SUNY CUAD - STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK COUNCIL FOR UNIVERSITY ADVANCEMENT | Speaker Bios
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Speaker Bios

Randy Burge’s tenure and experience in higher education marketing spans more than two decades. His focus is on building, growing, and sustaining strong brands and maximizing his clients’ return on their investment in marketing. He has provided integrated marketing counsel to dozens of colleges and universities, major health care organizations, and blue chip manufacturers across the country. Randy’s qualities as a high-level marketing strategist and conceptual thinker, award-winning creative director and copywriter, consensus and team builder, and exceptional communicator and leader inform each project he undertakes as well as each relationship he forges with his clients. Randy graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in English literature from Cornell University. He earned an MA in dramatic criticism from the University of Toronto. An accomplished chef, he lives on a “150-acre gentleman’s farm” in Upstate New York. He has presented at SUNYCUAD, the AMA Symposium on the Marketing of Higher Education, CUPRAP, and to the Marketing and Public Relations Practitioners of the OK Regents System.

Brian Busher is an award-winning editor and producer with 15 years experience in all areas of multi-media production. As a Producer/Editor for the University at Albany, he has demonstrated creativity, versatility and excellence in crafting engaging video content to support the University’s mission. Prior to his experience at UAlbany, Brian spent 5 years as an editor for MadDash E-Media, a media production company in the Boston area that specializes in dynamic online job recruitment videos for a wide variety of fortune 500 companies and has the distinction of being the exclusive video provider for Monster.com.

Rion Byrd graduated from the University of North Texas, with a BFA in Communication Design. She started her career with an internship in Dallas, at David Carter Design Associates. This lead her to work for a number of esteemed firms. During her 10+ years at Pentagram she worked on projects with Michael Bierut, Paula Scher and other principals on a range of environmental graphics projects including streetscapes, parks, museums, cultural institutions, libraries, and universities. Rion is also active in the local design community and her work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, SEGD, AIGA, IDSA and multiple printed publications and annuals including Print, Graphis, and ID magazines.

Jim Cameron has spent more than 45 years in broadcasting and journalism. As an undergraduate at Lehigh University he helped secure the school’s first FM radio license. After graduation he worked at WLIR, WHCN, and WHDH and was recruited by NBC News at 30 Rock where he was News Director and Anchor. A recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award, Cameron launched his consultancy, Cameron Communications Inc., in 1982, specializing in Media Training and Speaker Coaching. Over the past 30+ years he has trained thousands of C- level executives, scientists, authors and celebrities for everything from 60 Minutes to The Today Show. A resident of Darien CT, Cameron is an elected official serving on the town’s Representative Town Meeting, is Program Director of the town’s Chairman of the CT Metro-North Rail Commuter Council. Full bio at: http://www.mediatrainer.tv/page.asp?PageID=3795.

Heather Casey serves as a social media intern/video blogger for the spring 2013 semester at SUNY Oswego, hosting “Head2Toe Health,” looking at various health and wellness issues of interest to college students. Heather worked on story ideas, set up interviews and served as on-camera talent for the series. She has been a guest on the Admissions Live video series discussing student creative content. A broadcasting major with a wellness management minor, Heather graduated from Oswego in May 2013 and would love to speak with SUNY institutions about job opportunities.

Jenn Connally is a Customer Marketing Leader at readMedia. With a focus on client success, Jenn supports initiatives for optimizing onboarding and the first year experience. She is responsible for evolving readMedia’s content strategy by transforming client success into compelling stories. Jenn has more than 10 years of strategic marketing and brand management experience in higher education.

Casey Crandall is Associate Director of Annual Giving at the University at Albany, and is primarily responsible for the daily operation of the UAlbany Fund Calling Center, direct mail, and online giving functions. Casey’s area of expertise is engaging students and young alumni, building relationships that will strengthen the university’s alumni network. Casey has implemented several successful initiatives in this area, including several Class Gift campaigns, the award-winning UAlbany Unite program, and the recent launch of the GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) 1844 Society, a leadership giving society for young alumni. In addition, Casey is member of the UAlbany community. As Chairman of the Dippikill Board of Directors, Casey helps oversee the 850 acre wilderness retreat in the heart of New York State’s Adirondack region. Casey also serves on the University at Albany’s Alumni Association Board of Directors and its GOLD Committee, where he strives to bridge the gap between alumni relations and fundraising, and to ensure that UAlbany alumni are involved in both of these important enterprises.

Chris D’Orso is president of SUNYCAP, the SUNY College Admissions Professionals group. He’s a SUNY lifer; he has BA from Geneseo in Communications, and worked as the acting Director of Student Activities at Finger Lakes Community College and as an Admissions Counselor/Orientation Director at The College at Old Westbury before joining Stony Brook University as an Assistant Director of Admissions. He’s a Mets fan and baseball card collector, and got his butt kicked on “Jeopardy!” in 2009. He earned his MS in College Student Development at LIU.

Brenda Dow has been a higher education administrator for over 20 years, responsible for alumni affairs, development operations, web management, public relations and marketing in public and private colleges. She also has corporate and agency experience in marketing communications and market research. Prior to her current position as Director of Alumni Relations at SUNY New Paltz, she served as the campus’ Director of Development Services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Cornell University and a master’s degree in human resources management from Chapman University. She previously presented at SUNYCUAD on Facebook strategies for Alumni Relations, served on the SUNYCUAD conference planning group, and was a SUNYCUAD Class of 2008 Charlton Scholar. She has presented at SICAS Advancement FAUG meetings and SICAS Summit and is scheduled to present at the Ellucian Live international conference in April 2013. Her work has been recognized with education and industry awards. www.linkedin.com/in/brendadow/.

Robert Duckworth has over ten years experience in non-profit management as Vice President and Executive Director at St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundations, Director of Development at The Citadel Foundation and twelve years in enterprise software sales with Blackbaud. Bob earned a BS in Computer Science from The Citadel, MA in Philanthropy & Development from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and a certificate in PMNO (Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations), from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Bob and his family live in the Savannah, Georgia area.

Michael Frame has served as director of federal relations for SUNY since 2011 as well as the director of federal relations for Binghamton University (since 2006). He previously served as director of special projects for the Metropolitan Development Association in Syracuse and as federal relations assistant and policy analyst for the California State University system in Washington, D.C. Mike received a bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. In addition to sitting on the SUNYCUAD board, Mike serves on the executive committee of the Council of Government Affairs for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the board of directors of The Science Coalition, the Government and Public Affairs Committee of MedTech, and the Government Affairs Committee of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. He is also vice president of OnPoint for College.

Steven Frederick has been in higher education fundraising since 2002, non-profit fundraising since 1998, and has been in sales since 1970. He also spent eight years in the financial services world as a registered investment advisor where he credits his training in high net-worth client prospecting. Steve earned a BA in Political Science and MS in Counseling/Student Personnel from SUNY Plattsburgh. Honors include the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, and he is a Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International. Steve and his family live in the Plattsburgh, NY area.

Catherine Herman is the Vice President for Strategic Communications and Marketing at the University at Albany–SUNY where she oversees the development and implementation of strategic public relations and marketing programs. Herman has spearheaded award-winning communications strategies for a diverse group of organizations, institutions and businesses. In addition to the University at Albany, she has developed and implemented successful marketing and public relations programs at the New York State Department of Health, Albany Law School and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She also worked in commercial television at EUE/Screen Gems a division of Columbia Pictures. She is the recipient of several marketing awards including the Echo Leader Award from the Direct Marketing Association of America, two national Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) awards, and the New York State Commissioner’s Recognition Award from the NYS Department of Health. She earned her bachelor degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Jessica Krywosa (@jesskry) is a passionate and creative integrated marketing professional with 13+ years of experience in communication problem solving for mission based organizations and educational institutions. Currently the Director of Social Media at Hamilton College, Jess has also served as the Director of Web Communication at Suffolk University, Marketing Manager for College Access Programs at TERI, and Communications Associate for the Massachusetts Parent Information Center. Her experience covers the entire educational spectrum from parental involvement in elementary and secondary schooling to college readiness and post-secondary completion. Jess is also the co-founder of Tidal Strategies, a consultancy that specializes in brand building and thought leadership via integrated social media. She holds a MA in Integrated Marketing Communication from Emerson College and a BA in Communications from Northeastern University.

Carol Leven, vice president for communications at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, has worked in higher education marketing communications for 20 years at institutions including New York University, the New School, and Parsons School of Design. Carol received her BA in fine arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a concentration in graphic design. She worked as a designer for more than 10 years, and has managed creative professionals from writers to designers, illustrators to photographers, web specialists to video producers, advertising and media buyers to market research consultants. She is currently responsible for the FIT’s publications, advertising, website, alumni magazine, social media marketing, and a wide range of visual identity projects. Under her direction FIT has received numerous awards from CASE, the Educational Marketing Association, the University College Design Association and NCMPR. In addition to presenting and previous SUNYCUAD conferences, Carol has presented at the CASE district conference and the NCMPR national conference.

Alyssa Levenberg, a freshman communication major at SUNY Oswego, has already spent several years honing her style and craft of video blogging. Her “Alyssa Explains It All” advice series on transitioning to college consistently ranks among top-viewed content for Oswego’s YouTube channel. She has already appeared on the Admissions Live higher-education web series for an episode on niche blogging.

Paul Miller is director of Digital Media at the University at Albany where he oversees the video and photography units within the Office of Communications & Marketing. Prior to arriving at UAlbany, Miller, a 20-year veteran of broadcast and cable television, served as director of Digital Media Production for A&E Television Networks and was responsible for producing original video content for the websites of the History Channel, Biography Channel and A&E. Paul has also worked as executive producer of On-Air Marketing for the National Geographic channel, served as an associate creative director of Primetime Programs for PBS, and created promos as a writer producer for KUSA-TV in Denver, Colorado and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Jeffrey S. Morosoff is an assistant professor at Hofstra University’s School of Communication, Department of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations. Morosoff’s public relations career began at Cablevision in 1983, where he handled community and government relations. He served the Long Island Association (LIA) as director of special projects and later oversaw communications activities for the Town of Babylon. Morosoff left government to serve as a political and public relations consultant. He moved to academia in 1998, serving various public relations positions at New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), and was vice president of institutional advancement at Nassau Community College before joining Hofstra in 2010. He is a past president of the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island and co-founded the Long Island Higher Education Communicators. He holds a BA and an MA in Communication Arts from NYIT and teaches courses in public relations and mass media.

Tim Nekritz is associate director of public affairs and director of web communication at SUNY Oswego. He serves as chief content editor for oswego.edu, spearheads the college’s official social media efforts and coordinates its award-winning student blogging program. He regularly speaks at national/international conferences and writes journal/magazine articles on social media, content strategy and emerging digital communication, IT and currently teaches courses in public relations and mass media.

As CEO of Elliance, Abu Noaman enjoys sharing his expertise with others and is a regular speaker at national conferences such as the American Marketing Association’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, eduWeb, CIC Presidents Institute, eM8 eMarketing Conference and numerous others. Named the eMarketer of the year in 2010 by the Business Marketing Association, he was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by USA Today and CNN and has served on the board of International Business Marketing Association. The Interactive Media Awards recognized his company as one of the Top 10 Agencies of 2008. In receiving this recognition, Elliance shared the spotlight with firms from London, New York and Miami. Abu attended Cornell University on a full scholarship and graduated with a BS in Computer Science, and later earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Director of Public Relations and Publications Michelle Marasch Ouellette has been involved in SUNY Plattsburgh’s social media efforts since the college first signed on to Facebook in 2009. Since then, its fan base has grown to 21,000 — around a third of the college’s alumni base. And the engagement of that fan base keeps growing. In fact, under her oversight, the average number of people talking about the college’s website rose from 37 in January 2012 to 375 in January 2013. Prior to becoming a director in SUNY Plattsburgh’s Marketing and Communications Office, Michelle was public relations director at an agency that serves people with disabilities, a service learning coordinator and a teacher.

Larry Raff is President of Copley Raff, Inc., one of the Northeast’s leading comprehensive philanthropy and campaign consulting, leadership mail and executive search firms. Larry’s clients include four of New England’s largest multi-hospital systems and the largest multi-hospital system in the mid-west; performing arts, higher education, community foundations and human services organizations; and national organizations including the National Consumer Law Center, US FIRST, National Partnership for Food Safety Education and the American Optometric Association Foundation. Larry is a contributor to the publications BoardSource, the NonProfit Times, Becker’s Hospital Review, and FundRaising Success. His blog, Copley Raff’s GivingTake (http://copleyraff.blogspot.com/) provides actionable insights and effective practices for nonprofit advancement professionals. Larry is a regular presenter at industry conferences as well as private sector initiatives including the Merrill Lynch Global Philanthropic Consulting Group Congress and Citizens Bank Non-Profit Advisors Seminars. He has served on the boards of numerous organizations and is currently the President of the Friday Forum, a thought-leadership organization of senior development officers in Boston.

Joseph Storch is an Associate Counsel at the SUNY Office of General Counsel and Chair of the Student Affairs Practice Group. In addition to comprehensive legal representation for Oswego, Cortland, Morrisville, and SUNYIT, he concentrates on campus safety, intellectual property, student affairs issues, and the First Amendment. At Oswego, Joe served as Vice President of the Student Association and received a Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with degrees in Political Science and Rhetorical Communications. After working as an Admissions Counselor for Oswego, he attended Cornell Law School where he served as Chancellor of the Moot Court Board. After graduating, he clerked for the New York State Appellate Division, 3rd Department. He is pursuing a Masters in Public Policy with a Higher Education Policy concentration at the University at Albany. Joe’s has spoken on social media issues and his writing has appeared in many publications, including the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Orlando Sentinel, the Albany Law Review, and the Medical Trial Techniques Quarterly.

Megan Toohey has served as Director of State Relations at the University at Buffalo since 2006. She is responsible for developing and advocating for the university’s state legislative agenda each year, spending much of her time in Albany representing the university during the legislative session. Megan previously served as Political and Economic Relations Officer at the Canadian Consulate General, Buffalo and as Health Policy Analyst at the United Hospital Fund in Manhattan. Megan has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wells College and a master’s in public policy from The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at UAlbany. Megan is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Buffalo and a 2012 graduate of the Women’s Leadership Institute of the WNY Higher Education Consortium. She sits on the SUNY CUAD board of directors, as well as the boards of directors of Planned Parenthood of Western New York and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, where she is chair of the government relations committee.

Lynne Wester is Director of Stewardship and Donor Recognition at Yeshiva University in Manhattan and is responsible for designing, implementing and coordinating a comprehensive stewardship and donor recognition system that promotes engagement with and recognition of donors at all levels. In addition, Lynne is a frequent conference speaker and well known resource for donor relations and fundraising expertise. She has been featured in The Washington Post, CURRENTS magazine, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Lynne created the website and blog www.donorrelationsguru.com where she shares her expertise and opinions on topics to the greater development world and hosts a webinar series. Using her expertise and hands-on approach, she works with organizations to help them keep their focus donor driven, technologically savvy, strategic, and always with a splash of good humor. She received her undergraduate degrees from the University of South Carolina and is a loyal gamecock alumna, donor, and fan. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in strategic fundraising and philanthropy.

David Regan White is the Special Staff Assistant for the Office of Communication and Government Relations at SUNY Empire State College and is responsible for managing the alumni website, social media properties and email campaigns. He is a 2005 graduate of Empire State College with a BS in Business, Management and Economics and is a member of the college web advisory and social media committees and 2012 SUNYCUAD presenter. Under his direction, the SUNY Empire State College Facebook and Twitter pages increased followers by 45% to 1,385 and 110% to 5,402 respectively from 2012 to 2013.

Lisa Kalner Williams is the founder of Sierra Tierra Marketing (sierratierra.com). Since 2009, she’s provided social media marketing analysis, strategy and instruction for higher education publishers across the country. Her articles on social media best practices have appeared in such AdAge Top 150 blogs as SocialFresh, Techipedia, Business2Community, and B2BBloggers. In addition to her consulting, speaking, and writing, Lisa teaches Social Media for Marketing Small Businesses at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Harvard Square. She received her BA from Binghamton University (Sociology, ’92) and MS from University at Albany (TESOL, ’94).

Fran Zablocki works as a strategist for mStoner, helping colleges and universities around the country to produce smart, sustainable and strategic web communications solutions. Fran heads up many different types of projects at mStoner, from large institution-wide web re-launches to focused information architecture and social media strategies and everything in between. Prior to working at mStoner, Fran worked for 7 years in higher education as an online community manager, web communications manager and web content producer at SUNY Geneseo and Nazareth College.