The following New York City based entrepreneurs committed to forming the 2nd cohort of community-leaders in the Athena Mastermind entrepreneur group for the 2013-2014 term (G2), meeting monthly with four talented Barnard entrepreneurs who were selected in September 2013.
Adda Birnir is (apart from being founder and CEO of skillcrush) a front-end developer and ruby newbie, wannabe student, and lover of Hall & Oates videos on YouTube. We can’t fault her for the last one, but we really don’t understand it. She is obsessed with creating great products and has fine-tuned this obsession by creating interactive news applications for WNYC, The New York Times, MTV, and Huffington Post. In a previous life, she co-founded Balance Media, a media focused client services company.
Elise Schuster, MPH (Barnard ’04) is currently the Member Engagement Coordinator at The Door, where she supervises and mentors thirty college students, helping them develop basic clinical social work skills while engaging with low-income teenagers and helping them get connected to Door services. Prior to The Door, Elise spent nine years as a sexuality educator at Babeland, developing an extensive knowledge of human sexuality and teaching over 100 workshops to teenagers, married couples, the elderly and many others. Elise also ran Babeland’s blog and other social media for two years. Elise has a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Sexuality and Health from Columbia University (’09). During graduate school, Elise worked as a sexuality educator and HIV counselor/tester for teenagers in alternative high schools. Elise’s current project is a sexuality education focused iPhone app. With her Mailman classmate, Francisco Ramirez, Elise has spent the past year developing exclusive content for this app with a focus on non-judgmental, fun, and easy to understand information for anyone ages 18-30.
Kavita Mehra has been working in the not-for-profit sector in the New York City area for over 10 years and is currently the Vice President of GlamourGals Foundation, where she focuses on new business development. Kavita completed her Bachelor of Arts from New York University with a double major in both History and Gender Studies. She also holds a Master of Arts from Columbia University with a concentration in South Asian Studies. Since joining, GlamourGals has doubled its program size; launched a Scholarship and a Fellowship program; secured a makeover with The New York Yankees; and, doubled the size of its Advisory Board. In September 2012, Kavita accepted an award on behalf of GlamourGals from Visions VCB’s Manhattan Advisory Board and in January 2013, Kavita was one of 21 leaders in New Jersey accepted into the New Leaders Council’s Fellowship class. In 2014, Kavita will be featured in the forthcoming book “Roshni: Emerging Indian Global Leaders” for her work in the not-for-profit sector. Kavita is an Executive Board Member of New Leader Council’s New Jersey Chapter, has published in the Huffington Post, is an annual speaker at HOBY NJ, and, has been featured in leading media outlets.
Roberta Pereira is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Dress Circle Publishing, the premiere publisher of theater-themed books. In addition, she is a Producer with Bisno Productions, where she has worked on shows such as the Broadway revival of Annie; the West End revival of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along; the Broadway premiere of Grace, starring Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon, and Ed Asner; and Tony Award-winning smash hit War Horse (also Toronto and US tour). Roberta is Chair of the Board of Directors of nonprofit theater company Studio 42 and she is a founding ensemble member of Tilted Field. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and holds an MFA from Yale School of Drama’s Theater Management program. She is originally from Brazil and currently lives in New York City.
Barnard Student Mastermind Members
Emily-Anne Rigal is a leading voice in the crusade against bullying. Currently a 19-year-old student at Barnard College in New York City, Rigal serves as the Director of WeStopHate.org, a non-profit program which she founded in 2010 at age 16. WeStopHate which raises self-esteem in 100,000+ teens across the world as a way to combat bullying and has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, Forbes, Seventeen Magazine, CNN and MTV. In 2012, Newsweek ranked Rigal on their list of the 150 Most Fearless Women in the World. For more information, please visit EmilyAnneRigal.com.
Jada Hawkins is a rising sophomore at Barnard College who was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She plans to major in Economics and Computer Science. On campus Jada is the president of Barnard’s Entrepreneur Club, a member of the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, a writer for Hoot (Columbia University’s fashion publication) as well as associate editor for 292 (the campus lifestyle magazine), a Speaking Fellow, a member of the Black Student Organization, co-captain of Columbia’s Club Volleyball Team, an Athena Scholar, a member of the Athena Center’s Student Advisory Board, and an orientation leader for NSOP. This past year Jada has spent her time as a digital marketing intern with the startup company Muchness. Here she gained her passion for entrepreneurship and the freedom it gives you to pursue your dreams and improve the world we live in. Which is why she is currently launching her first venture Own Your Image, a site that promotes self acceptance and self improvements.
Sophia Quraishi is a sophomore pre-med student and intends to major in Neuroscience with a minor in Political Science. As an executive board member of Design for America and leader of the project Re-Inventing Sexual Education – which aims to encourage condom use amongst teenagers in Harlem – Sophia is passionate about encouraging sustainable solutions to community problems. Furthermore, her summer internship in clinical research at Oslo University and involvement in the Extended Barnard Reach Out Program has inspired her to continue to help people in diverse and meaningful ways as she pursues her career. Her plan is to combine medicine and socially conscious entrepreneurship in an impactful and lasting approach.
Toby Milstein is a senior at Barnard majoring in history. In the aftermath of the horrific shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut, she started a social action jewelry line--Wear It: Don't Bear It. 100% of profits go to organizations that help families cope with gun violence tragedy. The Bereaved Parents of the USA which is a nation-wide organization dedicated to helping parents and families who have lost children is one such organization she has supported.
The following mid to senior management professionals were selected to form the inaugural Management Mastermind, led by Barnard alum, Miranda Stamps (BC '00).
Miranda Stamps has nearly two decades of experience in both project management and product development. She currently leads the software development process at Pearson to improve education in public schools across the U.S. Ms. Stamps is a coach and mentor to a team of professionals across functional departments. Ms.Stamps is responsible for managing product development projects in K-12 Technology at Pearson. Additionally, her team develops the user experience interface, design and documentation for new products. Ms. Stamps has a passion for driving innovative new development efforts in education technology. She has had success on multiple technology platforms, including spearheading the largest deployment of K-12 curriculum on iPads to date. In 2011, Pearson acquired Schoolnet where Ms. Stamps had served as Vice President of Product Development. Schoolnet focused on building instructional platforms serving school districts and states across the United States. Prior to joining Schoolnet (later acquired by Pearson), Ms. Stamps worked at Ernst & Young in the Global CIO group. At E&Y, she managed several large scale global technology infrastructure and software initiatives. She also worked on the 5 year global technology strategy and was also responsible for developing the project management methodology and training the global technology team on its use. Ms. Stamps graduated magma cum laude with her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science & Sociology from Barnard College at Columbia University. She enjoys going on adventures with her husband and twin four-year-old children.
Clara Rodriguez is Global Director of Marketing and Business Development for the international law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Clara has over 12 years of experience leading comprehensive marketing, business development and external communication strategies for billion-dollar law firms. She is also the founding member of a non-profit called Art for Change, an organization that provides innovative art and media programs that inspire activism for social justice. Her experience within both the for-profit and non-profit sectors include developing branding initiatives, overseeing global business and marketing plans, as well as implementing new staffing and management models. Prior to Orrick, Clara held marketing roles with Paul Hastings, Morgan Lewis and Major League Soccer. She received her B.A. in Communications from Texas A&M University, College Station and is pursuing her M.A. in Contemporary and Modern Art History from Christie’s Education, New York.
Jenn Shaw, having earned a dual degree in Accounting and Marketing at Chadron State College, is the first of few in her family to receive a college education. She is currently Founder of NYTechWomen and a Senior Data Analyst for comScore. Jennifer hales from rural Nebraska, and has used these All-American roots as fuel for empowering people to leverage technology and improve the state of STEM education and workforces in the US. Ms. Shaw has quickly established NYTechWomen as the authority for women in tech in the NYC metro area. She is leading the way to educating rural areas of the US and tackling the urgent need of increased participation and attainment rates of the underserved of America. Jennifer has been a recognized innovator by several NYC-based ventures, including Plum Alley, Women Innovate Mobile and Canada’s What’s Your Tech and has spoken at TEDxHobokenWomen. As Senior Data Analyst at comScore, she has leveraged her in-depth market research skills to advise top tier publishers on audience measurement methodologies and digital trends. Jennifer is a continued advocate for bridging traditional corporate success and the hustle and empowerment of a startup attitude. Her mission remains focused in mentoring opportunities and empowering women who are serious about the technology sector.
Kate Voyten is the VP of Marketing for SK-II and The Art of Shaving. A leader with 10+ years of marketing and general management experience in the beauty industry, she has successfully built several brands across the mass and prestige categories. During her tenure at Procter & Gamble, she was responsible for product development, marketing, strategy and business development across a portfolio of brands including CoverGirl and Gucci Fine Fragrances. Ms. Voyten earned a Master of Science in Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master in Professional Studies, in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management from FIT. She sits on the Associate Board of the Fragrance Foundation and is an active member of CEW.
Kristine Lin Cotton is an information technology professional with a career spanning more than 30 years. She has worked in multiple industry verticals including Finance, Retail, and Healthcare. She has held management positions in large, for-profit corporations (Target, TCF Bank), mid-sized, not-for-profit corporations (Empire Corporate Federal Credit Union), and in government (NYS Department of Labor). Her current position is with the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), a mid-sized private corporation – a not-for-profit corporation with for-profit subsidiaries – where she runs the Information Services division. As Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), and Vice-President, her responsibilities include strategic planning, staff management, project management, financial management, regulatory compliance, information security, and oversight of anything related to information technology for HANYS. She has a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degree and started her career working as an illustrator and graphic designer for a major Midwestern museum. She has exhibited internationally and had her work used in a made-for-TV movie. Art is still a major part of her life. She continues to exhibit (intermittently) and make art. She is a transplant from the Midwest. She currently live in upstate New York with her wife, Trina, on 5 acres of mostly forest.
Virginie Henry is a strategy consulting manager at Monitor Deloitte, the strategy arm of Deloitte Consulting LLP. She advises for-profits, sovereign governments and non-profits across Europe, the MENA region and the United States on their growth. Virginie is a member of Deloitte Consulting’s NYC Managing Director’s Cabinet, in charge of the firm’s local business and social community involvement initiatives, and also serves as the lead of the women’s initiative network (WIN). She is passionate about women’s issues and is committed to advancing women's leadership and entrepreneurship. She is a fellow of the Pipeline Fellowship that prepares women philanthropists to become angel investors in innovative women-led for-profit social ventures. In her free time she advises women startup CEO's and founders on their strategy, and invests in early stage companies. Virginie is a fluent French and German speaker. She holds a Master in Management from ESCP Europe and a Bachelor of Law from Paris 10 University. In her free time she enjoys discovering new restaurants in New York City, and traveling and trekking with her husband.
Shala Burroughs is the Executive Director of the Women Innovate Mobile Accelerator and a 2013 Startup Leadership Program Fellow. Shala first became interested in startups and tech while working at Lerer Ventures and Quartz, Atlantic Media’s newest business brand. Prior to her foray into tech, Shala was a Senior Intelligence Officer with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where she coordinated the activities of 76 intelligence officers across the US. Working for the government was a natural extension of her earlier work as a Senior Consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton where she supported clients within Homeland Security while simultaneously pitching, building, and growing a Social Media Mentoring Program to pair social media experts with Senior Vice Presidents within the company. This idea brought her to the Aspen Ideas Festival to support Booz Allen’s emergence into new media platforms and her work was eventually published in one of the leading security industry professional publications. Shala holds a BA in Government from Dartmouth College where she was a 2007 Rockefeller Center Leadership Fellow and continues to serve her alma mater as a member of Dartmouth’s Young Alumni Advisory Board.