Meet Our Experts
Meet the team behind our vision.
Founder and President
Looking at a row of monitors in the control room of “Good Morning America” one day, producer Susan Tomai had an epiphany. Too many CEO’s and politicians were squandering a priceless opportunity on national television – failing to get their key messages across in a way that would sell products, advance and agenda, or win votes.
She started the media training and presentation training business that would become Oratorio and has since built a reputation as one of the world’s leading communications training specialists, counseling hundreds of business executives and public figures for interviews, crisis situations, speeches, presentations, and encounters with financial analysts and investors.
Susan has won several Emmy awards for her television work, as well as public relations industry awards including two Silver Anvils, the IABC Gold Quill Award, and several PRSA Certificates of Excellence and Commendations. She holds degrees in speech and drama from Marymount University and in mass communications from Emerson College, as well as a Certificate in Organization Development from Georgetown University.
Media trainer and social media manager
Ben Patterson's career began in the music industry where he produced, recorded, mixed and mastered songs and albums in various studios around the DMV. Using Logic Pro X he collaborated with artists of all genres to turn their vision into a reality.
Patterson began working with Oratorio in 2019, assisting with the transition into a virtual-focused workplace due to the pandemic. Since then, he has taken a more hands-on role in the company; participating in trainings and conducting interviews, developing new content, providing technology assistance, and strengthening Oratorio’s social media presence.
Andy Field is an award-winning broadcast journalist who has spent much of the last decade as the ABC Owned Stations Washington Correspondent and Bureau chief for WABC-TV New York covering stories around the world, from Israel to the Panama Canal – from the OJ Simpson Trial and four White House administrations, to medical, economic and consumer news. Andy continues to produce and report stories for ABC Network Television and Radio, PBS, Discovery and other local and national programs.
He has won Emmy, Telly and Aegis awards and was part of ABC News’ 9/11 attack coverage that was awarded the Alfred I. Dupont Award and the George Foster Peabody Award, the two highest honors in broadcast journalism. As a media and presentation coach, Andy has prepared clients to appear on network programs including: Oprah, 20/20, Dateline NBC, CNN, CBS newscasts, and National Public Radio. Andy received his Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University.
director, government relations
One of the driving forces behind Gerald (“Gerry”) Patterson’s leadership development philosophy is “continuous learning,” his belief that everyone from top executives to new employees must find recurring ways to improve. Before joining Oratorio, Gerry served as Director of Training at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and managed a multi-million dollar training budget serving over 50 locations nationwide. Throughout his career, Gerry has emphasized the importance of the learning through instructor-lead sessions, as well as the reinforcement of new skills through follow-up coaching and e-learning.
Among Gerry's accomplishments are the development of and approval for the EEOC’s first Executive Training Plan and its first Leadership Succession Management Plan. He also negotiated approvals of policies on supervisory, managerial, and executive development, and served as program manager and COR for the agency’s 360 Degree Leadership Assessment survey administered to all agency executives, managers and supervisors. Gerry earned an MBA from The George Washington University and a B.S. in Business Management and Administration from Indiana University.
Derek McGinty is a journalist, an award-winning interviewer and a commentator. He got his first job on the air back in 1984 at WHUR radio in Washington DC. From there he went to WAMU-FM where he launched a nationally syndicated daytime talk show on NPR. By the end of the century he’d been a correspondent on the CBS broadcast Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel and HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
After two years in New York as anchor of ABC’s World News Now and World News This Morning, It was back to his hometown of Washington DC to anchor WUSA’s fledgling 7pm local newscast. Derek spent 12 years at WUSA, retiring as main anchor in 2015.
Since then, Derek has been doing freelance television work for a diverse group of organizations, including AARP.
In all those incarnations Derek has believed that ideas matter more than ideology, and he is proud of his reputation for fairness, professionalism, and good conversation.
Anne Murillo Hoyt
A native of Mexico City, Anne Murillo Hoyt is a broadcast journalist and film reviewer with over 20 years of experience in major TV and radio markets in the United States and Mexico. She is the Washington correspondent for Grupo Radio Centro and the film reviewer for Telemundo’s local websites. She has a Master’s degree in Humanities from Georgetown University and is a regular guest at Univision’s show “Al punto” with Jorge Ramos.
Alison Schafer is a communications expert with extensive experience in international institutions in Washington and in-country locations around the world. A former White House and Congressional correspondent for major television stations across the U.S., Schafer also teaches journalism at George Washington University.
Schafer has also conducted dozens of training programs around the world for The World Bank, The IMF and other clients. She holds a BA in History from The University of Pennsylvania and an MA in International Relations and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
David Schumer is an experienced and accomplished public speaking coach, broadcaster, and podcaster. He has hosted radio shows such as Air America’s “The Flip Side” and enjoys delivering seminars and workshops on how to be an effective host and podcaster. "The Flip Side" podcast was an "all good news" podcast featuring individuals and organizations that persevered with “never give up” attitudes in the face of multiple adversities.
Coaching individuals in public speaking has always been one of David’s outstanding skills and one of his passions. He excels at helping people overcome their fear of public speaking through thorough preparation solid confidence, effective grasp of the subject matter and “knowing the audience.” David graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA.
One of the most difficult parts of being a reporter is asking someone questions during what could be the worst moment of their lives. This is something Jack Kane has experience doing.
On December 10, 2021, Mayfield, Kentucky was decimated by an EF-4 tornado, which garnered national and international news coverage. Jack was one of the first reporters on the scene that night while working for WPSD Local 6, the NBC affiliate based out of Paducah, Kentucky. He interviewed survivors, first responders, and families of those who lost their lives.
As disaster relief from across the country flocked to west Kentucky Jack noticed something about the major organizations: their messages were often overly scripted or felt out of touch with the situation. As a reporter, he had to work to get the most compelling story on the air.
Jack specializes in on-camera interviews and has five years of experience working in television as a multi-media journalist and anchor. He often participates as a guest speaker at local and statewide organizations. Jack is a native of Alexandria, Virginia. Jack graduated from the University of Alabama in 2019 with a B.A. in News Media.
Bryan Ashby is an award-winning media professional with 30 years of experience performing and managing a broad range of communication disciplines. As a media trainer and presentation coach to Fortune 100 companies and federal agencies, he has prepared leaders for keynote addresses, media interviews, Congressional testimony, sales pitches and oral presentations. Mr. Ashby holds a BA in Communications from The University of Maryland and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Producer, technical director
One of the most powerful tools used by Oratorio is video. The instant feedback from video review is an essential element of crafting effective messages and developing strong delivery and performance techniques. Oratorio depends on Pat Kehs and to integrate the technical equipment and common practices of broadcast production into Oratorio's training sessions.
Pat has over 20 years of experience making clients look their best in front of television cameras. His extensive broadcast credits include camera work for NBC, National Geographic, Reuters, and the live TV pool for three Presidential inaugurations. Pat has also worked as a Studio Lighting Director for Voice Of America, BBC and NBC, where he was recently nominated for a National Emmy Award for his work on Meet the Press.
Randy Gafner has been a broadcast network video journalist and producer in the Washington DC media corps for over 20 years. He has shot video and produced and edited for CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, WTTG-TV, WBNS-Columbus, TVBS-Taiwan, NHK, ASAHI, and Reuters. He has produced satellite media tours for the likes of Kitty Kelley, Kenny Rodgers, Martina McBride, Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20, among others.
Josh Sawislak worked at the highest levels in industry, media, and government in the US and abroad. He led teams at the White House, HUD, and GSA and worked with senior federal leadership on developing strategy and delivering the response to a major disaster as part of the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. This effort included all aspects of the recovery and rebuilding effort. Throughout his career as a government official and communications trainer, he has managed people, projects, messaging, and served as a communications consultant and policy advisor to senior executives and political figures. He is an internationally recognized speaker on climate risk and sustainability and has given presentations at the global climate summits (COP), Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings, and various international conferences and meetings.
Josh holds an appointment as a professional affiliate at the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University and holds a Certificate in Infrastructure in a Market Economy (Public Private Partnerships) from Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, and a B.A. in Political Science from The George Washington University.
Gary Nurenberg is a veteran television correspondent with more than two-dozen awards for his national and local reporting. He has covered major stories, including Trump era elections, the drug wars in Washington, DC, the September 11 attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Beltway Snipers, and the trials of Timothy McVeigh, OJ Simpson, the Unabomber and the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. For more than a decade, he has coached television performance clients from both private industry and federal agencies. He is a founding partner of Media Training for Law Enforcement. Nurenberg is a member of the bar in both Vermont and Washington, D.C.