2nd Annual Connecticut Regional Marketing Conference

Sponsored by Central Connecticut State University and the American Marketing  Association

This conference will take place Friday, January 31st from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Constitution Room (upper level of Memorial Hall).
marketing conference AGENDA WITH SPONSOR

Conference Figures:


  • Jessica Palmeri

Jessica is a two-time graduate of The University of Scranton (’11 and MBA’13) who currently works as a HubSpot Consultant at IMPACT Branding and Design. 
With over 7 years of experience in digital marketing, social media networking, and inbound strategy, Jessica works with clients to up their inbound marketing game and achieve their organizational goals.


  • Russ Benblatt

With more than 2 decades of marketing experience, Russ is passionate about helping brands of all sizes simplify their marketing and getting them to the root “why” behind their consumer’s behavior.  His early career was spent in the broadcast industry with Clear Channel Communications and regional ad agencies in both NY and Atlanta.  But his love for consumer-focused and experiential marketing brought him to Whole Foods Market, where he helped build and shape the modern marketing organization and lead the company into their first e-commerce venture. Recently, he’s led rebranding efforts and digital transformations at global brands like Crabtree & Evelyn and Edible Arrangements, as well as consulting with companies across North America and the Middle East.
Russ is a firm believer that everything a company does(both internally & externally), everything a consumer sees, and every way that a current or potential customer interacts with a brand should be influencing and shaping their marketing and UX/CX efforts. “Understanding that consumer behavior is part science and part artistry,'' says Russ, “is the key to developing truly engaging and deeply impactful customer experiences.”
Russ has been an active member of the American Marketing Association in Atlanta & Miami and is now the President of the AMA in Connecticut. Russ holds degrees in both Communications and Philosophy, and has probably heard every “you have a degree in philosophy?” joke you can think of…but he’s always willing to listen if you think you have a new one.  Russ has also been known to give a copy of “Ogilvy on Advertising” to everyone who works for him and can’t understand why it’s not required reading in any marketing degree program.


  • Paul Pita (Keynote Speaker)

With over 20 years of experience as a business owner, branding expert and creative leader, Paul brings a completely innovative perspective to brand marketing. His philosophy is one of engaging in open dialogue and sharing every idea you have – leaving it all on the table. And he does so with one goal in mind: To spark the next great idea and the greatness in someone else. His passion lies in working with top brands, helping those companies discover and leverage the power within their brand when it becomes multidimensional.
Paul has been asked to speak nationally at a wide variety of marketing summits and business conferences on topics ranging from leadership branding to multicultural marketing and brand activation.


  • Jonathan Johnson (Case Comp. Presenter)

Jonathan Johnson is the Founder & CEO of SnapSeat, LLC, a successful CT-based photo booth services company. With a lifelong pursuit of photography, the company had a humble start in 2010. The small photography concept,  called "Photo At Events", had the goal of selling portraits at festivals and fairs, with limited success. Professionally, he worked in Accounting at ESPN from 2007 - 2010, and at the New Britain - Berlin YMCA, where he served as Business Manager from 2010 - 2013.  


Following a job outsourcing with his first child on the way, he stepped out in faith to take the opportunity as a blessing.  With limited resources & a ton of hustle, he revamped the photo concept and jumped into a growing Photo Booth industry, with the launch of SnapSeat Photo Booths in 2013. Now SnapSeat, LLC, the company has served over 900 events with clients like Facebook, Tesla, Whole Foods, H&M, The PGA, and more. Mr. Johnson graduated from CCSU with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics. He resides in New Britain, CT with his wife and two children.



  • Dylan Pilon

Dylan Pilon obtained his B.A. in Marketing, from the Isenberg School of Management, at UMass Amherst. Pilon formerly held eCommerce and Digital Marketing positions with Fortune 500 Company, Newell Rubbermaid, and Canadian based WALTER Surface Technologies. During his tenure, he managed $100 million in annual eCommerce sales, a $250,000 advertising budget, and multiple social communities of 50,000+ fans. A few years after launching his own digital marketing agency, Pilon left the workforce to go “all-in” building his own digital marketing agency, Cloud 9 Marketing Group.


  • Connor Delaney

Connor joined the IMPACT team right after graduating from Central Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. While he started his collegiate journey to pursue a career in education, he quickly realized his calling to the world of marketing.


As President of his American Marketing Association chapter at CCSU, Connor led his chapter to a top 5 collegiate small chapter in the country. Starting his career in the corporate world at BIC, Connor worked in product innovation, discovering new business opportunities and producing go-to-market campaigns for exploratory markets.



  • Samantha Alleva

Marketing Communications Consultant
Aetna, a CVS Health company
As a marketing/communications consultant and writer for one of Aetna’s business organizations, Samantha is responsible for helping business teams meet their goals and objectives through communications strategy, planning, and execution. 
After joining Aetna in 2010, Samantha began her career as a project coordinator in corporate communications. In 2013, she moved into a marketing position within one of Aetna’s business organizations where she took on more of a hybrid position of marketing and communications. In 2019, she recently became the lead communications consultant for the organization. She now works closely with leadership, product, and marketing teams to help deepen client relationships while having a strong focus on product promotion, education, and engagement for internal and external audiences. 
Samantha lives in central Connecticut with her husband and loves being in mom-mode with her two young kids. 



  • Christine Fitzgerald

2020 President-Elect for the American Marketing Association of Connecticut | Former Marketing Director at Aetna, a CVS Health Company |Strategic Marketing and Sales Enablement Leader | Central Connecticut State University Alumna

Christine is a highly accomplished strategic marketer who sets the table for new business teams to close sales in organizations ranging from Fortune 3 to entrepreneurial companies. She has extensive experience creating human-centered B2B and B2C marketing campaigns for health insurance members that drive revenue. Her specialties include new product introductions, event management and customer experience using metrics to drive decisions.
In addition to being a CCSU Alumna, Christine is the 2020 President-Elect for the American Marketing Association of Connecticut and Mentoring Chairperson. She is a former Director of Marketing at Aetna and has also been a Marketing panelist presenter at The Conference Board in New York City

Christine lives in East Berlin, Connecticut with her daughter Katy who is a junior in high school and her rescue dog Tux. Her oldest daughter Kelly is a sophomore in college.



  • Caroline Chaves

Caroline Chaves graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a Bachelor's in Business Administration in Digital and Interactive Marketing and a Minor in Spanish in May 2019. Throughout college, Caroline had various internships in different marketing disciplines. She was President of the WCSU AMA chapter for her junior and senior year. Caroline is currently an Events Specialist for the Sponsorship Logistics team at Forrester in Wilton, CT. Forrester executes various b-to-b events that include live presentations of proprietary research, dynamic marketplaces with sponsors, peer-to-peer interactions and virtual presentations in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. As an Events Specialist, Caroline is responsible for managing sponsor relationships and helping prepare sponsors for each event that they have signed up to sponsor and then attend the events to execute. During her free time, she enjoys baking, hiking and traveling. 

  • Jackie Valliere

Jackie Valliere joined The Hartford in May 2019. Her role includes managing the 80 activations within the company MLB Corporate Sponsorship. Along with managing the events, she also is responsible for building strong relationships with agents and brokers across the country as well as with the 13 Major League Clubs The Hartford partners with.

Outside of baseball, Jackie is accountable for strengthening the Enterprise brand by creating engaging marketing materials throughout various projects, assisting in creating and managing the weekly Enterprise newsletter, and developing website and marketing content as needed.

Jackie graduated from Springfield College in 2012with a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Management and a Minor in Business Management. Before The Hartford, she was the Marketing Manager at the Connecticut Small Business Development Center, and also spent 5 years as the Program Director for Hartford Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs (HYPE) at the MetroHartford Alliance.

In addition to her professional career, Jackie sits on the board for Hockey Ministries International, and has worked with a few local small businesses with growing their social media presence. She has also been coaching High School Girls Volleyball for the past 8 years.


Thank you to our Supporters:

I want to thank my wonderful conference assistants for their continuous help in all conference efforts. We were all able to work together in order to make our club’s conference a success. The passion, dedication, and time spent on all planning projects will stand out not only for me but also for the entire university and Central Marketing Association. I can not thank you all enough for everything you’ve done!

  • Bryan Padilla, Central Marketing Association Vice President & Social Media Representative

  • Krystyna Konieczny, Central Marketing Association Digital Assistant & Graphic Designer

  • Kristina Devivo, Central Marketing Association Treasurer

    • Sincerely, Sara Duprey, Central Marketing Association Chapter President, and Conference Leader