Blast PR was built to serve companies advancing how brands reach audience, and the Blast Advisory Board was built to extend and celebrate these connections and find ways to elevate the industries we serve.

John Durham – Chairman Emeritus In Memoriam

A true industry veteran, John will be remembered for his contributions, giving nature and lives touched—we owe our gratitude to John for bringing this board together and we honor his presence. Most recently Durham served as CEO and executive director for Catalyst SF. Prior to Catalyst SF, he was the executive vice president, business strategy at Carat Fusion for Carat’s offices across the country, including New York, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Before his stint at Carat Fusion, Durham was a founder of Pericles Communication, a political digital firm that helped advocacy and political groups tap into interactive marketing. Durham handled the online advertising strategy for five candidates, including the presidential and four senatorial races.

Prior to the launch of Pericles in 2003, Durham had been COO of Interep Interactive, which, under his direction, became the largest independent online ad sales company in the United States, and through co-marketing agreements, the largest internet rep company in the world. When Winstar Interactive was part of Winstar Communications, Durham joined in March of 1998 as VP of advertising sales. In 2000, Durham helped engineer the acquisition of Winstar Interactive Media by Interep Interactive, a unit of Interep (NASDAQ: IREP), one of the nation’s largest radio rep firms.

Jane Hanson

Jane Hanson

Emmy award winning television journalist and coach Jane Hanson has spent over 30 years helping people communicate better. Among her diverse array of media and presentation training clients are top tier leaders spanning the fields of finance, insurance, startups, technology, education, design, fashion, FinTech, media, & pharma. She is also a contributor to; hosts programs on cable channels and private streaming broadcasts. And she is a frequent speaker, emcee, and panel moderator.

Michael Pratt

Michael Pratt is the Co-founder and CEO of Panamplify, a company using artificial intelligence to automate report building for marketing agencies. Panamplify was born out of insights identified while running Extra Sauce, the marketing agency he founded in 2010. In a previous life, he ran the trading desk at Goldman Sachs for 10 years before forming the statistical arbitrage hedge fund Modulus Capital in 2005. Bored with typical conference panels, Michael created the popular event Digital Fight Club. He has a degree in aerospace engineering from the United States Military Academy and after serving in the Army he received an MBA in finance from Duke University. Michael currently resides in Dallas with his wife Erica and sons Harry and Jack.

Jason Shulman

Based in San Francisco, Jason has been a leader in the convergence of media, advertising and technology, since the first days of internet advertising. Jason has spent most of his career developing solutions that drive positive and meaningful business outcomes for companies small and large. This experience uniquely encompasses senior management positions at agencies, publishers and technology start-ups.

Jason began his career by co-founding one of the first digital agencies (Freestyle Interactive). He went on to be Chief Revenue Officer at the world’s first demand side platform (DSP) called [x+1]. Afterwards, Jason was an early employee and first monetization lead at Most recently, Jason led global revenue and operations for Firework, the world’s largest, open short video platform.

Cory Smith

Cory Smith is the VP, Strategy for Shepard Exposition Services, a full-service event production company. Cory works with key accounts at Shepard to define success and build strategic plans for their events and community stakeholders. Cory has over thirty years of experience in B2B Media, Enthusiast/Consumer Media and live event production – he has managed several leading B2B brands and communities during is his time with Nielsen Business Media (now Emerald Expositions), F+W Media, Access Intelligence and now with Shepard. Cory has provided leadership and managed performance with events, digital media, marketing/audience development, as well as sales and sponsorship management. Cory is a graduate of the Terry School of Business at the University of Georgia.

Katie Szumowski

Katie Szumowski is a purpose driven executive and is currently chief marketing officer of Quartr, a community based, mobile data & insights platform. She is also an independent marketing consultant to several small & medium size businesses. Previously, Katie was head of media and marketing strategy at Vonage. Prior to that, she spent 5 years at Turner Broadcasting and nearly 20 years at Verizon where she led innovative and strategic digital, media and marketing teams. A passionate and accomplished professional with extensive marketing experience, Katie has successfully developed and transformed growth strategies, teams and priorities at Fortune 500 companies as well as her independent consultancy and as a start-up executive.

Katie is also a board member of Mediasmith, an independent media and strategy agency. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and a strong advocate of giving back through mentorship and serving on the board of several non-profit organizations.  Katie resides in Atlanta and spends her free time playing sports, reading and fine-tuning her photography skills.