ORLANDO, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 06/06/13 -- IZEA, Inc. (OTCQB: IZEA), the pioneer of Sponsored Influence, announced the addition of John Caron to the company's Strategic Advisory Board. Mr. Caron served as the President of Olive Garden at Darden Restaurants Inc. from May 30, 2011 to January 2013 and also served as its Chief Marketing Officer from March 2010 to May 30, 2011. A member of Darden's Operating Team, Mr. Caron led brand growth strategy across the enterprise to help ensure each Darden brand was appropriately positioned and had clearly identified plans in place to drive sustainable growth.
Caron has 25 years of marketing experience in the consumer packaged goods and restaurant industries. He joined Olive Garden as Executive Vice President of Marketing in April 2003. During his tenure leading brand management for the $3 billion brand, he oversaw the successful launch of a national Hispanic advertising campaign, the first for a casual dining brand, provided strategic leadership around the development of a digital media strategy and delivered relevant new promotions and new advertising campaigns, all leading to results that far outpaced the casual dining industry.
Before joining Olive Garden, Mr. Caron served as Vice President and General Manager of Lipton Beverages for Unilever Bestfoods North America. His 17-year tenure with Unilever also included leadership roles for a variety of food businesses including the +$600 million sauce portfolio (Ragu and Five Brothers) and international assignments in Canada and Germany leading the company's portfolio of margarine brands.
"Brands are looking to sponsored influence and native advertising as traditional forms of media continue lose their impact and relevance," said Caron. "IZEA is pursuing an immense opportunity in a market that they pioneered. They have platforms proven with Fortune 50 brands and a history of continued innovation in the space. I look forward to working with the team to explore new opportunities with agencies and brands."
"We are thrilled to have John join the IZEA team," said Ted Murphy, Founder/CEO of IZEA. "He brings a unique mix of operational and brand expertise that will be a tremendous asset to the Company as we develop our next generation platforms."
Caron received a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from The Colorado College and a Master's degree in American Politics from New York University School of Politics. Mr. Caron earned an MBA in Marketing from New York University School of Business.
IZEA, Inc. is the pioneer of sponsored influence, operating key influencer marketing platforms Staree, Sponsored Tweets and SocialSpark. IZEA connects brands with social media influencers, helping them monetize their online and offline presence. The company has completed more than three million social media sponsorships for customers ranging from small local businesses to Fortune 50 organizations. For more information about IZEA, visit http://www.izea.com
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Statements in this press release that are forward-looking include the company's estimated levels of revenues, gross profit margin and net operating loss for the 2012 fiscal year. These forward-looking statements are based largely on IZEA's expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond IZEA's control. Actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements as a result of, among other factors, competitive conditions in the social media sponsorship segment in which IZEA operates, failure to popularize one or more of the marketplace platforms of IZEA, inability to obtain additional capital, and changing economic conditions that are less favorable than expected. In light of these risks and uncertainties, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking information contained in this respect will in fact occur. Please read the full statement and disclosures here: http://izea.com/safe-harbor-statement
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