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Centers | Center for Customer Insight & Marketing Solutions

McCombs Marketing Conference

McCombs Marketing Conference Header
In order to meet today’s marketing challenges, organizations are rethinking traditional business models and organizational structures to create new value for customers. The second annual McCombs Marketing Conference will focus on entrepreneurial marketing, exploring how marketing leaders are crafting new businesses, extending the customer value-chain, supporting venture programs, and promoting entrepreneurial thinking within their organizations.

This year’s event will have industry-renowned speakers and major companies in attendance, including keynote addresses from Ross Martin, an executive vice president at Viacom Media Networks and Michele Buck, chief growth officer at The Hershey Company. In addition, there will be an interactive innovation workshop, an expert panel on intra-prenuership and “McCombs Talks” TED-style presentations including Rob Malcolm, former president of marketing at Diageo, Nigel Dessau, CMO of Stratus Technologies and Gil Cloyd, former P&G chief tech officer

Please Note: Thursday, February 21 events are only open to invited guests.

Friday Keynote

Ross MartinRoss Martin
Executive Vice President, Viacom Media Networks

Ross Martin runs Scratch, a creative swat team driving innovation across the company, including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and more. Scratch channels the power of Viacom's portfolio and its unparalleled connection to youth in new ways, including consumer insights, product development, design, branding and the development, production and distribution of original content in all media.

Martin served as Senior Vice President of MTV 360 Production and Development, working across MTV, MTV2 and mtvU. He joined MTV in 2004 as the first Head of Programming for Emmy and Peabody Award-winning college network, mtvU. In this role, he oversaw the development and production of all original programming, on-air, online and mobile.

Prior to MTV, Martin founded Plant Film, a Los Angeles-based production company partnered with Fox, VH1 and Dimension Films; was a development executive for Spike Lee's 40 Acres and A Mule Filmworks; and taught poetry at Washington University, the Rhode Island School of Design and The New School. His writing appears in The Kenyon Review, The Harvard Review, McSweeney's, Denver Quarterly, BOMB Magazine and multiple anthologies, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His first book, "The Cop Who Rides Alone," was published in 2002.

Martin is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Viacom Marketing Council, and the advisory board of St. Jude's Children’s Hospital. In 2012, he was named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People In Business” and a “Media Maven” by Advertising Age.

Thursday Keynote

Please Note: Thursday is only open to invited guests.
Michele BuckMichele G. Buck
Senior VP and Chief Growth Officer, The Hershey Company

Michele Buck’s primary focus is creating and driving a transformational growth agenda for The Hershey Company. She is responsible for Hershey’s Companywide Strategy, Insights, Analytics & Knowledge, Disruptive Innovation, Research & Development, Commercial Retail Business, Corporate Social Responsibilities, and Communications.

Prior to her current position, Buck was senior vice president, global chief marketing officer, where she was responsible for driving world-class marketing and innovative growth platforms across the company. Buck joined Hershey in April 2005 as senior vice president, U.S. Snacks Group.

Prior to joining Hershey, Buck was senior vice president and general manager, Kraft Foods Confections. In this position, she led the operations of Kraft’s confectionery business including brands like Lifesavers, Altoids, and Kraft marshmallows, and was an officer of the company. During her 17-year tenure with the company she held numerous marketing positions.

Buck started her career at the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo. Throughout her career, Buck has driven profitable growth through building iconic brands via consumer insights, world class advertising and consumer and customer driven growth initiatives. Buck earned her undergraduate degree at Shippensburg University and holds a Master’s of Business Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"McCombs Talks"

Gil CloydGil Cloyd
Former Chief Technology Officer, P&G

Gil attended The Ohio State University where he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. He entered private veterinary practice and began consulting work in toxicology, including work with P&G. He joined Procter & Gamble full-time in 1974 where he held numerous positions over 34 years. As chief technology officer, he had overall functional responsibility for P&G’s global Research & Development organization. This global organization included around 9,000 employees in 28 technical centers around the globe. Gil is on the board of trustees at The Ohio State University and the advisory board of the Institute for Innovation, Creativity and Capital at the University of Texas at Austin. Since retirement, his principal professional interests are making quality post-secondary education available to more people and facilitating the application of university research capabilities to solve important global problems and foster economic development.

Nigel DessauNigel Dessau
CMO, Stratus Technologies
Founder of The 3 Minute Mentor

Nigel is the vice president and chief marketing officer for Stratus Technologies, the industry’s leading provider in fault-tolerant computing. In this role he is responsible for all marketing, communications and product management. Nigel is also the driving force behind the website ‘The 3 Minute Mentor’ which provides simple, easy to follow career guidance in easy to follow three minute videos. The website is followed by thousands of subscribers from all over the world and is currently being turned into a book.

Previously, as senior vice president and chief marketing officer of AMD, he was responsible for the company’s global marketing, image and campaign strategies. At Sun Microsystems, Dessau was senior vice president of Storage Marketing and senior vice president of Alliances and Licensing.  Prior to that, he was chief marketing officer of StorageTek and spent 19 years at IBM. While at IBM, Dessau managed the worldwide launch of IBM eServer zSeries and headed up marketing programs for the S/390 brand. As part of the Corporate Marketing Team, he led the marketing strategy behind e-business and the transition to On Demand Business. Nigel was born and educated in Nottingham, England

Rob MalcolmRob Malcolm
Former President of Marketing, Diageo

Following his Bachelor's and MBA at USC – both in marketing – Rob joined Procter and Gamble in Brand Management in 1975. In his 24 years at P&G he progressed through both marketing and general management assignments in the US, the Middle East and Europe – working on more than 75 brands in more than 40 countries. Over the next 10 years, he led the marketing and brand management function globally for Diageo, the world’s largest premium alcoholic beverages company as president of marketing, sales and innovation. At Diageo, Rob had oversight of more than 70 brands in 170+ countries with a marketing budget of more than $2.5 billion annually. Since retiring from full-time corporate work in 2008, Rob has remained active in a range of business and marketing endeavors including sitting on the board of the AMA, the advisory boards of Just Marketing Inc and Effective Brands, the board of Hershey Foods, serving as an adviser to MDC Partners, Diageo and others, teaching marketing at the Wharton Business School, speaking at public and private corporate events and consulting.

Innovation Workshop

Workshop Description


All events will be held at the AT&T Conference Center.

Date Time Event 
Thursday, 2/21
(Invited guests only) 
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m  Networking Reception
   6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Dinner and Keynote Presentation
Michele G. Buck, Senior VP and Chief Growth Officer,
The Hershey Company
Date Time Event 
Friday, 2/22 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
  9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Welcome and Keynote Presentation
Ross Martin, Executive Vice President,
Viacom Media Networks 

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Breakout Session I

"McCombs Talks" Presentations
Interactive Workshop – Innovative Problem Solving

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Breakout Session II

Expert Panel: "Intra-prenuership: Bringing Entrepreneurship Inside"
Interactive Workshop – Innovative Problem Solving

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Wrap-up


A block of hotel rooms has been reserved for Feb. 21, 2013 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. Click here to make your reservation online. Reservations can also be made using the contact information listed below. Please request the "McCombs Marketing Conference" group rate of $174. The deadline to reserve hotel rooms is Feb. 7, 2013.

Additional Austin hotels are also listed below.

On Campus Hotel Rooms

AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center

Designed for visitors to the university, or anyone who desires to experience the spirit and flavor of The University of Texas at Austin. As our guest, you can expect well-appointed accommodations, four-star service, fine dining, and walking accessibility to all of the cultural and educational offerings of UT Austin. All rooms offer high-tech productivity features from AT&T.

The center also features 40,000 square feet of meeting and function space, including a grand ballroom, 300-seat amphitheater, and seven tiered classrooms with ergonomic seating. You will find it to be the premiere facility of its kind in the Southwest.

AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
1900 University Avenue (corner of MLK and University)
Austin, TX 78705

For reservations call
Local: 512-475-7505
Toll Free: 877-744-8822


Hotel Phone
Adams House Bed and Breakfast (512) 453-7696
Austin Marriott at the Capitol (512) 478-1111
(800) 228-9290
Days Inn (512) 478-1631
Doubletree Hotel Austin-University Area (512) 479-4000
(800) 424-2900
Doubletree Guest Suites (512) 478-7000
Embassy Suites Downtown (512) 469-9000
Four Seasons Hotel (512) 478-4500
Holiday Inn Town Lake (512) 472-8211
Hyatt Regency (512) 477-1234
(800) 233-1234
La Quinta Inn Capitol (512) 476-1166
(800) 531-5900
Omni Hotel (512) 476-3700
(800) THE-OMNI
Radisson Hotel on Town Lake (512) 478-9611
(800) 333-3333
The Sheraton Austin Hotel (512) 478-1111
InterContinental Stephen F Austin (512) 457-8800
Strickland Arms Bed and Breakfast (512) 454-4426
Woodburn House Bed and Breakfast 512-458-4335
Hancock Guest Cottages 512-297-3945

Arboretum Area

Hotel Phone
Residence Inn by Marriott, NW (512) 502-8200
(800) 331-3131
Renaissance Austin Hotel (512) 343-2626
(800) 468-3571
Courtyard by the Marriott (512) 502-8100
(800) 527-1133
Hampton Inn NW (512) 349-9898
(800) 426-7866
Hawthorne Sutes NW (512) 343-0008
(800) 527-1133
Holiday Inn NW Plaza (512) 343-0888
Homewood Sutes NW (512) 349-9966
La Quinta Mopac (512) 832-2121
(800) 531-5900
Northpark Suites (512) 452-9391
(800) 851-9111
Ramada Inn Limited (512) 835-7070
(800) 228-2828

Ben White/IH 35 Area

Hotel Phone
Courtyard by Marriott South (512) 912-1122
(800) 228-9290
Homewood Suites South (512) 445-5050
(800) 225-5466
Fairfield Inn South (512) 707-8899
(800) 228-2800
Hampton Inn South (512) 442-4040
(800) 426-7866
Hawthorne Suites South (512) 440-7722
(800) 527-1133
Holiday Inn South (512) 448-2444
La Quinta Ben White (512) 443-1774
(800) 531-5900
The Omni Southpark (512) 448-2222
(800) THE-OMNI
Clarion Inn & Suites (512) 444-0561
(800) 228-5151
Ramada Inn South (512) 447-0151
(800) 228-2828
Residence Inn South (512) 912-1100
(800) 331-3131
Austin Airport Marriott South (512) 441-7900

Mopac/Southwest Parkway

Hotel Phone
La Quinta Inn (Gaines Ranch Loop) (512) 899-3000
(800) 531-5900

Additional Information


AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
1900 University Avenue
Austin, TX 78705


Parking is available in the Conference Center garage at 20th and Whitis. Map


Business Casual