Welcome to the Skidmore Business Network

Past SBN Speakers 

Samuel C. Scott III, Former Chairman and CEO of Corn Products International  

Attendees enjoyed a dynamic presentation by distinguished guest speaker. Samuel C. Scott III retired as President, Chairman, and CEO of Corn Products International, Inc. in May of 2009. A $4 billion company with operations in 26 countries, Corn Products International produces and sells corn sweeteners and starches to food and industrial companies. Scott is still involved as a director of several major corporations, two of which are headquartered in the Chicago area, and is also very active in a number of nonprofits.

David C. Reilly ’80, Founder & CEO, Decision Critical Resources 

Decision Critical Resources was founded by David C. Reilly. David is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has over a quarter of a century of experience in the financial markets as an analyst, portfolio manager, economist and strategist. Decision Critical Resources was founded to focus the breadth and depth of his experience in the area that is most critical to the realization of long-term investment success -asset allocation. David has been instrumental in designing and managing investment strategies that have maximized portfolio diversification well beyond conventional boundaries by focusing on the interaction between traditional asset classes such as stocks and bonds and a wide variety of alternative asset classes and investment strategies. Using his experience in portfolio construction and asset allocation, fundamental research and economic analysis, David constructed the industry's first multi-asset portfolios that made comprehensive use of non-traditional investments to reduce risk and strike a better balance between risk and return. 

Peter Brodsky '86, Executive VP/Business and Legal Affairs, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, LLC full bio  

Juliet D'Annibale '93, Director of the Food Network's Everyday Italian  

She is an award-winning director, having been recognized with two daytime Emmy awards for her work as a producer of a popular cooking show, Everyday Italian with chef Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network.  

Vicary M. Graham '82 , Regional president for BNY Mellon Wealth Management in New England

Vicary M. Graham '82 manages the investment management, wealth planning, and private banking services for individuals, families, endowments and foundations from offices in Boston, MA, Providence, RI, and West Hartford, CT. 

Aaron Taylor '86, ESPN Sports Marketing Vice President  

Aaron Taylor '86 oversees the development of marketing strategies and communications that support Monday Night Football and ESPN's other NFL-related programming as well as ESPN's coverage of the NBA, MLB, NASCAR, all college sports, soccer, golf and tennis, among others. Aaron will discuss sports marketing specific to ESPN, highlighting top campaigns such as Monday Night Football, The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, College GameDay and This is SportsCenter.  

Nancy Harrison '64, Private Equity Investor on "Angel Investing and Early Stage Funding" 

Nancy Harrison '64 is a private equity investor with particular interest in high tech and biotech. She was Managing Director at Connecticut Innovations, Inc., the state's largest technology equity investor. Previously she was Director of Business Development at IBM Research and at IBM Asia Pacific, where she led joint ventures, acquisitions and strategic minority investments for IBM and managed a portfolio of more than 100 investments with an international staff. Her previous IBM career positions were in management of systems engineering, sales, marketing and finance. Nancy received masters degrees from Northwestern in Applied Mathematics and Columbia in Business. 

Susan Magrino Dunning '83, Chairman, CEO and Founder, the Susan Magrino Agency; "Public Relations: Moving the Public Through Strategic Communications" 

Susan Magrino '83 is an accomplished marketing, branding and public relations professional with 22 distinguished years of experience. Having founded the Susan Magrino Agency in 1992 following a nine-year career at Crown Publishing, Susan has built the company into what is today regarded as one of the premier public relations firms in the business. 

Over the course of her career, Susan has been instrumental in building and publicizing some of the world’s most prestigious brands, current clients notwithstanding, from Martha Stewart, a client since 1983, Dom Perignon, Reader’s Digest and the LXR luxury hotel brand, a division of The Blackstone Group, to Alain Ducasse, Harper’s Bazaar, Club Med and One&Only resorts worldwide, among others. A hands-on leader, she not only oversees the fiscal growth of the agency, she is also a driving force behind much of its business. Having maintained valuable and longstanding relationships with the agency’s clients and the media, Susan takes a proactive approach in guiding the strategic direction of campaigns and programs, bringing to each her vision, leadership, integrity, and commitment to excellence. 

Since founding the agency, Susan has directed the public relations and played an integral role in the brand and communications strategy around the growth of the Martha Stewart from a one-woman entrepreneur to an Initial Public Offering – most recently orchestrating her return to television with the launch of the daily show, Martha, and The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, both airing on NBC. Susan has also been involved throughout her career in every aspect of the MSLO business including retail relationships with Kmart as well as all of the publishing, merchandising and other branded businesses.  

Under Susan’s direction, the agency has also been responsible for groundbreaking campaigns including the 2000 launch of Hearst Magazine’s O, The Oprah Magazine, hailed by Newsweek as “the most successful magazine start-up in history,” the launch and branding of Starwood Corporation’s W Hotels, which Business Week said was “one of the industry’s most successful launches,” and for Coty, the launch of Celine Dion’s first fragrance, Celine, which was also recognized in the industry as one of the most successful fragrance launches in the ‘masstige’ category.  

Susan has also led the agency in producing major events. Highlights include One&Only Palmilla’s grand opening celebration – a 50th birthday party for John Travolta, Time Magazine’s 75th Anniversary at Radio City Music Hall, the 2001 American Fashion Awards for CFDA, the 40th Anniversary celebrations for the Four Seasons and AmFAR’s tribute to Larry King with special guest Sharon Stone at the Plaza.  

Susan lives in New York with her husband James Dunning, and is a board member of Manitoga, The Russell Wright Design Center. 

Kenneth Freirich '90, a seasoned entrepreneur, corporate executive and a Fortune 100 executive at age 29, discussed how he has successfully created and grown numerous companies dating back to his Skidmore days. 

Most recently, Ken was recruited by the Founder of Health Monitor Network, one of the nation's leading multimedia health publishing companies to help grow the company exponentially. The company distributes its publications and other products to physician offices and works very closely with it’s customers in the pharmaceutical industry. After a record setting 2006, they are on their way!  

Previously, Ken served as Founder and CEO of TransLocal Health Corporation, a leading multimedia health information provider to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Prior to that, he was President of InteliHealth, which started as a join venture between Johns Hopkins and Aetna U.S. Healthcare, an executive with Thomson/Medical Economics and the Founder and Publisher of The Collegian Magazine.      

Alan Osetek '91, EVP, Isobar; "Fluid Lives" 

Alan presented the latest research on the impact the Internet, mobile devices, MySpace, YouTube, SecondLife, and digital media consumption habits in general are having on consumers lives.  

Dave Balter '93 - Founder/CEO of BzzAgent, Inc., co-authorGrapevine: The New Art of Word-of-Mouth Marketing 

Dave Balter is the founder and CEO of BzzAgent, Inc., one of the advertising industry's most recognized word-of-mouth marketing and media firms. He launched BzzAgent in 2002, and since that time the company has established itself as the leading provider of word-of-mouth services for the world's most esteemed brands, including Anheuser-Busch, Levi Strauss and Ralph Lauren. Under Balter's leadership, BzzAgent has been featured in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and on National Public Radio.  

A co-founder and board member of The Word of Mouth Marketing Association, Balter is an international speaker on the topic of word-of-mouth marketing. He has presented for corporations, associations and non-profit groups throughout the US and Europe. He co-authored Grapevine: The New Art of Word-of-Mouth Marketing, which has become the industry's seminal business title. Dubbed a “serial entrepreneur” by The Boston Globe, Balter built and sold two promotional agencies prior to forming BzzAgent. He was named to the “40 under 40” list by the The Boston Business Journal in 2004 as well as by Advertising Specialty Institute in 2001. Women's Wear Daily named him one of the “Top 7 Individuals Changing the Face of Beauty” in 2001.  

Deborah Monossan '78, President & CEO Boston Financial & Equity Corp; "How To Differentiate Your Company Through Marketing"  

Deborah Monosson '79 successfully attracted an energetic and focused morning crowd for her talk on 'How to Differentiate Your Company Through Marketing." As head of a commercial finance company that provides equipment financing to venture capital backed startup companies and turnaround situations nationwide, Deborah also provides asset based loans to small and medium sized companies. Clients include companies that are now public: Earthlink, AOL, Medimmune and Sports Authority. 

Scott Bornstein '91, Director of Wealth Management Product and Services at Fidelity Family Office Services Discusses What His Job Really Entails 

Kicking off the New Year for SBN-Boston, Scott Bornstein presented a talk on "Catering to the Super Rich: The Business of Meeting the Needs of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals." Scott is responsible for product development related to capital markets. Prior to joining Fidelity Family Office, Scott worked for Charles River Development for 4 years as the team leader of product specialists. Scott managed a group of 14 technical and non-technical product specialists during his Charles River tenure. Prior to joining Charles River, Scott was a senior specialist on the floor of the Boston and Cincinnati stock exchanges for Fidelity Capital Markets between 1993 and 2001. Scott graduated Skidmore College in 1991 with a degree in Political Economy. Scott also has a certificate of management from the Harvard Extension School. Scott currently holds a NASD series 7 and 63 licensees. Scott lives in Marblehead with his wife and two children; Jonah 5 and Aviva 8 months old.   

Matt Kavet '94, Founder of Boston America Corp. Discusses His Seven Principles for Running a Successful Business 

Matt Kavet founded Boston America Corp. in 1995 and began manufacturing a line of licensed Beavis and Butthead products to distribute to specialty stores. Today Boston America Corp. has secured the rights to produce a line of tinned candies, personal care items and energy drinks for over 30 different properties including The Simpsons, Family Guy, Napoleon Dynamite and Hello Kitty. Boston America Corp's products can be found in over 50 regional and national retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Hot Topic, Claire's, and Sam Goody. As well as Home Specialty giants Bed, Bath & Beyond and Linens' n Things. Kavet graduated from Skidmore in 1994 and resides in Boston , MA.  

Nick MacShane '91 Managing Partner, Progress Partners, LLC;"Navigating the Start Up and Venture Worlds"

Nick MacShane, founder of Progress Partners, a boutique Boston-based investment bank, is a proven technology marketer and fund raiser with 15 years experience in working with early stage companies in marketing, branding and advertising; product development; business development; partnership development; and fund raising. Through his experience in working with start-ups, top companies and with business leaders, he brings an extensive network of senior-level contacts in New England, New York, Washington, DC, and California. 

Douglas A. Donahue, Jr. Director of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.'s subsidiaries  

Mr. Donahue joined Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in 1976 as a commercial banker in the firm's Boston Office. He has been active for the past 22 years in the development of BBH&Co.'s Global Custody business. 

Mr. Donahue was named a Partner of the firm in 1990. In 1997 he was made a member of the firm's Steering Committee and was named Partner in charge of the Boston Office. Mr. Donahue serves as a Director of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.'s subsidiaries, Brown Brothers Harriman (Luxembourg) S.C.A., Brown Brothers Harriman Investor Services Limited, and Brown Brothers Harriman Fund Administration Services (Ireland) Limited. Mr. Donahue is Treasurer of the Commercial Club of Boston and a Advisor to the American Textile Museum.  

Mr. Donahue is a 1969 graduate of Phillips Academy , a 1973 graduate of Dartmouth College and graduated from the Harvard Business School in 1976.