Big Omaha emcee Antonio Neves proves it pays to connect

Antonio Neves, three-time emcee for Big Omaha, has spent a lot of time there through his work as an executive coach and business reporter, spending a lot of his time in entrepreneurial circles. He just never happened to come across the about.me team.

Conrad Neves

Antonio Neves is a long-time friend of SPN and Big Omaha. Now and then we’ll share stories about some of the great people and companies who make our events a reality.


Conrad Neves

Sometimes it takes a new setting to meet your neighbors. Especially when that neighborhood is the Bay Area.

Antonio Neves, three-time emcee for Big Omaha, has spent a lot of time there through his work as an executive coach and business reporter, spending a lot of his time in entrepreneurial circles. He just never happened to come across the about.me team.

Then, after co-founders Tony Conrad and Ryan Freitas spoke at Big Omaha in 2013 and 2014 respectively, the stars aligned and the connection was made. It wasn’t long after this May’s gathering that the connection turned into a job for Neves as about.me’s director of higher education.

“It’s rare that you get a professional storyteller, leadership expert and award-winning journalist all rolled into one,” Conrad said. “Without Big Omaha, Antonio and I probably would have never connected. Big Omaha provides a venue to connect with others on a genuine level. It sure didn’t hurt that both Antonio and I are originally from the Midwest and we share similar values and a blue-collar work ethic.”

It was a connection we were ecstatic to hear about and one we couldn’t wait to share. Neves and his Salmon Pants have been instrumental in making Big Omaha what it is today.

So we asked him a few questions about the exciting news, and encourage you to let us know if you have any other fortuitous connections from any of our events.

SPN: How did you get connected with about.me?

Antonio Neves: The connections made at Big Omaha are always powerful. I had the pleasure of talking shop with about.me’s Tony Conrad and Ryan Freitas during some down time in 2013 and 2014. I was blown away by both of their keynotes and the work they were doing with about.me. That’s one of the best things about Big Omaha: you never know who you’re going to connect with.

SPN: How did you continue those relationships from May through being hired in September?

AN: I joined the about.me advisory board this year and after each conversation with the team, I found myself more and more blown away by the product and their work. A journalist by trade, I’m all about providing people with the tools to tell their story and about.me does just that. It’s an honor to help our millions of users around the globe use about.me to own their identity and share the different facets of their life.

SPN: You and the about.me team are based in California, but found each other in Omaha. What is it about Big Omaha that makes connections like this possible? How can attendees of Big Omaha and Big Kansas City make the most of their time?

AN: It’s funny that though I’m regularly in San Francisco, it took coming to Big Omaha to connect with both Tony and Ryan. That’s what’s unique about Big Omaha. It brings people together in a chill environment without all the pretense you experience at other conferences. Big Omaha allows real, organic and long-lasting connections to occur. There’s a lot of value in stepping outside of our standard day-to-day and the same crowds we regularly interact with. In the hustle and bustle of the New York Citys and San Franciscos of the world, sometimes you can miss a good thing staring right at you.

SPN: You’ve had a diverse career of experiences. What came together to make it a fit? What will you be doing in the role?

AN: During my career I’ve had the opportunity to work as a broadcast and print journalist, keynote speaker and run my own leadership consultancy. I’ll use all of these skills in my role as director of higher education at about.me. I’ll work with the millions of people across the globe who use our platform to better tell their story, connect with the collegiate audience and use my multimedia skills to tell the stories of the about.me community.

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