Prior to launching her own business, Betsy was the Director of Content and Distribution for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. There she was in charge of overseeing the foundation’s content and distribution strategies and production efforts, as well as, the foundation’s digital presence. Scolnik developed the foundation’s new approach to audience targeting and measurement of its cross platform media efforts. Her focus on combining audience segmentation, disciplined targeting, a global approach to consumer experience and measurement quadrupled the foundations digital reach, increased the value of its investments in film, TV, radio and digital content development. But, most importantly, she helped raise awareness of the foundation’s mission and the issues it focuses on. Under her leadership, the foundation was nominated for a Webby Award, selected by Twitter as an example of best practices in the use of social media for philanthropic purposes, and embarked upon new relationship models with both the news and entertainment media.
Prior to the foundation, Scolnik was the President of Digital Media for National Geographic. There she oversaw National Geographic’s digital sales operations, NationalGeographic.com and its digital extensions. She also managed the National Geographic digital film archive and short-form video programming, production and distribution. Additionally, she led National Geographic’s initiatives in the wireless, video game, broadband and education markets. Under her leadership, NationalGeographic.com won multiple Webby awards, their short form productions were nominated for multiple Emmy awards and the Society’s digital distribution increased from under 1MM reached to over 12MM reached monthly. Digital revenue more than tripled during her tenure.
Scolnik has a wide range of multi-platform content development, operational, communications and strategy roles, including senior roles at AOL Time Warner and Xerox. At AOL she led their digital entertainment programming and promotion across and outside of the US and was the lead producer of Live 8. Betsy’s expertise and experience in the connection of audience targeting, distribution and measurement has given her the breadth of knowledge and passion required to have impact in a multi-platform world.
Betsy earned her degree in International Relations from the University of California, Berkeley and also attended New York University’s graduate school. Betsy is a member of the National Press Club, a member of the World Affairs Council, an active friend of the management at Wikipedia, a member of the Fortune’s Most Powerful Women group and a member of the Creative Good Councils. Betsy is also fluent in Spanish and conversant in Portuguese, French and Italian.
Bena recently completed a three-year term on the Board of the Washington-based US Water Alliance, and currently serves on the Board of the Creative Visions Foundation, a non-profit using media and the arts to develop agents of positive social change. Their signature program, called Rock Your World, engages middle and high school students in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and provides them the tools with which to become creative activists. Bena also serves on the Advisory Board of Artistic Circles, which produced the 2012 documentary, Water Pressures. In 2014, he was invited to serve on the Advisory Board of the Environmental Leader publications group, as well as the America’s Water Initiative of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
In 2015, Bena was selected as a mentor for the ThreeDotDash.org program of the We Are Family Foundation; a judge for the University of Notre Dame Corporate Adaptation Prize; and as an advisor to the social venture start-up, Keela. He delivered the keynote address at the Royal Gala in the presence of TRH Princess Madeleine and Prince Daniel of Sweden, and has spoken at over 100 venues which span the business, government, academic, and non-profit worlds. In 2013, he represented PepsiCo at the Our Food, Our Future Summit, in Dublin, Ireland, attended by the Prime Minister of Ireland and the Minister of Agriculture. In 2012, he was invited to provide testimony to the US Senate. In 2013, he keynoted the United Nations Youth Assembly to over 1,000 youth delegates from over 100 countries. In 2014, Bena received the Light Up the Night Award for youth advocacy and engagement. In 2015, Bena was invited by the President of the UN General Assembly to participate in a high-level panel on partnerships to advance the post-2015 Development agenda, and was named an Honorary Professor by Glasgow Caledonian University.
As a corporate communications producer he has designed programs and events for The City of San Francisco, Cisco Systems, Compaq Computers, Microsoft Corporation, Hewlett Packard Corporation and others. As a creative director he led professional productions for The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and Opera, The Wiltern Theater and Heritage USA.
For his civic leadership as Executive Director of Pro Arts Jersey City, Sean has been listed as one of the 50 most influential individuals in Hudson County, New Jersey.