Women of New York :: 2016 Speakers




Amber Allen amber-allen
CEO/Chief Strategist, Double A Events

After nearly 15 years working with marketing leaders at Disney, Warner Bros., and Riot Games, Amber Allen founded Double A in 2012 to create experiential marketing partnerships alongside innovative companies in the gaming, entertainment, and technology industries. Since the company’s formation, Amber and her team have worked with clients like DirecTV, Alienware, Twitch, and Disney, earning the #264 spot on Inc’s list of fastest growing companies in 2016. Amber is an Innovation broker, she is passionate about new technology and the opportunities it creates for people to connect with each other in new and exciting ways. 


Karen Aviram Beatty
Managing Director, Global Search Partnerships, Google, Inc.

Since joining Google in 2003, Karen has worked on and led a number of Strategic Partnerships teams, focusing on partner monetization and Google search product distribution.  Karen currently runs the partnerships group that focuses on Google’s largest search and applications partnerships globally.  Prior to Google, Karen worked as an Information Technology Consultant at Deloitte Consulting, focusing on clients in the financial industry.  

Karen earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Stanford University.  Karen is also an active triathlete and mentor for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training organization.  When Karen is not running triathlons, she’s running after her 1.5 year old son.


Shelley Wright Brindle
Principal at Brindle and Associates, LLC and Global Ambassador, Vital Voices


Shelley Brindle is an experienced leader and respected C-suite operating executive with 25 years of diverse experience. She is recognized as a visionary and an empowering values-based leader with a passion for creating collaborative and accountable cultures to drive innovative outcomes and exceptional results. She has proven to be a strategic thought leader and creative problem solver who can identify and capitalize on future trends.

Shelley served most recently as Executive Vice President, Domestic Network Distribution and Marketing at HBO where she was responsible for the revenue, marketing, and overall distribution strategy of HBO and Cinemax’s $4.4B domestic subscription business, which represented 80% of HBO’s total revenues. Shelley left in March 2016 to pursue more meaningful and entrepreneurial work, leveraging her experience as the first woman on the HBO executive floor to serve as a mentor to emerging female leaders.


Heather Cabotheathercabot
Co-Author, Geek Girl Rising (St. Martin’s Press May 2017); Angel Investor and Adjunct Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Heather Cabot is an award-winning journalist, adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and contributor to Women@Forbes. She is a former ABC News correspondent and anchor of World News Now/World News This Morning. Cabot jumped into the digital revolution when she was hired to serve as Web Life Editor for Yahoo! in 2007. During her tenure through 2012, she reported on how the Internet was transforming our everyday lives for Today, GMA, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and dozens of local TV and radio stations around the country. Cabot is an angel investor and adviser to several women-led startups and is a member of Golden Seeds. She is married to her best friend, Neeraj Khemlani, President of Hearst Entertainment and her Columbia J ’93 classmate. They reside in the NYC area and are parents to tween twins and a Goldendoodle named Midnight.


Tina Exarhostina-exarhos
NowThis Media

Tina Exarhos is Chief Content Officer of NowThis Media, a leading digital media company known for producing and distributing short-form video for mobile and social consumption.  Exarhos is also Marketing Advisor at Lerer Hippeau Ventures, the venture-capital fund that seeded NowThis and New York’s most active technology investment fund.

Prior to joining NowThis, Exarhos was CMO of MTV, overseeing all marketing and creative development for the powerhouse brand. During her 29-year tenure at the company, she was at the forefront of the MTV’s constant creative reinvention – and responsible for its brand identity, short-form interstitial content, visual packaging, digital and social marketing, and consumer and trade advertising.



Nancy Mendelson GatesUTA Nancy Gates Portrait shoot in Los Angeles, CA on September 170, 2016. (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Partner and Co-head, Television Talent Department, United Talent Agency

Nancy Mendelson Gates is a Partner and the Co-Head of the TV Talent department at United Talent Agency.  At UTA, she oversees the careers of some of television’s biggest stars, some of the industry’s most exciting emerging talent, and the operations of the New York office.

Gates graduated from Barnard College/Columbia University in May 1989 with a degree in Political Economy.  She secured a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin in May 1993 and followed this with work in Economic Development in New York City.  She moved to Los Angeles in 1996 and began her entertainment career in UTA’s Agent Training Program.  She was one of the fastest-promoted UTA agents, earning her talent agent stripes in less than two years.  In January of 2012, Gates moved to Manhattan to help open UTA’s New York offices.


Kathleen Gracekathleen-grace-headshot-1
Chief Creative Officer, New Form Digital

Kathleen Grace is the chief creative officer of New Form. She guides the company’s mission to become the next generation studio by producing high-quality, scripted programming for today’s digital audiences. As an experienced creator herself, Grace is uniquely qualified to develop production and distribution opportunities for the business, as well as today’s emerging actors, writers and filmmakers.

Since launching New Form in March 2014, Grace and the NFD team have developed and produced 30 pilots, with 19 of those being sold into series to a variety of distribution partners, including Verizon, CW The Seed and Refinery29. One of the seven scripted series sold to Verizon’s go90 is RePlay, written and produced by Grace. As both a studio head and creator, Grace is a sought after industry leader with a distinct POV on the future of entertainment. Additionally, she is on the advisory boards for VidCon, the Austin Film Festival, Women in Animation and the Banff World Media Festival.


Melissa GregoMelissa
Founder, Melinc.com and Keynotes & Cocktails: Women of the West and Women of NY

Melissa Grego is a journalist, editor and conference producer with expertise in TV, media and entertainment and a keen interest in connecting and empowering professional women.

She was the first female Editor-in- Chief of TV industry publication Broadcasting & Cable. While at B&C, she created, launched and produced the off-the- record Keynotes & CocktailsWomen of NY and Women of the West conferences, which she acquired from B&C in 2015 and is now presenting through her company Melinc (mel-link).  


Rebecca HowardRebecca Howard NYTCREDIT: Earl Wilson/The New York Times 9-11-2013
SVP, Emerging Platforms and Partnerships, Discovery Communications

As Senior Vice President of Emerging Platforms and Partnerships at Discovery Communications, Rebecca Howard leads strategy, programming and production for Discovery Communications’ Webby- and Shorty-award winning Discovery VR brand portfolio and drives social initiatives and new partnerships in collaboration with the company’s U.S. networks leadership. Howard assumes leadership of Discovery VR as the product surpasses 2M downloads and reaches 100M views across platforms. Since its launch in August 2015, the offering has grown to include over 130 immersive experiences, from network extensions to branded content and standalone videos.


ABC News Chief Business, Technology & Economics Correspondent
Host, Creator, and Managing Editor of Real Biz with Rebecca Jarvis

Rebecca Jarvis is the ABC News Chief Business, Technology & Economics Correspondent; and the Host, Creator, and Managing Editor of Real Biz with Rebecca Jarvis. Jarvis reports for all ABC News programs and platforms including “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight with David Muir,” “Nightline,” “20/20,” and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

Jarvis has conducted news making interviews with the biggest names in business and technology, including Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg, Diane von Furstenberg, Jack Dorsey, and the first female CEO to run a car company, GM’s Mary Barra. She has covered multiple Presidential elections, the Madoff scandal, housing bubble, Great Recession, financial crisis and the fall of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. Jarvis is the recipient of a Dupont Award for her work covering the Newtown tragedy.


Joy Jones
Vice President, Products, The Associated Pressjoy-jones-feb-2016

Joy J. Jones is the global head of products for the Associated Press, overseeing all product portfolio and distribution platform development across AP’s multimedia content licensing, advertising and content service businesses.

Ms. Jones has held a variety of product, sales, business development and operations roles during her tenure with the AP. Currently she is leading the charge to build more socially relevant, mobile-friendly and visually-driven product offerings that customers can easily integrate into their workflows and their monetization strategies. Ms. Jones is at the forefront of creating new solutions for publishers and advertisers who thrive on compelling story content in a widely dispersed media environment.


Jen Kavanaghjen-k
Principal, BRaVe Media Ventures

Jennifer is an award winning entertainment and media strategist who leads with cross-platform DNA.  As Principal at BRaVe Media Ventures, she led advisory work for major clients with an emphasis on persona mapping, content marketing, organizational development and OTT strategy. She also led the content acquisition & development arm of the business driving innovation around packaging for co-production partners.


Ivana Kirkbrideivana1
Chief Content Officer, GO90

Ivana Kirkbride is currently the Chief Content Officer for GO90 where she oversees both creator relations, content acquisition, partner management and business development. Ivana is responsible for GO90’s content strategy, development & programming, channel mix, editorial and merchandising strategy across live sports, originals, primetime and best-of-the-web. Previously, Ivana was the Head of Content at Vessel where she oversaw all content efforts and creator partnerships.


Caryn Mandabachcaryn-photo2
Television Producer, (The Cosby Show, Roseanne, Third Rock from the Sun, That 70s Show, Nurse Jackie, Peaky Blinders)

Caryn Mandabach is a television producer whose ground-breaking US hits include The Cosby Show, Roseanne, Third Rock from the SunThat 70s ShowNurse Jackie, and BBC/Netflix PEAKY BLINDERS.

At present Mandabach owns and operates production companies on both sides of the Atlantic.

Mandabach has won numerous awards, including an Emmy, a Producers Guild award, and a Publicists Guild Award, and an RTS Award. She divides her time between London, Dorset, and the Pacific Palisades in California.


Judy McGrathjudy-mcgrath
Founder and President, Astronauts Wanted

Prior to Astronauts, Judy was Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks, responsible for the business and creative operation of the company networks, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1, CMT, and Spike TV. In addition, McGrath championed pro-social initiatives like the Hope for Haiti Now global concert, Nickelodeon’s Let’s Just Play, MTV’s anti-bullying initiative A Thin Line, and many more. McGrath is a member of the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, received an Emmy for Outstanding General Programming, and is on the board of Amazon as well as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Tricia Melton8/23/2013 Atlanta, GA Turner Entertainment Group Tricia Melton SVP, Marketing Photo: Mark Hill
President, Melton Marketing

Tricia Melton is currently a brand strategy and marketing consultant with a focus on content marketing.  She provides strategic advisory to C-level executives for building brand and content strategies across multiple platforms.  Additionally, she works with executives to identify audience opportunities, brand position and creative approach for multiplatform integration.  Her recent clients include:  Amazon, Doctors Without Borders, Konation Media, Nuryl, PrimeCycle and PromaxBDA.


Julie Meninjulie-menin
Commissioner of Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME)

Julie Menin is the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), an agency which oversees a key sector in New York City’s economy and brings economic development to neighborhoods across all five boroughs. The agency is comprised of the Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting and NYC Media. The Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting serves as a one-stop shop for the entertainment industry, a sector that contributes nearly $9 billion to the City of New York’s economy and employs over 130,000 New Yorkers. With Menin’s appointment in February 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio expanded the agency to encompass the full scope of the industry, including music, advertising, publishing, digital media and real estate as it relates to the creation of creative content. The agency also oversees NYC Media, a division responsible for managing and programming all of the media assets for the City of New York, which includes a television broadcast network reaching over 18 million people, a radio station and six local cable stations.


Christina Miller christina-miller-headshot-14
President Turner’s Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang

Christina Miller is president and general manager for Turner’s Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang, as well as their digital brand extensions, including Cartoon Network.com and Adult Swim.com. In this capacity, Miller is responsible for leading the business in North America and working closely with Turner International to establish short and long-term priorities, as well as an overall worldwide strategic plan that will more closely align the Kids business. Her role includes global oversight of linear and non-linear content, the consumer products group and franchise management, as well as content output from two animation production facilities—Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, CA, and Williams Street Studios in Atlanta. Miller is based in Atlanta, and reports directly to David Levy, President of Turner.


Michelle Millermichelle-miller
Correspondent, CBS News

Michelle Miller is an award-winning CBS News Correspondent based in New York, reporting for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. Her work regularly appears on the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley,” “CBS This Morning” and “CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.” She joined CBS News in 2004.

While at CBS News, Miller provided extensive coverage of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of Michael Brown. She also covered the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.; the shooting at Chardon High School in Ohio; the 2004, 2008 and 2012 presidential elections; the death of Whitney Houston; and Hurricanes Sandy, Irene and Katrina.


Laura MolenNBCUNIVERSAL EXECUTIVES -- Pictured: Laura Molen, Executive Vice President, Cable Ad Sales, NBCUniversal -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBCUniversal)
Executive Vice President, Lifestyle  and Hispanic Advertising Sales Group, NBCUniversal

Laura Molen serves as Executive Vice President, Lifestyle and Hispanic Advertising Sales Group, NBCUniversal. In this role, Molen has strategic oversight of all advertising sales initiatives for Bravo, Oxygen, E!, Esquire, Sprout and Telemundo. Molen reports to Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Client Partnership and Advertising Sales, NBCUniversal.

Molen joined the company in February 2013 as Executive Vice President, Cable Advertising Sales, NBCUniversal, overseeing sales of NBCUniversal’s impressive cable entertainment networks – including the No. 1 cable network USA, Syfy, E!, Esquire Network, Chiller, Cloo and WWE.


Marie NelsonPBS_news_doc_emmys_9_28_2015 Credit: Stephanie Berger
Vice President, News & Public Affairs, PBS

As Vice President, News & Public Affairs for PBS, Marie Nelson is responsible for collaborating with executive producers of acclaimed PBS news and public affairs series, as well as independent producers, to develop and direct innovative approaches to engage audiences in current events across these programs and platforms.

Ms. Nelson is a seasoned content developer with experience in public media and other broadcast and cable organizations. Prior to PBS, she served as executive producer of national programs at PBS member station WGBH. At WGBH, she oversaw the production of AMERICA BY THE NUMBERS, an eight-part documentary series that explores the impact of America’s changing demographics.


Maria Rapetskayamaria-rapetskaya-headshot-large-bw1
Founder/Creative Director, Undefined Creative

Maria Rapetskaya is the creative leader and architect of Undefined Creative, a boutique motion graphics agency that works with household names like NHL, NBC Universal, The Maury Show, Better Homes & Gardens and United Nations. She built the company’s reputation on good old-fashioned customer service and consistent execution on brand, on time and on budget. She stubbornly remains hands-on in both design and production, doing what she truly loves on a daily basis.


Lisa Schwartzlisaschwartz
Co-President, Sundance Selects and IFC Films

As Co-President of Sundance Selects and IFC Films, Lisa Schwartz serves as a full partner in all of the company’s operations, including oversight of creative and financial success of the film brands. Additionally, she oversees the division’s strategy for creating and identifying strategic partnerships that provide long-term financial stability for the division.  

Schwartz’s oversight includes domestic and foreign distribution for IFC Films across all platforms, including theatrical, premium VOD, pay TV, digital, mobile, home video, and all emerging new platforms.  Schwartz was a key executive in the creation of the new infrastructure within IFC Films to fully develop and maximize the business model for the division’s day and date distribution initiatives.  The day and date distribution model was groundbreaking industry first, distributing independent films to a national audience by releasing them simultaneously in theaters as well as on cable’s On Demand platform and through Pay-Per-View, and has met with great success due to the strong demand for multiplatform content.



Mona Scottmonascott
Founder & CEO, Monami Entertainment and Executive Producer, Love & Hip Hop on VH1

Mona Scott-Young has proven that with integrity, hard work and dedication, anything is possible. She is a successful talent manager, television producer, publisher, and TV host, as well as CEO and Founder of Monami Entertainment (www.monamient.com).  The multi-media entertainment company is home to Grammy Award-winning artist Missy Elliott, publishing imprint Monami Books and VH1’s most popular docu-franchise Love & Hip Hop.

For television, Scott-Young is executive producer of the Love & Hip Hop franchise, its related shows and spin offs, as well as numerous reunion shows and specials for VH1, where she has also served as on-camera host and narrator. Additionally, she produced VH1’s late night series The Afterparty, was executive producer of VH1’s 2016 Hip Hop Honors, and is a consulting executive producer on the network’s late night talk format, The Amber Rose Show. Scott-Young is also executive producer of the new WE tv docu-series Money. Power. Respect.


Christina Waynechristina-wayne
CEO, Assembly Entertainment

As CEO of Assembly Entertainment, Christina Wayne develops and produces scripted dramas worldwide, including “I’m Dying Up Here” for Showtime (currently in production) and nine one-hour cable dramas in active development at Cinemax, Amazon, WGN, USA, A+E and BBC America.

Prior to creating Assembly Entertainment, Wayne was President at Cineflix Studios, Cineflix’s scripted TV division, where she oversaw the company’s scripted programming and was an executive producer on BBC America’s “Copper.” During her tenure, she was responsible for development, production and sales of all scripted series worldwide and she grew the department from one to ten executives between New York, Los Angeles, the UK and Canada.

The Evelyn (www.theevelyn.com) is providing a special rate for Women of NY attendees, up to 30% off of the best available rate. The promo code will be provided to registered Women of NY attendees upon request to events@melinc.com.

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