artist and entrepreneur, will be exhibiting a selection of her breathtaking encaustic drawings at our event. As Co-Founder and Creative Director of Zac Posen, Alexandra helped build a global luxury brand from the ground up, literally launching the business from the SOHO apartment where she and her brother were raised.
Alexandra's creative path has crossed diverse fields, including fashion, theater, mask making and visual art. A graduate of Brown University, she later studied physical theater at the legendary L'Ecole Jacques LeCoq in Paris, before returning to New York to work with a host of renowned designer/directors such as Roman Paska, Julie Taymor and Phillippe Genty.
Visual art has long been a passion of Alexandra's, and since 2010 she has focused primarily on her studio practice, working in beeswax, fabric, stone and other diverse materials to explore her fascination with the poetic nature of character and spirit. Her work is in numerous private collections, including the collection of MOMA President Emerita, Agnes Gund.
is the Founder & Managing Director of Illuminate Ventures, an early stage, high-tech Venture Capital Firm. Illuminate invests in start-ups leveraging new technologies and business models, with a particular focus in Cloud Computing. Current investments include BrightEdge, CalmSea, Hoopla and Xactly Corporation.
Recently named by Fast Company as one of the Most Influential Women in Technology and by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Most Influential Women in Business in the Bay Area, Cindy has helped to accelerate emerging technology companies for over 25 years as an entrepreneur, advisor, investor and board member. She has raised and deployed more than $100M in venture funding to help launch dozens of innovative start-ups and bring them to successful outcomes.
Cindy is an Advisor to Astia and Project Olympus and sits on the Business Board of Advisors for Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business where she received her MBA/MSIA.
is Chief Service Officer for the City of New York. Diahann heads NYC Service, a division of the Mayor’s Office, with the mission of tapping the power of the people to meet pressing challenges. NYC Service meets the Mayor’s State of the City pledge for New York City to lead the way in answering President Obama’s nationwide call to service. The NYC Service program has three main goals: help more New Yorkers connect to service opportunities more easily, target volunteers to address the city’s greatest needs, and promote service as a core part of what it means to be a citizen in the greatest City in the world. NYC Service initiatives target six impact areas: strengthening communities, helping neighbors in need, education, environment, health, and emergency preparedness. Diahann graduated from Yale University in 1994 with a B.A. in Psychology and a certificate in Teacher’s Preparation, and received the Nguza Saba Award for Political and Social Leadership in the same year. She was a White House Intern in the Office of National Service in 1993, under the Clinton Administration. In 2002, she earned her J.D. from Columbia School of Law and served as a Public Service Fellow, interning at the U.S. Attorney Office for the Southern District of New York. Diahann is a very proud Brooklyn native and currently lives there with her husband and their two children.
Pamela Peeke MD, MPH, FACP
is an internationally renowned physician, scientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, metabolism, stress and fitness. Known as "the doc who walks the talk", Dr. Peeke is an athlete and maverick entrepreneur in the field of integrative mind-body medicine.
Dr Peeke is the Lifestyle Expert for WebMD’s 90 million members and chief medical correspondent for nutrition and fitness for Discovery Health TV, hosting the National Body Challenge as well as Could You Survive? series.
A regular on-air medical commentator, Dr. Peeke is also contributing editor to numerous national online and print media channels. Dr. Peeke is the New York Times bestselling author of Fight Fat after Forty and Body for Life for Women. Her newest book, The Hunger Fix: The 3-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction will be launched on the Katie Couric Show.
is the CEO of Cancer Schmancer, the organization founded by cancer survivor and actress Fran Drescher, which focuses on education, prevention and early detection through innovative initiatives like TRASH CANCER parties that help people detox their homes and remove potentially dangerous carcinogens. In January 2012, Ms. Meadoff was asked to be a speaker at the MaD: Make a Difference conference in China. She gave a presentation highlighting her expertise on cross cultural community building reaching 3000 young entrepreneurs, In 2011, in addition to working for Cancer Schmancer, Ms. Meadoff consulted for the Goldie Hawn Foundation with strategic planning for the launch of their social emotional learning program called MindUP. Before joining Cancer Schmancer, Ms. Meadoff founded and was Chief Executive Officer of Chat Ventures, formally NextNext Entertainment, a New York-based production company focusing on youth television programming. In this capacity, she executive produced programming for Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, ABC, HBO Family, MTV and VH1.
is an Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominated American television and film actress, comedian, producer, and activist. She may be best known for her role as Fran Fine in the hit TV series,The Nanny. And, she currently stars on TV Land’s hit, Happily Divorced. But, Fran’s story reaches far beyond her Hollywood fame, distinctive nasal voice and New York accent.
Fran likes to say that she got famous, then got cancer, and now lives to talk about it. After surviving uterine cancer, Fran became and remains an outspoken healthcare advocate determined to save lives. She has received high praise for her work as a Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women’s Health Issues for the U.S. State Department.
Author of Cancer Schmancer, Fran is also the Founder, President and Visionary of The Cancer Schmancer Movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to early detection so that all women's cancers be diagnosed in Stage 1, the most curable phase of the disease. Most recently, Fran and her team launched The Trash Cancer Campaign, educating people across the nation on ways to detox their homes and lives, thereby reducing the risk of cancer for their families.
is President of The White House Project and was recently featured in Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women. Tiffany was listed among 60 influencers who are changing the world including leaders such as Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Tory Burch.
The White House Project is devoted to igniting the leadership of women in business and politics. Under TIffany’s leadership, the organization continues to connect, coach, and educate an ever-expanding alumnae network of 14,000 nationwide. As President of The White House Project, Tiffany is creating new programs to expand the organization with a focus on appealing to a broader audience while empowering women, not just in the political realm, but in society as a whole.
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, the daughter of a homemaker and a minister, Tiffany was an early feminist who challenged the perceptions of adults around her who often insisted, “little girls can’t lead.” Ever since she accepted the Girl of the Year Award in eighth grade, Tiffany knew that she wanted to make a profound impact. She committed herself, not only to affecting change, but to being public about it—so that other girls could be leaders, too.
is Chairman & CEO of Style for Hire, a network of personal stylists handpicked by Co-Founder, Stacy London, from TLC's What Not To Wear, ready to help you look your best, save money and have fun in the process.
With over a decade in the business side of fashion, McLaughlin brings deep industry knowledge and experience to her position. From 1999-2002 she worked in retail technology, and in 2003 co-founded and served as CEO of Abaeté, a NYC-based better apparel brand. She left in 2006 – pregnant – to follow her husband to California and start a family: falling quickly into a stay- at-home-mom style slump. Needing to rediscover her style and sense of self (and to get a job outside the house), she enlisted the help of her friend Stacy London to revitalize her wardrobe. The experience was transformational, and McLaughlin never went back out on the job market. Instead, the duo founded Style for Hire to bring Stacy’s level of service to ‘real’ people nationwide.
McLaughlin holds an MBA from MIT/Sloan and a BA from Mt. Holyoke College. Post-college, she served a term in Congo as a water and sanitation volunteer for the Peace Corps.
Deborah Buresh Jackson
is Founder and CEO of PlumAlley.co, a visionary e-commerce destination site that showcases extraordinary products and services by female founders. Plum Alley aims to direct consumer purchasing power to support female owned businesses. In early 2011, Ms. Jackson also founded www.JumpThru.net, a company whose purpose is to encourage more women to use and create technology and to achieve their own wealth by founding successful companies. To fulfill JumpThru.net’s mission, with two other co- founders, Ms. Jackson founded the first start-up company accelerator program dedicated to women founders creating new mobile technology (www.womeninnovatemobile.com.)
Ms. Jackson has been an early stage investor for the last 15 years. Her portfolio includes companies in cloud technology, mobile technology, drug discovery and consumer internet. She has been a member of Golden Seeds since 2009 and has served as a Judge for competitions including StartUp Weekend/NY, Technovation, Columbia Social Entrepreneurs, Vator.tv, Columbia Business Odyssey 2012 and Women 2.0. Recently, Ms. Jackson has been recognized by several publications and organizations including: Fast Company, 100 Women Heroes of 2012, Forbes, Women Changing the World VCs/Entrepreneurs, Columbia Venture Community’s CVC 30 list and Mashable’s 44 Female Founders to Know.
Ms. Jackson began her career at Goldman Sachs in 1980 and was an investment banker for over 21 years. She has an MBA from Columbia University.
Elise Lelon is an entrepreneur, business and leadership strategist, Adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and a sought after public speaker and business commentator for national television on topics including CEO compensation, unemployment, personal branding and career development. Elise founded and currently runs two complimentary service businesses for C-suite executives, entrepreneurs and professionals: leadership consulting firm, The You Business®, and AWE, The Association of Women Entrepreneurs & Executives, a national women’s leadership organization committed to inspiring and supporting greatness in the businesses, careers and lives of women. Among Elise’s roster of clients are BlackRock, Cisco, Brown Brothers Harriman, Intuit, and Sotheby’s International.
Previously, Elise served as Managing Director at Bernstein Investment Research and Management in New York City. She began her finance career as a sell-side equity research salesperson at Sanford C. Bernstein. Elise worked in a variety of capacities at General Electric and NBC, where she was trained as a Black Belt in Six Sigma. Early in her career, Elise conducted both clinical and research work with patients suffering from severe psychopathology at Massachusetts General and McLean Hospitals, where she also managed a department of clinicians and researchers. Elise earned her B.A. in Psychology from Brown University, her Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard, and her MBA from Harvard Business School.
Ellen is Managing Director of Silicon Valley Connect, working with organizations and entrepreneurs on opportunities for “networked innovation.” Additionally, she is an active angel investor and advisory board member for a number of startups. Ellen has just concluded nine years of working with LinkedIn, including having served as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, head of Corporate & Business Development, and her original role as Advisory Board member when the company was first founded.
Prior to LinkedIn, Ellen spent two years running a groundbreaking program at Stanford University, facilitating collaboration between industry partners, Silicon Valley, and the University research community by championing questions having to do with people, technology & innovation. Over her career, Ellen has held formal roles in venture capital (Softbank Venture Capital; NeoCarta Ventures; Draper Fisher Jurvetson), startups (WhoWhere, sold to Lycos; Softbook Press, sold to Gemstar), technology think tanks (Interval Research), large corporations (Apple Computer; PriceWaterhouse Coopers), and universities (Harvard University; Stanford University).
Recently described as "the Most Connected Woman in Silicon Valley" by FastCompany, Ellen now focuses much of her time on the dynamics of social networks within “the enterprise”, social media and the consumer Internet, innovation ecosystems and supporting organizational models. She has a BA from the University of Michigan, and MA/PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Stanford University.
Ms. Finnerty has responsibility for marketing, business development and client relationships. She comes to Morgan Stanley with more than twenty five years of investment industry success and a dedicated focus on wealth management, with a special emphasis on women. At Morgan Stanley, Ms. Finnerty demonstrates success by providing visionary leadership in highly competitive financial markets. She was chosen for the elite Rainmakers program, which focuses on the ultra high net worth clientele of both the Private Wealth and Global Wealth Management divisions of the firm. Ms. Finnerty also created an Ultra High Net worth Women’s Group at Morgan Stanley. Prior to Morgan Stanley Ms. Finnerty founded two separate investment management firms – Ventur Asset Management and Ventur Wealth Management – with distinctly different strategies for high net worth individuals, families, charitable foundations, small companies and non-profit organizations. Ms. Finnerty was the Founder and CEO and successfully managed each firm over many years.
Ms. Finnerty has participated in the “Women on Wall Street” event at the White House, and is a member of numerous organizations including 100 Women in the Hedge Fund Industry, 85 Broads, and High Water Women. She has also been a presenter and contributor at numerous conferences and seminars and has been quoted in many lead articles, including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Street.Com and other leading publications.
Ms. Finnerty has a B.A. in Psychology and Pre-Med from Barnard College, Columbia University, New York. She also has a Masters of Psychology, Education/Clinical Psychology as well as an Advanced Certificate in Psychology from the City University of New York. Among other public service endeavors, Ms. Finnerty is involved with Grey Matters at Columbia University, Cancer 101 and the American Red Cross Centennial Circle.
Dr. Logan Levkoff
is a nationally recognized expert in the field of human sexuality. She encourages honest conversation about sex and the role that it plays in American culture. As a thought leader in sexuality and relationships, Logan has appeared on many programs including Good Morning America, The Today Show, Rachel Ray and Oprah, and has contributed to and been profiled in publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire and Newsweek. She has designed and implemented sexuality education programs in many independent schools and community organizations.
Logan is the host of CafeMom’s Mom Ed: In the Bedroom and the author of Third Base Ain't What it Used to Be and How to Get Your Wife to Have Sex with You. She received a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Life Education from New York University as well as an M.S. in Human Sexuality Education and a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania. Logan lives in New York City with her husband, son, and daughter.
is an award-winning reporter and the New York- based foreign affairs columnist for Swedish national newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet. Her latest work, an investigative project published in The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, broke the story of "bacha posh" -- how girls grow up disguised as boys in gender-segregated Afghanistan. She is now working on a nonfiction book, to be published in six countries, exploring the topic in-depth.
For The Times' investigative unit, Nordberg has also contributed to a series that won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, and other journalism prizes include honors from U.S. Investigative Reporters and Editors, The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and The Swedish Investigative Reporters' Association. She holds a B.A. in Law and Journalism from Stockholm University, and an M.A. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
founded and led an eponymous multi-million dollar apparel company which pioneered the way successful women look and dress.
Since selling her fashion business, Dana became involved with her daughter Charlotte’s struggle with learning disabilities and wrote a book called A Special Education: One Family’s Journey through the Maze of Learning Disabilities. She became a national spokesperson on behalf of Learning Disabilities. From 2004 – 2010, Dana was chair of the Center for Attention and Learning at Lenox Hill Hospital Advisory Board. In 2010, Dana founded, and currently chairs, PROMISE PROJECT with the goal that one day all children with learning disabilities will have the chance to learn. This year PROMISE PROJECT joined forces with Columbia University Medical Center, in affiliation with New York-Presbyterian Hospital, to create the most comprehensive program in New York City helping impoverished children with learning disabilities, PROMISE Program at Columbia.
Dana graduated with honors from Brown University and studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and Central St. Martin’s School of Art in London.