Team

Marsha Palanci, Founder/CEO

In her 20 years at the helm of Cornerstone, Marsha has built the agency’s reputation on its proven ability to create awareness for lifestyle brands from around the world. Previously, Marsha was Vice President, Public Relations for Schieffelin & Company (now Moët Hennessy USA) where she managed media relations and special events campaigns for Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Hennessy Cognac, Marqués de Riscal, Simi and Domaine Chandon. Her career began as Assistant Director of Public Relations at Sopexa/Food & Wines from France, implementing US campaigns for French luxury foods, wines and spirits.

Marsha is a board member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, New York City Chapter, an international association of leading women in the hospitality field and serves as a trustee to CancerCare©. She holds a Masters degree in Medieval French literature from Kent State University.

A woman of diverse interests, Marsha collects artwork by female artists, enjoys exotic travel – frequently on a bike – and delights in gardening on her Manhattan terrace. A seven-time marathon runner, she believes fitness is really only a means to enjoying a good meal. An avid cook, she studied at the Cordon Bleu in Paris as well as with Mario Batali at the Capezzana Cooking School in Tuscany.  Follow her on Twitter @marshapalanci.

Beth Cotenoff, Senior Vice President

Beth joined Cornerstone in 2007 and has 20 years of international business experience.  Previously, she was a Vice President at DeVries Public Relations where she created and managed initiatives for Gallo’s international wine brands including Ecco Domani and Red Bicyclette.  Former Director of PR at Sopexa USA, Beth ran public relations programs for the Bordeaux Wine Bureau, Alsace Wines, the Cognac Bureau, Calvados, Richart Chocolat and others.  Beth began her career in the hospitality industry with the Accor Hotel Group in New York and in Paris, France.  She is a certified TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) instructor.

Beth graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in French from Tufts University and studied at the Sorbonne and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. She holds Intermediate and Advanced Certificates in Wine & Spirits from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and is a Certified Spanish Wine Educator. Beth has also worked as a sales consultant for Astor Wine & Spirits in New York City. Fluent in French, Beth is pursuing Spanish studies. Follow @betherica for wine and culinary adventures in NYC and abroad.

Carli Vierke, Account Executive

Carli Vierke brings a diverse food and beverage background to Cornerstone. After starting out serving at a number of high-end restaurants across Canada, she became a staff writer for Toronto’s largest arts & culture website, BlogTO, where she quickly fell into covering the food beat. She believes that life’s greatest pleasures involve cooking, eating and drinking well.

After moving to New York in 2012, she worked in media as a project manager for the Greenwich Village-based digital agency, Disruptive Media Lab, on an array of accounts ranging from fashion and lifestyle to food and beverage. Ever-drawn to the latter however, she left advertising to join leading hospitality agency Bullfrog & Baum where she worked as a publicist for Four Seasons Hotels, LDV Hospitality and Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group. From there, Carli joined Teuwen Communications to represent Rhone Valley Wines, Wines of Alsace, Elena Walch Wines, and restaurant chain, Le Pain Quotidien.  Now at Cornerstone, Carli is thrilled for the opportunity to dig even deeper into the world of wine, and looks forward to continuing her wine education.

Carli holds a BA in Art History with a minor in History from the University of British Columbia, and received her MA in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University.

Lesley Hennen, Assistant Account Executive

The newest member of the Cornerstone team, Lesley graduated from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University where she curated her own curriculum earning a B.A. of Creativity and Capitalism and a minor in Media, Culture and Communications. Growing up in the Midwest, Lesley was always searching for a way to combine her two interests of writing and business, which she eventually found in the world of public relations.

In the fall of 2012, Lesley studied abroad in Shanghai, China, where she studied Global Media Communications, and spent the rest of her time traveling throughout China. Lesley has also traveled to Japan, Scotland, Spain, Italy, France and England, and hopes to make Greece her next travel destination.

Most recently, Lesley interned with Deussen Global Communications where she worked with luxury spirits clients including Kweichow Moutai, Blue Nectar Tequila and Sobieski Vodka.

Lesley has taken a Wine 101 course at Corkbuzz and looks forward to continuing her wine education at the International Wine Center.