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February 12–16, 2018
New York City | Columbia University
The second-annual School of Professional Studies (SPS) Career Week is open to all SPS students, alumni, faculty, staff, and employers in our vibrant career ecosystem. Career Week is a week-long conference that aligns provocative career-related topics on the future of meaningful work. This robust week of programming features career strategies panels and professional development workshops for students and graduates on a variety of thought-provoking topics. The goals of the school’s premier event include to help prepare forward-thinking students and alumni to competitively position themselves in the workplace and celebrate our ambitious career culture.
Space is limited–RSVP is requested. Admittance to all events is on a first-come, first-served basis. Professional attire required.
download/print full schedule here
Watch select panels live
Monday, February 12, 2018
|9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.||Competition: Video Business Card (VBC): SPS Winners of our Fall 2017 Pitch Competition–Filming|
|10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.||Competition: Citi Ventures: Disruptive Innovation Challenge, Part 1|
|10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.||Workshop: You at the Helm: Chart Your Course with Professional Development|
|12:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m.||Workshop: Reverse Engineering from Your Passion and Effective Ownership|
|12:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m.||Workshop: Career Crossroads: Pivoting in Transitions toward Work That Matters|
|3:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m.||Idea Lab: How to Go from Idea to Reality|
|6:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m.||Keynote: How to Constantly Change and Reinvent Yourself: The Skill of the Future?|
|6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.||Panel: Transformational Talent and Its Impact in University Recruiting|
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
|9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.||Competition: Video Business Card (VBC): SPS Winners of our Fall 2017 Pitch Competition–Filming (Continued)|
|9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.||Virtual Career Fair: Innovative Virtual Career Fair Hosted by Highre and the Career Design Lab|
|10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.||Panel: Taking the Pulse of Healthcare in the Age of Transformation and Transparency|
|10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.||Panel: From Big Data to Artificial Intelligence: The Next Digital Disruption|
|12:45 p.m.–2:30 p.m.||Panel: Managing Data Quality in Complex Organizations|
|12:45 p.m.–2:30 p.m.||Workshop: The Future of Financial Services and Tapping into Untapped Inspiration|
|3:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m.||Panel: Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption|
|3:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m.||Workshop: “YOU Matter”: Design Your Career (Purpose Series)|
|7:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.||Keynote: Connecting Passion to Purpose: The Globalization of Sports|
|8:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.||Panel: Connecting Passion to Purpose: The Globalization of Sports|
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
|9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.||Networking: Employer Appreciation Breakfast and Networking: "Our Talent, Your Value"|
|12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.||Networking: Career Fair and Hot Spots: Discipline-Specific Networking and Recruiting|
|6:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.||Networking/Panel: Joining People, Not Organizations: Professional Networking Event Hosted by Alumni Relations and the Career Design Lab|
Thursday, February 15, 2018
|9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.||Networking: Social Media MEETUP|
Welcome and Introduction
@ 9:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
Keynote: Digital Identity and Development
@ 9:30 a.m.–10:20 a.m.
Panel: Digital Times, Connect Your UPtions
@ 10:30 a.m.–11:45 a.m.
Panel: Social Media and its Disruption on Recruiting
@ 12:00 p.m.–1:15 p.m.
Networking/Workshop: LinkedIn Profile Optimization Stations and Experience
@ 1:15 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
|1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.||Workshop: “Looked Good on Paper, But”: The Art of Phone Interviewing with Dr. Paul J. Bailo|
|2:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.||Book Signing: “Looked Good on Paper, But”: The Art of Phone Interviewing with Dr. Paul J. Bailo|
|2:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.||Competition: Citi Ventures: Disruptive Innovation Challenge, Part 2|
|3:15 p.m.–5:00 p.m.||Workshop: The Video Business Card: The Search for People is Based on Human Interaction—Tell Your Story|
|6:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m.||Keynote: Change and Sustainability: Why We All Need a Purpose Bigger Than Ourselves|
|6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.||Panel: Change and Sustainability: Why We All Need a Purpose Bigger Than Ourselves|
Friday, February 16, 2018
|10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.||Panel: Aligning Technology with Strategy, Innovation and Diversity|
|10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.||Panel: Exploring Your Curiosity in the Information Age: How to Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable|
|12:15 p.m.–1:45 p.m.||Panel: Taking Risks or Managing Risk as a Change Agent? You Decide.|
|12:15 p.m.–1:45 p.m.||Panel: Mentoring the Mentor: The Evolution of Finding a Mentor|
|2:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.||Panel: Why We Need Meaningful Work, Not Jobs|
|2:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.||Panel: The Irresistible Power of Storytelling and Purpose|
Competition: Video Business Card (VBC): SPS Winners of our Fall 2017 Pitch Competition–Filming
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Faculty House, 1754 Board Room
The Career Design Lab (CDL) hosted a pitch competition in the fall 2017 semester and 20 SPS student won a new, innovative branding tool to help them with their search to land a career or internship – the Video Business Card (VBC). This tool allows the winners an opportunity to record a short video about themselves, summarizing their education and relevant experience, skills, and career goals. Red Ivy Studios has offered to coach these students one-on-one and film them on campus telling their story. The video link allows for a unique opportunity to elevate brand and digital identity on resumes, cover letters and social media platforms. Ten of these special winners will be filming today, stop by to see them in action!
Competition: Citi Ventures: Disruptive Innovation Challenge, Part 1
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m., Faculty House, Presidential
The SPS Career Week Innovation Challenge is made possible by Citi Ventures. This event showcases SPS students’ innovative ideas and entrepreneurial skills. The competition begins with a case overview and brainstorming session, allowing teams to connect and create an action plan. Thursday is Pitch Day, where student teams will present their solutions and pitch back to Citi Ventures executives for the chance to win. If you are interested in participating, you will need to secure team members (a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 8). Citi Ventures will provide more details for registration by the end of January 2018.
Workshop: You at the Helm: Chart Your Course with Professional Development
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m., Pulitzer, Lecture Hall
In today’s competitive job market, you need to be in the driver’s seat to steer your career success! Defining your path forward and formulating an executable plan is key. If you thought professional development was only a tool for managers, think again. Learn how to leverage best practices in professional development to drive your career forward. Participants will be taken through a series of activities designed to support the achievement of their personal career goals.
Workshop: Reverse Engineering from Your Passion and Effective Ownership
12:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m., Faculty House, Presidential
We have all heard the interview question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Can you confidently answer this question? This workshop will challenge participants to focus on finding their passion and branding their unique skill sets, cutting to the essence of engineering their own vision, and defining their career path.
Workshop: Career Crossroads: Pivoting in Transitions toward Work That Matters
12:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m., Pulitzer, Lecture Hall
Do you know the expiration date of your current position? How do you know you have outgrown a position, when to move on, and/or when to accelerate your career? Learn tips on how to capitalize on your transferable skills no matter what transition you are aspiring towards. Take part in this session and learn what has worked for others, while uncovering the value of shifting the hiring mindset from your career lens to the employer’s perspective.
Panel: Idea Lab: How to Go from Idea to Reality
3:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m., Faculty House, Presidential
Do you have a great idea but aren’t sure how to execute it? This panel will identify proven methods to move your idea from a dream into reality. Reflecting on various methods including design thinking to go from ideation to testing, get the inspiration and expert advice you need to take the next step to success.
Keynote: How to Constantly Change and Reinvent Yourself: The Skill of the Future?
6:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m., Pulitzer, Lecture Hall
Continuously reposition yourself as a person of talent. Gain professional insight, learn how to discover your talent, and set yourself apart from the rest. Explore how to better develop your brand in a global marketplace.
Panel: Transformational Talent and Its Impact in University Recruiting
6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Pulitzer, Lecture Hall
The talent marketplace is increasingly challenging to navigate for both employers and university students. It is becoming more difficult to stand out in the crowd and compete among recent university graduates. Employers continue to reexamine recruiting strategies due to costly barriers in finding the right talent, let alone longevity or Return on Investment (ROI). Recruiting executives examine ways to help students reposition themselves as transformational agents of change and how to nail the question, “Why should I hire you?,” with real impact.
Competition: Video Business Card (VBC): SPS Winners of our Fall 2017 Pitch Competition–Filming (Continued)
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Faculty House, 1754 Board Room
The Career Design Lab (CDL) hosted a pitch competition in the fall 2017 semester and 20 SPS student won a new, innovative branding tool to help them with their search to land a career or internship – the Video Business Card (VBC). This tool allows the winners an opportunity to record a short video about themselves, summarizing their education and relevant experience, skills, and career goals. Red Ivy Studios has offered to coach these students one-on-one and film them on campus telling their story. The video link allows for a unique opportunity to elevate brand and digital identity on resumes, cover letters, and social media platforms. Ten of these special winners will be filming today. Stop by to see them in action!
Virtual Career Fair: Innovative Virtual Career Fair Hosted by Highre and the Career Design Lab
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Students, alumni and employers will use a state-of-the-art online platform hosted by HighRe to virtually and seamlessly engage in brief recruiting and Q&A discussions. Make real connections as you explore opportunities and expand your network. Select employers will offer webinars, Q&A, and pre-selected realtime one-on-one sessions (10 per employer) via webcam. Students will also be able to review available positions and submit their resumes with a click of a button.
Panel: Taking the Pulse of Healthcare in the Age of Transformation and Transparency
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Faculty House, Presidential
In an environment of increasing demands for transparency in the cost and quality of healthcare, many organizations and providers are transforming how they structure, deliver and communicate with their various stakeholders. Join our panelists as they discuss the complexities of this challenge in the midst of industry transformation and an emphasis on patient outcomes and informed decision making.
Panel: From Big Data to Artificial Intelligence: The Next Digital Disruption
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Faculty House, Seminar
This panel will explore the relationship between big data and artificial intelligence. As machine learning and artificial intelligence continues to advance and disrupt business planning and execution, how will companies adjust? How do these developments impact the future of work? Join us as our panelists consider the implications.
Panel: Managing Data Quality in Complex Organizations
12:45 p.m.–2:30 p.m., Faculty House, Presidential
Successful organizations are increasingly data-driven. There is a correlation between how well firms manage data and how well they can adapt to the realities of the new marketplace. Often overlooked in this process is the importance of foundational requirements necessary for any organization to effectively manage (and leverage) their data. This session will examine the capabilities, principles and practices of data “content” management as a trusted factor of input into business intelligence and analytics.
Workshop: The Future of Financial Services and Tapping into Untapped Inspiration
12:45 p.m.–2:30 p.m., Faculty House, Seminar
Research has shown that half of American jobs are at risk of being lost to automation. Many of those jobs will be in the financial services industry due to the rapid emergence of AI, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and others. Join Tyrone Ross from NobleBridge as he leads a thought-provoking talk on what it will take to secure a career in the future of the financial services and technology industry.
Panel: Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption
3:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m., Faculty House, Presidential
Providing value in a world of changing business models and customer/client expectations is a challenge across many industries as they deal with disruptive forces. Learn how our panelists meet these challenges as they strive to grow their businesses and deliver solutions with social impact.
Workshop: “YOU Matter”: Design Your Career (Purpose Series)
3:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m., Faculty House, Seminar
What is connecting Passion to Purpose, you might ask? How can you develop a career strategy when you may not be sure what your passion is? Combining your career and life vision is a deep and long process of self-reflection and purposeful thinking. How can you reverse engineer from your passion? Learn how to develop an evolving worldview moving forward, leverage innovative career readiness tools, and to design your career and life vision on a 30-to-40-year Career Runway.
Keynote: Connecting Passion to Purpose
7:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m., Pulitzer, Lecture Hall
Panel: The Globalization of Sports
8:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Pulitzer, Lecture Hall
Sports enthusiast or industry insider? Come join our distinguished panelists as they discuss how the globalization of sports is changing the work they do and redefining the game.
Speakers to be announced soon.
Networking: Employer Appreciation Breakfast and Networking: "Our Talent, Your Value"
9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m., Faculty House, Garden Room 1
This 90-minute breakfast is served to employers registered to participate in Career Hot Spots Career Fair event. They will have the opportunity to meet and network with other industry leaders across diverse job markets.
Career Fair and Hot Spots: Discipline-Specific Networking and Recruiting
12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m., Faculty House
This premier event will grant organizations the intimate opportunity to interact with SPS students and alumni to diversify their team with top talent from our 16 master of science programs, showcase their organizations’ value, culture, and opportunities, in addition to lending the opportunity of networking with other industry leaders and faculty members. The Hot Spots concept allows for a smaller, more targeted networking event where employers can have more intimate and meaningful conversations with students.
Networking/Panel: Joining People, Not Organizations: Professional Networking Event Hosted by Alumni Relations and the Career Design Lab
6:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Faculty House, Presidential
More than a networking event, this alumni panel engages attendees in deep-dive discussions of tried and true practices of organic and virtual networking. Information gathered from those participating can be implemented and shared within your own personal business plan to meet career goals and align mentors that matter.
Networking: Social Media MEETUP: Welcome and Introduction
9:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m., Lerner, Auditorium
Keynote: Digital Identity and Development
9:30 a.m.–10:20 a.m., Lerner, Auditorium
Define the collective goal, demolish the social barriers. What if you could unite the school with the power of a hashtag? What if one MEETUP could cause a chain of reactions that resulted in a wave of brand elevation, digital identity self-awareness, and enlightenment? The SPS community aims to do just that, coming together for the first time in a school-wide forum to increase and improve the quality of its presence in the virtual and social space with one purpose in mind, to help learn from each other and engage one another for mutual benefit in the digital realm.
Panel: Digital Times, Connect Your UPtions
10:30 a.m.–11:45 a.m., Lerner, Auditorium
Gain insight from digital identity experts on both sides of the recruiting hemisphere. Explore solutions to meet existing branding challenges and learn best practices for positive outcomes when aspiring to elevate your brand online. Discover how to balance real identity vs. virtual identity during the career development process and how even just one mistake can be costly.
Panel: Social Media and its Disruption on Recruiting
12:00 p.m.–1:15 p.m., Lerner, Auditorium
Social media is changing the complexities of sourcing emerging talent by abandoning the use of historical methods to augment recruiting needs. Engage on how organizations are creatively capitalizing on technology and new platforms to attract, recruit, and extract individuals from websites and engines with the transferable skills and visions they are targeting. Learn how to better position yourself as a candidate by leveraging multi-layered social media as an asset, not as a hindrance to your hiring appeal.
Networking/Workshop: LinkedIn Profile Optimization Stations and Experience
1:15 p.m.–3:00 p.m., Lerner, Auditorium
LinkedIn is a renowned social networking site for professionals. As such, it is one of the best sources for sharing information and news related to professional topics. Beyond providing a digital platform for companies to discuss key issues and share the latest job openings, the site also features a number of benefits specifically for job seekers. Do you want to use LinkedIn to find your next job, but aren’t sure where to begin? Experience how to customize and optimize your LinkedIn profile by LinkedIn experts.
“Looked Good on Paper, But”: The Art of Phone Interviewing with Dr. Paul J. Bailo
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m., Lerner, 555
Your telephone interviewing skills could be the deciding factor in getting a live interview and, ultimately, landing the leadership role you want! Featured in CNN, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Muse, Money, CNBC, and Fox News, join Dr. Paul J. Bailo and get ready to ace your next phone interview. Learn to:
- Understand the “dance” of the phone interview
- Prepare for a successful call
- Control the conversation and set the direction
- Uncover the “never before seen” practice techniques that will relax and empower you
- Receive a free book: The Essential Phone Interview Handbook
Book Signing: “Looked Good on Paper, But”: The Art of Phone Interviewing with Dr. Paul J. Bailo
2:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m., Lerner, Auditorium
Competition: Citi Ventures: Disruptive Innovation Challenge, Part 2
2:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m., Pulitzer, Lecture Hall
The SPS Career Week Innovation Challenge is made possible by Citi Ventures. This event showcases SPS students’ innovative ideas and entrepreneurial skills. The competition begins with a case overview and brainstorming session, allowing teams to connect and create an action plan. Today is Pitch Day, where student teams will present their solutions and pitch back to Citi Ventures executives for the chance to win.
Workshop: The Video Business Card: The Search for People is Based on Human Interaction—Tell Your Story
3:15 p.m.–5:00 p.m., Lerner, 555
Technology is accelerating all phases of the career search: online search and submission, pre-qualify (or disqualify!) based on keyword criteria, etc. The process has become too automated and impersonal—sterile, even. And academic achievements are not enough to secure the right offer. Innovative Personal Brand Marketers Tony Arce and Miguel Paloma of Red Ivy Studios are on a mission to tell your story and have it be seen and heard by the companies you are hoping to join. They will highlight the importance of telling your brand story to distinguish yourself among career seekers.
Keynote: Change and Sustainability
6:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m., Low Memorial Library, Rotunda
How can we forge solidarity in a fragmenting world? Join Marcia Stepanek as she explores the importance of collectively understanding that change and sustainability are part of everything we do. We stand at a key moment in history. As sustainability challenges intensify and the window for action grows smaller every day, the need for leadership is greater than ever.
Panel: Why We All Need a Purpose Bigger Than Ourselves
6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Low Memorial Library, Rotunda
The war for sustainability is underway; what side will you be on? Standing out among the sea of companies is critical when looking to attract and engage the best talent possible. Winners like winners! However, how important is purpose alongside talent? What about social responsibility and giving back? Learn how to narrow the playing field by “inner-viewing” and embracing humanity to make a larger impact.
Panel: Aligning Technology with Strategy, Innovation and Diversity
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m., Pulitzer, World Room
Strategy, innovation, and diversity are an organization’s lifeline in a rapidly evolving world; however, companies often struggle with effectively unleashing technology’s full potential in order to move towards the future. Panelists will discuss technology as a valuable resource in building and maintaining the capacity to innovate, creating and implementing effective strategies and aligning technology to leverage inclusivity.
Panel: Exploring Your Curiosity in the Information Age: How to Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m., Pulitzer, Lecture Hall
Work is no longer a job. It is a place to explore possibilities, obliterate boundaries, and carve out new paths of what can be. Professionals seek career opportunities where they can grow, think, dream, create, and be rewarded for their imagination. Organizations seek those leaders and visionaries who make the seemingly impossible possible. Panelists will discuss the importance of messy learning and the need for being comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Panel: Taking Risks or Managing Risk as a Change Agent? You Decide.
12:15 p.m.–1:45 p.m., Pulitzer, World Room
Risk encompasses uncertainty, but a failure to take risks leads to failure. Risk management is about learning to deal with uncertainty through cultural change. Panelists will discuss the importance of putting risks into perspective, assessing an organization's appetite for risk, tolerance for uncertainty and measuring the impact of change.
Panel: Mentoring the Mentor: The Evolution of Finding a Mentor
12:15 p.m.–1:45 p.m., Pulitzer, Lecture Hall
Mentorship is very important. Yet it can be a confusing experience if you don’t know how to create mentoring relationships that get results. In this energetic discussion, you’ll learn how to find a mentor and be a mentor at any stage of your professional life. Expect to walk away with actionable strategies based on experiences of successful executives and entrepreneurs with international experience from a range of backgrounds, including immigration and law.
Panel: Why We Need Meaningful Work, Not Jobs
2:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m., Pulitzer, World Room
What is your calling? Are you inspired by a sense of personal mission and engagement? Finding that seamless connection between your passion and what brings out the best in you can be challenging. Panelists will discuss finding purpose and fulfillment in the insurance industry.
Panel: The Irresistible Power of Storytelling and Purpose
2:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m., Pulitzer, Lecture Hall
Research shows that storytelling is a powerful tool that can advance our work, build our reputations, and reinforce our sense of purpose in our careers and elsewhere. Join our distinguished panelists as they discuss how they use storytelling in their professional lives.
Lead Recruiter & Founder, TekVizor
Russ Ahrens is the Lead Recruiter and Founder of TekVizor a leading data technology recruiting firm. He is responsible for the placement of technology professionals across the United States. His key areas of focus include data analytics, data science, big data, artificial intelligence, product marketing, cloud computing, and business intelligence. Russ received a B.A. Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology.
Executive Director of Industry Relations and Career Strategies, Columbia SPS, Career Design Lab; Lecturer, Columbia University; Founder, Invitation Relief
Hassan Akmal, an alumnus of Columbia University (M.P.H. 2004), joined S.P.S. in May 2017 after a very successful career as a Visionary, Career Thought Leader, Chair of Career Education and Director of Career Services at multiple locations across the United States in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. As a change agent, he’s committed to coaching proactive career-seekers who will strengthen multilevel innovation in our global marketplace. With almost 10 years of experience leading career services in several higher education institutions, he aims to foster a school and university-wide, living, celebratory career culture that’s visibly vibrant, diverse, and — breathes success.
In 2015, he pioneered a connector model based on customized connections and communities entitled “BRIDGE: Building Relationships and Interconnectedness Directed towards Graduation and Educational (and Career) Pathways” at Loyola University Chicago. He also re-imagined the career services model by redirecting students to “inner“ view themselves and connect their passion to purpose, crystallizing positive career outcomes and transformational trends in career development and experiential education in the process. By leveraging the career ecosystem that’s readily available, he believes we can help build dreams and witness their impact on humanity.
Akmal was a Chief Executive Officer for a public benefit charity for displaced persons and health for over ten years, past Global Health and Career Development Adjunct Professor, Financial Advisor for UBS Financial Services and Business Development Manager. Akmal, a former professional tennis player, completed his undergraduate studies at U.C.L.A. where he was a member of the top ranked nationally men’s tennis team. Later, he completed a five-year prestigious contract as the International Right to Play Athlete Ambassador to the United States. He participated in series of international ambassador trainings hosted in Toronto, Montreal and New York (Columbia University) for this select group. Later, he completed his M.B.A. in International Business.
Additionally, Akmal has served on the External Advisory Board for Health Systems Management at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and as a Loyola Chapter Faculty Advisor for Aahana, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the education of social inequalities to empower communities. Athletics, fitness, social justice, social enterprise and social responsibility are deep passions of his.
Akmal is writing a book that teaches individuals to capture the importance of vision, personal branding in multi-layered social media, and growth competencies. He argues that not only are the elements of passion and purpose the keys to maximizing careers, but they are socially responsible gates to growing life’s fulfillment.
M.S. Candidate, Sports Management, Columbia SPS
Louie Al-Hafidh is currently a M.S. Candidate in Sports Management at Columbia University. Prior to enrolling in Columbia, he worked in sales, marketing, and diversity inclusion at Google. In his last role at Google, he launched and managed the customer service division at Google Fiber in Charlotte, NC. Last summer, Al-Hafidh worked at Athletes First, an NFL players Agency. His goal is to work in the NFL at both the league office and for an NFL franchise. He would like to focus on CBA and contract analysis, injury prevention research, and using analytics to help a team win on the field.
Director, Technology, Big Data and Cloud Engineering, Columbia/IRI
Abid Ali has an undergraduate in computer sciences, a master’s in business intelligence and data warehousing, a master’s in Information and Knowledge Strategy, and a Ph.D. (ABD) in organizational leadership. In addition, he is a Teradata Certified Master. He has several years of international consulting experience working in Fortune 100 companies leading, designing, and delivering large-scale data and reporting solutions in the U.S., Great Britain, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
Ali is experienced in various industries such as retail, insurance, finance, banking, telecom, and travel. He specializes in data architecture design and implementation, data warehousing and business intelligence, and advanced analytics. His research interests include data analytics, organizational leadership, diversity and inclusion, and social and industrial/organizational psychology. He is also an adjunct lecturer in the Master of Science in Applied Analytics program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.
Miquel Noguer i Alonso
Executive Director, UBS; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia University, UBS AG (Switzerland)
Miquel Noguer I Alonso is a financial markets practitioner with more than 20 years of experience in asset management, he is currently working for UBS AG (Switzerland) as Executive Director. He is a member of the European Investment Committee. He worked as a Chief Investment Office and CIO for Andbank from 2000 to 2006. He started his career at KPMG.
He is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University teaching asset allocation, big data in finance, and FinTech. He is also a Professor at ESADE teaching hedge fund, big data in finance, and FinTech. In 2017, he taught the first FinTech and big data course at the London Business School.
He received an MBA and a degree in business administration and economics in ESADE in 1993. In 2010 he earned a Ph.D. in quantitative finance with a Summa Cum Laude distinction (UNED – Madrid Spain). He completed a Postdoc in Columbia Business School in 2012. He collaborated with the Mathematics department of Fribourg during his Ph.D. He also holds the Certified European Financial Analyst (CEFA) 2000.
His research interests range from asset allocation, big data, and machine learning, to algorithmic trading and FinTech. His academic collaborations include a visiting scholarship to Columbia University in 2013 in the Finance and Economics Department, in Fribourg University in 2010 in the mathematics department, and giving presentations in Indiana University, ESADE, and CAIA, and several industry seminars, such as the Quant Summit USA 2017 and 2010.
Lead Systems Designer, Agritecture Consulting
Djavid Amidi-Abraham is Lead Systems Design for Agritecture Consulting where he serves as a senior technical consultant on controlled environment agriculture projects globally. Prior to his involvement with Agritecture, he served as Vice President at Infinitree where he developed carbon capture tools for CO2 enrichment in greenhouses. Previously, he spent several years in commercial hydroponic production roles and helped start a hydroponic and greenhouse equipment distribution business. Amidi-Abraham holds undergraduate degrees in History and Environmental Studies from SUNY Binghamton.
CEO, Red Ivy Studios
Originally from Chicago’s northwest side, Tony Arce knows firsthand the value of being connected to others. In every stage of his personal, military and professional career, he has seen how the right connection, made at the right time, can be life-changing...even life-saving. Soon after graduating from High School, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and proudly served for the next nine years performing crucial IT functions. Specifically, he was responsible for installing computer networks in remote locations around the world. After leaving the Marines, he served as IT Director in the Financial Industry before discovering his next passion: “the” camera.
It started with photography, which led to a successful photography business, but soon quickly evolved to video, specifically video used to promote local businesses. Possessing these skills, he set out to capture the artistic side of restaurant dining believing food has the power to bring people together. Arce immersed himself into this craft and developed an online food guide across a video platform which showcases over 250 restaurants in Chicago and abroad.
Arce is masterful at connecting people. And despite possessing a keen sense of how to optimize technology to achieve these connections, he is realistic in his view that technology cannot—and should not—do all the “heavy lifting.” He is adamant in his belief that no matter how far, how fast, how instantaneous technology can deliver a message, the initial starting point of any relationship will always be local.
Managing Director, EDM Council; Faculty, M.S. in Applied Analytics Program, Columbia SPS
Mike Atkin is the Chief Content Officer of the Enterprise Data Management Council, a business forum focused on data content management, best practices, and standards in the financial industry. He is also an instructor at Columbia University on data management and an advisor to regulators, banks, market authorities, and vendors on the principles and realities of data management.
Managing Partner, Azam Chandran & Gilani LLP
Salman Azam is the Managing Partner at Azam Chandran & Gilani LLP and has been counseling small and medium sized businesses for nearly a decade in corporate and transactional health care matters. After completing law school, Azam worked at a large law firm and then set out to create a boutique firm focused on the needs of small & medium sized businesses as well as professionals. Azam has been directly involved with formation of several new business ventures and the growth and expansion of many existing ones in Chicago and across the country. He currently acts as chief outside counsel for some midwest based corporations and regularly advises not for profits. Previously Azam served as President of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago and is currently the Vice President of the National Association of Muslim Lawyers. He has been selected as an Illinois Rising Star SuperLawyer every year since 2009.
Executive - Digital Strategy & Innovation, Infosys Digital
Paul Bailo has garnered deep career success in multiple fields, along with an outstanding industry reputation and important executive roles as Digital Innovator, Strategic Thinker, Change Agent and Creative Entrepreneur. He has built and led top performing teams, start-up entities and world-class organizations. His background in digital transformation, digital communications, emerging payments, operational excellence, data-driven decision-making and ongoing product innovation is unparalleled. His blue-chip background encompasses MasterCard, American Express, GE, Citibank, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, NYC Transit Authority, and NYC Department of Transportation.
Bailo has held executive management positions in digital marketing, managerial analytics, mobile payments, SEO/SEM, customer insights and emerging payments with multiple innovative market leaders. His strong business expertise and technology capacity encompass start-up operations, general management, business growth and branding strategies. Bailo has consistently exceeded mission-critical performance metrics, organizational goals and business targets, despite highly competitive and rapidly changing market dynamics.
Collateral to his business impact, Bailo teaches as Adjunct Executive Graduate Professor in Applied Analytics at Columbia University. He served as an Executive Advisor to the Governments of Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria and Drexel University. Bailo also acquired unique eight U.S. patents.
In recognition of his diverse market knowledge, Bailo has frequently been the keynote speaker at Yale University School of Management, Google and CMO 100 ; he was a Product Fair Winner at the Cambridge University – International Marketing/Technology competition. Bailo is a published author with two industry books, as well as many original business articles and presentations. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Time, Forbes, Fortune, CNN, Money, CNBC, Business Insider, and Bloomberg.
Head of Data Architecture and Analytics, Voya
Julia Bardmesser recently joined Voya as Senior Vice President, Head of Data, Architecture and Analytics. In this role, she focuses on the transformation of Voya’s enterprise data, architecture, and analytics operating model to enable contemporary practices and robust discipline.
In her previous position as Global Head of Data Integration at Deutsche Bank, she focused on implementing a global data lineage platform and a robust front-to-back data quality analytics, measurement, and issue resolution practice across all business lines. Prior to that, she spent five years with Citi, most recently as global head of business data management.
Bardmesser has also worked at FINRA, Freddie Mac, Thomson Financial Services, Bear Stearns, and Bloomberg L.P.
She has a Master of Arts degree in Economics from New York University.
Global Head of Campus Recruitment and Strategy, NASDAQ
Joshua Bellis is the Global Head of Campus Recruitment and Strategy at Nasdaq where he identifies and builds talented students for careers in markets. He spent nearly six years with Fox News building out their campus recruiting function and leading millennial product development. Prior to his stint with Fox, Bellis was Director of the Collegiate Network (CN), a not-for-profit focused on developing and placing students in journalism careers. The CN is also a central resource for independent college media outlets to gain insight on best practices and funding. He was awarded a PPAI Gold Pyramid award for successful marketing strategies targeting millennial audiences. Bellis is a graduate of Wabash College and holds a master’s degree from The George Washington University.
President, Bova Enterprises, Inc.
As a management consultant, business consultant, executive coach, and president of Bova Enterprises, Rosemary Bova works with a variety of clients in medicine, finance, non-profit and manufacturing, and is equally comfortable doing executive coaching in c-suites, collecting data on shop floors, and speaking publicly to hundreds in the U.S. and abroad.
In terms of organizational development, Bova utilizes the science-based principle known as “Requisite Organization”– in short, tracing organizational dysfunction to poor structure, people in the wrong roles, or deficient systems rather than employees. She believes the majority of organizational or productivity problems need to be attacked from within, beginning with analyzing roles, responsibilities, and even compensation. Most often, she helps organizations figure out what’s truly broken. Her clients include NYU Langone Medical Center, American Express, GE, and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
Bova holds a bachelor’s degree in labor economics, a master’s from Columbia University, and has worked with some of the biggest names in Fortune 100 business spanning financial services, CPG, and healthcare. She is exceptionally passionate about innovating new pathways, delivering savings to her clients, and developing women in our workforce. Since opening Bova Enterprises in 1991, she’s helped her clients save over $10 million through finding efficient and effective solutions to their business and leadership development needs.
Senior Recruiter, Turner Broadcasting Company
Andrew Carlson is a Senior Recruiter at Turner, supporting ad sales, marketing (B2B and B2C), operations, and analytics. For the past two-and-a-half years, he has overseen the explosive growth of Turner’s Launchpad team, which manages the paid social distribution of branded content across all Turner properties, domestic and international. LinkedIn describes Andrew as having “Intermediate Level Profile Strength” but he still considers himself an expert in personal branding on the platform. Although his Twitter account isn’t much to write home about, he does manage a quirky Instagram account, @HeadOutThere, which chronicles his life and travels via selfies featuring only his forehead and hair. If he gets at least 10 new followers from the audience, he promises to post a new selfie from today’s event.
Mark Carter believes mentoring is crucial to our professional lives; yet it’s an ambiguous process that can leave people confused rather than inspired. Through 18 years of building professional events and interviewing successful people, he created Idea Climbing™, a body of work that demystifies mentoring and helps people solve problems they’re facing right now through collaboration and storytelling.
Carter works with clients to create outreach and mentoring programs that create marketing results for universities, companies and professional organizations.
His past projects have included:
- Running book launches and speaking tours for New York Times bestselling business authors
- Working with the founder of TED to create an event with 50 world class luminaries
- Creating the branding statement and heading up marketing strategy for the the world’s largest chapter of Meeting Professionals International
- Interviewing top executives and sponsors at the news desk at Dell World (now Dell EMC World)
- Creating marketing and outreach programs for the world’s largest improv festival
- Creating the online training and structure for Loyola University’s Quinlan School of Businesses Inaugural Mentoring Program
Executive Director, Data Governance, Morgan Stanley
Christine Chang-Cerwinski is the operational lead for Morgan Stanley’s Enterprise Data Office. In this capacity, she works with leadership across business lines (institutional securities, wealth, and asset management) and control functions (finance, operations, and risk), partnering with Technology to establish and maintain strong data governance and management practices through policy, standard frameworks and tooling. Over the past seven years, she has held other senior leadership positions across the firm with contributions in the areas of Technology Divisional Management, Wealth Management Technology, and Recovery and Resolution Planning. Prior to Morgan Stanley, she spent a decade in management consulting on a number of data initiatives after having an early career as a process engineer. She lives with her husband and two children in downtown Manhattan and enjoys practicing yoga when she finds a moment to herself.
Chief Analytics Officer, Unqork
Bassam Chaptini is the Chief Analytics Officer of Unqork, a software-as-a-service company transforming new business acquisition for the financial services industry. In his role, Chaptini leads all efforts focused on building Unqork's sales fulfillment engine that greatly simplifies operations and integration, and on building a data ecosystem and machine-learning solutions to help optimize sales and underwriting.
Prior to Unqork, Chaptini was a Partner at McKinsey & Company where he served top financial services executives and co-led the building of the data analytics practice for the firm. He pioneered three data analytics solutions that have been deployed in over 30 client situations, and completed extensive work in digital strategy and tech-enabled solutions for the insurance industry.
Prior to McKinsey, Chaptini led a team of data scientists at Choicestream Inc., a startup that built machine-learning solutions for leading e-commerce sites.
He holds a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from MIT, where his research focused on expanding machine-learning techniques to personalize online interactions.
Co-Founder and CTO, Archway Health
Based in New York City, Tony Cheng is Co-Founder and CTO of Archway Health, the leading organization behind the bundled care model in the healthcare industry. Previously, he held positions at Exxon, Citibank, IgoUgo, and Sbare Holdings. In addition, he is an avid entrepreneur and CEO of TripFilms, the largest online travel video site, with more than 25,000 videos that cover what to do, where to eat, and where to stay around the world. Cheng is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Cornell University.
CEO and Founder, Highre
Tasha H. Choi is the founder of Highre. Having an education background in both engineering and economics, she is ever enthusiastic about bringing cool technologies to the market and packaging them into cool products or services. Previously she worked on tech projects such as connected car, smart grid, telematics, and supply chain modeling at Deloitte and Hyundai. Then she started her own consulting firm and worked with popular Silicon Valley tech companies like Dropbox, Pinterest, Cooliris (acquired by Yahoo), and Quid. Choi launched her tech startup in 2015 to build a data-driven university recruitment platform to close the talent gap between academia and industry. Her goal is to build the next-level solution for both students and employers and make university recruiting great again.
Highre is a smart university recruitment platform. It offers dynamic virtual university career fairs which help universities connect more students and more employers by removing time, space, and cost limitations. As a result, students can get much higher exposure to more opportunities and employers, and employers can get in touch with students and graduates intelligently by virtually presenting at hundreds of universities with ease.
Managing Partner, GIANT Innovation
Joshua Cohen is the Managing Partner at GIANT Innovation, which transforms the way organizations and people think and act to become world-class innovators. He has led dozens of innovation projects with a broad range of European and American companies to help them to leverage the latest technologies and practices for long-term growth. In addition to having founded and built startups in both Europe and the U.S., Cohen is an active startup advisor and investor. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin. His views on business and economics have been sought in a variety of television appearances, news articles, and speaking engagements. Cohen is a graduate of Princeton University with an MBA from NYU Stern.
Chief Executive Officer, Moody Tongue Brewing Company
Jeremy Cohn is responsible for the oversight functions underlying the management and operations of Moody Tongue Brewing Company. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with concentrations in Finance, Management and Real Estate. Most recently, Cohn was an Associate in the Acquisitions & Capital Markets Group at Vornado Realty Trust, where he managed transactions such as the $1.215 billion acquisition/recapitalization of 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City and the $430 million acquisition/recapitalization of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Times Square, New York City.
Cohn has long had an interest in entrepreneurship and after underwriting and pursuing several opportunities decided to part from his prior investment-oriented roles to co-found and build Moody Tongue Brewing Company in Chicago. Alongside his business partner, Jared Rouben, he is responsible for creating the business plan for, raising the capital for, and launching the brewery. Since the release of the brewery’s first beers in 2014, Moody Tongue has been noted repeatedly in publications such as Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, USA Today, Zagat, Time Out, ABC, Fox News, and CNN / Eatocracy, among others.
Senior Engineering + Leadership Recruiter, Google
With experience recruiting across all areas of IT, Nicholas Corvino works to hire the world’s best Engineering Leaders to join Google’s North American offices. Formerly he worked for the nation’s largest private staffing agency, TEKsystems. With proven experience working with industry leaders, Nick has great insight into what companies are really looking for in tech candidates, from new grads to seasoned professionals.
Associate Director of Industry Relations, Columbia SPS, Career Design Lab
Gregory Costanzo joined the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University as Associate Director of Industry Relations in January 2018 after a successful career as Director of Career Services for the College of the Arts (CART) at Montclair State University. At SPS, Costanzo engages the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to cultivate relationships that result in gainful employment opportunities for students and alumni.
Costanzo’s holistic approach to delivering career management and development strategies focuses on helping students and alumni increase self-awareness and promote intentional job and internship search strategies. At Montclair State, Costanzo developed, implemented, marketed, and evaluated a college-wide career services program designed for CART students and alumni. As a former adjunct for Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business, Costanzo has taught academic internship courses which has reinforced his belief in the value of experiential learning. Along with this understanding, he has experience in redesigning curricula, developing mentorship programs, and managing career outcomes.
Costanzo is a former Senior Operations Analyst at Lehman Brothers. He holds a B.S. in Finance and an M.Ed. in College Student Affairs, both from Rutgers University.
Senior Account Executive, Marketing Solutions: Education, LinkedIn
Dan D’Andrea partners with top Universities to improve the quality of their student recruiting & to empower students to build their professional identity on LinkedIn. He has 15 years of experience in digital media working with advertisers in higher education, finance, philanthropy & tech. His current role includes maximizing ROI of University student recruiting budget, building best in class creative and developing innovative ways to leverage & connect data. D’Andrea’s professional passion is contributing to LinkedIn’s Economic Graph mission, which is to leverage data of our digital representation of the global economy to connect the world’s professionals with economic opportunities. His personal passions are developing awareness of the dangers for children with food allergies and supporting his local hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
Chief Executive Officer, GIANT Innovation
David Dabscheck is the CEO of GIANT Innovation, which transforms the way organizations and people think and act to become world-class innovators. Dabscheck has helped a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies, global NGOs, and public sector agencies develop and implement sustainable innovation and creativity programs. He is an advisory board member for several Israeli and New York technology companies, a mentor for many leading accelerator programs and the founder of the Innovation Leaders Round Table, a New York City based gathering of over 100 executive and senior-level innovation practitioners.
Dabscheck has served as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia Business School in innovation strategy, an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and an adjunct professor for the National Science Foundation's Innovation-Corps program. He is also a thought leader on innovation topics and his work has appeared in publications such as Fast Company, The Boston Globe, The Observer, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Dabscheck holds a MBA from Columbia University, an M.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and undergraduate degrees from the University of Queensland.
Americas Head of Surveillance, Barclays
Rajeev (Raj) Davé has over 20 years of Compliance, Information Security, Operational Risk, and Financial/IT Audit experience.
Currently, he is the Americas Head of Surveillance at Barclays based in New York City. His work is focused on managing functions and compliance risks across E-Communication, Trade and Control Room activities supporting Barclays businesses across the Americas region.
Previously, Davé spent almost nine years as a vice president working in Compliance and Internal Audit with Goldman Sachs in the Chicago, Salt Lake City, New York, and Bangalore, India offices. He also spent almost five years at the Bank of Montreal Group of Companies in Operational Risk and IT Audit and almost two years with KPMG in their Information Risk Management practice. He also practiced risk management at an internet startup venture early in his career and is very interested in researching and deploying enterprise risk techniques to disruptive and emerging technology centric organizations. Over the course of his career, Davé has developed and delivered live risk management training to over 10,000 individuals on five continents.
He thoroughly enjoys classroom engagement with students and is an avid believer in bringing, where applicable, real-life examples into the classroom to enhance group discussions and learning.
Davé has a B.S. in Accountancy from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, an M.S. in Information Systems Management from Loyola University in Chicago, an M.B.A. from the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business and is a registered Certified Public Accountant in the state of Illinois (Inactive) status.
Executive Director of Corporate Partnerships, Columbia SPS
Thomas Deely, Executive Director for Corporate Partnerships at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies (SPS), successfully developed the school’s Master of Science in Applied Analytics program as its first full-time Academic Director.
He has worked as a business development strategist, technology investor, advisor, and speaker. Prior to joining Columbia, he was a Senior Engineer at Goldman Sachs, responsible for the Adoption Strategy for Enterprise Platforms across global businesses and led the Innovation Awards program and thought-leadership on FinTech engagement at Goldman Sachs.
Deely joined Goldman Sachs in London in 1997 as a Senior Application Developer and relocated to New York in 2000 where he progressed to hold a number of senior management roles implementing critical new business and regulatory initiatives. He has managed global technology teams, the set-up of new hedge funds, new trading flows and financial services businesses, new balance sheet and P&L reporting platforms, and Dodd Frank regulation reform legal and compliance implementation post the 2008 financial crisis.
Prior to Goldman Sachs, Deely was an Application Developer in the Technology Division at JPMorgan Chase where he joined the Graduate Training program in London in 1994.
Deely is a CFA charterholder and earned a Executive Master of Science in Technology Management from Columbia University in 2008 and a Bachelor of Electronic Engineering from University College Dublin in 1994.
Deely has studied and applied open innovation concepts emphasizing the imperative for companies to profit from technology investments. He has an active interest in markets, the socioeconomic impacts of technology, emerging technology driven business models, open source, analytics and the dynamics of successful businesses.
Deely is a core member of the Digital Irish Angels investment group and is active in the Irish American Community in New York. He is married with two kids.
Green Climate Fund Readiness Consultant, UNDP
Sophie Dejonckheere is a consultant at the UN Development Programme (UNDP), where she serves as a regional technical advisor and global coordinator for the Green Climate Fund readiness program. She has a background in international development consulting with USAID with a focus on climate change and clean energy.
She left Washington, D.C., for the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program at Columbia University because she was convinced that being socially and environmentally responsible and making a profit were not mutually exclusive, but she didn’t have the tools or vocabulary to prove it. While at Columbia, she tailored her coursework to sustainable finance topics, working with the the Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment, As You Sow, and 2 Degrees Investing Initiative. Her capstone team reviewed pension fund sustainability strategies to screen for decarbonization targets with Mercer and the OECD. She is now determined to build a bridge between the asset managers in developed economies that are looking for climate-smart investments and projects that need financing in developing countries.
Director, Analytics, Bonobos
Aniket Deosthali is the Director of Insights and Analytics at Bonobos, where his goal is to use data in all the ways that help the organization thrive.
Previously he was the Director of Analytics and Data Science at Blink Health, a healthcare technology startup which has raised over $160 million in funding to reduce the high costs of prescription drugs incurred by millions of Americans.
His prior experience also includes a role as Director of Analytics and Data Science at Assembly Media where he focused on driving business growth for agency clients including Amazon, Expedia, and Elevate with analytics-led optimizations and strategic insights. At Assembly, he was the product lead for the agency’s custom multi-touch attribution solution and data science platform in production today.
Eric Di Monte
Head of Talent Acquisition, Univision Communications Inc.
Eric Di Monte is well-known as a diligent networker and people connector within the professional Latino community. He is the Manager of Talent Acquisition and Military Engagement leading their recruitment team and strategy at Univision’s corporate HR organization located in NYC. With over 20 years of experience in staffing/recruitment fields, he has worked on both corporate and agency environments focusing on technology and management placements. Prior to joining Univision, Di Monte worked for companies such as Verizon, PR Newswire, McGraw-Hill, Gartner as well as overseas organizations.
His skills focus on business relationship building, project management, sourcing and interviewing, along with an adaptability to tackle broad tasks and varied responsibilities. Di Monte is fully Bilingual (English/Spanish), and he regularly attends and supports professional as well as technology events in NYC.
As an established LinkedIn power user, he often is asked to present and train people on improving their Social Media presence and branding with the world’s largest professional network. He is a passionate advocate of developing long-term relationships for personal and career growth. He has been a guest speaker/panelist at events such as LIFT (Leaders Initiative For Tomorrow), Columbia University, Red Shoe Movement, FindSpark, Proud to be Latina, Own your own career, SHPE NJ Chapter, to name a few organizations.
Di Monte has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wollongong, Australia. He resides in Queens since 2001 with his wife and son. Prior to relocating to NYC, he lived most of his teenage and adult life in various suburbs of Sydney, Australia. He spent his childhood in the small town of Ensenada, 40 miles south of Buenos Aires, Argentina where his appreciation for family, friends and great food originated.
Founder and CEO, Tigress Ventures
Ita Ekpoudom is the Founder and CEO of Tigress Ventures, an advisory and consulting firm with a mission to engage, educate and elevate the next generation of successful women business leaders and investors. She is also a Venture Partner at Plum Alley Investments, where she oversees investment opportunities and pipeline for high growth female-founded and gender diverse startups. Previously, Ita held product management roles at TravelClick and American Express. Ekpoudom began her career at Goldman Sachs as an analyst in Credit Capital Markets and then as an Institutional Trader of Preferred Stock. Ekpoudom is a Sigma Xi, cum laude graduate in Psychology, with a certificate in Finance, from Princeton University. She holds an MBA, with concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She sits on the Princeton University Alumni Council Executive Committee, where she serves as Chair of the Committee on Reunions, overseeing the annual event that welcomes 25,000 alumni and their guests. She is President of the Alumnae Association of W.O.M.E.N. in America, a leadership development organization advancing promising professional women.
Assistant Director of Industry Relations, Columbia SPS, Career Design Lab
Murwa Farah joined SPS July 31st, 2017 and works directly with our APAN students as Assistant Director of Industry Relations.
She has an MBA in Strategic Management and brings with her nearly 10 years of experience in higher education. She has effectively engaged with business partners in different industries (strong B2B), worked as a former Recruiter aligning credit internships and service learning opportunities, and served as a university liaison to career centers. What’s distinct about her is that she has organized career fairs that “broke records” as far as student/employer attendance, and she has coordinated a wide variety of industry and employer events. She has also worked as a liaison to the United Nations, has a global mindset, and a clear passion for career development, university, and employer relations.
Farah was awarded the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award after completing terms of national service in approved AmeriCorps programs, such as AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, or AmeriCorps State and National. The award is named after Eli Segal, one of the pioneers of the national service movement and the first CEO of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). She has worked with many top-tier employers including Yahoo, Groupon, Citibank, Bank of America, T-Mobile, Goldman Sachs, JetBlue, Uber, and American Express. Her enthusiasm and energy really comes through when you meet her and she hits the ground running.
Research Principal, Office of Financial Research in the U.S. Department of the Treasury
Mark D. Flood is a Research Principal at the Office of Financial Research in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He studied finance (B.S.), and German and economics (B.A.) at Indiana University in Bloomington. In 1990, he earned his Ph.D. in finance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has taught finance and business at universities in the U.S. and Canada, and worked as a financial economist on issues of regulatory policy and risk management at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Housing Finance Board, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. He was a founding member of the Committee to Establish a National Institute of Finance. His research focuses on financial data and risk analysis and has appeared in a number of leading scholarly and policy journals, and in the two-volume Handbook of Financial Data and Risk Information.
Carlo di Florio
Chief Risk Officer and Head of Strategy, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
Carlo di Florio serves as the Chief Risk Officer and Head of Strategy for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), where he is responsible for Strategic Planning, Emerging Risks & Regulatory Issues, Enterprise Risk Management, Operational Risk and Quality Management. These functions support FINRA’s mission of investor protection and market integrity by teaming across the organization to define and align strategy, foster innovation and ongoing improvement, monitor emerging risks and regulatory issues, promote enterprise risk management and support quality management. Di Florio also serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors of the Risk Management Association in New York, and he teaches Strategic Risk Management at Columbia University’s Master’s program in Enterprise Risk Management.
Prior to joining FINRA, di Florio served as the Director of the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, recruited to the SEC in 2010 to help reinvigorate the agency’s exam program following the financial crisis. In that role, he oversaw a team of 900+ examiners across the country in the SEC's nationwide examination programs for investment advisers, investment companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, broker-dealers, securities markets, credit rating agencies and clearing agencies. At the SEC, di Florio led a transformation to a risk based exam program, coordinated with regulatory partners nationally and internationally, regularly represented the SEC at media and conference events and testified before committees of both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives regarding regulatory strategy, risk and performance.
Before joining the SEC in 2010, di Florio was a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers in its Financial Services Risk & Regulatory Practice in New York, advising financial services clients across banking, capital markets, asset management and insurance industries globally. He received his Master of Laws (LL.M) in International and Comparative Law, with distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center, his J.D. from Penn State University and his bachelor's degree in Political Economy from Tulane University. He is widely published, a frequent conference speaker and has participated on numerous standard setting initiatives. Di Florio was named by the National Association of Corporate Directors as one of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in Corporate Governance and by The National Law Journal as one of the Top 50 Trailblazers & Pioneers in Governance, Risk Management and Compliance.
John “Jay Jay” French
Founder, Lead Guitarist, and Business Manager, Twisted Sister
John “Jay Jay” French knew from the start that a rock band should be treated like a business and he built a very successful one with Twisted Sister. From never indulging in the excesses associated with rock stardom to maintaining ownership of their intellectual property, he exemplifies a rare breed of musician. His passion for mentorship shines through when he mentors up-and-coming musicians as well as business professionals.
Since his first performance with Twisted Sister, French has played more than 9,000 concerts. Being an avid runner, he has also completed two New York City Marathons, in 1981 and 1986.
With the advent of iTunes and other online music services, recording artists soon recognized that their previous recording contracts were now unfair obsolete. Twisted Sister rerecorded their songs in order to reestablish the band’s ownership of its music which set the stage for what eventually became the industry standard.
Currently French is working on his first business book and travels the country speaking to audiences about leadership and building a more fulfilling career and life. Read French’s Articles for Inc. magazine.
Co-Founder and COO, Be Girl
Pablo Freund is the Co-Founder of BeGirl, a company focused on making high-performance menstrual hygiene products radically accessible for women and girls globally. He is an advisor to start-ups, companies, and NGOs around the world from e-commerce and digital products to economic development programs and product design. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Freund worked at the Buckminster Fuller Institute and UBS AG. He also lends his voice to advancing gender equality, human rights and sustainable development as a speaker and author of published articles. A native of Quito, Ecuador, he has a Master of Science in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and B.A. degrees from Brown University in Economics and History of Art and Architecture.
Manager, Business Operations (MSG Sports-New York Rangers), The Madison Square Garden Company
A native of Baltimore, Felicia Ganthier is a graduate of Columbia University’s Sport Management master’s program with over 10 years experience in strategic management of internal and external relationships to support organizational philanthropic goals, mission and objectives.
Her current position with the New York Rangers focuses on establishing productive and efficient processes to manage team assets that drive core business goals, generate good will and shape perceptions about our team, brand partners and company. In previous roles with Madison Square Garden, she was tasked with maintaining relationships with Rangers alumni, supporting community relations and Garden of Dreams Foundation projects, and serving as the primary contact for the team’s education partnerships and league-wide initiative, Future Goals.
Ganthier spent time at Columbia University and Business School organizing Athletics Department special events, managing volunteer organizations dedicated to enhancing the student-athlete experience, supporting Columbia Business School student clubs and organizations in securing corporate gifts for events and programming and advising an endowed speaking series that brings top business leaders to address the CBS community.
Ganthier is a member of Women in Sports and Events (WISE), the New York Junior League, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is married to Renald Ganthier and stepmother to Renald, Jr.
Principal, Ataeva Consulting
Bill Gold is a Principal at Ataeva Consulting. At the intersection of data science, technology and business strategy Ataeva unlocks significant value for our clients. He has delivered $2 billion in return on investment for his Fortune 200 clients. Ataeva specialties include AI and deep learning, new and innovative product development, customer behavior estimations which clients embrace and IoT.
Select accomplishments Gold has delivered include:
- Deployed 20+ patented predictive models and products
- Scaled a global data science group to 450 people
- Brought to market commercial enterprise software
- Guest lecture at NYU about Artificial Intelligence
Prior to Ataeva, Gold lead pricing analytics for Chase Auto Finance. He has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Hofstra University and successfully completed +10 graduate classes at Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and MITx.
VP and Actuary, Head of Life Product and Risk, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Andy Gordon is driven by the immaculate intersection of metaphysics, statistical science, and behavioral economics that exists with the sale of a life insurance policy. Since joining Guardian in 2003, he has been responsible for billions of life insurance premium and death benefit that the Guardian writes.
Gordon is an actuary and holds the FSA and MAAA designation. He is a graduate of SUNY Stony Brook with degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He lives on the south shore of Long Island with his wife and three daughters. Other than work and family, he has a longstanding passion for surfing, snowboarding, and raising chickens.
Graduate and Campus Inclusiveness Recruiting Lead, Financial Services Organization, EY
Nicole Griffith is the Graduate and Campus Inclusiveness Recruiting Lead for the Financial Services Organization at EY. In Fall 2012, she was named EY’s Mentor of the Year. She also serves as an Access Program Director for EY’s Signature High School mentoring program (College MAP).
As the Graduate Recruiting and Campus Inclusiveness Lead, Griffith is responsible for developing and implementing a recruiting strategy to attract Advanced degree candidates (MBA, Ph.D., and other specialized master’s) to EY’s consulting opportunities. In addition, she is responsible for designing and executing a recruiting strategy for both undergraduate and graduate students that focuses on creating a diverse talent pool for the Financial Services Organization.
Prior to joining EY, Griffith worked at Teach For America as a Managing Director on both the Recruitment and Human Assets teams. In addition, she worked at Morgan Stanley as a Vice President of Campus Recruiting and Program Management. She began her career in Human Resources at Guardian Life Insurance Company.
Griffith previously served on the Program Committee for the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance Global Conference. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
Vice President of Talent, SYPartners
Deborah Hankin founded the Talent team at SYPartners in 2014. She leads the team whose purpose is to find, nurture, and retain the extraordinary talent that helps shape and create massive positive impact in the world. Her team casts a wide net the world over to find great people to join the company.
Prior to SYPartners Hankin led talent at a 1,000 person marketing firm where she oversaw all talent acquisition, human resources, and training and development. Earlier in her career she was a headhunter at boutique design recruiting firm Sam & Lori and a strategist at Dentsu Wunderman, FCB, and Deutsch. Clients included American Express, Tishman Speyer, Samsung, and IBM, among others. She also spent extensive time working in Asia. Hankin received a B.A. in Communications Studies from UCLA and an M.S. in Marketing from Northwestern University, and learned Japanese during her time living in Tokyo. She is the author of numerous articles on talent including her most recent, “How to Avoid Innovation Imposters.”
President/Conference Chair, Technics Publication/Data Modeling Zone
Steve Hoberman has trained more than 10,000 people in data modeling since 1992. He is known for his entertaining and interactive teaching style (watch out for flying candy!), and organizations around the globe have brought him in to teach his Data Modeling Master Class, which is recognized as the most comprehensive data modeling course in the industry. Hoberman is the author of nine books on data modeling, including the bestseller Data Modeling Made Simple. One of his frequent data modeling consulting assignments is to review data models using his Data Model Scorecard® technique. He is the founder of the Design Challenges group, Conference Chair of the Data Modeling Zone conferences, and recipient of the Data Administration Management Association (DAMA) International Professional Achievement Award.
Academic Director, Master of Science in Information and Knowledge Strategy Program, Columbia SPS
Dr. Ed Hoffman is Academic Director of the Master of Science in Information and Knowledge Strategy program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. In addition, he is CEO, Knowledge Strategies, LLC. Knowledge Strategies is engaged in research, education, and consulting services in support of organization performance. He directly supports the Project Management Institute as a Strategic Advisor with a focus on integrated systems for talent management, knowledge engagement, and learning strategies.
Dr. Hoffman retired from NASA as a senior executive after 33 years. He was appointed the first NASA Chief Knowledge Officer in 2011 and held responsibility for system-wide strategy, and integration and deployment of knowledge services. Prior to this role, he was the founding director of the NASA Academy of Program/Project and Engineering Leadership (APPEL) serving in this role for over 20 years. During this period the Academy was the top rated Project Management Academy in the world. In addition to leading the NASA Academy, he was the project manager for the NASA Strategic Management and Governance Handbook that established new governance after the Space Shuttle Columbia accident. He started his career at NASA as an organization development consultant supporting NASA teams and projects, and having responsibility for leadership development.
Dr. Hoffman has written numerous journal articles and coauthored Shared Voyage: Learning and Unlearning from Remarkable Projects (NASA, 2005) and Project Management Success Stories: Lessons of Project Leaders (Wiley, 2000). He served as faculty at The George Washington University in the School of Business, Drexel University in the School of Engineering, and the University of Sydney.
He received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2010. Dr. Hoffman holds a Doctorate, as well as M.A. and M.S. degrees, from Columbia University in the area of social and organizational psychology. He received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Brooklyn College in 1981.
Operations Director, Sports Management, Columbia SPS
Laurajean (Lj) Holmgren is Operations Director for the Master of Science in Sports Management program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.
Prior to her role at Columbia, she was a Senior Account Executive at NCG Visuals, where she led large-format graphic installations with the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, collegiate and high school athletic programs, the NFL, the New York Jets, and partners of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee.
As Assistant Athletics Director, Director of Facilities and Operations at St. John's University, Holmgren oversaw day-to-day operations of athletic facilities, planned and executed athletic events, and created capital plans to address infrastructure improvements.
During the 2012-2013 basketball season, Holmgren was recognized by NCG Visuals and the New York Liberty as part of their “Inspiring Women” home game. In addition, she was recognized by the Big East Conference for her contributions to the athletics department on National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
Holmgren held an operations internship with Harvard University Athletics in 2006-07 and an athletic administration internship at Boston College the following season.
At St. John’s University, she taught Current Issues in Sports to Sports Management undergraduate students during the Fall 2014 and fall 2015 terms. In 2016, in partnership with CSM Sports Management (formerly GlideSlope), she led a Supervised Research Project entitled Olympians as Brands in the Columbia University Sports Management program.
Holmgren graduated from the State University of New York, College at Cortland with a degree in Sport Management and an MBA from St. John’s University.
Specialist, Targeted Demand Management, Con Edison Company of New York
Shaun Hoyte has over 10 years of experience in the power and utilities industry. In his current role, he provides program management leadership for the Distributed Resource Integration organization at Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Ed). In alignment with New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, his work involves designing and implementing incentive programs for customers that advance the adoption of distributed energy resources, improve efficiency, and defer the need for traditional capital infrastructure investment while protecting the environment.
Earlier in his career at Con Ed, Hoyte gained significant hands-on experience building and upgrading sub-stations and power generating plants that drive New York City’s complex electric, gas and steam distribution systems. He also collaborated with emergency personnel in restoration efforts due to storms such as Hurricane Sandy. He holds a B.S. in Organizational Management, cum laude, from Manhattan College and an M.S. in Sustainability Management from Columbia University.
Senior Vice President, MetLife
In his fellowship role, Peter Johnson’s primary mission is to investigate new and emerging technologies with the potential to transform core MetLife businesses. Opportunities created by Artificial Intelligence and advanced Data Science are of particular interest. He has been an AI practitioner for over 35 years, having applied machine learning and natural language technologies to create banking and capital markets solutions going back to 1981. He sits on several advisory boards, ranging from IBM’s Deep Computing Institute to the NLP Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. At MetLife, Johnson has created several shared services, including data science services, big data solutions, and various intelligent workflow platforms.
Johnson joined MetLife in 2012. Prior to that, he had been Chief Technology Officer at BNY Mellon for most of his career. As the lead executive behind the company’s enterprise architecture practice, he played a critical role in BNY’s senior management team, always with an eye toward driving innovation. During his tenure, he introduced several new technologies including Pervasive Wireless Computing, Social Computing, Data Warehousing, Data Mining, Client/Server Middleware, and various Internet architectures.
Johnson’s technical expertise includes artificial intelligence, machine learning, AI/object-oriented software engineering, data warehousing, and data mining. He is frequently asked to speak at major conferences throughout the U.S. and Europe as a recognized industry expert in data science. His publications range from academic journals in cognitive science to how-to guides on data discovery in databases.
On a personal note, Johnson is an accomplished long-distance dog musher, having successfully completed the 1,150-mile Iditarod sled dog race across Alaska.
Coordinator, Human Resources, Columbia SPS, Human Resources
Head of Strategy & Partnerships, Citi Ventures Studio
Hasan Kazmi leads Strategy and Partnerships for the Citi Ventures Studio. Citi Ventures’ mission is to drive customer-focused innovation and cultural transformation that delivers new growth and value for Citi.
We invest in startups, pilot new technologies, and test new solutions and business models with the potential to transform the future of financial services. The Ventures Studio at Citi Ventures combines strategy, partnerships, and digital product management to develop collaborative solutions that enable economic dynamism for people, businesses, and cities.
Prior to joining Citi Ventures, Kazmi worked with Samsung’s Global Strategy Team in Seoul, where he worked across Samsung’s diversified businesses. Before that, he worked for the Boston Consulting Group in New York City. Prior to venturing into the corporate world, Kazmi was a crime-fighter on the streets of New York, where he served as a detective with the Counterterrorism Division of the NYPD and as a police officer in the South Bronx’s 43rd Precinct.
Hasan received his MBA from Columbia Business School and has a B.E. and M.S. in Civil Engineering. In his free time, he enjoys traveling (having visited over 40 countries), running, yoga, and telling real-life crime stories.
Head of Recruiting, Jet.com
Travis Kessel is the Head of Talent Acquisition for Jet.com, a Walmart eCommerce company, where he oversees the team that hires technical, marketing, retail, operations and support functions for Jet and supports other acquired brands within eCommerce, including Shoes.com and Moosejaw. In the nine months he has been at Jet, the team has activated Ferris Wheel interviews and a campus recruiting tour that takes place on an RV. Prior to joining Jet, Travis was the SVP of Recruiting at Edelman, the world’s largest PR Firm. He is a graduate of West Virginia University.
AVP & Digital Business Head - Financial Services, Infosys Digital
Business leader with over 25 years’ experience in Strategy Consulting, Business Development, Practice Management and Technology led Innovation across business segments and international markets.
A digital evangelist with a passion for the “experience” economy; Amit presently leads Infosys Digital’s Go to Market for Financial Services, working with business leaders in client organizations achieve breakthrough value from emerging technologies like mobility, digital platforms, iOT, social, big data, cognitive computing (AI/ML/NLP).
Previously, Amit was part of the “startup” leadership team of Infosys Enterprise Mobility Business Unit, leading strategic bets, incubating the Mobility Consulting Practice and managing Financial Services Mobility offerings. He brings to the table a deep understanding of Mobile first experience design, customer servicing, analytics and payments.
Before joining Infosys, Amit was with strategy consulting firms Booz Allen & Hamilton in the UK and Feedback Ventures in India. He has an MBA from INSEAD and a Bachelor’s in Engineering (Electronics & Telecom).
Amit lives in NJ with his family and an adorable Bichon, Simba. He is a cricket fanatic, off-hours sketch artist, an amateur sommelier and a Technophile (Raspberry pi/ Arduino board gadgets).
Amit was a “founding member” of the core leadership group of the Infosys Mobility Strategic Business unit, growing the business to a $100+ Mn business in 3 years and a position of industry leadership/ recognition (Cited by major analysts like Forrester, Gartner, Nelson Hall). He was responsible for heading the Financial Services Mobility P&L and strategic bets He incubated and grew the Mobility Strategy advisory group helping clients explore the art of the possible by developing and executing their Enterprise Mobility Strategy and Roadmap; new mobile first engagement models and ecosystem plays/business models.
Amit headed a portfolio of strategic client relationships in the High Tech/Telco OEM and Distribution segment of the Manufacturing vertical reporting to the Business Unit head. In this role he was responsible for managing a P&L exceeding 100M, growing it 4 fold during this period.
Amit and his team sold and delivered one of the largest (for Infosys) ERP led business transformation programs for a major electronics distribution client during this period with a TCV of over 300M. Amit was awarded the Infosys Gold Standard Award for Large Transformation Program Management in 2010
Head of Talent & Workforce Innovation, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Simon King is a senior HR Leader with 30 years experience in the BioPharmaceutical Industry. He started his career studying genetics at the University of Edinburgh before starting work in the R&D function of ICI Pharmaceuticals, initially as a systems analyst. It was during this time that he developed his passion for developing people and organizations and made the transition from R&D to Human Resources. He worked for AstraZeneca for 26 years in increasingly senior HR roles. As a Business Partner he has supported each part of the value chain from R&D to Commercial and as a Specialist he led the US employee relations team as well as supporting the CEO in change management. He spent the first 12 years of his career in the UK and then moved to the U.S. in 1998, where he has been ever since. In April 2013, King moved to Bristol-Myers Squibb as the Global R&D HR VP and is now the Head of the Talent & Workforce Innovation accountable for attracting and developing talent and developing the BMS organization and culture. He has two passions professionally. The first is to help bring new medicines to patients and the second is to build talent. He has received two CEO awards for his contributions.
As a member of the HR profession, King is the Chair of the HR People + Strategy Board, SHRM’s professional association dedicated to furthering the HR profession and a member of the Cornell Center for Advanced Human Studies.
King is married to Fiona and has two children, Molly and Sam. He enjoys sport and holds a second degree black belt in Kenpo Karate, runs half marathons, skis, and, when he gets the opportunity, loves to kayak.
Academic Director, Master of Science in Bioethics Program, Columbia SPS
Robert Klitzman, M.D., is a professor of psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Joseph Mailman School of Public Health, and the Academic Director of the Master of Science in Bioethics program at Columbia University. He cofounded and for five years co-directed the Columbia University Center for Bioethics, and directed the Ethics and Policy Core of the HIV Center for 10 years.
He has published over 120 scientific journal articles, eight books, and numerous chapters on critical issues in bioethics including genetics, neuroethics, HIV prevention, research ethics, and doctor-patient relationships. His books include When Doctors Become Patients, A Year-Long Night: Tales of a Medical Internship, In a House of Dreams and Glass: Becoming a Psychiatrist, Being Positive: The Lives of Men and Women With HIV, The Trembling Mountain: A Personal Account of Kuru, Cannibals and Mad Cow Disease, Mortal Secrets: Truth and Lies in the Age of AIDS (with Ronald Bayer), Am I My Genes? Confronting Fate and Other Genetic Journeys, and The Ethics Police?: The Struggle to Make Human Research Safe.
Dr. Klitzman has received numerous awards for his work, including fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, the Aaron Diamond Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a member of the Empire State Stem Cell Commission, and served on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Research Ethics Advisory Panel. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a regular contributor to the New York Times and CNN.
Dr. Klitzman received an A.B. degree from Princeton University, an M.D. from Yale University, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.
Founder & CEO, Business Improv
Bob Kulhan has spent the last two decades linking improvisation to business through the behavioral sciences. He is an elite improv actor as well as an Adjunct Professor at The Duke University Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School. He also is the Founder and CEO of Business Improv®. Based out of Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City, BI is a world-class leader in developing experiential learning programs for businesses. For over 23 years Kulhan has performed and taught improvisation internationally, including for Chicago’s famed Second City (core faculty & master artist), iO (Improv Olympic’s resident company/faculty), Baby Wants Candy, The Annoyance Theatre, The PIT, and occasionally at UCB. His consulting and teaching work in leadership and managerial improvisation includes emphases on team skills, fostering a collaborative corporate culture, whole body listening, busting blocks to creativity, conflict management, dyadic relationships, creative and adaptive problem solving, leadership, influence, and fostering creative cultures. Since 1998, his customized Business Improv programs have benefited a number of companies, b-schools, and organizations, including Google, Ford Motor Company, Cushman & Wakefield, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA Anderson School of Management, Yale School of Management, Koç University in Istanbul, The Australian Graduate School of Management, SAS, Mazda, American Express, Glaxo Smith Kline, DuPont, Hilton Hotels Worldwide, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai, PepsiCo, Capital One, Neutrogena, Progressive, Colgate-Palmolive, Raytheon, WebMD, Procter & Gamble R&D University, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Naval Academy.
Kulhan is the author of Getting to “Yes And” (Stanford University Press, 2017). In addition to all things improv, he is passionate about cooking, SCUBA diving, Brazilian Jju-Jitsu (blue belt), and his wife and two-year old son. Please, if you have any decency whatsoever – or you just want to see Kulhan’s comedy stuff – visit www.BobKulhan.com.
Director of the Center for Technology Management at Columbia University, Vice Chair of Faculty and Executive Advisor to the Dean, Columbia SPS
Dr. Arthur M. Langer is the Director of the Center for Technology Management at Columbia University and, at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies, he is Vice Chair of Faculty and Executive Advisor to the Dean. He also serves on the faculty of the Department of Organization and Leadership at the Graduate School of Education (Teachers College) and is an elected member of the Columbia University Faculty Senate. Dr. Langer is the author of Guide to Software Development: Designing & Managing the Life Cycle (2nd Ed., 2016), Strategic IT: Best Practices for Managers and Executives (2013 with Lyle Yorks), Information Technology and Organizational Learning (2011), Analysis and Design of Information Systems (2007), Applied Ecommerce (2002), and The Art of Analysis (1997) and has numerous published articles and papers relating to service learning for underserved populations, IT organizational integration, mentoring, and staff development. Dr. Langer consults with corporations and universities worldwide on information technology, staff development, management transformation, and curriculum development. Dr. Langer is also the Chairman and Founder of Workforce Opportunity Services (www.wforce.org), a nonprofit social venture that provides scholarships and careers to underserved populations around the world.
Prior to joining the full-time faculty at Columbia University, Dr. Langer was Executive Director of Computer Support Services at Coopers & Lybrand, General Manager and Partner of Software Plus, and President of Macco Software.
Pieter De Leenheer
Founder - VP, Research & Education, Collibra
Pieter De Leenheer is a cofounder of Collibra and leads the company’s Research & Education group, including the Collibra University. Prior to co-founding the company, he was a professor at VU University of Amsterdam. Today he still serves as adjunct professor at Columbia University in the City of New York and as visiting scholar at several universities across the globe including UC San Diego and Stanford. Currently, De Leenheer lives with his family in New York City.
Managing Partner, Malik Law Firm
Merium Malik, Esq, is an Immigration and Criminal Defense Attorney and Managing Partner at Malik Law Firm, P.C. She practices in all areas of Immigration and Nationality law. Over the years, she has successfully conducted immigration and criminal trials, including appeals in the Second and Ninth circuit courts and with the Board of Immigration Appeals. Malik has also appeared in Federal courts in New York. She has clienteles from over 30 different countries and 6 continents.
Malik has appeared before Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) Immigration Judges throughout the United States and appeared before and filed cases with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Malik takes the time to carefully listen to her clients and provide them with the best possible advice in a transparent manner.
As a resident of New York City, Malik is dedicated to community service and volunteers for numerous nonprofit organizations in a number of immigrant communities throughout New York. She contributes pro-bono efforts on behalf of various groups and conducts FREE Immigration and Know Your Rights workshops. Malik is on the immigration task force committee with the New York Public Advocate’s office, volunteers with City University of New York Citizenship program. She is also on the board of the Muslim Bar Association, and has put together programs and CLEs on Immigration and small firm practice.
Her firm was handpicked by Goldman Sachs and Tory Burch foundation to participate in a small business program.
Her hobbies include climbing mountains and training for the New York City Marathon.
Principal, Innovensure Advisory Solutions
Donald Mango, FCAS, MAAA, CERA, is Principal of Innovensure Advisory Solutions, a specialist advisory firm in Innovation and Insurtech. He serves as a Board Advisor for several Insurtech companies and accelerators. In addition, he is an Adjunct Lecturer in Actuarial Science at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies. Previously, Mango served in various senior roles in insurance reinsurance over a 31 year career. He also served two terms on the Casualty Actuarial Society Board and four years as CAS Vice President of Research and Development. Mango is a Graduate of Rice University and lives in Gladstone, New Jersey.
Chief Executive Officer, DRP Systems; Organizational Development Consultant; Strategic Analyst; Chief Technology Officer, Innovative Dimmers; Professor, Author and Inventor; Former President, Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles, CA
Following an eclectic path, Pedro Manrique’s career started in audio as Director of Engineering for a modest loudspeaker company in Montreal, followed by roles in integrated circuitry design for NASA. Returning to audio, he transitioned to Harman International as E.E. Design Engineer then Global Engineering Program manager where he obtained nine patents. Spirited and independent with a passion for continuous improvement, Manrique transitioned into forming DRP Systems Inc., a consulting company with clients that included Belkin. While there, he completed a tenth patent for a client to manage power consumption of electronics devices in residential settings.
While consulting, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented itself to become a Dean for a College of Engineering and Information Sciences. As an administrator, professor, and author, Manrique’s subjects included game programing and curriculum design. While Dean, he volunteered as President of the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce. When the office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti reached out for help with its Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment Equity, Manrique helped create and kick off a pioneering job employment fair for which he held mock interviews with formerly incarcerated people to prepare them for hiring opportunities.
Manrique obtained his bachelor’s in engineering with a focus on electrical engineering and a Master of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering. As a Ph.D. candidate in Business Administration, his dissertation focuses on organizational dysfunction.
As CTO of Innovative Dimmers, Manrique supported the TV and film industries nationwide with lighting control systems. Currently, he is an expert in hands-on general management, engineering design, and management for clients in Southern California. Grateful and innately optimistic, he looks forward to opportunities that life presents and embraces undercurrents of opportunities, sharing-knowledge, and taking ownership for the success of others throughout this journey.
VP, Chief Actuary Individual Markets, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Charlie Marino’s current role at Guardian is Chief Actuary of Individual Markets. Responsibilities include financial actuarial aspects of individual life, annuity, and disability income business including reserve valuation, embedded value, economic capital, earnings analysis, actuarial risk management, projection models, and pricing oversight. He joined the Guardian in May of 2014 as Individual Life Chief Actuary.
Prior to joining Guardian, Marino was Chief Actuary at AXA Equitable. Earlier in his AXA Equitable career, he had a series of actuarial roles starting with joining the Actuarial Student program after graduating from College in 1980 with a B.A. in Mathematics from New York University.
Marino is a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries, a Member of American Academy of Actuaries, Phi Beta Kappa, and Trustee Emeritus of the Actuarial Foundation. He was an Adjunct Instructor for the Columbia School of Professional Studies in the Actuarial Program from 2014–2017.
Global Solutions Partner, Facebook; Instagram
Natalia Mazzuchelli grew up in Poland, then moved to New York City in her early youth. As a result, she has always been interested in international affairs and marketing so she majored in International Marketing from City University of New York. After graduation, she began her marketing career at JetBlue Airways in the Market Planning team, where she led the partnerships and promotions initiatives. As her next career move, Mazzuchelli applied to work for Facebook in Europe to get international experience and learn more about digital advertising. More recently, she transferred to Facebook in New York City to work in the consumer packaged goods vertical with Procter & Gamble on media, creative, and measurement strategies on Facebook. Mazzuchelli loves traveling to exotic or random locations and soon hopes to adopt a puppy from a shelter.
Global Head of Employee and Innovation Communications, Bloomberg LP
Ethan McCarty is the Global Head of Employee and Innovation Communications for Bloomberg LP. where he leads a team of internal, multimedia and external communications professionals who activate, inform and enable Bloomberg’s 18,000+ employees worldwide. Externally, his team tells Bloomberg’s innovation story through its people, workplaces and technologies. As a communicator, technologist, former journalist and ex-IBMer, McCarty often takes the last shrimp at cocktail parties and is prone to dominate games of buzzword bingo. He, his wife and two adorable, nuclear-powered sons live in Brooklyn and frequently eat kale. He tweets now and again at @ethanmcc and blogs intermittently but with gusto at www.ethanmccarty.com.
Senior Vice President, Head of Human Resources Retail Banking, HSBC
Ann McGinley is an accomplished global Human Resource Executive with over 20 years of experience within Financial Services. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. McGinley stays current with industry best practices and holds a number of HR certifications. She began her career with National City Corporation, now PNC, in Cleveland, Ohio and has held various management and consulting roles at Popular Community Bank, AXA Equitable and Far East National Bank. In 2007, she joined HSBC, where she has held various HR leadership roles partnering with clients in revenue, control functions and tech areas. Having spent her first three years at HSBC working in Hong Kong, McGinley returned to New York City in 2010, where she worked in a variety of HR Generalist roles, currently serving as the North America Head of HR Retail Banking and Wealth Management. She is also proud to serve on the VALOR Executive Team - HSBC’s military employee resource group.
Assistant Director of Career Development, Columbia SPS, Career Design Lab
In her role advising students in Columbia University’s master’s programs in Strategic Communication, Sports Management, and Narrative Medicine, Barbara McGloin uses her expertise in career development, industry knowledge, and marketplace trends. She develops programs to ensure their successful entry and progression in the field, and maintains and builds relationships with a core group of industry leaders and alumni to strengthen hiring relationships with the programs and school. McGloin joined SPS in 2011 and is the instructor in the Practicum course in the Strategic Communication program.
Earlier in her career, she directed career management services in the MBA and Executive MBA programs at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, and counseled MBA students at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She belongs to several professional associations including the New York Women in Communications, the Metropolitan New York College Career Planning Officer’s Association, and the National Association of Colleges and Employers. McGloin earned a M.A. in Counseling from the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University and a B.A. in Psychology from SUNY College at Cortland.
President and Founding Partner, CSM Advisory Group
Dave Mingey is the Managing Director of CSM Advisory Group (formally GlideSlope) and leads a team that provides strategic counsel to many of the world’s leading brands looking to leverage sport and entertainment as a business-driving tool.
Prior to CSM Advisory Group, he was a Vice President of Marketing for Pepsi-Cola North America. He was responsible for the company’s Energy Drink portfolio, which included the AMP Energy and No Fear brands. Before landing at Pepsi, Mingey was a Director in the Global Marketing Group at Johnson & Johnson. From 2006-2009, he drove international marketing strategies for the healthcare giant, maximizing brand-building opportunities throughout the company. His duties afforded him significant time in China spearheading J&J’s Olympic efforts. The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games marked the eighth Olympic marketing campaign of Mingey’s career. In 2009, Sports Business Journal named Mingey to its “40-Under-40” list for his contributions to J&J and the Olympic movement.
Prior to J&J, Mingey served as the first Director of Sports Marketing for Sirius Satellite Radio. A startup company with limited marketing dollars, he got creative in building Sirius’s marketing strategy by establishing partnerships with key retailers and many of the world’s biggest sports properties, including the NFL, NBA, and the English Premier League, as well as dozens of collegiate teams--properties that could help raise Sirius’s awareness and brand equity on a national stage.
Predating Mingey’s time at Sirius was a seven-year journey at Nike. He joined Nike’s Global Brand Marketing team in Oregon in 1997 and rose through its Public Relations ranks to become Director of U.S. Media Relations. During his tenure at Nike, Mingey was integral to driving many successful global product launches, built key athlete relationships and worked onsite at dozens of events for the footwear giant, ranging from the FIFA World Cup to the Fiesta Bowl to the Tour de France.
Mingey began his career in 1993 with a PR internship at Sports Illustrated in New York City.
Of special note, Mingey took a leave-of-absence from Nike in 2004 to volunteer in Iraq at the request of the U.S Government. Based in Baghdad as a Communications Advisor for the U.S. Department of Defense, he helped resurrect the Iraqi Olympic Team in time for their much-celebrated inclusion in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. For his efforts in Iraq, he was awarded the Joint Civilian Service Award by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Mingey received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Communications from Boston College in 1992. While at BC, he was co-captain of the men's varsity rowing team and studied at the University of London. Immediately following graduation, Mingey spent a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a domestic social service program, working to aid homeless families in the Pacific Northwest.
Born and raised in suburban Philadelphia, Mingey enjoys global travel. He is active in many sports, including cycling and golf and has completed several marathons and triathlons. He, his wife, and their three children live in Westchester.
Senior Vice President and Partner, Merkle
Brian Morris is a Partner at Merkle and has more than 20 years of financial services industry experience. He has worked with banks, insurance and financial markets companies globally in developing and advancing their customer analytics and digital strategy, which includes media/channel, customer/marketing analytics, enterprise data management, data quality, situational and advanced analytics, Big Data discovery analysis and data visualization.
In addition, Morris developed the offerings, the methodologies and the team of practitioners to align organizations to financially justify and sustain small and large scale customer focused data and analytics transformational initiatives. He has extended a patented business value methodology that has been leveraged by practitioners across multiple industry verticals and geographies worldwide.
His specialties include media/channel strategy, customer analytics and data strategy development, advanced analytics, financial analysis/modeling, financial strategy development, benefits realization strategy development, metrics analysis, business process reengineering, call center optimization, negotiations, business development.
Vice President, Data Governance and Management, Freddie Mac
Jodi Morton is Vice President of Data Governance and Management for Freddie Mac’s Single-Family Business. She is responsible for the development and implementation of the Single-Family data strategy, which includes:
- Data governance, policies, standards and practices
- Data quality transparency and reporting
- Advancement of data acquisition strategies and analytic capabilities
Morton began her Freddie Mac career in 2004. Since then, she has served in a variety of roles within the finance division, most recently as Chief Financial Officer of the Single-Family Business.
Morton earned a master’s degree in finance from American University, a B.S. in accounting and a B.S. in business administration from the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C.
Shavit Bar Nahum
Leadership Development Executive, Bank of America
Director, Alumni Relations, Columbia SPS
Amanda Nelson leads Alumni Relations for the School of Professional Studies where she oversees alumni engagement, events, and communications.
Prior to her role at SPS, Nelson was Director of Investor Relations at TCP Venture Capital, an early-stage technology-focused social impact fund. While there, she worked with LPs, identified investors, and sourced relationships with founders.
Previously, Nelson worked in Board Relations at The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania. In this role, she engaged senior alumni and business influencers on volunteer leadership opportunities, philanthropic donations, and global initiatives. While at Wharton, she had the opportunity to travel to 13 countries.
Nelson started her career in nonprofit consulting at Orr Associates, Inc. and is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. She resides in Brooklyn with her husband Joe and children James and Elle.
Managing Director and Shareholder, CBIZ & Mayer Hoffman McCann CPAs
Steven Nicokiris provides “hands on” practical business advisory, consulting, auditing and accounting services to middle-market, privately-held, private equity-owned, and family-owned companies. As a trusted advisor, he assists clients with business, operational and tax planning strategies to enhance their business and improve profitability; and efficiently plans and oversees numerous audit engagements.
With over 30 years of experience serving a wide variety of clients primarily in the New York metropolitan area, Nicokiris has developed a deep knowledge of the middle-market lending community to help clients maximize their existing and future lending arrangements, structure buy-sell transactions, and improve operation results.
He shares his business acumen and expertise as a lecturer at various professional organizations and financial institutions on topics related to the power of benchmarking statistics, financial statement analysis, practical fraud prevention techniques, ESOPs, and Quality of Earnings. He has also authored articles on these topics. He frequently lectures at colleges and universities on topics of interest to students planning to enter the work force, including the power of networking, resume writing and interviewing skills, job hunting tips and techniques, the role of a partner in public accounting, and the benefits of working in a middle-market accounting firm.
Nicokiris takes a leadership role in the overall growth of the firm on a local and national level. He is a member of the Leadership Council in the New York office and he has been the trainer in the New York office for the Firm’s Tomorrow’s Rainmakers Program, which is a two-year curriculum program designed to enhance and develop the business skills of the firm’s future leaders.
Prior to joining the company in January 1988, he was an audit manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Senior Vice President, Global Head of Early Career Recruiting and Development, PIMCO
Gloria Odogbili is a Senior Vice President in the Newport Beach office and Global Head of Early Career Recruiting and Development. Prior to joining PIMCO in 2013, she was a senior program manager for the analyst and associate program at Citigroup in New York. Previously, Odogbili was a Vice President at UBS within campus recruiting and in their prime brokerage business. She has more than ten years of human resources experience and holds an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
VP, Predictive Analytics, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Tom Olds is responsible for developing and executing against the evolving, business-aligned data and analytics strategy at Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. His career in insurance and financial services spans more than 20 years and includes time at Manulife Financial, AXA Financial, McKinsey & Company, and Stamos Capital Partners. Olds is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Chartered Financial Analyst. He received his Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and his MBA from the University of Toronto.
Compliance Examiner II, National Futures Association
Born in China and raised in New York City, Won Palisoul enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2001 and served as a Gas Turbine Technician (Electrical) aboard guided missile destroyers. She was forward deployed in the Pacific region for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and, shortly after separating from the military, she founded a small business that she ran for four years.
In 2012, Palisoul was named a Veteran Associate at the New York Stock Exchange. Later that year, she became a Mission Continues Fellow, and served as a Local Chapter Coordinator at Student Veterans of America. She was an office manager at a retirement fund and currently works for a self-regulatory organization in the financial sector as a compliance examiner.
Given her passion in helping veterans, she founded the Women Veterans and Families Network (WVFN). Palisoul is a Defense Council Member at Truman Project, NY State Coordinator for the DNC Veterans and Military Families Council, Sister on the Planet Ambassador at OxFam America, Board Member of New Leaders Council - New York Chapter, and Subcommittee Member of CFA Society of New York and Women Veterans on Wall Street. Palisoul holds an M.A. in Information Technology Management from Webster University, and an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. She resides in Manhattan with her husband, who is also a U.S. Navy veteran, and two children.
CMO, Red Ivy Studios
Miguel Paloma hails from an old steel mill community on Chicago’s far south side. An observer by nature, he did a lot of this while growing up 2nd generation Mexican, marveling at how two cultures can mesh to form unique perspectives. At age 12—the same year he learned to hit a curveball—he penned a letter to the local newspaper protesting the construction of a nuclear power plant, exhibiting the first sign of a social conscious. The first in his family to finish college, he earned a B.A./B.S in Marketing/Advertising from Loyola University-Chicago. All the while, his passion for baseball remained strong, and he regularly flirted with batting .400 every summer.
His deep interest in the emerging U.S. Hispanic Market led him to join Lapiz, renowned Hispanic Agency of Leo Burnett, where he was able to apply his passion of connecting brands with Latinos living in the U.S. He spent two years as Sr. Brand Manager with a national wireless provider before returning to BBDO Chicago as VP/Account Director managing a global account. While he is proud of the industry recognition his teams have earned on behalf of his Clients (Cannes Lion, EFFIEs, AdAge), he is especially appreciative of the collaborative journey that made such success possible. At age 45, and after a 15-year layoff, he returned to his beloved baseball where he was the oldest player on the team by 22 years, which aroused suspicions he was a former standout from the Cuban League.
Three years ago, at age 51, he started as Co-Owner of Red Ivy Studios and is constantly on the search to tell authentic stories for people. His advice: If you will allow yourself to be vulnerable (even slightly), you will tell an amazing story.
Global Director Brand Strategy, Spotify
Zach Pentel is focused on building the Spotify brand and sub-brands through creative strategy and an integrated approach to global campaign planning—equal parts making it, and making it all make sense. He is based in Brooklyn.
Global Recruitment Lead, Bloomberg
An organized, energetic, creative, and collaborative leader, Ellie Pilgrim believes that talent is what fuels a business forward. Currently she is the Global Recruiting Partner for Bloomberg’s corporate and support functions. These teams add value through a continuous drive for operational excellence and enhanced business performance, and they do so by leveraging Bloomberg’s people, places, systems, and connections.
As a Global Business Partner, Pilgrim is responsible for setting the recruitment strategy in cadence with Bloomberg’s global leaders and managing the day-to-day operations of recruiting worldwide for this portfolio. She leads a team of recruiters across New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo, and together, they work tirelessly to acquire the best talent to contribute to the company's success. In addition, Pilgrim serves as Bloomberg’s regional lead for Talent Acquisition in Latin America, overseeing both entry-level and experienced hiring for the Financial Products, News & Media, and Global Data businesses.
Pilgrim joined Bloomberg in Hong Kong in 2013 as the Asia Pacific recruitment lead for the company’s Financial Products business. She was fortunate enough to move with Bloomberg to New York in 2016.
Prior to Bloomberg, Pilgrim worked as an Executive Search consultant for 12 years in the UK and Asia, with a specialization in Investment Banking and Capital Markets. She graduated with a combined honors Bachelor’s Degree in Music and French from the University of Exeter. As part of her studies, she spent a year working in France.
Operations Director, Columbia SPS
Carolina Pincetic blends academic training in finance, technology and business administration with hands-on experience in domestic, international, and global assignments in strategic financial analysis and project implementation. With 20 years experience in corporate management, she is the Operations Director for the Information and Knowledge Strategy (IKNS) Master of Science program at Columbia University, where she oversees the program delivery with a clear focus on student, alumni, and client satisfaction. Prior to Columbia, Pincetic was a global finance director at Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG), a communications and advertising holding company. She has an M.S. in Technology Management from Columbia University, an MBA from the University of Miami, and a B.S. in Finance from Miami University, Ohio.
Academic Director, Programs in Strategic Communication, Columbia SPS
Arabella Pollack has extensive experience in consumer products, with a particular focus on building aspirational, image-driven brands through deeper understanding of the consumer. She is Founder and Principal of Greystoke Insights, which leverages the techniques and skills of consumer research to provide insight-driven solutions to business challenges. She was previously the director of consumer insights at Pernod Ricard USA, where she was responsible for ensuring that the consumer was at the heart of marketing decision-making. She managed a full spectrum of qualitative and quantitative research on brands including ABSOLUT vodka, impacting the business in areas ranging from innovation to communication strategy and portfolio management. Prior to this, she worked for leading market research vendors including The NPD Group, where she managed relationships with prestige beauty clients such as Estée Lauder, Dior, and Lancôme. Pollack has also worked with brands such as Guinness and Baileys at Diageo, the world’s leading spirits company, and has spent time as a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in their consumer and retail practice.
She holds an M.A. from Cambridge University and an M.B.A. from the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia.
Pollack is Academic Director for the Master of Science in Strategic Communication program and the Executive Master of Science in Strategic Communication program at Columbia University. She teaches From Information to Insights.
Assistant Director of Industry Relations, Columbia SPS, Career Design Lab
Veronika Poplavskaya’s professional experience spans more than a decade in higher education with specific focus on enrollment management, recruiting, career development, human resources and financial aid. She possesses communication, leadership, and analytical skills that enable her to serve students and alumni and advance Columbia’s mission.
She led the largest Columbia-sponsored internship funding program, including management of the Eric Holder Fund, supporting students with unpaid or low paid internships at various domestic and international organizations. In addition, she successfully cultivated and enhanced employer relationships to expand the range of high-quality recruiting opportunities for associated sponsored funding programs, connecting students to specific industries and cultural experiences. She directed strategy and delivery of student and alumni support resources for career development and achievement. In addition, she identified, developed, and maintained external relationships with universities, employers, and professional associations to further Columbia’s partnerships and understanding of a constantly evolving job market.
In her role as Assistant Director of Industry Relations, Poplavskaya is focused on identifying target employers, sourcing internships and securing full-time employment opportunities for students seeking roles in Enterprise Risk Management, Nonprofit Management, Sustainability Management, and Human Capital Management. She enjoys engaging students and, during counseling sessions, helps them navigate the job and internship search process by focusing on career exploration, conducting mock interviews and assisting with resumes and cover letters.
Poplavskaya holds a B.A. in Economics from Queens College, CUNY, and an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from The New School. In May 2018, she will graduate with an Executive MPA from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ovid
Jane Praeger is a leading expert in persuasive presenting and strategic storytelling. In a career that has spanned 30 years, she has evolved a methodology that brings together elements of filmmaking, marketing, psychology and neuroscience to help people and organizations communicate more effectively and persuasively.
She teaches, in the Strategic Communications Masters Degree programs at School of Professional Studies at Columbia University, and in the Women in Leadership program at Columbia Business School.
Praeger is the founder and president of Ovid, Inc., a strategic communications firm that specializes in speech, presentation, and media training. Her clients include corporations such as Bloomberg, Nickelodeon, and Viacom, tech companies like Vox Media and Squarespace, and nonprofits such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Doctors Without Borders, Open Society Institute, and American Jewish World Service. Individual clients include TED talkers, National Book Award winners, rising film stars, and college commencement speakers.
A former writer, producer, and director of documentary films, Praeger has created award-winning programs for PBS, WNET, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Before starting Ovid, Praeger conceived and executed national media campaigns for Pro-Media, a boutique public relations firm in New York City. For four years, she also wrote the nationally syndicated radio program, “Inside Business” for William S. Ruykeser, managing editor of Fortune magazine. A lifelong New Yorker, Praeger lives and works in the Flatiron district of Manhattan, just a stone’s throw from one of her favorite haunts, the Union Square Farmer’s Market.
You can read more about Jane Praeger at www.ovidinc.com.
Founder, Serial Entrepreneur, Propelify & NJ Tech Meetup
Aaron Price is founder of one of the largest innovation communities in the country, Propelify, a media and events company that empowers innovators to propel their ideas into action. To do so, Propelify provides the tools, resources, and community, including the annual Propelify Innovation Festival, which welcomes over 10,000 innovators to Hoboken, NJ. Propelify was inspired by Price’s other focus, the award-winning NJ Tech Meetup, the state’s largest technology and entrepreneurial community with over 6,500 members.
Price has served as the tech community expert for The White House under the Obama Administration, the NJ Economic Development Authority, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal, to name a few.
A serial entrepreneur, he has founded several technology startups, including deliverU, effordables, weCraft, and livecube. Additionally, he served as the entrepreneur-in-residence at the NYC venture capital firm, DFJ Gotham. A born entrepreneur, Price started his first commercial venture in high school after he was awarded a patent for a weightlifting device.
He lives in Hoboken with his wife and two daughters.
Creative Technology Officer, DDB
One of Rea’s career goals is to make a positive impact on someone's life with an experience powered by digital storytelling. With almost 20 years of advertising, production, design and development experience, he creates digital products that enhance—not replace—existing human behavior. In considering his grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, and other family members of his who are being tested for the same, Rea believes in the unique opportunity to end the isolation of the care process by using today’s digital consumer touchpoints.
Associate Director of Industry Relations, Columbia SPS, Career Design Lab
A forward-thinking industry expert and career development professional with more than 10 years of experience in higher education empowering students and alumni to achieve their academic and career goals, Onika Richards, MBA, GCDF, joined Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies in January 2018 as the Associate Director of Industry Relations. She specializes in building programs and designing strategic missions, workshop design and implementation, and career counseling. Among her passions are building high-quality, long-lasting relationships with employers and matching their unique talent needs with talented candidates.
Richards has an MBA in Public Administration and is a certified Global Career Development Facilitator. As a former Career Advisor and Employer Relations Specialist, she provided leadership and strategic direction for employer service delivery, with the primary goal of developing opportunities for students and alumni. This included assisting employers across all businesses and industries with the process of identifying talent through involvement in on-campus interviewing, career fairs and job postings. She also facilitated career focus programs and events to engage employers with students such as networking panels, career chat sessions, and information sessions. She has been responsible for recruiting students for companies such as General Electric, Siemens, Apple, IBM, MetLife, Sprint, Stryker, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Con Edison.
Richards has been instrumental in helping to launch the first ever Digital Badging program at LaGuardia Community College in a partnership with NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) which awards digital badges to career-seekers based on career readiness competencies. The badges serve as a symbol of success and accomplishment for the student to share with potential employers and offers them the opportunity to showcase and validate their skills and accomplishments on social media platforms such as LinkedIn.
Founder and Principal Scientist, Visual Perspectives Research and Consulting
Dr. Bernice Rogowitz works at the intersection of psychology and technology. Her research, consulting, and teaching focus on applying knowledge about human perception and cognition to improve the analytical tools that support problem solving and decision-making. She received her B.S. in Experimental Psychology from Brandeis University, her Ph.D. in Vision Science from Columbia University, and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Laboratory for Psychophysics at Harvard. At the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, she and her group conducted basic research in color and pattern perception, built their results into visualization and visual analytics tools, and collaborated with domain experts to use these tools to solve real-world problems in finance, science, medicine, and business. Her consulting company, Visual Perspectives, provides research, training, and application design services to universities, businesses, and National laboratories. Some recent projects include developing perceptual color scales for climate modeling data (NYU) and visualizing the Higgs-Boson data (CERN). Dr. Rogowitz has been teaching in the Applied Analytics Program at Columbia University since June, and is the lead instructor for the Data Visualization and Design course. She has over 80 papers and patents in perception/cognition, and its application to the visualization, visual analysis and imaging of numerical, network, scientific, image and video data. She is the founder and co-chair of the IS&T Conference on Human Vision and Electronic Imaging, which fosters multidisciplinary research in perception, visual technologies and art, and is the founding co-Editor-in-Chief of the IS&T Journal of Perceptual Imaging. She serves on the Program Committee for IEEE InfoVis, is a Fellow of the IS&T and of the SPIE, an IEEE Visualization Pioneer and IEEE Senior Member, and was recently awarded the International Society of Imaging’s highest honor.
Managing Director, Teno Holdings
Dana Rosenberg is a Managing Director in Teneo’s Consulting division. Her expertise is in Building Brands, Customer Engagement, Loyalty and Partnerships.
At Teneo, Rosenberg works with companies to drive growth through the lens of the customer and brands. Her work includes customer segmentation using both demographic and psychographic data, brand positioning, messaging and go-to-market strategies. She also helps create and evaluate loyalty and partnerships strategies, as well as loyalty programs, to shift and measure customer behavior.
Rosenberg spent 9 years at Starwood Hotels leading the Global Partnership team, as well as growing the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program. In this capacity, Rosenberg managed a global team that developed programs and partnerships for Starwood’s 10 hotel brands and it’s award winning loyalty program, SPG, in various industries including sports, entertainment, airlines, culinary, food and beverage and transportation. In her last role at Starwood, Rosenberg led two integration workstreams following the Marriott acquisition of Starwood, and was an executive member of the loyalty program integration team.
Prior to joining Starwood, Rosenberg was a Brand Manager at Kraft Foods in both the Snacks and Coffee divisions. Early in her career, she was a Consultant at Oliver Wyman (formerly Mercer Management Consulting) and special assistant to the CEO at Urban Education Exchange, an educational nonprofit in Harlem.
Rosenberg holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in both marketing and strategic management, as well as a B.S.E. in electrical engineering from Princeton University. She was a member of the 2016 Forty Under 40 class of the Sports Business Journal. She also was a 2003 Siebel Scholar.
Academic Director, Master of Science in Sports Management Program, Columbia SPS
Scott Rosner is the Academic Director of the Master of Science in Sports Management program in the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University. In this role, he leads all programmatic and curricular development efforts, creates professional development opportunities for students, and leads all strategic planning efforts for the program, including marketing, enrollment, student life, and alumni affairs. Rosner is also a Professor of Professional Practice in the School of Professional Studies, and teaches graduate-level courses in the discipline of Sports Management.
Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia in January 2018, Rosner was a Practice Professor in the Legal Studies and Business Ethics Department at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Faculty Associate Director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative. He taught courses in Sports Business Management and Negotiation and Dispute Resolution to undergraduate and MBA students, and taught Sports Law at both Wharton and Penn Law School. He was a five-time recipient of the prestigious Whitney Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching (2006, 2009, 2013, 2014, and 2017). He has been the co-host of the Wharton Sports Business Show, a weekly look at the business of sports on SiriusXM’s Business Radio (channel 111), which has been heard on Tuesdays from 4–5 p.m. (Eastern) since its debut in January 2014. Rosner was also the Academic Director of the Wharton Sports Business Academy, a summer program for rising high school juniors and seniors. Prior to being promoted to the rank of Practice Professor in July 2016, he was a Practice Associate Professor from July 2013–June 2016, a Practice Assistant Professor from July 2010–June 2013 and a full-time Lecturer in the same department from July 2002–June 2010. He served as the Faculty Associate Director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative since its inception in 2004 and served as the Faculty Mentor to the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s basketball team from 2003–2008.
Rosner has led consulting projects with a variety of clients both in his role as a faculty member leading student project teams and as the Principal of Hudson Sports Consulting, a sports advisory firm that provides a wide range of services in the business and legal aspects of the sports industry. Clients include: Philadelphia Phillies, PGA Tour, Soccer Without Borders, Adidas, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the National Football League (multiple engagements), Major League Baseball (multiple engagements), Northwestern University, the Philadelphia 76ers (multiple engagements), the Detroit Pistons, the United States Tennis Association, Madison Square Garden Sports, the Philadelphia Eagles (multiple engagements), the New York Jets (multiple engagements), FedEx, AT&T (multiple engagements), New York Road Runners, Philadelphia Sports Congress, Red Bull, the Philadelphia Union (MLS) (multiple engagements), AVP Tour, AOL Sports, NBA Developmental League, Sports Capital Partners (Real Salt Lake), USA Football, Cloud 9 Skiing, San Diego State University, and The Sacks Group.
Rosner is the lead author of The Business of Sports, a leading textbook in its second edition that synthesizes a collection of the leading scholarly sports business articles, the first such volume in the field. In addition, he has published numerous articles in highly regarded law reviews and journals and has made numerous presentations at academic conferences. His expert views have been presented on multiple occasions in Sports Illustrated, Sports Business Journal, ESPN.com, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, National Public Radio, MSNBC, and CNBC.
Rosner received a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, an M.S. in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan.
A native of Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, Rosner resides in northern New Jersey with his family. His hobbies include reading and playing soccer. An avid runner who has completed two marathons and numerous half-marathons, Rosner has also been an active member of the community. He has taught a weekly law class to high school students, and has coached in both inner-city and suburban youth soccer programs, including a position in the pilot program of the Nike P.L.A.Y.Corps.
Tyrone V. Ross
Managing Partner, NobleBridge Wealth Partners
With notable experience working with institutional, corporate, and retail clients, Tyrone Ross brings more than a decade of experience in the financial services industry to NobleBridge Wealth Partners. He helps his clients build, manage, protect and transition their wealth, and prides himself on providing a goals based, personalized client experience. Ross has worked for large brokerage firms like Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch where he gained vast experience leading him to break away to an independent firm where he has more flexibility and control over the investing experience he can offer his clients.
Ross is a graduate of Seton Hall University with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He was a 2004 Olympic Trials qualifier in the 400-meter dash and is a self-proclaimed health nut who enjoys working out, reading, mentoring youth, and advising startups in his spare time. He is also a member of the 100 Black Men of New Jersey. He lives in Woodbridge, NJ.
Head of Partnerships, FC Bayern Munich
Benno Ruwe joined FC Bayern Munich in October 2010 as Key Account Manager responsible for several partners of FC Bayern including Allianz SE, Paulaner, Siemens, and Yingli amongst others. In his role he also worked on projects like the UEFA Champions League Final in Munich in 2012 and FC Bayern’s first pre-season summer tour to China in 2012.
In April 2014, Ruwe took the role of Senior Project Manager at FC Bayern’s new office in New York and got promoted to Head of Partnerships in October 2016. In his current role he is responsible for developing partnerships with new and existing partners as well as executing events and marketing initiatives helping to raise the brand awareness of the club in the US & the Americas.
Prior to joining FC Bayern Munich, Ruwe worked five years at a sports marketing agency in Munich working with clients like Allianz and FIFA. He studied Sports-Economics at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.
Academic Director of ERM Programs, Columbia SPS
Sim Segal, FSA, CERA, Academic Director of the Master of Science in Enterprise Risk Management program at Columbia University, is president and founder of SimErgy Consulting, a consulting firm specializing exclusively in ERM. Headquartered in Manhattan, SimErgy provides ERM consulting services to companies in all sectors, primarily in the U.S. and Canada. SimErgy also provides executive education on ERM, including seminars, workshops, and webinars, globally.
With 30 years of experience in measuring and managing risk, Segal is a globally recognized ERM thought leader with broad functional experience, deep technical knowledge, and ERM experience in a variety of sectors, such as insurance, banking, credit cards, technology, consumer goods, biotech, telecomm, hospitality, energy, services, timberland, education and research, nonprofit organizations, and government bodies.
Segal is author of Corporate Value of Enterprise Risk Management (Wiley, March 2011), which is required reading on the syllabi of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and leading universities in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, China, Italy, Croatia, and Egypt. He is also director of ERM programs at Columbia University, leading development of an ERM master’s curriculum. Segal is host of Risk Radio™, a weekly radio show featuring discussions and interviews on ERM topics. He has also designed and coauthored several ERM research studies.
Segal has authored numerous articles in publications such as Forbes, American Banker, and Corporate Finance Review and has been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Global Finance, National Underwriter, and Rough Notes. Segal is a frequently invited speaker to ERM conferences and events and has made over 300 ERM-related presentations globally.
Segal is active on industry committees. He served as inaugural chair of the SOA Risk Committee, leading the design and implementation of its ERM program (2009–2011). He also served as chief editor of Risk Management, a quarterly international ERM publication (2008–2009). Segal currently serves as vice chair of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) ERM Applications Committee and as member of the Joint Risk Management Section’s ERM Symposium Program Committee, jointly run by the Casualty Actuarial Society, the CIA, and the SOA.
Prior to SimErgy, Segal led ERM consulting practices at Deloitte Consulting, Aon, and Towers Watson. Prior to his consulting experience, Segal was an officer at MetLife, where he was a key player in the first successful adoption of economic capital by a U.S. insurer, assisting in its integration into key company processes, such as strategic planning, capital management, and pricing. Segal also led one of the internal teams to convert MetLife into a stock company.
Segal has also played a leadership role in the actuarial profession, serving as vice president, SOA Board of Directors (2009–2011); member, SOA Board of Directors (2006–2009); member, editorial Board of The Actuary, an international publication (2005–2006); president, Actuarial Society of Greater New York (2002–2003); chair, SOA Management & Personal Development Section (2002-2003); and a lead actuary in the Actuarial Foundation’s Advancing Student Achievement Program (2004–2006).
Segal graduated summa cum laude from Wayne State University, with a B.A. in mathematics. He is a Fellow of Society of Actuaries (FSA) and a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA). He is one of 40 ERM experts awarded the CERA for “thought leadership and significant contributions to advance the practice of ERM.”
CEO and Chairman, Intelligent Quisine; Venture Advisor/Limited Partner
Bruce Shalett has enjoyed considerable success as a company operator, investor, director and advisor. Earlier in his career, he spent a number of years in management consulting, restructuring advisory services, as well as private equity and venture capital investing. As a result of this diverse experience and knowledge base, he has the ability to create value in virtually any industry and at any point in a company’s lifecycle.
Currently Shalett serves as the CEO and Chairman of Intelligent Quisine, an early stage company which produces an innovative science-based frozen meal program, developed by The Campbell’s Soup Company, clinically proven to reduce the four leading causes of heart disease. The company is launching commercially in 2018 and is well positioned for rapid growth. In his capacity as CEO, Shalett has led every aspect of the business operations as well as strategic planning and capital raising activities. Prior to this, he spent 10 years operating BS Freeman Capital, a private investment entity which focuses on actively managed early stage/turnaround investments in the consumer/ branded products arena. In this capacity, he has served as a Director of a number of private companies including Calgon Bath & Body (later renamed Ilex Consumer Products Group), Gourmet Express, and Smith Electric Vehicles.
Shalett graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, with a B.S. in Economics in 1988, and earned his MBA at Harvard Business School in 1993.
Advisor to startups; Board Member; Angel Investor; Mentor; Brand Builder, Former Goldman Sachs Partner
Lisa Shalett is a retired Goldman Sachs Partner who is now advises and invests in startups and serves on public and private company boards. Over her 20-year Goldman career, Shalett held senior leadership roles in 5 divisions, worked in 2 regions, led revenue-producing and revenue-supporting businesses, managed global P&Ls and important client relationships, and helped transform the way Goldman communicates with its key stakeholders. Most recently, Shalett was Global Head of Brand Marketing & Digital Strategy, managing Goldman’s brand during the financial crisis; prior to that she was Global COO of Compliance, Legal and Internal Audit, and before that led International Equities Sales & Trading, leveraging her Japan background. For 12 months through June 2016 Shalett “failed” retirement and joined the executive team at Odyssey, an explosively-growing millennials-focused media platform, as CMO and Advisor, working for its 28-year old CEO and getting startup experience firsthand.
Shalett currently serves on the boards of Brookfield Property Partners, PerformLine, and Bully Pulpit Interactive, and advises fast-growing companies including Schireson, Cobiro, BetterUp and Quantified Communications. She focuses on using her considerable, diverse business expertise and operating experience in large and small companies to help startups grow and large organizations stay innovative. She is known for (and enjoys) connecting people, building brands, and being a sounding board and creative thought partner on issues relating to business models, strategy, marketing, digital transformation, leadership and talent. She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School, and BA, summa cum laude, in East Asian Studies from Harvard University.
Data Scientist/Entrepreneur, 8 Path Solutions
Jennifer Shin is the Founder and Chief Data Scientist of 8 Path Solutions, a data science, analytics, and technology company. An experienced data scientist and management consultant, she has led complex, large scale, and high profile projects in various roles, including Director of Data Science at Comcast, Senior Principal Data Scientist at The Nielsen Company and Management Consultant at GE Capital, the Carlyle Group, Fortress Investment Group, the City of New York, and Columbia University.
Shin’s extensive industry experience includes engineering new patented technologies at 8 Path Solutions, leading a team of data scientist at Comcast, developing new methodologies and managing data products at The Nielsen Company, and leading complex, large scale multimillion dollar projects as a management consultant at corporate, public, and private clients.
A recognized thought leader, Shin has been named an IBM Big Data & Analytics Hero, IBM Machine Learning Expert & Social Influencer and MongoDB World Female Innovator and she has spoken at numerous universities, conferences, meet-ups, and industry events. Shin is also on the faculty in the data science graduate program at UC Berkeley, serves on the Advisory Board for the M.S. in Data Science program at the City University of New York, teaches business analytics and data visualization in the graduate program at NYU, and recently served on the Data Science Committee for the Grace Hopper Conference.
Leading Strategist in the Biotechnology Sector for Twenty Years; Coauthor of Four Books; Professor of Business and Public Health at Columbia University; President of the SDC Consulting Group
Dr. Francoise Simon is a Professor Emerita at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Her teaching has focused on graduate and executive programs and won the Chandler Award for Commitment to Excellence from the Business School. Dr. Simon has over thirty years of experience in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies, new ventures, European and Asian firms and the United Nations. Prior to joining Columbia, Dr. Simon was a Director of Arthur D. Little. Previously, she was a Principal of Ernst & Young, with a strategy practice in healthcare and high technology. Her corporate experience includes appointments at Abbott and Novartis. Dr. Simon holds an MBA from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. from Yale University. She has held faculty positions at the University of Chicago and New York University. She has published over twenty articles and conducted more than 200 management seminars in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
She is the coauthor, with Glen Giovannetti, of Managing Biotechnology: From Science to Market in the Digital Age (Wiley, 2017), which has been recommended by many senior healthcare leaders.
She is also the coauthor of Building Global Biobrands: Taking Biotechnology to Market, with Philip Kotler (Free Press, 2003), Winning Strategies in the New Latin Markets, with Fernando Robles and Jerry Haar (Prentice-Hall, 2002), and Europe and Latin America in the World Economy with Susan Kaufman Purcell (Rienner, 1995). She is a past Vice President and Director of the American Marketing Association, and has served on the International Council of the American Management Association.
Founder, Human UPtions
Kamina Singh started Human UPtions to empower job seekers with career advice and mentoring via storytelling. Prior to Human UPtions, she worked in business development and marketing at startups and established companies; she has a proven track record of new client acquisition and revenue generation. She also has a B.S. in Finance and an MBA in Marketing from St. John’s University.
Human UPtions, via UPstart events, allows students and professionals to explore familiar and unfamiliar options for career advancement. Their unique forum reveals the real story behind the resume. The Internet can tell you where someone worked, but how did they build their resume? How did their personal life impact their career? How did they choose their first job? Their mission is to foster impactful connections so you can live your best career ever!
Past Human UPtions storytellers include trailblazers from Facebook, Jet.com, Deloitte & Touche, UrbanStems, Propelify, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Singh has traveled to 45 countries and counting!
EY Global Health TAS Leader, EY
Gregg Slager is a Partner in EY’s Transaction Advisory Services practice and is one of the founders of the firm’s Global Health sector. He has over 26 years experience advising on transactions during stints in Chicago, London, and New York City, where he has been located for the past 20 years.
Over his career, Slager has managed or participated in approximately 500 engagements for corporate and nonprofit acquirers, private equity clients, and investor groups. He has held various leadership and key account roles within transactions advisory, such as the Americas Private Equity leader, and has served on several firm standing committees, such as the Investment and Alliance committee, and various task forces.
Slager is a published author and speaker on health related matters. He is an annual contributor to PLI’s Health Care Mergers and Acquisitions Answer Book, the definitive source of guidance in the U.S.
A certified public accountant with over 34 years of experience, Slager received his B.B.A. from Western Michigan University. He is a member of NYCPA, AICPA, and the accounting honors fraternity Beta Alpha Psi.
VP, Strategy Individual Markets, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Tommy Smoot serves as Vice President, Individual Markets Strategy. In this role, he partners closely with Individual Markets executive team to create a long-term strategic plan, vision, and planning framework that aligns to Guardian’s growth plan while assessing emerging cross-market trends and opportunities.
Smoot has nearly 20 years of experience in the life insurance industry, with experience in product development and management, distribution, marketing, and strategy.
He graduated from the Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics.
Director of Career Education and Development, Columbia SPS, Career Design Lab
Diane Spizzirro is most in her element when she is facilitating a dynamic and engaging career development program that helps participants gain insight on how to move forward! She has developed and facilitated numerous career training programs for individuals and diverse groups.
A seasoned career management professional with experience in higher education, corporate training, development, and private practice, she established her business background in the insurance and risk management fields, then successfully transitioned her career into counseling.
Spizzirro is the current President of the New York Mental Health Counseling Association, an active member of the National Career Development Association and National Association of College and Employers. Formerly she served as the Director of Career Development at the College of New Rochelle where she was an adjunct professor teaching graduate classes in counseling and career development.
Spizzirro holds a M.S. in Career Development and a B.A. in Business. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor, a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and Executive Career Development Coach. She is a certified trainer of the DiSC, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator MBTI and Strengthsquest.
Director of Operations and Sustainability, Green Matters
Sarah Flint Stender is the Operations and Sustainability Director at Green Matters, the fastest growing green lifestyle media company. She has a Masters in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and was recently spearheading sustainability strategies at RTR since 2015. Prior to her formal education at Columbia, Stender was a Captain in the United States Army serving as a Military Intelligence Officer. She is a combat veteran with two deployments to Iraq. Following her service, she worked for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in International Strategy and Business Development. Her passion for a career in sustainability came about from working closely with the environmental strategy team while at Boeing. Stender is looking forward to helping Green Matters make sustainability news and best practices accessible to a larger audience ultimately growing the company’s reach and positive impact on the environment.
Journalist, Media Professor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Columbia SPS, Nonprofit Management faculty
Marcia Stepanek is a Multimedia Journalist, New Media Strategist, an award-winning news and content editor, videographer/producer, and author of the forthcoming book, Swarms: The Rise of the Digital Anti-Establishment. She develops and teaches digital media strategy, communications, and data analytics in the graduate Nonprofit Management Program at Columbia University in New York, and is Founder and Creative Director of BrandStories, a Manhattan-based digital media studio and strategy consultancy that leverages cutting-edge media technology and multimedia to stimulate public dialogue, advocate for positive change, and foster a greater connection between audiences and their stories to enhance civic engagement. Her documentary work includes video journalism that explores some of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our times.
Stepanek also publishes Videocracy, a multimedia journal, and hosts the forthcoming New Narratives Project, a podcast and public forum featuring media innovators and offering innovative tools, ideas, and media for healing our civic divides. In addition, she writes for a variety of publications, including the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fast Company, The Atlantic, the Huffington Post, MSNBC, and PopTech, among others.
A former Knight Fellow in New Media at Stanford University and former Technology Strategies editor at Business Week, Stepanek also was Founding Editor-in-Chief of Contribute magazine from 2005 to 2010, the first news magazine to cover the rise of technology-driven advocacy and digital philanthropy. She also was Founding Executive Editor of CIO Insight magazine; the Washington projects editor for Hearst News and an investigative reporter for Knight-Ridder Newspapers in Detroit and Washington. She also was Tokyo Bureau Chief for Hearst News and reported from Asia and Eastern Europe for National Public Radio, PBS Television, and New Zealand Public Radio.
Stepanek has received a variety of awards for her work, including a George Polk Award for Consumer Journalism, a National Press Club Award for Washington Correspondence, and a National Headliner Award for Explanatory Journalism. She was the recipient of a New York Newswomens’ Club Front Page Award for Internet Commentary, for a series of columns she wrote about the changing nature of privacy in a digital world. Stepanek also was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.
In addition to her academic, editorial and new media strategy work, she conducts media workshops internationally and speaks frequently about the rising power and influence of social and visual media at workshops, civic symposia, and cross-sector conferences worldwide.
Phil Stott is an Editor at Vault, where he has worked for 10 years. In addition to surveying and ranking the top firms in the consulting industry, he blogs regularly on all kinds of career issues for Vault’s careers blog. Prior to joining Vault, Phil taught English as a Foreign Language in Europe and Asia, and worked as a freelance journalist. He has an undergraduate degree in Literature and History, and master’s degrees in Research in Civil Engineering and Global Marketing Management.
Global Head of Analytics, Client Risk Solutions, AIG
Tilia Tanner is the Global Head of Analytics and Technology for Client Risk Solutions (CRS). In this role she leads a team of data scientists, actuaries, developers and engineers working on building the Client Risk Solutions analytical capabilities across commercial lines. Her team’s primary goal is to turn data into actionable insights and help CRS lead with analytics, partner the findings with solutions and ultimately reduce our client’s total cost of risk. Tanner joined AIG in 2010 as a Reserving Actuary in the Aerospace Division. Since then she has held various analytics leadership roles, supporting Casualty Pricing initiatives as well as the buildout of the Client Centric Analytics capabilities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from William Paterson University and a Master’s degree in Actuarial Science from Columbia University. She is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society.
Co-Founder, Early Stage Careers
Jill Tipograph is co-founder of Early Stage Careers, a career coaching service of experts that successfully transition college students and graduates, and early careerists, into internships and jobs. She is also the parent of millennials who have been, and are still going through, the process of building their own professional lives; providing a unique perspective on this challenging transition. Tipograph has been a nationally recognized youth expert and educational consultant for more than 20 years; she is a member of several professional education and career industry organizations, and a selected certified member of the Forbes Coaches Council. She is the founder of Everything Summer, a boutique consultancy service that guides families through the summer planning and enrichment process for their children, from elementary school through early college. Given her experience helping young students and their families design the right summer and school-year experiences, Tipograph organically began aiding these students in their transition into young careerists. She teamed up with Good Morning America’s Tory Johnson to produce the Career Boot Camp NYC for new graduates. Tipograph works directly with clients as a career coach, and manages the business and operations sides of Early Stage Careers. She holds both a B.A. in Psychology, and an MBA in Marketing from New York University, and was formerly a marketing executive in both corporations and advertising agencies.
Tipograph and the expertise of Early Stage Careers is sought after by national media, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, Fortune, Money, Monster, Bloomberg, and more.
Advisor, M.S. in Nonprofit Management, Columbia SPS
Michele M. Trizzino is Advisor for the M.S. in Nonprofit Management Program and Student Lifecycle Support at Columbia University School of Professional Studies. Trizzino facilitated the launch of the Nonprofit Management Program in fall 2016; a program that is not only mission driven, but cutting edge in design. Through the application of critical listening and analysis of high-power metrics, Trizzino has contributed to SPS’ historical growth of exceptional candidates and premium retention.
Prior to joining SPS, she worked on Wall Street in the legal sector. Fluent in personal injury and insurance defense litigation, she was entrusted to ensure adversarial compliance in state and federal courts for various clients, including a Fortune 15 corporation. She developed efficient strategies for optimal application of resources.
Trizzino is nationally regarded as a public speaking authority with over 10 years experience. She acts as Assistant Speech & Debate Coach for Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, NY and is a senior, speech and debate judge for the Brooklyn Queens Catholic Forensic League. Revered as an expert in competitive public speaking and acting, Trizzino has judged national circuit tournaments hosted by Columbia University, Yale University, and the University of Pennsylvania. She has also participated at the New York State Catholic Forensic League Championships and National Catholic Forensic League Championships.
While studying in Paris, France; Salamanca, Spain; and Rome, Italy; she participated on a panel with technology conglomerate executives regarding the expansion of distance learning. Her proposals were contributions for the creation and development of innovative technology where new resources would allow programs to be accessed in a global arena.
She graduated summa cum laude from St. John’s University, with a B.S. in Criminal Justice, minor in International Studies, and was honored as commencement speaker of her graduating class.
Local Digital Media Strategist, Univision Communications Inc.
Karina Vigo is a Digital Media professional with over ten years of experience in content management and planning. Presently, she is a Local Digital Media Strategist at Univision Communications Inc. and manages accounts in New York, Chicago, Miami, Houston, and Philadelphia. After eight years of Content Production experience, Vigo transitioned from a prosperous digital journalism career to marketing, where she uses her analytical skills to successfully develop campaigns for major advertisers, including McDonald’s, BMW, and Anheuser Busch. Prior to joining Univision, Vigo worked at The New York Daily News, WABC-TV Channel 7, Verizon, ABC Television Network Digital, and ESPN.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communications Studies, a minor in Criminal Justice and Fine Arts, and is an active member of the United Nations Foundation in New York City. She is a proud native of Peru and is fluent in Spanish. Karina is also conversational in Portuguese, having resided in Brazil in 2014. Her favorite quote is by Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
Principal, Employee Benefits Services, PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP
John N. Vitucci is a Principal in the Employee Benefits Services Practice at PKF O’Connor Davies and has more than 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 corporations and investment banks in all areas of employee benefits, executive compensation and ERISA. Currently he is an adjunct professor at Columbia University where he teaches Pensions & ERISA and Oral Communications for Actuaries in the Actuarial Masters Program. In addition, he founded Pension Equity Advisors LLC.
Vitucci was a senior partner at Deloitte Tax LLP where he worked for 24 years. He was the National Employee Benefits Leader, Northeast Employee Benefits Leader and member of the Northeast Tax Management Committee. His primary focus was in serving clients and the development of new employee benefit products. He was previously a pension specialist with the Employee Plans Division of the Internal Revenue Service.
Vitucci has as spoken at numerous seminars on employee benefits, has published many articles, and has been quoted in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal. He previously chaired the Employee Benefits Committee for the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. He was the chairperson of Foundation for Accounting Education’s 1994 and 1995 Employee Benefits Conference. He was a contributing editor of the employee benefits column for The CPA Journal for four years.
Executive Editor, Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated Executive Editor and Senior Writer L. Jon Wertheim is one of the most accomplished sports journalists in America.
Experienced Consultant, Deloitte
An experienced consultant at Deloitte with strong analytical skills and a client-first mentality, Kelly Zheng services a wide range of clients from financial services, healthcare, and consumer products, primarily in the New York City area. She is also Vice President of Student Affairs for Ascend-Pan Asian Leaders, New York Metro Professional Chapter, where she oversees seven student chapters in New York City.
Prior to starting her professional career, she was the President and Chairman of the Executive Board of the Penn State Chapter of Ascend for three years. For the past six years, through her involvement with Ascend, Zheng has been a strong advocate of breaking the glass ceiling. She frequently speaks at universities, conventions, corporate events, and professional gatherings around the country, sharing her experiences and advice as a young Asian woman defying the societal norms of her demographic.
Zheng lives by her favorite quote by Epictetus, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”