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2022 Folio Award Judges

Accomplished business and community leaders, academics, former journalists, and students serve as Folio judges. They are news consumers who represent a cross-section of society yet have one thing in common: They care about their communities. The entries they deem to be Folio Award-worthy send a clear and powerful message back to the media: This is what we, the public, want and need in our newsfeeds. The process of choosing Folio winners teaches our judges how to be critical news consumers.  Ultimately, this program helps us all win by keeping democracy strong. 


Judge Christopher Wright, Ph.D.

Global Solution Leader – Business Performance Improvement, Protiviti Consulting

Status: Chair of the 2022 Folio Awards Judges

Chris Wright, from Protiviti’s New York office, is the firm-wide Managing Director of the Business Performance Improvement solution, which includes the Public Company Transformation and Financial Reporting Remediation and Compliance groups. He has over 30 years of experience serving clients as an external auditor, including 6 years as a partner at two global accounting firms (Arthur Andersen and KPMG), and as an internal auditor and financial reporting risk consultant. At Protiviti, Chris has provided internal audit out-sourcing and co-sourcing, Sarbanes-Oxley readiness and compliance services, and significant assistance to companies experiencing restatements, regulatory inquiries, stock compensation and other financial investigations and difficulties in implementing new accounting pronouncements, including revenue recognition and lease accounting. Chris earned his Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Accounting from Franciscan University, a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Quinnipiac University and a Doctorate in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University. Chris serves on the boards of several charitable, civic, educational and business organizations. His work in Financial Reporting Remediation and Compliance has also involved a significant commitment to public speaking and the development and delivery of internal and external training. He is a member of the board of directors of the Fair Media Council.


Judge Ozgur Akgun, Ph.D.

Lecturer & Media Innovation Center Manager/OWTV Manager, Old Westbury College

Status: Returning Judge

Dr. Özgür “Oz” Akgün, a lecturer in the American Studies/Media and Communication Department at SUNY Old Westbury, earned his Ph.D. degree from Istanbul University School of Communication. He has an MFA degree from the University of Maine, and is currently an interdisciplinary doctoral candidate at the same institution. Dr. Oz is the manager of the Media Innovation Center (MIC) and OWTV studios. He mentors students works closely with SUNY Old Westbury community and off-campus non-profit organizations. Prior to his academic career, he worked in various positions in the advertising industry and worked with Istanbul University to develop their television studio, and photography and videography divisions. His creative works and academic research focus on collaboration, participation, and process in non-fiction storytelling.


Judge Ernest T. Bartol

Managing Attorney, The Bartol Law Firm, P.C.

Status: Returning Judge

Ernest T. Bartol is a founding member and managing attorney of Bartol Law Firm P.C., in Mineola, N.Y., a firm that he recently established in July of 2019. He earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting at Fordham University in 1967 and a Juris Doctor degree at Villanova University in 1970. Admitted to federal practice, he has represented cases before the U.S. District Courts for New York, the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the U.S. Tax Court. In 1993, Ernie was recognized as the Man of the Year by the Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County. He has been featured in over 30 editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in the East and Who’s Who in the World. He is a member of the board of directors of the Fair Media Council.


Judge Jess Bunshaft

Principal, Synergist  Mediation

Status: New Judge

Jess Bunshaft is an attorney skilled in the practice of mediation and arbitration. He also has experience as a trial lawyer, trying major cases in tort & civil rights matters in both state and federal courts. His work as a hospital & healthcare system vice president, as well as executive vice president of one of the largest not-for-profit organizations in New York, has given him a rich background in employment law as well as negotiations.


Judge Joe Calderone

Senior Vice President, Communications & Development, Mount Sinai South Nassau

Status: New Judge

Joe Calderone is a seasoned public relations executive and author of the thriller, Don’t Look Back, distributed by Simon and Schuster. He served as Investigations Editor of the New York Daily News at the time of the World Trade Center attack and helped cover the FDNY in the aftermath of 9/11, including documenting the problems firefighters had communicating via radio that day. He worked as a newspaper editor and reporter for more than 25 years, including covering City Hall for New York Newsday. While with Newsday, he was a member of a team of reporters that won a Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. He is a long-time adjunct instructor at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, where he teaches investigative reporting. He is a member of the board of directors of the Fair Media Council.

ray caliendo

Judge Ray Caliendo

Founding Principal, Art-of-Form Architects

Status: Returning Judge

Ray is the Managing Director and Chief Coordinator of all firm activities. He is the primary client liaison and acts as the Architect of Record for most of New York State and City projects. Ray is a graduate of NYIT, and after concluding his full-time studies in 1985, Ray worked first as a Draftsperson and then as a Project Manager for a variety of firms within the architectural industry. Ray received his license to practice architecture in 1992 and founded Art-Of-Form Architects in 1994. Ray is a registered architect and a registered interior designer with professional affiliations in both the AIA and ASID. He is a member of the board of directors of the Fair Media Council.


Judge Melissa Connolly

Vice President, Hofstra University

Status: Returning Judge

Melissa Connolly, vice president for University Relations is responsible for Hofstra’s communication, government relations, marketing and public relations efforts. She chaired Hofstra’s 75th Anniversary and helped lead the University’s hosting of the 2016, 2012 and 2008 presidential debates and event series, and several other major debate events such as the 2010 New York State gubernatorial debate at Hofstra. In December 2009, Melissa was named PR Professional of the Year for an academic institution by PR News, the national publication for communications professionals, and in 2020, Public Relations Professionals of Long Island awarded her the Jack Rettaliata Lifetime Achievement Award.


Judge Helen Crosson

Executive Director, Half Hollow Hills Community Library

Status: New Judge

Helen Crosson is a librarian for over 35 years. After great success at the Cold Spring Harbor Library, she is currently library director at the Half Hollow Hills Community Library. Under Helen’s energetic direction a new library building was proposed and approved by the community. The new library construction project continues despite the impact of the pandemic and is set to open in early 2022. The HHH Library has two locations and a staff of 97. The library offers an extensive list of educational and entertaining events for all ages. Typically, over 1,000 residents attend events monthly thanks to the creative genius of the librarians and the power of Zoom to keep us connected. 


Judge Mike Dawidziak

President, Strategic Planning Consulting

Status: Returning Judge

Michael D. Dawidziak (more popularly known as Mike D.) is the founder and president of Strategic Planning. He is a nationally known pollster, general consultant and political strategist and has worked on races for all levels of government in every state in the country, including four presidential campaigns. Mike has appeared as an opinion writer and political expert in the pages of Newsday, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and many other national publications. He has appeared nationally on NPR, FOX News and CNN. He is frequently interviewed by WCBS, WPIX and is a regular political analyst for News 12.


Judge Jessica McAleer Decatur

Vice President for Marketing & Communications, St. Joseph’s College

Status: Returning Judge

Jessica McAleer Decatur is the VP for Marketing and Communications at St. Joseph’s College, New York, where she is responsible for maintaining a consistent institutional brand while enhancing the College’s overall reputation and visibility on the local, regional and national levels. She oversees all efforts and initiatives related to the College’s marketing and branding, advertising, internal and external communications, print and digital publications, media relations, social media, community relations, public, government and legislative affairs and the website. With more than two decades of experience as an industry leader, Jess also serves on the board of directors for the Rose Brucia Educational Foundation, a national not-for-profit organization that teaches the importance of stranger safety awareness.


Junior Judge Lauren DelGuidice

Corporate Media Relations Specialist, Henry Schein Inc.

Status: New Judge

I’m Lauren DelGuidice, and I’ve been a Henry Schein team member since I graduated college in 2019. I started as an intern on the Corporate Communications team, further refining the communications skills I learned in various public relations classes at LIU Post. Throughout my time at Schein, I’ve continued to build relationships with key media, both locally and with medical trade publications.


Judge Jody Fisher

Vice President, Public Relations, Austin Williams

Status: Returning Judge

As a veteran PR man and a former New York City radio reporter, Jody has worked on both sides of the newsroom assignment desk. So he knows a good story when he hears one—and how to make a bad one better.


Judge Paul C. Focazio

Communications Manager, New York Sea Grant

Status: Returning Judge

As New York Sea Grant’s (NYSG) Assistant Director of Community Relations, Paul C. Focazio oversees the development and production of the coastal science program’s Web site (, e-newsletter and all social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube).


Judge Reg Gale

Senior Editor and Deputy Managing Editor (Retired), Bloomberg News 

Status: New Judge

Reg Gale retired this year after 16 years at Bloomberg News as a team leader, senior editor, and deputy managing editor. Previously, he was a senior editor at Newsday for over 20 years. Reg has been a speaker in Fair Media Council programs over the years, and his participation helped the Fair Media Council to quickly establish its annual event, The News Conference: Real & Powerful, as an important forum for exploring the state of the news media in real time.


Judge Ann Marie Gothard

Vice President, Global Corporate Media Relations, Henry Schein Inc.

Status: Returning Judge

A seasoned communications professional, Ann Marie’s experience spans nearly two decades, across a variety of sectors in health care. Currently, she is Vice President, Global Corporate Media Relations for Henry Schein, Inc., where she leads strategic media relations for the company. Prior to joining Henry Schein, she worked at NYC’s EmblemHealth, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health plans, which she joined from Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she led marketing and communications for one of the nation’s premier academic medical centers. She has also led global communications for Orbis International, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating blindness, and AETNA, the health care insurer.


Judge Ginny Greenberg

Director, Public Relations, Hofstra University

Status: Returning Judge

Ginny Greenberg is director of public relations at Hofstra University. Before returning to her alma mater, she worked in magazine, theatrical, and consumer PR. She is part of a small group of very lucky people to have worked at Hofstra’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, when Jaci Clement was its editor in chief!


Junior Judge Madelyne Greenberg

Student, Hofstra University

Status: Returning Judge

Madelyne Greenberg is a sophomore Public Relations major at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications at Hofstra University. She is heavily involved in the school’s HEAT broadcasting network, where she was featured as a Poll Expert in the 2020 Election Coverage “Hofstra Votes Live,” and is now a host on “Director’s Cut,” and an entertainment anchor on “Hofstra Today.” She currently interns at Kristen Long Communications, a beauty PR startup company, which focuses on clean beauty and wellness brands.

mark head

Judge Mark Head

Vice President, External Affairs, Mount Sinai South Nassau

Status: Returning Judge

Mark oversees the strategic planning, marketing and communications efforts for Mount Sinai South Nassau to bring the hospital’s key messages to physicians and members of the communities it serves. He has practiced marketing management, communications, graphic design and creative and print direction in several fields, for more than 35 years.


Judge Katherine Heaviside

President, Epoch 5 Public Relations

Status: Returning Judge

Katherine Heaviside is a leader in the field of public relations — providing counsel to hundreds of current and former clients throughout the New York Metropolitan area. An expert communicator and strategist, she forges strong relationships with members of the media as well as businesses, foundations, associations, and community and government leaders. From health care to real estate to energy, tri-state industries benefit from Katherine’s proactive representation and strategic counsel.


Judge Katheryn Laible

President, Synchronicity Planning & Communications

Status: Returning Judge

Katheryn Laible is a story teller with decades of experience working with community leaders to develop organizations at the fusion point of interests. Among diverse clients, Katheryn served as Acting Director of Leadership Huntington for five years and Assistant Director of Vision Long Island for nine. In 2015, Katheryn co-founded the Synchronicity Network Newsletter. This developing networking and communications platform serves and celebrates folks who care for art, science and the common good on Long Island and beyond. Katheryn is also a Managing Partner of The Firefly Artists of Northport, where she has been a member artist since 2017.


Judge Carolyn Levin

Partner, Miller Korzenik Sommers Rayman

Status: Returning Judge

Carolyn Schurr Levin is an attorney specializing in Media Law and the First Amendment. She has practiced law for over 20 years, including as the Vice President and General Counsel of Ziff Davis Media, the Vice President and General Counsel of Newsday, a Litigation Associate at Corbin Silverman and Sanseverino, and a Litigation Associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. She is admitted to the bars of New York, Connecticut and the District of Columbia. As a freelance writer, Levin has been published in the New York Times Book Review, New York Law Journal, American Bar Association Journal, Corporate Counsel newsletter, Barrister magazine, and Special Counsel newsletter. Levin earned a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and a Certificate in Journalism from New York University.



Judge Nina McCann

Director of Marketing & Business Development, Jaspan Schlesinger LLP

Status: Returning Judge

Nina Castro McCann is a Marketing and Public Relations professional with over 18 years’ experience in the professional services environment. She is the Director of Business Development at Jaspan Schlesinger LLP. Her in-house roles at professional services firms have included overseeing marketing at a national accounting firm (Citrin Cooperman) & regional and global law firms (Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP, Nixon Peabody LLP, Fried Frank LLP).

Nina started her career as a bilingual publicist for a NYC not-for-profit, Safe Horizons. almost 20 years ago. During her tenure, she acted as a spokesperson, resulting in media coverage in The New York Times, Daily News, Newsday, and El Diario publication.


Judge Walter Middlebrook

Foster Professor of Practice, Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, Penn State University

Status: New Judge

Walter Middlebrook, a former assistant managing editor at The Detroit News, is a longtime senior editor and newsroom manager, whose career includes editing stints at The New York Times, Newsday/New York Newsday, USA Today and the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch. He was part of a Newsday team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for spot news. A Lifetime Achievement award-winner (the Detroit Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists) and a lifetime member of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Memphis, Tenn., native is a graduate of Boston University and an Eagle Scout.


Judge Jeff Morosoff

Chair, Dept. fo Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations, Hofstra University

Status: Returning Judge

Jeffrey S. Morosoff is chair of the Department of Journalism, Media Studies, and Pubic Relations at The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University. He teaches graduate and undergraduate PR courses and is faculty adviser to Hofstra’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter. His 30-year PR career included positions at Cablevision, Long Island Association, Town of Babylon, New York Institute of Technology, and Nassau Community College. He has received Hofstra’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award, Public Relations Professionals of Long Island’s Jack Rettaliata Lifetime Achievement Award, and International Association of Business Communicators’ Achievement in Communications Award.


Judge Jeffrey Reynolds, Ph.D.

President & CEO, Family & Children’s Association (FCA)

Status: Returning Judge

Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds is the President/CEO of Family & Children’s Association (FCA) and a nonprofit professional with 30+ years worth of experience. He’s been a leading voice in addressing our region’s opioid crisis, the dramatic increase in gun violence and the worsening condition of children’s mental health. Reynolds is a frequent op-ed contributor and expert source frequently used by local, regional and national media.


Judge Dina Santorelli

Best-Selling Author, Freelance Writer, eLuna Media LLC

Status: Returning Judge

Dina Santorelli has been a freelance writer and editor for more than 20 years. She has edited, written, cowritten, ghostwritten, and collaborated on a variety of nonfiction books and is an award-winning, best-selling author of thriller and suspense novels.

Judge Jay Schoenfeld

President, Temple Isaiah

Status: Returning Judge

Jay Schoenfeld is a creative leader with strong business acumen and proven ability to align business objectives with corporate goals, long term strategy, and organizational culture. He has extensive experience in managing relationships with Federal, State, and local officials to promote and advance an organization’s priorities. He has held leadership positions at EmblemHealth and Vytra Healthcare and has served Temple Isaiah as president for more than seven years.

Judge Charles Skop

Member of the Firm, Meyer Suozzi

Status: Returning Judge

Charles Skop joined Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. in 2008 and was named a Member of the firm in March 2009, practicing in the Corporate Law, Corporate Finance and Real Estate Law departments. Charlie handles business formations, acquisitions, dispositions, mergers, financing and loan transactions, purchases and sales of real estate, commercial leasing, and mortgage loan transactions. He has structured, drafted, negotiated and closed a broad range of sophisticated and complex acquisition, sale and merger transactions. He has drafted and negotiated stock purchase, shareholder, partnership, LLC, joint venture, buy-out, employment, licensing, distribution, loan, credit line, security, lease, private placement, work-out and intellectual property related agreements as well as commercial real estate lease, sale and finance transactions. Charlie also prepares U.S. trademark registration applications. 


Judge Richard Torrenzano

Chief Executive, The Torrenzano Group

Status: Returning Judge

Richard Torrenzano is chief executive of The Torrenzano Group, a reputation and high-stakes issues management firm specializing in building and protecting corporate reputations, helping clients grow their business and enhance brand and shareholder value. The Torrenzano Group helps organizations take control of how they are perceived™.


Judge Ebru Ulusoy, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Marketing, School of Business, Farmingdale State College

Status: Returning Judge

Dr. Ebru Ulusoy is an Associate Professor in the Business Management Department at the Farmingdale State College. She earned her Ph.D. in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing from the University of Texas-Pan American. Dr. Ulusoy received her master’s degree in Production Management and Marketing from Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey. She received her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Advertising from Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey. Dr. Ulusoy is primarily interested in teaching and conducting research in the field of consumer behavior. She has various publications in prestigious peer-reviewed academic journals, such as the International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Business Research, and Journal of Marketing Management; and presentations at international conferences such as Association for Consumer Research and American Marketing Science.


Judge Leila Zogby

Editor, Zogby Editorial Services

Status: Returning Judge

A corporate writer and editor with nearly 40 years of experience in the field.

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