Social Enterprise Symposium: Transforming Business for
the Global Good
5 – 9 p.m. Thursday, March 25
Frank Auditorium, 1524 Van Munching Hall
brings 25 years experience in business, marketing and sustainability. She excels
at helping clients to uncover driving consumer forces, identify changing
marketplace dynamics and translate sustainability into successful business
decisions. Shari is an experienced speaker and thought leader on
Her recent book, Climb the Green Ladder: Make Your Company and Career More
Sustainable, Wiley, includes extensive research among hundreds, including
sustainability leaders and employees from Fortune 500 companies such as Campbell
Soup Company, HP, IKEA, Microsoft, Office Depot, United States Post Office and
Walmart. The research targets those who have brought effective sustainability
programs to their workplaces.
She co-wrote Climb the Green Ladder because she understands that 'more
sustainable' also means 'more successful' ‐ both for a company and its
employees. Through her work, she provides the tools and motivation to help
transition companies (and employees) towards a more successful, more sustainable
future. Her work showcases the 6 key themes that underpin effective
sustainability strategies and highlights real‐life case studies to ensure
employees apply sustainability principles at their workplaces.
Shari is passionate about fostering collaborative relationships between
consumers, companies, non-profits and the media, to ensure all voices have a
role in improving the impact of business on society and society on business.
As a former Partner at Yankelovich, Supervisor of Account Planning at Ogilvy &
Mather and Founder of Fresh Marketing (www.freshmarketing.com),
Shari has worked with many distinguished clients including ClimateCounts.org,
Coca-Cola, Hasbro, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Liz Claiborne, Ogilvy & Mather/OgilvyEarth,
StartingBloc, P&G, The Princeton Review, The Toy Industry Association, Red
Cross, UNICEF and Uncommon Schools.
Shari is spearheading a corporate sustainability-training program called
Emerging Sustainability Leaders program with New York Women Social
Entrepreneurs. Her work leading panel discussions, programs and other
events has helped to grow this organization from six women to now over 800.
Shari lives in Weston, CT with her husband Steve and her sons, Jake and Michael.
Dr. Bailey is a research associate professor of decision and information
technologies and the director of the Center for Electronic Markets and
Enterprises (CEME) at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. His research and
teaching interest span issues in telecommunications, economics, and public
policy with an emphasis on the economics of the Internet, particularly
technologies and market opportunities that promote the benefits of
interoperability. He is currently studying issues related to the economics of
electronic commerce and how the Internet changes competition and supply chain
management. He earned his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Anne Mai Bertelsen
Anne Mai Bertelsen is the Founder and President of
an analytics driven marketing and digital strategy consulting firm. The firm
helps companies develop and launch new products, services and programs. Her
clients include American Express, the United Nations’ Office of Humanitarian
Assistance, and the Radio Advertising Bureau. She is also a principal at
consultancy that re-thinks and re-imagines cause marketing. She is a regular
columnist for MediaPost and Digiday:Daily where she writes on marketing and
social media trends and a blogger at Huffington Post where she writes on
politics and social issues. She is a member of the American Marketing
Association, Social Media Club and the Online Community Research Forum.
Prior to starting her own firm, Anne held marketing positions at American
Express and the Port Authority of NY & NJ; was a media strategist and pollster
at Dresner, Sykes, Jordan & Townsend (DSJT), a national public image and
political consulting firm; and Assistant Producer at CBS News’ Election and
Ciochetti is the Thomas G. Eastman Chair and Chairman and Academic Director of
the MIT Center for Real Estate. His primary responsibilities at MIT are to
enhance the Center’s mission of improving the global built environment through
industry relevant research and to promote more informed professional practice.
He is also involved in teaching topics in real estate finance and development.
Prior to his appointment at MIT, Dr. Ciochetti was the Director of the Center
for Real Estate Development and a Professor of Finance at the University of
North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Dr. Ciochetti is also a visiting Professor
in the Department of Land Economy at Cambridge University in England.
Professor Ciochetti’s teaching areas of expertise include Commercial Real Estate
Development and Real Estate Finance. He has created or taught courses in
these areas at MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, Cambridge University, the
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana University, and the University of North
Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Ciochetti also teaches executive courses on such
topics as real estate development, portfolio and asset management, and asset
securitization for both industry and academic organizations.
Dr. Ciochetti’s research interests lie in two broad areas: commercial
mortgage credit risk and the role of real estate within pension plan portfolios.
His work has appeared in leading scholarly journals, including Real Estate
Economics, the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, and the Journal of
Real Estate Research. Tony is currently the President of the Real Estate
Research Institute, where he is also an academic fellow, and serves on the Board
of Directors of Real Estate Economics. He also serves on the editorial and
advisory boards of Real Estate Finance and CMBS World. He regularly
consults on behalf of investment banks, rating agencies, institutional clients
and development companies. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Ciochetti
spent 12 years in the private sector in the areas of commercial real estate
development and consulting.
Dr. Ciochetti received his B.A. in Finance from the University of Oregon, and
both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics from the
University of Wisconsin-Madison.
is CEO of The World Benefits, a company which helps its clients create more
productive and profitable work places by re-envisioning Corporate Social
Responsibility as an Employee Benefit. He holds a Master's degree in
Philosophy with a concentration in global ecology from the California Institute
for Integral Studies. Michael has over 17 years of experience in the financial
service and benefit industry and has several industry designations including
Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Life Underwriter, and Registered Health
Underwriter. His expertise is in employee benefits and Michael has been
written for and been quoted in several local and national publications including
Michael is a native Washingtonian and has served on numerous non-profit
boards, including Greater DC Cares, The National Capital Food Bank, and The
Signature Theater in Arlington, VA. Michael was also founder and President of
Washington Aware, a non- profit organization dedicated to helping
underprivileged children in the DC Metro Area, and received the Distinguished
Leadership Award from the Montgomery County division of the American Heart
has moved to Washington, D.C. from Sydney Australia last year. He was previously
CEO of Vibewire Youth Inc., which he founded in 2000 whilst at university in
order to create citizenship opportunities for younger Australians. In 2005
Vibewire was awarded the UN’s World Summit Youth Award for Community Engagement.
Tom has received a YouthActionNet Fellowship from the International Youth
Foundation, a Future Summit Leadership Award and is a board member of the
International Institute for Communications Australia. He has worked on a wide
range of media projects and events, has spoken at numerous conferences
internationally and does a spot of freelance writing and DJing.
Follow him on Twitter at
@tomjd and check out his
blog for more
Gandhi is Deputy to the President and CEO of FINCA International. In this
capacity, Sona leads FINCA's strategy and planning activities, directs internal
policy development, and focuses on initiatives of high priority to FINCA's
strategic plan. Prior to joining FINCA in 2005, Sona worked in investment
banking in New York and management consulting in Washington, DC. She began her
microfinance career in Gujarat, India and Blantyre, Malawi. Sona is a frequent
guest lecturer on microfinance, and a past Chair of the Washington, DC chapter
of ‘Women Advancing Microfinance’. Sona holds an MBA from the Wharton School at
the University of Pennsylvania, and a BS from the University of Maryland at
College Park. Sona speaks fluent Gujarati (dialect of Hindi) and conversational
French and Spanish.
is a lifetime entrepreneur, starting his career by getting two patents and
starting his first business when he was ripe age of 11 (a bio-degradable golf
tee to save more than 40,000 trees per year). Since then, he's traveled
the world speaking about entrepreneurship and has started many successful
companies including the most recent, a local SaaS CRM software company, Parature,
which grew to over 120 employees. His current venture, Small Act Network,
merges the worlds of social media and philanthropy, helping nonprofits use this
new communications platform for fundraising, awareness and advocacy.
He has published the chapter “Technology with a Heart”, featured in Business
Week’s Best Seller, Do Your Giving While You Are Living – providing Internet
resources for potential donors, nonprofits, and charitable communities.
He has recently won the 35 under 35 award for top entrepreneurs in Greater DC
and was honored as part of Greater DC Cares’ Class of 2009, honoring leaders for
Casey is a frequent speaker at national events including the National Press
Club’s book party, the US Treasury, DC Chamber of Commerce and Georgetown’s
Casey doesn’t just focus his business to help nonprofits and further
philanthropy, but donates an extensive amount of personal time to serve pro-bono
to various organizations’s advisory and action committees, especially locally.
This list includes: NFTE, Safe America Foundation, Kidsave International,
TigerLily Foundation, National Coalition of Cancer Survivors (Courage Unmasked),
Wokai, Andrew Sobel River of Life Foundation, and Hire a Hero.
Casey lives in Northern Virginia with is wife, Beverley, and two year old
twins, Tristan and Lilyrose.
Sherri Haas is a program specialist with the IRIS Center at the University of
Maryland, College Park, and has recently returned from three months of field
research in Kenya. She is currently involved in a study funded by
the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of the community effects of M-PESA, a
mobile phone money transfer system in Kenya. The study uses a combination
of quantitative and qualitative methods to gather in-depth information
on effects at the community level.
Ms. Haas also has experience in international development project management.
She was responsible for managing multiple projects for the IRIS Center with
funding by several development donor organizations. Ms. Haas graduated
summa cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan University with research honors in
economics as well as a second major in political science. In both areas
her work focused heavily on quantitative analysis and the role of women in
international economics and politics.
his professional career, Scott has been a major gift fundraiser, foundation
executive, magazine editor, marketing consultant, and president of a capital
campaign firm. He cut his teeth during a major university capital campaign,
later oversaw multiple fundraising campaigns as a consultant, and most recently
served as cause marketing director for an interactive agency.
Today, he is a principal at
CauseShift, a strategic consultancy focused on shifting how people think
about, innovate, and solve the world's most intractable issues. What makes him
unique in the marketplace is that he has gone into the living rooms, kitchens,
and front porches of influential people to obtain their financial and social
support of cause initiatives. From these experiences, he understands how
cause-oriented endeavors succeed and fail.
Last year, he created and launched
which helped Tyson Foods deliver 560,000 meals to four different cities for
children in need, raised $28,000 for Share Our Strength, and assembled an army
of nearly 5,000 childhood hunger awareness champions. Current clients and
projects include Procter & Gamble, Boomer Esiason Foundation, and
wecanendthis.com, a yearlong, multi-partner initiative to spark innovation and
engage more people in the cause of ending hunger in America.
Scott is most famous for being married to Jennifer, wife of eleven years, and
father to Ethan, his eight-year-old son.
currently serves as the Director of Firmwide Public Relations for
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Kelly is responsible for representing the firm
before major business media, advising other PwC executives in their dealings
with the news media and creating unique communications programs that
differentiate the PwC brand.
He leads several strategic initiatives, including development of the firm's
social media recruiting strategy and support for the firm's corporate
responsibility, sustainability and climate change and recruiting efforts.
Prior to joining PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Kelly served as the Executive Vice
President at ABI, a global public relations firm with offices in New York,
London and Singapore. Kelly was responsible for managing all agency
services and operations in the New York, London and Singapore offices.
Under his leadership, ABI was twice recognized as one of the Top 50 public
relations firms in the United States by BtoB Magazine.
Kelly has spent considerable time as a strategic adviser for chief executives
and senior executives in a range of industries, including professional services,
pharmaceutical, biotechnology, graphic communications and technology. He
has extensive experience designing and managing public relations campaigns,
creating branding programs, managing new product and service launches and
developing global communications programs.
Before his career in business, Kelly served as the field coordinator in southern
New Jersey for the '96 Clinton/Gore presidential campaign. During the
campaign, he was a surrogate speaker for Congressman Torricelli and President
Clinton, directed countywide teams of volunteers and managed the phone bank
operation which placed the largest number of GOTV (Get Out The Vote) phone calls
in New Jersey.
Kelly graduated from The Richard Stockton College of NJ. He is happily
married to Tracy and has three young boys, Robert, Connor and Cian.
Keyes is the associate dean of the Master of Professional Studies in Public
Relations and Corporate Communication at Georgetown University. In addition to
her responsibilities as dean, Ms. Keyes serves as the director of CSIC. She also
teaches at Georgetown's Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership and serves as
a fellow for the Center for Social Justice.
Prior to joining Georgetown, Ms. Keyes was a senior counselor at Fleishman-Hillard
where she managed a portfolio of corporate, nonprofit and foundation clients in
the social marketing practice including Gatorade, ESPN, American Red Cross and
the MacArthur Foundation. During this time she was awarded a Silver Anvil for a
campaign helping people with disabilities transition to employment.
Amber Kuchar is a Junior Investment Officer at Calvert
Foundation in Bethesda, MD. She is responsible for managing
Calvert Foundation’s social enterprise portfolio. She also
focuses on investments in community development finance
institutions, green sector, fair-trade organizations, and
affordable housing development. Ms. Kuchar came to Calvert
Foundation from NCB Capital Impact, where she was an
Underwriter responsible for analyzing charter schools,
health care clinics, and affordable housing projects,
specifically focusing on facility financing and cash flow
loans. Additionally, Ms. Kuchar worked as a Senior Consumer
Lending Loan officer at Bay Federal Credit Union. Ms. Kuchar
has a B.A. from University of California, Los Angeles, in
International Development Studies, and Masters of Public
Policy from Duke University.
heads up the internal operations of GlobalGiving, which she co-founded with
Dennis Whittle. Before GlobalGiving, she worked at the World Bank where she
managed and created some of the Bank's most innovative projects including the
first ever Innovation and Development Marketplaces, and the first series of
strategic forums with the World Bank's president and senior management. Mari
also designed a range of investment projects in the Russia reform program,
including a residential energy efficiency project, structural adjustment loans,
and legal reform project. In addition to her native Japanese, Mari also speaks
Russian, Italian, and French. She has an undergraduate degree in history from
Harvard University and did graduate work in Russian and Japanese history and
politics at Harvard and Georgetown Universities. Mari also completed the
Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
J. Lovell received his B.A. degree in mathematics from
Portland State University in 1990, his M.S. degree in Civil
Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in
1993, and his Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from the
University of California, Berkeley, in 1997. He has been
teaching at the University of Maryland since 1997. His
research interests include transportation facility design,
vehicle technology, sensors, and air traffic management. He
held a visiting appointment at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology during the 2006-07 academic year.
Mahan directs nonprofit relations and business development at Causes, which
provides organizing tools for individuals and nonprofit organizations. One of
the largest applications on Facebook, Causes supports over 100 million users,
400,000 user-created cause communities, and 13,000 official nonprofit partners.
Causes users have raised over $22 million dollars for nonprofits in its three
years of existence. Over the past year and a half, Matthew has spearheaded
the development of new communication, advocacy, and fundraising tools for
Matthew joined Causes after teaching middle school through Teach for America
and building irrigation systems in Bolivia through a Rockefeller Fellowship.
Matthew graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where he served as
student body president and wrote a senior thesis on the state of liberal arts
education. He is a native of Watsonville, a farming town on California’s Central
Morrison is the founder and CEO of
Citizen Effect empowers anyone to be a Citizen Philanthropist and be the
change they want to see in the world. In 2006, Dan was independent
consultant working in Middle East policy and economic development issues,
but then he was invited to India by the Self Employed Women's Association.
There, he toured the rural villages of Gujarat, and spoke with the women
about their struggle for survival. Woman from one community were walking
four hours a day for water. So Dan went home, brought his friends and family
together and raised $5,000 and sent it to SEWA to build a well in their
village. The village now has accessible, clean water and the women have
begun to start small businesses. Since then, Dan and Citizen Effect have
built an innovative fundraising platform that empowers students, young
professionals, retirees, and all types of citizens to partner directly with
communities in need to build life changing projects. Prior to Citizen
Effect, Dan was a innovation and brand strategy consultant with Prophet and
Kucamarski & Associates, working with brands in the United States, Europe
and Tokyo. Dan holds a masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the
University of Chicago and is an honors graduate of the University of Notre
has responsibility for implementation of BT’s Corporate Responsibility strategy
for BT in North America. The role covers a broad scope of sustainability issues
including environment and climate change impact, community investment and
Previously Kevin held roles in product management, marketing and corporate
strategy at BT, at Concert and at MCI.
Kevin sits on the Corporate Advisory Council of the American Red Cross and is
a member of the Global Leadership Network of AccountAbility and the CRO
Association’s Board of Governors where he chairs the committee for professional
development. From 2007-2009 he was founding chairperson of the Energy and
Environment Committee of the British American Business Association in Washington
DC. Kevin was a recipient of the 2009 PR News; CSR Executive of the Year
Born in the UK, Kevin has been settled in the USA for fourteen years
with his wife and two young children.
Kevin is the author of a white paper ‘The Four Dimensions of Sustainability’.
He shares his thoughts about the intersection between Information Communication
Technology (ICT) services, business and sustainability on his blog “CSR
Perspective,” which is found at
www.csrperspective.com and tweets
graduated with a BS in Biomechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He
has both coursework and work experience in the medical device field as well as
in international development. As a Product Manager at Embrace, Rajan has been
able to combine his passions of medical device design and social development in
an exciting start-up environment.
Lucille Pilling teaches graduate courses in Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR) at New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and
NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Pilling’s book, Global
Health Alliance: Lessons Learned was published in February 2007. Her current
research is on the metrics of CSR. She published an article and conducted a
webinar on her research on the integration of brand and social
responsibility in December 2009; a webinar on the integration of CSR and
corporate philanthropy was held in June 2009.
Dr. Pilling is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategist with
expertise in global public health, sustainability, and public private
partnerships. Her firm, Pilling and Associates, collaborates with
corporations, non-profits, and environmental organizations to develop and
implement CSR business, marketing and communication strategies. Recent
clients include: Corporate Council on Africa, Griffin Health Services
Corporation, Association for Corporate Contribution Professionals, Africare,
LIMRA, Henry Schein Inc., Tunnell Consulting Government Services, The Green
Standard, Business Council for International Understanding, John Snow Inc.
and JHPIEGO at Johns Hopkins.
Pilling’s involvement with corporate social responsibility began on the
nonprofit side developing public private partnerships. She served as vice
president for International Programs at Planned Parenthood Federation of
America and as senior program officer at Columbia University where she
supervised a $50 million Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation initiative.
Pilling has over 20 years experience in global public health. She managed
primary health care programs in Africa and Latin America for 13 years
(Ghana, Kenya, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Zimbabwe) and provided short-term
technical assistance in Liberia, Thailand, the Philippines, Romania,
Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Haiti. Her contracts were with Program for
Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), John Snow Inc., Johns Hopkins
University, Aga Khan Foundation, ILO, USAID in Ghana, Kenya, Bolivia and
Costa Rica, and US Peace Corps in Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Before moving to Africa, Pilling worked in the private sector, in
pharmaceutical advertising for Kallir, Philips, Ross and in international
marketing for Avon, Inc.
Pilling earned both an EdD in Organization and Leadership and a MPH from
Columbia University. She graduated from University of Pennsylvania with a BS
Dr. Riley is Professor, Decision, Operations and Information Technologies. In
the Robert H. Smith School of Business and Affiliate Professor of Mechanical
Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park,. From 1998 to 2003, Dr.
Riley served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) and member of
the President's Cabinet charged with overseeing information technology planning
and coordination, and the central I.T. infrastructure: all major central
computing, telecommunications and networking infrastructure and services,
including academic, student and administrative computer services and
instructional technology, with an annual operating budget of over $30 million.
He currently chairs the Board of Directors of the Internet Educational Equal
Access Foundation, co-chairs the IEEAF Committee of APAN (Asia-Pacific Advanced
Network). Dr. Riley is founder and co-chair of the annual Chinese American
Network Sympoisum and was recognized in 2000 by the Chinese Academy of Sciences
as “Senior Technical Advisor to China Science and Technology Network.” He also
serves as I.T. Fellow for the Southeastern University Research Association
(SURA), Washington , DC , and serves on the Board of Directors of the
Multi-Sector Crisis Management Consortium, Washington , D.C.
Dr. Riley is active at the national level: one of the founding members of the
national Internet2 initiative, serves on the Network Planning and Policy
Advisory Council (NPPAC); EDUCAUSE Board of Trustees (1998-2001, inaugural
chair); founding member of EDUCAUSE National Learning Infrastructure Initiative
and past member of Steering Committee; co-chaired the launch of the EDUCAUSE
Task Force on Systems Security. Dr. Riley is one of the founding principals in
the Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX) regional networking consortium, one of the
largest Internet2 regional gigapops, and hosts the NGIX-DC (Next Generation
Internet Exchange) for the federal agency NGI R&D networks at the University of
Maryland . He also served on the State of Maryland Task Force on High Speed
Network Infrastructure and the E-commerce Committee of the State I.T. Board.
Prior to coming to the University of Maryland , Dr. Riley was the first CIO
at the University of Minnesota (1992-1998), and was on the faculty of the
University of Minnesota Mechanical Engineering Department from 1976 to 1998.
Research and teaching interests included applications of interactive computer
graphics to CAD-CAM; knowledge-based systems for design and manufacturing;
computer-aided mechanism analysis and design; application of CAD/CAM techniques
to biomechanical and bioengineering problems; and product development process.
Dr. Riley is an ASME Fellow, and participated in the founding and leadership of
the Computers in Engineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers and was 1990-91 Chair of its Executive Committee; numerous seminars,
invited lectures and presentations, panel sessions, short courses and tutorials
at the local, national, and international level. He has published over 100
refereed technical papers and several copyrighted software packages for computer
aided design; he has graduated 27 M.S. and 13 Ph.D. students; he has been
responsible as principal or co-principal investigator for over $9 million in
Rossi is joining the business school as a Tyser Teaching Fellow and Managing
Director of the Center on Financial Policy and Corporate Governance. Cliff
has nearly 25 years experience in banking and government, having held senior
executive roles in risk management at several of the largest financial services
His most recent position was Chief Risk Officer for Consumer Lending at
Citigroup where he was intimately involved in TARP funding and stress tests
performed on Citi. Cliff also helped start a statistical arbitrage unit at
Citi and helped integrate market and credit risk analytics across Citi's
mortgage portfolios. While there he was responsible for overseeing a $200B
global mortgage portfolio with 700 employees under his direction. He
also served as Chief Credit Officer at Washington Mutual (WaMu) and as Chief
Risk Officer at Countrywide Bank.
Previous to these assignments, Cliff held senior positions at Freddie Mac and
Fannie Mae and worked for a number of years at the Treasury Department and
Office of Thrift Supervision working on key policy issues affecting
depositories. Cliff also was an adjunct professor in the Finance
Department at the Robert H. Smith School of Business for 8 years and has a
number of publications on banking industry topics. He holds a PhD in
financial economics from Cornell University.
Dr. Oliver Schlake is a Tyser Teaching Fellow at Robert H. Smith School of
Business, a senior business consultant, entrepreneur and researcher. His
publications and research on scenario-based strategic planning and innovation
strategy have been featured in leading academic and practitioner journals
worldwide. Oliver has been an international management consultant and strategic
advisor for leading companies and government agencies in Europe and
North-America. Prior to joining the Smith School he was Assistant Professor for
E-Business at National University, San Diego and CEO for German based consulting
firm Scenario Management International (ScMI AG).
the Americas Community Engagement Leader for Ernst & Young,
LLP, Rita is responsible for ensuring that the firm's "3Es"
corporate responsibility strategy (Education,
Entrepreneurship and Environmental Sustainability) is
carried out through its community engagement activities in
the U.S., Canada and Central and South America. She
accomplishes this by working closely with leadership teams
in the firm's 11 sub-Areas to align Americas charitable
donations, volunteer programs, stakeholder relationships and
communications with those activities, programs and
organizations that make education more accessible for
under-served youth, promote entrepreneurship and sustain the
Rita is committed to not only improving existing
community conditions, but driving the kind of social change
that helps Ernst & Young's people, clients and communities
achieve their full potential. In addition to her Americas
leadership role, Rita also serves as the Americas
representative on the firm's Global Corporate Responsibility
Advisory Committee. She is a frequent speaker at corporate
responsibility conferences, and serves as a media
spokesperson on community engagement-related topics.
An avid volunteer, Rita organized her first community
fundraiser at the age of six, and has been going strong ever
since! She is currently a member of the Board of Directors
of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, and is a "Big
Sister" in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. She also
participates in the United Way's Destination Graduation
program at Kimball High School in Dallas. Rita is a former
board member of, or volunteer for, the following
organizations: Altrusa International, Inc., American Heart
Association, Dallas Children's Advocacy Center, Greater
Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, March of
Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy Association and The Family Place.
Prior to October of 2008, Rita served as Ernst & Young's
Director of Communications and Marketing for the Southwest
sub-Area for eight years. In that role, she coordinated all
internal and external communication, which included employee
and partner communications and meetings, alumni relations,
client relations, public relations/media relations,
community relations and firm-sponsored events.
Rita has 20 years of communications, marketing, fund
raising and community relations experience -- almost all in
the professional services arena. Other positions have
included public relations agency work, collegiate alumni
relations and capital campaign fund-raising, healthcare
marketing and accounting firm marketing/business
A 1990 graduate of the University of St. Thomas in
Houston, Texas, Rita earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in
Communication. She has also a Master of Liberal Arts degree
with a concentration in Communication from the same
Rita lives in Dallas, Texas, and has a five-year-old son,
Luke. She enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures,
amateur photography, physical fitness, outdoor activities
and, of course -- volunteering!
Susan D. Strayer, SPHR is the Director of Global Employer
Brand and Marketing for Marriott International. She has over
12 years of human resources experience in areas such as
talent acquisition, learning, HR consulting and social media
for HR. Prior to her current role at Marriott, Susan served
as Corporate Director of Talent Acquisition for The
Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., part of the Marriott family. Her
prior work experience includes time at The Home Depot,
Corporate Executive Board, Arthur Andersen and with her own
career coaching firm. She has an MBA from Vanderbilt
University, an MA in Human Resource Development from The
George Washington University and a BA in Communications from
Virginia Tech. She is known for her coaching and career
development expertise, as well as her knowledge of the
social media landscape and has been quoted in such
publications as The Washington Post, BNET, Fast Company and
The New York Times. She is the author of two books including
The Right Job Right Now: The Complete Toolkit For Finding
Your Perfect Career (St. Martin’s Press). Read Susan’s blog
www.susanstrayer.com and follow her on Twitter via
Joseph T.N. Suarez, CFRE, serves as Director of Community Partnerships &
Philanthropy for the global management and technology firm, Booz Allen Hamilton.
In this capacity, Mr. Suarez oversees the firm’s philanthropic and employee
volunteer programs worldwide.
Prior to joining Booz Allen, Mr. Suarez spent over 26 years in the nonprofit
community in management and senior development positions responsible for raising
over a billion dollars for a range of nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining
Booz Allen, Mr. Suarez served as Director of The National Air and Space Society
and Deputy Director of Development for the National Air and Space Museum,
Smithsonian Institution where he managed and coordinated the Museum’s donor
society and directed a $311 million dollar capital campaign.
A specialist in direct marketing and major gift fundraising, Mr. Suarez
served as Acting General Manager for Donor Marketing for the American National
Red Cross where he managed the organization’s national direct marketing
programs, overseeing a multimillion dollar budget. Prior to joining the staff of
the Red Cross, Joe served as Director of the American University’s major gift
program, “The President Circle.” He began his career as a political consultant
raising money for presidential campaigns, Political Action Committees, state
parties and numerous Congressional and Senatorial candidates.
The recipient of four DMAW MAXI Awards for Outstanding National Direct
Response Campaigns, ten region, state and one International ADDY, Mr. Suarez has
been active in the professional community as a guest lecturer for various
industry-wide conferences, including the AFP, DMA, PBS, and the Mutual Concerns
Conference sponsored by the American Association of Museum. Joe is the recipient
of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Washington D.C. Diversity Award;
the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund Award of Excellence, The American Red
Cross Tiffany Manager’s Award, and was awarded the Order of Malta in recognition
of his work for the American Red Cross’ disaster relief efforts.
Mr. Suarez, serves as a Trustee of The National Aviation Hall of Fame, is on
the Development Advisory Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association, serves
on the Board of the Business Civic Leadership Center of the US Chamber of
Commerce and is a Board member of the Washington Board of Trade and a member of
the Board of National History Day.
is an international business development executive and new media expert
who combines Internet start-up experience with a 15+ year successful track
record in driving revenue and winning digital market share for major media
brands. Deron serves as CEO of
leading social media platform that connects people who are changing
the world with those who help them. Hundreds of Change Agents
working across six continents – artists, adventurers, social entrepreneurs,
inventors, musicians, first responders, athletes, engineers, activists,
photographers, etc. – are using the Changents service to tell their ongoing
stories, connect with supporters and rally assistance around the world.
He is also a principal in DAC Media Ventures, a boutique media consulting
practice that develops new digital businesses on behalf of
socially-conscious media companies and organizations. DAC’s clients include
the Sundance Institute/Sundance Film Festival, the Paley Center for Media
(formerly the Museum of Television and Radio) and SnagFilms.com. On behalf
of DAC’s clients, Deron has negotiated successful partnerships with Hulu,
TV.com (CBS), iTunes, Crackle (Sony), Audible, among others.
Deron previously served as Vice President of Business Development for
Scholastic Entertainment, where he architected the joint venture with NBC
Universal to launch Qubo. And as Vice President of Digital Ventures for PBS
(Public Broadcasting Service), he spearheaded the network’s participation in
the preschool digital cable network and video on demand service, PBS Kids
Sprout – a joint venture with Comcast Corporation, HIT Entertainment and
Deron attended Mcgill University in Montreal, Canada for his MBA and holds a
BA in journalism from the Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications
at University of Georgia in Athens. Drop Deron a line at
Tsai is Director of Global Media Strategy and Virtual Program for Ashoka Youth
Venture. He comes to Ashoka after working as a journalist and documentary
producer for CNN and PBS. As producer and on-air reporter for CNN, Charles
specialized in educational news programming targeted at CNN's youth audience.
He also produced PBS GlobalTribe, a travel show that took viewers on a rare
journey to meet changemakers (including Ashoka fellows) around the world.
Inspired by the social entrepreneurs he profiled, Charles founded Global Youth
Fund, a Vancouver-based charity that supports young people in creating change
through a bottom-up democratic process.
Greg Van Kirk
Van Kirk, recently honored as an Ashoka Fellow, is the cofounder of Community
Enterprise Solutions as well as Social Entrepreneur Corps and Ayudasoft LLC.
These are all ventures whose mission is to design and implement innovative
responses to longstanding development challenges. Greg began working in rural
small business development as a Peace Corps volunteer in 2001. Greg has served
as an economic development consultant for organizations such as USAID, Chemonics,
Vision Spring, Soros Foundation, Church World Service, OneRoof, Fundacion Solar,
Fundacion Paraguaya and Water4People. Greg worked in investment banking for five
years before arriving in Guatemala. Two deals he led at UBS during this time won
"Deal of the Year" honors from "Structured Finance International" magazine. Greg
currently splits time between Antigua, Guatemala and New York City.
2006, Mike volunteered for three months at an orphanage in rural Kenya. He spent
his time learning about the community before investing $5,000 of fundraising
money into several initiatives including a 10,000-liter rain harvesting project.
He returned to the US and co-founded the organization Rural Reading
Centers-Africa which has successfully sent five shipping containers filled with
books and computers to libraries throughout Kenya.
In 2007, Mike was awarded a 100 Projects for Peace development grant to work
in the Western Province of Zambia. He worked with the organization
ProjectEducate and used the $10,000 to build several libraries and computer
Mike learned about the fundraising side of the nonprofit sector while working
at the global headquarters of Orphans International and E+Co.
His experiences revealed that connectivity between aid providers, donors, and
local stakeholders is a constant challenge and he began to look for technology
solutions to bridge the gaps.
Young, originally from Sierra Leone, is the founder of Tseai Energy Unlimited.
In 2002, immediately after the end of a decade long conflict in Sierra Leone,
Young returned to his native country, and in the subsequent three years he was
actively involved with numerous on the ground development projects.
In 2008, he created a sustainable business model that allows underdeveloped
communities to leverage agriculture to produce clean, reliable and renewable
energy, and promote economic development. This is done by installing small scale
agricultural processing mills in selected rural communities, thereby localizing
the production of high margin products from local crops. Each mill
is complimented with a low cost biomass digester which anaerobically decomposes
mill waste to produce biogas. The biogas is used as renewable fuel for cooking
and to generate electricity; the digested waste that remains is used as a
nutrient rich fertilizer.
Young is currently a student in the College of Agriculture and Natural
Resources at the University of Maryland at College Park, with a concentration in
Environmental Economics. He is also a member of the Hillman Entrepreneurs
Program, an innovative educational initiative that offers leadership training,
intense mentoring, and promotes social entrepreneurship.