Kenneth is a results-oriented executive with 20 years of experience in business operations and technology. Specializing in translating vision into actionable strategy, he consistently drives turnarounds of underperforming organizations, accelerates revenue growth and profitability for new business ventures and product launches, and improves velocity and value realization of strategic business investments and acquisitions. As a proven change leader, Kenneth has extensive experience in all aspects of designing business operations, including product development, marketing sales and distribution, consumer engagement and service, operations transacting and administration, technology enablement, and organizational structure and performance.
With a personal passion for healthcare innovation, Kenneth has experience in multiple industries including insurance and financial services. Kenneth was one of the founding partners of Optimity Advisors, and currently leads Optimity’s global business development.
Alan Harlam is the Director of Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at Brown’s Swearer Center for Public Service. Through this role, he has developed programs to support students who are learning about social innovation, launching their own ventures, and crafting lives and careers that fulfill Brown’s mission to “serve the community, the nation, and the world.” Recently, he helped launch The Amos House Works catering business, which rebuilds lives through training and employment experience and provides income to support services to the poor and the homeless in South Providence. Prior to his career as a social entrepreneur, he provided capital and turnaround management to financially distressed companies. Alan is also active on the Board of City Year, where he is Chair. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Scot is the owner and CEO of Groov-Pin Corporation, a manufacturer of engineered fasteners and precision turned components with plants in Smithifield, RI, and Newnan, GA. Prior to Groov-Pin, Scot was with GE as Manager of Marketing and Engineering for a unit within GE Medical Systems. Following graduation from a GE management training program, Scot led the model shop and formed the production team for the start-up of GE’s MRI scanner business. He went on to lead groups accelerating the development of imaging technology for pharmaceutical and medical research. Scot has a BSEE from the University of Maine, an MASc from the University of Toronto in Wave Sciences, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Scot serves on the board of Crossroads RI and is a member of YPO/WPO. He lives in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
Rob Panoff founded RPM, a marketing and strategy consulting company in the networking and telecommunications industry, twelve years ago. He particularly focuses on developing and implementing successful strategies for new products and markets, and also successfully implementing statewide and regional community broadband networks. Prior to founding RPM, Rob worked for 25 years in a variety of companies, helping to establish and grow several to become successful publicly-traded corporations. Rob has been active in the leadership of a number of industry organizations and now serves on several non-profit boards, including the South County Healthcare System, the VNS Home Health Services, and the Harvard Business School Association of Southern New England. Rob holds a BA (Cum Laude) from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, and resides with his wife in Saunderstown, RI.
Kim’s more than 25 years as a business leader and entrepreneur started in the Executive Training Program of Jordan Marsh and the Buying Department of Macy’s. She founded Teapots & Tassels, Co., which was awarded “Best of Rhode Island” repeatedly, and was featured in Southern Home Magazine. As a designer, Kim and her team of employees maintained a thriving interior business, often working on more than 40 projects at once. She has founded and led several significant community based programs. Kim was awarded “Entrepreneur of the Year” award by the SBA in 1991 and “Citizen of the Year Award” in 2005 by the East Bay Chamber of Commerce for her Katrina relief effort that sent three freight containers of children’s clothing, food and water to Saint Bernard Parish within 5 days of the storm. She founded and chairs Flower Power, a community effort that supports flower baskets and holiday lights in Barrington, and has raised close to half million dollars in ten years for this endowed effort. She led a team of volunteers to raise Boone Pickens FB numbers from 50,000 to 3 million followers in one year. In 2009 Kim and her daughter, Ava, founded Ava Anderson Non Toxic, one of the fastest growing direct sales companies offering the safest full line of organic and natural personal care, cleaning and home products, whose singular purpose is reduce harmful chemical levels in humans and the environment.
Kathy Bendheim has a strong analytical and organizational development background that she uses to address social and educational issues. Her early career was spent in public accounting followed by business school and then management consulting with McKinsey & Company, where she focused on organizational and financial issues. However, her passion has consistently been the improvement of the public education system. Since leaving the for-profit world, she has worked in Bridgeport, CT for the YMCA where she started a summer and after-school program that won the Chairman’s Award for best new program, and worked on the merger of the Bridgeport and New Haven YMCAs. She has also worked in New York City for Clearpool, Inc., an education reform initiative, in program operations and development of for-profit initiatives to generate sustainable funding. She also led the merger of the development departments of three education-based non-profits to create one more effective operation. Her most recent position was Executive Director of the White House Council for Community Solutions that focused on identifying best practices in successful community solutions with a focus on how to create more opportunity for disconnected youth. Kathy has a bachelor’s degree in business from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Sylvia has spent over thirty years working in various aspects of the non-profit sector. Following a BS in Economics from the Wharton School, and an MA in International Relations from UPenn, focusing on development economics, she spent a decade in New York advising emerging market countries on their foreign investment promotion. She then married a UNHCR official and spent the next six years in various war zones running income generating projects, then settled in London. For the last 16 years, she has been advising non-profits on governance, strategy and sustainability, most recently in Rhode Island’s History and Heritage sector. In 2014, she returned full time to the USA, and in 2015 founded ‘Uplifting Journeys,’ a donor education course to learn the basic elements of effective giving.
John Farber has over 25 years experience in developing and managing brands in the food and housewares sector. He is currently the president of HEYMB Food Enterprises LLC which manages the food and housewares businesses of renowned chef Mario Batali. Mr. Farber was also an owner/founder of OXO International, the iconic housewares brand. Prior to OXO, Mr. Farber spent 6 years on Wall Street in the Mergers and Acquisitions Business. Mr. Farber has an MBA from Yale University and a AB from Oberlin College.
MJ juggles several roles. In 2014 she joined Loomio, a social enterprise start up based in New Zealand. Loomio is an online platform for collaborative decision making that is in 75 countries and growing rapidly. MJ teaches social enterprise and strategy at Brown University. Since 2000, MJ has led Kaplan Consulting, focused on strategic alignment, partnerships and leadership. MJ was the Fulbright New Zealand Ian Axford Fellow in 2013, where she researched social enterprise start-ups. In 2014, MJ’s research contributed to national policy changes and substantial growth of the social enterprise sector in New Zealand.
A leader in design innovation, serial entrepreneur Martin Keen is the founder of the global socially-conscious KEEN® Footwear brand and, more recently, the award-winning Focal Upright Furniture company based in Portsmouth, RI. His love of sculptural form, structures found in nature and competitive sailing inspire his pragmatic design aesthetic, helping him create many of the market trends and innovative products in use today.
Keen was born in 1965 in Somerset, England. He holds a BA in Industrial Design from the Ohio State University. In addition to racing sailboats, Keen also enjoys traveling, beekeeping, creating sculptural pottery and snowboarding in the mountains of Vermont. He lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island with his wife and two children.
Edward (Ned) Levine is an entrepreneur, director, and growth-oriented chief executive at operating companies. Mr. Levine has been the leader of multiple marketing-oriented product and service organizations in diverse categories including education, manufacturing, distribution, and professional services.
As a recent graduate Ned co-founded and served as CEO at Rhode Gear, a company that designed and manufactured bicycling equipment, which later merged with Bell Sports Inc. As president, Mr. Levine organized a local initial public offering and facilitated numerous licensing and acquisition agreements. Bell Sports was acquired by a private equity firm.
He was a Co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Firebrand LLC where Mr. Levine and his colleagues advised senior executives, developed strategic growth plans, and directed brand programs at organizations in the United States and Europe. Industries served, included wireless communications, finance, education, retail, wholesale distribution, and non-profit organizations. Subsequently, Mr. Levine served as the Chief Strategy Officer at Johnson and Wales University before being recruited to serve as President, Chief Executive Officer, of Neumont University an accredited bachelor’s degree granting institution in Salt Lake City, Utah that has been recognized as a higher education innovator. Mr. Levine led a successful sale transaction in 2015.
He is a Corporate Director at Independent Printing Company, Inc., De Pere, WI; RIO Brands Philadelphia PA; Neumont University, Salt Lake City, UT; and Outdoor Gear Canada, Montreal, where he serves as the designated successor CEO.
Ned is formerly the chair of the Finance Committee and a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Rhode Island School of Design and Save The Bay. Ned is a Rhode Island School of Design graduate.
Diane Lynch has been a Social Enterprise Greenhouse partner since June 2009. She has served on the Loan Committee and the Board for the last four years, and has been Chair since 2013. Previously, Diane was a management consultant with Booz, Allen, working primarily in the food sector, assisting domestic and international food manufacturers and retailers in the areas of operations, logistics, strategy and product launch. From 2009-2011, she served as Director of Social Enterprises at Amos House, working with their catering, restaurant, baking mix, and home improvement businesses. She holds a BA from Brandeis University and an MBA from Boston University. Her public service experience includes work in education, municipal planning and urban environmental planning. Diane, her husband Jim and their three children reside in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
Mark is a social marketing strategy advisor to social purpose organizations spanning government agencies, foundations, non-profits and social ventures. He co-founded and co-owns Worldways with his partner Maureen Cronin. Worldways has provided research, strategy, design, integrated media, Web development, digital marketing and technology innovation services to over 100 client organizations on three continents. A social enterprise coach and investor as well, he has helped to launch and scale organizations in such arenas as health, fair trade and organic fashion and socially conscious films, as well as in the microenterprise arena. Prior to Worldways, he served as a partner in several health and health care industry consultancies.
Through Dr. Maxfield’s experience in both the academic and business worlds she has become a specialist in the global economy, financial crises and corporate social responsibility. Before becoming dean of the Providence College School of Business she was MBA director and professor of Management at Simmons College. In business, Dr. Maxfield was vice president and senior sovereign credit analyst at the Wall Street firm of Lehman Brothers. At Yale for ten years, Dr. Maxfield held joint faculty appointments in Management and Political Science and directed the Master’s program in International Relations. She has published several dozen books and articles about the interface of politics, society, and financial markets and has translated her research for non-academic audiences through publication in many venues, including The Wall Street Journal. Recently she has worked with corporations including Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, and Procter & Gamble on executive training projects. Dr. Maxfield speaks regularly about the economy and social responsibility. She is a graduate of Cornell’s School of Arts and Sciences and earned her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard University. She has served on several boards for non-profits operating in the fields of inter- American relations and education innovation in numerous university leadership capacities. Dr. Maxfield is fluent in Spanish and has lived or worked in virtually every country in Central and South America. She has three children and is a resident of Brookline, Massachusetts and Jamestown, Rhode Island.
Jack is a senior counsel at Partridge, Snow and Hahn, a law firm with offices in Providence, Boston, Westboro and New Bedford representing entrepreneurs and not for profit entities and focused on strategic enterprise planning, corporate governance, and protection of intellectual property.
Sonia Millsom is a healthcare executive with 20+ years of experience growing revenue across multiple verticals. She currently leads Business Development at Iora Health, a high-impact, relationship based care system with a mission to restore humanity to healthcare. She held leadership positions at Best Doctors, Health Dialog, United Healthcare and The Segal Company. She holds board positions at the National Coalition for Healthcare and HealthSource RI. Sonia is a mentor through the Council for Women at Boston College and Menttium. Her passion for delivering high quality healthcare started during her time as a Maternal Child Health Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, North Africa. Sonia has a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University and a BA in Political Science from Boston College. She lives in East Greenwich, RI with her husband and two daughters.
Jim Seymour has over 36 years of investment and finance experience in international and emerging markets. With Bankers Trust, he spent 18 years living and working in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. He also worked for 13 years at Commonfund Capital managing international/emerging markets private equity funds; 4 years at EMP Global, a Washington based emerging markets private equity firm; and most recently with Pontefract Global Strategies, LLC (PGS). PGS advises investors and investment management firms on investing in international private equity opportunities with a primary focus on social impact investing in frontier emerging markets. Examples of current relationships include a corporate finance firm based in Vietnam; a Cambodia-based private equity firm; a new private equity firm in Haiti; an early stage venture capital firm in India; and a new private capital firm in Nigeria. Jim has served on 18 private equity fund advisory boards and is currently on the Board of the Africa Emerging Markets Fund and several non-profit Boards including the Global Partnership for Afghanistan, the Coalition for Green Capital, and the Thunderbird Private Equity Center. In the past he has served on the Boards of The Brent School, an Anglican boarding school in Baguio, the Philippines, the American Church in London, Christ & Holy Trinity Church in Westport, CT, and the Westport Public Library. Jim is a graduate of Yale University in International Relations and Harvard Business School in International Finance and served four years in the U.S. Navy submarine force.
Lorne Adrain is a co-founder of SVPRI and served as the Chair for several years. He is highly engaged in philanthropy – author of a book series raising money to support community needs (www.adrain.com), founder of National Neighborhood Day, RI Foundation’s “Inspiring Partner of 2005″ and winner of Northwestern Mutual Life’s community service award “Most Exceptional Volunteer” in the nation. Lorne serves on multiple boards including Harvard Business School, Big Picture Schools, and the Business Innovation Factory. He earned his BS at University of Rhode Island and his MBA at Harvard. Mr. Adrian lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Partner of Innovation Partners of Rhode Island, Jen has an unshakable belief that people can create anything. Add this to her love of convening and community engagement and you can find Jen facilitating large scale change efforts near and far—in rural Amerindian villages, cities, schools, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. Jen serves on the board of Social Venture Partners Rhode Island and is based in South County, RI where she lives with her husband, Tony, and two daughters.
Tony Silbert has over 20 years of experience in organizational development, change leadership consulting, training design and delivery. Tony’s areas of expertise include strengths-based and participatory approaches to strategic planning, innovation, large scale change, organization design, and collaboration. He works with private and public sector organizations in a variety of industries, both domestically and abroad, including corporate, healthcare, non-profit, government, international development, IT, finance, and telecommunications. Mr. Silbert lives in Wakefield, Rhode Island.