Dr. Alissa Sklar is a recognized expert in economic development communication, marketing, and social media. As the vice president of marketing for GIS Planning, she works directly with clients to develop and fine-tune marketing campaigns to promote their use of online GIS data tools. Using a customized, collaborative approach, Dr. Sklar works to expand the reach of location brands in the highly competitive field of economic development. With a Ph.D. and M.A. in Communication and Cultural Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Dr. Sklar has worked extensively in both private and academic sectors, serving as a social media consultant for economic development agencies, full time faculty member at Concordia University’s Department of Communication Studies, research faculty at McGill University, blogger, and multiple award-winning journalist. The focus of Dr. Sklar’s research and writing has been on information and communication technologies and community cultures. She believes that using these technologies thoughtfully and effectively requires a skillful combination of knowledge, critique and creativity. Dr. Sklar has provided strategic teaching, consultation and training in educational, cultural and business settings for a variety of audiences across North America and Europe, synthesizing and presenting complex information in engaging and practical ways.