Alumni Association Board Bios
Jon P. Achenbaum '77 (Alumnus Trustee) majored in Economics during his time at Skidmore College. He joined Newhall Laboratories as President & CEO in February 2013. Newhall Labs is owned by Brynwood Partners, a Greenwich Connecticut based private equity firm, and is focused on creating value through the revitalization of the orphan brands it acquired in 2012. The company’s portfolio of 7 brands includes well-known names like L.A. Looks and Dep hair gels, Soft & Dri deodorant, and La Bella Hispanic beauty care. Immediately prior to joining Newhall Labs, Jon spent 7 years at Bayer Health Care as Senior Vice President for Global Marketing and Business Development for the Diabetes Division where he was responsible for leading a team of 45 professionals with accountability for global brand management, new product development, customer insights, medical communications, advertising agency oversight, and alliance management. Jon's background includes nine years with Unilever in a number of senior marketing and general management roles, including Senior Vice President of Global Skin Innovation, General Manager of the North American Hair and Oral Care businesses, as well as President of Lever Ponds in Canada. Prior to Unilever, Jon worked for Helene Curtis in a variety of brand management, business development and marketing service positions. The early years of his career were spent at Quaker Oats and Pillsbury. Jon holds a BA in Economics from Skidmore College and studied at New York University's Graduate School of Business.
John Beckman '94 (Chair, Admissions) majored in Theatre (Design & Production) and Art History. He also trained at the Motley Theatre Design Course in London, England and the Studio School of Stage Design in Jersey City. He currently works as the Director of Exhibit and Business Development at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI), where he guides and directs the exhibit development process for the portfolio of the Museum's projects both permanent and temporary. He also manages MSI's intellectual property licensing and alternative revenue business units. Prior to MSI, John worked at Chicago Scenic Studios, Inc., managing the construction of scenery for theatre, television and special events including the Oprah Winfrey Show, DisneyQuest, and the 1996 Democratic National Convention. Prior to that, he was employed by nearby Adirondack Scenic, Inc., where we worked to create Lance Burton's theater at the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. John was also a founder and Managing Director of the award-winning Visions & Voices Theatre Company (V&V), a troupe devoted to producing new plays in Chicago's Off-Loop theatre scene. One of V&V's most successful productions, Vintage Red and the Dust of the Road, was named by National Public Radio Chicago as the #2 play of the decade after the Tony®-winning August, Osage County. John also sits on the Eastern Board of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), serves as the Chairman of Television Production for the nationally televised annual McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and he and his girlfriend own Flavour Cooking School in suburban Chicago.
Betsy Low Bertoni '03 (Chair, Young Alumni Giving) is the Manager of Special Events for Fendi Americans. Prior to joining Fendi in 2013, she executed events and integrated marketing for Vanity Fair magazine, as well as previously serving in various positions in global communications and events at Calvin Klein. She fell in love with fashion after taking a history of fashion course at Skidmore and studying abroad in Paris. At Skidmore, she double majored in Studio Art and Art History and studied abroad in both Florence and Paris. Inspired by her great-aunt Verginia Robinson '40, Betsy has volunteered for the college's Admissions and Annual Fund offices, and continues to serve as her class fund chair. Betsy lives in Manhattan with her husband Steve.
Nancy Brennan ‘72 (Chair, Friends of the Presidents) has been an active volunteer in both class and national positions. She has previously served as Class Agent, Reunion Fundraising Chair and Class President for her class. In addition, she has served as an Alumna Trustee, as an MB 107 volunteer and as a member of the college’s Business Advisory Council. In addition to her FOP role, she is currently a member of the Awards Committee.
Professionally, Nancy has held executive positions at Travelers Insurance Company, at Hartford Financial Services Group and at MedRisk, Inc. She holds a Masters degree from Rensselaer, and recently successfully completed the Nonprofit Leadership Program at the University of Connecticut. She currently provides strategic consulting for nonprofits in her community.
David A. Castle (Alumnus Trustee) is President of Branford Castle, Inc. and President and CEO of Branford Chain, Inc. In these positions he manages long-term Castle family control investments in small to medium-sized businesses engaged in manufacturing, distribution and consumer services. He also pursues additional, similar companies for leveraged acquisition.
Prior to his involvement with the Branford companies, he was a Regional Director for the Santa Fe Steakhouse restaurant chain and previously was a Risk Management Specialist with GE Capital/Monogram Bank. He is a board member of Branford Castle, Inc., Branford Chain, Inc., BQK Holdings, Inc. (formerly Jered Industries, Inc.), Carmel Car & Limousine Service, CMP Global Ltd, Horizon Investments Ltd, and American Condenser & Coil LLC. He was formerly a board member of Land 'N' Sea Distributing, Inc., Luther's Bar-B-Q, Inc., and E-Mon LLC.
Steven M. Cohen ’72 (Chair, Awards) majored in Government. He also earned a J.D. from Hofstra Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review, and holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri. Prior to becoming Chair of the Awards Committee, he served for three years as a committee member. Mr. Cohen was a hedge fund portfolio manager and executive for more than 25 years. After practicing law for four years in corporate litigation, he began his investment career in 1981. During the 1980s he was a general partner of Halcyon Investments, a private specialized equity limited partnership. For more than ten years he was a general partner and chief investment officer of Kellner DiLeo Cohen & Company, a NYSE-member multi-strategy hedge fund whose investors included endowments, pension funds, and investable index funds, as well as high net worth individuals. During his time as a money manager, Mr. Cohen was a frequent guest on CNBC and Bloomberg Television and his comments appeared often in BusinessWeek and The Wall Street Journal. In 2008 he established Maple Hill Advisors LLC, an independent advisor to institutional brokerage organizations serving various hedge funds. Mr. Cohen is a member of the Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York, and is a member of the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.
He and his wife Laura are the parents of Daniel Cohen, Class of 2010.
Gail M. Dudack ’70 P’11 (President) is the managing director of Dudack Research Group, an independent institutional research firm that provides economic, fundamental, quantitative, and technical strategy and tools to mutual funds, hedge funds, and private money managers. Ms. Dudack was chief U.S. investment strategist for UBS AG as well as its predecessor firms from 1987 to 2000. She was a long-time panelist on PBS’ “Wall Street Week” and is currently seen/heard on Bloomberg TV/Radio. She has contributed to several documentaries and books on the stock market and is featured in “Bull! A History of the Boom, 1982-1999” by Maggie Mahar (Harper Business 2003) and in “The Heretics of Finance” by Andrew W. Lo and Jasmina Hasanhodzic (Bloomberg Press 2009). Ms. Dudack is the current president of the Skidmore Alumni Association and a current trustee and past chair of the Securities Industry Institute, a SIFMA board.
Natasha Fahey ’07 (Chair, Athletics) Natasha Fahey ’07 currently resides in Boston, MA, where she works for Levant Power, a small start-up company that is creating a fully-active suspension system that also captures energy. Natasha is Office and HR Manager and also handles accounting, media relations, and various other roles. She is pursuing an MBA at Babson College part-time and is scheduled to graduate in spring 2015. A two-sport Skidmore varsity athlete, she was a member of the women’s field hockey and women’s lacrosse teams. Natasha also played on the club women’s ice hockey team and served as 2007 Class Secretary, as well as an SGA Senator-At-Large. She was a summer intern in the United States Senate in Washington, DC, and in the Governor’s Office in Connecticut. After graduating with a double major in economics and government, she worked in the hospitality industry at the Ritz-Carlton and held a part-time retail position at J. Crew for several years. She enjoys long distance running, traveling, and representing the Friends of Skidmore Athletics on the Alumni Association Board of Directors as Chair of Athletics. She received the MVP award for service and volunteering from the Skidmore Athletic department for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Janey Gubow '81 (Vice President, Programming) is the President of JAG Entertainment & Media Group. She established, JAG in 1993, which is a broadcast public relations firm specializing in producing satellite and radio media tours, video news releases and media events, as well as buying celebrity talent. Recent clients include: AutoZone, Build-A-Bear Workshops, Campbell’s, ConAgra, Energizer, Healthy Choice, Johnson’s Baby, KFC, Kraft Foods, Pedigree, Pfizer, Sears, and Taco Bell just to name a few. Also, recent talent placements include: Campbell’s: Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Mike Wallace; Fleischmann’s: Carolyn O’Neil, R.D.; Glucerna: Patti LaBelle; M&M/Mars: Kirk Cameron, Shelley Fabares and Shanna Reed; Pontiac: Penn & Teller and Cirque Du Soleil; Schering-Plough Corporation: The Harlem Globetrotters and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band; Sprint: Rockapella and Dick Vitale; Volkswagen: Mountaineering expert, Jamie Clarke; River Cafe, for Germany’s Pro 7 Television Network: Fabio, Eartha Kitt, Mickey Rourke and Lily Tomlin. In the winter, Gubow is a certified professional ski instructor with the Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass. She is a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America. In 2011, Gubow was honored by the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club (AVSC) with the distinguished Bob Beattie Award as the top AVSC pro for her dedication to the program and devotion to the local kids. She began her career in 1982 at the National Broadcasting Company in their executive training program, as a NBC page. She was then promoted to the production staff of Saturday Night Live. From 1984 to 1992 Gubow was one of the leading talent agents in New York City, working with Cunningham, Escott, Dipene Talent Agency, and Abrams Artists & Associates. Gubow received a Bachelors of Science degree from Skidmore College in 1981, where she graduated with honors in business marketing and a minor in studio art. She is a member of the International Radio and Television Society. Gubow was featured in Newsweek magazine and has appeared on both CNNfn and CNBC. She was appointed to the Skidmore College Alumni Board of Directors as Vice President and also serves as her Class President as well as the reunion co-chair for her alma mater. She also serves on the board of directors of GrassRoots TV in Aspen, CO. Gubow splits her time between New York City and Aspen, CO.
Sibyl Waterman Haley, '71 (Chair, Nominating) lives in Portland, ME with her two Golden Retrievers, and works in Senator Olympia Snowe's office. Originally from Iowa, she came a long way from home for college and it was a life-altering experience. Her four years at Skidmore greatly enriched her, leading to a job in the Admissions Office for several years after graduation. Traveling around the country to "sell" the College reinforced and enhanced her allegiance to Skidmore, and in the ensuing years she has been a very active alumna. She has held a variety of volunteer posts: Maine Club President, Class Secretary, Class Agent, AAC, Fund Chair, REGPAC member (Chair, Reunion Giving), National FOP Chair, and four terms (including the current one) on the Alumni Board, with one as Alumna Trustee. She has been active in all 1971 reunion activities, and received the Outstanding Service Award in 2006. Her passion for Skidmore is a driving one in her life, and she is still spreading that Skidmore message zealously. She is delighted that her nephew graduated in 1996 and that two cousins are current students.
Bill Haydon '06 (Chair of University Without Walls) majored in business during his time at Skidmore College. Bill joined Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network as a Financial Advisor primarily to manage family money for affluent individuals. Bill began his career at UBS financial services where he was a Portfolio Manager and Account Vice President. During his career at UBS, Bill built a successful advisory practice and founded the Heritage Investment Group. In addition to a BS in business from Skidmore College, Bill also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, Isenberg School of Management. Bill's hobbies include being the archivist for his father, Inventor A.W. Haydon. He collects organizes and preserves biographical data and assists at museum shows in his free time. Bill lives in Madison, CT with his wife, Laura, and his three children, Will, Griffin, and Chloe.
Adam Wald ’94 (Chair, Reunion) majored in Theater and graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art shortly after Skidmore. He has found success as a commercial voiceover actor for companies from Time Warner to McDonalds. He regularly performs on stage in New York City and in films, most notably in the internationally acclaimed “Monógomo Sucesivo” which was shot in 7 countries on 3 continents. Adam also has extensive corporate experience, having served as coordinator for Executive Education programs at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business for over 8 years. He also worked for U.N. Under-Secretary General, Shashi Tharoor as his personal and executive assistant during Dr. Tharoor’s successful run for Minister of State in India. Through his latest project, Creative Careers, Adam is helping young professionals establish personalized, step-by-step paths for employment success. With an emphasis on individualized business strategies, clients learn to create their own brand and market themselves in a competitive environment. Adam in also President of Skidmore NYC, the alumni club of the greater New York City area.
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