PRWeek Conference 2015 speakers

Check out the speakers for the 2015 PRWeek Conference in New York City.

Al Roker

host, Today; founder, Al Roker Entertainment

Al Roker is known as America’s most trusted weatherman and has been the weather and feature anchor on NBC’s "Today" since January 1996. Since July 2009, he has been co-host of the morning show "Wake Up with Al" on the Weather Channel. Until January of 2000, Roker also served as the weekday weather forecaster for News Channel 4’s early evening newscast "Live at 5" on WNBC-TV, NBC’s flagship owned and operated station in New York City.

Throughout the years, Roker has reported live for "Today" from some of history’s worst storms and natural disasters. In January 2010, Roker reported from Haiti with the most up-to-date information on the earthquake devastation. In August 2010, he co-anchored live from the Lower Ninth Ward and the French Quarter in New Orleans for a special edition on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

In 1994, he founded Al Roker Entertainment (ARE), a leading producer of original, award winning TV programs and digital content for the world's best brands.   ARE produces all forms of content for distribution across a variety of platforms around the world, including: broadcast, cable, digital, OTT, and streaming technologies.

Over the years, ARE has produced a variety of breakthrough unscripted, scripted and digital programming for top cable networks which include, The Weather Channel, Food Network, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Lifetime among others.  Shows include the Weather Channel hit "Coast Guard Alaska" and its popular spin offs, "Coast Guard Florida" and "Coast Guard: Cape Disappointment-Pacific Northwest."  Recently, the company also produced the reality-based "DEA" program for Spike TV, "Kimberly’s Simply Southern" for Great American Country, and "Celebrity Holiday Homes" for HGTV.

New York magazine has twice named Roker "Best Weatherman." Roker came to WNBC-TV as a weekend weathercaster in December 1983 from WKYC-TV, the NBC television station in Cleveland. Roker began his broadcasting career while still in college by landing a job as a weekend weatherman WTVH-TV in Syracuse, N.Y. in 1974. After graduation he moved on to weathercasting jobs in Washington, D.C. (1976-1978) and Cleveland, Ohio (1978-1983). He is a recipient of the American Meteorological Society’s prestigious Seal of Approval and has been a pioneer in the use of computer graphics for weathercasting. In 2010, Roker was awarded a Daytime Emmy award as part of  "Today" recognition as the best morning newscast.   

Roker is a member of several professional organizations, including the Friars Club, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Meteorological Society.  He resides in Manhattan with his wife Deborah Roberts and three children.

Jeff Charney

CMO/master of disruption at Progressive Insurance

Can you run a marketing operation the same way you run a powerful Hollywood studio? Hell yeah, but it ain’t easy. Searching for the elusive "perfect" blend of art and science, Progressive CMO Jeff Charney brings to life a series of characters that live through plot twists, set changes and spin-offs – all carefully chosen to drive business results. He ditches the off -the-shelf methods to create "must see programming" for the hundreds of digital network channels that extend well beyond TV.  Outcreating instead of outspending in one of the most competitive marketing categories in the country, Charney’s radical approach separates him from other marketers – the anti-suit. But don’t take our word for it, Charney won "Marketer of The Year": Brand Genius from "Adweek," and has been named one of the most creative people in business by both "Fast Company" and "Advertising Age."                              

Jeff Charney is no stranger to brand icons, driving the ‘duck’ as the CMO at Aflac before arriving at Progressive. Prior to that, he was the CMO at QVC and Homestore.com (formerly Move.com).

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