Speakers & Panelists
Donald Asher is an internationally recognized author and speaker on the topics of careers and higher education. In America he is known as “America’s Job Search Guru” and is well known for having written The Overnight Resume, How to Get Any Job, Who Gets Promoted (named business book of the year 2008), and the best-selling guide to getting into graduate school, Graduate Admissions Essays. He is the author of twelve books in all, available in English, Chinese, Korean, and Portuguese. He is co-author of a new book on elite scholarships, The Best Scholarships for the Best Students, and author of the forthcoming Cracking the Hidden Job Market. Asher has been the career columnist for USAirways Magazine, education columnist for MSN, and a contributing writer for the Wall Street Journal’s CareerJournal.com and CollegeJournal.com, college.monster.com, monster.com, careerbuilder.com, wetfeet.com, jobstar.org, Dow Jones’ Managing Your Career Magazine and National Business Employment Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, and the NACE Journal. Asher holds the master of human resources and organization development from the University of San Francisco, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy-religion from Reed College. He is a featured speaker over 150 times per year, including recent lecture tours in Canada, Mexico, India, China, South Korea, and Germany, where he spoke about international career trends and the borderless career.
Business Week Magazine named Lauren Berger number 5 on their annual list of Young Entrepreneurs 25 Under 25. America Online says, “If you are going to college and wondering what you are going to do this summer – you need to look her up.” Mobile Youth has placed her in the top 10 Youth Marketing Minds of 2010. Lauren Berger is CEO of InternQueen.com, an online internship destination that helps students find and apply for internships while also educating them on how to make the most of their experiences. Berger grew up in Clearwater, Florida and participated in 15 internships during her 4 years of college, hence the title "Intern Queen". Berger earned a degree in Organizational Business Communications at the University of Central Florida and interned for top-notch companies across the country such as MTV, FOX, BWR Public Relations, and NBC. Today, Berger is an author, international speaker, spokesperson, and runs www.internqueen.com. Berger works with over 1,000 employers worldwide, connecting them with some of the most ambitious high school and college interns on the planet. Berger's website reaches over 80,000 different students, parents, and employers each month. She has connected thousands of students with the internships of their dreams. Berger has spoken to thousands of high school & college students at over 50 colleges & universities in 20 different states. Berger's book, ALL WORK NO PAY, was released January 3, 2012 worldwide. She was recently feature on The Today Show, Fox & Friends, and Bloomberg.com.
John Hill - Higher Education Evangelist, LinkedIn
Building relationships and connecting people with opportunity are at John's core, and he relies heavily on online networks such as LinkedIn to facilitate each. John works with Higher Education to identify how social media can help their organizations aggregate audience, target market, communicate and develop funding sources. John Hill is the Higher Education Evangelist for LinkedIn. Hill speaks internationally to Higher Education professionals, students and alumni on how to utilize social media effectively. He's given 500 presentations to roughly 85,000 people over the last 5 years on social media's impact on the job search, networking and personal branding. Prior to joining LinkedIn, Hill was the director of alumni career services and internship development at Michigan State University. He also worked as an associate editor/online editor/market development manager/market researcher for media companies.
Paige Alexander, BA Communications '88 – Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, United States Agency for International Development
Paige Alexander is the assistant administrator of the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia (E&E) for the United States Agency for International Development. With over 20 years working in international development in the region, she draws upon her experience both in the field and in D.C. From 2001-2010, Alexander was senior vice president at IREX, an international nonprofit development organization that supports educators, journalists and community leaders in over 100 countries. Prior to joining IREX, she served for eight years in a number of positions in E&E, including as acting deputy assistant administrator. Alexander’s other notable positions include serving as associate director of Project Liberty at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and as a consultant to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the C.S. Mott Foundation and the Open Society Institute in Prague. Alexander also served on the boards of the Basic Education Coalition and the Project on Middle East Democracy.
Jeff Balser M.D., Ph.D, BSE Biomedical Engineering '84 – Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs & Dean, School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University
Jeffrey R. Balser, a 1984 graduate of Tulane and a 1990 graduate of the Vanderbilt MD/PhD program in pharmacology, undertook residency training in anesthesiology and fellowship training in critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins. He joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 1995, initiating a basic research program aimed at the molecular pharmacology of cardiac arrhythmias. His clinical work has primarily involved the care of postoperative cardiac surgery patients in ICU settings. Dr. Balser returned to Vanderbilt in 1998, and served as Associate Dean for Physician Scientists. He established an intramural mentoring program for junior faculty physician scientists that has been a national model for centralized management of physician scientist career development, and is supported by the NIH. His basic research, published in Nature and funded by the National Institutes of Health, explores the genetic precursors to life-threatening cardiac rhythm disturbances. In 2001, Dr. Balser was appointed the Gwathmey Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology. Under his leadership, Vanderbilt’s clinical services supporting surgery and intensive care medicine grew by 25%. In 2004, he became the Chief Research Officer for the Vanderbilt Medical Center, heading a period of significant expansion that moved Vanderbilt into 10th place among U.S. medical schools in National Institutes of Health funding. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and has chaired the NIH Director’s Pioneer Awards Committee. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the organization charged with advising the nation on health improvement and health-related research. In October 2008, he became the 11th dean of the School of Medicine since its founding in 1875, and is Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, overseeing all health-related programs at Vanderbilt University.
Meredith Beers, MPH ’11, BA English ’07 – PhD Student at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Meredith Beers is a PhD student at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in the Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences. With a concentration in Disaster Management, Meredith has had many internships and fellowships that explore the reaches of public health and disaster management. In 2012 Meredith served as a Women’s Research & Education Institute (WREI) Congressional Policy Fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg and she worked on policies relating to chemical facility security and childhood lead poisoning. In 2011 Meredith interned at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, updating the Zoo’s emergency preparedness plan, and writing and evaluating a large-scale exercise. Prior to this, Meredith interned for Total Safety, Inc. in the response to the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, where she worked with industrial hygienists in Houma, Louisiana. During her junior year at Tulane, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. Instead of transferring to another university for the fall 2005 semester, Meredith volunteered with Tulane’s administration in Houston, Texas. This is what sparked her interest in disaster management. Upon completion of her English degree in 2007, Meredith moved to Dallas where she worked for FTI Consulting, a global consulting firm, in the Forensic and Litigation Consulting section doing operations and human resources work. In 2009 Meredith moved back to New Orleans to begin work on her MPH and subsequently her PhD.
Reggie Davis, L '90 – General Counsel, Zynga
Mr. Reginald D. Davis, Reggie has been Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Zynga, Inc. since May 2009 and as its Secretary since August 2009. Mr. Davis served as Vice President of marketplace quality of Yahoo! Inc. since March 22, 2007. He joined Yahoo! in January 2000 and closely involved in a wide array of Yahoo!'s quality and security initiatives. He served as vice president of network and exchange operations of Yahoo! Inc. He served as an Associate General Counsel managing litigation, including Yahoo!'s click fraud litigation. In addition, he has also been involved in business continuity strategy development at Yahoo! and received its highest recognition, a Yahoo! Superstar Award, for founding and chairing Yahoo!'s Information Security Committee. He holds a B.A. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Tulane Law School.
Jim Gold, BA English '86 – President, Speciality Retail, The Neiman Marcus Group
Jim Gold is President, Specialty Retail, for The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc. The Neiman Marcus Group is the premier retailer of luxury and fashion merchandise in the United States. For over a century, the company has been known for its commitment to merchandising excellence and customer service. In his role as President, Mr. Gold oversees strategy, merchandising, management, operations, and creative services for Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. There are 41 Neiman Marcus stores, located in the most affluent markets in the United States. Bergdorf Goodman operates two stores in New York City on Fifth Avenue. Mr. Gold joined Neiman Marcus Stores in 1991. In 1997, after advancing through a series of buying and store positions, he was promoted to Vice President, Neiman Marcus Clearance Store Division. Subsequently, in 2000, he was named Vice President, Divisional Merchandise Manager, Women’s Designer Sportswear. In 2002, he was promoted to Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager, Men’s, Cosmetics and Fragrances. He was appointed President and CEO of Bergdorf Goodman in 2004, a position he held until October 2010. In addition to his professional achievements, Jim maintains a strong commitment to community service, and currently serves on the board of World of Children and the Dallas Museum of Art. Mr. Gold was educated at Tulane University, where he earned a B.A. degree in English Literature. He also holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Mr. Gold and his wife, Beth, and their two children, Caroline and Matthew, reside in Dallas, Texas.
Laurie Ann Goldman - CEO, SPANX
Laurie Ann Goldman leads the ultimate CYA company, helping women win the battle against muffin top, bottom drop, back fat and visible panty line. AS CEO of SPANX, she leads a company built on a mission to help women and men feel great about themselves and their potential. She has taken SPANX from a spunky startup company to an international powerhouse with thousands of products, across multiple brands. After a meteoric rise to the number-one shapewear brand in major retailers, the SPANX portfolio now includes swimwear, activewear and, products for men. SPANX products reach consumers in more than 40 countries. As she has guided the company’s growth, she has worked to build an irreverent, friendly culture that maintains a personal connection of trust and understanding with loyal consumers. A major part of that connection is celebrities -- from Madonna to Oprah to George Lopez -- who proudly announce everywhere from red carpet events to talk shows that they “have their SPANX on.” Laurie Ann is very active in community, business and Jewish organizations. She lives in Atlanta’s Buckhead area with her husband, three sons, and a poodle named Lou Lou.
Gerry Keefe BA History & Political Science '93 – Managing Director & Head of Banking and Origination for Global Securitized Products, Citi
Gerald Keefe is a Managing Director and head of Banking and Origination for Citi’s Global Securitized Products group (within the Institutional Clients Group), which includes Citi’s Term and conduit ABS platforms. Gerry maintains client coverage responsibility for diversified financial institutions, including specialty and captive finance companies. Gerry joined Citi in 2006 and has extensive experience structuring and executing capital markets ABS transactions and credit facilities, including several landmark financings such as the $28 billion of term and conduit ABS facilities arranged to finance Cerberus’ acquisition of Chrysler in 2007. As part of his coverage mandate, he has been active in advising clients in connection with restructuring and asset divestiture transactions, change of control financings, and capital, funding and liquidity initiatives. Gerry is active in the firm’s recruitment and retention efforts, as a member of the firm’s hiring committee and the analyst compensation committee. He is also a member of the Basel implementation committee, focusing on capital optimization of the firm’s securitization lending positions. He participates regularly in industry forums and enjoys speaking opportunities at key industry conferences. Prior to joining Citi, Gerrywas a partner in Dechert LLP’s structured finance practice. Gerry graduated from Tulane University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science and earned a J.D. from George Washington University in 1998. He resides in Manhattan with his wife and three daughters.
David Lonner, BA Sociology '84 – Founder & President, Oasis Media Group
David Lonner is the founder of Oasis Media Group, a management and production company based in Los Angeles. Under Oasis’s banner, Lonner represents writers, directors, and producers in the film, television, and online content arenas. Prior to founding his own company, Lonner was a talent agent at William Morris Agency from 2003-09 where he served as co-head of the Motion Picture Department. He was previously a partner at Endeavor for 7 years where he established their Motion Picture division in 1996. Lonner also spent several years in Creative Artists Agency Motion Picture department and began his career at ICM. Over the course of his career as a talent representative, David has discovered and nurtured the careers of JJ Abrams (TV Shows: Lost, Alias, Fringe. Movies: Star Trek, Super 8, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways), Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), Jon Turteltaub (Cool Runnings National Treasure,), Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In,), Michael Tolkin (The Player), Brad Silberling (Casper, Lemony Snicket, and Audrey Wells (The Truth about Cats and Dogs) In addition, Lonner is a committed philanthropist working with numerous organizations. He served as a former board member of the Early Childhood Center at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and former chairman of the entertainment division of the United Jewish Fund. Additionally, he is a board member of the Phase 1 Cancer Institute, American Pardes Foundation, and Entertainment Industry Foundation."
Barri Rafferty, BA Communications '85 – Senior Partner, Chief Executive Officer North America, Ketchum
Barri is a member of Ketchum’s Executive Committee and oversees the firm’s digital and social advancement, which includes oversight of Ketchum Digital and the agency’s global network of digital strategists. Barri counsels key clients on integrated communications, branding initiatives and corporate reputation, and leveraging experiential, online and mainstream communications tactics.During her tenure, Barri has counseled prominent corporate and product brands covering a wide range of industries such as Procter & Gamble, Pfizer, Weight Watchers, IKEA, The Home Depot, DuPont, Philips and Frito-Lay. She has led Ketchum’s work on award-winning projects that include Kodak’s Inkjet launch, Maxwell House’s “Build A Home America,” and Hallmark’s “When You Care Enough To Send The Very Best.”Before joining Ketchum, Barri held a senior role at Lippe Taylor, an agency specializing in beauty, where she led accounts that included Maybelline, Matrix, Escada Beaute, and J.F. Lazartigue. She also worked at Slim-Fast Foods Company, where she helped drive a multi-faceted communications strategy, from leveraging celebrity testimonials, to launching nine product extensions in two years, to overseeing the Slim-Fast magazine. Barri began her career in New York at Burson-Marsteller. Before that, she worked in Boston at Cone Communications.Barri earned a master’s degree in corporate communications from Boston University and an undergraduate degree in communications from Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University.
Rich Rhodes, BA Music '83 – Managing Principal, Cresa Washington DC
As a Managing Principal for Cresa Washington DC, Rich Rhodes is committed to providing the best knowledge, experience and services for his clients. His skills in analyzing, structuring and negotiating innovative lease alternatives for major real estate transactions have enabled him to build a solid base of prominent regional and national clients. On behalf of his clients, Mr. Rhodes has successfully renegotiated existing leases far in advance of their expiration dates, achieving significant savings for them. His strong track record reflects his proactive role in monitoringmarket conditions, tracking his clients' leases and providing sound advice to facilitate the best possible lease terms under current market conditions. Mr. Rhodes has written on the future of the Washington metropolitan commercial real estate market for Realtor Magazine, "What Makes CEO's Successful" for SmartCEO magazine, has lectured at Johns Hopkins University Business School on the state of commercial leasing and served asa guest broker advising on tenant lease structuring for Washington Office Magazine.
Jack Ross, Current Tulane Parent - Principal and co-founder of Waterfall Asset Management
Jack Ross is a Principal and co-founder of Waterfall Asset Management. Waterfall is a $2 billion specialty investment manager focused on Asset Backed Securities and distressed residential and commercial real estate loans. Mr. Ross has 27 years of ABS experience, having completed some of the earliest ABS issues at Drexel Burnham Lambert and co-founding Merrill Lynch’s industry leading ABS Group. Mr. Ross subsequently managed International Real Estate Debt at Merrill Lynch and founded Licent Capital, a specialty broker/dealer for intellectual property securitization. Mr. Ross began his career as a CPA with Laventhal & Horwath and received a B.S. in accounting from the University of Buffalo in 1978 and his MBA in finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. He is a current Tulane parent.
Tim Sykes, BA Philosophy '03 – Co-Founder, Profit.ly
Timothy Sykes, is the author of the blog TimothySykes.com and the best-selling book book "An American Hedge Fund." He turned his $12,415 Bar Mitzvah gift money into $1.65 million trading stocks while in college from 1999 to 2002, before founding his hedge fund Cilantro Fund Partners in 2003. He was named to Trader Monthly's 2006 "Top 30 under 30" as Barclay ranked Cilantro the #1 Short Bias Fund for 2003-2006 and he has been #1 ranked of 60,000+ traders on Covestor 2007-2012 as he now teaches 2,000+ students in over 60 countries. He starred in the hit TV show "Wall Street Warriors" and has been featured on CNN, ABC, CBS, CNBC, FOX, AOL Finance, MSN Money, TheStreet.com, Reuters, Businessweek, Marketwatch, Institutional Investor, Salon.com, The NY Post, The NY Times and The NY Observer.
Alisa Toney, BS Psychology '88 - Alumni Relations & Development Officer, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Alisa Toney is an educational administrator with 20 years of experience in higher educational settings such as the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine - where she currently directs the advancement program at the Georgia Campus - Emory University, Spelman College, Georgia State University, Atlanta University Center and Tulane University. Her expertise encompasses constituency relations, campaign management and special events planning with a strong foundation in individual gift fundraising. Her professional experiences also include retail management and sales; and for 4 years, she was the principal owner and operator of a children’s furniture store in Duluth, GA. Alisa holds a B.S. in Psychology from Newcomb College of Tulane University and a M.S. in Educational Policy Studies from Georgia State University. She currently sits on the Newcomb College Institute Director’s Advisory Council and is a member of Leadership Gwinnett. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, she moved to Atlanta in 1991 after spending 7 years in New Orleans. She lives in Suwanee, GA with her husband Keith, their son Thomas, and daughter Camille.
Denise Warren, BSM Management '85 – General Manager, NYTimes.com and Senior Vice President/Chief Advertising Officer, The New York Times Media Group
Denise F. Warren is the general manager of NYTimes.com and senior vice president and chief advertising officer of The New York Times Media Group. As such, Ms. Warren leads the daily operations of NYTimes.com, as well as other related digital and mobile products of The Times. In addition, she is charged with oversight of the advertising sales operation for all properties of The New York Times Media Group, which includes the print, digital and mobile applications of The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. Ms. Warren was named chief advertising officer in 2005. In that year, she oversaw the print/digital integration of the advertising department’s sales staff, the first newspaper to do so. In this role, she leads The New York Times Media Group's advertising efforts to achieve transformation and growth while competing more effectively in the evolving media landscape. She spearheaded the Times’s monetization efforts around unique product launches and investing in innovation, including its Ad Lab, which highlights innovation and collaboration between The Times and its advertising clients. In 2008, Ms. Warren added the role of general manager of NYTimes.com to her portfolio. In this position, she has managed the business and technological operations for the largest individual newspaper web site in the world. In recent years and under her direction, The Times has launched a variety of new products including leading mobile and tablet apps and it introduced a digital subscription model in 2011. Ms. Warren serves on the boards of The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the American Advertising Federation (AAF). She is a past president of New York Women in Communications and remains active in the organization. Ms. Warren joined The Times in 1988 as a financial analyst and has since served in a variety of strategic positions throughout the organization. She holds a B.S. and management degree from Tulane University and an M.B.A. degree in communications and media management from Fordham University. She lives with her family on Long Island.
Cindy Chernow, Networking Facilitator
Cindy Chernow, is a workplace anthropologist and author with national and international experience as a trainer, speaker and facilitator. She combines her expertise in the areas of human resources, training/development and career development to guide people to rethink how to communicate more clearly, think more creatively and network their resources to achieve desired results. An innovative and visionary leader, Cindy Chernow works with diverse populations in both profit and non-profit environments helping organizations align business strategies and change initiatives. Cindy Chernow conducts a wide range of workshops topics that include Communication Skills, Change Management, Presentation and Facilitation Skills, Customer Service, Networking, Team Building, Conflict Management, Managing, Coaching and Mentoring. Cindy Chernow holds a Masters in Counseling with a specialization in Career Development. She created UCLA’s Alumni Career Service program in the l990’s winning numerous CASE awards.
Edana Desatnick, Panel Moderator
Edana has over 20 years experience as a human capital and organization development, HR strategy, and leadership consultant, executive coach and educator. Edana works extensively with senior executives and HR leaders on their key talent and organizational issues across many industries including healthcare, professional services, consumer, and industrial products industries. Prior to beginning her own consulting practice, Edana had worldwide responsibility for Organization Development and Talent at Merck. In that capacity, she had responsibility for global leadership/talent planning, performance management and development, and led consulting/coaching to the senior management team on issues of culture, change leadership and organizational effectiveness. Edana’s career includes senior OD/HR leadership roles in a number of leading organizations. Prior to joining Merck, she was Vice President of Organization Development at Honeywell, providing OD leadership in the merger integration of the AlliedSignal and Honeywell organizations. She has also served as Senior Director of Organization Development at Nabisco Brands and at Pepsi prior to that. Earlier in her career Edana was a member of Coopers & Lybrand’s global strategy consulting practice. Edana now spends her time providing human capital and organization development, strategic HR, talent planning, strategy, executive coaching, culture, change management and leadership consulting to major corporations/ partnerships. Edana’s consulting and coaching brings together her years of leading this work on a global basis for several Fortune 500 companies with her experience consulting with leaders across industries and at different stages of their talent development process and strategy. Edana began her career doing global development and international trade work with the World Bank, the World AID Organization and on Capital Hill in Washington DC where she worked for the ranking congressman on foreign affairs and human rights. Edana holds a M.B.A. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in economics from Tulane University. She and her family live in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
Val Matta heads up sales and marketing for Careershift, the award winning web service offered to Tulane Students to help them with their career management. Not only has Val helped mold the technology, but has brought it to market to over 200 schools and universities. Tulane students were the BETA testers before releasing this easy to use, intuitive service, which can be found at http://tulane.careershift.com. She is especially excited to be part of the event, because she is also part of the Tulane family. Her son, Zack Matta, is a 2009 alumni. Please visit with Val during the event and see CareerShift for yourself.
Lauren Berger, Featured Speaker - "Business & Real World Lessons from a Young Professional"
"The Intern Queen on Everything Internships"
Alumni Panel Discussion 1
John Hill, Featured Presentation - "Utilizing LinkedIn for Professional Success"
Cindy Chernow - Networking Facilitator
Don Asher, Featured Speaker - "Breaking Down the Door: How to Beat 1000-to-1 Odds to Win Your Dream Job or Internship"
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