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About Business 2 Community
Our mission is to create an open community where business professionals can establish their thought leadership, increase exposure for their business/organization, and network with others. We aim to provide a balanced view of the current business landscape based on industry news and trends, as well as the real-life experiences from our 4,000+ expert contributors. We are committed to continually providing new and innovative offerings (i.e. webcasts, whitepapers, site functionality, etc.) that enhance the experience for both our contributors and our audience.
In 2010, Brian Rice and Michael Brenner sought to leverage social media to build their personal brands through blogging and with the technical expertise of Dan Criel, B2C Marketing Insider and B2B Marketing Insider were launched in May of that year. Both personal blogs quickly established an audience and gained industry recognition/awards. After several months, Rice’s B2C Marketing Insider blog was named one of Ad Age’s Power 150 Marketing Blogs which resulted in an increase in site traffic and guest blogging requests. Frustrated with existing blogging communities that choose to focus more of their efforts on highlighting well-established authors or failed to provide proper author attribution, and faced with an opportunity to connect with new bloggers, Rice decided to transform his personal blog into a ‘real’ open online community and built the strategy for the site’s future growth. With the help of Criel, the site underwent its first redesign and began accepting original guest posts as well as syndicating content with expressed permission. By the end of 2010 the blog outgrew the label of being a ‘personal blog’ and was beginning to take shape as a viable online media property.
In 2012, Business 2 Community established itself as one of the most popular business blogs on the web according to Technorati and Alexa.com. In September of 2012, our offerings expanded to include a monthly webcast series that features our expert panelists as they share business best practices via live and recorded events.
We are privileged to have some of the brightest minds in the industry share their thought leadership and experience with our audience. These contributors provide valuable insights from both a business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) perspective; helping us truly create a “Business-to-Community” experience.
The Business 2 Community Team
Brian Rice, Co-Owner & Site/Content Strategist
Brian Rice is a marketing professional with a decade of experience on both the client and agency side of marketing. He holds a BS, Marketing from Cabrini College and a MBA, Marketing from Saint Joseph’s Haub School of Business and is a member of the International Business Honors Society, Sigma Beta Delta.
Brian began his professional experience as an Intern at the executive search firm, Heidrick & Struggles in their Philadelphia office where he maintained their resume search database and assisted on various projects. The next stop in his career was at LexisNexis where he gained experience in direct marketing while supporting in the promotion of LexisNexis’s legal publications and conferences.
At Lasko Products, a large manufacturer of heaters and fans, Brian was a Marketing and Sales Analyst working on accounts such as Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Target and Kmart. It was here that he gained insight into logistics and distribution for consumer products.
Interested in online marketing and a desire for gaining ad agency experience, he joined Unreal Marketing as an Account Executive and quickly was promoted to Account Supervisor where he worked on dozens of accounts across multiple industries. Below are some of the highlights:
- Wilmington Trust
- Citizens Bank
- Peachtree Structured Settlements
- White Flower Farm
- Total Merchant Services
- Career Education Corporation
Next, Brian was a co-Founder in GREENandSAVE LLC, a provider of environmental news and education, and got a taste of life as an entrepreneur. At the beginning of 2010, he sold his stake in the company and joined SAP, a provider of products and services that empower businesses and helps accelerate business innovation, as an Online Marketing Manager. In March 2013, he was promoted to Director, Integrated Digital Marketing on SAP’s Global Marketing Team and in In addition, Brian is an adjunct professor at Cabrini College where he teaches Direct and Online Marketing. The views and opinions expressed here are Brian’s and do not represent those of his employer.
Dan Criel, Co-Owner & Site Architect/Creative Director
Dan has been designing and coding for the web for more than 15 years. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 2005 with a B.E. in Computer Engineering, and again in 2007 with an M.B.A. After working in the coding & design field throughout college and graduate school, Dan was hired by SAP America to support digital marketing in North America. In this role, Dan has transformed campaign development & execution and has created numerous award winning web applications that help digital marketing run better at SAP.
Dan designed, built, and currently maintains all technical aspects of Business 2 Community, Business 2 Community White Papers, and Business 2 Community Webcasts as a one-man development team, server admin, database admin, information architect, and creative director.
The views and opinions expressed here are Dan’s and do not represent those of his employer.
Renee DeCoskey, Managing Editor
Renee DeCoskey is a freelance writer, as well as the Managing Editor for Business 2 Community. She holds a BA in English from Susquehanna University and an MA in English from George Mason, and has a background in English secondary education. Though a relative newcomer to the business and marketing world, she enjoys it and continues to find new learning opportunities every day.
Daryl Merza, Advertising & Sponsorship Sales
Daryl Merza joined Business2Community in September 2012. He has 12 years experience in growing, monetizing and supporting new media companies and corresponding technology solutions, the last 5 years spent in the marketing and advertising vertical . As Vice President, Digital, Daryl is responsible for managing Business2Community monetization strategies, strategic partnerships, and media and sponsorship sales efforts.
Formerly, Daryl worked at Online Marketing Connect, with the last three years being spent as Director of Business Development for their main event series, the Online Marketing Summit. Previous to this he held senior sales roles at advertising networks Marchex and IndustryBrains, and in the print industry for Cool Blue Press of Washington, D.C.
Daryl has focused his energies on business in his career, but was educated in the sciences as he holds BS’s in Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering from Rutgers University, He resides in San Diego, CA and his hobbies include training in the martial arts, creating music, and rebuilding high-end PC equipment.
Vasil Azarov, Online Events Manager
Vasil manages logistics and executes on Business 2 Community Webcasts. He is a digital marketing professional with over 6 years of experience.
Prior to joining Business 2 Community, Vasil produced over 200 in-person and virtual events as an Events Manager of Online Marketing Summit (before it was sold to UBM Techweb). He was also a founding team member of the Online Marketing Institute where started as a community and events manager and transitioned into a project manager where he was fortunate to manage accounts for large brands such as Microsoft Bing, Discover and Jive.
Soon after he became involved in all aspects of company operations, Vasil has left OMI to pursue his passion for marketing, events and building Startup Socials, a global community of entrepreneurs.
James Kosur, Strategic Partner
James Kosur has worked in the B2B and B2C sectors for the last 15 years. James earned his B.S in Communications from Illinois State University, and quickly entered the telecommunications industry where he worked with the likes of AT&T Wireless, Nextel, Sprint Wireless, and Verizon Wireless.
In 2004 James made the shift to the online industry, where he has served for the last decade. Using a combination of SEO, SEM, and Content Strategy techniques, James successfully led the growth of numerous web platforms. In 2013 James exited news provider Inquisitr.com, after growth hacking the website to 20 million monthly pageviews. He followed that exit with the launch of SocialNewsDaily.com, a social-based news platform that grew to 750,000 monthly readers in just 60 days. James sold SND to a larger media-holdings firm in early 2014.
From 2013 to 2014 James helped transition online brand management leader Brand.com from a retroactive reputation management firm, into the world’s largest online content development and public relations company, that now services numerous Fortune 500 companies and business executives.
Currently James serves as the CEO and Founder at Aven Enterprises LLC, with holdings in various lifestyle-based web platforms, and the content eco-system management firm CowboyContent.com.
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