Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Emily Soell,

Emily’s experience in advertising, direct marketing and creative communication spans over 40 years.  From the entry level position of junior copywriter at Rapp Collins, a subsidiary of Omnicom, she rose through the ranks to eventually be named Vice Chair/Chief Creative Officer of the agency.  In 1998 she left Rapp Collins for the same post at Draft, which is owned by Interpublic.

Emily’s career has been punctuated with awards and honors from almost every industry organization.  Among these are:

  • Golden Apple Award from the Direct Marketing Club of New York

  • The Irving Wunderman Lifetime Achievement Award – an honor given for an outstanding body of creative work in direct marketing

  • The Woman of the Year Award from Women’s Direct Marketing International

  • Direct Marketer of the Year from Target Marketing Magazine.

  • In 2000 she was elected to the Direct Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame – one of only 5 women to be so honored.

She is a sought-after speaker on the subjects of Marketing, Direct Marketing, Creative and Branding.  She has taught direct marketing creative at FIT and at NYU where she also contributed to the design of the Direct Marketing Degree Program. Emily has served as President of the Direct Marketing Creative Guild and as well as two terms on the board of the Direct Marketing Association. A native New Yorker, Emily received her BA from Cornell University and an MA from New York University.  She lives in New York City and Sharon Connecticut.

Jim Blumenfeld

James built a career as a senior marketing executive, with a dynamic management career and track record of success in Fortune 100, business start-up and non-profit environments.  He has conceptualized, spearheaded and supported marketing, branding, and communications programs that generated millions of dollars in revenues and expanded market share for leading brands within short time frames.

James specializes in strategic branding, marketing planning, communication strategies, new product development, competitive positioning and project management. James served as Chief Marketing Officer for a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ameritrade, Vice President of Marketing for Citibank’s virtual venture Citi-f/i, Director of Marketing for The Coca Cola Company in their Global Marketing Group and various marketing and new product positions with Nabisco and Ralston Purina. For the past 18 years, Jim has run his own marketing and business consulting firm called The WilMark Group based in Delray Beach Florida.

Ten years ago, James introduced the WilMark Group Foundation that provides the same breadth of services as The WilMark Group at deeply discounted prices for non-profit organizations. The Foundation has provided services to organizations focused on autism, education, equality, fighting AIDS, the fine arts and civic engagement.

James’s studies empowered a life-long appreciation and collection of the fine arts leading him to open the mAe Gallery in Delray Beach, Florida which he owned for nearly 3 years.

James has served on several non-profit boards including Childcare Learning Centers, Stamford, CT (Chair); The Hope & Help Center, Orlando, FL, The Board of Trustees for the Paragon School, Winter Park, FL (Chair) and Education Rocks, Delray Beach, FL. He has also served as the President of the Parent-Teacher Organization at his son’s school, The American Heritage School, also in Delray Beach.

James has a husband, a married daughter with three grandchild and a son in his late teens. He has a BA in Art History from the George Washington University in Washington, DC (1985) and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri (1989).

Jody Davies

Jody Messler Davies, Ph.D.:  Editor in Chief of Psychoanalytic Dialogues:  The International Journal of Relational Perspectives, from 1998-2008; Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis; Founding Vice President of the International Association for Relational Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis; Founding board member of the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies; Faculty member National Institute for the Psychotherapies, Massachusetts Institute of Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis.

Dr Davies is co-author of Treating the Adult Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse:  A Psychoanalytic Perspective.  She has authored over 50 peer reviewed articles on the subjects of trauma, dissociation, multiple self-state organization, negative therapeutic reaction, termination and analytic love.

Lee A. Davies

Lee Davies is Senior Strategic Counselor, Director of Media Strategy at Makovsky, one of the largest independent communications and public relations firms in New York, with recognized expertise in the healthcare and biomedical industries, At Makovsky, Lee oversees several health and wellness account teams, and is responsible for media strategy across the agency as well as executive coaching, presentation training, and crisis and issues management.

Lee previously served as Director of Global Media Relations and Product Communications for Merck.  Known for his careful understanding of science, his focus on national media, professional associations and patient advocacy groups has been instrumental in helping both reporters and advocates understand complex clinical issues. Lee’s 40+ years in health marketing communications encompass leadership positions within the biopharma sector and public relations industry. Lee began his public relations career as an early member of the Burson-Marsteller New York office healthcare practice, and later founded his own well-known medical education and healthcare public relations firm Davies & Murray.

Lee is a sought-after, engaging speaker at professional conferences, including presentations and panel discussions at the Public Relations Society of America Health Academy, and has been an invited lecturer at the New York University Graduate Program in Public Relations and the Columbia University Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health.  Lee also serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the Galien Foundation, whose mission is to serve as a vehicle for the open exchange of ideas that drive science and new innovations.

Lee received a BA in biology and English from Columbia College, New York, and an MBA in marketing management and information systems from the Wharton Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Frank Fitzmaurice

Frank Fitzmaurice has been managing broadcast facilities and producing television and radio programs for more than 35 years.

Most recently he has been Director of Technology Services at the American University School of Communication in Washington, DC. At AU he managed the technical staff and digital production facilities at one of the country’s leading schools of journalism, film studies, and public communication, working closely with the faculty and the administration on digital media issues and practices. He retired from his full-time position at AU in 2010 and continues to serve as a consultant to the School of Communication.

In 2009 he served as the Studio Director at The Teaching Company, an educational media publisher in Virginia. While there he helped to convert the studio operation to full digital HD and to install fully tapeless editing systems.

At WETA-TV from 2000 through 2008 he was General Manager of WETA’s Production Center, the broadcast home of the NewsHour. Washington Week, To The Contrary, and Foreign Exchange for PBS, as well as numerous local WETA productions. In 2007 he helped oversee the conversion of the studio and editing operations for the NewsHour to full digital HD.

From 1997 through 2000 he was Senior Producer and manager of the in-house TV studio facility at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2000 he served as a special consultant to HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo, producing and directing programming for national distribution.

As an independent television producer in Washington from 1983 through 1997, he produced programming for broadcast news organizations, major American and international corporations, the U.S. and foreign governments, and numerous trade associations and non-profit groups. His broadcast credits include senior producer for Hodding Carter’s Capitol Journal (PBS), producer of Hodding Carter’s essays for The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour (PBS), senior producer for The American Debate (PBS), managing producer for The McLaughlin Group (NBC/PBS), and senior Washington producer for The Monitor Channel.  He also served as Capitol Hill and White House producer/correspondent for Post-NeW8week Television Stations, for Tribune Broadcasting’s Independent Network News, and for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

He came to Washington in 1976 to join National Public Radio, where in 1979 he became the first executive producer of NPR’s Morning Edition. While at NPR he received the George Polk Award, the Overseas Press Club Award, and  two  Columbia Dupont Awards.

Before moving to Washington, he spent four years at Boston’s WGBH, where he was the host and producer of several news and talk shows for WGBH Radio. While a student at the University of Pennsylvania he began his public broadcasting career at Philadelphia ‘s WXPN (1966-1970) and WHYY (1966-1972).

Peter Grossman

Peter has had a career in International Banking working in the Philippines, Thailand, Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, and Italy.  He supervised the Latin American Region and International Private Banking at Bankers Trust Company and held similar positions at American Express Bank. He has long had an interest in emerging markets writing his graduate thesis at Columbia on French West Africa. The economics and politics of developing countries along with his background in political science have given him a broad perspective on the issues facing governments abroad and the challenges of creating functioning democracies.

Peter has been working with Civic Life for several years as he continues to support its efforts to spark civic engagement and voting by America’s youth. The current effort to establish a National Dialogue among America’s youth through the 2020 Film Challenge is the culmination of years of work to make civics and civic engagement and voting relevant through the compelling stories by Americans about the issues they care about.

Peter has a BA from Bowdoin College with a major in Political Science, an MA from the School of Public Law and Government at Columbia as well as an MBA from the Columbia Business School.

Betsy Vorce

Betsy Vorce brings extensive, multi-faceted senior management experience with leading cultural, media, and entertainment institutions in the non-profit and commercial sectors.

As Trinity Wall Street’s Chief Communications Officer, she oversaw strategic internal and external communications, media relations, marketing, and audience engagement initiatives, created and delivered on multiple platforms, for both the iconic 320-year old global institution and its substantial New York City real estate holdings.

Previously, Ms. Vorce served at Lincoln Center as Vice President of Public Relations and Senior Adviser. She oversaw internal and external public relations activities for its annual programs, strategic institutional projects including the multi-year $1.2 billion redevelopment initiative that transformed Lincoln Center’s campus, extensive education and community outreach, and content creation for digital and print publications. She also served as co-leader on digital strategic planning. As an Officer of the organization, she was involved in critical aspects of Lincoln Center’s operations and strategic planning. While Senior Adviser, Ms. Vorce consulted on cross-platform institutional branding, reputation management, and visual arts.

Civic Life Project and Youth Film Challenge