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Speakers

2021 Speakers

Roberta “Bobbie” Goheen Roberta “Bobbie” Goheen

President/CEO, Synthesis Management Group

Synthesis Management Group (SMG) president/CEO Roberta “Bobbie” Goheen is a resourceful and committed leadership expert and Fortune 100 executive coach, who promotes environments of positive growth and development for individuals, executives, and organizational teams.

With more than 25 years of world-class experience, Bobbie is a motivational force who inspires her clients to steer their personal and professional lives in the direction of excellence. She has worked with companies worldwide and organizations ranging in size from five employees to 80,000. Clients include international, national, and local C-suite executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and professionals looking for curated, practical tools to match their desire to lead others with greater ease and agility.

Bobbie has an extensive history in the development of prominent learning programs. She led the training industry by implementing The Corporate University, one of the first in-house corporate universities, for a Fortune 100 company. Twelve years and over 50 world-class programs later — 17 of which are now college certified — Bobbie continues to drive the development of future leaders. She recently launched the Leadership Academy (synthesisleader.com), an online development program designed to contend with the challenging effects that the world’s ever-changing landscape has taken on employees. Participants can view courses, download worksheets, and connect and grow with Bobbie and other program members at their own pace.

Bobbie offers a multidimensional approach for successful business leaders and their workforce to achieve results through experimental learning and development. She utilizes researched and proven methodology combined with a style that is fresh, dynamic, and inspirational. With the belief that each person’s intuition serves as a gift, strength and path, Bobbie continues to inspire others to grow and lead through performance consulting, executive coaching, and facilitating large-scale learning events.

Enjoying nature, art, travel, and music are what inspire Bobbie most. She is the proud mother of two sons and resides in Fairport, New York, with her husband and three dogs.

Nikita JankowskiNikita Jankowski

Director of Marketing, Destiny USA

Nikita Jankowski is the director of marketing for Destiny USA, the largest shopping, dining and entertainment venue in New York state (sixth-largest in the country). She oversees all marketing efforts to promote Destiny USA as a family-friendly shopping and tourist destination. Nikita’s team is responsible for Destiny USA’s social media sites, website management, signage, promotional material, graphic design, community partnerships, external/internal advertising, media relations, photography/video and events. She also oversees the Guest Services department.

Prior to joining Destiny USA, Nikita was the communications director for Onondaga County’s leading tourism organization, Visit Syracuse. She led the organization’s public relations and communications initiatives, developed the seasonal visitors guide, was responsible for the company’s international outreach initiatives and presence at travel shows. Her role also involved hosting and generating content for travel trade professionals and media representatives to encourage travel to the Syracuse area; contributing to $850,000,000 of annual direct visitor spending.

Before moving to Syracuse, Nikita worked as a tourism PR professional in New York’s Finger Lakes region, owned a small marketing firm and worked in the corporate communications department of the Fortune 500 company, Corning Incorporated.

Nikita started her professional career as a television news reporter; delivering “live”, daily news coverage on ABC, FOX and CBS affiliates throughout New York state and Maine. Nikita is a graduate of the historic Tuskegee University with a Bachelor of Arts degree (Concentration: English/Communications).

Nikita serves on the Diversity Equity Inclusion Committee of the New York State Travel & Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) and is the Immediate Past President for the Public Relations Society of America of Central New York (PRSA-CNY).

Hillary OlsonHillary Olson

President & CEO, Rochester Museum & Science Center

Hillary Olson has been the president and CEO of the Rochester Museum & Science Center since 2018. Prior to joining the RMSC, Ms. Olson held leadership positions at the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Franklin Institute Science Museum, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Griffith Observatory and Planetarium in Los Angeles. She holds a B.S. in Earth and Space Sciences from Stony Brook University and an M.S.Ed in Museum Leadership from Bank Street. Hillary is a passionate advocate for science learning and engagement, especially engaging youth in thinking about the limitless possibilities of tomorrow.

Ms. Olson lives in the City of Rochester with her husband Jeremiah, her daughter Piper, and her stepson, Dylan.

Erica PaolicelliErica Paolicelli

President & COO, Three Brothers Wineries & Estates and War Horse Brewing Co.

Erica Paolicelli is the president and COO of Three Brothers Wineries & Estates and War Horse Brewing Company, located in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York. Erica started her career as the general manager at Three Brothers after graduating from Oneonta State University with a B.S. in dietetics in 2007, helping the founders open the newly developed winery operation and growing it to the region’s most-visited winery/brewery destination. In 2012, Erica partnered with Founders, Dave and Luanne Mansfield as she continued to position the company for growth. A four-time Rochester Top 100 company, Erica leads a team of 35 full-time employees and 100 part-time employees. In 2020, Erica took on the role of president and COO. She builds strong, resilient teams through trust, and she credits her success to grit and tenacity.

Erica serves on several wine industry and community boards. In her free time, she’s passionate about whole human optimization and longevity. She lives in Geneva with her husband Justin, who also partnered with Three Brothers in 2019 and leads the production team.

Nicole MahoneyNicole Mahoney

CEO, Break The Ice Media

Nicole founded Break the Ice Media, a marketing communications agency focused on the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry, in 2009. As CEO, Nicole is responsible for working with clients to understand their business challenges, developing strategic marketing plans that deliver results, and leading a team of professionals to execute those plans.

In 2016, Nicole launched the weekly podcast Destination on the Left, interviewing tourism professionals from around the globe on creativity and collaboration in the industry. In 2020, she commissioned a first-of-its-kind research study to find out what makes collaborations successful and how important collaboration will be in helping the travel, tourism and hospitality industry recover from the current crisis. The study results plus more than 250 interviews are the basis for Nicole’s book on collaboration scheduled to be released in 2022.

Nicole was recognized as 2019 small business-person of the year by the Small Business Council of Rochester. She serves as Board member for the New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA), as co-chair of the NYSTIA DEI committee. On the Travel Unity Associations working group and is a member of the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor Finger Lakes Regional Council.

Outside of the office Nicole loves spending time with her family (husband, four daughters and one future son-in-law). Traveling on family vacations. Playing cards with her longtime girlfriends. Living in wine country and drinking New York wine!

Kim AllenKim Allen

CEO, Dixon Schwabl + Company

Kim Allen, CEO of Dixon Schwabl + Company, puts our people front and center, building on empathy and quick decision-making that have served her teams well. A graduate of Ithaca College with a B.S. in communications, Kim began her career in public relations in 1996 as an administrative assistant at Eric Mower & Associates. She soon found her home with DS+CO in 2001, where she led our public relations team and expanded her skillset into consumer, B2B, telecom and human services. In 2012 she took the role of managing partner and not long after in 2020, she took the helm, guiding our agency into a new era. She’s a Forty Under 40 and ATHENA Young Professional, is DEI certified, and sits on the boards of the American Heart Association of New York, Mercy Flight Central, Alfred University and the RIT Advertising & Marketing Program.

Kim is a mom to two children: her daughter Norynn, 12, and son Simon, 11. She resides in Victor with her kids and her husband, Josh (not the Buffalo Bills quarterback).

Sitima FowlerSitima Fowler

Co-Founder and Partner, Iconic IT

Sitima Fowler, co-founder and partner at Iconic IT, is dedicated to helping her clients with their technology needs, as well as giving back to the MSP community by sharing her success advice in a creative way on www.instagram.com/sitimafowler. She holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree from RIT in management and leadership. Prior to her current position, Sitima was the co-CEO of Capstone IT, one of four MSPs that merged in 2019 to form Iconic IT.

Sitima emigrated from India with her parents when she was in the sixth grade. Her family struggled in their early years in the United States; their lifestyle lit a fire in Sitima that remains her driving force in her desire to succeed as a business leader and as a mentor.

Sitima’s passion has been securing and improving small and medium organizations with proper technology solutions with an emphasis on customer service. She is a professional speaker on a wide variety of topics including cybersecurity, sales and marketing, and business strategies. The recipient of the Rochester, New York, USA’s 2015 Small Businessperson of the Year and a finalist for the 2018 Athena Award, Sitima is also dedicated to sharing her knowledge and be a thought leader in the community.

Sitima’s secret passion is cooking, and she teaches a weekly class where she shares her recipes and shows her students the joys of preparing Indian dishes.

Jill KnittelJill Knittel

President, JK Executive Strategies

Jill Knittel, founder & president of JK Executive Strategies, has more than 20 years of experience and a MBA and BS in accounting from St. John Fisher College. After working in the industry for decades, Jill set out to build a new type of search firm in 2017, focused on a personal approach with transparent processes.

Today, her team assists companies across the country in executive & leadership search, professional search and project services to help companies make the right hire at the right time. Demonstrating just how effective her unique approach to hiring is, Jill has expanded her team by more than 500% in just four years’ time.

JK Executive Strategies is nationally certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and as a Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) through New York State. Additionally, Jill is an active member of the National Women’s President’s Organization and Global Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

Past accomplishments and awards include the Small Business Person of the Year Award (2020) by the Chamber of Commerce, the Women of Excellence Award (2019) by the Rochester Business Journal, a recipient of the Rochester Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 award (2006), and a finalist of the Women’s Council Athena Award in Rochester (2014). A proud St. John Fisher College alumnus, Jill received the University’s Dean’s Medal in 2014, and is involved in multiple volunteer roles including serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Strategic Enrollment Committee. Jill also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Hillside Family of Agencies Board of Governors and is an honorary member of the Bivona Child Advocacy Center Board of Directors.

When she’s not assisting corporations and non-profits with making great placements, networking with exceptional talent, and supporting her community, you can find Jill at home with her daughter and three Labrador Retrievers.

Jody StoltJody Stolt

Learning and Development Center Director, Paychex

Jody Stolt is the Director of the Learning and Development Center at Paychex, which last year was honored among the top 10 training organizations in the world, according to Training magazine. Prior to that, she led the development and execution of the company’s talent acquisition strategy with the goal of fostering a high-performance culture. She’s led the creation of companywide recruiting initiatives and talent pipelines, optimizing hiring practices to achieve an exceptional hiring experience for candidates and Paychex leaders. In her talent acquisition role, Jody worked closely with Paychex executives to understand and plan for current and future staffing needs and acquire the talent needed to help the business succeed.

Prior to joining Paychex in 2011, Jody was the director of talent acquisition at PAETEC, a former Fortune 1000 telecommunications company in Perinton, New York. Jody earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from SUNY Fredonia and a Women in Leadership program certificate from Cornell University. Active in the community, Jody currently serves on the board of directors for the American Heart Association, where she has been an advocate for the Heart Walk and Run for the past two years. She also serves on Thompson Hospital’s Foundation Board of Directors, where she is the co-chair of the Thompson Foundation Golf Tournament. Jody also serves on the Saunders School of Management Advisory Board at RIT.