STUDIO SAMUEL GLOBAL AMBASSADOR
Julian Lennon's sensitive and poetic vision of life courses through his exquisite photography, philanthropic pursuits and his acclaimed music. In 2007, Julian founded the global environmental and humanitarian organization The White Feather Foundation. He produced the compelling documentary whaledreamers that was shown at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and earned 8 International Film Festival Awards. He has emerged a renowned photographer and garnered many outstanding reviews for his iconic images. On June 4th 2013 he returned from his first album in 15 years, the stunning Everything Changes (Music From Another Room), a masterwork of powerfully vulnerable and sophisticatedly accessible adult pop.
INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
Katie Albright, JD, (CE0 + President) joined Safe & Sound ten years ago, when it was called the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center. Her prior experiences include SF Deputy City Attorney representing our public schools; SF Education Fund Policy Director leading a campaign to improve teacher quality and increase student retention; and, Preschool California Co-Director of Policy & Outreach campaigning statewide for universal preschool. Prior to serving as an associate at Latham & Watkins and clerking for the US District Court in Maryland, she co-founded and taught in the Kayole-Gitau Nursery School & Community Center in Nairobi, Kenya.
Katie actively serves on local and national, non-profit and government boards and commissions. She received an Ascend Fellowship from The Aspen Institute and Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship at Stanford University. Katie graduated with honors from Georgetown University Law Center and Williams College.
Robert C. Benia
Bob brings to Studio Samuel over 30 years’ experience in creating brands, integrating technologies, and building winning teams from West Texas to West Africa.
With a career that thrives at the crossroads of business, entertainment, and politics, Bob has leveraged his relationships with celebrity activists and political headliners who have highlighted social, environmental and gender issues - from Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem to Maya Angelou and Jane Goodall – that empowered live audiences, while attracting top tier marketing sponsorships and non-profit partnerships.
Bob is active in his community and is involved in many charitable causes, including those that are committed to ending violence against women and girls.
Bob is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in International Economics and in International Business Management from Oxford University. He received a MBA from Marquette University. He can speak French and Italian. Today, he makes his home in Toronto with four kids and a growing number of grandchildren.
And, by the way, Bob became involved with Studio Samuel through his daughter Adina who serves as assistant to the Founder helping to strategize and organize public outreach via social media.
For over 15 years Kimberley has worked in areas of strategic planning and external relations, advising on a wide-range of development issues for stakeholders at global headquarters and in the field, including in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe. Experience in the U.N., governments, and the private sector has required communication skills in English, French and Spanish.
Most recently she has been working across Southern, Eastern and Western Africa, with UNICEF and partners, where she has led the development and roll-out of regional investment cases for adolescents She has successfully been developing the strategies for the partnerships and financing of the specific programmes in multiple countries.
Kimberley earned a graduate degree in Montreal in social sciences, focusing on international development and communications in Africa.
She is based in Kenya.
Dr. Rebecca Davis is Associate Professor of Professional Practice and Director of the Office of Global Programs, Rutgers University School of Social Work. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance and represents the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) to the United Nations. In that role she also represents IASSW on the Working Group on Girls (WGG), the NGO Committee on Mental Health, and the NGO Committee on the Family.
Rebecca teaches social work foundation, clinical, and global courses, including study abroad to Romania and Mexico. Her global work focuses on social work education and child protection system strengthening in Eastern Europe and Sub Saharan Africa. She is currently working on several gender sensitive, youth development initiatives and social work education programs in Ethiopia. Other projects include social service workforce assessments in Eastern Europe and Nigeria, and child protection capacity building in Malawi, Swaziland, and Ghana. She co-authored a Case Management Toolkit for Europe and Eurasia for USAID in 2014, a working paper on Child Protection System Strengthening in Sub Saharan Africa for UNICEF (2012), and a working paper on Human Capacity Within Child Welfare Systems in Africa (2009). She was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bucharest in Romania 1992-1994. In 2020, Rebecca received a Pioneer Award from the National Association of Social Worker (NASW) Foundation.. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in New Jersey and North Carolina.
Ms. Gretchko is the Founder and CEO of Great Story, LLC, a consultancy and incubator dedicated to launching transformative ventures that demonstrate new models of operation, growth, and success.
She has a demonstrated track record for developing and implementing people-centric system-level change by leveraging narrative, culture, and data while driving growth and increasing profits. She has personally served as the trusted advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs in order to position organizations for growth and improve operating performance.
She is a former Senior Partner at G2 Investment Group, a privately-owned financial services firm. She is also the former Managing Partner and current Senior Advisor to one of G2's subsidiaries, Threat Pattern, an elite private intelligence service for institutions and select families.
As a Senior Global Partner at Deloitte, Ms. Gretchko built the highly successful Human Capital Practice across 7 key industries and 22 countries. She was the co-leader for Deloitte’s global crisis response to the events of September 11. The response employed by Deloitte was recognized as a best practice in business continuity and crisis response. While at Deloitte, Ms. Gretchko was the first woman member of the Global Operations Council. As a Principal at A.T. Kearney, Ms. Gretchko led the Organizational Effectiveness & Transformation Business Division.
Ms. Gretchko is a former member of The Search for Common Ground Board of Directors and a current member of the Common Ground Endowment Fund and Emeritus Board. She designed and facilitated the Search for Common Ground Middle East Initiative for Peace and Cooperation’s Civil Society consultative meetings in London, Spain, Helsinki and Cyprus.
Stewart Krentzman has enjoyed a career across many industries, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.
In 2018 he founded startup Scentanicals, which scents and blends dried botanicals, providing a safer alternative for the scented candle user. He has founded startup dollarwatcher, Inc., a mobile/web platform in Philadelphia, PA. for small business owners who are underserved / overcharged for technology. Dollarwatcher was accepted into the prestigious Facebook Start Program in 2016. He, has also founded The BBQ Cleaner, a small business opportunity launched in 2009 that has expanded to 202 locations in the United States. He also founded New Taste Dimensions Foods which has actively participated in the new product development process of the McDonald's Corporation in the USA, Hong Kong and Singapore.
In the healthcare sector Stew developed the rollout plan for Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health - Weill Cornell Medical College / NY Presbyterian Hospital and with several doctors, he consulted for Sheik Mohammed bin Khalifa of the UAE to establish concierge medicine models.
Previously he was the President and CEO of Oki Americas, a division of Oki Electric, a $5.4B Japanese technology company. He served as a Board Member of the parent company in Tokyo. The company focused on specialty printing, iris scan recognition, MPEG4 and other hi tech solutions. He was chosen by CRN Magazine as a Top 100 Influential Executives in Technology.
Before joining Oki Americas he spent 23 years at global consumer package goods giant Unilever where he managed their Lipton Tea flagship brands during the Snapple & Tetley tea wars. He created and launched the sales strategy for Equal, the sugar substitute. Along with his team he helped to develop, launch and manage the $400M+ children's fruit snack category. His team returned Wish-Bone salad dressing to the number #2 market share position.
Stew and his wife Bonnie, along with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have created New Jersey Friends of Memorial Sloan Kettering which raises money for their 3 outpatient hospital sites that serves New Jersey residents.
He and Bonnie are also very active supporters of breast cancer research efforts across the United States. With permission from Graceland, they have built the only authorized replica of Elvis’ famous 1955 pink Cadillac, which is used to raise money by breast cancer organizations across the country.
Stew was recognized as the Man of the Year by HBO/Octoberwomen and recognized by the NJ State Legislature and several other organizations for these charitable efforts.
He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business where he teaches Marketing Planning and Strategy to 3rd and 4th year Executive MBA and 2nd year full & part-time MBA candidates. Along with Facebook's Global Director of Strategic Partnerships he co-teaches the Social Media & Mobile Technology course to Executive MBA’s and 2nd year MBA candidates.
Kennedy Odede is one of Africa’s best-known community organizers and social entrepreneurs. He is a New York Times best-selling author and the Co-Chair of the Youth Panel for the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity. He was raised in Kibera, the largest urban slum in Africa, where he experienced the devastating realities of life in extreme poverty. Still, he dreamed about changing his community. While working at a factory in 2004, Kennedy saved 20 cents, purchased a soccer ball, and started the Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) movement. Driven by the innovation and entrepreneurial spirits of the people of Kibera, SHOFCO became the largest grassroots organization in the slum.
Kennedy’s work has been featured in the PBS documentary Half the Sky, A Path Appears, by Chelsea Clinton and Maria Menounos on NBC, by President Bill Clinton, and on multiple occasions by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times. Kennedy speaks six languages, is a senior fellow with Humanity in Action, and an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow. He splits his time between Nairobi and New York City.
Decades of dedication and determination propelled Benny Pough to the forefront of the music industry making him one of today’s successful and innovative business leaders. With nearly thirty years of experience, Pough has helped shape the sound and culture of music worldwide, having been instrumental in delivering radio hits for superstar artists such as Jay-Z, Rihanna, Kanye West, Travis Scott, Future, DJ Khaled and 21 Savage.
Having made significant contributions to the entertainment industry via executive positions at powerhouse labels from Motown to Def Jam and Roc Nation Music, Pough is now blazing his own trail as an entrepreneur with the formation of D.Verse Media, a multi-tiered entertainment company that will be home to record labels, distribution, publishing, management, and more. Beyond his illustrious music career, Pough has a strong interest in public speaking, mentoring and real estate investment. Additional information can be found on www.bennypough.com.
Essate Weldemichael is a social activist, feminist and lawyer from Ethiopia. She received her Master’s from UN mandated University for peace in Gender and Peace building. The Masters in Gender and Peace building (MA) has equipped her with a valuable skill set and knowledge of the interlocking systems of oppression that uphold and reinforce inequality. Essate has a four year work experience in the field of Law where she served in various posts within the Ethiopian Ministry of Justice. These include: working as a public prosecutor in a Federal Court, where she specifically dealt with prevention and response to cases of violence against women and children; dealing with cases of civil dispute as an assistant judge in Addis Ababa City Court, and providing workshops and trainings on gender based violence, gender equality and peaceful transformation of conflict. Essate also collaborated in various community outreach and advocacy activities for the enforcement of women’s rights and served as elected representative of her constituency in Addis Ababa City Council for two years, where she has developed leadership skills. She is currently working as a research officer at Femmes Africa Solidarite, an international NGO working on Women, Peace and Security agenda in Africa. Essate enjoys writing, family, philosophizing, dance and more, but her true love is reading and feeding her curiosity.