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 8, 2014. Check back often for updates on 2014 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:
- Ellen Bogage - ʼ76, Communication/Speech; Vice President and CEO, Chesapeake Public Strategies
- Josh Goldberg - ʼ03, History and Finance; Vice President of Astrum Solar
- Bob Krantz - ʼ02, Communication; CEO & Co-Founder, Mindseye Solutions LLC
- Gabrielle Duval - ʼ96, English; Partner, Linowes and Blocher LLP
- Charles Hirsch - ʼ83, History; Partner, Ballard Spahr
- Howard Metro - ʼ68, American Studies; Partner, McMilan Metro PC
- Kristen Perry - ʼ96, English; Partner, Whiteford Taylor & Preston
GOVERNMENT & LAW ROUNDTABLE
- Carlos Acosta - ʼ85, ʼ91, M.A. English; Inspector General, Prince George's Police Department
- Erek Barron - ʼ96, English; Counsel, Whiteford Taylor Preston/Candidate for P.G. County Council
- Cindy Parks-Johnson - ʼ87, Journalism; Assistant State's Attorney, Howard County
NON-PROFIT/ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT ROUNDTABLE
- Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz - ʼ89, History; Communications Director, Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers
- Shara Boonshaft - ʼ98, Women's Studies; Program Director, Ulman Cancer Fund
- Cindy Schofer - ʼ91, Communication/Speech; COO, National Association of Chemical Distributors
- Don Ritchie - ʼ69, M.A., ʼ75, Ph.D, History; Historian, Senate Historical Center
- Kate Slaugh - ʼ93, History; Congressional Relations Specialist, National Archives
- Paul Wester - ʼ89, ʼ92, M.A. & M.L.S., History; Director, National Archives
EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP ROUNDTABLE
- Patty Cousins - ʼ87, English; Vice President, Marriott International, Inc.
- Anna Gavin - ʼ04, Art History; President of Fireline Corporation
- Ira Greenstein - ʼ72, Radio/TV/Film; Chief Information Systems Officer, State of MD Retirement and Pension
- Donald Himelfarb - ʼ67, History; (Retired) President of Dollar Thrifty Car/Corporate Consultant
- Rebecca Coleman - ʼ07, English; Novelist
- Richie Frieman - ʼ01, Studio Art; Writer, Artist, & Entrepreneur
MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT ROUNDTABLE
- Aldo Bello - ʼ95, M.A., Radio/TV/Film; Founder, Mind & Media, Inc.
- John Kelly - ʼ84, English; Columnist, The Washington Post -KEYNOTE SPEAKER-
- Bryan Nehman - ʼ96, History; Morning News Anchor, WBAL
- Michael Olmert - ʼ62, ʼ80, Ph.D, English; Professor/Playwright/Author/Screenwriter
PUBLIC RELATIONS/COMMUNICATION ROUNDTABLE
- Randy Belote - ʼ74, Radio/TV/Film; VP, Strategic Communications, Northrup Grumman
- Steve Drake - ’83 ,’94, M.A. Journalism (Public Relations); Principal, Steven Drake Associates, LLC
- Jim Gianiny - ʼ89, Journalism; President, Democracy Data & Communication
- Brian Dunn - ʼ13, English; Sales Representative, Riot Creative Imaging
- Ashley Faust - ʼ11, Communication; Regional Sales Manager, Monumental Sports Entertainment
- Tori Hanna - ʼ04, Communication; Director of Digital Strategies, Under Armour
EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION ROUNDTABLE
- Elisabeth Carmichael - ʼ86, M.A., ʼ91, Ph.D, English; Faculty, California State Maritime Academy
- Dan Cronin - ʼ90, ʼ92, M.B.A., ʼ07, Ph.D, Communication; Associate Dean, Krieger College of Arts and Sciences
- Keith Scroggins - ʼ79, English; COO, Baltimore County Public Schools
- Jesse Brande - ʼ81, Design; President, J.B. Design
- Katie Friedgen - ʼ10, Art; Graphic Designer, Urban by Blue
- Deborah Gasper - ʼ80, Design; President, The Ad Agency
- Francie Hester - ʼ94, Art; Artist
PERFORMING ARTS ROUNDTABLE
- Ruth Anne Watkins - ʼ13, Theatre; Theatre professional
- Blair Barrett - ʼ02, English; Deputy Program Manager, FAA Safety Support, SENTEL Corporation
- Jeremy Goldman - ʼ00, Theatre; Attorney/Owner, JAG Legal Services
- Patrick Nelson - ʼ91, English; Founder and Executive Director, Todos Sonrisas
- Doug Schulkin - ʼ06, Communication; CEO and Founder of GuyRilla Marketing
Ready to register for the event? LIKE our Facebook page and be on the lookout for the event to RSVP!
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 Debbie Ellinghaus, Director of Development, or call 301-405-4517.
Josh Goldberg is one of the founders of Astrum Solar and serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. He also heads the Renewable Energy Credit trading business. Prior to Astrum Solar, Josh was an attorney at Ballard Spahr, LLP where he focused on mergers and acquisitions and venture capital transactions. He also cofounded a private equity fund dedicated to real estate investment and management, and served as a policy advisor to U.S. Congressman and Maryland elected officials. Josh earned a B.S. in Finance and a B.A. in History from the University of Maryland and received his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law where he served as an editor of the Maryland Law Review. He is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and serves on the Maryland Strategic Energy Advisory Board.
Bob Krantz is the founder and CEO of Mindseye Solutions an Arlington, Virginia based technology company. With over ten years of experience in electronic evidence and discovery solutions, Mr. Krantz specializes in delivering simplified solutions for complex business problems through consulting and delivery of next generation technologies to corporations, law firms, and government agencies. Krantz has assisted numerous organizations with cost reduction strategies, identification of efficient technologies, data minimization techniques, and electronic discovery workflow best practices. His relevant experience covers practice areas in Anti-trust, Insider Trading, SEC Investigations, Insurance Fraud, Second Requests, Intellectual Property Litigation, Freedom of Information Act requests, and many other areas. In addition to Mindseye Solutions, Bob is co-founder of EDD Blog Online on of the electronic discovery industry's premier resources for news and related content with over 4000 articles to date. Prior to founding Mindseye Solutions, Mr. Krantz worked with OnSite a premier litigation support services company in several roles. During his tenure at OnSite Mr. Krantz generated over $18m in sales over a five year timeframe and was consistently a member of the company’s President’s Club for top sales performers. Mr. Krantz has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Maryland, College Park and lettered in Football during his time at Maryland.
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.
Kristen Perry is a partner at Whiteford Taylor & Preston (WTP) and a member of the firm’s bankruptcy section. She is the co-chair of the firm’s Inclusion Committee, chair of WTP’s Women’s Initiative Network and chair of WTP’s Associate Mentoring Program. Her practice areas focus on chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizations, creditor and trustee representation, and bankruptcy and commercial litigation matters. A lifelong Howard County resident, Kristen serves on the five-member Howard County Ethics Commission, a position appointed by the County Executive. After graduating from UMCP, Kristen attended University of Baltimore Law School, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2000. She resides in Elkridge, MD, with her husband, Brian Perry ’97 (Government and Politics), son Kyle, and daughter, Kate.
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.
Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz is the Communications Director at the Association of the Baltimore Area Grantmakers, a membership association of 145+ foundations and corporate giving programs, Buffy has spent the last fifteen years promoting the growth of - and learning about - the good work of philanthropy in all of its forms. She has experience working directly with individual donors, corporate, private, community and public foundations, and with nonprofit organizations. She has particular expertise in the development and growth of giving circles, and in utilizing strategic communications, and specifically social media, to engage others in philanthropy. Previously, Buffy served as the Director of the Baltimore Giving Project where she managed the development, implementation and growth of a $1.2 million project to increase philanthropy in the region. Buffy is part of a team that published groundbreaking national research on giving circles resulting in numerous publications that have informed the field, and she assisted in the creation of the national online Giving Circle Knowledge Center. She currently serves as the national spokesperson on giving circles for the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and she has been quoted in local, regional, national and international media. Buffy is the author of dozens of published articles on philanthropy, women’s giving, and giving circles. She is a former columnist on women’s philanthropy for SmartWoman Magazine, and is the co-author of: A Plan of One's Own: A Woman's Guide to Philanthropy; as well as Growing Philanthropy Through Giving Circles; and a chapter in The Transformative Power of Women's Philanthropy. Her most recent publication which she co-authored with women’s philanthropy pioneers Sondra Shaw-Hardy and Martha Taylor entitled Women & Philanthropy: Boldly Shaping a Better World, was published by Jossey-Bass in September 2010 and was awarded the prestigious CASE John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy & Published Scholarship. Buffy has helped inspire donors through her hands-on work, leadership, public speaking and writing, and was chosen as one of Maryland's Top 100 Women in 2003, 2008 and 2010 by The Daily Record, an "Innovator of the Year" in 2004 by The Daily Record for her work in philanthropy, one of "40 Under 40" 2004 by the Baltimore Business Journal, and the first Impact Award Winner in 2012 by The Mall in Columbia and the Women's Giving Circle of Howard County. She is a founder and past Chair of the Women's Giving Circle of Howard County, a founding donor of the B'MORE Fund at the Baltimore Community Foundation, and a member of the next generation giving circle TwentyFiveFortyFive. She is an active community volunteer and most recently served as a Trustee of the Community Foundation of Howard County and on the Communications Committees of the Horizon Foundation and the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. Buffy has a BA in Russian History from the University of Maryland and lives in Howard County, MD. She and her husband Howard have four children ranging in age from 21 – 7.
Shara Boonshaft is the Director of Development & Stewardship for The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF), a nonprofit whose mission is to change lives by creating a community of support for young adults (15 to 39), and their loved ones, as they fight cancer and embrace survivorship. In that role, she serves as the chief fundraising officer for the organization and has responsibility for major gifts, sustaining gift programs, grant writing, strategic partnerships, and donor relations, among others. Prior to joining UCF, Shara practiced law for 10 years in Washington, D.C., most recently at Covington & Burling LLP where she represented corporate policyholders against insurance companies and maintained an active pro bono practice. After graduating from UMCP summa cum laude with a degree in Women’s Studies in 1998, she attended University of Maryland School of Law and graduated Order of the Coif in 2002. She remains active with the law school and currently serves on its Alumni Board. Shara resides in Washington, D.C. but is preparing to move to Baltimore in the coming months to be closer to her work and family.
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.
Don Ritchie ’69 and ’75 (M.A. & Ph.D. in history), a leading expert in the field of oral history, serves as the Senate historian. In 2009 he became the second person—as well as the second Maryland-trained historian—to hold this prestigious post. He joined the Senate Historical Office in 1976 as associate historian and has managed many of its key activities, including developing an oral history program (featuring interviews with retired senators and staff members) and preparing major historical documents (such as the transcripts of the McCarthy hearings) for public access. A past president of the Oral History Association, he has written about a dozen volumes, including books for young readers and the highly acclaimed Doing Oral History. His latest book is The Oxford Handbook to Oral History.
Kate Slaugh is a Congressional Relations Specialist 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.
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.
Patty Cousins is Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Labor & Employment with Marriott International Inc., which is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. Marriott employs over 150,000 associates globally as a leading lodging company with more than 3,800 hotel properties in 72 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 management on key human resources developments and initiatives. Prior to joining the 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.
Ira Greenstein is Chief Information Officer of the Maryland State Retirement Agency. This agency administers a wide range of pension plans for over 350,000 participants and over 100 employers, and it manages / invests a $43 billion trust fund – one of the largest in the country. Going back to the 1980s, he helped form Ernst & Young’s early technology consulting and project management practices, followed by successive executive roles at Coca-Cola Enterprises, Vanstar Corporation, Mentor Technologies, and the U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union. During his career, Mr. Greenstein grew three successful nationwide IT consulting practices, lived through two initial public offerings (IPOs), and developed systems and network design methodologies teamed with Microsoft Corporation and then Cisco Systems. Mr. Greenstein has presented at numerous national conferences and cybersecurity summits, on topics primarily related to information security and project management. He earned his three post-secondary degrees from the University of Maryland.
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.
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 Charm City Babies, a vintage rock n’ roll and pop-culture inspired children's clothing line, and the award-winning online magazine The Pen’s Eye View, which has featured over 1,400 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.
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, celebrating its citizens, bemoaning its irritations and ferreting out quirky bits of local history. The author of this eponymous column in the Washington Post, alumnus John Kelly ’84, stands as only the third writer since 1947 to pen the newspaper’s daily human-interest column. Kelly’s career began in the publications department of the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives. Three years later he became a freelance writer, publishing work in Washingtonian and Spy magazines and the Post. 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. He has twice won first place in the “Local Column: Feature or Humor” category of the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association awards. 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.”
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.
Brandon R. “Randy” Belote, III, Class of 1974 (RTVF), Vice President of Strategic Communications for Northrop Grumman Corporation, has served in leadership communications positions in the aerospace and defense market since 1993. Brandon formed and served as president of Atlas Communications International Inc., a marketing communications consulting firm, 1994-96, has more than 30 years of experience as a communicator in the aerospace and defense market—with Westinghouse Electric Corp.’s Defense Electronics Group, ITT Corp.’s Defense & Electronics Sector, Litton Industries, and Northrop Grumman Corp. and has completed executive leadership courses at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and at Harvard Business School. After graduating from U of MD – College Park, he began working as an assistant to the administrative officer, Office of the Governor, State of Maryland. He serves on the Communications Council of the Aerospace Industries Association, chairs the Communications Advisory Board of the Navy League of the United States, and is a member of the Publisher’s Advisory Council of The Hill newspaper.
Steve Drake is Principal with Steven Drake Associates, LLC, a corporate communications consultancy, and RFP Associates, a public relations and communications agency search firm. Previously, Steve held senior executive positions in the corporate and public relations agency sectors. As vice president, communications with Laureate Education, Inc., formerly Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc., Steve built and managed the first comprehensive corporate communications function for the $1 billion, then-publicly traded global provider of education services. Before that, Steve held positions of increasing responsibility with Fleishman-Hillard, Inc. In the mid- to late-1990s, he launched and managed the firm’s presence in China, opening offices and serving clients in Beijing, Shanghai, and throughout Asia. Upon his return to Washington, DC, Drake directed Fleishman-Hillard’s international practice. Steve holds both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication and in the executive MBA program at University of Maryland University College. He teaches, speaks and writes on a range of communications topics, including public relations in China, international public relations, and strategic thinking.
Jim Gianiny, president of DDC Advocacy, oversees efforts to design and execute strategic advocacy programs at both the domestic and international levels. Jim has more than 20 years of experience managing full-scale communications and mobilization campaigns. He has worked with corporate and association clients from a range of industries to build, implement, and sustain successful grassroots initiatives on critical public policy issues. Jim has been with DDC Advocacy for 15 years; before becoming President, he served as Chief Operating Officer. In that role, he drove growth of the technology product line from a single online grassroots application to a full array of grassroots and PAC- management systems. Prior to joining DDC Advocacy, Jim was a founding member of the Direct Impact Company, coordinating company operations and overseeing the firm’s lauded growth during the 1990s. Jim was awarded his B.S. in Journalism from the University of Maryland.
Ashley Faust is a Regional Sales Manager at Monumental Sports and Entertainment, where she handles accounts for the Washington Wizards, Capitals, Mystics, and Georgetown Men’s Basketball. Prior to this position, Ashley worked as an Inside Sales Consultant for Monumental Sports and Entertainment, a position she achieved after working as an intern for Maryland Sports Marketing and the Washington Wizards. A highlight of her undergraduate experience was the semester she spent abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Originally from Cherry Hill, NJ, Ashley now resides in Laurel, MD.
Tori Hanna, recently promoted to Director of Digital Sport, first joined Under Armour in 2001 as the company’s first intern. She has held progressively more responsible positions, including assistant manager of sports marketing, manager of sports marketing, director of women’s sports marketing, and director of global sports marketing. She also managed a task force that created and executed the company’s brand platform for the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games. Tori earned an MBA in marketing from Regis University in 2007 and was a member of the UMCP’s four-time NCAA national championship lacrosse team (1998-2001).
Keith Scroggins is the Chief Operating Officer for the Baltimore City Public Schools. He is responsible for overseeing the Departments of Facility Planning, Facility Design and School Construction, Facility Maintenance and Operations, Health and Safety, and Pupil Transportation. His office has a total budget of 61 million dollars and 375 employees. Mr. Scroggins began employment with BCPSS in June of 2006, after serving twenty-four years with the City of Baltimore. In his career with the City of Baltimore, Mr. Scroggins served in a variety of administrative positions including Chief of Human Resources, Head of the Bureau of Transportation, and most recently Head of the Bureau of General Services, all in the Department of Public Works. Mr. Scroggins has a Masters Degree in Management from the College of Notre Dame and a Bachelors Degree in English from the University of Maryland at College Park. His high school diploma is from The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland.
Jesse Brande is a graphic design and marketing expert with over 30 years of experience. Since graduating from the University of Maryland, Mr. Brande has developed a successful multi-media design company capable of conceptualizing, translating and implementing marketing objectives into both web-enabled and print design of the highest standards. Strong capabilities in creative problem solving have made him a key leader in the creation and strategic planning of successful marketing initiatives for his Washington, D.C. clientele, including both national and international associations and corporations. Most recently, Mr. Brande has been serving as a creative consultant in charge of theme development, event branding and promotion for major convention events held across North America. His responsibilities include: creative direction for event advertisements, design and production of event sets and backdrop imagery, development of exhibit display graphics and all associated print materials as well as the art direction and supervision of convention photographers. Mr. Brande has also served for the past 12 years as the Creative Director for the UA Journal, an international, monthly magazine with a circulation of 350,000.
Debi Gasper has more than 30 years as CEO/Creative Director of The Ad Agency. She provides creative direction on all projects and executive oversight on client relations. Since 1982 The Ad Agency has been recognized as one of the preeminent full service research, marketing, advertising, design and public relations firms serving a regional, national, and international client base. From financial institutions and government agencies to law firms and non-profit organizations, Ms. Gasper’s creative approach in branding and marketing has benefited hundreds of private and public sector clients. She has received many awards for her creative work in the advertising industry. Ms. Gasper’s client relationships include the US Department of Transportation, State Street Bank, US Department of Energy, Washington Convention Center Authority, DC Government, Greater Washington Board of Trade, National Cable Television Association, The Chevy Chase Land Company, Lerner Enterprises, CBRE, and American Express, to name a few. Ms. Gasper has served on the board of directors of the University of Maryland, Washington Symphony Orchestra, the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties and the Washington, DC Economic Partnership. Ms. Gasper graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in advertising from the University of Maryland.
Francie Hester has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally. Her work is represented in numerous private and corporate collections including the World Bank, Freddie Mac, Capital One, KPMG, and the International Monetary Fund. She has received honorary grants from the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and from the Arts Council of Montgomery County, Maryland. Hester’s commissioned works include a 1996 piece for the Ginetta Sagan Fund of Amnesty International and an 18-foot atrium piece for the Chicago Kent College of Law. In addition, she has created large-scale sculptural aluminum paintings for ASHA, Booz Allen Hamilton and National Endowment for the Arts Member Benefits. She received her M.F.A. in painting from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.F.A. in painting from the University of Michigan. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her family.
Ruth Anne Watkins (class of 2013, Theatre & Marketing) is a freelance stage manager and puppeteer in the Washington, DC area. 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 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 theater Washington. This summer she will be working at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC.
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.
Jeremy Goldman is a father, husband, actor, singer, and attorney. Jeremy grew up in Howard County, MD. He arrived at the University of Maryland in 1996, by way of Centennial High School, as a recipient of the Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship. Jeremy received his B.A. in 2000 with a major in Theater Performance after performing in numerous campus productions, including Once On This Island, Dangerous Liaisons, The World Goes ‘Round, Anything Goes, and The Cave Dwellers. While at UMD, Jeremy was a member of the campus sketch comedy group, Sketchup, and served on the Administering Council for Theatre (A.C.T.). Upon graduating, Jeremy was cast in Round House Theater’s production of The Fantasticks, and then as Alexander in The Kennedy Center’s national touring production of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. For next few years, Jeremy worked in several law firms in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, including Clifford Chance, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and Whiteford, Taylor & Preston; at the same time Jeremy created and sang with the professional acappella group, Staticflow. He eventually made the decision to attend law school at the University of Baltimore School of Law, and received his J.D. in 2009 with areas of concentration in both Business Law and Intellectual Property. In 2010, Jeremy received the Young Attorney Writing Award for his article published in the ABA’s Public Contract Law Journal, “New FAR Rule on Compliance Programs and Ethics.” Today, Jeremy runs a solo law practice in Columbia, MD called JAG Legal Services, works at Northrop Grumman where he specializes in intellectual property licensing, and serves as President of the Board of Directors at Bet Yeladim Preschool in Columbia, MD. But despite all that, Jeremy’s two proudest accomplishments will always be marrying his college sweetheart, Allison ’99 (B.S. Early Childhood Education), and his two children (now ages 8 and 5). They reside in Howard County, MD.
Doug Schulkin founded GuyRilla Marketing Group in 2009. His passion to connect, educate and inspire entrepreneurs is the driving force behind GuyRilla’s success. He also founded and sold Status Flow, a lacrosse-lifestyle clothing company now based in New York, NY. 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 has been featured by nationally recognized publications such as Thrillist, Inside Lacrosse, Lacrosse Playground, Baltimore Magazine, and Harvard Crimson. 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 Shrewrsbury, PA, with his wife, Rory, a 2009 alumna (Public Health), and enjoys lacrosse, flag football, swimming, golfing, mountain biking, running, and everything else under the sun.