Purpose of the Board of Advisors
The Emerson College Board of Advisors assists the President and the Board of Trustees in carrying out their duties to ensure that the College sustains and implements sound strategic plans to ensure Emerson’s long-term institutional health.
Advisors offer advice and recommendations to the President and the Board of Trustees on plans and initiatives related to the schools, the student experience, industry outreach and engagement, diversity and inclusion, fundraising, and special projects identified by the President.
Role of the Board of Advisors
Each Advisor serves to connect Emerson students and faculty to industry. Achieving this goal occurs both during the three annual meetings and through individual activities that occur throughout the year coordinated by the President's Liaisons to the Board of Advisors. These activities include: participation in Emerson task forces, serving as a guest lecturer, introducing industry leaders to the College, mentoring students, and creating pathways to internship opportunities for Emerson students.
Jake Bailey ’14
Co-founder and CEO, Harvest Labs
While at Emerson, Jake co-founded the Emerson Accelerator Program (now known as Emerson Launch) after being selected by Emerson President Lee Pelton as one of two students tasked with designing and implementing a program that would foster innovation at Emerson and arm the next generation of the creative class with skills they’d need to thrive in the new economy. Through the program, Jake continues to mentor student startups, hold office hours, and lead workshops.
Jake launched his first entrepreneurial endeavor, e-commerce men's street-wear label Rite Brothers Clothing, as a sophomore at Emerson. He then transitioned into tech as the first marketing and business development hire at Ditto Labs, a social media analytics company based in Cambridge, MA. During his junior year, Jake started what would eventually become his current company, Harvest Labs—a SaaS startup creating the next generation of data aggregation technology. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2014 with a BS in Marketing Communication and Business.
David G. Breen, BFA ’78
Principal Designer and Founder, VDA Productions
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.
Bonnie Comley, MA ’94
BroadwayHD.com is an online subscription streaming service with a library of over 180 full-length stageplays and musicals. It made history in 2016 for the first live stream of a Broadway show and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. In addition to founding BroadwayHD.com, Comley is a three-time Tony Award-winning producer, an Olivier Award-winner, a two-time Drama Desk Award-winner for her stage productions, and is also a member of The Broadway League.
The theater community has honored Comley for her philanthropic work including The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, The Drama League Special Contribution to the Theater Award, The Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons, and The Theater Museum Distinguished Service Award. Comley's educational honors include The Distinguished Alumni Award from Emerson College, The Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Massachusetts, and the business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma. The Music Theater Program is named in her honor at Boston University, The Musical Theater Society Room bears her name at Emerson College, and the 500-seat theater at the University of Massachusetts Lowell is known as the Comley/Lane Theater. For more on Bonnie Comley, visit www.Comley.com
Jeremy Cornfeldt, MA '94
As President of iProspect, US, a leading digital performance marketing agency, Jeremy leads the company’s strategy, product offerings, and client services teams. A true visionary, Jeremy builds upon the agency’s strong foundation and core offerings to drive growth and champion the agency as an emerging digital performance powerhouse. He has extensive experience building strategic relationships with large complex brands and believes in maximizing the benefits of partner relationships to create new opportunities for iProspect’s clients in the marketplace. For the last 12 years of his 20+ year career in marketing and advertising, Jeremy has held key roles within the Dentsu Aegis Network, including overseeing the Global Media Partnerships team and working hand-in-hand with Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Google. Jeremy launched AMNET, the Dentsu Aegis Network media trading desk in the US market, which established customized automated trade offerings for Fortune 500 clients.
Lisa Dollinger, BS, Parent '10
CEO, Dollinger Strategic Communication
Lisa Dollinger is a strategic communication and marketing specialist with 25 years of experience in building brands, growing businesses, and managing the reputations and public images of some of the world’s foremost executives and entertainment personalities. She currently represents best-in-class clients across the media and entertainment industry as CEO of Dollinger Strategic Communication (www.dollcomm.com). As a global media and entertainment executive, Lisa was chief communications officer for Clear Channel Communications, Inc., a Fortune 500 company that held leadership positions in radio and television broadcasting, digital media, outdoor advertising, and live entertainment. For a decade, Lisa provided executive leadership for the company’s communications initiatives, acting as chief communications strategist and spokesperson for the company. She directed corporate communication and branding, reputation and issues management, strategic positioning of the company’s diverse global assets, media relations, social media strategy, crisis communications, corporate social responsibility, and employee communications. She also worked with executive management on litigation, public policy, and financial communications. As architect of the company’s notable reputation rehabilitation, Lisa led the company’s communication initiatives through persistent regulatory issues, new competitive threats, and changing consumer behaviors, as well as multiple strategic realignments (including the spin-off of Live Nation and NYSE IPO of Clear Channel Outdoor), mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and leadership changes, and the digital transformation of its traditional media platform, launching its digital billboard networks and iHeartRadio digital music platform. She led the company’s communication through its acquisition by private equity firms Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital. Her work has been featured in a Harvard Business School–published case study.
Prior to Clear Channel, Lisa was the first employee of Capstar Broadcasting Corporation, where she led that company’s corporate communications initiatives through an unprecedented period of industry consolidation and growth and the most successful IPO up to that time on the New York Stock Exchange.
Lisa has ranked among the top 2 in Radio Ink Magazine’s annual ranking of Most Influential Women in Radio, being named to the list every year from 2003 through 2011, and again in 2016. She was named one of the 2011 Most Powerful and Influential Women of Texas by the National Diversity Council and was also appointed to the Commission for Healthy Media Images for Girls by the Girls Scouts of the USA.
Lisa is an active industry and community leader, and has served on national, regional, and local boards of directors, including: Alliance for Women in Media/American Women in Radio & Television, the Ad Council, Library of American Broadcasting, Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center, the National MS Society, and on advisory councils of the USO, The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Communication, and The University of Texas at San Antonio’s College of Liberal and Fine Arts. She has served as a national judge for radio and television’s Gracie Awards for many years, and has served on several leadership committees for the National Association of Broadcasters. Lisa is a popular public speaker and has been featured at the Texas Conference for Women for several years. She holds a BS degree in organizational communication from The University of Texas at Austin, and is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and the Seminar. She serves on the Board of Advisors for Emerson College.
Mark Donovan, BA ’89
Chief Operations Officer, ThinAire
Mark has more than 15 years of executive–level leadership experience building viable businesses and robust, network–related application products in varying verticals such as healthcare, education, sports and entertainment, and residential real estate. Prior to joining GoMed and imATHLETE, Mark was CEO for Flyfone, Inc., an international provider of voiceover–IP managed services whose customer base expanded to more than 65 countries around the globe. As a founding executive and senior vice president of operations for Viva Group, Inc, dba Rent.com, Mark was responsible for all operations including product development, strategic analysis, sales, customer service, and human resources. In 2005, eBay Inc. acquired Rent.com for $415 million. Mark’s professional experience covers work with Fortune 100 Corporations, the White House, and entrepreneurial and industry innovators.
John C. Ford, BA, Advisor Emeritus
Principal, John C. Ford Associates
As a member of the Board of Advisors from 1976 to 2007, John Charles Ford has been a valued and respected member of the Emerson College community. Providing leadership for those 31 years through his expertise in organizational development and communications, as well as with generous financial support, John has helped Emerson become one of the most respected communication colleges in the country. In 2008, John was nominated to emeritus status, one of Emerson's first such appointments on the Board of Advisors. John has been a member of the Management and Entrepreneurial Studies Committee of the Board of Advisors. He was also a board member of the Friends of the Majestic Theatre. He has generously and consistently supported the annual fund, the president’s discretionary fund, the EVVY Awards, the Library, and the Majestic Theatre. Before founding his own consulting firm, John C. Ford Associates, in 1984, John had distinguished himself in the broadcasting and cable industry, where he held senior human resources responsibilities at CBS, ABC, and Home Box Office. At CBS, John established the CBS School of Management. His work in human resources earned him the American Society for Training and Development’s Human Resources Development Award in 1978. Prior to that, John worked in the financial services industry with positions at the American Stock Exchange, where he won a PRSA Silver Anvil award and at Merrill Lynch and Company. John currently works with a variety of financial services and entertainment clients and delivers online programs for the Harvard Business School's Leadership Direct program.
Sandra Goldfarb, BFA ’78, Advisor Executive Committee Member
Senior Vice President, Rasky Partners, Inc.
Sandi Goldfarb directs Rasky Partner’s nonprofit, education and consumer practice. Her clients include the Museum of Science, Boston; Massachusetts General Hospital, the Isenberg School of Management; Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation; UMass Amherst; the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care and Wellesley College. A seasoned communications professional, Sandi has more than 25 years of experience in a variety of settings, including advertising, public relations, and marketing firms; cultural institutions; and government agencies. An Emerson graduate, Sandi is past president of its Alumni Board of Directors and served as the alumni representative to the Board of Trustees. She is the recipient of The Bulldog Reporter Award for Excellence in Media Relations, the Public Affairs Award from the Publicity Club of Boston, The Bulldog Reporter Award (Honorable Mention) for New Product Launch, the PR News Non-Profit Award (Honorable Mention), two national awards from The Bulldog Reporter, both Silver, in the Best Special Events Category (Campaigns for the Mass General Cancer Center and UMass Amherst), the Silver Bell from the Publicity Club of New England (Campaign for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation), the Gold Bell from the Publicity Club of New England (Campaign for the Highland Street Foundation) , an Honorable Mention from PR Daily (Campaign for the Highland Street Foundation) and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Emerson.
Jan Jacobs Greenhawt, BS ’69
Retired Speech-Language Pathologist
Jan Jacobs Greenhawt has been an Overseer since 1996, and joined the Alumni Association Board in 1987. She received a BS in Speech from Emerson College in Speech Pathology and Audiology and an MA from University of Maryland. While working for Prince George’s County Board of Education, she was employed as an itinerant speech pathologist and as a teacher of pre-school deaf. During her employment with the York County Easter Seal Society, Jan provided speech and language services to both children and adults and taught lip-reading classes to senior citizens. Since 1986, she served as a speech-language pathologist and a curriculum development specialist in the area of written language, training special education teachers and speech-language pathologists in literacy. Jan recently retired from the School Board of Broward County Schools, and is now an active volunteer for the school. She also serves as president of a cancer charity in Boca Raton, Florida.
Lisa Gregorian ’83, MA ’86
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Warner Bros. Television Group
Executive vice president of worldwide marketing since 2005, Lisa Gregorian heads a centralized marketing department of 135 people in the United States and 30 overseas. She has recently been involved with the launch of Anderson Cooper’s talk show and The Big Bang Theory in syndication, as well as marketing existing shows such as The Closer and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Gary Krantz, BS ’81
President and Chief Executive Officer, Krantz Media Group
Gary Krantz is president and CEO of Krantz Media Group, which provides CEOs, C-level executives, sales managers, content providers, brand marketers, and high-profile entrepreneurs with tailored "think-out-of-the-box" business development, sales, content development, syndication, and investment strategies. Previously, he was the president of Air America Radio and the chief digital media officer at Westwood One Inc.
G. Michael Mara Jr., BS ’81
Senior Vice President, Regional Manager Investment and Fiduciary Services, Wells Fargo
Michael Mara is senior vice president, regional manager investments and fiduciary services at Wells Fargo. Previously, he was managing director and portfolio manager with ICC Capital Management, Inc., an institutional money management and HNW/UHNW wealth advisory firm (RIA). Prior to his merger with ICC, Michael served as chairman, CEO, and founder of Valley Forge Capital Advisors, Inc. (VFCA), a SEC–registered investment advisor. ICC Capital Management and Valley Forge Capital Advisors merged in January 2011. He was the lead portfolio manager to the VFCA Sector Rotational Core Composite, responsible for portfolio design, composition, and management. Michael served as sub-advisor/portfolio manager to the MFS Sector Rotational Fund (previously the Penn Street Sector Rotational Fund - PSF) since its inception in August 2000 to February 1, 2010. Michael was the founder and manager of the PSF and was responsible for the Fund’s strategic acquisition by MFS Investment Management in January 2007. Previously, he served as Millennium Bank’s (now First Niagara Bank) managing director for asset management & trust, chairman of the trust investment committee with a specific focus on the Private Bank’s HNW clients. Prior to that, he was with the Vanguard Group as a principal of Vanguard’s asset management and trust services. Previous to Vanguard, Michael was with Merrill Lynch & Company as senior vice president–regional director of the Merrill Lynch Trust Company (MLTC). Michael was a senior member of the Merrill Lynch Trust team that built Merrill’s national trust program. In addition to opening numerous Merrill Trust offices throughout the United States, he was instrumental in the development and management of MLTC’s UHNW Trust, Philanthropic, and Family Office programs.
Sara Morgan '05, MA '10
Product Marketing, Dell EMC
Sara Morgan is a Product Marketer at Dell EMC. Previously, she has held various marketing positions focused on brand management, marketing strategy, and execution. She has worked in a variety of industries, for companies such as Pearson Education, Liberty Mutual Insurance, SAI Global and Harvard University. From 2011-2013, Sara was Marketing Director for Emerson's listener-supported radio station WERS-FM 88.9. In addition to Sara's marketing and radio experience, she produced two top-rated morning radio shows in Boston for WJMN-FM 94.5, as Assistant Producer, and WBQT-FM 96.9, as Executive Producer. From 2013-2015, Sara was an affiliated faculty member in the Marketing Communication department. During that time, she served as a capstone instructor for a campaign planning course for senior marketing majors, challenging students to develop and execute a completed integrated marketing communications strategy and campaign plan for an existing client, organization, and/or brand. As a graduate student of Emerson College, Sara received the Lagrant Foundation Scholarship, which aims to increase diversity in fields of marketing, advertising, and public relations. Sara remains involved with the Foundation.
Rick Musiol, Jr.
Senior Vice President and Regional Director of Public Affairs, Citizens Bank
Rick Musiol, Jr. currently serves as the Senior Vice President and Regional Director of Public Affairs for Citizens Bank.
Rick is responsible for the development and oversight of activities that enhance the reputation of the bank through charitable contributions, philanthropic and community outreach activities as well as media and social media. He serves as strategic advisor to market presidents and other senior leaders regarding community-related activities in the New England Region.
Prior to his current role, Rick served as the Chief of Staff to the President of the Massachusetts Senate. In this role, Rick led a team dedicated to developing the Senate President's policy agenda, working with members, committee chairs and staff on the policy initiatives of the Massachusetts Senate.
He stays civically active by serving on the Board of Directors of Community Servings and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association, the Board of Overseers of the New England Aquarium, the Board of Advisors at Emerson College, and the Board of Advisors of Camp Harbor View and Fenway Health. In 2015, Rick was recognized by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce as one of Boston's Ten Outstanding Young Leaders.
Rick is a graduate of Stonehill College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and holds a Masters of Science in Public Affairs from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
A native Cape Codder, Rick resides in Boston.
Hadeel Reda '90
Producer/Executive Producer; Founder, Purple Pictures
Hadeel Reda has over 25 years of experience in developing, producing, and financing feature films. Most recently she completed production on Ride, starring Ludacris and Sasha Alexander, and American Wrestler: The Wizard starring Jon Voight and William Fichtner, which Warner Brothers released in May 2017. Other recent credits include Harbinger Down, the 2015 theatrically-released film Into the Grizzly Maze, which Reda developed and produced starring Billy Bob Thornton and James Marsden. Reda also arranged financing for the Jason Bateman-directed film Family Fang, starring Nicole Kidman and Christopher Walken in 2016 and is currently developing The Berlin Game, a WWII heist thriller with Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) to direct.
Formerly Chief Executive Officer of Winchester Films, which she founded in 1998 as the Los Angeles division of the UK-based Winchester Entertainment, plc, Reda established innovative film financing structures and international output deals for Chuck Gordon (Die Hard), and created overall first look deals with producers/directors Richard Donner/Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men) and Wind Dancer Producer Group (What Women Want).
As the former Head of Production at Winchester Films, Reda developed and executive produced a slate of co-financed films including 16 Blocks starring Bruce Willis and directed by Richard Donner; Heartbreakers starring Sigourney Weaver and Gene Hackman; the comedy Scorched starring Woody Harrelson and John Cleese; as well as Joel Silver’s Jane Doestarring Teri Hatcher. Also in an executive producing capacity, she has projects with Sony, Paramount, Universal, Fox and Warner Brothers.
Previously, Reda served for four years as an executive at The Walt Disney Company, where she got her start in feature film development at the studio and rose to an executive position in Marketing and Distribution in the International Division for Disney’s feature films, Buena Vista International.
Reda graduated with a BS in Mass Communication, Film from Emerson College, 1990.
Michael Rogers, Advisor Executive Committee Member
Mike Rogers began his career at Doyle Dane Bernbach as a copywriter. He won numerous creative awards for his work on Michelin, the New York Lottery, Volkswagen, Porsche, Bud Light, IBM, and Hershey. After winning the biggest account in the history of the agency, he was named creative director of the New York Office, the youngest person to have ever been named to that position. After adding more than $500 million in new business billings, Mike was named vice chairman chief creative officer of the agency. In 2004, Mike started his own agency, ML Rogers, and sold it In 2012, to the global agency group, Dentsu. Mike is co-founder of madandwall, an integrated marketing communications company that was recently named best financial services agency of 2016.
Janet Scardino, BS ’81
CEO, Comic Relief, Inc.
Janet Scardino is a media executive who has grown successful television, mobile and online businesses in the US and internationally. A general manager and accomplished brand marketer, she has launched and operated multi-platform businesses for some of the world's most recognized media brands, including MTV, Disney, AOL and Reuters, and American Idol and Saban's Power Rangers. Janet has started up over ten new businesses, including Viggle Inc., the first entertainment marketing and rewards platform, where she was CEO. She is currently launching a new business in digital media and entertainment. Janet studied at Emerson College in Boston, where she graduated with honors and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications. She was honored by The Girl Scouts, received a Highest Leaf Award by The Women's Venture Fund, and was recognized with an Irma Mann Distinguished Speaker Award.
Joshua Wachs, BS ’87, Advisor Executive Committee Member
Joshua Wachs has been merging creativity and technology for the last 35 years. In 1987, after graduating from Emerson College with a degree in Mass Communications, he founded a Massachusetts custom software development and consulting company. For more than 12 years, Wachs was President, CEO, and visionary behind Natural Intelligence, Inc. Known nationally and internationally for its innovative custom technology, Natural Intelligence was recognized for pioneering software, creating Roaster, a ﬁrst-to-market Java Development Environment and clean-room virtual machine for the Macintosh. From 2008 to 2016, he joined Echo & Co. as CEO and co-owner, helping non-profits and socially progressive companies with their digital presence and communications. Despite demanding career activities, Wachs is an active participant in a wide variety of community activities. He was an early supporter and contributor to a variety of industry volunteer networks, including The Boston Computer Society. He was a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Association and was a corporate sponsor of public radio. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Emerson College and the Board of Directors for Circus Smirkus. He tweets at twitter.com/schwachs.
John A. Wentworth ’81, Advisor Executive Committee Member
John A. Wentworth is a Communications Consultant, most recently serving as Executive Vice President, Communications, for CBS Television Distribution.
An industry veteran, over the years Wentworth has overseen the various corporate-level and consumer media relations efforts for Paramount Network Television, CBS Paramount Domestic Television, CBS Paramount International Distribution, King World Productions and the current entity, CBS Television Distribution. These combined divisions produce and/or distribute primetime and daytime programming for network, cable, premium television and first-run syndication, domestically and internationally. In addition, his purview included the communications efforts for CBS Home Entertainment and CBS Consumer Products, which includes managing all publicity efforts for the merchandising, licensing, events and activations for the Star Trek franchise’s 50th anniversary milestone.
Wentworth oversaw all publicity efforts for CTD’s 10 first-run syndicated shows: Dr. Phil, The Doctors, Rachael Ray, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Inside Edition, Judge Judy, Hot Bench, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy!; as well as off-network series such as the CSI franchise (CBS), The Good Wife (CBS), NCIS (CBS), Penny Dreadful (Showtime) and Blue Bloods (CBS).
From 1993 to 1999, Wentworth served as Senior Vice President, then Executive Vice President, Media Relations and Marketing, for the Paramount Television Group, reporting to the Chairman of the Group. Prior to that he was Vice President, Advertising, Publicity and Promotion for Paramount Network Television, during which time he oversaw the ongoing publicity for such long-running hit series as Frasier, Cheers, Family Ties, Star Trek: The Next Generation, MacGyver and The Arsenio Hall Show. Wentworth first joined Paramount in 1983 as Manager of Advertising, Publicity and Promotion for Paramount Domestic Television.
Wentworth’s entertainment career also includes positions at Columbia Pictures and public relations firm Rogers & Cowan.
Born in Skowhegan, Maine and raised in the Caribbean, Wentworth graduated in 1981 from Emerson College in Boston, with a degree in Mass Communications. In 1995 he received the Alumni Achievement Award from Emerson’s Alumni Association. In 1999 he was awarded Emerson’s EVVY Award for Distinguished Alumni. In 2012, Wentworth was ranked as one of Business Insider’s “20 Most Powerful Publicists in Hollywood”. He is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Paley Center for Media, the Television Publicity Executives Committee (TPEC) and serves on Emerson College’s Board of Overseers. His philanthropic endeavors are numerous and include his 2005 appointment to the Board of Directors of The Alliance For Children’s Rights. Wentworth resides in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara County, where his husband owns a renowned restaurant.
Mary Sweig Wilson, PhD, MA ’64, Advisor Emerita
Professor Emerita of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Vermont and President of Laureate Learning Systems
Mary Sweig Wilson received a BA in Speech and Theatre from Smith College, an MA in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Emerson College, and a PhD in Communicative Disorders from Northwestern University. She is professor emerita of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Vermont and president of Laureate Learning Systems, a software company dedicated to the development of programs to help children and adults with disabilities.