Tom joined ACG in December 2019, after overseeing unprecedented growth at the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC). At NAVC, Tom was a force for operational change and expansion, taking the organization from $11 million to $26 million in less than six years.
A native of Queens, he takes a no-nonsense approach to life. He uses a straightforward management style to drive exceptional growth through new products and services, increased brand awareness and reach, and improved audience engagement via multiple revenue-producing media channels.
Tom, his wife Jennifer and their two dogs split their time between New York and Bridgewater Connecticut, and their son, Hudson, plays lacrosse at Penn State.
Matthew Hickman, MBA
Chief Operating Officer
Matthew joined ACG in February of 2020 and brings 20+ years of experience from the media and publishing industries in corporate development and growth strategy. A leadership enthusiast at heart, Matthew believes in the power of empathy and creating a purpose for team members to create long-term and sustainable results.
Prior to his current role, Matthew served as the Vice President of Membership and Chapters at the American Academy of Optometry. He previously operated one of the largest special interest media groups in North America as Senior Vice President, Managing Director of Bonnier Corporation. At Bonnier, he led a team of 250 across marketing, sales and content and managed more than 20 event franchises associated with a niche brand portfolio. Matthew oversaw all operations and M&A activities for the company’s largest and most profitable business unit, increasing EBITA from ($2-mm) to +$7.5-mm between 2013 and 2017.
Chief Financial Officer
Lisa Harris, CPA (inactive) joined ACG as CFO in September 2020. A finance executive with over 25 years of experience in fashion/CPG, ecommerce, retail and wholesale, Lisa’s extensive background includes executive roles at large publicly held companies (Gap, Inc., Lucky Brand) as well as numerous founder-led start-ups in various growth stages (Tory Burch, Zac Posen, Dolce Vita). Lisa has led numerous M&A transactions, capital and debt raises, as well as all traditional areas of finance. She has hands-on experience in fundraising and diligence processes, strategic and long range planning, recruiting and developing talent, business integration, cost reduction and investor relations. She is also experienced in various ops and back of house functions and enjoys being a part of all aspects of the business.
Chief of Staff
Every organization needs a compass. Shannon is that to ACG. Since 2010 she’s been a steadfast steward to board volunteers, chapter executives and staff. Shannon began her career in politics and government with the Illinois State Senate, then leveraged her governance understanding to serve the business community through the Illinois Commerce Commission. Shannon later joined Smith Bucklin as an association manager juggling myriad responsibilities, including ACG. When ACG transitioned to a staff-driven organization, Shannon was one of the first employees to join. Her governance experience is invaluable to ACG’s Global Board of Directors; her collaborative style and organization skills are unmatched - evidenced by successful implementation of ACG’s web and CRM platforms. Shannon ensures the senior management team is aligned with the board’s strategic objectives, and supports staff exceeding the expectations of internal and external stakeholders.
Chief Customer Officer
Stephanie joined ACG as Chief Customer Officer in October 2021, after 20 years of launching, leading, and growing associations in private equity, venture capital, M&A, banking and finance. Stephanie’s entrepreneurial roots are at the heart of her focus on problem-solving solutions to build communities that drive innovation, growth, and meaningful customer engagement.
Previously, Stephanie was Associate Director at The Wharton School’s Entrepreneurial Center where she led research to identify and learn about the fastest growing privately held businesses as well as a certificate program in small business management for entrepreneurs and start-ups to be poised for growth. She served as Senior Director of Marketing & Community Relations for a $60M non-profit organization offering industry specific training and job placement. Prior to that, Stephanie worked for a start-up company in medical billing which was sold to American Express.
Stephanie received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Modern Language from Villanova University. She serves on the Board of Directors of Help Hope Live, a 501c3, which helps ensure a catastrophic injury, illness or transplant does not also become a financial crisis by raising funds to cover critical unmet medical expenses.
Vice President, ACG Media
Jackie D’Antonio heads up ACG Media, including the member-focused magazine Middle Market Growth, ACG’s new video channel GrowthTV, podcasts, special reports and more.
Jackie joined ACG in 2020 and brings nearly 20 years of media expertise to the organization. In addition to launching GrowthTV, which has seen views of the platform grow to more than 300,000 in just six months, Jackie is driving several other expansions for the media group to bolster communication and connection with ACG’s membership and beyond.
Prior to joining ACG, Jackie led the efforts to expand the media group at the North American Veterinary Community, launching several new platforms and products that helped grow and diversify the audience as well as the revenue streams for the organization.
Before moving to the association world, Jackie worked exclusively in media for 15 years, most notably leading diverse content teams that executed impactful multi-channel editorial plans, as well as the evolving integrated program development for one of the most profitable business units at Bonnier Corporation, a special interest media company with offices in Florida, Colorado, California, and New York.
She joined ACG Global in 2012 as Vice President, Communications & Marketing. Under her direction, she launched a new communications strategy, including the monthly digital publication, Middle Market Growth, intensified public policy efforts to establish ACG as the voice of the middle market and published Driving Growth: The Impact of Private Capital on the U.S. Economy. The latter is the first of its kind, graphically depicting this important data for each Congressional district.
Before ACG, Melendes’ experience included the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), where her strong strategic marketing initiatives grew revenues, membership and retention.
Senior Vice President, Sales
Harry Nikpour joined the ACG staff in September 2020 as Vice President of Sales. Harry comes to ACG from Arizent, formally known as SourceMedia, LLC where he was the VP of Capital Markets managing sales for a $20mm portfolio of financial b-b titles, including Mergers & Acquisitions Magazine, The Bond Buyer, Traders Magazine and a group of specialty newsletters. Harry brings 20 + years of experience in sales, developing and launching print, digital, events and research products, managing sales teams, identifying acquisition targets, divesting non-core titles and P&L responsibility. In addition, Harry has been an active member of ACG since 1999 and has partnered with local chapters and ACG Global.