The Hofstra Alumni Organization, which represents the interests of more than 141,000 Hofstra graduates in all 50 US states and more than 100 countries, is pleased to announce its new leadership for 2020-2023. 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:
Hillary Needle ‘89, President of Hillary Needle Events Inc., has more than 25 years of senior management expertise in event planning. Her experience includes serving 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.
Hillary created Hillary Needle Events Inc. in 2009 to apply her organizational skills and staffing knowledge to a broad spectrum of special events that includes large galas, golf outings, networking receptions, food tastings, fashion shows, art auctions and educational symposiums. She is successful in developing and implementing strategies that help organizations brand and grow existing events in addition to building an event from concept to celebration.
Hillary has twice been named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business” by Long Island Business News and in 2019 she was inducted into the Hall of Fame. LIBN also featured her in Who’s Who in Women in Professional Services. Queens Courier Newspaper and Schneps Communications recognized Hillary as a “Long Island Power Woman in Business.”
Hillary served on an alumni career panel presented by the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications titled “The Power of Possibility.” She participated in the Mom-mentum Annual Women’s Leadership Conference and was moderator for the Hauppauge Industrial Association’s Executive Breakfast, titled “Women of Influence.” She twice presented at the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Long Island Chapter’s Annual Philanthropy Day Conference. Hillary also presented and served as a panelist for the Jewish Community Relations Council – LI Leadership Program. She is a member of Molloy’s Energeia Partnership, a leadership academy dedicated to identifying and addressing the serious, complex and multi-dimensional issues challenging the Long Island region.
Hillary, a proud member of Alpha Theta Beta sorority, graduated cum laude from Hofstra with a degree in Communications/Journalism. She has held leadership positions on the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications Alumni Association, the Executive Board Committee and the Hofstra University Women in Leadership Campus Connections Committee. In 2014, the university presented Hillary and her mother, Harriet Serota ’64 – a past alumni organization president – with the Marjorie and James M. Shuart Alumni Family Award, which honors a family where two or more members have been active in their service to Hofstra.
Vice President for Programs
Heather Cohen ‘98 is Executive Vice President of The Weiss Agency, a broadcast talent agency which 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, Programming. Heather joined GreenStone from New York’s legendary WOR where she was Assistant Program Director and responsible for the station’s local and national on-air content, programs, and production. Prior to that, she served as Executive Producer for The Joan Hamburg Show.
In 2013 Talkers Magazine awarded Heather with the prestigious “Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman,” also known as “Woman of the Year.” 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.
She is a 2015 recipient of Hofstra’s George M. Estabrook Distinguished Service Award. In 2019 Heather was inducted into the WRHU Radio Hall of Fame.
Heather is a member of The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Dean’s Advisory Board, and she recently completed her term on the Board of Directors of the George M. Estabrook Alumni Association. Heather previously served as president of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Alumni Association. She has mentored New York City school children as part of the Principal for a Day program and has been a Safe Space committee member. Heather judged the Tony Awards for eight seasons and is currently a juror for the Academy of Radio Arts & Sciences. Heather is the incoming chair of the Alliance for Women in Media and Foundation Board of Directors after having recently served as Treasurer. Since 2016 she has co-chaired the Gracie Awards, which recognize exemplary programming created by women, for women and about women in all facets of media and entertainment.
Vice President for Services
Ask Rondell Wescott ’03 where he’s from and he’ll tell you he was, “Born in Philly, made in New York City.”
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 almost two decades of experience under his belt, he’s produced every medium under the sun from radio and print ads to digital content, music videos and global television campaigns for various brands, including Dr. Scholl’s, Chobani, NBC Universal, ExxonMobil and Gillette.
Rondell, Vice President, Executive Integrated Producer for Townhouse, a global production agency, was the producer for Gillette’s most controversial and talked-about ad to date titled, ‘We Believe’, which addressed the #MeToo Movement and toxic masculinity, among other issues. It quietly launched online (only) on January 14, 2019, and within a day, the ad became part of the global conversation, garnering both praise and criticism from every major media outlet from just about every part of the world! With so much attention on the ad, it quickly became the #1 trending topic on Twitter and now has over 110 million worldwide views. This same ad went on to win numerous awards, including a Silver Lion at the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which is the highest honor in advertising that recognizes the best work in the entire world.
He also recently established the ‘Rondell J. Wescott Endowed Scholarship’ at Hofstra University, which will be awarded every year, in perpetuity, to one or more deserving students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in television at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.
Rondell is currently a member of the Executive Board of Hofstra’s Black/Hispanic Alumni Association, where he holds the title of Vice President.
Daniel Pellegriti ’00 is currently a Vice President, Senior Sales Manager for the Algomi Corporation, an independent software vendor that provides enterprise software solutions to the financial services industry.
Daniel has 20 years of experience working in the financial services industry. He started his career working in various roles in the sales and trading divisions at investment banks, including JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Intesa Sanpaolo and Santander. He later leveraged his unique skillset of sales, strategy and trading in the financial markets and transitioned his career into the FinTech sector.
Daniel’s interests in architecture, culture and history have contributed to a passion for traveling. To date, he has visited 42 countries, and plans to continue adding stamps to his passport.
Daniel has a BBA in Banking and Finance from Hofstra University. He also volunteers as an advisory board member for Hofstra’s LGBTQ Advisory Board.
Secretary (Leadership Development)
Jonathan Miller ’07 has been working in the financial industry for the past 13 years. He started his career with the global investment-management and research firm AllianceBernstein, managing over $1B in assets. Over the past few years, he has transitioned into private banking, helping clients navigate the debt portion of their balance sheet in addition to their liquid assets. He now is a first vice president at IDB Bank, a subsidiary of Israel Discount Bank. Jonathan has been a long-time member of the Zarb Alumni Association and has served on the Hofstra Gala committee for four years.
Immediate Past President
Kathleen Stanley ’91 is a Segment Executive at Sterling National Bank (SNB). With more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Kathleen is responsible for the Law Firm Banking, Non-Profit, Property Management, Public and Municipal Finance, CRA and Treasury Management groups. Prior to joining SNB, Kathleen led Treasury Solutions for the East Coast for City National Bank and the Cash Management sales team for Capital One’s Northeast Commercial Bank. She launched the Treasury Management Department for both Empire National Bank (2008-2010) and State Bank of Long Island (2004-2008).
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. She was President of the Zarb Business School Alumni Association and is an avid supporter of the NSLIJ Katz Women’s Hospital and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island.