Amanda Zamora – Keeping People Engaged in the News

With today’s different types of media pulling us in different directions, Amanda Zamora keeps people interested in the news. Amanda Zamora has over 10 years of experience in journalism that started at the Austin American Statesman. As a University of Texas alumna, Amanda started her journalism career as a News Aide and then moved into several other positions pertaining to online news engagement. During her time at the Washington Post, Zamora served as the first social media and engagement editor at the Washington Post. She is now the Chief Audience Officer at the Texas Tribune where she strives to create digital content that really matters to her audience.

1. What have you found to be the most effective way to engage your audience?
2. What made you decide to come back to Texas?

Vera Fischer

Vera Fischer is definitely one of our own. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Texas State and she has returned to San Marcos for her Master’s degree, as well. It has been such a pleasure to have her in another class, and I’m very excited to see her as a guest speaker. As I research more about Vera’s professional history online, I can practically hear her saying some of these quotes out loud. Vera really seems to do it all from start to finish. She’s worked hard in various companies and ultimately decided to become the President for her own business, 97 Degrees West. It’s obvious that she has done every role in the business from the ground up, and is very passionate about gettting straight to the point of helping other businesses see growth in their numbers.

The website for 97 Degrees West is a great way to learn more about Vera. She is very transparent in her work and it shines brightly through the very diverse clients she has ranging from energy companies, all the way to healthcare agencies.

How did you bring in your first clients?
What would be your biggest suggestion when it comes to starting a business?

Tim Levy Bio

Tim Levy is a man who has literally done it all. From world travels, to stand-up comedy, and reeling it all in with advanced technological knowledge from a very young age, Tim is a jack of all trades.

Starting out in Australia, Levy’s parents supported him from the beginning of his journey into computer science. He knew early on that the internet was going to be the next big thing and never hesitated to work with big-time CEOs. From Australia, Tim left for California and gained some great experience working with big businesses on video productions and CD-Roms.

Now Tim Levy frequently travels the world, informing companies about how they should be growing by using various digital media tools directly at their fingertips.

Function or Design

1) Which is more important, function or design? Are they equal? Under what circumstances (for example, is one more important in a phone, another more important in a car or computer)?

I think that function and design are equally important; however, I don’t believe that one should take precedent over the other. The inventor has thought the product through using a certain process, whether it be design first or function first, and I think the designer should follow through in whichever way they started. Although, I do think that the developers of the product need to spend as much time thinking about the design as the functionality and vice versa. Both aspects need to be successful. I’m the type of person that will sacrifice some functionality for design, but I also know people who would prefer functionality over design, so I think it depends on the target market that is being sold the product.

2) Has design influenced a purchasing decision for you? Or is something high on your wish list because of design?

I definitely think design has influenced my purchasing decisions. For instance, in many ways, I find Apple products to be much sleeker in design versus android or any other brand offering the same products. I’m very loyal to the Apple brand. I know that Androids have the ability to add a SIM card for more storage, and as a photographer/videographer, I definitely could use the extra storage. Even knowing that other phones would save me the struggle of having to delete apps from my phone so I can take more videos, I still stick with the iPhone – largely because of it’s design. It is minimalistic and sleek, and I would prefer to stick with that.

Jeff Wilson

A minimalist finatic, Jeff Wilson is the CEO of a major business that sells small living called KASITA. From getting his Bachelor’s at Texas A&M, his Master’s at Texas State University, his PhD at the Univeristy of Canterbury, and finally his Post-Doctoral studies at Harvard University – Jeff Wilson has been all over the world. He is interested in all sorts of different topics ranging from human interests all the way to economic empowerment. Jeff got his inspiration for his business by living small. He lived in a dumpster for an entire year, simply for the sake of research. Now he runs KASITA, where he sells 300+ square foot homes as a solution to the housing shortage in the area. Jeff has had many honorable mentions by The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post.

I would like to know how he started his business – at the beginning, how did he convince people to live small?

Anna Tauzin Mini Bio

Anna Tauzin is the Marketing & Innovation VP for the Texas Restaurant Association. She has played severals roles in other forms of technology and innovation throughout her path that has led her to her currrent position. Formerly, Anna was the Manager of Digital Innovation and she quickly moved to Senior Marketing Manager of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Services, both at the National Restaurants Association. She has strong communication skills that bridge the gap between the technical side of things to the marketing side.

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