Braze_PressRelease

Press Release


Braze Announces Keynote Speakers Guy Raz, Leslie Odom Jr. and Omar Johnson for Forge 2023 Conference

Team Braze By Team Braze Sep 20, 2023

NEW YORK, September 20, 2023 – Braze (Nasdaq: BRZE), the comprehensive customer engagement platform that powers interactions between consumers and the brands they love, has announced two keynote speakers for its ninth annual customer conference, ForgeGuy Raz, award-winning reporter, podcast host and the creator behind NPR’s ‘How I Built This,’ as well as Leslie Odom Jr., renowned actor, singer, and author. At Forge, Guy will take the stage to lead an interview with two innovative brands about what they are doing to stand apart in today's world from a marketing and customer engagement perspective. Leslie will host an inspiring conversation about his artistic and creative process, providing lessons from life and Hamilton that are relevant to all creatives and marketers. He will also share a musical performance featuring songs from Mr, his 2019 album. Guy and Leslie join the agenda along with opening keynote speaker Omar Johnson, former CMO for Beats by Dre and the Founder of ØPUS United, and Cleo Wade, New York Times bestselling author.

Over a dozen marketing experts from Braze customers around the globe are also confirmed to speak at the conference, including:

  • Aland Failde, SVP, Marketing for Second Dinner

  • Allegra Krishnan, Chief Loyalty & Engagement Officer for McDonald’s

  • Ashley Travis, Sr. Director, Digital CX for KFC Global (YUM! Brands)

  • Brigitte Barron, Director, Global CRM for e.l.f. Cosmetics, Inc.

  • Brooke Erickson, Sr. Email Marketing Manager for Peacock

  • Geoffrey Bernard, Vice-President, Marketing, Data and Consumer Insight for La Presse

  • Howard Lee, Senior Manager, Campaigns Marketing for The Walt Disney Company

  • Jackie Hill, Head of Lifecycle Engagement for Canva

  • Jason Vu, Sr. Manager, Marketing Analytics Engineering for Activision Blizzard

  • Jeremy Brandt-Vorel, Digital Marketing Manager for National Geographic

  • Logan Dunn, Head of E-commerce for Wyze

  • Matthew Donovan, Vice President, Marketing Technology & Operations for FanDuel

  • Meenakshi Nagarajan, SVP, Chief Digital Officer for Panera Bread

  • Nisha Mehta, Senior Manager, Lifecycle Marketing for VSCO


Forge is the annual Braze flagship customer conference, which brings together leading marketing, growth, and engagement teams to learn about best practices for delivering brilliant customer experiences. The event is taking place on October 16-17 at Metropolitan Pavilion in New York, and helps marketing leaders and practitioners expand their skill sets, learn new strategies to push creative boundaries, and provide them with innovative strategies that drive business outcomes.

“This year at Forge, we're exploring the various ways that marketing, technology, and creativity can come together to create exceptional, sophisticated experiences for consumers,” said Myles Kleeger, President and Chief Commercial Officer of Braze. “We’re excited to welcome creative force Guy Raz as our closing keynote speaker. Guy will bring brilliant storytelling to life at Forge with his innate ability to dig deep with industry visionaries to uncover lessons learned and surface tangible advice for entrepreneurs at any stage in their growth journey. Forge attendees will leave the event feeling inspired to push the boundaries of what’s possible in marketing when you pair technology with creativity.”

Braze will also be announcing the winners of the 2023 Torchie Awards at Forge, which celebrate brands and marketers within our community who are building the future of customer engagement and best exemplify how marketing, technology, and creativity can forge together to create long-term loyalty and retention. Past Torchie Award winners include Burger King, KFC, Klarna, Meetup and others.

For those who can't attend in person, Braze will livestream the morning keynotes on October 17 as part of Forge Digital, a 2-hour virtual experience. Forge Digital attendees will be able to engage with Braze experts, see curated content from the in-person event, and enjoy exclusive content from Braze customers. Forge Digital will be broadcast three times for the global audience and be available later on-demand as part of a Forge NYC and Forge Digital On-Demand hub. Register here for either the two-day or digital conference for the NYC event and register here for the digital event.


Team Braze

Team Braze

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