Matt Furman is the chief communications and public affairs officer for Best Buy Co. Inc, the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer. In this role, Furman oversees employee communications, public relations, executive communications, government affairs, corporate responsibility and community relations. He joined Best Buy in 2012 and is a member of the company’s executive management team, reporting to its chairman and CEO.
Prior to Best Buy, Furman was the vice president of corporate affairs at Mars Chocolate, the manufacturer of such iconic brands as Snickers, M&M’s and Dove. Before joining Mars, he held leading communications positions at Google and CNN. He also held senior communications roles in the administrations of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former President Bill Clinton.
Furman has his juris doctorate from the American University School of Law and holds a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He is admitted to practice law in several jurisdictions, including before the U.S. Supreme Court. Furman is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Children’s Hospital of Minnesota and teaches a graduate class in strategic communications at the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism.
Joe Cohen serves as Chief Communications Officer at AXIS Capital (NYSE: AXS), an international leader in specialty insurance and reinsurance. Mr. Cohen oversees global external and internal communications across the Company’s more than 30 locations throughout 12 countries and four continents.
Russell W. Dyer
Russell Dyer is an award-winning Fortune 100 top communicator with a proven track record of success.
As Vice President, Global Communications for Mondelēz International, a global snacking powerhouse with 2016 net revenues of approximately $26 billion, Dyer is responsible for overseeing all external and internal communications for the company. He co-leads the Corporate and Government Affairs function, managing a team of more than 100 colleagues all around the world, promoting and protecting the company’s reputation in both emerging and developed markets. As global head of communications, Dyer is a trusted advisor to the CEO and leadership team, developing and implementing impactful communications strategies that support the company’s objectives and drive engagement with a broad set of stakeholders, including more than 90,000 employees worldwide.
Seth Kaufman became president, North America Nutrition (NAN) in February 2017. He has direct accountability for Profit and Loss (P&L) across PepsiCo’s U.S. nutrition businesses, oversees all business functions, and is responsible for driving sustainable top and bottom line results. Kaufman is committed to expanding and transforming PepsiCo’s multi-billion dollar portfolio of nutrition brands – including Quaker, Tropicana, Naked, Near East and KeVita – to meet evolving consumer needs. From “drinkable” vegetables and grains to snackable protein, he and his team are seeking ways to make it easier for consumers to incorporate positive nutrients into their everyday lives. Kaufman is excited to evolve PepsiCo’s iconic nutrition brands in an effort to put whole grains, fiber, fruit, vegetables, dairy and protein within reach for more people.
In July 2018, overseeing The PepsiCo Hive was added to his responsibilities. The PepsiCo Hive, a new operating entity within the company, will serve to foster the next generation of rising, highpotential PepsiCo brands with strong consumer potential in high opportunity segments.
Kaufman is a passionate people leader with an adept ability to create strong team cultures. A 18- year PepsiCo veteran, he was previously chief marketing officer, PepsiCo North America Beverages (NAB), where he led the holistic business, brand and consumer agenda across the U.S. beverage portfolio. He’s also held the roles of senior vice president, Pepsi trademark and flavors; general manager, North America Coffee Partnership; director, Media Strategy & Investment, NAB; zone sales leader, Frito-Lay North America, and various other Marketing positions within PepsiCo.
He has received numerous accolades including honors from International Television and Radio Society “Hall of Mentorship,” American Advertising Federation (AAF) “Hall of Achievement,” Business Insider “50 Most Innovative CMOs,” AdAge “Media Maven” and more. Kaufman also serves on the board of the Immune Deficiency Foundation.
Kaufman received his Bachelor of Science in Television, Radio & Film Management from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and his Master of Business Administration from The Ross School of Business at The University of Michigan. He lives in northern New Jersey with his wife Faith and daughters Emma, Noa and Samone.
Mike Paul, president of Reputation Doctor LLC, is a leading crisis management, reputation, corporate communications, government relations and litigation-support PR expert known worldwide by the registered brand name, The Reputation Doctor®. With over 25 years experience in public relations, Mike helps build, maintain, & repair global reputations and brands of leading corporations, governments, NGOs, as well as famous people & public leaders in both good times & bad. He is listed among the world’s top crisis PR experts by PRWeek Magazine, called “the Master of Disaster” by BusinessWeek, “Mr. Fixit” by Sports Illustrated and named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior in the U.S. in both 2012 and 2013 by Trust Across America™.
Chris Deri is the SVP, Chief Communications Officer, and Head of Public & Government Affairs of Teneo Digital, a business unit of Teneo Holdings; and serves on the firm’s Americas executive committee. Prior to joining Teneo, Deri was the President of WCG, a full service communications, digital marketing and analytics firm with 180 employees in seven US & European offices. Previously, Deri served as Burson-Marsteller’s Market Leader in China, overseeing the agency’s operations across its five offices in Mainland China. At Burson, Deri conceived and launched the Burson Marsteller Leadership Institute, a first-of-its-kind leadership training offering in China. Prior to that, Deri spent a decade at Edelman, where he co-incubated, led and grew the global Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability practice to 110 practitioners in 15 offices around the world. He has advised corporate, NGO and government clients headquartered in dozens of markets across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East. Deri’s own areas of strategic counseling include: reputation management, public affairs, crisis & issues management, location branding, corporate responsibility & sustainability.
Polly Morton is Vice President of the Gersen Lehrmen Group (GLG), where she works with private equity and venture capital clients on deal diligence and value creation initiatives in their portfolio. Prior to joining GLG, Morton served as the Director and Head of Special Projects and Partnerships at Reputation.com, where she worked with institutional investors, celebrities, politicians, and Fortune 1000 businesses on complex online reputation initiatives and and crises. She also served as private equity research analyst with Hall Capital Partners, LLC. In this capacity, Morton sought out new private equity investment opportunities through multi-step, analytical due diligence processes. She received her bachelor’s degree in French and International Relations from Colgate University and an MBA from Columbia University.
Rhod Shaw brings over 30 years of high-level government experience to his clients at the Alpine Group. For the past twenty years, Mr. Shaw has successfully provided strategic advice to a diverse group of Fortune 500 companies, major international trade associations, State and local governments, and other industry leaders on matters pending before the legislative and executive branches of government. His vision and energetic engagement with his clients and the key policy makers allows him to create and implement successful comprehensive legislative and grassroots action plans. He is also viewed as an important strategic advisor to many policy makers.
Mr. Shaw’s extensive experience includes specialized work affecting key industries such as cyber security, environmental, telecommunications, energy, automotive, technology, financial services, and those requiring the protection of intellectual property rights, as well as other leading industries. His keen understanding of both policy and politics has earned Mr. Shaw the distinction of being acknowledged by key publications as one of Washington’s top consultants. They have described him as having “‘inner circle’ status on a host of issues” with key policy makers, “knows the lay of the land in Congress as well as anyone,” and is one of the rare people in Washington to be known and trusted on both sides of the Hill and aisle. This ability provides Mr. Shaw with a unique perspective to guide his clients successfully through the complicated legislative process.
Matt has served as a senior communications aide for two U.S. Senators and a Governor, managed the second largest county in Iowa for the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign, and worked at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and in White House advance. He is a weekly columnist for The Washington Times and he hosts a national politics podcast, “Mack on Politics.”
He writes a monthly column for The Hill and The New York Observer. He provides regular political analysis for MSNBC, Sky News, BBC, Fox News, and KTBC Fox 7 in Austin. He has managed client accounts in industries that include: transportation, health care, energy, telecommunications and tech. Matt graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in political communication in 2003.