It’s not every day you get to use your elevator pitch, let alone have 15 minutes of one-on-one time with a local thought leader.
This week is HUBweek, a series of events and experiences in Boston celebrating innovation in art, science, and technology. We’re teaming up with more than a dozen distinguished entrepreneurs and leaders to give you an opportunity to absorb as much wisdom from them or bounce as many ideas off of them as you can in 15 minutes, and it all starts by opening your Uber app.
“The opportunity of a lifetime is only available for the lifetime of the opportunity.”
– Tony Parham, Managing Director of TKG Management Consulting, 2015 #UberMENTOR
HOW IT WORKS
ProTip: Get the most out of your session by coming prepared. Have your resume available or a clear list of goals and ideas you’d like to discuss during your ride.
You’ll be randomly matched with a mentor, and get dropped off at your pickup location after a 15-minute ride. Demand will be high and availability limited.
MEET THE MENTORS
(Subject to change)
Steve Conine co-founded Wayfair with Niraj Shah in 2002. He currently leads development of the architecting and software systems that give Wayfair a technological edge in the online retail business. Prior to that, Steve was a co-founder, board member and Chief Technology Officer of Simplify Mobile. Before starting Simplify Mobile, he served as Chief Operating Officer for the London office of iXL, a publicly traded global technology consulting firm. Steve also previously co-founded and served as a top executive of Spinners Incorporated, an IT services firm, which was sold to iXL in 1998. Steve holds a B.S. in engineering from Cornell University, and lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife and three children.
Wendy Foster brings more than three decades of executive leadership and a deep passion for youth development to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay. She leverages top-level for-profit management experience as well as product and technology development skills in support of the over 2,400 children currently served by the agency in professionally supported 1-to-1 transformational mentoring relationships with adults and the thousands more the organization is scaling to serve.
Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, Wendy spent over 20 years in executive positions at America Online (AOL), Time-Life Inc., a division of Time-Warner, and she started her career in direct response advertising.
Wendy is nationally recognized for her leadership and expertise within the Big Brothers Big Sisters federation, and most recently served as Vice Chair of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Nationwide Leadership Council. She is a member of the Program Leadership Council of the Massachusetts Mentoring Partnership, the LeadBoston Class of 2010, The Boston Club and the Massachusetts Women’s Forum.
Diane Hessan is a successful entrepreneur, angel investor and author. She is Chairman and Founder of C Space (formerly Communispace), where she served as CEO for 13 years of exponential growth, and she is also the former CEO of Startup Institute.
Diane has received a host of awards for her leadership and impact, and is co-author of the book, Customer-Centered Growth: Five Strategies for Building Competitive Advantage. She is an active angel investor and advisor to startups, and serves on a variety of public and private boards. She received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and her B.A. in Economics from Tufts University. Diane has two grown daughters, and is also founder of The Sound Bytes, an a cappella group that sings about business.
Sarah Hodges is a partner at Pillar, a Boston-based venture capital firm with a focus on machine intelligence. Prior to Pillar Sarah Hodges was a member of the executive team at Pluralsight, the world’s largest online learning community for IT, dev and creative training. At Pluralsight, Sarah served as the Vice President of People Operations, helping the company double in size in less than one year. Before joining the company, Sarah was a member of the executive team at Smarterer (sold to Pluralsight), where she oversaw business strategy, operations and marketing. Sarah has held leadership roles in early-stage startups including RunKeeper (sold to Asics) and Carbonite (CARB). She was previously a board member at BUILD and an advisor to Flybridge Capital. In 2012, Sarah co-founded Intelligent.ly, a leadership development company that has transformed over 1,000 emerging leaders across 50 high-growth companies, and continues to serve the Boston community.
Jesse Mermell is the President of the Alliance for Business Leadership, a coalition of progressive business leaders united in the belief that social responsibility and sustainable economic growth go hand-in-hand. She previously served as a member of Governor Deval L. Patrick’s senior staff. As Governor Patrick’s Communications Director, Mer-mell was responsible for communications strategy and for overseeing the press operations of the Governor’s office.
Mermell is the former State Director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. She has also held positions as the Vice President for External Affairs at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, and as the Executive Director of FairT-est and of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus.
Mermell is an active community member, having been elected to the Brookline Board of Selectmen in 2007 and serving until 2013. Upon her election she became the youngest Selectman in the history of Brookline, and created a female majority on the Board for the first time since the Town’s founding in 1705. Mermell is also a former Brookline Library Trustee and Town Meeting Member.
John Harthorne is the Founder and CEO of MassChallenge, the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. No equity and not-for-profit, MassChallenge is obsessed with helping entrepreneurs across any industry. They also reward the highest-impact startups through a competition to win a portion of several million dollars in equity free cash awards. Through MassChallenge’s global network of accelerators in Boston, London, Jerusalem, Geneva, and Mexico City, and unrivalled access to corporate partners, entrepreneurs can have a massive impact – driving growth and creating value the world over. To date, 835 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $1.1 billion and created over 6,500 jobs.
John earned his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2007. While at school, John won Grand Prize in the 2007 MIT $100K Business Plan Competition and received the 2007 Patrick J. McGovern Award for impact on quality and visibility of entrepreneurship at MIT. He also led the 10th annual MIT Global Startup Workshop (GSW) held in Trondheim, Norway. The Boston Business Journal has identified John as one of Boston’s 50 Most Influential Business Leaders alongside the CEOs of Akamai Technologies, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Boston Celtics. The World Economic Forum also elected John as one of the 2013 Young Global Leaders alongside Chelsea Clinton and Tony Hsieh, and Ernst & Young voted John as Social Entrepreneur of the Year in New England for 2013.
John Brownstein, Ph.D. is a Professor at Harvard Medical School and is the Chief Innovation Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital. He also directs the Computational Epidemiology Group at the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program in Boston. He was trained as an epidemiologist at Yale University. Overall, his research agenda aims to have translation impact on the surveillance, control and prevention of disease. He has been at the forefront of the development and application of public health surveillance including HealthMap.org, an internet-based global infectious disease intelligence system. The system is in use by millions each year including the CDC, WHO, DHS, DOD, HHS, and EU, and has been recognized by the National Library of Congress and the Smithsonian.
Dr. Brownstein has advised the World Health Organization, Institute of Medicine, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the White House on real-time public health surveillance. He was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government to outstanding scientists and engineers. Dr. Brownstein is also Co-Founder of UberHEALTH, a collaboration between the Vaccine Finder project, also CoFounded by Dr. Brownstein, and logistics company Uber. He has authored over 150 peer-reviewed articles on epidemiology and public health. This work has been reported on widely including pieces in the New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Nature, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, National Public Radio and the BBC.
Cheryl, CEO of BPMA, has been a leader in numerous business and nonprofit organizations, with a particular interest in those that bring others to Boston and the Commonwealth and in the vitality of the city. She has served on the boards of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, the Greenway Conservancy, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Foundation, the Alliance for Business Leadership and the Board of the National Center for Time & Learning/Mass 2020. She served as Chair of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the development of “Boylston Square,” Boston, where she guided a lengthy public process involving different constituencies and the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and served on the Strategic Development Study Committee which authored “A Civic Vision for Turnpike Air Rights in Boston.” In addition to other volunteer activities, she currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Boston Public Library, and on the Board of Sail Boston, which is working with Mayor Walsh to bring the Tall Ships to Boston in 2017.
A graduate of Boston College Law School and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, summa cum laude, Cheryl began her career in public service as the first General Counsel of the Office of Campaign & Political Finance and as Legislative Counsel to the Attorney General of the Commonwealth. In private practice since her public service, Cheryl has represented individuals, nonprofit organizations and small and large companies in matters before public agencies at all levels of government. She has also represented public agencies on legal and political matters in a range of substantive areas.
Prior to joining the Globe in January 2014, he spent 20 years at Hill Holliday, where he served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chief Creative Officer. During his tenure as President and CEO, the agency grew 85%, becoming the 12th largest agency in America and the second largest based outside of New York. Mike began his career as Sports Editor of the Weymouth (MA) News when he was 15, and he worked his way through college working in the library of The Boston Globe. After stints at Boston Magazine and the Quincy Patriot Ledger, he became an advertising copywriter and by the age of 25 had been awarded his first One Show Gold award and Cannes Lion. He won additional One Show Gold, Cannes Lion, Grand Clio, Communication Arts, and Hatch Best of Show awards after joining Hill Holliday. In 1996, he was named Adweek Magazine’s National Creative Director of the Year. In 2013, the Ad Club of Boston inducted Mike into their Hall of Fame. In addition to Hill Holliday, Mike served as an Associate Creative Director at Leo Burnett and as Executive Creative Director of DDB Chicago where he oversaw McDonald’s.
Mike has served on the Board of Directors of BJ’s Wholesale Club where he chaired the Compensation Committee and was a member of the Governance Committee as well as the Special Committee that oversaw the sale of the company to Leonard Green Partners and CVC for $2.8 billion in 2011. He has also served on the Board of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, and has chaired the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Saint Anselm College. He currently serves on the Boards of ChoiceStream, a leading programmatic advertising firm as well as the American Repertory Theater and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston. He was a founder and Board member of One Fund Boston, Inc., the relief fund that raised in excess of $81 million for the survivors of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
Gail Goodman spent 16 years as CEO of Constant Contact, the trusted provider of online marketing tools for small businesses and nonprofits. A small business expert and visionary, Gail has revolutionized the way that small organizations find and grow customer relationships. She took leadership of Constant Contact in 1999 and led the company from pre-revenue to a successful IPO (NASDAQ: CTCT) in 2007 and through its acquisition by Endurance in 2016 for $1.1b. At the time of the acquisition, more than 650,000 small businesses and nonprofits used Constant Contact’s online marketing tools to engage their customers and grow their businesses and company revenues topped $370 million.
Author of Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Succeeds in a Socially Connected World, Gail is a frequent speaker at national technology and entrepreneurial events. Her 2013 TEDx talk, “Founders Can’t Scale,” offers a glimpse into her management philosophy and personal drive, especially as it relates to scaling a startup into a large, public company.
Gail serves on the Boards of Mass Challenge, MindBody, Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council and Lola Travel. Gail holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College.
Prior to Placester, Fred was a member of the founding team at Mashable, a leading media company that informs, inspires and entertains the the connected generation. As CTO of Mashable, Fred developed interactive user experiences, strategies, and media partnerships that helped grow the company from a few million unique visitors per month in its early days to over 42 million today.
Beyond his founding roles at Placester and Mashable, Fred has been a key influencer in the web development community. As the founder of W3 EDGE, he has built products and web experiences for brands including AT&T, ASOS, Adorama, AIGA, Centers for Disease Control, Constant Contact, CVS Pharmacy, Hyatt, Kodak, Lord & Taylor, Microsoft, Pearsonified, R.E.I., Sanyo, Sherwin Williams, Southwest Airlines, Staples, Sony, The Coca Cola Company, Weight Watchers, and Yahoo. Fred’s WordPress plugin, W3 Total Cache, has over 1 million active users.
Aimee Sprung is the Civic Engagement Program Manager on the Technology & Civic Engagement (TCE) Team at Microsoft’s New England Research & Development Center (NERD). The Technology & Civic Engagement team brings Microsoft’s best assets to bear to help civic leaders — and the communities they serve – use technology and cutting edge ideas to solve their biggest challenges. With deep technical and policy expertise, the team is committed to building long-term partnerships in local communities and leveraging technology to make an impact on critical civic issues, such as computer science and STEM education, developing tools for greater citizen engagement, the effective use of big data, and privacy. Aimee is responsible for STEM education outreach and local community engagement. Aimee has also held roles at Microsoft focused on marketing to NERD Site Leadership, Academic (K-12) and US Federal Government audiences.
Prior to her 14 years at Microsoft, Aimee was the Marketing Director at Information Strategies – a software development company and Microsoft partner in Washington, DC.
In 2013, Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan became President and CEO of The Dimock Center, the largest employer in Roxbury, Massachusetts and the second-largest health center in Boston. The Dimock Center is considered a national model of comprehensive health and human services with an emphasis on the integration of clinical and behavioral health practices and reaches more than 17,000 people annually through comprehensive health and human services. In 2015, The Dimock Center was ranked #12 on the list of the Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts, published by The Commonwealth Institute.
Dr. Jordan’s collaborative approach has led to significant partnerships linking Dimock to world-class institutions such as The Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Partners HealthCare. Widely respected for her expertise and insight, Dr. Jordan has published articles in The New England Journal of Medicine and other publications. In 2015 she was appointed to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Health Planning Council Advisory Committee and the Boston Public Health Commission. In July 2016, Dr. Jordan was appointed Chair of the Massachusetts Special Commission to Study the Incorporation of Safe and Effective Pain Treatment and Prescribing Practices into the Professional Training of Students that may Prescribe Controlled Substances. She has also served as one of seven Governor-appointed physician members of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Registration. In addition, Dr. Jordan serves on the Boards of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and The Boston Foundation, the Advisory Boards of the Kraft Center for Community Health at Partners HealthCare and the Boston Children’s Museum, and the Steering Committee for the Center for Primary Care.
Alan Khazei is a social entrepreneur who has pioneered ways to empower citizens to make a difference. Alan is the Founder and CEO of Be The Change, Inc., a movement building organization which creates bipartisan national campaigns to affect public policy and culture change by organizing coalitions of nonprofits, social entrepreneurs, policymakers, private sector leaders, academics, and citizens. Be The Change’s campaigns include Opportunity Nation to expand economic mobility; Got Your 6 to empower veterans and close the civilian-military divide; and the Service Year Alliance, a joint venture between Be The Change and the Aspen Institute dedicated to making a year of national service a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans aged 18-28. Alan serves as the Vice Chair of the Service Year Alliance Board with John Bridgeland.
Alan is the Co-Founder and former CEO of City Year, an education-focused national service program that unites young adults, ages 17 to 24, from all backgrounds for an intensive year of full-time community service focused on mentoring, tutoring, and educating children.
Jesse Brackenbury is Executive Director of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, where he works with the Board of Directors on strategic planning and revenue generation, and oversees organizational management and external relations. Under his leadership, the Conservancy has expanded free programming, constructed the landmark Greenway Carousel at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove, built a free Wi-Fi network, and installed major pieces of public art. Brackenbury was the creator and manager of the nationally recognized Greenway Mobile Eats Program, which has significantly grown the Conservancy’s earned income. The Conservancy’s programming, sustainable practices, and public art have all won awards under his stewardship. Prior to joining the Conservancy, Brackenbury worked for the Boston Consulting Group and for the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation. Last year, he was recognized by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce as one of the 2015 “Ten Outstanding Young Leaders.” He serves on the Downtown Waterfront Municipal Harbor Plan Advisory Committee and the state’s Public Market Commission.
As CEO and co-founder, Beth drives the strategic direction for InkHouse’s PR and content strategy. Named one of the “Top Women in PR” by PR News she is a student of the frenetic media landscape, and of the great stories it takes to break into it. At the same time, Beth is equally passionate about creating the kind of culture that fosters great business outcomes by supporting its people – both in and out of the workplace.
Under Beth’s leadership, InkHouse has been recognized for its quick and steady growth trajectory since its inception in 2007. Recognitions include The Boston Globe’s Top 100 Women-led Businesses, five years on the Boston Business Journal’s Pacesetters, and O’Dwyers ranking of the fastest growing PR firms. Beth is committed to maintaining a progressive workplace and exceptional client work amid this growth, and these values have earned InkHouse two agency of the year awards, along with The Boston Globe’s 2014 Top Places to Work, The Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Top 10 Small Businesses, and BostInno’s “Coolest Companies in Boston.”
Tony Tjan (pronounced “Chan”) is Founder and CEO of Cue Ball, a Boston-based venture capital firm focused on digital media, big data, enterprise Internet and tech-enabled retail brands. He is co-founder and Chairman of MiniLuxe, a lifestyle nail salon concept committed to transform the industry and raise standards for both the customer and employees.
Prior to Cue Ball and MiniLuxe, Tony was an entrepreneur and strategic advisor and is a recognized thought-leader in media and technology. He was the founder of ZEFER, one of the country’s first Internet advisory and web application firms (now a part of NEC) and also served from 2001 to 2008 as the Senior Advisor to the then CEO of Thomson Corporation (Dick Harrington), where he helped drive the company’s transformation into one of the world’s largest information services and media firms, now known as Thomson Reuters.
Tony is a contributor for Harvard Business Review, where he has written over 100 blog articles, several pieces for the magazine, Harvard Business Review, and co-authored the New York Times best-seller Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck, which represents one of the largest contemporary studies on entrepreneurship. Tony is a World Economic Forum Global Leader of Tomorrow and has been a repeat speaker at the TED Conference.
Katie Burke is the VP of Culture & Experience at HubSpot. As VP of Culture & Experience, Katie oversees HubSpot’s global employment brand to attract top-level talent as the company continues to grow and enter new markets. She creates and delivers the optimal candidate and employee experience for HubSpot’s offices around the world. Katie manages the team responsible for HubSpot’s award-winning culture and commitment to transparency and autonomy.
During her time at HubSpot, the company has received culture commendations from Entrepreneur, Fortune, The Boston Globe, Glassdoor, and The Boston Business Journal. Katie’s emphasis on a culture of inclusion, diversity, and support has also placed HubSpot on Fortune.com’s “100 Best Workplaces for Women” list.
Prior to HubSpot, Katie was the Director of Marketing and Corporate Partnerships at Athletes’ Performance and Core Performance. During her tenure, the company was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies and was featured on CNN Money, Yahoo!, ESPN, The New York Times, and more. Katie also served as a Brand Manager at EXOS. She holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.