Our Leadership

Scott Smith

Board Co-Chair

Scott Smith is the Founder & Principal of SSmith Advisors.  His firm sits at the intersection of talent, technology, and process.  They apply cross-functional experience from multiple industries and a deep understanding of processes and technology to create customized solutions for the Talent Acquisition function.  Scott spent several years at Spencer Stuart, Bridgewater Associates, and Aetna, where he was the Head of Executive Search.  His earlier career included operational and board roles for technology and technology-enabled businesses.  

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Cheryl Palmer

Board Co-Chair

Cheryl Palmer is a Senior Operating Executive and Independent Director with extensive experience in Specialty Retail, Hospitality, and Consumer Brands.  Cheryl combines her consumer marketing and retail operations expertise with strategic Board leadership to achieve strong business results.

In addition to her corporate career, Cheryl has held a variety of corporate director seats in both public and private companies.  She currently serves on the board of B&G Foods, Inc., where she Chair's the company's Risk Committee and serves as a member of both the Compensation and Nominating & Governance committees.  Previously, she served as a member of the board's Audit Committee.  Cheryl is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors where she remains a disciple of contemporary board issues and best practices. Cheryl resides, with her husband Rey, on their farm in Aiken, SC.  She is an avid equestrian, hiker, and golfer.

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Elaine Riddell

Vice President

Elaine Riddell is a growth activist who believes that breakthrough potential exists in every company.  She unlocks potential by anticipating the market disruptions that will influence client priorities and spending and then building organizational confidence to deliver the new value.  As a CEO, over 15 years (NOPWorld Health, a unit of UBM, TNS Healthcare, Kantar Health), she is recognized for transforming mature, stagnant, global data, analytics, and insights firms into high-performing, scalable market-leaders with sustained, profitable revenue growth at three-times the market rate. Elaine's playbook also draws on her experience at Abbott Labs (now AbbVie), a top 10 Pharmaceutical company, and IMS Health (now IQVIA), the leading multinational health information and technology firm.  Her composite of experience, which focuses on customer-centric innovation, strategic M&A, and building performance-driven cultures, forms the foundation for her growth advisory, serving founder/CEOs and Private Equity firms, as well as her M&A-related work. Today, Elaine is a Managing Director with Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips, a leading investment bank for the marketing and media services sectors.

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Mark DeGennaro

Secretary

Mark DeGennaro is a legal and business professional who has worked with financial sponsors, privately held businesses, and company founders on legal, operational, and financial matters, including mergers and acquisitions and the evaluation and implementation of new strategic initiatives. Currently, Mark is a Managing Director of an EdTech accelerator program at USC's Rossier School of Education and the Managing Member of Liberty Point Partners, LLC, a consulting firm providing strategic advisory services.  Earlier in his career, Mark was the General Counsel of The Collingwood Group, a Washington DC-based business advisory firm, the Chief Operating Officer of a New York-based investment banking firm, and an attorney with the law firm of White & Case.

 

Robyn D'Elia

Treasurer

Robin Delia is a versatile and collaborative CFO with progressive experience leading all areas of finance within a fortune 500 public company. She thrives and delivers in fast-paced transforming environments, leading by example.  While she was a vital member of the leadership team at iconic retailer Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY), the company grew from a single brand with 108 US-based stores to a complex multi-brand omnichannel retailer operating over 1500 stores in the US, Canada, and Mexico and revenues grew from ~$800M to over $11.5B, with digital revenues representing ~$2B. Robyn has expertise in strategic planning, financial planning & analysis, M&A, process improvement, risk management, corporate governance, and treasury.  In addition, Robyn has experience in the board room on various corporate governance, topics including executive compensation design, say on pay, board member selection & onboarding, business transformation, enterprise risk management, cybersecurity, and M&A.

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Doron Grosman

Membership

Doron Grosman is a serial CEO/President and Private Equity Operating Partner with a proven track record of achieving record sales and sustainable EBITDA growth. He is a motivational, multi-sector leader with broad strategic, value creation, operational improvement, and cash flow maximization skills. He is currently the CEO/President of Global Container Terminals a +$1 billion revenue business. Doron received an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an MS in Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He has been a featured speaker at numerous private equity conferences, including Chief Executive Group, Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, NACD, and Private Equity International. His Board experience includes Rocket Software, DISA Global Service Solutions, Ancile Software, Mspark Direct Mail Marketing Services, Sandhurst Extension Urban Development, and GCT Global Container Terminals.

 

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Mitch Gross

New Products

Mitch Gross is a 25+ year technology, travel, and services expert specializing in breakthrough growth, with a focus on go-to-market, profitable revenue growth, and partnerships.  His approach marries his early experience at large, iconic brands with in-the-trenches work driving record results at travel and technology companies, from publicly-traded multinationals to pre-revenue startups.

Leaders and innovators tap Mitch's experience through his consulting practice, 122 Growth, and his accessible travel offshoot, Accessio. Mitch is proud to have served on private equity and non-profit boards and advises numerous startups. He is an avid skier, passionate cook, and unapologetic dog person.

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Marie Meliksetian

Special Interest Groups

Marie Meliksetian is a transformation and transitional leader with a focus on bringing change and growth through strategy, operation, technology, data, processes, and people.  Currently, she is the CEO of Reliance Solution Services, LLC and President of the International Women's Forum of Connecticut.  She has spent her career turning around global organizations.  She is sought for her strategic, innovative, and creative thinking addressing opportunities in unconventional ways, her analytical skills targeting data to address efficiencies, and her technological know-how for productivity.  As a driver and team player, Marie is known for pulling her sleeves up and doing the work alongside the team.  As a coach and mentor, she is known for building energized and productive teams and leaders across cultures. As a board member and advisor, Marie serves as a strategic thinker with the right combination of front-line organizational experience, functional knowledge, and creative thinking.  Her background ranges from US Chief Executive Officer for a DXC Company to a variety of senior global positions at IBM.  She is the recipient of various business, leadership, and mentoring awards, including the IWFCT Leadership award, Women in Technology by Harvey Nash, Best Biz executive, NAFE Women of Excellence, and IBM ovation/innovation awards.

Marie holds an MBA in Marketing and Organizational Management from Syracuse University and lives in Newtown, CT.

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Lisa Rosenberg

Brand & Marketing

Lisa Rosenberg is a creative instigator who believes brands must live at the intersection of culture and commerce. A seasoned client counselor, Lisa is a hands-on strategist with expertise in leading global brand initiatives and has been the creative force behind many successful brand journeys. Currently, she is Partner + President of Consumer Brands at Allison+Partners, having previously held executive leadership positions at Havas PR and Porter Novelli. She has spent her career developing award-winning campaigns for major consumer brands and has launched every shaving innovation for Gillette from Sensor to Fusion ProGlide, helped M&M's put the color purple in the bag, was the creative spark behind Driscoll's Rosé berries, and most recently drove Budweiser's success at Super Bowl LV. Lisa has 20+ years of big agency operational leadership experience including strong financial management expertise and a reputation for recruiting, mentoring, and developing talent. She loves the thrill of the hunt and is a highly effective business developer with persuasive selling skills. A noted industry leader, Lisa is often quoted on brand and marketing trends and has served on numerous award juries, including Cannes Lions, The Clios, Brand Film Festival, Sabre Awards, Silver Anvils, Snackable Content, and PRWeek Awards, among others. She has been recognized by PRovoke Media as an Innovator 25, by PRWeek as a Hall of Femme, and a Champion of PR, and has won more than 50 awards on behalf of her clients.  Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Johns Hopkins University and resides in New Rochelle, NY.

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Barbara McCartney

Leadership Conference & Events

Barbara McCartney is an accomplished multi-country P&L owner, people leader, and growth accelerator with a passion for the Nutrition and Wellness space. She is currently the CEO of Trofi Nutritionals, where she and her team are advancing personal health management via next-generation therapeutic wellness solutions. During her 12-year tenure with Nestle, Barbara held multiple leadership roles, including North American Business Head and President for Consumer Care, a $650MM nutrition business with operations in the US, Canada, and Mexico. In roles with Unilever, Pillsbury, and Quaker, she led teams in accelerating iconic brand portfolios. At Hyde Park Group Innovation, she found new growth pathways for 20+ food and nutrition businesses. As a true strategic operator, Barbara brings an end-to-end mindset to commercial transformation, value creation, and organizational excellence to help businesses to reach new heights. Her work has generated significant revenue gains, new categories, and industry awards.

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Jim Ranton

Independent Career Track

Jim Ranton is the Founder and Principal of Phenix Advisors, LLC – a People Performance Strategy consultancy for SMBs, PE-backed companies, Start-ups, and Senior Professionals seeking leadership skills coaching. A results-driven advisor, Jim has achieved notable success in partnering with stakeholders to build high-performance teams, transform corporate cultures into inclusive communities and create talent strategies that develop profitability-focused contributors. Prior to forming Phenix Advisors, Jim held HR executive leadership positions at Carrier Corporation, Citigroup, Citizens Utilities, Guardian Life Insurance, New York Racing Association, PepsiCo, Surescripts, and United Technologies.

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Andy Yost

Member engagement

Andy Yost is the Chief Marketing Officer for Kinsa, a public health company and responsible for all marketing and communications. Most recently, he was the Chief Marketing Officer for Gannett (USA TODAY NETWORK), responsible for driving consumer revenue and brand engagement through the use of data, analytics, and cutting-edge digital and brand marketing strategies across Gannett's portfolio of national and local media brands.  Prior to Gannett, he held marketing leadership roles at Viacom, Dow Jones, Columbia House, and American Express.  Andy received his MBA from Columbia Business School and graduated from Bucknell University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

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Jessica Perry

Member engagement

Jessica Perry is Chief Marketing Officer for Modern Hire, a SaaS platform offering screening, interview, and AI-based assessment tools for large enterprises hiring at scale.  Prior to Modern Hire, Jess was Chief Digital Officer and head of media at the Society for Human Resource Management in Washington, DC.  Prior experience included leadership roles at Atlantic Media, Conde Nast, and Dow Jones, leveraging her deep experience bridging information services technology, revenue strategies, and customer experience. As principal of Six Doors Media, Jess has been a consultant and advisor to organizations looking to reorganize legacy operations and set digital product and marketing strategy.  She serves on the board of the American Marketing Association.

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Sean O'Toole

New Member Programs

Sean O'Toole is a Managing Partner with Forge. Sean works with mid-to-large enterprises to discover and build their next growth engines.

Prior to Forge, Sean has been an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Bionic Solutions, a boutique innovation consulting firm, and Startupbootcamp, a corporate innovation and global start-up accelerator. In this capacity, Sean served as a senior partner to a number of G1000 clients in financial services, energy, CPG, & media to develop their internal innovation capabilities, external ecosystems, and launch new products & businesses.

Prior, Sean founded RedWage, a payments platform enabling both B2B and B2C physical and virtual card solutions. With volume over $400mm, Redwage was sold to a strategic buyer.

In addition, Sean has over 15 years experience managing large P&Ls for American Express, Progressive Insurance, and Western Union, starting a number of new business lines within each firm. Most public is scaling the American Express Gift Card business. Sean began his career as a consultant with McKinsey & Co and as an analyst with FGIC, a GE Capital company.

A native of Ireland, Sean earned his BBS from University of Limerick, Ireland and an MBA from the Yale University’s School of Management. He is active in the startup ecosystem and is an advisor to early-stage companies.