Atlantic Media hires Kelly Olson to lead events for Government Executive Media Group & Defense One
Olson comes to Atlantic Media from the U.S. General Services Administration where she was Director of Strategic Initiatives & Outreach
WASHINGTON, DC – January 7, 2014 — Atlantic Media announced today that Kelly Olson, an award winning event director and seasoned federal market expert, will join the company as Senior Director, Government Executive Media Group & Defense One Events. Olson comes to Atlantic Media from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) where she has served for four years as Director of Strategic Initiatives & Outreach.
“Kelly Olson is a star strategist and events leader in the government space, and we are thrilled to have her join our expanding team,” said Tim Hartman, president of Government Executive Media Group (GEMG), the government and defense division of Atlantic Media. “Kelly brings an unmatched mix of deep federal market knowledge, exceptional strategic vision and a commitment to excellence in events that make her a perfect fit for our rapidly growing events business.”
In her new role, Olson will oversee and drive the GEMG events business strategy across its government and defense brands, including Government Executive,Nextgov and Defense One, all of which hold market-leading positions and have fast-growing, tech-savvy audiences. She will serve as key architect of the entire GEMG events portfolio, including new, large event product concepts, innovative roadshows, digital events, and highly-targeted, intimate forums.
Olson brings with her over 15 years of leadership experience in complex government arenas. At GSA’s Office of Citizen Services & Innovative Technologies (OCSIT), she played a key leadership role in many important initiatives critical to the development and implementation of government-wide programs to increase transparency, citizen engagement, and innovation in government. In this role, Olson worked closely with OCSIT’s Center for Excellence in Digital Government, Digital Services Innovation Center, Federal Cloud Computing and Mobile Government Program Management Offices as well as the White House, the Office of Management & Budget, the Federal CIO Council and numerous federal agencies.
Prior to GSA, Olson’s experience includes serving as Vice President at ConnellyWorks, Inc., a leading communications company in the federal technology market, and as Director, Conferences & Events at the American Council for Technology (ACT-IAC). In 2009, Kelly was named one of ConventionSouth Magazine’s Professionals to Watch.
“The government and defense environment has become extraordinarily complex and leaders are increasingly seeking high-impact opportunities to explore forward-leaning ideas, technologies and other tools which can help them transform their organizations,” said Olson. “Government Executive Media Group, with its commitment to high quality and innovation, is the right events producer to address the evolving needs of this community into the future. I could not be more pleased to join the leading events team in the market.”
Olson is joining GEMG at a time of rapid growth – fueled by increasing demand from companies seeking to engage federal decision makers, its events revenue is on track to increase by over 50% in 2014. This growth is driven in part by key editorial event franchises such as Excellence in Government, the largest educational forum for federal program managers, Nextgov Prime, the premier event focused on the future of technology and government, and the just-launched Defense One Summit, convening national security leaders to define the future of U.S. defense. These events and their digital extensions attract elite speakers such as former Vice President, Al Gore, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel and have evolved into market defining moments, evidenced by unprecedented social media activity and extensive media coverage. As example, the Defense One Summit in November was covered by over 40 media outlets and drove over 5 million Twitter impressions.
GEMG’s custom events business is also expanding rapidly. As federal contractors seek to cultivate their own audiences, GEMG is helping them design, market and execute innovative, brand-elevating events from multi-day user expos to intimate senior forums. Key to GEMG’s success in custom events is its ability to leverage its unmatched reach across the management, technology and defense decision makers in government and to elevate these events by creating gold-standard content and deploying its market leading digital and social media capabilities.