Meet Our Mentors

Meet our mentors!  They are leading experts in science, technology, engineering, arts, math, business, finance, and law.  From astrophysicists to entrepreneurship, you can find a mentor here!  

Filter Mentors by Expertise

  • Charles Camarda


  • Zafra Lerman


  • Alan Zweibel

    Comedy Writer

  • Gibor Basri


  • Marshall Goldsmith

    Exec Coach

  • LaTonya Kilpatrick-Liverman, PhD


  • Bruce Y. Lee


  • Jennifer “JJ” Snow


  • Neil Comins


  • Hara Marano

    Editor at Large

  • Vanessa Small


  • Justin Thompson


  • Ayse Birsel


  • Anu George


  • Desire Banse


  • Andrea Rothman

    Scientist /Fiction Author

  • Jennifer Wisdom


  • Vivan Amin


  • Brian E. Martin


  • Irene Yachbes, MS


  • Jura Zibas

    IP Law

  • Roland Mokuolu


  • Valerie Fridland


  • Jeffrey Jennings


    Megen Schlesinger

    Strategic Partner

  • Sarina Arcari

    Project Management

  • Susan Birne-Stone

    TV Producer/Host

  • Temi Odunlami


  • Marco Ciappelli

    Co-Founder ITSPmagazine

  • Sam Gralnick


  • Ryan Prior


  • Romain-Rolland Tohouri


  • Robin Colucci


  • Richard Mokuolu


  • Robert Dowling


  • Quintin McGrath


  • Ralph Morrison


  • Patrick Kelley


  • Neil Kane


  • Matthew Griffin


  • Mark Beal


  • Marilyn Price


  • Mary Hagy


  • Suzie Katz


  • Lorette Cheswick


  • Leslie Wingo


  • James Freeman


  • Jane Curth


  • Gabriel Lewis

    Money Management

  • Jacklyn Scott


  • Dwayne Wyre


  • Dr. Deborah Thomson


  • Dr. Mark Goulston


  • Dr. Aviva Legatt

    College Readiness

  • Dr. Steven Rogelberg


  • Cameron Gibson

    Data Engineering

  • Busayo Odunlami


  • Avidor Rabinovich


  • Brian Cook

    Animal Husbandry

  • David Schiff


  • Alison Escalante


  • Tamara Meyer

  • Matt Coleman

    In Memoriam

  • Larry Heiser

    In Memorium

Charles Camarda


Dr. Charles Camarda retired from NASA in May   2019, after 46 years of continuous service as a research engineer and   technical manager at Langley Research Center (LaRC), an Astronaut and Senior   Executive (Director of Engineering) at Johnson Space Center (JSC), and as the   Senior Advisor for Innovation and Engineering Development at LaRC.

He began his   career at LaRC in 1974 where he conducted thermal structures research for   hypersonic vehicles for 22 years. He developed innovative passive,   semi-passive, and active thermal protection systems including heat-pipe-cooled   leading edges, high temperature composite structures, and reusable cryogenic propellant   tank concepts. In 1989, Camarda was selected to lead the Structures and   Materials Technology Maturation Team for the National Aero-Space Plane (NASP)   program, which was responsible for maturing materials and structures   technologies necessary to enable the development of an airbreathing   hypersonic vehicle capable of horizontal take-off to orbit.  He was   selected to head the Thermal Structures Branch (TSB) in 1994 and was chosen   as NASA’s structures and materials lead for the single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO)   reusable launch vehicle program which led to the experimental X-33 vehicle   development program.

He was selected as an Astronaut Candidate in 1996 and flew as a Mission Specialist on   STS-114, NASA’s Return-to-Flight (RTF) mission immediately following the Columbia disaster. He was responsible for initiating several teams to successfully   diagnose the cause of the Columbia tragedy and, in addition, develop an   on-orbit, wing leading edge repair capability which was flown on his RTF   mission and all successive Shuttle missions until the retirement of the Space   Shuttle Program in  2011.

Following his successful mission on STS-114 Dr. Camarda   was asked by NASA Administrator, Dr. Michael Griffin, to be the Director of   Engineering at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston and tasked with   changing the dysfunctional culture which caused the accident and creating a   technically excellent Engineering Directorate.

Dr. Camarda is a research engineer, inventor, author,   educator, and internationally recognized invited speaker on subjects related   to engineering, engineering design, innovation, safety, organizational   behavior, and education. He has over 60 technical publications, holds 9   patents, and over 20 national and international awards including: an IR-100 Award for one of the top 100   technical innovations; the NASA Spaceflight Medal, an Exceptional Service   Medal; the American Astronautical Society 2006 Flight Achievement Award, and   he was inducted into the Air and Space Cradle of Aviation Museum’s Hall of   Fame in 2017.

Dr. Camarda is the Founder/CEO of the Epic Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation seeking to democratize education for learners at all levels and he is the President of an aerospace engineering and education consultancy, Leading Edge Enterprises LLC.

Zafra Lerman


Zafra Lerman is a scientist, educator and humanitarian. She developed an innovative approach of teaching science through art, music, drama, dance and rap which was successful with underprivileged students around the globe. She worked on human rights cases in the former Soviet Union, Russia, China, Guatemala, Cuba, Peru, and South Africa and was successful in preventing executions, releasing prisoners from jail and bringing dissidents to freedom.

She is the President of the Malta Conferences Foundation which uses science diplomacy as a bridge to peace in the Middle East. She received over forty international awards, including Presidential Award for Mentoring from President Clinton (1999), AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy (2015), APS Andrei Sakharov Prize for Human Rights (2016), Peace and Justice prize from the UN NOVUS summit (2016), and she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by a member of the US Congress and a member of the French Parliament (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021).

Alan Zweibel

Comedy Writer

An original Saturday Night Live writer, Alan has won five Emmy Awards for his work in television, which also includes It’s Garry Shandling’s Show (which he co-created and produced), The Late Show with David Letterman and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

 A frequent guest on all the late-night talk shows, Alan’s theatrical contributions include his collaboration with Billy Crystal on the Tony Award winning play 700 Sundays, Martin Short’s Broadway hit Fame Becomes Me, and six off-Broadway plays including Bunny Bunny – Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy, which he adapted from his best-selling book.

 Taking to the stage himself, Alan is an ensemble performer at New York’s Triad Theater in Celebrity Autobiographyand is also a sought-after keynote speaker.

 All told, Alan has written eleven books including his cultural memoir titled Laugh Lines – My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier, published by Abrams Books; the 2006 Thurber Prize winning novel The Other Shulman; the popular children’s book Our Tree Named Steve; and a parody of the Haggadah — For This We Left Egypt? which he wrote with Dave Barry and Adam Mansbach. He has also penned a best-selling e-book, From My Bottom Drawer

 Alan’s humor has appeared in such diverse publications as The New Yorker, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Op-Ed page, The Huffington Post, Air Mail Weekly, and MAD Magazine

 The co-writer of screenplays for the films Dragnet, North, and The Story of Us, Alan received an honorary doctorate in 2009 from the State University of New York. The following year, the Writers Guild of America East honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for the diversity of his body of work.

 In addition to talk shows, Alan has appeared in episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Law & Order, and can be seen in the documentary The Last Laugh about humor and the Holocaust; Judd Apatow’s Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (HBO), Gilbert about the life of Gilbert Gottfried, and the Emmy nominated CNN documentary he executive produced titled Love, Gilda.

Alan is currently working on numerous projects, including adapting director Barry Sonnenfeld’s memoir Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother as a feature film for Castle Rock Entertainment, Here Today, a film he co-wrote with Billy Crystal (who also directs and stars alongside Tiffany Haddish) can be seen on Amazon Prime and Apple TV, among other platforms. 

But the production that Alan is most proud of is the one he co-created with his wife Robin, their three children and five grandchildren.

Gibor Basri


Prof. Gibor Basri has a BSc in Physics from Stanford University and a PhD in Astrophysics from the Univ. of Colorado, Boulder. He joined the faculty of the UC Berkeley Astronomy Dept. in 1982 and became a full professor in 1994. His work in the 1980s concentrated on star formation as well as continuing studies of stellar activity. In the 1990s he was a discoverer and world expert in the study of brown dwarfs (failed stars). He was lead author on a review article entitled “What is a Planet?” in 2005. He became involved in NASA’s Kepler mission in 2001; the mission launched in 2009 and revolutionized our understanding of exoplanets. His expertise was about the effects of stellar variability on the mission and to learn more about the observed stars.

He has served on committees that awarded major NASA and NSF grants and projects, and awarded time on the (world’s largest) Keck telescopes and others. He has written more than 200 technical publications, including numerous review articles. There are more than 25000 citations to his work.

Dr. Basri has always been involved in science education, encouraging the participation of underrepresented populations in science, and  increasing diversity at the University.  In 2007 he became the founding Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion at Berkeley. He officially retired in 2015, but serves on several Boards and selection committees, maintains an active research program, mentors students, and continues to work on diversity issues.

Marshall Goldsmith

Exec Coach

Dr. Goldsmith is a member of the Thinkers 50 Hall of Fame. He is the only two-time Thinkers 50 #1 Leadership Thinker in the World. He has been ranked as the World’s #1 Executive Coach and Top Ten Business Thinker for eight years. Marshall was chosen as the inaugural winner of the Lifetime Award for Leadership by the Harvard Institute of Coaching.

Dr. Goldsmith, a New York Times #1 bestselling author, has written or edited 44 books which have sold over 2.5 million copies, been translated into 32 languages, and become listed bestsellers in 12 countries.

LaTonya Kilpatrick-Liverman, PhD


Dr. LaTonya Kilpatrick-Liverman works in the Clinical Dental Research Dept at Colgate Palmolive Co. She leads a diverse team of researchers responsible for evaluating early in development technologies, developing improved clinical methods to objectively measure oral conditions, and developing new clinical measurements to detect pre-clinical signs of disease.

Throughout her tenure at Colgate, LaTonya has provided critical support to improve the product performance of skin cleansing, underarm, and oral care products. She is the author of 18 patent publications, 17 journal and book articles, and 20 internal publications. She has served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Industrial Advisory Board at Rutgers University, and the Biomaterials Symposium Advisory Board.​

LaTonya feels strongly about exposing kids to science early on. She has volunteered in a number of education based outreach programs sponsored by Colgate Palmolive, the American Chemical Society, and community groups. She understands the importance of providing children with an opportunity to get hands on experience conducting laboratory experiments or working through science based problems. She finds joy leveraging every opportunity to give back and share her experiences.

LaTonya holds a BA degree in Chemistry from Hampton University and a PhD degree in chemistry from Princeton University.

Bruce Y. Lee


Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA is systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, writer, and health journalist. He has over two decades experience in industry and academia developing mathematical and computational models to assist a wide range of decision makers in health and public health. Currently, he is a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Public Health where he is the Executive Director of PHICOR (Public Health Informatics, Computational, and Operations Research), which he founded in 2007, and a Professor by Courtesy at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Dr. Lee is also the founder and CEO of Symsilico, which develops and uses computational methods, models, and tools to help decision-making. His previous positions include serving as Associate Professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Executive Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC), Director of Operations Research at the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Senior Manager at Quintiles Transnational, working in biotechnology equity research at Montgomery Securities, and co-founding Integrigen.

He has been the Principal Investigator for projects supported by a variety of organizations and agencies including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UNICEF, the Global Fund and USAID. He also has served as a systems science and modeling expert for numerous advisory boards and committees such as the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine committee to evaluate the Dietary Guidelines of America process.

Dr. Lee has authored over 200 scientific publications (including over 100 first author and over 65 last author) nearly all of which have focused of systems science and using systems methods as well as three books.

Dr. Lee has written extensively for the general media. He is a Senior Contributor for Forbes, covering a wide range of health-related topics including medicine, wellness, digital health and the business of health and having written over 700 articles. His writing has also appeared in a number of other media outlets including Time, The Guardian, the HuffPost, and the MIT Technology Review. His work and expertise have appeared in leading media outlets such as the New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, CBS News, Businessweek, U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg News, Reuters, and National Public Radio (NPR). Dr. Lee received his B.A. from Harvard University, M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He completed his internal medicine residency training at the University of California, San Diego. His Twitter handle is @bruce_y_lee

Jennifer “JJ” Snow


Jennifer “JJ” Snow is the Chief Technology Officer for AFWERX the innovation division of the U.S. Air Force. She serves as the military representative for total force innovation and technology outreach and engagement bridging the gap between government and various private sector, academic and non traditional communities. Her focus areas are to improve collaboration and communications, identify smart solutions to wicked problems and guide the development of future technology strategies to benefit the US Air Force, Department of Defense, Interagency and Allied partners.

Prior to her current assignment, JJ was the Donovan Group Innovation Officer for U.S. Special Operations Command and the SOFWERX Innovation Team. She is a Distinguished Graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School. Her work has been presented to members of the National Security Council, the White House and key seniors across the DoD, IC and Interagency to inform and highlight emergent risks and opportunities involving technology and technology influenced environments. JJ also serves as Innovation Advisor for MoonMark Space.

Neil Comins


Neil Comins is an astrophysicist, astronomer, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Maine, author of at least 21 published books on astronomy and space (many more according to the Amazon web site), and public speaker. I have “appeared” on over a hundred radio shows aired around the world, as well as numerous television shows.

Hara Marano

Editor at Large


Hara Estroff Marano is an award-winning author, journalist, and editor who writes about all aspects of human behavior through a broad cultural lens. She is Editor at Large of Psychology Today magazine, a title she first assumed after stepping down as Editor in Chief in order to devote attention to writing her second book (on bullying).

At Psych Today, Marano has expanded the magazine’s traditional editorial focus beyond individual psychology, going both deeper into the human brain and outward to the bonds between people, as well as exploring the culture at large. Her articles on domestic violence, bullying, and the culture of hyperparenting have garnered numerous awards.

She has written for many publications besides Psych Today—The New York TimesNew York magazine, Smithsoniaan, The Wilson Quarterly, The Los Angeles TimesUSA TodayThe New York Daily NewsLadies Home Journal, Glamour, the American Journal of Play, to name a few. She has also been an executive editor at Family CircleAmerican Health, and Medical World News.

At Psychology Today, Marano also pens a widely respected advice column (called Unconventional Wisdom). She is the author of three books. The most recent, A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting (Random House), examines the contemporary culture of parenting and documents how the rampant overmanagement of children is bad for them, for parents, and for the future of the country.

Over the years, Marano has been called on as consultant to some of America’s best-known publications. She has also provided direction and content for the development of several websites. Marano is the architect of the Mayo Clinic’s Complete Book of Pregnancy. At American Health, she not only created a worldwide newsgathering operation for the magazine, she developed a distinctive news and writing style that has been widely imitated. Marano co-led the magazine to selection as Magazine of the Year for 1985.

Marano frequently speaks to parent, policy, and educational groups on how we are creating the next generation of society.

Under the auspices of The Mentor Project, she leads a weekly class in the fine arts of writing and editing. A recent essay is featured in the just-published collection Fast Funny Women (Woodhull Books).

Marano lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Vanessa Small


As a leader in the biotech industry, Dr. Small has held key scientific roles and senior management positions in several biotechnology companies, including Pfizer, Alere Health (acquired by Abbott), and Cue Health Inc. During Vanessa’s 25-year career, she has emerged as a thought leader and technical expert, advising on topics pertaining to bioengineering, CMC, and product development as well as a strong leader of growth stage technical teams.

Justin Thompson


Justin Thompson is currently the senior artist at the Charles Schulz studio in Santa Rosa California. His own comic strip ‘MythTickle’ is now in its 17th year of syndication with Universal Press Syndicate at He has illustrated more than a dozen children’s books including a few self-published stories of his own. His latest book, If I Gave The World My Blanket, which he wrote and illustrated was released from Simon & Schuster in December, 2021. He is one of the first American artists to paint a mural in Havana Cuba since the revolution, creating two murals for Muraleando- an arts community in central Havana. On behalf of the Mentor Project in February of 2023, he painted a mural in Shirati, Tanzania for Tina’s School where he continues to teach Cartooning With Emotions.

For Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, Justin worked extensively in Japan for over ten years, giving presentations and art direction for licensees using the Peanuts brand and has moderated panels at San Diego Comic Con. He is also a Creative Consultant for ‘the Snoopy Show’ currently running on Apple TV.

Justin is also an accomplished Shakespearean actor, storyteller, improv performer, swordsman, equestrian, jouster, and stuntman, having acted on daytime soap operas and battled bad guys in live stunt shows as Robin Hood and Batman. He has taught art and cartooning on both coasts, and even fencing to children in Hoboken New Jersey. Justin was brought in to the Mentor Project to help bring visual arts and cartooning to the Mentor Project’s arsenal of education and study, and perhaps some performing and public speaking as well.

Ayse Birsel


Ayse (pronounced Eye-Shay) Birsel is one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People 2017 and is on the Thinkers50 Radar List of the 30 management thinkers most likely to shape the future of organizations. She is the recipient of numerous awards including Interior Design Best Of Year Product Designer Award in 2020. She is the author of Design the Life You Love and gives lectures on Design the Work You Love to corporations. Ayse is the co-founder of Birsel + Seck, the award-winning design and innovation studio, and consults to Amazon, Colgate-Palmolive, Herman Miller, GE, IKEA, The Scan Foundation, Staples and Toyota, among others. Her work can be found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Anu George


Anu George is the COO – Technology & Transformation for Morningstar, the leading independent investment research firm. She works at the intersection of emerging technologies, strategy, leadership & operational excellence and is known for her ability to drive global, enterprise wide business innovation and transformation. She is a frequent speaker on topics such as ‘future of work’, driving transformations, diversity & inclusion, business excellence and leadership.

In acknowledgement of her achievements, Anu was was recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the 2020 Notable Women Executives in Chicago.

At Morningstar, Anu has helped introduce and drive adoption of emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, RPA, and chatbots to transform how work is done. She is most energized when she is helping leaders discern the trends of the future and help them successfully embrace that future.

Prior to Morningstar, Anu has worked at Unilever and GE. At Unilever, her last stint was as the brand manager for one of the leading coffee brands in India. During her long tenure at GE, Anu held a number of senior roles. She was responsible for launching innovative finance and credit products for the Indian consumer; and helping grow the then fledging offshore business process outsouring arm of GE. In the US, Anu held several executive roles in business integrations, and operations management.

Anu has global experience through her extensive work in Asia, North America, and Europe. She is committed to the cause of diversity, equity and inclusion, and has been the executive sponsor of the Women’s resource group & Indian affinity group both at GE & Morningstar. She is also an an Advisory Board Member of the Illinois Technology Association (Women Influence Chicago and AI Council).

Anu believes in giving back to the community and is active in her role as a Board Member of the Chicago Literacy Association.

Anu is an avid reader and her reading lists comprises an eclectic choice of material relating to technology, science, business, leadership, history and religion.

Anu holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting and a master’s degree in business administration, with a specialization in marketing, from the University of Mumbai.

Desire Banse


Desire Banse has worked on evaluations and technology metrology at NIST designing large-scale multi-purpose online platforms for researchers in Machine Translation, Speaker and Language Recognition, and Mobile Network Technologies.  His work at Prometheus Computing as the UAS Innovation Group Lead spans computer vision, sensors hardware, and AI for  Industry and Government use cases.

Coming from Burkina Faso, and having studied in France, Desire is working on experimental designs for innovative solutions to problems like food security, access to power/energy and information in West Africa. He has worked with farmers and electricity professionals in Burkina in order to use drones to help them in their respective domains. He has written about Internet Connectivity in Africa and his vision on a connected world that works for everyone especially Africans. He’s a strong advocate of technology that empowers people to improve their lives. His work leverages modern tools for fast delivery, rapid prototyping, and a special focus on user education and technology adoption in challenging environments.

Andrea Rothman

Scientist /Fiction Author

Andrea Rothman is a former research scientist and a fiction writer. While working at The Rockefeller University she was awarded two grants from the NIH to study the Sense of Smell. Her science-based debut novel, The DNA of You and Me, was published by Harpercollins in 2019, the paperback edition in 2020. Andrea holds an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives with her husband and children and a dog called Pepper in Long Island, New York. To learn more visit

Jennifer Wisdom


Jennifer is a licensed and board-certified psychologist who now is an author, consultant, and speaker. She has worked with complex health care, government, and educational environments for 25 years, including serving in the U.S. military, working with non-profit service delivery programs, and as faculty in higher education. She works with nonprofit agencies, research institutions, and universities to help streamline healthcare services and demystify the grant proposal process. Recent clients include National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Veterans Health Administration, University of California Los Angeles, and Columbia University. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from The George Washington University in Washington, DC, and a Master’s of Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. She is an intrepid adventurer based in New York City and Portland, Oregon.

Vivan Amin


Vivan Amin is an accomplished Aerospace and Technology executive with over 15 years of experience in the Aerospace, Defense and Technology industry. Most recently serving as the Director of AI for Microsoft’s Autonomous Systems team, Vivan played a pivotal role in driving the expansion of strategic initiatives for autonomous systems in the aerial and space domain with a keen focus on multi-domain operations, Vivan has been instrumental in exploring innovative AI applications for autonomous systems that are poised to revolutionize the industry. 

Prior to joining Microsoft, Vivan held several senior leadership positions at leading Aerospace organizations, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon Technologies. He recently founded AerOrbit Intelligence, LLC, a business consultancy for AI-enabled Autonomous vehicles in aerial, space, and maritime domain. Throughout his career, Vivan has demonstrated a strong track record of success in driving operational efficiency and improving team outcomes through leveraging technology. He expanded operations in fourteen countries across five continents. He is highly skilled in augmented intelligence (human-AI teaming), program-product management, global supply chain and has a proven ability to manage complex projects with multiple stakeholders utilizing his technical background as a systems engineer. 

As an avid learner, Vivan has an educational background that includes executive programs at University of California – Berkeley in Applied Artificial Intelligence and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cybersecurity Leadership. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Louisiana State University.

Outside of work, Vivan enjoys exploring new cultures, AI for healthcare, astronomy, volunteering with local charities and learning to play golf. His commitment to excellence in all aspects of his life makes him a true leader in the global aerospace and technology community.

Brian E. Martin


Brian Martin is the Chief Operating Officer of Pine Canada Financial, a direct-to-consumer, digital-first mortgage lender. Pine has built its own software and created a consumer-centric digital experience for Canadian borrowers to apply for a mortgage in minutes, anywhere, at any time. Brian oversees the daily operations of the company and is directly responsible for Mortgage Operations, Finance, and People Ops. Brian designs and implements Pine’s business strategy, plans, and procedures. Brian sets comprehensive goals for performance and growth while building and promoting the company’s culture. 

Most recently, Brian was Head of Business Development, Partnerships, and Corporate Development and was part of the Executive Leadership Team at Blend. Blend is a Silicon Valley enterprise software company that built a white-labeled digital consumer banking platform that initially focused on residential mortgage origination and expanded to include settlement services and additional lending consumer credit products (auto, credit card, personal loans, deposit account opening). Brian led a team of professionals focused on creating innovative partnerships in the lending and technology ecosystems, building new products and revenue streams, and exploring merger and acquisition opportunities. During his tenure, Brian helped create a homeowners insurance agency, led a $500mm acquisition of a title agency (Title365), contributed to revenues growing from $2mm to over $300mm, and was a key part of Blend’s IPO on the NYSE (Ticker: BLND). 

Prior to Blend, Brian was at Bloomberg L. P. as a Market Specialist focused on equity derivatives and quantitative strategies. He has managed different alternative investment strategies and has spent much of his career on Wall Street. He was a Managing Partner and Founder of an equity derivative hedge fund – Spartus Capital. Previously, he was a Director at Citi where he held several positions. He was a senior member of the Equity and Derivative Trading Strategy team; Head of Small Cap Equity Trading; and was Head of the US Capital Structure Arbitrage proprietary investment group. For many years Brian was a convertible bond arbitrage Portfolio Manager at two different multi-billion-dollar hedge funds – Satellite Asset Management, and Tribeca Investments. 

Brian has a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University, Canada. Brian was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He and his family currently live in Brooklyn, New York.

Irene Yachbes, MS


Chief Product Officer

Irene Yachbes is a founding board member of The Mentor Project and led the Planning Committee for the first-ever Mentor Project hackathon in 2020.

Irene Yachbes has been a tech professional in the robotics and digital industries since 2000. She earned her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia and M.S in Technical Management from Johns Hopkins University. As a Spacecraft Engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, she performed integration, testing, and launch site support for four spacecraft that studied the Earth’s atmosphere, planets, and comets. On the Messenger mission to Mercury, she was the Lead Engineer for all electrical wiring of the spacecraft. Following this, Irene became the Director of Business Development at Honeybee Robotics. Working with world-renowned scientists and engineers, she brought in tens of millions of dollars of research and product development funding for robotics projects for NASA, defense, utilities, and mining applications.

In 2013, Irene began working at digital start-ups as a project manager and account manager by helping big banks, retailers, hospitality and health care companies to make the most of internet technologies, especially with creative video and mobile apps.

Today Irene works at IBM Research as product owner for one-of-a-kind secure digital apps that allow IBM scientists and engineers all over the world to collaborate virtually. These scientists and engineers are changing the world of computing through research in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, quantum and cloud computing. Irene manages a team of web designers, software developers, and user experience researchers.

Jura Zibas

IP Law

Jura Zibas is a lawyer and partner at Wilson Elser and is co-chair of the firm’s intellectual property practice and a member of the information governance leadership committee.

Jura is also on The Board of The Mentor Project and is a mentor. She has an extensive technology background and focuses her legal practice on intellectual property, technology and commercial matters. Relying on her scientific and analytical skill sets, Jura assists in solving legal issues that involve intellectual property rights, cybersecurity, technology-related disputes and complex business disputes.

Trained in chemistry and dentistry, combined with training in computer science and uses these skills she learned in her undergraduate coursework in her work as a lawyer.

Her science and technology background is of particular value to her clients in the computer and engineering fields, online businesses, hardware/software development, medical, durable medical equipment, health care, construction and manufacturing.

Roland Mokuolu


Roland, alongside his twin brother, Rich, spent his formative years taking things apart, so he could put them back together. While studying Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech, Roland discovered that his passion extended beyond inventing and innovating—he loved helping others access resources and training to enable them to bring their ideas to life as well.

Roland has a degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech. He’s worked on several large-scale mergers and acquisitions and strategic refinancing as an Assistant Vice President for a bulge bracket investment bank in New York City. As Partsimony’s COO, Roland is focused on the internal operations and growth of the company.

Roland passionately believes that everyone is born with the ability to create something incredible, and that it takes a group of people working in tandem to introduce a truly timeless and impactful innovation to the world. This drive purpose motivates him out of bed every morning, and fuels his work at Partsimony.


Valerie Fridland


Dr. Valerie Fridland is Professor of sociolinguistics at the University of Nevada in Reno. An expert on the relationship between language and society, her work has appeared in numerous academic journals and scholarly collections. She is co-author of the book Sociophonetics coming soon from Cambridge University Press and lead editor of three volumes on Western states English. Her language blog, Language in the Wild, is featured on Psychology Today, and her lecture series, Language and Society, is available from The Great Courses. She is also working on her first book for a popular audience, I Hate When You Say That!, coming out with Viking/Penguin. She regularly appears on podcasts and news programs such as The Elegant Warrior, The Mentor Project, CBS news, and Newsy’s The Why.

Jeffrey Jennings


Inventor, founder, and former CEO for a fast-growing tech company that designs and manufactures precision fluid controls for industrial and laboratory clients worldwide. Exited ownership of company in 2021. Focusing on mentoring engineering talent inside and outside company while continuing research and innovation efforts.

Megen Schlesinger

Strategic Partner

Megen Schlesinger, MBA, is currently the Deputy Director of the Central Coast Tech Bridge at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California. Megen is responsible for providing strategic advisement to NPS regarding collaboration between industry, academia, and government to improve Department of Defense technology. Her expertise in non-traditional defense acquisition and technology-focused small business are leveraged to bring non-traditional players to NPS’s technology ecosystem and to accelerate technology transfer at NPS.

Megen’s career began in the Army, where she served on active duty as a Military Intelligence officer for seven years. Megen’s experience in the intelligence field has supported a multitude of operational capabilities; she has served in a spectrum of units ranging across mechanized infantry, airborne, and special operations. Her leadership opportunities allowed her to lead and support intelligence collection across a variety of platforms, including signals intelligence, human intelligence, geo-spatial/imagery intelligence, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Megen served in numerous locations in the United States and has deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She most recently served as a Military Intelligence officer in the US Army Reserve at Fort Carson, Colorado. Her military awards include a Bronze Star Medal.

Following her active duty career, Megen earned her Master of Business Administration at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs with an emphasis in Management in 2017. Prior to graduation, she began working at the Center for Technology, Research, and Commercialization (C-TRAC), a 501(c)(3) in Colorado Springs, CO that was a Partnership Intermediary organization to the United States Air Force Academy. At C-TRAC, Megen served in a variety of roles, including Program Manager for the US Air Force CyberWorx program, C-TRAC Director of Operations, and finally as the company’s Managing Director. C-TRAC continues to serve the Mountain West collaborative defense innovation ecosystem through its close partnerships with organizations such as Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation, the US Air Force CyberWorx program, and the Air Force Research Laboratory, among others.

Outside of her professional career, Megen is a busy mother to three young sons, Will, Ben, and Charlie, and is married to an active duty US Army Special Forces officer. She enjoys running, hiking, yoga, reality television, murder mysteries, and is an NCAA Division I “swammer” (former swimmer).

Sarina Arcari

Project Management

Sarina Arcari, PMP Founder & CEO of Arcari Solutions LLC, a woman-owned, bespoke project management and executive leadership consultancy specializing in enterprise transformation, executive team evolution, and conscious high performance leadership. Sarina has led enterprise PMOs for large corporations and emerging start-ups alike. An award-winning transformation executive, she achieved strategic governance and tactical delivery successes leading multibillion-dollar capital infrastructure and strategic growth portfolios. Recognized for building high performing organizations known for exceeding customer expectations, she is highly sought after to coach, mentor, and guide executives and organizations through major enterprise, executive leadership, and life stage transformations. She serves on the Global Board of Directors for the Project Management Institute, as a Global Advisor for Women Leaders of the World, and is an Executive Producer of the transformational documentary film, There’s Got to Be More to Life.

Susan Birne-Stone

TV Producer/Host

Dr. Susan Birne-Stone is the producer and host of the TV program and podcast series Your Voice with Dr. Susan, an inspirational, motivational and educational talk style program featuring interviews and panels with individuals and professionals on a broad range of topics. She is also the producer and host of the TV series The Mentor Project which features in depth interviews with mentors and mentees about their experiences, as well as panel discussions highlighting team projects.

For over 35 years Dr. Susan has successfully worked in the field of psychological, emotional and relationship health in a variety of settings and roles. She has helped thousands of individuals and families to improve their relationships in all aspects of their lives and achieve their goals. Dr. Susan is also an adjunct professor of psychology, an active member of several professional organizations, and regularly quoted in the media. To learn more go to , or contact her at

Temi Odunlami


Economist and Educator

Temi Odunlami is an Economist and Educator with international experience in consulting, teaching, data analysis, and product/project management.

She is the co-founder and Executive Director at the Billion Strong Foundation – an education foundation with a mission to equip one billion people ages 18-40 with the technological resources and social skills necessary to succeed in the digital marketplace.

In her spare time, Temi enjoys creating music, playing chess, hosting trivia games, and trying new cuisine.

Marco Ciappelli

Co-Founder ITSPmagazine

Dr. in Political Science with a Specialization in Sociology of Communication at the University of Florence Cesare Alfieri, Marco’s career started in advertising in the mid-90s. He has since been consulting on branding and marketing strategies for companies
of all sizes and across various industries.

He has been living in Los Angeles since 2000.

Marco started with traditional advertising and moved into digital branding and marketing in the early stages of the commercial internet. With the advent and evolution of Social Media and IoT, the jobs became much more exciting and interesting – not only for
the new marketing opportunities that it created but also for the strong, direct impact that technology started to have on individuals, businesses, and society.

With the clear sociological and psychological repercussions on our way of life and the inevitable connection with information security and data privacy, Marco realized that a platform to allow and drive conversations outside the realm of the traditional tech to tech talk was needed.

His goal with ITSPmagazine is to educate by telling meaningful stories at the intersection of technology, cybersecurity, and society; and, when possible, to positively impact people’s lives and our society as a whole.

His new Podcast Show “Audio Signals” is a creative adventure to discover new stories worth to be told. Led by his passion and curiosity, it is a journey into the known, the unknown, and everything in between.

Sam Gralnick


Senior Professional Engineer

Sam Gralnick is a senior professional engineer with systems architecture and development experience in Financial Services, Aerospace, Energy Production and Delivery and Chemical Processing. He holds degrees in Civil Engineering from City College of NY, Mechanical Engineering and a doctorate in Applied Physics from Columbia University, and a Post Doctoral Fellowship in Physics from Princeton University.  He holds more than 100 publications in energy research, sustainability and systems design and implementation and holds patents for developments in the fields of data assembly and visualization and for Graph theory and Graph Database technology.

Ryan Prior


Journalist and Author of “The Long Haul”

Romain-Rolland Tohouri


Health Information Specialist · Health Information Manager · Director Health Information Management · Director Of Innovation

Robin Colucci


Robin Colucci has been helping world class experts write world changing books since 2003. Before that she built, grew, and sold a personal fitness business. She also was a journalist and worked as an acquisitions editor for an independent publishing house. Robin brings her deep, hands-on knowledge of publishing and entrepreneurship to her clients whose books cover a range of topics including: business, personal development, memoir, health and fitness, science and technology, politics, women’s issues, and the environment.

Richard Mokuolu


Rich’s passion for inventing and tinkering was ignited at an early age, when he attached some wires to a battery and a lightbulb and lit up his childhood bedroom for the first time. It also happened to be around the time he saw the movie Flubber, so it’s safe to say his fate was sealed.Rich has a patent related to the military space and has experienced how difficult it is to get the products he’d spent years developing and prototyping actually made- this led to the creation of Partsimony with his twin brother, Roland.Rich has worked on numerous critical global supply chain initiatives across various multi-billion dollar industrial companies in the Aviation, Oil & Gas, Locomotive, and Renewable Energy sectors. He advises on hardware-related businesses and can be found doodling designs for new product ideas in his (non-existent) free time.

Robert Dowling


Robert is the Founder and CEO at Alphagora, considered the first cryptocurrency focused, US Securities and Exchange Commission registered roboadvisory.

Alphagora offers automated investment advisory services for cryptocurrencies.  Their technology offerings include algorithms (quantitative and machine learning trading strategies), an order management system (automating the execution of those algorithms on the client’s exchange accounts), and a portfolio management tool (allowing the client to manage their funds allocations to various algorithms across different cryptocurrency exchanges and assets).  (January 2019 – Present)

Robert served as Managing Director for Alluminate and as the Strategy Director for Luminous Group, both boutique blockchain consultancies, where his startup and enterprise clients pursued blockchain products in real estate, social media, and identity technologies (September 2017 – September 2018).  Robert’s first role in blockchain was as an intern at Consensys in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where Consensys was part of the Dubai Future Accelerator. (Summer 2017)

He was a co-Founder and former Chief Operating Officer at rePurpose, the world’s first plastic credit system offsetting the plastic footprints of consumers and corporations with investment in plastic trash pickers living in dense urban slums.  rePurpose won the 2018 University of Pennsylvania President’s Engagement Prize, a $150,000 USD grant (March 2016 – August 2017).

Robert is a graduate dual-degree student at the University of Pennsylvania, completing through submatriculation a Master of Science of Engineering (Nanotechnology) at the School of Engineering and Applied Science and a Master in Law (Finance/Corporate Focus) at Penn Law.  As an undergraduate dual-degree student at the University of Pennsylvania, Robert is a Wharton Research Scholar, earning a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Electrical Engineering (Quantum Engineering and Photonics) at the School of Engineering and Applied Science and a Bachelor of Science in Economics (Finance) at The Wharton School.  His anticipated graduation from all of his coursework at Penn is May 2022.

Quintin McGrath


Quintin McGrath is a driver of global-scale business growth and digital transformation with a focus on emerging technologies, ethics, risk management, and sustainability. As a retired IT executive and a board member, he is known for advising leaders on the latest technologies and their impact on organizations, most recently guiding the application of Artificial Intelligence to a business considering the ethical, governance, and leadership implications. After 24 years of serving on Deloitte’s Global IT Exec team, he recently retired. He is a member of the CXO Advisory Network of the A.Team start-up, he sits on Blumberg Capital’s CIO Council, an Advisory Board for the early-stage venture capital firm. He is a Board Member of the Society for Information Management (SIM) Tampa Bay chapter, where he chairs a Shared Interest Group on the convergence of global megatrends and emerging technologies to advise national SIM leadership. He is a popular speaker, panelist, and Adjunct Professor at USF’s Muma College of Business, teaching MBA and Executive MBA students. Quintin holds a Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) focused on AI, ethics, and risk management from the University of South Florida, a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Cape Town, and a Master of Arts from Wheaton College.

Ralph Morrison



Ralph Morrison is a mathematician specializing in the field of tropical geometry.  This is a young area of mathematics bringing together a disparate collection of mathematical topics, including polynomial equations, polyhedral geometry, and chip-firing games on graphs.  Ralph received a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Williams College, and completed his PhD in Mathematics at UC Berkeley.  After a postdoctoral appointment at KTH in Stockholm, Sweden, Ralph returned to Williams College as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics.  In addition to teaching a wide variety of classes, he works actively to mentor undergraduates, both throughout the school year and during the summer as part of Williams’ SMALL REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) in mathematics.

Patrick Kelley


Patrick Kelley is an Information Security veteran with 20 years of experience in the field with a focus on defensive security at scale. Over those years, he worked with Lions Club International, Appalachian Children’s Emergency Shelter, Appalachian Children’s Center, Launchpads for Literacy, Youth Leadership Pickens, and Burnt Mountain Center where he worked to provide opportunities for the disabled and support for their families.

He is the founder of Critical Path Security and an ongoing CyberSecurity Expert for 11Alive and NBC News.

His research has been covered by FORTUNE, CNN, NBC News, The Guardian, Globe and Mail, and Krebs Security Online.  Further, he has worked extensively in defense, entertainment and finance, both in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Ireland.

Neil Kane


A leading authority on technology commercialization, entrepreneurship and innovation, he is the former Director of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship at Michigan State University where he built the program to a Top 25 national ranking in 2 ½ years. Kane is the former co-Executive Director of the Illinois Technology Enterprise Center at Argonne National Laboratory and was Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Illinois. He was the founding CEO of several startup companies based on university research in areas such as nanotechnology and advanced materials. Earlier he held engineering, sales and business development positions at IBM and Microsoft.

He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from The University of Chicago. Named a 2007 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, he twice attended their annual meeting in Davos. Recognized for Outstanding Entrepreneurship by the National Science Foundation. Twice an invited witness on tech transfer for the U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Research & Science Education. Contributor to Co-author of The Innovator’s Secret

Matthew Griffin


Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series.

Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future.

A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries.

Matthew’s clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

Mark Beal


Before authoring his just released book, Engaging Gen Z, Mark Beal served as a public relations practitioner and marketer for more than 25 years, developing and executing public relations campaigns for category leading companies and brands around such major sports and entertainment platforms as the Olympic Games, Super Bowl, World Series, NCAA March Madness, US Open Tennis and The Rolling Stones.

He collaborates daily with Gen Z as a full-time professor of practices in public relations in the Rutgers University School of Communication & Information. Mark’s ongoing primary research of Gen Z has led to keynote speeches with the American Marketing Association, the Association of National Advertisers as well as corporations, brands, conferences and agencies.

It was Mark’s Gen Z students who inspired him to write his first book, 101 Lessons They Never Taught You In College, which was published in 2017 and his second book, 101 Lessons They Never Taught You In High School About Going To College, which was published in 2018. Both books are available for purchase on Amazon.

Mark’s third book, Decoding Gen Z: 101 Lessons Generation Z Will Teach Corporate America, Marketers & Media, captured the attention of media, marketers and employers nationwide as the oldest Gen Zers joined the workforce and the entire Gen Z cohort became the primary focus of corporations and brands.

Engaging Gen Z: Lessons To Effectively Engage Generation Via Marketing, Social Media, Retail, Work & School is now available on

Marilyn Price


MARILYN PRICE is a nationally known puppeteer, storyteller and educator who has been telling and teaching for over forty years.  Her uniquely handcrafted characters convey an enthusiasm for the spirit of her stories to all of her audiences both young and less young.  Her repertoire includes a wide variety of programs for all sorts of audiences and specializes in imagination stretching and stories that teach.

Over the years Marilyn and her puppets have traveled to every corner of the United States using original scripts and stories fitted to her characters and style.  Her choice of materials – she makes all her puppets – reflects her impish sense of humor as nerf balls, feather dusters, toilet paper tubes and baby sleepers come to life with her touch.

Marilyn has taught and performed across the country to children and educators, librarians, parents, professional puppeteers and storytellers and clergy.   She has been the author of a bi-monthly feature on puppetry for Shofar Magazine, a series of articles on Jewish home life for the Reconstructionist Magazine and in spring of ’96 released a book Puppets in English and Spanish for Celebration Press (an imprint of Scott Foresmen) that featured her puppet creations.  One of her original tales “Grandma’s Challah” can be found in Chosen Tales: Stories told by Jewish Storytellers (ed. Peninnah Schramm). It has been effectively converted to a children’s book entitled “Grandma’s Cookies”and is available on Amazon as well as Torah Aura Press.  Also released from Torah Aura Press is “Marilyn Price and Friends Present the Alphabet from Alef to Tav” featuring a different puppet creation for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet including the vowels (Torah Aura Press).

Mary Hagy


Founder, Creative Entrepreneur, Story Teller, Civic Enthusiast.  I conceive, capitalize and execute profitable projects that have inspirational, entertainment, and educational impact across broad audiences. The start-up space is my sweet spot, from creating experiences to capturing the unscripted stories for distribution across multiple platforms, including television, digital, mobile, and next-generation media.

My current project, Moon Mark, will capture global audiences with the stories of six teams of young explorers who compete to become the final two that will design, build, land and race two autonomous vehicles on the Moon. They will communicate peer-to-peer with young people who will become explorers in space and on Earth; and open a talent pipeline for the workforce of the future.

Suzie Katz


Suzie Katz is a photographer, speaker, educator, producer, and is giving back to the world that has given her so much by creating and running an educational non-profit organization called PhotoWings. Our mission is to highlight and help facilitate the power of photography to influence the world. We help photography to be better understood, created, utilized, seen, and saved.

Through her own photography experiences, she has a developed a deep understanding of the under-utilized skills, knowledge, and wisdom honed by the world’s best storytellers and related professionals. These can also be an important inspiration to others’ work and lives both inside and outside the photo silo across generations, cultures, and disciplines. Such ideas can be utilized for self-discovery, better communication, critical thinking, visual literacy, resilience, storytelling and understanding context, among others, and are also valued as social emotional learning and executive function skills. To document and more richly utilize that legacy we’ve created, along with our innovative partners, 100’s of hours of interviews, presentations, and other educational content incorporating these ideas for replication, adaptation, or inspiration.

Suzie also thinks a lot about better utilizing the often under-appreciated value and potential of photos. To do that, however, involves saving images from being lost to the world. Photos that may not seem important today can be deeply important legacy later for loved ones, for multiple uses in education, and valued as history. So many photos are tossed, lost to the elements or technology in what is sometimes referred to as the “digital dark ages” that they’re no longer available, so an important aspect of our work is to proactively address this timely issue. As photo curator Malcolm Daniel states “Each time we lose a photograph that has power, we’ve lost the opportunity to be changed by it”.

Lorette Cheswick


Retired from network sys admin business that supported small, women run businesses in NJ. Graduate education in biochemistry. Early work in protein purification and characterization. Currently beekeeper and nurseryman dealing with a very early season and poor assistance options. I listen to podcasts as I work.

Leslie Wingo


As the CEO, Leslie Wingo leads the Sanders\Wingo team, a Texas-based independent multicultural creative intelligence firm, delivering solutions for companies and their brands. Sanders\Wingo is focused on cultivating human connections through brand storytelling, strategy, and content development by partnering with brands like Pivotal Ventures, Q2EBanking, US Census, AT&T, and Croc’s.

As a speaker, she confronts stereotypes, challenges labels, exposes bias, and has tough conversations around race and gender. Leslie works with companies to discover and strengthen their current practices around diversity and equity. Her goal is that every employee and culture is valued, their contribution is maximized and the company’s organizational culture is inclusive.

Leslie also believes in philanthropy, and gives her time to organizations whose values align with her own, like the Texas Book Festival, the Mueller Foundation and Ceresa.

Her most important role is raising her little humans (ages 4 and 9). They are her biggest gift (and sometimes the biggest challenge!).

James Freeman


James Freeman is Founder/President of Emerging Technology Institute, an integration hub for the Department of Defense. This corporation allows James to develop relationships to help future technology integrations with the Department of Defense.  He is an Entrepreneur with passion and dreams to motivate the next generation through education and mentorship.

Jane Curth


Professor Curth has taught college for over 20 years, has presented at 18 local and national conferences and is an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified trainer. During her tenure at the college she developed many online courses in her career and turned that expertise into her company, FitFixNow. The purpose of this new company is to offer online courses to fitness professionals so they can get their continuing education credits at an affordable price and at their convenience. FitFixNow’s purpose is to help bring this industry into the new millennium.

In addition to being the CEO of FitFixNow, Jane is a consultant and model for Silver Sneakers and a former member of the over 50 hip hop Atlanta dance group, Silver Classix Crew. She has performed with Silver Classix Crew at several Atlanta Hawks games, charity events, television shows, and festivals.

Gabriel Lewis

Money Management

Gabriel has a passion for connecting with others and mentorship from a young age. He has been in the public, private, and home school systems which allows him to understand and connect our mentors to their organizations.

Jacklyn Scott


As a tenured Special Operations Warrant Officer, keynote speaker, tech blogger, small business owner, and Senior Analyst in Global Intelligence, Jaclyn “Jax” continues to expand her skills. Jax has held positions on boards of nonprofits providing tactical advice to reduce injury to women and children effected by sex trafficking and held executive leadership roles providing cybersecurity guidance to foreign leaders. She is an expert in military cyber policy and has led global development operations in cyber countermeasures to mitigate near-peer attacks.Jax has nearly 17 years’ experience working in military operations where she worked on a special unit that offered gender specific intelligence and security solutions. She is committed to her growth as a leader and is currently finishing her Master’s in Cybersecurity Risk Management at Georgetown University.

Dwayne Wyre


Dr. Deborah Thomson


Dr. Deborah Thomson is a veterinarian and One Health expert who started teaching in 2001. Since then, she has served as a Science Policy Advisor in the United States Senate; has founded and led a global organization that inspires children and adults to value the interconnection between human health and the health of the environment, plants, and animals (called One Health Lessons); has practiced clinical veterinary medicine in emergency departments, animal shelters, and general practices; has taught thousands of children about One Health; has worked as a One Health Expert Consultant in multiple global nongovernmental organizations and universities including the One Health Institute at the University of California–Davis; has served as an external member of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s One Health Work Group; has created internationally-acclaimed science lessons that are being translated into over eighty languages; has been running a Science Communication Training program with over 800 global participants; and is currently the Chair of the World Veterinary Association’s One Health Education Subgroup and ad-hoc member of its One Health Subject Focus Group. 


In addition, she has won multiple public speaking competitions, has spoken in over a dozen countries, and has most notably been an invited speaker at events associated with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Global Health Security Agenda, the US Agency for International Development, the US Department of Agriculture, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the World Veterinary Association, and the One Health Action Collaborative, an ad hoc activity associated with the Forum on Microbial Threats at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 


Dr. Thomson has been recognized as a Global Goodwill Ambassador, a distinction reserved for humanitarians, as well as an Impact Leader and an Excellence in STEM Inspiration Honoree. Her articles have been printed in multiple publications, including The Lancet Planetary Health. 


Aside from writing and working on these worthy projects, she enjoys playing music, traveling, learning languages, and being outdoors. She lives in the Washington, DC area.

Dr. Mark Goulston


Dr. Mark Goulston is a CEO blindspot executive coach, member of Marshall
Goldsmith’s MG 100 Coaches, a Founding Member of the Newsweek Expert Forum and LeadersHum recognized him as one of the Power List of the Top 200 Biggest Voices in Leadership in 2022. He is the author, co-author or principal contributor to eleven books with his book, “Just Listen,” being translated into 28 languages and becoming the top book on listening in the world. He has had a long, wide-ranging career including being a UCLA professor of psychiatry, world renowned expert in suicide prevention, trainer of FBI and police hostage negotiators, creator and featured expert in documentaries related to suicide prevention, subject of a PBS special on listening and advisor in the OJ Simpson Criminal trial. He is the inventor of Surgical Empathy, which is a process of going inside people and unlocking them from destructive thoughts, feelings and behavior. He hosts the highly ranked and rated podcast, My Wakeup Call. His three passions beyond his family and friends are “future proofing everyone’s future,” social and racial justice and equity, and improving mental health globally.

Dr. Aviva Legatt

College Readiness

My mission is to partner with you to identify essential insights about yourself so that you can create a strategic plan for achieving your goals. By working with me, you will be better equipped to work toward your next milestones; whether it’s getting accepted to Princeton, achieving your next promotion, or working more effectively with your team. As an executive coach (ICF-PCC level) with Hogan and Highlands Ability Battery certifications, I offer my clients the opportunity to expand their self-knowledge using data-driven insights. 

With 15+ years of experience in higher education, including as faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and as Senior Associate Director of Admissions for The Wharton School, I have enjoyed supporting amazing young adults, their parents, and educational and corporate training organizations throughout the world. 

I am the author of Get Real and Get In (St. Martin’s Press), which I wrote to transform how students and families view their college admissions journey; from a series of box-checking exercises to an inspiring pathway that challenges them to rethink their relationship with the college application process. 

My company, Ivy Insight, likewise flips the script on college admissions by using our signature College Admissions X-Factor™ methodology to maximize student potential for meaningful community impact, personal mastery, and leadership alongside executive function coaching. In 2022, Ivy Insight was awarded Best of Main Line by Main Line Today Magazine. 

My expertises in higher education and neurodiversity have been featured in publications such as Forbes, Fast Company, Psychology Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, US News and World Report, Inside Higher Ed, Business Insider, and USA Today. Awards include Forbes Senior Contributor, Forbes Editor’s Pick (2x), and “Best Business Course” by Poets & Quants for my role as Coursera instructor with the “Cultural-Driven Team Building” specialization at UPenn. 

Freedom of expression is a core value of mine; that’s why I am also a 2x TEDx speaker and enjoy the opportunity to coach others on their TEDx talks. 

Last but not least, I am a proud mom of two boys, including one with special needs.

Dr. Steven Rogelberg


Dr. Steven G. Rogelberg, an organizational psychologist, holds the title of Chancellor’s Professor at UNC Charlotte for distinguished national, international and interdisciplinary contributions. He is an award-winning teacher and recipient of the very prestigious Humboldt Award for his research on meeting, teams, leadership, and well-being. His latest book, “The Surprising Science of Meetings: How You Can Lead Your Team to Peak Performance” (Oxford) was recognized by the Washington Post as the “#1 Leadership Book to Watch for”. He and the book were also featured on CBS This Morning, Freakonomics, HBR, NPR, WSJ, BBC World to name a few. Adam Grant has called Steven the “worlds leading expert on how to fix meetings”. He was the inaugural winner of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Humanitarian Award and just finished his term as President of SIOP, the largest professional organization in the world for I-O psychology.

Rogelberg’s keynotes on meetings span the globe and occur at the world’s leading organizations including but not limited to Google, Facebook, Amazon, Pfizer, Cisco, Bank of America, PayPal, Dell, The United Nations, 3M, RAND, The Security Exchange Commission, Corning, Siemens, London Stock Exchange, TIAA, and Warner Brothers.

Rogelberg was invited and testified to the US Congress (2022) on the topic of being successful and engaging others in very difficult working environments – using organizational psychology to elevate members of congress, their staffs, and the institution.

Cameron Gibson

Data Engineering

Cameron Gibson is a Data Engineer working for Google via Teksystems. He is also currently pursuing a Doctorate in Computational Linguistics, and has 3+ years of experience as an NLP & Machine Learning Researcher and Engineer. Cameron holds a Masters in Linguistics, a Masters in Creative Writing, and a Bachelor of Science in English.

Busayo Odunlami


International Business Advisor

Busayo Odunlami is an international Business advisor with the purpose to lead technology-driven innovation for youth and women in underrepresented communities around the world to have the tools to enable their economic and financial independence. He is committed to helping clients realize their strategic goals by coaching and recommending solutions to teams and leaders on the business challenges at the intersection of people, systems, and digital technology. Busayo currently works in a big-four management consulting firm with earlier experience recommending clients at the World Bank Group. He has over ten years of international finance and professional services experience in Organizational Change management – strategy and development, business communications, and process improvement. He has worked to deliver and recommend strategic solutions supporting global agile business transformation and improvement initiatives. He volunteers as a regional board member for Birthright Africa. Birthright Africa is a not-for-profit which through travel and project-based learning, inspires young adults of African descent ages 13 – 30 to explore their cultural roots and legacy of innovation within the United States and select nations in Africa as a birthright. He is co-founder and volunteers as Director of Program, Partnership, and External Relations at the Billion Strong Foundation – an education foundation with a mission to equip the next billion people ages 18-40 with the technological resources and skills to succeed in the digital marketplace. He served as an advisor and board member of the World Bank Junior Professional Association and World Bank Youth to Youth Organizing Committee. He is a founding and board member of the World Bank Group – International Monetary Fund Young African Society. Busayo enjoys building people, products, cities, social entrepreneurship. He also loves music including, afrobeat, world music, yoga, and mentoring entrepreneurs in different career stages.

Avidor Rabinovich


VP Business Development at Tensor Technologies, Israel

My passion is to combine business and technology, turning them into a viable, useful and needed product, rapidly reaching monetization.

For the past few years I have been leading few hi-tech companies in multiple sectors of IoT (Internet-of-things). My greatest ability is to multitask through the business, top-down, and operate it.

I “Speak” multiple languages – Technology, Business development, Marketing, Sales, Finance and operations; and know how to combine and optimize between them.

Love working together with people that are smarter then me and fortunate enough to have such people around me.

I am a great advocate of the Lean and Agile methodology since it sprints, iterates and pivots throughout a product or a business process, therefore generates the best combination between risk and return.

My current status is an independent entrepreneur.

I provide tech and biz consulting services to companies and entrepreneurs.

I teach students at the University technology and business.

Brian Cook

Animal Husbandry

Profession: Project Manager Computer Rack Integration

Education: MBA and BS Animal Science, Washington State University

4-H Volunteer work: Community Club, Breeding Swine, Market Swine, Meat Goat and Skill-a-thon-Quiz Bowl-Livestock Judging Leader

David Schiff



David Schiff is a Department of Defense leader, innovator, and collaborator responsible for spearheading innovation efforts for the Department of the Navy. Inspired by the desire to serve his country, he joined the Navy directly out of college after hearing General Colin Powell speak at his university. Upon graduating from Naval Officer Training, he served a division officer on the USS Kitty Hawk and the Ohio class submarine USS Nebraska before joining the DOD as a civilian in 2009.

In 2019, David was hand-picked to help launch and lead NavalX, the Navy’s workforce “super-connector” innovation cell, focused on scaling non-traditional agility methods across the Navy and Marine Corps. During his tenure as the Deputy Director and Director of Strategic Engagements, he has helped build coalitions and advance innovation programs and training across the Department of Navy, Department of Defense, and broader federal government. Recent initiatives include creating experimental lines of effort to facilitate human-centered design workshops, kick-starting a Federal Innovator’s monthly salon, and establishing the NavalX-branded speakers series, Seaside Chats, which hosts leaders from throughout the defense, commercial, and academic workforce and leadership. David has connected thousands of Naval personnel, military and civilian, with leaders and other valuable members of industry, academic, and federal workforces.

He holds an MBA from The George Washington University School of Business and Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish and English from Vanderbilt University where he graduated Magna cum laude. He has also completed executive education programs focused on leadership and human-centered design at Duke University, University of Virginia, Cornell University, IDEO, Luma, ThinkWrong, & Lean Startup. He resides in Alexandria, Virginia with his family.

Alison Escalante


Dr. Alison Escalante is a Pediatrician, Adjunct Faculty at Rush Medical College of Rush University, and an expert in children’s development and parenting. She is contributor to Forbes on the science of human performance, and Psychology Today on parenting and life in our culture of anxiety and perfectionism. Her upcoming book, “Sigh. See. Start. Emerging from a High-Pressure Parenting Culture to Raise Our Children Mindfully,” is expected to be available in late 2023.

Troubled by the epidemic of anxiety in adults and children that only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Escalante has spent her career developing a strengths-based model of mental health. She believes that the research indicates that common mental disorders such as anxiety or depression are actually good biological systems that have become dysregulated; a view that has brought relief to her patients and their parents.

She takes the same approach to parenting, showing that parents are driven by a culture of anxiety and criticism that pushes perfectionistic parenting which she calls the ShouldStorm. Her TEDx talk, The Parenting “ShouldStorm” shares her clear 3-step Sigh, See, Start method to help parents step out of the stress and into mindful parenting. Her upcoming book will focus on the Sigh, See, Start method.

She has spoken extensively both on parenting and at professional development conferences on the ShouldStorm at work and how to harness our potential without the stress using Sigh, See, Start.

Dr. Escalante graduated Summa Cum Laude from Princeton University where she received her B.A. in Medieval Renaissance Idealogical and Cultural History, where she was awarded the Laurence Hutton Prize in History for her outstanding work. She earned her M.D. from Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and did her training in Pediatrics at Duke University and the University of Chicago.

Tamara Meyer

Matt Coleman

In Memoriam

It is with sadness that we share the news of The Mentor Project mentor Matt Coleman. Matt recognized the influence of mentors in his own life and the importance of giving back in that way. His family has requested donations be made to The Mentor Project in his remembrance. Matt Coleman’s obituary can be found here.

Matt Coleman is a Geographer and Photogrammetrist who has been working with aerial mapping since 2003. He has served on multiple ASPRS (American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing) Boards and currently leads the Western Region for the Vexcel Data Program and has been working with Vexcel Cameras and Software since 2007. Matt spent his first 8 years in the industry in airplanes as a sensor operator and performing data production. Matt lives in the beautiful San Francisco Bay area with his amazing wife and 120 pound German Sheppard who still thinks he is a 20 pound puppy. He has had fantastic mentors throughout personal and professional life and loves to give back and mentor others. Matt has been fortunate enough to travel for extended periods across more that 20 Nations, across Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. His favorite place in the is American Samoa after he spent time living there performing mapping across five islands the tsunami. Matt has been a mentor for multiple organizations working with disadvantaged youth in the United States and abroad. He is extremely excited to have joined the Team at the The Mentor Project and be able to not only mentor, but be mentored by the high level and diverse Mentor Team within the The Mentor Project.

Larry Heiser

In Memorium

Larry has been a designer and communications specialist since 1968 working for national publications, commercial agencies serving high-tech and media organizations. He is also founder of a design firm, HeiresInc. Larry’s contribution to the oversight and development of The Mentor Project has been invaluable.