HWA: The Harry Walker Agency - The World's #1 Speakers' Agency   My Speaker List
Find A Speaker
By Name
By Topic
HWA New Speakers
HWA Exclusive Speakers
Create A Speaker List
Request Info
Don Walker

Don Walker

Don is President of the Harry Walker Agency. His strategic vision and experience drives all aspects of the Agency's operations and management.   One of Don's primary focuses is the Agency's relationship with its speakers and the careful handling of every event. Don joined the Agency in 1972, working alongside his father, founder Harry Walker, and became Agency President in 1985. Don and Ellen have two wonderful children.

Read More from Don Walker and Ellen Kazis-Walker.

Contact Don:

 [Photo of Ellen Walker]

Ellen Kazis-Walker

Ellen Walker joined HWA in 1994 and applied her background in marketing and capital development to HWA's customer communications and strategic growth. Subsequent to receiving her Masters in Voice from the Juilliard School, Ellen worked for many years in the classical music industry. She also worked as the Development Director for a major New York City cultural institution. As Managing Director at HWA, Ellen is involved in all aspects of the Agency's operations and growth, including the Agency's relationship with its speakers.

Read More from Don Walker and Ellen Kazis-Walker.

Contact Ellen:

[Photo of Kelly Eger]

Kelly Eger

Kelly Eger serves as HWA's Chief Operating Officer. She has also represented the Agency as a board member and past president of the International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB). Working closely with speakers and sponsors at HWA for over 11 years, Kelly is committed to helping both Speakers and Host organizations contribute to the ongoing dialogue of ideas that are making real changes in our world. Kelly graduated from New York University, majoring in Public Relations and Marketing with a minor in Political Science. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband Eric and their son, Alex, and daughter, Sloane.

Contact Kelly:

[Photo of Arlene Goldberg]

Arlene Goldberg

After a career in education, and then as a stay-at-home mom, Arlene Goldberg joined HWA over 20 years ago. Prior to her present position as Executive Vice President of Finance and Purchasing, she has worked in other departments including logistics, marketing and human resources. As a Walker family member, she feels the same passion for excellence and service that her father and brother have brought to the Agency for over 60 years, and enjoys working with the most devoted and congenial team imaginable.

Contact Arlene:

Amy Werner

Amy Rydell Werner

Amy Werner is an Executive Vice President at the Harry Walker Agency focused in strategy and operations. First starting at HWA in 1997, Amy has held leadership positions in marketing, accounting and operations and coordinates strategic projects at the company level. Amy has also worked as a strategic management consultant for several large consulting firms, servicing clients globally across multiple industries. She has an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business from the University of Pennsylvania.


Contact Amy:



[Photo of Tracy Cotton]

Tracy Cotton

As a former Corporate Meeting Planner, Tracy understands the need to leave an audience captivated by a great speech. With a background in the Events industry, she has spent the last decade managing a profitable sales and speaker team. Known as a strategic thinker and problem solver, Tracy has partnered with a diverse group of organizations from the White House to the Fortune 1000. She studied Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and went on to obtain a Masters degree from rival school – University of Southern California (USC).

Contact Tracy:


[Photo of Beth Gargano]

Beth Gargano

For many years, Beth Gargano has been an Agent at HWA, assisting sponsors with their programming choices. Upon graduating from Emerson College where she majored in communication, Beth served as floating press aide to the Carter/Mondale campaign. At home, Beth enjoys biking, cooking, and volunteering at school. She lives in Connecticut with her husband Howard and their children, Ford and Lucas.

Contact Beth:

[Photo of Charles Goldberg]

Charles Goldberg

Charles Goldberg has been an Agent at HWA since 1994 and enjoys bringing the world's top speakers to organizations around the world. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from St. John's University and a Master's Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

Contact Charles:

[Photo of Cynthia Rice Hanson]

Cynthia Rice Hanson

During her 15-year career at the Agency, Cynthia combines her experience with all types of speakers and a natural passion for people to develop lasting partnerships with her clients and speakers. Prior to working as an Agent, Cynthia built the Speaker Relations department, responsible for preparing each speaker for the event, handling all aspects of their travel and liaising with the client to ensure a successful event. Her experience facilitating these events gives Cynthia unique understanding of the details on the desk of the meeting planner, and also a personal understanding of each speaker. This insight ensures that she is making the right speaker match for each of her clients' events. A pop culture junkie, natural storyteller and aspiring chef, Cynthia lives in Brooklyn with her husband and her dog, Lola.

Contact Cynthia:


John Ksar

John Ksar

John Ksar joined HWA after working in the corporate meeting and event production space for over a decade. He brings years of experience developing content and selecting speakers for industry-specific events and understands the unique event requirements of each segment as a result. John is originally from the Detroit area, but has lived in Houston, Chicago, Barbados and Miami before arriving in New York City. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Michigan and enjoys movies, sports and cooking in his free time.



Contact John:

[Photo of Suzanne Manzi]

Suzanne Manzi

After a decade and a half in the world of politics and public relations, Suzanne Manzi received a call asking her if she'd like to be a lecture agent. She interviewed 20 years ago and found her dream job. Combining her tenacious work style (did someone say "relentless?") with her eternal curiosity for world affairs, being an Agent has introduced her to a who's who, not only of the speakers HWA represents, but of sponsors from all over the world. For Suzanne, there is no better job--every day brings new challenges and new friends.

Contact Suzanne:


[Photo of Susan Simmons]

Susan Simmons

Susan Simmons has been an Agent for over 20 years. Graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in music education, Susan was a professional singer for several years. She went on to become a corporate meeting planner, coordinating national and international investment conferences and securing speakers from the Harry Walker Agency. Transitioning to "the other side of the desk," Susan became an Agent at HWA. While she lived in Europe for 10 years and traveled extensively before starting her career in business, Susan is originally from New York. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and daughter and spends weekends in Connecticut where her love of gardening keeps her busy.

Contact Susan:


[Photo of Ann Shavrick]

Ann Shavrick Sudry

Ann Shavrick Sudry is the Senior Vice President of Bureau Relations. She has been in the lecture industry for over 10 years and joined the Harry Walker team in 2003. Prior to launching her career as a lecture agent, Ann was the director of a fashionable aerobics club and was their most sought after instructor. Graduating with a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Ann brings a wealth of knowledge and interpersonal skills to the business and has been extremely savvy in bringing new speakers to the lecture circuit. Ann lives in Brooklyn N.Y., and is an accomplished cook.

Contact Ann:

[Photo of Jeremy Steele]

Jeremy Steele

Since 1984, Jeremy Steele has been an HWA Agent. He majored in English at Lehigh University. Outside of work, he plays in several bluegrass and classic rock bands.

Contact Jeremy:



[Photo of Vana Thayu]

Vana Thayu

Vana Thayu has been in the business of booking keynote and celebrity speakers for nearly 15 years. Prior to joining Harry Walker as a Lecture Agent in 2003, she was an Agent with IMG Speakers Bureau in New York, where she represented world-renowned athletes and icons, including Tiger Woods, Jack Welch, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning and Robin Roberts. Prior to her time with IMG, she spent a year in the Manhattan PR world at Rubenstein Public Relations (RPR), the publicity firm headed by international PR guru Howard Rubenstein and his son Richard Rubenstein. At RPR, she focused on entertainment publicity for both corporations and individuals, including legendary singer and actress Eartha Kitt. Vana is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her B.A. in English and Film Studies, and she originally hails from Sugar Land, Texas. Vana enjoys booking keynote speakers from all walks of life – politics, business, the arts & entertainment, sports and much more!

Contact Vana:



Amanda Cappello

Amanda Emerson

Since joining HWA, Amanda has worked with multiple departments at the Agency including Sales, Speaker Management and Speaker Relations. This experience has given her the opportunity to see the process of securing speakers from all sides of the equation. Amanda currently works with the sales team as a Director of Business Development and Sales. She works diligently with the rest of the sales team to build solid, long-term agency-client partnerships with integrity and honesty. She is passionate about her role at the agency and enjoys HWA’s highly collaborative, integrated creative and strategic approaches to deliver the best speakers to organizations of all types around the world. Amanda is a Broadcasting and Theatre graduate from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.

Contact Amanda:


Molly Cotter

Molly Cotter

Molly Cotter supports HWA’s sales team as an Agent Associate. Prior to joining The Harry Walker Agency, Molly worked in the art world, including at the Detroit Institute of Art, Christie’s Auction House and the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art in Amelia, Italy. Her interests in art and culture drew her to HWA where she is thrilled to be working with a vast array of speakers. She holds a B.A. in Art History and Visual Culture from Michigan State University and an M.A. in Art Business from Christie’s Education.

Contact Molly:

[Photo of Tatiana Duus]

Tatiana Duus

Tatiana Duus supports HWA’s sales team as an Associate Director of Contracts. She graduated from The University of Maryland at College Park with a B.A. in Psychology and Criminology and Criminal Justice. Prior to joining HWA, Tatiana worked for Freehill, Hogan & Mahar, LLP in downtown Manhattan. Tatiana’s interests include cooking, reading and live music. Tatiana is fluent in Danish and looks forward to visiting her family in Denmark every summer.

Contact Tatiana:


[Photo of Fernanda Fernandes]

Fernanda Fernandes

Fernanda Fernandes supports HWA's sales team as an Agent Associate. Prior to working at The Harry Walker Agency, Fernanda worked for the Brazilian Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management in the Cabinet of the Secretary of International Affairs in Brasilia, Brazil. Fernanda studied International Affairs at the Central Education University of Brasilia and also worked as a Private English teacher for 3 years in Brazil. She continues to travel to Brazil to visit her parents.

Contact Fernanda:

Reza Hasan

Reza Hasan

Reza Hasan supports HWA’s sales team as an Agent Associate. Prior to joining the Harry Walker Agency, Reza worked at Warby Parker in New York, NY as a member of their Marketing Team, and Hunt Alternatives Fund in Cambridge, MA working on women and social rights issues. He graduated from Clark University with a B.A. in Political Science with minors in History and Film Studies.

Contact Reza:


[Photo of Colleen Walley]

Jackie Walker

Jackie Walker is Associate Director of Contracts at The Harry Walker Agency. Jackie has a background in talent sales and representation, and television and event production. Prior to joining Harry Walker, she worked at Creative Artists Agency as an assistant in the Speakers department. She received a B.A. in Mass Media Arts from Clark Atlanta University and earned a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she served as a Constitutional Literacy Outreach Fellow.

Contact Jackie:

[Photo of Colleen Walley]

Colleen Walley

As an Agent Associate, Colleen Walley supports several Agents on the sales team, while communicating with different sponsors, and acting as an intra office liaison between departments. For Colleen, the most fascinating part of working at HWA is the incredible variety of speakers represented and sponsors she has had the opportunity to work with. Prior to joining HWA, she worked in support roles within the biotech and corporate education industries. Colleen holds a degree in Communication from Marist College and is originally from the Boston area. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, sports, music, and pop-culture.  

Contact Colleen:




[Photo of Elizabeth Platt]

Elizabeth Platt

Department Director

Elizabeth serves as the Vice President of Speaker Management. A New York native, she has returned home to join HWA and brings with her years of logistical and management experience. She was previously the Associate Director for United States Secret Service Credentials at the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee and before that acted as Director of Special Projects for the CEO of the 2012 National Democratic Convention. She was also a longtime staff member to the former Chair of Financial Services in the Massachusetts State Legislature. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Classical Studies from Loyola University Maryland.

Contact Elizabeth:

[Photo of Shivanie Gosai]

Shivanie Gosai

Shivanie Gosai is a Director of Speaker Management at HWA. Prior to joining the HWA team, she worked as an Account Manager for a sales organization in New York City. Shivanie is originally from New York, but spent the majority of her life in the Fort Worth, TX area. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology from the University of Oklahoma and enjoys music, cooking, and supporting the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Cowboys.

Contact Shivanie:

[Photo of Dana Quinn]

Dana Quinn

Dana Quinn is an associate director of speaker management at The Harry Walker Agency. Before joining HWA, she worked in residential Manhattan real estate after graduating Johns Hopkins University. While in school, Dana studied writing and theatre, which inspired her to study abroad in Paris for a semester, to work in television production at ABC’s “The View,” and to also serve as a marketing assistant at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Dana originally comes from the New York area but can never get enough of exploring the city. New restaurants, parks, art, and people are her favorite discoveries every day.

Contact Dana:


[Photo of Alexandra Sullivan]

Alexandra Sullivan

Alexandra Sullivan is an Associate Director of Speaker Management. Prior to joining HWA, Alexandra was an account manager in the healthcare and consulting services industries in New York City. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelors Degree in Communication and minors in Sociology and Psychology.

Contact Alexandra:

[Photo of Lily Winter]

Lily Winter

Lily Winter is an Associate Director of Speaker Management. She previously worked on the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee as the Associate Director for Ticketing & Credentials for Honored Guests. Lily has worked in political fundraising for US Senator Chris Murphy’s successful campaign in Connecticut, the 2012 Democratic National Convention Host Committee in Charlotte, and Michael Hancock’s successful Denver Mayoral bid in her home state of Colorado. Lily attended the College of Charleston in South Carolina, where she received dual Bachelor degrees in Political Science and Religious Studies.




[Photo of Lauren Kranich]

Lauren Kranich

Department Director

Lauren Kranich serves as the Vice President of Speaker Relations. Lauren brings over a decade of experience in non-profit and corporate event management to the Speaker Relations team. She has a Master of Public Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University as well as a Certificate in Event Management and a B.A. in Political Science from The George Washington University.

Contact Lauren:


Veronica Crowley

Veronica Crowley

Having joined HWA in October 2008 as an Account Manager in the Speaker Relations department, Veronica Crowley coordinates between speakers and sponsors leading up to and through each of her events, taking care of travel and itinerary details. After spending a few years in California, Veronica is happy to be back on the East Coast, and enjoys exploring the many facets of New York City. Veronica graduated from The Catholic University of America, where she studied English and Communications.

Contact Veronica:

[Photo of Christa Dean]

Christa Dean

Christa Dean is an Account Manager in HWA's Speaker Relations department. After graduating from Hofstra University in 1999 with a B.A. in Communications, she worked in television production for several years before coming to HWA in 2004. She enjoys event and travel planning and loves being a mom to her son, Emmett, and her daughter, Caelyn.

Contact Christa:

[Photo of Jackie Heller]

Jackie Heller

After spending two years in the HWA Accounting department, Jackie moved over to Speaker Relations with almost 10 years of event planning experience. She graduated from Indiana University where she worked as the Event Coordinator of the IU Art Museum during her college career. She loves to travel and has visited over half the 50 states, as well as Europe, Israel and Egypt. Jackie makes a point to incorporate aspects of each culture she’s visited into her life, especially by maintaining relationships in each area she’s visited.

Contact Jackie:

[Photo of Jessica Jimenez]

Jessica Jimenez

Jessica Jimenez is an Account Manager on the Speaker Relations team. After graduating from New York University with a dual B.A. in Comparative Literature and Spanish, Jessica worked as a paralegal in her home state of Florida, and later as a project manager at a global communications firm in New York City. Jessica’s conscientiousness, versatility and passion for people allow her to work with both speakers and hosts to ensure that events are executed successfully.

Contact Jessica:

[Photo of Emily Trievel]

Emily Trievel

Emily joined HWA in 2006 and adds more than a decade of experience to the Speaker Relations team. Prior to working at HWA, Emily was a Project Manager to Wangari Maathai’s Green Belt Movement. She has also worked on various New York state and U.S. political campaigns. Emily received her BA in Communications and her MA in Organizational Communications, both from The University at Albany. Emily lives in Warwick, NY, with her husband Niyan and three children, Hudson, Graesyn and Nya.

Contact Emily:

[Photo of Sarah Turkel]

Sarah Turkel

As an Account Manager on the Speaker Relations team, Sarah Turkel works diligently with both speakers and hosts to ensure that events occur flawlessly and are memorable and exciting for everyone involved. Prior to joining The Harry Walker Agency, Sarah worked with legal services providers and community-based non-profits in Washington, D.C. She has received degrees from The American University and The Catholic University of America.

Contact Sarah:



[Photo of Meghan Sheehan]

Meghan Sheehan

Department Co-Director

Meghan Sheehan is Vice President of HWA's Marketing department. She began her career at HWA in 2000, when she graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Journalism specializing in Fine Arts and Computer Science. Meghan writes and designs creative solutions for HWA's print and e-mail communications.

Contact Meghan:

 Mirjana Novkovic

Mirjana Novkovic

Department Co-Director

As Vice President of Marketing, Mirjana Novkovic brings strategic ideas to the department  to effectively promote HWA speakers using multiple media platforms. Her responsibilities include analyzing, evaluating, planning and executing marketing initiatives that provide our sales team and clients with the necessary information to find the perfect speaker for any event. She is also leading HWA’s initiatives with our online video player by finding new solutions and creating strategies that will enable us to have a more efficient workflow and reach a wider audience. The Harry Walker Agency continues to "Drive the Conversation" in the lecture industry by representing the leading voices in a global arena; and our team continues to focus on communication strategies that will keep our clients at the top of their game by bringing the best speakers to their events.  Mirjana joined the HWA team in 2000, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Media from Rutgers University.

Contact Mirjana:

Karina Grudnikov

Karina Grudnikov

As Marketing Manager at the Harry Walker Agency, Karina Grudnikov spearheads the agency's e-marketing initiatives. In her role, Karina designs, creates and sends out HWA marketing newsletters, in addition to writing creative web content to promote agency speakers. She also works closely with all agency departments to address speaker-specific marketing needs. Karina has previously been involved in non-profit work, the magazine industry and adventures that have taken her across the world.

Contact Karina:



[Photo of Antonella Acquista]

Antonella Acquista

Senior Vice President of Finance Antonella Acquista joined the HWA Accounting Department in 2007, bringing over 20 years of experience from both the public and private sectors of accounting. She is a graduate of Pace University with a B.A. in Public Accounting.


Contact Antonella:

[Photo of Saeeda Arshad]

Saeeda Arshad

As a Junior Accountant at the Harry Walker Agency, Saeeda fulfills an integral transactional and reporting function in the Department of Accounting. Prior to joining HWA, she was an accounting assistant for a real estate company and Department of Journalism and Writing Professions at Baruch College in New York City. She graduated from Baruch College with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Economics and minor in Finance and Sociology. She enjoys cooking, baking and spending time with friends and family.

Contact Saeeda:


[Photo of Phyllis Christon]

Phyllis Christon

Phyllis Christon has served in HWA's Accounting Department for 6 years as Controller, as well as handling account management for speakers and sponsors. Phyllis graduated from East Stroudsburg University specializing in Financial Management, Accounting and Economics. Outside of work, she spends time with her family enjoying various outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and whitewater rafting.

Contact Phyllis:

[Photo of Adam Ekiert]

Adam Ekiert

Adam Ekiert is IT Manager and Systems Administrator, providing solutions to HWA's technology challenges. He graduated from DeVry University in North Brunswick, NJ and received a Bachelor degree for Computer Information Systems (CIS). Adam lives in New Jersey with his wife and young son.

Contact Adam:

[Photo of Steve Adelsberg]

Steve Adelsberg

Steve Adelsberg has been C.P.A. and an accounting consultant to HWA since 1985. During this time, Steve has enjoyed seeing HWA grow from one generation to the next, and adapting to the new high-tech business world. Steve majored in accounting at New York University.

Contact Steve:

[Photo of Jeremy Kirschner]

Jeremy Kirschner

Jeremy Kirschner, CPA, has served as The Harry Walker Agency's accountant for over five years. He has an appreciation for the Agency's ability to attract first-rate speakers and to service their customers in such a way which will carry the Agency into a new era within the industry. Jeremy majored in Accounting at Yeshiva University.

Contact Jeremy:


General Inquiries: Info@HarryWalker.com

Accounting Issues: Accounting@HarryWalker.com

Prospective Speakers: NewSpeakers@HarryWalker.com

Human Resources: HumanResources@HarryWalker.com

Marketing: Marketing@HarryWalker.com


The Harry Walker Agency, Inc.
355 Lexington Avenue, 21st Floor
New York, New York 10017
Phone: (646) 227-4900
Fax: (646) 227-4901

The Harry Walker Agency is an exclusive speakers bureau and lecture agency representing the world's foremost in motivational speakers, keynote speakers, inspirational speakers, business speakers, celebrity speakers, commencement speakers and professional speakers for conventions, conferences, corporate events and special events of all types.

The World's #1 Speakers' Agency
Copyright © 2015 The Harry Walker Agency, Inc. All Rights Reserved.