From a very young age, Gail has always made time to pursue art, and has a particularly deep respect for craft-making. As an art/art history student in her 20s, she specialized in ceramics, a passion she renewed last year when she returned to throwing porcelain and stoneware pottery. In addition, she is a prolific knitter — always for love, never for money. Her work has also been influenced by her interest in anthropology and extensive travels to global capitals as well as places further off the beaten path including Bangladesh, Laos, Togo, Angola and Sri Lanka.
Gail is a member of the Board of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the oldest women’s fund in the U.S., dedicated to helping grass roots organizations serve the economic, health and safety needs of women and their communities. She is also a Trustee of Tomorrow Trust, a non-profit organization that educates AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children in South Africa. In addition, she is a member of the Society of Woman Geographers.
While professionally a self-confessed media junkie, Gail has always been a passionate supporter in the communities where she lives and works. Her diverse volunteering has ranged from teaching pottery classes for the blind, staffing a hotline for domestic violence victims, teaching English to Russian and Arabic-speaking immigrants and serving as a hospice volunteer.
Gail's intellectual curiosity, combined with lessons learned on her travels, have also informed her professional pursuits. She led teams at American Express’s European and Asian headquarters in London and Singapore, where she headed internal and external communications for all its businesses. Her responsibilities ranged from introducing celebrity spokespeople and sponsorships — like the first product launch for (Red) in Davos with Bono — to a research report on the future of luxury: 21st Centurion Living. This pioneering study tapped celebrity tastemakers from across Europe to predict trends that would shape the industry and garnered $4 million in editorial value.
Gail is equally agile at playing offense and defense. She was a spokesperson on consumer affairs issues like consumer debt, privacy and financial responsibility, as well as a Department of Justice antitrust case against Visa and MasterCard, which resulted in a $3.8 billion settlement for American Express — the largest in corporate history at that time. She took a mid-career break from American Express, and for several years served as a consultant for a broader range of clients including Estée Lauder, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.
Prior to joining American Express, Gail was a Vice President of Public Relations at Ogilvy & Mather in New York. She began her career heading publicity and promotion for George Braziller, an independent book publisher who specialized in art books and foreign fiction.
She earned a dual B.S./B.A. degree in art history and communications from the S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
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