Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 3:06 am | Fair 53º



Growth Prompts BigSpeak to Change Company Structure

To keep up with company growth, BigSpeak Speakers Bureau has added five employees, and promoted existing employees in the past month. BigSpeak has been ranked one of Inc 5000’s Fastest Growing Companies with the addition of five workers in a single month, as well as internal promotions.

In the past two years, BigSpeak has experienced rapid expansion, making the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list three years in a row. Other Central Coast companies to make Inc.’s 5000 list include Invoca, HG Data Company, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, and Mission Wealth.

Joining the BigSpeak team are: Marianne Kuga, marketing manager; Sonja Cutner, controller; Valerie Verkouteren, event coordinator; Haley Ware, remote event coordinator; and Heather Burleson, head of sales.

Kuga joins BigSpeak after working with the Santa Barbara Independent for six years as a production manager. She has a background in graphic design, receiving her degree from UCSB. She is a Santa Barbara native.

Cutner has worked in finance and accounting the past 10 years. She was in public accounting as an auditor for six years, where she obtained her CPA license. After leaving public accounting, she worked as an accounting manager at Yardi for three years, and before that was controller at Ontraport.

Verkouteren is a Westmont College alumni who previously worked at INFOCU5 as a contact center public relations director and a managing partner at Rev3nue LLC for a combined three years.

BigSpeak also hired Ware, a remote events coordinator who will be working out of Dallas. She has three years of experience working as a marketing and event coordinator for SUCCESS Partners in Plano, Texas. 

Burleson had previously worked at Yardi for two years, moving up the ranks from senior sales executive to team lead to sales manager. She received her master's degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University, Santa Barbara, and a bachelor's degree in sociology from UCSB.
Within BigSpeak, longtime members Whitney Caldwell and Rebecca Buel were promoted to agents and consultants, and Sheryl Moon and Mikaela Harn are moving into sales associate positions.

BigSpeak is also bidding goodbye to Amber McEldowey as she joins Vitamin Angels to pursue her dream of working with a nonprofit.

— Jessica Welch for BigSpeak.


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