A division of Stern Strategy Group®, Stern Speakers & Advisors connect you with the top authorities and social change agents at the forefront of today’s most pressing issues and tomorrow’s trends.

We are strategic partners intimately familiar with our speakers’ work and those they want to influence. In helping our clients manage and propel their careers, we connect you with leading experts who can help you achieve your goals.

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Our Team

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Danny Stern

Managing Director

Strategy requires disruption.

For more than 40 years, Danny has been guiding some of the world’s most influential academics, authors and thought leaders toward success, helping them share their distinct voices with audiences eager to learn their insights and strategies. Danny takes pride in collaborating with leading visionaries and change agents shaping the future of business and the welfare of the world, and his sense of purpose only deepened during the pandemic. The agency has witnessed remarkable growth, and that speaks to the value Stern offers organizations trying to innovate and reposition for growth during this historic time of disruption. Of all his accomplishments, however, Danny is most proud of his family, including his amazing wife, Susan Stern, who founded the public relations side of Stern Strategy Group, their daughters, and their spouses, and four grandchildren. In them Danny is reminded each day about their hope, wonder and purpose in our world.

Ania Trzepizur

Vice President

Passion is a secret to success.

It’s what drives Ania to do the best possible job for her clients every day. She doesn’t see her work as transactions, but as relationships and connections. As Vice President, Ania focuses on client relations, business development and agency operations. She is also adept at building collaborative relations amongst client organizations, competitor agencies and speakers across the public, private, non-profit and academic sectors. Ania leverages more than eight years of related expertise, including having launched and managed a boutique speakers’ bureau in Spain. Tri-lingual, she loves traveling around the world and translates her global experiences to her work.

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Kristen Soehngen Karp

Director, Business & Legal Affairs

Synergies are invaluable.

Kristen’s role spans the entire agency, giving her a unique opportunity to collaborate with multiple teams and clients on business and legal affairs. As in-house counsel, she provides legal advice regarding commercial contracts, marketing, intellectual property, and more. She also drafts and negotiates contracts, including advisory, publishing, talent, confidentiality and new clients. Beyond legal issues, Kristen is intimately involved in client relations, and leverages synergies between their expertise and our agency’s connections with leading global organizations, corporations, publishing houses and the like.

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Whitney Jennings

Marketing Manager

Learning is constant.

A former educator, Whitney is intimately familiar with the ever-changing education landscape. She specializes in connecting our education experts with audiences who are helping shift the global conversation about how and where learning happens. Whitney also translates her business experience to our full roster of speaker clients, providing strategic direction for marketing and sales efforts, website content and social media. Originally from El Paso, Texas, she holds a Bachelor of Science from New Mexico State University, an MBA from the University of the District of Columbia and an AAS from Parsons School of Design.

Dan Masi

Director of Sales, North America

Innovation distinguishes leaders from followers.

A licensed attorney, Dan enjoys making deals and pairing customers with the perfect speaker to fit their needs. As an account executive, Dan partners with customers to think outside the box to increase the effectiveness of planned events and maximize value for all parties involved. He has a background in the baseball industry where he worked as a salary arbitration specialist determining player values based on relevant statistics. Dan graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and earned a J.D. from Pace Law School in White Plains, NY. An avid globetrotter, Dan enjoys traveling and immersing himself in new cultures and cuisines.

Sumy Lee


Let’s spark new ideas together.

Multifaceted business development executive Sumy Lee came to Stern with expertise in financial services and start-up leadership. In addition to having strong client acquisition, relationship management, presentation, and communication skills, Sumy is adept at cross-functional, cross-cultural team leadership and multi-stakeholder engagement. Fluent in English, German and Korean, Sumy has worked extensively with international companies, including Fortune 500 firms in Asia and Europe, and she admits to being completely enthralled by AI and big data! Sumy came to Stern at a time when the agency was reinventing itself, which felt fitting since she too was on a personal path of reinvention. Sumy says she continues to be inspired by Stern’s clients and customers and often looks for ways to incorporate their wisdom in her own life.

Paige Russell

Senior Account Executive

Deeper conversations, deeper connections.

Paige has over a decade of experience in the lecture business prior to joining Stern. With a background in a wide variety of industries including colleges and universities, healthcare, technology and finance, she has seen firsthand the lasting impact that connecting the right audience with the right speaker can create. Stimulating deeper conversations on today’s ever-evolving platforms and topics is and has been the highlight of her work in this industry. Change is rapid and staying on the cusp of new trends and topics is a driver in her work. She earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Virginia Wesleyan University, and in her spare time, enjoys any variety of live music and time at the beach.

Melissa Ingalsbe

Account Executive

Connect leaders with experts to solve big challenges.

Melissa came to Stern with experience directing the speakers bureau at a NASA Research Park-based benefit corporation in Silicon Valley. Her work in strategic relations naturally evolved to include advising client organizations on executive education and customized leadership programs. Aligning leaders with the right experts to help broaden their understanding of the accelerated pace of change and technological forces at play, Melissa has found great fulfillment in seeing empowered executives and entrepreneurs leverage emerging technologies to solve business problems, problems in their local communities, and global challenges alike. Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Notre Dame de Namur. One of her favorite books is “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline and she enjoys health and fitness, exploring food as medicine, painting and traveling to learn about different cultures.

Juliana MacKinnon

Account Executive

Genuine conversations, genuine relationships.

Juliana worked in the lecture business prior to joining Stern, partnering with customers in industries including finance technology, cyber security, insurance and health care. She also has a background in non-profit development and politics. Juliana firmly believes in making genuine connections with customers and clients that lead to lasting relationships. She earned her bachelor’s degree in International Studies: World Politics & Diplomacy from the University of Richmond. In her free time Juliana loves to travel, enjoys eating all the eclectic cuisine NYC has to offer, and stays active playing tennis, cycling and skiing.

Katie Balogh

Executive Assistant

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.

Katie brings over 25 years of executive level support experience to the table and takes pride in our commitment to clients. Katie combines a meticulous focus on the details of supporting Stern’s team, clients and customers alike with a “big picture” appreciation of the vital ways our speakers are impacting their industries and the world. Katie holds a degree in business administration and is a certified administrative professional through Rutgers University. During her leisure time, you’ll find her taking photos and catching sunsets with her family.

Debby Goldwasser

Administrative Assistant

If people don’t realize it’s being done, then it’s being done right.

With more than 20 years of experience, Debby has a proven track record of senior-level executive support. She has a strong ability to streamline processes, maximize efficiency and foster professional relationships within organizations. Debby’s philosophy centers on what role she can play in helping others find solutions. Her vast experience, along with an in-depth knowledge of IT and software, position her to assist in all facets of service offered to both our team and our clients. In her leisure time, you may find Debby creating a culinary masterpiece or playing with her two cats.