WOMEN OF COLOR AND CAPITAL
MEET OUR SPEAKERS
Managing Director, Global Head of Corporate Engagement & President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation
Asahi Pompey is global head of Corporate Engagement and President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. In this capacity, Asahi serves as the firm’s primary liaison with the nonprofit organizations it supports, and identifies new partnerships to impact communities, furthering the firm's longstanding mission of service. Asahi also oversees the efforts to leverage the firm’s skills and expertise across its existing philanthropic initiatives, including 10,000 Women, 10,000 Small Businesses, Goldman Sachs Gives and Community TeamWorks.
Asahi joined Goldman Sachs in 2006 and was named managing director in 2010 and partner in 2018. Prior to her current role, Asahi worked with senior leadership of the Investment Banking Division to address the most pressing issues of the firm’s clients. She has served on a number of leadership committees at the firm, and was the co-chair of the Firmwide Black Network. She is a managing director ally for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network.
Asahi has seen first-hand the transformative power of philanthropy on communities, families and individuals. She spent herformative years in Guyana and immigrated to Brooklyn as a child, where she benefitedfrom scholarships that enabled her to attend high school in Japan, college and law school.
Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Asahi was an attorney with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, where she worked in their New York and Frankfurt offices. Asahi graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College and earned a JD from Columbia University, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an S.K. Yee Scholar.
COMMISSIONER LORELEI SALAS
Commissioner, New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)
Lorelei Salas was appointed commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) in May 2016. She is an accomplished labor law advocate who has been committed to fighting inequality throughout her career. As commissioner of DCA, Salas established the agency’s new, evolved mission—to protect and enhance the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. The mission and Salas’ focused voice are leading DCA’s protection, education, and regulation of the marketplace for consumers, businesses, and workers alike. Under Salas’ leadership, DCA’s efforts are directed towards industries in which predatory practices are prevalent and the agency regularly utilizes data to inform its strategic enforcement of consumer and worker protection laws.
In 2009, Salas was nominated by President Obama as the Wage and Hour Administrator at the United States Department of Labor. Prior to this, she worked at the New York State Attorney General’s Office in the Litigation and Labor Bureaus, investigating businesses for violations of state and federal labor laws and representing the Department of Health in litigation. Salas also held multiple senior management positions at the New York State Department of Labor, supervising worker protection divisions and leading strategic enforcement efforts.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Salas worked for several years as a social accountability consultant, assisting businesses in New York City with compliance issues primarily focused around labor law, safety and health, and tax laws.
She earned her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School and is admitted to practice law in New York State and in Federal Courts. Salas is also a proud CUNY graduate, obtaining her A.A. degree from La Guardia Community College and her B.A. from Hunter College.
Senior Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, TIAA
A leader at TIAA since 2006, Corie Pauling became the organization’s Senior Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer in July 2018. Corie was instrumental in the launch of the D&I function at TIAA over ten years ago and served as a primary legal and business advisor and thought leader in this area since that time. In her prior role, Corie held the position of Senior Director, Associate General Counsel in the Employment, Benefits & Labor Law Group, in which she provided counseling, training, risk assessment and other support to TIAA’s executives, its prior CDIOs and other Human Resources leaders and also business managers on a broad range of workforce issues, and she also managed employment litigation nationally. In the D&I space, she has extensive experience in strategy development, board interface, equal employment opportunity best practices, policy development, training/learning, metrics, data analysis and reporting, external partnerships and sourcing, pay equity, global workforce compliance, talent acquisition, workforce development, employee resource groups, culture surveys, federal contractor compliance and workplace investigations. Having partnered with nearly every area in the TIAA organization over her tenure, she has also led the Culture Action Team for TIAA’s Advocacy & Oversight area since 2016.
A former shareholder with the international employment law firm Littler Mendelson, P.C. and also Ferguson Stein Chambers in Charlotte, Corie’s experience includes counseling financial services institutions and other Fortune 500 companies as well as representing individual employees in employment and civil rights litigation. She has significant trial and appellate experience on civil rights matters. Having presented before the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the North Carolina Bar Association, the Practicing Law Institute, the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Society of Human Resources Management and other organizations, Corie frequently speaks at legal education programs on emerging employment law topics and D&I strategies.
Senior Director in Human Resources, Inclusion and Diversity., TIAA
Cathy Ivey is a Senior Director in Human Resources, Inclusion and Diversity. She’s accountable for all aspects of Inclusion and Diversity for TIAA’s Corporate Services lines of business where she’s responsible for designing, communicating and deploying inclusion frameworks to improve awareness and meet Inclusion goals for the organization. Previously, Cathy was responsible for TIAA’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) program which includes building and setting the strategic direction of Employee Resource Groups, defining the roles and responsibilities associated with the program, creating the strategic framework that will govern the activities of the group, the onboarding, support, and coaching of executive sponsors, national chairs, and chapter leads, the Employee Resource Group mentoring program as well as coordinates and facilitates enterprise-wide events.
During Cathy’s 30+ year career at TIAA she has always been focused on meeting clients needs. She began her career as a phone representative in the call center and has since contributed to the success of TIAA in roles as a Team Manager launching the hub in Denver, Colorado; Learning and Development Account Manager for the largest employee group at TIAA; Director of the National Contact Center, managing more than two million calls annually with more than eight hundred representatives, Lean Six Sigma Consultant and as a Senior Director leading large scale improvement projects for TIAA’s institutional clients. Cathy has worked in three of TIAA’s major hub locations, New York, Denver, and Charlotte.
In 2012, Cathy became a Master Facilitator of the McKinsey & Company’s Six Sigma Lean Process which included becoming a certified mindfulness coach. She was instrumental in building a program that enabled employees to be more self-aware, aware of others and supporting business transformation. Cathy experienced her own personal transformation during the certification. As she adopted mindfulness into her own life she became more engaged in facilitating groups and helping others to choose to build the transformational skills that will support them and their organizations during times of massive change, growth and transformation. Since 2012, she has delivered mindfulness coaching to a third of the TIAA organization.
Chief Executive Officer, Founder, iNTENT Manifesto
After 20+ years of wall street, technology, philanthropy and policy, Gayle (Gay-lä) is embracing her female superpowers to amplify social change. Her boldest endeavor to date is a social campaign and venture capital fund launched in 2018 to move $1Billion in capital to support women of color globally. iNTENT Manifesto, is a social movement and investment education platform focused on women of color (WOC) tech startups. She is transforming how local people, communities and public and private partners can support, invest, and celebrate WOC tech startups.
Inspired by the many women along her journey and the glaring financial market gaps, she is addressing wealth building in communities of color and access to capital for the fastest growing entrepreneurial sector – women of color.
Gayle is channeling wisdom from her investment banking, philanthropy, lobbying and marketing roles at JPMorgan Chase and Sun Microsystems. She is tapping into her learnings as a graduate of Wharton School of Business and University of Michigan, plus participation in 500VC Unlocked/Stanford University, the National University of Singapore and City of London Polytechnic programs.
She’s been responsible for developing and managing investment strategy, valuation, modeling and due diligence. She’s an active angel investor with investments in several women led startups.
Investment Analyst, New Voices Fund
Jaisa is a social impact and technology investor with a focus on supporting women of color entrepreneurs. She is a Jamaican-American raised in Atlanta and takes great pride in her passion for seeing potential in problems and connecting business outcomes with societal change. Her journey into the world of entrepreneurship began with helping small companies revamp their business models and develop streamlined fundraising strategies for seed-stage, angel-backed deals. The success of these projects enabled her to bring her talents to New York in 2016, where she was able to dive deeply into the city's startup and investment community. She believes that entrepreneurship is a critical element of building generational wealth in underserved communities and has found her purpose in helping underrepresented groups gain access to the resources needed to create and scale their businesses. As a member of the New Voices Fund investment team, she is grateful to have the opportunity to continue the work of building companies at the forefront of innovation and opportunity.
Marketplaces, Software Consumer, & Safe Space, Silicon Valley Bank
Denisha is based in New York and covers early stage tech at Silicon Valley Bank. In the early stage practice she covers marketplaces, consumer software, music tech, and travel tech. Denisha also spearheads Silicon Valley Bank’s Safe Space initiative which is a stakes free practice pitch session designed to help founders improve their fundraising outcomes. Prior to joining the early stage practice at Silicon Valley Bank Denisha founded an ed-tech startup in college designed to help colleges meet their enrollment goals as students applied for free.
Cloud Developer Advocate for Startups, Microsoft
Ruth Yakubu is a Cloud Developer Advocate for Startups at Microsoft; and also the founder of PoshBeauty.com. Ruth specializes in Java, Cloud, Advanced Analytics, Data Platforms and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
In addition she's been a tech speaker at several conferences like Microsoft Ignite, Devoxx, JavaWithBest, DeveloperWeek, TechSummit, Grace Hopper Dublin and several developer communities. Prior to Microsoft, She has also worked for great companies like UNISYS, ACCENTURE and DIRECTV over the years where she gained a lot of experience with software architectural design and programming.
Founder, Avant-Garde Network
Adeola Adejobi, Esq. is an attorney, entrepreneur, co-host and speaker. Adeola is the founder of the Avant-Garde Network (avantgardenetwork.com), the #1 social enterprise and social impact company focused on creating the next generation of black entrepreneurs and professionals. The mission of the Avant-Garde Network is to create social and economic impact through a collaborative ecosystem of industry executives, business leaders and entrepreneurs. She organically grew the company to engage over 5,000+ professionals annually hosting events, conferences and forums in the U.S. and internationally, including New York City, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Georgia, Austin Texas, Lagos, Nigeria, Johannesburg, South Africa and more. Avant-Garde Network also, advocates for Black professionals and diversity and inclusion through business education, recruiting, career development, thought leadership, panels, partnerships and events.
Adeola understands that meeting the career aspirations of professionals of color requires more than just the standard engagement. Knowing this, she created initiatives such as (i) Women of Color and Capital, (ii) Africa 2030, (iii) Diversity in Commerical Real Estate, (iv) Law, Tech and Innovation (vi) the Dealmakers Roundtable (vii) Diversity Dollars and Disruption: The Official South by Southwest (SXSW) Black Tech Meet-Up and (viii) the Venture Capital and Angel Investing Forum.
Adeola is the recipient of several awards, including the 2018 TOP 35 Millennial Influencers Award, the Congresswomen Yvette D. Clarke 2017 Shining Star Award, E. Randolph Williams Award for Pro Bono Service, the New York State Bar Association’s Empire State Counsel Award and the 2017 NV Magazine Mover and Shaker Award. She is a 2017 Council of Urban Professionals Fellow and she also sits on the Advisory Board of the National Black Law Students Association. Adeola is an active member of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, Council of Urban Real Estate, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Financial Advisor, MassMutual Metro New York
Lanre Oladipo is a Financial Advisor at MassMutual Financial Group. His practice focuses on Risk & Wealth Management for young professionals and entrepreneurs, families and business owners. Lanre is a Rising Star within the wealth management and financial advisory profession in NYC and he has successfully helped many of his clients put a plan in place to secure their financial future. Lanre can be contacted for Financial Planning, Insurance and Investment Planning, Retirement Planning, Business Planning, Group Employee Benefits, Business Succession Planning and Estate Planning.
President, American Impact Capital
Since 2009, he has served as an acquisitions advisor for the Hinduja Group, a privately-held multinational corporation. Peter recently served as Vice President of Development at the American Endowment Foundation, an independent donor-advised fund with $1.4 billion in assets and over 4,700 clients nationwide. He was previously a Business Development Advisor for Foundation Source which provides philanthropic advisory services to over 1,500 foundations, with $9 billion in assets under administration. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust. Since 2001, Peter has been a Trustee of the Lemmon Foundation, a conservation foundation. From 2006 to 2012, he was a member and served as Chairman of the Livelihoods Council at Save the Children, which provides agricultural assistance and microfinance services in the Developing World.
Efe Ukala is the founder of ImpactHER, an impact driven organization that focuses on bridging the financing gap for women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa. ImpactHER’s mission is to promote gender equality in Africa through the economic empowerment of women. The organization achieves its mission by helping African women business owners (i) access institutional capital for their business, (ii) scale their businesses while also helping them tackle business operational challenges, (iii) access new markets through the use of technology, and (iv) become investor-ready. ImpactHER has trained over 700 African female entrepreneurs in 25 African countries, on a pro bono basis, on how to run successful businesses and become investor-ready. ImpactHER’s intervention has, (i) launched over 100 African female-led businesses online, (ii) equipped dozens of women-led primary and secondary schools in Africa with Microsoft software, (iii) helped African women supply their products to U.S. vendors, and (iv) provided over $200,000 in intuitional funding to African female business owners to scale their business. A community of over 7,000 African women business owners from 28 African countries, ImpactHER ensures that no African female entrepreneur within its community is an entrepreneur in a vacuum.
Efe is also an experienced investment/private equity lawyer and has extensive experience in private and public investments arising out of frontier markets, inclusive of Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Rwanda. She has advised on investment worth over $15 billion in the U.S. market and over $300 million directed into Sub Saharan Africa. Currently, she serves as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at JP Morgan where she advises institutional investors.
Efe received her A.B. from the University of Chicago where she was a Jeff Metcalf Fellow and her J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law. Efe is a member of the New York State and New Jersey State Bars. She was an elected member of Board of the University of Chicago Black Alumni Association. Efe is passionate about advancing businesswomen and enjoys engaging in meaningful conversations on how to contribute to the growth of the African people.
Efe has been featured in Forbes and has also spoken at Harvard Business School’s Africa Business Conference, Columbia Business School, and the United Nations. Efe was appointed by the Ambassador of the African Union to the Americas to serve on the African Union, ADHI committee.
Ms. Dixon is an entrepreneur with work in venture, tech, and healthcare. She is Co-Founder of Soshel (pronounced "social"), a mental health and wellness tech startup. She is also a Venture Fellow at FundRx, a venture capital platform for the next-generation of healthcare and life sciences startups. She also served as a Due Diligence Fellow at the Keiretsu Forum, ranked the No. 1 angel group by PitchBook. Previously, she was Director of Operations of a tech startup and a Strategy & Operations Consultant at Deloitte. Ms. Dixon was honored at the White House as a Caribbean American 30 Under 30 and was an Obama White House Intern. She holds a master's and bachelor's degree from Columbia.
LORI ANNE DOUGLASS, ESQ.
Founding Partner at Douglass Rademacher LLP
Lori Anne Douglass's practice focuses on estate planning and business succession planning. This includes the transfer of family-owned businesses, the establishment of private and public foundations and strategic planning to assist clients in maximizing wealth preservation.
In the area of estate administration and estate litigation, Lori handles both contested and uncontested estate matters. Her estate litigation practice includes the representation of heirs, beneficiaries, disinherited family members, executors, administrators and trustees in contested probate proceedings before the Surrogate's Court, including the preparation and defense of the final accounting and related tax returns.
Lori also represents clients in the preparation of family agreements and resolving family disputes, including litigation if necessary. She advises on matters related to prenuptial, post-nuptial and co-habitation for both opposite-sex and same-sex couples. If disputes arise, she handles contested and uncontested divorce proceedings, child support and child custody. Her experience with custody and guardianship also extends to disabled individuals and elderly adults.
She is frequently interviewed for articles on estate and business planning and is a well-known lecturer at national conferences and continuing legal education seminars. Lori is a Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee of the Trusts and Estates Section of the New York State Bar Association. She received her B.A. from Swarthmore College and her J.D. cum laude from Syracuse University.
Head of Diverse Manager Equity, Colonial Consulting
Angela Matheny joined Colonial Consulting in July 2016 working with consultants and the research team to drive the firm’s diversity initiative to attract diverse managers, source, and monitor the internal vetting process of (MWBE) minority-owned and women enterprises. Ms. Matheny facilitates the constant communication between Colonial and diverse managers as the firm continues to build a robust pipeline of what it believes is a largely under-followed segment of the diverse asset manager marketplace.
On the client level, Ms. Matheny acts as a conduit in tracking diverse managers through outreach when recommendations and/or introductions are made by clients, while also providing statistical data of manager meeting activity, allocations, performance, and works to remove barriers to entry by pointing out challenges while sharing best practices for inclusivity.
Prior to joining Colonial, Ms. Matheny spent a stint of her career at a financial services law firm, Schulte Roth & Zabel, assisting attorneys in fund document formation and filings with the SEC. Working along with human resources, she later moved into the training and development division where she worked to mitigate SEC filing errors while also working toward the firm’s onboarding technical training, diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Angela received a Master’s of Public Administration at Metropolitan College of New York. She also earned a Certificate in Human Resources Management from Villanova University, which included studies in diversity and inclusion. Ms. Matheny earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Bernard Baruch College of New York.
Founder & Principle, HeartSpace NY Consulting
Simmone Taitt is a sales, innovation and growth strategy leader with experience in technology and startups. She has a knack for building businesses, creating blueprints for sustained revenue and building healthy sales organizations.
After working in tech startups for 14 years for companies like Gilt Group, SpaFinder (SpaBooker) and Handwriting.io, Simmone launched, HeartSpace NY, a collaborative consulting agency focused on companies that are seeking to accelerate revenue, are dedicated to investing in sales training and committed to creating a healthy sales ecosystem. She also holds office hours for founders and executives who are seeking a strong sounding board to make impactful decisions in an intuitive way for their organizations.
ALANA ST. AUDE
Director, Assistant General Counsel, Capital One
Alana C. St. Aude is Director, Assistant General Counsel at Capital One Bank, where she provides legal advice to investment professionals financing sponsor-backed and other corporate borrowers in leveraged finance, investment grade and other loans, with a focus on the Technology, Media and Telecommunications sectors. Alana advises as to market terms and risks, provides regulatory advice and implements strategic bank initiatives. Before joining Capital One, Alana was a Senior Associate in the Banking & Finance Group of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and began her legal career as a Corporate Associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
Alana is the Co-Founder of the Advancement Initiative, a network geared toward female lawyers of color who are mid-level in career in law firm practice and in-house in New York and New Jersey. She is also Co-Chair of the Corporate Law Section of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA). Alana has been selected as a Super Lawyer – Rising Star in Banking annually since 2015. She is also a recipient of the First Chair Award – Rising Star, which is an annual selection of in-house counsel who have, through their hard work and innovation, made significant contributions to the legal community. The award program honors the top in-house counsel for their
accomplishments in the past year in a wide range of categories.
Alana obtained her law degree from Harvard Law School, where she was a Student Attorney at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, and her Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, where she was a Cornell Tradition Fellow.
Director, MUFG Securities
Mbabazi Kasara has over a decade of experience advising companies, banks, and private equity funds on equity derivative and cross-border finance transactions. Currently a director in the legal department at MUFG, the world’s fifth largest bank by total assets, Mbabazi started her legal career at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton shortly after graduating from Harvard Law School. Mbabazi spends her time outside of work exploring opportunities to invest in real estate and small businesses and traveling whenever and wherever she can.
Founder, Trendsetter Legal
Natalee M. Vernon is founder of Trendsetter Legal, a boutique law firm providing counsel to both businesses and individuals on Social Media Marketing. She has over 10 years of experience as a legal practitioner. Prior to starting her own firm, she was Counsel in the Legal and Business Affairs division at Mattel, Inc. where she practiced Marketing and Advertising law. She worked extensively with Mattel’s core brand teams to help build and strengthen the company’s brands nationwide and globally. She negotiated and structured a number of multi-million dollar advertising and marketing deals/partnerships for the company. After graduating from law school, Ms. Vernon worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions department at Shearman & Sterling and in Corporate Compliance at Thomson Reuters.
Ms. Vernon is obsessed with cracking the code on financial independence. She currently advises Lendimax, a fintech startup seeking to provide access to capital for underserved markets. She talks about personal finance and more on her blog at www.mymoolahandme.com.
Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase
At JPMorgan, Izu counsels the various global businesses and data scientists of the Corporate and Investment Bank on their data use initiatives, including projects using artificial intelligence and other emerging technology. One recent initiative that Izu was a part of was the Interbank Information Network, a blockchain-powered cross-border payment product. Izu advises on and negotiates vendor agreements and projects that involve the sharing and use of JPMorgan's proprietary information. She opines on and helps to implement the strategy and process for sound data use and sharing governance practices for the Corporate and Investment Bank. In addition, Izu's practice touches on privacy and intellectual property.
Prior to joining JPMorgan, Izu worked as a Senior Associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP. At Cleary Gottlieb, she focused on intellectual property, commercial and antitrust litigation. Izu also advised on intellectual property rights in technology focused M&A deals and drafted agreements to help clients protect their intellectual property. Also, she led pro bono teams in advocating for issues impacting women in Africa.
Izu is a Board of Trustee for Westover School in Middlebury, CT, an all-girl college preparatory boarding school and her alma mater in Connecticut. Izu is also a Junior Board Member of the Council for Economic Education based in New York.
Izu graduated magna cum laude from Howard University School of Law and the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering with a degree in Electrical Engineering.
Director, New York Life Ventures
Selena Singleton has committed to helping fledgling businesses to grow from Silicon Valley to Main Street. She is currently a director in the Business Development group at New York Life Ventures. At New York Life, Selena crafts strategic partnerships between New York Life’s businesses and technology startups that are relevant to the organization. Prior to New York Life, Selena worked at Gusto, a SaaS platform that helps small business owners to take care of their employees. She began her career at UBS on the investment-grade credit desk. Selena has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Howard University. Selena is also a mentor at the Founder Institute.
Project Manager, iFundWomen
Maya is New York based Product Manager, Educator, Speaker, and Entrepreneur. Fueled by her passion to create new ideas (and perhaps a bit too much Cold Brew), Maya enjoys helping fellow entrepreneurs & tech enthusiasts reach their full potential. She is currently a Product Manager at iFundWomen, a crowdfunding ecosystem for women-led businesses.
Co-founder and Managing Partner of New Age Capital
Ivan is the co-founder and Managing Partner of New Age Capital, a seed stage-focused venture capital firm investing in tech and tech-enabled startups founded and led by Black and Latino entrepreneurs solving real world problems. A strong advocate for the democratization of entrepreneurship and innovation, he is passionate about the use of technology to make the world more accessible and beneficial for all.
Alongside New Age Capital, Ivan is the co-founder of real estate technology company CNERGY which empowers people to build multi-generational wealth through real estate investments.
Executive Director, Technology and Disruptive Commerce Group - Middle Market Banking at J.P. Morgan
Leyonna Barba is a high-performing, self-directed and strategic investment and corporate banking professional with an established track record of delivering impactful results by developing and executing transformative financial services initiatives. Experienced in implementing viable financial product solutions, increasing banking and business investment efficiency, and deepening key client relationships. Skilled in Capital Markets, Corporate Finance, Financial Transactions, Investment Banking, Commercial Banking and Financial Analysis. Strong business development professional with a MBA focused in Business Administration and Management from Columbia Graduate School of Business. Adept at providing independent and sound advice to corporate clients. Passionate about diversity and inclusion initiatives focused on wealth generation and career development.
Senior Director, SAP
Kange Kaneene has spent 11+ years at the intersection of technology and business working in the enterprise software industry. She is a Senior Director of Business Development at SAP, the world’s largest enterprise software company. She is currently focused on expanding SAP's ecosystem in the space via investments in startups, partnerships, acquisitions and joint go-to-market.
Ms. Kaneene has a passion for diversity and creating equally distributed access to opportunity. She is on the selection committee and a mentor for entrepreneurs as a volunteer for Defy Ventures, a non-profit organization that invests in founders who are currently or formerly incarcerated. Additionally, she is a member of NYC associate board for Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) NYC. KIPP NYC is a network of public charter schools with high minority and low-income populations that matriculate to college at more than double the rate of low-income students nationally and complete college at five times the rate of their peers.
Kange has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Michigan and a Master of Business Administration from New York University Stern School of Business. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and loves international travel, cooking, dancing, karaoke, Michael Jackson and spending time with friends and family.
Founder, Base Butter
She'Neil Johnson is a skilled marketing strategist with experience in digital and on-land campaign management, brand strategy, creative direction, and user testing and research. I’ve worn a number of hats, but they all address one thing: creating a platform for people, things, and ideas' stories to become memorable human interactions.
Founder and CEO, Perfect Pitches
Precious L. Williams, is a 13-time elevator pitch champion who has sold her services to Fortune 500 companies with great success. Our clients, as well as Precious have appeared on “Shark Tank,” The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, MSNBC for the power of the “killer” pitch. Second to none, Perfect Pitches understands what it takes to create the perfect pitch and presentation for any occasion. Since 2013, we have researched and know the needs of our clients as well as their target market, and approached them appropriately, yet boldly and confidently. Administration and Management from Columbia Graduate School of Business. Adept at providing independent and sound advice to corporate clients. Passionate about diversity and inclusion initiatives focused on wealth generation and career development.
Executive Director, Invest Africa US
SANDRINE NZEUKOU is the Executive Director of Invest Africa US and drives the strategic vision of the non-profit organization in the US and work to grow its selective membership base, providing access through Invest Africa’s global network connecting investors to opportunities on the continent.
Prior to joining Invest Africa US, Sandrine was a strategic project manager and consultant serving individual and institutional investors, and financial professionals at Vanguard investment firm which operates over $4.3 trillion in global assets under management. As a business consultant, Sandrine advised clients on corporate strategy within the drone SAAS industry, behavioral healthcare, and clinical research industries.
A former professional athlete, Sandrine represented her home country in the 2011 and 2015 FIBA Olympic qualifying women’s basketball tournaments in both Mali and Cameroon and served as an ambassador for the Cameroon Basketball Federation. She holds an MBA and B.S. in Marketing from University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Founder and CEO, Sinclair Social
With over 15 years of experience in marketing and business development in the social enterprise, luxury merchandising, and publishing industries, Ayme Sinclair knows what it takes to wow an audience. Ayme is the CEO and founder of Sinclair Social - a social media agency that helps companies grow their following and tell compelling stories.
Ayme has worked with industry leaders such as Condé Nast, Hearst Design Group, Face Africa and Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Young Leaders. She has also contributed to campaigns such as Hillary Clinton and Close Rikers Island. Additionally, she has worked for retail giants Henri Bendel, Simon Malls, and entertainment and fashion innovators Vera Wang, Russell Simmons, and Sean Combs.
Ayme has expertise in:
- social media growth & engagement, executing marketing campaigns, branding, strategic partnerships
Ayme is a competitive sailor who wants women of all backgrounds to embrace the sport. She sails with Sweet Caroline, a New York-based team that's half female and represents eight countries. She also holds a Masters in Graphics Communication Management from NYU, a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from Virginia Tech.
Renee King is a social impact entrepreneur passionate about getting every black female founder funded! In 2019, she co-founded FundBLACKWomen, an organization creating funding pathways for black women founders. FundBLACKwomen was started in response to the lack of capital & resources afforded to black women founders. Renee's professional background includes pharmaceutical sales, strategy consulting, business advisory & development. Prior to FundBlackWomen, Renee founded TechUrElders, a tech-enabled service offering technology tools & tips to help you care for your elders.
Event Manager, Zapier
Erinique is an event manager, brand strategist and creative problem solver. She creates innovative multi-platform consumer experiences that drive business goals and positively impacts company culture.
Erinique has a deep passion for Diversity and Inclusion. Recently, she successfully co-produced her first Techstars, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs Startup Weekend, a Diversity influenced event in New York City.
Inspired by seeing a need for women and minorities who are underrepresented, under-utilized, under-funded, have less access to resources in the tech and startup space, exposure to tools and skills in the startup world.
Erinique’s enthusiasm aligned with the goals for the event, which brought together people of diverse backgrounds, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic upbringing, talents and interests.
She also, founded her own wellness tech company that she’s currently working on in New York City. Her startup is a product and mobile app that provides women with a healthy alternative to help their wellness needs from the comfort of their homes.
JASMINE N. RICHARDS, CFA
Head of Diverse Manager Research, Cambridge Associates
Jasmine N. Richards, CFA joined Cambridge Associates in 2018 as Senior Investment Director, Manager Diversity to lead the firm’s ongoing imitative to identify and research institutional-quality investment managers in all public and private asset classes that have diverse owners or leaders, including women and people of color.
A highly experienced investment research executive, Ms. Richards has over fifteen years of both buy and sell side experience. Prior to joining Cambridge Associates, Ms. Richards worked at FIS Group as an International Equity Manager and Research Analyst responsible for identifying and managing investment strategies, with an emphasis on diverse-owned asset managers. Additionally, Ms. Richards has previously worked in several manager research, sales and client management roles at several other firms.
After beginning her career at Bear Stearns in the Private Client Services division, Ms. Richards transferred her financial experience to the Institutional Trading Desk at Oppenheimer & Co. While at Oppenheimer she was subsequently promoted to the sole Research Associate for the Institutional Investor ranked Chief Market Technician. As a Research Associate, she prepared weekly research notes focusing on the technical analysis of over 550 equities, options and commodities for a client base of over 2,500 institutional investors.
While at State Street Global Advisors, she also served as a portfolio manager in their Global Equity Beta Solutions team and Investment Solutions Group. Ms. Richards holds an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business where she concentrated in Finance, Accounting and Strategic Management. While at University of Chicago, Ms. Richards also studied Emerging Markets at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She also attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the New York Institute of Technology for her undergraduate education. She is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Philadelphia where she currently serves on the Board of Directors as Treasurer.
Consultant, Ernst & Young LLP
Ivy Mbayah is a consultant in the Advisory practice of Ernst & Young LLP. She has experience in serving leading banks in the financial services industry with a focus on credit risk and capital management, Board of Director’s reporting, operational risk oversight and regulatory compliance.
Ivy brings her passion for African development to the workplace by leading EYs Americas-Africa Market Network (AAMN), with the mission of being the pre-eminent connector and influencer in the EY US and Africa marketplace ecosystem. She also works to recruit diverse talent through EYs Advancing Black Executives (ABE) network as well as the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA).
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with first class honors in Economics from Clark University. Prior to joining EY, she also studied at the London School of Economics.
Senior Associate, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Jomaire Crawford Booth is a senior associate at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. She joined the firm in 2012. Jomaire’s practice centers on complex commercial litigation and white collar investigations with a focus on
securities and antitrust lawsuits, contract disputes, business torts, cross-border criminal and regulatory enforcement proceedings, anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, and Swiss data protection and bank secrecy laws. She has
litigated cases from inception through trial, in state and federal courts, and before arbitral tribunals.
Representing both plaintiffs and defendants, including institutional investors and Fortune 500 companies, Jomaire has served on teams that have both obtained multi-million dollar settlements and defeated multi-million dollar
counterclaims. She has litigated a variety of claims, including violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, state blue sky laws, breach of contract, professional malpractice, and breach of fiduciary
duty. She has also successfully settled disputes without resort to litigation.
Jomaire has also maintained an active pro bono practice since joining Quinn Emanuel in 2012. Her representations include serving as lead counsel in a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of a pro se pretrial detainee—for whom Jomaire obtained a favorable five- figure settlement following extensive discovery—and pursuing legal immigration status for a political asylum seeker and human rights activist fleeing persecution in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Committed to leadership and public service, Jomaire has also served as a board member, co-chair, or pro bono legal
counsel for numerous organizations, including the New York Legal Assistance Group, Federal Bar Counsel, the
Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA), the Association of Black Women Attorneys (ABWA), and the
Advancement Initiative (AI). Jomaire is also a 2019 Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) Fellow, and a member
of the New York City Bar Association and National Bar Association.
Jomaire earned her law degree from Yale Law School in 2012 and received her undergraduate degree in English, summa
cum laude, from St. John’s University in 2009. Among other recognitions, Jomaire was named to the “Power 100”
list of influential black attorneys, and St. John’s Alumni “10-Under-10” Rising Stars Award in 2017 in recognition
of her pro bono practice and commitment to diversity in the legal profession.
President and Chief Investment Officer at Metis Global Partners
Machel is President and Chief Investment Officer at Metis Global Partners. She leads the firm’s business strategy efforts as well as the investment team responsible for researching and managing the firm’s portfolio strategies. Machel’s investment career spans over 26 years, including 10 years with Brandes Investment Partners where she led the quantitative investment team that designed and implemented the investment process used by Metis today.
Prior experience includes Lord Abbett, as an Equity Analyst to international and domestic portfolios, as well as institutional investment consulting roles at LCG Associates and Watson Wyatt. Machel earned an MBA in Investments from the Robinson Business School at Georgia State University (GSU) and a BBA in Finance from GSU. She is a Past President and Board Director of the CFA Society of San Diego and a member of the Chicago Quantitative Alliance (CQA). Machel is also an Advisory Board Member of The Brandes Institute.
METIS GLOBAL PARTNERS is an independent, employee- and woman/minority-owned investment firm dedicated to the management of global and international equity portfolios, with strategies spanning the full range of large to micro-cap opportunities. Led by 26-year industry veteran and President and CIO, Machel Allen, the Metis team is made up of a diverse group of investment professionals with experience that spans both quantitative and fundamental disciplines. Metis was founded in 2013 and is located in San Diego, California.
JOHNITA WALKER MIZELLE
Head of Investor Relations and Ecosystem Development, The Americas Anthemis Group
Johnita is Head of Investor Relations and Ecosystem Development for the Americas at Anthemis, the global venture investment firm dedicated to cultivating change in financial services. In this role, Johnita oversees strategic client management, business development and portfolio company success across the Americas.
Prior to joining Anthemis, Johnita was Head of Business Development and member of the Executive Committee for LM Capital Group, a global credit manager. In her role, she managed consultant relations, sales and marketing for the $5 billion asset manager. During her tenure, she led the team’s restructuring and strategic client acquisition strategy. Johnita began her career at Goldman Sachs in the equities division and has subsequently held senior roles at The Williams Capital Group, Progress Investment Management Company and Lyxor Asset management.
Johnita currently serves on the board of the Council of Urban Professionals and is an advisory board member of Perspectives Charter School in Chicago. Her interest in financial literacy and international business has taken her to assignments across the globe, including South Africa, Syria and Western Europe. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Spelman College as a NASA Scholar and received her Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. There she received the Morgan Stanley Fellowship and Dean’s Award.
Cheryl is passionate about the intersection of finance, technology, and social impact. She is a principal at Republic, a one-stop-shop for founders to raise capital from both accredited and non-accredited investors. She is focused on introducing underrepresented founders to these alternative funding sources in order to help their startups thrive. Previously she worked as an analyst in private equity in Connecticut with an emphasis on minority and women entrepreneurs. She started her career in finance at Barclays in the investment banking division. She graduated from Harvard College in 2015 with a major in economics.
Head of Corporate Development, TIAA
Ms. Zarifa Reynolds is the Head of Corporate Development at Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), and is responsible for corporate M&A, corporate finance, strategic venture capital investing as well as corporate strategic projects.
In the more than 5 years that Zarifa has been at TIAA, she has worked on significant projects such as the Nuveen acquisition, the Nuveen financings, the MyVest transaction, the Everbank transaction and the Everbank financing. She has also managed strategic projects such as integrating certain treasury and commercial functions between TIAA and TIAA Bank as well as helping the institutional business to develop its health and financial wellness strategy and go-to-market strategy for a TIAA HSA product offering.
Prior to joining TIAA’s corporate development team, Zarifa was the lead M&A lawyer reporting directly to the Chief Legal Officer. She started her career at TIAA as a member of the asset management law group where she worked on corporate transactions such as private placements, senior and mezzanine financings, energy and infrastructure deals, and private equity investments. Zarifa served as a leader of TIAA’s Political Action Committee and currently is the co-chair of TIAA’s New York African and Caribbean Employee Resource Group.
Prior to joining TIAA, Zarifa was a partner at Greenberg Traurig, an international law firm. In the 10 years that she worked at Greenberg in New York City and Miami, Florida, Zarifa worked on numerous US and cross-border M&A and financing transactions. Zarifa started her legal career at Shearman & Sterling in New York City.
Ms. Reynolds is a board member of the Harvard Law School Association of New York City. She received a JD from Harvard Law School and a AB in Political Science from Brown University.
Director, New York Ventures at Empire State Development
Momo is an early stage venture capital investor at New York Ventures, New York State’s venture capital fund. Prior to joining New York Ventures, she has worked with the Women’s Fund at Alumni Ventures Group and other VCs. She has also worked at JP Morgan and has over ten years of experience as revenue growth/Business development/sales specialist with C-level clients, VCs and founders in a wide range of industries and sizes. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs building their businesses. She has worked with VC backed FinTech, AdTech, AgTech, SaaS, Sustainability, Life Sciences, and AI startups. Momo is a Mentor to early stage companies at WeWork Labs and SAP i.O.
Momo holds an MBA from Cornell University/Cornell Tech and a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University.
New York Ventures, Empire State Development
New York Ventures is a $100 million venture capital fund that focuses on Series A investments and considers occasional and opportunistic seed rounds throughout New York State. The Fund provides critical funding to promote the commercialization of new technologies, encourage job creation and drive economic growth. We provide capital for first-time CEOs and/or founders and consider industry segments and geographic regions not adequately served by the venture community.