Mari Smith, Social Media Marketing Expert Often Called the “Queen of Facebook,” Joining Independent, Expert Media Coalition TheMaven Network

Mari Smith, Facebook and social media marketing expert (Photo: Business Wire)

SEATTLE--()--Mari Smith, a top Facebook and social media marketing evangelist, will provide her expert insight on marketing and social media to businesses, media companies and professional groups via a new channel on TheMaven Network (symbol MVEN), the digital media platform that goes live this spring.

“I love TheMaven’s breakthrough approach in empowering hand-picked, established experts and thought leaders, with a highly effective media platform, to help grow large, loyal communities,” said Smith. “ It’s the next logical step in our digital revolution. We plan to leverage my expertise in social media platforms to partner with Facebook and others to help build the new network.”

Smith, who is a perennial pick on Forbes’ list of Top Social Media Power Influencers, plans to launch her channel on TheMaven in May.

“TheMaven leverages the best of digital publishing and digital marketing, and puts the best tools available in the hands of top journalists and storytellers so that we can all better leverage our social media efforts,” she said.

TheMaven provides independent publishers an end-to-end business home, where they can continue to distribute on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter but as part of a fully integrated, unified approach.

James Heckman, the founder and CEO of TheMaven, said Smith’s decision to join TheMaven as a founding channel partner speaks volumes about the network’s mission to coalesce experts in multiple disciplines under one state-of-the-art technological platform.

“She is one of the world’s premier Facebook marketing experts, helping businesses and brands around the globe embrace leading technologies to achieve success,” Heckman said. “Mari is also a brand ambassador for Adobe, Microsoft and other top companies -- and she is choosing to expand her voice and presence with TheMaven. We’re honored to have Mari as a founding channel partner.”

Smith added that TheMaven “will help me to significantly amplify the work I already do on Facebook, other social channels and my own blog. I appreciate a collaborative approach to business and am delighted to partner with TheMaven.”

TheMaven is an expert-driven, group media network, whose state-of-the-art platform serves, by invitation-only, professional, independent channel partners. By providing broader distribution, greater community engagement, and efficient advertising and membership programs, TheMaven enables partners to focus on the key ingredients to their business: creating, informing, sharing, discovering, leading and interacting with the communities and constituencies they serve.

TheMaven Network will launch this quarter in beta as channel partner signings continue to be announced. For more information, visit

Based in Seattle, TheMaven is publicly traded in the OTC Markets Group, under the ticker symbol MVEN. Key members of the team include:

Founder and CEO James Heckman has extensive experience in digital media, advertising, video and online communities for major public companies and several times as founder. He served as Head of Global Media Strategy for Yahoo!, leading all significant transactions and revenue strategy under Ross Levinsohn’s tenure. As Chief Strategy Officer at Fox Digital, he architected the market-changing, $900 million social media ad alliance between Google and Myspace and was instrumental in Hulu’s formation. Prior to Yahoo!, Mr. Heckman was founder/CEO of (sold to Yahoo!), CSO of, Founder/CEO of (sold to Fox), Founder/CEO of and (sold to Yahoo!, post tenure and 365-Sports, respectively) and held the position of President and Publisher of NFL Exclusive, official publication for every NFL team. Heckman holds a BA in Communications from the University of Washington.

Co-founder and COO, William Sornsin ran MSN's Core Technology team before joining Rivals as co-founder and CTO in 1999, co-founded as CTO/COO; was VP Engineering & Operations at Fox Interactive Media after Scout acquisition. Earlier, Sornsin held a variety of product and program management roles at Microsoft. He holds a BS Electrical/Computer Engineering from the University of Iowa and an MBA from UCLA.

Co-founder and CTO Benjamin Joldersma’s career spans nearly two decades of large-scale platform development, including CTO and chief architect of Ben held the role of Senior software engineer, Geo/Imagery at Google, a Principal Software Engineer at Yahoo!, Chief Architect at 5to1 and held senior engineering roles at aQuantive, and Microsoft. Ben studied Computer Science at University of Puget Sound.

Director Ross Levinsohn is a leading industry figure who has long focused on the convergence of technology and media. He served as CEO at Yahoo in 2012 and prior to that role was Executive Vice President, Americas and Head of Global Media from 2010 to 2012. Levinsohn served as President of Fox Interactive where he helped create one of the largest digital businesses amongst the traditional media companies, and was instrumental in the formation of what is now Hulu. He serves on several public and private media and technology boards, including Tribune Media, mobile advertising marketplace YieldMo, Vubiquity, Zefr, and the National Association of Television Program Executives. He was Executive Chairman and Director of Scout Media, Inc. from 2014-2016, previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Guggenheim Digital Media and co-founded 5to1 Holding Corp, serving as its Executive Chairman. He co-founded Fuse Capital in 2005 and served as its Managing Director and Managing Partner. He served as General Manager at AltaVista Network and Vice President of Programming and Executive Producer at CBS Sportsline. Mr. Levinsohn received a BA in Broadcast Communications from American University, and is a trustee there.


TheMaven Network Inc.
Gretchen Bakamis, 206-715-6660


TheMaven Network Inc.
Gretchen Bakamis, 206-715-6660