About Our Speakers
John Formica is a known by many names. He’s “The Ex-Disney Guy,” “America’s Customer Experience Coach” and even “Australia’s Best Customer Experience Coach.”
He will bring his talent and insights to StoryConnect in a presentation and workshop on March 13.
John has been featured on NBC, FOX, ABC, CBS and Univision broadcasts, as well as in business journals and Virgin Atlantic’s inflight magazine.
During his 10 years at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, John managed the company’s top luxury resort properties and implemented Disney’s philosophy on creating a superior customer experience. Under his leadership, his teams achieved the highest guest satisfaction ratings among all Disney World Resort hotels.
John, who was one of the architects behind Disney’s guest satisfaction program, has inspired audiences across the globe during more than 3,000 keynotes and seminars. His time at StoryConnect will show attendees how to create a Disney-like culture, foster positive leadership, develop “Whistle While You Work” team environments, grow the business and transform any existing service level into a “magical” customer experience.
John’s highly requested keynotes and presentations have earned a reputation for being high-energy, enthusiastic, creative, applicable and highly motivating.
Tim Marema is founding Vice President of the Center for Rural Strategies and Editor of the Daily Yonder, Rural Strategies’ online news platform. Tim manages a nationwide network of correspondents who report on rural people, places and issues. Tim’s own reporting has focused on economic and community development and on how national media cover rural places and issues.
Tim grew up in Jackson and Madison counties in Kentucky and started his journalism career at a weekly newspaper while a student at Berea College. He also served as editor of the daily Chapel Hill (North Carolina) Herald and as zoned-editions editor of the Durham Herald-Sun.
Tim is the recipient of the Hakel Award from the National Farmers Union for Excellence in Agriculture Journalism. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree from Berea College.
He is married, has two adult children, and lives in Norris, Tennessee.
Rick Holtz of Holtz Leather
Holtz Leather Company is a family-owned, American-made business based in Huntsville. They make and sell handcrafted full grain leather products meant to last a lifetime.
But Rick says the products are designed to tell the customers’ story. The bags will carry their dreams. The journals will keep a bit of their life. The luggage tags will tell all of their adventures. Holtz Leather is a company that values stories of their customers, and Rick will share that mindset with StoryConnect attendees.
The Power of Moments
By Carrie Huckeby and Andy Johns
As customers, we are so accustomed to mediocre — or worse — service experiences that it doesn’t take much for a company to make themselves stand out. In this session, based on a book by Chip and Dan Heath, audience members will learn the most effective times for marketing and customer service teams to deliver “wow” moments.
Ten of your fellow communicators have three minutes each to share one out-of-this-world idea.
StoryConnect: The Podcast Live!
The nation’s most popular (and only?) rural utility marketing podcast returns to record six important conversations with movers and shakers within the telecommunications and electric industries. As in last year’s popular session, these thought-provoking discussions will be recorded in front of a live studio audience.
On Monday night, attendees will enjoy dinner, drinks and networking while having a little fun at Top Golf, a sports entertainment complex that features an inclusive, high-tech golf game that everyone can enjoy — no golfing experience required.