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Calls to Action

National Corporate Development Committee

James Broder

James Broder has served a variety of positions in the banking and finance industry. He has been the managing director at Pierpoint Securities and in Fixed Income Sales at Deutsche Bank. Prior to 2008, Broder was with Bear Stearns for 15 years as a senior managing director in the Fixed Income Sales Division.

Broder and his wife, Shannon are parents of two sons, and have been very active in the autism community, particularly in the Nantucket, Mass. area. Broder has co-chaired the Nantucket Walk Now for Autism Speaks since its inception.

Charles A. Chimera, CBS Outdoor

Charles Chimera is a national account executive at CBS Outdoor. He has managed, maintained, serviced and sold CBS Outdoor media properties to an account portfolio of national advertising agencies and direct clients for nearly two decades. Charles is an avid supporter of Autism Speaks and assists in building awareness of the various programs and initiatives of Autism Speaks by planning advertising space for Walks and events. His efforts have resulted in donations of millions of dollars in ad space as well as serving on the planning and fundraising committee for the 2010 New York Tri-State Gala honoring David Penski.

Charles and his wonderful wife, Monica Capela Chimera, are the proud parents of two beautiful children.

Sal Collemi, WeiserMazars, LLP

Salvatore Collemi possesses nearly two decades of experience in corporate governance and risk management matters impacting the U.S. public accounting profession. He specializes in U.S. and international auditing and quality control standards, independence and ethics as well as International Financial Reporting Standards.

At the firm of WeiserMazars, he is responsible for audit methodology and monitoring of all U.S. and international professional standards and compliance matters impacting the firm's assurance practice. He performs independent engagement quality reviews of U.S. and international attest clients, oversees the firm’s internal inspection program and monitors the independence and ethics requirements of firm personnel. He is also a frequent lecturer and is regularly published and quoted in industry and business magazines.

Mr. Collemi was recently appointed as leader of the Firm's Italian Desk to elevate WeiserMazars's visibility with the Italian business community in the U.S. by demonstrating our Firm’s unique international capabilities and dimensions not only from a technical and coverage standpoint but also with regard to language and cultural understanding.

As a recognized expert on IFRS, Mr. Collemi was named by the AICPA as an official participant in the development and review of IFRS questions for the Uniform CPA Examination and has reviewed the content for the IFRS Certificate of Accomplishment Program. He currently serves as the IFRS expert at-large member of the AICPA Board of Examiners Content Committee.

During his career, he has held positions at the Division of Corporation Finance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the SEC Practice Section (SECPS) of the AICPA as well as at several international public accounting firms. While with the AICPA, he served as liaison to the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), assisting in the development of the policies and procedures for the Forum of Firms (FOF).

Collemi is a certified public accountant in New York State and earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from City University-Brooklyn College with magna cum laude honors. He and his wife reside in New Jersey with their two children, where he has served as Walk Now for Autism Speaks chair and committee member.

Dan Coughlin, Twitter, Inc.

Dan Coughlin is the Director of Sales for the Eastern Region at Twitter. Prior to joining Twitter, Coughlin was the director of media sales at Facebook for four years. Previously, he held a variety of senior sales and management positions at Yahoo! during a five-year stint and worked at CBS MarketWatch and DoubleClick.   Dan has been an instrumental advisor in the development of social media initiatives at Autism Speaks.

Manny Gaunaurd, IMUSA USA

Manny Gaunaurd is the president of IMUSA, a global brand of ethnic housewares, which he transformed from his family’s small wholesale housewares business. IMUSA has more than 400 new products including kitchen gadgets and accessories, small kitchen appliances, cleaning products, bakeware, and numerous lines of specialty and everyday cookware.

IMUSA products offer authenticity and marry the traditional values of great home cooking with modern culinary aspirations. Gaunaurd is fulfilling his mission and leading IMUSA to be the top brand of ethnic housewares. In 2010 HomeWorld Business, a housewares business publication honored Gaunaurd as one of the Industry’s key people to watch.

Gaunaurd has made Autism Speaks the philanthropy of choice for IMUSA. He has been a board member of the Miami Dade Chapter since 2010, has led numerous fundraising efforts, including serving as the 2011 and 2012 Walk Chair for Miami Dade Walk Now for Autism Speaks.

IMUSA is the first cookware company to support autism as its philanthropy of choice. Fundraising events that support and promote awareness and research during Autism Awareness month include program with more than 30 Sedano’s Supermarkets. The partnership between IMUSA, Sedano’s Supermarkets and Autism Speaks has raised about $150,000 to benefit the organization.

To provide critically needed information, assistance and community involvement, Gaunaurd and IMUSA are also underwriting the first qualitative research for Hispanic families affected by autism.

Mark LaNeve, Team Detroit

Mark LaNeve is the chief operating officer for Team Detroit, the advertising agency for Ford Motor Company. LaNeve leads the strategy and overall operations for the Ford and Lincoln businesses globally.

LaNeve has served in a variety of senior-level marketing, sales and general management positions in the automotive industry for more than 25 years. Previously, he served as chief marketing officer for Allstate Insurance Company and prior to that, LaNeve was vice president of sales, service and marketing for General Motors (GM). At GM, LaNeve was responsible for sales, brand development and marketing for eight U.S. vehicle brands. He also served as vice president of marketing and advertising, and as general manager of the Cadillac division.

Brandweek magazine named LaNeve “Marketer of the Year” in 2003. He spent more than three years at Volvo Cars of North America, first as chief marketing officer and later as president and CEO.

LaNeve holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in business communication from the University of Virginia. He and his family are steadfast team participants in the Chicagoland Walk Now for Autism Speaks.

David Penski, Zenith Media

David Penski is the president of Zenith Media. Prior to his appointment as President in 2009, Penski was the dedicated lead on the Verizon account, igniting ad spending from $65 million to $2.5 billion. During that time, he was also responsible for the all newspaper, magazine and outdoor media operations at the agency. Throughout his career, Penski has held leadership positions as a planner and buyer for radio, television, out-of-home, and print, and has built substantial tenure as a client service director on accounts including Harrah's, JP Morgan Chase, Toyota and Richemont.

Penski plays a large role in Zenith's corporate social responsibility, including the company's Vision for Excellence, which explores employees' interests in social programs, community outreach, green initiatives, and further develops the company’s internship programs. His passion helped launch Zenith Gives Back, a company-wide quarterly volunteer initiative, as well as Zenith’s pro-bono media placement campaign for Autism Speaks.

Zenith has added an impressive list of clients to its roster including Reckitt-Benckiser, Aviva, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, and Travelocity under Penski’s leadership due to his renewed focus on client service, relationship building and account management.

Since joining Zenith in 1999, Penski has helped Zenith Media grow to be one the most recognized media agencies in the world. With Penski at the helm, Zenith has been recognized as the #1 media agency in revenue by Advertising Age, earned the AME Grand Trophy for Integrated Marketing on behalf of Ocean Spray and honored with Gold Effies for innovative work on Verizon and Haagen-Dazs.

Jeff Rowbottom, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co.

Jeff Rowbottom joined Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. (KKR) in 2009 and is a member of KKR Capital Markets, serving as co-head for North America. At KKR, he has played a significant role in arranging financings for portfolio companies including TASC, Del Monte, Academy Sports + Outdoor, First Data, NXP, and US Foods.

Prior to joining KKR, Rowbottom was a Managing Director and head of U.S. High Yield Capital Markets at Barclays Capital. Previously, he was a senior member of the Goldman Sachs High Yield Syndicate desk.

Rowbottom received a B.S. from the State University of New York at Albany and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Doug Sanders, Sprouts Farmers Market

Doug Sanders is the president and COO of Sprouts Farmers Market, an independent natural foods grocery chain that focuses on “healthy living for less”. With recent acquisitions, Sprouts now ranks as No. 2, behind Whole Foods, in the fresh-food, organic and natural retail market (Supermarket News, March 2012). Sprouts has 150 locations in eight states with 11,000-plus employees and celebrated its 10th Anniversary in June 2010. Sanders is a tireless customer and company advocate, and is also the inspirational force behind Sprouts' annual autism research benefit campaign.

In 2010, Sprouts raised $308,000 through an in-store customer donations campaign, and had customer participation from roughly 175,000 people. The campaign included co-branded re-usable grocery bags and bottled water that were distributed for donations. In 2011, their in-store campaign raised $400,000. Sprouts had more than 500 volunteers staff autism awareness tables in all Sprouts locations throughout the month of May 2010. Sprouts employees surpassed their 2011 goal of raising a total of $1 million for Walk Now for Autism Speaks Arizona and is focused on achieving the same results for 2012.

Dan Schulman, American Express Corp.

As group president of Enterprise Growth with American Express, Dan Schulman is responsible for the company’s global strategy to expand alternative mobile and online payment services, form new partnerships and build revenue streams beyond the traditional card and travel businesses. He is also responsible for the company’s Business Development, Mergers and Acquisitions unit, as well as Revolution Money, the online payments business acquired last year, and the Global Prepaid business.

Prior to joining American Express, Dan was the CEO of Virgin Mobile USA, which he founded in September 2001. With a record of high performance in the consumer-marketing arena and almost two decades of experience in the telecommunications industry, he led the company from concept and nationwide launch in 2002 to become one of the nation’s top wireless carriers, with more than five million customers and $1.3 billion in annual sales. Virgin Mobile USA was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange in October 2007. In November 2009, Virgin Mobile was acquired by Sprint for approximately $800 million.

Previously, Dan served as the chief executive officer of, where he established one of the most popular and recognized brands on the Internet, and was a primary architect in driving the company to profitability and more than $1 billion in revenues. Before that, Dan worked for more than 18 years at AT&T, becoming the youngest member of the company’s senior executive team, the AT&T Operations Group, and was president of its $22 billion long distance division.

Dan was recently named a winner of the New Jersey Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, saluting executives’ efforts in business excellence and community improvement, and was selected by Fierce Wireless as one of the Top 25 most powerful people in the global wireless industry. He currently serves on the board of governors of Rutgers University. He is a member of the board of directors of Symantec and Flextronics, and he chairs the compensation committee on each board. He also serves on the board of Autism Speaks, and the advisory committee of Greycroft Partners, a private equity company.

Dan earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Middlebury College and a Masters in Business Administration from New York University, majoring in Finance.

Laura Slatkin, Candela Group/Nest Fragrances

Laura Slatkin is the president and CEO of Candela Group, a manufacturer and international market of home fragrance products. Founded in 2005, Candela Group designs and produces custom collections for high-end private label clients in luxury, beauty, fashion, media and non-profit industries. Slatkin began her career in the fragrance industry in 1992 when she and her husband, Harry Slatkin, founded Slatkin & Co., the leading fragrance company renowned for its luxurious scents, candles, potpourri and other essentials for rooms and environments.

In 2002, after their son was diagnosed with autism, she and her husband founded the New York Center for Autism (NYCA), a tripartite organization dedicated to autism education, community outreach and biomedical research. NYCA created the NYCA Charter School, the first public charter school dedicated to serving children with autism which opened in 2005.

In addition to Autism Speaks and NYCA, Slatkin also serves on the boards of the NYCA Charter School and the Henry Street Settlement House.

Slatkin began her professional career in 1980 as a senior vice president with Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb after graduating from New York University. She lives in New York City with her husband and their twins, David and Alexandra.

Rick Smith, FelCor Lodging Trust

Rick Smith has served as the president and chief executive officer of FelCor Lodging Trust since 2006. He joined FelCor in 2004 as the executive vice president and chief financial officer. As president, Smith has developed a new asset management approach and executed a comprehensive capital spending and redevelopment program.

Prior to joining FelCor, Smith served as executive vice president and chief financial officer with Wyndham International, where he was responsible for the company’s financial strategy and operations. Smith also previously worked with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Worldwide, Inc., with Atlantic Richfield Company and with Coopers & Lybrand.

Smith is a certified public accountant. He graduated from the University of Tennessee where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Business Law.  He has been instrumental in developing FelCor’s corporate philanthropic efforts in support of the Dallas-Fort Worth Walk Now for Autism Speaks since 2007. 

Autism Speaks Staff Lead: Patrick J. Kemp, EVP of Marketing, Corporate Relations & Development