Search Engine Marketing Organization (SEMPO) Announces Three New Members of Advisory Board

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Google, Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association and Piper Jaffray add breadth to SEMPO advisory panel

The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) today announced the appointment of three new members to its Advisory Board that will provide different perspectives of the online industry and non-profits to help with the organization’s strategies and goals. The new SEMPO Advisory Board members are Chris LaSala, the Search Engine Marketing Channel Manager at Google; Neg Norton, the President of the Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association, and Safa Rashtchy; a managing director of Piper Jaffray and well known industry analyst.

The three new members join Dan Boberg, Director of Strategic Alliances at Overture, on the SEMPO Advisory Board. Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman of Search Engine Watch, recently decided to leave the SEMPO Advisory Board in order to be unbiased, independent journalists and observers of the organization.

Barbara C. Coll, President and Chairperson of the Board of SEMPO, said, “Danny Sullivan has always been one of our biggest supporters, as well as one of our most valuable critics and advisors, since we started SEMPO. We have learned much from him, and his insight has been an incredible resource for us. In many ways, he’s responsible for inspiring the birth of SEMPO. We are pleased he remains a strong supporter of the organization he helped form”.

Chris LaSala is the Search Engine Marketing Channel Manager at Google and responsible for third party sales channel development. He is dedicated to helping Google develop and implement policies and products that improve efficiency for companies that actively manage search campaigns for customers or build technology solutions to manage search marketing. Chris came to Google after four years at LookSmart, where he was the Director of Channel Development. Before joining LookSmart, Chris worked at Strategic Decisions Group as a strategy development consultant. He holds an MBA from Duke University, as well as a BS in accounting from Boston College.

Neg Norton is the President of the Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association (Yellow Pages I.M.A.®). With more than 20 years of Yellow Pages experience, he leads the Yellow Pages I.M.A., its member publishers, national marketing agencies ("CMRs") and supplier organizations to promote, grow and advocate on behalf of a print and electronic Yellow Pages industry valued at more than $14 billion. The Association also focuses on efforts to provide its members with products and services that add quality and value to their businesses, while lowering costs. Norton joined the Yellow Pages I.M.A. in August 2003, following a position as vice president of business development at Atlanta-based Loyaltyworks. Before that, he was vice president of strategic accounts at San Francisco-based Telephia from 2000-2001. From 1997-2000, he served as vice president of national marketing for the Yellow Pages Publishers Association (YPPA), the predecessor of the current Yellow Pages I.M.A. While at the YPPA, Neg managed the highly successful Marketing the Medium® program and oversaw sales and marketing programs designed to increase national Yellow Pages market share. From 1984 to 1997, he held management positions in business development, marketing and sales for NYNEX Information Resources and Bell Atlantic Directory Services. He has an M.B.A. from Northeastern University in Boston and a B.S. in marketing from Pennsylvania State University.

Safa Rashtchy is a managing director of Piper Jaffray and a senior research analyst focused on Internet media and marketing. He joined Piper Jaffray as a research analyst in 1997 and has published several technical papers and presented at various industry conferences. Rashtchy’s 2003 research report entitled The Golden Search has become a landmark study as if defined trends that would drive continued growth in the search market. The 2004 Wall Street Journal “Best on the Street” analysts survey ranked Rashtchy No. 1 in the Internet & Technology Services sector. Rashtchy was also named to this year's Institutional Investor's Home-Run Hitters list. Rashtchy consistently enjoys the top ranking for his earnings accuracy, as compiled by Starmine. He is quoted regularly in many top publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time, BusinessWeek, and Fortune, and makes regular appearances on CNBC and CNNfn. Rashtchy has developed his research coverage with a focus on online advertising, search and e-commerce, and related Internet services. His research in online search has been the most extensive in the industry, and he is often considered an authority on the online search industry. Rashtchy came to Piper Jaffray with an extensive background on the Internet, as well as experience in the digital imaging industry. From 1992 to 1996, Rashtchy was president of ColorWorks Graphics, the digital imaging company he founded in Boston. Prior to that, Rashtchy worked in various technical and management capacities in computer graphics and engineering companies. Rashtchy holds a master's degree in business administration, summa cum laude, from Boston University and a bachelor's degree in engineering from Purdue University.

About the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO)

SEMPO is a non-profit professional association working to increase awareness and promote the value of Search Engine Marketing worldwide. The organization represents the common interests of more than 270 companies and consultants worldwide and provides them with a voice in the marketplace. For more information, or to join the organization, please visit SEMPO.

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