Franklin Advertising to host networking event for Kent State MDJ students

Franklin Advertising, a student organization at Kent State University, is set to host an event for media and journalism (MDJ) students geared toward marketing, advertising and networking.

The event is taking place Nov. 1, 2022, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in rooms 339 and 340 in Franklin Hall, where any MDJ student can attend. Franklin Advertising’s faculty advisor, Mike Jackson, is welcoming members from Cross Country Mortgage to come and speak to students.

Cross Country Mortgage is a company based in Northeast Ohio that was founded in 2003 by Ronald Leonhardt, Jr., who is a Northern Cleveland native. Jackson said he wanted to showcase talent that is local and close to Kent for students to get involved with.

The panelists are affiliated with Cross Country Mortgage and include:

  • Laura Soave, chief brand officer
  • Alicia Gauer, senior vice president of corporate communications
  • Lucy Todaro, creative director
  • Eric Wilson, senior vice president of brand marketing.

Laura Soave, chief brand officer at Cross Country Mortgage, began her career in 1997 when she started working with Ford Motor Company. Since then, she has worked for companies like FIAT and Volkswagen.
(Courtesy of Mike Jackson)
Lucy Todaro, a creative director at Cross Country Mortgage, graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design and visual communication. (Courtesy of Mike Jackson)
Alicia Gauer serves as the senior vice president of corporate communications for Cross Country Mortgage. Gauer is a Kent State alumnus, she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism. (Courtesy of Mike Jackson)
Eric Wilson is a senior vice president of brand marketing at Cross Country Mortgage. Wilson has worked with numerous companies like Tik Tok, Samsung and Nissan. (Courtesy of Mike Jackson)













Two of the panelists obtained education from Kent State, Gauer earned her Bachelor of Science and Todaro earned her Bachelor of Arts.

The event will begin with a 30-45 minute presentation by the speakers, followed by a 15-minute question and answer session for student engagement. The event will end with a 30 minute networking meet and greet between the students and speakers in the Wallace J. Hagedorn Gallery, located outside room 340 in Franklin Hall.

Jackson said this speaker series is an effort to “relaunch Franklin AD as a value-added community for all MDJ students.”

Starting with Cross Country Mortgage, Jackson said he wants to attract both local and national companies to Kent State.

“[Kent State] has a lot to show here and sometimes we take it for granted that we’re like another university and we’re not; we’re above that,” Jackson said. “Just as students are looking for opportunities, these companies are looking for [students].”

Jackson said moving forward he hopes to have multiple events with executive speakers each semester and that students will want to participate in this series of events. This event gives students the opportunity to understand the art of networking and speak with executives.

“We are hopeful that we can get as many students to come out and support the effort,” Jackson said.

For more information about Franklin Advertisement and getting involved, click here.

Anthony Zacharyasz is a staff reporter. Contact him at [email protected].