The Perfect Team 


Loretta Sophocleous | President

Loretta Sophocleous has been working at the C-Suite level for over 15 years. Currently, she is the Director of Executive Office Operations at TIAA where she reports to the CEO, Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.  In this capacity, she provides strategic direction to the Office of the CEO.  Loretta heads the C-Suite team of 19 executive assistants to whom she provides mentoring and guidance.  She is a member of The Seraphic Society and a founding member of C-SESP.  Prior to TIAA, she worked for the CEO of Deloitte Consulting in a similar role.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from City University of New York at Queens College and is a certified Insights Discovery facilitator. 

Carmela Crawford | Vice President, Chair, Events

Carmela Crawford has more than 30 years of experience in human resources, consulting, finance and technology. She is currently a Leadership Development Executive at ADP Total Source, where she is responsible for 1000+ associates. Previously she worked at TIAA as an internal consultant, Marketing Strategist and the Director, Talent Management and most recently as the Head of Organizational Development. Prior to TIAA Ms. Crawford was a Managing Consultant at Coopers & Lybrand, where she worked with corporate clients in the higher education, financial services, pharmaceutical, retail and mining industries. Carmela is an active member of her community having held leadership positions with Financial Women’s Association, NYU Stern Alumni Council, and Scarsdale-Edgemont Girl Scouts. She has received several national awards from the Girls Scouts USA for her volunteer work. 

Ms. Crawford holds a bachelor’s degree from City University of New York at Queens College and an MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. She holds several Human Resources/Payroll certifications (HSC, PH, CPP) and is a frequent speaker at regional professional meetings, most recently at the NY Metro American Payroll Association meeting in NYC.

Melba Duncan | Vice President

Melba J. Duncan is the Founder and President of The Duncan Group Inc., a retained search and consulting firm.  Since 1985, the firm has been advising CEOs and other corporate leaders regarding specialized senior management support resources.  The firm operates internationally and offers expertise in four practice areas:  recruitment, organizational consulting, coaching and “executive level” training for administrative staff, with focus on C-Suite Strategic Assistants.   Ms. Duncan is Founder and CEO of the Duncan Leadership Institute, which offers a targeted curriculum solution for multiple tiers of administrative support staff. Institute faculty is headed by pioneers in executive education, Drs. Norman Toy and Tom Ference, Professors at Columbia University.

In March 2013, Ms. Duncan announced the launch of “On Point”, a Network Web Radio talk show that addresses workplace complexity, and assists in redefining the role of the New Executive Assistant and their business partnership relationships.  The overall intention of our conversations with diverse business leaders, executive assistants, authors, educators, human resource professionals and religious leaders is to create a global view of the workplace, supported by the vitality and indispensable nature of the role of the executive assistant as a strategic business partner and contributor to corporate productivity.

Ms. Duncan is an experienced public speaker, with a focus on assistants’ transformed role as business partners, with  management, leadership and strategic support skills as the foundation for this evolved role.  She conducts extensive workshops worldwide on leadership and management for the professional assistant.   

Ms. Duncan is the author of How to Succeed in Business as an Executive Assistant (Macmillan), and The New Executive Assistant:  Advice for Succeeding as an Executive or Administrative Assistant (McGraw-Hill). Ms. Duncan’s most recent book projects are three: An Expanding Universe, Understanding the Emerging Role of the New Executive Assistant,  Indispensability, an overview of career survival strategies in the new economy, and The Handbook of Assistants’ Best Practices, all scheduled for release in 2015.  She has also authored numerous articles, including The Case for Executive Assistants, featured in the May 2011 issue of the Harvard Business Review.  She was also featured in the December 2014 issue of Harvard Business Review, Managing Up, Best Practices for Interacting With Your Boss.

Cindi Romano | Treasurer

Cindi Romano has been working at the C-Suite level for over 6 years. Her current title is Manager, Administration at TIAA where she reports to the CEO, Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.  In this capacity, she provides executive support to the Office of the CEO.  Cindi provides mentoring and guidance to various assistants throughout the organization.  She is a founding member of C-SESP.

Judy Fallon | Co-Chair, Admissions

Judy Fallon’s career spans over 33 years in the corporate world.  Beginning as a Senior Secretary in the World Insurance Group of Chemical Bank working for a group of 8, Judy moved up the ranks to The Wall Street Group within the Bank reporting to the Senior Vice President-Group Head.  Following a position in Private Banking, Judy’s next role was in the Merger Department for the Chemical Bank-Manufacturer’s Hanover merger followed by the Chemical-Chase merger reporting to the Merger Manager.  Working for the Senior Vice Chairman of the new Chase Manhattan Bank was followed by a move with her boss to AXA Financial, Inc. in his new role as President and CEO.  Judy’s Executive Assistant role continued working for the Former President and CEO until April 2013 with her new role as Senior Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Board at American Express Centurion Bank.  Professional Memberships include The Seraphic Society and C-SESP (C-Suite Executive Support Professionals).   

Karen Lewis | Co-Chair, Admissions

Karen Lewis has been working at the C-Suite level for over 15 years, currently working as Executive Assistant to Michael Senackerib, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer as well as assisting Samuel Monnie, Director, Marketing Capability.  Karen’s career spans almost 27 years with Campbell’s and during this time Karen has provided mentoring and guidance to various assistants throughout the company as well as externally.  Karen has also served as Chairman of the CAP’s (Campbell’s Administrative Assistant Network). Karen is also very passionate about volunteering and is serving as a Trustee on the Campbell Soup Foundation Board, which provides grants to various non-profits where Campbell employees work and live.  Karen also serves on the local United Way Board, also as a Trustee and a liaison between United Way and Campbell’s.

Noreen Denihan | Co-Chair, Website Committee

Noreen is the Senior Executive Assistant to Donald J. Gogel, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer of Clayton Dubilier & Rice, LLC, one of the oldest and most respected private equity investment firms in the world.  Noreen has worked with Mr. Gogel since 1998 coordinating and supervising his business and personal work and assisting in his commitments to outside boards including his position as Senior Vice-Chair of Mount Sinai Medical Center, Trustee of the Rhodes Trust and Chairman of the SeriousFun Children’s Network (the Paul Newman Foundation camps for seriously ill children).  Noreen began her career in Albany, New York, as Secretary to the Executive Director of the Civil Service Employees Association, the union representing State and County workers.  Four years later, she moved to New York City where she briefly worked for an advertising firm. She subsequently joined Revlon, Inc. and in 1976 was asked by Chairman, President and CEO, Michel C. Bergerac to become his Executive Assistant.  In 1982, Noreen joined City Investing Company as Executive Assistant to the President and Chief Operating Officer, Peter Huang.  Noreen worked with Peter for over 15 years at City Investing Company and later at his firm, Peter Huang Associates, managing much of his business while he was working and residing in Signapore.  Noreen is a member of The Seraphic Society and President of Feis Na Nollag, the managing association of the Donny Golden School of Irish Dancing.  She enjoys traveling, skiing, hiking and reading her Nook!  She has raised two children, Sean and Chloe.

Ed Gordils | Co-Chair, Website Committee

Ed Gordils is currently a Senior Consultant for Continuous Improvement and Advance Learning of Peak Performance Methodologies for Finance and Actuarial Services at TIAA. Prior to this he was head of Infrastructure Technology Back Office Operations and lead executive support at TIAA. Ed Gordils holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and a Master in Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University.