Get to know our Members at Large
Guy Ben Aharon ’12 - Theater
Born in Israel, Guy is a stage director and cultural entrepreneur, dedicated to sharing international theatre with American audiences. As the Founder of Israeli Stage, the only theatre in the world dedicated to producing Israeli plays in English translation, Guy directed the North American Premiere Production of Ulysses on Bottles (April 2015), awarded Best of Boston by WBUR – Boston’s NPR station, as well as the critically acclaimed production of Oh God, that played to sold-out audiences both in Boston and in the Berkshires. After the success of Israeli Stage, Guy was asked to develop German Stage (Goethe-Institut), Swiss Stage (swissnexBoston), French Stage (Alliance Française, Consulat Général de France), Scandinavian Stage (SCC Boston) and Austrian Stage (ACFNY). A proud Emerson College alum, Guy is a member of the ROI Global Entrepreneurs Community, a 2013 Theaterreffen Fellow in Berlin, a 2015 AdR Fellow at Cambridge University, UK, and an Inaugural Chai in the Hub-Award-winner (Top 18 Leaders under 45) awarded by Combined Jewish Philanthropies. His unique dedication to international theatre has resulted in tours up and down the East Coast from Atlanta to Toronto, in partnership with over thirty academic institutions in the last five years. His work has garnered him profiles in The Boston Globe, The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, The Washington Post, Ha’aretz, WBUR, and numerous other press outlets.
Traci Lynn Blackwell, MA '14 - Entertainment
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.
Traci.Blackwell [at] cwtv.com (Contact Traci)
Richard Cresta '90 - Marketing
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.
richard.cresta [at] fmr.com (Contact Richard)
Adam Ginivisian '07 - Comedic Arts
Adam Ginivisian was recently named a Partner at ICM Partners, with a focus on Comedy and Concerts, making him the youngest partner at the agency. Adam, who began in the agency’s mailroom in 2007, jumped to agent in the Comedy Touring Department two years later, and his clients include Jay Pharoah, Rob Schneider, Aisha Tyler, Chris Redd, Jon Lovitz, Desus & Mero, Roseanne Barr, Michael Kosta, Steve-O, Fortune Feimster, and fellow Emerson alumnus Anthony Atamanuik. He was a member of Emerson Comedy Workshop and attended the Los Angeles program. As a student, Ginivisian was heavily involved with the Emerson Channel, and co-founded the city-wide “Emerson Comedy Celebration” comedy festival.
Holly Harnish Weinstock '84 - Speech Pathology
With a passion for helping others, Holly Weinstock has practiced Speech-Language Pathology for over 30 years. While at Emerson, Holly served as VP of NSSHLA and graduated in 1984. She received a Masters Degree in Communication Disorders from William Paterson University in 1987.
Holly’s 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 various 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 she 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 Holly has been an active member of the New Jersey Speech and Hearing Association and this year will serve as the Convention Chair for their annual State Convention, which includes over 1000 participants, vendors and speakers. Holly was also the 2018 Recipient of the George Gens Volunteer of the Year Award for the New Jersey Speech and Hearing Association.
As a member of the Emerson Community, Holly has participated in the planning of alumni reunions, has assisted with the Development Committee and fund raising. However, she will admit that her greatest achievement is her family. Her husband Scott is a fellow 1984 alumni and their daughter Hope is currently a theater studies major and a member of the class of 2019.
Greg Holstein '07 - Entertainment
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.
gregholstein [at] me.com (Contact Greg)
Tisa Jackson '95 - Diversity and Inclusion
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.
TisaJackson [at] hotmail.com (Contact Tisa)
Carrie Kerpen '98 - Marketing
Carrie Kerpen is the co-founder and CEO of Likeable Media, a social-first digital agency that was named Crain’s sixth Best Place to Work in NYC. She is the author of WORK IT: Secrets for Success from the Boldest Women in Business and a columnist for INC and Forbes. Carrie 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.
carrie [at] likeable.com (Contact Carrie)
Louis Lauria '83 - Sports
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.
llauria [at] live.com (Contact Louis)
Jenna Lebel, MA '08 - Marketing
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.
jenna.lebel [at] gmail.com (Contact Jenna)
Marlene McCurtis '79 - Documentary Film
Marlene is a Research Producer at Sirens Media, with over 15 years’ experience in researching, directing, and writing documentary programs. She is a passionate and creative documentary producer/director with extensive background in all aspects of story development, research, preproduction, and field production. Her Director/Producer credits include Beyond Scared Straight, an Emmy-nominated documentary series for A&E examining the lives of at-risk teens as they go through a unique prison program designed to deter them from ending up behind bars; Dog Whisperer, a National Geographic series featuring Cesar Milan’s instinctive methods to rehabilitating dogs and their owners; Hidden Victims, an hour-long documentary for Lifetime Television examining the impact of domestic violence on children, among many others. She graduated from Emerson College with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism.
Megan Mitchell ’14 - Journalism
Megan Mitchell is the weekend morning anchor and weekday reporter for WLWT, the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati. In 2017, Megan's 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 Severeid Awards and has been nominated for 3 Emmy Awards.
Megan graduated from Emerson College in December 2013 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and minors in Political Communications and Women, 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. Megan grew up in Brookfield, Connecticut and graduated from Immaculate High School in 2010.
Paul Morra '95 - Entertainment
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.
paul [at] swiftriverproductions.com (Contact Paul)
Jen O'Connell '94 - Entertainment
As Executive Vice President and Head of Worldwide 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), David Shumsky (Kicking & Screaming, The Real World), K.P. Anderson (The Soup), as well as Katy Wallin and Stephanie Chambers (Chrisley Knows Best, Meet The Putmans).
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.
jenoconnell [at] mac.com (Contact Jen)
John Porio '88 - Marketing
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.
jporio [at] optonline.net (Contact John)
Sonia Rincón ’01 - Broadcasting
Sonia Rincón ’01 is a reporter and anchor for 1010 WINS, the all-news radio station in her hometown, New York City. She is also an adjunct lecturer at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has worked at several east coast radio and TV stations including WCBS-TV in New York and KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia. Sonia 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, Sonia loves taking family and friends to Yankees games, Broadway shows and live music. She is the daughter of Flamenco guitarist Reynaldo Rincón.
Tina Smith '74 - Development
Learning and Development Leader with over 12 years experience in developing, administering, and implementing company training programs; wrote company orientation manuals, procedures, and presentations and presented seminars. Trained and supervised new employees. Created and conducted employee courses. Recruited and developed trainers to provide intra-departmental training. 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. Consults as business partner with senior management by conferring with management on proposed reorganizations and advising on potential effects on positions, career progression, and maximum utilization of skills to better design and deliver training dynamically while operating in collaboration with other specialists and contractors in the area of organization development.
Robert Stafford ’86 - Marketing
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.
Robert-stafford [at] comcast.net (Contact Robert)
Tim Stanley '89 - Public Affairs
For more than 20 years, Tim Stanley has been a leader in the movement to secure reproductive rights in Minnesota and the upper Midwest. Starting with NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota as a graduate student intern organizing college campuses and ending in a successful ten-year career as Executive Director, Tim became a leader among his peers in the NARAL affiliate network. Highlights of his tenure include paid campus interns on 16 colleges statewide, the first year-round pro-choice membership canvass in the country and service on the national Board of Directors of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Since 2006 Tim has been the Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Action Fund. In this role, the native New Englander provides oversight to the affiliate’s advocacy efforts, in addition to its work to educate and mobilize voters for reproductive health and freedom. In a parallel role, Tim is the organization’s Senior Director of Government and Public Affairs who leads a dedicated and energetic team to develop and implement organizing and political strategies that advance public policy supportive of affordable health care and reproductive health and freedom. Tim has a BS from Emerson College in Boston and a Master’s in Public Administration from Hamline University.
Chet Tart ’74 - Broadcasting
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.
chettart [at] bellsouth.net (Contact Chet)
Terri Trespicio, MFA '02 - Writing/Marketing
Terri Trespicio is a New York–based writer, branding consultant, and co-creator of Lights Camera Expert, an online program for authors, experts and entrepreneurs who want to grow their media presence. For nearly a decade, she served as a senior editor and radio host at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Her work has appeared in Jezebel, XOJane, Marie Claire, Prevention, MindBodyGreen, and DailyWorth. Her TV credits include the Today Show, Dr. Oz, The Early Show, The Martha Stewart Show and The Anderson Cooper Show. She also hosted and produced her own video show and podcast, Solopreneur, on the Whatever It Takes Network.
Terri speaks all over the country, from breakout sessions and keynote addresses to workshops and webinars at a range of conferences and events. Her TEDx talk (“Stop Searching for Your Passion”) has earned more than a million views to date, and she is scheduled to speak at TEDxWomen in St. Louis in fall of 2016.
Rated the #1 speaker at How Design Live in 2015, she has been invited to co-emcee the conference in 2017. Other recent events include Workfront LEAP, Blackstone, Ernst & Young, Harvard Kennedy School, Revolve Conference, Emerson College, Boston College, and the International Culinary Center.
She’s also a stand-up comic, and performs regularly at clubs in New York City—you can catch her at such popular venues as Caroline’s, New York Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy Club, Dangerfields, Gotham, and Greenwich Village Comedy Club.
Terri earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and recently won first place in the Baltimore Review‘s 2016 literary contest for her essay, “The Rules of Boxball,” and is currently at work on a book of essays. She lives in Manhattan.