Board of directors

Meet Our Extraordinary Board of Directors

Pauline Brown

Pauline Brown

Pauline Brown is one of the world's preeminent experts in luxury goods. She is the author of a best-selling book, Aesthetic Intelligence, a Lecturer at Columbia University, and the Host of a weekly lifestyle show on SiriusXM, called Tastemakers. Pauline formerly led the North American arm of LVMH Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton, where she oversaw 70 brands in 5 sectors, including fashion & accessories, watches & jewelry, perfumes & cosmetics, wines & spirits, and selective retailing.

Prior to LVMH, Pauline was a Managing Director at the private equity firm, The Carlyle Group, where she helped to build the firm's consumer and retail practice.

Earlier in her career, she held senior executive roles at leading beauty companies, including Estee Lauder and Avon. She began her career as a Management Consultant at Bain.

Since 2008, Pauline has been a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. She serves on the board of the Parsons School of Design as well as the boards of several corporate and entrepreneurial companies.

Pauline received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and M.B.A. from the Wharton School, and she is a member of Wharton's Executive Alumni Board.

Matt McGowan

Matt McGowan

A born and bred New Yorker turned Torontonian; Matt has lived on 3 continents, worked alongside executives and founders representing some of the world's best known (and thousands of relatively unknown) brands, agencies, and technology companies. Matt is the Director and General Manager of Canada for Snap Inc, the holding company that owns Snapchat, Spectacles, Bitmoji and Zenly.

Matt's experience has led him to believe that a focus on building strong, diverse teams can mean the difference between a successful business and one that struggles to attain its KPIs. Ensuring decisions are made that build on operational excellence within agreed upon strategic swim-lanes is the first and most important ingredient to achieving growth and prosperity.

Prior to Adestra, Matt was focused on expanding Google and YouTube's leadership in the advertising and marketing space; where he ran strategy for the team that managed the Big 6 Holding Company relationships. Matt also held leadership positions at Incisive Media (acquired), PropertyRoom.com, Headland Digital Media (acquired), and Charles Schwab.

With a strong background in corporate strategy, sales, and marketing, and deep executive relationships; Matt is also an active adviser, board member, shareholder, LP, volunteer and mentor.

Suzanne Tosolini

Suzanne Tosolini

Suzanne has been building brands globally for 30 years. She spent the first 18 years leading brands such as Tide, Ariel, Downy, Pantene, Always, and Old Spice as a Procter and Gamble marketer in Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe/Middle East and North America. Her last few years at P&G were spent leading the development of marketing best practices for the company as VP of Knowledge and Innovation.

For the last 10 years Suzanne has been a consultant with the Jim Stengel Company focussed on Purpose led Brand Positioning and Marketing Capability.

Suzanne co-leads the CMO Accelerator at Cannes since 2013 and has led the Young Marketer Academy at Cannes for 11 years. She is also a Mentor for the Brandery; a top 10 start-up incubator and regularly guest lectures at the University of Cincinnati.

Suzanne graduated in Business, Economics and Social Studies from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland where she grew up. Her belief is that businesses and their consumers win when brands are powered by authentic and meaningful purpose.

Becky Schmitt

Becky Schmitt

Becky Schmitt leads all aspects of people management and company culture, including attracting world-class, diverse talent and developing a future-ready workforce. She has over 20 years of HR leadership experience.

Prior to joining Cognizant in February 2020, Becky served as Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Sam's Club, a division of Walmart. In that role, she championed the people experience and career development of 100,000 associates across nearly 600 locations. Prior to that role, she served as Chief People Officer for Walmart's U.S. e-commerce and Corporate Functions, a role in which she supported an employee base of 40,000+ employees in 13 markets.

Before joining Walmart, Becky spent more than 20 years with Accenture, holding key HR leadership roles, including as HR Managing Director, North America, responsible for all stages of the employee lifecycle for 47,000+ employees in more than 58 locations; HR Managing Director, Global Delivery Network, in which she oversaw people processes for 108,000 employees at delivery centers across 25+ countries; and HR Managing Director, India Delivery Centers (Bangalore), in which she designed HR strategy and led an operating model that supported growth from 45,000 to 70,000+ employees.

Prior to these roles, she also managed HR functions for Accenture's Technical Architecture & SAP and Asia Pacific Telecommunications and High Tech Group. Becky received a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is currently a Board Member at Large for the Girls Scouts of America, serving on its Audit and Compensation Committees.

Maryam Banikarim

Maryam Banikarim

Maryam has more than 25 years of marketing experience, managing global brands and international teams.

She was most recently the Global CMO of Hyatt Hotels, repositioning the Hyatt brand as purpose driven by putting the guest at the center of the business. Her brand work at Hyatt resulted in increased brand awareness and organic user acquisition across online and offline channels.

Prior to Hyatt, Maryam was SVP & CMO of Gannett. She also sits on Adweek's Women Trailblazers Council Board, Fast Company's Impact Council, and is the U.S. Board Chair of Reporters Without Borders.