GW October Entrepreneurship Week

Resilience has taken on an entirely new meaning in 2020. We no longer look at an individual, organization, or firm’s capacity for resilience as an after-thought, but rather as the major deciding factor determining a firm’s present and future success. Witnessing the prioritization of resilience in designing, constructing, and growing a business, we can understand the grand difference between an organization that is just surviving and one that is thriving.

Witnessing the ever-lasting and increasing pressures on micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises—witnessed at the onset and throughout the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis—we must focus on the ways in which we can build sustainable and resilient enterprises that are adaptable to both internal and external changes. We are no longer allowed to wear a veil of ignorance to help us believe in certainty. Entrepreneurs have gone without this veil for longer than most as they recognize the constant changes and ever-present uncertainty in the world around them.

Practices of resilience in entrepreneurial settings will be a major indicating factor of our success moving forward. If we envision a better world, we all must be enabled and empowered to work entrepreneurially in a way that safeguards our work by being prepared to adapt and change. A resilient perspective demands that we see the opportunity regardless of the circumstances.

Created and hosted by our future leaders, the GW Business students.

Conference Chair

Ayman El Tarabishy

President & CEO of the International Council for Small Business and Deputy Chair of the Department of Management for the George Washington University School of Business

Dr. El Tarabisy is an award-winning author and teacher. In 2019, the George Washington University New Venture Competition awarded Dr. El Tarabishy ‘Most Influential Faculty.’ Additionally, he is the only faculty member in the GW School of Business to teach in two nationally-ranked programs. Having developed the first Social Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Creativity courses offered to MBA and undergraduate students, El Tarabishy is constantly striving to find the perfect balance between tradition and modernization in his teaching pedagogy.

Conference Agenda

#GWOctober

Join us as we kick off our two part conference, which highlights different aspects of achieving a resilient future through the interdisciplinary experience of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Part 1: Technology, Wellness & Society: Innovative and Unique Relationships to Build Resiliency in Our New Normal

Evolving in a new reality: how systems, businesses, & individuals are adapting to their “new normal,” post COVID-19.

The abrupt onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic made preparation and full comprehension of the expected changes nearly impossible to envision. Our new normal is entirely full of changes in nearly every aspect of our lives, and there seems to be endless bounds on ways in which each and every one of us has been affected.

Creativity and innovation go hand in hand as creativity is often a precursor to innovation. When we are challenged with unprecedented circumstances, we are challenged to change or alter our previous patterns of thinking. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have learned to adapt to a new lifestyle, throughout which we have had to become selectively innovative in how we go about accomplishing goals. Healthcare turned virtual, schooling from home became the norm, retailers introduced new sales methods, and everyone folded to the hand of technology as it evolved to represent the major communication tool used to bridge our gaping disconnect.

During our review of unique and innovative relationships to build resiliency in our new normal, we will explore the creative approaches upon which many organizations have relied, and how these approaches inevitably led to innovations to not only survive beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, but also succeed in new and impressive ways.

Part 2: Creative and Inspiring Examples of Constructive Adaptations in Entrepreneurship: An Innovative Framework for the Evolution of the Individual, Society, Business and Industry

Every business, organization, and nonprofit has been forced to evolve to stay afloat during the pandemic. Nonprofits, however, rely heavily on fundraising as their lifeblood, and often serve as the primary sources to raise awareness around certain needs within the local community and to captivate the interest of donors. Both established businesses and start-ups have scrambled to fill the intense demand, which has also been accompanied by increased pressure on existing logistics companies and networks. As companies are adapting to a new world where e-commerce, app-based shopping, and home delivery are king, this panel explores the opportunities and challenges that now exist within the realm of subscription services and subscription delivery.  There are various avenues to obtain needed capital, however, the most popular and well-known, is an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Although IPO is a proven method to take a company public, Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) is another alternative. This track explores the difference between IPO and SPAC to help leadership and investors make decisions about which method offers more benefits to go public. Sustainable products and sustainable business practices are the new norm, and businesses have no choice but to adapt to these pressures. This track addresses questions, such as “How can businesses build sustainability into already-tight budgets,” “How does a commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship impact innovation,” and “Do big and small businesses have different responsibilities?”

The introduction and adoption of telehealth capabilities have been increasing steadily in recent years, and the need for its use has only been further accelerated by the Coronavirus pandemic. Telehealth is the facilitation of health-related services, which include medical care, patient education, health information services, and self-care via digital communication technologies. This track addresses answers to questions like, “How do you provide effective instruction in different academic fields, such as medical labs, arts and theater, and liberal arts discussion groups through virtual platforms,” “How can students create communities and friendships,” “How do students have cultural experiences such as study abroad through technology,” and “Can you create professional networks and connections, get to know professors and career coaches online?”

Speakers:

Dean Liesl Riddle, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, GWSB and Dr. Katia Passerini, Provost and Executive Vice President, Seton Hall

Dr. Katia Passerini, Provost and Executive President at Seton Hall University

Dr. Jean E. Johnson PhD, RN, FAAN
Emerita Dean and Professor
School of Nursing
George Washington University

Moderater: Linda Acholonu, 2020 recipient of the Dr. Erik K. Winslow award at the George Washington University School of Business.

 

 

This session provides a space to exchange best practices and answers to questions like, “How has COVID changed the way technology is involved in our relationships,” “Does technology saturate the experience or facilitate it,” and “How can more permanent creative systems and best practices be put in place to assure satisfying long term remote work?” Through this discussion we will look at the ways in which we can take care of our mental health and overall health to invite creative and authentic solutions, in addressing the questions of “How to prevent self-criticism and protect yourself from failure,” “How do we heal the pain,” and “How to reinvent yourself to rediscover a creative lifestyle?” Feeling both supported and motivated help creatives to take their talent out and into the world. This session reviews the main tactics necessary to spark creativity through the lens of community.

Team 1: Reinventing your Creative Journey

Team 2: Creating Human Interactions in a Virtual World

Speakers:

Dr. Tara Coles, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Palliative Care Service

Ms. Kristian Thompson, CEO of Rae Vision

Moderators: Jalisa Lynn

You have a novel idea — do you release it now? Is it ever too early, or too late? How do you know when to push an idea, innovation, or new product into the market? With the help of a panel of experienced professionals who have answered this question throughout their respective career fields, this session discusses the intersections of timing, decision-making, innovation, and which specific factors to weigh when you find yourself in this situation. We will specifically highlight the needs and pressures of innovation when found in well-established corporations and businesses.

Typically, businesses that run likes well-oiled machines typically leave little room for improvement. However, that does not mean that it does not require innovation. Being innovative can involve creating new, improved, and efficient processes to be applied on systems that have been left unchanged for years. Creativity leads to this innovation. This concept is applicable to all businesses, from government organizations, financial institution and nonprofit organizations to essential organizations, such as healthcare and education. This session explores creative ideas which lead to innovation in mature businesses. This will inevitably expand further into the root causes which lead to a greater need for innovation as well as way in which corporations and businesses have been successful in innovating without entirely recreating.

Team 5: When to push innovation in the marketplace

Team 6: Innovation in a mature business environment

Speakers:

Ms. Kyleigh Russ, Co-founder of GFA

Ms. Shalini David, President & CEO at Christalis

Mr. Hridul Gupta, Director of Artificial Intelligence at MTX Group

Ms. Megan Pollock, Vice President, Strategic Communications, Samsung Electronics America

Moderators: Aysia Woods and Rabia Khokhar

As many now understand, COVID-19 has forced the general population to work in entirely new ways. Our space, structure, and function in the workplace has all dramatically altered. The Covid-19 Pandemic, which forced us all to look and stay local, illuminated the glaring deficiencies that exist within the global healthcare supply chain. Throughout this disruption, many supply chains, we were forced to navigate a new landscape and remain competitive. To manage these changes, companies and institutions must pivot to find new and innovative ways to meet the current demands, especially from a domestic standpoint. The objective of this discussion is to propose viable solutions for increasing productivity, creativity, and innovation to address the ever-demanding changes in the global market.

Team 4 The Phoenix Effect and the changing nature of businesses

Team 12 Modified Global Supply Chain post COVID-19

Speaker:

Quinnton Harris, Group Creative Director of Experience Design and co-leader of Global Computational Design at Publicis Sapient

Moderators: Nathan Porter and Mary Sheehan

The usage of new and the application of old technologies have proven incredibly useful in this COVID-19 era. AR/VR and applications, such as Zoom, have allowed communities around the world to innovate to keep team and customer communication continuing smoothly.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, AR and VR were already beginning to have an impact on consumers in several different industries. Now, they have become crucial for certain businesses, especially those who are unable to interact or communicate with customers directly. AR and VR are used to create immersive experiences for and with consumers, while allowing businesses to abide by new guidelines and safety procedures. Likewise, Zoom has been used in many ways that no one ever considered in the past. Business entities in many different environments have been able to create value in their relationship through Zoom. From cooking classes, exercise sessions, church services, funerals, graduations, and even happy hour events, Zoom and similar platforms have altered the way we work, socialize, and live each and every day.

This session discusses the ways in which we can continue applying creative tech innovations to build more seamless communication channels and more resilient patterns of growth in our organizations.

Team 7: AR/VR

Team 11: Creative approaches to health and wellness through communications.

Speakers:

Dr. David Halliday, Researcher of Business Strategy, Corporate Strategy and Business Ethics

Moderators: Shauna Swansburg and TJ Hufford

As all of our previous patterns have been forced to change, it feels like everything, from logistics, mandatory closures, employee challenges, to financing, has become more difficult. The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for Women, Minority, and LGBTQ+ owned businesses. This session explores the difficulties of leading in a crisis and maintaining resilience while navigating social distancing and teleworking boundaries. This conversation will focus on financial adaptability and the willingness to change business models to meet goals, highlighting how business leaders can tackle employee engagement, and use storytelling to leverage and boost business innovation. In this session, you will hear from a variety of panelists from different industries as they dive deeper into innovative leadership styles to maintain effectiveness, and uplift their companies.

Team 9: Storytelling in Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship

Team 3: Minority-Led businesses

Speakers:

Ms. Veronica Droulia, Founder and CEO of Content Confidante LLC

Mr. Willy Shih, General Manager of Good Kids Education

Mr. Charles King, Founder of the Black & White Party, Inc

Ms. Krista Martins, Fitness Instructor, Choreographer, and Founder of Wukkout

Ms. Michelle Alafghani, Founder and CEO of Matcha Konomi and Bien Merite Bakery

Moderators: Zena Jackson and Dave Cline

The global pandemic has forced everyone to rapidly adapt to overcome issues that seem to progress on an unprecedented scale, which has subsequently pushed the medical field to innovate to ensure safe care for both patients and practitioners.  One of the most impacted areas is medicine. From convalescent plasma to virtual healthcare, to the rapid deployment of overflow health wards, the health industry as we know it has changed and grown. This session will discuss the recent innovations that enable remote closeness in medical care and how these innovations can be used in a hybrid approach where the patient care of the future finds its balance between in-person and virtual meetings.

Team 10: Innovative Medical Treatment

Team 8: In-Person and Distant Care: Innovations for Both

Speakers:

Dr. Michele Donato, Chief, Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program

Mr. Benjamin Greenberg, Global Director, Social Sciences

Moderators: Glen Gejerman, Steve Pike, Cecilia Scott, Jailynn Paige

 

Every business, organization, and nonprofit has been forced to evolve to stay afloat during the pandemic. Nonprofits, however, rely heavily on fundraising as their lifeblood, and often serve as the primary sources to raise awareness around certain needs within the local community and to captivate the interest of donors. Both established businesses and start-ups have scrambled to fill the intense demand, which has also been accompanied by increased pressure on existing logistics companies and networks. As companies are adapting to a new world where e-commerce, app-based shopping, and home delivery are king, this panel explores the opportunities and challenges that now exist within the realm of subscription services and subscription delivery.  There are various avenues to obtain needed capital, however, the most popular and well-known, is an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Although IPO is a proven method to take a company public, Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) is another alternative. This track explores the difference between IPO and SPAC to help leadership and investors make decisions about which method offers more benefits to go public. Sustainable products and sustainable business practices are the new norm, and businesses have no choice but to adapt to these pressures. This track addresses questions, such as “How can businesses build sustainability into already-tight budgets,” “How does a commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship impact innovation,” and “Do big and small businesses have different responsibilities?”

Keynote Presenters:

Mr. Ahmed Oman, Chair, International Council for Small Business
Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Incoming Chair, International Council for Small Business
Mr. Ash Rofail (Ph.D.) is the General Partner of Openner Venture, Capital and Chairman of Santeon Group In ( a Publicly Traded Company) and a nationally recognized business and technology leader.

Session Moderated by: Jamie Nucho

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only reshaped the world, but it has also impelled businesses to reassess their strategies and operations, which has put e-commerce on the forefront as consumers and companies find new ways to be more agile. The growing trends have raised many questions as to how society operates, learns, shops, and utilizes technology. Businesses have demonstrated resilience, innovation, and creativity in surviving and growing despite restrictions and obstacles enhanced by COVID-19. Major industries such as healthcare, academia, banking, insurance, and entertainment have found new ways of functioning and have emerged from brick and mortar to a digital platform. Shopping online, as well as other e-commerce businesses, were once viewed as a convenience and a luxury. Consumers’ priorities have shifted to this means as a necessity. Consequently, impact on sales due to falling store footfalls have made it difficult for consumers to shop in stores, making it nearly impossible for brick and mortar businesses to operate at capacity. We can look specifically to the concept of subscription models as they have evolved into encompassing everything from streaming media from popular services like Netflix and Spotify to subscription delivery services involving food, clothes and household items, demonstrated by Instacart, Amazon and even Costco. Before Covid-19, these types of subscription services were focused on the allure of “convenience.” However, given the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic, subscription delivery services have evolved from “convenience” to “need” with an overwhelming necessity for contactless shopping. Both established businesses and start-ups have scrambled to fill the intense demand, which has also been accompanied by increased pressure on existing logistics companies and networks. As companies are adapting to a new world where e-commerce, app-based shopping, and home delivery is king, this session discusses the resilience of businesses, consumer behavior changes, and emerging trends in e-commerce post-COVID-19.

Team 3: Growing Importance of Subscription Services

Team 6: Resiliency Trends in E-commerce Post COVID-19

Speaker:

Mr. Chris Vigilante, Owner & Vigilante Coffee Co.

Mr. Jim Lathrop, Leads the Retail, Restaurant & Hospitality Industries Strategy & Sales team at Microsoft

Ms. Layne Gray, Founder of Gray Lane Beauty

Ms. Fe Noel, Womenswear designer from Brooklyn, NY

Moderators: Jodi Lee and Lakeisha Lubin

The introduction and adoption of telehealth capabilities have been increasing steadily in recent years, and the need for its use has only been further accelerated by the Coronavirus pandemic. Telehealth is the facilitation of health-related services, which include medical care, patient education, health information services, and self-care via digital communication technologies. Examples of technologies used in telehealth include live video conferencing, mobile health apps, remote patient monitoring (RPM), and other electronic transmissions. Although often used interchangeably, telehealth and telemedicine are not the same. Telehealth includes a broader array of digital health care activities and services, which include nutrition, fitness, and well-being. It is a blanket term, covering all facets of the healthcare system that are conducted through telecommunications. Telemedicine, by definition, means “the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology” referring specifically to the practice of medicine via remote means.

Speaker:

Team 1: Telehealth vs. Telemedicine
Team 8: Telemedicine

Dr. Neal Sikka, MD., Board-certified Emergency Physician, and Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University.

Moderators: Jamie Nucho, Daniel Cotterell, Jared Lucas, TJ Hufford

Every business, organization, and nonprofit has been forced to evolve to stay afloat during the pandemic. Nonprofits, however, rely heavily on fundraising as their lifeblood and often serve as the primary sources to raise awareness around certain needs within the local community and to captivate the interest of donors. As traditional events were canceled, leaders of nonprofit organizations needed to rethink their approaches to fundraising efforts. Leaders were pushed to invent new strategies for marketing themselves and their organizations, which included innovative online events, that have inevitably changed the face of nonprofit fundraising in our COVID-19 environment.

Most successful firms and organizations arrive at a point when their leadership has to decide whether to go public or remain as a private organization. In many cases to continue its growth, a company needs to raise more capital. There are various avenues to obtain needed capital; however, the most popular and well-known one is an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Although IPO is a proven method to take a company public, Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) is another alternative. Here, we explore the difference between IPO and SPAC and help the leadership and investors to make a decision on which method offers more benefits to go public.

This session will discuss the ways that organizations can raise capital in a COVID-19 world.

Team 7: Raising Capital: IPO vs. SPAC
Team 10: COVID-19 and The Transformation of Nonprofit Fundraising

Speakers:

Mr. Leo Valentine, Associate Director of Protiviti’s Transaction Services

Ms. Molly Cook, Clinical Psychologist and Founder of the North Shore Center for Neuropsychology

Ms. Anna Rohwer, Senior Director of Operations of Water4

Moderators: Deuel Shinkevich and Abby Freer

The reopening of schools, universities, and workplaces has extended pressures on these entities. With changes in learning and communication, this session discusses the ways in which entrepreneurial engagement can be applied both in the classroom and in the workplace by asking questions about “How to build united, professional relationships online?” as well as “What can we do to optimize student and employee engagement in this work/learn from home context?”

This session reviews the links between employee engagement, motivation, and mental health, current HR strategies, methods, and strategies to employ to build sustainable engagement in the workplace. 

Team 2: Approaching Virtual Education During COVID-19 &

Team 4: Keeping Employees Engaged in Quarantine


Speaker:

Mr. Brendan Desetti, Director of Strategy and Public Affairs for D2L

Ms. Allison Fried, Founder, Principal Burke School House; Director, Strategic Communications, Stand Together Foundation

Mr. Joey Price, Founder of Jumpstart; HR, LLC


Moderators: Sanam Masroor and Lawrence Robinson

Environmental sustainability is emerging as a necessary facet throughout every business’s strategy. Resulting from both the very real risks of climate-change (business-related and otherwise) and consumers’ ever-growing desire to engage with companies that align with their own values, more corporate giants are making bold public commitments to reduce their carbon footprints. Similarly, pressure is increasingly being applied to small businesses as well. Sustainable products and sustainable business practices are the new norm, and businesses have no choice but to adapt to these pressures. This session covers how businesses can build sustainability into already-tight budgets and how their commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship can impact innovation. We cover questions, such as “Do large and small businesses have different responsibilities?” This panel discusses the relationship between environmental sustainability and entrepreneurship across various sectors and stages of a business.

Speakers:

Mr. Elijah Innes-Wimsatt, Managing Consultant in the Decarbonization Solutions Team at Guidehouse

Mr. Steve Orbuch, Director of Strategic Development Initiatives at EDF Renewables

Ms. Miranda Ballentine, CEO of Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)

Moderator: Hannah Hoffmann

Given the heightened emphasis on social platforms, entrepreneurship must understand the ways in which social media plays an important role in connecting and capturing audiences greater than their typical customers. As the virtual world engages our global environment like never before, this session expands on the impact of social media on the realm of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneur’s journey through this COVID-19 reality.

Speaker:

Dr. Ray Jones, Clinical Professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration

Moderator: Princess Streeter

Join us to conclude the day with some closing remarks from our conference chair and a community happy hour where we can celebrate a job well done!

Welcome to the Organizers and Speakers

Opening Session

 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. (EDT)

Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at the George Washington University School of Business

Provost and Executive Vice President at Seton Hall University

Emerita Dean and Professor School of Nursing George Washington University

 2020 recipient of the Dr. Erik K. Winslow award at the George Washington University School of Business.

Innovating for Success

10:05 – 10:50 a.m. (EDT)

Co-Founder and COO at Govern For America

Kyleigh leads the fellow recruiting and selection process, strategic and government partnerships development, and team management.

Before co-founding GFA, Kyleigh taught at a charter school in Boston. Firsthand, she saw how policy decisions and government programs could negatively impact underrepresented communities without a voice at the table. She decided to launch GFA to help change the hiring system from one built on connections and networking to one where the most exceptional candidates from all backgrounds and communities get the chance to create the world in which they want to live in. 

Director of Artificial Intelligence at MTX Group

Hridul has been working at the forefront of innovation, leading teams in building enterprise applications and AI capabilities for several Fortune 500 companies and public sector clients over the last 6 years.

He has experienced that some of the most complex business problems relevant in today’s fast-changing world require constant innovation. This has only become more relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis which has impacted the traditional way of doing business quite significantly. During these unprecedented times, thriving to be at the forefront of innovation is one of the most important activities that an organization must do on a day to day basis to stay relevant and successful. Eventually, the mindset of innovation boils down to having the attitude of “being aware”, “showing up” and “failing fast” every day and at the grass-roots level.

President & CEO at Christalis

“My life’s desire has always been to help children who are suffering from being orphaned, abused, exploited, neglected or in dire poverty. Since I was a child I have wanted to give these children the same life I had growing up with love, care, support and opportunities to succeed. Though my Bachelors is in Nursing, my passion and life’s work is through Christalis where I have gained experience in various aspects of running a non-profit including but not limited to the following: fundraising, recruitment and management of volunteers, board members and staff, budgeting, legal registrations and maintenance, marketing, project development and management. With the help of our board members, staff, volunteers and interns we have helped over 350 vulnerable children for the past fifteen years.”

Managing Director and Founder of Carzaty.com

Hassan Jaffar is the Managing Director and Founder of Carzaty.com, MENA region’s first and largest online automotive retailer. Prior to founding Carzaty, Mr. Jaffar worked on Wall Street as a hedge fund manager where he successfully managed a portfolio of over US$300 million in technology investments. Mr. Jaffar started his career as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. in NY where he advised technology companies on business strategy. Mr. Jaffar graduated Summa Cum Laude from Texas A&M University and is CFA charter holder.

Vice President, Strategic Communications, Samsung Electronics America

Megan Pollock is Vice President of Strategic Communications for Samsung Electronics America, a U.S. subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. headquartered in South Korea. Based in Washington, D.C., she is responsible for creating messaging, identifying the key audiences, and securing the means by which to educate policymakers and the policy-making community about Samsung’s employees, innovation, investment, and philanthropy in the U.S. Prior to joining Samsung in 2014,  Pollock was Vice President for DKC Public Relations, Marketing, and Government Affairs.

Creatively Connecting in a Virtual World

10:05 – 10:50 a.m. (EDT)

Emergency Medicine Physician

Dr. Tara Coles received her medical degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine in 2001. She completed her emergency medicine residency at Boston Medical Center, where she served as Chief Resident in 2005.

Dr. Coles spent 13 years practicing Emergency Medicine in both Academic and Community Medical Centers in the Baltimore and DC Metropolitan area. She developed an interest in the practice of palliative care in Emergency Departments and other acute care settings.

CEO of Rae Vision

Based out of Richmond, Virginia, Kristian Thompson, the owner and lead designer of RaeVision creative, has built her skills and brand studio from the ground up. As a self-taught, no degree designer, she has built strategic visual brand identities for over 100 small owned businesses to include industries from beauty to mental health.

Kristian developed a tried and true process to collaborate with her clients to develop beautifully crafted strategic visual brand identities. She has elevated her brand by educating her clients on strategy and consistency to continue to propel forward to the forefront of their respective industries as authentic, one of a kind of brand identity.

Modified and Changing Behavior of Business

 10:55 – 11:40 a.m. (EDT)

Creative Innovations to Communications Around Health and Wellness

 10:55 – 11:40 a.m. (EDT)

Group Creative Director of Experience Design and co-leads of Global Computational Design at Publicis Sapient

Harris played a critical role in accelerating the vision for fostering a more inclusive, multidimensional, and cohesive Experience capability. He also serves as Head of Experience for San Francisco and completed a full tenure as Maeda’s Chief of Staff, finding much success in launching several global initiatives, improving design systems for global collaboration, and enhancing internal team communications.

Business Strategy Professor: Online and In-Real-Life

Dr. Halliday’s research interests include Business Strategy, Corporate Strategy, and Business Ethics. He researches in the fields of innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategy, but he would much rather be teaching or making short strategy videos for YouTube. He received a B.A. from Stanford University, an MBA from Yale, and a Ph.D. in Strategy & Entrepreneurship from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Innovation of Minority-Led Companies in a COVID-19 World

 11:45 – 12:30 p.m. (EDT)

Founder and CEO of Content Confidante LLC

Droulia had been a freelance digital media strategist, content creator, and social media manager for over 4 years. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Droulia noticed the transition companies were having to make when converting to the digital space. She wanted to expand her services and expertise by helping those navigate the digital world. Thus, Content Confidante LLC was born in June of 2020.

Content Confidante is your trusted source for all things digital and is here to help you expand your reach. This boutique digital media agency helps entrepreneurs, motivated individuals, and teams enhance their digital footprint through custom website design, social media management, and custom graphic design. Content Confidante began as a supplemental tactic for Droulia.

General manager of Good Kids Education

Willy has 5 years of management experience, business operations, and education services.

“With my background of study Computer Science, I manage and operate the office with modern technology,  and provide innovative educational services for our customers. Within 5 years,  my team and I have served more than 100 international students,  and help them to be successful in academics.”

“Born a Gay Man in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, General Manager of Eagle Wilton Manors currently, husband to a wonderful man named Greg King, Father to a Stepdaughter Emily and I have two beautiful Granddaughters.  I have worked in the Hospitality Industry for over 30 years from bars, restaurants, nightclubs, casinos starting in Las Vegas and all over the United States, and I have personally shared ownership in two businesses. I am a college-educated professional, and I have focused on marketing skills in the LGBTQ business community. I am the founder of The Black & White Party, Inc which is a Non-Profit organization that started out raising money for local HIV/AIDS Charities in South Central Pennsylvania but has grown to support LGBTQ, Women’s, Transgender, Community Centers, Youth Camps, and Organizations, People of Color Organizations, and other deserving charitable organizations nationwide…”

Fitness Instructor, Choreographer, and Founder of Wukkout

Krista Martins is a certified group fitness instructor, professional choreographer, and Founder of Wukkout! – a high energy Caribbean Dance Fitness class, nationally accredited instructor training program, and on-demand platform. Additionally, she is the creator of The Fit Pro Lab, a mentorship program designed to help fitness professionals grow their brand and build their business.

With over 20 years of experience in the dance and fitness industries, Krista realized there weren’t many diverse, welcoming fitness experiences and decided to create her own. Wukkout! was founded in 2013 with the mission to get participants out of their heads and into their bodies through a high-energy, inclusive, and dynamic Caribbean Carnival-like dance fitness experience where one can feel free, get healthy, and have fun doing it. In 2017, Krista launched the nationally accredited Wukkout! Instructor Training program and in 2019, the Wukkout! on Demand online class subscription was born.

Founder and CEO of Matcha Konomi and Bien Merite Bakery

Matcha Konomi is a specialty Matcha company dedicated to bringing premium quality Japanese Matcha to their customers for a more affordable price. After taking some time off work to have children, Michelle noticed a lack of affordable excellent quality Matcha in the market, and this is one of the things she works hard to solve with Matcha Konomi. Since starting Matcha Konomi early 2016, she has expanded her business from her local community to include online sales, available on Amazon PRIME, and partnered with like-minded cafes and restaurants throughout Texas. 

Michelle also founded Bien Merite in 2018, a French inspired bakery located in Corpus Christi, TX. The store attracts customers through its enticing drink options (including matcha lattes) and delectable food options.

Innovations in Medical Care

 11:45 – 12:30 p.m. (EDT)

Chief, Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program

Michele L. Donato, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.P.E.,is Chief of the Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program where she leads one of the world’s largest photopheresis centers at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, New Jersey, USA. JTCC was the first site certified to provide CAR T-cell therapy in New Jersey.

Global Director, Social Sciences

After getting his MPH from Columbia University, Ben came to McCann and took on the role of Global Strategy Director, Social Sciences. Social Sciences involves the application of sciences like anthropology, behavioral economics, and public health to brand problems. Ben has been building a team of interdisciplinary members across the global network to bring this expertise to the larger organization. His work includes prescription and OTC products, as well as consumer packaged goods. Ben has worked in 14+ disease states, including cystic fibrosis, heart failure, diabetes, cancer, PAH, psoriasis.

Telehealth and Telemedicine

2:05 – 2:50 p.m. (EDT)

Emergency Physician and Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine

Neal Sikka, MD is a board-certified emergency physician and professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University. He has experience providing and developing telehealth services for remote environments as well as his large multispecialty practice. Dr. Sikka is the director for GW Telemedicine and Digital Health Fellowship program and has led a number of grant-funded projects related to technology-enabled care.

The Future of Business

 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (EDT)

ICSB Incoming Chairman of the Board and Senior Advisor for Globalization & Head of Capital Markets at Genaesis

General Partner of Openner Venture Capital and Chairman of Santeon Group

ICSB Chairman of the Board and CEO of Chrome

General Manager, PMBA

Changes in Business Operations

2:05 – 2:50 p.m. (EDT)

Owner & Founder of Vigilante Coffee Co

NE Washington, D.C., Vigilante Coffee Co. has grown to include two cafes,
their roastery, a coffee training lab, thousands of monthly coffee subscribers across the country, and cafe partners and businesses serving their coffee throughout the US and as far as Saudi Arabia. At Vigilante, the focus is on quality and the customer experience. The team, led by Owner and Green Coffee Buyer, Chris Vigilante, aims to deliver the ‘Vigilante experience’, based on authenticity, transparency, world-class service, and the world’s best coffees.

Jim leads the Retail, Restaurant & Hospitality Industries Strategy & Sales team for Microsoft’s U.S. Enterprise software business. 

His team helps enterprise businesses understand industry trends, provide transformational direction, and guidance by utilizing an extensive partner ecosystem. His passion for technology and innovation-led him to Apple after an 18-year career with Microsoft where he ran an enterprise sales team, created an offering for developers that doubled growth and were a director in the partner ecosystem.

Founder of Gray Lane Beauty 

Her background includes executive roles at large companies, including Oracle Corporation and Altos Computer Systems. She also has founded companies including LKE Productions, which she grew to $20 million in revenues and 30 employees. Most recently she founded Gray Lane Beauty, a platform that offers beauty products on a subscription basis, similar to Dollar Shave Club. But for mascara.

Fe Noel is a womenswear designer from Brooklyn, NY with a passion for travel, a love of vibrant colors, and a penchant for bold prints.

She entered the industry at 19, opening a brick and mortar boutique for vintage lovers and trendsetters in Brooklyn. That boutique served as a catalyst for today’s namesake clothing and lifestyle womenswear brand ‘Fe Noel’ and further stimulated her desire to help women embrace their femininity.

Aside from designing, she enjoys helping other young women start their own businesses, which she is able to accomplish through the Fe Noel.

Raising Capital

2:55 – 3:40 p.m. (EDT)

Associate Director of Protiviti’s Transaction Services

Leo has over eight years of experience executing financial due diligence deals on the buy and sell-side. His transaction services experience covers various industries, including consumer goods, construction, financial services, and healthcare. 

Leo graduated from Rutgers University with a double-major in accounting and finance and is a licensed CPA in the state of New York.

Clinical Psychologist and Founder of the North Shore Center for
Neuropsychology

Molly holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from William James College (2008) and has extensive training in a variety of settings including community mental health clinics, psychiatric hospitals, and college counseling centers.

Molly sits on the Board of Trustees at Plummer Youth Promise, a non-profit organization in Salem, Massachusetts whose mission is to set a standard of excellence that improves young people’s outcomes in or at risk of entering state care.

Sr. Director of Operations for Water4

Water4 is an Oklahoma City-based non-profit organization supporting social enterprises throughout sub-Saharan Africa to provide market-based access to safe water services.

Anna has more than 10 years of experience in the international development sector, working with both non-profits and for-profits in the areas of operations, fundraising, grants management, and communications. She holds a Master’s degree in Globalization and Development from the University of Manchester and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Economic Development from Eastern University. 

Keeping Engagement in Virtual Education and Workplace

2:55 – 3:40 p.m. (EDT)

Director of Strategy and Public Affairs for D2L

Brendan Desetti is the Director of Strategy and Public Affairs for D2L, a world-leading developer of learning software. In his role, Brendan works with policymakers and education stakeholder groups to identify and promote positive education policies to support and expand and improve learning opportunities for all students. His particular areas of interest are accessibility for students with disabilities, student data privacy, and the future of work and learning. Prior to joining D2L, Brendan was the Director of Education Policy for the Software & Information Industry Association and a Legislative Liaison for the Association for Career and Technical Education.

Founder / Principal Burke School House; Director, Strategic Communications, Stand Together Foundation

Allison Fried founded Burke School House, a kindergarten micro school-based in Fairfax, VA, in September 2020. Fried is also Director of Strategic Communications for Stand Together Foundation (STF), a venture philanthropy organization supporting a community of 180+ social entrepreneurs who are leading a movement to break the cycle of poverty in America. Prior to Stand Together Foundation, Fried oversaw global event communications for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), for 12+ years, where she directed global media outreach and promotional strategy for all of CTA’s domestic and international events.

 

Founder of Jumpstart: HR, LLC

Joey Price is an award-winning human resources executive, business coach, thought leader, and professor. He is the founder of Jumpstart: HR, LLC, an HR consulting practice specifically for small businesses and startups, and host of Business, Life, and Coffee, a weekly personal and professional development podcast. As the CEO of Jumpstart: HR, LLC, Joey innovates by creating HR solutions for small business owners and start-up founders who want to build better, more competitive businesses. As a podcaster on the Business, Life, and Coffee show, Joey shares carefully curated conversations on personal finance, psychology, professional development, and business for emerging professionals and business owners alike. 

Sustainable Entrepreneurship

3:45 – 4:30 p.m. (EDT)

Managing Consultant in the Decarbonization Solutions Team at Guidehouse

Elijah helps clients identify, develop, and implement solutions to achieve a low carbon, resource-efficient future. He assists corporate clients in quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions of their operations and value chain, setting science-based targets on these emissions, and implementing strategies for achieving emissions reductions.

Before Guidehouse, Elijah worked for American Accessories Intl., where he supported multiple Fortune 100 clients.

Director of Strategic Development Initiatives at EDF Renewables

Steve has over 8 years of experience in renewable energy and battery storage development, origination, and M&A. Before joining EDF Renewables, Steven worked at First Solar, where he was responsible for building the company’s utility-scale solar project pipeline in the Eastern US. Before First Solar, Steven worked at Calpine Corporation, the largest electricity generator from natural gas and geothermal resources in the US.

Steven has an MBA from the University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and a BA from Dartmouth College.

CEO of Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)

Miranda Ballentine has devoted her career to accelerating the role of advanced energy in national security, economic prosperity, and solving climate change. She is currently the CEO of Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), a community of largely clean energy buyers, energy providers, service providers, and NGOs.

Prior to REBA, Miranda served as Walmart’s Director of Sustainability for Renewable Energy where she led a global team to achieve Walmart’s 100% renewable energy goal. From 2014-2017, Miranda served President Obama as Assistant Secretary of Air Force (Installations, Environment & Energy).

University Innovation Specialist at The Good Food Institute

Annie Osborn is the University Innovation Specialist at The Good Food Institute, where she works with students, faculty, and university administrators to increase engagement and collaboration between universities and the rapidly-growing alternative protein space. Annie comes from a background of development economics and sustainable food systems. Prior to joining GFI, she researched nutrition, early childhood development, and education in northwestern China with Stanford’s Rural Education Action Program. She holds an M.S. and a B.S. with Honors in Earth Systems from Stanford University.

Social Media and Entrepreneurship

 3:45 – 4:30 p.m. (EDT)

Clinical Professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration

Ray Jones teaches introductory undergraduate courses in business ethics and organizational behavior as well as advanced undergraduate courses in gender and diversity in management and governance and management. In the MBA Program, he teaches the required organizational behavior core course. For the past several years, he has served as coordinator of the Certificate Program in Leadership and Ethics (CPLE), in which more than 60 undergraduate students work toward the completion of the certificate as an enhancement of their undergraduate major. In addition to teaching, he plays a variety of advisory roles in a number of different student activities and pursuits in the College of Business Administration.