Four Smeal graduates in 2015 class of Penn State Alumni Fellows

October 22, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Four Penn State Smeal College of Business alumni were honored with Penn State Alumni Fellow awards Oct. 21 for their outstanding professional accomplishments: Lisa Baird (1984), Mitchell D. Cohen (1981), Jerome S. Griffith (1979), and Steven K. Richards (1984).

In addition to recognizing alumni for contributions to their professions and the world, the Alumni Fellow program provides an opportunity to bring these alumni back to campus to connect with students, faculty and administrators.

Lisa Baird, U.S. Olympic Committee
Baird, who earned a master of business administration degree from the Smeal College of Business in 1984, is the chief marketing officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), where she directs the sales and marketing division and oversees corporate sponsorship, properties, media, events, consumer products, and direct marketing. During her time with the USOC, Baird has signed more than $650 million in revenue while expanding the brand of Team USA; this reach includes the USOC being recognized as League of the Year by Sports Business Journal in 2013 in association with the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Before joining the USOC, Baird served as a senior vice president for marketing and consumer products for the NFL, and prior to that, as senior vice president of worldwide marketing communications for IBM.

Mitchell D. Cohen, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Cohen, who graduated in 1981 with a degree in accounting, is the vice chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, responsible for the New York metro region, as well as the firm’s network alignment leader. Cohen has been with PricewaterhouseCoopers for 34 years — the last 23 as a partner.

During this time, he has served a number of Fortune 500 telecommunications and technology clients. From 1998–2001, while based in Budapest, Cohen was the Technology, InfoComm, and Entertainment (TICE) leader for central and eastern Europe and Russia. After relocating to New York in 2001, Cohen was appointed global leader of the information/communications industry practice. In 2005, he became the global leader for the TICE practice.

Jerome S. Griffith, TUMI Holdings
Griffith, who graduated in 1979 with a degree in marketing, is president and CEO of TUMI Holdings Inc., the leading international travel, business, and lifestyle accessories brand. Since joining the company in 2009, Griffith has spearheaded multiple retail expansions in both domestic and international markets.

In April 2012, Griffith was the driving force behind TUMI making its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange as TUMI Holdings Inc. and has since successfully grown the brand. TUMI is currently sold in more than 310 stores worldwide. Griffith has more than 20 years of experience with major retail companies in the U.S. and Europe.

Steven K. Richards, Mood Media Corp.
Richards, who graduated in 1984 with a management degree, is president and chief executive officer of Mood Media Corporation, with approximately $500 million in revenues and serving 450,000 client locations in 40 countries. Mood is the global in-store leader for experience design solutions, connecting brands with customers via interactive music, media, and mobile marketing campaigns.

Richards is a business transformation expert known for achieving swift, systemic operational turnarounds, marked by record revenue and profitability growth. Richards began his career in 1984 at AT&T, where he was groomed for broadened management responsibilities via rotational, operational assignments with increasing scope. In 1998, he was recruited to Excel Communications, serving through 2001, notably as their chief marketing and product officer.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 26, 2015