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NOVEMBER 19, 2010



JENNA BOND-LOUDEN ‘11 comes to Columbia Business School focused on media

corporate strategy, specifically in the area of video on-demand, after four years working at the William J. Clinton Foundation. Her accomplishments there include managing the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund and writing for former president Bill Clinton. Prior, she worked for publications SAVOY and BEST LIFE. Jenna is a Wellesley College graduate and holds a certificate from the Columbia School of Journalism Publishing Course. She is a 2009 Management Leadership for Tomorrow MBA Fellow and is actively involved in Minds Matter of New York and serves on the junior board of College Summit.

NII KONEY ’11is pursuing a dual MD/MBA degree at Weill Cornell Medical College and

Columbia Business School. He graduated from Williams College with a chemistry degree and spent the next six years working as a medicinal chemist at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, an innovative cancer drug discovery company. Nii was one of the first employees at Infinity where he played a lead role in the design of targeted therapeutics and was named an inventor on a patent for his work on a novel cancer target. Growing up between the United States and West Africa, he experienced first-hand the drastic disparities of access to quality healthcare on both continents. At Columbia Business School, he is learning new tools to help in his mission, and has benefited from Columbia’s experiential learning program by consulting on projects that have taken him from India to Ghana, all while directing a pediatric obesity prevention program in New York City. He sees the pivotal role that the healthcare sector plays in expanding economic opportunity and plans to build his career towards improving healthcare delivery systems.

LISA NICOLE WILLIAMS ’11 has six years experience in financial services, coming to

Columbia Business School from Citi. There she worked in equity and fixed income research. Passionate about transforming inner cities through financial investment, she has advised small business and non-profits on their growth strategies. Lisa brought this commitment to campus as coordinator of the BBSA Hughie Mills Business Academy, a program designed to relay business education to community entrepreneurs. Most recently, her passion shined as her team took first place in the Columbia Small Business Consulting Program competition. Lisa is an alumna of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity and Management Leadership Tomorrow MBA Prep, and is a current fellow of the Robert Toigo Foundation.

Dear Conference Participants,


e are glad that you have chosen to spend your day with Columbia Business School for the 29th annual Black MBA Conference hosted by our Black Business Students Association. With the generous support of our sponsors, led by BNY Mellon, we are excited to launch REFRESH 2010: Ethics, Innovation & Ideas in Action. REFRESH 2010 is a day to celebrate Columbia Business School, through interactive conversations designed to spark action and commitment from our audience. Our agenda aims to celebrate the insignts of diverse leaders, particularly as our event overlaps with the relaunch of the Hispanic Business Assocation. The first part of our day is a focus on Ideas in Action, setting the day’s tone with presentations by speakers who are building businesses that are motivated by passion. In the afternoon, we look forward to contemplating Ethics through the lens of sports. Finally, we will engage leaders in the new business frontiers of the 21st century for a conversation on Innovation. Connecting these themes are working sessions sized for lively conversation and active networking breaks to increase exposure to our recruiting sponsors and to facilitate networking. As we stand on the eve of a milestone anniversary, our organization confronted the distinction between habit and tradition. The difference lies in a clear, directive mission: To build a day that serves as a laboratory for the imagination and intellect of business stewardship. REFRESH 2010 embodies both the entrepreneurial heart and practical application that are core elements of the Columbia Business School experience and the legacy of black leadership. We hope that your day concludes with a toolkit that ignites a professional sense of purpose and personal commitment to societal leadership. Your attendance at REFRESH 2010 means a lot to us. We look forward to getting to know you. Sincerely,

Jenna Bond-Louden ‘11 | Nii Koney ‘11 | Lisa Nicole Williams ‘11 The REFRESH 2010 Co-Chairs Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010



8:30 AM

Registration/Sign-Up for Lunch with Speakers

9:00 AM Conference Welcome Address GITA JOHAR, PH.D.|Vice Dean for Research, Columbia Business School

9:30 AM

 pening Conversation – Why We Are Committed to Diversity O E RIKA IRISH BROWN ‘98|Bank of America BOB INGRAM|UPTOWN Professional LENNY SINGLETARY|BNY Mellon ANDREW WATT ‘96|Standard & Poor’s

10:00 AM

Opening Keynote Address PEARLENA IGBOKWE ‘92 SVP Original Programming, Showtime Networks


10:30 AM

10:40 AM hat nference.

Ideas in Action – Presentations by Game Changers in Business & Society KESHA CASH ‘10|Jalia Ventures LEONARD RAYFORD ‘98|CW Financial D  J BEVERLY BOND|Black Girls Rock! TM MARC ECKO|Marc Ecko Enterprises

11:20 AM

Breakout Networking with Ideas in Action Speakers

12:00 PM

L uncheon General Session on Sports, Ethics, & Society Remarks by Titanium & Diamond Sponsors Intro by Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership & Ethics JIMMIE LEE SOLOMON|Major League Baseball ROY S. JOHNSON|Men’s Fitness, America Media, Inc.

1:15 PM


1:30 PM

Afternoon Working Sessions EDUCATION|Serving High-Achieving Youth ENTREPRENEURSHIP|Transforming Innovation Into Community Capital FINANCE|Charting a Course from MBA to Senior Executive HEALTH CARE|Reform & Opportunity for Business Leadership PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT|The Purpose of a Network

2:30 PM


2:40 PM

Keynote Roundtable on Innovation – Charting New Courses MICHAEL J. BARBER|GE MICHELLE WEBB|Verizon FiOS1 DARRELL WILLIAMS, PH.D.|

3:45 PM

Speed Networking Break

4:15 PM

Closing Town Hall Viewing of “Before They Die” Conversation on the Impact of Black Wealth in Bolstering Society MICHELLE JEAN|Director of High Profile Events, Urban Zen OLIVIA HOOKER, PH.D.|Survivor of the Tulsa Race Riots GAIL WRIGHT, PH.D.|Civil Rights Attorney

8:00 PM

Gala Reception: The Westin Times Square (Majestic Ballroom)

9:00 PM

Alumni Honors ROBERT F. SMITH ‘94, Founder & Managing Partner, Vista Equity Partners


Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010


makes our world beautiful.


It is our great pleasure to support the Columbia Black MBA Conference.



Good Morning! We are very excited to welcome you to the 29th Annual Black Business Students Association (BBSA) Conference. With the economy at an inflection point, there is a renewed sense of possibility and optimism that led to the theme of this year’s conference—REFRESH: Ethics, Innovation and Ideas in Action. The BBSA at Columbia Business School is one of the most impactful organizations on campus. We have a longstanding tradition of investing in our membership for the mutual success of all stakeholders. ©2010 The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.

While the annual conference is our signature event, the BBSA provides a number of resources for current students, alumni, sponsors and the local community. We collaborate with sponsors to educate students on career opportunities and development tools, and provide sponsors with unique access to exceptional minority talent. We invite alumni to remain connected through career panels and special networking events.



The BBSA is also committed to our broader community through volunteer initiatives, such as The Hughie Mills Business Academy, which offers a curriculum on business plan development for small business owners in the tri-state area. We continue to believe that academics, professional development and service are the cornerstones of our organization. We want to give a special thank you to Jenna Bond-Louden ‘11, Nii Koney ‘11, Lisa Nicole Williams ‘11, Olivia Byanyima ‘12, Ngo Harry ‘12, Kendra Phelps ‘12 and the many volunteers that are here today. The Conference Committee has worked tirelessly to create a unique experience for attendees and their hard work is much appreciated.


Additionally, thank you to the Office of Student Affairs for their continued support and wisdom. Found from website recreated PMS

Finally, thank you to the speakers, panelists and attendees for making this a memorable event. Warmly, SILVER

Jeff Lamour ‘11& Kia Lowe ‘11 Co-Presidents of the Black Business Students Association MEDIA

Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010



PHILOSOPHY We believe that conferences should be interactive. Today, you can expect:



Author and Playwright National CARES Mentoring Movement Author and Producer UPTOWN Professional Magazine Kai Kai Communications Corp Bank of America Merrill Lynch VMC Management JPMorgan Asset Management Columbia Business School



Conference Co-Chair Conference Co-Chair Conference Co-Chair Programmatic Director Logistics Director Experiential Director VP, Alumni


Co-President Co-President VP, Finance VP, Corporate Relations Special Projects Special Projects VP, Membership VP, Events AVP, Events

Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010

1 A focus on personal and professional introductions that will energize your career goals

2 A reduction in panels for the sake of an interactive program

3 I deas in Action: presentations by game changers in business and society

4 P rogramming that facilitates meaningful connections between recruiting firms and talented MBAs

5 T houghtful recommendations on whom you should meet, because networking is more than working room

6 P assion for the future of business and the way we operate in the greater world

7 Great ideas, debate, food and people who make moments fun

8 To be part of an audience that gives as much as our speakers do

9 To identify what distinguishes the Columbia Business School MBA

10 To be REFRESHed



Senior Vice President, Original Programming Showtime Networks Inc Pearlena Igbokwe developed and currently supervises Showtime’s Emmy & Golden Globe nominated and Peabody Award winning drama Dexter and the Edie Falco hit Nurse Jackie. Most recently, Igbokwe shepherded the comedies Fat Actress starring Kirstie Alley, the TV adaptation of Barbershop, The Underground star­ ring Damon Wayans, Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union, and LA LA Land. She was also responsible for the five-season run of the hit Show­ time drama series Soul Food, a two-time NAACP Image Award winner for Best Drama Series. Igbokwe has also mined success from a number of original movies she developed for Showtime including the Humanitas nominated Jasper, Texas, starring Academy Award winners Jon Voight and Lou Gossett, Jr., the Emmy-nominated Bojangles starring the late, great Gregory Hines and the Peabody Award-winning Strange Justice. Igbokwe has been featured in industry trade magazines Hollywood Reporter (35 Under 35), Multichannel News (2010 Wonder Woman & 2008 Next Generation Women to Watch) and CableFAX, as well as Ebony and Black Enterprise. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.


Vista Equity Partners LLC Managing Principal Robert F. Smith is the managing principal and founder of Vista Equity Partners LLC, founded in 2000. Vista currently manages equity capital commitments of approximately $3 billion. For the past 10 years, Vista has consistently performed in the top decile of PE returns with an annual net average return of 38% and a gross IRR of 50%. Vista currently manages and controls 16 software compa­nies with over 9,500 employees worldwide. In aggregate, the Vista portfolio of companies is the world’s 10th largest software company. Prior to founding Vista, Smith worked for Goldman Sachs, in M&A, from 1994 to 2000, in New York and Silicon Valley. As Co-Head of Enterprise Systems and Storage S, he ex­ecuted and advised on over $50B in merger and acquisition activity with companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Ebay and Yahoo, amongst many others. From 1986 to 1992, he worked for a number of Fortune 500 companies where he led numerous enterprise wide technical projects. He is the principal inventor on two United States and two European patents. Smith was awarded his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and his MBA from Columbia Business School. While at Columbia, he was accepted into Beta Gamma Sigma, received the Roswell C. McCrea Award, served as the President of the BBSA, led the Japan Study Tour and was the elected Commencement Speaker for the Columbia Business School, MBA Class of 1994. Smith’s business achievements and philanthropic works have received recognition from nu­merous entities, including the Award of Excellence from the National Association of Investment Companies and the 2010 Ripple of Hope Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. He is on Cornell Engineering College Council and Trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco. Smith is also an avid fly fisherman.

Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010

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Erika Irish Brown is the Bank of America diversity recruiting and program management executive. In this role, she is responsible for enhancing the enterprise’s employment brand in diverse communities, recruiting diverse senior executives and developing and retaining diverse senior executives throughout the enterprise. Her background includes over 15 years of investment banking and capital markets experience in both the public and private sectors at organizations including Morgan Stanley and the U.S. Treasury. Prior to joining Bank of America, Irish Brown served as senior vice president and head of diversity lateral recruiting at Lehman Brothers. Irish Brown received her MBA from Columbia Business School and holds a BS in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany. She is currently vice-chairperson and director of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, the nation’s first community development corporation, and served on the Obama-Biden Treasury Transition Team. Irish Brown resides in Teaneck, NJ with her husband Frank and their sons Frank III, Evan and Bradford.

ROBERT INGRAM PUBLISHER UPTOWN PROFESSIONAL Robert Ingram has over 20 years as a publisher and top adver­tising executive in the multicultural and corporate awareness, diver­sity & inclusion space. Ingram began his career as a telemarketer at U.S. Black Engineer and Hispanic Engineer magazines at Career Communications Group, and eventually became associate publisher. Ingram then started his own publication, The Urban Health Re­port, which gained great acclaim in the health care field. Upon sale of this publication, Ingram went on to become the chief development officer and chair of the board of corporate affiliates at the National Society of Black Engineers. Ingram is associate publisher of Heart & Soul, a healthy lifestyle publication targeting African Ameri­can women, and the publisher of the soon-to-be launched magazine, Uptown Professional. Ingram has one daughter, Alanna and three sons, Jarrett, Adrian and Christopher. He holds a Bachelors degree in History from Lincoln University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore.

Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010

LENNY SINGLETARY VICE PRESIDENT, U.S. ASSET SERVICING THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON Lenny Singletary joined The Bank of New York in April of 1994 as a technology con­sultant providing advisory services to a wide array of the Firm’s clients. He later served as a business analyst overseeing the development of client facing applications. In 2004, Singletary left to join Lehman Brothers as a project manager for the Global Operations Division. In 2007, he rejoined The Bank of New York Mellon, following the Bank’s merger with Mellon Financial Corporation, as a senior technology product specialist for business development. In May, Singletary accepted a position as a project manager for Merger & Integration. Singletary serves as a member of the Steering Committee, as well as Chairperson of Professional Affiliations for the Firm’s Diversity Infinity group, IMPACT. As a long time supporter of civic involvement, Singletary also serves as vice chairman of New York City Community Board 2 (Brooklyn) and chairman of the Board of Directors for Cornerstone Support Service.




Andrew Watt is a managing director and heads the Commodities and Basic Industries Practice in Standard & Poor’s Corporate Ratings Department. Andrew manages three teams of analysts who cover approximately400 U.S. companies. The Practice is responsible for credit ratings for domestic issuers in the Oil & Gas,Forest Products, Chemicals and Mining & Metals sectors. He also has several years of analytical experience in the high technology, retail and utility sectors within Standard & Poor’s Corporate Ratings department. Watt joined Standard & Poor’s in 1996 after graduating from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. Prior to business school, he was a project manager and senior design engineer with Allied Signal Aerospace, where he designed electronic control systems for power generating units, utilized in the aerospace industry on aircraft such as the Boeing 777, F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft and Gulfstream executive jet. Watt holds an MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He also holds a Masters and Bachelors degree in Electronic Engineering from the City College of the City University of New York. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.

• 15 •


Karen Bond is responsible for developing recruiting, retention and marketing strategies to attract nearly 80,000 students a year at the Center for Talented Youth. This work includes outreach efforts in 10 major cities to reach underrepresented students, through partnership with programs including the Next Generation Venture Fund and The Jack Kent Cook Young Scholars program. Prior, she was the executive director of Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust. There, she developed a national reputation for designing innovative programs for recruiting students of color to independent schools and higher education. In 2003, Bond was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by The Daily Record. Her past and present involvement includes the Baltimore Museum of Art, Friends School of Baltimore, Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations, and the Greater Baltimore Leadership Committee. She received an A.B. in English and Political Science from Duke University, and a M.S. in Applied Behavioral Science from Johns Hopkins University. IRIS CHEN PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER “I HAVE A DREAM” FOUNDATION Iris is president and chief executive officer of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation. Prior to this role, she served as Teach For America’s New York City Executive Director, where she led a major expansion and grew the local corps from 250 to 1,000 teachers. Previously, she worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. Chen began in education as a 1990 charter corps member with Teach For America, where she taught fourth and fifth graders for three years at P.S. 307 in Brooklyn. After completing the Coro Fellows Program in 1993-94, Chen joined Teach For America’s national staff, serving as Director of Public Affairs and then Vice President of Program. From 1995-98 she led the recruitment, selection, training, and ongoing support of corps members nationwide. Iris graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in East Asian Studies and earned her J.D./M.B.A. degree from Harvard University. She is a member of the New York Bar.

Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010

JULIAN JOHNSON SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT SPONSORS FOR EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY Julian Johnson joined SEO as Senior Vice President in 2002 and oversees the organization’s college preparatory program for public high school students, alternative investments program, resource development and alumni & philanthropy programs. Previously, he was responsible for SEO’s Career Program, which recruits, trains and places highly talented undergraduates in internships in finance and other competitive fields. Johnson holds Master’s Degrees in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University, and in Non-Profit Management from the New School. He serves on the board of trustees of the Institute of International Education and on several scholarship and fellowship review committees, including the Scholar Rescue Fund which aids scholars facing persecution in their home countries.



MAXINE ROBERTS INTERIM DIRECTOR BANK STREET COLLEGE OF EDUCATION Maxine Roberts’ desire to impact high school students’ academic and leadership skills led her to Bank Street College’s Institute for Leadership, Excellence, and Academic Development (I-LEAD) program. Following I-LEAD’s merger with Bank Street’s Liberty Partnerships Program, she transitioned into the role as the organization’s Assistant Director and currently serves as the Interim Director for the Liberty LEADS program. Prior, she served as a Program Director for an all-girls after school program in East Harlem. In pursuit of her love for learning and for supporting students, Roberts completed her Master’s in Reading and Literacy Specialization at Bank Street College of Education in May 2006. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, with a B.S., Computer Science, and a degree in English Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College. JOE R. ROGERS, JR. DIRECTOR OF POLICY & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT EDUCATION VOTERS OF NEW YORK Joe R. Rogers, Jr. believes that educational challenges are best solved by building, networking, leveraging, and sustaining the problem solving and advocacy capacity of those stakeholders most impacted by educational and social policy making. To that end, he has served as a strategist, policy analyst and advocate, entrepreneur, and community organizer with non-profit and civic organizations helping New Yorkers actualize their full potential. Rogers is the proud mentor of a amazing third-grader at The Brotherhood/Sister-Sol; co-founder of Conscious Gear Expo, a grassroots youth voice program; a member of Manhattan Community Board 9’s Youth, Education and Libraries Committee; and a communications strategist and education columnist with the New York Urban League Young Professionals. A 2010-11 Coro Leadership New York participant, Joe holds a master’s degree in education leadership, policy and politics from Teachers College, Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The George Washington University. • 17 •


Nikoa Evans is an owner of N Harlem, a boutique that sells men’s and women’s fashions, home décor and apothecary. N was chosen as one of 25 retailers in the USA and Canada to receive the first annual “Uptown/Downtown Award” for excellence from Menswear Retailing magazine. Lucky chose N as one of the “100 Best Shops” in New York City; and The New York Times described N as “an expertly styled boutique that could be at home on Madison Avenue.” Prior to founding N Harlem New York, Evans’ experience includes 19 years of retail management and buying, retail and brand development, and finance. Her responsibilities as new business account manager included identifying investment opportunities in emerging retail concepts for potential retail development throughout the Rouse retail portfolio. Her experience also includes retail management and buying with Macy*s and The Limited, Inc. Evans has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Stanford University and a MBA in marketing and entrepreneurship from Northwestern’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. JAI JAI RAMSEY GREENFIELD FOUNDER & OWNER HARLEM VINTAGE Jai Jai Greenfield is the founder and managing partner of a portfolio of wine related businesses including the award winning Harlem Vintage and Nectar Wine Bar, recognized by Time Out in 2009 as one of the best new wine bars in New York, and Greenfield Consulting, a strategic marketing and advisory firm whose clients include a venture backed airport concessions business. Prior, Greenfield spent 10 years working in finance at Smith Barney, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley, where she was a vice president covering mutual funds and hedge funds with a focus on small capitalization equities. She holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and a B.A. in Accounting from the Wharton School where she was bestowed the Althea K. Hottel award and was commencement speaker. She is an alumna of the Robert Toigo Foundation and is a member of the Council of Urban Professionals. She is married to Tim Greenfield, president of Gold Mobile, and has two young children.

Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010

CHRISTOPHER HARVELL ‘05 FOUNDER & CEO DENTAL KIDZ In 2008, Harvell and his wife Lezli, a pediatric dentist, co-founded Dental Kidz, a pediatric dental and orthodontic practice located in downtown Newark. It is the largest pediatric dental practice in the state of New Jersey. In 2010, Harvell was listed on Columbia Business School’s list of top 10 young alumni that are adapting and thriving during the economic downturn. He has also been appointed by Mayor Cory Booker to serve on the board of the Brick City Development Corporation. In this capacity, he is further able to contribute to job creation, economic development and financial viability in the city of Newark. His prior work experiences include the Health Care, Communications, Media & Telecom and Financial Services Groups at Booz Allen Hamilton, and in the Real Estate Finance Group at Credit Suisse. Harvell received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from George Washington University and his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School with a concentration in Finance and Real Estate.



MICHAEL JAMES PRESIDENT FREDERICK BENJAMIN Michael James, third generation entrepreneur, provides today’s modern gentlemen with 21st century grooming solutions. Inspired during his tenure in brand management with Revlon and L’Oreal, his access to personal care products signaled an unmet need in the market. He decided to develop a brand that would improve the ingredients and fragrance of men’s grooming productions. Frederick Benjamin resulted as a natural hair care line for the burgeoning multicultural male consumer group and the professionals servicing their growing desire for grooming products and services. James has a B.A. from Morehouse College and an M.B.A. from Clark Atlanta University. BEATRICE O. SIBBLIES MANAGING PARTNER BOS DEVELOPMENT Beatrice Sibblies is the managing partner of BOS Development, an urban real estate development company. The most recent project is 88 Morningside in Harlem, comprised of 74 apartments and a community facility. BOS development also works with non-profits on the development of educational facilities in the New York Area. From 2002 to 2005, Sibblies served as AVP of economics for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which was formed to lead the redevelopment of the World Trade Center. Prior, she worked at J.P. Morgan Chase, as VP of Emerging Markets Research and then VP of Structured Finance. She was also a corporate finance analyst at Morgan Stanley. Sibblies graduated from Yale University with a B.S. in Economics and Political Science, and from The Wharton School with a MBA. Sibblies serves on a number of non-profit and community boards including Community Board 10 in Manhattan, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, Council of Urban Professionals and Bill T. Jones Dance Company.

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Susan E. Chapman is senior vice president, global real estate and workplace enablement for American Express. Chapman is responsible for global real estate operations supporting the American Express portfolio of over 65,000 employees in 41 countries. Prior to American Express, Chapman served as global chief administrative officer for Citi Realty Services (CRS), a division of Citigroup, Inc. She also co-led the corporation’s real estate strategy around Citi’s $50 billion commitment to climate change, and served as global head of operations for CRS, leading the strategic realignment of the CRS operations platform with the Citi business model. Chapman holds a MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also holds a Master of Regional Planning from The University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Vanderbilt University. Her volunteer work includes serving on the boards of the Executive Leadership Council’s Foundation, The Brotherhood SisterSol, The Global Syndicate, and the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate Advisory Board.

MARK HICKSON ‘97 MD, HEAD OF INFRASTRUCTURE M&A FOR NORTH AMERICA BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH Mark Hickson is managing director in the mergers and acquisitions group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and is currently Head of Infrastructure M&A for North America. In this role, Hickson has lead transactions in various sectors of Transportation, Energy and Power Infrastructure including Ports, Toll Roads, Airports, Parking as well as Electric, Gas and Water Utilities. His recent E&P experience includes advising Toshiba in its investment in USEC, PPL in its acquisition of LG&E, NRG in its unsolicited offer for Calpine, National Grid in its sale of Ravenswood Generation and FPL in its attempted merger with Constellation Energy and RWE in its acquisition of American Waterworks. Hickson graduated from Columbia Business School with a Finance and Economics focus. He also graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering.

Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010

ROBERT REFFKIN ‘03 VICE PRESIDENT - PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT AREA GOLDMAN SACHS Robert Reffkin is a vice president in the principal investment area of Goldman Sachs. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, he worked at Lazard Frères where he was an associate in the mergers and acquisitions group and at McKinsey & Company where he was a business analyst. Reffkin was a 2005 White House fellow, serving as a special assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury. He was selected to be a member of the Economic Club of New York and a Council on Foreign Relations term member. Among other board appointments, he serves the NYC Workforce Investment Board as a Mayoral appointee. Reffkin founded New York Needs You, a nonprofit that provides intensive mentorships for first-generation college students), serves as the Founding Chair of the Bronx Success Academy charter school, and is an Adjunct Professor at Brooklyn College where he teaches Small Business & Entrepreneurship. He received a B.A. from Columbia University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. His primary philanthropic undertaking includes running 50 marathons, one in each U.S. state, to raise $1 million for youth education and enrichment program,



KEVIN VEE ‘09 INVESTMENT BANKING ASSOCIATE CITI Kevin Vee is currently an investment banking associate in the Media and Telecom group at Citi. Vee started his career in management consulting at Deloitte Consulting, focusing on strategy and operations for financial institutions. After two years at Deloitte, Vee joined Citi to work for the CFO of Global Banking. He focused on developing and evaluating global strategic and finance initiatives for the Global Banking group in both the New York and London offices. After graduating from business school, Vee rejoined Citi in his current role. Vee received his B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University and his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

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Journalist Roy S. Johnson’s career spans the full breadth of today’s multi-media landscape. He is VP/Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Fitness and, the premier fitness and nutrition magazine for men. He also writes a bi-weekly sports column for and blogs for Lifegoesstrong. com. He regularly appears on television and radio, offering insights on subjects ranging from the sports headlines to the latest workout trends. Prior to joining Men’s Fitness, Johnson was an Assistant Managing Editor at Sports Illustrated, where he developed branded television, radio and broadband programming. Among the shows he executive produced was the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search” (NBC). Johnson has also held senior editorial positions at Fortune, Money, and Savoy, where he was founding Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Director for Vanguarde Media. He previously covered sports for The New York Times and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

JIMMIE LEE SOLOMON EVP, BASEBALL DEVELOPMENT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Jimmie Lee Solomon, who has served Major League Baseball since 1991 in a variety of operational capacities, is Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Development. Solomon is responsible for the management of Major League Baseball’s Urban Youth Academies across the country, Minor League Operations, the Civil Rights Game and many initiatives and special events aimed at baseball development. Solomon served as Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations from June 2005 until being named the head of baseball development in June 2010. Solomon, who has a law degree from Harvard and a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, joined Major League Baseball as Director of Minor League Operations. Prior to joining Major League Baseball, Solomon was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the Baker & Hostetler law firm. During his 10 years with the firm, he represented and provided counsel to a combination of corporate and sports industry clients.

Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010

LES FRANKS ‘95 MANAGING DIRECTOR UBS INVESTMENT BANK Les Franks joined UBS Investment Bank in 2009 as a managing director covering Healthcare IT (HCIT) and pharma-services companies, including distributors, PBMs, contract manufacturing and contract research organizations. Prior to joining UBS Investment Bank, he was a managing director in the Healthcare group at Banc of America Securities which he joined in 2001. Franks began his investment banking career with Salomon Smith Barney in 1995. In 1998, he joined UBS Investment Bank and left in 1999 to help form HealthMarket, a start-up HCIT company. Franks graduated from the University of Georgia, with a B.B.A. in Finance, and received his MBA from Columbia Business School.



JONATHAN GORDON ‘06 MANAGER, STRATEGY NEW YORK-PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL Jonathan Gordon is currently a manager in the Office of Strategy at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. In this role, he works on enterprisewide initiatives and provides decision support to senior management. Prior to joining the hospital, Gordon was the COO and first employee of EveryDay Medical, an e-commerce retailer of home and durable medical equipment. Gordon has also worked as a consultant with a number of small and large businesses to develop and refine marketing plans and initiatives, to write business plans and create financial projections and to plan financing and growth strategies. Gordon holds a B.A., cum laude, from the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and an MBA from Columbia University.

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Alex Gumbs was recruited to Medtronic through its Leadership Development program. At Medtronic, he has worked in numerous business units and functions,focused on product commercialization in Latin America, Canada and the United States. The products he has launched have totaled over $750 million dollars of revenue and earned him company-wide recognition as a recipient of Medtronic’s Start of Excellence award. Gumbs was recently promoted into the sales organization where he is responsible for increasing revenue share and market penetration for Medtronic’s high profile accounts in the New York and New Jersey region. He started his career financing biotech and pharmaceutical companies at an investment bank. He then worked as a venture capitalist exclusively financing medical device companies and participated in selling these investments to Fortune 100 companies. Gumbs graduated with a BA in Pre-Medical Studies and Economics from Columbia University. He also holds his MBA from Columbia Business School where he focused on management, leadership and marketing and graduated with honors.

NITA STELLA SVP, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT ACTIVEHEALTH MANAGEMENT Nita Stella is senior vice president of product development at ActiveHealth Management. Her current role includes defining product strategy and helping bring new products to market for the organization, such as Her primary focus has been to drive the online programs for the organization, in the patient and provider space. Prior to joining ActiveHealth, she was VP of consumer marketing at Caremark and associate VP of product development for Consumer Health Interactive. Stella has also held management and consulting positions at Mount Sinai NYU Medical Center, Ernst and Young Health Care Consulting and Kaiser Permanente, Northern California. Nita has served on various Ehealth organizations, including the AHIP PHR Transfer Standards Committee and the URAC Health Web Site Accreditation Committee. She also published an article about Internet healthcare usage titled, “What Do Consumers Want,” Internet HealthCare Strategies. Nita holds a Masters of Industrial Engineering Degree from University of Washington.

Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010

BEVERLY BOND FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE PRODUCER BLACK GIRLS ROCK! TM A true music connoisseur and former Wilhelmina model, Beverly Bond’s passion and disctinct ability to read her audience has solidified her as one of the premier DJs in the world. Over the last decade, her talent has been called upon for world-class performances at the VH1 Fashion Rocks Awards, The ESPN X-Games, The U.S. Open, The NBA All-Star Game, and The American Music Awards. Her celebrity cients include Prince, Alicia Keys, Sarah Jessica Parker, Diddy, Derrick Jeter, John Legend, Venus Williams, Jay Z, and Martha Stewart. Bond founded BLACK GIRLS ROCK! TM Inc., a mentoring organization that employs the arts to empower inner-city girls ages 12 to 17. Bond also started the annual Black Girls Rock! TM Awards, created to celebrate the accomplishments of exceptional women of color. These honorees include Queen Latifah, Bethann Hardison, Erykah Badu, Iman, and Susan L. Taylor. This month, Black Girls Rock! TM Awards made its television debut on Black Entertainment Television.



MARC ECKO CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER MARC ECKO ENTERPRISES Marc Ecko’s artistic journey began in a makeshift design studio housed within his parents’ garage. As a dedicated member of the then emerging hip-hop scene, Ecko garnered interest from the generation’s cultural icons like Spike Lee and Chuck D, who wore his custom T-shirts with pride. These ties to the hip hop community, along with his work ethic and design talent, enabled him to grow his business into a global empire. Over the years, his portfolio has expanded to include an array of progressive men’s and women’s brands including: *ecko unltd., Marc Ecko Cut & Sew, Zoo York, and Complex magazine and Media Network. Ecko is also an active education-innovator and philanthropist. In 2005, he established Sweat Equity Education (SEE) as an after-school program based in his corporate headquarters. SEE was created to give students access to experiences not typically found in the classroom.

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Kesha Cash is Director of Jalia Ventures, a social venture capital firm she co-founded with Josh Mailman. At Columbia, Cash served as cochair for the Bernstein Leadership and Ethics Board and received the Nathan Gantcher Prize for Social Enterprise. The Columbia Alumni Association appointed Cash to serve on the Columbia University Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing to advise the University Trustees on ethical and social issues that arise in the management of the investments in the University’s endowment. Cash is also an advisory board member for the Green Jobs Award program sponsored by Rockefeller Foundation, Citi Foundation, Green For All, and SJF Advisory Services. Prior to achieving her MBA, Cash worked as a mergers and acquisitions analyst at Merrill Lynch, before launching a firm that consulted and raised seed capital for inner-city entrepreneurs. LENNY RAYFORD ‘98 CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER CW FINANCIAL, LLC Lenny Rayford is Chairman and CEO of CW Financial, an integrated consumer finance company dedicated to providing services for more than 100 million under-banked and credit-challenged consumers. Since 2007, Rayford has driven the growth of CW Financial from five employees and four locations, to 400 employees, and 130 locations. Rayford has led the company’s capital raising, partnering with private equity firms and a hedge fund to raise more than $40 million in capital for acquisitions. In prior roles, Rayford was CFO of On Top Communications, a radio broadcaster with several stations. Earlier, Rayford was an interim CFO and a member of the Board of Advisors of, an early stage e-commerce company. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of North Carolina and an MBA from Columbia Business School, where he was a Robert A. Toigo Foundation Fellow.

MICHAEL J. BARBER VICE PRESIDENT HEALTHYMAGINATION GE CORPORATE Michael J. Barber is a corporate officer and VP of GE’s business strategy on global health. The healthymagination charter is to improve the quality of care, reduce the cost of procedures and processes through the appropriate use of GE technologies and services, and increase access to technologies and services essential to health. Barber, a 29-year GE veteran, was previously vice president and chief technology officer for GE Healthcare. Barber is also an active champion of GE’s African American Forum, addressing professional development for African-American employees. Barber was named a Black Enterprise ‘Master of Innovation’ in 2009. He serves as a Regent at his alma mater, Milwaukee School of Engineering and on the boards of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering and the Council for Opportunity in Education. Barber is married to Jacqueline Herd-Barber, and has two children.



MICHELLE WEBB GM, CHIEF PROGRAMMING OFFICER VERIZON FIOS1 TV Michelle Webb is the general manager and chief programming officer for Verizon’s FiOS1, having created the company’s first owned and operated local channel network after joining in 2006. Prior, Webb served as a producer of the ABC News program “Primetime Live,” where she did preproduction planning, research and storyline development for features and segments presented on the network’s television-magazine shows. Webb was previously associate producer at 60 Minutes, with correspondent Lesley Stahl, producer at 20th Century with Mike Wallace, and a producer for CBS News’ documentary unit, for which she wrote biographies and investigative reports for the cable outlets of A&E, The Learning Channel and the History Channel. Webb is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. A Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Fellow, she holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Harvard and Radcliffe College. DARRELL L. WILLIAMS, PH.D CEO & PUBLISHER THELOOP21.COM Darrell Williams is a Ph.D. economist, former UCLA professor, and former White House economist who has been an adviser to Fortune 500 companies on competitive strategy for the past 20 years, most recently as a Director at LECG, a global consulting firm. An expert on competition policy and regulation, he worked at the President’s Council of Economic Advisors and the SEC. Most recently, Dr. Williams founded (, a digital platform for emerging thought leaders from the Hip Hop Generation and beyond that is dedicated to leading the debate on social and economic progress for people of color, especially AfricanAmericans. Dr. Williams serves on several boards including the Twenty-first Century Foundation in Harlem, the National Council at Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Kentucky’s Gatton School of Business. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Washington University in St. Louis.

Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010

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Brian Benjamin is the founder of Young Professionals United for Change, began in 2008, to fundraise for then Senator Barack Obama and raise political awareness during the presidential election. Today, the organization has accomplished incredible reach for diverse candidates across the country. Benjamin’s experience includes working as a global lottery operator at GTECH, focused on government relations in Providence, Rhode Island, and as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley. After the 2008 election, Benjamin decided to leave Morgan Stanley to work full-time supporting former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe’s run for Governor of Virginia. After the pri­mary, Benjamin joined Genesis Companies, an affordable housing green developer, as a partner responsible for business development and government relations. He is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Business School. CHLOE L. DREW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR COUNCIL OF URBAN PROFESSIONALS As the executive director of the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP), Chloe Drew administers a multimillion dollar portfolio of results-oriented initiatives that advance leadership development, education reform, and access to capital and opportunity for minority owned and led business. Drew formerly served as campaign director for U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee in California’s 9th congressional district. Drew earned a B.A. from Harvard University and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Emerge America, a training program dedicated to increasing the number of Democratic women in public office and One Voice, Congresswoman Lee’s political action committee. She is a former board member of the Wellesley Centers for Women, a research center that conducts interdisciplinary studies on issues affecting women and their families. NICOLE PULLEN ROSS ‘99 PRIVATE WEALTH ADVISOR GOLDMAN SACHS Nicole Pullen Ross is a private wealth advisor at Goldman Sachs with 14 years of financial services experience. She co-heads an eight person team that provides advice and oversight of fi­nancial assets for families and institutions. Located at the firm’s global headquarters, the team’s clients consist of private company owners, Fortune 500 executives, families with substantial wealth, foundations, and endowments. Prior to attending business school, she worked at J.P. Morgan providing strategic financial reporting and analysis to the firm’s Executive Office. Pullen Ross is actively engaged in education-related projects and is a founding board member of the Girls Prep Charter School in Manhattan. She received her MBA from Columbia Business School and is a 1999 alumna of the Robert Toigo Foundation. Pullen Ross graduated with honors from Hampton Uni­versity, where she received a B.S. in Accounting. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young children.

Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010

MICHELLE JEAN DIRECTOR OF HIGH PROFILE EVENTS AND FACILITY URBAN ZEN Michelle Jean is director of high profile events and facility for Donna Karan’s private studio and foundation Urban Zen. She is responsible for the $40M property, maintaining an environment of luxury and quality for all functions, from capital improvements to contract negotiations. Prior, Jean held roles in the hospitality management arena, having successfully launched eight openings. She has managed the day to day operations of restaurants and hotels with food & beverage revenues averaging between $1 and $8 million annually. Among her successes was her restaurant Ginger, named one of the “Top 10 Places Gold List” in 2007 by Condé Nast Traveler, and the highly celebrated Butter, for which she director of operations. Her civic leadership includes dedication to Haitian relief efforts and service as treasurer of the Board of the Wayuu Taya Foundation, founded by Patricia Velasquez. Jean holds a B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Connecticut College, and a M.A. in Hospitality Management from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.



OLIVIA J. HOOKER, PH.D SPECIAL GUEST Olivia J. Hooker, Ph.D., was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, the fourth of five children in the family of Anita J. and Samuel D. Hooker. The family moved to Tulsa, where her entrepreneurial father opened a clothing store in the Greenwood Neighborhood, known in the media as “Black Wall Street”. In one of America’s most shameful historical episodes, this entire section was destroyed by fire and hundreds of African Americans were killed. After the Tulsa violence, the mother and children moved to Topeka, Kansas, while their father remained in Tulsa to try to restore his bombed out business. Olivia earned her Ph.D. degree at the University of Rochester. Upon completion she served as the Director of Psychology, and Associate Administrator for 22 years at New York’s Kennedy Child Study Center. Concurrently, she taught in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Fordham University, retiring as Associate Professor in 1985. Afterward she served the Fred S. Keller of Behavior Analyses, evaluating candidates for special schools and supervising School Psychology Interns, retiring again in 2002. As a widely respected academic, Dr. Hooker has delivered papers on Child Assessment at conferences in Rome and Bologna, Italy, in Cairo, Egypt, and in major US cities.

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Glenn Hubbard | Dean, Columbia Business School Amir Ziv | Vice Dean, Columbia Business School & Samberg Faculty Director Ethan Hanabury | Senior Associate Dean, Columbia Business School Degree Programs Nayla Bahri | Assistant Dean, Office of Student Affairs Jilliann Rodriguez | Director of Student Life, Office of Student Affairs Natalia Vairo | Assistant Director, Office of Student Affairs Jaime Wendel | Student Affairs Officer, Office of Student Affairs Casey Collier | Associate Director, External Relations & Development Jenn SanClements | Associate Director, Young Alumni and Student Relations Keshia Mark| Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications Mary Miller | Assistant Dean, Office of MBA Admissions Regina Resnick | Assistant Dean and Managing Director Michael Malone | Director, Career Education & Advising Laurie Boockvar | Associate Director, Career Education & Advising Loren Margolis | Associate Director, Career Education & Advising Pamela Welling | Associate Director, Career Education & Advising Alana Waisbrot | Assistant Director, Career Education & Advising Thomas Monaco | Director, International Advising & Outreach Bruce Lloyd | Director, Employer Relations Emily Bronstein | Associate Director, Employer Relations Natalie Rios | Manager, Recruiting Events Mary Kagan | Recruiting Coordinator AND The Columbia Business School African American Alumni Association (4A)

Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference REFRESH 2010

•••••••••• DESIGN BY••••••••••


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Diversity paints our world. At BNY Mellon, we believe the individuality of each person is what makes our world beautiful. It is our great pleasure to support the Columbia Black MBA Conference.

Diversity paints our world. At BNY Mellon, we believe the individuality of each person is what makes our world beautiful. It is our great pleasure to support the Columbia Black MBA Conference.

Š2010 The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.

Š2010 The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.

REFRESH 2010 Columbia Black MBA Conference  

The Program for the 29th Annual Columbia Business School Black MBA Conference, REFRESh 2010. November 19, 2010

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