The Hofstra Alumni Organization, which represents the interests of more than 130,000 Hofstra graduates in all 50 US states and more than 100 countries, is pleased to announce its new leadership for 2017-2020. This outstanding group will continue to advance the mission of Hofstra and the overall Alumni Organization, which offers graduates a wide variety of opportunities for volunteering, philanthropy and networking.
The following is the new slate of officers:
President – Kathleen Stanley ’91 is senior vice president at City National Bank. With more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Kathleen is responsible for the sales and strategy of Treasury Management product and services for the East Coast. In 2009 she was named one of Long Island’s 40 rising stars under the age of 40; and in 2007 she was honored as a Woman of Achievement in Banking and Finance by the Long Island Center for Business and Professional Women. In 2012 Kathleen was honored at the Inaugural Girls Incorporated of Long Island Butterfly Awards Dinner and named Woman of the Year in 2014 by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island.
Kathleen has a BBA in Marketing from Hofstra University. Kathleen serves on the President’s Council of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island and was president of Hofstra University’s Zarb Alumni Association. She is a supporter of the Katz Women’s Hospital at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and sits on their Commerce and Industry Committee.
Vice President for Programs – Pina Campagna ‘00 is a partner at Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt, LLP (CDFS), a law firm dedicated to advising clients in intellectual property matters. Her practice encompasses both patent and trademark IP protection for U.S. and international business clients. Her patent practice centers on conducting freedom-to-operate searches and analysis, patentability studies, due diligence studies, and all aspects of patent preparation and prosecution. Her trademark practice includes conducting clearance searching and analysis; providing opinions regarding the registration and use of trademarks; preparation and prosecution of trademark applications; oppositions; and cancellations.
Pina majored in biochemistry at Hofstra and began her career as a research biochemist for Estée Lauder, conducting skin research. During her tenure with the company, she leveraged her scientific expertise by taking on the role of patent consultant. She quickly perceived the opportunities available in patent law and attended Albany Law School of Union University where she earned a J.D. Over the years, Pina has been instrumental in developing the firm’s trademark practice.
Vice President for Services – Heather Cohen ‘98 is executive vice president of The Weiss Agency, a broadcast talent agency that represents and develops the careers of many of the industry’s most successful local and syndicated personalities.
Heather joined the Weiss Agency directly from GreenStone Media, LLC, where she was vice president of programming. She came to GreenStone after serving as assistant program director at New York’s legendary WOR-AM, where she was responsible for the station’s local and national on-air content, programs, and production. Prior to that, she was executive producer for years for “The Joan Hamburg Show”.
In 2013 Talkers Magazine awarded Heather the prestigious “Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman,” also known as the “Woman of the Year” award. Radio Ink Magazine has selected Heather as one of the Most Influential Women in Radio every year since 2014. Heather was on the cover of Radio Ink’s June 2017 Most Influential Women in Radio issue. Heather also judged the Tony Awards for eight seasons.
Heather is the immediate past president of The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Alumni Organization and is a member of The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Advisory Council. She has mentored New York City school children as part of NYC’s Principal for a Day program and has been a Safe Space committee member.
Parliamentarian/Historian (Leadership Development)
Ask Rondell Wescott ’03 where he’s from and he’ll tell you he was, “Born in Philly, made in New York.”
For the vice president at Grey NY Townhouse, the “made” part happened at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication where Rondell learned how to take the collective ramblings of an ad agency’s creative department and turn them into reality.
Today, with more than a decade of experience under his belt, he has produced every medium under the sun from direct mail to digital to global television campaigns, with a range of work that stretches from health care, to consumer packaged goods to global corporations like ExxonMobil. He has worked on brands such as Gillette, Chobani, Pantene, Dr. Scholl’s, and Avis.
Check out his work at rondelljw.com or follow him on Twitter: @rondelljw. Rondell is a member of the executive board of the Hofstra Black Hispanic Alumni Association, currently serving as treasurer.
Secretary (Leadership Development) – Michael Sorrentino ’05 is a veteran broadcast producer, having worked for more than a decade in national TV news. He has worked on the front lines of major news stories from presidential elections to international humanitarian issues, and everything in between: including running live newscasts, training on-air reporters and developing video content.
These unique skills sets resulted in Sorrentino Media, where he provides clients full-service video production, consulting and media training. Previously he worked as senior producer of program development at TheBlaze and at Fox News Channel where he helped to recruit and groom on-air talent.
In his current media-training role, Michael coaches influencers at major corporations, brands and universities on putting their best foot forward with the media. He provides group, or one-on-one coaching, for reporters, anchors, and on-air guests for every major TV network.
Michael serves as an executive board member of The Lawrence Herbert School Alumni Leadership Council.
In addition to the new Alumni Organization officers, the Frank G. Zarb School of Business Alumni Association and The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Alumni have new presidents:
President, Frank G. Zarb School of Business Alumni Association – Maria A. Grasso ‘86 is Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Corporate Secretary of Flushing Financial Corporation and Flushing Bank. She joined the Bank in 2006 as Chief Operating Officer and was elected Corporate Secretary in 2007. Maria is responsible for managing the Distribution and Client Development for the Retail Bank, Ethnic Markets, Business Banking, Government Banking, Internet Banking, Human Resources, Marketing, Sales and Operations of the Bank. Maria has been in the banking business for 30 years, beginning her career with Chase Manhattan. Prior to joining Flushing Financial, she held the title of Senior Vice President and Division Head of The Bank of New York for Long Island and Queens, overseeing an organization that served the personal and small business banking needs of customers throughout 102 branches.
Charitable organizations have benefited from Maria’s leadership and support. An advocate of volunteerism, she has volunteered for the March of Dimes, Long Island Care, Bias Help of Long Island, Women’s Fund of Long Island, the American Cancer Society, and Long Island Association for AIDS Care and Long Island Network of Community Services. Maria is currently Chair of United Way of Long Island’s Board of Directors and a former chairperson of the Retail Banking Division Committee for the New York Bankers Association. She is currently a member of the National Board of the American Kidney Fund. Maria recently received the Distinguished Volunteer Leadership Award at the Monsignor Hartmann Humanitarian Luncheon sponsored by ACIT. Maria has a BBA in Finance from Hofstra University and an MBA in Marketing from Adelphi University.
President, The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Alumni – Hillary Needle ’89, president of Hillary Needle Events Inc., has more than 20 years of senior management expertise in event planning. Prior to establishing her company in 2009, she served as the director of development for the American Heart Association and then as an executive vice president at a prominent event planning corporation active in fundraising event management for not-for-profit organizations.
In 2013 and 2015 Hillary was named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business” by Long Island Business News. Also in 2015 Hillary was also selected as a “Long Island Power Woman in Business” by the Queens Courier and Schneps Communications.
One of the highlights of Hillary’s professional career is the production of the Annual Long Island Imagine Awards, now in its sixth year – an awards gala recognizing innovation and leadership in the not-for-profit sector where $25,000 in grant money is distributed to top Long Island charities.
She is chairperson for membership of the Nassau County Museum of Art’s Corporate Committee, an active member of the Executive Women’s Golf Association of Long Island as well as the Long Island Association. Hillary is a member of Molloy College’s The Emergia Partnership, a leadership academy dedicated to identifying and addressing the complex and multi-dimensional issues challenging the Long Island region.
In 2014, Hillary and her mother, Harriet Serota ’64, a past Alumni Organization President, were presented with the Marjorie and James M. Shuart Alumni Family Award, which honors a family where two or more members have been active alumni, donors and volunteers in their service to Hofstra.