David Melançon is a business strategist and brand-builder who leads The Ito Partnership, a strategic consultancy helping purpose-driven businesses and organizations navigate today’s world, creating strategies and programs that drive growth, impact and results. Moving beyond positioning and marketing, Ito’s work connects intention and purpose to actionable business goals and results.
David has spent the last two decades helping companies grow, both as a C-suite member and as a consultant. Most recently at Edelman, he led a 150-member team, responsible for a cross-section of high-profile clients, including Comcast, GE, Charles Schwab, Booking.com and Bacardi. In leadership roles at other agencies, David led work with global clients including Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Sony, Kaiser Permanente and wework.
David has worked for iconic brands such as Berkshire Hathaway’s Benjamin Moore — where his work as CMO led to being named an Adweek Brand Genius — to start-ups such as JUST Capital and the nation’s first ebook company, NetLibrary. As VP of corporate communications for Visa, he led global communications efforts in launching new technology products such as online payments, stored value cards, and Visa’s first digital products.
An early leader in helping organizations develop models that integrate purpose with financial sustainability, David has worked with social enterprise leaders such as Echoing Green, Global Citizen and Defy Ventures, as well as purpose-led brands such as Starbucks, Chobani and Kind. He began his career in the US Navy, serving as a journalist and public affairs officer. David is a featured speaker at industry conferences globally, a frequent contributor and commenter in publications and articles, and has served on the boards of non-profit organizations, including GLSEN, the AIA Foundation and Make It Right.
David completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland and graduate studies at both Keio University in Tokyo and the University of Oklahoma.
Ezenwayi Amaechi Ejiribe
Dr. Ezenwayi Amaechi Ejiribe is an Associate Professor Faculty/Applied Learning Coordinator, Master of Public Health Program at Johnson & Wales University. She is also a microbusiness expert and the Founder of Micro Enterprise Social Entrepreneurship (MESENow), a social enterprise organization with a vision to create an ecosystem of women and youth entrepreneurs in developing nations. Her research focuses on social entrepreneurship, microbusinesses, women in leadership, ethnographic and case study design, women and youth economic development, as well as leadership, and sustainability in developing nations.
For the past 8 years Ben has served on the global leadership team at B Lab which is building a network to transform the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. He held the roles of Co-Chair of the Board of Directors, CEO and Executive Director at B Lab US & Canada. B Lab certifies B Corporations, companies with the highest verified performance for social, environmental, worker, customer and governance practices. There are over 6000 B Corps and over 200,000 users of B Lab’s tools. Ben established a strategy to scale transformational business practices and public policies that systemically advance climate justice, racial equity, and a stakeholder-driven economic system. Ben currently serves as Chair of the Board of Director at New Bedford Research and Robotics (NBRR) and as a mentor with Entrepreneurship for All. He is actively engaged with racial equity work via White Men for Racial Justice (WMRJ). Earlier in his career Ben served as COO at Preserve, a Certified B Corp, which is best known for turning yogurt cups into toothbrushes and running innovative closed-loop recycling systems. He also spent a decade founding, directing and expanding a range of education programs in Boston including for The Steppingstone Foundation and Citizen Schools. He received his BA from Williams College and MBA from Babson.
Tino is a former military officer turned designer who combines operations with creativity to help mission-driven companies leverage the power of brand, leadership and design through his firm Giant Shoulders. Tino spent over a decade building creative cultures and teams with New York agencies and Silicon Valley startups. He holds an industrial design degree from RISD, where he also teaches. Tino is a TED fellow and co-founded the Better World by Design conference at RISD and Brown University.
Dan Crocker is a business leader with extensive experience leading the strategy and driving the results of global businesses. He currently serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Blount Fine Foods, a fifth generation family-owned leading provider of fresh prepared soups and sides sold in most grocery stores across the US, and recently recognized by Providence Business News as one of the Fastest Growing and Most Innovative companies in the region. Prior to joining Blount in 2019, Dan served as the Chief Operating Officer of Daniele Foods, a third generation producer of specialty Italian charcuterie, and the SVP, Chief Customer Officer of Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., the agricultural cooperative known for creating a broad portfolio of cranberry products sold to over 100 countries around the world. Holding a wide variety of leadership positions throughout his career, Dan has consistently demonstrated a relentless curiosity to discover creative solutions to complex business challenges, which is why working with SEG entrepreneurs is so inspiring to him. Dan’s background also includes working across a broad range of industries as an attorney in the public sector, in a corporate private practice, and as in-house counsel. Dan earned his law degree at the University of Iowa College of Law, and his undergraduate degree in Economics and English from Drake University. Dan lives in Rhode Island with his wife, Erica, and their three children.
Alex Hammer Ducas
Alex Ducas serves as private sector lead at Purpose - a social impact agency that collaborates with leading nonprofits, philanthropies, and companies. She brings 15 years of global experience partnering with leading brands, civil society organizations and philanthropists to drive social change. She joined Purpose from Girl Effect where she served in a range of roles across partnerships, program leadership and most recently as a Chief of Staff. During her tenure, she led expansion into new markets including Malawi, Tanzania and the US as well as partnerships with organizations including PEPFAR, the Vodafone Foundation and Nike. Before Girl Effect, she was part of Nike’s Social Impact team in Europe. She started her career at SustainAbility advising corporate clients on sustainability and social impact strategy. She graduated from Brown University with a BA in Development Studies and holds a Masters in Food Policy from City University in London.
Dwayne Keys works at Compass Working Capital, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending asset poverty with a focus on Black and Latina women-led households specializing in HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. Dwayne joined Compass as a financial coach working one-on-one with Compass clients, worked as a Financial Coaching Manager supervising a team of financial coaches, and is currently the Director of Programs, Multifamily in which he oversees Compass’s partnerships and growth of FSS with multifamily owners. Prior to joining Compass in 2017, he spent 13 years working in for-profit banking and financial services, holding roles in customer relationship management, service and sales. Dwayne is also the Managing Director of D Key Solution, a consulting firm he launched in 2015 that provides services in meeting facilitation, community engagement, and change management with low-to-moderate income Black and Brown communities in areas such as zoning, urban planning, preservation, community development, small businesses, and overall economic inclusion. For over 19 years Dwayne has advocated on behalf of historically excluded communities for economic justice and full inclusion in economic prosperity, with a focus on eliminating poverty, preventing displacement, and supporting anti-racism initiatives and has been an active supporter of SEG's initiatives to ensure equitable & inclusive opportunities for accessing capital. Dwayne attended Johnson & Wales University where he earned his A.S. in Retailing, B.S. in Marketing and M.B.A. in International Trade. He is an Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) and certified in Financial Social Work.
Rebeka has spent over 20 years in financial strategy, planning, and analysis with a focus on collaboration and successfully partnering within the organization to close the gap between finance and operations. After spending several years with a Big 4 accounting firm, Rebeka provided outsourced CFO and financial turnaround services for a broad range of industries before working directly in higher education, most recently as the COO and CFO of an industrial arts school where she oversaw faculty, the development and launch of a new academic program and construction and financing of a new academic building. She is excited to return to her passion of consulting to help companies thrive and evolve. Rebeka is a strategist and planner, passionate about creating value for companies. Her entrepreneurial mindset and intellectual curiosity drive her to find creative ways to solve problems, prioritize and deliver tangible outcomes in a growing organization. Rebeka has demonstrated achievement in developing and leading organization-wide change management including turning around a company or department's performance several times throughout her consulting career.
Julia McDowell is a Venture Partner at F-Prime Capital. She's an experienced healthcare executive across private and public sectors, with a unique combination of operations, strategy, new service design and launch, and commercialization experience. Prior to this, Julia served as Program Director of Family Planning at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), where she designed, launched, and led the organization’s first family planning program. She oversaw the implementation of pricing deals CHAI brokered with global pharmaceutical companies to make essential contraceptive products affordable, partnering with public health systems in sub-Saharan Africa to expand access to long-acting methods of contraception for millions of women. Early in her career, Julia was a Fulbright Fellow in Bolivia, where she collaborated with indigenous communities on environmental health and social justice issues, and later served as the Principal Investigator for Climate Change at Agua Sustentable, a local nonprofit research and advocacy organization. Julia earned an MBA at the Yale School of Management as a Frederick Frank Fellow, and an MPH at Emory University as a Robert W. Woodruff Fellow. She completed her BA at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where she now lives with her husband, Seth.
Charon Rose is a public affairs and administration professional with over 10 years of
experience leading and supporting community relations, financial empowerment programming,
political campaigns, nonprofit boards, and stakeholder management. She is currently the
Director of Workforce Strategy and Operations at the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary
Commissioner (RIOPC). Before joining the Commissioner’s office, she served in the Office of
the Rhode Island General Treasurer for eight years spearheading community outreach and
financial empowerment initiatives. Before transitioning her career full-time to government and
politics, she spent 17 years as an employee of Women & Infants Hospital and active SEIU
1199NE member. A lifelong Rhode Islander, Rose earned a BA in Communications from Rhode
Island College and an MPA from Clark University.
Gary enjoys sharing his extensive business, legal and operational experience with aspiring and successful entrepreneurs. He started his career as a corporate lawyer in New York City and then served as General Counsel for a multinational trading firm for over 15 years. In 2007, Gary transitioned to the nonprofit sector and directed his efforts to developing infrastructure and improving business efficiency and operational outcomes. He served as COO for one nonprofit providing free job training and placement in New York City and another nonprofit supporting a national partnership of healthcare providers. In these positions, he helped ambitious and demanding CEOs implement their visions! Gary currently serves as a Director and Vice Chair of Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, a workforce development nonprofit for jobless and working poor New Yorkers. He splits his time between Westchester, New York and Westerly, Rhode Island.
Sandy has devoted the majority of her career to working with nonprofit organizations since graduating from the University of Massachusetts with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Sandy concentrates her efforts on providing advisory, financial and consulting services to tax-exempt organizations and clients requiring contract compliance audits. She has worked with clients from the application to the dissolution phase and is also responsible for audit, tax, consulting, and compliance services in the nonprofit services group. She also performs management consulting on a variety of issues relative to the management of the modern not-for-profit organization, including governance best practices, grants management, internal controls and internal financial reporting. Sandy has served as a partner at the accounting firm KLR since 2001 where she provides audit, tax and consulting services to clients in the nonprofit industry.
Lorne AdrainLorne 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.
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.
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.
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.