Featured Speakers

Melanie Munsey – VP of Survey Research at Numerator

Melanie Munsey is Vice President of Survey Research at Numerator where she leads the 60+ and growing US-based Survey Research Services Organization. At Numerator, she drives methodological expertise across innovation, brand strategy, and path-to-purchase. Melanie also served an assortment of the largest Consumer Packaged Goods clients at Ipsos. She has a passion for and strong experience in custom innovation from early front end through volumetric forecasting, and she is an accomplished storyteller focused on the “so what.”

Joe Brennan – VP of Marketing & Communications at Montclair State University

Joseph Brennan is communications leader with 30 years of experience serving colleges and universities. He is Montclair State University’s vice president of communications and marketing, and has also been a vice president at SUNY-Albany and the University of Iowa. Brennan is a recognized expert in the field of crisis communications. He has managed communications for a wide array of critical incidents, ranging from natural disasters to violent crime, data security breaches, research misconduct allegations, and much more. Brennan has written about the role of leaders during crises and is currently working on an approach to leading people who have suffered trauma, which he calls “leading from the heart.” Outside of work, he is an avid cyclist who has competed in state championship races, riddend 200 miles in a single day (four times), and climbed some of America’s tallest mountains on his bicycle.

Ayanna Lyons, Racial Equity Strategist, City of Philadelphia

Ayanna Lyons is the Racial Equity Strategist for the Office of Criminal Justice in the Managing Director’s Office for the City of Philadelphia. Prior to this work, she was a Policy Advocate for Straight Ahead where she worked on campaigns related to geriatric and medical parole eligibility in Pennsylvania. Ayanna Lyons is an intersectional advocate for prison abolition, education, and anti-racist work. She began a career focused on being in service to others as a college volunteer for the Petey Greene Program where she tutored math and English inside Southwoods State Prison in Bridgeton, NJ. Post-graduation, Ayanna went on to serve for AmeriCorps NCCC across the midwest as an advocate for energy conservation, environmental stewardship, infrastructure improvement, natural and other disasters, and urban and rural development. After serving with AmeriCorps, Ayanna came on board as a staff member for The Petey Greene Program where she oversaw volunteer tutors across Southern New Jersey, including tutors at her Alma Mater Rowan University. Ayanna combines her degrees in Public Relations and Philosophy to help create a world where everyone’s needs are met and access to justice is universal.

Yola Zdanowicz, CEO Ensemble Strategies

Yola founded Ensemble, a strategy firm, in 2012. She partners with her health sector clients to leverage innovative research to inform brand, communication and corporate strategies. She capitalizes on her large network to create unique solutions for each business challenge by tailoring the right ensemble, technology platforms and tools for each project. Prior to Ensemble, Yola led health practices at Ipsos & Vision Critical and also worked at two hospital/ health research centers. She has also co-authored a host of medical journal articles pinpointing unmet health needs and runs workshops to teach organizations how to leverage research to inform strategy.