New York Women in Communications Announces 2020-2021 Board of Directors – The Most Diverse Board in NYWICI’s 90 Year History

NEW YORK – October 6, 2020 — New York Women in Communications (NYWICI), the premier organization for female communications professionals, announced today the addition of 12 new members to its 2020-2021 Board of Directors, as well as incoming President Ashley Miles, Founder and CEO of Franklyn West. A first in NYWICI history, this newly elected Board is the most diverse yet with 39% people of color.

New board members join from top organizations including Spotify, Christie’s, Majestic Steel, Finn Partners, FCB, OWN, IBM, DDB, NYU, Havas Healthcare, Facebook and McCann Worldgroup.

As NYWICI’s new President, Miles brings over 15 years of media industry experience in building and scaling future-focused companies. Prior to founding Franklyn West, Miles was the Global Chief Business Officer at Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global and Chief Client Officer, Head of Advertising, North America at Refinery29.

“Throughout my career and as a mother of two young girls, I have always been passionate about helping women and businesses reach their full potential,” said Ashley Miles, 2020-2021 President of NYWICI, and Founder of Franklyn West. “As NYWICI’s President, I look forward to continuing the great legacy that this organization has established over 90 years in helping women accelerate at every stage of their career. I’m also looking ahead to the future as we continue to fight for equal pay, support our members through career transitions, advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, empower each other to speak up and so much more.”

“It is critical for NYWICI to seize this the moment to model and lead the elevation of diverse voices, particularly those of Black women, in our all too homogeneous industry,” said NYWICI’s Immediate Past President, Judith Harrison, Senior Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, Weber Shandwick. “With this new board, we are poised as never before to bring fresh thinking, diverse perspectives, expertise in diversity-focused strategic transformation, and bone-deep knowledge about attracting and engaging multicultural stakeholders.” In 2018, Harrison became the first Black woman to be elected as president of NYWICI and she has since served two terms.

Below is a complete list of the 2020-2021 Board of Directors:

President: Ashley Miles, Founder & CEO of Franklyn West
President-Elect: Dustee Jenkins, Head of Global Communications and Public Relations, Spotify
Immediate Past President: Judith Harrison, Senior Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, Weber Shandwick
Secretary/Chief of Staff: Georgia Galanoudis, Executive Vice President, Media, HIMMS
Chief Strategy Officer: Abi Evans, SVP, Client Development, Dentsu Aegis
Chief Communications Officer: Helen Shelton, Senior Partner, Finn Partners
Chief Programming Officer: Vita Harris, Chief Strategy Officer, FCB
Treasurer: Linda Descano, Executive Vice President, Havas PR
Assistant Treasurer: Kate Mitchell, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Majestic Steel USA
VP, Membership: Lydia Fenet, Managing Director, Global Director of Strategic Partnerships, Christie’s
VP, Membership: Sheereen Miller-Russell, Group VP, Ad Sales and Partner Solutions for Inclusion Audiences, OWN
VP, Corporate Partnerships: Abbey Klaassen, President, New York, 360i
VP, Corporate Partnerships: Lisa Valentino, EVP, Client & Brand Solutions, Disney Advertising Sales
VP, Scholarships and Grants: Rahel Rasu, Head of Global Communications, DDB
VP, Scholarships and Grants: Gabrielle Gambrell, Marketing & Communications Consultant; Graduate Adjunct Professor at NYU
VP, Strategic Planning: Singleton Beato, Chief Diversity and Engagement Officer, McCann Worldgroup
VP, Communications: Laura Brusca, VP, Corporate Communications, Forbes
VP, Thought Leadership Programming: Elissa Harmon, Creative Product Lead, Content, Facebook
VP Thought Leadership Programming: Megan Rokosh, Chief Marketing Officer, Havas Healthcare
VP, Professional Programming: Chelsea Orcutt, Program Manager, Thirty Madison
VP, Professional Programming: Lauren Tran, Senior Content Marketing Manager, Amazon Advertising
VP, Student Programming: Brandi Boatner, Social and Influencer Communications Lead, Global Markets, IBM
VP, Student Programming: Jen Dixon, Vice President, Principal, BNY Mellon

In addition, NYWICI welcomes new staff to its management team at Kellen, including its new Executive Director, Alexandra Owens. Also, on the team is General Manager Anna McManus, Membership Manager Amanda Frio, and Controller Lysa Robinson.

The announcement of the 2020-2021 Board of Directors immediately precedes NYWICI’s 2020 Matrix Awards, which take place on October 12, 2020 at 12pm ET. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Matrix Awards, and it will be taking place virtually with emcee Gayle King, Co-Host of “CBS This Morning” and Editor-at-Large O, The Oprah Magazine.

NYWICI is opening access to this event for anyone who would like to attend but asking attendees to donate to the organization when they register. Donations from the Matrix Awards go to support NYWICI operations as well as a full range of scholarships and educational programs for women. To date, NYWICI has given more than $1.7 million in scholarships.

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About New York Women in Communications
New York Women in Communications is dedicated to promoting the highest standards throughout the industry and to providing education and leadership for the next generation. Founded in 1929, the not-for-profit association has more than 2,500 members — from senior executives to students and entrepreneurs to young professionals — representing a variety of communications disciplines. NYWICI’s mission is to support women at all levels of their communications careers, to help define the future of communications and stay ahead of the industry’s ever-changing landscape. The organization’s membership encompasses senior executives and other experienced communicators from a wide range of enterprises, as well as young professionals and students. NYWICI empowers women across communications disciplines to reach their full potential by promoting their professional growth, inspiring them to achieve and share their successes and helping them navigate the evolving and converging world of communications.



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