And here I thought our spring giveaway to reward one lucky person or business with a free, full-access pass to BlogWorld & New Media Expo would be hard to top. But the nominations we received for the free, full-access pass to BlogWorld Los Angeles were outstanding. While I’m not sure if we could top the great story of Justin Sullivan and how we were able to help him make a career transition and equip his family business with great learning, the stories behind the L.A. nominees are awesome. And it made it very difficult to choose a winner.

From a passionate football referee who has created an awesome online resource for his fellow officials to a woman thought to be facing a life of pain management who created a community dedicated to helping chronic sufferers, and from a brother helping his sibling’s niche businesses to a couple aggregating marine fuel prices to help businesses and individuals save money on gas, our choices all had great potential to give me the warm and fuzzies for sending them to BlogWorld.

Here’s what the decision came down to:

“What’s most refreshing about her approach is she doesn’t look at the channel first. She focuses on content and the patient relationship. From there she fine tunes her content, frequency and delivery to the channels. Making sure to never blast the same thing to every channel. As a self-taught expert in her own right, a trip to BlogWorld would take her art to the next level.”

Save 20% when you register for BlogWorldExpo in Los Angeles, Nov. 3-5, 2011.The winner of the full-access pass to BlogWorld & New Media Expo Los Angeles is Beth Gaddis of Coast Dental. She was nominated by Mark Regan, whose full nomination is worth reading. Beth not only provides content and community management for 120-plus dental offices, but her company just acquired over 50 more. She’s passionate about her role of caring for customers (patients) like they should be. On that scale, that’s tough. The fact that we can put her in the room with smart people who can talk about scale, structure, tools and strategies will help, “take her art to the next level.”

Great nomination Mark. Congratulations Beth.

But we have three runners-up as well. The three folks who will receive Expo passes to attend the trade show floor, keynotes and event parties and networking events are:

Elizabeth Nerland – Crescendo Consulting

Elizabeth started her marketing consulting firm with one strategic purpose being to help small businesses with social media. While I shy away from marketing consultants for Blog World passes in general because I want to use these passes to directly help the non-marketing businesses, Elizabeth can take her learnings back to Anchorage, Alaska, which is largely under-served with learning opportunities like this, and have an impact on a lot of folks. Elizabeth was nominated by her husband, Drew.

Jennifer Iannolo – Zenfully Delicious

Jennifer was diagnosed with fibromyalgia which severely altered her lifestyle and even work around food and wine. Frustrated at the potential of a life of chronic pain, she turned to her online friends who helped her discover healthy ways of living that could combat chronic pain. She’s since created a great online resource and community around dealing with chronic pain and hopes to grow that to an even bigger support arm for pain sufferers everywhere. Jennifer was nominated by DJ Waldow. (And no, it wasn’t an inside job. DJ did no campaigning.)

J.R. Reed – Cecil & Reed and Custom Bucket Seats

J.R. is a radio guy who is working hard on the side to help his brother’s businesses, one a custom denim apparel company, the other a seat cover product for buckets. If anything, it’s off the beaten path. But his nomination, submitted by “Christina” with not other identifying information, indicated that he (and the businesses in question) are the perfect candidates for a BlogWorld trip. They know they want to use social media but don’t quite have the understanding and experience to dive in and make a big splash. So we can help there.

Honestly, there were three other nominations I wanted badly to reward and a couple more than were in the final consideration set. Overall, we had a great number of deserving folks to choose from. The decision was hard and to those that weren’t chosen, I’m sorry I can’t give away more passes. You all deserve to come. And I hope you will still choose to do so.

Congratulations to the winners. We’ll see you in Los Angeles. And if you haven’t registered for BlogWorld yet, please do so. Use the code “SME20” and get 20% off any ticket price!

See you there!

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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