Marketing and Entrepreneurship Advisory Board
Joe Gaspro has a broad sales and marketing background. He has held national sales manager and vice president of marketing roles and worked with Fortune 500 and mid-sized firms, serving both consumer and B2B markets. In 2000, Joe started a marketing consulting company, which currently is a leading US firm in the industry it serves. Joe is also an adjunct instructor in the Department of Marketing & Entrepreneurship at KSU and has taught for The University of Akron and Notre Dame College.
Kim Huff is the Community Relations Representative for the Synthomer Foundation where she manages a $1.4 million dollar budget and is responsible for the initial evaluation of all incoming grant requests from Synthomer’s ten domestic communities. She also serves as the key representative for employee and community engagement activities.
Kim serves on the Alcohol Drug and Mental Addiction Board and boards of the Akron Roundtable, Goodwill Industries and the Women’s Endowment Fund of Summit County. She graduated from The University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Organizational Communications and a Master of Arts Degree in Higher Education Administration. She also earned an MBA from Kent State University.
Amalia is Vice President, One Platform Marketing, NBC Universal. In her time with NBC Universal, she has had responsibility for the Network Partnerships team for NBC scripted shows as well as Late Night. She also created and executed award-winning marketing campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands, engaging consumers across platforms and driving incremental revenue for the network, and led integration of Buzzfeed, Vox Media, Apple News and Snapchat partnerships into NBC’s digital footprint. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree as well as Master of Business Administration from KSU.
Karen O’Brien is an Entrepreneurial Global Marketing Leader with twenty years of experience in building brands. She is a boundary breaker with a mad passion for building, growing and elevating brands through storytelling, content, community, digital, influencers and culture.
Karen has been CMO of such startup brands as Trufan.io, Playr.gg, JoinSurf.com and has held leadership roles with Signet Jewelers, Western Union, Wunderman Thompson, and Grant Thornton.
Francis A. Papay, is Professor of surgery at the Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and Chairman of the Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute and Chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Papay is a biomedical engineer and craniomaxillofacial plastic surgeon, double boarded in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery in addition to Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery with subspecialty fellowship training in skull base, craniomaxillofacial surgery, pediatric plastic surgery and aesthetic facial plastic surgery.
He holds several dozen U.S. patents that have been licensed or created into biotech companies. He is co-founder of several Cleveland Clinic biotech startup companies in addition to co-founding Nirvana Healthcare Venture Capital. He has published over 215 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and serves on the editorial review boards of several medical journals.
Dominic Reda works on the Global Strategic Initiatives team at SEI, where his team is responsible for bringing new initiatives to market across SEI's global offices. He has also held financial and research analyst roles in fintech, commercial banking, and the manufacturing and distribution of polymers.
Dominic graduated in 2020 from KSU's Honors College and College of Business Administration with degrees in Finance and Managerial Marketing. As a student, he led a winning Intercollegiate Ethics Case Competition team, competed and peer coached for the sales team and founded the Global Events Forum and Management Consulting Group.
Rick Schultz is an author, inventor, and lecturer, and the retired Chief Executive Officer/Founder of Spectrum Surgical Instruments Corp. Rick is known as The Instrument Whisperer™ in the magazine Process, where his monthly column explores surgical instrument inspection and repair. He served as contributing editor of IAHCSMM’s Central Service Technical Textbook (Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth Editions) and has authored other textbooks on surgical instruments.
His honors include being named IAHCSMM’s Educator of the Year in 2002 and American Hospital Association Educator of the Year in 2006. In 2007, he was named by Healthcare Purchasing News as one of the 30 Most Influential People in Healthcare Sterile Processing. Rick is a 2019 graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy.
Dave Thoman is President for Leading Edge & Flexscreen Atlanta, which primarily service the fenestration industry with components, products, and materials for manufacturing residential windows. In his role, Dave is accountable for all P&L responsibility of both companies and their respective subsidiaries. In the past eight years, under his leadership, his companies have tripled in profit by expanding product depth and vertical integration via marketing, product innovation and development, and utilizing contract manufacturing.
Dave has worked with KSU marketing classes on company products and projects. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in marketing degree from KSU and a post graduate certificate from Notre Dame on Strategic Negotiating.
Tina Xu is a blockchain analyst who believes that Web3 and cryptoeconomics will positively influence human life. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Kent State University. As an Entrepreneurship and Managerial Marketing major, she partnered with friends and founded HA!TEA, a local teashop in Kent.
Tina has experience working with teams at early-stage startups and growth-stage companies. Her full breadth of experience and education includes the areas of data analytics, marketing, business development, entrepreneurship, sales, and design. She is fluent in English and Mandarin.