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Secrets of the Highly Successful Panel

Oct 27 th 12:20-2:10

Jefferson Williams Lounge, Student Center


Jolie DeFeis

Founder, Energy Garden

Jolie DeFeis started Energy Garden Inc. after the close of Sugartown Creative which she co-founded in 2004.  DeFeis’ strength is in developing marketing programs looking at how a client’s business will compete in the long-term while using design and all forms of communications as tools for business and operational innovation.  DeFeis brings 25 years of advertising and new product innovation experience to Energy Garden. Previously, she was a Partner and Group Account Director at Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners serving clients Diageo, Bacardi, McGraw-Hill and Hearst Magazines.  Prior to that DeFeis was a Partner Account Director at JWT (J. Walter Thompson) traveling the world while working on global brands such as Citibank, Dow Jones and Cadbury Schweppes.  DeFeis spent five years at Wells Rich Greene on Chase Bank and Seagram and began her career working on GE, Visa and Gillette while at BBDO.   DeFeis has worked extensively in marketing products and reinvigorating brands.  In the new product development area – from initial concept to launch she has brought many new brands to life. She helped develop a proprietary process called Approachable Brand Design that has helped companies like Procter & Gamble and Bacardi get to market faster with new products. There are currently six trademarks in the marketplace that she has helped create.  In addition to innovation, she also has great experience in extending venerable name brands to new markets.  She has worked on many international accounts and has launched products and advertising campaigns in multiple languages and countries.  She has proudly accepted awards on behalf of her contributions on Citibank, The Wall Street Journal and Bombay Sapphire.  DeFeis received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Brooklyn College.


Richard C. Iannuzzi

President, New York State United Teachers

Richard C. Iannuzzi has served as president of New York State United Teachers since April 2005, leading the union through a period of tremendous growth, with membership now at more than 600,000.  A leading voice in the labor movement at both the state and federal levels, Iannuzzi serves as a vice president of the American Federation of Teachers and of the New York State AFL-CIO. He also serves as delegate to the national AFL-CIO and as co-chair of the New York State Labor-Religion Coalition. With nearly 500 full-time employees, NYSUT represents a diverse membership that includes in-service and retired members in New York's public schools, colleges, universities and health care facilities, as well as several private schools and colleges, non-profits and government agencies. Its programs are provided from 16 offices around the state; its more than 1,000 affiliates bargain collectively for benefits, working conditions and professional improvements.   Iannuzzi taught elementary school in the Central Islip public schools for 34 years, including 20 spent as a fourth-grade teacher. He was active in his union from the beginning of his career, joining his local on strike in November 1970, his first year on the job.  Iannuzzi began as an elected building representative in 1971 and served on the grievance committee for five years. He was vice president of the Central Islip Teachers Association from 1976 to 1996 and president from 1996 to 2004. In addition to his local union roles, Iannuzzi has served as a NYSUT, AFT and NEA convention delegate and a Long Island Federation of Labor delegate.  A graduate of CUNY's Brooklyn College with a degree in Political Science Iannuzzi earned a master's degree with distinction from Hofstra University and a labor studies certificate from Cornell University.







Linda Konner

Literary Agent, Linda Konner Literary Agency

Ms. Konner has been in the publishing business for over 30 years, as an agent, author, editor, columnist and lecturer.   Founded in 1996, The Linda Konner Literary Agency (LKLA) represents approximately 75 authors of adult nonfiction books. LKLA handles a number of corporate clients, including Harvard Health Publications, the trade book publishing arm of Harvard Medical School, and the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), which sponsors the annual Boston Marathon. Ms. Konner has written or co-written eight books, including Just the Weigh You Are, The Last Ten Pounds,  How to Be Successfully Published in Magazines, Why Can't a Man Be More Like a Cat?, and Your Perfect Weight, which has sold over 450,000 copies.  She has served as editor-in-chief of Weight Watchers Magazine and Richard Simmons's monthly newsletter, Richard Simmons & Friends, and was a features editor at Redbook, Seventeen and Woman's World.   She was a columnist for Glamour and Fitness magazines, and her articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Playboy, The N.Y. Daily News, Cosmopolitan, and Woman's Day.   Her controversial piece for New Woman magazine, "Living Apart and Loving It," about her relationship with theater critic Peter Filichia (now going into its 34 th year), became the basis for Donahue and Sally Jessy Raphael shows.         Ms. Konner has lectured on book and magazine publishing at more than four dozen writers' conferences and colleges, including New York University, the Willamette Writers' Conference, the Cape Cod Writers' Conference, Brooklyn College, the BlissDom bloggers' conference, and the University of Wisconsin. She received her degree in modern languages from Brooklyn College in 1972.


Mark Smith

Member of Technical Staff, Bell Labs

Mark Smith was born in Jamaica and moved to Brooklyn, NY when he was sixteen years old.  He went to George Wingate High School in Brooklyn for one semester before attending Brooklyn College where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science.  After Brooklyn College he attended MIT where he received Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees also in Computer Science. After MIT, he worked for two years at AT&T Labs Research, and then was a visiting scientist for one year at a research institute in Rennes, France.  He joined Bell Labs in August 2000, and is a member of technical staff in the Networking and Networks Research domain. At Bell Labs he has worked on IPTV monitoring, VoIP monitoring, always on gaming for 3G wireless, mobile content delivery, and Wi-Fi and IP routing optimization problems.


Joel Zwick

American Film , T elevision and Theater Director

Directed the Oscar-nominated comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding . Mr. Zwick began his theatrical career as the artistic director of The La Mama Plexus at La Mama E.T.C., and he has directed on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Broadway touring companies. Currently, Mr. Zwick is recognized as Hollywood's most prolific director of episodic television, with the direction of 525 episodes to his credit. These include the direction of 21 pilots which have gone on to become regular series. Television shows include Laverne & Shirley , Mork & Mindy , Bosom Buddies , Webster , Perfect Strangers , Full House , Step by Step , Family Matters , It's a Living , Brothers , Joanie Loves Chachie , Jamie Fox , Kirk , Parent Hood , Angie , On Our Own , Two of a Kind , Love Boat , Hangin' With Mr. Cooper , etc. Previous New York productions have included Dance With Me (Tony nomination), Shenandoah (Broadway national tour), Oklahoma! (national tour) and Cold Storage (American Place Theatre). He acted in the original NY production of MacBird . He directed Esther (Promenade Theatre, NY), Merry-Go-Round (Chicago and Las Vegas), Last Chance Saloon and Woycek (West End, London). Mr. Zwick has taught drama at Yale University, Brooklyn College, Queens College and Wheaton College. He is a graduate (B.A., M.A.) of Brooklyn College, and he currently contributes to the next generation of directors by teaching television direction at the University of Southern California.