Board Members

The Social Media Association’s Board of Directors is a core group of dedicated individuals who span fields such as marketing, communications, public relations, design, branding, technology, legal counsel, education and non-profit. They are devoted to helping advance social media by bringing innovative and inspiring programs to the group’s members while providing leadership, governance and oversight.


JULIE ALLEGRETTI: Co-President 

JAllegretti_Headshot - Copy

Ms. Allegretti is the Marketing Coordinator for the Russo Law Group.  Previously, she provided diverse administrative and project support in the development and execution of all Center for Biotechnology programs and activities. Her background includes over 8 years experience as the Operations and Social Media Coordinator at the Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT), New York State’s Regional Technology Development Center and Manufacturing Extension Partner for Long Island.

She was involved in the data collection for a regional New York State Department of Labor initiative (Connect Long Island’s 13N project) which identified and implemented regional economic transformational strategies for workforce development in various manufacturing industry sectors. She works side by side with LIFT’s executive staff, planning and coordinating special events, supporting committees, initiating workforce programs and has led funding efforts for the annual LIFT Technology Scholarship program. As a result of coordinating the “Manufacturing Day” initiatives on Long Island, she was recognized by Nassau County Executive, Edward Mangano and received a Proclamation declaring October “Manufacturing Month” across the Long Island Region.

She was named in the 2015 Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce “Celebrate Long Island’s Young Professionals” 30 Under 30 Award for making a notable impact on local businesses, industry and community. In 2016, she was awarded the honor of Excellence in Communication in the area of In-House Marketing Professional and awarded with the Millennial Award, both from the Long Island Business News.  In November of 2016 she became a member of the Suffolk County Legislature Next Generation Advisory Council. In January of 2017, she joined the Farmingdale State College Alumni Board. She also volunteers her time to the Nassau County Camera Club as their Webmaster.

She holds a BS in Security Systems, AS in Criminal Justice, and AS in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Farmingdale State College (FSC). She was a founding member and treasurer of the National Criminal Justice Honor Society, a founding member of the Tennis Team, and a member of the FSC Student Athletic Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C). She also helped students transition to college life in her role as a New Student Orientation Leader.

She also enjoys keeping abreast of the latest technology and devices that are on the market. She can be found on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and whatever comes next!

PETER STEIN: Co-President

Peter is a Sales Executive with Didit. Prior to joining Didit he has spent the last 20 years in new business development roles with marketing services companies including a database marketing agency, direct marketing agencies, and direct mail production companies. Peter’s experience includes branding, direct marketing strategy and planning, creative development, database marketing and targeting, production management, website development, search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, and results analysis.

During his career Peter has worked with a diverse client base including business to business, financial services, insurance, non-profit, and publishing. He has been published several times and participated in various speaking engagements through industry trade associations.

BETH GRANGER: Vice President and Secretary

Beth Granger works with organizations and individuals who want to fill their sales pipeline, supercharge their prospecting and networking, advance in their career, and build their professional brand, all using LinkedIn.

She is a trainer, consultant, speaker, moderator, emcee, and certified virtual speaker.

Beth also helps produce and facilitate engaging and interactive online business development networking events for American Business Associates and is a host of LinkedIn Local, a series of events designed to let attendees “meet the people behind the profiles.”

Before starting her own consulting company Beth was the Director of Online Marketing and Design at Pall Corporation, a global industry leader in filtration and separation. Beth provided the vision, strategic planning, and management for all initiatives related to the global multi-language website. She also directed the web and corporate design departments, and the global corporate identity program.

Every week, Beth broadcasts on LinkedIn Live to introduce interesting people to her broader network through ½ hour conversations or share useful strategies to grow your business or brand. 

Contact information:

beth@bethgranger.com

516-515-1213

DONNA RIVERA-DOWNEY: Co-Treasurer 

donna_rivera_downey_cropped

Donna is an accomplished businesswoman and community advocate who currently serves as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for the Girl Scouts of Nassau County. While balancing family life with a host of civic and professional service organizations, Donna is known and well respected for her ability to bring together people and resources to accomplish tasks that benefit her employers and the community.

After twenty-two years in banking, Donna wanted to shift her career focus to better match her passion for civic engagement — she joined Girl Scouts of Nassau County as Director of Marketing in 2001. Through this career change, she has been able to meld her financial acumen, her skill in building relationships and her creativity to advance the Girl Scout brand and lift the Girl Scout mission: to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Donna leads all areas of marketing at Girl Scouts, from print to web to special events, and maintains direct connections to the girls in Girl Scouting through her management of the renowned Girl Scouts of Nassau County Chorus, Media Girls and Ceremonial Corps.

Recognizing that technology is key to girls as well as GenX and GenY parents, Donna was an early adopter and campaigner for using social media to connect with Girl Scout families, volunteers and alumnae. Her social media work for Girl Scouts of Nassau County was recognized with a SocialNetworker Award: Best Use of Facebook at the 2011 Folio Awards. In addition, Donna is a member of the Girl Scouts of the USA’s MarComm, a select leadership group of marketing professionals from Girl Scout Councils around the country, who advise and assist the national organization on messaging and communications issues.

Donna is a past President of the Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club, a past Assistant District Governor for Rotary District 7250, and Youth Exchange Chair for Rotary District 7250. She is also on the Board of Public Relations Professionals of Long Island.

SHARYN O’MARA: Co-Treasurer

SharynFINAL_1357_ret_300dpi[1]Sharyn O’Mara is communications director at Great Neck-based matrimonial and family law firm Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, where she launched and manages social media initiatives and develops public relations, advertising and marketing programs for the law firm.

Sharyn serves as co-treasurer on the board of directors of the Social Media Association and is former co-president.  She is a former three year board member of Public Relations Professionals of Long Island (PRPLI), where she chaired the scholarship committee. Sharyn is an adjunct professor at Farmingdale State College, teaching Public Relations for the third straight year. Sharyn was an adjunct professor at Adelphi University where she taught Introduction to Public Relations class.  For several years, she led monthly seminars on Social Media for Business Use at various Long Island Libraries.  She was an instructor in the Continuing Education program at Hofstra University, teaching Strategic Marketing for the 21st Century, a class in the Not-For-Profit Leadership certificate program and she also led Marketing Tools for Attorneys and other Professional Services.  Sharyn is also a “permalancer” with an elder law and estate planning law firm for over five years.

Prior to joining Wisselman, Harounian & Associates over a decade ago, Sharyn was primarily involved in marketing on national consumer brands including Weight Watchers, McDonald’s, TDK Electronics, United Media (PEANUTS, Dilbert and National Geographic) and Purdue Pharma. She has led successful marketing programs on both the corporate and agency side.

Contact Info:
Sharyn O’Mara
www.lawjaw.com
516-773-8300
LinkedIn
Twitter
 

HILARY TOPPER: Founder & president ex-officio 

Hilary is the founder of the Social Media Association. She formed the group in 2012.

She is the CEO of HJMT Public Relations, Inc. (http://www.hjmt.com ), a firm she started in 1992. She is also a blogger with HJMT Media Company, LLC, where she writes two blogs – www.NYLifestyleBlog.com and www.ATriathletesDiary.com. She also is an avid podcaster with http://www.HilaryTopperonAir.com, where she interviews leaders to help business owners grow both personally and professionally.  

In addition to that, Hilary is an Adjunct Professor teaching digital communications, influencer relations, persuasive presentation, campaigns and other topics at Hofstra University for more than seven years.

Hilary wrote one of the first books on social media, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media, but were afraid to ask… Building Your Business Using Consumer Generated Media. The book received high accolades and support from the PR industry, the business community and publications throughout the world. She sold thousands of copies worldwide. Most recently, she wrote her second book, Branding in a Digital World. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She’s also authored dozens of chapters for a variety of books and publications.

An original Google Glass Explorer, Hilary created the first Google Glass reality show on Youtube, Glasslandia. Today, the viral series has thousands of views from around the world. Even Google wanted to know when Glasslandia would have a Season 2!

Hilary has received numerous awards and honors for her accomplishments. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Hunter College and her Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College.

LARRY DRAGO: Board Member 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ldrago/

Larry Drago is an accomplished Marketing professional with extensive experience in various B2B and B2C industries. Industries he has gained expertise in include information technology, SaaS software, disaster recovery/business continuity, contact centers, public safety, digital signage, audiovisual (AV), musical instruments, consumer electronics, gaming/esports, food service/quick serve restaurant, industrial and food service packaging, trade association and higher education.

Larry possesses a proven ability to increase brand awareness and lead response inquiries. He is very detail oriented, organized and experienced at creating and producing marketing content, conceptualizing and implementing marketing strategies and managing budgets and timelines. Larry is an innovative, creative and resourceful professional, possessing excellent communication and problem-solving abilities that delivers quality results.

Larry is a 2014 recipient of the 40 under 40 award from Long Island Business News (LIBN), former Board member of the Direct Marketing Association of Long Island (DMALI) (2011-2017), member of the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island (PRPLI) and a lifetime member of Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society. He achieved a Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree in Marketing (cum laude honors) from Dowling College and holds an Associate in Science degree in Business Administration from Suffolk County Community College.

JILLIAN WESTON: Board Member

Jillian Weston started her own company, Jillian’s Circus, in 2013. Jillian’s Circus is an online marketing company that works with professionals, small businesses and large companies to develop an online marketing solution customized for their needs. Jillian’s Circus Team uses traditional values and new-age technology while working with thousands of businesses and individuals to develop their branding, content development, social media marketing, search engine optimization and website design. In addition, Jillian teaches instructional classes in schools, community centers, libraries, and corporate settings. She mentors new business owners, high school and college students. Her enthusiasm for her staff, clientele and community is infectious.

Jillian’s Circus has won awards in the categories of Best Boss and Best Social Media Agency on Long Island. She was honored by Long Island Business News as their top 30 under 30 entrepreneurs, and is honored to receive the Premier Business Women Awards from RichnerLIVE and Herald Community Newspapers.

Jillian established her own networking group, The Unicorn Network, in 2016. The Unicorn Network, is a rapidly growing organization designed for entrepreneurial millennials. Jillian serves as the President of the board. Jillian is a board member of the Rockville Centre Chamber of Commerce, member of the Nassau Council Chamber’s of Commerce, and member of many other networking and community organizations.

Jillian’s Circus contributes to many charitable organizations. In 2020, Jillian committed to running for Woman of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society raising over $57,000 for blood cancer research.

When Jillian is not in her office, just kidding- she’s always in the office.

MICHELE BIGGART: Board Member 

TITLE: Director of Business and Client Relations

COMPANY: Burner Law Group, P.C.

Michele Biggart is the Director of Business and Client Relations for Burner Law Group, P.C., a boutique law firm serving clients in all matters of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration, Guardianship, and Real Estate. In her current position, she arranges and executes over 180 educational seminars on timely topics impacting the aging and special needs population.  Michele received her undergraduate degree from St. Joseph’s College and her Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration from Stony Brook University. Michele has been a Certified Geriatric Care Manager through the University of Florida since 2013.

In 2011, Michele returned to her alma mater of St. Joseph’s College as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science where she created the first internship course allowing students to experience the political process in real time.

Michele has worked very closely with the community in events to support those diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease and those who care for them.  She was instrumental in co-creating the East End Walk for Alzheimer’s Disease in Westhampton Beach and, inspired by the supporters of the walk and lack of community resources, she became a facilitator of a support group on the East End for caregivers taking care of a loved one living with cognitive impairments.  The group continues to meet today.

Michele is the recipient of the Day Haven Neighborhood of Caring Award for her work in the community with the Alzheimer’s population and a member of multiple geriatric professional groups that support an aging population. In 2019, she was named as “Top 30 Under 30” by Long Island Business News.  She lives in Setauket with her husband and two children.