The Arts and Humanities Alumni Association Chapter Board works hard to ensure a diverse, exciting group of participants for each roundtable. You can meet board members and other high-achieving alumni at the roundtables at Access2Alumni on April 14, 2015. Some familiar faces from this line-up are back this year as well as new alumni participants. Check back often for updates on 2015 alumni participants!
Here’s your chance to ask successful alumni how they got to the top! We will be featuring alumni who are successful in the following careers/areas:
- Jeremy Flick - ʼ09 Studio Art MFA, Membership Director, Washington Project for the Arts & Practicing Artist
- Laura Pavlo - ʼ14 Studio Art/English, Graphic Designer and Illustrator, FAI Design Group, NYC
ARTS & CULTURE MANAGEMENT ROUNDTABLE
- David Olson - ʼ11 Theatre/Gov't & Politics, Managing Director, Pointless Theatre
- Ruth Anne Watkins - ʼ13 Theatre/Marketing, Theatre professional
DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS/SOCIAL MEDIA
- Ashkon Eslami - ʼ09 Communication, Account Supervisor, Digital Communication, Edelman
- Veronica Segovia - ʼ04 Communication, Program Coordinator, AARP Social Media Studio
- Grace Wahlbrink - ʼ11 Communication, Senior Account Supervisor, Edelman
- Jacob Danyali - ʼ93 History, Real Estate Investor and Entrepreneur
- Bob Krantz - ʼ02 Communication, CEO & Co-Founder, Mindseye Solutions LLC
- Marissa Levin - ʼ89 English, CEO & Founder, Information Experts, Inc.
- Gabriel Thoumi - ʼ95 Studio Art/Art History, CFA, Certified Ecologist, LEED AP, Senior Sustainability Analyst, Calvert Investments
EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP ROUNDTABLE
- John Carlson - ʼ85 English, Executive Vice President, Technology Risk, BITS
- Patty Cousins - ʼ87 English, Vice President, Marriott International, Inc.
- Anna Gavin - ʼ04 Art History, President of Fireline Corporation
- Donald Himelfarb - ʼ67 History, (Retired) President of Dollar Thrifty Car/Corporate Consultant
- Eric Kovacic - ʼ76 English, Senior VP, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
- Todd Wike - ʼ02 Philosophy, CFP, Branch Operational Manager, Raymond James
JOURNALISM, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT ROUNDTABLE
- Aldo Bello - ʼ95 M.A. Radio/TV/Film, Founder, Mind & Media, Inc.
- John Kelly - ʼ84 English, Columnist, The Washington Post
- Eileen Kessler - ʼ75 English, President, OmniStudio
- Bryan Nehman - ʼ96 History, Morning News Anchor, WBAL
- Michelle Singletary - ʼ84 Radio/TV/Film; Personal Finance Columnist, The Washington Post
- Carlos Acosta - ʼ85, ʼ91 M.A. English, Inspector General, Prince George's Police Department
- Kevin Davis - ʼ02, ʼ07 M.A. English, Associate Attorney, Caplin & Drysdale, Chtd.
- Charles Hirsch - ʼ83 History, Partner, Ballard Spahr
- Howard Metro - ʼ68 American Studies, Partner, McMilan Metro PC
- Kenneth Minesinger - ʼ87 English, Shareholder and Co-Chair of Energy & Natural Resources Practice, Greenberg Traurig
- Ruth Pritchard-Kelly - ʼ81 Theatre, Director, Regulatory Affairs at O3B Networks
LITERATURE, WRITING & EDITING ROUNDTABLE
- Rebecca Coleman - ʼ07 English, Novelist
- Richie Frieman - ʼ01 Studio Art, Writer, Artist, & Entrepreneur
- Michael Olmert - ʼ62, ʼ80 Ph.D English, Professor/Playwright/Author/Screenwriter
- Abigail Shantzis - ʼ14 English, ʼ16 Higher Education Admin., Graduate Assistant Advisor and Writing Tutor
- Kelsey Shields - ʼ13 English/Economics, Associate Technical Editor, SENTEL Corporation
- Brian Dunn - ʼ13 English, Sales Representative, Riot Creative Imaging
- Lauren Faulkner - ʼ11 Communication, Corporate Recruiter, Centric Business Systems
- Cary Hatch - ʼ78 Design & Advertising, CEO of MDB Communications -KEYNOTE-
- Doug Schulkin - ʼ06 Communication, CEO, Guyrilla Marketing Group
- Dennis Strzegowski - ʼ01 Communication, AVP of Talent Acquisition, NewDay USA
NON-PROFIT/ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT ROUNDTABLE
- Susan Schaefer - ʼ94 English, Principal, Resource Partners
- Stephanie Stevenson - ʼ10, ʼ15 Ph.D. American Studies, Program Facilitator, Mentor Foundation USA
- Cheryl Williams - ʼ71 English, Executive Director, Learning First Alliance
PUBLIC RELATIONS/COMMUNICATION ROUNDTABLE
- Ellen Bogage - ʼ76 Communication/Speech, Vice President and CEO, Chesapeake Public Strategies
- Jim Gianiny - ʼ89 Journalism, President, Democracy Data & Communication
- Jamie Lee - ʼ13 English/Journalism, Senior Consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton
- Lindsay Staniszewski - ʼ11 Communication, Associate Manager, Corporate Communications, Under Armour
PUBLIC SERVICE ROUNDTABLE
- John Dvorak - ʼ94 English, Chief Technology Officer, Information Innovators, Inc.
- Andrea Gabossy - ʼ87 English, Management Analyst, National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases
- John Prevar - ʼ68 English, Director, Communications and Community Support for the Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Acquisition, Technology, and Facilities
- Matthew Wasniewski - ʼ04 History, Historian, US House of Representatives
- Paul Wester - ʼ89, ʼ92 M.A. & M.L.S. History, Director, National Archives
- Blair Barrett - ʼ02 English, Deputy Program Manager, FAA Safety Support, SENTEL Corporation
- Patrick Nelson - ʼ91 English, Founder and Executive Director, Todos Sonrisas
- Greg Schofer - ʼ91 English/Sociology, Associate Director of Development, College of Arts and Humanities
- Kate Slaugh - ʼ93 History, Congressional Relations, National Archives
For interested Arts and Humanities alumni:
- Want to enjoy a pleasant afternoon encouraging the next generation of Terrapin professionals?
- Have general questions or want more information about the event?
Please contact Laura Brown, Assistant Dean of Development, or call 301-405-6339.
Jeremy Flick is a Washington, DC based Arts Administrator, Artist, and Educator. He received his BFA from the University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH) and his MFA from the University of Maryland (College Park, MD). He is currently the Membership Director of Washington Project for the Arts (WPA), the largest visual arts-based membership organization in the Washington, DC region where he serves as the lead marketing and membership strategist. He is responsible for the administrative management and oversight of WPA’s membership database and services as well as overseeing strategic planning and execution of all membership initiatives, programming, communications, and marketing. As a practicing artist, his works are included in numerous private and academic collections, and he has exhibited extensively with recent exhibitions at Gallery nine5 (New York City), Heiner Contemporary Art (Washington, DC), Arlington Arts Center (Arlington, VA), Aqua Art Miami (Miami, FL), Conner Contemporary Art (Washington, DC), and the Runnels Art Gallery (Portales, NM) among others. Additionally, he currently serves as Adjunct Professor in the Visual Arts Department at Montgomery College (Takoma Park, MD). His previous roles have included Assistant Director at CONNERSMITH (Washington, DC), Coordinator of the (e)merge art fair (Washington, DC), and Professional Lecturer at George Washington University (Washington, DC).
Laura Pavlo (class of 2014, Studio Art and English) is a Graphic Designer at FAI Design Group, a New York based design firm that specializes in product development and packaging design for iconic brands including Walmart, Toys R Us, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy's, and TJ Maxx. As a student, she spent two summers as a Design Intern for Nickelodeon, working for Creative Resources for Product Design and Development of Social Expressions and Packaged Goods. After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles for several months and worked as a Designer for iHeartMedia before moving back to the east coast. In her free time, she works as a freelance designer for various clients with projects ranging from the tech world to publishing. She applies her English degree to her work on a daily basis by copyediting while designing, and utilizes her Creative Writing minor and tenure in the Jimenez-Porter Writers' House to write short stories, many of which are nationally published in literary journals.
David Lloyd Olson (BA Theatre ’11, BA Government and Politics ’11) is the Executive Assistant to the Artistic Director and Managing Director at Shakespeare Theatre Company. He is also the Managing Director of Pointless Theatre, recipient of the Helen Hayes Awards’ 2014 John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company. He was a 2012-2013 Fulbright ETA in Latvia and the 2011-2012 Allen Lee Hughes Management Fellow at Arena Stage. He is a freelance puppeteer, director, and scenic painter and has worked at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, GALA Hispanic Theatre, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
Ruth Anne Watkins (class of 2013, Theatre & Marketing) is a freelance stage manager and puppeteer. While at UMD, she stage managed A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an international collaboration between UMD and the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing. She has staged managed and assistant stage managed at Studio Theatre, Olney Theatre, Theater J, the Library of Congress, and the Kennedy Center. She has also toured to Greece and Turkey with Robin Frohardt’s The Pigeoning. She is a company member and development associate with the puppet company, Pointless Theatre, a group founded by UMD students in 2010; Pointless Theatre is the recipient of the 2014 John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company from theaterWashington. She will return to the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC before beginning a new position as a Production Stage Manager with Disney Shanghai in the fall.
Ashkon Eslami, in his five years at Edelman, has worked for fortune 100 clients in the retail, tech, hospitality, energy and food industries, specializing in conversation listening, content development, influencer identification and engagement, social media analytics and social media training. Currently, Ashkon serves as a project manager for the Royal Dutch Shell account, facilitating both internal and external communication efforts for Shell’s natural gas work stream. In this role, Ashkon has developed digital strategies that align with Shell’s overarching communication goals. Additionally, Ashkon has helped position Shell as an energy innovator among industry influencers through tactics such as content creation for the Shell Future of Energy and Energy Exchange LinkedIn groups, Twitter handle and global Facebook page, coordinating blogger outreach and developing infographics. Recently, Ashkon assisted in the development of a website for the DC Department of Health to drive awareness of DC’s infant mortality rate and to provide DC mothers and mothers-to-be with resources to help them make smart decisions for the health and well-being of their babies. In his time at Edelman, Ashkon has also contributed to several notable accounts including Walmart (where he rolled out an social media training program for 75 corporate affairs associates), Research in Motion, Hilton Worldwide, and Weill Cornell Medical College. Ashkon graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Communication.
Veronica Segovia is a project coordinator at AARP on their newly organized Studios team, focusing on social media and video. She has been managing social media channels since 2008 and has experience working with audiences for non-profit, consumer package goods, corporate, entertainment and employment branding. Prior to joining AARP, she established and managed the employment brand for Vocus. Veronica grew up in Prince George's County and attended the University of Maryland, College Park from 2000-2004. She lives in Washington, DC.
Grace Wahlbrink is a senior account executive at Edelman. She works on the digital team to support health clients in government and the pharmaceutical industry. At Edelman, Grace manages online communities, develops multimedia content, facilitates website builds and optimizations, and executes on paid digital campaigns. Prior to starting work at Edelman, Grace worked at Environics Communications, a small public relations firm in DC. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in communications, where she was president of the local chapter of the Public Relations Students Society of America.
Bob Krantz is the founder and CEO of Mindseye Solutions an Arlington, Virginia based technology company. Bob is an innovative problem solver and, as CEO of Mindseye, is responsible for the vision and leadership of the company. Over the past 12 years, he has played a key role in helping organizations address their growing concerns related to information. Bob has experience in all aspects of information discovery and, serving in both sales and consulting roles, he has assisted companies in cases ranging from bet-the-company antitrust litigation and SEC investigations to internal and employment suits. He provides clients with innovative ways of establishing workflows, maximizing technology investments, and minimizing data volume by focusing on finding the key information that drives decisions that matter. In 2008, Bob co-founded Mindseye with two colleagues to create a technology company that provides companies with solutions to address growing data volumes by connecting the people who have knowledge with the information needed to make effective decisions. Under Bob’s leadership, Mindseye has seen steady growth and is poised to change how companies view and manage their information.
Bob has a Bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Maryland at College Park, where he started on the offensive line for the University of Maryland Terrapins, an amazing experience that he credits with teaching him a lot about the importance of team goals, hard work, and competitiveness.
Marissa Levin, founder/chairman of Information Experts and founder/CEO of Successful Culture, taps into her two decades of business building and bootstrapping to coach and advise other entrepreneurs, executives, and leaders on how to create a mindset of abundance, intention, and growth. Her entrepreneurial journey started in 1995 when she founded Information Experts, a global strategic communications and education firm that has won more than 100 awards for creativity and leadership. Her passion for mentoring leaders motivated her to launch Successful Culture in June 2011 to help top executives achieve their highest potential through CEO-to-CEO coaching. She is the author of My Company ROCKS!” Eight Secrets to a Growth-Driven Culture That Keeps Employees Happy & Engaged and the #1 best-selling book on advisory boards, Built to SCALE: How Top Companies Create Breakthrough Growth Through Exceptional Advisory Boards. She is a small-business expert on ABC’s Washington Business Report and pens the syndicated column “Get on Board” in SmartCEO magazine. Her numerous honors include being inducted into the SmartCEO Hall of Fame in 2011 and being named one of Washington’s Top 100 Technology Titans for 2009 by Washingtonian magazine.
Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, Certified Ecologist, LEED AP; works on the Environment, Water, and Climate Change Team integrating financial analysis with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors. At Calvert, he engages corporations on the financial materiality of their sustainability practices including emissions reductions, greening supply chains, and sustainable land-use. Gabriel is appointed to the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative Investment Commission Board 2015-2017. He is also an Expert Reviewer to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He represents Calvert as an Advisor to The Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance where he is designing the Agriculture Supply Chain Adaptation Facility with Inter-American Development Bank. For the Natural Capital Declaration, he is Global Chair, Financial Instruments integration with natural capital work stream. He is a member of the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative Model Guidance Advisory Group and part of the Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio Natural Capital working group. Finally, Gabriel engages with financial exchanges on natural capital reporting of member companies. He graduated with a BA in Art History and Archaeology and a BA in Studio Art from University of Maryland, College Park.
John W. Carlson is Executive Vice President of Technology Risk at the Financial Services Roundtable’s BITS. The technology risk program includes cybersecurity, vendor management, emerging technologies and collaboration with US government agencies and other associations, such as the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council (FSSCC). Carlson re-joined BITS in December 2011 after serving as a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley where he managed programs involving supplier risk, new product approval, environmental risk and board-approved policies. From 2002 until 2010, as BITS Senior Vice President, John held various roles in regulatory, security, vendor management, and crisis management initiatives. From 1993-2002, he served in a variety of leadership roles at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, including Director of Bank Technology and Y2K Supervision Policy. Prior to 1993, John worked at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and United Nations Center for Human Settlements. Carlson holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland, where he served on the Board of Regents.
Patty Cousins is Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Labor & Employment with Marriott International Inc., which is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. Marriott employs nearly 200,000 associates globally as a leading lodging company with more than 4,100 hotel properties in 79 countries and territories. Ms. Cousins provides legal advice for both domestic and international hotels on a wide spectrum of human resources issues, including discrimination, wage and hour compliance, class action avoidance and defense, affirmative action, and business ethics. She also provides in-house training to Marriott leaders on key human resources developments and initiatives. Prior to joining Marriott, Ms. Cousins served as Associate General Counsel at Amtrak and practiced labor and employment law with the Venable law firm. Before beginning her career as a practicing attorney, she clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Karwacki of the Maryland Court of Appeals. Ms. Cousins received her JD from University of Maryland School of Law, where she served as an editor on the Maryland Law Review. Ms. Cousins is past President of the Board of Trustees of her alma mater, the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, Maryland, as well as past President of the Catholic Business Network of Montgomery County. She also served as Chair of the Marriott Law Department’s Diversity Pipeline Program, which encourages local high school students from diverse backgrounds to consider a career in the law. She is the mother of three active teenagers.
Anna Gavin is president of Fireline Corporation, a fire protection firm specializing in the installation and service of commercial fire alarms, sprinklers, and extinguishers. Anna took over as a third generation owner after the sudden passing of her father in 2009. By overseeing day-to-day operations in addition to paving a clear roadmap to Fireline’s next generation of success, Anna has led the company through a great deal of transition during a turbulent economic climate. Using technology and implementing new initiatives while sticking to the company’s core values, Anna has worked with her team to help Fireline grow and develop to prepare for a strong future.
Don Himelfarb serves as a board member and senior advisor for ML Holdings, a firm that offers construction equipment sales and rentals, including industrial crane rentals. He is a past president of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He held a series of executive-level positions with Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group from 1991-2006, including president of Thrifty Canada, president of Thrifty Rent a Car System, and chief administrative and marketing officer. He began his more than 30-plus-year career in car rental when he became vice president of car rental and leasing for Marks Rentals, the Thrifty Car Rental franchise owner in Maryland, in 1973. He was the City of Tulsa’s first director of economic development and is now a board member for Sinai Hospital and The ARC Baltimore. Don also serves on the College of Arts and Humanities Dean's Cabinet, an advisory committee dedicated to arts and humanities advocacy.
Eric Kovacic, 1976 BA from the University of Maryland’s College of Arts & Sciences, transitioned from art supplies and picture framing into financial services and has been a Senior Vice President, Portfolio Management Director, with Morgan Stanley or its predecessor companies since 1981.
Todd Wike is the managing partner of Potomac Financial Group, and independent investment advisory firm affiliated with Raymond James financial group. Todd joined the firm in 2005 and purchased the business in 2012 and became the managing partner and registered principal. The firm manages roughly $355 million of client assets and focuses on retirement planning and investment management for individuals and families. Todd graduated from the University of Maryland in 2002 (Philosophy) and was a captain of the 2002 Peach Bowl Championship football team. Todd is still an avid fan and supporter of Maryland athletics and has served on the Board of Directors for the Terrapin Club in addition to supporting the M Club and the Maryland Gridiron Network.
Aldo Bello is an award-winning documentary film director and television producer and co-owner of Mind & Media, Inc, a strategic communications and media company located in Alexandria, VA. In 1999, Bello created and was co-executive producer of the public television series Frontiers of Medicine, a 39-part magazine style series that ran in the top 19 of 20 television markets until 2002. In 2002, Bello partnered with the Dr. Spock Company in the creation of Parent Sense, an eight-part television series that was also nationally distributed via public television. Shortly after graduating from the University of Maryland with a Master’s degree in Radio, Television & Film, Bello founded Mind & Media, Inc. with his wife, Dr. Marilyn Finnemore. Since 1994, Mind & Media has been providing comprehensive media strategy and full production services to help its federal government, commercial and non-profit clients solve complex communication challenges in the arenas of strategic communication, public information, recruitment and training. Bello’s latest documentary film is DREAM: An American Story, which has already garnered several awards, including the 2012 Americans for Immigrant Justice Humanitarian Award. You can learn more about the DREAM project at: http://www.dreamthedocumentary.com
“John Kelly’s Washington,” since 2004, has been shining the light on Washington's less-famous side. The author of this eponymous column in the Washington Post, alumnus John Kelly ’84, began his career began in the publications department of the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives. After two years as a freelance writer, he joined the Post full time in 1989, when he was hired as deputy editor of the Weekend section. In 2000, he founded KidsPost, a daily page that explains world events to 8- to 12-year-olds. Three years later, he joined the Metro section as a general assignment reporter. He has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and a Visiting Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University. In 2012, Kelly’s Monkees cover band, the Stepping Stones, placed first in Journopalooza, a battle of media musical groups in D.C. Kelly received the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College of Arts and Humanities—an experience he touched on in one of his columns with his trademark wit. He gave props to the university, the College and his major (“there’s no better preparation for a life spent writing than four years spent reading”) and ended with this salvo: “As Jean-Paul Sarte said, ‘Words are loaded pistols.’ Thank you to the University of Maryland College of Arts and Humanities for providing me with plenty of ammunition.”
Eileen Kessler is the founder and CEO of OmniStudio, Inc. For more than 30 years, she has led an expert creative and technical team to produce publications, brand identities, marketing communications and informational materials that build constituencies, inform, educate, and inspire advocacy for positive change in our society. OmniStudio has been instrumental in the communications activities of local, national and international institutions. Omni shares the goals and passions of its clients, especially in the areas of education, health care, the environment, and human rights. Under Eileen's direction, OmniStudio has won several awards for its brand and publication design work and has appeared on the Washington Business Journal’s list of top 25 Graphic Design firms in Washington. In 2007, University of Maryland University College selected Eileen to receive the Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Award. In 2012, Eileen received the Washington Literacy Center’s Lifetime Champion of Literacy award.
Bryan Nehman, host of Maryland’s Morning News on WBAL Radio, was born in Washington, D.C., grew up in Crofton, MD, attended Arundel High School and graduated from the University of Maryland in 1996, majoring in History. Bryan gets to the studios in Baltimore at 3 a.m., and is on the air reporting the news in Maryland and the world by 5 a.m. Throw in weather, traffic, sports, and several newsmaker interviews every morning, and 5 hours on the radio goes by in the blink of an eye. Born in Washington, D.C., Bryan grew up in Crofton, MD, attended Arundel High School and graduated from the University of Maryland in 1996, majoring in History. Bryan wiggled his way into the radio businesses through his internship with the Bowie Baysox. He got his first full-time radio job doing the news (and other side jobs) at WNAV in Annapolis. Because, WNAV was the flagship station for the Naval Academy, Bryan worked closely with the Academy, including serving as the public address announcer for Navy Basketball, and sideline reporter for Navy Football. In 2000, Bryan landed a job in Washington, D.C., on WMAL Radio as a news reporter and soon was promoted to morning drive anchor. While at WMAL, Bryan reported live from the Pentagon on 9/11, was on the scene of the sniper shootings, and traveled to Atlanta to report on the University of Maryland’s national championship in basketball. Bryan has won numerous awards for reporting/anchoring, and was part of a news team that brought home 2 Edward R. Murrow awards in 2002. Bryan was a panelist at the 2009 Virginia Gubernatorial debate, and helped raise millions of dollars for the Fisher House Foundation. In 2010, Bryan was named co-host of Mornings of the Mall on WMAL which soon turned into the Brian and Bryan Show, with former FOX TV anchor, Brian Wilson. Currently, Bryan lives in Odenton with his wife and 3 sons.
Carlos Acosta has had a long career as both a federal and local prosecutor. He currently serves as Inspector General for the Prince George’s County Police Department. Previously, he served as Deputy State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County and as a Trial Attorney for the United States Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Gang Squad. As a federal prosecutor, he also served as program manager for the Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training program for the Mérida Initiative. He received both a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in English (Rhetoric) from the University of Maryland. In 1991, he received his J.D. from the Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, Texas. He is licensed in the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Kevin M. Davis is an Associate in Caplin & Drysdale, Chtd.’s Complex Litigation Group. He joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office in 2013. From 2010 to 2013, Mr. Davis practiced civil and white collar criminal litigation at Vinson & Elkins, LLP in Washington, D.C. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park, and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Charles Hirsch is a Partner at Ballard Spahr, practicing general commercial litigation. He has considerable trial experience in both state and federal courts and has handled numerous arbitrations and appeals and has successfully litigated cases involving real estate, contract, antitrust, employment, civil rights, products liability, consumer lending, lender liability, commercial construction, ERISA, copyright, and securities law. Charles earned Phi Beta Kappa honors at Maryland and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1987.
Howard Metro is a partner at McMillan Metro, P.C. and has been practicing law for over 40 years. His areas of practice include corporate and transactional law, intellectual property, and employment law. He regularly provides counsel to business and technology clients, and serves as general counsel to companies of all sizes providing advice on employment issues, contract terms and conditions, and other general advice. His clients are businesses and professionals who present complex problems involving disputes across the spectrum of founders, equity owners, investors and other adverse interests. He welcomes challenges and regularly serves as mediator for the Montgomery County Circuit Court. Mr. Metro is an honoree for the Daily Record’s 2010 Law in Leadership Award and has been acknowledged as a Maryland and Washington D.C. Super Lawyer every year since 2007. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Metro enjoys mentoring future lawyers through the Court of Appeal’s Mentoring Program.
Ruth W. Pritchard-Kelly ’81 serves as director of regulatory affairs for O3b Networks, a global satellite services provider with offices in Washington, D.C., and The Hague, Netherlands. She has worked both as in-house and as outside counsel in the satellite industry and is skilled at building regulatory teams for start-up satellite communications companies. Her expertise includes acquiring market access and landing rights in difficult jurisdictions. She joined O3b Networks in 2010, several years after its founding. The company focuses on the “other 3 billion” (hence O3b), in reference to those who have (at best) severely limited high-speed connectivity to the Internet. She has previously held positions with the law firm Swidler, Berlin, LLP and the American Mobile Satellite Corp. She earned an M.A. in science, technology and public policy from George Washington University in 1988 and graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1996. Her professional affiliations include the American Bar Association, Space Law Forum; Federal Communications Bar Association; Society of Satellite Professionals, International; and Washington Space Business Roundtable.
Rebecca Coleman is the author of HEAVEN SHOULD FALL and THE KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD, a Library Journal "Best Books of 2011" selection and an ABNA 2010 semifinalist. A New Yorker by birth, she grew up in the close suburbs of Washington, D.C., in an academic family. A year spent in Germany, at the age of eight, would later provide the basis for the protagonist's background in "The Kingdom of Childhood." She first learned about the Waldorf School movement at age 14 and quickly developed a fascination with its culture and philosophies. After studying elementary education for several years at the University of Maryland, she graduated with a degree in English, awarded with honors. She lives and works near Washington, D.C. Visit her at www. RebeccaColeman.net.
Richie Frieman is often called "a modern day Renaissance man" – an apt description given his diverse and unusual careers since earning his degree in fine arts in 2001. His adventurous career path has included stints as a professional artist, author, illustrator, inventor, and even a professional wrestler (as “The Thrill From Israel” Buster Maccabi, he earned more than a dozen titles in various federations throughout the country). In 2010, Macmillan Publishing tapped Frieman to become Modern Manners Guy – the host of a humorous weekly column and podcast about manners and etiquette on the Quick and Dirty Tips network. With over 7 million podcast downloads in over 200 countries, Frieman’s show is ranked as one of the top educational podcasts on iTunes. St. Martin’s Press subsequently commissioned Frieman to write a book about professional etiquette in the office. Reply All... And Other Ways to Tank Your Career debuted last fall and has since become an Amazon.com best seller, reaching #1 in three different categories. Frieman is also the author of two award-winning children’s books and has a romance novel forthcoming in May. Other ventures he launched include Newfoundland Woods, a home decor company featuring items created from 100% salvaged and reclaimed wood, inspired by land and sea. As well, he founded the award-winning online magazine The Pen’s Eye View, which has featured over 1,500 consecutive interviews with different artists, musicians, and visionaries from all over the globe – a different one every 48 hours – from emerging artists to Grammy winners.
Michael Olmert holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in medieval English literature and for 25 years has taught at the university. He is also a very active television, print, and film writer, with five books, five plays, two feature films, an IMAX film, more than 90 TV documentaries, three Emmys, and some 200 magazine articles, reviews, and essays to his credit. In 2005, he was inducted into the University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame.
Abigail Shantzis is currently working as a Graduate Assistant Advisor in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering while pursuing her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at UMD. She has presented at a regional conference of the National Academic Advising Association and she currently serves on both UMD’s Prehealth Committee and the College of Arts and Humanities’ Alumni Board. She recently completed her B.A. in English (also at UMD!) with a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). While in her undergrad, she served as the president of the English Undergraduate Association, a section leader for HONR100, and a tutor at the UMD Writing Center, as well as presented at multiple Writing Center conferences. Upon graduation, she received two awards: the College of Arts & Humanities 2014 Undergraduate Student Service Award and the Joyce Tayloe Horrell award.
Kelsey Shields has been an associate technical editor for SENTEL Corporation since graduating from UMD with a double degree in English and economics in 2013. She works on a contract with SENTEL that supports the development of safety policy for the Federal Aviation Administration. As the lead technical editor on the contract, Kelsey is responsible for ensuring the editorial integrity of all deliverables, including orders, safety guidance documents, briefings, and memos. When reviewing documents, she edits for grammatical accuracy, formatting consistency, and content clarity. Recently, Kelsey has begun serving the role of a program analyst for the contract, as well. She supports the management of a program that identifies and fixes the top hazards in the National Airspace System each fiscal year.
Lauren Faulkner is a Corporate Recruiter at Centric Business Systems, recruiting and hiring professionals for the B2B consultative outside sales. As a 2011 Communication major and Leadership minor, she has been able to grow her career in HR and Sales for a company with outstanding awards and growth. Lauren is PHR certified. At Maryland, she was a tour guide, Equestrian Team President, and ARHU Ambassador on the Dean’s Advisory Board. Lauren embodies the principals of rhetoric in the business world. In 2014 she recorded a record number of hires for Centric. Her three years with the company have made a major impact to the company’s growth and success by identifying driven and competitive individuals motivated by success, as well as coaching young professionals through the interview process and their career development. Her hometown is Cockeysville, MD, but she now lives with her husband, Preston (’09), in Columbia, MD.
Cary Hatch, CEO of MDB Communications, with more than 30 years of experience in advertising and marketing communications, has established a formidable track record in business and consumer communications, both domestic and international. Her broad-based client experience includes National Geographic, Fannie Mae, Equant, Destination DC, the International Spy Museum, Sprint, the U.S. Mint, and many others. Cary Hatch has been recognized, for 3 consecutive years, on the POWER 100 – the Washington Business Journal's list of the most influential business leaders. She currently serves as the Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Board of Governors for the American Association of Advertising Agencies, is on the Washington DC Leadership Committee for the Ad Council and is a board member for the $2B University System of Maryland Foundation. Cary has also served on the boards of Heroes, Inc., the Int'l Women's Forum of Washington, DC and is a member of the Economic Club of Washington DC. Previous Board positions include: Leadership Greater Washington, Samaritan Inns and serving on the Executive Committee of The Greater Washington Board of Trade. A member of the 2013 class of The Leadership Foundry, Cary has recently completed the National Association of Corporate Directors Professionalism Program. She is a noted lecturer at Johns Hopkins, Georgetown University, and the University of Maryland; and is a regular on TV and radio outlets commenting on branding, advertising and marketing communications. Client work has appeared both nationally and internationally in Graphis, Print, and Communication Arts. Creative recognition includes numerous, London International Awards, Tellys, Silver Microphones, and ADDYs as well as MAXI Awards for excellence in direct marketing. Cary Hatch joined MDB in 1981 as an account executive. After her promotion into a management position in 1983 and growing the business for several years, she purchased the company in 1987. MDB was recognized as an Inc. 500 company in 1996.
Doug Schulkin founded and sold two companies before he was thirty. In 2008, he created Status Flow, a lacrosse-lifestyle clothing company. Via Status Flow, he worked directly with a number of lacrosse teams and programs throughout the country, including the national governing body of the sport, U.S. Lacrosse. Status Flow was featured nationally recognized publications such as Thrillist, Inside Lacrosse, Lacrosse Playground, Baltimore Magazine, and Harvard Crimson. After Status Flow sold in 2010, Doug developed GuyRilla Marketing Group, a B2B networking club for companies who target men aged 18 to 32. His passion to connect, educate and inspire entrepreneurs was the driving force behind GuyRilla’s success. Doug graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in Communication, where he studied in the public relations track. While there, he was elected president of the club lacrosse team. Under his leadership, the team played two national title games and earned an undefeated national championship season. Doug lives just over the Maryland line in Shrewsbury, PA, with his wife, Rory, a 2009 alumna (Public Health), and enjoys lacrosse, flag football, soccer, swimming, golfing, mountain biking, running, and everything else under the sun.
Dennis Strzegowski graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park. With over a decade of experience in mortgage banking as a loan officer and branch manager, he was extremely impressed with the analytics and information technology approach to mortgage lending at NewDay USA. Mr. Strzegowski's career started at NewDay USA as an Account Executive in January, 2011. He is now the AVP of Talent Acquisition. As a Talent Acquisition Manager at NewDay USA, Mr. Strzegowski is tasked with finding top level talent that have high levels of intelligence, work ethic and professional charisma.
Susan Schaefer, CFRE, is a consultant, writer and speaker who is passionate about the nonprofit sector. Her practical approach to fundraising has made her a frequent presenter at conferences and in classrooms. She founded her consulting firm, Resource Partners LLC, in 2001, to help nonprofits excel in fundraising and board development. Prior to founding Resource Partners LLC, Susan served as National Director, Foundations at the United Negro College Fund. In that position, she helped lead the design and implementation of the $1 billion Gates Millennium Scholars Program, one of the largest private grants in history. Susan just published Nonprofit Board Service for the GENIUS and has edited many other books for the sector. She also teaches fundraising in the master’s program of museum studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Stephanie Stevenson is a 5th year Ph.D. student in the Dept. of American Studies and Women’s Studies Certificate Program at University of Maryland College Park (UMCP). From September 2010 to June 2013, she facilitated a 3-year Participant Action Research study and mentoring program with poor and working class African American middle school girls at the Southwest Baltimore City, MD, elementary/ middle school. She has presented findings from her program at 7 national and 2 international academic conferences. Stephanie has 4 years of experience teaching online and in person undergraduate courses at University of Maryland College Park on American history, urban education, urban youth experiences and socio-emotional development and has taught high school youth as an Upward Bound Saturday Academy English lecturer at UMCP as well. She has worked as a research assistant in more than 10 Baltimore City Public Schools with Strategic Educational Research Partner’s (SERP) Word Generation Project, interned on Capitol Hill, and introduced President Barack Obama at a televised White House event on Pell Grants in 2009.
Cheryl Scott Williams has served as executive director of the Learning First Alliance since 2010. She is a nationally recognized leader in education reform and improvement with extensive experience leading nonprofit boards and building successful board/staff relationships. Prior to coming to the Learning First Alliance, she served as a senior consultant at APQC. She was previously Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Teachscape, a San Francisco based company that designs and delivers online, job-embedded professional development for teachers and principals. In addition, she has served as Vice President, Education at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and she spent 14 years directing the Education Technology Program at the National School Boards Association (NSBA) before joining CPB. Williams is a past president of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), past board chair of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), and current board member of the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET). She began her career in education as an English Language Arts teacher in Montgomery County, MD, and Fairfax County, VA. She holds a BA and MA in English and Secondary Education from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Ellen Coren Bogage, named 2013 Maryland Most Admired CEO and three times named “Top 100 Woman of Maryland” by The Daily Record, is the President and CEO of Chesapeake Public Strategies, a full-service government and public affairs consulting firm. Bogage has more than 25 years of experience in state and local government affairs, corporate and nonprofit public relations and association management and has built a solid reputation as an effective and well-respected government and public affairs professional. She is known for her strong advocacy, grassroots outreach, organizational, relationship-building and communications skills, which she uses to effectively represent the interests of her clients.
Jim Gianiny serves as President of DDC. Under his 19 years of leadership, DDC has been celebrated as one of the fastest-growing technology and advocacy firms in the country, and his vision has helped establish the firm on the international market as a leading, full-service public affairs partner. With a career dedicated to public affairs and issue advocacy, Jim has been recognized as an innovator in designing and implementing some of the most sophisticated advocacy programs in existence today. DDC was recently acquired by Omnicom Group Inc., the world’s leading marketing communications company.
Jamie Lee is a senior consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, a management consulting firm based in Washington D.C. Jamie works in the commercial practice unit and has already worked on a variety of important initiatives as a strategic communications and organizational strategy consultant. Her critical thinking and writing skills come into play each day as she helps others capture attention and raise awareness in today’s complex world. The education, experience, and career counseling she gained as an English student at Maryland provide a strong foundation for the work she does each day. Jamie excelled as a Maryland student and was involved in a number of extracurricular activities. She was the editor of both The Paper Shell Review and Stylus, two on-campus publications, and was the English Department's keynote commencement speaker in 2013. Prior to joining the Booz Allen commercial team, she worked for a Cabinet-level federal agency helping manage an IT implementation. Jamie is a true Terp, passionate about her field and already establishing a strong track record of professional success.
John Dvorak (ʾ94 English), who has 20 years of experience as a technology executive and innovator, enjoys blending private-industry best practice with his public sector experience. He recently became the chief technology officer for Triple-I, a provider of IT services to the federal government. Prior to joining Triple-i, he served in diverse roles at the FBI, including oversight of enterprise data management, analytic software development, IT service management, and enterprise engineering. He also served as the branch chief for network and engineering services at the National Institutes of Health, where he had primary oversight for the engineering, operations, and security of the NIH’s enterprise and datacenter networks. Before he joined the government, he was a CTO with a pioneering Internet service provider. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Managers in Government program.
Andrea Gabossy is a Management Analyst at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIH). She has spent the majority of her 23 year Federal career working at the NIH in various administrative and program management positions (e.g., NIH Delegations Officer, NCI Organizational Change Coordinator, Ethics Program Specialist). Her contribution to the development of the NIH-wide A-76 program resulted in her receiving the NIH Merit Award. She also has worked for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Maryland College Park in 1987, where she was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Andrea also attended Johns Hopkins University, from which she graduated with a Master of Liberal Arts degree in 1998. She currently resides in Bethesda, Maryland, and enjoys traveling and spending time with her beloved Chinese Shar-Pei, Oliver.
John Prevar is Director of Communications and Community Support for the Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Acquisition, Technology, and Facilities. As such, he coordinates technical studies and other activities among the 17 organizations comprising the Intelligence Community, oversees an annual Technical Exposition on Capitol Hill, governs his office’s fully functional interactive web site, and works public affairs and legislative affairs issues. Prior to his current assignment, John was Executive Secretary of the Intelligence Science Board. After graduating with honors and honors in English, John earned an M.A. in English from Duke University before being commissioned as a Naval Intelligence Officer during the height of the Vietnam War. Retiring from active duty in 1996, John entered federal service with the National Measurement and Signature Intelligence Committee, which gave him the opportunity to explore and write about several fascinating areas of science, including electro-optics, synthetic aperture radar, and geophysics. As an undergraduate, John lettered in track and cross country, was a sports reporter for the Diamondback, and was elected to the Phi Eta Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi honoraries. He and his wife, Pamela, reside in Old Town Alexandria and share a passion for music, theater, opera, and the arts in general.
Matt Wasniewski is the Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to his appointment as Historian by House leadership in 2010, Matt served nearly a decade as a historical editor and manager in the House Clerk’s Office of History and Preservation. He is the editor of a series of congressionally mandated volumes on women, African Americans, and Hispanics who have served in Congress, and he helped create the House’s oral history program. Matt is a past president of the Society for History in the Federal Government (2011–2012). He earned a BA in history and journalism and a MA in history from James Madison University; he holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Paul M. Wester, Jr. is the first Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government. David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, named Mr. Wester to this position effective March 13, 2011. As the Chief Records Officer, Mr. Wester leads records management throughout the Federal Government, with an emphasis on electronic records. He is responsible for issuing Federal records management policy and guidance; liaisoning with Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Government CIO Council, and other stakeholders on records management issues; and serving as an ombudsman between agencies and the Archivist to ensure that NARA and the agencies it serves meet their statutory mandates and records management requirements. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Wester served as the Director of Modern Records Programs in the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of Records Services - Washington, DC. In this position, Mr. Wester was responsible for the overall management and performance of NARA's agency-facing activities in the Washington, DC area. Mr. Wester also directed NARA's National Records Management Program, coordinating the activities of headquarters and regional records management staff in support of NARA's overall strategic plan. Mr. Wester holds an undergraduate degree in history and Master of Arts and Master of Library Science degrees from the University of Maryland. He currently is also an adjunct faculty member in the College of Information Studies at UMCP.
Michelle Singletary (ʾ84 Radio/TV/Film) is a nationally syndicated personal finance columnist for The Washington Post. Her award-winning column, "The Color of Money," appears in about 100 newspapers across the country. She is also the author of three books: The 21 Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom; Spend Well, Live Rich: How to Live Well With the Money You Have; and Your Money and Your Man: How You and Prince Charming Can Spend Well and Live Rich. She has made numerous broadcast appearances, including on Oprah, NBC’s Today Show, and hosted her own one-hour PBS special “Spend Well, Live Rich with Michelle Singletary.” As part of her commitment to community service, Singletary volunteers as the director of “Prosperity Partners Ministry,” a financial mentoring program she founded at her church, First Baptist Church of Glenarden. Her many honors include the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009 from Johns Hopkins University, where she earned a master's degree in business and management.
Back to top
Blair Barrett graduated from Maryland with a BA in English in 2002. With the economy in recession, Blair struggled at first to find work but eventually secured a position as a copy editor for a small non-profit scientific journal. He was later hired as a technical editor by an engineering firm, SENTEL Corporation working with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety initiatives. Over the past 10 years, Blair has gradually moved away from technical writing and toward system testing, policy development, and project management. Still with SENTEL, Blair now manages a multi-disciplinary group of analysts, editors, engineers, and air traffic controllers responsible for evaluating the safety of air traffic control systems and procedures and crafting FAA safety policy. Blair also authors proposals for SENTEL. Blair still utilizes the writing skills and analytical abilities that he acquired at Maryland on a daily basis at work. In his spare time, he earned his MA in English from Georgetown University and remains a rabid Terps basketball fan.
Patrick Nelson is an experienced communications and project management specialist. He has over 15 years of experience in financial and technical writing and editing; communications planning and support; policy and procedure development and review; and managing large projects and programs. His work has included creating communications plans for national software rollouts to VA Medical Centers; serving as Assistant Chief of Staff for the Chief Risk Officer at Fannie Mae which included managing policy development, speech writing, communication planning, and creating reports for the Board of Directors; and managing, writing, and editing projects that include simple newsletters and technical documentation to bilingual manuals designed to put satellites into space. Patrick is an avid traveler in South America which has led him to shed his corporate past and move into the not-for-profit world. His current endeavor is serving as Founder and Executive Director of Todos Sonrisas (All Smiles; http://www.TodosSonrisas.org), a newly formed nonprofit whose mission is to provide dental care and oral hygiene education to underprivileged children in South America. Work for the foundation includes travel to South America where current international partners are located, specifically Cusco, Peru, and the surrounding Andean villages. He also spends time on his Arbonne (http://patrick.myarbonne.com) business helping clients enrich their lives through safe, pure, and botanical skin care and health & wellness products.
Kate Slaugh is a Legislative Management Officer in the Congressional Affairs office of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). In this capacity, Kate ensures a mutual effective relationship between the United States Congress and the Archives. This includes keeping key Members and staffs of the Congress fully and currently informed of NARA’s programs and ensuring that congressional inquiries are responded to promptly and effectively. She tracks legislation of interest and importance to the National Archives and offers the views of the agency on key issues effecting management, preservation, and access to Federal records and information. She has been with the National Archives since 1999, where she started in the Office of Information Resources. Prior to that, Kate worked in radio broadcasting in a variety of on-air and production roles. She inherited a love of baseball from her father and is a season ticketholder to the Washington Nationals.