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Now Boarding: 100 Business Leaders Fly to Yelp HQ for Meeting of the Minds

Cultivating conversations between business professionals is central to Yelp’s mission. When butchers and bakers, and yes, even candlestick makers are given a platform to powwow, these effective entrepreneurs, eager to support one another, exchange their top tips and help community grow.

This November 15–16, we’re uniting the people behind 100 top-rated businesses across North America at our San Francisco headquarters for our second annual business leader summit, Coast-To-Coast: Community Powered Progress!


We’ll laud the accomplishments of this select group, who, over time, have become experts on how to use Yelp’s tools to thrive. In addition to claiming their Yelp Business Page and adding details like specialties and history, they use resources like responding to reviews and uploading descriptive photos with captions that make them the standard among their peers.

This year’s attendees, nominated by Yelp Community Managers, will partake in business owner led conversations about getting more reviews, using them as a tool for feedback, and best practices for publicly responding to them, event-based marketing, new social strategies, finances, and tips for hiring, training, and retention.  

Leaders at Yelp will be on hand to listen — we want to know what we’re doing right and how we can improve from the people who interact with the website and business owner’s app everyday. We’ll also share product updates and our plans for nurturing the business owner community in 2017 and beyond.

This year the Coast-To-Coast Ambassador Coalition represents 80 North American markets and is powered by people of all different backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. Each has his or her own outlook on running a business and a unique story to tell. We’re honored to continue to be able to provide a platform for their prosperity.

We’re thrilled to announce the 100 local business leaders selected to attend the second annual Coast-To-Coast: Community Powered Progress!

Albuquerque, NM

Ken Carson, Nexus Brewery and Restaurant

Atlanta, GA

Mike Yang, Ba Bellies

Atlanta Outside The Perimeter, GA

Reneé Rowe, The Wine Cellars

Austin, TX

Kirby Schimmels, Kirby the Barber

Naomi Seifter, Picnik Austin

Baltimore, MD

LaTosha Williams, Dessert Fantasies

Baton Rouge, LA

Jim Urdiales, Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine

Bethesda, MD

Aaron Claxton, The Shop Salon

Birmingham, AL

Katie Hinson, Iron City

Boston, MA

Chad Ellis, Boda Borg Boston

Samantha Shih, 9tailors

Brooklyn, NY

Michaella Blissett, salon[718]

Broward-Palm Beach, FL

Phil Palmisano, Barrel of Monks Brewing

Buffalo, NY

Taka Win, Teton Kitchen Thai & Japanese Cuisine

Charleston, SC

Kyle Norton, 167 Raw

Charlotte, SC

Heather McDonnell, Cupcrazed Cakery

Chicago, IL

Bridget Lyons, Dog. Hotel & Daycare

Ken McGarrie, Dine|Amic Group: Prime & Provisions, Siena Tavern, Bar Siena

Chicago Burbs, IL

Niki Moon, Niki Moon Salon

Chicago North Shore, IL

Jamie Leonardi, Stumble & Relish

Cincinnati, OH

Bobby Slattery, Fifty West Brewing Company

Cleveland, OH

Brandon Sitler, The Urban Orchid

Columbus, OH

Alexis Joseph, Alchemy Juice Bar + Café

Dallas, TX

Michael Schoder, Sundown At Granada

Denver, CO

Brent Jones, Optique of Denver

Alex Gschwend, The Uber Sausage

Des Moines, IA

Christi Jensen, Domestica

Detroit, MI

Mary Liz Curtin, Leon & Lulu

East Bay, CA

Paramita Roy, Kanishka’s Neo-Indian Gastropub

Ft. Worth, TX

Catherine Blom, Redefined Coffee House

Greater Toronto Area, ON

Jenny Le, The Cold Pressery

Kimberly Landi, Old Firehall Confectionery

Hampton Roads, VA

Juan Sun, Judy’s Sichuan Cuisine

Hartford, CT

Peter Kowalczyk, Onyx Spirits Company

Honolulu, HI

Dan Chang, Wang Chung’s

Eki Locke, Bills Sydney

Houston, TX

Geronimo Villalobos, Campesino Coffee House

Lisa C. Benoit, Cajun Stop

Indianapolis, IN

Craig Sanders, Wildwood Market

Jacksonville, FL

Will Morgan, Vagabond Coffee Co.

Jersey City, NJ

Carl Ruiz, Marie’s Italian Specialties

Kansas City, MO

Chris Goode, Ruby Jean’s Juicery

LA East, CA

Leanna Lin Fong, Leanna Lin’s Wonderland

Andrea Borgen, Barcito

LA West, CA

Luke Milton, Training Mate

Las Vegas, NV

Joey Hamilton, Revolt Tattoos

Long Island, NY

Thomas Lee, The Clubhouse

Louisville, KY

Mary Levinsky, Block Party Handmade Boutique

Madison, WI

Annemarie Maitri, Bloom Bake Shop

Manhattan, NY

Jenn Pesce, Shobha

Jon Sherman, Sticky’s Finger Joint


Miami, FL

Albert Ghitis, RedBike Studios

Montreal, QC, Canada

Boris Volfson, Chez Boris

Nashville, TN

Trace Scarborough, Thunderbird

New Orleans, LA

Nicolle Turner, Maison de Cheveux

North Bay, CA

Benedict Koenig IV, Heritage Eats

North San Diego County, CA

Michael Gunter, The FotoBox LLC

Northern Virginia, VA

Tuyet Nhi Le, Roll Play Vietnamese Grill

Oklahoma City, OK

Rachael Gruntmeir, The Black Scintilla

Omaha, NE

Ethan Bondelid, House of Loom, The Berry & Rye, Victor Victoria, Wicked Rabbit, Via Farina

Orange County, CA

Logan Crow, The Frida Cinema

Wes Shih, Sender One Climbing

Orlando, FL

Blue Star, The Venue

Philadelphia, PA

Andrew Erace, Green Aisle Grocery

Theresa Ackerman, Photobot 3000 LLC

Phoenix, AZ

Jan Wichayanuparp, Sweet Republic

Jim Elizak, Zak’s Chocolate

Pittsburgh, PA

Syma Hajian, Pittsburgh Winery

Portland, OR

Amy Philip, Escape Games PDX

Nick Purvis, Good Coffee

Portland, ME

Nick Levine, Market Street Eats

Providence, RI

Natalie Spingold, Shoppe Pioneer

Queens, NY

Michael Shiwdin, Mahalo New York Bakery

Raleigh, NC

Lindsay Rice, Vita Vite

Reno, NV

Justin Stafford, The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery

Richmond, VA

Erin Powell, Ginger Juice

Rochester, NY

Kathryn Turiano, Joe Bean Coffee Roasters

Sacramento, CA

Malia Taylor, Hawaiian Legacy Catering & Design

Salt Lake, UT

Helen Wade, The Stockist

San Antonio, TX

James Moore, Grayze

San Diego, CA

Ellen Wayne, Morena Storage

Santiago Campa, Donut Bar

San Francisco, CA

Susan D’arcangelo, Blades Co Barber Shop

Oron Benary, The San Francisco Mead Company

Seattle, WA

Karl Mueller, Intrigue Chocolate Co.

Robin Wehl Martin, Hello Robin Cookies

South Bay, CA

Alex Hult, Hult’s Restaurant

Tammy Liu, Redemption

St. Louis, MO

Randy Vines, STL-Style

Tampa Bay, FL

Kendra Conze, Health Mutt

Toronto, ON, Canada

Marie Fitrion, Urban Acorn Catering

Phil Cha, Riddle Room

Tucson, AZ

Anna Perreira, Yellow Brick Coffee

Tulsa, OK

Gary Black, Black Optical

Twin Cities, MN

Ethan Applen, Lakes & Legends Brewing Company

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Anne Banner, Salmagundi West

Washington, DC

Andrea Vieira, nailsaloon

Patrice Cleary, Purple Patch Restaurant

This year we welcome back 21 Coast-To-Coast 2015 participants as part of our Advisor Alliance. This exclusive group is comprised of critical thinkers who have figured out effective ways to use today’s technology to grow their business. This year’s Advisor Alliance will lead discussions, sit on panels, and captain breakout groups for the 100 new members of our Ambassador Coalition.

Austin, TX

Wade Lombard, Square Cow Moovers

Steve Basile, B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub & Restaurant

Chicago, IL

Matthew McCormick, Jet City Device Repair

Denver, CO

Stephanie Shearer, Pandora on the Hill

Edmonton, AB, Canada

Dana Rojotte, Trū Ride Cycle Studio

Indianapolis, IN

Tia Agnew, New Day Craft

Los Angeles West, CA

Kathy Rappaport, Flash Frozen Photography Inc.

Montreal, QC, Canada

Valerie Girard, Les Deux Gamins

Orange County, CA

Julie Lim, OC Wine Mart & Tasting Bar

Philadelphia, PA

Steve Duross, Duross & Langel

Phoenix, AZ

Heidi Lamar, Spa Lamar

Jesse Thompson, Hotel Valley Ho

Lauren Hart, The Root Salon

Sacramento, CA

Bassil Kamas, Bassil Kamas

Deborah Dower, Paradise Laundry Inc.

San Diego, CA

Ashley DuChene, Ashley DuChene Photography

Lana Ybarra, JC Resorts: Rancho Bernardo Inn, Surf & Sand Resort, Temeula Creek Inn, Scripps Inn

San Francisco, CA

Carlos Rodriguez, Mr. Roofing, Inc.

Seattle, WA

Kent Whipple, Unexpected Productions

St. Louis, MO

Tamara Keefe, Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery

Tucson, AZ

Renee Kreager, Renee’s Organic Oven

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.

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