Nancy Rabstejnek Nichols
Chair of the Board
Senior Vice President,
Nancy Rabstejnek Nichols is Senior Vice President External Affairs, at Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global public relations firms. Working with internal and external clients Ms. Nichols handles key company relationships in terms of positioning in New York with business, community, governmental and charitable institutions. She counsels CEO’s and other senior executives on how to achieve targeted board memberships and community exposure as well as serving as liaison to the Advertising Trade Associations and the World Economic Forum on behalf of parent company Interpublic Group. Ms. Nichols also counsels corporations on their strategies for most effectively allocating corporate contributions and participation in non-profit events.
She was selected as a member of the Academy of Women Achievers: an organization of exceptional women in the workforce chosen by the YWCA of the City of New York, and has received the Americans for Indian Opportunity Outstanding Achievement Award. Ms. Nichols served as the president of the board of the New York Women in Communications Foundation, and as president of the New York Women in Communications Board.
Ms. Nichols received a BA in Psychology from Hunter College and has completed graduate courses in Personnel Psychology at Columbia University.
Vice President, Marketing,
|Justina is Vice President, Head of Digital Marketing and Platform, at New York Life. She is responsible for leading the digital marketing evolution for New York Life’s agents – building and maintaining an ecosystem that allows agents to reach clients via marketing platforms for direct mail, email, web, text and social.Justina has over 15 years of experience in digital, marketing and technology. She joined New York Life from Citigroup, where she spent 10 years. As SVP Global Digital Products, she and her team drove the strategy and execution of core digital products across the globe. She also led the redesign of citi.com, which was ranked #1 by Forrester in its 2012 US Bank Digital Sales Rankings. Prior to Citi, Justina held roles at Washington Mutual and Deloitte Consulting, focused on CRM strategy and implementation.
Justina graduated from the University of Michigan with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and received her MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. She lives in New York City with her husband and two year old daughter.
|Aaron Cohen is an advertising professional and is currently a mentor at Baruch College. With over forty years of experience in advertising, his career has encompassed the areas of research, promotion, event promotion, programming, sales, and media negotiation. His most recent position was Executive Vice President of Media Investments at Horizon Media before moving onto a senior advising role. Aaron earned both his BBA and MBA at Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business.|
|In 2008, Richard Hochhauser retired as President & CEO of Harte-Hanks,Inc — a leading international direct marketing services company. He had been COO/CEO and on the Board of Directors of the company for 12 years prior to his retirement. Mr. Hochhauser joined Harte-Hanks in an entrepreneurial capacity in 1975.Mr. Hochhauser has spoken at a wide range of marketing and database conferences, lectured at Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon and Rutgers, and since his retirement from Harte-Hanks has served on the faculty of NYU and Baruch College. He is past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association and Marketing Edge. He was a member of the Advisory Council, Center for Direct Marketing of New York University.
Richard Hochhauser earned his undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon University and received an MBA from Columbia University.
MBA ’87*VP, Consumer & Market Insights,
|Elyse Kane is Worldwide Director, Consumer Insights and Research for the Global Oral Care Device Division at Colgate-Palmolive. In this position Elyse manages the research, worldwide, for toothbrushes and other oral care devices for new product development, advertising and equity building.Elyse joined Colgate-Palmolive in 1986 as an Associate Research Manager on Personal Care. Since then, she has contributed to all of the business units in the US Company including Oral Care, Fabric Care, Hard Surface Care, and Personal Care. Prior to joining Colgate Palmolive, Elyse was a Market Research Manager at Weight Watchers.
Prior to her career in Consumer Insights, Elyse worked in experimental psychology conducting psychopharmacological studies at Albert Einstein School of Medicine and the Bronx Veteran’s Administration.
Elyse received her MBA from Baruch College in 1987. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Queens College in 1980.
Ready Set Rocket
|Alex Lirtsman is the Founding Partner and Chief Strategist of Ready Set Rocket, an award-winning digital agency committed to connecting brands and consumers through innovative multi-channel experiences. Ready Set Rocket’s clients include Ann Taylor, Deutsche Bank, Fast Company, Johnson & Johnson, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Kenneth Cole, Live Nation, Marriott, Michael Kors, New York Life, Perfumania Holdings and Univision Communications Inc., among others.For more than 15 years, Alex has led innovation and digital strategy for global brands and nonprofits and oversees Ready Set Rocket’s team that fuels innovation and digital strategies. In addition, Alex is passionate about advancing education and currently lectures at Columbia University’s Masters in Strategic Communication program and Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business’s Marketing MBA program.|
BBA ’88*VP, Human Resources,
|Diane is a global human resource leader with experience in the financial services, technology and media sectors. She joined Ziff Davis in 2013 with responsibility for all HR practices and policies for the company. Diane has more than 20 years of experience consulting and collaborating with senior leadership and functional teams in both corporate and entrepreneurial organizations. She has built HR teams to drive organizational growth. Particular emphasis is on ensuring a high level of employee satisfaction by creating programs that are customized to the locations and cultures of the various company brands. She has performed acquisition due diligence to analyze and recommend organization changes and integrated total rewards. Her experience includes opening new locations, working on talent acquisition and retention strategies and establishing fair and equitable work environments.
Diane earned a bachelor’s degree from Baruch College and an MBA from Fordham University. She lives in New York City with her family.
MBA ’03*Client Program Manager, FMCG,
|Cozi is currently the Global Business Development Lead for Google’s largest Consumer Product Goods Clients. He joined Google in 2010 in Ireland as a Sales Manager for a team focused on providing digital advertising solutions. He also serves as innovation trainer & facilitator for Googlers & External Clients including NGOs. Additionally, he operates as a marketing consultant to Verily (Google Life Sciences). Prior to this role, Cozi founded the global audience development team that supported 2 million online publishers & developers.Prior to Google, Cozi worked at Johnson & Johnson for 6 years covering US, UK & Emerging markets. He has held Product & Marketing Management roles as well as Sales Management duties across multiple healthcare fields working in 3 different continents.
Cozi earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering and graduated with an MBA at Baruch College. He currently offers workshops & classes as an Adjunct Professor at Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business.
|A founding member and Executive Vice President at MeritDirect, Paulette has over 25 years of industry experience specializing in B2B customer acquisition and retention. Working with a diverse set of clients – i.e. LL Bean (Direct to Business), Godiva, Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Washington/Tax letters, New England Business Service, Staples, and Wharton Executive Education – allows for a unique perspective, and broad B2B expertise on topics including Lifetime Value, Retention/Reactivation, Attribution, Modeling and Analytics, and true Multichannel Marketing. Specializing in database marketing for both prospecting and customer segmentation analysis, her clients are recognized as some of the top B2B marketers in the nation.Paulette is a Managing Owner at MeritDirect, a member of the Media and Content Marketing Association – (MCMA) as well as Marketing Idea Exchange – (The MIX) and serves as the current President of the Direct Marketing Club of New York – (DMCNY)|
|After earning his BBA in accounting, he briefly served as a Lieutenant in the US Navy and upon his return, began his career at a direct marketing company. Within ten years he had become its president and the company had been acquired by Ogilvy & Mather.During his time there, he built its major subsidiary, Ogilvy & Mather Direct, into a world-wide presence as its CEO. His clients included American Express, AT&T, Microsoft, Intel, Sears, Shell Oil.
His team broadened the definition of direct marketing to include data management and took the pioneering step to aggressively embrace digital communications, sufficiently to be recognized as the leading agency in the discipline. In 1992 he was voted the Direct Marketing Man of the Year.
Moving onto a more entrepreneurial role, he started a small agency with a colleague which had 60 employees with billings of $60 million until selling to the Interpublic Group of Companies.
He continues to serve on two boards of companies involved in marketing and has spent 15 years on the board of the American Red Cross of Greater New York.
BBA ’92*Sr. Partner, Worldwide Controller,
|Stacey is in an innovative financial professional and business partner with over 23 years of experience in the entertainment, media & communications industry. As Worldwide Financial Controller at Ogilvy, Stacey is directly responsible for managing the analysis, risk assessment, budgeting, forecasting and reporting of over 600 operating units in the global operations of Ogilvy & Mather.
Stacey has been featured in Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the 75 Most Powerful Women in Business and is often called upon to serve as a panelist speaking about women and diversity conversations. She was inducted into YWCA’s Academy of Women Leaders class of 2012 and maintains active memberships in the National Association of Black Accountants (“NABA”), American Institute of Certified Public Accounts (“AICPA”), Advancing Women Executives (“AWE”) and the Institute of Management Accounts (“IMA”).
Stacey is a proud graduate of The Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College and is passionate about education and the arts.
|Frank Tanki, Jr.
EMBA ’04*EVP, Brand Marketing & Creative,
|Frank Tanki is Executive Vice President, Brand Marketing and Creative, Spike TV. Tanki is responsible for leading all consumer marketing and creative development for the brand, including consumer and trade advertising, digital and social marketing, partnership marketing, and on and off-air creative along with property messaging for all cross-business initiatives.
Previously, Tanki served as Senior Vice President, Nickelodeon Strategic Property Planning & Marketing where he was responsible for the strategic planning and marketing of many of Nickelodeon’s key hits such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dora The Explorer. He worked on the launch of “SpongeBob SquarePants” before moving on to Cartoon Network and Adult Swim as Director, Promotions Marketing. He returned to Nickelodeon as Senior Director, Brand Marketing, where he managed several successful marketing campaigns like “SpongeBob SquarePants’ Best Day Ever” marathon, which earned Nickelodeon its most-watched and highest-rated total programming day in history. He also served as Vice President, Nickelodeon Brand Marketing, where Tanki directed the launch campaigns and off-air marketing for many of Nick’s most successful properties including “iCarly,” “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” and “The Kids’ Choice Awards.”
Tanki earned his undergraduate degree from Boston College and earned an executive MBA from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business.
|Luba Tolkachyov is the Co-Founder of Gravity, an award-winning advertising agency focused on cultural marketing. Luba has been a key player in building Gravity into the fastest-growing cultural advertising agency in the U.S. and an INC 500 I 5000 company three years in a row.
Luba leads and nurtures innovation within the agency and has launched award winning campaigns for clients such as: Caesars Entertainment, Singapore Tourism Board, Christofle, Comcast, Prudential and various tourism clients. Her work has garnered her some of the industry’s top accolades. She has been named a Webby Special Achievement Honoree, and was awarded as a Finalist in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Services category of the Stevie® Awards for Women in Business.
Luba received her master’s degree in social and cultural psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor’s degree in International Marketing from Baruch College. She is also fluent in Russian.