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Seven appointed to Board of Overseers

The Emerson Board of Trustees has appointed seven new members to the College’s Board of Overseers who will begin serving three-year terms at their upcoming board meeting on May 10. They are: Holly Bario ’89, David G. Breen ’78, Daniel Cohen, Lisa Dollinger P ’10, Donna Levin ’12, Robert Mathers ’95, and Joshua Wachs ’87.

The Board of Overseers helps connect Emerson College to industry in a variety of ways, including mentoring students and faculty; serving as guest lecturers in classes or speakers at alumni events; and assisting the Office of Career Services with its internship programs. The Board also advises the President, the Dean of the School of Communication, and the Dean of the School of the Arts on strategic initiatives. The maximum number of Overseers is 30.

“The Board of Overseers is fortunate to add these members,” said Dan Black, Chairman of the Board of Overseers and a principal shareholder with law firm Greenberg Traurig, where he is co-chairman of the West Coast Entertainment & Media Practice. “They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that will serve the College well. My thanks to the Board of Trustees, the Alumni Association, and my fellow Board members for their work, which led to the selection of the new members.”

Biographies of the new Overseers follow:


Holly Bario ’89 is co-president of production at DreamWorks Studios, where she oversees the company’s slate of films. She joined the company in 2008 as an executive vice president of production and has worked on films such as the recent hit The Help. Prior to DreamWorks, Bario was executive vice president of production at Universal Pictures. She had been at the studio for more than a decade as a production executive, rising through the ranks as director of development, vice president, and senior vice president of production. While at Universal, she was responsible for shepherding some of their most successful comedies, including Bruce Almighty, Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Mamma Mia!

BreenDavid G. Breen ’78 is principal designer and founder of VDA Productions, a Boston-based event design, management, and production company. Having spent more than 25 years in the corporate event-marketing arena, he is instrumental in helping clients achieve their core messaging objectives through a creative, visual presentation medium. Breen has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia for numerous corporate special events, conferences, and museum/themed retail installations. He graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Technical Theater and Design.

CohenDaniel Cohen, a friend of Emerson College, is executive vice president of pay television and interactive media for Disney ABC Domestic Television, the content distribution arm of the Walt Disney Company within North America. Under Cohen, the pay television and interactive media team distributes motion picture properties from Pixar, DreamWorks, Marvel, ABC Studios, ABC Entertainment, and ABC Family across media platforms, including video on demand, pay per view, pay television, subscription, mobile, broadband, and other digital technologies. He has 25 years of industry experience. Cohen is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College in Oregon and earned his master’s degree from San Francisco State University. 

DollingerLisa Dollinger, P ’10, is a strategic communication and marketing specialist with more than 20 years of experience building brands, growing businesses, and managing the reputations and public images of some of the world’s foremost executives and entertainment personalities. As a global media and entertainment executive, Dollinger was chief communications officer for Clear Channel Communications, a Fortune 500 global media and entertainment company that held leadership positions in radio and television broadcasting, digital media, outdoor advertising, and live entertainment. For a decade, Dollinger provided executive leadership for the company’s communications initiatives, acting as chief communications strategist and spokesperson for the company. She directed corporate communication and branding, reputation and issues management, strategic positioning of the company’s diverse global assets, media relations, social media strategy, crisis communications, corporate social responsibility, and employee communications. She also worked with executive management on litigation, public policy, and financial communications. Dollinger led the company’s communication through its acquisition by private equity firms Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Texas at Austin. 

LevinAs co-founder and vice president of government relations & partnerships at, Donna Levin ’12 spearheads new programs for families who face some of the most challenging care situations — the nation’s military population and families with special needs children and seniors. Levin has a 15-year career as a social entrepreneur, and prior to co-founding in 2006, served as vice president of operations at Upromise, an online service that helps families save for college. Before then, she held several leadership positions across a broad range of technology and startup organizations, including, Turning Point Software (acquired by Metamore Worldwide), and Thomson Financial. For the past three years, she has been a member of the advisory board for the Boston Chamber Women’s Network, and most recently joined the advisory board for WEST, which promotes the advancement of women in engineering, science, and technology. Levin holds a B.A. from Emerson College. 

MathersRobert D. Mathers ’95 is vice president, digital operations, for Cumulus Media, the second-largest radio broadcaster in the United States. Starting his career as an on-air personality, promotions coordinator, and web producer at CBS Radio’s WZLX-FM in Boston, Mathers went on to become assistant promotions director and on-air personality for Clear Channel’s WAXQ-FM in New York. By 2002, he had risen inside Clear Channel NYC to run digital programming and sales for the trading region. He later joined ABC Radio Networks as director of new media, and following the merger with Citadel Broadcasting, was promoted to vice president, digital media in 2010. After the merger, Mathers took over digital operations for the company and works at Cumulus’ Atlanta Headquarters. Mathers is a 1995 graduate of Emerson College and holds a B.S. in Mass Communication: Radio. 

WachsJoshua Wachs ’87, CEO and managing partner at EchoDitto, has been merging creativity and technology for the last 21 years. In 1987, after graduating from Emerson College with a degree in Mass Communication, he founded Natural Intelligence Inc. For more than 12 years, Wachs was president, CEO, and visionary behind the Massachusetts-based custom development and consulting company. Known nationally and internationally for its innovative custom technology, Natural Intelligence was recognized for pioneering software in the Java world, creating Roaster, a first-to-market Java Development Environment and clean-room virtual machine for the Macintosh. EchoDitto is a leading Internet strategy and consulting firm specializing in designing and building participatory campaigns and citizen engagement strategies for its clients. He is an active participant in a variety of community activities. He was a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Association and an early supporter and contributor to a variety of industry volunteer networks, including the Boston Computer Society.

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