Alexander Beall, Cofounder, TurBinD
Alexander Beall is a co-founder of TurBinD, a small-scale wind energy startup, where he has designed and created the power system for the turbine. He is also a sophomore at the University of Maryland in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Honors Program. Alexander is studying Electrical Engineering with a minor in Technology Entrepreneurship.
Check out Alexander Beall on LinkedIn
Maurice Boissiere, Founder & Principal, Intuitive Analytics, UMD Alumnus
Maurice Boissiere is the founder and Principal of Intuitive Analytics, an innovation research firm, and product lead at Power Supply, afoodtech company. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland. Maurice has more than 25 years experience as a market researcher and product executive with venture backed companies including Dynamic Signal, AddThis (acquired by Oracle),Orchestro (acquired by E2Open), Wirthlin Worldwide (acquired by Nielsen) and comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR). In the process, he has conceived and created digital solutions for Fortune 500 clients - including Microsoft, American Express, ESPN, iHeartRadio, and Nickelodeon. Maurice began his data-driven insights career as a consultant for Mercer Management (now Oliver Wyman) after receiving an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is on the board of CASA of DC,a nonprofit providing services for children in foster care.
Dr. Mrim Boutla, Associate Vice President of Student Experience Quad Learning
Dr. Mrim Boutla is the Associate Vice President of Student Experience at Quad Learning, an #edtech company that helps students transfer from community college to 4-year institutions. Over the past decade, Dr. Boutla has taught cognitive neuroscience courses at the University of Rochester, as well as social innovation and career development workshops and courses at Brown University, Indiana University (Kelley School of Business and College of Arts & Sciences), and the University of Maryland. In 2010, Dr. Boutla co-founded More Than Money Careers, an edtech software as a service (Saas) company that helped over 5,000 students turn their education into jobs that blend financial rewards with social impact and environmental sustainability. MTMCareers was awarded the AshokaU/Cordes Award for Social Innovation, and Dr. Boutla was one of the first set of entrepreneurs selected as members of the 1776DC community. A proud first generation college graduate, Dr. Boutla paid her way through college, graduating debt free with her BSc in Psychology from the Universite Catholique de Louvain, and her MA and PhD in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester.
George Chmael, Founder & CEO, Council Fire
George is the Founder and provides the vision and overall leadership of Council Fire and has spent 25+ years counseling leading U.S. and international organizations including private entities such as China Light and Power and NRG Energy; NGOs such as World Wildlife Fund and Environmental Defense Fund; government entities such as U.S. Army and NOAA; and philanthropic organizations including the Walton Family Foundation. Trained as a lawyer and marine specialist, he has expertise across all elements of sustainability and is noted for his particular expertise on coastal management issues, including extensive work related to the Chesapeake Bay. He is a B Ambassador and serves on several Boards and lectures and writes extensively on sustainability, public policy, environmental, social and economic issues. George earned his Masters of Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, his JD from The George Washington University Law School and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Connecticut.
Wendi Copeland, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Advancement, Goodwill Industries International
Wendi Copeland, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Advancement of Goodwill Industries International (GII), has served communities via Goodwill(r) for more than twenty years. For more than a quarter of a century, she has invested her people and business systems skills in developing nonprofit strategy to sustainably respond to community needs. In her current role, she leads a team of professionals in connecting 163 North American Goodwill member organizations with relationships and resources to help families have what they need to succeed. GII has more than $77 million in grants and program related investments under management with 118 local Goodwill members receiving direct financial benefit. She is the staff liaison to the GII Board's Strategic Issues Planning and Public Policy Committees. In these roles, Copeland is responsible for facilitating the Goodwill network's strategic planning and establishing a public policy agenda that proactively advances the interests of the people and communities Goodwill serves. Copeland has led strategic growth and diversification of business and mission lines in three rapidly expanding non-profit organizations. Prior to joining GII, Copeland worked for the Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area, where she led the organization in diversifying populations served, revenue streams, and service delivery systems. Copeland engaged the Georgia Goodwill Association in partnering with the Georgia Department of Labor to develop and implement a statewide integrated community collaborative service strategy that was profiled by Mathematica. Copeland has a Bachelor's of Science in Sociology and Master's of Science in Counseling Psychology.
Nick Dilks, Managing, Partner, Ecosystem Investment Partners, UMD Alumnus
Nick Dilks is the Managing Partner at Ecosystem Investment Partners. He has extensive experience in land conservation finance and real estate. He spent 10 years with The Conservation Fund, most recently as its Vice President for Real Estate, completing some of TCF’s most complex and innovative transactions. He has a BA in Environmental Science & Policy from Duke University and an MBA from the University of Maryland.
Natasha Franck, Founder and CEO, EON
Natasha Franck is CEO & founder of EON. EON connects lifecycle management to the internet of things, introducing intelligent assets through item level to improve performance and transparency in the circular economy. Before launching EON, Natasha was the Senior Vice President of Global Business Development at Delos, a technology and research organization focused on improving health and wellness through the built environment – the organization that pioneered the development of the WELL Building Standard. Natasha spearheaded the international expansion of WELL Building Standard in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, through strategic partnerships and regional development. Prior to joining Delos, Natasha worked at Jonathan Rose Companies in sustainable real estate development and urban planning where she supported the development of a broad cross-section of educational and cultural projects in New York City. Natasha holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University and lives in New York City.
Jennifer Gerholdt, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center
Jennifer Gerholdt is the Senior Director of the Environment Program at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center. In her role, Jennifer directs high quality programming for business leaders to help them maximize their positive contributions to society’s challenges. This includes developing and executing the strategy for CCC’s engagement with the private sector on issues including the circular economy, the energy-water-food nexus, and water stewardship. Prior to CCC, Jennifer was Senior Manager of Conservation International’s Business & Sustainability Council and a program officer with WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network-North America program. Jennifer holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from New Mexico State University.
Sarela Herrada, Director of Supply Chain, Cava
As the director of supply chain and through strategic sourcing and traceability, Sarela is breeding a culture of transparency at Cava, focusing on sustainable growth, cost management, quality performance, and a thoughtful supply chain. Prior to joining Cava Sarela served as the Operations Systems Manager for Mayorga Coffee, LLC., and also as a Consultant for Manhattan Associates. Sarela holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Penn State University.
Drew Hamroff, Cofounder, TurBinD
Drew Hamroff is a co-founder of TurBinD, a small-scale wind energy startup, where he has worked on the design, rendering, and testing of the turbine. He is also a sophomore at the University of Maryland in the QUEST Honors Program. Drew is studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Sustainability.
Check out Drew Hamroff on LinkedIn
Brian Jefferson, Tax Partner, Pricewaterhousecoopers LLP, UMD Alumnus
Brian Jefferson is a Tax Partner known for leading high performing teams and bringing the best resources to his clients. He has a broad base of knowledge in US and International tax, along with a well-developed business sense that is relevant to a varied client base. Brian advises a diverse group of clients, both public and private, on financial disclosure questions and tax consulting matters. Before joining PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in 2001, Brian graduated from the University of Maryland with degrees in Finance and Accounting. He holds a Masters in Taxation from the University of Baltimore. Brian also serves as the chair of Back on My Feet Baltimore, and lives in Baltimore City where he enjoys exploring the city streets on foot.
Check out Brian Jefferson on LinkedIn
Ryan Kosmides, Cofounder, TurBinD
Ryan Kosmides is a co-founder of TurBinD, a small-scale wind energy startup, where he has worked on the IT build-out and manufacture of the turbine. He is a current sophomore at the University of Maryland in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Honors Program. On the side, he operates and Amazon.com store specializing in microcontroller starter kits and acts as a research assistant for the Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory. Ryan is studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Technology Entrepreneurship.
Check out Ryan Kosmides on LinkedIn
Rehana Nathoo, Vice President, Social Innovation at the Case Foundation
Rehana joined the Case Foundation in 2016 as part of the Social Innovation team. Rehana serves as Vice President of Social Innovation, leading the Foundation’s efforts around Impact Investing. Previously, Rehana worked at the Bank of New York Mellon to help design the firm’s Social Finance program, and created a prototype for the firm’s first Impact Investment Fund. Prior to BNY Mellon, Rehana was a Program Associate at The Rockefeller Foundation, working on program initiatives that pertain broadly to economic development and innovative finance, with a specific focus on impact investing. Rehana also supported the Global Clearinghouse for Development Finance and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and served as an Assistant Adjunct Faculty member at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU, teaching on topics related to CSR and Social Finance. Rehana holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in Political Science from Queen’s University, and a Master of Arts in Development Economics and Foreign Policy Analysis from the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy.
Dan Nees, Director, Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland, UMD Alumnus
Dan Nees was named Director of the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) in October 2015, after previously holding this role from 2004-2007. He began his work at the EFC in 1998 as a graduate intern and passionately expanded the breadth of his role and his expertise. Since then, Dan has been dedicated to assisting communities throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the Mid-Atlantic region in their efforts to implement and finance environmental and sustainable development initiatives. Dan’s work currently focuses on developing innovative market and performance-based financing systems to reduce the cost of environmental compliance at local, state, and regional levels. In the time between his tenures as Director, he led environmental market and water quality programs at Forest Trends, a global NGO that seeks to develop market and economic solutions to global environmental problems, and at the World Resources Institute (WRI), an environmental think-tank. At the University of Maryland, College Park, Dan earned a B.A. in Economics, a Master of Environmental Policy, and a Master of Business Administration.
Check out the Environment Finance Center on twitter @EFCUMD
Elizabeth (Betsy) Orlando, Economic Officer, U.S. Department of State
Elizabeth (Betsy) Orlando joined the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service as an Economic Officer in 1992. Betsy works in the Bureau of Economic Affairs in the Office of Threat Finance and Countermeasures overseeing implementation of the Kimberely Process and Dodd Frank Act on Conflict Minerals. She also covers artisanal mining issues. Before joining U.S. Department of State Ms. Orlando worked at a private law firm, as a mediator for the city of Akron, and was a Court Advocate for victims of violence in NY. She has lived in Frankfurt, Germany (twice); Bangkok, Thailand; Helsinki, Finland; and Abuja, Nigeria and traveled to over 170 countries. Ms. Orlando is a Tex Harris Awardee for Constructive Dissent in 2004 and the Secretary of State Outstanding Overseas Volunteer Award (SOSA) in 2013. Ms. Orlando is a published author. Her writings have appeared in the newspapers Washington Times, Stars and Stripes European Edition, Connection Magazine, and has a book of poetry and prose “A Field of Flowers: Tales from a Diplomat’s Journey”. Betsy graduated with a B.A. from Mount Vernon College (now George Washington University) with Honors majoring in U.S. Policy and Politics and minoring in Legal Studies. She holds a J.D. from the University of Akron School of Law, and earned a Certificate in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) from Duke University 2012.
Ariel C. Pinchot, Research Analyst, World Resources Institute
Ariel is a Research Analyst with WRI’s Sustainable Finance Center where she conducts research and analysis on sustainable and responsible investing and international climate finance. Prior to joining WRI, her research focused on market-based livelihood development among natural resource dependent communities. This work included field studies to identify opportunities for local income generation in the forest sectors of Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Vietnam. She had previously served as an Investor Relations Associate with Root Capital. Ariel holds a B.S. in Development Sociology from Cornell University, as well as a Master’s in Development Practice and an M.S. in Natural Resources Science & Management from the University of Minnesota.
Josh Russakis, Baltimore Community Manager at Venture For America
Legend has it Baltimore native Josh actually bleeds Old Bay seasoning. He attended Amherst College, bouncing back and forth between the Middle East and campus until graduating in 2013. After college, he moved to Washington, D.C. to work in counterterrorism policy. Two years, a published report, and some field research later, he left D.C. to pursue what he saw as more impactful work in his hometown. In Baltimore, he began assisting local businesses with branding, marketing, and e-commerce strategy. Finding inspiration and purpose in this work, Josh realized his passion to support the larger startup movement driving Baltimore’s burgeoning renaissance. Thrilled to be working with the Baltimore VFA community, he believes in our Fellows’ potential to build the future of Baltimore and other cities around the nation through their talent and innovative ideas. In his off-time you can find Josh in his workshop, embracing his inner grease monkey, or looking for the perfect Old Fashioned in town.
Ryan Steinbach, Marketing Director, Impact Business Leaders, UMD Alumnus
Ryan Steinbach works with mission driven professionals to build more meaningful careers. He is the Marketing Director at Impact Business Leaders, where he leads program recruitment, marketing, and overall revenue generation activities. Ryan also supports the execution IBL programs all over the world which are designed to develop talented professionals into the next generation of leaders in the social sector. Prior to IBL, Ryan was a Community Manager for the Center for Social Value Creation at the Robert H. Smith School of Business where he connected students to programs and opportunities in social entrepreneurship, corporate sustainability, and business model innovation. Before that, Ryan worked on digital marketing strategy and execution for Calvert Foundation, Oikocredit USA, and The Newberry Group. Ryan earned degrees in Marketing and Management at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Ariela Suster, Founder, Sequence
Ariela Suster is Founder and Creative Director of Sequence, a collection of jewelry and accessories produced in El Salvador. After years of working in New York City as a fashion and accessories editor at iconic publications such as Instyle, Lucky and Harpers Bazaar, Ariela created Sequence, inspired by the vibrant design and culture of Latin America. Using her creative background, Ariela has established a signature style to create memorable pieces, all of which are expertly handcrafted by local artisans in Tepecoyo, an El Salvadoran neighborhood near Ariela's hometown. At Sequence, Ariela’s primary focus is providing young artisans employment as a positive alternative to the path of violence and local gang culture. In the five years since the Sequence workshop opened its doors, it has become like a second home to employees, offering a safe place to work, a steady job, three times the average wage for artisans with their backgrounds, and educational opportunities including classes in screen printing, embroidery, graphic design, basic computer skills and personal development. Ariela holds a BA in Psychology with a double minor in Dance and Government from Skidmore College, and a Graduate Certificate in Marketing Management from Harvard University.
Le-Marie V.J. Thompson, Founder, Nettadonna, UMD Alumnus
Le-Marie V.J. Thompson is a technologist passionate about innovation and its trans-formative effects on local communities. As a pre-teen she immigrated to the United States from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. In 2012, she founded, Nettadonna, a sustainability company committed to a global stewardship of technology practices that foster responsible management of the world’s resources. Additionally, Ms. Thompson serves an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland, Honor's College, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program; lecturing on creating enterprises with social impact. In 2014, Ms. Thompson was selected by Fast Company as one of the 100 Creative People in Business, as well as in Social Good. Ms. Thompson holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland and a Masters of Arts in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University.
Clifford Yee, Managing Director, Corporate Social Responsibility Services, Raffa
Clifford Yee is the Managing Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Services at Raffa, P.C., an accounting, consulting and technology firm based in the District of Columbia dedicated to service and community. As a certified B-Corp, national Top 100, "Best of the Best" CPA advisory firm specializing in nonprofits and socially-responsible businesses, Raffa provides support to help organizations effectively and efficiently manage their most critical processes. Cliff serves as the firm’s Practice Leader for Corporate Social Responsibility consulting services. He assists forward leaning companies and nonprofits with assessing, developing, improving, and delivering their social impact and partnership strategies. Prior to Raffa, Cliff was the Senior Director of Community Affairs and Market President Network at Capital One. Cliff earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree cum laude from the E. Claiborne Robins School of Management at the University of Richmond. He also holds a Certificate in Social Sector Leadership from the University of California – Berkeley, a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a Certified ScrumMaster with the Scrum Alliance.
Alan Zang, Vice President, Finance & Operations, CustomerFirstRenewables, UMD Alumnus
Alan is Vice President, Finance & Operations and leads CFR’s finance, accounting, process improvement, financial modeling, and project structuring activities. He has a deep background in financial analysis, risk management, and transaction execution, most recently as a key member of DaVita HealthCare Partners’ M&A office, where he was responsible for the valuation, structuring, and execution of a range of transactions. Previously, Alan was a Senior Associate at Ernst & Young, where he served large private equity clients on various accounting and transactional matters. He is also a CPA. Alan has been with CFR in a lead finance role since the company was founded in 2010. Alan holds an M.S. in accounting from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s in finance from the University of Maryland, College Park.