Insight Lab Presenters

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Insight Lab Presenters

Pon Angara
Principal, Barkada Circle®
As partner to nonprofits, Pon is passionate about creating their distinct brand using his depth of real-world experience in communication design, event marketing and storytelling. Part artist and part engineer, Pon fuses seemingly disparate concepts to spark bold, new ideas that can lead to meaningful transformation. He has served as Nonprofit SIG Director for the American Marketing Association, Marketing SIG Chair for the Association Forum and Program Chair for the Chicago Area Chapter of the Grant Professionals Association. Pon's unique approach is driven by his understanding for how principles and methods in science, business and the arts can converge for innovative problem solving. He has a BS Engineering Management, BFA Industrial Design and BFA Communication Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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Chris Ballman
Senior Director, Education and Learning Services, Smith Bucklin
Chris Ballman is senior director of Education and Learning Services at SmithBucklin, the association management and services company more organizations turn to than any other.
With more than 17 years of experience in the design, implementation, and evaluation of educational programs for adults, he works closely with SmithBucklin’s Event Services team to deliver conferences and meetings that achieve the mission of the client organizations they serve.

Through his work with his client teams, he enables strategic thinking regarding the format and function of curriculum development and education delivery. As an industry expert, he is often invited to share his thought leadership with the association community through industry articles and presentations.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Carthage College and a Master of Science in Human Resources (MSHR) from Loyola University. He holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification, is a DDI Certified Facilitator and holds the WholeBrain Practitioner certification.
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Jennifer Kingen Kush
Executive Director, Digital Experience Institute
As Executive Director, Jennifer leads the strategy, vision, purpose of the PCMA’s Digital Experience Institute. A passionate digital events and experience marketing professional Jennifer has 18+ years of experience in the meetings and events industry. Her team produces all of the digital events for the PCMA and DEI, consults on digital event strategy for organizations, and develops the DEI’s education including the Digital Event Strategists Certification the industry’s only certification.
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Mary Beth Micucci
Digital Event Strategist and Learning and Audience Engagement Specialist
Mary Beth Micucci, DES has worked in the association space over 20 years in various educational and leadership positions. She brings extensive knowledge and content experience to the digital business, where she has led, created and developed strategy for digital events and programs.
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Laurie Pasler
Founder, Descendants Media Group
Curious about everything, Laurie's motto in personal and professional endeavors comes from Steve Jobs: "Creativity is just connecting things." Throughout her 20+ year career as an award-winning design strategist and producer, Laurie has partnered with Fortune 500 corporations, non-profits, and small businesses – bringing fresh eyes and ears to their communications challenges and simplifying complexity with high-impact, visually rich messages that are easy to understand.

Her latest passion is an immersive digital project about the Nuremberg Trials following WWII, where her father worked in 1945-46. After researching the subject, she saw a need to share this important story in a new way – for the next generation of learners and history enthusiasts. Descendants Media Group NFP is currently in process of developing "Courtroom 600: Behind the Scenes at the Nuremberg Trials" using virtual storytelling techniques.
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