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As Director of Public Relations for Visit California, Jennifer Sweeney is responsible for overseeing global public relations strategy and public affairs outreach and messaging. Under her direction, Visit California has expanded its international media missions, adding media training in Mexico, Brazil and China, and developed global strategies for working with digital influencers and bloggers. 

Jennifer acts as a spokeswoman for the organization, interacting with the media and carrying out campaigns to both promote California as a premier travel destination and position travel and tourism as a key economic driver in California.

Prior to joining Visit California in 2010, Jennifer served as Director of Communications for the California Department of Housing and Community Development for two years. For several years, Jennifer served on the board of directors for the Sacramento Public Relations Association, and was the recipient of the organization’s PR Professional of the Year award in 2010.

Jennifer began her career in public relations as Vice President at Halldin Public Relations, where she worked for four years. Earlier in her career, Jennifer gained media experience working as a producer for several news stations around the country, including Sacramento’s KCRA, Salt Lake City’s KTVX, and Reno’s KTVN.

She will be co-hosting the Culinary Travel Writing session on Saturday.

Follow her on Twitter @JennDawn74 and @VisitCA.

Sean Timberlake is a professional writer, amateur foodie, avid traveler and all-around bon vivant. He has penned the blog Hedonia since 2006 and is the creator of Punk Domestics, a content aggregation site for the hardcore DIY food community. Community members contribute and share their experiences in home food preservation in areas such as canning, preserving, pickling, dehydrating, curing meats, making cheese, home brewing, foraging and microfarming. Founded in 2010, Punk Domestics aspires to evangelize and enable the home DIY food enthusiast by curating and presenting best-of-breed content from individuals and experts in their respective arenas.

Sean will be co-hosting the Learning About Corporate and Professional Blogging session on Sunday morning.
 
Follow him on Twitter @Hedonia, Facebook and Google+.
 
Rodney Blackwell loves burgers. So much so that in 2012, after operating his burger blog for just over a year, he founded the popular Sacramento Burger Battle event to showcase the city's food and to help raise money for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. For his next trick, he plans to throw an epic Sacramento Taco Party fundraiser for the Food Literacy Center to help find Sacramento's best taco. He runs a digital marketing agency to help local restaurants connect with guests on social media and you can find him talking food on Twitter or posting pictures of his burger adventures on Instagram at @burgerjunkies.
 
Rodney will be co-hosting the From Blog to Business session on Saturday.
 
Websites:
 
Follow him on Twitter @BurgerJunkies, Facebook and Instagram

 

Kathy Casey is a celebrated chef, mixologist and pioneer in the bar-chef movement. She is touted as the original Bar Chef and was named one of the top 10 most influential bar people of the past 25 years.

Kathy is the owner of Kathy Casey Food Studios®Liquid Kitchen®, a global food, beverage, and concept development and innovation agency specializing in all things delicious.

Clients such as Fairmont Hotels & Resorts,  Raffles Hotel Group, Marriott International, California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory, National Amusements, Island’s, Sunkist, Alaska Seafood Marketing, Costco, Holland America Cruise Line, Unilever, Odyssey Seafood, Landry's, HMS Host, Monin Gourmet, and Sun Orchard as well as spirit companies have sought her development skills, advice, and expertise.

Kathy and her team’s work has been highlighted in Esquire, USA Today, Fortune, People Magazine, Cheers, Food Arts, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Flavor Magazine, Nation’s Restaurant News, Imbibe, Chill Magazine, Time Out, theSan Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

An engaging speaker and hospitality expert, Kathy is a frequent presenter at VIBE, Flavor, IACP, MCC, CIA, and TOTC, and is called upon as an industry expert for TV, with appearances on CNN, Good Morning America, Food Network’s Unwrapped, the Travel Channel’s Cooking Across America, the Larry King Show, Fine Living’s Great Cocktails, and CBS This Morning. Her cocktail show Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen on Small Screen Network mixes her talent behind the bar and experience as a chef into a creative journey through great drinks inspired by the kitchen.

Kathy is the author of ten cookbooks, including the James Beard-nominated NW Table and Sips & Apps. Her most recent book is D’Lish Deviled Eggs. She is also a regular contributor for the Food & Wine Cocktails annual recipe book. Her popular blog Dishing with Kathy Casey is the companion to her radio segment Dishing with Kathy Casey airing weekends on KOMO radio. She is also an avid social media enthusiast.

Kathy will be leading the engaging and interacting #SippingSocial Trends with Kathy Casey, Liquid Kitchen session on Sunday.

Follow her on Twitter @KathyCaseyChef and on Facebook

I believe life happens quickly. Be prepared to get the most out of it.
I believe people who cook and feed others are some of the most generous and warm people on the planet.
I believe food unites us.
I believe in a person’s personal choice when it comes to food, free of dogma and preaching.
I believe real food has real flavor. You can keep the fake stuff.
I believe sharing a meal with strangers strengthens us all.

For the past 20 years I’ve been immersed in food in one way or another. As a former graphic designer and art director in the food industry I’ve surrounded myself with great food before I began branching out into photography and blogging as a way to expand and share my passion for all things food and drink. High and low, near and far, food and flavor have always been my driving force and the stories that shape how and what we eat have always captivated me.

I began my blog in 2005 as a way to share my personal take on food and those behind-the-scenes moments I experienced in my work. It’s a labor of love that has led to some of life’s most interesting moments all over the world.
Mattbites has been recognized by numerous publications, editors and writers and is one of the charter members of Martha’s Circle, a selection of lifestyle blogs selected by the editors of Martha Stewart Living. In September 2008, I made my favorite cookie recipe with Martha Stewart during her daytime television show devoted to the topic of blogging.

In 2009 I began teaching workshops devoted to food photography as well as speaking on food styling and photography at conferences, schools and colleges. Keep an eye for this space for upcoming dates and if you’re interested in more please email me.
My first cookbook called On A Stick! was released by Quirk in May 2011. My second book, Focus On Food Photography For Bloggers, was released in 2012 and features tips and tricks for everyone.
I live in Long Beach with my partner Adam Pearson (a food stylist!) and three dogs.

Matt will lead the A Deep-Dive into SnapChat session on Saturday.

 

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Bloggers, Food Writers & Cookbook Authors

Publishers, Agents & Editors

Food Brand / Restaurant Marketers

Public Relations Professionals

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