Tulane classmates reunite through business venture

Alumni and business partners Matthew Berman and Warren H. Cohn bonded during their first year at Tulane.

Part of the “Katrina class,” they volunteered in the Ninth Ward rebuilding homes through Tulane’s service-learning program. As students of the A.B. Freeman School of Business, Berman and Cohn often found themselves pitching ideas in social settings. In these scenarios, Cohn was the “big picture” guy, working on business development and bringing the pieces together, and Berman was a creative force who made content and business plans.

“It felt like we were building something in this place we didn’t know could be rebuilt,” Cohn said.

“Our time at Tulane was shaped by this momentous period of uncertainty, rebuilding and, ultimately, pride.”

Matthew Berman

Ten years after their fortuitous meeting in Sharp Hall, the two have brought their partnership under one roof, in a joint venture called Emerald Digital, a full-service digital-marketing agency.

After graduation, Berman stayed in New Orleans, crafting digital campaigns, jingles and websites, while Cohn returned to New York City to work on political campaigns. Berman founded Ember Networks, a New Orleans-based digital-marketing agency, in 2011, and Cohn founded HeraldPR, a New York-based public-relations firm, in 2012. All the while, the two were still pitching ideas to one another and hatching business plans.

For Berman and Cohn, attending Tulane in post-Katrina New Orleans felt like rising up in an empty city and building with it. It was the resilience of New Orleans and of Tulane that taught them to never give up and always push forward. It inspired a tenacity that has aided them in life and business far beyond graduation and into their endeavors today.

“Our time at Tulane was shaped by this momentous period of uncertainty, rebuilding and, ultimately, pride,” Berman said. “Tulane shaped us into the people we would become. We felt an unbreakable bond with our classmates, our school and our city.”