This year the Highest Leaf Awards Breakfast and Ceremony was held on June 8th at the MetLife Conference Center. Here are some highlights of this very successful event.
2016 Highest Leaf Awards Commemorative
(All pictures description are from left to right)
President and Chief Executive Officer
Wyndham Destination Network
Gail Mandel is President and CEO for Wyndham Destination Network, part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies (NYSE: WYN). Wyndham Destination Network is the world’s largest provider of professionally managed, unique vacation accommodations – from houseboats and cottages to rental homes and timeshare resorts. Its network comprises more than 112,000 properties in over 100 countries and consists of a collection of renowned brands including RCI®, The Registry Collection®, Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Hoseasons, Landal GreenParks, Novasol, cottages.com and James Villa Holidays. .
Mandel has more than 20 years of financial and business experience in the hospitality industry. As President and CEO, she oversees the overall operations and strategy for the timeshare exchange and vacation rentals businesses.
Prior to this role, Mandel held senior finance positions at Wyndham Destination Network, Wyndham Worldwide, Cendant Corporation and HFS Incorporated. She began her career in the financial industry at Deloitte & Touche as a senior auditor.
Mandel received her bachelor’s degree from Pace University.
Green Room Communications
Deborah co-founded Green Room Communications with Karen Carolonza in 2008. Since its inception, Green Room has been reshaping – and shaking up – the communications world – to make it more efficient and promote awareness of important medications. As Managing Partner, Deborah delivers media strategy, executive training and storytelling expertise to life science and pharmaceutical clients.
A veteran broadcast journalist, Deborah is devoted to making clients’ stories better — from breaking news to scientific discoveries, to organizational and internal events. Her expertise in media stems from more than 10 years of experience in the field as an award-winning television reporter and news anchor in major markets across the country, as well as working in TV production.
She produced newscasts and acted as a videographer, field producer, editor, writer and associate producer for ABC and FOX News affiliates in Long Island, NY; Burlington, VT; and Chattanooga, TN. Most recently, she served as a general assignment reporter and associate producer at KDFW, the FOX affiliate in Dallas, TX. Her PR experience started at DWJ Television, where she served as Media Director and headed up a team of eight Media Placement Specialists. In 2003, Ms. Sittig launched Original Media Concepts, a media relations firm specializing in media strategy and placement.
Deborah is also the President and founder of Soft Bones: The U.S. Hypophosphatasia Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises awareness for the ultra-rare bone disease. In addition to organizing the patient community around this orphan disease, she has lobbied on Capitol Hill to raise awareness of rare diseases, and currently works with the National Institutes of Health and the Social Security Administration to support research efforts and to ensure that patients are entitled to government benefits.
A recent winner of SmartCEO magazine’s New Jersey 2016 Brava Award, over the past two years, Deborah has been recognized as a Leading Woman Entrepreneur
in New Jersey and as Woman of the Year by the Boy Scouts of America.
Laurel is President of Havas Life & Wellness and Havas Worldwide StratFarm an agency she started in 2008 and sold to Havas in 2011. As an entrepreneur and as Chairman Emeritus of the Ad Club Board, Laurel has been integrally involved in many aspects of the advertising, marketing and media business and has devoted much of her career to successfully launching and relaunching world class brands.
Laurel also volunteers a great deal of her personal time to diversity causes and is a frequent industry speaker on women’s topics. Laurel is on the Board of Trustees of St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York and the Williams syndrome Association. Laurel is also a member of The AD Club’s Executive Committee.
Katherine (Kat) Creag, NBC 4 New York’s award-winning journalist, reports for the weekday newscast for “Today in New York” from4:30 a.m. – 7 a.m. and for “News 4 at 12 Noon.”
Creag is an Emmy, Associated Press and Edward R. Murrow award-winner for breaking news coverage and as part of NBC4’s continuing team-coverage of Hurricane Sandy, won a 2013 New York Emmy and a 2014 National Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award. Creag began her career at NY1 and WNYW/Fox 5 in New York, KDFW Fox 4 in Dallas, Texas, WSOC in Charlotte, North Carolina and WTVH in Syracuse, New York.
Creag holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Journalism from New York University. While at NYU, Kat edited the school newspaper and interned at local television stations. Creag, a Manila, Philippines, native is fluent in Tagalog and represents NBC 4 as host at Filipino community events. Kat supports the American Cancer Society and the United Way. Creag enjoys spending time with her husband and their family.