The Social Media Association’s Board of Directors is a core group of dedicated individuals who span fields such as marketing, communications, public relations, design, branding, technology, legal counsel, education and non-profit. They are devoted to helping advance social media by bringing innovative and inspiring programs to the group’s members while providing leadership, governance and oversight.
HILARY TOPPER: Founder & president ex-officio
Hilary is Founder of the Social Media Association and a leader in the public relations and social media industry. Her experience includes working at top PR agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather PR, Hill, Holiday/PR, and Ruder Finn/PR.
Hilary handled nationally-recognized accounts including Prestone II antifreeze; American Community Gardening Association; Clairol, Inc.; Kinder-Care Learning Centers Inc.; Jell-O; and GLAD Wrap Bags. She also worked as the Director of Public Relations and Development for two non-profit organizations in New York City.
In 1992, Hilary founded HJMT Communications, the public relations, social media, event planning and graphic design agency. Today, HJMT has three office locations — one in Melville, Long Island; one on Madison Avenue and 57th Street in New York City; and one in Rochester, New York.
In 2007, Hilary launched a new media division within her agency, making her one of the early adopters of social media. Her personal and company blog, HilaryTopper.com, was named “Blog of the Year” by the Fair Media Council and was also a two-time Stevie Awards “Woman’s Blog of the Year” finalist. Hilary is a contributing writer for BlogCritics.org, a Technorati publication, and writes articles and blogs for The New York Enterprise Report and PR News.
Hilary wrote one of the first books on social media, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media, but were afraid to ask… Building Your Business Using Consumer Generated Media. The book has received high accolades and support from the PR industry, the business community and publications throughout the world. Her online radio show, Hilary Topper On Air, gives added value to her clients by interviewing them as well as offering her peers and other professionals the opportunity to discuss their businesses and areas of expertise. In 2012, Hilary founded the Social Media Association.
Hilary has received numerous awards and honors for her accomplishments. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Hunter College and her Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College.
DONNA RIVERA-DOWNEY: Co-President
Donna is an accomplished businesswoman and community advocate who currently serves as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for the Girl Scouts of Nassau County. While balancing family life with a host of civic and professional service organizations, Donna is known and well respected for her ability to bring together people and resources to accomplish tasks that benefit her employers and the community.
After twenty-two years in banking, Donna wanted to shift her career focus to better match her passion for civic engagement — she joined Girl Scouts of Nassau County as Director of Marketing in 2001. Through this career change, she has been able to meld her financial acumen, her skill in building relationships and her creativity to advance the Girl Scout brand and lift the Girl Scout mission: to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Donna leads all areas of marketing at Girl Scouts, from print to web to special events, and maintains direct connections to the girls in Girl Scouting through her management of the renowned Girl Scouts of Nassau County Chorus, Media Girls and Ceremonial Corps.
Recognizing that technology is key to girls as well as GenX and GenY parents, Donna was an early adopter and campaigner for using social media to connect with Girl Scout families, volunteers and alumnae. Her social media work for Girl Scouts of Nassau County was recognized with a SocialNetworker Award: Best Use of Facebook at the 2011 Folio Awards. In addition, Donna is a member of the Girl Scouts of the USA’s MarComm, a select leadership group of marketing professionals from Girl Scout Councils around the country, who advise and assist the national organization on messaging and communications issues.
Donna is a past President of the Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club, a past Assistant District Governor for Rotary District 7250, and Youth Exchange Chair for Rotary District 7250. She is also on the Board of Public Relations Professionals of Long Island.
SHARYN O’MARA: Co-President
Sharyn O’Mara works on social media, website and Internet development, public relations, marketing, and event planning for the matrimonial and family law firm of Wisselman & Associates, P.C. in Great Neck.
Prior to joining W&A in 2007, Sharyn O’Mara had a diverse marketing background at companies and agencies, working as a consultant and with clients including McDonald’s Corporation, Weight Watchers International, TDK Electronics, Centra 360, Simon Marketing and United Media (PEANUTS, Dilbert and National Geographic) in NYC.
Sharyn is a former adjunct professor at Adelphi University where she taught Introduction to Public Relations. She is the Co-President of the Social Media Association and a former board member of Public Relations Professionals of Long Island (PRPLI) where she chaired the scholarship committee. She was a 2012 Long Island Business News “50 Around 50” award recipient for her community involvement and a 2012 19th Legislature “Women of Distinction” award recipient.
Sharyn earned her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from the University of Arizona and has completed Marketing and Public Relations Masters level courses.Contact Info:
www.lawjaw.com LinkedIn Twitter
JULIE ALLEGRETTI: Co-Vice President
Julie Allegretti’s background includes 8 years experience as the Operations and Social Media Coordinator at the Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT), New York State’s Regional Technology Development Center and Manufacturing Extension Partner for Long Island.
She was involved in the data collection for a regional New York State Department of Labor initiative (Connect Long Island’s 13N project) which identified and implemented regional economic transformational strategies for workforce development in various manufacturing industry sectors. She works side by side with LIFT’s executive staff, planning and coordinating special events, supporting committees, initiating workforce programs and has led funding efforts for the annual LIFT Technology Scholarship program. As a result of coordinating the “Manufacturing Day” initiatives on Long Island, she was recognized by Nassau County Executive, Edward Mangano and received a Proclamation declaring October “Manufacturing Month” across the Long Island Region.
She was named in the 2015 Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce “Celebrate Long Island’s Young Professionals” 30 Under 30 Award for making a notable impact on local businesses, industry and community. In 2016, she was awarded the honor of Excellence in Communication in the area of In-House Marketing Professional from the Long Island Business News.
She holds a BS in Security Systems, AS in Criminal Justice, and AS in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Farmingdale State College (FSC). She was a founding member and treasurer of the National Criminal Justice Honor Society, a founding member of the Tennis Team, and a member of the FSC Student Athletic Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C). She also helped students transition to college life in her role as a New Student Orientation Leader.
She also enjoys keeping abreast of the latest technology and devices that are on the market. She can be found on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and whatever comes next!
BETH GRANGER: Co-Vice President and Secretary
Recognized as an idea generator, Beth helps businesses, organizations, or individuals address their goals and challenges with digital, social media, and branding strategies. As founder of Beth Granger Consulting, she is typically called upon to help:
- Take away the fear of not getting enough qualified sales leads
- Remove the concern of not having a trusted adviser to help navigate the social media or online landscape
- Address frustration that the competition is both getting, and keeping, more customers
Sometimes Beth acts as an outsourced CMO for small businesses that do not have marketing or communications professionals on staff. When clients are asked why they chose Beth’s company over another firm the answer is frequently: She listened!
Beth also has a passion for web globalization. Previously, as a director of online marketing and design for a global B2B scientific manufacturing company, Beth provided the vision, planning and management of the corporate website. While in that role, she established and implemented a web globalization strategy that resulted in Japanese content moving into the top 30 most visited pages.
Beth is a frequent speaker for businesses, trade associations, and community groups. Her course titled Linkedin Sales Success in Ten Minutes a Day has been well received at numerous national sales meetings and as ongoing one-on-one training sessions.
Beth is also a member of the Board of Directors of Landmark on Main Street, a not-for-profit theater within a community center.
PAUL RUBELL: Treasurer
Paul is the former President and current Treasurer of the Social Media Association and a partner at the New York law firm Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Corporate Law Department and heads its Privacy, Technology and Social Media Group.
Paul’s professional goal and passion is to help established and emerging companies to grow, and to assist their founders to achieve their personal and professional dreams. He advises clients about intellectual property, social media, privacy, 3d printing, technology transfer, software licensing, cloud computing, and cutting-edge legal and technological innovation. Paul has authored white papers about best practices for social media, open source software licensing, privacy law, and security of personal health information, among others.
Paul received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1983, his BA from Case Western Reserve University in 1980 where he earned a double major in Mathematics and English, and he studied English Literature at Lancaster University in England from 1978-1979.
An Adjunct Professor of Law at Touro University Law Center, Paul teaches intellectual property, internet and computer law, and software licensing. His professional writings have been published frequently in the New York Law Journal, Law360, and other important periodicals. He has been interviewed about legal topics by CBS-TV, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Associated Press, Long Island Business News, Newsday, News12, and other media outlets.
Paul is a founding member of Stony Brook University’s Center of Excellence for Wireless and Internet Technologies (CEWIT). He is also a founder and active member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Business, Law and Technology at Touro Law Center.
ANDREA BONILLA: Board Member
Andrea Bonilla has been involved with the Social Media Association since its inception and a board member since 2014.
Andrea currently works as a Social Media Strategist and Trainer. She helps small businesses and non-profit organizations steer through the realm of social media and how to best apply it for their needs. She is based in Huntington, Long Island and has been working with social media for over 7 years. Occasionally she also does bi-lingual (English to Spanish or vice versa) copy writing. In addition, Andrea works for Source the Station doing ‘crowdsourced placemaking’ for the revitalization of Huntington Station.
Andrea graduated from Brown University in 2010 and is still actively engaged with its alumni networking acting as Co-President of the Class of 2010 and Chair of Suffolk County Alumni Interviews. She is also on the board of LIincs, The Townwide Fund of Huntington, Friends of Huntington Station Latin Quarter (HSLQ), the Town of Huntington Hispanic Task Force and the Long Island Visual Professionals. In addition, she is highly involved in the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce and was awarded their “30 under 30 Young Professionals” Award in 2014.
JULIA LEIBMAN: Board Member
Julia is an accomplished Business Professional. She spent over 15 years in the Life Insurance Industry working for a Fortune 100 Company.
She is known for producing excellent quality work, responsiveness and uncompromising ethics.
Most recently she joined Disaster Case Recovery Program, as she had an opportunity to help people to get into their homes after Hurricane Sandy, utilizing her financial background and being able to advocate for them.
In her prior position, Julia was chosen to design the product website and manage its content and visuals. Consequently, Julia was hired to consult for the company website re-design project. She enjoys social media and is always happy to raise her hand to help with any Social Media initiatives.
Julia graduated Cum Laude from Baruch College, Marketing Management.
She is proud mother of two boys, Adam & Jonah. In her free time, she enjoys Zumba and tennis.
Julia can be found on LinkedIn and Facebook.
JEFF LEVY: Board Member
Jeff serves as a board member at Social Media Association, and also as membership chair. His involvement in social media began with blogging and LinkedIn postings as a way to build brand and distribute content.
In his current role as a management consultant, Jeff specializes in helping leaders develop strategy and shape corporate culture to achieve business growth in non-traditional ways. Social media has come to represent much more than just a new communication platform; it has sparked a new way of thinking.
Social media makes the message’s content more important than its context, which is the complete opposite from all other forms of communication. This requires organizations to be more consistent in living its values, as well as offering its customers more value. Jeff helps leaders achieve results they’ve never achieved before by recognizing and channelling the massive amounts of untapped energy within their organizations.
Jeff’s experience spans a wide range of organizations and industries including manufacturing, medical, legal, financial services, transportation, education, non-profit, and technology. He speaks frequently at business events and executive forums, and blogs about strategy, corporate culture, and high-performing organizations.
Jeff has served as the Long Island president of the International Association of Business Communicators, and as president of two Long Island non-profits: Prevention LI and the Center for Restorative Practices. Previously, he served as national communications director for Citigroup’s technology division.
PETER STEIN: Board Member
Peter is a Sales Executive with Didit. Prior to joining Didit he has spent the last 18 years in new business development roles with marketing services companies including a database marketing agency, direct marketing agencies, and direct mail production companies. Peter’s experience includes branding, direct marketing strategy and planning, creative development, database marketing and targeting, production management, website development, search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, and results analysis.
During his career Peter has worked with a diverse client base including business to business, financial services, insurance, non-profit, and publishing. He has been published several times and participated in various speaking engagements through industry trade associations.