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Mónica Guzmán is a columnist for The Seattle Times and Northwest tech news site GeekWire. She emcees Ignite Seattle, a community fueled speaker series, and dissects media tech trends on PBS MediaShift’s Mediatwits podcast. From 2007 to 2010, she ran the award-winning Big Blog at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, drawing a community of readers with non-stop online conversation and casual weekly meetups. After a year tracking Seattle news and culture at, the online-only successor to the P-I, she helped Seattle startup Intersect launch an innovative storytelling platform.

Mónica serves on the boards of the Western Washington Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the University of Washington iSchool’s Masters in Science and Information Management program. In 2012, she began her tenure as a member of the National Advisory Board for the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and was selected as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers community. Mónica has been named one of the Top 100 Women in Seattle Tech, one of Poynter’s 35 social media influencers and one of the Society of Professional Journalists’ “Quill” magazine’s 20 journalists to follow on Twitter.

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Suzanne Shaw is a senior attorney in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Her practice centers on open government, administrative law, constitutional law, and government contracting, with an emphasis on IT procurement. Her clients include the Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Consolidated Technology Services Agency.  She co-chairs an IT legal workgroup for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and speaks regularly on social media legal and policy issues to state agencies and government IT organizations.

Suzanne joined the Attorney General’s Office as an Assistant Attorney General in 1992 and was named Senior Counsel in 2010.  She graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law, where she was an editor of the Law Review.  She holds a Masters in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College, where she also obtained her B.A.  She previously attended The American University in Washington, D.C. | Twitter | LinkedIn

Jeremy Bertrand is the lead for digital outreach efforts at the Washington State Department of Transportation. He helped launch social for WSDOT which has gained national acclaim for its efforts, receiving several national awards in the process. He has coached and mentored several hundred state and local agencies nationwide on social and content strategy and continues to present on the topic of social outreach and digital strategy. | Twitter

A fifteen year veteran of the public sector, Eli Brownell has spent the last seven years as the King County Parks’ communications specialist. Allowed the freedom to explore/experiment within the social media scene, Eli has crafted Parks’ online image. This long term exposure to social media, and a love of design, have led Eli to wage a ‘war on words’. His mission? The annihilation of unnecessary copy, and general run-on, that spills from government agencies. “Take pretty pictures, make good graphic and the internets will love you.” |Flickr | Pinterest | Blog | Facebook


 Derek Belt is the social media specialist for King County and has five years of experience working in the digital space. He partners with more than 100 county employees to manage 60+ social media sites, listen to constituent feedback and bring it all together with strong analytics and reporting. A trained journalist who earned a Masters of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM) from the UW in 2011, Belt also freelance writes for the Seattle Times and Columns, the UW’s alumni magazine. Before joining King County, he spent two years working at Seattle-based Banyan Branch, one of the nation’s leading social media agencies, driving high-profile strategies for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Providence Medical Group and the National Civil Rights Museum. | Twitter |LinkedIn

Scott Thomsen is a Senior Strategic Advisor in Communications and Public Affairs at Seattle City Light. He built and manages the electric utility’s social media presence among his many other duties.  Seattle City Light is a publicly owned utility dedicated to exceeding our customers’ expectations in producing and delivering environmentally responsible, safe, low cost and reliable power. | Web | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube

Shanna Christie is the digital communications specialist for the SPD Public Affairs unit.  Her job is a bit of a swiss army knife, ranging from managing the SPD website, working on social media channels, designing graphics for digital and print, producing video and web content.  She also manages special campaigns, such as Night Out and officer recruitment.  She is passionate about making government digital services easy to use and engaging for the public.  As a lifelong resident of Seattle and as a SPD employee for 14 years, she works to bridge the communication gap between the department and the public.  In 2013, she earned her Masters of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM) from the University of Washington. | Blotter | Web | Facebook | Twitter

Rebecca Whitham works as Digital Communications Manager for the non-profit Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. Rebecca uses web, mobile, social media and email marketing tools to communicate the zoo’s mission and activities to national and international audiences touched by the zoo’s global work in animal welfare, wildlife conservation and science education. Rebecca holds a Master’s degree in Museology from the University of Washington. | Web | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | Pinterest | Mobile


Angela Nolet is part of the Social Media Team at the King County Library System (KCLS), where she engages with library users online. In her previous incarnation she was a children’s librarian for over a decade. In 2011, she was recognized as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker for her work highlighting KCLS’ early literacy videos on Tell Me a Story. She has been video editing since 2008 and runs her own video editing company for nonprofits in her spare time: | Twitter


MODERATOR: Travis Mayfield is the Director of Digital Social Strategy at Fisher Interactive Network in Seattle.  He oversees all social media policy and strategy for the company’s broadcast and interactive properties across Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California.  Before joining Fisher’s interactive division, Travis was a reporter at KOMO News in Seattle and an anchor/reporter at KXLY 4 News in Spokane. | Twitter | Instagram

Evonne Benedict started her career as a broadcast journalist, working in television for several years. Now she has incorporated that background with digital journalism, with a particular focus on social media.

As social media manager, she oversees KING 5 accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and others. She also trains and supports KING 5 staff in their social media and community efforts.

Evonne is passionate about the KING 5 community, and the increasing two-way conversation between KING 5 and its viewers/readers.

Born in Seattle, she never carries an umbrella and optimistically wears sunblock every day of the year. | Twitter

 Emily Heffter is a local government reporter at The Seattle Times. Since joining the paper in 2002, she has bike-raced Mike McGinn down Dexter Avenue North (and won); covered a Seattle School Board meeting that went on so long that the lights turned off automatically; and dropped her cell phone in a toilet at a NASCAR race while reporting on a potential Snohomish County track.

Before going to work at The Seattle Times, she worked for The Tennessean and The Spokesman-Review. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Montana-Missoula.

She lives in the Rainier Valley with her husband and two kids. | Twitter

Dominic Holden is news editor of The Stranger—a terrible paper written by spoiled children. He writes (and writes terribly, he points out) about politics, gay stuff, criminal justice, the Catholic Church, transportation, taxes, and the proper technique for cooking pork.  He’s a frequent blowhard on local radio and TV, and his writing has also appeared in Salon and the New York Times. Dominic has never driven a car. | Twitter

Martha Kang is the online managing editor at KPLU where she produces stories that appear on, and oversees the station’s social media efforts. Prior to joining the station in March 2013, Martha spent six years on the digital team at KOMO News, reporting and producing stories for Starting in July 2011, she also led KOMO’s social media efforts, increasing the news outlet’s digital reach exponentially and establishing KOMO as a regional powerhouse.

Martha has also worked at Northwest Cable News and WLS-TV in Chicago. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She was recently awarded the Kiplinger Fellowship by the Ohio State University’s Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism. | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram