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COMDay 2017 Speakers

COMDay 2017 Speakers

My Great Story: Using Personal Films to Counter Stereotypes

Melanie Perkins McLaughlin is a documentary filmmaker with over 20 years in film production, including work for HBO, PBS, ABC, A&E, The Discovery Channel, and The History Channel. Perkins McLaughlin's independently produced film "Have You Seen Andy?" (2007) was broadcast on HBO and won a National Emmy Award for Best Investigative Journalism. That same year, she received a prenatal diagnosis: her third child had Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) and a congenital heart defect. She has since become a national spokesperson on disability and civil rights, and produced a video to promote acceptance and inclusion for people with disabilities. Perkins McLaughlin is in development on a feature length documentary (work in progress), Accepting Grace, which shares the experience of life with Down syndrome from a family perspective. 

Representing Culture in the Media

Amy Bracken is an independent print and radio journalist with a focus on migration, human rights, and economic development. She has reported extensively from
Haiti over the last decade, as well as from the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and France, for outlets including PRI's The World, Al Jazeera America, and Christian Science Monitor. Amy is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where she wrote a Master's thesis on the detention of asylum-seekers. As a French-American Foundation Immigration Journalism Fellow, she researched detention and alternatives in Florida and Texas.
Shannon Dooling is a reporter representing WBUR on a team of public radio station journalists in the New England News Collaborative. The NENC focuses on issues of regional interest including immigration, transportation, and the environment. She joined WBUR full time in 2013 as the eld producer for WBUR's Morning Edition. During that time she co-reported and produced a series in El Salvador, investigating the violent forces motivating migration to the United States and also produced the award-winning series of reports with Morning Edition's Bob Oakes from Vietnam, on the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. Shannon's public media experience includes work as a freelance reporter, producer and photographer for New Hampshire Public Radio.
April Ranck Guzman moved to Cambridge, MA in 1978, graduating from Harvard University with a concentration in philosophy and comparative religious movements. She has worked in a variety of careers, including as a women's health counselor, English as a Second Language instructor and currently is the Business Manager for The Boston Society of Arts and Crafts. Love of film led her to co-found the Arlington International Film Festival with her husband Alberto Guzman. Now in its 7th year, AIFF brings the work of more than 50 independent and documentary filmmakers from around the world to Arlington each October. 

Professional Reflections

Isabelle Kane is a Content and Inbound Marketing expert. Innovative media strategist - social media pragmatist with 20+ years experience. Schooled in the unique marketing challenges of B2B2C companies and their complex sales cycles and channels. Isabelle enjoys challenging the status quo in media and doing the seemingly impossible. "Everything is measurable, with a little ingenuity and creativity." Isabelle focuses on High Tech, Consumer Tech, Life Sciences, Vertical Markets, and Reseller Channels and manages multiple media channels - paid, social, branding, direct marketing, lead attraction, lead nurture, and re-marketing.
Melissa Ludtke is an award-winning journalist who worked at Time magazine, CBS News, and Sports Illustrated. She also edited Nieman Reports at Harvard University's Nieman Foundation for Journalism. To pursue her writing about social issues, with an emphasis on women, children and families, she was awarded fellowships at Harvard University, Radcliffe College, and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Her book, "On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood in America," was published by Random House in 1997. Melissa received the 2010 Yankee Quill Award for lifetime achievement as a journalist. As a baseball reporter for Sports Illustrated, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn denied her access to interview ballplayers in team locker rooms. Time Inc. which owned Sports Illustrated, led a federal lawsuit (Ludtke v. Kuhn) claiming baseball's media policy provided unequal access to women reporters and thus violated her rights
under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and won. She is currently producing and writing the transmedia storytelling and digital curriculum project, Touching Home in China: in search of missing girlhoods.
Nick Mills served for 26 years as Associate Professor of Journalism at Boston University's College of Communication. He served in the Peace Corps in Colombia, and as an of officer in the U.S. Army led a combat photo team in Vietnam. After his military service Mills was an award-winning news broadcaster in Boston and with the ABC Radio Network in New York. From 1986 through 1988, Mills trained Afghan refugees in journalism in Peshawar, Pakistan and established the Afghan Media Resource Center. Mills has done strategic communication training and consulting in a wide variety of countries including Iraq, Tajikistan, Portugal, Panama, Colombia, Kosovo, Indonesia, Malaysia and Afghanistan. He is the author of KARZAI - The Failing American Intervention and the Struggle for Afghanistan (Wiley, 2007); Combat Photographer (Boston Publishing, 1980); and Senior Writer of The American Experience in Vietnam (Boston Publishing/Zenith Press, 2015).
ML Strategies is the consulting affiliate of national law firm Mintz Levin. As head of the PR group, Nancy Sterling specializes in crisis communications. ML Strategies works closely with the firm's litigation section and assists other practice areas of the firm with their clients' communications needs. This can involve everything from acting as a spokesperson for an individual or entity suddenly thrust into the media glare, to designing a comprehensive or situational crisis plan for an organization, to handling hundreds of media calls from national and international media outlets. ML Strategies offers more traditional strategic PR services including community relations, media training, events management and pro- active public relations.

Keynote Speaker

Alan Ives has headed up ABCNews, Marketing & Creative since April 1999. Ives has led the way in creating and executing some of the most innovative and wildly successful network campaigns - from conception and strategy, to creative execution. His creative vision and unique marketing strategies have helped distinguish ABCNews as the premiere source for News Events & Specials - and helped lead to the resurgence of ABCNews.

In addition to marketing - Ives has produced award-winning full-length news pieces. He also oversees and directs all show-design packaging & graphics for all ABCNews programs - and produces the music scores and themes. He leads a talented group of creatives - whose touch and work can be seen and felt on "all things ABCNews" by hundreds of millions of Americans. Ives also serves as the creative point person at ABCNews in reinventing sales opportunities, working with clients to reimagine integrated sales initiatives. To achieve his goals, Ives also works daily with the over 200 ABC stations/affiliates, the digital/social teams, ABC/Disney synergy partners and the ABC Sales team. It falls to Ives to innovate and develop all campaign strategies - on-air and off-air in the marketing of ABCNews programs and products.

Awards that Ives has been honored with include:
Multiple Emmy Awards, multiple BDAs (Broadcast Designers Award), multiple Promax Awards and The Broadcasting & Cable Promax "Brand Builder" Award for his work on Good Morning America and World News Tonight, multiple Videographer, Discovery - as well as the prestigious duPont award, Murrow Award and Peabody Award - shared with so many ABCNews colleagues.

Ives first joined ABCNews in 1986. Before assuming the position of Vice President | Executive Creative Director | Executive Producer, he worked at ABCNews as Senior Producer, Producer, Associate Director (still member of Directors Guild of America) and Production Associate. Ives was a staff newspaper reporter for The Concord Item in Concord, New Hampshire before joining ABCNews. He is a graduate of Suffolk University with a BS in Journalism.

Life After Lasell: Communication Alumni Panel

Brandon Chase '13 is a Senior Multimedia Sports Journalist for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham. He joined the staff in October and is in charge of growing the sports department's digital reach, and is tasked with increasing web traffic and social media engagement. Brandon has a strong digital acumen and worked as a sports reporter for MassLive from 2013-2016, where he primarily covered high school sports and did a brief stint covering the Red Sox in July 2016. While at Lasell, he interned for and was Managing Editor of the 1851 Chronicle his senior year.
Jonathan Clifford '15  is the Production & Student Experience Specialist for the Lasell College Admissions Office. As a 2015 graduate of Lasell, Jonathan completed internships at 98.5 The Sports Hub and Comcast Sports Net New England. In his free time, he coaches Pop Warner football and Little League baseball in his hometown of South Boston. 
Alex Dixon '13  is a Premier Account Analyst for Granite Telecommunications in Quincy, Massachusetts. After graduating in 2013, Alex moved to Chicago to gain sales experience and experience the Midwest. Now back in Boston, he communicates with Director level executives servicing their phone and internet needs. 
Kate-Lyn Eadie '13 is currently a Development Associate and Logistics Coordinator with the Alzheimer's Association of Massachusetts/ New Hampshire, a non-profit organization providing care, support, and research for those dealing with Alzheimer's disease. Kate-Lyn first became involved with the Alzheimer's Association during her internship there in 2012, where she was a Special Events intern. She works closely on events such as the Walk to End Alzheimer's, which raised over $3.9 million in 2016. 
Morgan Nash '16  is currently working as a Communications Specialist for the U.S. Department of Transportation in Cambridge, MA. She recently enrolled in a Master of Science in Management with a concentration in Marketing at Lasell and hopes to graduate next fall.
Mary Pavlu '13  is an Account Executive at Access Communications in New York City, representing several top lifestyle brands. Before switching to PR (and New York City life), her media experience included digital and print for The Boston Globe and The Patriot Ledger. In her free time, you can usually find Mary at a festival or off on a new travel adventure. 
Brian Roach '13 works as an Editorial Assistant at the Boston Herald High School desk. He also has a role with MLB Advanced Media that involves working at most Boston Red Sox home games. 
Lindsay Tavarozzi '16  began her career at Education First (EF), an educational travel company in Cambridge. She works as a Global Education Consultant where she sells, plans and promotes trips all around the world for students. She also writes for the EF blog, The Equator and is hoping to move into Marketing and Communication for EF in the future.