Founder of Team Brotherly Love & The Fine Companies
The founder and CEO of Team Brotherly Love and The Fine Companies, which include sunglass company Glass-U, medical app Dosed, and Boston based tutoring firm NexTutors. Team Brotherly Love has raised over $2 million for Type-1 diabetes research. Glass-U makes fully-folding sunglasses and is licensed to hundreds of universities and nearly every fraternity and sorority in the US. It has been featured at events ranging from The Rose Bowl to Lollapalooza and this past summer, was an official licensee to produce sunglasses for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Dosed is a mobile solution intended to
revolutionize the way that diabetics manage and track their insulin dosage. He has received the “President’s Volunteer Service Award” twice--from both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and is a Fellow of the Kairos Society, representing “the best and brightest of the next generations of entrepreneurs.”
Founder of Drive Change
Jordyn has spent the better part of her time in the workforce working with incarcerated youth. New York is one of two states that automatically arrests and tries kids as young as 16 as adults. Drive Change was founded because when young people leave jail/prison with felonies rather than juvenile adjudications they face immense barriers to employment/educational options. The road ahead is often paved with red-lights, stop-signs and dead ends. 70% of people under 24 who have been treated like adults in the criminal justice system will be re- intercepted by the system. Drive Change is a Fellowship opportunity that combines workplace experience and continued education to build skills, generate exposure, and infuse youth with a sense of self-worth. Drive Change uses the food truck workplace to run a year long Fellowship to broaden access for young people (ages 17-25) returning home from adult jail/prison so they can obtain preferential employment and educational opportunities.
Founder of Zuvaa
The Nigerian-American entrepreneur, who has a masters in human-computer interaction from Carnegie Mellon, became frustrated after being unable to find fashionable African-inspired clothing and accessories, so she created an e-commerce destination for merchants from across the diaspora to sell their wares. Zuvaa, which means “sunshine” in the Shona language from Zimbabwe, helps emerging African Fashion Brands streamline their process with an easy to use online platform for social selling and personal
shopping. She gives African Fashion Labels the tools they need to transform their brands, and bring authentic AfricanInspired Fashion to the main stream; celebrating the beauty of the African identity. “I want Africa to be seen as something beyond what the media portrays—it’s a place that does have a lot of happiness, vibrancy, and color and that’s not what is currently being seen. I want to change that. I want the happy, positive, and vibrant story for Africa to be told."
Vice President of Development at Pencils of Promise
Liezl Van Riper is a development/fundraising professional with 15+ years experience with award- winning non-profits and social enterprises. She serves as Pencils of Promise's Vice President of Development where she is responsible for shepherding the organization into its next phase of fundraising, focused on diversifying and expanding its donor base to ensure long term sustainability. Prior to Pencils of Promise, Liezl was the Director of Business Development for Kiva.org (East Coast U.S.
& Europe) where she launched Kiva's NYC operations through major grant & loan-capital partnerships with foundations and corporations. Prior to
Kiva, Liezl was the Director of Development for KickStart, a social enterprise NGO that enables smallholder farmers in sub Saharan Africa to increase income and food security. She was also the Director of Corporate & Strategic Initiatives at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), where she established IAVI's Corporate Partnerships program.
Founder/CEO of Benefit Kitchen
Melanie Lavelle’s work has focused on helping families move out of poverty for more than fifteen years.
In 2004, Melanie founded a non-profit consultancy company called Self-Sufficiency Solutions. The firm built a set of web-based programs that help low-wage workers access vital work supports to meet their basic needs (such as health insurance and food assistance) and helped caseworkers track their clients’ progress towards getting these benefits.
Due to the success of these programs Melanie pivoted to launch a platform and marketplace to work with non-profits, insurers and retailers. Benefit Kitchen is the first of it’s kind platform that connects working Americans with over $80 billion in unclaimed benefits such as Food Stamps, tax credits and health insurance.
SVP & Chief Marketing Officer at the NY Giants
It's been a good ride for the New York Giants and their CMO Mike Stevens since he joined the franchise in 2006, after spending nearly four years with the divisional foe Washington Redskins. During his tenure, the team has won two Super Bowl championships -- both dramatic victories over the New England Patriots, and has built a new stadium that will host the 2014 Super
￼Bowl.During the past few years, Mr. Stevens has helped the Giants revamp their content offerings, building out a mini-media business that aims to intimately connect fans
with the team's players in a way that mainstream media outlets often can't do. Under Mr. Stevens' leadership, the franchise has aggressively pursued social-media initiatives, integrating fan tweets into the telecast of preseason games and onto the big screen inside the stadium during home games. And the team also threw a social-media night before the Super Bowl, in which a few players hosted Google+ hangouts with some lucky fans.
Founder of Yoga Foster
The founder of Yoga Foster, with a mission to foster accessible, sustainable yoga programs in schools, empowering school teachers to create healthier, happier classrooms. Two years ago, Nicole Cardoza quit her job to do my nonprofit Yoga Foster full-time. At launch,she barely had a business plan and no money in the bank. All they had was a simple, volunteer-based program. Now, they have expanded nationwide and grown their staff to support teachers across the U.S.
Teachers access online teacher training platform and learn the foundations of secular yoga +
mindfulness in the classroom, while practicing on their own through curated resources from top instructors. Yoga Foster provides yoga mats and curriculum for teachers so they can teach full- length yoga classes and short 10 minute Yoga Bursts in the classroom, during the school
day. Yoga Foster has recently partnered with the First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign, Let's Move! Active Schools.
Artist & Founder of Niy Studios
Nisha is a Nigerian-Indian-American-raised singer and songwriter fusing pop, folk and hip-hop. As an artist, she's been fortunate enough to be a perform all over the country and at some of New York City's most renowned venues. She is currently finishing an EP, and her single Hard Liquor drops next week. In 2011, she founded Wildfire, a project which is connecting emerging artist and venues through a national network of live performances. She has been featured in the NYTimes, Wall St. Journal, and Huff Po Blog for her work with young artists.