2020 WIBC Session I Presenter Bios
John Politsky is the Founder and CEO of WeSpeak Easy Digital Marketing. He has over 25 years of marketing and entrepreneurial experience. In 2018, John also founded the Small Business Academy to educate and empower entrepreneurs and small business owners all over the Delaware Valley.
John is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Community College of Philadelphia. He serves as a classroom instructor for their Power Up Program and also is involved in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program as a speaker and as a panelist in the marketing and social media portions of the program. Prior to becoming an instructor, John also attended and graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.
He specializes in strategy-based marketing. He currently plans and maps out the marketing strategy for over 100 companies per year. His goal is to help purpose bound entrepreneurs and small business owners not only increase their traffic and revenue but also their process and profitability. He is a keynote speaker and ensures that in every class or keynote there are actionable takeaways and not just theory.
John became an entrepreneur at 18 when he started a Disc Jockey\Entertainment company. He grew this company over 18 years and sold it when he was 36 years old and had 30+ employees. This is where he built his marketing and customer-centric skills and developed most of his strategic approach to marketing.
Session – Personal Development
Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle: Empowering Your Side Gig
Graziella has been telling the stories, creating events and getting media attention for organizations and individuals for the past 25 years. Graziella’s wealth of experience includes managing public relations campaigns and events for clients, which include the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, Rutgers University Department of Fine Arts, Global Philadelphia Association, and the Philadelphia World Heritage City Project.
A native New Yorker, Graziella began her career as a fashion copywriter on New York’s Seventh Avenue, for the burgeoning direct mail catalog company Brylane, Inc., a parent company of their newly formed Victoria’s Secret catalog.
With a desire to expand her career experience, Graziella accepted a position at Rockefeller University in New York City as an Administrator for the Dean where she developed her event planning skills while producing international conferences for world-renowned scientists and dignitaries.
Graziella has also worked at Ricci Associates Advertising as a Senior Account Executive. With fluency in Italian and expertise in project management, Graziella supervised the agency’s largest account, Cento Fine Foods. Cento later hired Graziella to help with its exclusive distribution of Buitoni pasta for Nestle Italiana and appointed her Director of Marketing.
Graziella worked as Communications Manager for Rutgers Camden Center for the Arts (RCCA) and the Walter K. Gordon Theater. At RCCA, Graziella programmed over 34 concerts and events per year, which included all details from contract to performance and public relations.
Graziella currently handles all of the communications, programs, and events for the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP).
Graziella is an advocate for the arts and has been the Executive Director of the non-profit organization, LifeLine Music Coalition, Inc. since 2003. Graziella has co-produced 19 jazz festivals and hundreds of concerts, including the popular West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival and the Philadelphia Jazz and Soul Festival.
Session – Technology
Emerging Payment Solutions for Business Owners and Consumers
Julie Pukas is Head of Commercial Strategy & Integration for TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®. In this role, Julie leads teams focused on crafting strategies and programs to bring products and services to Commercial Bank customers; developing integrated training, communications and knowledge management for employees; and creating legendary experiences for TD’s customers and employees.
Julie, who joined TD Bank in 2014, is known for spearheading innovation and guiding transformation that generates high-impact growth for industry-leading financial institutions. With expertise in the latest payment technologies, backed by years of leadership experience directing domestic and international startup initiatives, she possesses expertise in emerging payments, mobile wallets and e-commerce. Julie joined the Commercial Bank in November 2018 and most recently served as Head of Commercial Product Integration. Prior to this, Julie led the U.S. Merchant Solutions and U.S. Bankcard businesses, where she was responsible for all TD-branded consumer and small business credit cards and point of sale (POS) solutions.
Before joining TD, Julie served as Managing Director of Citi Commerce Services for Citigroup, where her key focus was on building global acquiring capabilities leveraging Citi’s global footprint. She also was Head of New Product Development for Citi’s card issuing businesses outside the U.S and served as President of Diners Club International, where she led the global network servicing consumers, corporate clients and merchants. Julie was President of Citi’s U.S. Merchant Acquiring business from 1997 through 2005.
Julie is a frequent contributor on consumer finance and financial education topics to top business and financial news outlets, such as U.S. News & World Report, Huffington Post, Fox Business, CNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal’s “Watching Your Wealth” podcast, and has also appeared in video on AmericanBanker.com and Cheddar discussing mobile and contactless payments.
As a champion for women in financial services, Julie is passionate about mentoring and coaching women in financial services. She founded the Philadelphia chapter of Wnet, a non-profit organization intended to inspire and empower women in payments and is an executive member of TD Bank’s internal Women in a Leadership resource group.
Julie is currently on the board of the Electronic Transaction Association, Wnet, and is also a member of the Discover Network Advisory Board. Julie serves as an outside Director for Remington & Vernick Engineers and is a member of the Board of Trustees of LaSalle Academy in Philadelphia, PA which is dedicated to educating children in grades 3 through 8 whose life opportunities are limited by financial, academic, social or emotional challenges, and whose parents/guardians desire, but cannot afford a Catholic education. Julie holds a B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University.