Who We Are
David Allan joined Zito Partners in 2019 from Ketchum where he was Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and a member of the firm’s Financial Communications unit in New York.
In his 18 years with Ketchum, David worked on financial communications for a broad variety of clients which included Procter & Gamble, First Data Corp., Western Union, Johnson Controls, Campbell Soup Company, Church & Dwight, Iridium Communications, The New York Stock Exchange, Pfizer and Ketchum’s parent company, Omnicom.
He was also responsible for the firm’s transaction work including the $2 billion IPO of Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health), the $600M IPO of Allison Transmission, the $720 million IPO of Mead Johnson Company, the $26 billion acquisition of First Data Corp. by KKR; Cendant’s spin-off and NYSE listing of Realogy Corp.; and the $11 billion acquisition of May Department Stores by Macy’s.
In 2014, he helped Ketchum form its strategic alliance with Zito Partners, “Ketchum Zito Financial,” which provides boutique and special situation counsel and support for shared clients.
Prior to joining Ketchum, David served as director of investor relations for the Arlington, Va.-based investment bank, asset management and venture capital holding company Friedman Billings Ramsey Group (NYSE: FBR).
Previously, he was a senior vice president at Robinson Lerer Montgomery (now Finsbury) in New York for three years, where he specialized in investor relations, M&A and crisis communications for corporate clients.
From 1988-1994, David was a member of Burson-Marsteller’s corporate practice, rising to the level of vice president and head of the firm’s investor relations unit in New York.
He began his career with Hill and Knowlton in New York where, among other assignments, he worked with Bob Zito on publicity for the New York Arrows indoor soccer team.
David holds a BA in English from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from Columbia University. He lives with his wife Linda Ruckel in Easton, CT.
Born in Venezuela, Karina Correa-Maury most recently was a director at Topping Media, a New York public relations firm where she conducted strategic public relations programs for clients including Involver, NorthStar and Coleman Research Groups.
While at Cicognani Communications, she had event planning and media outreach duties on behalf of the Italian Trade Commission’s Settimo Senso Charity and several of the firm’s consumer products clients. Karina has also worked for the public relations department at Reuters news service, where she conducted internal communications, event management and media relations activities.
Karina has a Master’s degree in PR and corporate communications from New York University, and a Bachelor’s degree in international studies from American University.
Deb DeFago Turso
Deb DeFago Turso has a background in public relations and corporate communications including marketing, philanthropy and event management. She was spokesperson for AT&T in New Jersey when it was the state’s largest private employer, ensuring the company’s strategic corporate branding and business initiatives were delivered effectively and accurately during a time of organizational change and market repositioning.
During her 19 years at AT&T, she also held positions in corporate advertising and marketing to the college market, where she helped identify appropriate influencer sponsorships to raise brand awareness.
As Corporate Philanthropy and Events Manager, she collaborated with New Jersey community leaders and nonprofits to identify philanthropic opportunities aligned with AT&T Foundation initiatives, and also identified senior executive customer-positioning opportunities for high profile New Jersey events. She managed an educator Bell Labs science and technology symposium working with Bell Labs engineers, scientists and a Physics Nobel Prize recipient.
She was a governor-appointed member of the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Volunteerism and Community Service. She attended St. Peter’s College (University) with a concentration in Marketing.
Bob DeFillippo has more than 40 years of senior leadership experience in corporate communications, journalism, government and public policy.
He was most recently the Chief Communications Officer for Prudential Financial, Inc., where he led the Global Communications Department and oversaw Prudential’s public relations and internal communications around the world. During that time, Bob directed communications for the company’s historic transition from a mutual to a public company – one of the largest IPOs in the insurance industry.
Following his 21-year career at Prudential, Bob turned to teaching and became an adjunct professor at New York University’s School of Professional Studies, where he currently lectures graduate students on Strategic Communications, Crisis Communications and Critical Business Skills for Communicators.
Before joining Prudential in January 1994, Bob was Director of Public Affairs for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), where he led communications that supported the Association’s efforts to protect Social Security and Medicare. Prior to that, he served as press secretary to Congressman Hamilton Fish, Jr., following a 10-year career as an award-winning reporter and editor.
In 2013, Bob was elected the Town Council in Roxbury Township, N.J., where he has lived with his wife and three children for more than 20 years. He serves on the boards of the National Press Foundation in Washington, D.C., the Arthur W. Page Society, where he is also a member of the executive committee and treasurer, the PRSA Foundation, Cento Amici, and WBGO public radio in Newark, N.J. He is also a member of the National Press Club.
Mark Egan writes opinion pieces, white papers and online narratives for thought leaders, ranging from chief executives to chief investment officers. His previous experience includes working for 19 years at Reuters, the world’s largest news agency.
As New York bureau chief, he ran a newsroom of 250 journalists. He covered the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, writing about everything from the Monica Lewinsky scandal to the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. In his years writing about entertainment and finance, he interviewed movie stars, top authors, musicians and top executives at many Fortune 500 companies. He twice won Reuters Journalists of the Year Awards.
After leaving Reuters in 2011, Mark worked in a content strategy role at Bloomberg and as a thought leadership executive for Wall Street investment firm Guggenheim Partners. Raised in Ireland, Mark has a Masters in economics from Trinity College, Dublin. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey.
Beth Gehn’s two-decade career as a Journalist has taken her from the Nation’s Capital to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the Ozarks and ultimately to the Big Apple.
In New York City, Beth worked as a Television News Reporter and Writer for WPIX-TV (Channel 11), beginning in 1997, and also specialized in business reporting for Reuters Business News, broadcasting live from the New York Stock Exchange with segments also airing on WABC-TV.
Before reaching the New York market, Beth worked as a General Assignment Reporter for News 12 New Jersey, a General Assignment Reporter at KSPR-TV (ABC) in Springfield, Missouri, and as the evening news anchor at KOLR (CBS), also in Springfield.
Beth began her on-air career in 1992 at KREX-TV, the CBS/NBC affiliate in Grand Junction Colorado.
Beth received a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications from the University of Maryland. She also has experience in Event Coordinating, Public Relations, Voiceovers, Media Relations and On-Camera Coaching.
George Jordan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with nearly 30 years experience as a financial writer and political correspondent. During his career, George covered presidential campaigns, major corporations and regional public affairs.
His background also spans corporate communications work, with experience developing and executing PR and marketing campaigns for physicians, engineering firms, cruise lines, not-for-profits and law firms.
In the New York market, George worked as a City Hall reporter and national correspondent at Newsday, where he shared the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News. He was also credited with creating the School Report Card, a statistical rating system used today by media and thousands of school districts nationally.
Most recently, George covered the pharmaceutical industry and development at The Star-Ledger in Newark, where he shared the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for the coverage of former Gov. Jim McGreevey’s resignation.
Early in his career, the Chicago native was a staff writer at The Minneapolis Tribune, Boston Globe, Cleveland Plain Dealer and Miami News.
George was graduated from the University of Minnesota. He attended executive training seminars at the Wharton School and University of North Carolina. In 2006, he was a Media Fellow at Harvard Medical School in HIV/AIDS vaccine research.
Deborah Kostroun spent 13 years as a financial television anchor and reporter for Bloomberg Television. In addition, she was a nationally syndicated financial reporter on 150 television stations around the country, including 10 years live on the CW11 New York 10:00 p.m. news. She was chosen to cover major news events including the recession, bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, major market drops during the recession, and economic impact post-9/11.
Deborah also helped rebuild Bloomberg’s syndication business to 95% of the U.S. markets, up from 75%, when the team developed a new focus, listened to viewer feedback, and strategized on how to think outside of the box to improve reporting. Her background spans corporate communications, PR agency work and broadcast journalism with knowledge of print, digital, television, website integration and social media strategy. She provides a unique insight and maximizes her ability to achieve positive media exposure for clients.
A graduate of Bennington College, Keith McCarthy started out as a freelance copywriter in New York, writing catalogs, advertising copy, press releases, speeches and collateral materials for a wide range of advertising and entertainment companies on his way to becoming Vice President, Communications, at Sony Music Entertainment (SMEI) from 1991 – 2005, where he wrote, edited and oversaw internal, external and inter-company communications and materials for SMEI.
Keith worked closely with Sony Music’s music, publishing, distribution, manufacturing and new technology divisions, and served as SMEI’s corporate liaison to Sony companies worldwide as the music industry transitioned from analog to digital. He helped plan and implement Sony Music’s annual gala events around the Grammy Awards, showcasing nominated and Grammy-winning artists, executives and projects from SMEI’s Columbia, Epic, Nashville and Associated labels.
Kyrsten Van Natta
Kyrsten Van Natta is a recent graduate with magna cum laude honors from Marist College where she studied public relations and sports communication. In addition to being a member of the Lambda Pi Eta communications honors society, Kyrsten was also Marist’s starting shortstop for her four-year tenure. She helped the Red Foxes win their second and third MAAC Championships in the 2013 and 2016 seasons.
During her senior year, Kyrsten was a co-captain and was named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Year. She left Marist College owning the top spot in the school’s record books for both number of games played (219), as well as runs batted in (145). She is also in the top three for the following categories: homeruns (second overall with 30), hits (second overall with 211), runs scored (second overall with 157), stolen bases (second overall with 98), at-bats (second overall with 664), and doubles (third overall with 38).
With her experience collaborating as a teammate and as a team leader, excellent time management skills, and desire to deliver exceptional results, Kyrsten is great addition to Zito Partners as a public relations associate. She has also previously held a summer internship at Prudential Financial within its Global Communications department where she worked on various projects that involved the creation of tweets promoting SMEs, contributed to the company’s internal publication PRUToday, and assisted in events leading up to and including the opening of Prudential’s newest building in Newark.
Georgeanna R S. Walker
A graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Georgeanna R S. Walker is a member of Zito Partners in New Jersey. An active leader during her collegiate years in various organizations, most notably in NJIT’s Freshman Orientation program as a Lead Coordinator, Georgeanna was responsible for the registration and transition of all incoming undergrads that would attend NJIT. Among her duties were mentoring, schedule management, training, and securing sensitive data.
One of her interests is the use of Social Media and its influence in promotions and society. Georgeanna is also passionate about continuing her education and utilizing her skills in web applications and design. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Information Technology.
Amiee Watts is a driven, award-winning public relations expert with nearly 20 years of experience providing strategic communications and leading successful campaigns. Amiee joins Zito Partners from JConnelly most recently, where she was Vice President, Financial. Amiee has served as the lead on several financial services accounts, including Federated Investors, Aegon Asset Management, ETF Trends, FundX Investment Group, Informa Financial Intelligence, International Assets Advisory, Plancorp, Schultze Asset Management, and more.
Prior to JConnelly, Amiee held senior roles at communications and public relations agencies, Sparkpr and Sunstar Strategic, where she honed her expertise in financial services communications. During her stint with SunStar Strategic, Amiee represented clients including Charles Schwab Investment Management, Hennessy Funds, Alpine Funds and more. Amiee has become a trusted media contact for journalists at major publications and networks, with an emphasis on representing asset managers, mutual funds, fintech companies, private equity firms, hedge funds and financial advisors.
Amiee was awarded the Hermes Platinum Award Winner in 2011 for Magazine Placement in Forbes, honoring the messengers and creators of traditional and emerging media.
Amiee holds a BA of Communications from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She lives in Morristown, New Jersey and enjoys hiking in Jockey Hollow National Park on weekends.
Bob Zito has more than 30 years’ experience as a brand communications and advertising and public relations executive in the sports, financial, pharmaceutical and entertainment industries. As the Executive Vice President and member of the Management Committee of the New York Stock Exchange, Bob built the NYSE’s brand into one of the most respected in the world. He is best known for bringing television to the NYSE trading floor, and creating the daily “must-see” events of high-powered newsmakers ringing the opening and closing bells, creating global visibility for NYSE-listed companies and member firms.
As Sony’s Vice President of corporate communications, he helped rebrand the company as a global entertainment leader following Sony’s acquisitions of CBS Records and Columbia Pictures.
During his time as Chief Communications Officer and a member of the Management Committee of Bristol-Myers Squibb he guided the successful ‘Together we can prevail’ brand campaign, which focused on the company’s mission to help patients prevail over serious diseases. In all three roles, Bob handled many crisis communications assignments ranging from criminal issues, to business interruptions, to executive transitions. At Zito Partners and Ketchum Zito Financial, Bob has helped companies with similar crisis engagements, helping CEOs and Management Committees with critical business and personal issues.
Bob served as the Chairman of the Board for Pcubed, a global project and program management consultancy, serves as Vice Chairman of the FDNY Foundation, and serves on the boards of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and Cento Amici. He was also responsible for the New York Stock Exchange and Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundations. In 1998 he started the NYSE Fallen Heroes Fund, and in 1991, the Zito Family Scholarships at St. Peter’s Prep. He is a graduate of Fairfield University and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University. A 1998 recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Bob continues to be a guest lecturer at Rutgers University.