Alumni Board

The NYU School of Professional Studies offers many opportunities, programming, and services designed to allow alumni to get involved and make a difference in the life of the School. Our network is only as strong as each individual's commitment to participate—we encourage you to get involved today!

Alumni Board

The Alumni Board is the main alumni governing body of the NYU School of Professional Studies. Its charge is to serve in an advisory capacity to the dean and the Office of Alumni Relations by keeping the School apprised of industry trends and opportunities and create cross-disciplinary networking opportunities for our alumni community, both domestically and worldwide. 

Additionally, the Alumni Chapter Boards focus on creating discipline-specific programming and networking opportunities for alumni working in various fields.

Board Chair

David Hirsh

David Z. Hirsh
Managing Director, Real Estate Asset Management Group, Blackstone

Since joining Blackstone in 2002, David Hirsh has been involved in the asset management of investments in the hotel (Boca Resorts, LXR), office (Equity Office, Trizec, Carr America), retail, industrial (IndCor), and healthcare sectors. Hirsh is responsible for oversight of the firm's office platform (Equity Office). In addition, from 2009 to 2012, Hirsh restructured and extended the debt on many of Blackstone's investments, completing transactions totaling $16 billion that included Equity Office, La Quinta, Carr America, and Boca Resorts, as well as more than $1 billion in DPOs.

Prior to joining Blackstone, Hirsh worked at Citigroup for 15 years, including six years in real estate asset management, where he led the hotel group, and five years in corporate finance, where he specialized in corporate real estate and project lending.

Hirsh is on the board of directors (cochairman) of the Thyroid, Head and Neck Cancer Foundation (THANC) and serves as chairman on the board of directors of the Thyroid Cancer Care Collaborative. At the NYU School of Professional Studies, he is chair of the Alumni Board; a member of the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate Advisory Board, and an adjunct professor.

Hirsh earned a BBA in accounting from Pace University and an MS in real estate development from the NYU School of Professional Studies. He is a certified public accountant.

Board Secretary

John Tenwinkel

John Tenwinkel
Director, Dscoop University

John Tenwinkel is director of Dscoop University, a global education and training program, supporting the growth and development of individuals and businesses in the graphic communications industry. He is responsible for the program’s overall strategic direction, budget, content development and delivery, technology, and member engagement.

Prior to joining Dscoop in 2013, Mr. Tenwinkel worked for leading graphic communications companies such as DG3 – Diversified Global Graphics Group in New Jersey and for TanaSeybert, LLC in New York City. He has held positions as an estimator, a digital print production manager, a director of digital operations, and as the vice president of digital and distribution services. In addition, he served on the senior management team at DG3.

In 2010, he received the NYU School of Professional Studies PRISM Alumni Award, a prestigious accolade bestowed upon an outstanding alumnus of the M.A. in Graphic Communications Management and Technology (GCMT) program.  At the NYU School of Professional Studies he also serves on the Division of Programs in Business Alumni Board.

He holds an M.A. in Graphic Communications Management and Technology from the NYU School of Professional Studies and a B.S. in Graphic Communications Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Board Members

Gary Budge

Gary Budge
Principal, Budge & Co, LLC

Gary Budge established the hospitality consulting practice, Budge & Co, LLC, in 2014. A senior hospitality executive in premier hospitality organizations with international, national, and local responsibilities, Mr. Budge has industry-recognized expertise and extensive experience in sales and in financial disciplines and operations that include food, beverage, rooms, and catering. An expert in the areas of associate engagement, guest satisfaction, and brand identity creation, Mr. Budge has a proven track record in introducing innovative ideas and best practices that yield results. 

With the skills to create a vision, align and engage parties, drive change, and enhance communication, Mr. Budge is a thought leader, a longtime NYU School of Professional Studies adjunct faculty member, and a former Advisory Board member of the NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. 

He earned an M.S. in Hospitality Industry Studies from the NYU School of Professional Studies in 1999.

Michael Kaplan

Michael Kaplan
Senior Vice President, Group Account Director, Geometry Global

Since 1999, Michael Kaplan has been the senior vice president, group account director, at Geometry Global, where he manages Liberty Mutual Insurance. Prior to joining Geometry Global, Mr. Kaplan held several executive positions that included partner at Bozell Worldwide (Clients: The New York Times and MCI); account supervisor, Wunderman Worldwide (Clients: Sports Illustrated, Time, AT&T, and the United States Postal Service); and  media planner/buyer, Lawrence Butner Advertising (Clients: The Wall Street Journal, Charles Schwab, and Golf Digest).

From 2005 to 2010, Mr. Kaplan served as president of the Ithaca College Alumni Association, and has been the Ithaca College alumni admission representative since 1987. He is a member of the Direct Marketing and Advertising Club of NY, and has served on the Roy H. Park School of Communications Alumni Advisory Board since 1997.

Mr. Kaplan earned a B.S. in Communication Management and Design from the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College and an M.S. in Integrated Marketing from the NYU School of Professional Studies.

Denis Kelly

Denis Kelly
Senior Vice President, Planning, Tommie Copper, Inc.

Denis Kelly is senior vice president, Planning for Tommie Copper, Inc. where he leads the inventory management, sales forecasting, and merchandise buying strategy for the company.  

Mr. Kelly has spent over 20 years in the apparel arena, holding roles of increasing responsibility in the sales analysis and inventory management areas; progressing through the management training program at Bloomingdale's; and then working at companies such as Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, and VF Corporation.

Mr. Kelly holds a B.S. in Marketing from the NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and an M.S. in Management and Systems and a Certificate in Information Technology from the NYU School of Professional Studies.

Stacy Lauren Musi

Stacy Lauren Musi
Managing Director, Chadick Ellig Executive Search Advisors

Stacy Lauren Musi is a managing director of Chadick Ellig, a leading retained executive search firm.  A member of the firm since 1994, she has built long-term relationships with a broad array of clients, ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. 

Ms. Musi began her career in human resources with Reliance Group Holdings, Inc. and then joined First Century Partnerships, Smith Barney’s venture capital funds, where she worked for eight years.

Ms. Musi serves on the Board of Directors of the Financial Women’s Association (FWA). She also is co-founder and co-chair of the FWA Executive Leaders Committee. She is a former member of the International Association of Corporate and Professional Recruiters (IACPR) Board of Directors for which she served as communications chair.

Ms. Musi earned a B.S. in Social Sciences (Psychology) Summa Cum Laude from the NYU School of Professional Studies Paul McGhee Undergraduate Division, graduating with a 4.0 GPA, and was the recipient of the Wallace Gobetz Memorial Award for scholastic achievement.

Enoch Lawrence

Enoch Lawrence
Managing Principal, Community Capital Partners, Inc.

Enoch Lawrence has 18 years of experience in the real estate industry, including over $4 billion in capital advisory work, complex financial modeling, and transaction-specific consulting assignments. Prior to joining Community Capital Partners, Inc., Mr. Lawrence was senior vice president and head of U.S. Infrastructure Finance for CBRE Capital Markets. Earlier in his career, he co-founded the commercial real estate capital markets practice at Sandler O'Neill & Partners, L.P. His primary areas of focus included originating off-balance sheet financing alternatives for community banks and financial institutions via foreign banks, non-bank balance sheet lenders, and commercial mortgage conduit originators.

Mr. Lawrence has completed assignments that include senior debt, mezzanine, and equity placements across multiple-asset classes: infrastructure, office, multifamily, hospitality, NNN-lease, tenants-in-common (TIC), assisted living, industrial, and retail. He also was co-founder of Kestrel Capital Advisors, LLC, a Middle East capital advisory firm with a primary focus in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Assignments included capital advisory work for UAE-based development groups, as well as securing senior debt financing for new developments in the region, including office buildings for Samsung and EMC in Dubai Media City. 

He serves on the Advisory Board for the Stoler Report; Real Estate Trends in the Tri-State region; and is an independent director at Generation Properties. At the NYU School of Professional Studies, he is an adjunct professor of global real estate finance, and serves on the Advisory Board Executive Committee, for the NYU School of Professional Studies Schack Institute of Real Estate.

Mr. Lawrence earned a B.A.  in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. in Real Estate from the NYU School of Professional Studies.

Rita Levitt-Jakubowski

Rita Levitt-Jakubowski
Family Wealth Manager, Morgan Stanley (retired)

Rita Levitt-Jakubowski, recently retired after 36 years as a senior V.P. and financial advisor at Morgan Stanley  She is a passionate advocate for adult higher education. A firm believer in giving back to NYU, she is dedicated to keeping NYU School of Professional Studies Paul McGhee Division alumni connected and involved. Adult literacy and the mentoring and sponsorship of young adults and women in career transition are particular areas of interest that command her time and energy. She also has an enduring passion for global economies and cultural arts. In addition to being a School Advisory Board member, she serves in the Paul McGhee Alumni Chapter.

Ms. Levitt-Jakubowski graduated from the NYU School of Professional Studies Paul McGhee Division with a B.S. in Social Sciences and a concentration in International Studies.

Carlos Manzano

Carlos Manzano
Independent Marketing Consultant

Carlos Manzano is a consultant specializing in the development of communication and marketing plans for businesses and individual clients. From May 2007 to June 2012, Mr. Manzano served as Mayor Bloomberg's executive director of the Latin Media and Entertainment Commission (LMEC). In this capacity, he developed strategies and plans that supported economic development, large-scale events, marketing, public relations, and policy that furthered the mission of making New York the capital of Latin media and entertainment.

Prior to working for the City, he served as assistant commissioner for the Beacons program at the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), and as a project coordinator-computer specialist for the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT). At the NYU School of Professional Studies, he serves as an adjunct faculty member within the marketing and public relations areas.

Mr. Manzano holds an M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communication from the NYU School of Professional Studies and an M.P.A. in Management and Policy from the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He also holds a B.A. from Queens College - CUNY and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications from the NYU School of Professional Studies and the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Sean O'Shea

Sean O'Shea
Managing Partner, Sienna Capital Partners

Sean O’Shea is the founder and managing partner of Sienna Capital Partners, which provides investment banking and complex asset raising for real assets in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Previously, Mr. O’Shea was a senior executive with the Global Real Estate Multi‐Manager Group of Aviva Investors, which managed over $8.7 billion in institutional real estate assets through separate accounts and co-mingled funds. He joined Aviva Investors in 2008 as part of its acquisition of Madison Harbor Capital LLC, after which he played a significant role in integrating and building the Group’s global investment platform, working in both the New York and London offices.

Mr. O’Shea served on the Investments Team at both Aviva and Madison Harbor, which reviewed over 1,700 prospective fund investments targeting the Americas, Europe, and Asia and over $9 billion in secondary and recapitalization transactions. His investment experience includes primary investments in open- and closed-ended real estate funds, secondary investments in illiquid partnership interests, and recapitalizations of funds and portfolios. In addition, he was the fund manager on four comingled real estate funds‐of‐funds that invested $375 million in global, US-only and emerging markets strategies. Prior to joining Madison Harbor in 2006, Mr. O'Shea was a member of the acquisitions team of Gould Investors L.P., where he evaluated direct investment opportunities in retail, office, and multifamily properties.

Mr. O’Shea is a resource council member of the Family Office Association and a member of the Urban Land Institute. At the NYU School of Professional Studies he has served as a board member of the Schack Institute Alumni Association Board.

He earned a B.A. from Rutgers University and holds an M.S. in Real Estate from the NYU School of Professional Studies and an M.B.A. from Georgia State University.

Lavinel Savu

Lavinel Savu
Assistant Managing Editor, InStyle at Time Inc.

Lavinel Savu is a media executive with more than 22 years of experience in the development, financial planning, marketing of category-leading brands, and management of multimillion dollar content and publishing operations.  He has specific expertise overseeing consumer magazine brands (InStyle, Cosmopolitan), digital operations, business development, and high-profile launches, including O, The Oprah Magazine, Time Inc. digital studios, and Facebook Red Carpet Talk Meter.

Mr. Savu studied French literature at Columbia University and earned an M.B.A. in Marketing from the NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business and an M.S. in Publishing: Digital and Print Media from the NYU School of Professional Studies, where he teaches graduate courses in leadership and media management as an adjunct faculty member.

Michael Talansky

Michael Talansky
Vice President, La Bottega dell’ Albergo

Just after graduation, Michael Talansky was recruited by West Coast entrepreneurs. He relocated to Los Angeles and joined the SBE Entertainment Group of developers, then in its infancy. He and several colleagues developed the SLS brand and subsequently launched wildly successful properties in Los Angeles, South Beach, Las Vegas, and other locations.

With Philippe Starck designs and Jose Andres eateries, the SLS Hotels have earned their place at the top of the list of international premier boutique properties. In addition, Mr. Talansky conceived of and implemented the club concept within sports arenas and launched the Hyde Lounge at the American Airlines arena in Miami Beach in 2012. That same year, the retro suites of The Redbury opened in Los Angeles and Miami.

Mr. Talansky has since branched out to breathe fresh life and energy into La Bottega, an innovative, dynamic, and creative Italian atelier that provides concept, design, and production services for the hospitality industry, as its senior vice president of global business development.

He graduated with a B.S. in Hotel and Tourism Management from the NYU School of Professional Studies in 2005, and was the recipient of the prestigious international hospitality industry investment conference undergraduate scholarship.  Mr. Talansky also is an active member of the West Coast NYU alumni community.