(2015 Top Webinar) Innovative Leadership: A CEO Roundtable Discussion


Editor' Note: In celebration of Women's Equality Day, August 26th, 2015, we're pleased to share the on-demand recording of this dynamic discussion, hosted by  Cathy Baron Tamraz, Chairwoman and CEO, Business Wire.



The world of strategic communications is evolving at an ever increasing speed.  In times of rapid innovation, it’s critical to have dynamic, purpose-driven leadership at the top of any successful organization.  In this exclusive event, Business Wire and CommPRO will bring together the communication industry's top professionals to share their insights and advice on:

  • Where the PR/Communication industry is headed
  • Instilling and showcasing a spirit of innovation in the workplace
  • The role of collaboration in the creative  environment
  • How to create a sense of purpose in your organization
  • The value of mentorship and training
  • Mastering the work-life balance

Hosted by Cathy Baron Tamraz, Chairwoman and CEO of Business Wire, this conversation on strategic leadership is sure to inspire and activate communications pros at any level to chart the course for the future of the communications industry.


Participants include...



Cathy Baron Tamraz, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of Business Wire,Cathy Baron Tamraz

Chairwoman and CEO, Business Wire

Cathy Baron Tamraz, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of Business Wire, oversees the company's long-term strategic planning, Internet strategy and global branding. She serves as chair of Business Wire's executive committee. Under her stewardship, the company has grown to be the leading global commercial news wire, significantly expanding into new markets, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada and Japan among others. Cathy was the main architect in selling Business Wire to Berkshire Hathaway in 2006. Her November 2005 letter to Warren Buffett detailing the synergies between the two firms resulted in the company being acquired.

With a pioneering background in corporate news disclosure, Cathy lead the newswire industry into providing equal access to material news for all market participants in 2000 as the Internet gained commercial traction. Regulatory authorities, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, have sought her input as they develop and refine disclosure rules. In 2000, Cathy was invited to meet with the SEC as they developed their landmark Regulation FD provisions. In 2008, she presented to the SEC's Advisory Committee (CIFiR) reviewing policies on the use of Internet technologies in the disclosure of market-moving material information.

Cathy was named a “Woman of Influence” by Bizwoman and the New York Business Journal in 2015, recognizing both her professional achievements as well her philanthropic work focused on education, mentorship and health services through organizations such as New York City’s “Behind the Book,” Girl’s Inc., St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Doctors Without Borders and Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind.

Prior to joining Business Wire, Cathy worked in the travel industry in Hawaii. She holds a master's degree from Stony Brook University. She participates in conferences and seminars in the investor relations and public relations industries and has published articles on financial disclosure and new technology.


Barri-Rafferty-headshotBarri Rafferty

CEO, Ketchum, North America

In her current role, Barri Friedman Rafferty leads Ketchum’s nine offices in North America as well as Ketchum Digital and Ketchum Sports and Entertainment (KSE).

In addition, she oversees the complementary businesses, Access Communications and Harrison & Shriftman. She is also part of the eight-member Worldwide Executive Committee, which focuses on guiding the strategy, client service and performance of the agency.

During her tenure at Ketchum, Rafferty has held several different roles to support the agency’s overall business goals, including overseeing the global brand marketing practice and running the New York, Atlanta and Dallas offices. She also oversaw specialty units such as digital, entertainment, sports, and multicultural.

Rafferty has a legacy of client service and continues to advise many of the agency’s largest clients, including Gillette, P&G, Frito-Lay, Weight Watchers, Ikea, Chase and Mattel. As a counselor, she specializes in integrated marketing, brand reputation and corporate reputation and has helped countless clients with award-winning campaigns, including “Tostitos Fiesta Bowl” for Frito Lay, Kodak’s Inkjet Launch and Maxwell House’s “Build a Home America”.

Outside of Ketchum, Rafferty participates in a number of groups, such as the sustainability taskforce for the World Economic Forum. Barri also sits on the board of StepUp, an organization with the mission of empowering girls from under-resourced communities to become confident, college-bound, and career focused. She is also active in the Public Relations Society of America New York Chapter and is a former chapter president. In 2012, she received the President’s Award for her many contributions.  In addition, she is a Capstone advisor and former adjunct professor in the Master’s program in public relations at New York University, as well as an advisory member of the Branding and Integrated Communications program for the City College of New York.

Rafferty has a passion for developing up-and-coming talent, and is particularly interested in the topic of women’s leadership. She is a member of the governing body of OmniWomen, Omnicom’s Leading Women’s Network, for which she holds quarterly panel discussions featuring prominent women within the marketing and communications industry who share their own experiences and offer advice to women.

Prior to Ketchum, Rafferty had a senior role at Lippe Taylor, where she worked on such prestigious brands as Maybelline, Matrix, Escada Beaute and J.F. Lazartigue. She also worked at Slim-Fast Foods Company, Burson-Marsteller and Cone Communications. She received a master’s degree in corporate communications from Boston University and an undergraduate degree in communications from Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University.


Jennefer-Witter-headshotJennefer Witter

Chief Executive Officer / Founder, The Boreland Group

Jennefer Witter is the CEO/Founder of The Boreland Group Inc., a certified woman-owned boutique public relations agency that focuses on corporate visibility. Witter was named one of the nation’s 10 most successful black CEOS and entrepreneurs by MadameNoire Magazine in 2013 (https://tinyurl.com/lzt5l6w). She is the author of the recently released “The Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Quick Tips to Get Your Small Business Noticed” (AMACOM, 2014).

A recognized voice on entrepreneurship, social media and public relations and a frequent presenter at numerous consumer, trade and academic venues, Witter is often quoted in many prestigious national media outlets including TheStreet.com, MarketWatch Radio, The Associated Press and The Huffington Post. She recently co-launched a webinar series – “Kristensen Witter Webinars: Business-Building Seminars for Entrepreneurs, by Entrepreneurs” – that focuses on proving entrepreneurs nuts-and- bolts information that they can readily implement into their business models.

The Boreland Group is headquartered in New York City, with a presence in the Washington, DC-area. The 12 year old firm was named one of “5 Black-Owned Businesses Making a Buzz” nationally by The Street.com in 2012 (https://tinyurl.com/b2njvo5). The agency produces customized public relations campaigns that raise its clients’ visibility to their specific target audiences. Individual business coaching services are also available.

For more information on Witter and The Boreland Group, visit www.theborelandgroup.com. Follow Witter on Twitter: @JenneferTBG.


Stacey-Cohen-headshotStacey Cohen

CEO, Co-Communications

Stacey Cohen founded Co-Communications, Inc. in 1997, an award-winning full service marketing and public relations firm with offices in Westchester County, NY, Farmington, CT and midtown Manhattan. Stacey began her career at Marsteller Inc. (a division of Young & Rubicam), where she was responsible for expanding the corporate communications program for advertising executives. She then held senior positions in both public relations and marketing over a six-year period at CBS/FOX Video, then the world’s largest home video company.

Under Stacey’s leadership, Co-Communications has been awarded the  Advertising Club’s "Best of Show" (2002, 2010, 2012) sponsored by Gannett/The Journal News, Forbes Enterprise Award (2006), and was inducted into the Westchester County Business Hall of Fame (2008).

She was recently named PRSA Practitioner of the Year (2013) in recognition of her professional achievements, experience, and reputation in the profession.  She chairs the Business Council of Westchester’s Marketing and Communications Council and currently serves on the board of The Business Council of Westchester and United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council. Previous board positions include Association for Women in Communications and The Volunteer Center. Stacey speaks often at industry conferences and has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, Crain’s, Sales & Marketing and other leading national publications. She holds a B.S. from Syracuse University, MBA from Fordham University and is currently enrolled in a certificate program at NYU Leonard Stern School of Business.

Patrice.featured.imagePatrice Tanaka

Co-founder, Chief Counselor and Creative Strategist, PadillaCRT

Patrice is a serial entrepreneur, co-founding her third PR & marketing agency, PadillaCRT, last September to create the “largest, employee-owned PR agency” and the “15th largest, independent PR agency” in the U.S.

Her agencies have been recognized as the “Best Agency to Work for in America,” “Most Admired Mid-Size PR Agency in the U.S.” and “#1 Most Creative PR Agency in America,” among other accolades.

PadillaCRT’s purpose is to help clients articulate and achieve their purpose.  The agency serves clients in wide-ranging categories, spanning food and beverage, consumer goods and services, healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, technology, agriculture and the non-profit sector.  Clients includes Allianz, Barnes & Noble College, BASF, Bridgestone, Cargill, CarMax, Girl Scouts of the USA, Hass Avocado Board, Land O’Lakes, Merck, Rockwell Automation, RTI Surgical, SAP, United Healthcare, U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, Wines from Rioja (Spain), among others.  PadillaCRT also offers a full complement of specialized capabilities, including PR & social media, branding, marketing, advertising, design, digital, database marketing, sponsorships and events, trade support, research, crisis management, among others.

Patrice has been honored by many PR & marketing organizations, including PRSA with its “Paul M. Lund Award for Public Service,” The Holmes Group with its “Creativity All-Star” Award and New York Women in Communications with its “Matrix Award.”  She devotes much of her free time to serving on the boards of non-profit organizations dedicated to helping women and children. Patrice is also a competitive ballroom dancer and the author of Becoming Ginger Rogers…How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, a Better Partner and a Smarter CEO, published in September 2011 by BenBella Books.


Sabrina HornSabrina Horn

CEO, The Horn Group

Sabrina Horn is the founder, president and CEO of the Horn Group, Inc., a digital-communications agency that combines public relations, social and interactive services to help companies in the technology, digital media and consumer markets. She started the Horn Group in 1991 with the vision to build a communications agency that would break new ground in technology markets, employment practices and client service. Today she continues to guide the firm¹s evergreen mission and values, overseeing operations, business strategy and development, and providing counsel to clients.

Sabrina is the only child of two German immigrants; her father earned 48 US patents including inventing the formula for Lycra, her mother the inventor of the glue used to bind books. Instead of choosing science, she chose the communicative route, and with her company, she has put hundreds of hot start ups on the map and helped big brands needing to reinvent themselves in enterprise software, digital media and consumer including PeopleSoft, RightMedia, ServiceNow and Forbes.

She has served as a Board Member on the Council of PR Firms and the Software Industry Information Association. She has authored several research papers including "Public Relations for Emerging Growth Technology Companies" and "Advertising in the People’s Republic of China”.  Sabrina has received accolades for Best U.S. Employer from Working Woman (now Working Mother) and has been consistently recognized by PR Week, Holmes Report and Inside PR as one of the PR industry¹s most successful entrepreneurs and innovators.


Sandra-Fathi-headshotSandra Fathi

President / Founder, Affect

An ardent entrepreneur, Sandra Fathi has spent the last 20 years helping technology, healthcare and professional services companies achieve their communications goals. As President and Founder of Affect, a public relations, marketing and social media agency, Sandra has successfully led the company with consistent growth since the agency's inception in 2002.

Prior to founding Affect, Sandra worked at a number of leading technology firms and one of the top global PR agencies. Her clients have included Apple, EDS, Ericsson, Nokia and Microsoft, as well as innovative start-up companies.

Sandra is also active in the communications industry and professional community by serving as the past Chair of PRSA’s Tri-State District, former President of PRSA-NY, and as an active member of the PR Council. Her expert commentary has appeared in business and industry publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc., Huffington Post and U.S. News & World Report.  Adding to her accolades, Sandra is recognized as one of PRNews' Top Women in PR, a PRNews PR Professional of the Year finalist, and a Bulldog PR Agency Professional of the Year.





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