CEO Innovation, Growth & Diversity Symposium
Alan Trefler is a visionary change-agent, innovative philanthropist, and trusted advisor to business leaders around the world. Alan founded Pegasystems three decades ago to change how the world builds software. In that time, Alan's unique vision and relentless focus on client success has positively evolved the way many of the world's leading enterprises engage with their customers.
Alan’s best-seller, Build for Change, describes a new generation of customers with unprecedented power to make or break brands and the changes businesses must embrace to succeed in today’s digital world.
Alan is the holder of multiple software patents, and the recipient of industry awards recognizing him as an innovative CEO and successful entrepreneur. In 2017, Alan was appointed to the World Economic Forum’s IT Steering Committee.
Alan holds a degree with distinction in Economics and Computer Science from Dartmouth College. There he won the John G. Kemeny prize in computing, achieved a Master rating in Chess, and was co-champion of the 1975 World Open Chess Championship.
A staunch education advocate, Alan and wife Pam established the Trefler Foundation in 1996 to improve educational outcomes. The Foundation recently sponsored Union & Fifth, an innovative non-profit that turns clothing donations into money for charities.
Anne P. Noonan is President and Chief Executive Officer of OMNOVA Solutions Inc.
(NYSE: OMN), an $838 million global producer of emulsion polymers, specialty
chemicals, and decorative and functional surfaces. She was appointed to this position
as of December 1, 2016.
Ms. Noonan joined OMNOVA in September 2014 as President of its Performance
Chemicals business segment. The business, reorganized under Anne’s leadership to
focus on specialty solutions, develops and produces emulsion polymers and specialty
chemicals for a variety of end use applications, including specialty coatings,
construction, nonwovens, oil & gas exploration, and elastomeric modifiers.
Prior to OMNOVA, Ms. Noonan spent 27 years at Chemtura Corporation, a global
manufacturer of specialty chemicals. She most recently served as Senior Vice
President and President of Chemtura’s Industrial Engineered Products business, which
included flame retardants, brominated performance products and organometallic
specialties. These products went into numerous applications and end markets, many of
which overlapped with OMNOVA’s. Previously, she held a dual role as Vice President of
Strategic Business Development for Chemtura and President of its Great Lakes
Solutions business. During her tenure with Chemtura, Ms. Noonan held leadership roles
across a wide range of disciplines, from strategic marketing to product development
and innovation, to mergers and acquisitions and general management.
Ms. Noonan began her career as an analytical research chemist for a joint venture
between Squibb-Linson and McNeil Specialty Chemical Company. She participated in
the development of an artificial sweetener, now known as Splenda. Through her early
roots in new product development, Ms. Noonan developed a deep understanding of the
importance of having clear insights into customer needs, and utilizing technology to
meet those needs and create a clear and compelling value proposition for the
Ms. Noonan earned her B.S. Honors degree in chemistry and her M.S. in
organometallic chemistry from University College Dublin, Ireland.
Ms. Noonan is on the boards of the American Chemistry Council, the Greater Cleveland
Partnership, and CF Industries, a global leader in nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing and
Balaji “Raj” Rajan is Chief Executive Officer of Ceannate Corp., a leading business process outsourcing firm focused entirely on the students and institutions in the post-secondary education sector.
Raj is responsible for the overall strategy of the Ceannate companies which employ over 900 individuals across four wholly-owned subsidiaries including Financial Management Systems; AuthenticAID, Inc.; i3 Group, LLC; and Iontuition, Inc. Each company addresses student relationship and loan management challenges specific to distinct phases in the education loan lifecycle including: in-school and in-grace servicing, financial literacy, repayment optimization, delinquency prevention, default aversion, and debt resolution. Over the course of his time in the education sector, Raj has developed long-standing relationships with and expertise in programs at the U.S. Department of Education.
As a leading innovator in the student borrower assistance arena and based on the perspectives of Ceannate having engaged in millions of student-borrower interactions, in 2011, Raj oversaw the conception, development, and implementation of iontuition, the first web-based, user-friendly tool to help student loan borrowers manage and plan repayment of their student loans. Raj has also sought to bring the company’s expertise to bear in the development of public policy relating to financial literacy, financial aid practices, and student loan management by authoring three opinion pieces on those topics: “Student Loan System Needs an Overhaul” (The Hill, January 7, 2014), “How Congress Can Fix the Student Debt Crisis” (Roll Call, July 21, 2014), and "Proven Private-Sector Practices Can Bring Down Student Loan Defaults" (The Hill, March 6, 2015).
While he maintains an active role across all subsidiary operations, Raj focuses primarily on product development and government affairs as he guides the core business towards profitable sustainability. In addition to serving as CEO, Raj sits on the Ceannate Corp. Board of Directors. He is a founder of the Education Innovation Group under YPO Chicago.
Ben Edson is the Founder and CEO of VariQ. VariQ is one of DC Metros fastest growing IT and Cyber Security companies, with 300+ staff under management. It has successfully grown organically over the past 5 years by over 1000%. VariQ is a values-driven company that designs, integrates, and manages complex solutions in information technology systems for 10 out of 15 Federal Executive Departments as well as State and Commercial clients.
In recognition of Ben’s commitment to innovation and unparalleled client dedication, VariQ has received 20+ industry awards over the past five years.
Prior to VariQ, Ben was a Security Consultant for Symantec where he performed numerous technical implementations throughout the United States and Mexico for Fortune 100 and commercial clients. A former missionary, Ben later worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. He is passionate about all things cybersecurity, his family, and soccer.
Ben serves on SECAF’s (Small and Emerging Contractors Advisory Forum) Board of Directors, and has most recently joined the WorkSource Montgomery Board.
Ben holds an MBA and MSITS from Johns Hopkins University. He also holds over 20 current and expired IT certifications which allows him to actively participate in customer problem solving from both business and technical perspectives.
Porter Novelli CEO Brad MacAfee is a highly respected business and communications leader who has spent the past 25 years harnessing his expertise and insights to drive business results, competitive advantage and deeper levels of stakeholder engagement for a wide variety of brands, businesses and organizations. He is widely recognized for his strong knowledge of the real needs and challenges of small businesses and global brands and multinationals alike, as well as his practical deployment of innovative technologies to create opportunities in a changing, digitally driven business and media landscape.
MacAfee joined Porter Novelli in 2000 as partner, global technology leader and managing director of the Atlanta office, after nearly a decade of leadership positions at Alexander Communications, Copithorne & Bellows and Peachtree Software.
During his tenure as managing director, the Atlanta office became one of the most consistently profitable and recognized throughout the agency's entire global network. His passionate belief in the power of the Service Profit Chain model that puts employees first earned the office year-after-year recognition as a best place to work, while also earning the reputation as an industry leader, and model, for excellence in client service.
Since 1982, Mr. Bigras has spent his career in the construction, janitorial and facility maintenance industry. He joined GDI in 1994 and later became a major shareholder in 1998. Over the years, he has held many positions, and became President and CEO of GDI in December 2004. In his role as President and CEO, Mr. Bigras has overseen GDI’s significant organic and acquisition based growth, leading GDI to become the largest janitorial services company in Canada, and one of the largest in North America. Through his leadership, perspective and experience, Mr. Bigras has driven the development of the Company’s key financial strategic planning, and brings with him an exceptional track record of disciplined capital allocation and strategic acquisitions. Mr. Bigras holds certificates in Finance and Management from École des Hautes Études commerciales in Montréal.
Dale Guidry received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Duke
University in 1978. Also, during his undergraduate tenure, Mr. Guidry was an exchange
student at New College, Oxford University, England, where he studied twentieth century British
history. Upon graduation from Duke University, Mr. Guidry pursued a Master of Science
degree in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University where he carried out
research on the mechanical properties of amorphous metals. After completing his Masters
studies in 1980, Mr. Guidry was employed by The Timken Company in Canton, Ohio as a
Research Engineer. In this position, he developed new grades of steel for use in the
manufacture of tapered roller bearings and developed computer simulations of the steel melt
shop and rolling process which led to significant productivity improvements. At the time, the
use of computer simulation was a new and innovative approach in the analysis of steel making
processes. While at Timken, Mr. Guidry also worked on the development of an ultrasonic
gauge for the hot measurement of wall thickness of seamless tubing.
In 1987, Mr. Guidry left The Timken Company to join the Drive Systems Department of
General Electric as a Process Automation Systems Engineer. In this role, he developed,
engineered and installed computer models for the automatic control of hot and cold rolling
processes for steel and other metals. This work effort resulted in significant travel around the
world with time spent in Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Brazil and various
countries in Europe. After a number of years, Mr. Guidry became recognized as an expert in
the rolling of steel. As a result, he was a featured instructor from 1999 through 2007 for the
American Iron and Steel Technology Cold Rolling Fundamentals Training Seminar presenting
on the topic of Cold Rolling Theory.
In 2000, Mr. Guidry switched career paths and entered management as Manager, Metals
Process Models & Automation Engineering in the Industrial Systems business of GE. That
same year, the GE Metals business segment along with others became part of a joint venture
company between GE and Toshiba. In 2003, Mitsubishi Electric entered the joint venture.
This resulted in the formation of TM GE Automation Systems (also known as TMEIC GE) in
the U.S. and TMEIC in Japan. Mr. Guidry was promoted to the position of Business Unit
Leader, Metals in 2003 after the formation of the joint venture. In this role he was successful in
dramatically increasing the size and profitability of the Metals business. In late 2006, Mr.
Guidry was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of TMEIC GE. In April 2007, Mr. Guidry
became the President and CEO of TMEIC GE. In July 2011, TMEIC GE bought out the GE
holdings in the business and became TMEIC Corporation with headquarters in Roanoke,
In addition to his responsibilities as President and CEO of TMEIC Corporation, Mr. Guidry also
had responsibility from 2013 through 2016 to guide the TMEIC Group companies outside
Japan (TMEIC China, TMEIC India, TMEIC Asia, TMEIC Europe, and TMEIC South America)
in developing global strategies and business plans with the goal of significant Group Company
growth in established and emerging markets.
Today, Mr. Guidry holds the position of President and CEO of TMEIC Corporation. During his
tenure, the business has tripled in size while significantly improving profitability.
Dan Beem began serving as Hissho Sushi’s CEO in September 2017. Mr. Beem brings
to the company more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant and food industry,
holding CEO and President leadership positions at companies like Krispy Kreme, Cold
Stone Creamery and Kahala Brands. During his years as Krispy Kreme’s President of
International and Global Development, Dan helped significantly grow the company’s
international footprint, including Krispy Kreme’s business in Asia Pacific, Latin America,
Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is a dedicated visionary who leads based on
strong accountability and a customer-focused mindset, with a proven track record of
success in expansion, growth and brand transformation. Dan’s ability to lead, identify
new business opportunities, and create industry change will continue to help Hissho
make hand-crafted premium sushi accessible to people where they work, live and play.
Dan Grossman is the CEO of Chariot and Global Vice President of Microtransit at Ford Motor Company, overseeing all microtransit-related business at the company. Prior to joining Ford, Dan held leadership positions at General Motors’ Maven and Zipcar, where his expertise in helping large cities and enterprises develop shared mobility services helped launch those brands in more than 100 new markets in the US and internationally. Dan earned a Bachelor of Science in Business, Finance & Real Estate Development from California State University, Sacramento and is based in the Bay Area.
Innately driven to push boundaries and challenge the status quo, David heads MAGNA’s North America business driving investment, intelligence and innovation in his role as President. David has helped to set the vision and remit for MAGNA, which is to use best-in-class marketplace and audience intelligence to decision more quickly and execute with greater precision, efficiency, and effectiveness.David has been with IPG Mediabrands since 2001, when he launched the digital practice at UM as Interactive Media Director. A year later, he became a Senior Vice President, overseeing all digital media strategy, planning, buying and analysis operations for the agency. In 2006, David was named U.S. Director of Digital Communications. He was promoted in 2011 to Global Digital Officer, and then elevated in 2013 to Chief Investment Officer.David has been recognized as a “Media All-Star” by Adweek, one of the “Adweek 50” in 2012 and an “Online All-Star” by Media Magazine.David served as the Chair of the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) Digital Marketing Committee from 2009-2012, He serves on the IAB Video and Advisory Board, the Global Board of I-COM (International Conference on Media Management) and numerous advisory boards, including Google, AOL, Yahoo, and the Chairman’s Advisory Board of the MPA (The Association of Magazine Media).Outside of work, David enjoys spending time with wife and two daughters. A self-described gadget-guy and fitness fanatic – he can talk for hours about training tips and the latest in high-tech exercise gear.
As CEO, David has led Organic’s transformation from a digital agency focused on tactical output to the Interaction Agency, delivering data inspired, individually relevant, personalized interactions that engage consumers and deliver profitable results for clients. It’s his job to inspire teams and enable their best thinking for Organic’s industry leading client brands including Kimberly Clark, Frontline, HP, AT&T, and Wells Fargo. Prior to Organic, David served in leadership roles including President for Wunderman and Managing Director at Digitas. His agency experience includes heading Intercontinental Hotel Group’s Ambassador program as well as their Rewards Club, one of the industry’s largest hotel loyalty programs. David serves on numerous boards and provides strategic advice to founders and industry executives.
Chief Executive Officer at Organic
2012 - Present
President at Wunderman
2008 - 2012
Managing Director at Digitas
1999 - 2008
Brand Strategy Manager at Jaguar Cars/Ford Motor Company
1991 - 1999
Amos Tuck Business School
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
In 1998, DeeDee Towery founded Proactive Business Solutions, Inc. from the basement in her
home in Oakland, California. Today the company employees over 300 full-time and part-time
employees. Proactive is a managed service provider with three key lines of business: Outsourced
facilities management for scientific, engineering, medical or technical activities seeking staff
augmentation and technical/engineering project management; Cybersafety services for larger
organizations seeking to protect IT assets, confidentiality and privacy, and the organization’s people,
facilities and inventories; and IT Support Services for companies seeking premium levels of end-
user support, desk-help, business analysis/technical support
Recognized as one of the Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business, DeeDee Towery has
grown Proactive Business Solutions from its roots into the powerhouse consultancy it is today.
Surviving both the dot-com bubble and the Great Recession, this company continues to tackle the
challenges of modern businesses that do not have the time, resources, or knowledge to do it on their
own. Proactive commits to having the same level of service on every size project, and this model of
consistency has contributed to the firm’s growth and strengthened relationships with clientele.
DeeDee graduated Summa Cum Laude from UC Berkeley and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. A
native of Georgia, she lives in Danville, California with her husband John Gregoire.
Dick started with Restaurant Associates right out of college as back of the house steward. He eventually became General Manager of the famous “Newarker Restaurant” at Newark Airport. Over the years, Dick has held many regional and corporate operating positions. He became President of Restaurant Associates in 2003 and, under his leadership, grew the company three-fold in ten states. Currently, he serves as Chief Executive Officer of Restaurant Associates (a premiere division within Compass Group, the nation’s leading foodservice company), with a total volume for 2015 that exceeded 1 billion dollars.
In 2002 Dick oversaw all of the Compass food service operations at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. The massive effort comprised fifteen venues spread over 5,000 square miles and served 150,000 meals per day for seventeen days. It was the first time in Olympic history that one organization was responsible for hospitality catering, concessions and athlete feeding. The following summer Dick was responsible for feeding the young Pilgrims assembled during the 2003 World Youth Day in Toronto, Canada where 200,000 meals per day were served for seven days during the visit of Pope John Paul II.
Dick was born and raised in New York City and comes from a long family tradition in the hospitality business – his father owned a hotel in Monticello, New York and his grandfather was an executive chef in New York City. Dick is a graduate of Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York where he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for seven years. He is a Fellow of The Culinary Institute of America and a former board member of the Society for Foodservice Management. He was honored with a Conti Distinguished Professor Chair at Penn State University, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI and a Wise Professor at the University of Delaware.
In 2005, Dick received the Adirondack Medal of Honor for his twenty plus years of tireless work and leadership at Paul Smith’s College where he has been instrumental in taking the college from a two-year private school to a four-year college offering courses in culinary, hospitality management, liberal arts, forestry and environmental studies. In 2007 he received an honorary degree, a Doctor of Commercial Science from Paul Smith’s College and in 2009 granted the status of Trustee Emeritus.
In addition, Dick was awarded the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association 2005 Silver Plate Award, the industry’s premier accolade, for his achievements in the Foodservice Management category. In 2006 at the SFM Conference in Las Vegas, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes a lifetime of contributions and service to the onsite foodservice industry.
Emil Sayegh is an early pioneer of cloud computing and is recognized as one of the industry’s true veterans. A cloud visionary, he is credited with launching and leading the cloud computing and hosting businesses for HP, Rackspace, Codero, and Hostway. Emil built the Rackspace cloud business while serving as the company’s GM of the Cloud Computing Division. Earlier at Rackspace he served as VP of the Product Group and launched the company’s private cloud. He later moved on to HP where he served as VP of Cloud Service and initiated the company’s public cloud services. In 2012, Emil joined Codero Hosting as Chairman, President, and CEO and led the next generation of cloud computing with the hybrid cloud. In 2015 he led the successful sale of Codero to a consortium of telecom companies. Since 2016, Emil has held the position of President and CEO at Hostway in Austin, Texas. Hostway Services, Inc. is the world’s most trusted managed compliant hosting provider, delivering managed cloud infrastructure and application hosting across ten geographically diverse data centers around the world.
Emil holds nine patents in the fiber optics interconnect field, and is known as one of the “fathers of OpenStack,” having developed the open source software. He earned his Bachelors from the School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters in Technology Commercialization from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.
Eric Berry is the co-founder and CEO of TripleLift, a digital advertising platform focusing on consumer-centric publisher monetization. Eric was previously among the earliest employees at AppNexus, a startup that recently sold to AT&T For nearly $2B. Before he joined the startup community, Eric was an attorney at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and moonlighted as an unsuccessful standup comedian. Eric received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from MIT and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.
TripleLift is a profitable, VC-funded, Inc. 500 company. It has nearly 250 full-time employees and has operations in seventeen offices across five countries. TripleLift regularly ranks among the fastest growing companies in NYC and nationally, including being listed in each of the Crain's Fast 50, Inc. 500, and Deloitte Fast 500 for the past two years.
Eric lives on the Upper West Side with his wife and his nearly two-year-old daughter Maisie. His second daughter is due in a few months.
Erik Oberholtzer co-founded Tender Greens, a fine-casual restaurant concept with 24 locations and growing, in 2006 in Culver City, California. Himself a chef, Erik manages a growing team of talent along with some exciting new brands. He is the founder of the Tender Greens Sustainable Life Project, a program aimed to assist at-risk youth develop new skills and career intentions through structured culinary training and farm exposure. He is co-founder of P. Balistreri Salumi Company, the first of more chef legacy companies he has helped incubate and bring to market through Tender Greens. Erik did his undergraduate degrees in psychology at Temple University in Pennsylvania and culinary arts at Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island.
Frank Blake served as Chairman and CEO of The Home Depot from January 2007
through November 2014, and then as chairman through January 2015. Frank joined The Home Depot in 2002 as executive vice president, business development and corporate operations.
Frank previously served as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to that, he served in a variety of executive roles at General Electric, including senior vice president, Corporate Business Development.
Frank’s public sector experience also includes having served as general counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, deputy counsel to Vice President George Bush and law clerk to Justice Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Frank serves on the board of directors for the Georgia Aquarium, Proctor & Gamble,
Macy’s, and is currently serving as Chairman of the Delta and Grady Hospital boards.
Additionally, he sits on the Board of Trustees at Agnes Scott College. He holds a
bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a jurisprudence degree from Columbia
University School of Law.
Frank Longobardi, CPA, is Chief Executive Officer of CohnReznick LLP. In this role he leads the organization with a strategic focus on driving profitable growth, delivering world-class client service, and developing future leaders of CohnReznick. A longtime member of the Firm’s Executive Board, Frank also serves on the Board of Directors of CohnReznick Capital Markets Securities, LLC, a boutique investment bank and a subsidiary of CohnReznick that specializes in the energy sector.
Frank’s distinguished career has centered on providing strategic guidance for middle market clients. In addition to co-founding his own firm, which combined with CohnReznick (then J.H. Cohn) in 2007, Frank has held a number of leadership positions within the Firm. Prior to being elected CEO, he served as Regional Managing Partner – New England, where he led the Firm’s Connecticut and Massachusetts offices. His leadership experience also includes roles overseeing all of the Firm’s industry practices, managing an audit efficiency initiative, and the recent launches of CohnReznick’s innovation committee and its diversity and inclusion task force.
Frank is a committed corporate citizen, ensuring that the Firm and its people are dedicated to giving back to the community. A board member of the Arthritis Foundation, Frank is the 2016 recipient of its Legacy of Volunteer Service Award. He is also a board member and audit committee member for the UConn Foundation. With a focus on developing future leaders in the profession, Frank is a frequent speaker and coach within the Firm’s learning and development programs, and regularly shares his perspectives on leadership and other important industry issues with the media and at events.
Gary A. Griffiths is president and chief executive officer of iPass Inc. His goal is to drive Wi-Fi adoption to accelerate the company's growth. Griffiths has been described as a natural leader with a strong operational background and a wealth of relevant experience. Previously a member of iPass' Board of Directors, Griffiths was also co-founder and CEO of Trapit, Inc., a leading provider of SaaS-based applications for sales and marketing automation.
A 35-year veteran of the high-tech industry, Griffiths has led some of the Web's most innovative companies. He has held leadership positions at a number of large and prominent software companies. Prior to founding Trapit, Griffiths was president of products and operations at WebEx, acquired for $3B by Cisco Systems, Inc. Griffiths was also co-founder and chief executive officer at Everdream Corporation, a SaaS company, from 1999 to 2005, as well as chief executive officer at HEAT.net from 1996 until its acquisition by Sega, Inc. in 1999.
In addition, Griffiths has extensive experience overseeing financial and accounting matters as well as strategic initiatives at small technology companies. Griffiths currently serves on the board of directors of Silicon Graphics International Corp., (NASDAQ: SGI), and Janrain, Inc., a customer identity management SaaS company.
Griffiths holds a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from the US Naval Academy, as well as a Masters of Science in business administration from the George Washington University School of Business.
Gemma Postlethwaite became CEO of SourceMedia in April of 2018.
Prior to joining SourceMedia, Gemma was CEO of PIRA Energy Group where she led a major transformation of the company and established PIRA as the leading integrated, research and data provider to the global energy markets. In 2016 Gemma led the sale of PIRA Energy Group to S&P Global.
Postlethwaite has spent several years in leadership roles in the business information sector. Prior to joining PIRA Energy Group, she was SVP, Strategy, and Operations at Altegrity, a global provider of risk and compliance solutions; and Chief Product Officer and President of Infogroup’s SMB business unit. She also spent eight years at Thomson Reuters in leadership positions spanning product and commercial management and led the channel partnership business for the Investment and Advisory Division.
Gemma is Chairman of the Board of Stratfor and Advisory board member at BizEquity.
Gemma proudly serves on the New York Board of the All Stars Project whose mission is to transform the lives of youth and poor communities using the developmental power of performance, in partnership with caring adults.
She is a graduate of the University of Kent.
Geoffrey Cook is a serial entrepreneur and CEO. The Meet Group started out as a single brand, which Geoff grew to over $30 million in revenue before merging with a public company in a $100 million deal. Since then, Geoff has led the company to acquire three additional social apps -- Andreessen Horowitz backed Skout for $55 million, Tagged or $60 million, and LOVOO for $70 million.
Geoff has won a number of awards, including Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Philadelphia region. Geoff began his entrepreneurial journey in school, founding EssayEdge and ResumeEdge from his Harvard dorm.
When he’s not working, Geoff is writing. His debut middle-grade novel Veronica and the Volcano took First Place in the 2018 Reader Views Reviewer’s Choice Awards. It also landed a spot as Book of the Year Finalist in the Foreword Reviews literary contest. Geoff lives in Princeton, NJ, with his wife, two daughters, and son.
About The Meet Group:
The Meet Group (NASDAQ: MEET) is a portfolio of mobile social entertainment apps designed to meet the universal need for human connection. We leverage a powerful live-streaming video platform, empowering our global community to forge meaningful connections. Our primary apps, MeetMe®, LOVOO®, Skout®, and Tagged®, keep millions of mobile daily active users entertained and engaged and originate untold numbers of casual chats, friendships, dates, and marriages. Our apps, available on iPhone, iPad, and Android in multiple languages, use innovative products and sophisticated data science to let our users stream live video, send gifts, chat, and share photos. The Meet Group has a diversified revenue mix consisting of in-app purchases, subscription, and advertising, and we have offices in New Hope, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dresden, and Berlin. For more information, visit themeetgroup.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Harry is the founder and CEO of Kargo, the leading mobile brand advertising marketplace. Named as one of EY Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2016, he is the chief architect of Kargo’s strategy. Under his leadership over the past fifteen years, Harry has transformed Kargo into one of the advertising industry’s most innovative technology companies. His experience building Kargo from the ground up has given him a deep understanding of the latest trends. He is a frequent speaker and panelist at CES, IAB, Advertising Week, Websummit, Cannes and other advertising and technology conferences, and has been featured in The NYTimes, The Today Show, AdAge, Bloomberg, Fox Business, The Wall Street Journal, NPR and dozens of other media outlets. Harry graduated with honors from Harvard College, where he is now an advisor to young entrepreneurs through the Harvard Innovation Lab. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children.
Heather Neary was named President of Auntie Anne’s in November 2015. Heather joined Auntie Anne’s in 2005 and has held various roles in the company in which she was responsible for the oversight of marketing, communications, the franchise business consultant team, research and development, product innovation, and the franchisee leadership team. Most recently, Heather served as Vice President, Global Marketing. Prior to joining Auntie Anne’s, Heather held roles in marketing and as a managing editor for a business magazine. Heather received a B.A. from Millersville University and an M.B.A. from Penn State University. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Lancaster YMCA and the Board of Advisors for Penn State Harrisburg.
Howard M. Lorber is the Chairman of Douglas Elliman, one of the nation’s oldest and largest real estate brokerage firms with approximately $27.4 billion in annual sales volume and approximately 7,000 affiliated real estate agents. Mr. Lorber became Chairman of Douglas Elliman in 2003 and has since achieved record sales year over year. These record results are the product of Mr. Lorber’s transformational leadership and business acumen; and, under his direction, Douglas Elliman continues to display unprecedented economic might and influence in the industry.
Mr. Lorber plays an extremely active role in the company and prides himself on his ability to attract and retain the most talented sales personnel. In addition, Mr. Lorber is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Vector Group Ltd. and its wholly owned subsidiary, New Valley LLC, the parent company of Douglas Elliman. Mr. Lorber has actively managed Vector Group’s and New Valley’s diversified interests since 1994, including its approximately $200 million of investments in real estate ventures that own approximately $5 billion of assets.
In addition to his role at Vector Group, Mr. Lorber serves as Executive Chairman of Nathan’s Famous Inc., Vice Chairman of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. and a director of Clipper Realty Inc. Mr. Lorber serves on the board of the 92nd Street Y, the board of the Garden of Dreams Foundation, as Chairman of Southampton Hospital Foundation, and Co-Chairman of the Silver Shield Foundation—a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance towards the educational costs of children of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty. In 2017, Mr. Lorber received a Presidential appointment to serve as Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Mr. Lorber holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Master of Science degree in Taxation and an Honorary Doctorate from Long Island University, where he is also a trustee.
Ikdeep Singh is currently the President of Maybelline, Garnier and Essie brands; a position he took over in January 2017. In his role, he oversees all aspects of business leadership on the multi-billion-dollar portfolio of brands, and is responsible for accelerating their growth in the US market.
Mr. Singh joined L’Oréal Group in 2014 and served as the President of L’Oréal Canada’s Consumer Products Division. Under Mr. Singh’s leadership, the division outpaced market growth threefold, helping L’Oréal to become the largest and fastest growing manufacturer in Canada.
Prior to joining the L’Oréal Group, Mr. Singh spent 14 years at Procter & Gamble (P&G). During his time at P&G, Mr. Singh worked on various businesses in global innovation and strategy, regional marketing, and country operating roles across North America and Asia.
Born in India and raised in Canada, Mr. Singh is a graduate of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
For over 16 years, Jeff has been a leader in Life Sciences and Healthcare marketing and media. Jeff has had great success helping large media and marketing agencies launch or reignite their healthcare divisions. His experience in defining new strategies for clients in both HCP and Consumer Life Sciences marketing spans from media and analytics to digital solutions and global pricing strategies. Jeff’s leadership has garnered him a Ben Franklin Award for Most Innovative New Company, and he has been featured in numerous television and print news stories, including The Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Enterpriser Magazine and TSM News, among others, and was named one of the top 100 people to watch by Philadelphia Style magazine. He has spoken on numerous occasions as an expert in the fields of media, business development and technology at events such as Internet World and the Wharton Technology and Media Conference. Jeff has served on the board of numerous business and philanthropic organizations on both local and national levels, including the Medical Marketing Association, and has served as a Director of the Divine Providence Auxiliary Association for handicapped children.
Jesse Horwitz is the co-founder of Hubble – the direct-to-consumer, subscription contact lens brand that delivers affordable lenses to customers on a monthly basis.
Hubble was founded to solve a real pain point for consumers – contact lens wearers were overspending and overusing their lenses, which leads to discomfort and infection. Through a direct-to-consumer subscription-based model, Hubble changed the way consumers purchase contact lenses by offering them quality, daily disposable lenses at an affordable price – a more convenient and healthier option than what was previously available in the market.
Horwitz and his Co-Founder, Ben Cogan, have built a business that’s raised over $74 million to date making it one of the fastest growing direct-to-consumer e-commerce startups in the US.
Prior to Hubble, Horwitz studied economics and finance at Columbia University before attending Harvard Law School. He then secured an internship with Bridgewater Associates where he met Cogan.
In 2013, Horwitz joined the investment team for Columbia University’s endowment and during this time there built a strong network across the investor community, including Two River, a life sciences merchant bank that later invested in and brought together the seed round for Hubble.
Hubble is continuing to expand globally and has launched in Canada, the UK and most recently, the Netherlands.
Jill Kaplan is President of New York/New Jersey for United Airlines. In this role, she holds the
top leadership position for United in the region, and leads United's brand within the New York
metropolitan area, home to the carrier's New York/New Jersey hub at Newark Liberty
International Airport (EWR). Kaplan works closely with all integral departments including
government and community affairs, marketing, sales and more, as well as with the local airport
authority, to ensure United continues on its path to becoming the best airline for its customers,
employees and everyone it serves.
Kaplan joined United from Crain’s New York Business where she served as vice president and
publisher. In this role, she set strategy, defined the vision and branding mission, oversaw
product development and managed all aspects of the brand including sales, editorial, marketing,
digital, events, audience development, custom solutions and hosted Crain’s New York Stories
television series. Prior to Crain’s, Kaplan held management positions with The Wall Street
Journal and The Economist.
Kaplan serves on several boards in the NYC region. A graduate of Clark University, Kaplan and
her husband live with their two teenage daughters on the Upper West Side.
“As a leader, understanding that it is not about you, but about the mutual alignment of all
parties is the only path to true success; identifying mutuality is key.” – Joan Davison
Joan Davison is the CEO and President of HCMC Legal, the parent company of Hire Counsel and
Mestel & Company, and the national leader in legal recruitment, managed document review,
and M&A consulting. Under Joan’s leadership since 2017, the company has reached new
heights in its culture, vision, and talent.
Joan has nearly 30 years of valuable experience, with specific expertise in operations
management as well as business development, marketing, recruiting and staffing. She spent 18
years at Staff Management | SMX (a TrueBlue Company), where she rose from Director of
Operations to President, COO. Prior to HCMC Legal, Joan served as the CEO at Focus Logistics
Transportation. Her previous experience also includes leading the overall operations for
Forward Mobility Relocation Services.
Joan inspires success through her actions, and by maintaining a forward-looking vision as well
as aligning the company’s goals with those of the clients and professionals they serve in the
legal ecosystem. Throughout her career, Joan has been recognized for her leadership and
transformational management. She has been named in the Top 100 Most Influential Executives
in Staffing and Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing by Staffing Industry Analysts, and has
received the Gold Stevie Award in the Executive of the Year – Business Services category. Joan is
a featured industry speaker and regular contributor to industry publications. She is a member
of Vistage CEO group and has served as a Board Member of Seaton Corp and FLT. Joan earned
her B.A. in Business Administration and Management from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, IL.
Joan lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her family. She is an avid Chicago sports fan, a traveler
and an aspiring gardener.
Joe is the CEO and Co-Manager of American Landmark. An expert in value-added and distressed real estate repositioning, and multifamily acquisitions, operations and disposals, Joe has overseen four successful multifamily portfolio builds totaling 100,000 units, with a value in excess of $7 billion, over the last 15 years. He was the original founder of Landmark Apartment Trust, which sold its portfolio in 2015 for $1.9 billion.
Joe and his partners returned to the private sector in 2015 to begin a new portfolio build under the Electra America brand. As CEO of Electra America, Joe oversees all aspects of the company’s operations, from finance to property management. An honors graduate of Cornell University, Joe holds a Juris Doctor Degree from Delaware Law School. He is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations, including AIPAC, Hillel, and The Cornell University Tower Club.
John Hartmann has 20 years of corporate experience at the senior executive level, with 16 years spent in the hardware and home improvement sector. Hartmann joined True Value in 2013 and led the company through the creation and implementation of a strategic plan focused on critical reinvestments in the business to drive growth and profitability for True Value Company and the independent retailers it serves. Most recently, he led the company through a change in ownership to unlock over $200 million of shareholders’ equity and establish True Value as the only hardlines wholesale distributor with a globally recognized brand and no stock requirement.
Previously, Hartmann led New Zealand-based cooperative Mitre 10, where members saw profitable sales increases by over 25 percent during his four year tenure as Chief Executive Officer. Hartmann joined Mitre 10 from industrial distributor HD Supply, where he held a variety of roles before being appointed Chief Operating Officer of the electrical and plumbing divisions of the private equity-owned business. Prior to this, he spent several years in strategic planning and business development roles at The Home Depot.
Hartmann also previously served as vice president of corporate services for Cardinal Health after moving into the corporate world following a decade serving as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Hartmann holds a JD from Syracuse University College of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. He also received a certificate in the Accelerated Leadership Program from Emory University, Goizueta Business School.
Hartmann currently serves on the board of directors and audit committee of AmeriGas [NYSE: APU] and is a National Trustee for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
John Heffner’s career is built on multi-faceted experience with premier companies: Procter & Gamble, Chesebrough-Ponds (Unilever), Creative Nail Design (Revlon), OPI (Coty), and currently, with Drybar.
His strong record of managing “disruptor” brands, leading-edge marketing, and hands-on general management underscores his extensive background in the consumer goods/personal care space. In addition to his experience in corporate leadership, John has also played instrumental roles in a number of boards, including Kopari Beauty and NABE (North American Beauty Events). He has also served on several non-profit boards, including the PBA (Professional Beauty Association), where he was Chairman in 2006/2007, the City of Hope hospital and research center, and the NSWFF (Naval Special Warfare Family Foundation), which raises funds for the special needs of Navy SEAL families. John is also a longstanding member and former chapter chairman of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization).
John is also the recipient of the highest honor in the professional beauty industry: The City of Hope “Spirit of Life” award, presented to one beauty industry executive each year. John led an annual campaign in which $1.4 million was raised for breast cancer research.
John and his wife of 26 years, Kristine reside in Carlsbad, California, and their two sons, Andrew and Christopher are both in college.
In his spare time, John pursues his passion for music, exploring his extensive collection and studying the history of rock, blues, and Americana genres.
CEO, speaker and thought leader, Josh Onishi is head of Hana Group North America and Peace
Dining Corporation, the largest sustainable sushi retail organization in North America. Onishi is
instrumental in raising awareness and proliferation of high-quality sustainable sushi and pan-
Asian cuisine in North America, through innovative retail concepts. Of particular note is Onishi’s
commitment to global sustainability and responsible fishing practices, which are core principles
of his company and in practice at every level, from vendor selection to distribution, packaging,
energy consumption and more. In July of 2018, Onishi was named a “Sustainability Hero” by the
Business Intelligence Group, the organization’s highest honor. Under his leadership, Peace
Dining was the first sushi company to achieve ISO 14001:2015 certification, further
demonstrating the company’s sincere dedication to sustainability and confirming Peace Dining’s
commitment to identifying, assessing and improving the environmental impact of business. His
company is also a pioneer and leader in the growing “grocerant” trend in food retailing,
cultivating a restaurant experience within a grocery store environment. With more than 1400
employees, Peace Dining operates nearly 300 sushi boutiques in upscale supermarkets such as
Whole Foods, grocery stores, as well as a central production kitchen, serving wholesale
corporate dining clients. Onishi received his MBA at Columbia University and undergraduate
degree from Osaka University.
JuE Wong, Global CEO of Moroccanoil has a robust track record of propelling emerging brands to the mainstream while globalizing established brands in the USA and internationally, working with such brands as Cargill Inc., PepsiCo, Dial Corp., Murad Inc., NV Perricone MD Ltd., ZO Skin Health by Dr. Obagi, Astral Health and Beauty, and StriVectin. Most recently, Wong served as President at Elizabeth Arden.
Wong’s unconventional business background from Commodities Trading, where she led a $2.5 billion trading portfolio with trading reports spanning global time zones and working with diverse cultures, to working with a start-up right at the beginning of the economic collapse in 2008, are key contributing factors and testament to her success.
A proven global senior executive with experience and exposure in four continents and seven countries, Wong is considered as one of the ‘go-to’ progressive executives in driving intrinsic change to increase portfolio value through both traditional and emerging channels and mediums of commerce. Her latest success is captured in the Glossy Award for Best in Show and the most watched YouTube beauty video in May 2017, “From the desk of Liz Arden”. This video generated 90 million global views and $1.6 million in revenue with a $354,000 in total investment.
Originally from Singapore, JuE is an Honors graduate of The Australian National University where she was recognized with the International Alumnus Award of the Year in 2014. She was an exchange scholar at UCLA. In 2004, she was a Wall Street Journal nominee for the prestigious publication’s “Top 50 Women to Watch.” In 2015 she was The Stevie Award winner for Female Executive of the Year. In 2012 she was the Top 3 Finalists of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, an Honoree of WWAAC (Who's Who in the Asian American Communities), and recognised by The Little Pink Book as the Top 10 Women in Business.
JuE serves on the Boards of the NY Chapter of the YMCA and CEW. She is also a member of C200 and Women’s Forum of NY where membership is by invitation only.
Karen Kaplan joined Hill Holliday as a receptionist, hoping to save enough money for law school. Three decades later, she’s had just about every job there is to have at an agency, gaining valuable insight into how to approach each business challenge with a fresh perspective.
A key player in Hill Holliday’s significant growth as a national powerhouse, Karen is now Chairman & CEO overseeing the network of three agency brands: Hill Holliday, EP+Co, and Trilia Media. With an executive team comprised of over half women, Karen is also one of the few female agency chairmen in the country.
Honored by both Business Insider and Ad Age as one of the most influential women in advertising, she’s helped the agency develop a proven ability to help brands fight a daily share battle in the noisiest categories. The proof lies in the successes of such key clients as Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Party City, and Planet Fitness.
She has been a contributor to and featured in numerous publications including Ad Age, AdWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Huffington Post, and Inc., and is a sought-after speaker appearing on stages, television, and radio outlets around the country. She serves on the boards of directors for the Ad Council and numerous other civic and professional organizations; is a trustee of Fidelity Investments’ Strategic Advisers Funds and a director of Michaels Stores.
Kate was promoted to Global Chief Executive Officer of MRM//McCann in December 2018. In her
previous role as Global President and Chief Operating Officer, she was responsible for spearheading all
of the worldwide network’s strategies and policies as well as overseeing daily operations across all of
our departments and regions globally. Under her leadership, MRM//McCann experienced major growth
in its overall business, creative reputation and capabilities offering.
Her leadership has resulted in MRM//McCann being recognized with some of the industry’s highest
accolades in the last two years, including being designated two years in a row (2017 and 2018) as a
“Leader” in Gartner Inc.’s Magic Quadrant for Global Digital Marketing Agencies, as Ad Age’s B-to-B
Agency of the Year in 2018, as the Top Large Agency of the Year at the Digital Analytics Association’s
Kate first joined the McCann network in Toronto in 2006, rising in 2009 to become General Manager in
charge of the GM Canada business. In the spring of 2012, the Commonwealth//McCann agency was
created to handle the consolidated global Chevrolet account, with Kate joining the newly formed
Detroit-based unit as Director of Global Operations. In 2014, Kate was promoted to EVP, Executive
Director of Global Operations. She was named Global Chief Operating Officer for MRM//McCann in
2016, and was promoted to Global President in December 2017.
Kate’s success comes from more than 25 years of marketing communications experience throughout a
wide spectrum of categories. She knows how to build strong brands and deliver award-winning work,
and is uniquely skilled at providing the vision necessary to ensure global efficiency, consistency and
excellence. She began her career in 1992 in her native Canada working on the Procter & Gamble account
at Grey Canada. In 1994, she moved to Cossette Communications Marketing Toronto, where she
developed integrated communications solutions for accounts across diverse sectors such as retail,
financial services and telecom. It also led to her entry into automotive marketing. In 2004, she was
promoted at Cossette to VP, National Business Leader with responsibility for a range of accounts,
including General Motors of Canada Ltd, Shoppers Drug Mart, the Ontario Lottery Corporation and
Kate’s drive and passion are always evident, she brings a unique level of commitment to everything she
Katherine Kostereva is CEO and Managing Partner of bpm’online (www.bpmonline.com), the leading business process automation platform, focused on
accelerating marketing, sales, service and strategic applications for mid-size to
Fifteen years ago, Kostereva co-founded bpm’online as a small European startup with
five people on board without any external funding or venture capital. Today, bpm’online is a global software company with offices around the world and a team of 700+ engaged professionals dedicated to creating impeccable products. Bpm'online is the winner of many prestigious industry awards, including ISM Top 15 CRM Software, CRM Watchlist, CRM Market Leaders Awards, and 2017 ROI Award among others.
Bpm’online was positioned as a ‘leader’ in the Forrester’s CRM Wave for Mid-sized
suites, a leader in Nucleus Research’s 1h 2017 Technology Value Matrix for Customer
Relationship Management (CRM) and can be found in a vast number of CRM industry
reports by Gartner, Forrester and other leading research firms.
With over 15-years of experience in helping businesses build long-lasting relationships with customers, Katherine has always had a clear and solid vision of the CRM market and business development. She strongly believes that BPM and CRM synergy brings exceptional value to software users. That is why she has chosen the business course of creating a process-driven CRM with sound marketing, sales and customer service capabilities delivered via a single platform on an engaging interface.
Kelly Roddy was named President of Schlotzsky's in December 2007,
and since then he has built a strong management team, introduced
new programs and launched a systemwide rebranding effort, all of
which have helped to accomplish over a decade of consecutive sales
growth. He joined the company from H-E-B ® , a century old retailer
with more than 315 locations throughout Texas and Mexico. While at
H-E-B, Kelly served as Director of Sales and Marketing and later
became Director of Retail Operations. Before his tenure at H-E-B, he
was Vice President and Executive Director of New Business
Development for Scholastic Corporation, the renowned national book
publisher, distributor and retailer. Prior to that, he spent eight years
with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in a variety of positions. In 2011, Kelly
received his Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) designation from the
Institute of Certified Franchise Executives and is also a member of the
International Franchise Association (IFA). Kelly currently serves as a
director on several boards, including Baylor's Marketing Board,
Hankamer School of Business Board and the Caritas Board, among
Krish leads BlueJeans strategy and innovation, redefining the way organizations communicate, and brings more than 25 years of successful leadership and innovation to BlueJeans Network. Krish has been founder and CEO of several successful startup ventures, including Topspin, a datacenter virtualization player (acquired by Cisco in 2005) and Internet Junction (acquired by Cisco in 1995). Prior to BlueJeans, Krish was Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) at Accel Partners, where he explored HD video technologies including the current idea behind BlueJeans and the GM for the Server Virtualization business unit at Cisco Systems, responsible for architecting Cisco's datacenter and desktop virtualization solutions.
One of the world’s leading authorities on customer experience, Lior Arussy is an experienced
change practitioner, success accelerator, corporate culture expert, and founder of design and
transformation firm Strativity Group. Called “a triple threat of transformation” by co-founder
and founding editor of Fast Company William Taylor, Arussy is a unique, critical, global voice
helping people worldwide achieve ultimate success.
Prior to founding Strativity Group, Arussy spent his career in executive positions at companies
like Hewlett-Packard. With an understanding that traditional change management is not working,
Arussy has worked with many of the world's top brands including Mercedes-Benz, Royal
Caribbean Cruises, Thomson Reuters, HSBC, E.ON, FedEx, SAP, University of Pennsylvania,
and Johnson & Johnson, among others, to recognize that the key to truly driving change for
success is in putting employees at the center of transformation efforts. His methodology enabled
Mercedes Benz to take the number 1 position in customer satisfaction in just two years. Another
client, a European logistics corporation, leaped from 3% annual organic growth to 44% annual
organic growth in just two years.
The recipient of the 2015 SmartCEO Circle of Excellence Award, Arussy was also presented the
2015 “Influential Leaders” award by CRM Magazine and named the #2 Top Global Guru in
Customer Service by Global Gurus. Consulting Magazine also named Strativity “A Small Jewel”
in 2017 and one of the fastest growing for 3 years in a row (2015, 2016 and 2017). Strativity was
also included in the Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private
companies, five years in a row.
In addition to his work with Strativity, Arussy is the author of seven books including the
forthcoming Next is Now: 5 Steps for Embracing Change – Building a Business that Thrives into
the Future (May 2018, Simon & Schuster), and his self-published Exceptionalize it! (2015),
which has sold over 30,000 copies to date. Arussy has written over 250 articles for publications
around the world, including the Harvard Business Review, and multitude of magazines and
media outlets have cited his work, including MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, the Wall Street
Journal, Fast Company, CRM Magazine, Smart CEO Magazine, and Inc. magazine.
Arussy completed his undergraduate degree at Case Western Reserve University and received his
MBA from Weatherhead School of Management. He resides in New Jersey with his wife and
five children. When he’s not sampling fine chocolates or collecting Swiss watches, he enjoys
exploring new cultures—2.6 million miles on United so far.
Lisa Ingram is President and CEO of White Castle System, Inc. Lisa is the fourth Ingram family member to serve as President of the iconic company – the nation’s first fast food chain founded in 1921. Lisa is also a member of the White Castle Board of
Lisa’s career has been focused on creating value for her family business through strategic planning, revitalizing an iconic brand, balancing team member contributions while delivering on results, and injecting innovation into the daily culture.
In her role as President and CEO, Lisa oversees the entire company strategic and P&L execution. The company has 380 company owned restaurants in the Midwest and East Coast as well as a retail products division that sells White Castle burgers in grocery stores, club stores and convenience stores nationwide. In addition, the company has 5 manufacturing plants that supply all the meat and buns to the restaurant and retail divisions to ensure quality production and food safety.
Prior to joining White Castle in 2000, Lisa worked for a computer supplies wholesale
distributor doing purchasing, new product development and marketing management. Lisa also worked for US Senator John Glenn during a college internship and for Hewlett Packard on a European Channel strategy during her MBA internship.
Lisa is active in the Columbus community and currently serves as Chair of the United
Way of Central Ohio Board and serves on the OhioHealth Board as Chair of Quality of Care Committee. Lisa is also a board member/advisory board member of several smaller companies including Homage, Hot Chicken Takeover, Acre, and Common Cider Company. In addition, Lisa served on the board of the National Restaurant Association for 4 years and is currently a member of the Columbus Partnership.
Lisa received her BBA degree from Southern Methodist University and her MBA
from The Ohio State University. In 2004, Lisa was named by Business First for their
“40 under 40 award”. In 2014, Lisa received the Go Beyond Award from the Fisher
College of Business at the Ohio State University for her contributions to the community. In addition, Lisa was a member of the 2014 Smart50 class honored by
Smart Business Magazine where she also won the Innovation Award. In 2016, Lisa
received the CHART Commitment to People Award, and was honored by Columbus CEO magazine as the 2016 CEO of the Year for large for-profit companies.
In 2017, Lisa received the Honorary Eagle Scout Award and the Golden Chain Award.
An American success story! Breaking the glass ceiling 32 years ago - after 10 years in clinical practice and 6 years as a Vice President with large chain organizations - Louise, a Registered Nurse with a Masters from the Bloomberg Johns Hopkins School of Public Health founded ACCESS Nursing Services from her apartment in Manhattan, (and no money in her pocket),. Today, ACCESS Nursing enjoys the reputation as a leading regional provider of Clinical Services & Nursing Personnel. “ACCESS” cares for organizations and individuals, from the Bedside to the Boardroom, of large healthcare systems located in NY, NJ and Maryland. ACCESS Nursing is the 3 rd largest female-owned business in New York, and is of the top 3% of successful companies in North America.
Louise considers her “Special Sauce” to be her ability to listen to the client’s problems and develop a clinically strategic Nursing Management & Workforce Solution that provides Better Care at a Lower Cost while keeping Patients and Providers HAPPY!. A mother of 2 living in Westchester, NY - Louise continues to own the company 100% herself and ACCESS’ 10 branches employ over 2,000 caregivers and manages $35 million in Revenues.
No matter what the challenge, Louise is a tough competitor that loves to WIN! Her trophy cabinet contains awards for tennis, golf, skiing, marathon running, boating, hiking, biking and swimming. Weadock believes the required “COMMITMENT to Winning” in business is No Different than in sport! Louise is on the Board of Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and she is considered a thought leader in the area of Pediatric Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Marc Jourlait was appointed CEO of Kodak Alaris in January 2017.
Prior to Kodak Alaris, Marc was Deputy CEO at Navico, the global leader in Marine Electronics, a Private Equity (Altor) owned portfolio company bought by Goldman Sachs in 2016. Before Navico, he was Vice President and General Manager of Bose Europe, where he ran the entire European operations, sales and marketing, retail and distribution across all of Europe for Bose. Previously Marc held senior general management, product and marketing positions over the course of his 3 decade career in some of the world's leading companies including Apple, HP, Seagate and Technicolor.
With triple citizenship (France, USA, Canada), he has lived and worked around the world, including France, the United States both in Silicon Valley and New York City, Japan and Canada.
Maria Molland is the CEO of Thinx, the feminine hygiene company behind the eponymous leak-proof underwear brand. Maria has over 22 years of experience in the development andmanagement of marketplace, e-commerce, digital media, and technology businesses. She brings broad, international experience and experience scaling different sized companies, from small teams to hundreds of people. In past roles, Maria was an advisor to eBay’s CEO as well as Chief European Officer at Fab.com. Prior to Fab, Maria held global executive roles at corporations like Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones, Yahoo, and Disney. Maria received her BA in Economics, Phi Beta Kappa, from Northwestern University and her MBA from Harvard Business School.
Marianne Kirkegaard leads CSM's overall business performance and operations while also guiding the company's long-term strategic direction.
Marianne was named President and CEO in 2016. Since joining CSM in 2011, she has served in senior marketing, sales and commercial roles, including senior vice president, products and marketing, and senior vice president, markets and chief commercial officer.
In these senior leadership positions, she spearheaded the globalization and digitization of the company's sales and marketing capabilities and led the development of new category and channel strategies as well as the optimization of the company's product portfolio. She was instrumental in building CSM’s key relationships with customers and suppliers across all regions.
Prior to joining CSM, Marianne spent 20 years at Unilever, she held various sales, product and general management roles of increasing seniority, including general manager of Unilever Ice Cream in Central and Eastern Europe, and commercial director of Central and Eastern Europe.
Kirkegaard is a member of the board of directors of AAK, a Swedish-Danish company producing high value-added vegetable oils and fats, and of Dansk Supermarked Group, the market leader in retail in Denmark.
She holds an Executive M.B.A. from the Scandinavian International Management Institute and a Master's degree from the Aarhus School of Business.
Mr. Flinker is a co-founder and President of FLS. He has served in his position since the Company was founded in 1987. Together with Mr. Di Girolamo, Mr. Flinker manages the firm's day-to-day operations and is actively involved in commercial activities with key customers.
In addition to his responsibilities in the Company and as a member of the Board of Directors of PROCURE, Mr. Flinker sits on the board of the Jewish General Hospital, on the Board of Mount Sinai Hospital and has sat on the boards of Solomon Schechter Academy and the Israel Cancer Research Foundation. He has also been actively involved in the Federation of Combined Jewish Appeal.
Mr. Flinker graduated from Concordia University in 1977 with a B.Comm., majoring in accounting. Mr. Flinker currently resides in Montreal, Canada with his wife and four children.
Michael Schreiber serves as Executive Vice President & President of Altice USA News where he oversees the company’s news properties, including the U.S. division of international news and current affairs network i24NEWS and the hyperlocal News 12 Networks, which serves local communities in the New York tri-state area.
Previously, Mr. Schreiber served as Altice USA’s Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer, where he was responsible for all programming-related developments, negotiations, and agreements covering all content platforms companywide. In this role, he was the lead negotiator for the company’s key programming agreements and renewals, including various new media and digital content deals, programming-related advertising and data agreements, and the carriage deals to launch i24NEWS in the U.S. Mr. Schreiber will continue to serve as an advisor on certain content and programming initiatives.
Prior to joining Altice USA, Mr. Schreiber held the position of Senior Vice President, Content Acquisition for Comcast Corporation where, among other responsibilities, he oversaw acquisition for platforms including VOD, TV Everywhere, Streampix, Watchable, and Advanced Advertising. Before joining Comcast, Mr. Schreiber worked at NBCUniversal in a number of roles across the following divisions: Advertising Sales, Digital Distribution, Local Media, and Business Development. Additionally, he assisted in the founding, development and launch of Hulu.
A leader in the industry, Schreiber has had his work published in “Making TV A Two-Way Street: Changing Viewer Engagement Through Interaction.” He is a certified General Electric Six Sigma Black Belt and is also a graduate of General Electric’s Experienced Commercial Leadership Program.
Mr. Schreiber graduated from the University of Virginia and has a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Mike Slessor has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of FormFactor (NASDAQ:
FORM) since 2014 and as a Director since 2013. Mike also served in various executive roles at
the Company following FormFactor’s 2012 acquisition of MicroProbe, where he was President
and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining MicroProbe in 2008, he held various product-
marketing and applications-engineering positions in the semiconductor industry, primarily with
KLA-Tencor, and currently serves on the SEMI North American Advisory Board. Mike received
his Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Physics from the California Institute of Technology and his B.A.Sc.
in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia.
Najeeb Ghauri is the founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of NetSol Technologies, Inc. "NetSol", a U.S. corporation providing global business services and enterprise application solutions to private and public sector organizations worldwide. In the early years of the Company, Mr. Ghauri was responsible for restructuring the company's business model into that of an IT company and was instrumental in the completion of the NetSol Technologies IPO in 1998, at that time NetSol was the first IT Company with operations in Pakistan to be listed on NASDAQ. He also spearheaded the successful listing of NetSol (NTWK) on the NASDAQ Capital Market (formerly known as Mirage Holdings, Inc.) in December 1999.
NetSol grew from just five people to 1,800 employees worldwide. NetSol Pakistan Ltd., a subsidiary of NetSol Technologies, Inc. has over 1500 programmers and engineers in Lahore and Karachi offices. NetSol revenue grew $100K revenue in 1998 to $65MN in 2016 and tracking $100MN by 2017. NetSol has a global footprint with subsidiaries in Pakistan, US, UK, China, Thailand, Germany, Australia and Saudi Arabia. Today, NetSol has nearly 300 plus customers worldwide mostly fortune 500 companies.
Mr. Ghauri was also instrumental in listing NetSol’s Pakistani subsidiary on the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE). In addition, Mr. Ghauri helped establish the first U.S. company listed on both NASDAQ Capital Market (NASDAQ CM: NTWK) and (NASDAQ DUBAI: NTWK).
Mr. Ghauri represented NetSol as he presided over ringing of the bell ceremonies several times on the NASDAQ Exchange platform in New York City. He has been twice nominated in the United States for the Ernst & Young 'Entrepreneur of the Year', once in 2001 and again in 2008.
Prior to launching NetSol in the U.S., Mr. Ghauri had over 15 years of combined marketing and management experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Unilever and Atlantic Richfield Corporation (ARCO). He received his bachelor's degree from Forman Christian College, a B.S from Eastern Illinois University and earned an MBA in marketing from the Drucker School of Management at the Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California.
Mr. Ghauri is also active in various charitable and educational non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide. He is a founding board member of the Pakistan Human Development Fund, which provides educational tools to children in underdeveloped areas of Pakistan. He is also a founding board member and is a former Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Pakistan Business Council in Washington, D.C., a U.S. Chamber of Commerce body and the leading private sector association in the United States promoting trade and investment between the United States and Pakistan.
Mr. Ghauri is a Pakistan born US citizen. He is based in NetSol Technologies Headquarters in Los Angeles, California and Lahore, Pakistan simultaneously.
Neale S. Godfrey is a financial voice for women and a pioneer for the topic of "kids and money." Neale is a 27-time author with a #1 New York Times Best Seller, Money Doesn't Grow On Trees: A Parent's Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children. Additionally, she is a contributor to Kiplinger and enjoys regular discussions on her newly launched web platform. Join the conversation at www.NealeGodfrey.com
Starting her journey in the financial industry with The Chase Manhattan Bank in 1972, Neale joined as one of the first female executives, and later became President of The First Women's Bank and founder of The First Children's Bank. In 1989, Neale formed her own company, Children's Financial Network, Inc., whose mission is to educate children and their parents about money.
After founding her company, Neale became the first to develop money curricula for children and young adults, Pre-K through High School, entitled The One and Only Common Sense/Cents Series, as well as a CD-ROM called MoneyTown. She currently has three iOS video gaming apps, GreenStreets: Unleash The Loot! and GreenStreets: Shmootz Happens!, which both hit #1 in the Education Gaming Category; as well as her latest app, GreenStreets: Heifer International, a wonderful collaboration with Heifer International teaching kids and parents how to connect the virtual and real worlds.
Neale has served as a National Spokesperson for such companies as: Aetna, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Fidelity, while appearing as a financial expert on programs, such as; The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, and The Today Show as well as in the PBS special Your Money, Your Children, Your Life. Neale was also a former Nationally Syndicated Columnist for the Associated Press.
Neale has served on White House and Governor's Task Forces, as well as on the Board of Directors of The NY Board of Trade, UNICEF, University of Charleston, Morris County Chamber of Commerce, UN Women, and YPO. She also serves on NJ's State Employment and Training Commission Council on Gender Parity in Labor and Education as well as NJ's Science and Technology Workforce Subcommittee.
Neale helped found a YPO global entity called RISE, an international social and ecological movement and incorporated into WorldMerit (WM). WM connects Millennials in 160 countries to address global issues. She is also a faculty member of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) and VWise, Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship, operated by The Institute for Veterans and Military Families, The Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University. Neale has been honored with awards such as "Woman of the Year," "Banker of the Year," "Child Advocate of the Year," and the Femme Award from the United Nations. Neale was recognized as one of New Jersey's "50 Best Women in Business," was National Winner of w2wlink's Ascendancy Awards for Business Women, and has been awarded Garden State Woman of the Year fro 2011. She was the recipient of UNCF's Outstanding Community Service Award in 2012 and received the 2013 Women of Influence Award from the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey. Also in 2013, Neale was extremely honored to graduate from The National Security Seminar at the U.S. Army War College.
More recently, Neale earned the Muriel Siebert Lifetime Achievement Award for her trailblazing work on financial literacy, and achieved the National Honoree designation from WomenInBusiness.org. She currently serves on the Board of Advisors for DriveWealth, a registered broker/dealer with a low cost, mobile investing platform, and Greenlight, a permission-based spending card for children, giving parents the ability to "greenlight" transactions. She is also an Executive in Residence at the Columbia Graduate School of Business. Despite these achievements, what her kids really think is cool is that she was a question on Jeopardy! and an answer in The New York Times crossword puzzle.
Noah Lapine is the President and an owner of Lapine ( www.lapineinc.com ), a Consumer
Engagement Agency. Lapine works with some of the world’s most recognized brands,
connecting brand strategy with merchandise to enable transformative consumer
engagement and drive powerful business results. By offering end-to-end solutions built on
the innovative combination of meaningful insights, scalable technology and quantifiable
process efficiencies, Lapine has become an essential partner to the clients they serve.
Noah joined Lapine in 1996 and has subsequently been involved in all phases of the agency’s
development. In 2017 the Lapine company founded Effectus Partners, a Miami-based
Business Process Innovation company that architects and implements process efficiencies
and solutions for major corporations. Noah serves as Chairman of Effectus Partners. Prior to
joining Lapine, Noah served as a corps member in Teach for America where he taught
seventh grade English to students in rural Georgia.
Noah serves on the Board of Directors for Stamford Academy, a Stamford-based charter
high school, and the Mill River Park Collaborative. He is also a member of the Yong
President’s Organization (YPO) and a Corporator for First County Bank. Noah received his
undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester, and his Masters of Public
Administration in public policy from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service
as a Dean’s Scholar. He lives in Stamford, CT with his wife and three children.
Oded is mostly known to people as “Max, the Bald Man” founder of the international chocolate
restaurant chain – Max Brenner. (www.maxbrenner.com)
Oded started his entrepreneurial journey at 22 after the military service in Israel. While he was
planning to fulfill his dream to become a writer, he traveled in Europe and worked in world-
renowned confectionary and desserts establishments to finance his writing passion. After six
years alongside famous chefs such as George Maushagen from Germany, Pierre Herme from
Paris and chocolatier Michelle Chaudun he returned to Israel and started to write his “chocolate
novel” by creating a new chocolate culture experience- chocolate cafes that enable the
customers to fulfill their profound rapport with the magical qualities that are bundled in
chocolate. He always says : “I don’t invent anything in chocolate. It all exists in people’s hearts
and minds. I just express it in the most evident way- a way that everyone imagines chocolate
and wishes to experience it. Until now, chocolate was sold in a manner highly contradicting its
sensual, warm and joyful character. I have “freed” chocolate from its cage. I let people
experience it to its fullest”.
In 2006 oded opened his first United States location of Max Brenner, in Manhattan’s Union
Square and grew the brand to over 70 restaurants worldwide including USA, Australia, China,
Russia, South Korea & Israel.
In 2012 he sold the brand to the largest food cooperation- Strauss Group- and sketched his
newest revolution in the chocolate industry: Blue Stripes Cacao Shop (www.bluestripes.com); A
concept that is revealing the unknown properties of the cacao superfood pulp, fresh grinding of
beans for the preparation of chocolate beverages and a quick serve operation that serves the
sweet cravings of consumers on the go.
Blue Stripes first location launched in July 2018 and have already gained a crowd of fanatic
followers that are becoming loyal brand ambassadors telling the new approach to the world of
Oded is currently the CEO of Orbise Corp , a global company based in NYC, with the mission of disrupting the financial services market by allowing faster consumer adoption of CryptoCurrency and Blockchain-driven related financial services like investment instruments, loans, deposits, remittances and other products, so that all consumers globally can leverage their digital assets and make them a part of their everyday financial life.
Previously Served as the CEO of CeleritiFinTech, a technology and professional services company with 9 banking software platforms, over 600 employees globally, and annual revenues of over $150M, working with top 100 global banks.
Prior to joining CeleritiFinTech, Oded has served as VP of Digital Solutions at McKinsey & Company ,
leading the Digital Solutions practice.
Helping the C-suite of fortune 500 financial services companies deliver high-impact digital strategies at
scale, legacy platform modernization strategy and design, and enable fast-speed to market, at the lowest
An established leader , industry thought leader and keynote speaker, Oded is at the forefront of technological innovation, specializing in visioning and developing cutting-edge emerging Banking Digital Transformation channels.
Oded is renowned member of the global financial technology community, led Core banking startup to an exit, pioneered Mobile Banking and Mobile Payments in the US, and was awarded the BAI “Best of Web” award for launching the industry’s first ever Facebook Banking Application.
Expert in creating Fintech ecosystems, from incubation to go-to-market to exits, with deep domain expertise with Fintechs in Blockchain, AI, RPA, RegTech , and digital disruption."
Pam Wasserstein has been the CEO of New York Media since May 2016,
leading premium media brands New York Magazine, Vulture, The Cut,
Intelligencer, Grub Street, and The Strategist. During her time as CEO,
New York has received six National Magazine Awards, a Pulitzer Prize,
and been named Magazine of the Year by both Adweek and Ad Age;
Wasserstein received a 2018 Spirit of ABNY Award recognizing
distinguished service to New York City, and was named to Crain’s New
York’s 40 Under 40 class of 2017. She has spoken at SXSW, Advertising
Week and the American Magazine Media Conference, and on Time's Up
panels at the Tribeca Film Festival and Digitas NewFront, among other
venues. Before becoming CEO, Wasserstein served as co-chair and head
Prior to joining New York Media, Wasserstein worked at Tribeca Enterprises, most recently as
vice president, corporate development. Before that she worked at Apollo Global Management,
the private equity firm, where she evaluated potential investments and managed existing
portfolio companies, and as a corporate lawyer at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz LLP. She is the
chair of the board at Spaceworks, a nonprofit cultural community development organization,
and a board member of the Charles H. Revson Foundation. A graduate of Harvard College and
Harvard Law School, she lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.
Patrick J. Brosnan is the founder and CEO of Brosnan Risk Consultants. Mr. Brosnan is a former NYPD detective with extensive field experience in the Robbery/Gun Squad and the Organized Crime Control Bureau.
Mr. Brosnan was selected as the New York State Police Officer of the Year for investigative skills that led to the arrests of over 900 violent criminals and the seizure of over 300 loaded handguns during his career and was heralded by the Governor as a “one-man war on crime in New York City.” He was injured in a line-of-duty shooting and retired from the NYPD as one of the most highly-decorated detectives in the history of the department.
Mr. Brosnan has honed his extensive government experience in fraud detection and prosecution into a unique investigative resource for the private sector. As the CEO of Brosnan Risk Consultants, he oversees all protective and investigative operations for Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, large law firms and high-net worth individuals.
He founded The Brosnan Group in 1996 and the firm transitioned into Brosnan Risk Consultants in 1999 as the client demand for risk mitigation services grew. As Chief Executive Officer of Brosnan Risk Consultants, he has provided a wide range of collaborative consulting, leadership, management and public safety network services to both the public and private sector in the U.S. and abroad. The firm has grown from a local detective agency into a full-service investigative, protective and intelligence firm with a global network of clients. As part of Pat’s vision of creating a truly unique risk mitigation company, he staffed the firm with not just law enforcement veterans but also with experienced investigators from diverse fields including legal, finance, banking and journalism.
Mr. Brosnan holds a Bachelors Degree in English and a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice. Pat joined Fox News in 2004 as an analyst specializing in criminal justice policy and practice, domestic intelligence gathering and the role of local law enforcement in counter-terrorism. His analyses have appeared across the various platforms of Fox News and their digital properties. He presently serves as a frequent guest analyst and subject matter expert on several other news programs including CNN, MSNBC and Inside Edition and has authored numerous articles in the national media on a wide range of public safety subjects.
Paul is the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Postmedia Network (a Canadian news media company representing more than 160 brands across multiple print, online, and mobile platforms).
Prior to this he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Post; President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club, and spent 16 years with Sun Media Corporation, eventually taking the role of President and Chief Executive Officer. Paul has a proud record of public service including a record four terms (11 years) as the Chairman of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. He served as the Chairman of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation from 2010 until 2013. He is Chairman of the board of RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust. He also serves on the board of Cargojet Inc. and serves as Vice Chairman of the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care.
Paul graduated from the University of Toronto in 1962 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering.
In 1999, Paul was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2001, he received an Honorary Doctorate (Hon.D.Eng). from Ryerson University. In 2004, Paul was honoured to receive the University of Toronto's Engineering Alumni Medal. In January 2010, he received Ontario's Highest Honour - the Order of
Paul was Chairman of the Molson Indy Board of Trustees from 1987 to 2005 and also Chairman of its successor, the Grand Prix Charitable Foundation of Toronto, from 2006 to 2007.
In 1979, Paul and his wife Gina founded The Herbie Fund, a charity that provides financial support so that children from around the world can receive life-al and life-saving surgical treatment at The Hospital for Sick Children. To date, hundreds of children have been treated through The Herbie Fund.
Paul is married to the artist, Gina Godfrey. They have three sons and nine grandchildren.
Paul Maleh, who joined Charles River Associates (CRA) in 1989, has served as President and CEO
since 2009. Mr. Maleh is an experienced and energetic leader who has been an integral
member of CRA’s management team for more than two decades. In the year prior to his
appointment as CEO, Mr. Maleh served as Chief Operating Officer during which he
demonstrated strong leadership and vision in a challenging economic environment. Before
serving in these corporate roles, Paul was a client-facing consultant, rising through the ranks
and ultimately leading CRA’s Finance Practice through a period of unprecedented growth. In
addition to his management experience, Mr. Maleh is an authority in the application of financial
and economic theory to complex business matters.
Peter co-founded SH Franchising with Tony Bonacuse in 2002 and is the current CEO for Senior Helpers. He has led the organization to become a national leader in non-medical in-home care for seniors. He also serves as the President of the Home Care Association of America’s board of directors. He has devoted his career to helping in-home care excel and to improve service at all levels.
CEO and Co-Founder of Senior Helpers
President of the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA)
CEO Member of the Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC)
CEO of Doctors Express Franchising
VP of Sales – Intuit
Division President and Chief Marketing Officer of Interpro Medical Solutions / Prolease
CEO and President of Professional Staff Management
Marketing Executive at Ernst & Young
VP of Marketing and Sales at ADP
Ram Vasudevan is founder and CEO of QuisLex, a leading Legal Services Provider and has led the company from the initial 3 employees in 2004 to more than 1,200 today. Ram was named a Legal Trailblazer and Pioneer by the National Law Journal in 2013. Prior to QuisLex, Ram spent eight years advising clients on corporate and M&A transactions with Skadden Arps and Sidley Austin in New York. Prior to his legal career, Ram worked as a consultant for a multi-national consulting company, managing projects for large financial services clients. He received his Master of Laws from Columbia University School of Law, his MBA from Cornell University, and his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Madras.
QuisLex is an award-winning legal services provider that specializes in delivering the benefits of operational excellence, process rigor, and measurable quality to complex legal work. Our expertise in managed document review, contract and compliance management, legal spend management, and legal operations consulting enables clients to focus on the issues that demand their substantive expertise while we solve the challenges of resource constraints, cost management, flexibility, and scale.
Since its founding in 2004, QuisLex has been a pioneer in the legal services industry. With more than 1,000 attorneys, process experts, statisticians and linguists, QuisLex continues that tradition today by delivering solutions that reduce costs, mitigate risks, and enhance quality. The company's expertise in providing these benefits has been acknowledged by both clients and the legal industry at large, including being recognized by Chambers & Partners as a 'Band 1 Legal Outsourcing Provider,' New York Law Journal as a 'Top Managed Document Review Provider,' and the IACCM as its 'Outstanding Service Provider for Contract Management Solutions.'
Randy Wootton is the CEO of Percolate. Randy has been a leader and strategic innovator in the marketing technology industry for over 20 years.
Prior to Percolate, he served as CEO of leading predictive marketing platform Rocket Fuel, where he re-positioned the company and led its sale to Sizmek. During his career, Randy has held senior positions at Microsoft and Salesforce. He serves on the Board of Directors at Guidant Financial and Rally Point Networks and is a graduate of Harvard Business School, St. John’s College and the U.S. Naval Academy.
Richard A. “Dick” Ehst is president and chief operating officer and a founder, along with Chairman and CEO, Jay S. Sidhu, of the $10 billion-asset Customers Bank headquartered in Wyomissing, PA with offices in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
Dick previously served as executive vice president, Commercial Middle Market, Mid-Atlantic Division of Sovereign Bank, a $90 billion-asset financial institution serving eight states in Northeast U.S. He served as Sovereign’s regional president for Berks County from 2004-2009 and as managing director of corporate communications from 2000-2004.
Prior to joining Sovereign Bank, Dick was an independent consultant to more than 70 financial institutions in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Sovereign, where he provided guidance on regulatory matters, mergers and acquisitions and risk management.
As a consultant to Sovereign, Dick worked with the Commercial Development Group to identify and develop corporate and municipal relationships for the bank.
Dick began his banking career in 1968 following his service as a United States Marine during the Vietnam War. He attended Albright College, is a member of the Albright Board of Trustees and chairs the Enrollment Management Committee. Dick is a graduate of the Commercial Bank Management Program at Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
He is often asked to speak to national and international audiences on the financial landscape. He was the keynote speaker at the 21st International Seminar on Finance in Tokyo, Japan. The seminar was sponsored by the Japanese Financial News Network. He has also been the featured speaker at financial conferences in the United Kingdom.
Dick currently serves as an elected board member of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, and is Chairman of the Chamber’s Education Foundation. He has been a guest at the White House regarding education-related issues.
He also serves as a Director of the Reading Hospital Health System Foundation and has served over 40 years on several professional and not-for-profit boards in eastern Pennsylvania.
Dick and his wife, Angela, reside in Reading, PA. They have five daughters and 11 grandchildren.
Richard (Rich) Garnick is renowned for fundamentally altering the competitive landscape in the $800 billion IT & BPO Services Industry by leveraging a Global Delivery Model.
Rich has over 30 years of experience as a Change Agent in general business management, turnaround operations and financial engineering in high-tech, IT/Software services, BPO, global service delivery models, industrial distribution, e-commerce and telecommunications industries. He has a diverse background, with deep knowledge of all aspects of merger/ acquisition activity, pre & post deal implementation, including cultural integration and maximization of revenue/ profit goals.
As the founder of The ConJoin Group, LLC and the current enterprise, The ConJoin Group-II, LLC, Rich has built a platform that maintains a minority stake in its first two transactions; Anthelio Healthcare Solutions, Inc and Avotus, Corp. Rich architected the sale of ConJoin's India subsidiary to enable the acquisition of PHNS in partnership with Actis LLP. Post the PHNS transaction which was re-branded the combination as (Anthelio Healthcare Solutions, Inc.) served as Chairman & CEO of Anthelio Healthcare the leading independent IT/BPO services provider dedicated to the healthcare provider sector. Rich continues in a role as a Senior Advisor to the Board of Anthelio and a Director of Avotus.
Previously, Rich was responsible for architecting transformation at Keane as President – N. America and Global Business Lines. Before joining Keane, Rich was Chief Executive, Americas and Global Enterprise Application Services (EAS) of Wipro Technologies from 2001 to 2005. He led a team that grew the North American Business from $150 million to over $2 billion run-rate. His leadership has been largely credited with growing the business at over 75 percent CAGR representing over 70 percent of Wipro's revenue globally. He also had responsibility for the EAS business unit growing it from a small $8 million practice with 200 people to over $250 million annually and over 3,000 people globally. He has held leadership roles at several other companies including; Avnet, Arrow and Texas Instruments. Rich has a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce & Engineering from Drexel University, and Masters in Business Administration from Loyola College, Maryland, specializing in Finance.
Rich is a digital product executive with 40 years of experience in the software industry running product development and software services organizations.
As CEO of ObjectFrontier, an 1000-person software engineering firm, he is leading the organization through years of rapid growth while working to preserve its unique and wonderful culture.
As CEO of Fusion Technologies, a software services firm, he led it through two years of substantial growth, found a buyer and completed the sale of the company to Alliance Consulting.
Rich has led the product development organizations of five software companies, two of which he helped to grow and ultimately sell to Oracle and State Street.
He has served as a board member for several software firms, helping them grow and positioning them for sale.
Managing the creation of digital products that drive revenues for customers
Helping organizations through their digital transformation journey
Running and building Product Development Services firms
Managing software product development groups
Working with venture-backed board of directors
Delivering product releases with innovative features and high quality
Handling international development and market issues
Transitioning firms from start-up phase to growth phases
Completing mergers and acqusitions
Retaining top techincal talent
Managing an India-based organization
Developing market strategies that lead to rapid expansion of business
SHELLY FIREMAN is well- known as an accomplished restaurateur with nine restaurants, seven in New York City and two in National Harbor, Maryland. What is less well-known is that Fireman has been a sculptor for many years .
A Native New Yorker; he studied briefly at the Sculpture Center and the Art Students League for his first formal training. Following that, Fireman began the process of self-education approaching sculpting with the same artistry and intense commitment he brings to his restaurants.
Fireman’s sculptures are bold, witty and liberated– often dealing with Fireman’s ironic sense of life and keen observation of the world around him.
For the past few years, Fireman has been honing his skills in sculpting, creating pieces in his home / studio in Camaiore, Italy, where he is surrounded by artist friends and acquaintances. Inspired by the natural beauty of his surroundings, he works closely with the local foundries to create his pieces of art.
Fireman’s first sculpture is on display in the National Harbor and is one of the most photographed pieces of art in Maryland. His newly created, playful, spirited site- specific sculptures can be seen in his new restaurant, Florian in New York City.
Fireman is also a collector with a large art collection which includes pieces from Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Julian Schnabel, Red Grooms, Leroy Neiman, Elizabeth Murray, Peter Max, Mark Kostabi, Jean-Michel Folon, etc.
Solomon Choi is the founder and CEO of 16 Handles, New York's leading frozen dessert brand
with 40 locations in the East Coast and internationally in the Middle East. He moved to NY in
2008 from California and brings 15 years of hospitality and foodservice management
experience. He also co-founded Greeno Products in 2008 which provides custom print paper
cups, containers, and plastic utensils for foodservice retailers.
Solomon has been featured on MSN, CNBC, Bloomberg News, ABC News, Fox Business, The
Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, among many others. He is a graduate of the
Marshall School of Business at USC with a degree in Marketing.
Steve Busby is the CEO and Senior Managing Director of Greenwich Associates, the leading provider of global market intelligence and advisory services to the financial services industry. Since 2010, Steve has lead the Firm's continued growth and expansion with a clearly defined vision and strategy for delivering the highest quality data and insights specific to clients’ most critical needs. He has been with Greenwich Associates since 1991 and was previously head of marketing and business development, the custom research and consulting practice and a senior consultant in the Firm’s banking practice in the United States and Europe. Steve received his BA in English Literature from Colgate University and his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. He is frequently quoted in American Banker, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal.
An experienced airline finance and operations leader,
Steve Priest is JetBlue’s Executive Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer responsible for corporate finance,
aircraft transactions, cash management, and execution of
JetBlue’s financial strategy. He is also responsible for the
company’s real estate and strategic sourcing units.
Priest joined JetBlue in 2015 as Vice President, Structural
Programs, responsible for large-scale strategic and
structural initiatives, identifying new opportunities for
improvements and efficiency, overseeing fleet programs,
continuous improvement, and strategic sourcing. He was
promoted to Executive Vice President and CFO in
Prior to JetBlue, Priest was at British Airways where he
most recently served as SVP Atlantic Joint Business,
responsible for the British Airways, American, Iberia, and
Finnair transatlantic joint venture. Over the span of nearly
20 years at BA, he served as Regional Vice President,
Controller for Western Europe, Latin America, and the
Caribbean; CFO for BA Ground Handling Services; and
held senior roles in strategy and planning; customer
contact and distribution; and commercial and call center
He is a graduate of Victoria University of Manchester
(UK) and a qualified Chartered Global Management
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline, and a
leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood,
Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan.
JetBlue carries more than 40 million customers a year
to 102 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America
with an average of 1,000 daily flights.
Suni Munshani joined Protegrity as CEO in May of 2011 to accelerate growth and execute strategies to extend Protegrity’s leadership position in the enterprise data security market. He brings more than 25 years of broad and diverse global business experience to Protegrity.
He has been quoted or given space to provide his commentary on data security and privacy topics in media outlets such as VentureBeat, the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Guardian, WIRED, CFO, CSO, SC Magazine and Database Trends & Applications.
Prior to joining Protegrity, Suni was the CEO of Novitaz, a customized data provider for the retail and hospitality sectors. Prior to Novitaz, he served as a managing partner at Persephone Investments, a venture capital firm focused on early stage investments. While at Persephone, Suni led the firm’s investment in Synetics, Inc. and eventually assumed the role of CEO and led Synetics’ acquisition to Affiliated Computer Services, a NASDAQ listed company that was later acquired by Lockheed Martin.
Earlier in his career he founded several successful software and services companies, including Paradigm Systems Corporation of America (acquired by Platinum Technology/Computer Associates) and Trirex Systems. Suni is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
Taj Haslani is an accomplished leader, pioneering business transformation within the staffing industry.
Demonstrating ability to strategize, lead teams and provide on-time, cost effective business solutions.
His unique strength lies in building, buying and selling staffing companies from scratch. As the founder of premier staffing company ApTask, and as a designated expert in the staffing industry. His background of being a software developer for several years has ensured that ApTask builds its own sophisticated software tools for automation within the staffing industry.
His latest initiative is to disrupt how people launch their staffing business, which are packaged as franchises. Through this endeavor, he hopes to empower experienced salespeople into being their own boss, starting their own businesses, enjoying the freedom that comes with making their own choices, and making more money than they were before.
ApTask has been known industry-wide for its impeccable treatment of clients, collaborators and competitors. Its strength lies in its ability to draw upon its geographically diverse talent pool hungry and eager to serve clients with efficiency and transparency. Anyone with great sales experience can start their own business under ApTask’s franchise for under a thousand dollars.
Taj’s core strengths lie in the following arenas:
• Curating and nurturing global talent
• Crafting business solutions within the staffing industry
• Developing cutting-edge technologies and innovative software to increase efficacy within my industry
• Leading and managing a global workforce
Taj is also involved in investing in HR Technology related start-ups specializing in artificial intelligence.
Within the industry, he am known to be genial to his colleagues and competitors and he treats them
with the same degree of respect and camaraderie.
With my Wall Street background, I am often asked why I would want to be the CEO of a specialty pharma company like ProPhase Labs.
The answer is simple: turning around companies, increasing shareholder value and protecting shareholder interests are my passion.
I financed and advised ID Biomedical, a biotech/vaccine company, when it was valued at $25 million and headed for bankruptcy. I successfully persuaded the board of directors into making difficult but necessary changes to management, including the replacement of the CEO, and helped to redirect their strategic focus. Seven years later, the company was sold to GlaxoSmithKline for more than $1.4 billion.
While advising ID Biomedical, I began a similar decade-long engagement with ProPhase Labs. After years of declining revenues, increasing losses and questionable activities, the company’s direction was in dire need of change--and the shareholders’ interests in need of protection. I initiated a risky but incredibly successful proxy contest that led to my position as CEO.
In 2010/2011, I restructured and streamlined all operations. Despite a declining category and a weak economy at that time, sales and margins of our flagship Cold-EEZE brand subsequently improved dramatically. The net result: in 2017 we sold Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy for $50 million to Mylan, a multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical company.
I approach business relationships with candor and honesty--whether I'm talking to potential investors, vendors, shareholders or employees. I motivate my team by example and get enormous satisfaction out of working hard. I believe in winning--by earning it. And most importantly, I think about what’s best for our shareholders' long-term interests in everything I do.
Specialties: Turnarounds, corporate finance & strategy, sales & marketing expertise, consumer products, biotech & pharmaceutical industries, investment strategies, securities analysis, data-driven, entrepreneurial.
Thuy is responsible for overall company management, direction, and strategy. Prior to DiCentral, he was co-founder of Maingate Corporation. With over 25 years of industry experience, he has worked for United Space Alliance, Unisys, and AT&T Bell Laboratories. Thuy earned a B.S. in mathematics and computer science, and an M.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Thuy is also a talented table tennis player, and is known to break up long work days with matches in the company recreation room.
Tim Lewko is the CEO of Thinking
Dimensions – global consultancy. He is also
the author of the best-selling book – Making
Big Decisions Better: How to Set and
His clients have achieved over $1Billion USD
of improved EBITDA performance using his
strategy system and decision making tools.
He believes executives must not outsource
their strategic thinking to consultants but
leverage the internal talent in their organizations.
He is leading a global movement to equip present and next generation leaders
with proven strategy tools that enable agile decision making thinking, ensure
an outside-in approach to strategy and deliver more predictable results.
He works with senior executives and their leadership teams and has
experience with PE- backed, public, private and family businesses over the
last 18 years across NA, SA, Europe and Asia
Timothy G. Biltz currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Lumos Networks and Spirit Communications, a role he assumed in April 2018 when Lumos and Spirit were brought under the same ownership group. Mr. Biltz was named President and CEO of Lumos Networks in April 2012, and was named a director in May 2012. Previously, Mr. Biltz served as director for NTELOS Holdings Corp. from 2006 to May 1, 2014. He also served as a director for iPCS, Inc., a wireless service provider from 2004 to 2009 and served as Chairman of the iPCS Inc. Board starting in 2006. From 1999 to 2005, Mr. Biltz was the Chief Operating Officer of SpectraSite, Inc., a publicly-traded wireless and broadcast signal tower company. From 1989 to 1999 Mr. Biltz was employed by Vanguard Cellular Systems, Inc. in a number of posts of increasing responsibility ultimately serving as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Radiant Systems Ltd., leading the group since inception. Radiant, incorporated in 1995 in New Jersey, has grown into a global group with over 1000 employees, serving various major organizations including 50 of the Fortune 500 companies, 26 State Government and Federal Government. It has offices in Americas, Europe and Asia. Radiant group has developed many software solutions and products to Telecommunication, Pharmaceutical, Financial, Government and Transportation verticals.
Masters degree in Engineering from the City College of New York. Have an overall experience of 33 Years in Information Technology, Engineering, Marketing and Management.
Venu Myneni and Radiant are recognized with New Jersey Finest Award (2000 &2001), New Jersey Technology Fast 50 (2001&2002), INC 500 Award, 40 Outstanding Asian Americans in the Business Award, E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, Washington Technology Fast 50, D&T Nation Fast 500, Intel Award, Deloitte Asia’s Fast Growing Award, 40 Under 40 Award, IBM’s Excellence in Innovation award and many more.
Hobbies: Travelling, Trekking, Art, Reading and promoting entrepreneurship among the youth.
Personal: Lives in Franklin Township, NJ with wife and two sons.
Victor Wahba is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mazars and is a member of the Group Executive Board of Mazars, a leading International professional services organization. He leads the U.S. Executive Committee responsible for Mazars’ overall strategy and growth.
Throughout his professional career, Victor has been dedicated to the Firm’s legacy in enhancing exceptional client service experiences provided by our people. Previously, Victor served as the Partner-in-Charge of the New York Office and led the Apparel, Fashion and Retail Services Group.
In his 25+ years of professional practice, Victor has extensive finance and operations experience specifically in mergers/acquisitions/divestitures, including acquisition integration, financing strategies, business process improvements, profit and strategic planning. He has lectured and authored articles on various accounting and management topics.
Victor received his BS in Accounting from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Zachary Koff currently holds the position of Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for the growth of the management teams and the continued pursuit of excellence in Shake Shack’s systems and culture.
He graduated from Cornell's School of Hotel Administration in 2002, and for the next 8 years, he worked for the Bravo/Brio Restaurant Group opening and managing restaurants in New Orleans, Chicago, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City. At the beginning of 2010, he joined Union Square Hospitality Group's Shake Shack to open their 4th location in Miami Beach (and the first location outside of New York City) as Director of Operations.
Once an intern for USHG in 2001, Zach always knew that one day he would return to work for this industry leader in hospitality.
Alex is the Founder and CEO of Applico. He founded Applico in 2009 when he was 20 years old
and funded the company with his own credit cards.
Alex co-authored the best-selling book, Modern Monopolies, which defines the platform
business model dominating the 21st century economy. In his role as CEO, he works directly with
Fortune 500 C-suites and boards to help them build or buy their own platform businesses. He
has written content for a variety of publications including TechCrunch and has been featured on
Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox News, Yahoo Finance, and other notable media outlets.
Alex is a graduate of Babson College, Choate Rosemary Hall and Greenwich Country Day School.
Charles founded OnForce Solar in 2008 and has led its rapid growth from a home based business to one of the largest solar developers in New York; and has expanded the company’s footprint nationally. Under Charles leadership the company ranked in 2009, 2010 & 2011 on Inc. Magazines prestigious Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing companies in the country and in 2012, Crains NY Business awarded Charles the honor of Top New York City Entrepreneur 2012. Charles is recognized as an authority on the solar energy industry and frequently speaks at Cleantech events, industry roundtables and educational forums. Before founding OnForce Solar, Charles has had ownership stakes in several successful entrepreneurial endeavors and a career investing in, structuring and operating several IT consulting firms. Charles graduated with an MBA / Masters of Computer Science from Adelphi University in 1993 and is also an avid runner, completing several NYC marathons.
Cliff is a Global Healthcare Executive with 20+ years transforming businesses across global markets and different customer industry segments. Deeply experienced in leadership with International P&L responsibility, management, operations, finance, marketing, HR and global teams. Cliff has a blend of intellectual curiosity and an ability to understand how systems operate in the real world. These have equipped him to develop business solutions that deliver value and trusted client relationships. Teaches healthcare economics as member of NYU business school faculty.
Bleustein began his professional career in 1996 as a general surgery resident until 1998 when he became a visiting research fellow at Weill Medical College of Cornell University until 2000. Bleustein was a urology resident at Montefiore Medical Center from 2000 to 2004, when he joined Urology Specialty Care from 2004 to 2007 and earned his board certification as a urologist and was an assistant clinical professor of urology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University from 2004 to 2007. He has been an adjunct professor of economics at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business since 2008. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, a doctor of medicine degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a master's degree in business administration from the Stern School of Business. He had 5 successful years of consulting in healthcare at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has led a diverse set of client work including business strategy, mergers & acquisitions, healthcare operations, physician alignment and resource optimization. He had 2 successful years at Dell, rising to Chief Medical Officer and Provider Solutions Leader. He was CEO of Computer Task Group (NASDAQ: CTG) from 2015-2016. Cliff brings international experience in Ireland, the UK, South Africa, China, India, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Middle East (Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia).
Darren is a revolutionary, entrepreneurial and pragmatic CXO Consultant with extensive experience developing and directing successful business models, teams and functions that facilitate aggressive company growth and positive corporate culture. He is adept at analyzing strategies, capitalizing on market trends and building competitive advantage. He has versatility across entity types (startup, private, public), industries, geographies and functions and brings an authentic and inspirational leadership style that generates trust, loyalty, respect and results.
Darren has over 20 years of experience in telecommunications. He began in engineering, in the Network Operations Center, where he built a broad technical and business foundation that fueled his rise through senior leadership roles. His desire for a people-based culture and passion for the industry led him to found MASS Communications. The company went on to receive Crain’s Best Places to Work in New York City for three consecutive years, 2015-17, and was listed on Inc. Magazine’s five-time honor role for fastest growing private companies.
Mass holds a degree in Telecommunications Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology and a CPD in leadership from The Wharton School.
Don Lents serves as Senior Partner & Chair Emeritus of the firm. His practice focuses on corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, securities law and general corporate matters with particular emphasis upon responsibilities of boards of directors, multinational and domestic mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, anti-takeover planning, and related matters. He is co-author of a treatise on Missouri Corporation Law and Practice and of articles on various corporate law issues. He has been an adjunct professor at the Washington University Law School.
Mr. Lents served for a number of years as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and was the Chair of the Firm from 2004 through 2014. He previously served as head of the firm’s Transactions Practice and chair of the Corporate Department. He also was the partner in charge of the firm’s London office from its opening in 1982 through 1984.
After 23 years of leading and building Peppercomm into one of the industry’s most trusted communications firms, that’s exactly what Ed did. In response to the transformative changes sweeping across the marketing and communications fields, Ed launched Hot Paper Lantern in 2018, a consultancy that fuses marketing and communications with business consulting and technology solutions to help brands thrive in a digital economy.
At HPL, Ed is responsible for overall agency leadership. He leads the firm’s business strategy and provides overall direction to operations, finances, new services development, client service, new business and overall agency strategy.
Throughout his career, Ed has been recognized as an industry leader; he was named to B2B Magazine’s Who’s Who list and was a finalist for EY’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award.
He currently serves as a trustee for Drew University, and has played board and advisory roles with numerous organizations including the Council of PR Firms, YJP, the Montclair Art Museum, Little Kids Rock and MyGoodDeed.org.
Gregory Solometo co-founded Alliance Homecare in 2006 and serves as the Chief Executive Officer where he oversees the day-to-day operations and strategy. Gregory started the company after he took care of his grandmother for five years when she was suffering from Alzheimers and created The Grandma Rule? hiring philosophy. Gregorys firsthand experience of searching for caregivers showed him that there were limited resources that met his high level of standards of client care and customer satisfaction. Since that time, Gregory has been committed to providing all clients with an elite and highly qualified team of healthcare professionals that exceed industry standards. Prior to starting Alliance Homecare, Gregory has worked primarily in the financial services industry. Most recently, he worked as a Lean Process Engineer at Deutsche Bank where he provided strategic consulting services to various divisions of the Investment Banking structure and its operations in the US and abroad. Gregory graduated from Emory University in 1995.
Harris began his career as an analyst with the Cisneros Group – a $5 billion media company. Harris advised and led a variety of strategic transactions in the US and Latin America. Harris designed and implemented the first pan-regional distance learning project focused on teacher training called AME (Actualización de Maestros en Educación).
With the bust of the first dot-com bubble, Harris watched companies throw away and auction off large lots Information Technology (IT) equipment. Harris realized how much more could be done with used and out-of-service IT equipment with a team who cared about more than just top-line growth.
From a garage in Brooklyn, Harris formed Ombligo ("bellybutton" in Spanish). Harris believed that economic, environmental, and community goals were not mutually exclusive but inextricably linked. Ombligo's policies and practices consider all three of these aspects to create shared value for its clients, employees, and community.
Ombligo maximizes value and minimizes risks, e.g., data security and environmental, from used and out-of-service IT equipment. Corporations are acutely aware of the data security risks associated with their “online” IT infrastructure. However, these same corporations liquidated their used and out-of-service IT equipment to the highest bidder without consideration of the costs associated with sanitizing electronic and physical information as well as responsible recycling.
Jeffrey H. Yager, CPA, is a partner in the New York office of RSM US LLP and leader of the office’s financial services assurance practice. He has over 20 years of experience servicing domestic and offshore hedge funds, private equity groups, family offices and investment advisory firms. Jeff has worked with funds that trade in a variety of different financial instruments including swaps, options and other derivative contracts. His clients range from startups to funds with over $1 billion in net assets. As an audit partner, Jeff specializes in the investment partnership industry. He works closely with clients on various financial and regulatory compliance matters and has assisted numerous investment partnerships, including many start-up businesses, in structuring agreements and advising them on the accounting and valuation issues that may affect them. He has also worked with funds on projects such as reviewing internal controls and performing agreed-upon procedures. Jeff is active as an industry thought leader and has been quoted in the Washington Post and trade publications regarding the firm’s Hedge Fund Industry Survey. He also contributes to the firm’s Alternative Investment Watch newsletter. Jeff is a frequent lecturer on various topics related to the financial services industry. For example, Jeff regularly speaks at the Investment Company Conference sponsored by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Joe Caserta is an internationally recognized public speaker, entrepreneur, technologist, and founding President of Caserta. Joe co-authored The Data Warehouse ETL Toolkit, an industry bestselling book that has become the standard for preparing data for analytics. Joe is recognized as an authority on enterprise data analytics and continues to innovate and expand his role in the industry. Joe’s consulting rm, Caserta, remains at the forefront of the data analytics revolution, devising the most unique and advanced analytics environments in use today.
Jonathan has more than 25 years of executive experience in the marketing technology space, innovating and delivering affinity programs intended to drive consumer engagement, including work at McKinsey & Company for clients like 3M and Honeywell. He received his undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of Business and University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, and briefly attended Harvard Business School (the important thing is that he got in). His entrepreneurial career included the launch of the first for-profit membership organization geared to young families, a consulting firm that provided outsourced marketing services to mid-sized companies, and a product development company focusing the needs of niche consumer segments.
Kirsten Bay is redefining what it means to be a fearless leader in the technology industry. She is an accomplished, bilingual executive, transforming the cyber security space. As President and CEO of Cyber adAPT, she leveraged more than 25 years of experience, leading her team with risk intelligence, information management, and policy expertise across a variety of sectors.
Throughout her career, Kirsten has been appointed to a congressional committee developing cyber policies, initiatives and recommendations for the intelligence community. She has developed recommendations in partnership with the Center for North American Studies (CNAS) and Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) for The White House energy policy, and collaborated on information studies for MIT-Harvard and several federal agencies. She has gone before a parliamentary subcommittee on recreating trust in the global economy, presented national security and critical infrastructure concepts at conferences such as Black Hat, Secured Americas, Enterprise Architecture Institute, SC World Congress, and the Eurim Information Management Committee. She has also spoken on applied economics and its relationship to both cyber and national security around the world.
Kirsten is a self-proclaimed ‘serial student’. Her current membership of the Alliance of Chief Executives feeds her perpetual drive to learn and share insight with peers; an inspirational trait she models for her Cyber adAPT team.
In previous executive roles for ISC8, Attensity Group, and iSIGHT Partners, she has led companies through corporate restructuring, risk and corporate intelligence product launches, and company turnarounds, respectively.
With a BA in English and German from the University of Oregon, let’s just say she will correct your grammar in multiple languages.
Michael leads the New York office of Manchester Capital Management. He is a member of the Investment Committee and the Executive Team and provides customized portfolio management and advisory services to Manchester Capital’s clients.
Michael is the former CEO of Bank Hapoalim Switzerland, a Private Bank with $10B of assets under management. Prior to that, Michael was CEO of PAM Global Investments, an asset management firm. He has held several executive positions at the Citibank Private Bank, was a co-founder of the Citibank Family Office, and has established or directed investment advisory, asset management and trust businesses in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Jersey, Luxembourg, Israel, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Michael earned a B.Sc. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A. with honors from Columbia University. He is a CFA charter holder, a member of the World Presidents’ Organization, and a founding member of the YJP CEO Forum and of the Chairman’s Council of the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard.
Manchester Capital Management (MCM) is, and has been since its inception, a Private Family Office dedicated to helping families sustain their wealth, values, and legacy from generation to generation. MCM’s thirty three experienced professionals care for three billion dollars on behalf of forty families. MCM diligently establishes and oversees tailored global investment portfolios, including traditional securities, alternative strategies and directly-owned real estate. MCM’s expertise extends to trust and estate work, financial education and planning, philanthropic endeavors and family meetings. MCM families value authenticity, sincerity and commitment.
Paul Witkay is the Founder & CEO of the Alliance of Chief Executives. Paul carefully designed the Alliance to
bring CEOs together to enable them to learn faster, make better decisions and move forward with more
Paul’s diverse experience ranges from ownership of a highly successful executive search and consulting firm to
senior executive positions for a $7 billion international manufacturing organization. His personal experience in
strategic planning and business management with companies of all sizes has helped to create an incredibly
Paul began his career in the process industries for Amoco Oil Corporation and Dow Chemical. In 1979, Paul
founded Witkay Associates. Witkay Associates provided professional support to key executives in their search
for a correct match between individual goals and business opportunities.
Subsequent to his development of Witkay Associates, Paul joined Air Liquide Corporation, the world’s leading
producer of industrial gases, where he served in a variety of executive positions. Among Paul’s numerous
responsibilities was the leadership of VitalAire Corporation in the United States. Under Paul’s leadership, the
VitalAire organization was recognized for achieving the highest standards of quality in the industry.
Paul’s undergraduate education was in Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois. He later received his
MBA from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California. In addition, he is a graduate of the INSEAD Executive
Management program in Fontainebleau, France.
Over the years, Paul’s community activities have included:
Board of Directors, Junior Achievement
Board of Directors, Bay Area Council
Board of Advisors, The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund; “Partners for Profit”
Board of Trustees, Jurika & Voyles Mutual Fund Group
Chairman, Private Industry Council for Contra Costa County
Adaptive Business Leaders Organization
Rich Cohen is President and General Counsel of Corporate Creations International Inc., the 3rd largest Registered Agent. Rich has more than 30 years of legal, business and consulting experience focused on providing the most efficient legal services to clients. Prior to joining Corporate Creations, Rich served as a Managing Director of Duff & Phelps and President of RenewData Corp. He has also held senior positions with The Garden City Group and LexisNexis, and he has served as General Counsel of Ohio Power and Columbus Southern Power.
Rich has been recognized as an AV Preeminent rated attorney every year since
1998. Rich serves on the Corporate Counsel Advisory Board of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel and as Editor in Chief of The Electricity Journal. He is a recipient of the Corporate Legal Times Distinguished Legal Service Award. He has served as President of Association of Corporate Counsel Central Ohio, on the Board of Advisors for Bryan University, and as Co-Chair of the Mass Tort Subcommittee of American Bankruptcy Institute and is currently President of B’nai Aviv Synagogue in Weston, Florida.
Rich is a member of Ohio State Bar and Authorized House Counsel in Florida. He graduated from State University of New York at Buffalo and from University of Akron School of Law. Rich and his family reside in Weston, Florida.
Born in London, and educated in Finance at the City of London University, Simon Kaye founded Jaguar Freight in 1993 alongside his father Percy Kaye.
As a third-generation transportation professional, Simon inherently understood the intricacies of logistics and supply-chain management. Jaguar Freight was founded with a clear vision to provide a level of customer service
unsurpassed in the industry. As technology progressed, Simon set out to create a suite of unique and bespoke technology products previously unavailable.
Today, Simon is the President and CEO of the company, which continues to provide the same level of unsurpassed customer service and technological innovation to a diverse and prestigious customer base. Over the past 23 years Jaguar Freight continues to push the envelope for world class customer service and technological innovation.
Simon strives everyday to create an innovative work environment; it is this innovation, along with a deep commitment to exceeding industry standards in customer service, expertise, and technological faculty that keeps Jaguar Freight at the apex of the industry.
In 2002, Simon relocated to New York with his wife and two sons to establish Jaguar Freight’s new headquarters in the United States. Eager to maintain a bit of home, Simon maintained his lifelong season ticket holder status at Tottenham Hotspur, a team known to its fans as “the greatest team the world has ever seen” - a characterization that mirrors his passion for excellence through Jaguar.
Hospitality Too manages hotel arrangements for Fortune 500 Corporations, groups, and individuals around the world. Hospitality Too is able to save bottom line revenue while increasing the experience for the traveler. Their entire team is comprised of people from the hospitality industry, which differentiates Hospitality Too from other companies who handle travel.
Steven Brot joined Hospitality Too in May 2005 as a Managing Director, and in December 2006 was named President and CEO.
He started in sales at the age of 8, when he and his older brother Rich had a neighborhood bagel route. They would take orders during the week for Sunday morning delivery. His father would drive them to the local bagel shop on Sunday morning at 6:00am and help them place the order as well as offer financial backing.
After driving a tow truck in the evenings and going to school during the day, it was time for a change into the hotel industry. Steve started his career with Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1990 as a concierge in a AAA 5 diamond hotel (there were only 47 AAA rated 5 diamond hotels in North America at that time). He then accepted a position as Director of Front Office with Accor Hotels and spent two (2) more years in hotel operations. The next 12 years were spent as a Director of Sales and Marketing and as a task force General Manager. He has worked with prestigious companies such as Carnival Hotels and Casinos, Interstate Hotels and Resorts and Hilton Hotels Corporation.
Mr. Brot is also personally and professionally involved with organizations such as The Wounded Warrior Project, and Shatterproof, which brings awareness to the battle some folks face with addiction.
Steven C. Witkoff is the chairman and the principal shareholder of The Witkoff Group, a privately held company that owns and operates real estate nationwide. The Witkoff Group’s diverse portfolio consists of commercial, residential, retail, industrial properties as well as various land and hotel development interests. The portfolio includes a number of well-known landmark buildings including The Woolworth Building.
The Witkoff Group is very active in the Downtown residential market. Currently, Mr. Witkoff is overseeing the conversion of 55 Wall Street into luxury condominiums and completed the conversion of 10 Hanover Square into 500 rental apartments.
Mr. Witkoff is an attorney and previously practiced real estate law at Dreyer & Traub and Rosenman & Colin. Mr. Witkoff currently serves on the Executive Committee for the Real Estate Board of New York, serves as a trustee for the Intrepid Foundation and serves on the Board of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation.
Mr. Witkoff is a native New Yorker and resides in the city with his wife and children.
Stewart A. Kohl is Co-Chief Executive Officer of The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm founded to invest in premier companies at the smaller end of the middle market. Since 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 440 companies in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The firm's investors include leading pension funds, endowments, funds-of-funds, insurance companies and banks.
Mr. Kohl joined Riverside in 1993. Prior to that, he was a vice president of Citicorp Venture Capital, Ltd., the private equity arm of Citibank. Under the guidance of Mr. Kohl and Co-CEO Béla Szigethy, Riverside has grown to manage more than $5.5 billion in assets. The firm employs more than 200 people in offices across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
In addition to his work with Riverside, Mr. Kohl is engaged in the following civic activities: Oberlin College Board of Trustees; Co-Chair of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland Board of Trustees; the Cleveland Clinic Board of Trustees, Wellness Institute Leadership Board, and Co-Chair of the Cleveland Clinic Capital Campaign. Mr. Kohl is also the founding donor of VeloSano, a charity cycling event that has raised $8 million for cancer research at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute since 2014.
Mr. Kohl was inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence in 2009. He previously served as Co-Chair of the Building for Hope Capital Campaign of the Center for Families and Children. For 16 years, he was a "Heavy Hitter" participant in the Pan-Mass Challenge bicycle fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Mr. Kohl holds a BA from Oberlin College (1977) and resides in Shaker Heights, Ohio with his wife, Donna, where they enjoy spending time with their daughter and six grandchildren.
Mr. Oved is Chairman of the firm’s Real Estate and Transactional department. He routinely represents, counsels and advises start up and emerging e-commerce businesses as well as well-established private and public corporations in various industries as well as several prominent real estate owners, operators, developers and landlords. He is an accomplished public speaker often providing Continuing Legal Education courses to members of the Bar as well as in house corporate legal departments.
Mr. Oved is a published writer who has had numerous articles published in the New York Law Journal, the New York State Bar Association Journal as well as Image Magazine. His work has been featured in both Crain’s Magazine as well as Community Magazine.
Mr. Oved was previously associated with the prestigious New York City Law firm of Phillips, Nizer and the boutique entertainment law firm of Franklin Weinrib where he co-authored several legal articles with name partner Michael Rudell, Esq.
Mr. Oved graduated with honors from New York University’s School of Business as well as Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where he served on the renowned Arts & Entertainment Law Journal. Mr. Oved also clerked for federal Judge Robert Ward in the Southern District of New York.
Mr. Oved is also an Adjunct Professor at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies as well as being active in the New York State Bar Association.
Mr. Oved is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States of America, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York as well as the State Courts of New York and New Jersey.
Mr. Oved serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Rabbinical College of America and as a Faculty Member of the Institute of American and Talmudic Law, and serves as legal counsel to the Young Jewish Professionals (YJP).
His favorite saying: It’s nice to be important – but more important to be nice.
Union Square, New York
This event starts on at
In today’s fast-paced and competitive world, the job of CEO can be daunting. Any CEO knows that running a company -- regardless of size and industry -- requires incredibly long hours under stressful conditions with ever-increasing pressure from all sides to succeed and grow. To address these challenges, YJP is convening business thought-leaders and experts for the CEO Innovation, Growth & Diversity Symposium.
The symposium will bring together CEOs from across the country and representing a variety of professional sectors to provide a leadership platform in order to cultivate the forging of new relationships and encourage discussion and debate on topics and challenges that are of universal concern to all CEOs.
This is more than just a typical leadership conference -- it is a dynamic event designed to foster a productive and innovative environment in which candid, in-depth conversations can take place. The intimate and confidential setting will provide participants the opportunity to ask industry leaders difficult questions, identify new avenues for collaboration, brainstorm on best practices and explore potential solutions to challenges.
In today’s ever-evolving business landscape, a company’s success is contingent on high levels of innovation and the establishment of strong relationships and networks. YJP’s CEO Innovation, Growth & Diversity Symposium will serve as a powerful catalyst to develop new strategies and ideas, solutions to challenges and fuel collaborations so that participants can return to the companies they lead better equipped to ensure success. The Young Jewish Presidents is an exclusive network dedicated to connecting the world's top Jewish business leaders with each other. Our forum opens its doors for CEOs to forge long-lasting, sincere relationships in upscale, comfortable, small group settings with top talent, and executive peers.
*In order to be considered a member, applicants must be a CEO, president or a recognized authority in their given industry*
Interested in speaking or sponsoring? Please contact Rebekah - firstname.lastname@example.org.