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Shawn Amos        

Founder and CEO, Freshwire; Chief Innovation Officer, ContentWorks and Digital Content Expert

Shawn Amos, founder and CEO of the digital content studio Freshwire, is an executive, producer of Grammy-nominated projects, and a recording artist.

Previously, Amos was an A&R executive at Rhino Entertainment, where he produced the Grammy-nominated historical box set Rhapsodies in Black: Music and Words From the Harlem Renaissance. During his time at Rhino, he produced broadcast, DVD and audio titles for legacy artists ranging from Heart to Quincy Jones.

In 2001, Amos was invited to produce Quincy Jones’ career overview Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones. While working on the box set, Jones asked him to run his Listen Up Foundation as executive director. Amos spent the next year working on housing and economic development in Africa, speaking at the World Economic Forum, and building homes in Durban, South Africa, as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project.

Throughout Amos’ childhood and adulthood, his mother suffered from schizoaffective disorder and ultimately committed suicide in 2003.

The trauma of the event and his subsequent discovery of her early singing career were the inspiration behind his 2005 album release Thank You Shirl-ee May. He has since donated his time to the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center, a mental health organization in Los Angeles. Amos has also dedicated much of his time to local non-profit organizations committed to working with at-risk youth.

Amos is the son of Wally Amos, founder of the Famous Amos brand and the first African-American talent agent for the William Morris Agency. Growing up in the colorful Hollywood landscape inspired Amos to pursue a career in film (he attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts), then music and digital media. Amos is currently writing a memoir titled Cookies & Milk: Scenes From a ’70s Hollywood Childhood.

Amos was included in Forbes magazine’s list of “Up and Comers,” and he is a regular contributor on Bloomberg West TV, where he discusses brand marketing. He also sits on the board of trustees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

At the 2014 Thread Summit in Colorado, Amos spoke about the need for “content mindfulness,” encouraging brands to focus on delivering strategic and thoughtful content that helps tell the brand’s story, and opt out of the 24/7 real-time race for relevancy. He believes the future of consumer engagement is about value, not volume.

Amos currently hosts The Content Brief, Freshwire’s weekly look at brand marketing in the digital era and the future of consumer engagement.

Speech Topics

Content Mindfulness

In a world where social media has become oversaturated, brands and consumers have found themselves addicted to sharing, manically and mindlessly. Companies are in a 24/7 real-time rush to be relevant. Marketers are mimicking the “always plugged in” behavior of consumers. A tipping point has been reached; both consumers and marketers have killed content marketing. In its place, an era of content mindfulness had been birthed. What do you want people to know about your company? What do your customers care about?

Living with Authenticity

“Is all of me showing up?” “Am I being as authentic as possible?” These are the questions Shawn Amos asked when he found himself on a life-changing journey to a castle in Northern Italy. A trip to the other side of the world forced him to reconnect to the family history he forgot and denied, and hold himself accountable for not following his own advice about authenticity. Walk with Amos through the infamous streets of Hollywood to the boardrooms of corporate America. Find out how these events opened his eyes to feeling more authentic and gave him the keys to being fully present daily and in all aspects of life.

Mental Health Is A Family Matter

Mental illness is not contagious; however, its ripple effect extends beyond the person afflicted. Unfortunately, there is little light shined on friends and family impacted by those with mental illness.

Shawn Amos understands the ripple effect well: His mother committed suicide after years of battling a schizoaffective disorder, his wife battles anxiety, and his teenage daughter lives with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

“Mental Health Is a Family Matter” is a lecture and workshop that is heartfelt and will challenge you with an unexpected humor in the face of a daunting affliction. It’s filled with colorful, candid anecdotes stemming from Shawn’s personal journey through blast zones that can be created by mental illness. Shawn’s aim is to remove the stigma that shames and wounds not only those with mental illness but the community that supports them and each other.

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