WHO WE ARE

A Tight-Knit Group With A Shared Vision.
We know we’re lucky.  We truly love the work we do. It’s a feeling that we don’t take for granted. And we know that feeling is generated by the people we engage with every day, both our Lightspeed family and our business partners.

Fun People Who Truly Love the Work We Do

Creative, driven, fun-loving – The Lightspeed team is an embarrassment of professional riches. Our tight-knit team is passionate about our work. It’s a unique situation that we don’t take for granted and we work like hell to make sure it can continue. We know that energy is conveyed to the people we engage with every day, both our own team members and our business partners.

Need to get in touch? Do you want that feeling? Please email us at info@lightspeedmarketing.com.

THE CRUSHERS

Rob Johnson

Managing Director

Bio

Rob is a passionate advocate for smart marketing and sharp communications that help cut through the clutter to deliver a real, measurable impact for people and organizations. Rob has particular expertise in interpersonal communications, and is recognized for his ability to breakdown complex realities into simple, memorable and actionable pieces, helping CEOs and other executives from Fortune 100 companies to small businesses craft their strategic vision, strategy and messages.

The marketing and communications consultancy Rob founded, Lightspeed Marketing Communications, is focused on helping customers empower their marketing and communications efforts by marrying traditional strategies with the latest trends such as social media, video and mobile.

A native Midwesterner, Rob cut his teeth in the world of journalism working in both print and broadcast media before making the jump to the corporate world. Rob is married with two German Shepherds, lives in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, and has adopted many Southern traditions such as fried okra, taking naps, and SEC football.

Bryan Meyer

Head of Events & Registration

Bio

Bryan leads event operations and registration development for Lightspeed. He manages vendor deliverables and oversees all logistical components.

Event logistics responsibilities include leading client event marketing teams in event strategy, planning, and execution. He plays an active role in budgeting, financial management, and process improvement.

Registration management responsibilities include registration framework development, process management, housing and session management, financial management, reporting and administration and on-site deployment. His background includes managing event registration and event management for eBay, Cisco, Juniper Networks, Samsung, McAfee, NetApp, AVAYA, and Facebook, to name a few.

Donna Baum

Project Manager

Bio

Donna is an event management professional with more than 20 years experience in leading and producing best-in-class corporate event marketing programs. She has an exceptional ability to relate with clients, constituents and partners at a deep level and build long-term, trusted relationships which enable understanding, performance and growth.

At Lightspeed, Donna is responsible for leading up the project management team. We rely on her to keep projects on time and on budget and to manage a lot of our vendor relationships and oversee our consultants. Her background includes producing large scale conferences and executive level events and advisory boards for Cisco and Facebook.

Michael Benedict

Director, Application Development

Bio

Michael is responsible for everything technical at Lightspeed Marketing. All of our applications have been created and refined by Michael and his associates. His expertise with management of user-facing web applications and high scale, high volume data platforms is what excelled him as a Sr. Data Manager for the Travel, Meetings and Events group at Cisco.

He is responsible for managing our extended team at Digital Fortress and oversees the web development team.

Lesley Foster

Web Development

Bio

Lesley is responsible for front-end web development for Lightspeed, specializing in UI that blends our custom event management tools with the unique look and feel of our clients’ brands. At age 14, her dad handed her a copy of “HTML for Dummies”, and she’s never looked back. She thrives on design that is simple yet intuitive, clean and contemporary, and is inspired by the execution of design as a digital narrative.

A native San Franciscan, she is thrilled to be part of an industry that not only continues to redefine the city she calls home, but the global business community at large.

Erin Huckaba

Creative Director

Bio

It started with crayons for a child who loved anything artsy. From there it was onto Appalachian State where her affection for art turned into a passion for design that led her to becoming our creative lead.

Erin is a professionally trained, speedy visual problem solver who specializes in multimedia graphic design. She has proven her expertise by creating unique, detail infused, in-house solutions for our growing list of clients. Erin is passionate about branding package visuals, and dedicated to every project she works with.

Her love for design extends to her family, friends and dogs, but also onto items only a true artist can love such as acrylic paint, Smashing Magazine, and funk music.

Billy Matiernan

Director, Events

Bio

Billy is a master of many things at Lightspeed Marketing. If he were bread, he’d be the Wonder Bread brand. He is the ultimate party facilitator. He is our event ninja.

From intimate customer meetings with top executives to 3,000 person conferences to on-line virtual events, Billy is the mastermind behind our event strategy and logistics business. Billy has his hand on the pulse of the meeting and event industry. His experience, combined with his creativity and knowledge on the latest trends enables him to produce award-winning events that drive real, tangible results for our clients.

A true North Carolina native, he is the state’s self-proclaimed #1 fan. Billy lives in the Raleigh-Durham area with his wife and two Great Pyrenees. When he isn’t busy facilitating great events for our clients, he can often be found on the curvy back-roads of North Carolina atop his Ducati Monster.

Andrew Stout

Communications & Content Development Director

Bio

Hemingway, Dostoevsky, Twain, Stout. Some may think this ranking of literary greats is a bit exaggerated with the addition of our own literary scholar, but we’ll defend it to the death.

Andrew is our resident messaging and content development expert. His natural talent combined with his business experience in both large and small organizations gives him unique perspectives which he uses to create finely tuned messages that help drive our clients’ go-to-market approaches, event strategies, and demand generation efforts.

In addition to being a literary genius, Andrew is also our token mountain man. He resides in a cabin atop Grandfather Mountain in Western North Carolina where he can often be found in front of his fireplace, MBA in Shakespearean Literature on the mantel, critiquing and pontificating on the day’s writing with his cat Theo tucked in his lap.

Suzanne Walburger

Registration Services

Bio

Suzanne has a Master’s in Public Administration and an 18 year background in high-level project management for private and public organizations. She is skilled in facilitating and overseeing the project lifecycle for large-scale event marketing initiatives and ensuring that both objectives and results are achieved, on time and within budget. At Lightspeed, Suzanne is responsible for housing management, customer support and onsite registration services.

Suzanne has worked successfully with a variety of private and public sector organizations including; Hewlett-Packard, eBay, Cisco, Facebook, ExactTarget (Salesforce.com), the City of Irvine, the Port of Long Beach, the Orange County Great Park Corporation, the California Parks and Recreation Department and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Todd Walker

Data Manager

Bio

When it comes to wrangling data and making order from chaos, Todd Walker hasn’t met a cat he can’t herd.

From his beginnings in photography and video, Todd transitioned to data management. This unique perspective and creative background gives him a better understanding of the importance of UX when dealing with data. For over a decade as a Filemaker developer, Todd has helped organizations transition from non-existent or antiquated data management systems to modern full featured applications. He understands that, like Lady Gaga, data management systems need to constantly reinvent themselves. And he’s just the meat suit for the job.

Todd holds degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill Radio Television and Motion Pictures and The Brooks Institute of Photography. He currently lives in Hurdle Mills, NC with his Wife, 2 kids, 1 dog and too many cats. In addition to photography and scuba diving Todd is also a Master Beekeeper.

Derek Williams

Communications Manager

Bio

This is the guy you want on your team when you play Trivial Pursuit. His third-grade teacher called him the Walking Encyclopedia and he frequently references facts that he picks up as a TED talk enthusiast, avid reader of the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and a few select blogs.

A jack-of-all-trades, Derek started his career making cold calls for UPS as a sales intern, and climbed the ranks in marketing and sales for 10 years at the Fortune 50 company. He also did a stint with Jeppesen, a Boeing subsidiary, working with thought leaders on large-scale transportation network optimization and advanced analytics. Today, Derek works with Lightspeed Marketing technology clients to empower their marketing and communications.

Derek is a Tar Heel born and bred, graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with his bachelor’s in business and later earning his MBA from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. He enjoys astronomy, strength and TRX training, practicing Mindfulness, and cooking healthy meals for his wife and two kids.

Amanda Williams

Programs Director

Bio

Amanda is the advisory board expert and communications guru on the Lightspeed team. She is responsible for the program management of advisory boards for technology clients, as well as the development of website content and marketing collateral.

As a customer engagement strategist for various technology clients, including Cisco and Avaya, Amanda has worked with global teams to develop and execute successful C-level advisory board meetings.

Amanda’s background and expertise in communications landed her roles with Cisco, the McDonald’s Corporation, the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, and the N.C. Biotech Center. She also served in the press offices of two North Carolina governors and was the chief of staff for a North Carolina first lady.

By night, Amanda is an artist, specializing in acrylics on canvas. She’s most fond of painting pet portraits, landscapes and flowers. She is also very passionate about nutrition, overall health and well-being. She’s an avid strength trainer, Pilates and TRX enthusiast, and HIIT (high intensity interval training) addict.

Amanda graduated from journalism school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She lives in Apex, NC (No. 1 Best Place to Live in America –Money Magazine, 2016) with her husband and two kids.

Let’s create amazing things together