Catherine Patterson | Executive Creative Director, VMLY&R

Catherine Patterson serves as Executive Creative Director for technology, experiential and branded content, for VMLY&R North America, where she leads teams in identifying, architecting and developing branded content platforms and experiences for all clients, with a focus on the crossroads of culture and technology. Her work has received highest honors worldwide with multi-channel multi-year wins at the Cannes Festival of Creativity, the One Show, D&AD, the Webby Awards, FastCo Innovation SXSW, and others. During her tenure at Y&R, Catherine has established best practices, trained creative, tech and production units in strategic and integrated production, and delivered multi-million-dollar programs for clients in the consumer packaged goods, tech, not-for-profit and social cause spaces. She’s masterminded and led strategic partnerships with the New York International Children's Film Festival, the 92 Street Y, and is working on an initiative designed to reboot historical exploration with partners including the Explorers Club and others. She’s recognized as an industry leader, a positive disruptor and force for good, and was voted one of AdWeek's top branded-content creators.

Kesia Hudson | Executive Co-Director, Zahn Innovation Center

Kesia Hudson plays an integral role in Silicon Alley’s emerging startup scene. After developing innovative solutions for large corporations, she started her own entrepreneurial endeavors in the fields of fashion, consulting, and event planning. Today, she co-manages the Zahn Innovation Center with a specific focus on the Standard Chartered Women's Technology Incubator. There, she inspires young women at The City College of New York to unlock their entrepreneurial potential and turn their visions into sustainable business ventures.

Ms. Hudson received her BBA degree in Computer and Information Systems Analysis from Baruch College and her MBA in Entrepreneurship from The University of Texas at Austin. She is a Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellow.

Monica Hunter | Assistant Campaign Manager, Ad Council

Monica Hunter is an Assistant Campaign Manager at the Ad Council, the national non-profit behind public service campaigns like Love Has No Labels, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk” and "A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.” In this position, she assists with the development of several public service communication campaigns, including Smokey Bear’s Wildfire Prevention campaign, the longest-running PSA campaign in American history.

Monica works on a variety of community, health, safety, and education issues at the Ad Council, including Empowering Girls in STEM, Gun Safety, and The Truth About Opioids. She holds a B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University in Comparative Literature and International Politics.

Ashley Gramby | Senior Marketing Manager, Girls Who Code

Ashley is the Senior Marketing Manager at Girls Who Code working out of the New York office. Before joining, Ashley was in Account Management at global advertising agencies working with clients like Harley Davidson, IBM, British Petroleum, The Ad Council, Museum of Art and design, AIG, Accenture, Exxon Mobil, and The White House.
Ashley lives in Brooklyn with her orange Tabby Kingston; and loves to chat about traveling, national parks and food trends. She is a lover of art, design, and live music.


Belle Frank | Chief Strategy Officer, VMLY&R

Belle has vast marketing communications and insights experience across nearly every category. She oversees strategy for our health & wellness practice and is responsible for insight work for a number of major global companies and brands. Belle is recognized in the industry as having great expertise with most types of communications research and brand positioning.

In her many years with the agency, Belle has had a range of different types of experience. In 1993, she was part of the team assigned to develop the agency’s BrandAsset® Valuator (BAV) model.

Belle has a BA in French from Tufts and a Master's from the Harvard School of Education. She teaches the research courses at the CCNY Branding & Integrated Communications program where she was recently asked to serve as a Distinguished Lecturer. Belle on the Board of the Advertising Educational Foundation and an active member of the Advertising Research Foundation.

Belle published “The Advertising On-Ramp” that speaks to the new generation of marketing communications talent. She co-authored several articles published in Admap including, “Reinventing Qualitative Research” and “Brand Strategies for an Economic Downturn.”

A life-long New Yorker, Belle and her golf-writer husband have two married children. The family all follow each other on social media.

David Prince | Senior Strategist, VMLY&R

David has 20+ years of agency experience. Working with Clients all from blue chip brands including Verizon, Pfizer and United Airlines to government and not-for-profit work.

David has worked as a strategist for various agencies including Publicis, JWT & McCann as well as top multicultural agencies.

He considers his strength as a Strategist lies in his ability to tell compelling data-driven stories.

In his down time David enjoys cooking, fitness competitions and writing comedy. He also indulges his passion for education and in the past was an Adjunct Professor of advertising strategy at CCNY.

Eric Ackley | Digital Experience Director, VMLY&R

Eric is a creative technologist, experience designer, digital strategist and developer who has spent the past 15+ years working with clients in bringing user-centric and functional digital ideas to fruition. Currently as the Director of Experience Design at VMLY&R NY, Eric leads a team of designers in all aspects of experience design including persona development, story mapping, wireframing, prototyping and user testing. Some notable clients he has worked with are Nikon, Volvo, Goldfish Crackers, Xerox, Charles Schwab, Dos Equis, Hersheys, Diageo and GSK.

Fernando Martinez | Sr. Integrated Project Manager, VMLY&R

Fernando Martinez is a Sr. Integrated Project Manager at VMLY&R in New York. For over 15 years, he has helped produce projects across print, film, digital, interactive, experiential and social for diverse brands such as Pepperidge Farm, LG, Honda, AXA, Mercedes-Benz, USA TODAY and the Tribeca Film Festival. Working closely with all disciplines, Fernando assists in finding solutions on projects big and small, keeping projects within scope and on time.


Gerado Blumenkrantz | Creative Track Director, CCNY

Gerardo is the Creative Track Director at The City College of NY/CUNY’s Master’s in Branding + Integrated communications. He also remains engaged with the industry as a freelance creative director; he has worked for creative powerhouses like Fallon NY, Comedy Central, Strawberry Frog, 360i, and JWT, among many others. As a full-time art director, he worked at Ogilvy NY, McKinney, kirshenbaum bond + partners and SS+K.

Gerardo’s work received numerous accolades including Clio, ADDY and Effie awards, and has been featured among Ad Age’s Best, as well as in the Communication Arts Advertising Annual, Critique, and Archive magazines. As a writer and artist, he won the 2012 prestigious Maurice Sendak Fellowship for Creative Storytellers.

His academic work, focused on the use of communications as a tool for social good, directly informs his consultant work for non-profit organizations like UNICEF Indonesia, Girl Scouts of America and the NIH. As an instructor, Gerardo enjoys mentoring students into creative positions in the industry–and, occasionally, into a few creative accolades, including a couple of Gold Pencils at the prestigious One Show Young Ones competition.

A native of Argentina, Gerardo graduated with both a BFA and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, where he was a full scholarship student.

Javier Garcia | Adjunct Lecturer, CCNY

Javier Garcia is an award-winning advertising account executive turned educator and social entrepreneur. Javier launched his career in advertising working on global Fortune 500 brands such as Colgate-Palmolive, LG, Dell and JW Marriott at agencies such as Young & Rubicam and SS+K.

As a graduate of The City College of New York’s Media & Communication Arts Undergraduate program and a member of the first graduating class of the Branding & Integrated Communications (BIC) Master of Professional Studies program. Javier’s combined classroom and industry experience over the past decade made him realize how crucial it is to train and prepare the next generation of advertising and communications professionals

Javier pursued his purpose and passion by side-stepping into a career in education and the launch of his own business. Javier has been fortunate enough to teach at New York Institute of Technology, Manhattan College, and at The City College of New York at both the Undergraduate and Master’s levels.

Javier is also the Founder & CEO of Suyo Group, Inc. (AKA "Suyo" - http://GetSuyo.com), a socially responsible active lifestyle brand founded on the values of inclusiveness, sustainability and accessibility. Suyo recently launched a line of gender-neutral active and streetwear tops (athletic shirts, casual t-shirts and hoodies) made of 100% sustainable, recycled fabrics, and manufactured in co-operatively owned (employee owned) cut-and-sew facilities in Guatemala and Haiti.

Jeff Small | Creative Technologist, VMLY&R

Jeff Small is Creative Technologist at VML and has spent the last 25 years in advertising with a background in data solutions and creative uses of emerging technology. He has overseen the design, execution and optimization for branded digital properties and experiences and led the cross-discipline teams in Atlanta and Dallas. Before choosing a career in advertising and technology, Jeff served in the United States Navy in Whidbey Island, Washington deployed aboard the USS Nimitz and USS Kitty Hawk.

Katherine Piscatelli | Account Director, VMLY&R

Kat is a passionate, forward-thinking strategic account leader that excels in partnering with clients and motivating internal team members through new product launches and ongoing brand management. She has a strong healthcare background and is no stranger to new product launches, having DTC, HCP and OTC launch experience. She’s worked across multiple healthcare categories—autoimmune, constipation, insomnia, allergy, skin health, oncology and diabetes—for a portfolio of healthcare clients, including Pfizer, Allergan, Ironwood, Merck, Janssen and Galderma.

Kat’s background includes agencies both big and small, and she has a depth of experience in direct, digital, and CRM marketing. Currently, she oversees agile, integrated network teams in the strategy, ideation, production and deployment of both branded and unbranded ROI-driven digital and traditional tactics such as TV, print, websites, detail aids, patient-support materials, point-of-sale and personalized marketing campaigns. These tactics always map back to a larger strategic plan that begins at the brand-awareness stage, all the way through to acquisition, conversion and retention/brand advocacy.

Kat joined the WPP family in 2012 at Wunderman DC and recently moved to NYC, joining the Y&R team. She holds a BBA in marketing as well as a BA in graphic design from Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. While not in the office or on a SoulCycle bike, she can be found with friends and family on Thumpertown Beach in Cape Cod.


Lynn Appelbaum | Professor, CCNY

Lynn Appelbaum, APR, Fellow PRSA, has been a public relations professional and educator for more than 30 years, working in both the public and private sectors in media relations, strategic planning and communications. In 2015, she was honored by PRSA as Outstanding Educator of the Year. She is the recipient of the 2016 HPRA BRAVO Award for her contributions as an educator to promote inclusivity in the PR profession.

Lynn joined the City College of New York faculty in 1993 as professor in the Advertising and Public Relations in the Department of Media & Communication Arts. As Ad/PR program director from 2001-2016, she built a highly competitive program with 200 majors. She created significant scholarship opportunities for talented students, in addition to building strong relationships with leading agencies for student internships and entry-level hires. She is a founding faculty member of CCNY’s master’s degree program in Branding and Integrated Communications (BIC), which launched in 2013. Lynn organized the college’s first PRSSA chapter in 1996 and served as faculty advisor for 20 years. In 2008, she received The City College Alumni Association’s Faculty Service Award. CCNY honored her in 2014 by creating a scholarship in her name.

A major proponent of fostering diversity within the public relations profession, Lynn co-authored a national study in 2014 on the experiences of young black and Hispanic PR professionals in the workplace, funded by a grant from the PRSA Foundation. The study updates her 2004 research on diversity in the PR profession. She has written about mentoring and crisis communications for PRSA’s Strategist and Tactics and is co-author of a textbook chapter on global corporate reputation.

Prior to coming to City College, Lynn was Press Manager for NBC News Today show, Director of Public Affairs for The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and Marketing Director of Merkin Concert Hall. Clients have included MSNBC, The New York Public Library, Lighthouse International, New York Road Runners Club and Hudson Guild Settlement House.

Lynn served on the PRSA Foundation Board of Directors (2014-17) and has held director posts for PRSA’s national board (2008-10), and on PRSA NY’s Board of Directors, where she chaired the committee for metro-area PRSSA chapters.

She was awarded PRSA-NY’s 2015 President’s Award and 1999 Dorf Mentoring Award, two of three highest awards bestowed by the chapter. She holds a BM from Ithaca College and MA in Arts Administration from Indiana University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband Joe Spivack with whom she has two daughters.

Paul Kim | Adjunct Lecturer, CCNY

Paul is an investor, educator, social entrepreneur, and filmmaker. He is a 20+ year veteran of Wall Street specializing in the global technology, media, and telecom sectors in prominent hedge funds such as SAC Capital (now Point72) and Omega Advisors, and in equity research departments in the investment banking divisions of Bank of America and PaineWebber (now UBS). Paul is the founder of know.capital, an innovative investment fund that partners with universities to help democratize philanthropy. Previously in the finance sector, he launched and led boutique financial firms that focused on deep fundamental research and data analytics. Paul is also a co-founder of know.careers, a career fair technology platform provider for colleges/universities and workforce programs. Prior to his experience in finance and technology, Paul worked for a boutique publisher of magazines such as The Wine Spectator that specializes in the beer, wine, and distilled spirits industries. He is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at The City College of New York and he is a Research Scholar at Manhattan College, where he teaches an innovative finance curriculum in both institutions. He has directed and produced a documentary titled Dog Camp, which is about a dedicated community of people who rescue golden retrievers, and he is pursuing other projects that focus on unique communities. Paul received a BS double majoring in Marketing and Management and an MBA majoring in Finance and International Business from New York University Stern School of Business where he was the co-captain of the men’s varsity tennis team. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designate. Paul is co-Chair of the Board of Directors at Career Gear, a non-profit organization that provides professional clothing, mentoring, and life skills to help men in poverty become stronger contributors to their families and communities.

Phillip Pastore | Associate Director of Creative Technology, VMLY&R

Phillip is a relatively new addition to the VMLY&R NY team as Associate Director of Creative Technology, by way of Droga5. Having nearly 15 years agency experience and skilled in design, full stack development, motion graphics, and 3D animation, Phillip has created prototypes and deployed production builds for some of the most innovative and iconic brands including Google, The New York Times, Android, Hennessy, HBO, ESPN, T-Mobile, New Museum, Motorola, and more.

When not consumed by agency life, Phillip keeps busy with countless side projects like the FWA-winning typography app, AMPERGRAM; Techstars finalist, Clash Audio Experiment; Time’s PSA of the Day, Curb Your Video; the controversial Chrome extension and ProductHunt Product of the Day, Drop United; and Digg’s “most important blog on the Internet” photomanipulation-blog-turned-global-Snapchat-lens, Nosemouth.

Rebekah Shufelt | Global Projects Manager (Account Management), VMLY&R

Rebekah Shufelt is an advocate for social change with a focus on women’s initiatives. As a Global Special Projects Manager, Rebekah has been instrumental in launching Inspire Change, the social impact practice at VMLY&R. She has been a catalyst for the rebranding of Miss America Organization, one of the most recognizable household names in America – making Miss America 2.0 has been one of the most talk about rebrands and cultural conversations of the year. It led to massive media coverage including trending #1 on Twitter, a front-page article in New York Times, and featured on center stage at Cannes Lions.

Rebekah is also globally renowned for being a champion and mentor to girls and women. She has developed world class programs for the mentees of prestigious Fortune / U.S. State Department Global Woman’s Mentorship Program, hosting inspirational leaders selected by Vital Voices, Goldman Sachs and their respective embassies. Two of the mentees were named Fortune and Goldman Sachs Global Woman Leaders two years running. She also leads the partnership developments for the Whole Story Project, an AR app and 2018 Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas finalist and creative producer of Future Self, a video mentoring series of aspirational women, including a Deputy Director at NASA. She also advises and supports several global nonprofits including WomEng’s #1MillionGirlsInSTEM campaign. Additionally she is creative producer on an independent social impact film shot entirely in Myanmar. Rebekah has a B.A. in Art and Business from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI.