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Speakers

  • Brian Brokowski
    Brian Brokowski
    General Manager, Allison

    Serving as General Manager at Allison, a global integrated marketing and communications consultancy,Brian has 30 years of experience establishing, building and protecting brand reputations from emerging start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. He has directed crisis communications, issues management, consumer, business to business and public affairs efforts for a broad range of clients in the technology, health care, travel and tourism, energy and biotechnology/life sciences industries, with clients including AT&T, ResMed, Sempra Energy/SDG&E, Great Wolf Lodge, the San Diego Padres and many others.

    Over the course of his career, as a strategic counselor and media spokesperson he has navigated a broad range of crises and issues including natural disasters, labor issues (lockouts and strikes), product recalls, executive transitions, mergers and acquisitions and most recently the complexities of internal and external corporate communications during the pandemic and current social, geopolitical and economic challenges. Prior to Allison, Brian was vice president of communications for a biotechnology company developing new crops as sustainable sources for industrial materials and bioenergy. He also spent 10 years with Fleishman-Hillard International Communications. Brian is a graduate of the University of San Diego and has called San Diego home for more than 30 years.

  • Sarak Bonk
    Sarak Bonk
    Founder, Business for America

    Bonk has over 20 years of experience in design, technology, and leadership at Fortune500 companies, with expertise in strategy, organizational development, communications, and project management. She spent nearly 15 years at Apple in the Software, Retail, and Marketing Communications divisions. In her last role, she served as senior manager of over 50 interactive designers and managers for Apple.com. Today she serves as founder and CEO of Business for America (BFA).

    While volunteering as a pro bono consultant to several nonpartisan political reform andcivic organizations, Bonk recognized that business engagement would be essential to overcoming political partisanship and reforming American government. She founded Business for America, a business group dedicated exclusively to mobilizing the business community to help advance popular, bipartisan political reforms and technology solutions that strengthen representative democracy.

    In addition to her role in founding and leading BFA, Bonk co-authored the BFA report Business Bridging Divides, exploring how to engage the business community to overcome social and political divisions in America through workforce culture and employee development.

    Bonk is a political independent. She has a B.A. in public policy from Oberlin College. She served on the Take Back Our Republic board of directors, a partner organization bringing a conservative perspective to political reform. In 2022, Bonk joined JCOC93, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, which enables American business and community leaders to have a full immersive experience with the military, and she now serves as a Navy Community Ambassador for California.

    And yes, she goes by “Bonk.”

  • Whitney Dailey
    Whitney Dailey
    Executive Vice President - Purpose, Allison

    With 15 years of experience in the purpose/ESG/impact space, Whitney Dailey is a thought leader at the intersection of purpose and communications.  
     
    At Allison, Whitney serves as Executive Vice President, Purpose and leads the agency’s Purpose Center of Excellence – a dedicated team specializing in Purpose brand strategy and ESG leadership, backed by Allison’s global network of more than 1,000+ creatives and storytellers. In this role, Whitney helps clients establish, communicate and measure impact goals and strategies, as well as build breakthrough social impact programs and thoughtful, strategic Purpose programs and initiatives from the ground up.  
     
    Whitney’s expertise in Purpose, marketing and communications has helped guide forward-looking thinking and communications strategies on behalf of brands including Brita, Dexcom, Athleta, B. Lab and others. She has personally authored upwards of 400 articles and 30 research reports on sustainability, social justice, and ESG topics and shared her message from the digital wavelengths of myriad podcasts, the lectern at Harvard University the stage of Sundance and Fordham’s Responsible Business and Future Fashion Coalitions.  
     
    In her previous role as Senior Vice President of Purpose Marketing, Research & Insights at Porter Novelli, Whitney transformed the agency into a Purpose-driven organization through powerful thought leadership, communications and marketing. During her tenure at Porter Novelli and Cone Communications (acquired by Porter Novelli), Whitney bolstered the agency’s profile through a host of speaking engagements, POVs, op-eds, insights, and more – including leading in the development and distribution of award- winning research studies, such as the 2021 Porter Novelli Business of Cancel Culture Study, 2020 Porter Novelli Executive Purpose Study and 2019 Porter Novelli/Cone Purpose Biometrics Study (named Top 14 Research Insights by Institute for Public Relations).  
     
    Prior to Porter Novelli and Cone, Whitney worked on the Corporate Program team at Ceres, an environmental nonprofit aimed at advancing solutions and action on the world’s most pressing sustainability issues. In this role, Whitney analyzed corporate member sustainability reports and participated in stakeholder engagement sessions for Fortune 500 companies. 
     
    Whitney holds an MBA in Environmental Management from the University of Massachusetts, Boston anda BA in Business Administration from the George Washington University. She also earned an MBA Certificate in Clean Energy and Sustainability from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and universities including Boston College, Boston University and Simmons College and was an adjunct professor at Boston College during the 2022-2023 school year. Whitney was named a Top 100 Giving Influencer on Twitter by Give Local America in 2015 and in 2019, was a finalist for PR News Platinum Awards PR Professional of the Year. In 2024, she was named to the PRWeek Women of Distinction List.

  • Yelena Tebcherani
    Yelena Tebcherani
    Director and Head of Corporate Communications, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

    Yelena Tebcherani is an accomplished communications strategist with over 18 years of experience, currently serving as the Director and Head of Corporate Communications at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Over the course of her career, Yelena has led corporate, crisis, product, and global/regional communications strategies, as well as financial and executive communications. At Qualcomm, she tells the company’s stories by elevating the people, technologies and innovations that engineer human progress, transforming industries and bringing intelligent computing everywhere.

    Prior to her current role, Yelena implemented and expanded Qualcomm’s international PR program, focusing on strategy development, crisis management, and cross-divisional activations. She started her career at American-Eastern European Council, a non-profit organization where she worked to foster friendly business relations with Eastern European business communities.

    Yelena earned her BA in Communications – Public Relations from San Diego State University.

Location

Joya Kitchen Conference Space
10275 Science Center Dr #150, San Diego, CA 92121

Date

Jun 11 2024

Time

3:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Stepping into Controversy: The Risks vs. Rewards of Corporate Engagement

2024 is a tumultuous year – social issues have reached a new boiling point, global tensions and war permeate our newsfeeds, and we are in the midst of a divisive presidential election.

Increasingly, corporations – and their boards – are questioned about their positions on issues affecting their internal and external stakeholders. What is the appropriate role for corporations and their boards in today’s public discourse? How should boards and corporate leaders decide whether, where, and how to respond on key public issues? How can employee dialogue be effectively managed?

Join us for a conversation on this new landscape for corporate public engagement. Learn how corporations and their boards can lead with values and respond to cultural and political hot points through creating an objective framework for response. This session will help directors and executives understand when, and when not, to lean into issues, manage pressures, and ultimately build trust.

REGISTRATION LINKS:
Corporate and Strategic Partner members >
Individual members and non-members >

COST:
CDF Members: FREE
Corporate Members: FREE (4)
FCD Members: FREE
Non-Members: $75

ACCREDITATION:
All participants may receive 1 hour of MCLE and CPE education credit. Click here for more details

Hourly Schedule

3:30pm
Registration Opens
4:00pm - 5:00pm
Program
5:00pm - 6:00pm
Networking