manual series of books with Dr. Oz and writes the “Big Guy Blog” for

Kristen Standish

     With more than 15 years of experience in sales management in emerging media, Kristen Standish has worked with a variety of Boston
     media outlets including Phoenix Media/Communications Group, WBCD/CBS Radio, the Boston Globe and Stuff magazine. Also as
     president and CEO of Standish Consulting, Kristen specialized in integrating products with new and established events through
     sponsorship and social media.

     Kristen joined Boston magazine in July 2011 as the director of new business development and became the associate publisher in 2012.
     She leads the sales and marketing team with new business ventures and creating fully integrated opportunities for luxury clients. At
     Boston magazine, she helped create a national presence with the magazine’s special integrated programs, including Battle of the
     Burger, Boston’s Best Businesses program and The Tent at Boston Fashion Week.

     Kristen has a B.S. in communication from Suffolk University. She is married to Jason Leck, and they have a daughter, Abigail.

Judith Topper

Judith Topper is the publisher of the bi-monthly Lake Mary Healthy Living magazine, a division of Topper Publications. She has been a publishing title since 2003. Lake Mary Healthy Living magazine is a healthy lifestyle niche magazine in Seminole County.