Melissa Lavin, Chief Financial Officer, The Rosen Group
Melissa Lavin is the Chief Financial Officer for The Rosen Group, a privately held real estate development and management consortium. As CFO, she leads the financial oversight of a commercial real estate portfolio spanning 8 million square feet, including over 100 properties along the eastern seaboard. Melissa is also charged with creating the infrastructure and establishing best practices for a sustainable family office. Prior to joining Rosen, Melissa was the Chief Reporting Officer at Belfer Management where she lead the investment financial reporting and treasury initiatives over a 10-year period. Melissa began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, within the audit/assurance practice and then worked at Cerberus Capital Management, within the distressed-debt team.
Melissa rejoins the 92Y Women in Power program as a 2021 mentor, following her own fellowship in the class of 2017. She is actively involved in philanthropic activities, such as Girls on the Run NYC where she has served various roles, most recently as a member of the Community Leadership Committee. Melissa received her MBA from Columbia Business School and earned a degree in Accounting from Binghamton University, where she was also a member of their Division 1 softball team. She is a CPA in New York State and is a member of the AICPA and the NYS Society of Certified Public Accountants. Melissa lives in Manhattan with her partner John and their two daughters.
Sekou Kaalund, Managing Director & Head of Consumer Banking, Northeast Division, Chase
Sekou Kaalund is a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and head of the Northeast Division for the Consumer Bank. In this role, Kaalund oversees 1,000 branches in the Northeast, covering five regions with over 10,000 employees and over $300 billion in deposits and investments. Kaalund is responsible for establishing goals and frameworks for the banking teams and executing transformative
initiatives and strategies to drive growth and enhance the client experience.
Prior this role, Kaalund was the Head of Advancing Black Pathways, a JPMorgan Chase program created to help Black individuals, families and businesses achieve sustained economic success. Kaalund also served 11 years in numerous leadership positions within J.P. Morgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank —including as Head of U.S. Pension Fund Coverage and as a senior relationship manager for some of the firm’s largest clients. He joined J.P. Morgan in 2007 as Managing Director and Global Head of Sales for Private Equity and Real Estate Fund Services. Kaalund previously held leadership roles at Citi and served as a Commission Bank Examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Kaalund currently serves on the board of INROADS, The Public Policy & International Affairs Program, and is a Cabinet Member of Black Entrepreneurs NYC (NYC Department of Small Business Services initiative). He has previously served as a trustee for Duke University’s School of Public Policy, New York City Parks Foundation, and the Council of Urban Professionals. His civic contribution and corporate success have been recognized in several organizations – including in Ebony Magazine’s 2020 Power 100 list for the “Titans of Industry” category and Face2Face Africa’s 2019 “30 Black Stars List.” Kaalund has been featured in numerous publications for his work, including BBC, Forbes, NBC, CNBC, Black Enterprise, Essence, and more.
Kaalund earned a Master’s of Public Policy from Duke University and Bachelor’s from Hampden-Sydney
Tricia Wang, Principal and Co-founder, Sudden Compass
Tricia Wang is a tech ethnographer obsessed with designing equity into systems. Her work spans across the private and public sector. Organizations turn to her to help them see the unexpected human behaviors that can radically shift their business. She is the co-founder of Sudden Compass, a consulting firm that redesigns the way companies leverage data to serve their customers. Her focus on tech has always been in adoption amongst marginalized communities from the US to China to South America. She has studied the sociological network effects of the internet, cellphones, social media, and currently, cryptocurrency and broadband access. Her current research topics: personal data, hyperlocal communities, digital identity, digital currency, cryptocurrency adoption, impact of COVID-19 on essential workers and vaccine hesitancy.
Tricia has spent decades researching youth culture, social media, and Chinese Internet culture. She has spent 20 plus years researching the social evolution of the Chinese internet, and written about the “elastic self,” an emergent form of interaction in a virtual world. Her writings on China cover her time living with migrants to spending nights in internet cafes and working with internet policy-makers. She was the first Western scholar to work at China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), China’s equivalent to the USA’s FCC (Federal Communications Commision). Through extensive fieldwork in China and Latin America from living in internet cafes with migrants to working undercover alongside street vendors, her style of hyper-immersive ethnography gives her a unique perspective on what is actually happening on the ground, an outcome that she believes is critical for organizations to understand if they want to form a lifelong relationship with their consumers as people. During her projects she has pioneered ethnographic techniques such as live fieldnoting, which uses social media tools to share real-time fieldwork data.
She began her career as a documentary filmmaker at NASA, an HIV/AIDS activist, and an educator specializing in culturally responsive pedagogy, and has continued to wear many hats over the course of her career. She pours her energy into projects that support and connect humans that strengthen communities, including building after-school technology and arts programs for low-income youth at New York City public schools and the Queens Museum of Arts. Tricia co-founded the first national hip-hop education initiative, H2Ed, which is now housed at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education.
Her most recent work during the COVID-19 pandemic through Last Mile reflects the insights she gained from her 10+ years of living and researching in China. She is also on the California COVID-19 data taskforce. She is based in Peru and NYC. Her life philosophy is that you have to go to the edge to discover the center. For more information, go to her website www.triciawang.com or follow her on twitter or instagram @triciawang. She is on the advisory board of Afrotectopia and Studio Rev.
Janai S. Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)
Janai S. Nelson is Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). As an organizational thought-leader at LDF, Nelson works with the President and Director-Counsel to determine and execute LDF’s strategic vision and oversee the operation of its programs, including having served as interim director of LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute. She is also a member of LDF’s litigation and policy teams and was one of the lead counsel in Veasey v. Abbott (2018), a federal challenge to Texas’s voter ID law. She has testified before Congress on voter suppression, algorithmic bias, and in support of the Voting Rights Advancement Act. Prior to joining LDF in June 2014, Nelson was Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship and Associate Director of the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development at St. John’s University School of Law where she was also a full professor of law. Nelson’s most recent scholarly publication, Counting Change: Ensuring an Inclusive Census for Communities of Color, 119 Colum. L. Rev. 1399 (2019), advances a theory of representational equality in which all U.S. residents “are to be counted — and served — as constituents” and that centers the Census and the accurate count of the country’s most vulnerable populations in the functioning of our democracy.
Jose Ortiz, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, New York City Employment and Training Coalition
Jose Ortiz, Jr. was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Employment and Training Coalition in February 2018. An accomplished New York City nonprofit leader, Jose has spent his career building and overseeing programs and initiatives at premier social sector organizations across education, leadership, innovation and workforce development.
Immediately prior to joining NYCETC, Jose served as the Managing Director of External Affairs, Partnerships, and Business Development at Pursuit (formerly Coalition for Queens or C4Q), a Long Island City based workforce nonprofit that prepares underserved and underprivileged individuals without college degrees for software development jobs at some of the world’s most innovative companies. In this capacity, Jose led the development of partnerships with government, nonprofit and employer partners, along with fundraising and resource development. Prior to Pursuit, Jose spent more than a decade leading youth & family programs, leadership initiatives, and conferences at the 92nd Street Y (92Y), a world-class cultural and community center. While at 92Y, Jose was a founding member of the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact which co-produced the annual Social Good Summit and 7 Days of Genius, and created the global day of philanthropy called Giving Tuesday.
Jose has testified before the United States Congress’ Joint Economic Committee (JEC) on the subject of “Connecting More People to Work”. Jose has been covered by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, City & State, the Gotham Gazette, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and has appeared on NY1’s “Inside City Hall” with Errol Louis and WBAI’s “Max & Murphy”. Jose was named to City & State’s 2019 Nonprofit Power 100. Jose serves as an advisor to 92Y’s Center for Arts Learning and Leadership, and currently sits on The Fund for Public Housing Advisory Council, Human Services Council of New York Priority Strategy Council, The NYC Workforce Field Building Hub Advisory Board, the Western Queen Tech Council, and the Regional Plan Association New York Committee. Jose also served on the Amazon HQ2 Community Advisory Council (CAC), and was recently appointed to NYC Mayor de Blasio’s Labor and Workforce Sector Advisory Council to inform the administration’s efforts to restart the economy and city life.
David Rose, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, New York Angels; Managing Director, Rose Tech Ventures; and Founder & Executive Director, Gust
David S. Rose is an Inc. 500 CEO, serial entrepreneur, financial technology executive and early stage investor who has founded or funded over 100 pioneering companies. He has been described by Forbes as “New York’s Archangel”, by BusinessWeek as a “world conquering entrepreneur”, by Crain’s New York Business as “the father of angel investing in New York” and by Red Herring magazine as “patriarch of Silicon Alley”. He is the New York Times best-selling author of both Angel Investing: The Gust Guide to Making Money & Having Fun Investing in Startups, and The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business.
David is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of New York Angels; Managing Director of Rose Tech Ventures; and Co-Founder and Managing Director of the AREA PropTech venture accelerator. He is Associate Founder and Founding Track Chair for Finance and Entrepreneurship of Singularity University and chairs the Real Property Database committee of the Real Estate Board of NY. As an entrepreneurial executive, David is the Founder and CEO of the US Real Estate Market, an innovative capital markets platform for institutional investment in commercial real estate. He is also the Founder and Executive Chairman of Gust, which operates the world’s largest online platform and community for entrepreneurs and early stage investors. David was the initial investor in, and Chairman of Boards of, JUMP Bikes, acquired by Uber; Comixology, acquired by Amazon; Pond5, acquired by Accel; and Panjiva, acquired by S&P Global. He currently serves as a board director of cybersecurity developer KoolSpan and digital banking pioneer Moven.
He is known in the venture community for discovering and mentoring high-potential entrepreneurs and has been profiled by BusinessWeek as “The Pitch Coach” for his ability to help CEOs perfect their fundraising skills. He is a regular speaker at the TED conferences, and his TEDtalk on How to Pitch a VC has been viewed over a million times. He lectures at business schools including Yale, Harvard, Columbia, and Stevens, and was named Mentor of the Year by NYU’s Stern School of Business. As one of the most-followed Top Writers on the international knowledge platform Quora, David has answered over 10,000 questions about startups, early stage investing and eal estate, and curates The Founder Journey forum.
A native New Yorker, David has a BA in Urban Affairs from Yale University, an MBA in Real Estate Finance from Columbia Business School and a D. Eng. (hc) from Stevens Institute of Technology. He is a graduate of the New York City public school system and Horace Mann High School. He is an Associate Fellow of Pierson College at Yale University and a member of the Entrepreneurship Advisory Boards of Columbia Business School and Yale University. David can be found online at davidsrose.com and followed @davidsrose.
Shanti is a partner at Incandescent – a NYC-based strategy consulting and venture advisory firm. Shanti’s work with her clients spans sectors. With corporate and venture clients, her work is often focused on critical issues of people, culture and talent. In the social sector, she works with foundation and non-profit leaders to shape strategy for complex systems change issues, on projects ranging from stemming the tide of youth unemployment, to strengthening a culture of national service in the US. Over the course of her career, Shanti has built and led teams across sectors. Before joining Incandescent, Shanti served as the Chief Operating Officer for the New York Office of the Attorney General. Prior to her time at the AG’s office, Shanti was the COO of the Roosevelt Institute, a progressive policy think-tank. Earlier in her career, Shanti spent seven years at the consulting firm Katzenbach Partners – where she served as the firm’s Chief People Officer, and as a member of the firm’s management team. She currently serves as a member of the board of NationSwell. Shanti earned an A.B. from Smith College and an M.P.P. from the Kennedy School at Harvard. She loves exploring the wild & green places within and beyond New York City, tinkering endlessly in her Brooklyn kitchen, and having all manner of adventures with her two daughters.
Margaret Morton, Director, Creativity and Free Expression, Ford Foundation
Margaret Morton leads the Creativity and Free Expression team at the Ford Foundation which works to advance the intersection of social justice with the arts, documentary filmmaking, media and journalism. Margaret initially joined the team as Program Officer supporting grant making in the arts and other forms of cultural expression.
Margaret’s formal support for the arts began in public service at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the largest independent public funder of arts and culture in the nation. During her tenure as General Counsel and later, Deputy Commissioner, Margaret devised new frameworks for grant programs, she designed development resources to support arts administrators, and she implemented a new model for addressing the affordability of space for artists. In addition, she guided large-scale capital funding initiatives for cultural institutions. Earlier in her career, Margaret served as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where she worked on civil rights legislation, judicial nomination and immigration reform issues. Later, Margaret managed education, labor relations, and the equal employment opportunity portfolio for the New York State court system. Margaret earned her juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and her bachelor’s degree, in dance and American history, from Barnard College.
Linda Li, General Manager, Wirecutter, a New York Times Company
Linda Li is the General Manager of Wirecutter, a New York Times Company. In this role, she’s responsible for setting and achieving the company’s long-term ambition and oversees its strategy, operations, and P&L. Prior to that, she led global strategy, planning, and operations for news partnerships at Facebook and served as executive director of global strategy and development at The New York Times, with the aim of growing The Times’s digital reach in international markets.
Before her career at the intersection of consumer media and technology, Linda worked in public, private, and nonprofit sectors. As head of business development and marketing for small business at Lending Club, she helped launch and grow its new business financing vertical. She has advised the New York City Economic Development Corporation on entrepreneurship and the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability on evaluating climate hazards. Linda began her career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where she also served as the Chief of Staff to the Chairman of McKinsey Asia. She received a BA, a Master in Public Policy, and an MBA from Harvard University. She’s an avid runner and voracious reader.
Jennifer Cohan is a catalytic marketing, communications and social impact leader, expert at transforming businesses, energizing high-performance teams and building cultures of ambition and inclusion. Jennifer has reimagined marketing and communications agencies’ offerings to capitalize on changing marketplace expectations and opportunities. A master of stakeholders’ changing expectations of companies and brands, Jennifer has counseled C-Suite, Boards of Directors, entrepreneurs and Presidential political campaigns on critical operational and strategic opportunities.
Most recently Jennifer served as President of Edelman’s flagship New York operation, leading the world’s largest communications, social media and stakeholder advisory operation with nearly 1,000 staff and market-leading revenue and profit. She served as a volunteer Policy Advisor to Joe Biden for President and is currently a Board Director for both Friends of Hudson River Park and Partnership for the Homeless.
Jennifer is a graduate of Kenyon College and New York University. She and her husband live in Manhattan.
Jeannette Ferran Astorga, Vice President, Head of Sustainability, for Zoetis
Jeannette Ferran Astorga is Vice President, Head of Sustainability, for Zoetis, a Fortune 500 global animal health company. As the world’s leading animal health company, Zoetis is dedicated to discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing vaccines, medicines, diagnostics and other solutions for veterinarians, livestock farmers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals.
At Zoetis, sustainability is integral to the business strategy, building on its core business purpose to nurture our world and humankind by advancing care for animals. As the company’s first Head of Sustainability, Jeannette is responsible for leading the comprehensive strategy and global execution, tracking and reporting of Zoetis’ inaugural sustainability goals. Jeannette advises Zoetis leadership and Board of Directors on environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability, working cross-functionally to launch the company’s ambitious long-range goals in the areas of environment and social impact and lead the efforts to launch Zoetis’ first sustainability reporting to share progress toward its commitments.
Prior to Zoetis, Jeannette was the Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Global Lead of the Responsibility Center of Excellence at the ascena Retail Group, one of the leading U.S.-based specialty retailers and parent Company of fashion brands serving women and girls – Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lou & Grey, Dress Barn, Maurices, Lane Bryant, Catherines and Justice. Jeannette led the global team responsible for supply chain compliance and sustainability, diversity and inclusion, corporate philanthropy, and served as President of the ascena Foundation – supporting its associates and grantees across company offices, stores, communities and its global supply chain.
Throughout her career, Jeannette has held management positions in areas such as information systems, merchandise planning and various business support functions. She started her retail career at Liz Claiborne, Inc. Jeannette was recognized as one of Assent’s 2020 Top 100 Corporate Social Responsibility Influence Leaders. Jeannette earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing/Finance from Fordham University in New York and has completed a Harvard Business School Executive Education Program in Corporate Social Responsibility.
Committed to how she can extend her reach beyond her office, Jeannette is a member of the Board of Industry Advisors for LIM College in New York, named one of 2019’s Best Fashion Schools in the World by Business of Fashion. Jeannette actively supports women by volunteering as a career counselor and executive mentor through various organizations including 92Y Women inPower and New Women, New Yorkers, a non-profit providing mentorship for immigrant women seeking employment in New York City.
Jeannette currently resides in New York City with her husband and son.
Seth Pinsky is CEO of the 92nd St. Y. At 92Y, Pinsky is developing an action plan for 92Y heading into its 150th anniversary, which will include a comprehensive upgrade of its Manhattan home. Previously, Pinsky was an EVP at RXR Realty, where he led RXR’s efforts to invest in “emerging opportunities” in the New York region. Earlier, Pinsky oversaw the development of Mayor Bloomberg’s $20 billion plan to protect New York from climate change impacts and, from 2008 to 2013, was President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Pinsky started his career as an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton and analyst at James D. Wolfensohn Inc. He graduated from Columbia College and Harvard Law.
Zain Habboo, Chief Marketing & Mobilization Officer, International Rescue Committee
Zain Habboo is theChief Marketing & Mobilization Officer at International Rescue Committee. Previously she was the Chief Digital and Creative Officer at Fenton. She oversaw digital, creative and marketing strategy for the company and its clients. Before joining Fenton in 2017, Zain was Senior Director of Digital & Multimedia Strategy at the United Nations Foundation (UNF), where she was responsible for the digital, video, photo and mobile strategies for UNF and its 17-plus campaigns and initiatives worldwide. Prior to joining UNF, Zain spent 14 years at the National Geographic Society in digital strategy and production.
Zain is a member of Disney’s “Team of Heroes” 5-year $100 million dollar initiative to improve the hospital experience for families with children with serious illness. She also sits on the board of the Starlight Foundation, is a member of Washington DC’s Children’s National Medical Center’s “Scientific Advisory Board”, and runs a fundraising campaign for a research fund for Pediatric Cancer housed at Washington DC’s Children’s National Medical Center. Zain is also a proud board member of the UN Foundation’s Girl Up initiative as well as PBS’s “AmDoc” media arts organization.
Born in Iraq, raised in Jordan, and educated in the U.K., Zain brings a global approach and strong cultural understanding to her work. She is fluent in Arabic (conversational in French) and has worked with organizations around the world on issues ranging from girls and women’s empowerment to climate change. Zain lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband, son and two dogs.
Stephanie Cohen is Goldman Sachs’ Chief Strategy Officer and an Ex Officio member of the Management Committee. She is also a member of the Partnership Committee, Firmwide Asset Liability Committee and Global Diversity Committee. In addition to driving strategy and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for the firm, Ms. Cohen leads Launch With GS, the firm’s first for-profit investing initiative with a gender lens, as well as GS Accelerate, the firm’s in-house innovation engine.
Prior to assuming her current role, Ms. Cohen was Global Head of Financial Sponsor M&A in the Investment Banking Division (IBD). Before that, Stephanie was sector captain for General Industrials in the Global Industrials Group and a member of the M&A Group in IBD. In 2008, Ms. Cohen managed Conflicts and Business Selection for IBD in the Americas. Prior to that, Ms. Cohen was a Vice President in the Industrials and Merger Leadership Groups in San Francisco. Earlier in her career, Ms. Cohen worked in New York in the M&A department. Ms. Cohen joined Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 1999, was named Managing Director in 2008 and Partner in 2014.
Ms. Cohen serves on the National Board of Directors of CollegeSpring and as a member of the Board of Quill.org.
Polly Klane, Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel, Capital One
Polly Klane is an experienced corporate lawyer, who has spent a vast majority of her career serving financial institutions, both as outside and in-house counsel. Ms. Klane is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel, Commercial, Corporate & Governance at Capital One Financial Corporation, where she is responsible for leading the Corporate Governance office that provides legal and operational support to the Company’s Board of Directors and Senior Management Committees, and for leading the teams that provide legal advice to the Commercial Bank division, and the company’s Digital, Technology and Brand divisions. In these capacities she oversees a team of over fifty legal and governance professionals that provide the corporation with legal advice on a wide range of matters including corporate governance, public company securities law compliance, patents and trademarks, cyber security, data privacy, cloud technology, open source and a variety of commercial banking loan agreements, capital markets transactions and treasury management matters. Prior to Capital One, Ms. Klane has worked in a variety of capacities, including as the Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Corporate & Securities for the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and as a corporate associate at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP. Ms. Klane also completed a clerkship with the Honorable Rudi M. Brewster of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. Ms. Klane received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her law degree from Harvard Law School. Ms. Klane currently lives in New York, New York with her husband and two children.
Mai-Anh Tran, Chief Financial Officer, The Ford Foundation
Mai-Anh is the Foundation’s chief financial officer. She was previously the director of financial planning and budgeting. Prior to joining Ford, she worked in mergers and acquisition and private equity, specializing in media and technology. She was also the director at the Alliance for Downtown New York, where she managed a loan and grant portfolio program to help small businesses in Lower Manhattan recover following 9/11. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from New York University and an MBA from Yale. Mai-Anh serves on the board of Proteus Fund, a social justice not-for-profit, and is a Certified Financial Analyst.
Cindy Leggett-Flynn, former Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, AIG
Cindy was until very recently the Chief Communications Officer for AIG, Inc., with responsibility for protecting and enhancing AIG’s reputation and valuation. This included oversight of media and digital engagement, employee communications, brand positioning, financial and leadership communications, issues management and strategic partnerships. Prior to joining AIG, she was a partner with Brunswick Group, an international communications advisory firm. During her 16-plus years with the firm, she advised global companies on a wide range of issues, including corporate positioning and storytelling, M&A, activism, crisis, restructurings, employee engagement and change management. She also focused on talent acquisition, helping to expand offices across the U.S., and developing high performing teams, and served as a mentor for rising professionals – a role that she continued to play at AIG. She joined Brunswick in New York and later served as Managing Partner, Greater China, with offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. She is a graduate of Cambridge University.
Laurence D. Belfer, Chief Executive Officer, Belfer Management
Laurence D. Belfer is Chief Executive Officer of Belfer Management LLC in New York, NY, a family investment firm that emphasizes the energy, real estate, financial services, restaurant and healthcare industries.
In the not-for-profit sector, Laurence serves as Chairman of the Board of the 92nd Street Y, where he founded the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact (“BCISI”). He is also on the Board of #GivingTuesday – the global giving movement created at BCISI. At the Harvard Kennedy School, he Chairs the Dean’s Council, serves on the Executive Board and is a Member of the International Council of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, is a Member of the Asia Society Policy Institute’s Council and is a Member of the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress.
Laurence belongs to the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO Big Apple Gold) and is a Henry Crown Fellow at The Aspen Institute. He is a 1988 graduate with honors from Harvard University who earned his Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School in 1992. He and his wife, Carolyn, their two sons and daughter live in New York, NY.
Sharon Greenberger, President & CEO, YMCA of Greater New York
Sharon Greenberger is the 10th President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York, a leading New York City nonprofit serving a diverse population of more than half a million children, adults, and seniors annually through programs and services that empower youth, improve health, and strengthen community. With 24 branches throughout the five boroughs, the Y connects active, engaged New Yorkers to build stronger communities.
Sharon launched the YMCA’s new strategic plan, Thriving New Yorkers, Stronger Communities, which outlines the organization’s vision for serving New York City from 2018-2025. She is leading development of two new YMCA branches in the Bronx, to be completed in 2020. The new Bronx facilities will serve tens of thousands of residents, create new jobs, add new recreational and learning spaces, and foster community engagement.
Prior to joining the YMCA in 2015, Sharon spent more than 20 years in both the private and public sector working to improve New Yorkers’ health and livelihood and promote the development of New York City.
As Senior Vice President, Facilities and Real Estate at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, she oversaw $2 billion of active projects to expand and improve facilities to better serve the needs of patients and their families. Sharon managed operations for 1,700 public schools serving 1.1 million children as COO of the New York City Department of Education, and led completion of 100 new schools while leading the City’s School Construction Authority. She also served as Chief of Staff to the City’s Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding, and Vice President for Economic Development at the Alliance for Downtown New York.
Sharon received her bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and holds a master’s degree in City Planning, with a focus in Housing and Community Development and Environmental Design, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
She is a member of the Prospect Park YMCA and lives in Brooklyn with her husband Jonathan, with whom she has two daughters, Madelyn and Josie.
Melissa Kivett, Managing Director, Head of Enterprise Strategic Relationship Management, Prudential
Melissa Kivett is Senior Vice President and Strategy Officer at Prudential Annuities. As a member of Annuities’ Senior Leadership Team, Melissa leads strategy, business intelligence, communications, program management and space management teams. Leveraging over 20 years of experience in financial services, she has led teams in strategy, consumer research, communications, innovation, foresight and business development to help companies realize profitable growth opportunities. Previously, Melissa was the Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at Assurant. She created a strategic investor relations role at Assurant, which was profiled by the Corporate Executive Board as a best practice. Melissa’s work was recognized by Institutional Investor magazine during the financial crisis in 2008 as the second most shareholder friendly company in the non-life insurance sector. Her approach to innovation and strategy has also been recognized by Innovation Leader magazine, as a powerful tool in enabling a new strategy and changing employee behaviors.
Komal Bajaj, Reproductive Geneticist & Chief Quality Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi and Clinical Director of the Simulation Center
Komal Bajaj is an OB/GYN-geneticist who serves as Chief Quality Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi and Clinical Director of the Simulation Center. Komal is an innovator in the fields of performance improvement and healthcare simulation. She is passionate about enhancing healthcare culture and delivery for both patients and staff across NYC.
Ursula Wynhoven, ITU Representative to the United Nations, New York
Ursula Wynhoven is an international lawyer with 22 years’ experience. She joined the ITU in September 2017 as its Representative to the UN in NY. Previously, Ursula spent 14 years working for the UN Global Compact, where her last position was Chief, Social Sustainability, Governance & Legal and she was a member of the office’s Executive Committee. Ursula led the UN Global Compact’s social sustainability and governance platforms and workstreams, including on human rights and decent work, gender equality, poverty and inequality, peace, anti-corruption and the rule of law. Ursula also led legal affairs and oversaw policy development and implementation of the UN Global Compact’s integrity measures. Ursula began working with the Global Compact in 2002 and as one of the earliest staff members played an active role in helping to grow the initiative to more than 13,000 signatories in more than 160 countries with a full roster of workstreams advancing virtually all aspects of corporate sustainability. Ursula’s tenure with the UN Global Compact also included a six month loan as Senior Advisor, Business and Human Rights to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Prior to joining the UN, Ursula worked in law firms and government human rights agencies in Australia and the US and for the OECD in Paris on the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Ursula has Masters of Law degrees from Columbia Law School, where she was a Human Rights Fellow, and Monash Law School. She has Bachelor’s degrees in Law, Economics, and Letters. She is admitted to practice in jurisdictions in Australia, the US (California) and the UK and has passed the New York bar exam. Since 2007, Ursula has been an Adjunct Professor in Corporate Sustainability, Business and Human Rights at Fordham Law School and previously taught Business and Human Rights at the Reykjavik University School of Law. Ursula is a Trustee of the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law at Columbia Law School.
Shijuade Kadree, Chief Advocacy Officer, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center
Shijuade Kadree is the Chief Advocacy Officer of The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York. In this role, Shijuade is responsible for creating, implementing and managing the annual lobbying strategy on city and state levels to support the powerful programs of The Center, as well as manages The Center’s statewide advocacy and capacity-building initiatives for the LGBTQ community. Prior to joining The Center, Shijuade represented indigent clients, zealously advocating on behalf of parents entrapped in New York City’s child welfare system. This work lead her to creative legislative and policy advocacy at the New York City Council as a legislative counsel. In that role, she served as a liaison between Council members and the Council’s central staff, drafting and negotiating legislation in a variety of subject areas with a particular focus on governmental operations, housing, buildings and construction. Shijuade has also served as a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow, working on access to financial education, products and services for low-income families, federal and state anti-hunger programs, as well as publishing a manual for state legislators, “Bringing Legislators to the Table: Addressing Hunger and Nutrition in America.” During graduate school, she received the ABA Fellowship for Minorities in Environmental Law and was named a Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys scholar. Shijuade is an alumna of Emory University, with a joint Law and Public Health degree.
Edlynne Laryea, Head of Industry, Consumer Packaged Goods, Facebook
Edlynne Laryea is the Head of Industry, Consumer Packaged Goods at Facebook. Previously she was Director, Neutrogena Global Marketing where she focused on equity, advertising, digital transformation and sustainability. Previously she was the Global Director of Social Media for Johnson and Johnson where she was the resident new media expert, helping the Consumer Brands understand how to adopt and leverage new platforms to better connect with consumers. A former strategy consultant and a member of the marketing team responsible for the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, she draws on her classical marketing training to help marketers make sense of the changing technology landscape. At J&J she designed and launched their award-winning social listening capability and launched the biggest digital consumer campaign in the company’s history for the 2014 World Cup. She has helped several Fortune 50 brands build out digital ecosystems. Edlynne speaks regularly on topics such as how to build the case for change and how using data can drive better creativity. In her spare time, she likes to try out recipes from Modernist Cuisine at Home.
Mary Kate McGrath, Chief Operations Officer, Some Spider Studios
Mary Kate McGrath is the Chief Operations Officer at Some Spider Studios, the holding company behind the largest parenting media brands Scary Mommy, The Dad, and Fatherly. She has spent her career scaling profitable, consumer-facing brands. Previously, she was Chief Content Officer of Gallery Media Group, where she helped build and sell women’s lifestyle brand PureWow to Gary Vaynerchuk and Stephen Ross. She founded Gallery’s men’s lifestyle brand, ONE37pm, as well as 30+ brands on Instagram and TikTok. She started the Gallery Podcast Co, launching popular shows including Long Story Short with Bobbi Brown, Mom Brain with Daphne Oz and Hilaria Baldwin, and The CMO Podcast.
Mary Kate began her career in magazines and spent a decade at InStyle, Real Simple, Travel & Leisure and Food Network Magazine. She has appeared as a lifestyle expert on national news programs, including TODAY and Good Morning America. In 2018, she became a board member of “Female Founders in Tech,” a program that recognizes and supports female-led startups while providing innovative solutions to corporations seeking innovation. She is also a mentor for the “92Y Women inPower” program.
She recently traded the busy streets of Manhattan’s Upper West Side for the quiet sidewalks of Pelham, NY where she lives with her husband, Alex, their two sons, Jackson and Charlie, and new puppy, Ruby.
Katy Gaul-Stigge, President and CEO, Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc.
Katy Gaul-Stigge is the President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc, one of a network of 162 national organizations serving individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. She joined the $110 million social enterprise in March 2016. Gaul-Stigge oversees the operations of 57 Goodwill NYNJ programs and more than 40 retail locations in the New York City metropolitan area, Northern New Jersey, Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the capital region of NY. In her tenure she has created a new strategic plan for the organization, Vision 2020, focusing on improving operations with a strategic focus to expand mission impact. Goodwill has opened new integrated wellness center for people working with mental illness and launched career pathways program to upskill retail employees.
A major force in workforce development strategy and policy, Gaul-Stigge gained national and international attention for her development of Mayor de Blasio’s Career Pathways strategy as the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development. She led key City-wide agencies in the fourteen years of city service prior to joining Goodwill NYNJ. Including as Deputy Commissioner at Human Resources Administration (HRA) for Employment & Contracts workforce program including the Back 2 Work, Jobs-Plus, and subsidized job programs. Gaul-Stigge was also Assistant Commissioner at New York City’s Small Business Services (SBS.) where she led the Training and Advancement team which launched NYC Training Guide and expanded anti-poverty programs for working New Yorkers. Gaul-Stigge is well-known as a workforce development leader and policy voice. She has presented at numerous conferences and think-tank symposiums.
Katy Gaul-Stigge lives in Brooklyn and is a graduate of Columbia School of Social Work and Mt. Holyoke College. She has participated in the Workforce Leaders Academy and is a member of Coro Leadership NY.
Henry Timms, President and CEO, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Henry Timms is the co-author of the international bestselling book New Power, described by David Brooks in the New York Times as “the best window I’ve seen into this new world” and shortlisted for the FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year. Henry is the President and CEO of Lincoln Center, which serves three primary roles: world’s leading presenter of superb artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community relations, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. Previously he was the President and CEO of 92nd Street Y, a cultural and community center that creates programs and movements that foster learning and civic engagement. Under his leadership, the 144-year-old institution was named to Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” list. He is the co-founder of #GivingTuesday, a global philanthropic movement that engages people in close to 100 countries that has generated over a billion dollars for good causes. Henry is a Hauser Visiting Leader at Harvard Kennedy School and Visiting Fellow at Stanford University.
Raoul Bhavnani is a Senior Managing Director in the Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting, and is based in New York. He also serves as global head of the segment’s Strategy Consulting & Research practice. For more than 20 years, he has worked at the intersection of communications, finance and government affairs while living in Asia Pacific, EMEA and the United States. Mr. Bhavnani began his career on Wall Street, with several years at Morgan Stanley in India and the United States as an investment banker and fixed-income specialist.
At Morgan Stanley, he advised senior corporate and government leaders on capital markets matters; mergers and acquisitions (M&A); privatization activity; and risk management. He was one of the first employees of Morgan Stanley’s investment banking division in India, where the firm was involved in groundbreaking, capital-raising activities — as well as the development and modernization of India’s financial markets.
Upon returning to the United States, Mr. Bhavnani also spent time in the political and public sectors, helping to manage the campaigns of high-profile candidates, and engaging in public-policy issues facing New York City. For the last decade, he has advised large organizations on communications strategy, first as a partner at Westhill Partners, and then as a senior managing director at FTI Consulting.
His expertise involves the development and application of analytical methods in communications and business strategy, as well as the management of large, global client engagements. Mr. Bhavnani also spent nearly two years of his career with FTI Consulting, in the firm’s London office as part of the group’s EMEA management team. Besides client work, Mr. Bhavnani serves in a leadership capacity for the firm’s diversity & inclusion efforts.
Mr. Bhavnani is a cum laude graduate of Princeton University, and is active in a leadership capacity with a variety of civic and cultural organizations around the world. He is the co-founder and Board President of The India Center Foundation, a non-profit cultural institution and think tank based in New York focused on India and its relationship with the United States. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.
Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner, New York City Mayor's Office for International Affairs
Penny Abeywardena is New York City’s Commissioner for International Affairs. As head of the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, she is leading the City’s effort to build a global platform from which the City is promoting its goals for a more just and accessible society, showcasing the diversity of New Yorkers, and sharing policies and best practice with the world. Since her appointment in September 2014, the International Affairs team has launched a series of initiatives focused on connecting New Yorkers and City agencies to the diplomatic community as well as more effectively serving NYC’s diplomatic corps, which is the largest in the world. Prior to joining Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, Penny was the Director of Girls and Women Integration at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a non-partisan organization that convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
Penny joined CGI in 2009 to develop strategy highlighting and integrating the gender lens throughout the organization’s various platforms. She led the program’s evolution into one of CGI’s most successful efforts. While at CGI, Penny was responsible for the portfolio of CGI commitments focused on empowering girls & women worldwide, developing year-round programming, and integrating the gender lens throughout the CGI platform. During her tenure, she advised multinational corporations, philanthropists, NGOs, and multilateral institutions to increase investments in gender-focused development initiatives; and expanded the community of CGI members who incorporate the gender lens in their work. Before joining the Clinton Global Initiative, Penny worked in both development and programmatic areas for Human Rights Watch, the Funding Exchange and the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.
In 2016 Penny was named by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. She is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Development Corporation, New Course, Global Partners, Inc and the Eastside Greenway and Park. On her personal time, Penny serves on the Hillary for America Policy Working Group on Global Women’s Issues, the Innovation Advisory Committee for 92Y and the Founding Member Committee of Lincoln Center’s Global Exchange. She has previously served on the World Bank’s Advisory Council on Gender and Development, the Board of Directors of Sakhi for South Asian Women and Resource Generation. Penny’s a contributing author to “Women in the Global Economy: Leading Social Change,” and in 2012 was recognized by the United Nation’s Decide Now Act (DNA) Summit, as one of 101 Global Innovators for her work to put women’s rights on the global political agenda. She’s a graduate of the University of Southern California and completed her Master of International Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Penny lives on the Upper West Side with her husband. She loves to explore the five boroughs for regional cuisines and jog in Central Park.
Katherine Wu Brady, Chief People Office & Chief of Staff, Catchafire
Katherine Brady Kathy is a member of the Catchafire executive team, supporting change makers across the world. Catchafire is an online platform that helps philanthropic organizations provide high-impact capacity building support to large numbers of nonprofits. Most recently she was the EVP of Commerce, Registry & Guest Services at XO Group, best known for the brands The Knot and The Bump. She oversaw national transactional partnerships for couples and their guests during key moments in their lives. Ms. Brady previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Vente-privee USA, the e-commerce venture backed by American Express, where sales doubled in 2013 under her management. She helped launch Vente-privee USA in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer and oversaw sales operations, human resources, as well as product development. Previously, Ms. Brady held senior-level positions at AOL, in strategy and operations, and at NBC Universal, where she was a member of the Hulu launch team and helped transform NBC’s Local Media digital unit into a high growth and profitable business. Ms. Brady started her career in Technology and Health Care investment banking at Morgan Stanley.
Ms. Brady is a graduate of the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology at the University of Pennsylvania, earning bachelor’s degrees in Finance from The Wharton School and in Systems Engineering from The School of Engineering and Applied Science. She lives in New York City with her husband, son and daughter.
When Jimmie joined the Skoll Foundation in 2020, he had more than two decades of experience as a journalist, author and activist. He was a co-founder and executive director emeritus of Man Up Campaign, a global initiative to activate youth to stop violence against women and girls. This led to his selection as the winner of the 2010 GQ Magazine “Better Men Better World” search, and as one of the Women’s eNews ‘21 Leaders for the 21st Century’. Jimmie has served as an adjunct professor of investigative journalism at the New School for Social Research and was a George A Miller Visiting Professor in the Department of African and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois: Champaign-Urbana. For a decade, he has been an adjunct teacher of documentary journalism at the International Center of Photography
As a journalist, he has written for scores of publications following staff tenures at The Washington Post, The Village Voice, LIFE magazine and others. The recipient of honors for his work as a journalist and advocate, he’s been a National Magazine Award finalist, recipient of honors from the Open Society Institute, National Association of Black Journalists, the Carter Center for Mental Health Journalism, the Congressional Black Caucus, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and the Freedom Center in Cincinnati, among many others. His 2005 book Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War took readers into the lives of war-affected children around the world in half a dozen countries. His next book project is an oral history of Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in 2014. He currently contributes to Vanity Fair magazine in addition to his role at the Skoll Foundation.
Jimmie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors, in Philosophy, from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as a Medal of Distinction from Barnard College. He lives in New York City.
An award-winning, industry-recognized leader and innovator, Christine specializes in mission-driven marketing, communications and social impact to build, sustain and protect brand equity and enterprise reputation. Christine has directed world-class communications intersecting brand and purpose while in leadership positions at global corporations, PR/Communications agencies, nonprofits and, currently, as the founder and principle of Posit Communications, a strategic communications consultancy.
As the head of Marketing Communications for Unilever, she collaborated on launching dozens of new products and hundreds of campaigns for its portfolio of iconic food and personal care brands; led marketing for Project Sunlight, the company’s first consumer marketing initiative to promote its sustainable living mission; and was responsible for Unilever becoming a founding member of #GivingTuesday. In the nonprofit sector, Christine was the Chief Communications Executive for the Girl Scouts of the USA; consulted with the UN and UN Foundation on the Sustainable Development Goals; and counsels organizations pro-bono through the TapRoot Foundation.
Christine holds a BA from Barnard College and an MA from Columbia University. In 2020, she graduated from the Executive Program in Social Impact from the Center for Social Impact Strategy at the University of Pennsylvania. Christine has been a mentor for 92Y Women In Power Fellowship program since its inception.
Christine lives in Manhattan, cooking and dreaming of traveling again.
Margaret Coady, Head of Global Communications for Diversity, Inclusion, and Impact, Prudential
A leading practitioner and thought leader on corporate purpose and inclusive capitalism, Margaret has a nearly 25-year track record delivering next-level growth, societal impact, and stakeholder engagement at for-profit and non-profit institutions. Most recently, Margaret served as the first Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Tapestry, Inc., the $6 billion house of fashion brands Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman. Reporting to Tapestry’s CEO, Margaret led the alignment of business and societal goals, driving the first values-forward, non-commercial consumer campaign in the Coach brand’s 77-year history. She transitioned the $97million Coach Foundation to #DreamItReal, a strategic signature mission shared with the brand that has thus far generated 3+ billion media impressions. Simultaneously, Margaret was a leader for Tapestry on ESG and sustainability, working cross-functionally to launch the company’s ambitious 2025 goals in the areas of people, planet, and community as well as Tapestry’s first public website to share progress toward its commitments. Margaret was also a catalyst for Tapestry joining the CEO Action on Diversity & Inclusion pledge, its plans to deliver unconscious bias training globally, and the launch of the company’s first employee council on inclusion and belonging.
Prior to Tapestry, Margaret served as Executive Director of the nonprofit Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP), founded by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman. Margaret was instrumental in doubling the Fortune 500 CEO membership to 200+, and establishing the coalition as the top forum for the world’s leading companies to create a better world through business. In addition to serving as the organization’s spokesperson and setting its research agenda, Margaret advised CEOs across industries on corporate purpose initiatives. Margaret led the ‘Board of Boards’ CEO annual forum, a Forbes-named top three “power player” event, and annual Summit for 300+ corporate purpose professionals.
Margaret has served as an advisor to field-building organizations including Independent Sector and Charity Navigator, and has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations including the Taproot Foundation and Step Up Women’s Network, including leading the executive search committee during a nonprofit’s CEO transition. Margaret graduated from Williams College with honors and was Valedictorian of her class at Columbia Business School.
Terri McCullough, Chief of Staff, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House of Representatives
Terri McCullough is the Chief of Staff to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Prior to her role as Chief of Staff, Terri consulted for gender equity and nonprofit strategy. She was formerly director of No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, a Clinton Foundation initiative led by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. No Ceilings is a Clinton Foundation initiative that brings together partner organizations to evaluate and share the progress girls and women have made in the 20 years since the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and chart the path forward for full participation in political, civil, economic and cultural life for girls and women in the 21st century. Terri joined the Clinton Foundation from the Tory Burch Foundation, which works to support women entrepreneurs in the U.S. through small loans, mentoring and entrepreneurial education. She previously served as chief of staff, advisor on women’s issues and in a number of other roles in the office of Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. Her non-profit experience includes positions at NARAL Pro-Choice America, PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning), and Anna Deavere Smith’s Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue. She has a B.A. in politics from the University of California at Santa Cruz and lives in New York City with her husband, daughter, and son.
Tim Maleeny, President and Chief Strategy Officer, Havas
Tim Maleeny leads an eclectic group of strategic planners, communications architects, digital experts, and analysts who collaborate on building meaningful and effective brand platforms for our clients.
Tim is known as a pioneer in reshaping the industry’s approach to strategic planning, hiring hybrid talent, and building dynamic teams that can be reconfigured as client needs change. He is a hybrid himself, having worked as a copywriter, producer, account director, and strategic planner since his career began over two decades ago.
Tim has degrees from Dartmouth College and Columbia University, and he is a best-selling author of numerous short stories and four award-winning novels.
As the Founder/CEO of Lucas Point Ventures, Adam Quinton invests in and advises early stage companies. His focus is supporting diverse management teams and his investments include The Muse, Glassbreakers, Venuebook, Pinks and Greens, Snaps, Rapt Media, EpiEP, Hire an Esquire, Tactile Finance, Validately, Consensus Point and LawGo.
He serves as an Advisory to Hire an Esquire, Tactile Finance and San Francisco based SwoopTalent as well as Chicago based techweek. In H1 2014 he served as Chief Financial Officer of leading NYC based cybersecurity company NopSec, another of his investees.
He Chairs the East Coast Advisory Board of Astia as well being a Founding Astia Angel. He is an Advisor for San Francisco based Women’s StartUp Lab and a mentor for the Boulder based accelerator MergeLane. He is also an advisor/mentor to 37 Angels and The Vinetta Project.
In 2014 he was named by AlleyWatch one of “25 Angel Investors in New York You Need to Know” and also one the “100 NYC Tech Influencers You Need to Know”. In 2015 tech.co named him “One of 8 VCs making waves.”
In the not-for-profit space, Quinton is on the Board at International House New York, and a member of the Executive Committee. He is also a Board member at the Center for Talent Innovation.
Adam has over 25 years of investing and management experience, most recently at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was most recently Managing Director and head of Global Macro Research.
He has been a top ranked sell-side investment analyst in the UK, Asia, and the US.
Additionally, he is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where he is a Capstone workshop advisor and member of the Management and Gender & Policy faculties.
Quinton holds a MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and an MBA from Cass Business School, London.
Adaora Udoji, Director of Corporate Innovation, RLab
Adaora Udoji‘s expertise is emerging technology. She helps startups grow their businesses, investors identify new opportunities, and businesses and people understand how new tech can work. Udoji also invests in and advises women founders and entrepreneurs. Currently, she’s the Director of Corporate Innovation at RLab, the nation’s first hub focused on immersive tech. She also tells stories with pictures and words in video, film, virtual reality, and augmented reality. Lastly, she’s a proud citizen of both the United States and Ireland.
Jenifer Willig is the Co-Founder and CEO of hive, Founder of Motive and former CEO of (RED). Partnering with iconic brands including Nike, Apple, Dell, Microsoft, and Starbucks Jenifer most recently led (RED), the organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver to fight AIDS in Africa, to momentous growth over her four year tenure. Through her leadership (RED) raised $185 million and became a global brand with a social following of over 2.5 million active people who advocate on behalf of (RED).
Prior to joining (RED), Jenifer spent her career in advertising on global brands including AT&T, Levi Strauss & Co, British Airways, The Financial Times, ran the New York office of M&C Saatchi and developed the dot com business at TBWA/Chiat/Day SF during the tech boom of the late 1990′s.
She has recently been named one of the 10 Most Generous Marketing Geniuses by Catch a Fire’s Generosity Series featured on Fast Company and recognized as one of the 40 women over 40 to watch.
Jenifer is also the co-founder of WHOLE WORLD Water, a social enterprise raising money to provided access to clean and safe water around the world.
Kristy Wallace is the CEO of Ellevate Network, and is responsible for executing Ellevate Network’s mission to close the gender achievement gap in business by providing professional women with a global community to lean on and learn from. She directs the Network’s staff, is responsible for business growth and strategy, and works closely with Ellevate’s Chapter Leaders, Business Partners, and Champions to further Ellevate’s impact.
Kristy is host of the Ellevate Podcast: Conversations with Women Changing the Face of Business and is also a regular speaker and thought leader on Leadership, Diversity, Social Entrepreneurship, Networking, and Entrepreneurialism. Most recently, Kristy was recognized as a Woman of Influence by the New York Business Journal.
Kristy strives to support women and girls in achieving their dreams. She is an Angel Investor with Pipeline Angels, and organization creating capital for women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs; a Member of the UN Women Global Innovation Coalition for Change; an Advisor for the 92Y Women in Power Fellowship for Rising Female Leaders; on the Advisory Council for the Villanova University Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship Institute; Co-Chair of the Leadership Advisory Board for the Girl Scouts of Greater NYC; and a Board Member at Workforce Professionals Training Institute.
Prior to joining Ellevate, Kristy was a founding team member of Zeel.com, where she oversaw operations, business modeling, brand development, partnerships, and fundraising. Prior to Zeel, Kristy served as VP of North America Ad Sales and then GM of International Operations at Vault.com.
Kristy obtained her BA in English/Sociology from Villanova University and began her career as a financial analyst at KeyBank. A passionate runner, reader and world traveler, Kristy lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with her husband and three wonderful children.
Jennefer Witter, CEO and Founder of The Boreland Group
Jennefer Witter is the CEO/Founder of The Boreland Group Inc., a boutique public relations agency headquartered in New York City. The twelve-year old firm was named by TheStreet.com as one of five black owned businesses in the US “making a buzz.” The agency specializes in corporate visibility, getting their clients their “unfair share” of business-building attention via customized, results-driven PR programs.
A 30+ year PR veteran, Jennefer was ranked as one the nation’s top ten black CEOs and entrepreneurs by Madame Noire Magazine (the only other female on the list was Ursula Burns, the CEO/chairman of Xerox). Jennefer is the author of “The Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Tips to Get Your Small Business Noticed” (AMACOM, 2014) . She has presented at the 92nd St Y, American University, The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, GlobalWIN, Women’s Presidents Educational OrganizationWomen’s Presidents Educational Organizationthe Women’s Presidents Educational Organization, The Communication Exchange and Ellevate Network. The former PR expert for Inc.com TV, Jennefer has been featured in the Associated Press, TheStreet.com, Crain’s New York Business, and MarketWatch Radio Network. She has been profiled in the Huffington Post and the Amsterdam News.
Doron Weber, Vice President, Programs & Program Director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Doron Weber runs the program for the Public Understanding of Science and Technology for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He also directs the Foundation’s efforts to promote Universal Access to Knowledge through the Digital Information Technology program, which seeks to utilize emerging developments in information technology to make the benefits of human knowledge and human culture accessible to people everywhere. A fledgling program in International Science Engagement will focus on South Asia and seek to bring scientists and engineers in conflict regions together to collaborate on subjects and projects of mutual interest.
Mr. Weber has primary responsibility for the Foundation’s efforts to educate and engage the public through books, radio, public and commercial television and film, theater, opera, the Internet, and new media. He also supports selected scientific events of national concern and targeted public policy initiatives.
In 2004, the Foundation received the National Science Board’s Public Service Award, citing Mr. Weber’s program “for its innovative use of traditional media—books, radio, public television–and its pioneering efforts in theater and commercial television and films to advance public understanding of science and technology.” On behalf of the Foundation, in 2007, Mr. Weber received the PBS Leadership Award for over a decade of support, in 2009 the Nielsen Impact Award from the Hollywood Reporter, and, in 2011, the Communicator Award for a documentary about the Foundation’s history, “Sloan at 75.” Mr. Weber’s work at Sloan has been profiled in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Fortune, and The American Way.
Prior to joining Sloan in 1995, Mr. Weber served as Director of Communications at The Rockefeller University (1991-1995), and Director of Communications for the Society for the Right to Die (1989-91). Earlier, he worked as a senior editor for The Reader’s Catalog, a speechwriter for the United Jewish Appeal, and a screenwriter for both television and film. He has also been a teacher, tutor, taxi driver, romance novelist, busboy and boxer.
In February 2012, Mr. Weber published a critically acclaimed book, Immortal Bird: A Family Memoir (Simon & Schuster), that was widely reviewed, including reviews by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and People. Mr. Weber has previously coauthored three nonfiction trade books: Safe Blood: Purifying the Nation’s Blood Supply in the Age of AIDS (Free Press, 1990), The Complete Guide to Living Wills(Bantam Books, 1991), and Final Passages: Positive Choices for the Dying and their Loved One (Simon & Schuster, 1992, Fireside, 1993). His articles and reviews have appeared in, among other places, The New York Times, USA Today, Barron’s, The Baltimore Sun, The Village Voice Literary Supplement, and the Boston Review. His first novel, The Deserters, was excerpted in the fall 2003 issue of Kinder-Link.
Mr. Weber was educated at Brown University (BA, 1977), the Sorbonne, and Oxford University (MA, 1981), where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He also received a Fulbright. He served for ten years (1995-2005) as secretary of the New York State Committee for the Rhodes Scholarships and currently serves as President of The Writers Room Board of Trustees,Vice Chair of the Digital Public Library of America Steering Committee, Advisory Board Member of the Science and Entertainment Exchange, and Board Visitor of the Wikimedia Foundation. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, U.S.A. Triathlon, and the Century Club.
Stacey Hadash, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Global Capital Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Stacey Hadash is managing director and chief operating officer of global capital markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She oversees banking teams that cover New York City and Long Island, providing a full range of solutions to companies with revenues of $50 million to $2 billion.
Stacey is responsible for delivering the entire enterprise to clients, including investment banking and capital markets, credit, syndications, global treasury services, leasing, risk management, global markets and wealth management.
Previously, she was chief operating officer for the firm’s Global Capital Markets business, which includes equity capital markets, investment grade capital markets, leveraged finance, and derivatives & foreign exchange origination.
Stacey joined the firm in 2005 from The New York Stock Exchange, where she was managing director and head of Financial Planning. Prior to that, she worked with former Texas Governor Ann Richards at Public Strategies, a communications consulting firm.
Stacey began her finance career as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley. She later worked for the mergers and acquisitions group at Goldman Sachs in both New York and London.
Earlier in her career, Stacey worked on economic policy in the 1992 Clinton/Gore campaign. Following the election, she was appointed as a Special Assistant in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Stacey holds a BA from Smith College and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is a 2003 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Stacey sits on the board of the Ann Richards School Foundation.
Laura A. Clayton McDonnell, Vice President, Enterprise Sales - Eastern Region, ServiceNow
Laura A. Clayton McDonnell is the Vice President, Enterprise Sales – Eastern Region at ServiceNow, a cloud-based platform that provides digital solutions that help people do their best work. Previously, she was Vice President, New York Region at Microsoft where she provided executive leadership and management of the Microsoft New York Region, with a team of over 230 industry sales, technical and business professionals. She managed executive relationships at the world’s largest companies for Microsoft and represents the company in community initiatives with private and public organizations.Laura is an executive with extensive sales management and legal experience in the information technology industry. Prior to Microsoft, she was Senior Vice President, North America Sales at Aspect Software. Prior to that role, she was Vice President of Strategic Services at IBM and closed the first $200M+, 5 year long term services transformational deal with a leading insurer/healthcare provider in Spanish South America.
She also was Vice President, Public Sector, West IMT, North America Group leading a $2.2B sales organization which supported the State and Local Government, Education, Healthcare and Life Sciences industries. In that capacity, she generated 11 out of 13 quarters of positive growth, holding or taking market share in all quarters except one. She also led the Smarter Cities/Smarter Planet and the North America Healthcare Growth Initiatives.
Laura’s prior IBM positions included Vice President, Services Business Development, S&D Communications Sector, Director & Senior Client Solutions Executive for Global Technology Services, and Director of Contracts & Negotiations for Global Business Development. Before joining IBM, she was Vice President of Business Development at Rational Software. Prior to Rational, Laura was at Sun Microsystems, Inc. where she held a variety of executive-level positions including Senior Director of Market Development and Strategic Planning, and General Counsel of the Consumer and Embedded Software Division. Prior to joining Sun, she was Managing Attorney for North American Sales at Cisco Systems, Inc. and a Senior Counsel at Apple Computer, Inc. Prior to Apple, Laura was in private corporate and securities law practice at a law firm in San Francisco.
Laura received her Bachelor of Science degree “with distinction” in International Business Administration at San Jose State University, her Masters in Business Administration degree from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley in Finance and International Business Administration, and her Juris Doctorate from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley. At Boalt, she was awarded “Best Oral Argument” for First Year Moot Court, and served as Articles Editor for the International Tax and Business Lawyer Journal. She is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and the State of California.
Laura has held leadership positions in community and business professional organizations. She has served as President of the Barristers Section of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, and President of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Black MBA Association. Laura has been a member of the Development Council for the Haas School of Business, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Boalt Hall School of Law Alumni Association. She is a recipient of the 2008 YWCA of Silicon Valley Tribute to Women Award (TWIN). Laura is a member of the Women’s Forum of New York and an Advisory Committee Member of the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact of the 92Y.
Asha Curran is CEO of GivingTuesday, the global generosity movement. She was formerly Chief Innovation Officer and director of the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at 92nd Street Y, which was named one of the 10 Most Innovative Nonprofits by Fast Company. She remains co-chair of the Belfer Center with Henry Timms, co-founder of GivingTuesday and President and CEO of Lincoln Center. At 92Y, she and her team in one of the nonprofit world’s pioneering innovation labs launched the Women inPower Fellowship, the Ben Franklin Circles, and the 7 Days of Genius festival, all built on the same distributed-leadership model as GivingTuesday. She is the recipient of the 2015 Social Capital Hero Award, and was named a 2016 Woman of Influence by New York Business Journals and a 40 Over 40 Women to Watch honoree. Asha serves on the board of directors of Guardian.org, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing civil discourse and issues-driven journalism at The Guardian; and the Scout Film Festival, which amplifies the work of teen filmmakers. She is a fellow at Stanford University’s Digital Civil Society Lab within the Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society.