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Read bios for: Brad VanAuken | Todd Butler | Carl Carballada | Mark Cuddy | Eliza Kozlowski | Bill Murphy | David Thiel | Heidi Zimmer-Meyer

Brad VanAuken Photo

Brad VanAuken, President, Harvard Business School Club of Rochester, BrandFordward Inc
A native Rochesterian, Brad VanAuken is president and founder of BrandForward, Inc., a brand management consultancy with clients throughout the world. Brad has helped position Bangkok, Thailand as a global fashion capital and downtown Tampa as an up-and-coming place to live in southwest Florida. Previously, Brad was the vice president of marketing for Element K and director of brand management and marketing for Hallmark Cards, Inc.  During his tenure as Hallmark’s chief brand advocate, Hallmark rose to 4th in the EquiTrend national quality brand ranking and Hallmark received the Brand Management of the Year award.

Recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on brand management and marketing, Brad is a keynote speaker at some 20 major conferences a year. He writes extensively for the business press and academic journals and is quoted in numerous publications. He has been a guest lecturer on marketing at Stanford, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and other universities. He wrote the books The Brand Management Checklist and Brand Aid.   Brad is actively involved in several non-profit organizations and has received numerous awards for civic involvement in Kansas City and Rochester. He has a BS degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Harvard Business School. (Top)

Todd Butler Photo

Todd Butler, President & CEO, Advertising Council of Rochester
Todd Butler is a native of the community and has lived here all but a few years of his life. Before assuming his current role, Todd has served in marketing positions in a variety of industries. Most of his career has been spent in the nonprofit community, leading the marketing efforts for Seneca Park Zoo and Genesee Country Village & Museum.

When not in these roles, he worked for advertising agency Wolf Group (now Partners + Napier), The Harrisburg Patriot-News, and Harris Interactive, one of the largest and the fastest growing market research firms in the world. Todd lives in Greece, NY, with his wife Andrea and their three children. (Top)

Carlos Carballada Photo

Carl Carballada, Commissioner of Economic Development, City of Rochester
Carlos Carballada is the Commissioner, Department of Economic Development, City of Rochester. His mission is to provide a business friendly culture in the city of Rochester that will maintain its business base and welcome new enterprises to the area. He was previously a director of M&T Bank and M&T Corporation and the President & CEO of First National Bank, Central Trust Company and Citizens Central Bank (Arcade, NY).

He is currently the chair of the advisory board of M&T Bank, on the board of directors of Rochester Midland Corporation, chair of the board of directors of AAA Western and Central New York and on the board of directors of AAA of New York State. He was on the New York State Board of Regents from 1978 until 1999. Throughout much of the 1990s, he was Chancellor or Chancellor Emeritus of that organization. He is or has been on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations. He has received numerous civic awards and honorary doctorate degrees from four universities. (Top)

Mark Cuddy Photo

Mark Cuddy, Artistic Director, Geva Theatre Center
Mark Cuddy is in his 12th season as Artistic Director of Geva Theatre Center, where he directed Our Town, Tuesdays with Morrie earlier this season, Splitting Infinity and Vigil last season and A Chorus Line, Hamlet and the American premiere of That Was Then in the 2004-2005 season. Mr. Cuddy is well known for his staging of premieres, contemporary comedies and musical theatre. Among his Geva Theatre Center productions have been the Mainstage and Nextstage productions of Convenience (world premiere musical); 1776; Proof; the world premier of Thornton Wilder’s Theophilus North which was also seen at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.; The Miser; the East Coast premieres of both House and Garden; Quilters; Art; Famous Orpheus (world premiere musical) with Garth Fagan Dance; Every Good Boy Deserves Favor with the RPO; Golf em>With Alan Shepard; Picasso at the Lapin Agile and State of the Union. Prior to his tenure at Geva Theatre Center, Mr. Cuddy directed a number of world and American classics while Artistic Director of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Sacramento Theatre Company. (Top)


Eliza Kozlowski, Director of Communications & Visitor Services, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film
Eliza Benington Kozlowski is Director of Communications and Visitor Services at George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film in Rochester, New York where she has worked since 1990. She is currently chair of the Public Relations and Marketing (PRAM) Committee of the American Association of Museums and serves on the boards of ARTWalk and the Susan B. Anthony House. She is an active member of the Greater Rochester Visitors Association and was presented with the I Love New York Award for Cultural Tourism Promotion in 2004. A graduate of St. Lawrence University, she was a Rochester Business Journal 40-under-40, a graduate of Leadership Rochester, and an Athena Award Nominee. (Top)

Bill Murphy Photo

Bill Murphy, Vice President of Communications, University of Rochester
Bill Murphy has been vice president for communications at the University of Rochester since March 2006. Bill and his wife Lamar moved here from Columbus, Ohio after careers spent largely in Illinois. Bill has held leadership positions in communications at Ohio State, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the University of Chicago. He has led graphic identity campaigns Rochester and Illinois. (Top)



David Thiel Photo

David Thiel, CEO, Auragen
David Thiel is co-founder and Chief Executive of Auragen Communications, a brand-focused interactive services firm based in Rochester. In addition, he is founder and President/CEO of locally based online retailer, Inc.

Having moved to Rochester for college, he avoided the brain drain to stay through his twenties and settle in Fairport with his wife Vita and two boys. David is an active participant in (and booster for) the quality of our community -- serving on several local boards, mixing it up in local politics, and assisting with other entrepreneurial ventures. David is a graduate of University of Rochester, earning degrees in biology and English in 1995. He graduates from the MBA program at the Simon School this spring. (Top)

Heidi Zimmer-Meyer

Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, President, Rochester Downtown Development Corporation
Heidi Zimmer-Meyer is currently President of the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation (RDDC), where she has held a number of positions over the past 23 years. Since 1994, Ms. Zimmer-Meyer has also held the position of District Manager for Downtown Special Services, Inc. (DSSI), the charitable not-for-profit corporation that operated the Downtown Guides Program and now operates the soon-to-be-launched Downtown Special Services program.

Ms. Zimmer-Meyer sits on the Rochester City Planning Commission, the Rochester Police Chief’s Council, and is a Vice President on the NYS Urban Council. She also sits on the boards of the Rochester Area Community Foundation, Rochester Convention Center Management Corporation, Rochester Education Foundation, and The Commission Project.

Prior to joining RDDC, Ms. Zimmer-Meyer was Special Assistant to the State Director for the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development in Greensboro, North Carolina; a consultant to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and staff assistant to the Buffalo Landmark and Preservation Board in Buffalo, New York. She holds a Masters Degree in City and Regional Planning with a joint degree in Economic Development and Real Estate Development from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a B.A. degree from the University of Rochester with a double major in Anthropology and Urban Sociology. (Top)