agbeat's top 50 influencers

AGBeat’s top 50 industry influencers

January 2, 2014
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Jennifer Stauss Windrum

jennifer stauss windrum AGBeats top 50 industry influencersIf you live in Omaha, Nebraska, you probably remember Jennifer Stauss Windrum as a news reporter on Channel 3, but if you live anywhere else, you may know her now as the founder of SMAC! Sock Monkeys Against Cancer, which provides tangible support to those battling cancer.

You can read about her massive professional accomplishments on LinkedIn, but she has influenced us and many to focus on the philanthropic opportunities all around us. She’s an accomplished social media expert, but has inspired many to focus on cancer victims.

“Cancer can be a very lonely existence,” Windrum says. “Family and friends can’t always be there. My Mom lived more than 1,200 miles away, making her appointments, tests, scan results and treatments that much harder for both of us. This is why I created SMAC! — to give Mom a “buddy” she could hug to remind her that I am with her.”



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When you buy one SMAC! monkey, a second is given to a cancer patient to remind them that they’re not alone. Other charities are already following her lead, influenced by her grit and determination.

Jenny Lawson

jenny lawson bloggess AGBeats top 50 industry influencersIf you don’t have a sense of humor, don’t follow Jenny Lawson. Don’t check out her book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – a Mostly True Memoir, and whatever you do, do not read her blog.

Lawson used to write for the Houston Chronicle but said she needed somewhere that didn’t censor her, that let her talk about ninjas, and lets her cuss. So she built her own place, and now graces stages across the nation. Lawson has inspired a generation of bloggers to let their hair down and to allow their sense of humor show. Thanks for making the f-bomb more acceptable, Jenny!

Kami Watson Huyse

kami watson huyse AGBeats top 50 industry influencersFounder of boutique social media marketing strategy and communication firm, Zoetica Media, Kami Watson Huyse is an extremely talented public relations veteran, practicing since 1994 and blogging since 2005.

Huyse asserts that shiny trends may come and go, but people are always looking for ways to authentically connect.

She was a 2010 fellow of the Society for New Communications Research where she pursued a study on how cause marketing in social communities can benefit companies. She is is also the cofounder and organizer of the Social Media Breakfast Houston.

Her ideas are frequently referenced by top social media strategists, and she has influenced the industry in a tremendously positive way, helping people to understand how to communicate effectively.

Laura Fitton

laura fitton AGBeats top 50 industry influencersBest known as Pistachio on Twitter, Laura Fitton is one of the original breakout stars of Twitter, founding the first Twitter for Business consultancy (Pistachio Consulting) and has gone on to co-author Twitter for Dummies, and founded oneforty.com which was acquired by HubSpot in 2009.

She has said many times on stage that she believes that everyone can benefit – dramatically – from realtime technologies like Twitter because of their power to overcome isolation.

Fitton is an influential figure not only for being one of the first talents to recognize the value of Twitter, but for her continued efforts to help brands to understand how to be effective, yet never condescending her followers (which isn’t exactly a common trait for someone of Fitton’s caliber).

Liva Judic

liva judic headshot AGBeats top 50 industry influencersAs the Director of Merrybubbles Communications, a marketing and communications agency that caters primarily to the technology ecosystem, Liva Judic mentors the next great innovators to go international.

She served for four years as the Head of International Communication at the Office of President of Madagascar, and advised as part of the official delegation at the 1st World Summit On The Information Society.

Judic writes at Wired, VentureBeat, as well as ClickZ and Search Engine Watch – she knows what she’s talking about and has influenced her industry to stay on the ball, and she never lets up on pursuing the truth and illuminating the path for others.

Keep clicking for other influencers you must meet:

AGBeat is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, real estate, economics and more, so you don’t have to.


  • http://generationbsquared.com/ Linda Bernstein

    So many terrific people here! I love this list.

  • http://www.ChristopherSPenn.com Christopher S. Penn

    Thanks for including me! Much appreciated.

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  • Ted Rubin

    Honored to be included :-)

  • Miriam Slozberg

    Very honored to be included! Thank you.

  • Amber Osborne

    Honored to be included among those who inspired me to get into this industry. Thank you!

  • annhandley

    This list is stuffed full of people I’m lucky enough to call friends, as well as many who have influenced *me*. Thanks for adding my name to the roundup.

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  • Charles E Gaudet II

    Thank you for the honor! I’m both humbled and grateful to be included among this least of extraordinary people.

  • http://amyvernon.net/ AmyVernon

    Thanks so much for the honor folks. I’m fortunate to have met many of these folks, and now have a whole list of others I want to make sure I catch up with!

  • http://amyvernon.net/ AmyVernon

    Thanks so much for the honor folks. I’m fortunate to have met many of these folks, and now have a whole list of others I want to make sure I catch up with!

  • http://amyvernon.net/ AmyVernon

    Thanks so much for the honor folks. I’m fortunate to have met many of these folks, and now have a whole list of others I want to make sure I catch up with!

  • http://amyvernon.net/ AmyVernon

    Thanks so much for the honor folks. I’m fortunate to have met many of these folks, and now have a whole list of others I want to make sure I catch up with!

  • http://amyvernon.net/ AmyVernon

    Thanks so much for the honor folks. I’m fortunate to have met many of these folks, and now have a whole list of others I want to make sure I catch up with!

  • http://amyvernon.net/ AmyVernon

    Thanks so much for the honor folks. I’m fortunate to have met many of these folks, and now have a whole list of others I want to make sure I catch up with!

  • http://amyvernon.net/ AmyVernon

    Thanks so much for the honor folks. I’m fortunate to have met many of these folks, and now have a whole list of others I want to make sure I catch up with!

  • http://amyvernon.net/ AmyVernon

    Thanks so much for the honor folks. I’m fortunate to have met many of these folks, and now have a whole list of others I want to make sure I catch up with!

  • http://amyvernon.net/ AmyVernon

    Thanks so much for the honor folks. I’m fortunate to have met many of these folks, and now have a whole list of others I want to make sure I catch up with!

  • http://www.successful-blog.com Liz Strauss

    Thank you, AGBeat, for the thought and work that went into writing about all of us. You captured the people who have influence not just their resumes, making this fun to read. I’m honored that you included me.

  • Michelle Poccia

    This list is chock full of GENIUS! Congrats to all who are on it! And thanks AGBeat for my 2014 Stalker List!

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  • http://dannybrown.me/ Danny Brown

    Nice to see such a diverse group, and appreciate the fact you took the time to share reasons why people might want to connect, versus a generic “OMG, these guys are just awesome, y’all!!”

    Cheers for the kind inclusion, and Happy New Year!

  • http://westchesterrealestateblog.net/ J Philip Faranda

    I hope to meet Michael McClure in person someday! He is remarkable.

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Belinda Summers

    Gee! A bunch of people I look up to. :) How I wish to be one of them someday.

  • http://www.tellagence.com/ Matt Hixson

    This was a great way to start the year. Thanks for including me.

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Belinda Summers

    Gee! A bunch of people I look up to. :) How I wish to be one of them someday.

  • http://thesocialjoint.com/ Lucretia M Pruitt

    Some of my favorite people on here… Glad to see AGBeat and I agree on so many awesome people as influences!! Congrats for a solid list and kudos to some awesome folks.

  • http://thesocialjoint.com/ Lucretia M Pruitt

    Some of my favorite people on here… Glad to see AGBeat and I agree on so many awesome people as influences!! Congrats for a solid list and kudos to some awesome folks.

  • http://xeeme.com/mqt Michael Q Todd

    Great list and especially great endorsements well done for taking the time and effort have subscribed to you

  • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

    Thanks so much for including me on this all-star list! I am honored!

  • Heather MacLean

    Great list. Nice to see some really familiar faces as well as some new ones.

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  • agbenn

    As the Founder and Publisher of The American Genius, I certainly do not want to sound callous, and text can be so impersonal. We hear your feedback, and have noted it for future reference. When we see people, we see human beings, whatever their race or gender.

    In saying that, our pick if we were considering race or gender ie. a particular Hispanic Influencer, it would have undoubtedly been His Holiness, Pope Francis. However, because we’ve covered His Holiness, several times in the past month, it gave way to another open spot out of hundreds of thousands of potential people we considered one by one. To be quite honest, I actually had to go back and look and read every entry to see if anyone was or wasn’t Hispanic.

    For the record, I am Hispanic, and I am honored to have our team present this list as it is, and with innocent hearts. We do know several of the persons you’ve mentioned and do hold them in very high regard.

    So thank you so much for your thoughtful feedback and encouragement, and we look forward to meeting and getting to know a few on your list. :)

  • http://BrianHansford.com/ Brian Hansford

    So nice to see some new faces in a list. It gets old seeing lists with the same names over and over just to get SEO juice.

  • agbenn

    Maya, bless your heart for sharing your kind thoughts and ideas with us. We agree with your sentiments profoundly, and thank you for recoginizing the complexity of what we’re presenting through our lists. We’ll take your idea and have the team bounce it around and see if we can’t do something as meaningful more often. As you know, things become passe when over done, even when done well. For the record, you influence me in thought provoking ways, and that’s not easy to do with a guy like me.

    Happy New Year, and kick 2014′s ass!

  • tracysestili

    I love listening to Brian Carter speak. He’s not only funny, but real. Plus he presents data in a way that you didn’t think of. Glad to see he made the list and a few of my other faves. :-)

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  • Eve Mayer

    Whoa, I’m so lucky to be on this list! Thank you very much for thinking I’m somewhat as cool as all those respected peeps!

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