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Keynote Speaker Lorrie Thomas Rosslorriethomasross

Lorrie Thomas Ross, M.A. aka The Marketing Therapist, is the CEO of Web Marketing Therapy, Inc. Her marketing agency and training company gets organizations on the right path by diagnosing, prescribing and guiding healthy marketing solutions. She teaches workshops for corporations on-site and also through UC Berkeley Extension. She wrote The McGraw-Hill 36 Hour Course to Online Marketing and has courses on lynda.com, an online learning library owned by LinkedIn. She speaks nationally and has been featured in the media as a marketing expert in publications including INC Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Forbes and SUCCESS Magazine. www.lorriethomas.com

Tracy Williamstracywilliams web

You can learn a lot about pure potential working with fiber. Handling the hanks, skimming over the skeins, the knitting enthusiast sees not just mere yarn, but, instead, envisions how, with effective, caring expertise, the simple strands can ultimately be recreated, reinvented, transformed into the best they can be. Award-winning author, business innovator, and acclaimed Life Mastery Mentor, Tracy Williams, has always had the unique perspective and innate teaching talents to recognize the pure potential in people, and to expertly lead others to effect that same brand of dynamic, positive transformation in their own lives. Achieving mainstream corporate success early on, Tracy felt compelled to search for something more. Ultimately realizing that her true passion lies in helping people rediscover theirs by inspiring them to believe and achieve their dreams, Tracy personally perfected a creative, visionary process for living life on purpose, a program that she shares internationally through a variety of workshops, speaking engagements and individual coaching opportunities. No doubt you can learn a lot about life from working with fiber. Certainly, you can learn a lot about living your best life from working with Tracy Williams to Ignite the passion that powers your dreams.  TracyLynnWilliams.com

Marcie Coopermanmarciecooperman

Marcie is author of Color: How to Use It. Known as The Color Expert, she lectures on color theory, color and fashion trends, knitting, and design-related topics. She teaches at Parsons School of Design and LIM College for fashion–fashion marketing, marketing management, fashion retail management, and luxury branding management. She has taught color theory and knitting at Pratt, Wanamaker’s, corporations such as L’Oreal, the Newark Museum, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair Adult School, and the Westchester Library System. Marcie writes blogs and videos on color and trends in fashion and interior design for www.fashionclassroom.com and www.universityoffashion.com, and for visual artists on www.marciecooperman.com. She is President of Studio Montclair, a 400-member non-profit visual arts organization, and owner of Marcie Cooperman Knits–custom knit and crocheted garments.

Tara SwigerTaraSwiger

Tara Swiger is the author of Market Yourself, published in 2012 with Cooperative Press, which guides readers through a system for creating a marketing plan for your craft business. She began her entrepreneurial journey as a yarn-maker, and quit her day job in 2009 to be a full-time maker. She has been writing and teaching about handmade business for more than 5 years, via (free) weekly lessons; her weekly podcast, Explore Your Enthusiasm; and in-person and online workshops. Her work has been featured in her local press, blogs such as LifeHack and DesignSponge, knitting magazines, and books such as the New York Times bestselling book Crush It. Tara’s taught marketing and business growth to traditional artists in rural North Carolina with the non-profit Handmade in America, to yarn shop owners at their trade show, to alpaca farmers at the Camelid Conference, to makers at Craftcation + School House Craft Con, along with 4 classes with CreativeLIVE. Her superpower is translating complex business principles into the language of artists and makers and turning theory intodoable Action Plans. Find it all and start your own business explorations at TaraSwiger.com

Ria Storyriastory

Ria is a motivational speaker and life coach with a passion for empowering others to make the right choices today to reach their goals tomorrow. Ria’s inspirational victim-to-victor story is one of overcoming adversity, transforming her life, and of the leadership lessons that she successfully applied in the process, which she believes anyone can use to transform their own life. Ria left home at 19, following years of abuse, without a job, a car, or even a high school diploma. Ria earned her GED, worked two jobs, and went to school at night while balancing her role as a wife and stepmom in order to graduate with her MBA. Ria worked in the healthcare industry for over ten years, most recently as the Director of Regulatory Affairs at a large community hospital, before resigning from corporate life to pursue her passion for motivational speaking, success coaching and leadership development. In addition to speaking from the stage, Ria works one-on-one with individuals and she is a certified life success coach helping her clients set and achieve personal and professional goals in every dimension of life.

Cathy WagnerCathyWagner web

With more than 26 years of experience in retail as both an owner and a consultant, Cathy has the unique position of having worked on both sides of the counter. She began with one store and experienced fabulous success—despite having no retail experience at all. She has seen firsthand the tremendous benefits that the strategic planning and inventory management processes bring to a business. It is what helped her to grow to 3 stores grossing in excess of 2.5 million dollars after almost declaring bankruptcy. She sold her stores in order to be able to help other retailers implement these processes, uncover hidden opportunities and create business growth. Cathy knows how to help retailers see more profit and develop more cash flow. In fact, each of her clients has been more profitable for each of the last 4 years consecutively.

Sven Risom

As a former Managing Director at Kantar Retail and Partner at Cannondale Associates, Sven Risom of North Light Fibers has a long background in market isights, research, strategy and retail/manufacturing management. North Light Fibers first conducted an industry study in 2009 ("Survey Says" YMN January 2010) and we all believe now is the time to learn more given the significant shifts that have taken place over the past five years that include changes in the economy, the growth of internet yarn sales, the increase in digital and mobile communication tools, the increase in blogs and digital communities (Ravelry, etc) as well as the expansion of fibers offered in store. The proposed study will provide good benchmarks for yarn shop owners to self evaluate their own performance and it will identify programs, offers, and strategies that are working well for those that are most successful.