Strategic was created in 1995. Our senior team has a strong background in helping develop solutions for every challenge. Our can-do attitude is what we are known for and it is part of every project we manage.
Shirley B. Dreifus, Chief Executive
Nearly 25 years ago, Shirley and Farhan founded Strategic Communications Group. Shirley has extensive experience in business, including heading management practices at an Economist Group division, managing consulting groups at JPMorgan Chase, and working as a senior communicator at Jensen Communications Group. While she was at the Economist Group, she authored the Global Management Desk Reference and Strategic Planning for IT. Shirley has an MBA in International Business and Marketing from NYU Stern School and a BA in English and Education from Russell Sage College.
Farhan Ali, President
Farhan, the cofounder of Strategic Communications Group, has over 25 years of experience in domestic and international marketing, communications, and account management. Prior to cofounding Strategic, he held positions with Jensen Communications Group, Dekker Babian Design, General Electric Trading, and Gulf International. Farhan has a BBA in Finance/International Management from the Boston University School of Management.
Thomas Haddad, Director Creative Service
Thomas has been with Strategic for over 18 years. During that time, he has worked on a variety of design and client management projects. Thomas graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Illustration. He is a gifted illustrator in both digital and traditional mediums. His illustrations have enhanced both business-to-business and business-to-consumer projects in international tourism, music publishing, and financial services. Previously Thomas was a designer for Reiner Design Consultants and F&M Expressions.
Angela Lam, Director Client Service. Angela has over 20 years of experience in marketing, public relations, and event management. Angela joined Strategic in 2001 as a Project Manager and has supervised numerous projects from rewards & recognition to database management. Angela has a BA in Business Communications from Baruch College at the City University of New York.
Rosemary Vassallo, Account Manager
Before joining Strategic, Rosemary managed a dinner cruise company for six years where she was responsible for client and event management. Prior to that engagement, Rosemary received extensive product procurement experience from her 10 years with a men’s textile business. She received her BS in Business Administration from Baruch College at the City University of New York.
Linda Lam, Special Projects and Technology Integration Director
Through her experience working with Metro New York, Thomas Publishing, and BlackRock, Linda has a wide-ranging background in project management, design, and production. Linda has an MPS in Design Management from Pratt Institute, BA in Psychology and Communications from the State University of New York at Buffalo, AAS in Advertising Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), and a Certificate in Public Relations and Advertising from Millard Fillmore College.
Kimberly Schneider, Project Manager. Kim has previously worked at several companies, including Entertainment and Make Meaning where she was responsible for various aspects of project management in team building. Additionally, she brought her talents in marketing and brand development to Mini Melanie and A&G Merch. She graduated from Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a specialization in Photography. At Strategic, she is responsible for bringing her management and photography talents to the various client projects she is involved in.
Imran Ashraf, Director Programming. Imran has specialized in website development for nearly 10 years. He is a Microsoft-certified professional in .NET, the top-level certification for advanced developers who design and develop leading-edge enterprise solutions. In Toronto, Imran worked for Rad-Logic Inc., where he developed a website that enabled patients to book X-rays, ultrasounds and other services online. He holds a mathematics degree from Government College in Pakistan and a graduate degree in software development from Pak-American Institute of Management Sciences.
STRATEGIC ADVISORY TEAM
Ronni Burns, Communications Advisor
Ronni has been a consultant, corporate officer, and award-winning speaker and educator for more than 25 years. She is Senior Fellow of Communications at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Previously she spent 15 years at Citi as Senior Vice President. She also was a Communications Adjunct at the University of Connecticut and is a lecturer at Stern School and the Wharton School for Executive Education. In 2001 she authored Communication Essentials: A Sell-Abration. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Communication Science from the University of Connecticut.
Ron Karr, Global Business Advisor and Sales Coach
Ron is the creator of the Velocity MindsetTM which is revolutionizing the way high-growth companies drive sales. He has worked with companies on six continents and 20 countries. Ron has generated billions of dollars in incremental revenues for his clients, including YPO, Hertz, UPS, Agfa, United Natural Foods, and Marriott Hotels. Ron doesn’t just think outside of the box, he helps you build a new and better one. He explains it simply: “You can have all the skills but, if you don’t have people believing and trusting you and your message, you aren’t going to get them to go out and do anything different.” He is the author of four books, including the CEO best-selling title Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way, and the former President of the National Speakers Association (NSA). He has a BA from Skidmore College and is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP).
Steve Kietz, Strategy Advisor
Steve is recognized as one of the leading sales and marketing executives in the U.S. payments industry. His accomplishments range from leading marketing efforts for both Chase® and Citi® bankcards, running the fastest-growing Internet bank in history, expanding the business of edo Interactive 100X in two years, and leading/advising payments start-ups that have been purchased by Intuit and Square. He has always invested time in mentorship and many of his protégés hold important positions at leading banks and card networks. In 2008, Bank Systems and Technology named Steve to its Elite 8—an organization of the most innovative bankers in the United States.
Karl Tartaglia, Financial Advisor
Karl has over 27 years of diversified experience in both domestic and international markets, managing accounting, consolidations, financial reporting, information systems, credit and collections, administration, payroll, budgeting, planning, forecasting, and financial analysis for global companies such as Sony and Pan Am. Karl spent seven years as Strategic’s Chief Financial Officer before moving on to his current position as CFO at Leo D. Bernstein and Sons Inc. He has an MBA in Finance and Investment Banking from Hofstra University and a BA in Public Accounting from Fordham University.
Joe Ziccardi, Marketing Advisor
Joe has over two decades of experience in talent acquisition and helping companies achieve their growth goals. He currently manages Ziccardi Consulting, LLC, a firm he founded in 2009 that specializes in talent solutions, assessment, and performance management. Previously Joe was co-founder and CEO of Cromwell Partners, Inc., a retained executive search firm whose revenue ranked among the top 30 in the United States, and President of CP Interactive, LLC, a firm specializing in information technology staff augmentation. Joe is a graduate of Manhattan College with a BS in Electrical Engineering, and a concentration in Computer Engineering.