The Emerson College Alumni Association fosters and maintains the spirit and devotion of alumni in an effort to promote the reputation and growth of the College. The Association provides an opportunity for alumni to serve as partners in guiding the direction of the College, and in working to increase its resources through a variety of committees and activities.
Membership in the Association is extended to any person who has attended Emerson College for two or more years. Association members elect a group of alumni volunteers to a governing Board of Directors on an annual basis. If you are interested in serving as a board member, please contact Kevin Fleming.
You can also connect with our Board members on LinkedIn. Visit www.linkedin.com and search for any of the names below and send a link request.
Travis Small is a senior vice president with Solomon McCown & Company. A member of the Class of 1997, Travis has put his bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies to good use over his 18-year career holding senior positions in public relations, public affairs, marketing and advertising. Travis has worked with global clients and brands overseeing major media relations programs, corporate communications initiatives, messaging and positioning efforts, implementation of crisis communications protocols, and cause marketing campaigns. Prior to joining Solomon McCown & Company in 2017, Travis was a senior vice president with Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications where he worked for 10 years, most recently as the head of their energy, emerging technologies and life sciences practice. Travis has worked on several political campaigns including John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. He lives in Natick, Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters.
Since the age of seven, Chet Brewster has been inspired by the dramatic appeal of filmmaking and television production. Chet got his first professional start with CNN within seven days of graduating Emerson College in Boston, started his own production company DavenStar 1 Entertainment and has been professionally engaged for the last 30 years directing, producing and or editing for film, television, live as well as live to tape events. Credits include The Kings of Comedy Tour and Movie, the first nine Tyler Perry stage play DVDs, Keith Sweat’s first live concert DVD, as well as a 3 time award winning comedy Showtime, Hulu and Netflix cable and internet stand up comedy special. Chet has also provided both technical and/or directorial contributions towards multiple TV specials, award and television shows for Showtime, ESPN, BET, TBS, Bounce TV, Gospel Music Channel, Up TV, PBS and TV One. Currently Chet is also focusing more efforts to directing talent in multiple short films he has directed to directing full length feature films.
Carla Lewis-Long currently serves as Senior Vice President for Content Distribution at Participant Media/Pivot TV. She works with all areas of the company including programming, marketing and ad sales to further the strategic growth of the network. Prior to joining Participant Media, Carla was Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing for the nuvo TV where she oversaw all aspects of sales and marketing for the eastern half of the country. Previously, she was senior vice president of affiliate sales at AmericanLife TV, vice president of national accounts for the Oxygen Network, and 12 years at USA/NBC Universal Television in New York City. She joined USA/Universal as manager for the Northeast Region and was promoted to director, responsible for subscriber growth of USA, Sci-Fi, HSN, TRIO and News World International. After NBC purchased USA/Universal in 2004, Carla was also responsible for subscriber growth for CNBC, MSNBC, Telemundo, CNBC World and Shop NBC.
Margie Sullivan is the Operations Director for The Client Relationship Consultancy Inc. in Boston with headquarters in London. Prior to joining CRC, Margie was an executive producer at Redtree Productions and before that, Sullivan was the EVP/Director of Creative Service at the Boston global headquarters of Arnold Worldwide. During her tenure at Arnold, she managed and produced work for many award-winning accounts such as Volkswagen, Truth, Royal Caribbean, Fidelity, and McDonald’s. She was the Executive Producer for the award-winning documentary, “A Hero for Daisy” by Director Mary Mazzio. Sullivan is currently serving on the Hingham Access TV Board of Directors, President of the MA Production Coalition, and an adjunct Professor at Boston University. She is a past board member for the Boston Ad Club.
Susan is Executive Vice President of Marketing and Creative Services for TV One. She is responsible for development and implementation of the network’s consumer marketing and brand strategy, including on-air promotion and consumer marketing. In addition to her marketing duties, Banks serves as Executive Producer of TV One On One with Cathy Hughes and has produced over 40 episodes. At TV One, Banks’ has been recognized as a 2010 Most Powerful Woman in Cable by CableFAX, and a Brand Builder by Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and PromaxBDA in 2007. Over the past decade, she has regularly served as a segment producer for the Daytime Emmy Awards and has served as Executive Producer for the Creative Arts Emmy ceremony.
Pat Peyton is an innovative leadership and sales consultant with more than 25 years of experience partnering with global organizations to enhance their leadership, management, and sales performance. Pat’s exceptional communication and analytical skills, combined with her business acumen, enable her to quickly diagnose organizational challenges, design solutions to address those challenges, and help clients successfully implement those solutions.
Principal designer and founder of VDA Productions, David Breen has worked to establish the unrivaled reputation for excellence that marks VDA. Having spent more than 25 years in the corporate event-marketing arena, he is instrumental in helping clients achieve their core messaging objectives through a creative, visual presentation medium. An accomplished designer and consultant in Boston, David is a graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Technical Theater and Design. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia for numerous corporate special events, conferences, and museum/themed retail installations. VDA Productions is a Boston-based event design, management, and production company providing complete in-house design/fabrication/installation services.
Robert Friend is Vice President, Business Development & Strategy at Patron Technology. Previously, Robert was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Choice Ticketing Systems. He has extensive experience in strategic and financial business operations with significant expertise in fundraising, marketing, sales and technology. He has over thirty years of professional leadership in the non-profit and commercial performing arts, sports and arts technology industries and has worked with and consulted for entertainment organizations throughout North America assisting them in strengthening their financial base through enhanced audience development, marketing, fundraising and technology-based services and initiatives.
Members at Large
As Senior Vice President of Current Programs at The CW Network, Traci Lynn Blackwell‘s often groundbreaking and Emmy nominated programming has earned two Golden Globes and a Peabody Award for Jane The Virgin and the 2016 breakout hit series, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Traci currently oversees the day-to-day production for some of the network’s biggest brands, such as Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Supernatural, Containment, Jane The Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and the highly anticipated new series Frequency and Supergirl, and has a number of award winning TV drama and comedy programming credits to her name. Blackwell is an active member of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), and has earned recognitions such as being named to Essence Magazine’s Hollywood Hot List, being one of the Top 10 Industry Impact Players by the NAACP in 2011, earning The Black Women Film Network’s prestigious Pinnacle Award for her work in television in 2012, and Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 List for 2010. Blackwell is passionate about mentoring and is strongly committed to grooming the next generation of aspiring television professionals.
Stephen is the Eisner Award-winning Editor-in-Chief of Archaia Entertainment, the largest independent graphic novel publisher in the U.S. Stephen supervises development of Archaia’s publishing line, as well as the company’s licensing and production activities in Hollywood. He is Executive Producer of the forthcoming feature film Rust from 20th Century Fox, Lucid from Warner Bros. Pictures, Producer on the animated feature adaptation of Archaia’s Bolivar, also from Warner Bros., and has a television show currently in development at HBO. In publishing, Stephen developed and edited the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel Return of the Dapper Men, and the Eisner-nominated Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, based on an unproduced screenplay by the late Muppeteer. He spearheads Archaia’s joint development relationship with The Jim Henson Company, as well as other external development partnerships.
Upon graduating from Emerson College, Linda J. Coombs worked at several local radio stations, including WSOC-FM in Charlotte, North Carolina, for several years before joining CBS Radio News in New York. She began at CBS as a writer and had been promoted to editor, when she was tapped for her current position as operations manager. A native New Yorker, Linda also sits on the Journalism Advisory Board at York College in Queens, New York.
Richard Cresta leads sales at Fidelity for the Institutional Insurance subadvisory group. Prior to this, he held senior vice presidencies in Sales Strategies and Effectiveness and Advisor Marketing. Before joining Fidelity, Cresta worked at Putnam Investments in the Financial Institutions Division; he began his career at independent bank research firm Veribanc, Inc.Financial Advisor Solutions (FFAS), a division of Fidelity Investments. Fidelity Investments is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing, and other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals, institutions, and financial intermediaries.
Jason E. Grossman is the co-founder of Radio Mouse Entertainment, an award-winning New York-based theater and media production company. His Broadway producing credits include the musical Come From Away (2017); Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, winner of the Tony, Drama Desk, NY Drama Critics, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Play; the Broadway and national touring productions of the Tony Award-winning Peter and the Starcatcher; and The Pee-wee Herman Show On Broadway. Off-Broadway credits include Shear Madness and Nevermore–The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe. Jason received Emerson’s Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2014.
Greg Holstein, a Production Executive at Capital Arts Entertainment, and has worked on such titles as the thriller Smokin’ Aces: Blowback and the teen comedy American Pie: Book of Love. He has assisted in casting numerous hit reality television programs and has worked as a crew member on shows such as CBS’s Survivor. His recent feature credits include Halloween II, My Best Friend’s Girl, and Beethoven’s Big Break. He is a returning Board member having been instrumental in many past initiatives with the Alumni Board and we are thrilled to offer him the opportunity to return.
Tisa is the Head of Global Diversity & Inclusion Practice Management, Microsoft. Tisa is a visionary leader with purposeful passion who believes being a diversity and inclusion leader is a privileged obligation. She’s a respected strategist, disruptive thought leader, speaker, community builder, and business leader. Throughout her 20 year career she has been a key architect in the creation and transformation of Diversity & Inclusion strategies & functions, provided global strategic direction & consultation for the Americas, Asia, the Oceania, and/or Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) regions, managed human capital departments (e.g., Recruitment and Organization Development), developed & implemented community development & branding programs, built internal & external consortiums, conceived & executed employee engagement initiatives, and deployed training & development programs. Her work has been performed for diverse companies ranging from Global 100 and Fortune 100 to start-ups and non-profits in the internet, semiconductor, software, financial services, telecommunications, and management consulting industries. Tisa’s work has been featured the Wall Street Journal and HR Magazine, and others. Her columns have been published in Diversity Journal, addressing topics such as cultural competency, market intelligence, creating a training plan, and the future of Diversity & Inclusion.
Carrie is the co-founder and CEO of Likeable Media, which she grew from a husband-and-wife consulting firm into an award-winning, global social media and word-of-mouth marketing agency. She led her team to generate over $15 million in revenue, landing the agency on the INC 500 List in 2011 and 2012. Prior to the agency’s inception, Carrie had over ten years sales and marketing experience, and worked both on the client side and in media. On the brand side, Carrie and team took Polaroid’s I-Zone Camera and grew it to be the number one selling camera in North America. In media, Carrie was the number one salesperson in the country for the Walt Disney Company’s Radio Division. Carrie currently lives in New York with her husband, Dave Kerpen, New York Times Bestselling Author, and her daughters Kate and Charlotte.
Wayne Larrivee is the play-by-play announcer on Newsradio 620 WTMJ’s Green Bay Packers Radio Network. Before starting his Packers career during the 1999 season, Larrivee called the plays for the Chicago Bears for 14 seasons, most recently on WMAQ-AM, which secured the rights to the Bears radio broadcasts in 1997. Previously at WGN Radio, the then-Bears flagship station, Wayne also called Chicago Cubs baseball and college basketball. Larrivee began his radio career in 1975 at KGRO Radio in Pampa, Texas. Wayne has also found success in front of the camera. He has been seen on ESPN and RAYCOM calling NCAA basketball and regional Big Ten football and basketball broadcasts. For 18 years Wayne handled play-by-play for Chicago Bulls Basketball on WGN Television. Wayne is a five-time winner of the Silver Dome Award for Best Radio Football Play-by-Play from the Illinois Broadcasters Association and he was named Illinois Sportscaster of the Year in 1997. Wayne has also received five Emmys for his work on the Chicago Bulls broadcasts. He and his wife Julie have two adult sons.
With more than 20 years of executive experience in international sports, Lou Lauria is currently vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility and Federation Relationships, at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He previously worked in a range of areas, including competition and venue management; and commercial partnerships, in roles with three Olympic Games Organizing Committees (1996, 2000, and 2002), as well as with the International Paralympic and the International Olympic Committees. Lou was also Vice President, Bid City Management, at Helios Partners, a boutique international agency that secured successful bids for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Jenna is a Director II, Digital Marketing at Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. She is an experienced marketing professional with expertise in digital marketing and strategy on both the agency and brand side. She has a proven track record of success throughout her career in a variety of settings from tech startup to agency startup to Fortune 100 insurance company. She is trusted to effectively manage a large team and hold a budget of $70M. The work she’s done at Liberty has been recognized by a variety of publications and she has won multiple awards including a 2015 Cannes Lions. While at grad school at Emerson, Jenna was selected to represent the college at the Beijing Olympics. It was the first time Emerson students were invited to participate in the Olympic Games. Over 300 students applied and the Emerson faculty as well as the Olympic Committee selected her as one of 25 students to attend (She was one of three non-journalism majors selected). When they returned, she represented the group in a presentation to the Board of Trustees.
Paul Morra is the Partner, Executive Producer and Director of Swift River Productions. Swift River Productions have filmed across the globe for every major genre of the Motion Picture Industry. Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York, Paul and his team have done tremendous work on recent campaigns with Cigna, Star Wars franchise, Xbox, Microsoft and more. A former volunteer fireman for the Los Angeles Engine 271, Paul believes in volunteering and giving back to the community.
As Executive Vice President of Alternative Programming, Jennifer O’Connell oversees the development and production of Lionsgate’s unscripted slate across all platforms. Jen is charged with growing the Company’s alternative television business and has secured deals with acclaimed reality producers such as Matt Kunitz (Fear Factor, Wipeout), Jonathan Karsh (My Five Wives, Catfish), Adam DiVello (The Hills), K.P Anderson (The Soup), as well as Mark Harris and David Shumsky (The Real World).
Before joining Lionsgate in 2015, Jen served as Head of U.S. Television for CORE Media Group. Prior to that, she was Executive Vice President of Shed Media U.S. where she executive produced shows like the Emmy Award®-nominated Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC), The Real Housewives of New York City (Bravo) and Dogs in the City (CBS). Jen also spent seven years at NBCU, first as Vice President of Movies and Miniseries and then as Vice President of Alternative Programs, where she oversaw the development of the first four seasons of The Biggest Loser, and long-form events, including the Emmy Award®-winning The Matthew Shepard Story. Jen also developed and produced movies for the Disney Channel where she served as a creative executive.
John Porio, a media consultant advising multichannel operators, programmers and vendors on distribution and operation strategies. John was previously Vice President, Affiliate Sales, Disney and ESPN Media Networks, responsible for negotiations with and relationships with traditional and new multichannel video providers such as Comcast and Charter, representing all linear networks (e.g. ESPN, Disney Channel, ABC Family, ABC, etc.) and digital products. John joined ESPN in 1997 as Affiliate Marketing Manager, and move through several positions to VP in 2004. Prior to joining ESPN, John was Manager of Government Affairs for Cablevision Systems Corp. Prior to that he served as Legislative Assistant for Congressman Christopher Shays, U.S. House of Representatives. He began his career in 1989 in ad sales at WNTR Radio in Washington D.C. John received a Bachelor of Science degree from Emerson College in 1988. He lives with his wife and three children in Westport, CT. His daughter Anabelle is a current Emerson College student.
Mark Quenzel was named senior vice president of programming and production for NFL Network on November 1, 2010. He manages all major production efforts, including NFL Network’s eight-game Thursday Night Football package. He also plays key production roles in NFL entertainment properties including the Super Bowl halftime show, the NFL Draft and NFL Kickoff. Previously, he was executive vice president of park strategy and management for Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, where he managed 20 domestic and international theme parks. Prior to that, he worked for more than 15 years at ESPN, rising to the position of senior vice president of programming and production.
Nizzi Renaud is the Chief Marketing Officer for Zazzle- the $300MM+ global marketplace focused on customized products. From hardcore video gamers to crafty DIY enthusiasts and style aficionados, Nizzi has engaged communities in a variety of forms throughout her career. She had held leadership roles at Refinery29, Atari and Etsy as well as executive roles agency-side across diverse sectors including politics, tech and the nonprofit world. She serves as an advisor to handful of startups as well as industry associations and is passionate about positive psychology, leadership and female entrepreneurship. In her various capacities as a marketer and leader, she has been featured in publications ranging from Oprah.com and Forbes to Mashable and Internet Retailer. Nizzi has both her BA in Communication Studies and her MA in Integrated Marketing Communications from Emerson. Named one of ‘Marketing’s Next Generation’ by Marketing Magazine, she lives in Silicon Valley by way of Brooklyn, Toronto, Boston, London and Kolkata with her musician husband and dog. This past year, Nizzi was named to the Remodista ‘Women To Watch In Retail Disruption’ list as seen in Forbes/Bizwomen, and was recently honored with their standalone award for her work as a marketing trailblazer.
Patrick serves as a Director of Development for Principal and Major Gifts at Harvard Medical School (HMS), where he manages fundraising efforts for the School’s External Education initiatives as well as select alumni donors. Prior to joining HMS in 2009, he worked as an Account Manager/Writer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund’s Development Marketing Department, providing marketing strategy, project and client relationship management to various fundraising units, while producing strategic marketing and communications support for the $1 billion Mission Possible: The Dana-Farber Campaign to Conquer Cancer. Patrick holds both a bachelor of fine arts degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, as well as a master’s in Integrated Marketing Communication from Emerson College, and is a proud alumni member of the Phi Alpha Tau Fraternity. Patrick and his wife, Nicole Witkov ’03, reside in Boston with their two children.
Lee Stacey is Vice President of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Washington Capitals & Wizards. Previously, Lee was executive vice-president at General Sports, as well as senior vice president of sales and marketing at IMG. He brings more than 20 years of experience in sales and marketing to his role in leading the national sales team and overall sales and marketing strategy for IMG College, out of IMG headquarters in New York.
For the past 20 years, Robert has served in Business Development, Sales and Marketing for IDX Systems Corporation and GE Healthcare. The primary business is software and services for large academic and multi-specialty healthcare organizations. His numerous responsibilities have included Sales Executive, National Operations Manager, Support Director and Product Manager. Prior to joining IDX and GE, he served as an active duty officer in the United States Army from 1989-1992 obtaining the rank of 1st Lieutenant. While at Emerson, Robert served as both Student Body President and Student Representative to the Board of Trustees during his senior year.
Chet Tart is a media executive and talent coach with more than 35 years of broadcast experience as an on-air personality, radio station owner, network executive and entrepreneur. He has owned and operated small-to-mid-sized radio companies since 1980. Chet (with a series of various financial and operating partners) operated and improved stations in markets ranging from communities of under 50,000 to those in the “top 50” ratings. He has raised more than $2 million in capital for start-up businesses. He was also an instrumental player in the latest World LEADERS Conference on Servant Leadership in Palm Beach. Chet was also inducted into the WERS Radio Hall Of Fame in 2014.