Chair of the Board
Senior Vice President, Chief Talent Officer
Joe Kelly is SVP/Talent for Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). In this role, He works with the senior corporate team and his colleagues within the agencies to assess needs, ensure top talent and talent management systems are in place and further enhance the systems that the company has created to support its talent initiatives.
Kelly joined Interpublic in 2015 from McCann Worldgroup where he was Chief Talent Officer, after serving a similar role at Interpublic Group’s Mediabrands.
At McCann Worldgroup, his responsibilities included global recruitment, career development, compensation, and acting as a steward of organizational culture and collaborative vision, including overseeing HFD, Worldgroup’s global training and development program, arguably the most sophisticated in the industry.
Kelly carries more than 30 years of global human resources and marketing experience working within marketing communications and creative organizations in the U.K., Sweden and the U.S. Prior to his tenure at Mediabrands, he served as EVP and Worldwide HR Director at Interpublic’s Lowe Worldwide, and earlier, at Lowe Lintas Partners Worldwide, in both New York and London.
Joe grew up in Ireland and has a degree in economics from University College Dublin. While the majority of his career has been spent in the US, working for a global company has provided the opportunity to visit many countries in every corner of the world.
Al Benoit (BBA ‘95)
Advertising Executive & Youth Champion
Al Benoit is the Managing Director, Media at Campbell Ewald. He is a native NYer who grew up in Queens, graduated Baruch College with a BA in Marketing and joined his first agency, Young & Rubicam. Over the next 7 years he developed award winning plans and drove revenue growth at full-service agencies,. His work included campaigns on brands like Advil, CDC and MLK Jr. Memorial funding encompassing a breadth of business goals and targets.
For the next 10 years he worked at media agencies, honing his skills across media channels on a range of accounts including Amex, Dell and Subway. During those years, he also found new ways to give back to the community by joining Big Brother Big Sister, teaching at NYU and coaching youth football. In 2015, he began working at the 4A’s, leading the youth pipeline collaboration including MECA which encompassed developing advertising curriculum, industry engagement, fundraising, partnerships, creating mentoring and internships for NYC youth. In 2021, he returned to a more active role in the ad industry, working as SVP, Group Media Director at Mediahub, leading the NBA account.
He credits his success to growing up in the most diverse county in the world, a strong immigrant work-ethic and a growth mindset.
Aaron Cohen (BBA ’59*)
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.
SVP of Programming & Acquisitions
As the SVP of Programming & Acquisitions at Paramount International, Douglas Craig brings his award-winning, professionally recognized, and energetic ethos to the company. Mr. Craig has over 20 years of experience in leading revenue generating strategies that leverage popular and highly regarded brands. He has a proven track record in building audience share and driving revenue across both traditional and digital platforms. Craig is adept in building media brands, and developing programming themes, stunts, and blocks to maximize viewership. He has a passion for creating entertainment experiences that drive conversation and culture around the world, while generating revenue. During his extensive career he has worked at companies like Fandango, Roku, Discovery Communications and was a keynote speaker at a TEDx Hollywood event where he discussed how streaming is transforming television.
Doug is proud MBA graduate of The Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College and is passionate about education and the arts.
Donna D’Alessandro (MBA ‘10*)
SVP of Programming
Discovery Channel and Animal Planet at Discovery Communications
Donna D’Alessandro oversees day-to-day program strategy for both Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, coordinating across all departments to create and conceptualize series, specials, franchises and initiatives for domestic telecast while leveraging those for all business opportunities.
Before joining Discovery, D’Alessandro was Vice President of Programming and Strategy at BET Networks and earlier she served as Director of Program Planning at Bravo.
Ben Guttmann (BBA ‘11)
former co-founder and managing partner at Digital Natives Group
Ben Guttmann (BBA ‘11) is a marketing executive, educator, and author. Ben is former co-founder and managing partner at Digital Natives Group, an award-winning agency that worked with the NFL, I Love NY, Comcast NBCUniversal, Hachette Book Group, The Nature Conservancy, SwissRe, and other major clients. Since the sale of his agency, Ben has worked as an independent advisor and consultant for a range of clients, including thought leaders, venture-backed startups, government agencies, and other brands.
Ben has had every ID card that CUNY offers: student, alum, staff, and faculty. As a former student of Baruch College, Ben served as President of the Undergraduate Student Government. Currently, as a faculty member Ben has taught digital marketing at the college as an adjunct since 2014. (And he’s married to another Baruch alum.)
His first book, Simply Put: Why Clear Messages Win — and How to Design Them, was released by Berrett-Koehler Publishers in 2023. In addition to his work in marketing, Ben has served as Board President of the Queens Economic Development Corporation, board member of the Long Island City Partnership, and hosts Queens Tech Night.
Elyse Kane (MBA ’87*)
Elyse Kane is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at Baruch College in the Graduate Marketing Department. She is also an independent marketing consultant with over 35 years experience. Elyse started her consulting company in 2018 after a 32 year career at Colgate-Palmolive. At Colgate, Elyse held a variety of Consumer Insight roles within North America and Global Business. Her most recent role at Colgate-Palmolive was Vice President of Consumer Insights for North America. While at Colgate she was a trustee for the Marketing Science Institute and on the advisory board for Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science. Currently Elyse is on the advisory board for Baruch College Marketing Curriculum, Olson Zaltman Marketing Research and Lelex Prime.
Elyse received her MBA from Baruch College and her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Queens College.
Daphne Leroy (BBA ‘93*)
Senior Vice President, Advertising Strategy & Culture
Named one of the most influential multi-ethnic executives in the media industry, Daphne Leroy is a purpose-driven marketing and communications strategist with over 20 years of leadership experience at iconic global media companies and notable social impact organizations. Currently, Daphne is Senior Vice President of Strategy & Culture at Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) in the U.S. Advertising division. Spanning all marketing and communications disciplines, she previously held management positions at top media and entertainment companies, including MTV, Viacom, Time Inc., National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) and The Paley Center for Media.
Daphne’s professional background is rooted in social responsibility and philanthropic endeavors. Whether mentoring students and young women through her volunteer work or serving on the Board of Directors of the Fiver Children’s Foundation, Daphne is devoted to giving back. She is also Co-Founder and Vice Chair of the Haitian Roundtable, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. In 2020, Daphne launched the platform “Descendants Of Hope” to amplify how diverse ancestry contributes to the colorful fabric of American society.
Baruch College bestowed upon Daphne the Alumni Changemaker Award in 2023. For a fifth consecutive year in 2023, Cablefax Magazine named Daphne among the most influential multi-ethnic executives in the industry. In 2021, Cynopsis Media honored Daphne with a Top Women In Media Award. She was honored in 2020 with a Black Women in Media Award. Daphne has also been recognized by the American Marketing Association of New York, Multichannel News, and The Network Journal.
Alex Lirtsman (MBA ’07*)
Co-Founder, Chief Strategist, 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.
Chief Knowledge Officer
Havas Health & You
Julie Monroid, currently Chief Knowledge Officer & Partner at Havas Health & You and Managing Principal of xigxag consulting, has over 20 years of healthcare experience. Havas Health & You, a leading global marketing and communications network, is the health and wellness vertical within the Havas Group, of which Vivendi recently took a majority stake in. Havas Health & You was designed to focus on the health and wellness continuum, from Rx and OTC to health solutions. It is comprised of 4000+ employees with over 150 offices in over 100 cities in 70 countries worldwide.
During her 10 year tenure at Havas Health & You, she has served many roles in agency services from management to strategy to business development and growth. Julie has a proven track record in growing companies, new capabilities, and offerings.
Cozi Namer (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.
Nancy Rabstejnek Nichols
Nancy Rabstejnek Nichols
Senior Vice President, Weber Shandwick/IPG
Nancy Rabstejnek Nichols is Senior Vice President, External Affairs, at Interpublic. 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.
In Memoriam Jerry Pichholz BBA ’53
Over the summer we lost one of our most distinguished alumni, Jerome Pickholz. Jerry was a champion of the Marketing program at Baruch and spent many hours working with faculty and students to improve the program and to provide pre-professional opportunities for students, including those offered by Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, where he served as an executive and board member. He was instrumental in the development of theMarkLab, which helped a generation of marketing students get valuable teamwork and pro bono client-serving experience. He was a loyal alumnus, mentoring students and giving generously of his time and financial support. He will be much missed!
Stacey Ryan-Cornelius (BBA ’92*)
Global Chief Financial Officer
WPP Health and Wellness
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.
Luba Tolkachyov (BBA ’03*)
Co-Founder, Gravity Media
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.
President, Marketing Club of New York
Alicia is “bilingual,” having spent her career at both creative branding and direct agencies. She is a founder of Summer Friday and leads the strategy team in building brands, delivering results to clients and developing strategic campaigns across all audience segments. Alicia is passionate about understanding consumer trends and delivering equitable, inclusive campaigns. She has built an extensive roster of clients, past and present, including E*TRADE, Cigna, Avangrid, J.P. Morgan, GE, eBay and more. She also currently serves as president of the Marketing Club of New York.