Advisory Board

Vanessa von Bismarck, a founding partner of BPCM, is one of the most established and respected global voices in fashion public relations. In the nearly two decades since founding BPCM, which now employs over 75 staffers across two continents, Vanessa has been instrumental in building the names of some of fashion’s most recognizable brands.

Vanessa is an expert in navigating both global and emerging bands through the ever-changing media landscape as digital, social and B2B opportunities create new challenges and possibilities. The success of BPCM has been built on an ethos of proactive, personalized and lightning fast strategy that ensures clients maintain their positions as the leaders, innovators and firebrands of the global fashion market.


With a burning desire to help effect positive changes in her community, Erica attended a rally for the December 12th Movement, an international human rights’ group. Joining the December 12th Movement empowered Erica, then 18, and solidified her life’s ambition to become a change maker. Shortly after, she founded the Black Consciousness Youth Movement that not only helped create and develop student governments in New York City high schools, but also organized action against police brutality, while calling for self- accountability.

While at York College (The City of the University of New York), where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, she served as President of the Black Student Caucus, Vice President of the Evening Student Government and co-founder of The Code Club, formed in 1994, with her friend, the late Tupac Shakur, and others. The group’s mission was to keep young people out of jail and to decrease “Black on Black” crime. In 1998 and 1999, The Code co-coordinated the Million Youth March where tens of thousands of young people from across the country assembled to rally against injustices and strengthen their plat- forms.

In 2002, the tragic murders of two children in her community inspired Erica, along with Jef- fery “Ja Rule” Atkins and others, to create the monumental LIFE Camp (Love Ignites Free- dom Through Education). LIFE Camp provides at-risk inner-city youth, ages 13-24 years, the valuable tools they need to stay in school and out of the criminal justice system. The pro- gram also offers these individuals educational, employment and social opportunities they might not otherwise have. LIFE Camp has even spawned an I Love My LIFE tour which high- lights young entrepreneurs and visits schools and prisons with the LIFE Camp message of anti-violence and self-love. Another offshoot of LIFE Camp is Erica’s Peace is a Lifestyle pro- gram, featuring holistic guru Deepak Chopra. Chopra, an outspoken supporter of Erica’s work, makes monthly visits to LIFE Camp where he talks to and meditates with the group participants.

Through the years, Erica’s dedication to reducing violence among young New Yorkers has garnered, countless awards, accolades, praise and recognition by notable public figures such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Reverend Al Sharpton, and hip hop mogul Russell Simmons. Her recognized leadership has brought extensive travel and speaking gigs in prisons, community centers, high schools, college campuses, and conferences throughout the country and internationally.

Erica’s made numerous appearances in print, television, radio and Internet outlets and has partnered with numerous entertainers, and athletes, such as Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Salt & Pepa, NBA Allstars Kenny Smith, Stephon Marbury and John Starks, NFL Superbowl Champ Michael Strahan and TI, to name a few, encouraging them to give back and play an active role in transforming lives and communities.

Kaitlin M. Roig-DeBellis is the Founder & Executive Director of Classes 4 Classes, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization. Kaitlin founded Classes 4 Classes knowing that positive social change was needed, and that this needed to begin with the youngest members of our society, our K-8 students. Classes 4 Classes is a social networking tool, for every student in the United States to learn: compassion, caring, kindness, empathy, consideration, through active engagement. Classes 4 Classes has worked with over 1,000 students in 10 states. In 2016 they are expanding to all 50 states. Kaitlin was selected as a Top 50 Teacher by The Global Teacher Prize, out of over 8,500 teachers in 155 countries. In 2016 Kaitlin will receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Kaitlin speaks to School Boards, Administrators, Teachers and Students around the world as a key note and commencement speaker. Kaitlin is the author of ‘Choosing Hope: Moving Forward From Life’s Darkest Hours’ published by G.P. Putnam & Penguin. ‘Choosing Hope’ is a finalist in the category of memoir for The Books For a Better Life Award. Kaitlin teaches Education courses at Bay Path University as an Adjunct Professor. Kaitlin serves on the Uconn NEAG Alumni Association Board of Directors and also serves on the awards selection committee. She also serves as a mentor for the Leadership Legacy Experience at Uconn for extraordinary students.

In October 2014, Kaitlin received the alumni association’s Humanitarian Award from her alma mater, The University of Connecticut. In May 2014, Kaitlin received two Honorary Doctorates, one of Humane Letters from Bay Path College and the other of Public Service from Luzerne College. Kaitlin delivered a TED x talk at UMass Amherst in April 2014. Kaitlin and her non-profit have been featured in People, Glamour, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan, as well as, on World News with Diane Sawyer, Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Extra and Yahoo News!

In 2013 Kaitlin received the Dedicated Teacher Award from The Chicago International Conference on Education. Kaitlin writes educational blog posts for the Huffington Post weekly. Kaitlin also contributed to the book ‘Teaching From the Heart’ volume 2, published in May 2014. Kaitlin ran the NYC marathon, in honor of 12/14/12, and the lives lost.

In 2013 Kaitlin was honored as one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year along side Nobel Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai, Congresswoman and shooting survivor Gabby Giffords, and Emmy nominated actress Kerry Washington, among others. Previous Glamour Women of the year include Former First Lady and teacher, Laura Bush and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In 2007 Kaitlin began teaching first grade at Sandy Hook Elementary School. There she served on the Math Committee, Language Arts Committee, Action Research Committee, and Social Committee.


Di Petroff  is an accomplished communications and public relations expert with over a decade of experience within an expansive collection of arenas including: Beauty/Wellness, Fashion, Hospitality & Travel, Media, Philanthropy, Design/Décor, Personality, Technology, Children and Culinary markets.

Di’s experience is anchored by her work with prestigious publications including GQ, Gotham, Hamptons and LA Confidential where she had a monthly column titled ‘To Di For’. As an advantageous media expert, she served as an official on-air trend and style correspondent for national networks including CNBC, VH1, E! Entertainment Network, Extra, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and FOX News. As Director of events and strategic partnerships for SHVO, a luxury real estate marketing company, she worked with high-end design and hospitality brands including Armani Casa, Aman Resorts, Philippe Starck and W Hotels.

An accomplished entrepreneur, Di leveraged her strategic vision to launch and lead Brandstyle Communications, which she sold to her business partner in April 2015 after 8 years. During her tenure at the agency, Di secured the success of Hunter Boots in the US and lead multi-layered strategic media campaigns for brands such as Lilly Pulitzer, Peter Manning, Criquet Shirts, THEOUTNET.COM, SERENA & LILY, Wölffer Estate Vineyard, Joey Wölffer, The Chatwal, J. McLaughlin, and La Cornue, among others.

Di has critical insight and a proven understanding of what resonates with media ultimately making an impact on the brand’s target audience. After launching Di Petroff PR in May 2015, Di continues to strategically lead a team of enthusiastic professionals and garner top-tier press for her clients across the luxury fashion and lifestyle markets. Whether it’s a press event, influencer seeding, strategic brand partnerships or establishing trends, Di Petroff is passionate about the discovery and challenge of repositioning a heritage brand to make it buzzworthy or launching new brands.


Kate T. Parker is a mother, wife, former collegiate soccer player, Ironman and professional photographer who shoots both fine art projects and commercial work for clients across North America.  Her Strong is the New Pretty photo series has led to collaborations with brands like Athleta, Kelloggs, Oxygen, and Girls on the Run.  The project also inspired Kate to launch a philanthropic arm of Strong is the New Pretty, partnering with organizations that invest in girls’ health and education.  When she’s not photographing, Kate can be found coaching her daughters’ soccer teams.  She lives with her family in Atlanta, Georgia.

Stephanie Seban is a blogger, wellness advocate and cancer thriver who splits her time between Los Angeles and New York. She has been thriving with stage IV metastatic breast cancer for over 5 years.  Given a grim prognosis at such a young age, she has managed to defy all odds by being her own health advocate and now uses her story as a catalyst to spread the message, when one truly believes, ALL things are possible. Through all of her acquired knowledge and experiences, she has become an advocate and mentor for young women.  Stephanie was a recipient of a Glam4Good pampering experience in 2014 and has since been inspired to continue sharing her journey, and has become involved in multiple philanthropic works and projects.

As a young adult living with cancer, Stephanie learned pretty quickly that there aren’t many resources available that provide community and support for young women with cancer.  There are so many unique challenges that younger individuals are faced with that aren’t addressed or acknowledged.  This fueled Stephanie to make it her mission to educate herself and learn everything she possibly could about the treatment and prevention of cancer and “dis-ease” and search for information relative to younger women. She has since launched her site,, which is a collection of her personal experiences, knowledge and resources for anyone facing a cancer diagnosis or health challenge, or for anyone in need of inspiration.


At 17 years old, Kirstie Ennis lived her dream; she became a United States Marine. Now, she intends to use her life to inspire others to chase their dreams. The six years she was in, she performed duties as a helicopter door gunner and airframes mechanic on the helicopters. While performing combat operations on her last deployment to Afghanistan, her helicopter went down on June 23, 2012. As a result of the crash she sustained various injuries to include: left leg above the knee amputation, full thickness facial trauma, traumatic brain injury, cervical spine trauma, and lumbar spine trauma. She medically retired out of the Marine Corps as a Sergeant in May 2014. Now, at 25 she has earned her Masters in Psychology, Masters in Business Administration, and is working on her Masters in Public Administration. Her future plans include representing her country in a different capacity. She will represent her country in the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in snowboarding. She has been honored as one of People Magazine’s Body Image Heroes and Cosmopolitan’s American Heroes.

Marie Griffin is the sought-after authority in media, communication and executive training for leaders and personalities in business, film, fashion, music, beauty, sports, media, wellness and design among other areas.  Her immersive process is informed by a profound understanding of people and a deep knowledge of the media, branding and marketing landscapes.

Marie’s hallmark is her work from the inside out to elevate clients to their most authentic and genuine selves.  Her trusted, holistic method has been described as “honest, insightful, grounding and transformative.”  More than one client has said, “I thought you were going to tell me what to say.  Instead, you taught me how to think.”

Marie began her career in front of the camera as a Seventeen magazine editor. As US Director of Paris-based think tank Promostyl and VP of Global Marketing and New Business Development at pop culture research firm POP-EYE, she spent over a decade trend forecasting for and strategizing with the world’s most valuable brands. In 1995, she launched Griffin Marketing & PR, a Media Training meets Branding and Broadcast Media PR firm, amassing an unparalleled client roster.

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Francesco Clark grew up in Bronxville, NY, and graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University with a double major in international relations and romance languages. After graduation, Francesco worked for both Condé Nast’s Mademoiselle magazine, and Hearst’s Harper’s Bazaar, where he assisted Mary Alice Stephenson, and solidified his passion for beauty and style.

In 2002, Francesco suffered a crippling spinal cord injury, which led to clogged pores and chronic breakouts. Determined to tackle the issue at hand, Francesco began developing formulas with this father, an M.D. and homoeopath, out of his home. The process of creating the products became an organic part of Francesco’s physical recovery, giving him a sense of purpose as he navigated an otherwise long and arduous road. As Francesco began to experience improvements in his skin, his friends asked to try the products, and it wasn’t long before the line gained a dedicated following.

Each of the botanically-based, paraben-free products in the Clark’s Botanicals line feature Jasmine Absolute, a proprietary blend of botanical extracts and essential oils that rebalances and transforms the skin. The line has won the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) 2008 “Indie” Beauty Award, The Fashion Group International (FGI) 2008 Beauty/Fragrance Rising Star Award, and was the first beauty brand to win a Martha Stewart American Made Award.  Francesco serves as the CEO of Clark’s Botanicals and senior vice president of Glansaol, a global beauty and personal care company which purchased the brand in 2017. He’s also a national ambassador for the Christopher Reeve Foundation and was awarded the Spirit of Courage Award by the foundation in 2014. In addition, Francesco authored the memoir “(Hyperion Publishing) Walking Papers: The Accident That Changed My Life And The Business That Brought Me Back to My Feet,” and is currently finishing a fellowship with the Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Adrienne Arieff is the co-founder of Project Mentor and the AEA Advisory and a special projects consultant for OutCast overseeing brand strategy and communications initiatives for start-ups and Fortune 500 brands from Facebook and Assembled Brands to Azalea Group. Adrienne supports portfolio companies in integrating business functions – B2B/B2C marketing communications to effectively bring products/services to market with continued focus on driving brand value.

She was founder and Chief Strategist of award winning brand marketing and digital firm (Arieff Communications) from 2003-2015. She helped some of the world’s leading global brands such as; adidas, Lexus, method, GILT and The Outnet at the intersection of retail, corporate social responsibility, lifestyle, and technology navigate the ever-changing world of communications, branding, digital media and marketing. 

Adrienne has held education and communication positions for UNICEF in New York City and EURO RSCG Magnet in San Francisco where she led the strategy for partnership development, brand discoveries, and public relations.

She has authored 3 books: The Sacred Thread, SPA, and Fairytale Success: A Guide to Entrepreneurial Magic. Editorial has included: The New York Times, C Magazine, The Huffington Post, LinkedIn and Thrive Global. Adrienne is a do-gooder and feels its the responsibility of every individual to give back and be of service. From a young age she has volunteered/or advised several non-profits, Venture Capital Firms, and accelerator groups including: UpFront Ventures, Highway 1, Universal Giving, Project Glimmer, Room To Read, Accel Foods, dot429, Enterprise for High School Students, Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation, Glide Memorial, Accountability Counsel, Dress For Success and The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund. In addition to advising, she has been an advocate and doer in the space of mentorship for over 10 years recently co-founding a mentoring program called Project Mentor that has impacted the lives of hundreds of student mentees and professional mentors.