Get to know our Alumni Board Members at Large:
Eric Cornell is a Tony Award–winning producer who works in theater, digital media, and broadcast TV. He has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, national touring, regional, and international productions for 15 years in various roles. As management: The Producers, Hairspray, Wicked, Next to Normal, Sister Act. As executive producer: Anastasia, Rocky. As producer: To Kill a Mockingbird, Oklahoma!, What the Constitution Means to Me, Head Over Heels, Big Fish, A Christmas Carol. Cornell was a company manager at 321 Theatrical Management for six years and then served as vice president of production and executive producer for Stage Entertainment USA for four years before starting his own companies. Eric Cornell Productions develops and consults on new productions, and Cornice Productions is an investment, management, and production company for live entertainment. Upcoming shows include: The Outsiders, Lights Out: Nat King Cole, Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical, Anne of Green Gables, The Cottage.
Cornell works with the American Theatre Wing as a producer for the Obie Awards, Off-Broadway’s highest honor. In 2019, he began work in digital media and broadcast TV, serving as executive producer for the Ctrl Alt Delete webseries and as associate producer for The SpongeBob Musical: Live on Stage! for Nickelodeon TV.
He is an assistant professor at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where he teaches a senior-level BFA course on the business of theater. He received a bachelor’s degree from Emerson College and a master’s degree from Harvard University.
Richard Cresta leads sales at Fidelity for the institutional insurance subadvisory group. Prior to this, he held senior vice presidencies in sales strategies and effectiveness and advisor marketing. Before joining Fidelity, Cresta worked at Putnam Investments in the Financial Institutions Division; he began his career at independent bank research firm Veribanc, Inc. Financial Advisor Solutions (FFAS), a division of Fidelity Investments. Fidelity Investments is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing, and other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals, institutions, and financial intermediaries.
Lana Cucchiella is an Associate Attorney at The Law Offices of Grey & Mourin in Miami, Florida. She is responsible for the firm’s criminal motions and appellate practice and heads its immigration division. Drawing from a lifetime of advocacy for civil liberties and social justice, she is especially at home working on cases involving search and seizure, public policy, and impact litigation.
Lana is a graduate of Emerson College (BA in WLP and Political Communication) and the University of Florida (JD, Certificate in International and Comparative Law). She is licensed to practice before all Florida state courts, including all Florida appellate courts; the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida; and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Shannon Felton Spence is the Director of Communications + Marketing at The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University.
With over a decade of experience in public affairs and communication strategy, she previously served as the first Director of Communications at Opportunity Insights, an economic research and policy institute at Harvard University, as well as the Head of Politics and Communications at the British Consulate General of New England, and as a Civic and Tech Communication Consultant at Microsoft. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in both Leadership and Global Diplomacy at Emerson College.
Spence has a Masters in Public Affairs from Brown University and a degree in Political Communications from Emerson College.
With a passion for helping others, Holly Harnish Weinstock has practiced speech-language pathology for over 30 years. Her vast experience includes working in hospitals (acute care and sub-acute), otolaryngologists’ offices, early intervention, and private practice. Her practice focuses on evaluating and treating children and adults with articulation, voice, language dysphagia, fluency, and oral rehabilitation. She has mentored and supervised many undergraduate and graduate students as they pursued their degrees.
As a founding partner in North Jersey Speech Pathology Associates, Weinstock fostered new business, negotiated contracts, managed billings, and handled administrative details. In 1998, she created a Dysphagia/Video Swallow Study for Chilton Memorial Hospital, a program that is still utilized today. She also designed and managed quality insurance and education programs. She has provided in-services for the staff of various care facilities. Since 1987, she has been an active member of the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and in the past she has served as the convention chair for its annual State Convention, which includes over 1,000 participants, vendors, and speakers. She was the 2018 Recipient of the George Gens Volunteer of the Year Award for the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Weinstock graduated from Emerson with a bachelor’s degree in 1984; while a student, she served as VP of NSSHLA. She received a master’s degree in communication disorders from William Paterson University in 1987. However, she will admit that her greatest achievement is her family. Her husband, Scott, and daughter, Hope, are both fellow alumni of the classes of ’84 and ’19, respectively.
Greg Holstein is a production executive at Capital Arts Entertainment and has worked on such titles as the thriller Smokin’ Aces: Blowback and the teen comedy American Pie: Book of Love. He has assisted in casting numerous hit reality television programs and has worked as a crew member on shows such as CBS’s Survivor. His recent feature credits include Halloween II, My Best Friend’s Girl, and Beethoven’s Big Break.
Tisa Jackson is the head of global diversity and inclusion practice management at Microsoft. She is a visionary leader with purposeful passion who believes being a diversity and inclusion leader is a privileged obligation. She’s a respected strategist, disruptive thought leader, speaker, community builder, and business leader. Throughout her 20-year career, she has been a key architect in the creation and transformation of diversity and inclusion strategies and functions and provided global strategic direction and consultation for the Americas, Asia, the Oceania, and/or Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) regions. She has managed human capital departments (e.g., recruitment and organization development); developed and implemented community development and branding programs; built internal and external consortiums; conceived and executed employee engagement initiatives; and deployed training and development programs.
Her work has been performed for diverse companies ranging from Global 100 and Fortune 100 to start-ups and nonprofits in the internet, semiconductor, software, financial services, telecommunications, and management consulting industries. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and HR Magazine, among others. Her columns have been published in Diversity Journal, addressing topics such as cultural competency, market intelligence, creating a training plan, and the future of diversity and inclusion.
Louis Lauria is part of the team that leads the global development of sport, manages the Special Olympics World Games, and serves as a resource hub of strategic support for additional competitions. He has over 24 years of international sport and major event experience from multiple industry perspectives, including roles within the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Lauria started his career with the Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committees of Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, and Salt Lake 2002 in a range of roles in sport and venue operations. He then went on to work for the IPC in games planning before moving to the IOC, where he worked on the television and marketing services team managing global partnerships such as Lenovo, General Electric, and Schenker. Lauria was then named vice president, bid consulting at Helios Partners, a boutique global consulting firm, where he worked on a range of projects, including the successful Russia 2018 World Cup and PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games; multiple Olympic sponsorship projects like Dow, Deloitte, and Lloyds TSB; and international federation projects for FISU, FIAS, and others.
Lauria serves on the USA Weightlifting Board of Directors. He previously served on the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence Board of Directors. He is a recovering runner who has completed several marathons, including Chicago and New York City, before realizing there are easier ways to see a city in the rain.
Kevin Lyles honed his financial and marketing skills as a senior sales analyst with R.J Reynolds for more than two decades. During his stint at RJR, Lyles planned, implemented, trained, and supervised wholesale and partner audits, as well as forensic audits, and prepared market and retail reviews of discount spending for 18 Western states. He also developed an audit program that was later adopted by the State of Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The program aided the state in identifying sales tax avoidance in the convenience, and grocery store sectors.
After leaving RJR, Lyles returned to his hometown of Gary, Indiana to run his family’s beauty business, as president of the Milizette Beauty & Barber Supply/Indiana Beauty Group – a staple in the Gary community for over 30 years.
In his time with Milizette, Lyles distributed professional-level hair care products to licensed cosmetologists and barbers and created a line of hair care products designed exclusively for Black men and women. Lyles spearheaded the expansion and development of the company by building a thriving e-commerce website, maintaining vital relationships with vendors and clients, and by using the most up-to-date social media marketing tools to supplement their brick and mortar store as well as their retail and B2B e-commerce destinations.
Lyles looks to Milizette’s future with a keen eye, laser-focused on the burgeoning beauty industry. He looks forward to bringing his focus, passion, and unique talents to the Emerson board and community. Lyles received his MBA from Houston Baptist University in 1991.
Binsen J Mejia is a senior creative with years of extensive experience as a multicultural lead designer and producer - working in markets from San Francisco to Miami and currently serves as a Creative Lead for eMed Digital Healthcare. In addition, he has produced work for multibillion-dollar organizations and startups, including Norwegian Cruise Line, Yachay Life, Singular Sound, Urban.Us, The World Economic Forum, Touch of Modern, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Miami-Dade College, City Year, and more. With all of his work, Binsen aims to always harmonize the complex, uplift, and thrill the spirit. You can learn more about his work here.
Megan Mitchell is an anchor and reporter for WLWT, the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati, and a TikToker focusing on LGBTQ & mental health topics with 1.6 million followers. She received an Emmy Award in 2020 for her work covering teen suicide. And in 2017, Megan's work received first place out of every local news station in the country by the National Association of LGBTQ Journalists (NLGJA), for her documentary covering Two Spirit Native Americans. She was the first reporter to break the story of the Standing Rock Reservation’s opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline, which caused international uproar. She received the award for Best TV News Reporter in the state from the North Dakota Broadcast Association and a dozen other local broadcast awards. She graduated from Emerson College in 2014 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism
John Porio is a media consultant who advises multichannel operators, programmers, and vendors on distribution and operation strategies. He was previously vice president, affiliate sales, for Disney and ESPN Media Networks, responsible for negotiations and relationships with traditional and new multichannel video providers, such as Comcast and Charter, and representing all linear networks (ESPN, Disney Channel, ABC Family, ABC, etc.) and digital products. He joined ESPN in 1997 as affiliate marketing manager and moved through several positions to VP in 2004.
Before joining ESPN, Porio was manager of government affairs for Cablevision Systems Corp. Prior to that, he served as legislative assistant for Congressman Christopher Shays, US House of Representatives. He began his career in 1989 in ad sales at WNTR Radio in Washington, DC. He received a BS from Emerson College in 1988. He lives with his wife and three children in Westport, Connecticut. His daughter Anabelle is a 2019 Emerson College graduate.
As the founder of Retirement Solution Group (RSG), Steve Scott has built the firm’s culture to represent the idea behind the firm: People matter, what we do matters, and only do what you are good at… He has executed multiple mergers and acquisitions and steady firm growth for the past 15 years, leading to RSG being recognized as a “Top Defined Contribution Advisor Team” by NAPA for the past three years.
Scott has 20 years of experience in the qualified retirement plan arena and has worked for large vendors such as State Street Global Advisors, Manulife Financial, and John Hancock. He brings a consultative and holistic approach to the company and his clients. The company is built around the service model he observed when working in the Fortune 500 space for firms like Boeing, Chevron, 3Com, and many others. He has a BSSp in Communication, Politics, and Law (1995) and an MA in Communication Studies (1998) from Emerson College. He likes to spend his free time traveling with his wife, Christie, and children, Mya and Sam. He also has a man-crush on Tom Brady.
Tina Smith is a learning and development leader with over 12 years’ experience in developing, administering, and implementing company training programs. She has written company orientation manuals, procedures, and presentations and has presented seminars. She has also trained and supervised new employees, created and conducted employee courses, and recruited and developed trainers to provide intra-departmental training. She is an expert in improving performance through strategic assessment by determining best methods of training to meet business needs (e.g., eLearning, classroom, mentoring programs), all with an emphasis on adult principles of learning. Consulting as a business partner with senior management, she assists with proposed reorganizations and advises on potential effects on positions, career progression, and maximum utilization of skills to better design and deliver training, while operating in collaboration with other specialists and contractors.
For the past 25 years, Robert Stafford has served in business development, sales and marketing, and data analytics roles for IDX Systems Corporation, GE Healthcare, and UnitedHealth Group. He currently serves as a functional subject matter expert on data and analytics to support business intelligence applications and analytic sales. Prior to starting his professional career, he served as an active duty officer in the United States Army from 1989 to 1992, obtaining the rank of 1st Lieutenant. While at Emerson, he served as both student body president and student representative to the Board of Trustees during his senior year.
Margie Sullivan is a seasoned business professional with noteworthy experience as a corporate leader, executive producer, and creative manager. She is the director of operations for The Client Relationship Consultancy Inc. in Boston, headquartered in London. Prior to joining CRC, she was an executive producer at Redtree Productions, and before that, she was the EVP/director of creative service at the Boston global headquarters of Arnold Worldwide. During her tenure at Arnold, she managed and produced work for many award-winning accounts such as Volkswagen, Truth, Royal Caribbean, Fidelity, and McDonald’s. She was also the executive producer on the award-winning documentary A Hero for Daisy, directed by Mary Mazzio. Sullivan is currently serving on the Hingham Access TV Board of Directors and is an executive board member for the MA Production Coalition. Margie has extensive experience with production companies, advertising agencies, in-house creative departments/agencies, documentary producers, access television and relationship management consultancies. She is a past adjunct professor at Boston University and a past board member for the Boston Ad Club. She received a bachelor’s degree from Emerson College and a master’s degree in management science from Lesley University
Darian Symoné Harvin is a multimedia beauty reporter and social media editor using her journalism and curatorial skills to craft distinct narratives on beauty, pop culture, and the intersection of both. Darian graduated from Emerson College in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism. Since then, her career has been dedicated to working on thoughtful and viral ways to present news and content to people on the internet and IRL, for platforms like BuzzFeed News, Teen Vogue, NBC News, and Vox.com. Equal parts thoughtful and curious, Darian has a natural eye for cultural trends and because of her experience, a deep understanding of the types of stories that resonate on social media platforms.
Darian runs a popular newsletter, where she covers beauty at the intersection of politics and pop culture through breaking news, trends, and personal experiences. Darian is redefining beauty through her own lens; makeup, hair, skincare, nails, and discussions on women’s health, gender and sexuality, self-care, coverage of people (athletes, musicians, creatives, etc.) who are in true pursuit of wellness, and internet culture. Darian has profiled Tracee Ellis Ross for the New York Times, interviewed Chloe + Halle for the cover of Teen Vogue, and has spoken to college students about running hair salons out of their dorm rooms for Refinery29. She also writes for The Cut and Allure.
Terri Trespicio is an award-winning writer, speaker, and brand advisor. Her TEDx talk “Stop Searching for Your Passion” has surpassed 7 million views, and she was named as one of the “Top 18 female speakers who are killing it” by HubSpot and one of the world’s leading creatives by Creative Boom magazine.
A former magazine editor and radio host at Martha Stewart, she has appeared on the Today show, Dr. Oz, The Early Show, The Martha Stewart Show, and The Anderson Cooper Show. Her work has been featured in O, the Oprah Magazine; Marie Claire; Prevention; Business Insider; Forbes.com; and Inc.com.
A member of the Alumni Board since 2017, Terri helped launch Emerge, Emerson's first digital platform for alumni and students, and she's also co-creator and host of “Making It Big in 30 Minutes,” a podcast for, by, and about the Emerson College community.
Certified in the Gateless method for capturing creative genius, she leads workshops and retreats all over the country to help professionals of all stripes take their stories and ideas from page to stage and beyond. She's also a stand-up comic and has performed at famous Manhattan venues including Caroline’s, Gotham, and New York Comedy Club, and was a quarterfinalist in the She Devil Comedy Competition.
Terri earned a BA in English from Boston College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in 2002, where her thesis, a collection of poetry, won the Graduate Dean’s Award. A finalist for the Iowa Award and Glimmer Train, her literary work has appeared in The Greensboro Review; New Millennium Writings; and The Baltimore Review, where she won first place in its 2016 creative nonfiction contest.
Her book, Unfollow Your Passion: How to Create a Life that Matters to You, will be published in December 2021 by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. She lives in Manhattan. More at territrespicio.com.