Lauren Abda is the Founder and CEO of Branchfood, the largest community of food entrepreneurs and startups in New England, and Co-founder at Branch Venture Group, an angel network for investment in early-stage food startups. Prior to Branchfood, Lauren consulted for foodtech businesses in Boston and San Francisco, worked as an analyst for Salt Venture Partners LLC, a venture capital firm, focused on food startups, targeting content, commerce, and technology, and wrote reports on international food safety development initiatives on behalf of the Agriculture and Commodities division at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. She has a Masters in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Vermont.
Lorne has a national life insurance practice focused on estate planning and corporate applications. He has worked with entrepreneurs and businesses across the country. Mr. Adrain has also been an executive at AT&T and worked for ten years as an entrepreneur in the technology and environmental sectors. He was the founder of KindMark, a leader in the creation of software and technologies advancing philanthropy.
Mr. Adrain is an active philanthropic and community leader. He was appointed by Rhode Island’s Governor Chafee as Chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education and to the Rhode Island Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education. He was a candidate for Mayor of Providence. He served as vice president and director of the Harvard Business School Alumni Association and serves on the Boards of The Rhode Island Foundation, Big Picture Learning and The Business Innovation Factory. He is also founder of National Neighborhood Day and is co-founder of Social Venture Partners / Social Enterprise Greenhouse – Rhode Island and BetterProvidence. Mr. Adrain has served as Chairman of the Rhode Island Special Olympics and President of the University of Rhode Island Alumni Association. He has climbed Mounts Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Aconcagua, Denali (McKinley) and other peaks in recent years to raise funds in support of women’s education, economic and health programs on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala and to support aspiring inner-city students from Providence.
Mr. Adrain has twice received Northwestern Mutual Life’s national Community Service Award and was recognized as their Most Exceptional Volunteer in the Nation. He has also been honored with the Rhode Island Foundation Inspiring Partner Award, the Jefferson Award for Public Service, Leadership Rhode Island’s David E. Sweet Leadership Award and the Providence Rotary’s 100th Anniversary Community Leadership Award. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Mr. Adrain earned his MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a BS from the University of Rhode Island. Mr. Adrain and his wife, novelist Ann Hood, live in Providence, RI and have four children.
I help fellow women lawyers by making it easier to get un-stuck, find time, feel balanced, avoid obstacles, dodge distractions, stay focused, build your confidence, and be the total rockstar we both know you are -- let's get started!
Michael is a practical strategy, innovation, and social impact specialist, offering 30 years of diverse strategy and operating experience. His background includes serving as Deputy Director of Strategy & Management at the Gates Foundation, Chairman and CEO of a development-stage biotech firm, CEO of a product development firm, and CEO of an innovative food enterprise. As a consultant, he has designed and delivered business, corporate and innovation strategy programs to clients ranging from start-ups and non-profits to Fortune 1000 multinationals in a wide range of industries. His social impact and innovation work includes serving as an active Director at the $1B Rhode Island Foundation, where he also serves on the Impact Investment and Audit committees. Recent innovation work includes developing strategy for Brown University, Johnson & Wales University, and a large international private Foundation. Michael chaired the Strategy committee at Social Enterprise Greenhouse and was an active Director previously. Mr. Allio has published more than 20 articles on strategy and metrics, and one book: "Practical Strategy For Family Businesses" was released by Tata-McGraw Hill in 2005. His articles appear in the Journal of Business Strategy, Strategy & Leadership, and elsewhere. He has earned ten patents, is an honors graduate of Harvard (where he was a John Harvard Scholar).
Kim’s more than 30 years as a business leader and entrepreneur started in the Executive Training/Buying Departments of Jordan Marsh and Macy’s. She founded Teapots & Tassels, Co., which was awarded “Best of Rhode Island” repeatedly, and was featured in Southern Home Magazine. Kim has founded and led several significant community based programs, including the Barrington Business Task Force, and 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. She founded and chairs Flower Power, a community beautification effort in Barrington, and has raised close to half million dollars in twelve years for this endowed effort. In 2009 Kim and her daughter, Ava, founded Ava Anderson Non Toxic, a direct sales company offering the safest full line of 90+ organic and natural personal care and home cleaning products, whose singular purpose was to reduce harmful chemicals linked to disease for humans and the environment. In 7 years she and her daughter built the company to a $60M run rate, with 100 local employees, and 20,000 enrolled Independent Consultants across the country. The Andersons sold the business in 2016, and Kim is now dedicated to working with her family to impact invest for climate crisis solutions.
Hamzah received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nottingham in 2006, a Masters from King’s College London in 2008, and his PRIME Masters from Brown University in 2009. Hamzah co-founded Accelereach, an angel-funded developer of health and wellness coaching software, with fellow PRIME alum Adam Emrich in 2009. The company’s software has helped thousands of people around the country lead healthier and more fulfilled lives. Hamzah joined the Rhode Island Health Insurance Exchange as a Consultant soon after it’s establishment. While there, he developed new lines of business, growth strategies, and sources of revenue. In 2011, Hamzah was honored by the Rhode Island Tech Collective as one the top 10 IT entrepreneurs in the State. Finally, he has advised United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse on legislative policy governing immigration reform, economic development and funding for small businesses. As the Entrepreneur-in-Residence he mentors, coaches and advises student ventures, and facilitates the commercialization of Brown technology and IP.
Applying extensive experiences as a senior executive, strategic planner and mentor to the university classroom and boardroom.
After graduating from Babson College in 2010, Martin founded Professional Ambulance, LLC located in Providence. Growing ProAm has offered a unique perspective into today's healthcare system, and the challenges facing the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. His perspective as both an entrepreneur and as a paramedic offered an understanding of reimbursement economics, clinical outcomes improvement, and healthcare policy. Sharing experiences and knowledge has allowed Martin to maintain Professional Ambulance's competitive position while also identifying entrepreneurial opportunities in healthcare services arena. Outside of his career, Martin is an avid skier, triathlete, and photographer.
Christa currently serves as the Director, Alliance Management at Year Up. Year Up is a workforce development not for profit organization whose mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by ensuring that young adults gain the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through careers and higher education. Her work with Year Up is focused on post-program employment for Year Up graduates across the country. Christa?s career is anchored in the world of work, she has worked extensively over the past two decades to understand job markets, trends and connect people to opportunity, with a focus on hiring, employability, and implications of culture on business results. Her focus on the talent ecosystem with an emphasis on sourcing and talent acquisition, talent management, and retention couples well with her experience in team development, project management, and planning, Christa has also led more traditional human resource functions including; employee relations, benefits, and succession planning. In addition, Christa is a business leader with experience managing P&L's of upwards of 50Mil for both private and publicly traded companies, she has led several highly successful, award-winning, technical talent acquisition and strategic sales teams. Christa received a BA in Psychology from the University of New Haven, studied organizational design at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and holds credentials in Human-Centered Design from +Acumen and IDEO.org.
I have over 20 years experience and expertise in economic and community development with specialization in microlending and small business lending in leading a for- profit and not-for-profit. This experience reflects strong management and organizational skills and has resulted in attaining impressive fundraising and business development goals. Additionally, my strategic collaborations with community partners, local and state departments, and corporate entities, resulted in notable successful programming for low/moderate income and women entrepreneurs in the state of Rhode Island. Specialties: Non profit management Program Development Board Development Strategic Planning Fund Development Small business consultation
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. Ken is a Managing Director in Alvarez and Marsal’s Healthcare Industry Group.
Manuel is the Director of the Providence Center with the Rhode Island SBDC. He is a serial entrepreneur, college professor and small business counselor. He holds a MBA from LSU, attended The Executive Program at the University of Virginia and is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP). He has C level managerial experience with Fortune 500 companies in the Wine & Spirit Industry and in Food Manufacturing. Manuel was the 2016 State Star for Rhode Island. His area of interest are Minority Owned Business, Food Manufacturing, Agribusiness, Wine, and Spirits. Manuel is a native of the Dominican Republic, and is responsible for the Providence Region, which includes Warren and Barrington. Manuel is the Director of the Providence Center with the Rhode Island SBDC. He is a serial entrepreneur, college professor and small business counselor. He holds a MBA from LSU, attended The Executive Program at the University of Virginia and is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP). He has C level managerial experience with Fortune 500 companies in the Wine & Spirit Industry and in Food Manufacturing. Manuel was the 2016 State Star for Rhode Island. His area of interest are Minority Owned Business, Food Manufacturing, Agribusiness, Wine, and Spirits. Manuel is a native of the Dominican Republic, and is responsible for the Providence Region, which includes Warren and Barrington
Allison Bebee has worked as a Packaging Engineer at Ocean Spray Cranberries for the past 8 years, obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in 2007. This past year Allison left this field to pursue her passions in social enterprise and politics, with a specific interest in the foster care system. Allison has demonstrated her passion for social change through her involvement in leadership throughout her life, holding positions in college with student government, the Institute of Packaging Professionals Student Chapter, and Monroe Community College Board of Trustees. During her tenure at Ocean Spray, Allison was involved in committees to improve corporate culture and employee engagement, helping to give employees a bigger voice. Outside of her work Allison participates in several volunteer organizations, including mentoring through RISE and supporting the Greater Boston Food Bank financial goals as a kitchen cabinet member. Allison hopes to bring these experiences and apply them to social change within the RI community. Allison resides in Cranston, RI.
Fundraising problems aren’t usually [just] fundraising problems. Fix your strategy, your governance, your operations, your ethos…and fix your fundraising.
Ashley is a bona fide nonprofit nerd. She delights in converting staff and board members from reluctant beggars (yuck) to ambitious peddlers of joy (insert glitter here). By applying research and theory from the worlds of fundraising, behavioral science, social science, marketing, design, and education she helps her awesome clients builds better systems to achieve greater impact.
If you're looking for a professional leadership and organizational development wizard (and trainer!), look no further. Over 30 years of experience -- in the U.S. and worldwide -- in training hundreds of employees, from line workers to managers to vice presidents, with a very strong record of success. Deliver training and provide coaching with an innovative style; team building a speciality. Always focused on my mission, always devising training that pinpoint matches the participants' needs, always excited about achieving results. Anyone can write and follow a standard lesson plan. I march to a different beat with an entirely different drummer. Accomplished runner, hence full of energy. Accomplished chef (host of a cooking show), so might "reward" goals met with homemade biscotti. Over 25 years experience working with individuals and groups to improve performance and achieve business goals. Strong food focus ? growing, writing, cooking, and coaching Specialties: Master Trainer: Professional Development; Service Delivery Systems -- enhance and reinforce; Effective Virtual Communication; Behavioral Coaching; Team Building; Executive Presentation -- organization and delivery;
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 & Co. 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.
John has been building and leading software development teams for over 20 years. He is currently Managing Director at Thoughtcap, a boutique consultancy based in Providence, RI. John’s areas of expertise include coaching high-performance teams, lean product development, DevOps and continuous delivery, large-scale distributed systems, and data-center-to-cloud migrations. Previously John led the engineering team at Huge, one of the world’s leading digital agencies, where he supervised the delivery of custom software , websites and mobile apps for clients such as AARP, Comcast, Mass Mutual, NYU Langone Medical Center and Sonic Automotive. As Principle Software Engineer at NBC News Digital, John designed and built the software and deployment systems underpinning nbcnews.com and today.com. John is a member of the Executive Leadership Council for NYC-based iMentor, which provides 1-to-1 mentoring focused on high-school graduation and college success to students in low income communities. He has also donated his time and expertise to non-profits including Malaika and Blue Ridge Labs @ Robin Hood. John majored in Russian and Soviet Studies at Harvard College.
Jim Berson has served in leadership roles at some of Rhode Island’s most respected non-profit organizations for nearly 25 years. A graduate of Brown University, Jim worked for over a decade at The Providence Center, the state’s leading community behavioral health care organization, including four years as COO. He served in similar leadership roles at Meeting Street for seven years, before becoming the CEO of the YMCA of Greater Providence from 2012 through 2016. During this period, Jim also earned his Masters of Public Health from Boston University. Throughout his career, Jim has been actively involved in community based collective impact work, most recently through his leadership of the South County Health Equity Zone and his involvement with the Providence Children and Youth Cabinet. Jim has also served on a variety of boards and commissions, ranging from the Quonset Development Corporation and Rhode Island Business Group on Health to the Rhode Island Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention, where he served as chair for 2 years. Jim joined Fio Partners earlier this year and has taken on wide range of consulting projects, ranging from executive coaching to developing quality improvement and risk management programs. Most recently, he has taken on the role of i, a non-profit organization in the City of Providence that is currently undergoing leadership transition. Jim lives in North Kingstown with his wife and two children, ages 12 and 17.
I am an assurance manager out of the Providence, RI office of Marcum LLP, focusing on Food, Beverage, and Healthcare clients. Rather than focus on just getting work done, I strive to provide personalized, proactive service and customized, timely and solutions that are consistently high in quality.
Todd serves as President and CEO of Blount Fine Foods, a 5th generation company headquartered in Fall River, MA, with other facilities in Rhode Island and Texas. The company produces gourmet refrigerated soups & sides for restaurants and retailers nation-wide. Todd began working for Blount Fine Foods after graduating with a MBA from Boston University, in 1994. Todd serves on the boards of Camp Brookwoods and Moose River Outpost. He also co-created a Christian leadership program called Rhode Trip which takes boys on a variety of outdoor adventure trips. He is currently on the Greater Fall River Development Board, and past president of the Fall River Industrial Park Association and past board member of Bristol County, MA Workforce Investment Board and Hope and Main Board [food business incubator]
Public relations first captured my attention as a teenager. I’ve spent every year in the decades since pursuing any avenue that would teach me more about how the right word, the right image or the right story can change hearts, minds and identities. I’m an account manager with Matter Communications’ Precision group, where my world turns for both B2B and B2C brands and organizations. I’m a champion of highly focused scopes of work and the unique, measurable ways they can inspire growth. Outside of Matter, I’ve nurtured a holistic view of brand promotion by working with niche agencies, consulting for professionals at the executive level, managing print, web and social media campaigns, and guest lecturing on social media and sharing behavior for undergraduate and graduate classes. I spend my free time as an artist and gamer.
David Bradley is an author and consultant with expertise in helping companies communicate with their customers via digital, mobile and social. David also works with consultants to start and grow their practices with personalized coaching and training. His first book published was "Getting Digital Marketing Right", a best-seller in Marketing & Sales. The sister-course has enrolled over 11,600 students from 136 countries. He continues to write on topics related to marketing, strategy, and consulting.
Manassah Bradley brings over 15 years of experience as a senior business advisor, educator and entrepreneur offering business planning and strategy services from startup through maturity. Highly regarded as an engaging facilitator and consultant, he has guided thousands of business owners, CEOs, students and entrepreneurs to success. A kid from the streets of Boston turned entrepreneurial business executive, Manassah draws on deep and wide-ranging knowledge of business disciplines and their interconnectedness to deliver bold, strategic solutions. He has helped clients think through business models, develop effective business plans, raise millions in capital and create strategic, pragmatic growth plans for long-term success. Through keen business and interpersonal insights and a passion for building businesses, he forges strong, lasting connections with his clients. Manassah holds an MBA in entrepreneurship from Babson College and a B.S. in economics from Northeastern University.
Chandra Briggman is President and CEO of Activation Capital, a leading innovation ecosystem development organization providing social, knowledge, and financial capital to tech clusters across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Before being named the CEO in May 2020, Chandra was Director of Venture Café Foundation located in Cambridge, MA, and was responsible for the strategy and operations of the global network’s flagship Venture Café Cambridge innovation hub. She played a key role in helping expand the revenue and the footprint in New England.
Before her work in ecosystem development in Massachusetts, she held innovation roles with the United States Postal Service in Washington, DC, culminating with her work as the Director of Digital Platforms and the Innovation Lab. Her prior experience comprised leadership roles with multiple startups, including Founder as a serial entrepreneur.
Chandra is an active member of the entrepreneurship and innovation community, including as a guest lecturer, coach/mentor, public speaker, and Chair of the Board for Youth CITIES - a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to youth entrepreneurship.
She earned her Bachelor’s degree in the Humanities from Columbia International University, a Master’s in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University, and an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Brenda is the founder, formulator and CEO of Farmaesthetics, the award-winning green beauty brand she launched at an organic farmstand in 1999. Brock's fine herbal products blazed the trail for today's truly natural, luxury apothecary lines. Her products utilize organically grown herbs, flowers, oils and grains in traditional herbal recipes gleaned from her farming family heritage. Brock is a recognized leader in the industry, and unwavering in her commitment to "Sustainable Beauty", the term she created to describe her beauty beliefs and the 100% natural, fine herbal products that uphold them.
Tim Brown is an experienced brand building expert and leader, and has had extensive executive management experience and success in Direct Selling, Retail and Wholesale businesses with premium, well-known brands in many product categories (Clinique, Trifari, Christian Dior, Coach, Swarovski). Most recently he was part owner, President, and CEO of Princess House, Inc., a $130 million Direct Selling – Party Plan company. Over the past 30 years, Tim has grown, turned around or revitalized many of these brands. Perhaps the crowning achievement in Tim’s rich branding history was leading the Swarovski team that achieved, as noted by the Wall Street Journal, “the kind of product placement positioning marketers dream about – at the top of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Naming the 9-1/2 foot star, The Swarovski Star, was the first time in Rockefeller Center’s 70 year history that a corporate sponsor claimed this spot.” Most recently in 2006, Tim lead the Princess House team that, in 18 months, took a company which was highly leveraged to completely debt free, and then navigated the 2008 economic downturn to reach unprecedented levels of growth and profitability. He has also partnered with Jamie Oliver, the chef on the Food Network and has helped build his presence in media as well.
"As an accomplished, progressive business leader, my career has been shaped by a passion for mastering deep understanding and management of global marketing and brand strategy. Over the years I have accrued a stellar track record for spearheading large cross-functional initiatives, advising global boards on corporate reputation issues and implementing scalable marketing solutions to support responsible organizational growth.
By expertly refining marketing strategies and navigating increased demand for marketing capabilities to keep stride with the demands of a growing enterprise, I gained the trust and respect of global leadership executives and was selected in 2012 to serve on the mission critical planning committee, a position I maintain to this day."
Geoff Capraro, MD, MPH is a practicing Brown Emergency Medicine physician who wants to bring the power of emergency antidotes to the public. He is actively working on opioid overdose prevention through his founding of NaloxBox, his engagement in the naloxone work group of RI Governor Raimondo's Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force, and his research on the detection of impending overdose. He values his deep collaborations in these efforts, and gladly serves as a mentor for Brown and RI programs in entrepreneurship and innovation including Brown's Breakthrough Laboratory, Brown medical school's Scholarly Concentration Program, and the Social Enterprise Greenhouse. He is working with his department and Brown Physicians Inc. to build a more diverse health provider workforce.
Claudia is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach with over 10 years of experience assisting small businesses; non-profit organizations and the private sector to improve employee engagement and economic growth. She brings a unique blend of experience in the private and public sectors, combined with a vast network and access to resources that she leverages to find customized solutions that best meets the needs of her clients. Her passion for helping others develop their full potential has its origins in her own story as a first-generation immigrant to the United States. Her constant pursue of personal and professional development allowed her to gain experience in a variety of industries, always pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone and striving for excellence.
Claudia is the Community Development Manager and HarborOne Bank, and a Strengths Coach at Leadership Rhode Island’s Make RI Stronger Initiative. Ms. Cardozo is in the board of directors of Academy for Career Exploration High School and the Providence/Cranston Workforce Board. She is also a Community Advisor at United Way of Rhode Island and Business Mentor at Venture Mentoring Services of Rhode Island. Claudia holds a certificate of Master Coach of Neuro-linguistic Programming.
In 2010, Claudia was named the Minority Small Business Champion of the Year by RI Small Business Administration, and in 2013, RI Latino Public Radio recognized her with an Outstanding Achievement Award for her contributions to the Latino business community. She also received the Ronald McDonald House Community Service Award in 2014.
10+ years of professional experience in equity research and investments Authored detailed publications spanning industry, product, competitive position and valuation metrics. Published research quoted in Barrons, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Forbes and others. Professional accolades include recognition in Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Starmine. Presented to investment, industry and company executives ranging from one-on-one meetings to large groups. Specialties: Proven track record as successful equity analyst.
Deep understanding of business models, value drivers, industry and competitive landscape Advanced financial modeling, analysis, forecasting and reconciliation High level of written and verbal communication Excellent presentation skills Respected by peers, competitors, corporate clients, management and juniors.
Liana is a healthcare operations and systems consultant who has worked in a range of organizations across the industry including overseeing operations at Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island and systems optimization for Enterprise Health Systems with athenaHealth. Additionally, Liana ran an online company she founded that focused on distribution of organic, medically safe personal care products.
Her interest in social entrepreneurship comes from her drive to see innovation solve the social problems that contribute to health issues, predominantly, but not exclusively, for women and girls.
Liana is committed to public service and is currently serving as a State Representative in the RI General Assembly. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer having served in Costa Rica on Community Development projects. Liana has also served on non-profit boards, including the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island. She earned her Master’s in Public Health from Boston University and her Master’s in Business Administration from Simmons College.
Alicia currently is a UX Studio Lead and Design Strategist for a technology consulting company. She is passionate in using a variety of creative canvases and harnessing technology in delightful and inspiring ways to engage users with richly crafted storytelling and experiences. Being multilingual in design, technology and strategy, she’s able to balance creative integrity and emerging technology with business needs to problem solve through creative and innovative solutions.
Additionally, Alicia has lead creative direction in UX, branding, visual design, digital strategy and fashion design. Prior to a transition into technology, Alicia was head designer at a women’s and men’s apparel company.
Tino started Giant Shoulders after working in New York agencies and Bay area startups, believing that design plays an integral role in moving the world forward. He has worked with organizations and leaders from Mayo Clinic, GE Health, Proctor & Gamble, Marketwired, Sysomos, RISD and Waterfire.
Ms. Churchville had an accomplished career as a television executive. After retiring from broadcast, she joined the Office of the General Treasurer for the State of Rhode Island as the Director of College and Retirement Savings Plans. As Director of College and Retirement Savings Plans, Ms. Churchville is responsible for managing vendors (TIAA, Ascensus, Voya, Invesco and Fidelity) who provide record keeping and asset management for CollegeBound and the state's 529, 457, defined contribution and ABLE savings plans.
In her prior position as President and General Manager of NBC Owned Station, WJAR, Ms. Churchville was responsible for the station through a decade of turbulent and trans-formative times in media, news-gathering, technology and program distribution.
After earning her MBA from Harvard Business School, Ms. Churchville spent 15 years in sales and sales management for network owned television stations.
Trevor is a strategist and growth marketer who recently moved from San Francisco, California to Rhode Island. Trained in cultural anthropology, Trevor is passionate about the human side of marketing, product development, and innovation. He is an experiment-minded marketer who seeks to balance the subjectivity of strategy with the objectivity of data and validation. In 2015, Trevor co-founded Bramble Outdoor, an activist brand that creates products inspired by wild places, and contributes a portion of every purchase back to the preservation of those places. Months after founding the company, they launched in 42 REI stores across the west. They gained recognition over the summer as one of the “Five Best Startups of 2017” by Outside Magazine.
Prior to founding Bramble, Trevor worked with San Francisco based creative agency, CSpence Group, to develop and launch social action content and campaigns alongside organizations including: American Institute of Architects, AdCouncil, The US Army, Stonyfield Organic, Silk, Hyundai, Pepsi, and others. He and his team scaled a decentralized network of creative-activists from a pilot at Stanford to over 100 universities across the country. The program was a partnership with Participant Media and endeavored to connect millennial storytellers with professional development opportunities.
Trevor is a graduate of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center’s Milestone Makers program, Telluride Venture Accelerator, is an advisor for the Kaiser Permanente Biomedical Research Bank, and was part of a National Geographic Young Explorer team to be among the first to Ski the Sacred Headwaters of Northern British Columbia, Canada. Trevor is an avid surfer, cyclist, runner, skier, and mountaineer, and has an insatiable appetite for green chile grown in my native state, New Mexico.
Margo Crawford of Wave Productivity specializes in increasing the focus, organization and productivity of entrepreneurs, small business owners, telecommuters, and those working in home offices. Taking a caring and non-judgmental approach, she creates organized systems that fit the unique needs of her clients. She is a graduate of Emmanuel College, a small liberal arts college steps away from Fenway Park in Boston. Margo has worked in productivity and organizing for over 15 years in a variety of situations. In 2006, Margo collaborated with other productivity experts to publish the book Exploring Productivity. In 2016, Wave Productivity’s blog was awarded Top 100 Productivity Blogs on the internet.
She received her Specialist Certificate in Workplace Productivity through the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO). A Specialist Certificate gives organizing and productivity professionals the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in a particular area of study, and demonstrates their commitment to professional development. In 2006, she was asked to speak at the NAPO Conference. This session allowed participants to share engaging ideas and develop innovative solutions to industry challenges.
Through the Institute of Applied Coaching, an accredited program through the International Coaching Federation, Margo received her certification as a C.O.C-Certified Organizer Coach. In 2015, Margo has been nominated for Emerging Entrepreneur and a Finalist for Women Business Owner of the Year in 2017. She is an avid surfer. She has traveled the world searching for the perfect waves and loves to catch them on her baby blue 7′ 8″ long board. When landlocked she enjoys creating art and visiting museums.
Dan Crocker is a business leader with extensive experience in leading the strategy and driving the results of global businesses. His most recent roles have included serving as the COO of Daniele Foods, a third generation producer of specialty Italian charcuterie, and the SVP, Global Chief Customer Officer of Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., the iconic 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.
Peter Crump is the founding partner of Site Specific, a General Contractor and Construction Management company, located in Providence, RI. As leader of the company's vision, strategic focus, planning and implementation, he is responsible for driving operational excellence and maintaining Site Specific's client focused approach. Having served in all roles within the company, he has built Site Specific into the award-winning firm it is today. Since the inception of Site Specific in 2004, Crump has focused on recruiting an elite team of construction professionals. A designer and builder by trade, he studied at Parsons School of Design in New York City and received his BFA in Painting and Sculpture from Parsons, Paris. Working in the art world, he designed and built sculptures and art installations at museums and galleries in the United States and Europe. These days at Site Specific, Crump dedicates his time to business development and company vision and growth strategies. Mr. Crump has served on the New Urban Arts Board of Directors, currently he serves on the Providence Foundation Board of Directors and the Hope Club Board of Governors. He lives in Rumford, RI with his wife and three children.
Meredith A. Curren is the president/CEO of Edgewood Holdings, a private investment company. She was previously an owner and CEO of Pease & Curren, a refiner of precious metals. She is currently a board member and chair of the audit committee of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island. She also serves on the board of a number of other non-profit organizations. In addition, from 2000 to 2007, Ms. Curren served on the board of trustees of Ocean State Tax-Exempt Fund, a registered open-end registered investment company. Ms. Curren has been a member of our Board of Directors since 2002 and serves on our Executive Committee. Ms. Curren graduated from Smith College with a BA in English and Columbia University with an MBA in Finance, Marketing. She and her husband, Gary Frishman, live in Cranston, RI with their 3 children. In her free time, she enjoys squash, sailing, and skiing.
David Dadekian is: President and primary writer/editor of Eat Drink RI ( eatdrinkri.com ); Outreach chairperson and member of the Rhode Island Food Policy Council ( rifoodcouncil.org ); cooking instructor and private chef; photographer of people, places and things ( dadekianphoto.com ); PR Director for Blackbird Farm ( blackbirdfarmri.com ); husband and father of two girls; he also dislikes writing in the third person.
I help small business owners start and grow their businesses. In my time with the RI Small Business Development Center, I have worked with 300+ clients, helping launch 35+ new businesses, create 200+ jobs, and secure $12 MM in capital.Some people study and practice public interest law. For me, it’s public interest business. My passion is helping institutions – universities, businesses, nonprofits – build and use their assets for community benefit and social change.
Tuan Dang is currently Senior Manager, Strategic Planning & Competitive Financial Benchmarking at International Game Technology (IGT). In addition to IGT, Tuan is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Luminous Development Group, a technology start-up based in Tallahassee, Florida. Throughout his career, he has developed expertise in all facets of corporate finance ranging from M&A, capital markets, strategic planning and investor relations. A native Rhode Islander, Tuan graduated from Bryant University with a degree in Finance is currently pursuing the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Bill Daugherty is Executive Chairman of ANC Sports, the leading arena and signage digital signage company in the United States. He currently serves on the boards of ConnectEDU, Tickets-For-Charity and Creative Circle Media. Prior to launching DMI, Bill founded and served as co-CEO of Interactive Search Holdings, Inc. (ISH) until the company was sold to Ask Jeeves in May 2004. ISH was Google’s 2nd largest domestic distribution partner behind AOL. Prior to starting ISH, Bill served as Sr. Vice President of Business Development for the National Basketball Association where he worked from 1991-1999. Bill also served as the Managing Director of the NBA Consumer Products Division. Bill chairs the Center for Entrepreneurship at The Met Center, a charter high school in Providence and is Founder & Executive Chair of NBA Math Hoops. Bill received an MBA from the Harvard Business School (1991) and a BBA from the University of Georgia (1985). He was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Bill and his wife, Tracy, live in Rhode Island with their three children.
I have a core legal background in Equity Financing and Mergers & Acquisitions, but a best description is arguably "Outside General Counsel," under which I hat I provide an array of business and legal services across a broad spectrum of market needs to start-up, mid-cap and large business clients.
Kas is a Partner in Corporate & Business group at Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West LLC. His practice is best described as “Outside General Counsel,” but his particular skill sets are in corporate and transactional law, financing and mergers and acquisitions, commercial real estate, intellectual property, international business ethics and compliance, and arts and entertainment law, which he uses to help steer private for-profit and non-profit businesses and individuals. When he’s not wearing a tie, he’s a manic dabbler in product development and licensing, and an avid martial artist. Kas has been an active community volunteer on numerous fronts, including the Quonset Development Corporation, the Providence Economic Development Partnership, United Way of Rhode Island, the Greater Providence YMCA, Providence Athenaeum, Progresso Latino, The Met School. He’s also a member of the Rhode Island Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline, the Rhode Island Commodores and is a recent chair of the Thurgood Marshall Law Society. Kas received both his bachelor degree and J.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, was named a New England Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2010, and was twice named to Providence Business News’ Forty under Forty, Class of 2006 and 2007. Word has it that he’s no longer under Forty. His children believe that he is Batman—ask him about his comic book collection.
Sixcia Devine is a Google national speaker for Grow with Google. She is an entrepreneurship expert, Hispanic/Latina Media Communication, and Latin American Hispanic Marketing Specialist. She is author of "Tapping into The Hispanic Market". Offering keynote speeches and with a street-wise, college smart perspective on growing businesses.
She runs a Hispanic Marketing, Multicultural Communications and International business planning consulting firm and is a leading advisor on creating action-focused business strategies, partnering with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in Latin American, Caribbean and Europe.
She is also the founder of Caritas Smile (www.caritasmile.org), a charity focused on educating, inspiring and empowering women and children
Dedicated, motivated and hardworking professional, well-developed knowledge and skills in the areas of leadership, administration, motivational speaking, organizational skills, team worker and therapeutic counseling. Passionate about educating others and giving the best to strengthen their well-being. I am always willing to learn new skills and expand my knowledge to provide the best to my employer and the community.
I have extensive experience creating measurable, sustainable, positive change. My primary expertise is in team process, decision making, and evaluation. I am the CEO and founder of The Capacity Group (www.thecapacitygroup.com). I have also taught in the MBA program at Providence College for the past six years and I have twice been a visiting lecturer at Brown University's Social Enterprise Fellows Program. I am very involved in the social impact sector and was recognized in the Boston Business Journal for the tools I created to advance corporate philanthropy. I received Adoption Rhode Island's Beacon of Hope Award and I developed a program that received recognition from both Ashoka Changemakers and Harvard University's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Recently I have spoken on effective partnering, team decision making and evaluation at the Newport Chamber of Commerce, The Rhode Island Foundation, United Way of Rhode Island and the Grant Makers Council of Rhode Island. I am also an ongoing Mentor, Advisor, and Accelerator Applicant Reviewer with Social Enterprise Greenhouse, helping to build the next generation of innovative local businesses.
As a nutrition educator and researcher, Kathleen has dedicated her work to increasing the public’s knowledge about the connection between nutrition and patterns of disease. Her practices aim to address the health of the whole by taking into account the physiology and biochemistry of the human body and our connection to our nature. Kathleen is a Functional Nutrition Practitioner, BioIndividual Nutrition Practitioner, Certified Integrative Health & Nutrition Coach and Author of the bestselling book, The Hidden Connection, and soon-to-be released Resilience. Her incredible story of recovery and hope is featured in the documentary film Secret Ingredients. Kathleen is the President and Founder of Rhode to Health, Inc, a corporation dedicated to teaching and empowering others to embrace the self-care model to dig us out of the healthcare crisis. She is the Founder of a grassroots organization called Nourished2Learn™ that bridges the gap between the foundation of nutrition and academic performance by teaching children, parents and administrators the importance of nutrition in public schools. She also serves as a Board member on the Rhode Island Department of Health’s, Board of Chiropractic Examiners, as well as, the Board of the Bionutrient Food Association as the Nutrition Advisor.
Over 15 years of experience in sales and sales leadership higher education. Currently the regional lead for Salesforce in the higher education space, leading a team of 7 to work with higher education institutions to provide optimal value to students across their entire student journey; from enrollment to proud alum. I am an education enabler. I educate current and future high performers on the key to sustained excellence: resilience. I believe that adversity creates opportunity, and through my book and podcast (The Sweet Adversity Podcast), I work to provide the stories, strategies, and tactics to help people achieve success and fulfillment in their lives. I am an active board member on two nonprofit boards: The Gary DiNardo Memorial Foundation, and Argosy Collegiate Charter School. I am a lifelong learner, husband, sometimes good (but mostly bad) golfer, curious, and all out good, hard working dude who is fascinated with how we develop resilience and use it to accomplish great things for the world and ourselves. I believe in continuing to seek growth, to seek understanding, to be curious about the people and things around you. If we do this, and cultivate this in our students and clients, we can create a more entrepreneurial, driven mindset and make a difference.
MY MISSION IS TO LIGHT YOUR FIRE, SHAKE UP YOUR VIEW ON THE WORLD, AND HELP YOU CREATE THE LEGACY YOU REALLY WANT FOR YOUR LIFE. I help high-performing CEOs and entrepreneurs (like you) make more money, create a culture that attracts and retains top talent, and build a business that leaves you feeling happier and more fulfilled. I do that by helping you see your business through a different lens, implement proven strategies for success, and grow into the leader you've always wanted to be. What does that look like? I work 1:1 with entrepreneurs, leaders, and their teams to expose your blind spots, improve engagement, and build greater legacies. Who am I? I'm a mix of the following: a driven achiever, an enthusiastic cheerleader, and a superhero who can see exactly what you cannot see about your life.
Robyn Earley is a Speech-Language Pathologist and health care administrator who received her BA in Speech-Language Pathology from University of Florida and her MA in Communication Sciences and Disorders from San Diego State University. She has over 20 years of experience as a healthcare leader in a variety of settings including long-term acute care, subacute rehab, outpatient, home health, hospice, long-term care and senior housing. Robyn served as the founder and head of a large Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology team at a Harvard Medical School affiliated health care continuum. As part of that experience, she established, directed and served as the clinical specialist for a Videoflouroscopy program. In addition to her speech pathology experience, Robyn is a certified LEAN/Six-Sigma green belt. Robyn also developed and successfully pitched the adoption of an employee wellness plan to her healthcare organization as part of an executive training program. Professionally, Robyn was active in both institutional and organizational ethics boards including serving as a consultant within her institution. Most recently, Robyn worked in business development and as a clinical specialist for an established mobile healthcare company. Within the community, Robyn was active in the Junior League of Boston, sponsoring and then chairing their partnership with Dress for Success Boston. In her spare time, Robyn is a competitive sailboat racer, avid snowboarder and overall outdoor enthusiast.
Kevin Egolf is an impact investing professional focusing his efforts on socially responsible farmland investing. His passion for sustainable agriculture and extensive finance background naturally led him into the growing impact investing field and towards agriculture. Through Iroquois Valley Farms, a leader in triple bottom line impact farmland investing, and Local Farms Fund, an early stage farmer land access venture in the NY Foodshed, Kevin helps investors achieve financial returns while providing social and environmental benefits alongside the investment gains. As the Chief Financial Officer of Iroquois Valley Farms, Mr. Egolf focuses his efforts on raising money and managing the money spent. He manages and leads the Company’s private offerings as well as keeps the books and records associated with the investors and corporate financials. Additionally, given his East Coast location is often the Company representative for East Coast activity. As a Co-Founder and Manager of Local Farms Fund, Kevin is bringing the Iroquois Valley Farms investment model on a small scale to local early stage farmers. Local Farms Fund is opening the doors of private investments to all investors, including non-accredited, following the principles of Slow Money. Prior to his work in socially responsible farmland investing, Kevin spent several years in investment banking and private equity developing extensive experience in corporate valuation, transaction management and fundraising. Kevin is a graduate of Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in both Economics and Computer Science. At Wesleyan University, he was Academic All-American, All-New England, 4-time varsity letter recipient and senior captain in the sport of wrestling. He continues to promote and teach the sport of wrestling as a wrestling coach, currently as coach of Nathan Bishop Middle School a 6-8 public school in Providence, Rhode Island.
20+years successfully leveraging brand strategy & design as a business driver for global multi-million dollar companies. Recognized for her leadership, creative talent, and development of innovative solutions, Josephine’s expertise in brand strategy and the product development lifecycle has allowed her to lead cross-functional teams at Schering-Plough, Estée Lauder, Mattel, Hasbro & United Natural Foods. Jo has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, an MBA in Global Business & Innovation from Northeastern University and has taught at FIT, RISD & in the Masters of Branding program at SVA.
Sandra Enos, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Sociology at Bryant University where she coordinates the service learning program and the social entrepreneurship concentration. Dr. Enos is the author of several articles on community-university partnerships and the pedagogy of service-learning. Dr. Enos has taught courses in philanthropy and serves on several boards in Rhode Island. She is currently researching the history of child welfare in the state and working with several agencies to bring that history to the public.
Antonieta is an experienced business professional committed to supporting social enterprise. Her work has spanned a variety of industries in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. She most recently served as CFO for Social Enterprise Greenhouse, and her prior experience included a position as Small Business Coach for the Latino Economic Development Center in Washington DC, assisting entrepreneurs to start businesses and develop management skills. Her nonprofit work followed her initial career in management consulting with Accenture in Boston and five years as General Manager of Ocean Rodeo, a Canadian company that designs and distributes kiteboarding equipment. Antonieta’s education includes a BS in Engineering, an MBA with specialization in Entrepreneurship. She is an impact-focused business leader with financial and operations expertise and executive leadership experience in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Antonieta is committed to developing and supporting enterprises whose primary goal is achieving a positive social impact while maintaining financial self-sustainability. Specialties: Small business development and entrepreneurship, business and non profit management, financial management and consulting. Also have experience in ERP system implementations, supply chain management and global distribution. Have worked in the telecommunications, IT & management consulting, sports equipment and nonprofit industries. Native fluency in English and Spanish, conversational Portuguese and Italian.
An action-oriented creative strategist with 10 years of experience building brand and marketing strategies for both consumer and B2B brands. Acutely skilled in audience engagement strategies, Courtney has a passion for constructing and communicating brand narratives. She helps companies and brands tell their story, create a unique culture around shared goals, showcase the things that drive us, and make people feel inspired and connected to something outside of themselves.
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.
Mr. Alan Feeney is the Founder of Feeney Law Group, a U.S. law firm specializing in intellectual property law. He served as the Senior Patent Counsel for a major biopharmaceutical company and was responsible for the development of the pharmaceutical portfolio for all research conducted in the United States, Ireland and Spain. Serving as both in-house counsel and in private practice, Mr. Feeney has practiced law for over twenty-five years with more than twenty years specializing in intellectual property law. In his practice, Alan’s background allows him to provide unique insight using a 360 view of patent law, including strategy, development, drafting, prosecution, and protection of biopharmaceutical patents. He has notable accomplishments in the development of partnerships and collaborations. Mr. Feeney has a specialized, advanced law degree in Intellectual Property. As part of the Feeney Law Group, Mr. Feeney was a subcontracted examiner in the biotech unit of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. From 2014-June 2015 he was a Patent Contractor to CPA Global Limited, a private company. Alan is licensed to practice law in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Florida, District of Columbia and the federal courts for New York as well as being registered to practice before the U.S. and Canadian patent offices.
Innovative marketing leader with demonstrated success in leading cross-functional initiatives to drive demand, grow revenue and deliver stellar customer experiences. Accomplished in creating and aligning go-to-market strategies that achieve sales goals.
Expertise in developing and executing field and channel marketing programs, integrated marketing campaigns, digital marketing, content development and websites—across the US and Latin America. Extensive experience setting, tracking and reporting on pipeline metrics—adjusting programs to improve lead quality as well as lead-to-opportunity and opportunity-to-close rates.
Adept at transforming operations and processes to streamline workflows and improve efficiencies. Quickly grasps complex problems, identifies core issues and develops creative solutions. Adjusts swiftly and effectively to changing business needs.
Skilled in driving consensus up and down the organization and rallying people around a common goal. Highly effective relationship builder and communicator with C-level executives, marketing and sales leaders, colleagues, direct reports, partners, suppliers and customers. Collaborative leader who builds, develops and motivates high performing teams to achieve individual and team objectives.
I earned a PhD in Marine Engineering at MIT, and have had a 23 year career in a variety of managerial and technical roles supporting the marine, defense, aeronautical and energy industries. My passion is bridging technology innovation with business development in the renewable energy and clean technology space. I am currently founder and CEO of Aquanis, Inc., where we are developing a new technology that will help to lower the cost of wind energy.
Antonio E. Fonseca is the other second generation family member currently directing Packaging & More. A graduate of the Film Department at the University of Notre Dame, Tony joined Packaging & More full time in 2005. Tony principally oversees the sales side of the business, personally handling many of the outstanding relationships Packaging & More has with its customers. He lives in Rumford with his wife, children, and aging golden retriever
My name is Angie Forigua. I was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Four years ago I decided to start a new journey. Since then, I’ve learned compassion, which gave me courage that I didn’t know I had, I’ve fallen, but got back up. And from that, I learned patience, respect for my body and self-care, which helped me not only empower myself, but the women in my life as well. To this day I still wonder why I decided to enter this world of sexuality. Like most of us, my sexual education was basic. But sexuality is the engine of emotions, the flow and exchange of energies between people. Sexuality is in everything we do in our daily lives. I’m currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Neuroscience-based Professional Coaching. I understand that our brain, although simple as it may seem, is very complex. With work, it can be guided to help people in their personal, social, sexual and spiritual growth. I am here because I want to share my energy and knowledge with you. To help empower you from the base that is the brain. I’m opening the doors of my heart and mind, hoping to accompany you on your journey. My approach is to educate you through sexual health, and emotional management without taboos, so that you recognize and nourish yourself. Are you ready?
Michael Friedman is Vice President at Clubhouse Capital LLC, a corporate finance advisory firm located in Providence, RI with a focus on raising corporate and real estate debt. Previously, Michael spent four years at Gerber Finance Inc., an Asset Based Lender to lower middle market companies. He is also the managing partner of Mulligan's Island, LLC, operator of a golf and family entertainment center in Cranston, RI. He was formerly President/CEO of Paramount Restaurant Supply Corp., Monarch Industries, Inc., and of MMF Realty, LLC, which owned industrial real estate in and around Rhode Island. Michael is currently a Member of the Corporation for Johnson & Wales University. Michael graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business with a BS in Economics and a concentration in Accounting and Entrepreneurial Management. He is a native of Providence and now lives in East Greenwich where he currently resides with his wife and three children.
Mr. Frugé specializes in Life Sciences IP, Tech Startups, Global Business Development, and the growth of early to mid-stage companies. He has over 25 years of operations and executive management experience and has successfully developed three healthcare delivery companies. Mr. Frugé is currently the co-founder and Executive Director for Feeney Law Group, a global intellectual property law firm dedicated to the advancement of life sciences and technology R & D. Mr. Frugé developed two privately held companies that worked exclusively with the U.S. Government. For over 14 years, he worked in partnership with multiple VA Medical Centers across the U.S. assuring federal contract compliance, clinical operations standards, and health information security. As co-founder of Valor Healthcare and Senior Vice President of MedMark Services, he was responsible for the startup and operations of 28
Bilingual professional in International Studies, emphasis in Latin America, with MBA from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Experience in design and implementation of social projects focused on economic, community and personal development. Skills in strategic management of a wide variety of stakeholders including government, society and private sector. Innovative leader, passionate about optimizing processes and practices in organizations in order to create value for both companies and the society. Motivated by working in diverse teams on projects that require creative problem solving.
Gayle L. Gifford, MS, ACFRE, co-President of Cause & Effect Inc., is a nationally known consultant, author and trainer providing strategic consultation to nonprofit and public sector organizations. Gayle's 30+ years of experience include public engagement design and facilitation, board development, strategic and business planning and fund development. Her clients have included foundations, coalitions and advocacy organizations, government agencies and an array of nonprofits from the grassroots to international.
Prior to consulting, Gayle served in senior management roles at Plan USA (nee Fosters Parents Plan) and Save The Bay. Gayle is one of just over 100 fundraisers worldwide who hold the advanced credential ACFRE awarded by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Gayle is an adjunct instructor in the Masters in Public Humanities program at Brown University. Gayle is co-researcher on the Alliance for Nonprofit Management's study "Voices of Board Chairs" and a soon to be released study on board leadership. She is member of the Alliance's Governance Affinity Group and the Terry McAdam Book Award Committee. Gayle is author of two books and a contributor to four others on nonprofit management and governance.
Gayle is an active community volunteer and chairs the board of Blackstone Academy Charter School. She holds an MS in management from Antioch University New England and a A.B. from Clark University.
Tim Gleason has over twenty five years of experience in marine and coastal environmental research. He currently serves as a supervisory research biologist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Tim is interested in the business solutions to environmental challenges and has considerable experience in leadership and organizational development. Tim holds a BS in Biology from Bates College, MS in Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ph.D. in Biological Sciences and an MBA from University of Rhode Island. Tim is an avid sea kayaker and an active volunteer with the Rhode Island Canoe and Kayak Association.
Jill Glickman has over 20 years of experience in community outreach, project management, program & organizational development, group/meeting facilitation, and communication. For the last 17 years, she has worked as a consultant locally, regionally and nationally for non-profit organizations, government agencies, higher education institutions, K-12 schools and cross-sector public/private collaborations. Starting in 2013, Ms. Glickman has worked on several large-scale healthcare reform efforts in Rhode Island. Jill was part of the statewide team that launched HealthSource RI (HSRI), Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange in Fall 2013. At HSRI, she was lead consultant and project manager for community-based enrollment assistance programs and related outreach efforts across the state. Currently, she is part of the consultant team working on Rhode Island’s State Innovation Model (SIM) Test grant. Jill’s work focuses on SIM’s Integrated Population Health planning process, Sustainability planning, Strategic Partnership development and other related initiatives. From 2013 -2016, Ms. Glickman was also project consultant and facilitator for The Providence Plan’s Information Group (now called DataSpark and housed within the University of Rhode Island). In this role, she worked in collaboration with data analysts and lead state partners to facilitate cross- agency dialogue and analysis of linked, aggregated statewide data in order to address some of the most pressing issues facing Rhode Island today. She is a trained, experienced group facilitator and has completed basic mediation training. Prior to her consulting career, Ms. Glickman worked as a teacher, program director, and executive director. She holds a BA in history from Brown University and a MA in Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University.
We're still waiting for a design challenge Jairo can't solve. From print ads to logo design to complex package design, Jairo draws from his varied range of experience. Before founding Xzito, Jairo laid out creative and publication work for Providence en Español, and worked as a jewelry designer and illustrator for Herff Jones. At Franklin Sports he designed packages for brand name giants like Nickelodeon, the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. As Creative Director he understands both print and web design, and the printing process. He's currently working on ways to implement new technology like Augmented Reality into clients' communications strategies. For fun, Jairo loves playing basketball year round and some occasional skiing during the winter season. And if he's not at work or on another outdoor adventure, he's probably spending time with family and friends.
Todd is a growth-focused start up executive who excels at launching disruptive tech-innovations. His most recent project, SquadLocker, a Warwick-RI based company, is launching new digital experiences making it easier for teams to manage decorated apparel purchasing.
Tereann is an experienced executive and advocate skilled in assisting nonprofit enterprises with tailored capacity building to advance their mission and achieve their next level of organizational maturity and sustainability. She is effective in developing institutional vision, strategic opportunities, and custom solutions that build collaborations, maximize resources, and expand community engagement. She has held senior positions with cultural sector venue, music, theater, opera, arts education, and arts council organizations, and as a cause advocate her work in Rhode Island has assisted in the recognition and strengthening of the state’s creative economy and the impact of cultural assets as a central component in the economic revitalization of Providence.
I'm Nikki Groom, a business and brand strategist on a mission to help business owners and executives to amplify their impact and their income by owning their purpose and their power. I help them clarify their vision and uncover their calling so that they can create a life that is meaningful and fulfilling. And I help them align their core values with the way that they lead so that they can build their business and their brand from the inside out and from the outside in.
Nicholas, a native New Yorker, has been in Rhode Island since 1996. He attended Bowdoin College in Maine and then medical school at Mt. Sinai in NYC. He is a primary care physician who is double boarded in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, seeing patients of all ages. He was the Physician Chief of Anchor Medical Associates’ Warwick office, a private practice where he saw patients for 18 years. He has also been treating patients at the Medicine-Pediatrics Primary Care Center since 1996 where he teaches residents and medical students as a member of the Brown faculty. This is an inner-city clinic which is also a refugee and a transgender site. Nicholas is interested in medical/biomedical startups and in November 2018 he led a winning team at MIT’s Grand Hack event at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in NYC. He is excited to get involved with the great work performed at the Social Enterprise Greenhouse.
Daniel is Chairman of Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Services at Adler Pollock & Sheehan. P.C.. Most importantly, Daniel has extensive experience in developing and executing strategies for clients’ intellectual property portfolios with a sharply honed focus on furthering their business objectives. As a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Daniel has a passionate focus on assisting a wide range of clients from early stage technology companies to Fortune 500 companies located throughout the United States and Canada with their intellectual property law issues. More specifically, Daniel advocates and counsels clients in intellectual property areas such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, unfair competition, and domain names. Daniel’s range of technology areas is vast including medical devices, software, biofuels, nanotechnology, material science, eyewear, coatings, vaccines, chemicals, consumer packaging, biotechnology, and green technologies. Daniel advises on all aspects of intellectual property protection including prosecution, procurement, federal litigation, proceedings before the Patent and Trial Appeal Board (PTAB) (i.e. reexaminations and interferences), Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB) (i.e. oppositions, cancellations, appeals), reexamination, interference, Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceedings, licensing from technology transfer offices and others, and auctioning of IP. Furthermore, he is a registered patent attorney with the U.S. Patent Office and admitted to the federal district courts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In addition to his law practice, Daniel is an adjunct Professor at Brown University. In his spare time, Daniel volunteers for non-profit organizations dedicated to children with autism.
General corporate practice including contract negotiation, business formation, equity financing, mergers and acquisitions, employment and consulting arrangements, buy/sell arrangements and business succession, technology transfer and licensing, and commercial borrowing and lending. Focus on technology start-up companies.
Peter joined the Social Enterprise Greenhouse mentor team in 2012, and has become a member of the Accelerator Faculty. During his business career he served in various senior management positions in the pharmaceutical, medical device and medical software industries. More recently, he guided three medical technology start-ups in New England to market as Founder, President and CEO. In the last five years he has been on the Faculty of the Gabelli School of Business, Roger Williams University here in Rhode Island. At RWU, he teaches Entrepreneurship and Management theory and practice. In addition to his teaching, Peter has organized and directed three RWU student project teams focused on enterprise strategy and planning, and finance with SVPRI entrepreneurs. His Change Accelerator and mentoring interests are competitive and marketing strategy, budgeting and finance for start-ups, and sustainability. Within Rhode Island, he has also served as marketing adviser to the South County Hospital System and the Courthouse Center for the Arts. Peter is also completing a book, The Culture of Caring, which describes in six case studies how “people-oriented” leaders and strong “culture” contribute to organizational effectiveness. He holds MBA and doctoral degrees from Columbia University.
Neil has spent the past 10 years in startups – co-founding 3 and raising over $8MM – and on corporate innovation teams at Initiative Media and now FM Global. He also spent a year as a contractor for MassChallenge, researching, crafting and launching the new Rhode Island program. Along the way, he’s mentored and advised dozens of startups across on launch, business & operations, funding, and marketing strategies. He’s a graduate of Brown University with degrees in Business Economics and Public Policy.
Derek is the founder of Brightfire Impact, providing leadership development coaching to impact investors. Since 2004, Derek has provided executive coaching, professional life coaching and organization development consulting under his Intrepid Leadership brand. In this capacity, he has worked with individuals and organizations in industries ranging from mission-driven NGOs to financial services. Derek facilitates strategic planning and transformation retreats for executive teams, team building and cultural alignment workshops for business unit and functional teams, and public workshops with an emphasis on personal purpose and leadership.Since 2012, Derek has also been an Associate Consultant with Bridge Partnership, a global organization development consultancy. In this capacity, he facilitates leadership development, culture change and team effectiveness interventions for Fortune 500 companies. He has led multi-month leadership and team effectiveness programs for leadership teams with $1 billion+ P&L responsibility. Derek has served clients in banking, technology, food, FMCG and transportation in North America, Latin America and Europe. He is also an executive coach with Sloan Group International.
Prior to focusing on leadership and organizational transformation, Derek spent 10 years in strategy consulting, leveraged buyouts and investment banking, having worked with HighQuest Partners, American Capital and Broadview International (acquired by Jeffries).
Derek received his Bachelor of Science in Economics summa cum laude from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of The Coaches Training Institute’s Co-Active Coach Training and Co-Active Leadership programs. Derek is currently a Fellow with the RSF Integrated Capital Institute
Alan is the Director of Social Entrepreneurship at the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University. In that role, he launched the Social Innovation Initiative (SII) that has expanded Brown’s curricular and extra-curricular resources for social entrepreneurs. He teaches the introductory course in Social Entrepreneurship and is leading launch of a Social Innovation Concentration within the Masters of Public Affairs degree in the Fall of 2012. Alan also leads the CV Starr Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship, a three semester program that supports students through the process of launching or growing a social venture with funding, mentoring, and skills development. Alan’s work as a social entrepreneur started with the launch of More Than a Meal, a catering social enterprise in Providence and is informed by his 20 years as a consultant, turnaround manager, and community volunteer. He currently serves on the boards of City Year Rhode Island, Social Venture Partners of RI, and Generation Citizen, as well as an advisor to Gardens for Health International, Real Food Challenge, Mali Health Organizing Project, Public Trust Project, and Runa.
Founder, President & C.E.O of Advanced Remarketing Services, Inc. (ARS) www.arscars.com. ARS is a proud Rhode Island company focused on end of life vehicles and recycling. ARS works closely with many top charities on vehicle donation programs. www.cardonationwizard.com The company has raised over $75 million dollars for their charity partners. Joe is an experienced entrepreneur and marketer with a background in technology, e-commerce and recycling. Prior to starting ARS Joe worked in the automotive auction, defense, non profit, and sports marketing sectors. Joe is an active volunteer for several causes, lives in Newport RI with his wife and enjoys most all things ocean.
Charles Hewitt has a long record of leadership and innovation dedicated to advancing business processes through the application of information technology. He has held executive positions in a diverse group of industries including health care, local government, aerospace & defense, discrete manufacturing, financial services, and computer services. He has extensive experience in managing high risk programs and projects requiring enterprise-wide teamwork and involving multiple and international locations.
Allison Ingalsbe is a skilled design thinking facilitator who tailors her workshops for each client’s needs and objectives. She received her formal training in design thinking at Stanford University’s d.school (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design). She has run design thinking workshops for business, executive teams, and non-profit entities. Her workshops enable participants to embrace empathy as a tool for discovery and empowerment where they are able to define issues and problems through a new lens in order to arrive at creative solutions. Allison has further created and facilitated design thinking workshop experiences for organizations both nationally and internationally in non-profits, higher education and at the preparatory school level by working with their boards, providing professional development experiences for their faculty, and creating new services for alumni. She also offers design thinking workshops facilitated in French.
From Innovation in Education to Innovation Educator Allison builds upon her extensive experience in international program development from her 25 years in private education. She taught all levels of French before transforming her passion for the language and culture into experiential programs. As Director of Signature Programs, Allison successfully created, developed, and led the Global Cultural Initiatives Program (GCIP), a student-centered cultural immersion program with locations in Paris, Madrid, London and San Francisco. Allison’s visionary initiative and tenacity resulted in unprecedented, high-caliber partnerships with organizations such as the Curie Institute, providing unique cultural learning experiences centered around internships for high school-level students. Allison holds a B.A. from Rutgers University, and an ALM from Harvard University.
Michael Isenberg brings expertise in marketing, operations, business planning and financial analysis. He has over 15 years of experience as Vice President at Chex Finer Foods, a 3rd Generation Specialty and Natural Foods distributor. His previous experience is working in environmental management and strategy consulting. He is a board member as the Southside Community Land Trust and member of the Specialty Food Association’s Distribution Council. He holds an MBA from Michigan Business School and Bachelor of Economics from the Wharton School of Business. He enjoys gardening, biking and planning family getaways/travel.
Prosper Ishimwe is a business consultant, mentor and book author. He holds a Master of Arts in Global Policy with a concentration in International Trade and Commerce from UMaine’s School of Policy and International Affairs. Prosper has worked with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) nationally and internationally. From 2011 to 2013 he ran the Ready4Finance program in Rwanda, a modular training package designed for training providers that support SMEs in emerging markets to develop their business plans, become eligible for external financing and prepare to close a financial deal in the United States. His experience also includes working as Business Program Director for the Rhode Island Black Business Association, and he is currently a volunteer mentor with Social Enterprise Greenhouse’s Incubator and Huddle programs. Prosper has published his first book, Neither Tutsi, nor Hutu: A Rwandan Memoir, which is an account of his experiences in the Rwandan genocide and coming of age in a post-conflict country.
I am a digital storyteller, creative professional, and serial entrepreneur with 30-years of experience in helping people bring their tangible and intangible products of the imagination to life. I do this by facilitating human-centered design thinking and low-to-high fidelity prototype making. As a life-long geek, I daily foster innovation with my college students using a variety of digital productivity tools and savvy, experience-based practices. As a collaboration expert, I have learned to balance idealism and realism. My two favorite mantras are “We are smarter than me!” and “always seek productive failure.”
CEO/Owner 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 most recently as Manager of Marketing and Engineering for a unit within GE Medical Systems. Following graduation from a GE management training program, Scot lead the model shop and formed the production team for the start-up of GE MRI scanner business. He went on to lead groups accelerating 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 Booth School of Business. Scot serves on the board of Crossroads RI, Women’s Center of RI, and is a member of YPO/WPO.
Ryan is a corporate attorney who focuses on helping startups and growth companies with formation, financings, contract review, and mergers and acquisitions. He can help social entrepreneurs with general questions related to their entity setup, contracts, and fundraising.
I started my career as a community organizer. Empowering people and enterprises to seize ownership for their future and core values. I pursued my passion for personal, organizational and community change in many settings before launching Kaplan Consulting in 2000. I won the lottery (just kidding) and spent 2013 in New Zealand as the Ian Axford Fellow in Public Policy, Fulbright New Zealand. Officially I researched social venture start-ups; unofficially I fell in love with the place, people an ethos. So I joined Loomio, a digital platform for collaborative decision making where I spent 4 years co-creating new possibilities for better-faster decision making with an awesome group of humans. In 2017 I joined the Loomio Board of Directors. I love teaching and mentoring young people and spent several years teaching exceptionally smart and eager students at Brown University in social enterprise and strategy. I guest lecture on the future of work, social enterprise and crafting a life and career of purpose. I've lectured at Yale University, Harvard University, University of Michigan Ross School, Victoria University and more. Currently, I'm an Associate at Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University with amazing researchers and practitioners working on the edges of human-centered technology. This year - 2018 - I've returned to consulting as a partner with The Ready. I spent many months scouring the globe for who was leading the most impactful transformation efforts in this field and I'm honored to step into this incredible network.
Scott Keeley is a patent agent with 15 years of experience drafting patents and is an inventor on 8 granted patents. Scott is also involved in the development of a high efficiency wind turbine blade. Keeley has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from Syracuse University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Texas Christian University along with substantial engineering education and experience. Scott has been helping independent inventors and startup companies since 2001.
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.
Susan has been a corporate attorney for over 25 years, focused on representing corporations from start ups to publicly traded companies. She has also acted as a mentor to companies through Springboard, Astia, Mass Challenge and the MIT Business Plan Competition. She has taught classes at the Center for Women & Enterprise on formation and angel and VC funding. Susan has provided entrepreneurs, senior management and business owners with the resources and strategic advice to address business needs and to facilitate growth. She has been an advisor to businesses and their owners from early stage to publicly traded companies through her professional and community activities, including entity formation, day to day management to corporate governance and senior management strategy.
Bill Keogh spent his career building software and analytics teams and companies, serving the global insurance industry. He is now an adviser, consultant and board member to early stage financial and insurance technology companies. He believes that good ideas are common, but flawless execution is rare. In his spare time Bill can be found running, paddle boarding and playing ultimate frisbee.
I'm an experienced digital designer who helps my clients clarify and strengthen their marketing message on the web as well as in print. After earning a BFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design, my first job was roofing houses (thank you, economic recession of the early 90's). I eventually landed a position as a graphic designer for a small print shop and received a valuable education in production. I spent the first half of my career doing print and identity design before moving to the web in 2000, eventually becoming the Creative Director at Newfangled.
I offer thoughtful design in three areas: website design, print & digital design, and identity design. I provide my clients with complete website development (WordPress, Drupal, and custom HTML) through long-standing partnerships with experienced web coders. I love being a designer and helping my clients solve their problems. Some of the unique contributions I bring to a project are the ability to listen carefully and draw out the most important elements of the problem, which leads to better solutions.
A former retail store owner, marketing director, and magazine editor, Jessica has more than 15 years of experience in building brands, targeted communication plans, and lasting customer relationships. She specializes in resonant, authentic storytelling for purpose-driven companies.
I support the community and business in the New England area in their adventure with Virtual Reality(VR)/ Augmented Reality(AR)/XR and all the associated technologies used in creating digital simulation for the purpose of finding practical applications for the technology, enriching our lives and the world around us and designing healthier, sustainable and equitable communities. I am still passionate about enabling organizations to thrive by clarifying mission, designing, introducing and improving what people do, how they do it and what tools and systems they use. Application and integration of this toolset (VR/AR, IoT, AI, big data) is the next human re-invention of the world and how we live in it.
James Kwon has helped develop brands, interactive solutions, and marketing strategies for startups to fortune 100 companies. From application development to lead/demand/revenue generation through inbound marketing techniques, James has helped expand the intersection of creative territory, online development, while doing it all in an analytical and measurable way. He has degrees in Culinary Arts, Graphic Design, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and Theology.
I’m passionate about reducing environmental impacts of business and pursuing all the benefits that occur. The climate crisis may be a challenge but it also presents the greatest opportunity for innovation and wealth generation. As an analyst in the food distribution industry I communicate sustainable initiatives and their results through internal and external sustainability reporting. I also work on company-wide programs and policies and the development of overall sustainability strategy. I am interested in improving sustainability performance through continuous improvement, lean thinking and operations, energy efficiency, renewable energy, data analysis and synthesis, reporting, development of sound corporate social responsibility strategies/programs, and employee engagement.
Brendan Lehan is a social sector strategist focused on helping clients across sectors to achieve greater impact through direct growth and more effective collaboration. He has experience working across the spectrum from philanthropy and impact investing to direct service non-profits, social enterprises and for-profit business. His work focuses on helping these organizations to develop adaptive strategies, integrate measurement and evaluation into decision-making and become purpose-led – throughout the organization.
He focuses on challenges that span traditional boundaries of sector and issue area, including the future of food and agriculture and financial inclusion. He has worked with leading education organizations, health funders and multi-stakeholder collaboratives, among others, on issues ranging from operating model design to technology innovation and international growth.
Brendan is a graduate of the Yale School of Management where he led the student impact investing program and co-authored research on how to encourage evidence-based practice in international development. He is a proud UMass Amherst alum and two-time City Year AmeriCorps member.
Michael Leshinsky has an MBA from Providence College with a concentration in Finance – Portfolio Theory and Investment Analysis. He also has a certificate from Boston University in valuations, real estate financing, and underwriting. However his real knowledge comes from his work and personal experiences. Michael has bought and sold numerous businesses over the years and has acquired a sizeable real estate holding. He is on the board of directors of the Providence Apartment Association and the treasurer for the nonprofit organization, Apeiron Institute. Michael consults and advises businesses of all types and sizes, so the businesses can achieve optimal performance. Michael has a love of numbers and a passion for financial modeling, creating projections and statements, and calculating valuations.
Flann took the creative route to becoming an IP attorney. She began as the photomicrographer for Cornell University’s Dept. of Biology and for the Univ. of Pennsylvania Hospital Obstetrics and Gynecology research team at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. After college Flann worked in stock photography as photo researcher, editor, and international sales manager. That led to Flann founding her international luxury home and fashion brand and design consultancy, where she managed design, manufacturing, import/export, legal, finance, marketing, and sales – and successfully asserted her design patent against numerous infringers.
Flann’s intellectual curiosity eventually got the better of her and she obtained an M.S.J. in Intellectual Property from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2008 and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School in 2010. Flann taught entrepreneurship, business law, IP, and The Business of Design at Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design as an adjunct professor for the past decade. She now enjoys giving presentations on law to educators, attorneys, and businesses nationally. Flann’s federal-law practice is comprised of transactional work such as filing patent, trademark, and copyright applications; assisting with trade secret matters; reviewing and drafting licensing and commercial contracts; and representing both plaintiffs and defendants in IP and contract litigation.
Jonathan Lovely is a partner and patent attorney. Jonathan has a strong background in medical and dental devices, mechanical devices, telecommunications, image and video processing, and digital signal processing. He concentrates in patent preparation and prosecution, portfolio development, and product clearance. In addition to his experience as a patent attorney, Jonathan also has 8 years of industry experience as an engineer in the medical device, pharmaceutical, and industrial radiography fields.
Steve Lundin is a global financial services executive with 25+ years of experience that includes serving as a corporate strategy consultant, leading a Fortune 250’s risk management / insurance brokerage organization in China and the Middle East, and running a start-up insurance brokerage’s Northeast region sales and client relationship management function (the largest venture capital investment of 2005). Core competencies include strategic planning & analysis, business development and sales operations, organizational effectiveness, and team development & leadership. Steve believes in integrating core values into business vision, connecting strategy to execution, and inspiring people and teams to achieve their best. During his career, Steve has worked in Beijing, Bratislava, Dubai, Warsaw and for most of his career in New York City. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Brown University.
Diane is active in Rhode Island's food sector and start-up community as a board member of several organizations that work on growing the local/regional food sector and improving access to healthy food, job and business creation in the food sector, and food security. She works as a coach and mentor to food start-ups that have a strong social mission, and works as an advocate for increasing the use of pay-for-success financing to scale up successful, evidence-based social service programs in Rhode Island. She and her husband also grow hay and support local pasture-raised meat farmers on their farm in South County.
Julia has more than 20 years of multinational experience in Financial Management, ERP deployment, Integrated Supply Chain and Business Transformation. She develops strategic financial planning, manages pricing and cost, overseas international tax and multi-currency transactions, and leads IT application development, stakeholder analysis, and international operation transitions. Julia has extensive business experiences in both the US and China. She speaks English and Chinese. Julia has an MBA from Wisconsin International University and a GMP from Harvard Business School. She likes dance, yoga and hiking.
Carrie is committed to affecting change. Whether that means helping a company originate and execute a best-of-breed marketing and branding strategy, leading a seminar on redefining leadership, or creating safe space for female trailblazers to come together, she is fueled by desire to take action. Carrie is the Founder and CEO of the Women in Leadership Nexus, an organization committed to empowering women to become the next-gen leader. She is also the Principal of Marketing of Trilix, an application development and systems integration company helping clients reach a heightened level of workplace excellence. Carrie was named to the 2017 Rhode Island 40 Under 40 list and is a 2016 Rhode Island Tech10 Winner. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in English and Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. In 2017 she received her Women in Leadership professional certificate from Cornell University. Carrie is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts Southeastern New England and a member of the Tech Collective’s Women in Technology Committee.
Through social entrepreneurship, social investing and serving as a social marketing and communication advisor 150 social good organizations around the world, I've been dedicated to the acceleration and marketing of transformational social impact. My experience spans the promotion of brands, beliefs and behaviors that improve individual and community well-being in the areas of health, education, human rights, the environment, economic opportunity and more. I co-founded Worldways with my partner Maureen Cronin. With the support of our great staff, the agency has grown to be among the top social marketing agencies in the U.S. with over 150 clients on three continents who inspire and contribute to the relationship as much as they benefit from it. Our collective work includes campaigns that have successfully addressed public health issues like childhood obesity and unintended pregnancy; creating economic opportunity for women in underdeveloped regions of the world, pioneering new technology applications for fair trade supply chain transparency and more-melding research, strategy, communication and digital capability.I have also authored a variety of publications on social entrepreneurship, social marketing and-together with my colleagues Ed Maibach and Lorien Abroms- the "People and Places Framework for Public Health". Specialties: Social marketing strategy; digital marketing strategy; health communication: health behavior change; social impact marketing; training and speaking.
Currently working with renewable energy technologies designing pilots to assess the effectiveness and replicate successful projects across the state. Priorly worked in business development at a tech startup in the Boston area. Have had mentors assist me in my career shifts and am looking to pay it forward.
George Matouk, Jr. is the third-generation CEO of the family-owned John Matouk & Co., based in Fall River, Massachusetts, and New York City. A graduate of Vanderbilt University and Columbia University Business School, George assumed the role of CEO of the company in 2002 and has led the company as it established itself as a globally renowned luxury brand and a model for the resurgence of domestic manufacturing in the United States. Since 1998, the Matouk team has grown revenues more than tenfold, quadrupled the size of its Massachusetts-based manufacturing workforce and invested substantially in training, technology, renewable energy, manufacturing equipment and infrastructure.
Some Matouk highlights of that period include:
George was the Board Chair and Treasurer at the Gordon School in East Providence, RI, was a long time Board Member of the Fall River Office of Economic Development, and has volunteered at Hope High School as an ESL teacher. He is married to Mindy Matouk, Creative Director of Matouk, and previously the nationally recognized home furnishings retailer “Butterfield” in Providence, RI. They live in Providence with their three inspiring, energetic, and unpredictable daughters.
Mike works with investors to incorporate social and environmental considerations alongside financial ones in their investing. He formerly led impact and strategy at Root Capital, a social investment fund, and now works with the Impact Management Project.
Katie began studying the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet over 25 years ago (before vegetarianism, veganism, and whole food were everyday terms). Trained at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, she is also a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and a certified Bach Flower Remedy practitioner. Prior to her career as a holistic health coach, Katie exceeded sales quotas at Time Inc., year after year but at the expense of her own well-being. Now she shares what she learned the hard way. Katie serves on the Board of Trustees at the Center for Resilience and is a participant of Leadership Rhode Island 2016 class. Katie has been featured in The Huffington Post, Rhode Island Monthly, The Providence Journal, Providence Monthly, WPRI’s The Rhode Show, Dwell, Design New England, and Apartmenttherapy.com, among others.
Shayna McDonough is a Talent Acquisition Strategist and Career Growth Coach with a passion for cultivating diverse talent pools, spearheading inclusive company culture innovation, and leading people development initiatives. She recently relocated back to her home state of Rhode Island after a decade of living in NYC working for two different NYC Government initiatives. In these positions, she led professional development programming and then trained and sourced tech talent into the innovation sector. After her work in government, she launched her talent development consulting business, ShaynaLee Coaching. In this role, she delivers learning solutions to help grow businesses and career development coaching strategies that transform professionals into better, more fulfilled performers and leaders. In addition to running her coaching business, Shayna is an Adjunct Instructor for the School of Continuing Education at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Shayna earned her BA of Cultural Anthropology at Rhode Island College and her Masters in Political Science/Public Administration at the University of Rhode Island.
Robert currently leads entrepreneurial and lean innovation projects for Victrex, a leader in polymer solutions for medical implants, aerospace composites, and industrial products. In 2015, he also founded the 8th Providence chapter of the Baden-Powell Service Association, a national network of volunteers that brings traditional scouting to everyone. Robert is currently practicing lean start-up and lean innovation methods, including the business model and value proposition canvases, minimum viable products, and ideation. Prior to his, Robert was a sustainability leader for a global chemical and plastics company, and therefore he may also be consulted on sustainability strategy, materiality analysis, and life cycle assessment. Robert’s other skills include strategic market development, customer segmentation, value proposition design, technical sales, and plastics. Nearly all of Robert’s experiences have been in Business-to-Business marketing. He has worked for GE, SABIC, and Victrex, with degrees in engineering, business and finance from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Boston College.
Patrice McKinley received her initial coaching certification from The Ford Institute of Integrative Coaching in 2005 and then in 2014, became a consultant with the Proctor Gallagher Institute and a facilitator of the highly acclaimed “Thinking into Results.” This program was developed by one of the world’s most highly regarded success, personal development and thought leaders of our time, Bob Proctor, and his business partner, legendary corporate attorney Sandra Gallagher.
Patrice has been personally mentored by Bob Proctor and Sandra Gallagher and is deeply committed to teaching her clients these principles and strategies so that they can create the results they truly desire in any area of their lives.
The Thinking into Results program is built on the premise that within the mind, each of us has all the resources we need to have anything we want. The program is for individuals as well as teams in companies with a focus on the mental foundations of success, the motivation to achieve, and the actionable strategies that will empower participants to grow, improve and thrive in today’s ever-changing world.
By combining classic coaching and Thinking into Results techniques, Patrice is able to help clients and businesses use the power of their mind to achieve quantum success in both their personal and professional life.
Jordan McSweeney is an Assistant Professor in Management at the University of Connecticut School of Business. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and currently resides in Newport. He researches social entrepreneurship/hybrid organizations, teaches entrepreneurship, and has had a passion for social entrepreneurship since his undergraduate and MBA days at the University of Rhode Island.
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.
Sonia Millsom is the Chief Commercial Officer at Maven Clinic. With a mission to reset the standard of care for women, Maven Clinic is the largest telehealth platform specialized for women and families. In her role, Sonia leads Maven’s annual go to market plan, sales, client success and strategic partnerships to meet annual revenue targets. Throughout her career, Sonia has chosen roles that focus on transforming the delivery system for better consumer outcomes. Prior to joining Maven, Sonia held leadership roles at Iora Health, Best Doctors, Health Dialog and UnitedHealthcare where she led teams to generate revenue through marketing, sales and business development. Her passion for innovation in healthcare started during her time as a Maternal Child Health Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. She has a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University and a BA from Boston College. Sonia resides in East Greenwich, RI where she and her husband are raising the next generation of strong women as the parents of two teenage girls.
Edward Morgan is a software engineer that has spent 20 years working in the government, healthcare, and wellness industries. After mistakenly answering a want ad in 1996, he found that he had an aptitude for programming, and inadvertently wound up automating the process by which administrative court decisions were published in Suffolk County, MA. Later, he founded his own consulting firm, and provided technology solutions to governments across southern New England, though it was only because he had nothing better to do. Eventually, he wandered into an office and built an application that changed the nature of how grants were managed for state government agencies that work with children with developmental disabilities. From there, he launched himself into working for several startups before landing at UNFI, where he works on trying to connect suppliers of natural and organic foods with consumers that want them. He lives in Providence, RI, and has for the majority of his life, and he’ll swear up and down that it’s better than Boston in every way, so don’t get him started on that.
Colin Murphy is a designer, design thinker, and consultant with a background in business, and communications. Since 1996, Mr. Murphy has run communications and business consulting organizations working with hundreds of large and small clients. His clients have included, in healthcare, lifespan, CVS, and HCSC; museums including Harvard Art Museums and RISD Museum; financial services organizations including State Street Bank and Wells Fargo.
Additionally, for five years, Mr. Murphy ran Shape Up RI, a statewide, online, wellness non-profit. Among other tools he uses design thinking to help organizations and companies move products and processes forward. Mr. Murphy graduated from RISD with a degree in design, from University of RI with an MBA and has medical training including being a Registered Nurse (R.N.)
Katie Murray has worked extensively in program evaluation and has two decades of experience in data collection, management, analysis and visualization. In 2016 she joined the Rhode Island Foundation as director of evaluation and learning implementing systems and developing best practices to increase knowledge and evaluate impact. Prior to this role she worked at Ready to Learn Providence, Green and Healthy Homes Initiative and The Providence Plan. Early in her career she spent several years working in public sector planning and also served in the Peace Corps. She holds a Master of Community Planning from the University of Rhode Island, a BA in political science from the University of Connecticut and is a graduate of SEG’s 2015 Impact Accelerator.
Richard Nagele is President, Advantage Marketing Information, a marketing research and strategy firm. The focus is on transforming research into insight by rigorously applying a marketing mindset and appropriate techniques to solve problems, identify opportunities, and understand reality. In 2013, Nagele took a leave from Advantage to assume responsibilities as Executive Director of the Fort Adams Trust, the 501 (C) (3) responsible for managing, programming and promoting the National Historic Landmarks comprising Fort Adams in Newport RI. Fort Adams hosts the world famous Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals, weddings, receptions, corporate meetings, and a variety of other events as well as being an historic site and museum. Nagele started his professional career with Textron. After earning a graduate degree and serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Rhode Island, Advantage Marketing Information was organized. While at Advantage, Nagele also co-founded and served as Managing Director of an independent restaurant. During the period 2000 – 2006, sales increased from $550,000 to $1.55 million with associated increases in profitability. The restaurant won numerous awards and was profitably sold in 2006. Nagele authored or is referenced in sixteen published articles, including work cited in the Wall Street Journal. He has received several awards including two Governor’s Citations for service to The State of Rhode Island, a small business consulting award from Bryant College and Certificates of Recognition from the Central RI Chamber of Commerce. Nagele is past Board Chairman, Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce; past Vice President, Rhode Island Hospitality Association; past Board Chairman, Board of Commissioners – Kingston Fire District; past President, Kingston Water Company. He was invited back to the Board of the Central RI Chamber in 2013 and is currently a member the New England Museum Association and a number of other non profit organizations.
Pamela is a longtime tech entrepreneur and proud Providence Geek. She has co-founded a number of tech businesses (Batchbook CRM and WorkingAway.io), organizations (Cloud Software Association), and political projects (EatToUnseat). As a businesswoman and mother, Pam is committed to running companies that can adapt to the unique needs of both its employees and its customers to foster better organization, increased productivity and a more balanced life. Pamela co-founded and successfully ran Batchbook CRM, providing tens of thousands of small businesses with online tools for managing their sales and marketing operations. She also co-founded The Small Business Web (now Cloud Software Association), the international trade association of cloud software for small business. A seasoned conference speaker, Pam often shares her experiences as an entrepreneur and expert on data management tools and methodologies in a voice mixed with Yankee practicality and Southern charm. Past events include Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference WomanCon (speaker), SXSWi (organizer and panelist, “How Start-Ups Do Deals with Industry Titans,” with Google, Intuit, American Express and Freshbooks), Jeff Pulver’s 140conference London (speaker) and Small Biz Technology’s Small Business Summit (panelist). Pam is grateful to have received several honors, including the Small Business Influencer Champion award given by Small Business Trends and the Providence Business News Women to Watch and 40 Under Forty awards. Previously, Pam co-founded and managed operations at Matrix Group International, a web development firm in the Washington, D.C., area that develops web-based technologies for large and small trade associations. A former consultant to small businesses, her web career started in 1994, when she designed websites and managed online communications for U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn and the Food Marketing Institute. Pam holds dual degrees in English and History from the University of Richmond. She resides in coastal Rhode Island with her husband, two daughters and one son.
Elizabeth O’Neill has expertise in leadership, organizational effectiveness, people & culture practices and strategy. She helps CEOs and Founders build better companies by getting the most out of their people.
Monsurat Ottun, a native of Rhode Island, is a visionary and a social entrepreneur who has been an active member of her community since the time she was young. She seeks to change the course of community and economic development practices by offering innovative strategies to small business development, partnerships and collaborations. Though she is a full time attorney working for the City of Providence, Monsurat also works with individuals looking to grow their small businesses or nonprofit organizations through her initiative, Cross-Sector Strategies and Solutions. She also acts as a Personal Development Coach for individuals hoping to overcome major challenges in their lives that prevent them from achieving their goals.
Monsurat earned her Juris Doctor from Roger Williams University School of Law, concentrating on Community and Economic Development Law. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Boston College where she majored in Human Development, focusing on Community Advocacy and Social Policy. She also minored in Black Studies and a unique program called Faith, Peace, and Justice. Monsurat also holds Certificates in the areas of Entrepreneurship & Marketing and is a 2020 M.S. Candidate in Cybersecurity Governance and Policy at Boston College.
Monsurat has invested over 6 years in the non-profit sector, assisting organizations in their capacity building, board development, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives. She has also worked in Massachusetts with small business CEOs assisting them in getting access to training and technical assistance regarding law, finance, and strategy.
Topher Patch has a decade of experience in finance; most recently as a V.P. managing assets for J.P. Morgan’s elite Private Bank office in New Orleans. There he was the Investment Specialist for a niche, 25-person, advisory team of Banking, Trust & Estate, and Lending experts dedicated to the firm’s wealthiest & most sophisticated family offices and foundations in the Gulf South. His clients were primarily highly successful entrepreneurs, private business owners, CEO’s & foundations due to unique risk & complexities associated with owning & running a company. He has significant experience pitching & developing business as well as analyzing potential investments. His strengths include evaluation of ideas and processes from a holistic approach – assessing financial, operational, customer, and market implications as well as general feasibility. In New Orleans he was active in the entrepreneurial community sitting on incubator panels and attending/competing in pitch competitions. He moved to NOLA to study Econ & Finc. at Tulane and stayed for additional 11 years for the music & food. In 2018 he returned home to Providence where he now teaches business planning classes and consults with aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs. In his free time he’s hiking and traveling all over the world.
Growing up in Northeastern Connecticut, Greg had a business inclination since youth. Starting with an elementary school bakery “business”, to a high school music video business, graduating to awards in stock simulation contests – Greg’s interest in the commerce has long been strong. Greg went on to attend URI’s College of Business Administration, majoring in Finance with a minor in English. During his time at URI, Greg was accepted into the RAM Fund, where he fostered his passion for finance through investment analysis and portfolio diversification. Greg began his professional finance career in 2014 as Advising Intern for Ameriprise Financial where he gained industry exposure and witnessed the industry’s “positive impact on client’s financial well-being, retirement readiness, and comfort”. The following year, Greg interned at Twelve Points where his excitement for the industry was affirmed by the Twelve Points Impact- “built through family oriented relationships and friendships”, two guiding principles in his own life. Greg is now an Associate Wealth Advisor and helps educate employees of corporations in the tech sector on their finances. Greg does this through financial plans, budgeting, and the teaching of good financial habits. He also helps later stage corporations and small business owners set up and maintain 401(k) plans for their employees. Greg works with a variety of individuals ranging from executives and employees of large public companies to individual entrepreneurs in the start-up stage. Greg enjoys spending time with friends and loved ones. He spends his time away from work watching sports, skiing, traveling, staying active outdoors, and officiating basketball games as an IAABO Board 35 certified referee. Greg has a series 65 license and is pursuing AIF® and CFP® designation and certification.
I am an interdisciplinary designer and entrepreneur working to make the world happier, healthier, safer, and more sustainable through good design. I am the former creative director of Y&R Moonshop, an award-winning special projects office of Y&R New York. I am also the co-founder of a monthly magazine, a certified-organic taco bike (which raised $10,000 on Kickstarter and was selected as a “Staff Pick”), a small design studio, a non-traditional school that teaches creative skills, an online catalog of ethical goods, a hyperlocal social networking app, and a co-working space for digital creatives. As a designer, I have worked for a diverse group of for-profit and non-profit clients—from small startups and charities to Fortune 500 companies and global NGOs. My projects have received recognition from the FWAs (Favourite Website Awards), Awwwards, Clios, American Institute of Graphic Artists’ Case Awards, and Cannes Lions. I have been invited to speak at a number of schools and conferences, including Miami Ad School and SXSW 2014. I am a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Vanderbilt University, and I am currently a Master of Industrial design candidate at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Kristin has more than 9 years of experience in public accounting focusing on audits of public and private companies. She works primarily with companies in the technology industry, particularly in software, life sciences and renewable energy. Kristin also has experience providing in-house technical consulting for public companies. She has also worked for 4 years in private industry as a manager of SEC and financial reporting and as an accounting manager.
Colleen Plesac is a former life sciences management consultant in Boston, Massachusetts, where her work spanned corporate strategy development, portfolio management, and M&A assistance for biotechs, diagnostics companies, and pharmaceutical research organizations. Before this, she dedicated her studies to biomedical engineering and retains a keen interest in healthcare innovation and access expansion. Beyond this, she is passionate about education and leadership, and enjoys mentoring others, learning new skills, and running in her free time.
I spent the past ten years working as a creative video director/producer/shooter/editor at a digital ad agency in Boston. I’ve done work for a wide variety of clients helping them both establish and build their brands across social networks. Whether it’s foot models in Miami, O’Dell Beckham Jr in Los Angeles, Cynthia Rowley at Fashion Week, or Tom Brady in a Rhode Island CVS, I’ve been there. My entire career has been spent creating content for clients both large and small in any variety of roles helping to gain a holistic understanding of the creative needs of every medium as well as the execution.
Mr. Rajotte serves as the Chief Health Program Evaluator within the Center for Health Data and Analysis (CHDA) at RIDOH. Functionally, James primary role is as the Department’s Liaison to the State Innovation Model (SIM), where he and the SIM Interagency Team work on transforming our healthcare system and improving population health. As a part of the SIM, James focuses on developing the State’s Integrated Population Health Plan and aligning and integrating multi-sector/multi-agency initiatives to improve the health of Rhode Islanders.
In addition, James actively participates in planning for healthcare workforce transformation as well as implementing Community Health Team (CHT) and Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) programs. He also coordinates evaluation activities between various SIM initiatives, CHDA’s programs, and RIDOH’s Epidemiologist and Evaluator Workgroup. At RIDOH, James now also serves as the Public Health Accreditation and Performance Management System Coordinator, and member of both the RIDOH Academic Center Steering Committee and Health Equity Zone (HEZ) Policy Leadership Team.
Margareth was born in the city of Bogota, Colombia, but grew up in a small city of the northern coast of Colombia, Valledupar. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and international relations from the Universidad Externado de Colombia and a postgraduate course in Management Development from the Universidad Catolica of Buenos Aires.
Her first job was in the IOM (International Organization for Migration) where she was in charge of providing financial support to projects aimed to help vulnerable Colombian communities. After 4 years of a rewarding experience, she decided to continue her career from a different perspective. She switched to working for the credit department of different financial entities in Colombia and in Argentina helping medium-size companies to access credits that allowed them to grow their businesses. Through these jobs she acquired extensive experience in corporate finance, business strategies and financial risk management.
In her free time, she enjoys cooking for family and friends and also going for a walk to the nearby parks with her husband.
James is the founder and principal of Rhodes Consulting, whose mission is to provide legal, accounting, and general support to individuals and organizations seeking to make an impact in Rhode Island. Clients include both for-profit entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organizations who need help choosing an organizational structure and making sure they stay compliant. A practicing attorney since 2013, James also serves as President of the Environment Council of Rhode Island and is employed as the Rhode Island State Director for Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund.
Alden Richards is an entrepreneur currently teaching at both Brown and Yale University. His past start-ups include Space Machine Advisors and Siren Marine. Having majored in Medieval English literature and Contemporary Chinese Legal Institutions as an undergraduate, he was well-prepared to enter the Commercial Space field. Mr. Richards has also advised entrepreneurial start-ups in water, insurance and high-end women’s hats. He is a graduate of Yale, the Harvard/MIT Program on Negotiation and the Speech Improvement Company’s Program on Presentation skills and Persuasive Speaking. Let it be known that he is the sworn enemy of “um”, “so…” and that bane of western speaking “like”.
Nessa Richman, Brightseed Strategies Principal and Founder, has been working as a food systems consultant since 2002. From 2008-2011 she worked as a development adviser for Wholesome Wave, which grew its innovative farmers market-based food access programs exponentially during her tenure. From 2010 -2012 she worked for the Treasury Department’s Community Development Finance Institution Fund Healthy Food Options Capacity Building Task Order. She currently acts as Course Advisor for the Council of Development Finance Agencies *Intro to Food Systems* course, which will explore how bonds, tax credits, loan programs, foundation grants, and other financing tools can be used to support a local food system and encourage follow-on investemnt, small business development, and sustainable growth.
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.
Barbara Rosengren is an independent consultant with expertise in Biopharma Strategic Marketing and Project Management. Barbara held the position of Vice President, Strategic Product Development at Momenta Pharmaceuticals, where she led the Portfolio Management and Commercial functions. Prior to Momenta, Barbara held various commercial and project management leadership positions at Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Barbara has also served as a guest faculty instructor at the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Harvard Extension School, and the Brown Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership Program. Barbara earned her undergraduate degree at Tufts University and her M.B.A. degree in Marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Jennifer is the Director of Strategic Planning for New Ventures for Chewsi, the free dental app that helps patients find the right dental services from the right dentist at the right price. At Chewsi, Jennifer is responsible for overseeing strategic initiatives and supporting the development of long-term growth plans and profitability goals. She analyzes emerging industry trends and recommends expansion opportunities, partnerships, and business process improvement. Jennifer also manages the corporate venture fund for Chewsi’s sister company, Altus Ventures, which invests in early stage, health and wellness companies.
Prior to joining Chewsi, Jennifer managed Cherrystone Angel Group, an investment firm of 65+ individual investors, who invest in early stage ventures across the New England region. Jennifer continues to serve as a member of Cherrystone representing Altus Ventures’ interests.
She has experience in screening deals, determining valuation models and conducting market research for several verticals including dental, pharmaceutical, medical devices, software, hardware and internet/mobile applications. She advises companies on growth and fundraising strategies.
Jennifer serves on several boards including UMASS Dartmouth’s Center for Innovation, the RI Business Plan Competition, and the Chamber’s Innovation Providence, while also mentoring for the MassChallenge and Social Enterprise Greenhouse programs.
Jennifer graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bryant University with a B.S. in Finance and a minor in Legal Studies. She received the Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key, awarded to the graduating senior with the highest cumulative academic average, as well as the Jack H. Rubens Leadership in Finance Award.
Soren started as a research scientist, was a NASA graduate research fellow, and worked for multiple Internet startups before co-founding Working Planet in 2003. Working Planet helps companies remove risk and increase profitability through efficient paid online advertising. The 22-person Providence-based firm uses custom data integration and statistical modeling in managing paid search, content, display, social media, and re-targeting ad campaigns. Working Planet works with clients across the U.S. as well as Canada, the U.K., and Australia. Soren was an inaugural recipient of the RI Innovation Fellowship, a $300k grant which is being used to rapidly prototype online businesses using profit-driven closed loop marketing.
Elias Safdie has nearly fifty years’ experience in information systems technology and its application to business, from hardware and software technology design, to systems engineering, strategic planning enterprise architecture, process re-engineering and project management. As a founder of the Cordis Group, which specializes in helping management utilize technology in the most effective and efficient ways to support the achievement of their corporate goals, Mr. Safdie successfully ran strategic engagements at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Airbus Industrie, as well as a broad range of public and private sector organizations, both in the US and abroad. In addition to possessing a detailed understanding of the technologies involved in document management, workflow and CRM, Mr. Safdie is also fluent in enterprise architecture and business reengineering concepts. Mr. Safdie holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Brown University and has done graduate work in Linear Systems Analysis at Northeastern University. He holds patents in workstation display technologies and has authored numerous technology white papers on CRM, Data Warehousing, Document Management, Workflow, and Internet technology. He is the recipient of a special citation from the United States National Security Agency for outstanding contributions to a special re-engineering project he undertook for the agency. He has lectured internationally on the nexus of technology and business, and is a co-author of “The Foundations for Knowledge Management in Government” – Knowledge Management and Document Management.
Ilhiana is a Transformation Strategy Coach & Consultant, founder of BeLIVE Coaching & Consulting. She has over 20 years of Marketing and Sales experience in Fortune 500 companies such as P&G, Hanesbrands, and Hasbro in Mexico and US headquarters. From Laundry detergent and Personal care products, through Branded Apparel and Toys & Entertainment Brands, she built a strong understanding of consumers of all ages, gender, ethnic and cultural backgrounds across multiple geographies. Her entrepreneurial spirit, marketing expertise, and engineering mindset have been key to establish new business models, spearhead product innovation, develop and execute comprehensive marketing campaigns, identify and streamline business processes, and collaborate with cross-functional teams leveraging all aspects of the P&L. Currently, Ilhiana follows her passion for coaching sharing her knowledge and experiences to help people in cultural transition to thrive in their life and career. Ilhiana is also actively involved in different Diversity & Inclusion initiatives with a focus to empower the Hispanic population in the US. Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Ilhiana moved to Rhode Island with her husband and two daughters, leading the way to showcase that nothing is impossible if you have the right mindset, motivation, and support.
In 2007, Navyn Salem, a stay-at-home mother of four young girls, set out with a clear, yet ambitious goal to end the crisis of malnutrition for over 220 million children around the world. Her approach was simple: increase access to Ready-to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) like Plumpy’Nut® in developing countries, while building on the success of these peanut-based solutions to reach greater numbers of under-served, malnourished populations. Since 2007, Navyn has used her vast stores of determination to turn this goal into a reality by founding Edesia. Primarily, Edesia provides products to children in Latin America and West Africa and has engaged in public outreach to raise the profile of childhood malnutrition in the United States. Navyn continues to keep Edesia’s focus on innovation and advocacy to ensure that this important issue remains high on the world’s agenda. In 2012, Navyn was named New England Business Woman of the Year by Bryant University, received the Roger E. Joseph Prize from Hebrew Union College for being an outstanding humanitarian, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in social sciences from Boston College, her Alma Mater. In 2014, Navyn became one of the Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellows.
Brown University grad, US Navy officer, Vietnam service, University of Virginia MBA, 15 years on Wall Street, Partner Smith Barney and Co-founder of Whitby Santarlasci in 1985 specializing in Corporate Restructuring. Professor at Bryant University
Betsy has advised food entrepreneurs at SEG since 2016, serving as a volunteer coach for the 2016 and 2017 Food Accelerators and running the Food Accelerator as the SEG Food Initiative Director in 2018. Previously she was the first Executive Director of Hope & Main culinary incubator in Warren. She also executed a one-year Industry (food) Cluster grant from Commerce RI in 2017 and produced the “Tapping into the Silver Economy” event in January 2018 that contributed to the formation of SEG’s current cluster work in the aging space.
Presently she is the Director of Advancement for Daily Table, an innovative retail approach to providing affordable wholesome food to the economically disadvantaged and underserved in our inner cities to help solve the social challenge of hunger and obesity in America.
Gary is the owner of Merfeld & Schine, Inc., a small business consulting company specializing in mergers & acquisitions. He has launched and operated several businesses including a video production company, a medical information service, and his current consulting firm. Gary has taught small business at the college level and has authored several books on small business topics. He holds a master’s degree from New York University and an MBA degree from the University of Connecticut, with a specialization in small business management. He is interested in all aspects of business startup and business planning.
Barbara is a strategist, business operator and attorney. She is Managing Director of Saffron, LLC, a privately held firm that serves growing enterprises. Saffron’s involvements have included advising on strategic alliances, identifying and positioning for investment capital and operating an executive search practice. Barbara previously served as Chief Operating Officer, Alternative Investments at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York, overseeing private equity and hedge fund distribution and operations. Her earlier roles include serving as Deputy Treasurer/General Counsel for the Rhode Island State Treasury and as a corporate attorney at Edwards & Angell (now Locke Lord) and at Ropes & Gray. Currently, she serves on the non-profit boards of Trinity Repertory Company (as a Vice Chair and as Chair of the Development Committee) and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce (Investment Committee). She co-chairs a philanthropic foundation and she is active in Cherrystone Angel Group’s Screening Committee. She holds a J.D. from Boston University, is a member of the Rhode Island Bar, and earned her B.A. with honors, along with a Master of Social Work and Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Providence with her husband.
For the past 8 years have led fundraising, branding and marketing at two $100M+ international development non-profits (Pathfinder and Plan International). In both roles oversaw comprehensive re-branding initiatives, website redesigns and new product and channel development. Prior to Plan and Pathfinder I spent 15 years in corporate marketing and business development at American Express, Citi and Dun and Bradstreet where I led business units, web businesses and sales/business development organizations.
Yemi Sekoni is the owner and director of Donahue Models & Talent – Rhode Island’s oldest model and talent agency. Her company books some of New England’s top professional models and talent to work with many corporate giants across the region, helping these companies convey critical marketing and adveristing messages to their target audiences. With over 35 years of experience in various areas of the acting and modeling industry, including theater, TV, film, print and runway, Yemi also holds a Bachelors Degree in Eduction, a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing and an MBA.
Mr. Seymour has over 40 years of investment experience in international and emerging markets through 18 years at Bankers Trust living and working in Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Latin America; 13 years at Commonfund Capital managing private equity funds of funds; 4 years at EMP Global, a Washington based emerging markets private equity firm; and since 2010 with Pontefract Global Strategies, LLC (PGS). PGS advises private equity firms in frontier emerging markets on global best practices. Examples of current and past relationships are Non-Executive Chairman of a corporate finance boutique firm in Vietnam; Senior Advisor to a private equity firms in Cambodia; Chairman of the Investment Committee of a private equity fund in Haiti; Senior Advisor to private equity funds in Nigeria and Kenya; Advisor to a mezzanine fund in South Africa; Board Director of a venture capital firm in India; Senior Advisor to an investment company that investments in mixed-use property developments for educational institutions in Africa; and Board Director of a public securities fund in Africa. He has served on 18 international, emerging market, and U.S. private equity fund advisory boards. Mr. Seymour also is active in pro-bono work as board member of Social Enterprise Greenhouse, the Advisory Council of the International Business Program and Bryant University and mentor/coach to many social enterprises as well as young adults. Mr. Seymour 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.
“Are all systems go? If not, what’s wrong?” These questions animate Raman Shah’s work as an independent data craftsman. He draws on diverse experiences – from inner-city high school teaching to technical R&D as a principal data scientist at Capital One – to help leaders use their data to make smarter decisions. As a dashboard rebuilder, Raman employs statistics and software engineering expertise to deliver monitoring improvements that outlast him. As a data science strategist, he helps executives nurture thriving technical teams that grow their own talent. Raman has a B.S. in chemistry from Caltech and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago. Away from the desk, you may find him baking a loaf of bread, helping a neighborhood kid with a bicycle repair, birdwatching outdoors, or playing the violin.
Attorney Megan E. Sheehan graduated from Macalester College in 2005, and from Vermont Law School in 2013. While at Vermont Law School, Megan participated in the South Royalton Legal Clinic, and was an active member of the National Lawyers Guild VT Chapter. Prior to joining the Law Office of Maura L. Sheehan, Megan worked with the Vermont Workers’ Center as the Director of Operations. She lives in the East Bay of Rhode Island with her husband, son, two dogs and cat. Megan is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and primarily practices in our Barrington office, and practices in small business legal services, estate planning, probate, real estate and personal injury.
I have an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley, and in the 80’s worked in the investment sector both in portfolio management as an equity research analyst. While I’ve maintained a strong interest in finance and have tried to keep up with the field, when I had my child in the 90’s I decided to use my talents in a way more synergistic with being a parent.
Towards this end, I co-founded Neighborhood Moms, an organization to support young mothers in the San Francisco Bay area which grew to over 1,000 members. When I moved to Providence in 1998, Neighborhood Moms merged with another group and the new entity went online. It’s still active today as https://www.berkeleyparentsnetwork.org/.
In the 2000’s I decided to make a difference by volunteering as a swim coach at the East Side YMCA and Moses Brown School. My goal was to help children achieve their best and believe in themselves, and swimming (a lifelong passion of mine) was a good vehicle for doing that. I love running into these swimmers years later and hearing about the positive impact the sport has had on them.
Since 2010 I’ve moved on to community organization, starting a neighborhood communication network called the East Side Listserv which now has over 1,500 residents on it. This listserv essentially updates people with relevant information on crime and infrastructure changes in the area, as well as serving as a curated forum on social and political issues.
I’m also continuing to educate myself on current issues in business, and since I spend a lot of time in New York, I’ve started attending some forums there on start-up formation: https://www.stacklist.com/about/
Volunteering as a coach at SEG brings together these various skill sets and interests, and I look forward to continued involvement.
Rickie Sonpal is a Partner a Robinson & Cole LLP (Robinson+Cole), focusing his practice on the food and beverage industry. He has particular experience representing emerging and fast-growth companies within this space. His broad-based corporate and transactional practice encompasses mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures, debt and equity financing, and general corporate and commercial matters.
Rickie provides advice and insight to food and beverage clients as they grow their businesses and to investors in this space. He frequently represents emerging, high-growth companies and entrepreneurs in capital raises and convertible debt financings. He also represents venture capital firms and other investors in connection with equity financings. He assists borrowers and private lenders in connection with secured and unsecured debt financing transactions, many of which include bespoke terms or are otherwise highly transactional-specific.
Rickie serves as outside general counsel to a number of small and mid-sized businesses, advising on strategic and commercial matters. He regularly advises clients regarding the commercial contract needs that they deal with on a daily basis and that form the backbone of their operations. These include sales agreements and purchase contracts, distribution agreements, terms and conditions of sale and/or supply, service and consulting agreements, sales representative agreements, licensing agreements, and nondisclosure agreements. His practice includes helping companies structure and negotiate supply-chain agreements and co-packing agreements.
Rickie also assists food and beverage companies with the full range of corporate transactions, including acquisitions, divestitures, joint venture and sale transactions. He counsels both buyers and sellers in structuring transactions and in negotiating the terms of a transaction and related financing. Rickie helps clients with structuring, documenting, and implementing a broad range of commercial partnerships and joint ventures.
Rich has been a CPA for over 20 years. He loves working with businesses, entrepreneurs and artists and does personal financial planning. A graduate of Boston University, he directed an international Buddhist center and is also a Certified Fraud Examiner. Rich developed the state’s first same-sex planning seminar and leads business workshops for creatives, freelancers and new businesses. Rich loves promoting his clients and authors the singular newsletter, Enlightened Accounting: Dispatches from the Zen Mensch. Rich serves on the board of The Economic Progress Institute.
Severe anxiety has plagued me my entire adult life, and it was always most evident when I had to speak in front of an audience. I would freeze up, forget what I needed to say and I felt horrible about myself after every presentation. Then I began attending my father’s workshops to operate the video camera for him, and it was truly a game changer for my career. I immediately adopted his philosophy and it is how I approach presenting to any audience. Today, I have more than 20 years of experience in advertising and marketing, and my presentation and public speaking abilities are the hallmark of my career to date. I spent 13 years in the agency world as a client services specialist before joining Hasbro Toys and Games on the global marketing team where I developed marketing and retail programs for brands like Transformers, Tonka Trucks and Jurassic World. Since 2015, I was the face of the Hasbro Gaming franchise, with the charge to establish the personality, attitude and style of the Hasbro Gaming portfolio by being an impactful, influential presenter and speaker. I have presented to audiences in the US, Hong Kong, India, Germany and the UK, as well as to Hasbro’s entire organization at the annual Global Sales and Marketing Summit. I assure you every one of these audiences remembers me for not just what I say, but how I say it. After 20 years of real-world experience in front of real audiences, I am happy to join Verret & Associates and share my experience with you!
Marshall draws from experience in technology, policy and communications to design, introduce and implement new ideas. He participates in board and committee activities for various healthcare industry and local organizations. He holds a BA from Providence College and completed the MIT Sloan Greater Boston Executive Program. Aspiring gardener, squash player, surfer, sailor.
John has spent three decades working for a variety of non-profit organizations — and several for-profit ones — as a researcher, reporter, editor, director of publications, film festival programmer, and for the last 20 years as a communications consultant. In that capacity, he advises and assists clients in developing outreach materials and strategies, including needs assessments and communications audits, copywriting and editing, developing and pitching story ideas to print and electronic media, design and layout of websites and collateral materials, and photo editing. Among his employers and clients have been Boardnet, the Castro Theatre, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Charitableway, CompassPoint, the Earth Island Institute, Global Exchange, Habitat for Humanity, Health Initiatives for Youth, the Health Trust, Hearst Newspapers, the Population Leadership Program, the Public Health Institute, the San Francisco Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the Strategic Press Information Network, the Sustainable News Center, United Press International, WNET New York, and World Broadcast News.
Daniel Xavier is an entrepreneur with a background in building and developing product and go-to-market strategies in the Mobile, Internet, and Healthcare spaces. Daniel’s work is digitally focused, “known to mix analytics with user experience design to produce a simplistic yet unique interaction between customers and businesses.” He is also the founder of UniverSole, a company that is developing smart insoles for athletes.
Kuni is an intercultural communication specialist, and in 2015 celebrated the 10th year anniversary of her consulting practice: facilitation of professional development training custom-designed to enhance intercultural competency (www.paptake.com.) Her clients include various corporations and non-profit organizations in New England, which seek skill-building opportunities for their diverse employees for customer-centered service, staff-centered management, and/or student-centered learning across cultures. In addition, Kuni offers individual and group Executive Coaching sessions, and regularly writes articles about the latest food trend in the U.S. for a popular Japanese culinary magazine. Prior to her consulting career, Kuni gained professional experiences in Japan and the U.S. in industries such as education, educational administration, and international food trade (sales, marketing, logistics, and customer services.) Kuni is a Tokyo native, has lived in CA, MN, and MA in the past, and currently resides in Bristol, RI with her husband.
An entrepreneur from the outset, Jeshua is every bit the classic (and classy) executive. Sharp and driven, creative and tech-savvy, he drives the workflow at Xzito, constantly pushing the team to exceed expectations for our growing list of clients. His career began with MetLife Auto & Home Insurance where he established the project management, process review and information technology skills that laid the foundation needed for his role as President. Passionate about creating strategies that align the sales and marketing efforts of our clients, Jeshua works alongside Xzito’s production team to develop and execute exciting, results-driven campaigns.
Jeshua is an alumni of Bryant University with a degree in Business Administration, focused on Computer Information Systems and a minor in Communications, and he holds a Masters Certificate in Project Management. Jeshua formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Junior Achievement, the American Marketing Association, and English for Action, and currently is a Co-Chair for the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University. When his non-stop duties as President end, you can catch him playing soccer with friends or reading the latest motivational books by Robert Kiyosaki and Napoleon Hill.