Workshop Leaders


Annie Franceschi, Founder, Greatest Story
Annie Franceschi is the Creative Director of Greatest Story Creative, a Durham-based branding agency. A Duke graduate with 10 years in storytelling, Annie began her career in brand management at The Walt Disney Studios. In 2013, she traded her dream job at Disney to become an entrepreneur. Today, having branded more than 50 businesses and advised over 200 entrepreneurs, Annie partners with business owners to turn their story into compelling branding that clearly communicates their value.

Workshop: Be Social With Your Story: How to Brand Yourself Positively Online at Duke and Beyond
Join former Disney storyteller, Duke alum and brand creator, Annie Franceschi, for an insider workshop on how to positively share your story online, including how to write emails for career advice that alumni will actually reply to! 


John Andrews, Founder, Collective Bias, Prevailing Path
John is a career shopper marketer, entrepreneur and intrapreneur. He is the CEO of Photofy, a content to commerce media company for brands and retailers. He is helping to shape the future of marketing through great consumer engagement across new media channels. John has 20+ years of work in consumer packaged goods companies including Hanes Brands, Newell Rubbermaid, PictureVision (Kodak Digital) and Implus. He moved to the retail side in 2007 joining Walmart and built one of the first people as-media-platforms called Walmart Elevenmoms. He is the founder of Collective Bias (Acquired by Inmar in 2016) and serves as an advisor for GoodX and teaches as an adjunct professor at NC State School of Textiles.

Workshop: Influencers, Crowdsourcing and UGC - The Future of People Produced Media
Word of mouth has always been a powerful marketing tool. With an estimated 19% of all digital media consumed last year being influencer generated, word of mouth marketing creates a scaled opportunity to engage and connect people across the globe. Photofy CEO John Andrews will lead a discussion and workshop on the current state of WOM marketing and how it is transforming marketing.

Sonja Foust, Director of Social Media and Content Strategy, Duke Office of News and Communications, Duke University
Sonja Likness Foust is Duke’s director of social media and content strategy. She is responsible for university-wide social media consultations and strategy, content development and distribution, analytics reporting and strategy. She joined Duke in 2014 with extensive experience in social media and brand-building as well as analytics and cross-platform planning.

Workshop: Reaching Your Audiences Where They Already Are
Join Sonja Likness Foust, Duke’s director of social media & content strategy, for an insider workshop on social media content planning, distribution and analysis. We’ll talk about creating content that will do well on the channels where your audience interacts (backed up with analytics data), and we’ll create a social media distribution plan for an example Duke story.

David Higdon, Former Executive for Nascar

David Higdon has built social media teams, led strategic communications projects, and covered nearly all forms of sports as a content producer. He served as Editor-in-Chief for the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers Official Magazine, among other publications, and has written for The New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and InStyle. He has held senior-level executive positions with the ATP World Tour, LPGA Tour, and most recently NASCAR, where he helped build an Integrated Marketing Communications team that won the 2015 PR Week In-House PR Team of the Year.  Twitter handle: @davidhigdon

Workshop: Social Media & Sports: An Evolving Competition​ 
Join David Higdon, a sports business executive who has worked at the ATP World Tour, LPGA Tour, and NASCAR, for a workshop examining the competition among sports entities to “win” the social media game. Higdon will lead a friendly, interactive competition to shed light on how athletes, teams, and sports organizations must continue to evolve their objectives as the social media space grows in importance.