Schering-Plough Executive Lectures - 2012


Going Social! Social Media, Social Business, Social Marketing, Social Communication: Exploring the Implications for Today's Communication Practitioners, Scholars, and Consultants


Offered by the MA in Corporate and Organizational Communication

Fairleigh Dickinson University

January 28 - March 10, 2012


All Lectures Held on Saturdays from 9:00am - 1:00pm (unless otherwise noted) in Hartman Lounge, The Mansion (Hennessy Hall)


All questions about the 2012 Schering-Plough Executive Lecture Series should be directed to the Master of Arts in Corporate & Organizational Communication Program Office at or 973-443-8473.

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. 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 2012 Executive Lectures series is: "Going social! Social Media, social business, social marketing, social communication: Exploring the implications for today's communication practitioners, scholars, and consultants."

It’s safe to say that “social media” has secured its place on the business landscape and as a vital tool in the corporate communicator’s toolbox. Social media has, in numerous ways, changed the kinds of relationships that customers can now have with brands. It’s also worth noting that the definition of social media -- and it’s counterparts of social business, social marketing, and social communication – remain elusive, tricky to manage, and difficult to measure, especially in terms of return on investment. This year’s series will explore all things SOCIAL. From the success stories to the flops, and everything in between, including the decision to not go social at all. We’ll hear from practitioners, scholars, and consultants who all have something to save about the trend toward “Going social.”


January 28

Shannon Morris
President and Partner, Sigma Group
"Teaching an Old Brand New Tricks with Social Media Marketing"

Alysa Lew
Vice President, Corporate Communication, Madison Square Garden
"Internal Communications: Reaching Your Most Important Audience"


February 4

Torod Neptune
Corporate Vice President, Communications, Verizon Communications, Inc.
"Verizon: A Business Transformation Story"

Ron Rogers
Lead - Corporate Media Relations, Financial Communications, Litigation Communications and Corporate Social Media, Merck
"Global Media Relations Overview at Merck"

Heather Collins
Community Manager for the Corporate Social Media Channels, Merck
"Social Media in a Regulated Envrionment"


Bonus Session: Thursday, February 9, at 6:30pm

Tara Carraro
Director of Corporate Communications, Heineken USA
"Being Part of the Conversation: How to Effectively Use Social Media to Engage Your Consumers in a Conversation About Your Brand"


February 11

Jill Vitiello
Founder and President, Vitiello Communications Group
"Engaging Employees Through Social Media: What Leaders Need to Know Now"

Eli Amdur
Senior Coach and Advisor, Amdur Coaching and Advisory Group
"What's So Social About Social Media?"


February 18

Susan Ascher
Founder, President, and CEO, The Ascher Group
"Dude, Seriously, It's NOT All About You!"

Lon Safko
Social Media Strategist and Author of The Social Media Bible
"Social Media: The BIG Picture"


Bonus Session: Thursday, February 23rd, at 6:30pm

Rick Wion
Director of Social Media, McDonald's USA
"Lovers and Haters: Dealing with Passionate Fans and Staunch Critics in the New Communications Age"


February 25

Morgan Baden
Director, Social Media and Internal Communications, Scholastic Inc
"Twitter or Facebook? Tumblr or Ning? How Scholastic Chooses Platforms"

Valerie Haertel
Vice-President of Investor Relations, Medco Health Solutions
"Social Media in Investor Relations: New Media, New Challenges"


March 3

Wayne Catan
Vice President, Director, Sports and Entertainment Practice, Coyne Public Relations
Brian Murphy
Vice President, Toys and Juvenile Practice, Coyne Public Relations
"The Evolving PR Landscape"

Lee Rainie
Director, Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project
"Networked Communication: It's the Norm, Not an Option"


March 10

Bob DeFillippo
Chief Communications Officer, Prudential Financial, Inc.
"Communicating During the Financial Crisis and the Role Social Media Played in the Strategy"

Laura Iandiorio
Manager of Marketing and Communications, United Way of Northern New Jersey
"Communication Strategies to Engage the Community . . . to LIVE UNITED"


Speaker Bio-Sketches

Eli Amdur
SeniorCoach and Advisor, Amdur Coaching and Advisory Group

With more than 35 years’ national and international business experience, Eli Amdur works in both the corporate and academic worlds. As Senior Coach and Advisor at Amdur Coaching and Advisory Group, LLC, Eli concentrates on two major areas. He analyzes – and writes and speaks on – workplace and job market issues, and has authored the weekly Career Coach column for major newspapers around the US since 2003. He is – in his own words – “frantically busy on the speaker circuit,” addressing varied audiences, from colleges and universities to professional networking groups to industry associations to corporate leadership teams. Eli also advises corporate leaders, and has led engagements with clients in 20 industries on matters of leadership assessment and development, organizational culture, executive coaching, team building, creative thinking, effective communication, and synergistic decision making. Eli and his team offer integrated development programs, seminars, retreats, workshops, simulations and one-on-one executive coaching that expose leaders to new ways of thinking and acting. At Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he recently was honored as “Faculty Member of the Year,” he is Adjunct Professor of two graduate leadership courses: Executive Communication as a Leadership Tool and Creativity, Change, and the 21st Century Leader (a course he conceived and designed). He is also faculty advisor to two student organizations.


Susan P. Ascher
CEO, The Ascher Group

Susan P. Ascher is President and CEO of The Ascher Group, a national consulting firm, and Founder of The Sphere of Excellence in Communications whose programs have helped countless corporations and individuals raise the bar in communications, teamwork, and customer service. Her programs range in scope from effective writing and speaking to protocol awareness. Her book Dude, Seriously, It’s Not All About You!, is a humorous rant on how communications and protocol have forever changed how we connect and interact in the New Millennium. From netiquette to filters, to the simple Please, Thank you, and I’m sorry, Susan addresses how we can differentiate ourselves in the 24/7 nanosecond world we are living in. A sought after national media resource, Susan has been interviewed on Bloomberg, ABC, NBC,CNBC, News 12 and My9TVand is afrequent commentator on TV 8 in Vail, Colorado. Susan presents workshops at universities throughout the country such as Colorado Mountain College, William Paterson University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. She has been published in Forbes, Crain’s New York Business, The Star-Ledger, NJBIZ and New Jersey & Company . Susan’s most recent award was being honored as one of the Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs in the State of New Jersey.


Morgan Baden
Director, Social Media and Internal Communications, Scholastic

Morgan Baden is the Social Media and Internal Communications Director at Scholastic. She directs the corporate social media strategy for multiple accounts across all divisions, attracting more than a million highly engaged social media followers to date. She also guides corporate strategic expansion onto emerging platforms such as Pinterest and is responsible for training employees on social media best practices. Ms. Baden plans the editorial calendar and oversees the writing and editing or Scholastic¹s award-winning corporate blog, On Our Minds @Scholastic, and writes daily content for the Intranet and other Company communications vehicles. Before joining Scholastic in 2007, she worked in Corporate Communications at Reuters. She is also an advisory board member of the nonprofit Girls Write Now and an author of teen fiction.


Tara Carraro
Senior Director, Corporate Communications, Heineken USA

Tara Carraro currently serves as the Senior Director, Corporate Communications for Heineken USA. In this capacity, she is responsible for developing internal and external communications strategies and programs, reputation management, crisis preparedness, consumer affairs and executive communication. Prior to joining Heineken USA, she served as Director, External Communications for Altria Corporate Services, Inc. In this role, she was responsible for developing external communications strategies and plans, along with the execution of both the paid and earned components. Ms. Carraro was also responsible for the development and day-to-day management of programs and strategies to enhance the reputation of Altria Group, Inc. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Carraro served as Director, Corporate Identity and was responsible for building and enhancing the reputation of Altria Group as well as continuing to build equity in the Altria name. Previously, Ms. Carraro served as Manager, Corporate Communications, and was responsible for the development and execution of and corporate identity advertising. Ms. Carraro also held the position of Manager, Communications Services, in which she created and directed the executive outreach program. Prior to joining Altria Corporate Services, Ms. Carraro spent nearly six years at Philip Morris USA, where she managed all communications aspects of the company's marketing and sales initiatives. Before joining Philip Morris USA, Ms. Carraro spent four years in the Public Affairs Department at Pepsi-Cola International in Somers, New York. At Pepsi, Ms. Carraro provided counsel and support for the company’s music-marketing efforts. Ms. Carraro holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. She lives in Somers, NY with her husband and son.


Wayne Catan
Vice President, Director, Sports and Entertainment Practice, Coyne Public Relations

For nearly eleven years Wayne ran a PR firm where he represented numerous blue-chip clients including Quokka Sports ( and,, Airwalk, Stairmaster, USA Wrestling, USA Boxing, and CytoSport, maker of Muscle Milk and Cytomax. For his accomplishments at Catan Communications, Wayne received PRWeek’s Solo Practitioner of the Year award in 2001. He was also featured as a case study in the textbook: Public Relations: A Values-Driven Approach. He finished as runner-up at the 2004 PR News Awards in the category of Media Professional of the Year. Most recently, Catan won the Dellinger Award, presented to the nation’s top amateur wrestling writer. Wayne started his career at Manning Selvage & Lee in New York City and stayed in New York for 10 years managing clients such as Reebok, Nikon, and Visa International. He has penned book reviews for The New York Times and music reviews for Cover Magazine. At Coyne Public Relations, Wayne spearheaded the media relations efforts for the Silver Anvil Award- winning initiative--Freewheelin--a bike sharing program offered by Humana at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Wayne handle’s the agency’s PepsiCo account and was at the helm of Mountain Dew’s creative initiative, the Green Label Art: Shop Series, a nationwide contest where 35 skate shops across America competed to have their design featured on a nationally distributed Mountain Dew can in 2011. In addition, he spearheaded AMP Energy’s 2010 Winter Olympic Games campaign, where the company activated media efforts for multiple-time Olympic medalist Hannah Teter. He has worked with athletes in a variety of sports including those affiliated with the NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS, and countless Olympic sports. Wayne is a graduate of Syracuse University, with a Bachelor of Science in communications. He was a three-time NCAA All-American wrestler for the Orangemen. He lives in N.J. with his wife Jessica, daughter Francesca, son Nico, and two dogs--Maggie and Rocco.


Heather Collins
Corporate Social Media Community Manager, Merck

Heather Collins is the Corporate Social Media Community Manager at Merck. In this role, Heather is responsible for Merck's social media strategy and implementation. She serves as Merck's external corporate voice across online social networks, coordinating with multiple departments throughout the company, helping to achieve reputation goals and assuring alignment with Merck's global corporate messaging and branding. Since taking on this role in September 2011, Heather has successfully launched Merck's corporate presence on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Prior to her current role, Heather was responsible for global communications for Gardasil at Merck where she developed social media campaigns for disease awareness, including patient videos featured on YouTube, and developed the first global media portal within product communications to support pivotal meetings and key stakeholder engagement. Additional contributions included serving as the on-site communications lead for Bhutan's national vaccination program, piloting several global product communications workshops in Asia Pacific, and participation in a global communications pilot program where she was based in Ireland and lead product communications efforts and helped to develop a mobile symptom-tracker application. Heather has more than 12 years of public relations experience, and before joining Merck in 2008 she served in communications and marketing leadership roles at The American Cancer Society and The Fox School of Business and Management. Heather has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.


Robert DeFillippo
Chief Communications Officer, Prudential Financial

As head of Global Communications, DeFillippo is responsible for developing and implementing integrated public relations strategies, including media relations, event marketing and internal communications, for Prudential. He serves as the company spokesperson, coordinates the company's crisis communications and directs Prudential's communications activities in more than 30 countries. Prior to joining Prudential in 1994, DeFillippo served as Director of Public Affairs for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), leading the association's media relations, speech writing, advocacy advertising and community outreach. He served as press secretary to U.S. Rep. Hamilton Fish Jr., and spent 10 years as an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. He is on the boards of the PRSA Foundation and the Arthur W. Page Society, and has been co-chair of the National Press Foundation Awards Dinner for the past three years. He also serves on the Leadership Council for the Committee to Protect Journalists.


Valerie C. Haertel
Vice President, Investor Relations, Medco Health Solutions, Inc.

As Valerie Haertel joined Medco as Vice President of Investor Relations in October 2006.  She is responsible for the strategy and execution of the global investor relations program that includes maintaining and developing relationships with institutional investors and sell-side analysts, and management/board reporting.  She is a member of the Disclosure Committee. Prior to joining Medco, she was Vice President and Director of Investor Relations at AllianceBernstein for five years, responsible for their global financial communications strategy. Haertel’s other previous experience includes Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications at telecommunication services provider, RCN Corporation; Director of Nasdaq Company Services and Chief Retention Officer for The Nasdaq Stock Market and Vice President of Corporate Analysis/Investor Relations at Georgeson & Company. Haertel was named Best Investor Relations Officer by Institutional Investor magazine in 2009 and 2010 and ranked in the top three in 2011 for the Healthcare Services and Distribution industry.  Under her leadership, Medco was named as having the Top Corporate IR Management Program in 2009 for Healthcare Equipment and Services by leading analysts and portfolio managers surveyed by Greenwich Associates, ranking No. 16 for all industries combined. Haertel is a member of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) and the NIRI Speakers Bureau.  She served as Chapter President of NIRI-NY in 2004-2005, and served on the NIRI-NY Chapter board for six years through 2006.  She is also a member of the Investor Relations Association. Journalists.


Laura Iandiorio
Manager of Marketing and Communications, United Way of Northern New Jersey

Laura Iandiorio has more than 25 years of communication experience, spanning corporate, agency, academia, nonprofit, and consultancy fields. As a professional copywriter and communications consultant, she worked with various clients, including HSBC, Gibbons, Dun & Bradstreet, The New Jersey State Bar Foundation, PSE&G, and Merck. In her current role at United Way of Northern New Jersey, Laura handles marketing and communications to support the organization’s education and fundraising work. An adjunct professor since 1994, Laura has taught graduate and undergraduate communication courses at Seton Hall University and Rutgers University. She served as a writing coach in Seton Hall’s online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership program for 12 years. In 2011, she completed a term faculty position in Seton Hall’s undergraduate Communication and The Arts department, where she taught Public Relations, Promotional Writing and Writing for the Media. Laura received her M.A. in Communication and Information Studies from Rutgers University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers with a B.A. double major in Economics and Communication and a minor in English. She has served on the board of directors for Friends’ Health Connection and PRSA-NJ.


Alysia Lew
VP of Communications, Madison Square Garden

Alysia Lew serves as Vice President, Communications for The Madison Square Garden Company where she is responsible for all aspects of the public company and financial communications for the company, including media relations surrounding earnings, investor meetings and conferences, shareholder meetings, and any relevant financial communications. In addition, she also manages and develops strategic communications and oversees internal communications and employee relations. Before joining MSG, Alysia served as Director, Corporate Communications for AOL. In this role, she was responsible for developing and implementing AOL’s overall corporate communications messaging and strategy. Prior to AOL, Alysia was an Assistant Vice President at G.S. Schwartz & Co. Previously, she served as a federal and state lobbyist at The MWW Group. She started her career serving as a Legislative Aide for N.J. State Assemblyman Steve Corodemus. Alysia serves on the Board of Directors for New York Women in Communications, overseeing the Programming Committee. She holds a Master of Arts in Political Management from The George Washington University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University with a double major in Communications and Political Science.


Shannon Morris
President/Partner, Sigma Group

Shannon Morris is responsible for growth, management and operational excellence of the firm and shaping the general business strategy for the agency. In 1999 as director of client services and since, Morris and has led the agency through extraordinary growth in billings and size. With 18+ years of agency and client-side marketing experience Shannon brings extensive knowledge of organizational marcom, product strategy and marketing strategy. Shannon provides strategic guidance, hands-on leadership and tactical program support to numerous agency clients and has been a pivotal player in cultivating long lasting partnerships and award-winning and highly successful programs for brands that include Panasonic Toughbook, Hunter Douglas, PRNewsire Sharp Electronics, Famous Footwear, De’Longhi, Brut Men's Cologne, WaterJel and Pert Plus to name a few. Shannon received both her B.A and M.A from Seton Hall University and was a 2011 inductee into the NJ Advertising Hall of Fame.


Torod B. Neptune
Corporate Vice President Worldwide Communications, Verizon Communications, Inc.

Torod B. Neptune is corporate vice president communications for Verizon Communications Inc. In this role, Torod oversees external communications, product PR, media and industry analyst relations, employee communications strategy and social media and digital strategy for the company's worldwide consumer business. He also oversees communications strategy planning and execution for Verizon's charitable arm, Verizon Foundation, including the company's global sustainability and corporate responsibility initiatives and serves as a member of Verizon's Corporate Responsibility Executive Council. Before joining Verizon, Torod was senior vice president and global public affairs practice leader for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE), one of the world's largest communications consulting firms, where he oversaw the company's Washington, D.C., and Brussels offices, its global crisis and issues management practices, and managed brand building, reputation management, and issues advocacy work for several leading global health, IT and technology innovators. Prior to WE, Torod was Chief Communications Strategist for the U.S. Congress, responsible for developing the first post-Sept. 11 and anthrax crisis communications function for the U.S. Congress / U.S. House of Representatives. Preceding Capitol Hill he was Senior Vice President Corporate Marketing & Communications for Bank of America Corp., and also Group Director with Weber Shandwick Worldwide's issues advocacy company, Powell Tate. A frequent speaker on the nexus of communications, culture and corporate reputation, Torod began his career as a reporter with The State newspaper in Columbia, SC. A North Carolina native, he received a B.A. degree in Government & International Affairs and Journalism & Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Lagrant Foundation, the PRSA Foundation, the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) and the Institute for Public Relations (IPR).


Lee Rainie
Director, Pew Internet and American Life Project

Lee Rainie is the Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, a non-profit, non–partisan “fact tank” that studies the social impact of the internet. Since December 1999, the Washington D.C. research center has examined how people’s internet use affects their families, communities, health care, education, civic and political life, and work places. The Project has issued more than 350 reports based on its surveys that examine people’s online activities and the internet’s role in their lives. All of its reports and datasets are available online for free at: Lee is a co-author of four books about the future of the internet that are based on Project surveys. He is also writing a book entitled Networked: The new social operating system with sociologist Barry Wellman about the social impact of the internet and cell phones for MIT Press, due out in May 2012. Prior to launching the Pew Internet Project, Lee was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report. He is a graduate of Harvard University and has a master’s degree in political science from Long Island University.


Brian Murphy
Vice-President, Toys/Juvenile Practice Area, Coyne Public Relations

Brian Murphy is a Vice President at Coyne PR and leads the toy and juvenile products group which includes Toys"R"Us, Babies"R"Us, Playmobil, BabyBjorn Playmates Toys and Crayola.  An fourteen year industry veteran, Brian is a consumer media specialist with experience in the toy, apparel and accessory, electronic, sporting goods, juvenile products and home and garden categories.  Brian also has extensive knowledge of the licensing industry having represented some of the most well-known entertainment and corporate brands, including Warner Bros., Sony and Jeep.  While at Coyne PR, Brian has helped develop and execute some of the agency's most successful public relations programs.  In 2009, Brian led the campaign on behalf of Hasbro Games for the 60th birthday celebration of Candy Land, which was highlighted by the famous Lombard Street in San Francisco being turned into a giant Candy Land game board.  Prior to joining Coyne, he was an account supervisor with Alan Taylor Communications in New York, where he spearheaded programs for such global accounts as MasterCard, Diageo and Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP).  He also led the domestic PR campaign for worldwide Olympic partner Panasonic during the Torino Games, which included numerous domestic and on-site activities with Olympic Gold Medalist Picabo Street.


Ron Rogers
Lead, Corporate Media Relations, Merck

Ron Rogers is the Lead for Corporate Media Relations at Merck where he has responsibility for corporate financial communications, litigation communications, issues management and social media. Ron also is a corporate spokesman for the company. Prior to is current role, Ron led Merck's media relations efforts in support of the company's public policy and corporate social responsibility initiatives. Ron has 20 years of public relations and advertising experience. Prior to joining Merck in 2006 he worked at Johnson & Johnson, Hoechst Marion Roussel, Eli Lilly and Searle and Edelman Public Relations. He also worked as a business reporter at Chemical & Engineering News for two years. Prior to that he taught communications to undergraduate students at Illinois State University. Ron has an M.S. degree in communications and a minor in chemistry from Illinois State University. He also has completed a post-graduate training program at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Program of Negotiation: Dealing with an Angry Public seminar at Harvard Law School.


Lon Safko
Author, The Social Media Bible

Lon is an author of remarkable breadth, writing seven innovative best-selling books, which have shown corporations how to train managers to think creatively, detailed the secrets of launching a successful on-line business, offered advice to new homeowners on reducing building costs and related amazing stories about the serendipity of life. His best-selling book with John Wiley & Sons, The Social Media Bible, which hit #1 on Amazon in both their Marketing and Business categories, unlocks the mysteries of the hottest new internet wave, Social Media, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for business. Lon also privately coaches Fortune 1,000 companies on harnessing Innovative Thinking and social media strategies to create higher productivity and profits. Lon’s presentations are personalized to help corporate, government and non-profit executives improve their operations and performance by capturing the innovative potential now wasted or overlooked. As Lon says, “When you see your world in a different perspective, you see new ways to do everything!” Lon Stafko sees the world in a new way every day.


Rick Wion

Beyond reminding folks how yummy the fries are, Rick’s efforts include social marketing campaigns, long-term branding, issues management, customer service and employee engagement. Using new trends and technologies to enhance digital storytelling around McDonald’s balanced menu options is also a key driver behind the brand’s endeavors. Prior to McDonald’s, Rick was Vice President of digital and social media for GolinHarris in Chicago where he implemented digital-communications strategies for Fortune 500 companies including Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Dow among others. Rick is also a former lifestyle/travel reporter, proud graduate from the University of Illinois, beer snob, die hard Cub fan and lover of the McRib, husband and father to two boys under the age of 5.


Jill Vitiello
Founder and President, Vitiello Communications Group

Jill Vitiello is the founder and president of Vitiello Communications Group (VTLO), a consulting firm specializing in strategic change communication. Jill launched the firm in 1990 after more than a decade as a corporate communication leader on Wall Street. VTLO has a strong record of accomplishment in equipping executives to engage employees during mergers, acquisitions, reductions in force and relocations. Clients include Merck, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and Tyco International. Jill received the Enterprising Women of the Year award for 2012 by Enterprising Women magazine. In 2010, she was named Communicator of the Year by the New Jersey chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). That same year, she was recognized as one of the Best Fifty Women in Business by NJBIZ. Jill served on the Board of Directors of the Council of Communication Management (CCM) and is a past-president of the NJ/IABC. She belongs to The Communication Leadership Exchange, IABC, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), and the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO). Jill earned a Master of Arts degree in journalism from New York University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and a Certificate in Women’s Studies, from Rutgers University.