Thursday Keynote Speaker
Paul Saginaw co-founded Zingerman’s Delicatessen in 1982. All he wanted at that time was a great corned beef sandwich and an organization with soul. Zingerman’s started as 1300 square feet of combined restaurant and specialty food retail space, run solely by Paul, his co-founder, and two employees. The Zingerman’s Community of Businesses now has 17 partners, employs over 500 people and generates over $40 million in annual sales from eight separate businesses: Zingerman’s Delicatessen (including Zingerman’s Catering), Zingerman’s Mail Order, Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Zingerman’s Training Inc., Zingerman’s Coffee Company, Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Zingerman’s Creamery, and Zingerman’s Candy Manufactory. Paul believes that he has been successful in spite of the fact that he has limited natural talent and abilities because he has always believed that the only real limits are those of vision. Paul also believes that if in fact he has any talent at all it would be the ability to pick great partners.
- Mr. Saginaw is delivering the Keynote Address “Creating Community with Business” at 1:00 PM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
- Mr. Saginaw will also be a panelist for “Supporting Entrepreneurs with More than Money” at 1:45 PM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Friday Keynote Speakers
Tyler Gage is the co-founder and co-CEO of Runa, a social enterprise that makes energizing beverages with guayusa (“gwhy-you-sa”), an Amazonian “super leaf” that has as much caffeine as coffee and double the antioxidants of green tea. Runa now supports over 3,000 farming families in Ecuador that grow guayusa organically, and Runa products are sold in over 8,000 stores across the US and Canada. Tyler turned down a Fulbright grant so that he could co-found Runa, for which he was named a Forbes “30 Under 30 Entrepreneur” in January 2013 and the Citizen Leader of the Year Award in January 2014 by the Specialty Food Association. For his work with Runa, Tyler has been featured by National Geographic, Men’s Fitness, and in Richard Branson’s book “Screw Business as Usual.” In his free time, Tyler enjoys playing soccer, practicing yoga, traveling, and eating good food. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
- Mr. Gage is delivering the Keynote Address “When Mission Drives Margin” at 1:00 PM Friday in Conference Room 1.
Sasha Dichter is Chief Innovation Officer at Acumen, a nonprofit venture capital fund that invests in companies, leaders and ideas to change the way the world tackles poverty. He also speaks and blogs about generosity, philanthropy and social change, and is the author of the Manifesto for Nonprofit CEOs, and the creator of Generosity Day 2011, a reboot of Valentine’s Day.
- Mr. Dichter is delivering his Keynote Address, “Innovation and Impact” at 5:20 PM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Presenters, Panelists, & Facilitators (Alphabetical Order)
Kevin Adair is the President of Fuego del Sol Haiti, which is part of the MCN 2015 Cohort. FdS Haiti collects, sorts, upcycles, and recycles waste products into usable products engaging underutilized source fuel resources in Haiti to produce ecological fuel briquettes to fight Haiti’s deadly charcoal addiction. FdS Haiti also designs, manufactures, and distributes the improved cookstoves and related technologies that connect ecological biomass cooking with Haitian culture, and thus creates long-term living-wage jobs.
- Mr. Adair is presenting at the CleanTech Green Grab at 3:00 PM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Mitra Ardron is the CEO & co-founder of Lumeter Networks, which was part of the MCN 2012 and 2013 Cohorts. Mitra brings decades of business savvy and technical skills, as well as thorough knowledge of issues creating barriers to economic development in emerging economies. Prior to Lumeter, Mitra supported and incubated innovators’ ideas that have practicable potential to achieve significant impact to alleviate poverty and environmental harm in both the developed and developing world. Mitra has previously managed a solar company that pioneered community purchasing in Australia; developed core protocols for the internet; and has two decades of cleantech, internet, and emerging market commercialization experience.
- Mr. Ardron is presenting remotely at the 3:45 PM Friday Company Updates session in Conference Room 1.
Andrea Armeni is co-founder and Executive Director of Transform Finance, an organization that works to advance a vision of finance as a tool for social change through impact investing. Transform Finance engages with investors, accelerators, and community leaders, providing thought leadership, and advisory services as well as developing tools to deepen impact, such as standards around job quality, impact audits, and alternative, non-extractive deal structures. Andrea is the lead convener of the $600 million Transform Finance Investor Network, a community of practice for family offices, foundations, and funds exploring a social justice and social change approach to their investment practice.
- Mr. Armeni is on the “Financial Innovation for Social Benefit” panel at 11:00 AM Friday in Conference Room 1.
Donnel Baird is the CEO of BlocPower, a 2013 Finalist in the WJF/MCN Sustainable Business Plan Competition. BlocPower markets and finances a portfolio of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to nonprofits, churches, small businesses, and charter schools in American inner cities.
- Mr. Baird is presenting at the 1:45 PM Friday “Company Updates” session in Conference Room 1.
Sarah Brooks is a Life and Professional Coach based in Washington, DC. She works with people who want to create social impact through their work while maintaining a healthy life balance. Sarah has successfully worked with individuals to start businesses, change sectors, lose weight, and accelerate their careers. She is also a mentor coach with Accomplishment Coaching in NYC, a graduate of Brown University, and a two-time NCAA champion in rowing.
- Ms. Brooks and Ms. Jutze are leading “Martyrdom in Social Change: How to Avoid Burnout and Build a support System” at 3:00 PM Friday in Private Dining Room 4.
Dr. Chantal Line Carpentier is the chief of the NYC office of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Prior to that, she was actively involved in the successful negotiations of the SDGs for the Division for Sustainable Development of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. During her time with DESA, she acted as Major Groups coordinator to enhance non-state actors’ engagement with the UN system on sustainable development. She facilitated the participation of more than 10,000 non-state actors’ participation in the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. She was also focal point for sustainable consumption and production, food security, and sustainable agriculture. Prior to her UN career, she served as Head of the Trade and Environment Program of the NAFTA Commission for Environmental Cooperation from 2000 to 2007, as policy analyst for the Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture from 1998-2000, and as a post doc for IFPRI in the Brazilian Amazon from 1996-98. She is a Yale World Fellow and has consulted for UNDP, World Bank, OCDE, and USDA.
- Dr. Carpentier is giving a welcome speech from the UN on Thursday morning between 9:30 and 10:00 AM in Conference Room 1.
Josephine Chu is the founder of Zenful Bites, which was in the 2013 and 2015 MCN Cohorts. The mission of her company is to cultivate a sustainable, healthy, and just food system in the Washington, DC metro area via providing conscious food education programming and offering holistic eco-catering services.
- Ms. Chu is presenting at the 1:45 PM Friday “Company Updates” session in Conference Room 1.
Wayne Curtis, Ph.D is co-founder and managing partner of Curtis Concepts, LLC, an advisory services firm providing executive-level expertise in economic development, strategy, policy, and government relations. Curtis Concepts was part of a team that set up the US Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), a $1.5 billion targeted small business lending initiative. Dr. Curtis is on Mentor Capital Network’s Board of Directors. Dr. Curtis is an MCN mentor.
- Dr. Curtis is a finalist judge for the William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition on Thursday morning at 10:15 AM and Friday at 10:00 AM.
Sophie Eckrich is the CEO and co-founder of Teysha, a 2014 Finalist in WJF/MCN’s Sustainable Business Plan Competition. Teysha brings together customers and skilled artisans to create beautiful goods which empower people to connect and ally to craft a global culture of action, opportunity, and respect for People and Nature, one hand-made, quality creation at a time. Ms. Eckrich is an MCN mentor..
- Ms. Eckrich is presenting at the 5:00 PM Thursday “Company Updates” session in Conference Room 1.
- Ms. Eckrich will also be a featured respondent during the “Getting the most out of your mentor!” session at 3:00 PM Thursday in Breakout Room A.
Dawn Edwards has more than 25 years of institutional relationships formed through her work at global capital markets firms, nonprofit organizations, and her co-founder role in leading global business development, corporate engagement, and marketing strategy at Pomegranate Consulting. Most recently Dawn managed institutional investor and issuer relationships as Senior Managing Director of Institutional Markets at Mission Markets, an impact investing capital markets firm based in New York City. In 2006, Dawn co-founded AltruShare Securities, LLC, the first institutional brokerage firm specializing in community investment, and the only nonprofit owned brokerage firm. Dawn continues her passion for community service by serving on the board of the National Disability Institute, a leading advocacy group for disability policy in the United States..
- Ms. Edwards is serving as a finalist judge for the William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition on Thursday morning at 10:15 AM and Friday at 10:00 AM in Conference Room 1.
- Ms. Edwards is also on the “Financial Innovation for Social Benefit” panel at 11:00 AM Friday in Conference Room 1.
David Evitt is the CEO and co-founder of Estufa Doña Dora, a 2015 Finalist in the William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition. Estufa Doña Dora offers a vertically integrated model of flexible financing to sell clean, efficient cookstoves in Guatemala to the 735,000 families that rely on wood for their cooking needs.
- Mr. Evitt is presenting as a finalist in the William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition at 10:15 AM on Thursday in Conference Room 1.
- He will also be on the “Where New Technology Meets Old Culture” panel at 11:15 AM on Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Marissa Feinberg is PR & Brand Director of MissionHUB and co-founder of Impact Hub NYC. She has launched six design for social innovation startups and has a track record in sales and partnership in retail-cause marketing. Ms. Feinberg is an MCN mentor.
- Ms. Feinberg is on the “Supporting Entrepreneurs with More than Money” Panel at 1:45 PM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Ian T. Fisk is the Executive Director of Mentor Capital Network. Previously, Mr. Fisk was the CEO of ITF Consulting, Inc. and Director of Projects for Wall Street Without Walls. His professional experience also includes helping to launch the AmeriCorps*VISTA Entrepreneur Corps and designing the database that tracks AmeriCorps members for the federal government. Mr. Fisk is an MCN mentor.
- Mr. Fisk is serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the event
Jason Force is the Founder and CEO of Iron Goat, which was in the 2014 MCN Cohort. Iron Goat is developing a technology for creating biomass pellets directly from a standing farm crop, cutting out expensive middle steps that drive up cost. This technology is a disruptive breakthrough in providing pelletized biomass products at better financial margins, impacting prices in both the energy and livestock industries. The harvester is self-fueling, self-guided, and can run day and night without an operator.
- Mr. Force is presenting at the CleanTech Green Grab at 3:00 PM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Stefan Friedman has more than a dozen years of venture capital experience, including management of an internet-startup incubator and a seed-stage investment fund. He is the Board Chair of Mentor Capital Network, and the coordinator of MCN’s Green Grab program. Mr. Friedman is an MCN mentor.
- Mr. Friedman is leading the Clean Tech Green Grab at 3:00 PM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Eden Full is the Founder and CEO of SunSaluter, a 2014 Finalist in the WJF/MCN Sustainable Business Plan Competition. The SunSaluter supports impoverished communities in meeting their needs for both electricity and clean water. Using the weight displacement of water passing through a filter, the SunSaluter rotates solar panels throughout the day to optimize energy collection by up to 40%.
- Ms. Full is presenting at the 1:45 PM Friday “Company Updates” session in Conference Room 1.
Charles Gillig is the CEO and co-founder of RemitRight, a 2015 Finalist in the William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition. RemitRight is a cost comparison website that allows you to quickly compare sites and find the service that meets your needs of international money transfers, a “KAYAK for remittances.”
- Mr. Gillig is presenting as a finalist in the William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition at 10:15 AM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Sandeep Giri is the Project Lead for Rural Micro Grids of Gham Power, a 2014 Finalist in the WJF/MCN Sustainable Business Plan Competition. Gham Power provides Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems for residential and commercial buildings, bringing the highest quality solar technology to Nepal at affordable prices via its exclusive partnership with US-based Solar Power Inc., and with Nepal-based Clean Energy Development Bank that provides financing. Gham Power provides Solar PV systems that are reliable, affordable, and clean, at costs lower than a conventional generator.
- Mr. Giri is presenting remotely at the 1:45 PM Friday “Company Updates” session in Conference Room 1.
Jeremy Gorelick is Managing Director of Capital Markets for the Affordable Housing Institute, a partner of the MCN. He is a development economist with a geographic focus on the global South and a passion for creatively solving complicated financial dilemmas.
- Mr. Gorelick is presenting at the 1:45 PM Friday “Company Updates” session in Conference Room 1.
Johan Hammerstrom is President of Community IT Innovators. He has always been interested in using technology as a force for good that can improve the world. In college, he pursued this interest through science, first studying Chemistry, Physics, and Biology at Stanford University. John went on to study Biophysics at Johns Hopkins University and received a Masters Degree. The time he spent in Baltimore convinced him that there were more pressing and immediate problems that technology could and should be used to address. John left academic science and pursued a career in Information Technology, with the express goal of improving our communities and our world. Mr. Hammerstrom is an MCN mentor and a longtime provider of professional service prizes to MCN finalists.
- Mr. Hammerstrom is leading a workshop “Leveraging IT for Success: Plan, Build, and Maintain” at 4:00 PM. Thursday in Private Dining Room 4.
Neal Henderson, founder and President of FrontRow Performance Coaching, is an experienced Organizational Development Consultant and Coach based in Northern Virginia. He has spent over 30 years creating successful organizations that are grounded in organizational and leadership development practices. A former Navy Master Chief Petty Officer, his extensive public and private sector experience ranges from developing leaders and managers, leading complex change efforts, increasing human performance, and developing high performance teams. He possesses expertise in Management and Leadership Coaching and Development for individuals, executives, and teams. Mr. Henderson is an MCN mentor.
- Mr. Henderson is leading a workshop “Creating a Vibrant, Engaged Workplace Culture” at 4:00 PM on Friday in Breakout Room E.
Joe James is the President of Agri-Tech Producers, LLC which was in the 2012 and 2014 MCN Cohorts. He is a serial entrepreneur with 33-years of experience in economic development and USDA technology commercialization. He is a biomass leader in the Southeast, a 2013 ARPA-E Future Energy Pitching Event Semi-Finalist, a 2011 Clemson University LaunchPad Competition Winner, and a 2008 Purpose Prize Winner for his Greening of Black America Initiative. Mr. James holds a BS in Science, from Union College, and has studied Law and Business at NYU.
- Mr. James is presenting during the 5:00 PM “Company Updates” Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Kimberley Jutze is Chief Change Architect at Shifting Patterns Consulting, which was in the 2011 MCN Cohort. Shifting Patterns is a B Corporation that facilitates social change by working alongside changemakers to enhance their financial and organizational sustainability. Throughout her career, Kimberley has helped organizations in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America determine their strategic direction, secure funding, and build stronger teams. Kimberley has a Master of Science in Organization Development and a Master of Arts in International Politics. Ms. Jutze is an MCN mentor and donor of professional services to our prize pool.
- Ms. Jutze and Ms. Brooks are co-leading “Martyrdom in Social Change: How to Avoid Burnout and Build a support System” at 3:00 PM Friday in Private Dining Room 4.
Jason Kass is the CEO of Toilets for People, a 2015 Honorable Mention in the William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition. Toilets for People (TfP) sells affordable and sustainable composting toilets, sanitation consulting services, and training in local capacity building to charity organizations serving communities living in the developing world where conventional sanitation solutions like pit latrines and flush toilets fail.
- Mr. Kass will be on the “Where New Technology Meets Old Culture” panel at 11:15 AM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Will Kennedy is the Senior Programme Officer at the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP) at UN Headquarters in New York. Mr. Kennedy joined the Office for Partnerships in 1998 where he is responsible for oversight of a large portfolio of global development projects being implemented by the United Nations with funding support from the UN Foundation. He also provides regular advice and counsel to corporate, foundation, and NGO executives on strategic opportunities for collaborating with the United Nations. He brings considerable experience in international development, including project planning, development and management, having worked with several non-governmental organisations and UN agencies.
- Mr. Kennedy is introducing Chantal Line Carpentier and providing part of the UN Welcome at 9:30 AM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Avary Kent was a member of the 2006 MCN Cohort. Now coordinating Conveners.org, Ms. Kent blends scientific analysis, business acumen, and operational expertise to bring new companies and products to market. She has an MBA in Sustainable Enterprise from Dominican University and started her career in Impact Investing with HIP Investor where she helped develop the HIP Check Private Equity Scorecard. She has served as a start up executive for Impact IQ, The Happiness Institute!, and Puzzlebox. She has also been an advisor/mentor/competition judge since 2006 for various organizations including MCN, Investors’ Circle, Relay Foundation, Social Innovation Challenge, and SOCAP Entrepreneur selection. Ms. Kent is an MCN mentor and longtime partner with the MCN in building support networks for social entrepreneurs.
- Ms. Kent is moderating the “Supporting Entrepreneurs with More than Money” panel at 1:45 PM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
- She is also leading the Conveners.org Meeting at 3:30 PM Thursday in Breakout Room B.
Tami Kessleman is the Chief Solutions Officer at SolveForGood “Helping Individuals & Organizations Achieve Smarter Impact.” Whether in her early work with the U.S. Council for Int’l Business, as a Consultant for Bain, Director for global strategy at American Express, or in current client work, board appointments, and advisory roles — including at the Harvard iLab, UN Office for Partnerships, and Broadline Capital for their health and energy sector work — Tami is known for her focus on project-based capacity building and her ability to rapidly identify downside risk in impact programs and help clients connect the dots to fix problems before they occur. Ms. Kessleman is an MCN mentor.
- Ms. Kesselman is presenting “BEST Practices for Scaling Impact” at 3:00 PM Friday in Conference Room 1.
Cynthia Koenig is the founder and CEO of Wello, which was in the 2011 MCN Cohort. Wello is an award winning social venture that co-creates disruptive innovations designed to provide better, more reliable access to safe water. She has lived and worked on four continents, and incubated and consulted on the launch of ventures of all shapes and sizes, ranging from community-run businesses in Latin America to a national strategy for sustainable tourism development in Bhutan.
- Ms. Koenig is presenting at the Cleantech Green Grab at 3:00 PM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
- She will also be on the “Where New Technology Meets Old Culture” panel at 11:15 AM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Stein Kretsinger is a serial entrepreneur and investor with over 15 years of experience successfully growing online marketing and consumer credit businesses. Presently the Director of Project Development at Elder Research Inc., Mr. Kretsinger has also served as the CEO of Loan Page, an internet-based mortgage marketing company, and as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Battery Venture. Mr. Kretsinger was a founding executive of advertising.com, one of the largest online media networks, and a business manager at Capital One, where he used credit scoring to book over two million accounts presently valued at $160 million. Additionally, Stein serves on the Board for Retail Relay and UniQlick. He holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. Mr. Kretsinger is an MCN mentor.
- Mr. Kretsinger is launching a partnership with the Mentor Capital Network that will be discussed in the MCN portion of the “Company Updates” at 1:45 PM on Friday in Conference Room 1.
Tatiana Krylova is Head of the Enterprise Branch, Division on Investment and Enterprise at UNCTAD. Her duties inter alia include supervision and coordination of activities of the Entrepreneurship programme at UNCTAD, including intergovernmental discussions and advise on SME and entrepreneurship policies, research and analysis, as well as technical assistance in this area. Since 2004 she supervises Empretec programme, which focuses on entrepreneurship skills development and is delivered now in more than 35 countries around the world with more than 350 000 graduates since its inception in 1989 in Argentina. She is also responsible for the Business linkages programme which helps small companies in developing countries to upgrade their capacities through linkages with large international companies and integration into global value chains. Before joining UNCTAD in 2000, Tatiana was a partner in KPMG Russia and CIS, responsible for reforming accounting systems in these countries towards international requirements and standards. She holds a Ph.D degree in Accounting and Enterprise Performance from Moscow State University in Russia.
- Dr. Krylova is giving a welcome speech from the UN on Thursday morning between 9:30 and 10:00 AM in Conference Room 1.
Sunita Kumar is a business consultant and the founder of Nourish Nutrition, Inc. After spending over a decade at leading consumer brands and agencies launching products and campaigns, Sunita now brings her expertise as a marketer and consultant to entrepreneurs and companies looking to better understand their target customer and optimize business growth. Sunita is particularly passionate about helping health focused and socially minded entrepreneurs get ahead with smart business strategies. Sunita holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Michigan – where she was a scholar for the William Davison Institute in Africa. She also holds a Bachelors of Science in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University, and is currently obtaining a Masters of Science in Functional Nutrition. Ms. Kumar is an MCN mentor.
- Ms. Kumar is leading the “Target Markets and Buyer Personas” workshop at 3:00 PM Thursday in Breakout Room E.
Matt Lee is the MCN’s senior research advisor, and an Assistant Professor at INSEAD in Singapore, where he teaches the core strategy course in the INSEAD MBA program. In his research, he studies how businesses respond to institutional pressures to take responsibility for social welfare and environmental sustainability. His related research considers topics including hybrid organizations, corporate social responsibility, impact investing, and social entrepreneurship.
- Dr. Lee is presenting remotely with updates on MCN Research Projects from Singapore at 10:00 AM Thursday in Conference Room 1
Carly Leinheiser is an Associate Attorney at Perlman & Perlman, LLP, where she advises public charities, private foundations, and social enterprises, including benefit corporations, on a wide range of matters. Her practice includes corporate formation and governance, tax-exempt compliance, fundraising and cause marketing, intellectual property, open licensing, and technology and privacy issues. Ms. Leinheiser regularly counsels clients on the formation and dissolution of nonprofit organizations, and the establishment of hybrid legal structures that combine traditional business strategies with mission-oriented approaches. Ms. Leinheiser is an MCN mentor.
- Ms. Leinheiser is leading the “Cross-Sector Collaborations” workshop at 3:00 PM Friday in Breakout Room A.
Sahed Mahmud is the co-founder of Eccolizer Pvt. Ltd., which was a 2013 prize winner in the William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition. Eccolizer aims at solving the food crisis of Bangladesh by providing low-cost bio-fertilizer prepared from the sugarcane bagasse, a wastage.
- Mr. Mahmud is presenting during the 9:30 AM Company Updates on Friday in Conference Room 1.
Ravi Mantha is an angel investor, author, sustainable farmer, and mentor to social enterprises. He currently has over 20 active investments. From 2001-2011, Ravi was co-portfolio manager of Fidelity’s Select Global Equity fund, a $35 billion fund investing in public markets. Ravi splits his time between Singapore and India, where he is also active in major public policy initiatives supporting social change. He is a chartered financial analyst and holds a BA in liberal arts from the University of Puget Sound. Mr. Mantha is an MCN mentor.
- Mr. Mantha is leading the “Achieving Growth valuations for social enterprises” workshop at 3:00 PM Thursday in Private Dining Room 4.
Peter Mellen is the founder of Netcito, an entrepreneur support organization which has been highly valued by the MCN. Mr. Mellen has spent 10 years involved with online education, including 2 years managing an AOL product. He is also a LEED accredited professional and real estate investor who has pioneered programs to finance building improvements, and launched one of the first PACE programs in the USA. Mr. Mellen is an MCN mentor.
- Mr. Mellen is on the “Supporting Entrepreneurs with More than Money” panel at 1:45 PM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Christine LeViseur Mendonça is the founder of Shore to Shore Advisory, an impact investment advisory firm, working exclusively with clients who want to put financial return seeking capital to work in positively changing the world. At 21, Christine managed the due diligence process for Gerdau Ameristeel’s 2004 NYSE Equity and Bond Offering. By the age of 26, Christine led or co-led the integration of $187 MM in acquisitions (6 companies, 27 locations) and supported in the integration of another $4.5 BN of assets. Christine is an active speaker on impact investment and engaging women into the investment process. Ms. Mendonça is one of the most enthusiastic, engaged, and expert mentors on the MCN team.
- Ms. Mendonça is leading “Getting the most of your mentor” at 3:00 PM Thursday in Breakout Room A.
- She is also leading “Investor Readiness” at 4:00 Friday in Breakout Room A.
Mark Meytin is the CEO of 1000 Ecofarms, a member of the 2015 MCN cohort.
- Mr. Meytin is presenting at the 1:45 PM Friday Company Updates session in Conference Room 1.
John E. Nelson is Managing Director of Wall Street Without Walls, a national financial technical assistance / capital markets access program helping community economic development organizations access the capital markets. He has 35 years national experience in community / economic development finance and partnerships with additional expertise in environmental policy, education and training. Mr. Nelson, along with Mr. Chuck Dell, are the co-founders of the MCN. He is an MCN mentor.
- Mr. Nelson is moderating the “Financial Innovation for Social Benefit” panel at 11:00 AM Friday in Conference Room 1.
Pamela Owens is the Vice President of Programs at the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. Ms. Owens established the Federation’s Each One, Teach Many (EOTM) financial literacy train-the-trainer program. In addition to her work at the Federation, Owens serves as a judge on the Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Literacy Committee and is Secretary of the National Disability Institute (NDI) Board of Directors. She has worked on several steering committees throughout New York looking at the need for bilingual adult education programs. Prior to joining the Federation, Ms. Owens worked in higher education for ten years developing post-secondary training, counseling and academic advisement programs for adults and at-risk youth. She holds a Master of Science in Adult Education and Human Resource Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Fordham University. Ms. Owens is also certified as a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE).
- Ms. Owens is on the “Financial Innovation for Social Benefit” panel at 11:00 AM Friday in Conference Room 1.
Femi Oye is the co-founder and CEO of SMEFUNDS, a 2014 finalist in the William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition, and an international social enterprise fighting to end poverty through the promotion of sustainable enterprise development in Africa. He is also a Renewable Energy Senator, recipient of World Youth Leader’s Award, UNDP/BOI Renewable Energy facility Award winner, African Social Enterprise Award, and Social Entrepreneur. The ongoing projects of SMEFUNDS include Green Collar Job Fellowship, Access to Finance and Go Green Nigeria.
Thomas Seoh is the President and CEO of Eqalix, a 2015 Finalist in the William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition. Eqalix is developing the first plant-based skin substitute wound dressing, to replace currently marketed products that are made from culturally sensitive sources (cadavers, embryonic materials, cows, pigs), which may be sold at disruptive prices due to a cost structure roughly 1/10 that of current products.
- Mr. Seoh is presenting as a finalist in the 2015 William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition at 10:00 AM Friday in Conference Room 1.
Samit Shah is an insurance professional responsible for information management and reporting. He is focused on enterprise risk management and finding ways to visualize data. He is an MCN mentor.
- Mr. Shah is co-leading the “Liability Insurance for Startups” workshop at 4:00 PM Friday in Private Dining Room 4.
Abby Jo Sigal is a New Visions Dreamyard Fellows with the James and Judith K. Dimond Foundation and a former Senior Vice President of Syndication at Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. where she oversaw strategic initiatives and cultivated new business opportunities in the Northeast region. Prior to joining Enterprise in 2001, Ms. Sigal worked for Strategic Economics, where she focused on affordable housing, transit-oriented development and project financial feasibility. She serves on the Boards of of Palladia, Inc., and Citizens Housing and Planning Council.
- Ms.Sigal is on the “Financial Innovation for social benefit” panel at 11:00 AM Friday in Conference Room 1.
Patty Simonton is the Director of Venture Support for StartSomeGood: a 2013 member of the MCN cohort, and a crowdfunding platform for social entrepreneurs and changemakers around the world. She serves on the Board of Directors for Artomatic and Playa del Fuego, and is the Producer for FIGMENT DC. She earned her BSBA at Georgetown University and her MBA and Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Simonton is an MCN mentor.
- Ms. Simonton is presenting during the 5:00 PM Company Updates on Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Jo Singel is the founder of WORLD+. From the school-yard to the board rooms of corporate America and the one-room storage closet where she founded her own enterprises, Jo Singel has always been focused on working with others to achieve their visions and bring them into reality. At the core of her work is always the question of “Who, what and how will individuals be affected by the decisions made by those with the power and leadership to change people’s lives?” Today, Jo Singel has, as her mission and vision, dedicated her life’s work to sharing lessons learned, knowledge and information on how to successfully drive change so as to achieve entrepreneurial goals, most especially in the world of social impact and sustainability. Ms. Singel is an MCN mentor.
- Ms. Singel is presenting “How to use ‘Knowledge of Change'” at 4:00 PM on Friday in Conference Room 1.
Robert Snyder is an Incubator Manager at Bethesda Green, a nonprofit sustainability organization and partner organization to MCN. He is an MCN mentor, and has worked in economic development and entrepreneurship support for many years.
- Dr. Snyder is on the “Supporting Enterpreneurs with More than Money” panel on Thursday at 1:45 PM in Conference Room 1.
Seisei Tatebe-Goddu has been part of the MCN cohort twice — in 2010, and in 2015 as the Managing Director of Covalent. She has 8 years of experience in international development, social entrepreneurship, and social impact consulting in 15 countries.
- Ms. Tatebe-Goddu is presenting during the 11:05 AM Company Updates on Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Spencer Taylor is the co-founder of Evaptainers, a member of the 2015 MCN cohort. Hispassions focus on the stewardship of the natural world and the improvement of society through technology and efficiency. After graduating with honors from Middlebury College with a degree in Environmental Studies he worked with a multitude of companies to help them package their message and value proposition effectively to attract customers and drive business. After working in business development for three separate companies in three separate industries he founded his first company Launcht. Spencer bootstrapped Launcht and managed the company successfully for 4 years working with large institutions and international organizations to help them activate their donor bases and further their mission.
- Mr. Taylor is on the “Where New Technology Meets Old Culture” panel at 11:15 AM Thursday in Conference Room 1.
Lauren Thomas is the founder of Mozambikes Limitada, a finalist in the 2012 William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition. Mozambikes is a Mozambican business created to address the transportation needs in the developing world by offering bicycles at prices affordable for low income Mozambicans. The business is a for-profit social venture, seeking profits to scale the social mission, which is to alleviate poverty through efficient transportation. Ms. Thomas is an MCN mentor.
- Ms. Thomas is presenting remotely from Mozambique during the 9:30 AM Company Updates on Friday in Conference Room 1.
Scott Tillitt is the founder of Antidote Collective, Beahive, and Re>Think Local. He is equal parts strategist, publicist, marketer, social entrepreneur, nonprofit leader, and writer. Scott has 20 years of experience and a broad perspective promoting ideas, products and services in various culture-shaping (and sometimes suffocating) worlds — advertising, media, interactive design, photography, technology, television and fashion. Catalyzed by 9/11 and an ongoing process of spiritual and social awakening, he broke the trance of an increasingly cynical consumer culture and started applying his corporate-honed skills to social impact. He has an insatiable interest in big ideas and the behaviors that drive people, what resonates with them, and how to engage them. Mr. Tilliett is an MCN mentor.
- Mr. Tillit is presenting the “BRANDIDOTE: High-Impact branding” workshop at 4:00 PM Thursday in Breakout Room A.
Nicole Van Der Tuin is the CEO and co-founder of First Access, a finalist in the 2013 William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition. Ms. Stubbs has experience across Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. She is an emerging thought leader in innovations for access to capital, winner of the William James Foundation Sustainable Business Competition and Pipeline Fund competition, and selected as a PopTech Social Innovation Fellow and a StartingBloc Social Innovation Fellow, among other awards.
- Ms. Van Der Tuin is serving as a finalist judge for the William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition on Thursday morning at 10:15 AM and Friday at 10:00 AM in Conference Room 1.
Julius Walls Jr. is the pastor of Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church in Yonkers, NY and the President of Greater Centennial Community Development Corp, the nonprofit arm of a 6000+ member church. Rev. Walls has worked in business, academia, and ministry serving as Chief of Staff of Greater Centennial Church, CEO of Greyston Bakery, a $7 million social enterprise, as VP for a $23 million chocolate manufacturing company, as an adjunct professor at the business graduate schools, Stern NYU and Bainbridge Graduate Institute, is a published author, and serves on several local and national nonprofit and government boards and graduated from Concordia College, NY.
- Mr. Walls is on the “Supporting Entrepreneurs with More than Money” panel at 1:45 PM thursday in Conference Room 1.
Meg Wirth is the President of Maternova, a 2011 Finalist in the WJF/MCN Sustainable Business Plan Competition. Maternova is a web-based global marketplace that tracks and sells goods/services that save the lives of mothers and newborns. They make it easy for doctors, nurses and midwives to track innovation and to buy technologies and kits to use overseas.
- Ms. Wirth is presenting during the 1:45 PM Company Updates on Friday in Conference Room 1.
Emily Woods is the co-founder of Sanivation, a 2015 Finalist in the WJF/MCN Sustainable Business Plan Competition. She believes simple engineering solutions can change the world. She is responsible for Sanivation’s innovative technology designs and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. A selection of her work includes drilling water wells in Central America with Living Water, designing solar systems for Yellowstone National Park, prototyping solar latrines in Chile, and she was the Sanitation Engineer for WSUP in Naivasha, Kenya.
- Ms. Woods is presenting as a finalist in the William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition at 10:00 AM Friday in Conference Room 1.
Alexandra Wrobel has been with Zurich Insurance for almost five years in various roles. She first joined Zurich as a Summer Intern doing credit analysis for the Trade Credit & Political Risk group and then rejoined Zurich as a Global Associate after business school. After completing four rotations throughout the US and abroad, Alex joined the Professional Liability claims team in NY and eventually decided to move to Financial Lines Underwriting. Alex underwrites Directors & Officers Liability, Employment Practice Liability, Fiduciary Liability, and Transactional Risk.
- Ms. Wrobel is co-leading the “Liability Insurance for Startups” workshop at 4:00 PM Friday in Private Dining Room 4.
Diana Yousef is the founder and CEO of Change:WATER Labs, a member of the 2015 MCN cohort. She works with early-stage spin-out ventures commercializing university-generated technologies in the cleantech, sustainability, mobile tech, life sciences and global health spaces. She leverages experience in the life sciences, academia, strategy consulting, venture finance, and emerging markets private sector development. She helps startups to navigate the various challenges around early proof-of-concept, business plan development, product development, market strategy, and financing. In addition to working with purely for-profit technology startups, she also works with early-stage technology- and innovation-based social impact ventures that aim to develop and launch novel products and services to benefit “base-of-the-pyramid” (BoP) consumers in under-developed economies.