Schering-Plough Executive Lectures - 2009


 Next Steps . . . Where Do We Go From Here?

Offered by the MA in Corporate and Organizational Communication

Fairleigh Dickinson University

All Lectures Held from 9:00am – 1:00pm


All questions about the 2009 Schering-Plough Executive Lectures Series can be directed to the Master of Arts in Corporate & Organizational Communication Program Office at 973-443-8473 or by writing to

The Schering-Plough Executive Lecture Series offers a forum in which corporate communication professionals, communication scholars, journalists, and other guest lecturers, talk about a wide range of topics connected with corporate and organizational communication.

The series is sponsored by an endowment given to Fairleigh Dickinson University from the Schering-Plough Corporation. During the course of the lectures, students are given a unique opportunity to listen to and interact with some of the leading figures in their respective fields.

The theme of the Spring 2009 Executive Lectures series is “Next Steps… Where do we go from here?” As most Americans know, change has been the buzzword of this past year. Well, the changes are here. We’re welcoming the 44th President of the United States who also happens to be our first African-American President. We’re currently faced with some of the toughest economic times since (as some economists would suggest) the 1940’s, and we’ve finally come to realize that all of the environmental resources we’ve relied on for these last several hundred years may finally be running out. So what’s next? And what does this mean for the modern Corporate Communicator?  What do OUR next steps need to be now that all of this change has arrived?


Schedule of Speakers


January 31

How to Reach and Engage Today's Tough Audiencess
Alison Davis
CEO and Founder, Davis and Company

The Trophy Kids Grow Up
Ron Alsop
Author, Lomg-Time Writer and Editor, The Wall Street Journal 


February 7

The Uneasy Alliance: Working with the Media
Brian Lewis
Executive Vice-President, Corporate Communications, Fox Television Channels

The Water Cooler Goes to Cyberspace: Internal Communications in a Digital World
Courtney Barnes

Editor, PR News


February 14

The Growing Relevance of Investor Relations (in a Turbulent World)
Mark Aaron
Senior Vice-President of Investor Relations, Tiffany and Company

Explaining, Forwarding, Rejecting, Framing: From the Facilitator's Toolkit
Dr. Phillip Glenn

Professor, Emerson College


February 21

Becoming a Trusted Advisor: The Seven Disciplines
James Lukaszewski

Principal, The Lukaszewski Group

The Anatomy of a Crisis: How to Manage High-Stakes Communications When a Top Brand is at Risk
Gene Grabowski
Senior Vice-President, Levick Strategic Communications


February 28

The Changing Role of the Communicator in a Smaller, Flatter, and Smarter World
Jon Iwata
Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Communications, IBM Corporation

The Ties that Bind
Dr. Karen Stephenson
Corporate Anthropologist, Social Network Business Consultant, CEO, NetForm International, Inc


March 7

How Communicators are Well Positioned to be Exectuive Leaders
Christoper D'Marco
Exectuive Vice-President, Change and Response Strategies, Global Crossing

Michael Schneider
Directorof Media Relations, Global Crossing 


March 14

Liz Kaplow
President and CEO, Kaplow Communications

Michael Chapman
Editor, AdWeek


Presenter Bios (in alphabetical order)

Mark Aaron, Senior Vice-President of Investor Relations, Tiffany & Company

Mark L. Aaron is Vice President - Investor Relations for Tiffany & Co., the internationally renowned jeweler. In this position, he is the liaison between Tiffany and security analysts, institutional and individual shareholders, and the financial media. Mr. Aaron joined Tiffany in 1985 as the Manager of Financial Analysis. In 1987, he became Director of Investor Relations and played an active role in Tiffany's initial public offering of its common stock, developing and implementing the company's first investor relations program.  Mr. Aaron was promoted to vice president in 1992. In 2004, Investor Relations Magazine honored Mr. Aaron with its Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contributions toward advancing the profession. He is past chairman of the Board of Directors (2003-2004) of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI). Mr. Aaron and Tiffany have received Investor Relations Magazine Awards for “Grand Prix - Best Investor Relations Program,” “Best Investor Relations Officer” and “Best Annual Report” for a mid-cap company.  He has frequently addressed professional groups, university students and the financial media in order to enhance awareness of the growing role and importance of effective disclosure and investor communications. Mr. Aaron earned a BA degree in economics at Alfred University and an MBA degree in finance at Boston University.


Ron Alsop, Author, longtime writer and editor, The Wall Street Journal

Ron Alsop is the author of the new book The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaking Up the Workplace. His other books include The Wall Street Journal Guide to the Top Business Schools and The 18 Immutable Laws of Corporate Reputation: Creating, Protecting, and Repairing Your Most Valuable Asset. A longtime writer and editor for The Wall Street Journal, he served as marketing columnist and editor of the Journal’s Marketplace page and its annual rankings of M.B.A. programs and corporate reputation. He is currently a freelance writer and editor, as well as a public speaker and consultant on the millennial generation, corporate reputation, social and environmental responsibility, business education trends, and career development. He lectures frequently at leading universities and business schools such as Wharton, Berkeley, Tuck, Darden, Carnegie Mellon, and New York University. He also addresses international conferences on corporate reputation and business education, and he has advised such companies as FedEx, Dell, Dun & Bradstreet, Fujifilm, and State Farm Insurance on millennial generation, reputation, and branding issues. A graduate of Indiana University, he lives in Summit, New Jersey. You can learn more about Ron’s background and expertise at his Web site,


Courtney M. Barnes, Editor, PR News

Courtney M. Barnes is the Editor of PR News, where she manages editorial content and writes on corporate communications and public relations, with particular expertise digital communications, integration and leadership/management issues. She also edited the PR News 100 Top Case Studies Guidebook, the Digital PR Guidebook and the Best Practices in PR Measurement Guidebook. In addition to her writing and editing responsibilities, Barnes moderates PR News Webinars and speaks at industry events. In 2007, Barnes was the co-editor of PR News’ sister publication min magazine, which is an annual publication that highlights the 21 Most Intriguing people in the publishing industry. She also contributed to a feature for the May 2008 edition of Journal of Business Strategy on the connection between customer loyalty and employee engagement. She is currently co-writing a book on digital communications’ platforms and their influence on corporate brands and reputation, which will be published by McGraw-Hill in the spring of 2009. Prior to joining PR News as Editor, Barnes was an associate with Communications Consulting Worldwide, a measurement-based consultancy affiliated with Fleishman-Hillard. She has also worked for Condé Nast Traveler and Washingtonian magazines. Barnes graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism with a B.S. in journalism and a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies.


Mike Chapman, Editor, Ad Week

Mike Chapman joined Adweek as editor in May 2008. Prior to that he was editorial director at research firm eMarketer. For 16 years before that he worked at The Economist, spending eight years as editor-in-chief in the electronic publishing division of the Economist Intelligence Unit. He has spoken and at many industry events and moderated panels including “Advertising in the Digital Age” at Advertising week 2008, as well as “The Future of Advertising” at the Digital Hollywood conference in Los Angeles and “B-to-B Meets Advertising in an Economic Downturn” for American Business Media in New York.


Alison Davis, CEO, Davis & Company

Alison Davis is the founder and CEO of Davis & Company, the award-winning communication firm that helps companies reach, engage and motivate their employees.  Alison sets the strategic direction for her firm, and provides senior counsel to such clients as The Bank of New York Mellon, CIT, Hewlett-Packard, IKEA, MasterCard, Merck and Wyeth. A sought-after speaker on communication issues, Alison has appeared at such organizations as The Arthur W. Page Society, The Conference Board, International Association of Business Communicators and the Society for Human Resource Management.  Alison is co-author of the book, Your Attention, Please (Adams Business, 2006), and a weekly web log, “Insights,” at She is a former online columnist for The New York Times.  A former president and current member of the Council of Communication Management, an organization of 300 leading corporate communication professionals in North America, Alison is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators and Public Relations Society of America. She earned her B.A. from Douglass College, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.


Christopher D’Marco, Executive Vice President, Change & Response Strategies, LLC.

Christopher D’Marco is the Executive Vice President of Change & Response Strategies, LLC, management consulting firm that helps organizations meet their business objectives through assisting them in clarifying their company vision, strengthening their strategic plan  and competitive advantage, developing their staff and improving their business processes and overall infrastructure. Christopher is an organizational development expert with an emphasis on leadership, change, team development, cultural transformation, turnaround management and continuous innovation. Christopher provides consulting/training in organization development, strategic planning, change management, marketing/sales, project management, leadership, management and supervisory development, essential/advanced customer services, conflict management, business process improvement, continuous innovation, recruitment and performance management, meeting facilitation, team development/motivation, coaching, instructional design, professional development and personal marketing. He is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, Organization Development Network, Newark Regional Business Partnership, American Society of Training and Development and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. Christopher has previously spoken at Bergen Community College, Commerce & Industry Association of New Jersey, New Jersey College Consortium, Widener University, Wagner College, United Jewish Organization, Newark Regional Business Partnership and Jewish Vocational Services. He has certificates from Cornell University, the American Management Association, The Foundation Center, The Pacific Institute, Achieve Global, Lee Hecht Harrison and Montclair State University and has a Bachelor of Arts, Applied Sociology Degree with a minor in Psychology.


Phillip Glenn , Professor of Communication Studies, Emerson College, Boston, MA

Phillip Glenn’s scholarly interests concern interaction in organizational and interpersonal contexts, especially negotiation, mediation, conflict, interviewing, and laughter. His book Laughter in Interaction (Cambridge University Press, 2003) received the Outstanding Scholarly Publication Award from the Language and Social Interaction Division of the National Communication Association. He co-edited Studies in Language and Social Interaction (Erlbaum, 2003), and serves on the editorial board of Research on Language and Social Interaction. His courses at Emerson include Conflict and Negotiation, Negotiation and Group Process, Organizational Communication Theory, and The Laughing Body. A certified mediator, he is associated with Metropolitan Mediation Services in Brookline. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Program on Negotiation in 2008 and held Fulbright Scholar appointments in the Czech Republic (1995) and the Republic of Moldova (2005). He has served four terms as department chair at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Emerson College. Prior to earning his doctorate at UT Austin in 1987, Phillip worked in arts management with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas.


Gene Grabowski, Senior Vice President, Levick Strategic Communications

One of the nation’s leading experts on product recalls and food crises, Gene Grabowski, Senior Vice President of Levick Strategic Communications, was named Crisis Counselor of the Year in 2007 by PRNews. In 2007 alone, he handled the pet food, spinach, and toy recalls. He has probably handled more food recalls than any other communications professional in the world. He is also the strategist who has spearheaded the Guantanamo Bay campaign for the past four years. Before joining Levick, Gene was Vice President of Communications and Marketing at The Grocery Manufacturers of America, the world’s largest food trade group. He was also Director of Media Relations for the American Council of Life Insurers and a White House and Congressional Reporter for The Associated Press.


Jon Iwata, Senior Vice-President, Marketing & Communications, IBM Corporation

Jon Iwata leads IBM’s marketing, communications and citizenship organization. This global team manages an integrated system that encompasses market insights, demand generation for IBM products and services, communications and corporate affairs, workforce enablement, and stewardship of the IBM brand, recognized as one of the most valuable in the world. Jon is a member of the IBM Operating Team, responsible for day-to-day marketplace execution, and the IBM Strategy Team, which focuses on long-term issues and opportunities. He is vice chairman of the IBM International Foundation. Jon reports to IBM Chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano. Jon joined the communications function of IBM in 1984 at the company’s Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley. In 1989, he joined IBM corporate headquarters in Armonk, New York, and held a variety of communications positions. He was appointed vice president of corporate communications in 1995 and became senior vice president, communications, on January 1, 2002. He assumed his current role on July 1, 2008. From 2006-2007, he served as Chairman of The Seminar, a professional group consisting of chief communications officers of major corporations and institutions. He is a trustee of the Arthur W. Page Society. Jon is the co-inventor of a U.S. patent for advanced semiconductor lithography technology. He holds a B.A. from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, San Jose State University.


Liz Kaplow, President and CEO, Kaplow Communications

Liz Kaplow founded Kaplow Communications in 1991 after an extensive career in beauty, fashion, consumer health and lifestyle public relations. With her trademark approach to the client-agency relationship and her hands-on involvement in every campaign, Liz has built Kaplow into one of the top mid-size PR agencies in the country.

Under Liz's leadership, Kaplow has developed a national reputation for implementing original strategies that go beyond traditional public relations for category-leading clients including Avon mark, Alberto Culver, eBay, LeapFrog, Shiseido, Target, and Timex. Beyond exceptional client service, Liz has created an empowering work environment where team building and employee growth are paramount.

Liz partners with clients to shepherd PR campaigns that meet and exceed client objectives while capturing the attention of the media and consumers. Liz's outstanding rapport with top journalists and producers has helped the firm earn unprecedented national coverage for its clients. The agency has received many awards and honors, including "Small Agency of the Year" by the Holmes Report, which noted the agency's specialty as "building brands and driving sales, not just publicity." Target Stores named Kaplow "Vendor of the Year" three consecutive years for their work with Target's home categories and design partners and Alberto-Culver awarded the agency best "Public Relations Strategy" in 2005. An honors graduate of Vassar College, Liz received a graduate degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW).


Brian Lewis, Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications, Fox Television Stations         

Brian Lewis was named Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications for FOX Television Stations, Twentieth Television and FOX News in April 2006. In this position, Lewis oversees all corporate communications and public relations functions for the television and online divisions of the FOX Television Stations, MYNet TV, Twentieth Television syndication, as well as the television, radio and online sectors of FOX News and FOX Business News. Additionally, Lewis serves as a Senior Advisor to Roger Ailes, Chairman of FOX Television Stations and Chief Executive Officer of FOX News. Lewis joined FOX News in April 1996 as Vice President, Media Relations and was promoted to Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications in December 2000. At FOX News, Lewis was responsible for raising the awareness and strategic positioning of the news division; creating and implementing crisis management plans; and interacting with parent company, News Corp., to ensure a cohesive corporate message. His accomplishments included launching the FOX News Channel (FNC) overwhelming consumer awareness; creating and implementing successful campaigns favorably positioning FNC against competing networks & corporations; and handling all crisis situations that threatened the network. Lewis was also responsible for creating and implementing the media campaign for the FOX Business Network (FBN), which launched to unprecedented media awareness on October 15, 2007.  Selected by PR Week as one of the twenty five “Most Powerful Public Relations Professionals”, Lewis oversees a staff of professionals in New York City and Washington, DC. He is responsible for managing a multi-million dollar budget and reports directly to Roger Ailes. In addition to being responsible for all external communication, Lewis is also involved in the marketing and advertising for the stations and FOX News. Prior to joining FOX, Lewis spent five years at CNBC as Vice President, Media Relations and Corporate Communications. At CNBC, he created and implemented a public relations campaign that helped triple ratings and firmly established the network as the leading provider of business news. In addition to his duties at CNBC, he handled the public relations for the launch of America’s Talking (now MSNBC). He was previously Director of Media Relations & Corporate Communications for the Financial News Network (FNN), and was one of only 38 FNN employees retained by CNBC following the merger of the two networks. Lewis formerly held public relations and marketing positions at Wishner Communications and Howard J. Rubenstein Associates. He graduated from St. John’s University and earned his Master of Arts Degree in organizational communications from Fairleigh Dickinson University. A frequent lecturer on various public relations topics, Lewis has taught at the Fordham Graduate School of Business and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Graduate School at Fairleigh Dickinson University.   In addition, Lewis serves on the advisory boards for the Corporate Communication International Forum at Baruch College/CUNY and the Corporate and Organizational Communication Board of Corporate Advisors at Fairleigh Dickinson University.


James Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Principal, The Lukaszewski Group

James E. Lukaszewski advises, coaches, and counsels the men and women who run very large corporations and organizations through extraordinary problems and critical high-profile circumstances. The bulk of his practice is in the Western Hemisphere, although he has clients from many parts of the world. He is an expert in managing and reducing contention, counteracting tough, touchy, sensitive corporate communications issues. He counsels companies facing serious internal and external problems involving: activist counteraction; community conflict and grassroots campaigns; corporate relations failures; reputational threats; employee relationship building; ethics/integrity/compliance; litigation visibility; Web-based attacks; and threats to corporate survival. His broad-based experience ranges from media-initiated investigations to product recalls and plant closings, from criminal litigation to takeovers. He is frequently retained by senior management to directly intervene and manage the resolution of corporate problems and bad news. The situations he helps resolve often involve conflict, controversy, community action or activist opposition. Almost half of his practice involves civil and criminal litigation. He is a teacher, thinker, coach, and trusted advisor with the unique ability to help executives look at problems from a variety of sensible, constructive, principled perspectives.


Dr. Karen Stephenson, Corporate anthropologist, Social-network Business Consultant, CEO, NetForm International, Inc.

Dr. Karen Stephenson, hailed in Business 2.0 as “The Organization Woman”, is a corporate anthropologist and lauded as a pioneer and “leader in the growing field of social-network business consultants.” In 2007, she was one of only three females recognized from a distinguished short list of 55 in Random House’s Guide to the Management Gurus. In 2006, she was awarded the first Houghton Hepburn Fellow at Bryn Mawr College for her groundbreaking contributions to civic engagement. In 2001, her consulting firm Netform was recognized as one of the top 100 leading innovation companies by CIO. Her prominence catapulted in 2000 when she was featured in a New Yorker article by Malcolm Gladwell, regarding the social dynamics of office spaces. Even before these accolades, Stephenson had earned praises for innovatively solving a variety of complex problems which have been featured in The Economist, Forbes, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and Wired. Drawing upon her prolific experience and 400 member database, Dr. Stephenson consistently delivers that “aha’ moment to her clients and audiences.