The School of Business and Technology has established and maintained a reputation of excellence in the industries which we serve based on our uniquely qualified faculty that bring extensive industry and academic expertise to the classroom. In addition to teaching duties, School of Business and Technology faculty engage in a wide range of scholarly, professional, and service activities. Our faculty are lifelong learners, and remain aware of market demands in order to address the skill sets graduating students need for career success.
Assistant Professor and Associate Chairperson of Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing
With over 40 years of industry experience, Virginia Bonofiglio brings a wealth of business, cosmetics and fragrance marketing experience to her leadership of the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing Department. Early in her career she trained in perfumery at the Givaudan Corporation, expanding her portfolio with executive positions at Monsanto Flavor/Essence, BBA, Florasynth, and Felton Worldwide, where she developed fragrances for a wide variety of product categories including fine fragrance, personal care, and home care. Bonofiglio’s expertise extends beyond perfumery into evaluation, sensory studies, beauty marketing, brand strategy, and corporate management. In her 15 years at FIT, Bonofiglio spearheaded the creation of the only Fragrance Studio on a US college campus. She developed and teaches the specialized curriculum for the Cosmetic & Fragrance Marketing Program, and has developed a specialized Certificate program in perfumery. Recently, she worked extensively with the Fragrance Foundation to develop their online Fragrance Certification program for retailers. In 2017, Bonofiglio, in conjunction with Allure Magazine and the School of Professional Studies at FIT, created a totally online certificate program for the beauty industry entitled "Beauty Industry Essentials." Bonofiglio maintains strong industry connections, and continually refreshes equipment and consumable supplies for the program to ensure alignment with industry demands, and ensuring that the students secure internships and jobs in the cosmetics and fragrance industry. She teaches in topics such as environmental fragrancing and fragrance knowledge. Bonofiglio earned her BA from CUNY’s Hunter College, and is ABD at the City University of New York in Russian History.
Assistant Professor in Fashion Business Management
Todd Blumenthal brings more than 30 years of industry expertise in merchandising, product development, retail, visual merchandising, marketing, leadership and most importantly, brands and the consumer. Industry leadership roles include Chief Merchandising Officer at Aeropostale, Senior Vice President of New Concept Development at Limited Brands and Victoria’s Secret, and Director of Global Merchandising Footwear and Vice President of Merchandising and Design at Nike, plus 20 years of experience in product creation and merchandising with companies such as The Limited, Gap and Polo Ralph Lauren. At FIT, Blumenthal is the chair of the curriculum committee for the Fashion Business Management program, advisor to FIT’s student run retail store The Style Shop, course coordinator for Product Development, and has committed his time to several college-wide committees. In 2018 he was honored by SUNY as an Online teaching ambassador in recognition of Online teaching excellence, recognizing his accomplishments in creating opportunities for students to scaffold their learning and apply critical thinking within their own schedules and learning behaviors. Blumenthal continues to partner and work with brands and retail companies supporting and developing both their internal opportunities, as well as continuing to develop his own experiences to apply in the classroom. He taught on topics including product development, fashion business practices, fashion forecasting, and merchandising strategies. Blumenthal earned his Master’s in Education (M. Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction specializing in Online Teaching and Learning at Concordia University-Portland. He completed his Bachelor of Science at SUNY’s College at Old Westbury and his Associate of Science at Fashion Institute of Technology.
Peter Wai Chan
Assistant Professor in Production Management
An entrepreneur, Peter Chan is co-founder of Sunrise Studio Inc., a high-end sample and production factory located in the NYC Garment District, with clients including Calvin Klein Collection 205W39NYC, Helmut Lang and The Row. Chan gained extensive production experience with Donna Karan Collection, Halston Signature, and Amsale before he and his partner established the Sunrise Studio in 2004. Sunrise Studio Inc., was awarded the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDA) Fashion Manufacturing Initiative grants twice in the last five years. Prior to joining FIT, Chan taught at Parsons School of Design. In addition to teaching at FIT he teaches at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University (ZSTU) in China for the FIT & ZSTU collaboration program. He teaches subjects including Apparel and Home Textile Products Manufacturing, Excel for Business, Labor Analysis for Apparel Production, and the operations of Cutting Room Processes. Chan holds two Bachelor's degrees from FIT and an MBA and MS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Additionally, Chan earned a Master of Professional Studies, MPS, from Cornell University in Industrial Labor Relations, and a Master of Arts from New York University in Business and Workplace Education. Currently, Peter is pursuing his doctoral studies in Adult Education at the Teachers College, Columbia University.
Renée Y. Cooper
Professor and Assistant Chairperson in Fashion Business Management
Renee Cooper’s started her career in the retail industry, building a diverse industry background. As a Sourcing Manager for a manufacturer, she negotiated and finalized technical design details, costs, and production throughout Asia. As a Retail Buyer, she was responsible for product development, marketing, and budgeting. Cooper was granted a Fulbright scholarship by the U. S. State Department to Denmark where she lectured at the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology (KEA) on marketing, business development, leadership and visual merchandising. While in Copenhagen, she participated at the conference “A Fast Track to Global Mindset,” and was the keynote speaker on “Omni-Channel Retailing in the U.S.” at Deloitte headquarters. As a Board member of the Black Retail Action Group (BRAG), Cooper has presented at Ohio State University, the University of Arizona, Limited Brands Corporate offices, and Macy’s Merchandising Group. Recently, she co-presented at the Association of Leadership Educators, for the SUNY Collaborative Online Learning (COIL) program - “COIL Collaboration.” Cooper is a board member of the Fulbright Greater NY Alumni Chapter, and was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching “for consistently superior professional achievement.” She designed and teaches face-to-face, online, and hybrid versions of courses in contemporary retail management and leadership development for retailing, and also teaches in subject areas such as team development and fashion merchandising. Cooper was the first FIT full time faculty to collaborate with the Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM) as part of the COIL program, and her paper, “Innovative Practice Paper on COIL Collaboration,” was published by the Association of Leadership Educators. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from Morgan State University and her Master of Professional Studies from FIT.
Associate Professor in Textile Development and Marketing
Sean Cormier started his textile career at Pressman Gutman before moving over to Liz Claiborne for 18 years, where he directed quality assurance for the billion dollar “Liz Brand” business. In visiting over 250 fabric mills around the world to ensure they meet the standards set by the Corporate Quality Assurance Department, Cormier led the team that conducted on-site evaluations, issuing comprehensive reports identifying problem areas and corrective actions. He assisted in the development of a certification program for fabric mills, dyers, cut and sew manufacturers, and garment laundries, ensuring that their facilities complied with the quality standards and were utilizing the necessary controls to ensure quality of product. Cormier’s areas of expertise include stain repellent finishes and wrinkle resistant products – he ‘invented’ the first wrinkle resistant linen/rayon fabric. His research on how fabric defects affect yardage yield in the making of garments is featured in a book titled Fabric Inspection and Wastage Caused by Defects. Cormier was a contributing author for the article “Denim for the People” published in New York Magazine, where various denim brands were compared for abrasion and durability. He remains active in industry, including serving as a Technical Consultant to Sure Fit. Cormier teaches on topics including Total Quality Management focused on textile applications, and textiles for production management. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Textile Development Management from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Associate Professor and Chairperson of Production Management
Mario Federici brings over 50 years of industry experience to his leadership role at FIT. He built a successful career at the intersection of engineering and business, always ensuring the pursuit of the highest quality, yet least expensive, creation of products with an eye on efficiency in operations. Federici conducted process re-engineering for dozens of production factories during the first 20 years of his career. The strong industry relationships he built led to further success as the owner and president of his own company for over 20 years, where he produced for other manufacturers, private labels, department stores, and discount stores. Through all of this he has helped multiple new designers set up their own businesses, from back end business management processes to production facilities. He has taught at FIT for over 34 years, and draws on his industry contacts to ensure that the program remains relevant with industry needs and demands to ensure that FIT students enjoy a great learning experience that prepares them for successful careers in the fashion and related industries. Federici continues to consult on process engineering for production in the US, China, and Vietnam. Federici is the Director of the Educational Foundation for the American Apparel Footwear Association, and draws on his active network to help his students secure internships and jobs in the fashion industry. He teaches on topics including manufacturing facilities management and strategy, policy, and decision making. After serving as an electrician in the US Navy, Federici completed his AAS in Industrial Engineering at FIT. He also earned a BS in Business and a Masters in Businesses and Government Policies from SUNY’s Empire State University.
John J. Fraser
Assistant Chairperson and Assistant Professor of Advertising and Marketing
John Fraser has been a member of launch teams for multiple consumer products, from tea to financial services, including one of the most successful product introductions of the last 30 years - Diet Coke. Fraser started his career at Grey Advertising, worked for Bank of Boston, at several agencies (Lintas, DDB, Hill Holiday), and served on the New York Board of Directors at Ogilvy and Mather (O&M). He was an Executive Group Director at Ogilvy, responsible for all aspects of integrated marketing communications for global distribution channels, market conditions, and customer situations for product categories on the IBM account. Fraser’s efforts have been acknowledged by the American Marketing Association with five Effie Awards. Fraser continues to consult for a select group of firms including Austrade (Australian Trade Commission), Seasons of Advice (Wealth Management), and Cablevision Systems, guiding them primarily in brand management. His teaching expertise lends itself to courses in Brand Management, Research Methods, and Introduction to Marketing. Fraser earned his BA in Mathematics from SUNY Albany, and his MBA from Capella University.
Assistant Professor in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing
Delphine Horvath is a highly skilled marketer in the beauty industry. Her areas of expertise include Brand Management, Product Development and Strategy. Horvath grew up in the Cosmetic Valley in France. Horvath’s professional experience in Cosmetics includes LVMH, P&G, and Revlon (7 years in Paris and 2 in New York). Just prior to joining FIT in 2016, she was at Coty as a Marketing Director, leading the makeup division in France. She now shares with FIT students her experience, knowledge and passion for the beauty industry. Horvath teaches on topics including product development, global brand management, and marketing for Cosmetics and Fragrances. She is a graduate of the University of Orleans with a major in Biochemistry, and earned a Master’s Degree in Marketing and Management in the Luxury Industry at University of Paris.
Shelley E. Kohan
Assistant Professor in Fashion Business Management
Shelley E. Kohan has been serving the retail industry for over 30 years working in senior leadership positions across various functions including general management, marketing, operations, merchandising, buying, and human resources. Industry roles included President Shelmark Consulting, Vice President Retail Consulting RetailNext, Executive Vice President Space NK, Vice President Store Operations Saks Fifth Avenue, Operating Vice President Bloomingdale’s, Director of Logistics Macy’s West, and Regional Director Operations Macy’s West. Kohan is a featured spokesperson and retail expert appearing in the NBC Nightly News, Fox News, Wall St. Journal, New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily, Reuters, Fortune, Chain Store Age, The Robin Report, and other publications. She is a webinar and conference speaker appearing at WWD Digital, WWD 20/20, NRF Big Show, Shop.org, Future of Stores and RIS Retail Executive Summit. Kohan has been honored as a Top Retail Influencer (2016, 2017, 2018) by Vend University. Kohan teaches both face-to-face and online classes on topics of retail management, case study method, marketing strategies, leadership development, and fashion business practices. Her strong industry connections build relevant course content and proactively prepare students for industry careers. As full time faculty, Kohan serves the FIT community on various college-wide committees including faculty senate, department committees for FBM and other extracurricular activities. She currently advises the college-wide student clubs of DECA and NRFSA. Kohan earned a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Penn State University, a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco and an associate’s degree in Merchandising and Buying from the Fashion Institute of Technology of the State University of New York.
Assistant Professor and Associate Chairperson of Home Products Development
Shannon Maher brings over 25 years of industry experience to her leadership of the Home Products Development department. Before trading in the corporate office for the classroom, Maher was the Senior Vice President of Global Sourcing and Product Development for Hanover Direct, Inc., a multi-brand catalog and e-commerce retailer. As a key member of the Hanover executive team, she established the product development department and brought sourcing in-house to form strong global partnerships within the industry. Maher has also held senior positions with CHF Industries, Dan River Inc., and French Country Living, focusing on product development, sourcing, manufacturing and merchandising for the home classifications. Maher has traveled extensively to China, India, Turkey, and throughout Europe working directly with factories in the development of private label brands. Since joining FIT in 2013, Maher has maintained strong industry ties to ensure that the program’s curriculum remains relevant with industry in educating the next generation of home product professionals. She takes part in numerous trade shows and is a member of the AATCC, CMG, IFDA, and recently earned her Greenleaders Certificate from the Sustainable Furnishings Council. In addition, Maher is active in the FIT community and serves on several faculty senate and college committees. She teaches in topics such as textile applications, brand management, strategic product management, and product development. She consults in the areas of product development processes, textile and brand development, and corporate training. Maher earned her B.A. in Fashion Merchandising from Marymount University, and her M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Marist College.
Associate Professor in Fashion Business Management
Vincent Quan brings over 20 years of fashion business and related industry experience to FIT. He is a globally recognized expert on the business of fashion based on a keen understanding of both the retail and wholesale businesses, including retail planning and allocation, merchandise planning, corporate reorganization, process reengineering, and inventory management. Quan is extremely fluent on the full line, off-price, and multi-channel retail business models and has shared his expertise with students and industry executives alike. He has extensive industry experience in both the retail and wholesale sectors having started his retail career with Saks Fifth Avenue then contributing to the growth of brands such as Nautica, Nine West, London Fog, and Perry Ellis. He has authored/co-authored several publications on topics ranging from luxury fashion management, vendor-managed supply chain partnerships, design outsourcing in the fashion supply chain, and online vs. off-line retail strategies. He has also lectured and presented extensively in Asia including Bangkok, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Jakarta, Shanghai, and Singapore on numerous fashion-related topics. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business and an MBA from Empire State College, SUNY.
Albert M. Romano
Professor and Chairperson of Advertising and Marketing Communications
Albert Romano has worked in the advertising industry for over twenty-five years. His expertise includes all phases of media from initial research through strategic planning and placement. Romano is an innovator in the use of special media events and fully integrated, multi-marketer promotional programs. Romano’s media group at J. Walter Thompson won awards including Adweek’s Creative Media award for a Nestle campaign, and Adweek’s first annual Award for Creativity in Cable Television. Agency accounts included domestic and global campaigns for Colgate-Palmolive, General Electric, Goodyear, Panasonic, and Timex. In 1994 he founded All Media Resources, a company that provides marketing and media consulting for various marketers. In 1997, Romano joined FIT as an Adjunct Instructor and in 2001 was appointed a full-time faculty member; today he is Chairperson of the department. He has served as Assistant Chairperson of the department, Chair of the College-Wide Tenure and Promotion Committee, the Presidential Scholars Committee, and various search committees for the college. Romano has served as a guest speaker at various colleges lecturing on careers in advertising. In 2013, he developed the first FIT internship program in Asia. Based in Shanghai, this opportunity has allowed students to intern at various domestic and global companies. He also teaches at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University (ZSTU) in Hangzhou, China for the FIT/ZSTU collaboration program. His expertise lends itself to courses including Marketing for IMC, Media Planning, Advertising and Promotion, Audiences and Media and Brand Management. Romano received a B.A. in Communications from Hunter College and an M.S. in Marketing from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, CUNY.
Assistant Professor of Fashion Business Management
Meeta Roy has worked on the brand side of the fashion business and as a management consultant in the fashion and luxury space for over twenty years. Her work focuses on the integration of new technologies into marketing practices, Omni-channel retailing, brand strategy, and digital marketing. Roy has exceptional international experience, having worked both across Europe and in North America. Her clients have included global, multi-national corporations such as Chanel and Swarovski, as well as high potential start-ups such as Diana Vreeland Parfums and The Business of Fashion. She maintains an active consulting practice that includes speaking engagements and workshops with the senior management of luxury brands around the globe. Roy has published in leading industry publications and is completing a manuscript entitled “The Business of Luxury.” She was awarded a Faculty Research Grant to assist her with her research. Roy holds a B.A. Honors from McGill University in Montreal, and a M.B.A. specialized in International Luxury Brand Management from ESSEC, Paris.
Robert J. Reid
Assistant Professor of Fashion Business Management
Robert Reid has an extensive background in wholesaling, manufacturing, and retailing on a national and international basis, and brings over 30 years of senior executive apparel industry experience to FIT. Reid has served in leadership roles with brands including Calvin Klein, Nautica, Liz Claiborne, Izod, PVH, and Perry Ellis, in Men and Children’s wear. He began his career in retail for a high-end department store in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to New York to learn the wholesale apparel business. Starting as an Account Manager, he rose through the ranks to become President of Nautica Children’s division, gaining experience in all phases of business including strategic planning, product sourcing, marketing, advertising and promotion and sales force management. Reid is a full time faculty member at FIT, and continues to consult and conduct seminars for top apparel companies such as Brooks Brothers, Vanity Fair Corp, PVH Corp, and Li & Fung. Beyond his teaching, he serves in leadership roles at FIT, including serving as the Co-Chair for the inaugural Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accreditation process, as a Course Coordinator for multiple courses, and in Curriculum and Strategic Planning Committees in his Department.. Reid teaches topics such as developing business plans and finance for fashion business, licensing, retail management, and strategic merchandising. He has lectured at SUNY Korea/Incheon Korea, ZSTU/Hangzhou China, NTUC-Learning Hub in Singapore, and ESP and INSEEC Business schools in Paris and Bordeaux France. Reid earned his BS degree from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Assistant Professor and Associate Chairperson of Entrepreneurship
William Reinisch brings over 18 years of strategy, technology investing, venture capital and entrepreneurial expertise to FIT. Reinisch has assisted multiple rapidly growing companies and was responsible for the investment activities in the New York office of Paladin Capital, and was the CEO and Founder of XIV River. In his role as Vice President of Strategy and Technology with Motorola he was responsible for intellectual property, standards, and the corporate technology portfolio, Motorola Ventures. In addition to positioning Motorola for growth in emerging new market segments. Reinish was a strategic advisor to the Chief Strategy Office. Prior to joining Motorola, Reinisch was Senior Vice President of operations and engineering at Magnolia Broadband, where he led engineering and operations for the company. Earlier in his career, he led the global technology organization at Multilink Technology Corporation, a company focused on high-speed solutions for advanced optical networks. Reinisch teaches on topics that include general entrepreneurship, innovation management, ideation, strategy, intellectual property, entrepreneurial finance, venture capital, creative entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, cognitive entrepreneurship, technical entrepreneurship, creative and design thinking and emerging technologies. Reinisch has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Baruch College, Fordham University and Stevens Institute of Technology, has authored several publications, presentations, and secured six US patents. He earned an MBA from Fordham University and a B.S. from Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.).
Associate Professor of Textile Development and Marketing
Ajoy Sarkar’s research focus is sustainable textiles, eco-fashion, and protective functional fabrics. Sarkar has authored over forty-five publications and presented at numerous international conferences in the USA, Europe, Asia and Africa. He is also a co-author of a widely used textbook, J.J. Pizzuto's Fabric Science, 11th Edition, New York, NY: Fairchild Books, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Sarkar has served as PI or Co-PI on numerous grants sponsored by federal, state, and private agencies. He was co-author of an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) grant to study the growth of coreopsis and indigo—two plants known for their yellow and blue pigments, respectively—with the aid of compost derived from discarded muslin from the fashion design process. This research is an outgrowth of the College’s commitment to sustainability and an effort to prove the viability of a closed loop process in order to evaluate the potential impact for industry. Additionally, Sarkar serves as an associate editor for the AATCC Journal of Research (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists) and as a member of the publications committee of the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA). He teaches on topics including fibers, textile coloration and finishing, product development, performance textiles, textile analysis, and application of textile technology to design. Sarkar was the recipient of the 2017 FIT President’s Award for Faculty Excellence. Prior to joining FIT, Sarkar was an Associate Professor at Colorado State University. Following his undergraduate education in India, he earned MS and PhD degrees in textile sciences from The University of Georgia, Athens.
Assistant Professor and Assistant Chairperson of Advertising and Marketing Communications
Theodore Schachter has 30 years’ experience in Advertising & Marketing. His career started as an ad agency copywriter; through the 1990s he worked at various advertising agencies in the role of copywriter and later as Creative Director. In 1997 Schachter started his own advertising agency; Dog Eat Dog Advertising, where he focused on social issues by representing the needs of not-for-profit organizations. The work of the agency was profiled in P.O.V. Magazine as well as Media Television and CNN/fn. In 1997, Schachter started his teaching career as an adjunct at St. John’s University, and in 2004 he was named an Assistant Professor at FIT. As the world of marketing and advertising has evolved into a digital world Schachter has developed along with it. Schachter maintains his connections in industry in part through his consultancy - Wolf Prey Consulting - where he helps companies define and execute their growth strategies. He received his Advanced Social Media Certificate from the University of San Francisco as well as completing courses in Search Engine Marketing and Advanced Search Engine Marketing at New York University. Schachter earned his MBA from St. John’s University.
Professor of Fashion Business Management
Robert Vassalotti brings over 24 years of experience as an executive in retail management and merchandising to FIT. He has served in management and buying roles at Bloomingdale’s, Abraham & Straus, Gimbel’s department stores, and Nautica, in divisions such as menswear, home furnishings, children’s wear, home products, and cosmetics. In his 21 years as a full time professor at FIT, he has served in numerous leadership positions including Assistant Chair of the FBM department, Assistant Dean, Advisor to the National Collegiate DECA Chapter, Co-chair of the Sustainability Council, member of the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate, Co-chair for the Middle States Periodic Review and Self-Study for Accreditation, and the Standards Chair for Strategic Planning for the inaugural Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accreditation process. He was instrumental in formulating the 2005 Campus Master Plan for the ten Business and Technology academic departments, and coordinated the “Day of Celebration” for the commemorative naming of the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology. Vassalotti is a strong advocate of campus sustainability and has been involved in the planning and hosting of 12 annual Sustainable Business and Design Conferences and has played a key role in infusing sustainability into the culture of the FIT community. Vassalotti’s industry experience lends itself to courses in fashion merchandising, retail buying, retail management, group dynamics, retail career planning, and independent study. His expertise is in team management. Vassalotti holds his BA in Marketing from Hofstra University's Frank G. Zarb School of Business, and an MA in Communication, Computing, and Technology in Education, from Teachers College, Columbia University.