MORNING PANELS

Entrepreneurship Panel

Come hear Wendy Xiao Schadeck, Jessica Lin, Sarah Rizkalla, Emily Sycz and Dee Poku discuss the entrepreneurial experiences in their careers. Topics range from funding your own business to coming up with an initial idea. Additionally, there will be a discussion around finding an entrepreneurial spirit in a big company. Audience-members will leave the panel with a better understanding of entrepreneurship and how to approach the field, starting from the ground up.  

 

Prior to joining Northzone, Wendy worked at A. T. Kearney and Accenture, a time she often refers to as “speed reading for corporate America” and took away two main themes: 1. Outsiders create truly disruptive innovation, and 2. Work requires purpose. This propelled her towards the world of startups.

While studying for her MBA at Columbia, she became a mother and became deeply enthralled in the dichotomy of roles women are expected to play, without much societal support in the U.S. In pursuit of work-life integration for all parents (herself included) she founded CoHatchery, a co-working space with onsite childcare.

Currently at Northzone, she is really tuned into the human side of founding a startup and is looking for technologies that create huge societal efficiencies by dramatically and fundamentally altering human behaviour. She has spent a lot of time studying the fundamental issues in blockchain tech as well as what makes digital brands thrive.

WENDY XIAO SCHADECK

INVESTMENT MANAGER, NORTHZONE

Jessica is a Co-Founder and Partner at Work-Bench, focusing on investments in future of work and teams. Jessica previously was a Learning and Development Manager at Cisco Systems, where she worked with the Engineering org on Agile transformation, innovation and culture. Jessica is a graduate of Harvard University and developed Harvard’s first aspirational design and experiential education summer fellowship program in Cape Town, South Africa & Paris, France.

Jessica is actively involved with the education and workforce development community, as an advisor to LaGuardia Community College and a longtime GED educator.

Jessica received a BA from Harvard University in Government and African Studies.

JESSICA LIN

CO-FOUNDER, WORKBENCH

Sarah Rizkalla is the founder and editor-in-chief of New York Minute Magazine (NYMM), an online publication empowering women and promoting equality, while also shedding light on the effects of inequality around the world. NYMM began in May of 2012 as a one-woman show after Sarah left a promising Wall Street career. She now leads over 50 hardworking interns, who span the entire globe. Sarah and the New York Minute team believe that being a woman is a strength, never a deficiency, and constantly work to promote the inherent badassness of women.

She recently took new headshots but haven't received them yet. I'm attaching another photo that can be used as a place holder in the meantime, though I'm not sure she'll receive her new headshot before the event.

SARAH RIZKALLA

FOUNDER OF NEW YORK MINUTE MAGAZINE

 
 
 Kara Brewer is an Associate at Oliver Wyman where she works with Financial Services and Public Sector clients to address strategic and operational issues. At Oliver Wyman, Kara has led projects with Fortune 100 banks and insurance companies, government agencies, and leading NGOs. Kara is also the founder of The Active Citizen, a social enterprise that she launched in 2016. The Active Citizen engages and educates young professionals on a range of social impact topics. Through their events, The Active Citizen builds connections and community among socially-minded individuals. Since its launch in 2016, Kara has organized over 55 events that have been attended by thousands of young professionals, and has partnered with a range of innovative organizations, including The Gates Foundation, Crisis Text Line, Kiva, among many others.

Kara Brewer is an Associate at Oliver Wyman where she works with Financial Services and
Public Sector clients to address strategic and operational issues. At Oliver Wyman, Kara has
led projects with Fortune 100 banks and insurance companies, government agencies, and
leading NGOs. Kara is also the founder of The Active Citizen, a social enterprise that she
launched in 2016. The Active Citizen engages and educates young professionals on a range
of social impact topics. Through their events, The Active Citizen builds connections and
community among socially-minded individuals. Since its launch in 2016, Kara has organized over 55 events that have been attended by thousands of young professionals, and has
partnered with a range of innovative organizations, including The Gates Foundation, Crisis Text Line, Kiva, among many others.

KARA BREWER

ASSOCIATE, OLIVER WYMAN

 Dee Poku-Spalding is the Founder and CEO of WIE, an influential women’s leadership network. WIE connects emerging and established women leaders, and works to equip the next generation with the tools to succeed. The organization has attracted an incredible range of speakers to its global symposiums and salons, including Donna Karan, Arianna Huffington, Queen Rania, Melinda Gates, Diane von Furstenberg, Nancy Pelosi, Jill Biden, Tyra Banks, Lauren Bush, Elizabeth Banks, Iman, Rosario Dawson and Christy Turlington. She is also the founder of The Other Festival, a first of its kind all female festival that showcases talented founders, makers and creators. A former Hollywood studio executive, Dee’s background includes senior marketing roles at Paramount Pictures and Focus Features (a division of Universal Pictures), working with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Emily Blunt and Penelope Cruz. Dee began her career in brand marketing and promotions and over the years has worked with renowned brands such as Coca Cola, Absolut Vodka, Crème de la Mer, Stella Artois and London Fashion Week. Dee is a Huffington Post blogger and a contributor to Forbes. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics.

Dee Poku-Spalding is the Founder and CEO of WIE, an influential women’s leadership network.
WIE connects emerging and established women leaders, and works to equip the next generation
with the tools to succeed. The organization has attracted an incredible range of speakers to its
global symposiums and salons, including Donna Karan, Arianna Huffington, Queen Rania,
Melinda Gates, Diane von Furstenberg, Nancy Pelosi, Jill Biden, Tyra Banks, Lauren Bush,
Elizabeth Banks, Iman, Rosario Dawson and Christy Turlington. She is also the founder of The
Other Festival, a first of its kind all female festival that showcases talented founders, makers and
creators.
A former Hollywood studio executive, Dee’s background includes senior marketing roles at
Paramount Pictures and Focus Features (a division of Universal Pictures), working with the likes
of Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Emily Blunt
and Penelope Cruz. Dee began her career in brand marketing and promotions and over the years
has worked with renowned brands such as Coca Cola, Absolut Vodka, Crème de la Mer, Stella
Artois and London Fashion Week. Dee is a Huffington Post blogger and a contributor to Forbes.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics.

DEE POKU

FOUNDER, WIE NETWORK

Ritu Banga is co-founder of Zoomdojo, a college to career initiative. She is a trustee of Marymount School, New York; serves on the Advisory Board of SAYA! (South Asian Youth Action); and is an advisor to Virtual Enterprises International, a Dept. of Education affiliated non-profit, and to the South Asia Business Association, Columbia University.

Ritu has been a guest speaker at Cornell University’s “Women, Leadership and Entrepreneurship” seminar. She has also been a speaker at various conferences at Columbia University, NYU, Vanderbilt University, and at the University of Toronto’s Rottman School of Management.

Past affiliations include: Advisory Committee of the American Institute of Architects New York; Trustee, International School of Brussels; and President, Joint Schools Association, New York. She was a board member of the Asian University for Women Support Foundation (2007-11).

Ritu is a graduate of Delhi University and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

RITU BANGA

CO-FOUNDER, ZOOMDOJO

 
 

Integrating Interruptions Panel

The business world isn’t always as well-oiled as it may seem. Business-women can be faced with diverse challenges, experiences, and changes that require minor or major adjustments to their lives in order to continue along their path. Sometimes interruptions are self-imposed and sometimes they are completely out of one’s control. Today we have a panel of three incredible women willing to discuss their career and life “interruption” and the ways in which they navigated it. These women come from diverse backgrounds and experienced diverse interruptions, however, the common denominator is the impressive methods these women used to integrate challenges and experiences. Certain interruptions can include developing families, working through business school, and changing careers. Each woman dealt with her experiences in a certain way, which led to growth and new opportunities.

 

Marcie began working with MUFG in May 2013 to build the Commodity Finance business in North America for the US Corporate Banking division. Since arriving at MUFG, Marcie has built a team of 16 professionals dedicated to the CF business. Prior to joining MUFG, Marcie was Head of Commodity Finance NA for BNP Paribas where she worked since 1979. While at BNP Paribas, Marcie developed a franchise business for Commodity Finance ultimately becoming the lead bank in the industry. She worked to lead arrange, structure and syndicate secured CF transactions; a role which continues at MUFG. Marcie is involved with Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) and also serves on the board as a Director for LICADD (Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence). Originally from New York, Marcie lived in France for two years prior to joining BNPP and is fluent in French. Marcie received her bachelor’s Degree in French Literature from SUNY Stony Brook. 

MARCIE WEISS

MD & HEAD OF COMMODITY FINANCING, MUFG

Kathy Kriskey initiated the commodity investor business at the Royal Bank of Canada as the Head of Commodity Investor Solutions four years ago. She has over 20 years of commodity derivatives experience. Her primary focus is commodity indices and other structured products for asset managers, pension plans, endowments, Sovereign Wealth Funds and retail investors. In addition to her role as a Managing Director at RBC, Kathy is Co-Chair of RWomen USA, the 600+ women’s employee resource group. 

Prior to joining RBC Capital Markets, Kathy created the institutional Commodity Investor Business at another Canadian bank. She also initiated the investor effort within the commodities group at UBS in 2006, marketing innovative commodity investor products to a large client base. Earlier Kathy helped to promote an actively managed commodity fund at Jefferies Asset Management. 

Kathy also worked at JP Morgan and Bankers Trust in London, New York and Houston as the lead marketer of commodity derivatives for producers and consumers. Kathy began her career in finance at Oppenheimer as an analyst after graduating from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in finance. 

KATHY KRISKEY

MANAGING DIRECTOR, HEAD OF COMMODITY INVESTOR SOLUTIONS, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS

In 2018, Kim was promoted to Director of Business to Business Strategy at Verizon Wireless after launching a new global business unit within Verizon for which she won two Stevie Business awards, the world's premier business awards.  She is an 18-year global technology sales veteran with diverse experience in nearly all areas High Tech spanning Networking, Telecom, Big Data Analytics, mobile chipsets, 4G LTE mobile infrastructure, security software, IOT, cloud, storage hardware, as well as voice, video, and data networking equipment.  Past companies include Intel, Ericsson, and Cisco as well as a Silicon Valley startup.

 

Kim earned a BA in Biology from Columbia College of Columbia University in 2000, and her MBA from Columbia Business School in 2017.

 

She has been a competitive runner since 1992, has run a sub-5 minute mile, and has completed 10 marathons.  Kim is married and has a 4-year-old son.

 

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Kim is an accomplished Senior Executive with more than 18 years of success spanning security, big data analytics, IoT, computer networking, telecommunications, financial services, and private equity.  Leveraging extensive experience identifying new global revenue streams, Kim is a valuable asset for a company requiring advisory related to stagnant sales, rapid growth, or global expansion. Her broad areas of expertise include negotiations, market analysis, revenue optimization, GTM strategy, operational strategy, and cost containment. Kim excels at revenue stream development and partner relationships to build national and international brands and increase sales.

 

Throughout her executive career, Kim has held leadership positions with Verizon, Intel Corporation, Guavus Inc., Ericsson Inc., Exenet LLC, and Cisco Systems, Inc.  She just accepted a role as the leader of wireless business strategy for Verizon and prior to that, she was responsible for delivering 131% of quota within three months of launch, building a new global sales team and division for Verizon, and closing $50M of new business in three months.  An industry visionary, Kim specializes in innovative strategies to solve problems. She is an expert in Big Data analytics, partnership solutions, and talent optimization.

 

Kim won both a team and an individual Stevie Award last year.  She is a leader in customer engagement strategies devising cross-functional plans to drive sales and improve customer retention rates. In a previous role, she worked with Intel Corp and McAfee teams to provide next-generation solutions for Verizon. Kim is a leader in operational intelligence, strategic partnerships, sales processes, and competitive analysis.

Kim attained her MBA with Honors and her BA in Biology with a Pre-Med concentration both from Columbia University. As a seasoned board member, she has held positions with Elevacao Foundation, Inc.
 

KIM FISHER WARREN

DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY, VERIZON WIRELESS

 
 
 Larissa Liburd is a strategy, marketing, growth, and partnerships professional with experience in strategic planning, facilitating marketing and social media campaigns, consulting entrepreneurs and early-stage ventures from ideation through early stage growth, writing for and editing digital/print publications, fundraising, and general business development. Currently, she works at Venture for America – a nonprofit entrepreneurship Fellowship program for recent college graduates – as their Manager of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. At VFA she tackles strategic national partnerships, recruiting and supporting Fellows from diverse backgrounds throughout the Fellowship, and advising/supporting Fellow-founded companies. Prior to VFA, Larissa was the Social Responsibility Coordinator at White & Case LLP, a global law firm. She attended Yale University, and graduated in 2014 with a BA in Political Science and a concentration in Latin American & Caribbean Studies.

Larissa Liburd is a strategy, marketing, growth, and partnerships professional with experience in strategic planning, facilitating marketing and social media campaigns, consulting entrepreneurs and early-stage ventures from ideation through early stage growth, writing for and editing digital/print publications, fundraising, and general business development. Currently, she works at Venture for America – a nonprofit entrepreneurship Fellowship program for recent college graduates – as their Manager of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. At VFA she tackles strategic national partnerships, recruiting and supporting Fellows from diverse backgrounds throughout the Fellowship, and advising/supporting Fellow-founded companies. Prior to VFA, Larissa was the Social Responsibility Coordinator at White & Case LLP, a global law firm. She attended Yale University, and graduated in 2014 with a BA in Political Science and a concentration in Latin American & Caribbean Studies.

LARISSA LIBURD

MANAGER OF DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION, VENTURE FOR AMERICA

Carol began her career In New York at Bankers Trust Company where she specialized in private capital raising for corporate and sovereign clients. Following BT,  she was Managing Director in Tokyo for The Whitney Group, an international executive search firm. During her years in Hong Kong, she was advisor and angel investor to AsiaInfo which became the first China-based tech company to go public on the NASDQ. Since returning to New York, she has been investing and advising startups  and founded the Rattray Kimura Foundation. Carol is currently a member of the board of trustees of Bates College, The Asian Cultural Council and the Re Foundation. She is an advisory board member of the Columbia Business School's Lang Center for Entrepreneurship and South Asia Business Association, Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences, Dean's Advisory and Cornell University Councils, The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment Program and Global China Connection.  Carol received a BA from Cornell University and an MIA and MBA from Columbia University.  

 

CAROL RATTRAY
MD & CO-FOUNDER, ZOOMDOJO