Meet the Local University Faculty

Mike Blumenthal

Mike has been involved with offering web services since 1995. Prior to specializing in web design and search consulting in 2001, Mike was a principal in a family owned & operated retail business for over 30 years. Like all small business owners attempting to market to a fragmented clientele, he was continually frustrated by the barriers & costs imposed by the advertising options available. Shortly after Google Maps was released in 2004 he threw out his 9 Yellow Page books and started focusing on Local Search. Mike helped co-fund Localu in 2009 and co-founded in 2012. He presents nationally at search conferences and writes a regular column at Streetfight Magazine with David Mihm. During the week, you can find him at his blog, Understanding Google Maps and Local Search, where he writes about local search and its impact on the business community and at the blog where he writes on issues surrounding reviews and reputation.

Will Scott

Will Scott is a recognized leader in digital marketing, credited for coining the phrase “barnacle SEO” in 2008. A full-time faculty member of Local U, Will is a contributor to some of the most popular online journals and is frequently invited to present at conferences hosted by marketing associations as well as those in other industries. His speaking engagements have included the Certified Contractors Network, Louisiana Dental Association, National Association of Senior Move Managers, PubCon, SMX, and others.
With a degree in Architecture from Tulane University, Will is a professionally trained problem solver whose eye is always on the bigger picture. Naturally curious, Will has yet to meet a business or a person whom he’s not interested in learning more about.
Since putting his first website online in 1994, Will has led teams responsible for creating thousands of websites for business, building hundreds of thousands of pages in online directories, and delivering millions of visits from searches. At Search Influence, Will directs the teams of dedicated professionals who optimize your potential!

Mary Bowling

Mary has been involved in all aspects of SEO since 2003 and has always been intrigued by Local Search. With a background as a serial entrepreneur, she always tries to approach Local Search and Internet Marketing in a practical way and from a small business owner’s perspective. Mary is an SEO practitioner and consultant and speaks frequently on Local Search at industry conferences –SMX, Pubcon, Searchfest, OMS and SES. She’s conducted intensive trainings on Local Search for Search Engine Strategies, Planet Ocean, Search Engine Workshops, the Denver Chamber of Commerce, and for her clients and the clients of other agencies. She blogs at Search Engine News and IgnitorDigital, an agency devoted to helping clients with small budgets.

Joy Hawkins

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum and Sterling Sky in Canada. She is also the author of the Expert’s Guide to Local SEO, which is an advanced training manual for people wanting a detailed look at what it takes to succeed in the Local SEO space. She has been working in the industry since 2006. She has a monthly column on Search Engine Land and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as SMX, LocalU, Pubcon, and Mozcon. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

Joel Headley

Joel Headley leads PatientPop Labs, a team dedicated to testing and implementing innovation within the PatientPop practice growth platform. The company’s platform helps practices thrive by attracting new patients, streamlining the front office, and improving communication with patients. Joel brings more than a decade of experience at Google to his role, where he worked on web and local search products, managed support and operations teams that partnered with top publishers, and helped position businesses online.

Matt McGee

A longtime advocate for small businesses, Matt is the Chief Marketing Officer for the Cari McGee Real Estate Team in Tri-Cities, Washington. In this role, he developed and manages all marketing, lead gen and conversion processes both online and offline. Matt began offering SEO and marketing services in the late 1990s and has consulted for companies as big as and The Weather Channel. He’s been speaking at national and regional marketing conferences since 2006, and is an original co-founder of Local U.

Mike Ramsey

Mike is the founder of Nifty Marketing, a local search marketing company in Burley, Idaho and is also a mobile & local columnist. He also moonlights as the owner/publisher of The Voice , which is a weekly newspaper in Southern Idaho that is delivered to 18,000 households.

David Mihm

David Mihm is a co-founder of Local University. He runs Tidings, a software company that helps small businesses send email newsletters in no time flat, and his own newsletters, Minutive and the Agency Insider.

Ed Reese

Ed is the founder of Sixth Man Marketing, a Spokane marketing agency specializing in search, analytics, and usability. He’s consulted for high-tech firms, universities, ecommerce companies, health care, nonprofits and a variety of other companies. Ed is also an adjunct professor of digital marketing at Gonzaga University and a frequent speaker on the topics of analytics, usability, and careers in digital marketing.

Darren Shaw

Darren founded Whitespark in 2005. The company specialized in web design and development, however, Darren’s passion and curiosity for all things local search led Whitespark to focus primarily on local SEO in 2010 with the launch of the Local Citation Finder, followed by the Local Rank Tracker.Darren is widely regarded in the local SEO community as an innovator, one whose years of experience working with massive local data sets have given him uncommon insights into the inner workings of the world of citation-building and local search marketing. Darren has been working on the web for over 17 years and loves everything about local SEO.

Aaron Weiche

Aaron Weiche is the CEO for, a customer feedback and online review platform. Aaron is a digital marketing veteran of over 18 years growing agencies small and large in executive and partner roles. Aaron has built and optimized hundreds of websites for companies and organizations of all sizes. He helped found the MnSearch Association, is a faculty partner at Local University, Google Analytics Certified, and speaks nationally on search marketing, social media, reviews, web design and mobile. Aaron also blogs on local digital marketing at

Carrie Hill

Carrie is the Co-Founder of Ignitor Digital Marketing along with her business partner, Mary Bowling.  She started her journey in SEO in 2006 with a boutique agency dedicated to lodging websites.  Over the next 9 years she’d work her way up to Director of Marketing and managing an 11-person team of experts. Looking for a new challenge in a variety of niches, Carrie reached out to her mentor Mary Bowling, and the idea for Ignitor Digital was born.  Carrie also serves as Webmaster and Admin for LocalU, ensuring the website, events, content and social media is always reflecting the collegial goals of the group.

Cindy Krum

Cindy Krum is the CEO and Founder of MobileMoxie, LLC. MobileMoxie was founded in 2008, and offers suite of cutting-edge online mobile web and app marketing tools, as well as providing individualized consulting for clients. She brings fresh and creative ideas to her clients, providing on-site training and workshops, as well as speaking at national and international conferences on a regular basis.

Greg Gifford

Greg Gifford is the Vice President of Search at Wikimotive, a boutique SEO agency company that provides digital marketing services to SMBs all over the country. He’s got over 17 years of online marketing experience and is an international conference speaker, teaching thousands of small business owners and marketers how to get their sites to show up higher in local search rankings.