Jess Strelitz

Note: This is part of a series of posts written by ONA staff and conference organizers recommending sessions they feel will be particularly interesting. Of course, we hope every session is valuable to the right audience, but with so many things happening at ONA15,  we want to offer useful highlights from a variety of viewpoints.

Previous recommendations came from Julie Westfall and Luis Gomez, co-chairs of the ONA15 Program Team,  Jen Mizgata, ONA’s Senior Communications Manager and Jeremiah Patterson, ONA’s Digital Manager. This list was created by Jess Strelitz, ONA’s Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships.

The Ethics of Food Writing: A Conversation with Jonathan Gold

Thursday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. – Santa Monica Room

I am a food freak. So, when I learned that not only was ONA hosting a conference in LA, land of innovative food trucks, countless star chefs and of course, TACOS, I was beyond thrilled. In fact, I specifically requested partner meetings OVER tacos during my pre-event visits around town. When I heard we would also have the privilege of hearing from Jonathan Gold, he of the fearless palate and champion of the humble plate, I jumped up and down (not an easy feat, as I was nearly seven months pregnant at the time).  Staff rarely have a chance to sit down during the three days of the conference — and my workload will double this year as I will also be carrying around my six-week-old son — but I will not miss this session.  Look for me in the front row, asking Jonathan to autograph my infant’s onesie.

Sponsored Sessions: Metics, Politics, Video, Diversity, Trends & More

This is the first year ONA has hosted sponsored sessions, and I was overwhelmed by the creative, thoughtful and extremely useful data and best practices that our partners are bringing to the table as part of these one-hour sessions.  There is really something for everyone, and the presenters are experts in their fields.

Various times, Pacific Room

Making Long-Form Work on the Web: Networking and Discussion

Wednesday, 6:30 – 8 p.m.–  Olympic Ballroom II

I started my digital career as a sports writer at USA Today.  When I say this is a star-studded line-up to kick off the conference, I mean it. Kate Fagan, Kurt Streeter, Wright Thompson and Don Van Natta Jr.  will talk with ESPN’s Eric Neel about the challenges and rewards of the deep dive. Pick up your badge (and your loaded attendee goodie bag) and meet your fellow attendees before the conference officially starts. And sit next to me if you want to talk NHL, golf or anything New England pro team-related.

Quiet Room for Moms

Daily, Preview Room II

OK, so this isn’t a session, but it is a part of this conference that I am particularly proud of — not only as a currently nursing/pumping working mom, but someone who has been forced to stand in bathrooms and hide in closets (and my car) for many years while trying to feed my babies on the road. Not at ONA15.  Kudos to the Hyatt for working with us on this space too.