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Our Panels

Finance - Marketing - Social Enterprise - Consulting - Entrepreneurship

Finance Panel


Katie Omstead - Moderator
Analyst at Goldman Sachs
Katie Omstead         Katie graduated from Columbia University in 2010 with a BA in Economics and Political Science. At Columbia, she was four-year member and senior captain of the Columbia Women's Swimming and Diving team. She also served as Secretary and Community Service Chair on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, was a three-year member of Columbia of the Columbia Women's Business Society, and was involved in the Columbia Community Outreach program.
        After graduating, Katie joined Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management in 2010 as a financial analyst, following a summer in the Investment Banking Division at Barclays Capital. At Goldman Sachs, she has been working in the Partners Coverage Group within PWM since July of 2010.


Isabelle Aussourd
Executive Director in the Diversified Industries Coverage group at J.P. Morgan
Isabelle Aussourd         Isabelle Aussourd is an Executive Director in J.P. Morgan's Diversified Industries Coverage group based in New York. She mainly covers multi-industrial and some other diversified companies, and has gained significant experience in M&A advisory, Equity and Debt capital markets issuances.
        She relocated to New York in 2005, from the French M&A Advisory group in the Paris office of J.P. Morgan she initially joined in 2002. Prior to joining full-time, she had completed an internship with J.P. Morgan's General Industries Advisory team in London in 2000. In addition, Ms. Aussourd had previously gained extensive exposure to the finance industry through various internships with major Financial Institutions (including Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, HSBC, KPMG, Generali among others) in Paris, New York, and London.
        Ms. Aussourd graduated from the Institut Etudes Politiques de Paris, France with a Masters' equivalent majoring in Business and Finance and holds a Master of International Affairs (MIA) from Columbia University (SIPA), New York.


Eliza Davison
Private Wealth Advisor in the Investment Management Division at Goldman Sachs
Eliza Davison         Eliza graduated from Williams College in 2006 with a BA in Biology and Art Studio. During her time at Williams College she was class president. Since graduation she has been instrumental in growing Goldman's recruiting efforts on campus as well as fundraising for the Alumni Fund. Eliza was born and raised outside of Seattle, Washington and moved to New York in 2006.
        Eliza has been working within the Private Wealth Management Group at Goldman Sachs since the Fall of 2006, after spending a summer at Christies Auction House. She now develops and manages relationships of wealthy individuals and families, advising them on ways in which to build and protect their financial assets through equity, fixed income, alternative investments and other asset classes. As an advisor she is responsible for executing trades, monitoring portfolio holdings, re-balancing portfolios, prospecting for new relationships and servicing existing clients.
        In her free time, Eliza enjoys skiing, running and hiking.


Tzu-San Hung
Analyst in Financial Institutions Group at Credit Suisse
Tzu-San Hung         Tzu-San Hung is an Investment Banking Analyst in the Financial Institutions Group at Credit Suisse. Since joining Credit Suisse in 2010, Tzu-San has focused on mergers & acquisitions, recapitalizations and capital raising transactions for asset management and insurance companies. Tzu-San graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Economics and Hispanic Studies. Tzu-San was born in Taiwan, raised in Ecuador and currently lives in Manhattan. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and Zumba dancing.




Bina Kalola
Head of Global Strategic Direct Investments at Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Bina Kalola         Bina Kalola is Managing Director and head of Global Strategic Direct Investments at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In this role she is responsible for managing a combined global strategic investments portfolio, including identifying strategic opportunities and driving investments across strategic areas of focus. She collaborates with senior management to determine platform strategies, competitive positioning and cost-saving opportunities through strategic investments.
        Prior to this role, Kalola was a Director and Assistant General Counsel at Merrill Lynch where she was responsible for the execution and management of the firm's international and domestic proprietary acquisitions and divestitures across global business areas. She was also the lead attorney on structuring and negotiating domestic and international joint ventures and strategic alliances globally.
        Kalola was also active on the Audit Committee and Finance Committee of the Board of Directors at Merrill Lynch, working with Corporate Audit on auditor independence oversight, analysis of rules and authoring policies and procedures related to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. She was one of three attorneys selected globally to participate in the 2004 Global Management Development Program and was also selected to participate in the Management 2005 Laureate Program.
        She is also actively involved with the Global Banking & Markets Women's Leadership Council, several industry groups and in recruiting at Barnard and Columbia.
        Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Kalola worked at NetProphets, a start-up company that incubates proprietary and client business plans in Australia and India. She was involved in all aspects of business development, including capital raising, structuring and developing business strategy.
        Before that, she practiced Corporate Law at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and was an analyst at Salomon Brothers from 1991-1994.
        Kalola holds a JD from Georgetown University and a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University.


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Marketing Panel


Selena Soo - Moderator
Director of Business Development and Operations @ Claudia Chan Media
Selena Soo       Selena is the Director of Business Development and Operations at Claudia Chan Media, a women's lifestyle media brand dedicated to inspiring women to dream big and create positive change in their lives. Launching in March 2012, we offer empowering editorial and video content (on www.claudiachan.com), as well as transformational events featuring today's influential female leaders. Prior to Claudia Chan, Selena was the Senior Program Manager at Step Up Women's Network, a national nonprofit membership organization where she helped launch the New York office as its second full-time staff member. She has also worked as an Associate at 85 Broads, a professional network for women from the world's leading graduate and undergraduate schools. She received her B.A. at Columbia University in 2004 and will be graduating from NYU's Stern School of Business in May 2012, where she is specializing in marketing and entrepreneurship. Check out her twitter, @selenasoo.


Ayesha Ahmad
Loyalty and Retention Marketing Team leader at J. Crew
Ayesha Ahmad         Ayesha Ahmad heads up J.Crew's Loyalty and Retention Marketing team. Prior to J.Crew, she was a Sr. Director of Marketing at the Gilt Groupe where she oversaw all corporate marketing initiatives and headed up the company's loyalty program for its top members.
        Prior to joining Gilt, Ms. Ahmad ran Trunkt, a company she co-founded. Trunkt is an online wholesale marketplace connecting independent artisans with independent retailers.
        Ms. Ahmad graduated from NYU's Stern School of Business and Mount Holyoke College.




Roben Allong
Market Strategist / Researcher at RealityCheck Inc.
Roben Allong         Roben Allong is a Reality Check market research consultant with over two decades of marketing and consumer trend analyst experience. She began her creative career in the early 90's as a music talent and cultural trend spotter helping media powerhouses, Warner Music Group and Bertelsmann A.G., identify and market international pop music artists, brands and emerging global trends. As Vice President of Worldwide Artists & Repertoire at Bertelsmann A.G., she co-chaired the global committee that helped develop such global branded superstars as N'Sync, Alicia Keys and Usher among others.
        Requests from Conde Nast, MTV and later, beer giant Anheuser-Busch, to share her unique trend and marketing expertise evolved into her current affiliation with RealityCheck Consulting Network. High profile clients relying on her research and trend expertise in evaluating new concepts and brand repositioning, especially among young adult and African American consumers, include MTV Networks, Nestle-Purina, COTY Beauty Inc., Ford Motors and Anheuser-Busch InBev.
        As co-chair of the New York Metro Chapter of the QRCA (Qualitative Researchers Association), she presents emerging consumer trend research seminars at various organizations and universities such as Fashion Institute of Technology and Health and Beauty Global Expo. Follow her trend forecasting on Twitter @ trendiwendii.


Christina Beaumier
Director of Global Client Development at Xaxis
Christina Beaumier         Christina Beaumier is Director, Global Client Development of Xaxis, a digital advertising company. As Director, Christina is responsible for driving worldwide revenue growth for Xaxis through the development of strategic relationships with agency partners and their clients. Christina is instrumental in the definition and commercialization of new products for agencies and advertisers that improve the return on digital advertising dollars.
        Immediately prior to her current role, Christina worked in a similar capacity as Director, Strategic Engagements of the Media Innovation Group (MIG), a WPP company.
        Before Christina worked at the MIG, she was Associate Director at Millward Brown Optimor where she led management consulting teams in developing brand strategies for Fortune 500 companies to improve their financial return on marketing activities. Christina has lived on four continents; including two years in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Burkina Faso.


Sandra Gabriele
President of Marketing & Communications at Boots North America
Sandra Gabriele         Sandra Gabriele was appointed Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Boots North America in April 2008. For nearly four years, she has been responsible for overseeing all North American communications for the Boots brand including advertising, events, marketing, promotions, publicity, social media as well as website development and management. Her execution of integrated marketing and communications programs has raised the company profile and driven sales since the onset of Boots International's US introduction. Throughout an impressive 18 year career in the beauty industry, she has led multiple cross-promotions, advertising and both media and consumer support to successfully launch numerous product lines. Gabriele was instrumental in re-launching Boots' website and fostering a strong Social Media platform as well as promoting the brand's expansion into beauty retailer ULTA, additional Target stores and its new e-commerce functionality through ShopBootsUSA.com.


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Social Enterprise Panel


Addavail Coslett - Moderator
Consultant for ACCION International and Business Manager for Alba Collective
Addavail Coslett         Addavail Coslett works in microfinance and fair-trade fashion. She currently works as a consultant for ACCION International, and serves as Busin ess Manager for Alba Collective (a fair-trade fashion initiative based in India). Addavail has worked in India, Tanzania and Kosovo. She holds a MSc. in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.




Melissa Beck
CEO of Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT)
Melissa Beck         Melissa M. Beck, Esq. is the Chief Executive Officer of Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering those without lawyers to successfully self-advocate in Family Court. Ms. Beck holds day-to-day responsibility for LIFT's program services, administration, fiscal management, and the implementation of the strategic plan. Prior to joining LIFT in 2003, Ms. Beck served in leadership roles at CASES (the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services) and the Vera Institute of Justice. Before entering the non-profit field, Ms. Beck practiced law for nearly a decade as a criminal defense attorney and as an Assistant District Attorney in the Appeals and Sex Crimes Bureaus of the Kings County District Attorney's Office. Ms. Beck is the author of numerous articles on non-profit administration, programming, and legal issues. She received her B.A. from Hampshire College, and her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.


Stephanie Bonovich
Manager of Recruitment at Teach for America
Stephanie Bonovich         Stephanie Bonovich grew up in Sacramento, CA. She attended StanfordUniversity and graduated in 2009. After graduating from Stanford, she joined Teach For America in the Bay Area region. She taught 6th to 8th grade math and science in East Palo Alto, CA.
        During her corps commitment, Stephanie took on fundraising and development responsibilities for the TFA Bay Area network. She was chosen to stimulate corps member giving and helped lead a directive to increase current corps member giving from 40% to 60%. To meet this goal, she managed a campaign of outreach via phone, email, and video design that asked second-year corps members to give back before becoming alumni.
        Currently, Stephanie serves as a Recruitment Manager for Teach For America, leading recruitment campaigns at New York University and Princeton University. She manages multiple teams of college seniors and handles outreach with several hundred college seniors on both campuses. She works with underclassmen to educate them about Teach For America, so that by the time they enter their senior year, they are well versed on the organization and the application process.
        In the past three years, Stephanie has come to value a role in which she loves the work she does and feels motivated by the mission that drives her organization.


Catherine (Katie) Orenstein
Founder and Director of The OpEd Project
Katie Orenstein         CATHERINE (KATIE) ORENSTEIN, Founder and Director of The OpEd Project, has contributed to the op-ed pages of the New York Times, Washington Post and Miami Herald. Her commentaries on women, politics, popular culture, mythology and human rights have been nationally syndicated and appear in anthologies. She has lectured at Harvard and appeared on ABC TV World News, Good Morning America, MSNBC, CNN and NPR All Things Considered. A graduate of Harvard (MA) and Columbia (MA) universities, she is the author of Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality & the Evolution of a Fairy Tale, which explores stories told about women over 500 years across multiple continents, and how they shape our lives today. It has been translated into multiple languages and is under consideration for a television series. Newsweek called it "revelatory," The Wall Street Journal called it "beguiling," and feminist author Naomi Wolf called it "laid back, readable brilliance."
        Orenstein has lived and worked around the world and particularly in Haiti, where she traveled as a folklore student and journalist in the 1990s, during a time of political upheaval. As a result of that experience, she has reported extensively on Haiti; organized fact-finding delegations for journalists, scholars and lawmakers; and consulted with the United Nations human rights mission. In 1996 she worked with a team of international human rights lawyers to assist victims of military and paramilitary violence in seeking justice. She investigated tortures, rapes, political assassinations and massacres; interviewed hundreds of victims, witnesses and alleged criminals; and coordinated lawyers' and victims' efforts to build cases against their persecutors. She has written about some of these cases and their aftermaths in Haiti and in the United States.
        Orenstein has received a Peabody-Gardner Fellowship, Tinker Grant and a Cordier Essay Prize (from Columbia University), and was a finalist for the 2004 Prize for Promise, designed "to identify young women, aged 21-35, of great promise and vision who could... become world leaders in their respective fields." She is a fellow with The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, and a fellow of the Echoing Green Foundation, which selected The OpEd Project as one of 19 of the most innovative social enterprises worldwide, out of a pool of 1500 applicants.


Rachel Silver
Community Manager at Birchbox
Rachel Silver         Rachel is the Community Manager at Birchbox, a NYC start-up which provides a subscription service for deluxe beauty samples along with editorial content and an e-commerce shop. Prior to joining Birchbox she was instrumental in launching Movements.org, an organization focused on providing social media resources for human rights activists. At Movements.org Rachel managed digital strategy as well as three global summits in NYC, Mexico City, and London. Rachel's passion for social media and start-ups began when she moved to NYC and joined Howcast Media after completing a Masters in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society development at the American University of Paris. Rachel holds a B.A. in International Affairs from Michigan State University, consults on social media/digital strategy, and lives in Brooklyn Heights.


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Consulting Panel


Sarah Decker
Senior Business Associate at Grant Thornton LLP
Sarah Decker         Sarah Decker is currently a Senior Business Associate in the Business Advisory Services practice at Grant Thornton LLP which is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International, a world leading organization of independently owned accounting and consulting firms striving to speak out on issues that matter to business. Sarah is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with vast experience managing large, global, multi-department projects across various industries. With a strategy-oriented approach to improving business capacity, Sarah has experience in designing and implementing superior action plans to solve a variety of issues and enhance business practices. Sarah received her B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University in 2007. While at Columbia she was a 2-time captain of the varsity Cross Country and Track & Field teams, a board member of various student organizations, a 3-time board member of CWBS and co-founder of CWBS's annual women's leadership conference.


Margarita Brose
Director of Operational Risk Management at Barclays Capital
Margarita Brose         Margarita (Ari) Brose is presently a Director at Barclays Capital in Operational Risk Management. After earning her MBA at The Wharton School, Margarita embarked on a ten year career in management consulting with PricewaterhouseCoopers and its successor, IBM Management Consulting Services. As part of the Financial Services group, her clients included Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, American Express and BNP Paribas. Building on her experience as a member of the Enforcement Division at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Margarita focused on providing compliance and risk advisory services to her clients. A 1984 graduate of Barnard College and an active alumna and former Trustee of the College, Margarita earned her J.D. at the George Washington University Law School.


Jieh Greeney
Consultant at McKinsey
Jieh Greeney         Jieh graduated magna cum laude from Barnard in 2003 with dual degree in Visual Arts and Art History. While at Barnard she rowed varsity crew, led various student business organizations and started her own events planning company which served clients in Manhattan and the Hamptons from 2002-2005. Jieh started her corporate career at IBM in their strategy group, but quickly moved on to consulting, first as an independent consultant to Donald Trump's reality television program, The Apprentice, and then joining McKinsey & Company in late 2005. After a 3 year break to get her MBA at Harvard Business School, travel the world, and work with lululemon athletica, Jieh returned to McKinsey in 2011 to continue working with clients in the consumer goods and retail industries.


Jacqueline O'Brien
Executive leading Consulting by Degrees (CbD) at IBM Global Business Services
Jacqui O'Brien         Jacqui O'Brien is currently the executive responsible for an innovative program in IBM Global Business Services, called Consulting by Degrees (CbD). This program is aimed at attracting top calibre university hires and developing them into high performing consultants and future leaders. Jacqui has over twenty five years of experience in the consulting business, gained in Europe and the USA. For the majority of her career she was a practicing consultant in supply chain strategy and operations, focusing primarily on clients in the Retail, Consumer Products and Publishing Sectors. Most recently she has held several internal management positions in Operations, Recruiting and HR, before launching CbD two years ago. Jacqui joined IBM in 2002 with IBM's acquisition of the PricewaterhouseCoopers consulting business.


Liza Stutts
Project Leader at The Boston Consulting Group
Liza Stutts         Liza Stutts is a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group's New York office, where she has worked since August of 2009. Liza attended Columbia Business School, where she was she was actively involved in the Social Enterprise program. Prior to BCG, Liza worked for GMMB, a social issues and political communications firm in Washington, DC. She holds a BA from the University of Richmond, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Psychology degree. Liza's interests include travel, being outdoors, running, yoga and Central Park.




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Entrepreneurship Panel


Elizabeth Burke - Moderator
Managing Editor of the Levo League
Elizabeth Burke         Miss Burke is an alumna of the Columbia University class of 2008 where she studied Economics and Psychology. Elizabeth joined the Levo League as its third employee after spending two years as a technology, media & telecommunications analyst at McKinsey & Co. and a stint as a manager in the research department of New York Magazine. In these roles, she has spent significant time analyzing and working with dynamic print and online media markets, the music industry, as well as strategies for developing and delivering targeted content. It was here that she discovered her passion for tracking the media consumption patterns of individuals.
        At Levo, Elizabeth is passionate about reinventing the way that women see themselves and acknowledge their own accomplishments, as well as building a content and support platform that changes the game for online media. The interactivity and support possible through Levo is what the Internet has been waiting for.


Claudia Chan
Women's Lifestyle Journalist, Entrepreneur & Advisor
Claudia Chan         From her days at all-girls high school, Hewitt, and women's college, Smith, to spending a decade creating Girls Night Out gatherings for 1 million women a cross the nation as co-owner of Shecky's Media, America's leading girlfriend-experience company, Claudia has been immersed in the community of women her whole life.
        Claudia is now on a mission to inspire women to dream and do BIG, ignite positive change in all aspects of their lives, and help others - especially women - along the way. This winter 2012, she is onto her third venture launching Claudia Chan, a new kind of women's lifestyle media brand that interviews and celebrates today's most remarkable women.
        Claudia serves as an advisor or supporter to various women's non-profits such as BuildaNEST.org, JoinFITE.org, Shesthef irst.org and Step Up Women's Network.
        She has been featured as an expert on women's lifestyle, business, entrepreneurship and empowerment topics in countless local and national media outlets/e vents including Bloomberg Business, NBC Today, The Wall Street Journal, NY Times Small Business Summit and many more.


Ella Gorgla
Founder of I-ELLA.com
Ella Gorgla         Named Inc. 11 Leaders to watch in alongside Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and Justin Timberlake, Ella Gorgla is the founder of I-ELLA.com, an innovative, fashion-forward, charitable online marketplace where users can BUY, SELL, BORROW + SWAP the latest must-have fashion apparel, accessories and more.
        Ten percent of each transaction fee will be donated to a charity or social venture.
        I-ELLA.com was named one of Top 10 NYC Startups to by Time Inc.
        Prior to launching I-ELLA.com, Ms. Gorgla spent over a decade helping leading global institutions including Ernst & Young, Arthur Andersen, IBM, and others to achieve mission critical goals related Business & Growth Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital. She combined innovative thinking with practical problem solving techniques to deliver sustainable solutions for clients.
        Ella received a B.S. in engineering from The Ohio State University and MBA degrees conferred from both Columbia Business School and London Business School.
        Ms. Gorgla grew up in Toledo, Ohio and is a native of Monrovia, Liberia where she has worked to bring sustainable development and social impact investing to the country.
        I-ELLA.com combines her interests in fashion, business + technology and philanthropy. The goal, create a community oriented marketplace that caters to the woman of style while giving back to causes in which we believe.Watchthe 2011s Magazine


Sherry Jhawar
Vice President, Marketing at eos Products
        Sherry Jhawar graduated from UCLA in 2000 and joined Goldman Sachs as an investment banker in mergers & acquisitions from 2000 to 2002. She then went on to business school and upon graduating from Havard Business School in 2004, Sherry joined L'Oreal USA as an Assistant Brand Manager. Sherry spent about 4 years at L'Oreal in various marketing roles across categories including, hair color, cosmetics, skin care and finally as the Director of Marketing for Shampoo & Conditioner. In early 2008, Sherry left L'Oreal to join a start-up personal care company called eos Products (evolution of smooth) as the Vice President of Marketing and Product Development. Sherry has been instrumental in setting the strategy for eos and for launching all of eos' products and defining the marketing plan. In just over 3 years, eos now has lip balm, shave cream and hand & body lotion products in over 30,000 retail doors including, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, Duane Reade and Rite Aid. eos is one of the fastest growing personal care brands in the mass channel and has developed a very strong and loyal consumer base.


Dana Reichman
Founder and COO of Lifebooker
Dana Reichman         Dana Reichman is the Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Lifebooker, the leading destination website for urban women to find and book discounted beauty appointments online. The company was founded in 2006 to provide online lead generation and yield management to local service providers. Since it's inception, Dana's work has changed the industry's landscape by providing a platform to offer customers discounted rates, as well as a solution for business owners to fill open appointment times.
        Recently named one of Business Insider's 100 Most Valuable Startups, Lifebooker has also been recognized by publications such as Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Marie Claire. Dana currently oversees product innovation, technical development, brand positioning, creative, and editorial content. She graduated with a B.A. in English Literature and a B.F.A. in Photography from Washington University in Saint Louis.


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