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Welcome the Spring 2016 Social Commerce Days Visiting Executives and Experts

Written by Center for Social Commerce

Published on February 23, 2016

Get to know the executives and communications subject-matter experts visiting campus March 1-3 and talking with Syracuse students, faculty and staff about the latest industry thinking and trends.

Want to know more about Social Commerce Days at Syracuse University? Here is a full list of public events, including an executive keynote discussion featuring Dave Samson (general manager of Public Affairs, Chevron) and Jim Weiss (founder & CEO, W2O Group and Syracuse Center for Social Commerce), professional networking and a workshop focused on translating key analytics data into business and brand solutions.

Join the discussion during our events at #SocCommDays!

D Samson_DSC4538LR

Dave Samson is the general manager of Public Affairs for Chevron, one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies and Fortune 500 corporation. He is responsible for Chevron’s communications strategies and activities, including digital engagement, media relations, employee engagement and risk-mitigation communications. He also oversees corporate branding, advertising, research and analytics.

Dave began his career in Denver, CO and has held senior communications roles for Oracle Corporation, IBM, Levi Strauss & Co., and Johns Manville.  He was also a partner and managing director at Ketchum Public Relations. Dave is chairman of the Arthur W. Page Society, a professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives. He is an Advisory Board Member for the Annenberg School of Journalism at USC and past chairman of the General Committee on Communications for the American Petroleum Institute.


Jim Weiss has nearly 30 years of experience in strategic media and marketing communications focused primarily in the healthcare and technology sectors. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of corporate, product and organizational communications. Under Jim’s leadership, W2O Group has grown from a one-person consultancy in 2001 to an integrated international operation comprising four separate companies, 12 offices and about 500 people. Today, the company generates nearly $100 million in revenue annually and serves some of the world’s leading companies and brands.

  • Named one of Syracuse’s “50Forward” outstanding alumnus
  • Named one of In2’s “Top 25 Innovators” in 2014
  • Ranks among “500 Most Influential People in the Global PR Industry” by PR Week
  • Founder of W2O Center for Social Commerce
 Gary Grates

Gary Grates leads the Corporate and Strategy practice at W2O Group. Gary oversees a team of professionals counseling executives and board of directors from global organizations in the areas of leadership, labor-management relations, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, internal communications improvement and change management. Gary has more than 25 years of corporate, marketing and strategic communications experience. He has counseled more than one hundred organizations and CEOs including PepsiCo, Visa, eBay, Dell, British Airways, Exxon/Mobil, GE, Pfizer and Nissan.

Colin Foster Headshot

Colin Foster is a managing director at W2O Group with close to 20 years of experience in the digital space. He is a respected, trusted innovator who consistently converts the hearts and minds of business leaders, marketers and communicators to see the true value and impact of the web. Colin currently works on national and global accounts, leading or partnering with integrated teams to develop groundbreaking solutions for clients across healthcare and financial services, including corporate, internal, branded and disease area projects.

Scott Kramer Headshot

Scott S. Kramer is a multiple award winning film and video Producer with over 15 years of experience. His creativity and tech know-how have helped him produce a variety of successful branded content and integrations, social content, original web series, and transmedia storytelling.  At W2O Group, he produces film and video content that enables brands effectively engage with their audiences. Scott’s YouTube channel has generated over 3.6MM views, largely in part to the viral success of his “Frozen Father” parody video that was featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, the Today Show, and many other media outlets around the world.

Hollie Noble headshot

Hollie Noble is an account director in healthcare for W2O Group. Since graduating from University College London (UCL), Hollie has gained extensive healthcare communications, medical education, marketing and social media experience, working across UK, US, European and global campaigns for more than eight years. She leads and implements communications and marketing programs at all points in a brand’s lifecycle; preparing the market for launch, maximizing on data and global regulatory milestones, building advocacy and disease awareness campaigns, engaging stakeholders and partners, in addition to supporting clients through issues management and internal communications.

Andrew Soucy Headshot

Andrew Soucy is a director at W2O Group specializing in digital/social media strategy and programming for the agency’s consumer, entertainment and financial services clients including Citi, Fidelity Investments, MasterCard, ABC, Comedy Central, and MTV. Soucy brings nearly a decade of expertise in integrated marketing programs to W2O, having most recently held senior positions at The OnUP Group (Partner) and Fleishman Hillard (Vice President), where he focused on technology, lifestyle and automotive brands including AT&T, Blink Fitness, BMW, Chevrolet, Gatorade, Rockport Shoes and Robert Graham.

Christina Khoury Headshot

Christina Khoury-Folkens is an award-winning integrated communications strategist with an extensive background in influencer engagement (external and internal), traditional media relations, branding and social media management. She is a senior manager in WCG’s Minneapolis office, working on both the Media and Engagement and Consumer teams. With nearly ten-years of media experience, Christina has launched new services/products for consumer clients and assisted several holiday campaigns.

Meriel McCaffery

Meriel McCaffery is a senior manager in the Corporate and Strategy practice at W2O Group’s New York office. Meriel develops and manages communications strategies through execution for W2O Group’s diverse clients. Specializing in corporate communications, brand/employee advocacy and content strategy, she has worked with senior leaders from global organizations such as Verizon, NetScout, Delphi, Pfizer and Bayer MaterialScience to solve today’s most pressing business challenges. Meriel graduated from Syracuse University, where her focuses of study were Public Relations and Policy Studies.

Lauryn Botterman Headshot

Lauryn Botterman is an account associate at W2O Group, and also served as a Center for Social Commerce Ambassador and W2O Group intern in 2014. In addition to her account-related responsibilities, Lauryn coordinates Center for Social Commerce planning efforts. Lauryn works with a variety of clients spanning healthcare, technology and corporate verticals. Her experience includes consumer-facing public relations campaigns, in addition to employee communications, change management and social media training initiatives.