Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Best Hearts and Minds of Social Media

Meet the Power Panelists
Of GOV 2.0 Tweetup

Morgan Brown
Morgan Brown, director of marketing for TurnHere

Morgan Brown is the moderator for the July 21 GOV 2.0 panel discussion. Morgan is an officer with the newly organized Social Media Club Orange County.

Morgan serves as the director of marketing for TurnHere. With a strong background in online marketing, Morgan brings nearly eight years of experience in Web development, search optimization and marketing, permission marketing, loyalty program development, online application development and new media marketing.

Morgan joined TurnHere from New Day Trust Mortgage where he was the chief marketing officer responsible for brand development, online marketing and direct response online lead generation.

Prior professional experience includes online marketing positions at Interactivate, an online marketing agency, where he worked to develop online marketing and new technology strategy solutions for well-known consumer brands Sunkist, Little League Baseball, Sony Pictures, San Diego Padres, MasterCard, Nickelodeon, Universal, and others and SalesMountain.com, a consumer retail price search engine.

Additionally, Morgan has written several published articles and maintains the well-respected finance blog blownmortgage.com for which he was named to "Inman News Top 25 Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers" for 2007.

Tami Abdollah
Tami Abdollah, L.A. Times reporter

Tami Abdollah is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, currently covering Orange County government, the Sheriff's Department and the Orange County Transportation Authority.

She has been with the paper about three years, and just came down to Orange County from L.A., where she worked downtown as a general assignment and environment reporter.

When Tami started with the paper, there were nearly no staffers on Facebook or Twitter. Since then, she's helped the numbers grow into the hundreds. Tami has run a blog as well as worked with video for the L.A. Times. She is a member of the paper's reader engagement committee, which was formed by the editor to work on outreach to readers.

Prior to the Times, Tami worked a couple short stints abroad with the Wall Street Journal in Paris and Brussels. In her spare time she enjoys rock climbing, cycling, skiing and the beach. She speaks a smattering of languages including fluent French, some Farsi and Hebrew. Her twitter account is TamiAbdollah.

Joel Bishop
Joel Bishop, Dana Point city councilman

Joel Bishop is a city councilman in the city of Dana Point. Last year, he was mayor of the beautiful seaside community.

Joel began his migration to Dana Point in the early 1970s when he frequented Strands Beach and dreamed of living in Dana Point. That dream was finally realized in 1994.

Joel has always been actively involved in any endeavor he pursued, and as such became interested in local issues and associations. He served on his homeowner’s association board, and then set his sights for the South Coast Water District.

In 1996, he was elected as a director of the South Coast Water District (SCWD) where he served for 10 years. The water district provides water and sewer service for most of the city as well as south Laguna Beach, and parts of San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente. As a director and three-time president of the board, he struggled to keep rates as low as possible, while ensuring that aging infrastructure has been repaired or replaced.

Joel is a co-owner of a software and services company in Irvine. Established in 2000, the company has grown from 23 to more than 200 employees across the country. Joel is a strong believer in entrepreneurial spirit and aggressively working toward well-defined goals.

On a personal note, Joel is a father of two. Melanie is 21 and attends UCLA and Dylan is 18 and a senior in high school. Joel has a vested interest in ensuring that Dana Point remains family-friendly and retains the small town atmosphere we have all grown to love. Joel enjoys SCUBA, golf, bike riding, the beach, theatrical art, independent movies, and technological gadgets.

Appointments to public agencies
Representative, South Coast Water District
Representative, Transportation & Communications Committee Member Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)
Representative, Orange County Council of Governments (OCCOG)
Alternate Representative, South Orange County Major Investment Study Group
Alternate Representative, Orange County Fire Authority
Ocean Water Quality Subcommittee

Mark Davidson
Mark Davidson, micro-blogging and social media strategist

Mark Davidson is a self-described promoter to the stars. Specializing in micro-blogging, social Web strategy and social media marketing, Mark is a product promoter and people are his “product.”

Mark helps people create, manage and promote their blogs online, using social-networking sites, social bookmarking and SEO techniques.

“I call what I do FACT-based marketing: Establishing Familiarity, Awareness, Comfort, and Trust,” his Web site notes. “I believe that’s what social media is all about.”

Deborah Micek
Deborah Micek, author of first book on Twitter

Deborah has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, has been a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine and Honolulu Star Bulletin, a radio show guest for the TV reality series, The Apprentice and is a life coach for the award-winning TV reality show, Dream Makeover Hawaii.

Getting free publicity has become a specialty for Deborah, a highly sought-after new media marketing consultant. Author of the first published book on new media marketing three years ago, “Secrets of Online Persuasion,” Deborah ranks among bleeding-edge experts and trendsetters – all while keeping things simple for her clients.

Deborah recently wrote the first published book on Twitter, predicting the trend more than a year ago. "Twitter Revolution" was published when there were less than 1 million users on Twitter.

With her degree in psychology, Deborah started RPM Success Group ® Inc. as her first consultancy company in 2000 with her partner John-Paul Micek, after running and selling several multimillion dollar companies. RPM Success Group ® Inc. became the only coaching company focused on the science of persuasion for small business owners to grow their business and build their brand from the inside out.

Deborah also is a co-creator of the world’s premier new media marketing software system, Blogi360.com that allowed Deborah the ability to give her clients the unfair advantage to level the playing field with large corporations with big budgets.

Ted Nguyen
Ted Nguyen, OCTA public communications and media relations manager

Ted Nguyen oversees public communications and media relations activities for the Orange County Transportation Authority. Ted has faced and overcome numerous public relations challenges during his more than 15-year work in communications.

His most-recent accomplishment for OCTA includes winning the communications industry’s most-prestigious honor, the national Silver Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America in 2008 for best issues management program during a 10-day strike of bus drivers. The previous year, the OCTA team won the national award of excellence from PRSA for its community relations program for construction outreach for the Garden Grove Freeway (SR-22). In 2007, Ted was honored as the “PR person of the year” by PR News magazine at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Ted has garnered a solid reputation and grounded his communications team because he is a strategic thinker, a driver for innovation, a problem-solver and an ethical consensus builder. He led the OCTA team to be among the first public agency to utilize social media and was a pioneer in launching a comprehensive Web site detailing the progress of federal stimulus funds for transportation.

He has served on the board for the Orange County Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and has been involved in dozens of volunteer community efforts to enrich the lives of families and children in Southern California.

In 2007, he helped raise funds to provide shoes, blankets, clothing and other essential items for an orphanage in Siem Reap, Cambodia. He raised funds through his network of compassionate professionals and personally delivered the much-needed items for the children in poverty-stricken Cambodia.


  1. Hi Ted,

    Deb Micek has tweeted about your presentation re how you got 100k tweeple to see one of your tweets.

    May I have a link to a description of the method?

    Thanks Ted,


  2. Hi Lucky,

    Thanks for checking out the blog! I'm Kristin from OCTA.

    Were you following the social media club meeting from India? Now that's what social media is all about – bringing people together, near and far.

    We use TweetReach to calculate how far tweets travel. In fact, check out our newly launched Public E-volvement tool kit for more details on social media evaluation: http://bit.ly/ltq4r

    You can follow OCTA's transportation tweets @TedNguyen.