2017 Corporate Communications, Investor Relations and Public Relations Awards Judging Committee
Jennifer Cherry Foster, President
Catalyst Media Factory, Detroit, Michigan
Jennifer Foster is the Founder and President of Catalyst Media Factory. Founded in 2016, the company specializes in media relations and social media for small and start-up retailers, restaurants, non-profits, and professional service companies.
Catalyst Media Factory team members become an integral part of its clients' day-to-day business operations. Team members learn the businesses’ nuances and then create a plan of action that suits clients’ needs and drives results.
As someone who has been involved with the Stevie Awards for some years, Jennifer told us: “The American Business Awards truly showcase the best that American business has to offer. The awards enable organizations of any size, and in almost any category, to be recognized on the national stage for their innovative and ambitious accomplishments. It’s an honor to Chair the Corporate Communications/IR/PR Awards Judging Committee and to be a part of this process.”
Zainab Ansari, Managing Director & CEO
Xenith PR (Pvt.) Ltd, Karachi, Pakistan
A Corporate Image professional, Public Relations specialist with over forty years of high profile and successful career in large multinationals and reputable organizations; extensively exposed to Television, Radio and the literary circles; established writer, poet and a free lance journalist. In 1999, established Xenith PR in affiliation with Fleishman Hillard of USA. Conducts training programs for various commercial organizations on Marketing Strategies & Analysis, Management Techniques, Public Relations, Time Management and Crisis Communication & Management.
Norman Birnbach, President
Birnbach Communications, Marblehead, Massachusetts
Norman Birnbach is the founder of Birnbach Communications, a Boston-based independent PR and social media agency that partners with its clients to strategically navigate the complex and ever-changing communications landscape.
Adriana Bobinchock, Senior Director, Public Affairs & Communications
McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts
Adriana Bobinchock is an effective, energetic communications executive with more than 17 years of experience in the non-profit healthcare industry. She is a creative thinker recognized for her ability to transform ideas into action and focused implementation. Areas of expertise include high-level communications, strategy, media relations and event planning.
Gabrielle Boyd, Public Relations Executive - North America
Tourism New Zealand, Santa Monica, California
Gabrielle Boyd is an award-winning creative public relations professional with over a decade of experience in travel and lifestyle consumer public relations. She is skilled in many areas of communications, especially with event coordination, media relations and writing.
Alan Caramatti, Co-founder
Unthinkable Adventures, Torrance, California
Alan Caramatti is a speaker and co-founder of Unthinkable Adventures, a company that provides in-person training in the L.A. area for professionals who experience self-consciousness or fear of speaking in public. Alan has an MBA from Texas A&M University and an MFA from Claremont Graduate University. He also has experience in acting — both on stage and on camera.
Yvette Huygen, Strategic Communications Executive
Yvette Huygen is a strategic communications executive with expertise leading global public relations and internal communications programs for multi-national companies. She is a trusted C-suite advisor and spokesperson, and an advocate for engaging stakeholders through authentic communication. An avid traveler, Yvette is passionate about building connections across cultures and organizations.
Melanie Lombardi, Senior Communications Manager
Intermedia, Mountain View, California
Melanie leads communications and corporate strategy for leading cloud business applications provider, Intermedia. She has been in the industry for 13+ years, driving both in-house and agency-side campaigns on the B2B and consumer side, helping brands define their unique market value and elevate their message.
Rachael Lyon, Senior Communications Consultant
Farrell Talbot Consulting, New York, New York
Rachael Lyon has spent the last two decades working with some of the world’s most recognized and innovative brands such as Dell, iRobot, HP, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Napster and Nuance to create “a-ha moments” for consumers. Most recently Rachael was the Director of Public Relations and Social Media for Victorinox Swiss Army North America.
Dana Mellecker, Principal
Mellecker Communications, Chicago, Illinois
Dana Mellecker is an award-winning senior public relations professional and media trainer with a proven track record of generating stellar results for Fortune 500 companies and start-ups.
Leslie Moore, Senior Director, Global Corporate and Executive Communications
Juniper Networks, Sunnyvale, California
Dynamic leadership in public relations within consumer electronics and enterprise software markets. Accomplished in creating, directing, and managing internal and external communications efforts to drive company visibility. Proven track record of building top-tier media relationships to secure product placement and/or brand recognition.
Lindsay Nahmiache, Co-founder/Partner
Jive PR & Digital, Santa Monica, California
Storytelling is key!
Georgette Pascale, Founder & CEO
Pascale Communications, LLC, Fairfield, Connecticut
With more than 20 years’ experience in PR including corporate, healthcare, e-commerce, music, technology, travel, and consumer, Georgette believed there was a better way to do business than the traditional brick-and-mortar agency model. Over a decade ago, she launched Pascale Communications (Pascale), a virtual communications company, and today employs over 30 professionals serving a wide range of healthcare and consumer health clients.
Ron Sereg, Assistant Professor, Public Relations (Ret'd)
Louisiana State University Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana
Simran Singh Sethi, Head, Consumer Communications, Asia
Simran Singh Sethi leads consumer communications and storytelling for Microsoft across the Asia time zone including India and South Asia, Greater China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, SEA. In this role he works in close partnership with global, and in-country Windows & Devices leads to plan, create, manage, execute and measure regional, integrated communications campaigns to drive awareness and preference for Microsoft's consumer offerings amongst key stakeholders. Simran's previous roles in Microsoft include leading communications around Microsoft's Philanthropic and Education initiatives in the region and, prior to that, leading communications for Microsoft's Phone division for the Pan Asia region. Before moving to Microsoft, he led communications for Nokia in the Pan Asia region based in Hong Kong and worked in a highly dynamic and creative communications team for Nokia in India. He has worked at 2020 MSL, a leading technology PR consultancy in India, where he managed several communication and brand building campaigns for brands like Google, Dell, YouTube, VeriSign, Orkut, Symantec Consumer (Norton), TripAdvisor, to name a few. Simran is a tennis enthusiast and is fascinated by cosmology and the universe.
Barbara Riordan Staffiere, Principal
Riordan Research and Consulting, Burlington, Massachusetts
Barbara has held a number of senior marketing positions at multi-national companies such as Limelight Networks, Avid Technology, Compaq Computer and Digital Equipment. She currently consults for public and private companies helping them to understand their future customers' product and technology needs.
Howard Sholkin, Principal
Sholkin Consulting, Boston, Massachusetts
Howard Sholkin has 36 years of marketing communication experience. In 2014, he formed Sholkin Consulting to deliver digital marketing services to technology and financial services companies. He also joined the adjunct faculty of Boston University and Lasell College near Boston. In 2003, he was hired as director of corporate communications at International Data Group (IDG) where he served Founder Pat McGovern. Sholkin later became director of communication and marketing programs for the CEO of IDG Communications, a global technology media and events subsidiary. IDG brands include Computerworld, PCWorld, Macworld, and CIO. Sholkin has held senior marketing and communication positions at technology product and services companies such as Computervision; Technology Concepts, a subsidiary of Bell Atlantic; Corporate Software; and, Digital Equipment Corp./Compaq. He was a columnist for PR News and was also a columnist for Personal Branding magazine, one of the first publications on social media. Since 1990, Sholkin has been active in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) where he became president of the Boston chapter. Currently, he serves as chair of the national PRSA Investment Committee.
Nikki Tanis, President
Tanis Communications, San Jose, California
Rich Teplitsky, Public Relations Consultant & Adjunct Professor
UIW, San Antonio, Texas
Rich Teplitsky is a communications veteran, with over fifteen years of experience driving effective PR, social/digital media and employee communications strategies. He has led programs for both Fortune 500 brands and several tech start-ups. He also currently serves as an adjunct professor of public relations at UIW in San Antonio.
Chris Vasan, Senior Communications Lead, Digital Support
Cisco Systems, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina
Chris Vasan has been the Senior Communications Lead for Cisco Digital Support since 2012. Responsible for external communications strategy, he also produces cheat sheets, videos and multi-media programs that help customers make the best use of Cisco web, mobile and API support resources.
Jake Wengroff, Founder
JXB1 Social Business, West Palm Beach, Florida
Jake Wengroff is a digital marketing and media consultant providing content development, automation, and analytics to companies primarily in the B2B and enterprise software space.