National marketing and branding expert to highlight Nebraska Summit on Entrepreneurship

February 21, 2012

A nationally recognized branding and marketing thought leader whose talents have been tapped by Microsoft, Sony, HP, Gateway and other leading companies will deliver the luncheon keynote address at the sixth annual Nebraska Summit on Entrepreneurship, to be held Feb. 24 at the Embassy Suites Omaha-La Vista Hotel and Conference Center, 12520 Westport Parkway in La Vista. The summit is sponsored by the Nebraska Business-Higher Education Forum, The Gallup Organization, the Jim and Penny Krieger Family Foundation and the University of Nebraska.

Mary Ann O’Brien, CEO and founder of OBI Creative, an advertising agency in Omaha, will deliver remarks titled “The Magic of Bravery” – a lesson for entrepreneurs on how brains, instinct and connections, plus a bit of bravery and a lot of hard work, can pay off. Prior to founding OBI Creative in 2002, O’Brien served in executive marketing and sales positions within several publicly held companies, and has been tapped by some of the most successful brands in the world to help steer their strategic direction. She was chosen as a “40 Under 40” winner by the Midlands Business Journal and is a regular speaker on marketing, entrepreneurship and branding.

O’Brien will be joined at the Summit on Entrepreneurship by a diverse group of speakers representing the business, education, government and other sectors. The summit will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes a trio of keynote addresses, breakout sessions focusing on the entrepreneurial process, ample opportunities for networking and more. Registration is $25; high school and college students may attend at no charge. A full agenda, registration information and other details about the summit may be found at So far, nearly 450 people have registered.

University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken and Lieutenant Gov. Rick Sheehy will make opening remarks at the summit. They will be followed by a morning keynote address from Christian Renaud, CEO of and principal and mentor-in-residence at StartupCity Des Moines.

Breakout sessions throughout the day will focus on three steps in the entrepreneurial process – startup, growth and succession and reinvention – and will feature entrepreneurs, educators and others from around Nebraska. The afternoon includes an “entrepreneur demos” session in which each presenter will offer a “quick pitch” for his or her product or service.

Steve Kiene, managing principal at Nebraska Global, will deliver the closing keynote.

Media Contact:
Melissa Lee
Director of Communications,
University of Nebraska