Get to know our Alumni Board Members at Large
Eric Cornell ’05
Eric Cornell is a Tony Award–winning producer who works in theater, digital media, and broadcast TV. He has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, national touring, regional, and international productions for 15 years in various roles. As management: The Producers, Hairspray, Wicked, Next to Normal, Sister Act. As executive producer: Anastasia, Rocky. As producer: To Kill a Mockingbird, Oklahoma!, What the Constitution Means to Me, Head Over Heels, Big Fish, A Christmas Carol. Cornell was a company manager at 321 Theatrical Management for six years and then served as vice president of production and executive producer for Stage Entertainment USA for four years before starting his own companies. Eric Cornell Productions develops and consults on new productions, and Cornice Productions is an investment, management, and production company for live entertainment. Upcoming shows include: The Outsiders, Lights Out: Nat King Cole, Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical, Anne of Green Gables, The Cottage.
Cornell works with the American Theatre Wing as a producer for the Obie Awards, Off-Broadway’s highest honor. In 2019, he began work in digital media and broadcast TV, serving as executive producer for the Ctrl Alt Delete webseries and as associate producer for The SpongeBob Musical: Live on Stage! for Nickelodeon TV.
He is an assistant professor at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where he teaches a senior-level BFA course on the business of theater. He received a bachelor’s degree from Emerson College and a master’s degree from Harvard University.
Richard Cresta ’90
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.
Shannon Felton Spence ’10
Shannon Felton Spence is the director of communications at Opportunity Insights, a research and policy institute at Harvard University. Previously, she served as the head of politics and communications at the British Consulate General of New England and as a civic and tech communication consultant at Microsoft. In addition to her career in public affairs, she has become a go-to source on the British Royal Family for FOX News, CBS, NBC, New England Cable News, and Boston’s WHDH.
Spence has a BS in Political Communications from Emerson College and a master’s degree in public affairs from Brown University. She and her husband live in Charlestown, MA; the irony is not lost on her.
Holly Harnish Weinstock ’84
With a passion for helping others, Holly Harnish Weinstock has practiced speech-language pathology for over 30 years. Her vast experience includes working in hospitals (acute care and sub-acute), otolaryngologists’ offices, early intervention, and private practice. Her practice focuses on evaluating and treating children and adults with articulation, voice, language dysphagia, fluency, and oral rehabilitation. She has mentored and supervised many undergraduate and graduate students as they pursued their degrees.
As a founding partner in North Jersey Speech Pathology Associates, Weinstock fostered new business, negotiated contracts, managed billings, and handled administrative details. In 1998, she created a Dysphagia/Video Swallow Study for Chilton Memorial Hospital, a program that is still utilized today. She also designed and managed quality insurance and education programs. She has provided in-services for the staff of various care facilities. Since 1987, she has been an active member of the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and in the past she has served as the convention chair for its annual State Convention, which includes over 1,000 participants, vendors, and speakers. She was the 2018 Recipient of the George Gens Volunteer of the Year Award for the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Weinstock graduated from Emerson with a bachelor’s degree in 1984; while a student, she served as VP of NSSHLA. She received a master’s degree in communication disorders from William Paterson University in 1987. However, she will admit that her greatest achievement is her family. Her husband, Scott, and daughter, Hope, are both fellow alumni of the classes of ’84 and ’19, respectively.
Greg Holstein ’07
Greg Holstein is 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.
Tisa Jackson ’95
Tisa Jackson is the head of global diversity and inclusion practice management at Microsoft. She 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 and inclusion strategies and functions and provided global strategic direction and consultation for the Americas, Asia, the Oceania, and/or Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) regions. She has managed human capital departments (e.g., recruitment and organization development); developed and implemented community development and branding programs; built internal and external consortiums; conceived and executed employee engagement initiatives; and deployed training and development programs.
Her work has been performed for diverse companies ranging from Global 100 and Fortune 100 to start-ups and nonprofits in the internet, semiconductor, software, financial services, telecommunications, and management consulting industries. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and HR Magazine, among 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 and inclusion.
Carrie Kerpen ’98
Carrie Kerpen is the co-founder and CEO of Likeable Media, a digital agency that was named Crain’s sixth Best Place to Work in NYC. In recognition of her work championing change in the advertising industry, she was honored by the inaugural Campaign US Female Frontier Awards. She is the author of WORK IT: Secrets for Success from the Boldest Women in Business and a columnist for INC and Forbes. She has been featured in the New York Times, ABC World News Tonight, FOX News, and CNBC. She has keynoted conferences in London, Las Vegas, Mexico City, and New York, among others. Follow her @carriekerpen.
Louis Lauria ’83
Louis Lauria is part of the team that leads the global development of sport, manages the Special Olympics World Games, and serves as a resource hub of strategic support for additional competitions. He has over 24 years of international sport and major event experience from multiple industry perspectives, including roles within the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Lauria started his career with the Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committees of Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, and Salt Lake 2002 in a range of roles in sport and venue operations. He then went on to work for the IPC in games planning before moving to the IOC, where he worked on the television and marketing services team managing global partnerships such as Lenovo, General Electric, and Schenker. Lauria was then named vice president, bid consulting at Helios Partners, a boutique global consulting firm, where he worked on a range of projects, including the successful Russia 2018 World Cup and PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games; multiple Olympic sponsorship projects like Dow, Deloitte, and Lloyds TSB; and international federation projects for FISU, FIAS, and others.
Lauria serves on the USA Weightlifting Board of Directors. He previously served on the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence Board of Directors. He is a recovering runner who has completed several marathons, including Chicago and New York City, before realizing there are easier ways to see a city in the rain.
Jenna Lebel, MA ’08
Jenna Lebel is a passionate marketer with a track record of success in a variety of settings, from tech startups to agencies to a Fortune 100 insurance company. As CMO at Liberty Mutual, she leads the development and execution of GRM US’s overall marketing strategy. She is responsible for building the Liberty Mutual brand, driving profitable growth, and improving retention through customer marketing.
Lebel has held a series of marketing leadership roles with increasing responsibility since joining Liberty in 2013. She has made significant contributions to the organization by building the company’s social, digital, and direct marketing capabilities. She led insourcing efforts, including building out its in-house creative agency, Copper Giants, which creates 80 percent of all consumer-facing work today. In her last role as VP of brand and integrated marketing, she repositioned the brand, created a new consumer segmentation, and launched the LiMu Emu & Doug campaign, which has received positive reception and results contributing to the category’s highest unaided brand awareness growth. Her work at Liberty has been recognized by a variety of publications like AdAge, AdWeek, USA Today, Business Insider, the Boston Globe, Fortune, and Forbes. She has won over three dozen awards, including a 2015 Cannes Lions.
Prior to Liberty, Lebel worked at a digital agency, managing social media strategy for brands like Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, GE, Medtronic, and Logitech. She earned a BA from Stonehill College and an MA from Emerson College. She was a member of Boston’s Future Leaders program in 2017 and was the recipient of the 2018 Ten Outstanding Young Leaders Award presented by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Megan Mitchell ’14
Megan Mitchell is the weekend morning anchor and weekday reporter for WLWT, the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati. In 2017, her work received first place out of every local news station in the country by the National Association of LGBTQ Journalists (NLGJA), for her documentary covering Two-Spirit Native Americans. She is a proud member of the NLGJA.
She came to WLWT from the NBC affiliate in Bismarck, North Dakota, where she anchored the weekday morning show. She received the award for Best TV News Reporter in the state from the North Dakota Broadcast Association, an AP award, three Eric Sevareid Awards, and has been nominated for 3 Emmy Awards.
Mitchell graduated from Emerson College in December 2013 with a BS in Broadcast Journalism and minors in Political Communication and Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She was very involved in The Emerson Channel, WEBN, The EVVY Awards, and Kappa Gamma Chi. She received an EVVY Award for Best Television Personality and an AP Award for Best Documentary. She interned at MSNBC and MTV in New York during her summers in college. She grew up in Brookfield, Connecticut, and graduated from Immaculate High School in 2010.
Janice O’Leary, MFA ’96
Janice O’Leary is the executive editor of Robb Report and RobbReport.com, an international luxury lifestyle media brand headquartered in Los Angeles and New York. Prior to being recruited by Robb Report to launch the brand’s Health & Wellness title and event arm, she served as editor-in-chief of Boston Common magazine and was a contributing writer for the Boston Globe. She has worked in book publishing for Little, Brown, and was a staff editor at Body+Soul magazine and Harvard Medicine. She currently also co-hosts a new podcast series on medicine with CurtCo Media and is collaborating on a book with the pop-up museum Sneakertopia.
O’Leary earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and, after earning an MFA from Emerson in 1996, she went on to acquire a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University. She has taught journalism, composition and literature, expository writing, and poetry writing classes at Boston University, Harvard Extension School, and Simmons College’s graduate business school. She has also tutored students with learning disabilities at Boston University. Her poetry and fiction have been published in national and international literary journals, and she continues to write for other national and regional publications.
She’s an avid skier, wine enthusiast, traveler, SoulCycler, and hiker in the hills above her home in Malibu, California.
John Porio ’88
John Porio is a media consultant who advises multichannel operators, programmers, and vendors on distribution and operation strategies. He was previously vice president, affiliate sales, for Disney and ESPN Media Networks, responsible for negotiations and relationships with traditional and new multichannel video providers, such as Comcast and Charter, and representing all linear networks (ESPN, Disney Channel, ABC Family, ABC, etc.) and digital products. He joined ESPN in 1997 as affiliate marketing manager and moved through several positions to VP in 2004.
Before joining ESPN, Porio was manager of government affairs for Cablevision Systems Corp. Prior to that, he served as legislative assistant for Congressman Christopher Shays, US House of Representatives. He began his career in 1989 in ad sales at WNTR Radio in Washington, DC. He received a BS from Emerson College in 1988. He lives with his wife and three children in Westport, Connecticut. His daughter Anabelle is a 2019 Emerson College graduate.
Felicia Pride, MA ’05
Baltimore native Felicia Pride is a film/TV writer and director. She was a writer for two seasons on Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar and currently writes for Grey’s Anatomy. She sold a drama pilot, a book adaptation, to NBC’s Universal Cable Productions. She sold the feature Deeper to Universal Pictures and is the co-writer and executive producer of the film Really Love, produced by MACRO, which won a Special Jury Prize at SXSW. She recently made her directorial debut with tender, a short film she also wrote, which premiered at Outfest Fusion. Pride was a Film Independent Screenwriting Lab Fellow and a graduate of NBC's Writers on the Verge program as a comedy writer. Prior to that, she worked as a film distribution executive and an impact producer. She is the author of six books, including The Message: 100 Life Lessons from Hip-Hop’s Greatest Songs. She holds an MA in writing from Emerson College and runs The Create Daily, a resource for underrepresented storytellers that she founded in 2012.
Sonia Rincón ’01
Sonia Rincón is a reporter and anchor for 1010 WINS, the all-news radio station in her hometown, New York City. She has worked at several East Coast radio and TV stations, including WCBS-TV in New York and KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia. She was a Broadcast Journalism major at Emerson and news director at WERS. She was inducted into the WERS Hall of Fame in 2015. When she’s not working, she loves taking family and friends to Yankees games, Broadway shows, and live music.
Steve Scott ’95, MA ’98
As the founder of Retirement Solution Group (RSG), Steve Scott has built the firm’s culture to represent the idea behind the firm: People matter, what we do matters, and only do what you are good at… He has executed multiple mergers and acquisitions and steady firm growth for the past 15 years, leading to RSG being recognized as a “Top Defined Contribution Advisor Team” by NAPA for the past three years.
Scott has 20 years of experience in the qualified retirement plan arena and has worked for large vendors such as State Street Global Advisors, Manulife Financial, and John Hancock. He brings a consultative and holistic approach to the company and his clients. The company is built around the service model he observed when working in the Fortune 500 space for firms like Boeing, Chevron, 3Com, and many others. He has a BSSp in Communication, Politics, and Law (1995) and an MA in Communication Studies (1998) from Emerson College. He likes to spend his free time traveling with his wife, Christie, and children, Mya and Sam. He also has a man-crush on Tom Brady.
Tina Smith ’74
Tina Smith is a learning and development leader with over 12 years’ experience in developing, administering, and implementing company training programs. She has written company orientation manuals, procedures, and presentations and has presented seminars. She has also trained and supervised new employees, created and conducted employee courses, and recruited and developed trainers to provide intra-departmental training. She is an expert in improving performance through strategic assessment by determining best methods of training to meet business needs (e.g., eLearning, classroom, mentoring programs), all with an emphasis on adult principles of learning. Consulting as a business partner with senior management, she assists with proposed reorganizations and advises on potential effects on positions, career progression, and maximum utilization of skills to better design and deliver training, while operating in collaboration with other specialists and contractors.
Robert Stafford ’86
For the past 25 years, Robert Stafford has served in business development, sales and marketing, and data analytics roles for IDX Systems Corporation, GE Healthcare, and UnitedHealth Group. He currently serves as a functional subject matter expert on data and analytics to support business intelligence applications and analytic sales. Prior to starting his professional career, he served as an active duty officer in the United States Army from 1989 to 1992, obtaining the rank of 1st Lieutenant. While at Emerson, he served as both student body president and student representative to the Board of Trustees during his senior year.
Margie Sullivan ’81
Margie Sullivan is the director of operations for The Client Relationship Consultancy Inc. in Boston, headquartered in London. Prior to joining CRC, she was an executive producer at Redtree Productions, and before that, she 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 also the executive producer on the award-winning documentary A Hero for Daisy, directed by Mary Mazzio. Sullivan is currently serving on the Hingham Access TV Board of Directors and is an executive board member for the MA Production Coalition. She is a past adjunct professor at Boston University and past board member for the Boston Ad Club. She received a bachelor’s degree from Emerson College and a master’s degree in management science from Lesley University.
Terri Trespicio, MFA ’02
Terri Trespicio is an award-winning writer, speaker, and brand advisor. Her TEDx talk “Stop Searching for Your Passion” has surpassed 6 million views, and she was named as one of the “Top 18 female speakers who are killing it” by HubSpot and one of the world’s leading creatives by Creative Boom magazine.
A former magazine editor and radio host at Martha Stewart, she has appeared on the Today show, Dr. Oz, The Early Show, The Martha Stewart Show, and The Anderson Cooper Show. Her work has been featured in O, the Oprah Magazine; Marie Claire; Prevention; Business Insider; Forbes.com; and Inc.com. She’s co-creator and host of “Making It Big in 30 Minutes,” a podcast for, by, and about the Emerson College community.
An in-demand speaker who presents at conferences across the country, she was rated the #1 speaker at Barron’s Top Independent Women Advisors Summit and How Design Live. On the heels of her first TEDx talk, she was invited to give a second, “It’s About Time We Rethink Happily Ever After.” Trespicio is also a stand-up comic and has performed at famous Manhattan venues including Caroline’s, Dangerfield’s, Gotham, and New York Comedy Club, and was a quarterfinalist in the She Devil Comedy Competition.
Certified in the Gateless method for capturing creative genius, she leads workshops and retreats all over the country to help professionals of all stripes take their stories and ideas from page to stage and beyond. She earned a BA in English from Boston College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in 2002, where her thesis, a collection of poetry, won the Graduate Dean’s Award. A finalist for the Iowa Award and Glimmer Train, her literary work has appeared in The Greensboro Review; New Millenium Writings; and The Baltimore Review, where she won first place in its 2016 creative nonfiction contest.
Her forthcoming book, tentatively titled Stop Searching for Your Passion, will be published in spring 2022 by Atria Books. She lives in Manhattan.