Advisory Board

The Department of Communication’s Advisory Board, established in 2009, was tasked with providing support, advice, and counsel to the chair, faculty, students, and staff on issues central to the Department’s mission and helping to build bridges to the Department and University’s alumni. Our Advisory Board members provide invaluable resources to our students: mentorship at the networking event, COMMConnect; visits to their organizations during NYCOMM and CaliCOMM; and internships and other opportunities. The board is comprised of Cornell alumni (primarily Communication graduates), and all are industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and role models in the field of communication. They span a wide range of professions, and they approach communication from a multitude of perspectives, working in media, news, marketing, gaming, film, investment, law, and non-profit.

Members

Chief Executive Officer, ShareThis

Kurt is the CEO of ShareThis. Prior to joining the company, Kurt served as CEO of SocialMedia.com, a leader in online display advertising, which was acquired by LivingSocial. Before SocialMedia.com, Kurt spent several years at Google, where he managed the direct sales channel for publishers and helped lead the global launch of Google AdSense as Director of the Content Media Group. He also served as the Director of Global Sales & Operations Strategy and as Director of Sales Operations for North America. Before joining Google, Kurt served as Chief Operating Officer of Jupiter Communications and as President of Jupiter Media Metrix, where he helped establish Jupiter as one of the leading Internet research organizations. Kurt received his Bachelor of Science in communications from Cornell, and a Master’s degree in public policy from Harvard.

Chief Executive Officer, M Booth

Dale joined M Booth as CEO in October of 2013. M Booth is an integrated communications agency specializing in public relations, digital strategy and content marketing and is headquartered in New York with presence in Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco and Boston. Under her leadership, the agency has nearly doubled in size and been awarded every industry accolade including overall Agency of the Year and Best Place to Work (2x).

Prior to joining M Booth, Dale was Senior Partner, Director of Global Practices, and a member of the 9-person worldwide executive team at the global communications agency, Ketchum, where she worked for more than 25 years. At Ketchum, she was responsible for the evolution and growth of the agency’s five global practices: Brand Marketing, Food & Nutrition, Corporate, Healthcare, and Technology Practices. She also oversaw the development of Ketchum's global media network, global creative community, and Ketchum Sports and Entertainment.

Dale was recently appointed for a 3-year term to the Board of the PR Council. She is a member of Women in Communication and has served as a senior judge for industry and marketing awards programs, including the PR Week Awards, Silver Anvil awards and the Effie Awards. She also brought the award-winning, crowdsourcing platform “Mindfire” to Cornell. In 2013, she was awarded the CALS Outstanding Alumni Award and in 2016, she was awarded the Department of Communication's Outstanding Service Award.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, THRIVE

When it comes to putting great people in touch with other great people, Lou Diamond is a master connector. He has more than a quarter century of experience in sales, relationship management, business development, and executive coaching. Lou’s authenticity, energy and enthusiasm, along with his unwavering passion and desire for helping people achieve their business and personal goals, is unmatched.

Lou is a Coach, Consultant, Bestselling Author, Speaker & Motivator. He was a top producer for firms such as Accenture, Deloitte, Omnicom, Merrill Lynch, and Bank of America, leading teams to achieve record revenues year after year. Lou founded THRIVE, a leading consulting and coaching company focused on making the most incredible leaders and top performers even more amazing. Most recently, he launched ThriveLOUD, a weekly podcast dedicated to inspiring people to reach their peak potential in every facet of their life.

A Cornell University graduate, Lou is a passionate sports fan, avid golfer, loving husband, and extremely proud dad.

Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer, Viacom Media Networks

Colleen is Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer for Viacom Media Networks (VMN). In her role, she leads the company’s Research & Analytics team, supporting Viacom senior management and providing guidance to research teams across the company's portfolio of brands, including MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central. Colleen oversees the development of VMN’s consumer insights research on new media behaviors and emerging technologies. This work informs the company’s creative and business operations, from programming and digital strategy to ad sales and content distribution and marketing. Colleen has been instrumental in driving innovation in the cross-platform measurement space and creating solutions for the industry’s key measurement challenges. She has shared VMN’s research and insights in presentations at The White House, on Capitol Hill and on Wall Street. She has spoken at premiere consumer and research-focused conferences held by “The Economist,” The Advertising Research Foundation and The Institute for International Research, as well as at international venues including the Monaco Media Forum and the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association Conference. Colleen joined Viacom in 1996, where she served most recently as Senior Vice President of Research for VH1/CMT.

Colleen began her career at CBS, holding a series of positions at the company’s O&Os and broadcast network. She went on to serve as Director of Research at Telemundo, before becoming Associate Partner and Director of Research at J. Walter Thompson. She serves as the chairman of the board of the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), is chairman of the executive committee for the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) and is a 2009 TAMI Award winner for her integral role on the CTAM Research Committee.

She holds a B.S. in Communications from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She is also on the Advisory Board for the Communications Department at Cornell. In 2010, she was named to Ad Age’s list of Media Mavens, and in 2009 was recognized by Working Mother Magazine as a Working Mother of the Year.

Retired President and Chief Operating Officer, Nintendo of America Inc.

Reggie Fils-Aime joined Nintendo of America Inc. in December 2003 as Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing. In May 2006, he was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer. Reggie runs the day-to-day operations of Nintendo of America. He retired in April 2019 with world-wide acclaim as an executive who loved leading his business and interacting with its employees, business associates, and consumers.

A graduate of Cornell University, Reggie began his career at Procter & Gamble. He later brought his innovative and creative problem-solving skills to the restaurant and beverage industries. He also worked in private equity for a global durable goods initiative, and in the media and entertainment industry.

Beyond his business success, Reggie believes in a principled approach when addressing challenges and opportunities. Creative and non-linear thinking are common elements to his biggest business and personal accomplishments.

Melissa is an award-winning entertainment marketer, most recently having served as the Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing and Client Solutions, at AMC television. There she was responsible for developing and executing content and experience-driven marketing campaigns between the AMC brand and network partners, and for creating all go-to-market initiatives supporting AMC programming including Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead. Prior to working at AMC, Melissa was Vice President of Marketing Activation at CBS Radio, where she led campaigns between national clients and CBS affiliated radio stations throughout the United States. Earlier in her career, she worked in music television as Director of Consumer Marketing at VH1 and in Affiliate and Consumer Marketing at MTV. Melissa has also worked in public relations and as a marketing consultant.

Melissa earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University, and she enjoys remaining connected with students and faculty. She lives in Chappaqua, NY where she loves to relax and spend time with her husband, Seth, two daughters, and several pets.

Lorette began her career at the global advertising agency D’arcy Masius Benton & Bowles where she served in the New York and Los Angeles offices. Her major clients included Proctor & Gamble, Burger King, Kraft, and Mars. She then went to work for clients Nestlé and Disney at Dailey & Associates. Lorette left Dailey to spend more time with her family and to pursue philanthropic causes. She is a dedicated member of the Women’s Guild at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she served as president. This non-profit group has raised more than $50 million for projects at the medical center, including The Breast Center, The Lung Institute, and The Simulation Center. She has also served in volunteer/leadership positions at Harvard-Westlake School and Curtis School.

Lorette is a Cornell Communication (CALS) and Johnson School graduate and proud supporter of Cornell University, specifically the Cornell Health Center, the Greek system, and the Department of Communication. She has been a member of the Cornell University Council, the Cornell Parents Committee, as well as the Department of Communication Advisory Board. In addition, she is serving as co-chair of major gifts for her 30th Cornell class reunion in June 2019 (which she co-chaired for the 25th reunion as well). She was recently elected to Cornell’s Board of Trustees by her fellow Alumni.

Lorette lives in Beverly Hills, California with her husband Keith and their two sons Bennett ‘20 and Matthew ‘23.

Manager, Brand Communications, PEOPLE

Alyssa is Brand Communications Manager for PEOPLE. In this position, she is responsible for promoting the weekly magazine, People.com, and events, in addition to helping increase visibility for PEOPLE’s executives, editors, and reporters. Alyssa also leads PR for PeopleTV, the ad-supported streaming network from PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly. She works to promote the network, as well as individual shows, executives, and talent.

Prior to joining Time Inc. (now Meredith Corp.), Alyssa was Senior Account Executive at the Manhattan-based entertainment public relations agency, FerenComm, where her client roster included: Bravo, CNBC, Crackle, Travel Channel, SundanceTV, and more. Before joining FerenComm, she was Account Executive at the entertainment public relations and marketing agency, Beck Media & Marketing. While working for this agency in both Los Angeles and New York City, her client roster included: NBCUniversal, Hulu, National Geographic Channel, award-winning actors, and more.

In addition to being an Advisory Board member for Cornell’s Communication Department, Alyssa is a Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador and, while living in Los Angeles, helped to coordinate the Cornell in Hollywood internship program. Alyssa graduated from Cornell University in 2012, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Communication, with a minor in Development Sociology.

Senior Vice President, Citigroup

Allison Kornet White, a 2004 graduate of the Department of Communication, is a Senior Vice President for Operations & Technology Risk Management at Citigroup, Inc. in New York. She focuses on establishing standards and controls to prevent employees from having inappropriate access to company data. She is certified as an Associate Business Continuity Professional from the Disaster Recovery Institute International. In 2012 Allison married Matthew White, also a Cornell graduate; they have a daughter together and live and work in New York.

Chairman, Zazoom Media Group

Tim is a pioneer in creating, distributing, and monetizing content for the generation of consumers that perceives television viewing to be optional. As CEO of Zazoom Media Group (2011–2017), he built a company leveraging technology for scalable production of original short-form video programming. From its start in his mother-in-law’s dining room, ZMG became a global producer and distributor of online news and entertainment. ZMG’s videos have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times, in English, Spanish, and French. Partnerships with the best media companies in the industry, including Verizon, MSN, Hearst, Gannett, and Disney/ABC, deliver ZMG’s popular Buzz60, Veuer, and TPSY brands to mobile devices and apps and thousands of websites. Since 2017, Tim has served on the board of ZMG while assuming the role of managing partner at East End Strategic, a consulting company based in New York. EES primarily assists companies seeking to build digital content businesses. Earlier, as an on-air correspondent at NBC, ABC-7 Eyewitness News in New York City and WTVJ in Miami, Tim’s reporting earned 18 Emmy awards and other local and national honors. His journalism career started in Ithaca, where he wrote stories for the New York Times while at Cornell.

In the summer and fall of 2018, Tim took a senior leadership role in the campaign of Perry Gershon for Congress, a Democrat on Long Island. Tim was responsible for managing all aspects of the campaign other than fundraising. This included strategy, communications, media, direct mail, and budget.

Tim, who is also a professional soccer referee, lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

Senior Vice President, Showtime Networks

Rob is SVP, Deputy General Counsel, and SVP, Digital Strategy in Showtime Networks’ New York office, with a concentration in technology and digital distribution. Before joining Showtime, he was an associate with the Willkie Farr & Gallagher law firm where he was involved in intellectual property and technology-based corporate transactions. Prior to that, Rob was an Account Supervisor with the Ogilvy & Mather advertising agency. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell’s Department of Communication and his Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School. Rob is a former president of the Cornell Association of Class Officers and currently holds a position on the Cornell University Council.

Senior Advisor and Executive in Residence, Interactive Advertising Bureau

Scott Schiller is a consummate media executive known for growing businesses and developing people. Entire career hallmarks include creating and maintaining a competitive advantage for brands and their marketing partners during a period of intense disruption in the business. He brings a wealth of experience on the critical aspects of communication success at the intersection of content, context, and data.

Scott has been at the forefront of audience convergence, particularly full-episode video and original content. At NBCUniversal, he built and led a $500 million internet media advertising business that resulted from refining 16 separate sales/marketing organizations brought together with the acquisition of NBCUniversal by Comcast. Prior, Scott spent the majority of his career in marketing, sales management, and media roles with increasing responsibility at a wide variety of entrepreneurial and Fortune 50 companies. He was responsible for business transformation, team alignment, and advancing talent.

Scott was a co-founder of the Interactive Advertising Bureau as part of a small group of industry leaders who imagined the future business opportunity for digital media. Today, he is its Executive in Residence and leads the Digital Media Sales Certification program with more 15,000 participants to date.

Scott is on the advisory board of Cornell’s Department of Communication, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU's Stern School of Business, and serves on the Board of Directors of Make-A-Wish/Metro New York, where he is chair of the Governance Committee. He earned a BA in Economics from Cornell University and has an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Kellogg School of Management, at Northwestern University.

Head of Corporate Compliance, Raymond James

Emily Schoolman is the Head of Corporate Compliance at Raymond James, where she leads enterprise-wide programs for policy governance, compliance risk assessments, regulatory examination and liaison management, regulatory change management, compliance metrics, communications, reporting to the board of directors, compliance issue management, compliance supplier risk management, and emerging compliance risk management. Emily is also responsible for developing and strengthening governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) technology solutions at the firm.

Prior to joining Raymond James, Emily served as the Head of Compliance Governance and Oversight at Citigroup, where she led programs for compliance metrics and reporting, GRC technology, regulatory change management, planning and strategy. Emily previously practiced law at the global firm Jones Day.

Emily received her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and her JD from Cardozo School of Law in New York City. At Cornell, Emily was a Presidential Research Scholar and founded Cornell’s first publication celebrating undergraduate research, The Research Paper, which is more than 20 years in existence. At Cardozo, Emily served as editor-in-chief of the Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal and received a Heyman Scholarship for Corporate Governance.

Strategy Lead, CLEAR

Marc is a Strategy Lead at CLEAR, a biometric technology company that empowers touchless experiences, where he focuses on expansion into new business verticals. Before joining CLEAR, Marc served as Chief of Staff at an early-stage healthcare startup and was a venture investor at Time Warner Investments, a media-focused corporate venture capital fund at the parent company of Warner Bros., HBO, and Turner. Prior to Time Warner, Marc spent three years at BuzzFeed, the global news and entertainment company, in roles spanning finance, strategy, and international growth.

At Cornell, Marc was an undergraduate researcher in the Department of Communication and served as a Teaching Assistant for COMM 2450: Communication and Technology. Since graduation, he has worked as a Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador in New York City and has guest lectured for several Communication courses. Marc graduated from Cornell in 2012 with a double major in Communication and Applied Economics & Management.

He lives in New York City, is a big New York Mets fan, and is an avid (but admittedly slow) distance runner, having completed 5 NYC Marathons.

Founder and Principal, Origin Story Entertainment

Academy Award winning filmmaker Ryan Silbert is a writer, producer, author, and founder of Origin Story Entertainment, a multi-platform entertainment company with a global focus on storytelling. Silbert’s next project is Stan Lee’s Alliances: A Trick of Light, an original, first-of-its kind audio storytelling event produced by Amazon’s Audible Studios and starring Grown-ish's Yara Shahidi. Created by Silbert, Luke Lieberman, and Stan Lee, in the late cultural icon’s final collaboration, A Trick of Light is an audiobook original that will be published later as a full-length novel in hardcover. With work recognized by the Academy Awards®, the Canadian Academy of Film & Television, Sundance, MoMa, IFP, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Berlinale, Ryan's expansive repertoire includes such films as the Academy Award® winning God of Love and Spike Lee’s The Girl Is in Trouble. As the founder of Origin Story Entertainment, Ryan is currently in development on television, film, and immersive narratives projects created specifically for audio platforms.

Ryan is an appointed member of the Cornell Communication Advisory Board and Cornell University Council. He graduated with honors from Cornell University with a dual degree in Communication and Business and is an MFA Candidate at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Film Program where he also recently completed a post-doc fellowship investigating immersive narratives in games and film. As a writer and producer he is currently represented by Foundry Literary+Media.

Reporter and Producer, NBC News

Adam Reiss is an award-winning reporter and producer based in New York, having joined the network in 2014 after more than two decades as a producer and reporter for CNN. Adam has covered the globe and some of the biggest stories of our time in his years in network and local news. He is known for his breaking news coverage as well as exclusive interviews. He is one of the few journalists to report from inside North Korea and to report James Cameron's incredible, record-breaking deep dive to the Mariana Trench off the coast of Australia.

 

One of the first journalists on scene at the World Trade Center attack, Adam began reporting from Ground Zero in New York City, providing constant updates and detailed descriptions of the devastation. His range is broad, covering major events like the volcano eruptions in Iceland and the kidnapping of Sean Goldman in Brazil. He reported on the international tug of war over Elian Gonzalez, the Miracle on the Hudson, and the Escape from Dannemora. He has covered numerous trials ranging from the infamous John Gotti mafia trials of the 1980s, Michael Jackson’s criminal trial, and the recent trials of the Boston Bomber, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and El Chapo. He has been on the ground covering natural disasters including earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes, including the 2005 storms Katrina, Wilma, and Rita in Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and Mississippi. Adam reported on the 2020 presidential campaign and has covered every presidential election since 1988. While at CNN, he produced several specialized shows, including Fashion: Backstage Pass, Diplomatic License, and Soldier Story. He has been assigned to cover the tragic mass shootings in Newtown, Las Vegas, Charleston, and Orlando. Additionally, he covered the D.C.-area sniper case, the anthrax scare, the crash of TWA Flight 800, and the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Adam also worked at several local stations in the New York region including WPIX, WWOR and WVIT.

 

Adam earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism from Cortland College. While there he was a disc jockey on the local radio station OK100 and worked at WSTM, the NBC affiliate in Syracuse. Recognized several times for his work, he is the recipient of four Peabody awards, a DuPont award, and a NATAS award. He is also a member of RIAS, a German-American journalist exchange program dedicated to building bridges of understanding in the field of broadcasting. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

Ian Geller

Ian is the Global Head of Consumer Business Development at Spotify where he and his team oversee all of Spotify’s strategic distribution partnerships, which include Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Facebook, Sony, Tesla, and many others. Ian’s team is not only responsible for negotiating the distribution agreements with these partners but also for growing and evolving the partnerships in order to maximize opportunities for Spotify and its listeners.

Prior to working at Spotify, Ian was the Vice President of Business Development at Pandora, which he joined as an early employee in 2006. In this position, he saw the company grow from a handful of employees and a few users to thousands of employees and 70+ million users over the course of almost 10 years. Ian previously spent time with Virgin Mobile, Palm, and ThinAir Apps, a pioneering wireless app development company.

Ian is a Cornell University graduate (Human Ecology ’97) as is his wife (ILR ’95). They live in New York City with their two teenage daughters. In addition to seeing a lot of live music, Ian enjoys connecting with Cornell students, recent alumni and faculty, and providing whatever guidance and perspective he can.

Courtney Goldstein Tobin

Courtney Goldstein is the Head of Talent Acquisition for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield leading the recruiting strategy and efforts for the US, including development and implementation of talent acquisition strategies and operating plans to attract and develop diverse talent to achieve the business vision, objectives, and strategies in the US. She is a member of the senior leadership team ensuring the delivery of long-range business plans and placement of the right people at the right time doing the right work. Courtney has extensive talent acquisition experience from her position of Director, Talent Acquisition, at NBCUniversal Media, LLC. In this role, she was responsible for setting search strategy and planning activities for all corporate functions enterprise wide. Prior to working for NBCUniversal, she was a partner with Major, Lindsay & Africa, LLC, where she provided senior-level talent acquisition search support to a broad range of clients across several industry sectors.

Courtney started her career practicing law as a licensed attorney in the State of New York. Because of her interest in talent development and strategic people planning, she transitioned from law to talent acquisition roles, where she has been successful in leading organizational change through leading talent management practices and programs. She has earned a stellar reputation for bringing energy and creative, solutions-driven practices that shape and build culture across organizations.

Equally important, Courtney maintains a strong commitment to her alma mater, Cornell University, where she has served as Cornell Club of Los Angeles Board Committee Chair and currently as LA Chair of the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network. Courtney has been active as a CAAAN volunteer for the last 15 years and helped plan the inaugural and second Cornell Los Angeles Communication trips. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication from Cornell University and a JD degree in Civil Litigation Concentration from the University of Buffalo State University of New York.

Courtney is most passionate about connecting people and helping people navigate personal and professional growth.

David Markowitz

Dr. David M. Markowitz is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. He uses language patterns from natural databases to infer what people are thinking, feeling, and experiencing psychologically. Much of his work focuses on the relationship between deception and language, such as how fraudulent scientists write their research reports compared to genuine scientists and how online daters deceive their partners. His work has appeared in outlets such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Communication, and Journal of Language and Social Psychology. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University and his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Cornell University.

Hauwa Otori

Hauwa Otori is a Senior Researcher at GitHub, Inc., a software development platform, where she investigates the relationships and interactions between developer and security research communities. Prior to creating this research area, Hauwa led the Open Source Security Coalition, an industry effort to help secure open source software. Prior to joining GitHub, Hauwa gained extensive experience in Internet policy and communicated complex policy issues to diverse audiences. She was previously a Program Fellow at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation where she supported strategic thinking and grant making for the five-year, $65 million Cyber Initiative. She has also served as the first in-house counsel and Director of Legal & Regulatory Policy at the Internet Association, a trade association representing leading global Internet companies, where she oversaw its broad Internet policy portfolio.

In 2008, Hauwa graduated with honors from Cornell University earning a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a minor in Applied Economics & Management. During her undergraduate studies, Hauwa was awarded a position as a Cornell Presidential Research Scholar and engaged in academic research on media and psychology. She earned her J.D. (2011) from American University Washington College of Law and is a member of the New York State Bar.

She is the author of Children and the Media: Self-Other Perceptions of Occupational Portrayals in the Media and writes compelling features about culture, lifestyle, news, and technology. She is passionate about telling stories that inform, inspire, and move people to act. Her work has appeared in media outlets including Elle, Forbes, and Los Angeles-based National Public Radio member station KCRW. Hauwa is the Executive Producer of the Building Black Podcast with Hauwa Otori, a narrative-style podcast that tells in-depth stories of Black builders, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs from around the globe who are building successful businesses and organizations.

Lesley Pinckney

Lesley Pinckney is an accomplished marketing and digital transformation expert with a track record of building successful brands and businesses. With a focus on youth and diverse audiences, she has been a driver of marketing innovation for Fortune 500 brands across multiple categories. She has held leadership positions in both public companies and start-ups. Her energy and vision bring added value to all types of organizations.
As the general manager of Essence.com, Lesley negotiated an internal joint venture between Time Inc. and Warner Brothers Television group. The joint venture secured investment funding for an Essence.com redesign and re-launch. In five years, Lesley built Essence.com into the most profitable digital property per unique visitor at Time Inc. She also led the diversification of sales inventory to unlock new ad sales categories and revenue streams. Revenue grew by 20% year over year.

As the Executive Strategy Director for GMR Marketing and the Omnicom Experience Group, Lesley built two successful agency capabilities leading the creative technology and social media practices. She was selected as one of 70,000 global employees to attend Omnicom University, one of the pre-eminent management development programs in the industry. In this role, her client roster included companies like Twitter, Nissan, Target, Visa, and Comcast.

Lesley has also built a successful speaking career, making appearances at conferences including SXSW, EventTech, ANA, BlogHer, and Mediapost Summit. Lesley enjoys cooking and hopes to take her smoked meats skills to the competition circuit when she retires.

Raphael Poplock

Raphael Poplock serves as Senior Vice President of Business Development, Strategic Partnerships, and Content Acquisitions for Turner Sports and Bleacher Report. He is a core part of the senior executive team, overseeing business development, strategic partnerships, content acquisitions, and new business opportunities for Turner Sports and Bleacher Report. He works closely with department stakeholders to evaluate, negotiate, and manage league programming deals, including relationships with the NBA, MLB, and NHL. He also helps oversee Turner Sports and Bleacher Report’s sports betting business, leading its multi-year strategic partnerships and related content and product efforts with DraftKings and FanDuel. Raphael plays an integral role in developing business strategy and growing audience and revenue across the sports division, including developing original IP; supporting Bleacher Report’s leading digital/social portfolio brands; and scaling non-ad supported business lines, such as eCommerce, NFTs, betting, licensing, and other direct-to-consumer revenues, all while providing invaluable leadership to the overall content, sales, talent, and product development efforts.

Before joining Turner Sports, he served as Executive Vice President of Partnerships and Business Development and Head of Content at The Players Tribune. Prior to his role at The Players Tribune, he was the Vice President of Partnerships and Gaming at ESPN, where he led the company’s global partnerships business, seeking to create world-class content and product experiences while driving incremental revenue to the company.

Raphael lives in Long Island, NY, with his wife, Rachel, and two daughters, Jordana and Allie. He is a life-long suffering Jets fan, but luckily, he is also a fan of the Yankees, Rangers, Celtics, and Tar Heels.

Adam Reiss

Adam Reiss is an award-winning NBC reporter and producer based in New York, having joined the network in 2014 after more than two decades as a producer and reporter for CNN. Adam has covered the globe and some of the biggest stories of our time in his years in network and local news. He is known for his breaking news coverage as well as exclusive interviews. He is one of the few journalists to report from inside North Korea and to report James Cameron's incredible, record-breaking deep dive to the Mariana Trench off the coast of Australia.

One of the first journalists on scene at the World Trade Center attack, Adam began reporting from Ground Zero in New York City, providing constant updates and detailed descriptions of the devastation. His range is broad, covering major events like the volcano eruptions in Iceland and the kidnaping of Sean Goldman in Brazil. He reported on the international tug of war over Elian Gonzalez, the Miracle on the Hudson, and the Escape from Dannemora. He has covered numerous trials ranging from the infamous John Gotti mafia trials of the 1980s, Michael Jackson’s criminal trial, and the recent trials of the Boston Bomber, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and El Chapo. He has been on the ground covering natural disasters including earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes, including the 2005 storms Katrina, Wilma, and Rita in Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and Mississippi. Adam reported on the 2020 presidential campaign and has covered every presidential election since 1988. While at CNN, he produced several specialized shows, including Fashion: Backstage Pass, Diplomatic License, and Soldier Story. He has been assigned to cover the tragic mass shootings in Newtown, Las Vegas, Charleston, and Orlando. Additionally, he covered the D.C.-area sniper case, the anthrax scare, the crash of TWA Flight 800, and the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Adam also worked at several local stations in the New York region including WPIX, WWOR, and WVIT.

Adam earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism from Cortland College. While there he was a disc jockey on the local radio station OK100 and worked at WSTM, the NBC affiliate in Syracuse. Recognized several times for his work, he is the recipient of four Peabody awards, a DuPont award, and a NATAS award. He is also a member of RIAS, a German-American journalist exchange program dedicated to building bridges of understanding in the field of broadcasting. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

Lisa Semmes

Lisa Semmes is a consumer packaged goods brand manager, consumer insights expert, and innovation leader with a record of driving revenue and achieving growth for complex businesses through developing strategic, consumer-focused marketing plans that drive brand equity, market share, sales, and profits. Lisa has directed innovation and launched new products and line extensions providing $250 million revenue impact to brands, including M&M's, Milky Way, SnackWell’s, Beech-Nut, Robitussin, Listerine, Benadryl, and Neosporin. Lisa is adept at new product development, brand positioning, consumer segmentation, digital marketing, eCommerce content, social media, advertising, earned media, consumer promotion, ethnic marketing, and licensing.

After returning from living in India on ex-pat assignment, Lisa transitioned to marketing consulting, teaching best practices in Sales and Marketing Management at the University at Albany and Siena College and serving as the School Board President for two terms at St. Pius X School.

In her current role at Staples, Lisa led the growth of two newly launched brands, Union & Scale and NXT Technologies, quadrupling annual revenue, and she developed two campaigns and websites. She is spearheading a new initiative with an outside vendor and three remote associates to create best-in-class page content for 9000 products.

Lisa has volunteered on her Cornell Class Council since graduation, co-chaired the 15th, 20th, and 25th reunions, served on the Cornell Club of Boston Board of Directors, and is currently co-president of the Class of 1988. Lisa and her husband, Ben, live in the Boston area and are the very proud parents of 6 children. Their eldest son, Andrew, gave the Convocation address as President of the Cornell Class of 2019.