Advisors

The Advisory Board comprises leaders from customer-facing organizations in a wide range of sectors. Board members provide the Center with leadership and foresight to advance the Center’s mission and purpose.

 

James A. Firestone '78

Chairperson, YCCI Advisory Board; President, Corporate Operations and Executive Vice President, Xerox Corporation

James Firestone is president, Corporate Operations at Xerox Corporation. He was named to this position in September 2008. He is also an Executive Vice President of the corporation, appointed in April 2007. Mr. Firestone is responsible for the company's core corporate organizations that support all areas of the business worldwide, including research and development, information management, strategy, Fuji Xerox relations, human resources and ethics, marketing and communications, and Xerox's environmental health and safety initiatives. Prior to this role, Mr. Firestone was president, Xerox North America, a position he assumed in 2004 after serving as the company's chief strategist. As head of North America, Firestone was responsible for direct and indirect channels of distribution in the United States and Canada including direct sales and service, agents, resellers and Teleweb. In this role, he led the company's $1.5 billion acquisition of Global Imaging Systems in 2007, increasing Xerox's access to small and mid-size businesses in the U.S. by 50 percent. Jim joined Xerox from IBM in August 1998 as president of the Xerox Channels Group, responsible for creating a network of resellers for Xerox's office printers and multifunction systems. He then was named senior vice president for the Corporate Strategy and Marketing Group. At IBM, Jim was responsible for all of the company's consumer products and services for the home and family market. He joined IBM in 1995, helping launch a new division to develop and market hardware, software and multimedia products. Prior to IBM, Jim headed the consumer division of Ameritech, a telecommunications company, from 1993 to 1995. He spent the first 15 years of his career at American Express, serving as President of the Japan Division, and subsequently leading the Corporate Card and Travelers Cheques businesses. Jim serves on the board of directors of Fuji, The Japan Fund and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.


Deepak Advani

General Manager, Tivoli Software, IBM

Mr. Advani is General Manager at Tivoli Software, IBM Software Group.  Tivoli Software helps clients optimize the value of their business infrastructures and technology assets enabling greater visibility, control and automation across their end-to-end business operations.  Prior to his move to Tivoli, Mr. Advani led IBM’s predictive analytics group, and was responsible for all aspects of the business - from R&D to sales and marketing.  From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Advani was the Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of eCommerce for Lenovo.  As CMO, he was responsible for building the global brand and generating demand.   He was responsible for activating global sponsorships such as Olympics, Formula 1 and NBA. To maximize marketing effectiveness and efficiency, he relied heavily on web marketing, and also centralized marketing functions in a global hub based in India.   As the head of Lenovo’s global eCommerce business, he grew revenue by 45% to $400m, and profits by 300%. Before joining Lenovo, Mr. Advani worked at IBM for 13 years where he held several global executive positions -

- General Manager, High End Intel Servers.  Under his leadership, IBM’s market share went from #3 to #1.
- Vice President, Linux Strategy.  He helped craft the early strategies around Linux and Open Source.
- Director, High Performance Computing.  He was part of the team that built a $1b business in 4 years.
- Member, Senior Leadership Team, comprised of the top 300 global executives.
- Member, Global Marketing Board, comprised of the top 6 marketing executives.

Mr. Advani has an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business.  He has an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Wright State University. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from Michigan State University.   He currently serves on the advisory board at the Michigan State College of Engineering.


Christine Barton

Partner and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group

Christine's topic expertise is growth / topline turnaround, consumer insights and market research, positioning, branding, marketing, new product development, and customer experience.  Christine has focused on growth and insights-led topline turnaround in her 15 years at BCG.  She leads the Marketing and Sales practice in our South system.  In 2013, she is a new Board member of Yale's Center for Customer Insight.  Christine joined The Boston Consulting Group full time after earning a law degree from Yale Law School. She holds a Masters from Oxford University where she was a Rhodes Scholar, after she graduated from the University of Texas at Austin.


Melville E. Blake III '80

Managing Director, Stern Speakers

Mel Blake is Managing Director of Stern Speakers, a lecture agency representing thought leaders with provocative ideas and expertise about the future of business, science, and society. Stern Speakers connects companies and organizations with leading visionaries and social change agents shaping the future of business and welfare of the world. He brings 30 years of corporate executive, advisory, and talent management experience to the job.  Mel was Executive Vice President and Managing Director at BankBoston Corporation, where he was a member of the Corporate Working Committee, the bank’s executive policy and decision-making body. He has also served as Chief of Staff at FleetBoston Financial, and Managing Director for Ecommerce Development, concentrating on business-to-business markets. Prior to his corporate positions, he was a Vice President at the MAC Group, a management consulting firm based in Cambridge MA. He holds a BA in Economics from Wesleyan University (CT) and earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management. Mel is also a contributor to the business press, both in print and on-line.


Eric Breissinger YC '89

Vice President, North America Family Care, Procter & Gamble

Eric Breissinger is the Vice President, North America Family Care at Procter & Gamble. Eric joined Procter & Gamble in 1989 as a Sales Representative, Paper CBD after earning his BA from Yale University. In his 22+ years with the organization, Eric has gained exposure to numerous P&G business areas. In brand management positions, Eric worked on Crest, Comet, Metamucil and in Pharmacy and Oral Care categories. As Marketing Director, Eric worked on the Walmart Customer Team, Personal Health Care, and Family Care, Bounty. Prior to his current position, Eric held General Manager and Vice President roles in Family Care & Global HHC Marketing. Eric is actively involved in the Cincinnati community, having served on the Board of Directors of the Lyons YMCA/ Anderson Barracudas swim team and as a coach with the Immaculate Heart of Mary Athletic Boosters and the St. Ursula Villa Boosters.


Ralph Corradi

Global Vice President, New Products Commercialization, Covidien Surgical Solutions

Ralph Corradi is Global Vice President, New Product Commercialization at Covidien Surgical Solutions. Mr. Corradi is responsible for the new product pipeline of a $3 billion division of Covidien’s global medical device business. In this role, he works closely with customers and marketing organizations around the world to identify, develop and commercialize new products within the surgical instruments segment of the medical device market. Prior to this role, Mr. Corradi was the General Manager for Covidien’s largest franchise and grew that business through robust innovation supported by a key technology acquisition. Ralph joined Covidien in 2003 and has worked in the medical device industry for the last 18 years. He spent 6 years as an officer in the US Army and is a combat veteran of the Gulf War.

Ralph holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Master of Business Administration degree from The Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College.


Jon Cummings YC '85

Director, McKinsey & Company

Jon Cummings is a Director at McKinsey & Company and has been with the Firm since 1987. Jon began his career in Chicago and was in South Africa from 1994 to 2002, where he co-founded the Johannesburg Office and was the Office Manager for seven years. Jon leads McKinsey’s Americas Packaged Goods practice and is based in New Jersey. Prior to joining McKinsey, Jon received his BA from Yale University and a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics in the U.K.


David S. Daniel '82

Senior Director, Spencer Stuart Inc

Drawing on more than 25 years of experience leading global businesses and brands, David Daniel advises clients across industries on CEO and director recruitment, CEO succession planning and transitions, board effectiveness and other key governance and senior leadership issues facing boards and CEOs.

David’s leadership experience spans professional services and consumer products, and he has led businesses through varied market conditions and economic cycles. He served as CEO of Spencer Stuart from 2001 to 2012. As a result, David brings to his consulting work firsthand perspectives on the top issues influencing organizations’ senior leadership and governance needs.

Experienced consultant; experienced CEO:
- David joined the firm in 1994 as a consultant in the Consumer Goods & Services Practice.
- In his 11 years as CEO, David and his management team expanded the firm’s global footprint, strengthened its position in board and CEO search, and developed new services and capabilities, including CEO succession planning, senior-level executive assessment and board effectiveness. He remained active in multiple client relationships throughout his tenure as CEO.
- Prior to Spencer Stuart, David spent 15 years shaping some of the world's leading brands. He served as president/CEO of Simint USA, the American division of Armani Jeans; president of Louis Vuitton, North America; and CEO of Evian Waters of France (U.S.).

David is a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Luke's School and serves on the advisory boards of the Yale School of Management and the Yale Center for Customer Insights. He has a master's degree in public and private management from the Yale School of Management and a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University.


Thomas E. Gage '80

CEO and Managing Director, Marconi Pacific, LLC

As CEO and Managing Director of Marconi Pacific, Tom Gage works as a consultant and venture investor in the high-tech venture industry and in lower tech buy-outs. Previously, Mr. Gage was Senior VP of Verisign Communications Services resposible for VCS's Wireline P&L including product management, product development and marketing. Tom Gage has over 20 years experience as a management consultant which includes positions as vice president and managing director of Gemini Consulting’s North American C4 practice, and associate with the MAC Group, general management consultants. He also spent four years at Conoco as a coal and international oil analyst. He has broad and deep experience in telecommunications, property and casualty insurance, energy, real estate investment and venture capital. Tom also serves on The Maret School Board.


Jack Griffin '88

Chief Executive Officer, Tribune Publishing

Jack Griffin is responsible for the strategic priorities and day-to-day print and digital operations of eight Tribune newspaper companies including the Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, Daily Press (Newport News, VA), Hartford Courant, Los Angeles Times, The Morning Call (Allentown, PA), Orlando Sentinel and Sun Sentinel (South Florida).  Griffin is a veteran media industry executive who has overseen some of the most respected and well-known content companies and brands in the world.

Prior to joining Tribune Publishing, Griffin served as Chief Executive Officer of Empirical Media, which he co-founded in 2011.  Until February 2011, Griffin was CEO of Time Inc. as well as the Chairman of MPA, the trade association for the consumer magazine industry, where he had been on the board for seven years.  Griffin has also served as Chairman of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), and as a Director of the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Audit Bureau of Circulations.  He was a Founding Director of Next Issue Media, a digital newsstand formed by a consortium of five leading publishers including Hearst Corporation, Conde Nast, News Corporation, Meredith Corporation and Time Inc.

Before joining Time Inc. in 2010, Griffin spent a dozen years at Meredith Corporation.  As President of its National Media Group since 2004, Griffin led the successful transformation of Meredith into a digitally enabled, diversified media and marketing company.  From its print roots, Meredith became a major provider of marketing services through Meredith Integrated Marketing, of which Griffin was the founding General Manager in 1996.  During his tenure at Meredith, Griffin oversaw numerous acquisitions of print and digital properties.

Griffin graduated from the Yale School of Management and Boston College and serves on the Business Advisory Board of Propublica, the investigative news organization.  Griffin is the recipient of numerous honors and awards.  He is a member of the AAF Advertising Hall of Achievement® and received its Jack Avrett Award for industry and community service. He has also been recognized as Publishing Executive of the Year by Advertising Age.


John Grubb '87

Managing Partner, Sterling-Rice Group

 John is Managing Partner of the Sterling-Rice Group (SRG), a 27-year-old brand strategy, innovation, and communications firm. SRG consults with many of the leading food, beverage, nutrition, health, and wellness brands from around the globe in defining growth strategies, innovation pipelines, and acquisition and partnership priorities. Clients include PepsiCo, Nestle, Kellogg, Kraft, General Mills, and private equity funds on behalf of current or potential brands. Utilizing a full range of state-of-the-art qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, SRG weds consumer insights, market-structure analysis and knowledge, and brand-equity assessment in crafting actionable growth strategy. Prior to joining SRG, John had 20 years of executive marketing and strategy experience in retail, foodservice, and manufacturing.  His strategy consulting experience began at Bain & Company and included being a founding partner at Meridian Strategy Group. John is a veteran of the natural foods industry and is a frequent speaker on nutrition, health, wellness, and strategic branding. He holds a BA from Hampshire College and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.


Edward S. Harrington ’87

Chairman / Innovation Process Consultant, Ideas to Go, Inc.

Ed is the Chairman / Innovation Process Consultant of Ideas To Go, a creative process consulting firm that specializes in helping Fortune 100 Companies create innovative business solutions and marketing strategies, with a particular focus on eliciting insights and ideas directly from clients’ customers and consumers. Ed joined Ideas To Go in 1994. Prior to joining Ideas To Go, Ed held several marketing positions at Procter & Gamble and Bausch & Lomb. At P&G he helped spearhead the first initiative into consumer understanding and concept development, looking at both traditional and non-traditional methods of exploring customer needs. He has facilitated hundreds of consumer-client sessions on a very broad range of subjects including new product development, product positioning, and product naming. Ed also speaks at seminars and conferences on the subjects of creative problem solving and how to successfully plumb the hearts, minds and imaginations of consumers for insights and ideas.

See more about Ed's work with Ideas To Go and YCCI.


Rohit Kichlu

Senior Director of Marketing, OptumHealth

Rohit Kichlu is Senior Director of Marketing at OptumHealth Care Solutions, a division of UnitedHealth Group, where he leads the marketing for the Health & Wellness business and the Culture of Health Institute.

Rohit has over 20 years of Sales & Marketing experience having worked at leading organizations including Marriott, Unilever, Blyth Inc. and Novartis. At Marriott, Rohit played a key role in developing the medical association convention business, that resulted in him receiving the American Medical Associations' vendor of the year award. He then joined Unilever and shaped the marketing for iconic brands including Lipton Tea, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Promise Margarine and Lipton Iced Tea Mix. At Unilever, he successfully led the global team that launched the world's first tea bag that brews directly in cold water. He was recruited to Blyth Inc. to consolidate a fragmented brand portfolio across 11 countries. At Blyth Inc., he received a US patent in his name for a new air freshner device that was subsequently launched into the United States. At Novartis, Rohit led the marketing for Gerber Baby Food and the entire Gerber portfolio of wellness products.

Rohit has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.


John L. Lindsey '82

President, Thomas International Publishing Company

John L. (Jay) Lindsey is President of Thomas International Publishing Company, Inc., a privately-held publisher of business magazines, websites and databases worldwide. As a leader in B2B, Thomas presents a portfolio of over 50 products through a network of wholly owned and partnership enterprises in the U.S., Europe, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, China and India. These products reach a combined readership of well over 1 million business and industrial information users. Internationally, Thomas employs a market strategy utilizing local management and conforming closely to local business and language realities, while meeting a world class performance standard for digital commerce. Prior to joining Thomas, Mr. Lindsey was Vice President and member of the executive committee of Chilton Company, a business publishing subsidiary of Walt Disney/ABC. While at Disney/ABC (formerly Capital Cities), he also served for over ten years as publisher of a national daily business newspaper and more than a dozen other magazines and newsletters. He held earlier management positions in sales, finance and operations during his time at Disney/ABC, and before that, at the CBS Television Network. Mr. Lindsey started his career as an independent filmmaker and television news producer in Washington, DC. Mr. Lindsey also serves as a director on several company and charitable boards and is a trustee of Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.


Antonio Lucio

Global Chief Brand Officer, VISA

Antonio Lucio is Global Chief Brand Officer for Visa Inc. In this role, he oversees Visa’s global branding and marketing activities. He is also responsible for managing all human resources functions in the organization, including talent management, staffing, compensation and employee relations, as well as developing effective retention, diversity and performance management strategies. Before joining Visa as chief marketing officer in December 2007, Lucio was the chief innovation and health and wellness officer for PepsiCo Inc. and, prior to that, was the senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Pepsi Cola International Beverages. In these positions, Lucio was responsible for portfolio transformation and growth through marketing efforts for PepsiCo's diversified portfolio of beverages. Lucio has more than 25 years of global marketing and brand management experience earned at some of the world's most successful consumer packaged goods companies including Kraft General Foods, RJR Foods International and Procter & Gamble.

Lucio earned a B.A. in history from Louisiana State University in 1981. He was born in Spain, raised in Puerto Rico and educated in the United States. Lucio is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.


Anil Menon

President, Globalisation and Smart+Connected Communities, Cisco Systems

Anil Menon joined Cisco Systems as President of Globalization and Intelligent Urbanization in March 2009. In this role, Dr. Menon co-leads Cisco's globalization efforts and East Headquarters in Bangalore, and Cisco's global initiatives around Intelligent Urbanization (IU).  IU is a key globalization priority for Cisco, and the company is focused on working with cities around the world to use the network as the platform for driving economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Prior to joining Cisco in 2009, Dr. Menon held several positions as a senior executive at IBM Corporation, most recently as vice president of Corporate Strategy for IBM Growth Markets.  He also served as vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Strategy for IBM Systems and Technology Group.  For three years, Dr. Menon was CEO of IBM’s Strategy Team, a rotating group of senior leaders charged with setting and driving IBM’s strategic priorities. Prior to joining IBM, Anil was on the marketing faculty at Emory University’s Roberto C. Goizueta Business School, Atlanta, USA. He was Sony Fellow in Business Strategy with the Sony Corporation. He also served on the Executive Committee of the Strategic Planning Institute, an international business think tank which originated at the Harvard Business School.


Vikram Nangia

Executive Vice President-Service Network Engineering, American Express

Vikram Nangia is a seasoned executive with 25 years of experience in Customer Service, Finance, Strategy and Business Development.  In his role as Executive Vice President, Service Network Engineering, Vikram is responsible for telephone service for American Express card members globally. In addition, he is responsible for the delivery of service to American Express’ corporate customers, the overall configuration of the service network, and the design and engineering of customer care processes and capabilities. Vikram has held a variety of roles in his 9 years at American Express, in Finance and Customer Service, helping to deliver significant reengineering improvements, enhanced financial discipline and improved customer experience.

Prior to American Express, Vikram worked for 15+ years in the consumer packaged goods industry, gaining extensive multi-disciplinary experience in Finance, Strategy, M&A and Procurement. Immediately prior to American Express, he was a Director in the M&A group for Philip Morris, Inc. in which role he helped lead the IPO of Kraft Foods and an $18.9 Billion acquisition of Nabisco holdings, Inc. Vikram joined Philip Morris through its acquisition of Kraft Foods where he served in various Finance & Strategy roles. 

Vikram obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Delhi, India, MA (Economics) from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, NY and an MBA from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Theresa Natalicchio

Vice President, Global Customer Insights Division, Bayer Healthcare

Theresa brings tremendous experience leading innovative marketing and branding efforts in the healthcare industry. She is currently Vice President, Global Head – Customer Insights for Bayer HealthCare.  Prior to her time at Bayer, Theresa  was a member of the management team at PTC Therapeutics, a biotech start-up, as the Senior Vice President of Commercial.   Prior to that, Theresa was Vice President of Marketing at Pfizer where she launched a number of their most successful pharmaceutical products.   


Kristen O’Hara

Chief Marketing Officer, Global Media, Time Warner Inc.

Kristen O’Hara is responsible for leading strategic collaborations that fuel growth for Time Warner and its operating companies.  By leveraging data, consumer insight and new technology platforms she is helping to drive innovation in marketing, research, ad sales, and social media.  She was a key architect of the Medialab at Time Warner and is currently developing Time Warner’s first company-wide data strategy.

O’Hara joined the company in 2002 as vice president, corporate marketing and sales strategy, at Time Inc.  Prior to Time Warner, O’Hara held leadership positions at Young & Rubicam Inc., driving strategy and business development for top advertisers including AT&T, Sony, Yum Brands, Dr Pepper and 7Up.

O’Hara is a trustee of the Signature Theatre Company in New York, serves on the board of the DMA and is an active volunteer at Mt. Sinai Hospital.


Humam Sakhnini '01

Chief Strategy and Talent Officer, Activision Blizzard

Humam Sakhnini is Chief Strategy and Talent Officer at Activision Blizzard, the world’s largest independent publisher of Interactive Entertainment. He oversees corporate strategy, M&A activities and new business development.

Prior to joining Activision Blizzard, Humam was a partner with McKinsey & Company’s Global Media and Entertainment Practice, based in New York. While at McKinsey, he served senior executives at the world’s leading media companies, and was focused on strategy, marketing, and sales transformation. Humam’s work blended long term business strategy with actionable operating plans to deliver bottom-line impact for his clients.

Prior to McKinsey and Yale SOM, Humam founded and co-led ISGroup, a financial technology firm that provided technology solutions to mutual funds and hedge funds. He also worked as an analyst at BMO Nesbitt Burns, Canada’s largest investment bank and brokerage. Prior to Nesbitt, Humam worked as an Economist at the Ministry of Finance in Canada where he worked on a variety of fiscal and monetary policies.

Humam holds a BA (Honors) in Economics from the University of Western Ontario (Canada), an MA in Economics from Queen’s University at Kingston (Canada), and an MBA from the Yale School of Management, specializing in strategy and finance.


Linda Schupack '92

Executive Vice President, Marketing, AMC

As executive vice president of marketing for AMC, Linda Schupack is responsible for the strategic oversight, management and implementation of the network’s multiplatform consumer and trade marketing activities, including advertising campaigns and consumer and ad sales promotions.  Ms. Schupack also directs the network’s brand identity as an uncompromising celebration of great stories, which speaks to its record-shattering Emmy® and Golden Globe® wins for its original series.

The network’s marketing and promotional activities directly relate to ratings performance, and in recent years AMC has seen its greatest period of viewer gain.  Much of AMC’s recent ratings success can be attributed to its critically-acclaimed original programming, including its two dramatic series – Golden Globe®  Award and Emmy® Award winning Mad Men and Emmy® Award winning Breaking Bad.  Most recently, Ms. Schupack helped shepherd The Walking Dead to history-making ratings success.  For each of these originals, Ms. Schupack has spearheaded a multi-dimensional, cross-platform initiative that goes beyond traditional marketing techniques to help increase awareness, build buzz and drive ratings.

Ms. Schupack joined AMC in 2005 from parent company Rainbow Media Holdings LLC, (now AMC Networks) where she served for four years as senior vice president of creative services.  In that role, she served as Rainbow Media’s chief creative mind and was a key architect in the evolution of the AMC, IFC and WE tv brands.  Ms. Schupack oversaw the development of advertising, promotion, collateral and new media materials for all of Rainbow Media's businesses, including the corporate brand.

Before joining Rainbow Media, Ms. Schupack, an industry veteran, held a number of senior positions at Viacom’s Nickelodeon, including vice president of marketing and programming for Nick International, where she oversaw the creative development of Nickelodeon internationally, interpreting the brand for local audiences through the development and execution of marketing and programming strategies.

Ms. Schupack earned her undergraduate degree from Yale University and Master of Business Administration degree from the Yale School of Management.  In 2008, she was named by AdWeek as Entertainment Marketer of the Year and in 2009, AMC’s marketing department was acknowledged as Marketing Team of the year by the Cable Faxies.  In 2012, she received the Vanguard Award for Marketing from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA).


Laura R. Walker '87

President & CEO, New York Public Radio

Laura Walker has been president and chief executive officer of New York public radio stations WNYC AM 820 and 93.9 FM since December 1995. Ms. Walker has transformed the organization from a City agency into a not-for-profit public broadcaster by raising the $20 million necessary to purchase WNYC's AM and FM radio licenses from the City of New York. She has spearheaded many new programming initiatives, including the expansion of WNYC's news and documentary units, extended live concert programming, the introduction of American standards host Jonathan Schwartz, and the creation of new national programs Studio 360, The Next Big Thing, and Satellite Sisters. Ms. Walker began her professional career as a journalist and producer at National Public Radio. She later joined the staff of Carnegie Hall where she launched AT&T Presents Carnegie Hall Tonight. She spent eight years at Sesame Workshop where she headed the development department and later led the organization's efforts to establish a cable television channel, now Noggin.


Connie Weaver

Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, TIAA-CREF

Connie K. Weaver is Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at TIAA-CREF, a Fortune 100 financial services organization and leading provider of asset management and retirement services for the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields.