Board of Directors

PRESIDENT

Linda Descano
Managing Director and Head of Content and Social, North America Marketing, Citi
President and CEO, Women & Co., Citi

Linda Descano, CFA®, is Managing Director and Head of Content and Social at Citi, responsible for social media and content marketing efforts for the U.S. consumer businesses. Linda also serves as President and CEO of Women & Co., Citi’s award-winning digital publisher of financial lifestyle content.

Over her 20 years at Citi, Linda has had a very diverse career, holding a number of roles across different divisions and functions. She joined Citi predecessor Salomon Inc. in 1994 as Vice President of Environmental Affairs. In 1999, Linda became a director and portfolio manager at Citi’s Private Portfolio Group. Linda joined Women & Co. in 2003 as Chief Operating Officer and was named CEO in 2010. She also served as Chief Administrative Officer of Global Marketing & Corporate Affairs from 2008-2010. Linda assumed her current responsibilities in 2012.

Linda is the author of Citi’s Financial Fitness blog as well as a LinkedIn Influencer. She also is a contributing blogger for Women & Co. and Manilla.com, writing on an array of personal finance, career and leadership, and marketing topics. She was selected as one of GoBankingRates.com’s Most Popular Personal Finance Experts of 2013.  Other honors include a 2013 Changing the Game Award  from Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) and 2012 Women of Excellence Award for Community Service from the National Association of Female Executives (NAFE). 

Passionate about community service, Linda is on the Board of Directors of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., the Director’s Council of the Penn Museum, and the advisory boards of Eve Echo, Fab&Fru and Generations. Linda currently serves as President of New York Women in Communications and is active in a number of other civic and professional organizations.

Linda lives in New Jersey with her husband and two cats.
 

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT

Liz Kaplow
President and CEO, Kaplow

Liz KaplowLiz is the founder and CEO of Kaplow Communications, a leading public relations and communications agency that connects brands and products with consumers and influencers through the art of storytelling. Under Liz’s leadership, for the past 20 years, the agency has been driving consumers to fall in love with brands across such diverse categories as beauty, fashion, retail, lifestyle and consumer technology. Kaplow’s clients range from such world-leading brand partners as Target, Skype, the Avon Foundation, and Unilever.

With her holistic approach to the practice of public relations, Liz is helping to reinvent the field. Her focus on integrating social media and emerging technologies with well-established media platforms ensures that client brand stories are “front and center” where consumers are living today.  This approach earned Kaplow the prestigious Consumer Agency of The Year award -- as well as a place on the list of Best Agencies to Work for -- from the Holmes Report in 2011.

Liz has combined her passion for storytelling with savvy business acumen to become a mentor and leader to her employees and many others. Over her career, Liz has been advisor, colleague and friend to CEOs, business leaders and influencers around the globe, and a guide to many of the communications industry’s most prominent young practitioners. Recognized throughout the industry for her leadership, she is sought after as a speaker and as a judge for top industry competitions such as the CLIO, Sabre and the PR Week Awards.

Liz also has shared her leadership and inspiration with many worthwhile causes. Liz was honored by the James E. Marshall Foundation at the Beyond Beauty Awards this year, and by the Girls Scouts as a Woman of Distinction in 2009.  Liz also serves on the Board of Directors of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) and directs the agency in developing communications strategies for CEW’s charitable foundation, Cancer and Careers. Liz has led the agency’s long standing commitment to Project Morry, a year-round youth development organization.

An honors graduate of Vassar College, Liz also received a graduate degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology.  She lives in New York with her husband Evan Jacobs and has two daughters, Juliana and Melanie.
 

PRESIDENT-ELECT

Kimberly Kelleher

Kim Kelleher is an accomplished advertising and marketing executive with over 20 years of domestic and international experience.

Kim is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Say Media and Upworthy.

As the President of Say Media (July 2012-November 2013), Kim managed and executed Say Media's overall business strategy while leading the company's global sales, marketing, studio, production, public relations, media solutions and content operations teams.

Kim has spent more than 20 years working at some of the world's most influential publications including SELF, Sassy, ELLE and Elle Decor, among others. Prior to joining Say Media, Kim was worldwide publisher of TIME, where she contributed her professional expertise to manage the muIti-platform brand globally. Previously, she was vice president, publisher for Sports Illustrated, the first female executive to lead the brand. In October 2011, Kim was named Advertising Age's Publisher of the Year.

In addition to her professional achievements, Kim has led philanthropic initiatives with organizations involved with breast cancer, heart health and other causes. She is on the Board of Governors for Cancer and Careers, the charitable arm of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) and is on the Board of Directors of the American Advertising Federation.

Kim is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
 

CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER

Debora Coffey
Vice President, Global Marketing Communications and Public Relations
Avon Products, Inc.

Debora CoffeyDebora is the Vice President, North America Communications and Global Public Relations for Avon Products. She has worked at Avon for 15 years, and previously worked on the agency side for clients such as Cover Girl, Vidal Sassoon, Bath & Body Works, Nivea and Eucerin. She is executive sponsor of a new women's network at Avon - Avon Women Empowered (AWE). She is committed to supporting the causes that matter most to women, including economic empowerment, ending violence against women, and fighting breast cancer.

 

 

VICE PRESIDENT-FINANCE

Cheryl Surana
Associate Director, Marketing and Business Development
Columbia Business School

Cheryl SuranaCheryl currently works at Columbia Business School in the Executive MBA Career Management Center as Associate Director of Marketing and Business Development. A Texas native with an entrepreneurial spirit, she founded a national specialty cookie company that she owned and operated for seven years working with a national customer base including Neiman Marcus, A Southern Season, Whole Foods and Costco. In addition, she was a consultant for a new restaurant concept and later became marketing manager for a natural foods company in New York City. Cheryl joined Columbia Business School in 2006 in the Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship. She most recently was the Director of Administration for the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate. She has a BA degree from Southern Methodist University and spent a year abroad attending University College London.  She has been a member of the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) and served on the Dallas Board of Children’s International Summer  Villages (CISV). Favorite book is Malcom Gladwell’s, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference and is best described as a “connector.”

 

VICE PRESIDENT-FINANCE

Denise Gillen
Manager, Fragrances Communications & Sustainability Communications
International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc.

 

VP-INTEGRATED MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS — EDITORIAL

Dimitra DeFotis
Senior Editor, Barrons.com

Dimitra DeFotisDimitra writes about large U.S. companies and their stocks for the online edition of Barron’s, the market-moving national magazine. She has written in print and online, including columns on international markets and Q&As with prominent money managers. She also blogs, tweets and appears in Web and televised reports discussing investing themes. Her pieces have been republished in The Wall Street Journal.

She joined Barron's in 2000 after three years at the Chicago Tribune, where she was among the nation's first "digerati," journalists who embraced the Internet and new ways of storytelling with words, photos and sound. She also wrote front-page stories for the print Tribune on religion, technology and education. She began her career at The Daily Herald in suburban Chicago covering cocaine busts, murders and politics before emerging as a business columnist.

DeFotis is working on a personal project to document the diverse stories of Ottoman Empire refugees of the early 20th century, motivated by family archives and testimony from people who have found her blog.

As a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University, she completed MBA coursework and earned a Master’s degree in journalism and a certificate in economics and business journalism. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 
 

VP-INTEGRATED MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS — DIGITAL

Deanna Utroske
Communications Consultant

Deanna develops editorial, digital and social content that encourages, celebrates and elevates the success of women. She’s worked as Content Producer with Digital Book World and in the editorial offices of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Deanna is a Founding Editor of the online journal Films for the Feminist Classroom, a publication that advances the expertise of women reviewers, essayists, and documentary filmmakers. Deanna’s writing and commentary has been featured on WomansDay.com, HuffPost Books, PBS Mediashift, Diva-Mama.com, The Buttry Diary, SocialMediaWeek.org and cited by the U.S. Department of Justice. She’s been profiled on I Want Her Job—one of Forbes best websites for women.

Deanna is always available for a brunch meeting, loves visiting art galleries around the city, and can, on occasion, be found in the sunshine enjoying a cappuccino and Tweeting about the latest achievements of women in media @DeannaUtroske.

imc@nywici.org
 

 

VP-INTEGRATED MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS — VISUAL STRATEGY

Tanya Jones
Executive Producer, Meredith Video Studios

It’s no secret to those who know her. Tanya Jones is a mover and shaker, a five-star producer, and a woman who gets things done. In July 1997, the same day Tanya received word of a job offer at Food Network in New York City she was also offered two other jobs in social work in her hometown of Philadelphia. She was passionate about both careers and while it was a tough decision, before she knew it, she was on the Peter Pan bus heading up route 95 three months after graduating from Trinity College in Hartford.

Her first job was the assistant to the Senior Vice President of Operations at Food Network. There at Food, she moved up the ranks quickly to Talent Coordinator, Assistant Producer, and Associate Producer. She left Food in 2003 and began her freelance career as a Producer. Tanya produced countless segments and shows for HGTV, Food Network, Discovery, and PBS. She’s also produced for VH1 and the Disney Channel for a show called Johnny and the Sprites.

In 2008 Tanya switched gears to join the branded entertainment division at Meredith Video Studios. Jones has been responsible for producing content since 2008 for brands like Jamba Juice, Benefiber, Arm and Hammer, Mary Kay, General Mills, Kraft, State Farm, Sears/Kenmore, Kellogg’s, Smuckers, and many more. In 2013 Tanya was crowned the Executive Producer and Show Runner for Cozi Network’s primetime reality music show, Next Great Family Band also produced by Meredith Video Studios.

Tanya has been a member of NYWICI since 2011. She is currently in training to become a certified professional coach. Tanya’s hobbies include singing and reading up on all things self-help worthy. She wears many hats but she says there’s no role as rewarding as that of mother to her 8 year old son Justin.

imc@nywici.org
 

 

VP-MEMBERSHIP

Diane Baranello
Principal, Coaching for Distinction

Diane Baranello

Diane is an experienced coach and corporate trainer. In her practice, Coaching for Distinction, she works collaboratively with seasoned executives, emerging leaders and career changers enabling them to create a memorable personal brand, develop career strategies, and overcome obstacles that can derail a career. She leverages a wealth of corporate training experience and puts it at the service of her clients.

Diane was global Training Director for Citi's Private Bank, Private Bank University Curriculum Head for global Management and Professional Development and Training Director for Latin America.  In addition to managing an international team of training professionals, she lead management and leadership seminars, facilitated focus groups and performance challenges across the United States, in Latin America, Asia, Japan, Switzerland, Canada and the Bahamas. She was awarded the Citicorp Service Excellence Award and Citigroup Gold Award for Service Excellence in recognition of her contributions.

In academia, she's facilitated networking and communications programs for New York University's Stern School of Business, NYU's Wasserman Center for Career Development, Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business and the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences.  She participates annually in the Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute's Symposium on Communication which convenes 100 creative, forward-thinking business professionals and educators for a dialogue on best practices on communications in the workplace and the classroom.

Diane sits on the Board of New York Women in Communications, is an active member of WICI's coaching team, and participates annually in the Night of the Coaches. She is a catalyst for women at all career stages, sharing wisdom and practical tools for building their brand from the inside-out and acknowledging the strength, confidence and talent that lies within.

She believes in the importance of confident communications as the foundation for long-term success and offers a holistic approach to career distinction.  Diane's philosophy is simple ...be confident about who you are and what you have to offer, distinguish yourself by building an authentic personal brand, and communicate with energy and enthusiasm

membershipcommittee@nywici.org
 

VP-MEMBERSHIP

Hannah Green Goldberg
National Head of Finance & Professional Services Marketing Solutions, Emerging & Core Business
LinkedIn

Hannah Goldberg currently leads LinkedIn’s national Marketing Solutions team responsible for helping marketers in the Financial & Professional Services industries leverage LinkedIn’s platform from a paid, earned and owned perspective. She is passionate about building teams, evangelizing new platforms and advising marketers on meaningful digital and social media solutions. Hannah joined LinkedIn in 2007 in Silicon Valley to help build out their Marketing Solutions efforts from the ground up. After three years at Headquarters she was brought to New York to take her product knowledge and expertise to Financial & Professional Services Marketers. Prior to LinkedIn Hannah spent 5 years at Yahoo! within various roles, most recently partnering with Fortune 100 companies to develop their global efforts across Search & Display.

Hannah believes strongly in developing office Culture, as evidenced by leading the NYC LinkedIn Culture Council partnering with LinkedIn For Good and Women at LinkedIn, and previously holding a position on the Board of The Yahoo! Employee Foundation. Hannah has a passion for giving back to the community, she has been a New York regional leader for Sparked.com and supports various philanthropic organizations. Currently she sits on the Board of the Membership Committee of New York Women in Communications.

Hannah holds a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University, and she resides in Brooklyn, New York.

membershipcommittee@nywici.org
 

VP-PROGRAMMING

Lori Greene
Senior Partner, Director of Content, Maxus Global

Lori GreeneLori is a proven multi-platform content executive highly proficient in all aspects of media including social, mobile, broadband, television, digital, and print as well as digital ad sales. She is the Senior Partner, Director of Content for Maxus Global.  Greene also teaches digital content strategies at New York University and is a guest speaker, panelist, and lecturer on digital subjects. Most recently, she executed a full digital rebrand of the global company WOBI, home of the World Business Forum, including content alliances with AOL, Inc., Wharton Business School, and Fast Company.  She was responsible for exponential social media growth and the company’s first expansion into Asia.

Prior, she ran BBC America Digital where she increased web traffic over 100% and won Best Cable Website of the Year for her intelligent integration of television, digital, and social elements.  She also increased revenue, social and digital metrics by double digits.

During her tenure at A & E Networks, Lori Greene used her deep experience in content creation to reinvent History.com with a new strategic vision and a multi-million dollar budget, leading it to consistent record-breaking traffic.  She took dispirited staff, made smart hires, and coalesced them into a solid, goal-oriented team by inspiring and motivating them to bring Biography.com and History.com to higher levels of concept, content and design leading to a slew of awards including a Top Ten Website of the Year Award for 2007 from the Interactive Media Awards (IMA).  Greene’s collaborative skills led to integrated promotion on billboard signage, television, print, and more.  At Reader’s Digest, she led editorial creation and implementation of a global digital content syndication business that resulted in the company’s first licensing deal -- worth several million dollars.

Her stint at Courttvnews.com included saving the digital division from extinction by utilizing team-player strategies and totally integrating the site into the Court TV network.  When she ran digital ad sales marketing and operations for the company, she elegantly balanced editorial concerns with revenue goals leading to close to a million dollars in annual revenue.  Greene created content for Court TV’s first-ever mobile campaign, supervised the creation of three business-to-business websites, and oversaw innovative in-house promotions that were featured at the annual Promax/BDA awards.

Lori Greene was the President of Women in Cable Telecommunications’ New York Chapter and she spent several years on the board of directors growing membership, running sold-out programs, and devising new ways of engaging the cable business audience.  Before aiming to conquer the digital frontier, Greene was a highly sought-after television producer for Travel Channel, Food Network, and Lifetime.

Greene has a global perspective borne out of travel to all seven continents and over 100 countries from her days as a travel journalist. She interviewed subjects as diverse as Julia Child, Calvin Klein, a famous political prisoner in a Peruvian jail, and Dr. Michael Mann, the climatologist at the epicenter of the climate change debate.

When not working to transform digital entities, Greene concentrates on goal-oriented adventures -- she summited Mount Kilimanjaro, ran the New York City marathon, and snorkeled for miles with spawning salmon in a frigid Canadian river.

programming@nywici.org
 

VP-PROGRAMMING

Elizabeth Kressel
Founder & CEO, Collectors Quest

Liz Kressel is a digital media executive and entrepreneur with expertise in content strategy, e-commerce, new site launches, content partnerships as well as digital distribution. Liz founded Lizard Media, a digital media consulting firm that delivers strategic, operational and market entry strategies. Recent clients include:  A+E Television Networks, Keurig, LivePerson, Showtime Networks, AMC Networks, iN Demand, IFC/Sundance Channels, Smithsonian Channel, Sony Pictures, MTV Networks, and Bravo.

Liz is also the Founder and CEO of Collectors Quest, a website that merges retail and interactive content for the collectors’ community. The company has a strategic marketing partnership with A+E Networks (A&E Network®, HISTORY®, Lifetime®, BIO™, H2® and Military History™, among others) that provides television exposure and online marketing support tied to A+E’s most popular properties, including “Pawn Stars,” “American Pickers” and “American Restoration” and “Counting Cars.” This partnership extends across all A+E properties to any programming with collector tie-ins and to commerce items directly related to the shows.

Before that, at PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Media Entertainment Practice, Liz developed strategies for ad sponsorships and cross-promotional revenue opportunities. She also co-authored “The Economic Impact of September 11th on New York City,” a financial impact study on the Media and Entertainment industry published by the New York City Partnership. While there she realized over $300M in total cost savings and prompted over $200M in investment for her clients. At Time Warner, Liz led strategic analysis for a $4B division in annual sales where she tested P&L viability of new product rollouts, conducted segmentation and brand building derived from consumer spending patterns.

Liz is an active participant in the cable and digital media industries and serves on the Board of Directors for Women in Cable & Telecommunications in New York. She is a 2008 recipient of the Highest Leaf Award, given to women entrepreneurs by the Women’s Venture Fund. Liz holds an MBA in Finance and International Business from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and a BA in Economics from Brandeis University.

programming@nywici.org

 

VP-SPONSORSHIP

Erika Nardini
Head of Marketing Solutions, AOL Advertising 

Erika NardiniErika leads AOL's Marketing Solutions organization overseeing AOL's go to market practice. Erika leads AOL's marketing, creative services and program development for AOL's biggest advertising partners.

Prior to AOL, Erika led sales and marketing at Demand Media, connecting brands with intent driven consumers in new and creative ways. Erika is an architect behind Demand Media’s Content for Real Life platform and is focused on driving advertiser revenue and innovation via a cross-functional creative services and sales development organization. At Demand Media, Erika oversees the company's strategic partnerships including their relationship with L'Oreal, Proctor and Gamble and Purina.
 
Erika was formerly the Vice President of Packaging at Yahoo!, where she built a cohesive and aligned go to market operation spanning branded entertainment, market development, advertiser solutions and strategic insights.
 
Prior to Yahoo!, Erika built the global arm of Microsoft MSN’s branded entertainment and experiences (BEET) division and opened offices in Tokyo, London, and Amsterdam.
 
Erika has held several marketing, creative and media posts, including the management of media and creative accounts at Digitas, Havas and Arnold Worldwide. Erika also established the digital media practice at Fidelity Investments in the late 1990s.
 

VP-STRATEGIC PLANNING

Jessica Kleiman
EVP, Communications at SANDOW 

 
Jessica KleimanAs EVP, communications at SANDOW, Jessica manages internal and external corporate communications and all public relations efforts for the multiplatform media company and its various brands. SANDOW’s portfolio includes Culture + Commerce, Fred Segal, Interior Design, Luxe Interiors + Design, Material ConneXion, NewBeauty and Worth.

Previously, Kleiman served as vice president, public relations for Hearst Magazines, one of the world's largest publishers of monthly magazines. In that position, she was responsible for all PR efforts for 20 consumer magazine brands in the U.S., including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper's Bazaar, House Beautiful, O, The Oprah Magazine and Town & Country, as well as the company's international, digital, brand development, integrated media and consumer marketing divisions.

Prior to joining Hearst in 2000, Kleiman was director of PR at The Knot (now called XO Group), the nation's leading wedding website and media company, where she managed the public relations and investor relations for the company's online sites, books, magazines, gift registry and products for nearly two years and helped lead the company to a successful IPO. She started her PR career at The Rosen Group, a magazine publicity firm.

A graduate of University of Michigan with a BA in Communication, Kleiman has written for several magazines, newspapers and websites, including being a regular blogger for Forbes.com’s Work in Progress section. Kleiman co-wrote the career guide, "Be Your Own Best Publicist: How to Use PR Techniques to Get Noticed, Hired and Rewarded at Work" (Career Press, 2011) with co-author Meryl Weinsaft Cooper.

Kleiman has lectured about publicity and promotion at various universities, conferences and professional organizations around the country and was nominated in 2011 as "Publicist of the Year" by PR News.

 

VP-STRATEGIC PLANNING

Susan Schulz
Editorial Brand Director, Cosmopolitan

Susan SchultzSusan has been at Hearst Magazines since 2000, currently serving as Editorial Brand Director of Cosmopolitan, where she oversees the website, CosmoBooks and a variety of other brand extensions. Prior to this she served as Editor-in-Chief of CosmoGirl. She began her career in magazine publishing as an Editorial Assistant at Redbook after earning a BA in English from Loyola College, Maryland.  Susan has received much-deserved recognition for her community service including the 2003 Media Partnership Award from the National Eating Disorders Association, the 2005 “Do Something” Award from the National Alliance for Eating Disorder Awareness and a 2011 Galaxy Award from the New York Women’s Agenda. She is also the outgoing Chairman of the Advisory Board for GlamourGals Foundation, which provides complimentary makeovers to women living in senior homes.
 

VP-STUDENT AFFAIRS

Megan Hess
Assistant Editor, Mashable

Megan HessMegan is an assistant editor at Mashable, where her expertise lies in digital, mobile, and social media. Prior to joining Mashable, she was a digital and social media editor at Scholastic Parent & Child magazine, where she oversaw special digital projects, edited the magazine’s website and iPad editions, and managed their social media accounts. She has also worked at The Huffington Post; CNNMoney.com; O, The Oprah Magazine; and Seventeen magazine. Megan graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University with degrees in magazine journalism and international relations, and a minor in Chinese studies. She also founded and runs an award-winning website about unusual careers called No Joe Schmo.

studentaffairscommittee@nywici.org
 

VP-STUDENT AFFAIRS

Brittany Hennessy

Director of Digital Marketing and Strategic Partnerships
Lucille Roberts Gyms

Brittany Hennessy is a digital marketing consultant for lifestyle, consumer and wellness brands. Some of the campaigns she has worked on include Nivea’s 100th Anniversary, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the launch of GAP’s “Born to Fit” jean, and the NY/NJ Host Committee for Super Bowl XLVIII.

A strong believer in female empowerment, Brittany is the Director of Digital Marketing and Strategic Partnerships for Lucille Roberts Gyms and has served as the Social Media Manager for Advertising Women of New York. She has also taught three digital salons for NYWICI including Optimizing Your Facebook Fan Page, WordPress for Business 101 and WordPress for Business 201.

A graduate of Rutgers University - New Brunswick, Brittany is dedicated to educating and encouraging the leaders of tomorrow. In 2013 Brittany spoke at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Fall Journalism Conference and the NYWICI Student Communications Career Conference. She is extremely excited to be raising funds and awareness for the Foundation.

Brittany is very happily married to Alexander Herbert Hennessy and they live in Irvington, NY.

studentaffairscommittee@nywici.org

 


KELLEN COMPANY STAFF

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Maria Ungaro
Vice President, The Kellen Company 

Maria UngaroMaria is a Vice President of the Kellen Company, an employee-owned association management company of which NYWICI has been a client since 1996. She has a BA and an MBA from Fordham University, was the executive director for the New York Women's Agenda and, prior to Kellen, worked for a management consulting firm specializing in crisis communications, public relations and corporate positioning.

 

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Kaitlyn Konstandt

MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR

Angella Giannacopoulos