NCET Special Event – 3rd Annual State of Digital Marketing – Nov 28

Wednesday, November 28 | 11:00 am – 1:30 pm

Atlantis Casino Resort Hotel

Due to a schedule conflict, Michael Thomas, Noble Studios’ CMO and Partner, will join our panel in place of Jarrod Lopiccolo

Digital Marketing – a term that once only dealt with a few key online elements like website creation and email blasts, now represents the single-most all-encompassing advertising expenditure. Digital channels such as voice search, live video, augmented reality and others will soon dominate the digital conversation and ultimately contribute to the growth and success of any business in any industry.

On Nov 28, NCET presents our 3rd Annual State of Digital Marketing Panel, featuring some of northern Nevada’s top digital marketing trailblazers. These experts will offer insight and anecdotal advice for businesses interested in growing their digital marketing presence in terms of:

  • search engine optimization
  • Social media following and engagement
  • Mobile marketing
  • AI and AR
  • And much more!

Whether you’re a business owner wanting to capitalize on early adoption of these burgeoning trends, or just an individual interested in complex world of digital marketing, you’re won’t want to miss this special event!

Our panelists include:

Read speaker bios

NCET members may bring an unlimited number of guests at member prices. Join before you RSVP for this event and your savings will pay for some or all of your membership!  Join NCET now and save.

Wednesday, November 28Register Now

Networking:  11:00 am – Noon
Lunch and Program:  Noon  –  1:30 pm

•  Prices:  $40 – NCET members  /  $50 – non-members

Tables for 8 – includes premium location at front of room, table signage and recognition from the podium during the luncheon.

•  $320 – NCET members  /  $400 – non-member

All NCET luncheon events must be paid for in advance.  Unpaid reservations will be cancelled automatically.

NCET events have been selling out! RSVP early so you don’t miss this great event.

The Fine Print:

  • Advance reservations required. RSVP by midnight on Tuesday, November 27.  (Walk-in registration is not available.)
  • No-shows will be charged the full amount of the reservation unless cancelled at least 48 hours prior to the event.


Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
3800 S. Virginia Street
Reno NV 89502 (Map)

For more information about NCET or any of its events, please call (775) 453-0130 or


Tray Abney – Moderator

Tray Abney is a partner in Abney Tauchen Group, a government and community affairs consulting firm.  He served as the Director of Government Relations for The Reno+Sparks Chamber of Commerce for over ten years.  He is still responsible for ensuring that the largest broad-based business organization in Northern Nevada has a voice at all levels of government, including city, county, state, and federal.  Tray has experienced six Nevada State Legislative Sessions (so far) and has been a key voice on business and taxation/government spending and efficiency issues in Carson City.  He has successfully helped steer critical bills to signature (and veto) and maintains great relationships with elected officials from throughout Nevada and on both sides of the political aisle.

Prior to joining the Chamber, Tray served as Legislative Director for Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons and spent four years working for Gibbons, including as a senior staff member in his Washington, DC congressional office.  During the 2007 Nevada Legislative Session, Tray was responsible for ensuring that the Governor’s agenda was approved by the Legislature and served as the Governor’s lobbyist in the legislative building.

Tray graduated summa cum laude from Missouri State University in 2003, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and Public Administration.  Tray received his Master of Arts Degree in Political Management from the Graduate School of Political Management at the George Washington University in Washington, DC in 2005.

Tray currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Reno Civil Service Commission and the Truckee River Flood Control Project Needs Committee.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of Jobs for America’s Graduates-Nevada and Bristlecone Family Resources.

Tray currently resides with his wife, Dawn, and their son, Noah, in Reno.  His daughter, Katelyn, is attending the University of Arkansas.

Jennifer Cunningham

Jennifer Cunningham is the Executive Vice President of the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority. Ms. Cunningham works closely with the CEO, executive staff, the Board of Directors and community stakeholders to develop and execute strategies relating to all aspects of the RSCVA, including sales, marketing, special events, and legislative initiatives. With more than 30 years of experience, she has long been an integral part of the northern Nevada gaming community.

A Reno native and active member in the community, Ms. Cunningham serves on the EDAWN Board and the Regional Air Service Corporation Board.  She is a former board member of the Education Alliance of Washoe County, the Educational Foundation and the Marketing Committee of the Reno Arts and Cultural Commission.

Ms. Cunningham is a recipient of the American Marketing Association’s ACE Awards “Marketer of the Year” distinction and was selected as “Travel and Tourism Advocate of the Year” by NACE and was recently awarded the Thomas C. Wilson Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Advertising Federation’s Reno chapter.

Jennifer holds a Master’s Degree in International Marketing from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in Managerial Sciences and Finance from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Todd Felts, Ed.D., APR

Dr. Todd Felts began as an assistant professor of strategic communications in 2008 after 20 years working in strategic communications at organizations along the East coast, including serving as speechwriter and press secretary for Gov. Jim Hunt of North Carolina.

At Nevada, Felts received the Honors Program Distinguished Faculty Award and the Semenza Christian Award for Excellence in Teaching. He also spent three years serving as the director of the graduate program in interactive journalism. Through grants through the U.S. Department of State, he has been involved in several international visitor programs to Nevada, including serving as the academic director for the Algerian Youth Leadership Program since 2009. In 2010, he was the co-recipient of a National Science Foundation Grant to create a community engagement campaign to increase the number of students who major in science.

Originally from North Carolina, Felts served as press secretary and speechwriter for Governor Jim Hunt of North Carolina, and director of community relations for the Special Olympics World Summer Games. He spent eight years working in Washington, D.C. including working for the Pew Charitable Trusts and as director of the litigation communications practice at Levick Strategic Communications, where he consulted with leading Fortune 50 companies in marketing during crisis. Felts was the national director of business development for Ogletree Deakins, one of the nation’s largest law firms and the director of media relations of RMR & Associates. Felts launched his career as the public information officer for the North Carolina Zoological Park, and produced and hosted an “At the Zoo” television segment for FOX affiliates around the United States.

Felts earned a doctorate in education management from Drexel University, a master of arts in international communications from Georgetown University, and a bachelor’s in broadcast journalism and political science from Lenoir-Rhyne University. Felts is a fellow in the Scripps-Howard Leadership Academy, and earned a graduate certificate in education entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania. He also earned the APR credential from the Public Relations Society of America.

Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas oversees the creation and execution of brand and digital strategies for Noble Studios’ high-profile clients. He helps clients refine their marketing ideas and works closely with the team to bring them to life.

A veteran of the marketing world, Michael played an instrumental role in growing Noble Studios into one of Inc. magazine’s list of fastest-growing private companies in America. In 2014, he was named SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Nevada. He was inducted into the inaugural class of Twenty under 40 award winners by the Reno Gazette-Journal. He is also recipient of the Mark Twain Community Service Award given by the Public Relations Society of America and has been named Marketer of the Year by the Reno-Tahoe American Marketing Association.

Michael is an avid speaker on digital strategy, tourism and marketing. He has been a speaker at the American Marketing Association, Nevada Commission on Tourism and SMG Tourism Conference.

Michael earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. and sits on the board of Western Industrial Nevada (WIN), KNPB and Renown Health’s advisory board.

Abbi Whitaker

Abbi is the heart, soul and creative engine that drives The Abbi Agency. A veteran of international media campaigns for some of the nation’s largest tourism and business-to-business companies, Abbi innately understands what drives media coverage and has put those skills to work for almost two decades. She has secured feature coverage in the world’s most prestigious publications and television programming—The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune Small Business and MSNBC—and has the established relationships with influential reporters and writers to show for it.

Abbi draws on her many passions, filling her free time with travel and experiences that inspire and enrich her. She’s a champion of her “Nevada Hot Springs” group and spends her weekends traversing Nevada’s landscape to discover new rejuvenating spots alongside Northern Nevada thinkers, makers, and doers. Among her many passion projects, she has worked with many of Reno’s entrepreneurs to inspire the city’s renaissance.