These friendly faces below represent the best in the business. We have the experience and relationships to help you secure the perfect speaker for your audience and budget. Plus, we're nice and happy to chat. Connect with us!
Find our office at 355 Lexington Ave #21, New York, NY 10017
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.
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.
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.
Kelly serves as HWA's Chief Operating Officer. She began her career at the Agency two decades ago and in that time has worked in multiple departments, partnering closely with speakers and hosting organizations. Kelly has represented HWA as a board member and past president of the International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB). Kelly graduated from New York University, majoring in Public Relations and Marketing with a minor in Political Science. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband Eric and their son, Alex, and daughter, Sloane.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 over 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.
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.
Ann Shavrick Sudry is the Senior Vice President of Bureau Relations. She has been in the lecture industry for over 20 years and joined the Harry Walker team in 2003. She’s currently an active Board Member for the International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB).
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 Master’s 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 Teaneck, NJ and is an accomplished cook and baker.
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 multiple sides. As an Account Executive, 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.
For nearly two decades, Ruben has worked in the lecture industry managing speakers, coordinating events, and connecting sponsors with some of the world's most compelling people. As an agent, Ruben leverages his experience to ensure event organizers have the ideal speakers for their audience. When asked, what about the industry he loves most, in a second he answered--the people (both the speakers and audiences). Ruben said, when he recommends a speaker he does so fully aware of the meaningful and tangible impact that speaker can have on an audience--from increase sales or fundraising goals to inspiring paradigm shifts and new thinking to reignited passion and a fervor to achieve one's dream. Ruben is from New York, raised in the Bronx, and briefly lived in Washington D.C. He's a member of the Trevor Project NextGen committee and serves on the Latino Advisory Board for the American Diabetes Association. Ruben majored in Public Policy with a concentration in Public Service at The State University of New York.
Fernanda Fernandes supports HWA's sales team as a Senior Sales 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.
Jessica Mullen is Director of Contracts at the Harry Walker Agency. Prior to joining HWA, Jessica worked in the entertainment and nonprofit sectors supporting high profile clients. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Lincoln University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from New York Law School. In her free time, Jessica enjoys playing with her daughter, James, entertaining friends, and traveling.
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.
As an Agent Associate, Chahat supports agents on the sales team, while communicating with different sponsors and acting as an intra-office liaison across multiple departments. Prior to joining HWA, Chahat worked with Parliament of Canada during her university years and indulged into the fashion industry after graduating from University of Ottawa. Chahat holds a B.A. in Political Science and Communications. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, drawing and spending time with family and friends.
Kriska Desir is a recent graduate of Tufts University, where she studied English and Film & Media Studies. At Harry Walker, she is Associate to the COO, Kelly Eger. Before joining the Harry Walker team, she was a floating assistant at William Morris Endeavor, has worked as a freelance writer and production assistant, and has held several internships in film and TV. In her free time, Kriska is a voracious reader, concert-goer, and baker of vegan treats.
Riyana Dasgupta supports Harry Walker Agency’s Contracts Department as a Contracts Associate. Prior to joining HWA, Riyana worked in the nonprofit sector and supported high level directors and executives. Riyana holds a B.A. in Psychology from NC State University and also holds a Master in Social Work from New York University. Riyana enjoys traveling, trying different cuisines, and spending time with her friends and family.
Shivanie Gosai serves as the Vice President of Speaker Management and has been with The Harry Walker Agency since 2013. Prior to joining the HWA team, she worked in sales as an Account Manager for an information technology staffing firm in New York City. Shivanie holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from The University of Oklahoma.
Emily is an Associate Director of Speaker Management. Before joining Harry Walker, Emily worked at a political fundraising firm and for a few different elected officials. Emily is a graduate of the University of Southern California where she studied International Relations and Communications. In her free time, you will find Emily petting dogs, planning travel, and walking in Central Park.
Molly is a Director of Speaker Management. Prior to joining Speaker Management department, Molly supported the HWA sales team, helping clients all over the world find the perfect speakers for their events. Molly comes from the art world, having previously worked at the Detroit Institute of Art, Christie’s Auction House, and the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Michigan State University and an M.A. in Art Business from Christie’s Education.
Patrick Meyers is the Director of Research at the Harry Walker Agency. Prior to joining HWA, Patrick served as a Global Risk and Investigations Consultant at FTI Consulting, and as a Vetting Specialist with Secretary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for President in Brooklyn. He has also worked as an analyst in the private intelligence and anti-money laundering/KYC spaces in New York. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree in International Security Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Tufts University. A native of Western Massachusetts, Patrick spends most of his free time bragging about New England sports teams and going to concerts.
Elizabeth is a Senior Vice President at the Harry Walker Agency. Prior to joining the Agency, Elizabeth served as the Associate Director for US Secret Service Credentials at the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee and Director of Special Projects for the CEO of the 2012 National Democratic Convention. Before that she was a longtime staff member to the Middlesex County Sheriff and former Chair of Financial Services in the Massachusetts State Legislature. An Upper West Side native, Elizabeth now lives in the East Village but spends most weekends upstate with her husband and son. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Classical Studies from Loyola University Maryland. She is also an alumna of Loyola University Chicago’s John Felice Rome Center, where she studied abroad as undergrad and returned to live and work after graduating college.
Tiffany is an Associate Director of Speaker Management. Prior to joining HWA, Tiffany worked in sales and in several support positions at different departments within Stony Brook University. Tiffany holds a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in Public Policy from Stony Brook University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, drawing, traveling and spending time with her family.
Jessica Grubesic is an Associate Director of Research at the Harry Walker Agency. Prior to joining HWA, Jessica served in various roles as a staffer for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Jessica graduated from Columbia University in 2019 with a B.A. in political science. In her free time, Jessica enjoys reading, exploring museums, and trying to find outdoor spaces on the East Coast that can rival those of her native New Mexico.
Lily Winter serves as the Vice President of Speaker Relations, overseeing the department that manages the logistics and execution for all of the agency’s engagements. Prior to joining The Harry Walker Agency, she 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.
Carolyn Boylan is an Account Manager in the Speaker Relations Department. Before joining HWA, Carolyn worked as an intellectual property Litigation Assistant and non-profit Program Manager. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Psychology from the University of Connecticut. While earning her B.A., she spent a semester studying human rights at the University of Cape Town and working at a local non-profit. Carolyn is originally from New Hampshire and enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling.
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.
Mickaela is an Account Manager on the Speaker Relations team. Prior to joining the Harry Walker Agency, Mickaela worked as the client relations manager at a luxury floral studio. She holds a B.A in Creative Writing and Art History from Oberlin College.
As Vice President of the Speaker Relations department, Jackie has over 15 years of event planning experience. She graduated from Indiana University where she worked in the Investor Relations department of the IU Art Museum during her college career. At the museum she spent time collaborating with donors to put on exceptional events that brought the community together in a prosperous way. She has been a member of the HWA team for over 6 years. She loves to travel and makes a point to incorporate aspects of each culture she’s visited into her life.
Nikki Jordan is an Account Manager on the Speaker Relations team. Prior to joining HWA, Nikki worked as a federal caseworker for the U.S. House of Representatives. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Louisville. Nikki also studied International Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management at the International College of Management in Sydney, Australia. Nikki has worked as an advance associate for the Personal Office of Michelle and Barack Obama and is a former White House Intern for the Obama Administration. In her spare time Nikki enjoys traveling, freediving and cooking.
McKinsey Lowrance is an Account Manager in the Speaker Relations department. Prior to joining HWA, McKinsey worked at the International Crisis Group’s U.N. Advocacy office on the Private Sector Initiatives team. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations with a minor in Mass Communications from Texas State University. McKinsey has also worked on Beto O’Rourke’s 2018 campaign for Senate, the 2014 campaign to elect Wendy Davis to Texas Governor, and the Texas Equal Access Fund. In her spare time McKinsey enjoys traveling, reading, and hiking.
Kara Sheehan is an Account Manager on the Speaker Relations team. Prior to joining HWA, Kara worked at Tiffany & Co. on the Global Media Relations team. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs from Northeastern University.
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.
Virginia is an Account Manager on the Speaker Relations team. Prior to joining HWA, she worked as an Executive Assistant at Dow Jones, and as a Donor Relations Specialist at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. Virginia graduated from The King’s College NYC majoring in Politics, Philosophy & Economics, and minoring in Art History. She also spent a semester in London at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, earning a Certificate of Completion in Art History. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, dance, anecdotal writing, and anything that relates to Personal Development and Health & Wellness.
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.
Nicki Fleischner serves as the Media Content Creator for HWA, writing and designing creative content for the website and social media channels. Prior to her time at HWA, she worked as a journalist with a focus on Latin America, and her writing has been featured in both the Huffington Post and Univision. Beyond her passion for digital media and writing, Nicki has also served as an Assistant Director at Camp Scatico, where she spearheaded a service program to the Dominican Republic. She holds a B.A. in International Literature and Visual Studies from Tufts University, and an M.A. in Global Journalism from NYU. Nicki is fluent in Spanish, and following college graduation, spent a year volunteering in Latin America.
As Director of Digital Media, Augusto F. Menezes curates photo and video content for the HWA Marketing team. He earned a B.A. in History from Rutgers University. Before joining The Harry Walker team, Augusto was a photojournalist for several daily newspapers in New Jersey where he experienced firsthand the industry’s many faceted evolution from film and broadsheet to iPhone and social media. His passion for the interview is born from the Buddhist concept of deep listening. He is a native of Brazil and speaks fluent Portuguese. In his spare time he enjoys running, cycling, motorcycling, and baking an exceptional batch of Brazilian cheese bread.
Chief Financial Officer 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.
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.
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.
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
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.