Leo Argiris is Principal and Director of Business Development – Americas Region at Arup. A senior member of Arup’s management team, Leo Argiris has almost three decades of experience as a structural engineer. He possesses extensive knowledge about the design, analysis and construction of a wide variety of structures in the US and abroad. Since joining Arup in 1995, Leo has led multidisciplinary teams on projects including major new arts centers, mixed-use high-rise towers, transportation projects and public art projects. Projects include the Lester B Pearson Int’l Terminal in Mississauga, Ontario; the United States Air Force Memorial in Arlington, VA; the Halsey Street Teachers Village in Newark, NJ; and the NJ 9/11 Memorial in Jersey City, NJ. His management responsibilities include serving on the Arup Americas Region Board, serving as the Americas Region Director of Business Development and chairing the Americas Region Marketing & Communications Executive. He has previously chaired the Arup Americas Social Infrastructure and Commercial Executives and served as the New York Group Leader. A graduate of Cooper Union’s Albert Nerken School of Engineering, he also holds an MBA from Baruch College. Leo lectures frequently and is an Assistant Associate Professor at Columbia’s University Graduate School of Architecture.
Roger A. Blissett is Vice President and Branch Manager of the U.S. licensed offices of Royal Bank of Canada, primarily focused on institutional clients and capital markets activities. As Branch Manager, Mr. Blissett has regulatory responsibility for all the licensed bank offices of RBC supporting RBC Capital Markets’ wholesale activities in the United States. Mr. Blissett also has the title of Managing Director, U.S. Strategy. In his U.S. Strategy role, Mr. Blissett is part of the senior management team involved in setting strategy for Capital Markets locally. Mr. Blissett has a B.A. in Economics and African Studies from Wesleyan University and J.D. from New York University School of Law. Mr. Blissett currently serves as Chairman of the Institute of International Bankers. Mr. Blissett also serves on the Boards of the Vera Institute of Justice, the Foreign Policy Association, The After School Corporation and serves on the membership committee for the Economic Club of New York. Mr. Blissett is also a member of the Advisory Board of New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative launched by Mayor Bloomberg in August 2011.
Karessa Cain is a corporate partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where she focuses on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and securities law matters. She has worked on a range of transactions, including domestic and cross-border acquisitions, takeover defense, private equity transactions, shareholder activism, proxy contests, joint ventures and capital market transactions. Karessa graduated cum laude from Yale College and received her J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a James Kent Scholar and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Following graduation from law school, Ms. Cain served as a law clerk to the Honorable J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Sarah L. Cave is a partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, where she concentrates on securities litigation, accountants’ liability, and bankruptcy litigation. She has worked on several of the largest financial crisis-related litigations of the last several years. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Joan A. Lenard, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, and as a staff law clerk to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Last year, Sarah was honored by the New York Law Journal as a “Lawyer Who Leads By Example.” She is a seven-time recipient of the Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Publico Award, co-chairs the Firm's Pro Bono Committee, and is active in organizing the Firm's diversity and women's initiatives. She is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Coalition for the Homeless’ First Step Job Training Program and a member of the Corporate Leadership Committee of the New York Women’s Foundation.
Patterson B. Chiweshe is an Audit Principal in the Financial Services Group of EisnerAmper LLP with more than 15 years of audit, valuation and structuring experience in the securities and investment management industries. He advises on the audits of multi-strategy alternative investment companies, including private equity funds, venture capital funds and hedge funds. In addition, he has considerable experience providing SEC reporting and other services to public companies in the technology, media and telecommunications industries.Prior to joining the firm, Patterson was the Chief Financial Officer for Branford Castle, Inc., a private equity focused investment office, responsible for group treasury and capital structure management, prospect evaluation and transaction diligence, financial reporting and tax compliance. Patterson began his career in New York in the investment banking division of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions for DLJ clients in the technology, media and telecommunications industries. He received his B.S. in accounting from the University of South Africa and earned an M.B.A. from Duke University. He is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).
Mark M. Colodny is a Managing Director at Warburg Pincus. Mr. Colodny is based in New York, joined Warburg Pincus in 2001 and is co-head of the technology, media and telecommunications team. Mr. Colodny also is a member of the firm’s executive management group. He formerly ran the firm’s West Coast office. Previously, he served as senior vice president of corporate development at Primedia where he ran the mergers and acquisitions group. Mr. Colodny began his career as a journalist at Fortune magazine where he wrote a biweekly column. He is a director of A Place for Mom, Evidon, iParadigms, Liaison International, MultiView, OnTargetJobs and Slickdeals. Mr. Colodny is also a member of ProPublica’s Board of Directors. He received an A.B. from Harvard University, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Laura Cunningham is Chief of Staff for the President and General Manager of the Global Primary Care Business Unit at Pfizer Ltd, which represents the industry’s leading primary care business portfolio. Laura moved to the US from the UK in 2011. In the UK, she held a variety of different management roles in sales, marketing and new business development, at both a country and regional level, in a career spanning nearly 20 years. As a result, Laura has extensive international experience of managing a business in the healthcare sector, leadership and large scale organizational change. Outside of work, Laura has been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with NGOs in Africa on six month assignments on two occasions, both of which have been very actively supported by Pfizer. In New York, Laura is a Council Member and Sponsor for newTACTics, a branch of The Actors Company Theatre (TACT) that is dedicated to discovering, developing, and exploring new works and new playwrights for theatre.
Sarah K. Diamond is General Manager of Global Consulting Services for IBM Corporation, responsible for strategy, execution and business results for IBM's consulting services business across more than 170 countries. She helps clients in all major industries integrate IT with business insight to create and deliver value for their customers and shareholders. Sarah is also the president of the IBM Industry Academy. Before joining IBM in 2005, she worked for another global consulting firm, where she was a senior vice president in charge of the global markets group. She started her career in international banking, working in London and then New York. Sarah earned a master's degree in international relations from The Johns Hopkins University where she held a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship and a Master's Degree in modern history from the University of Oxford. She is a past board member and president of the Women's Bond Club of New York, a member of the International Advisory Board of the British-American Business Council, a board member of the American Friends of St. Hilda's College, University of Oxford, and a mentor to Columbia University's Executive Master of Science in Technology Management program.
Scott Feinstein an audit Partner and the leader of the Entertainment, Media and Communications Audit Practice in New York at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP. Scott joined the Firm in 1989, has been a partner for 13 years, and has deep industry knowledge in the Entertainment, Broadcast, Advertising, and Publishing industries. Scott’s client experiences and practice leader role have provided him firsthand understanding of issues in today’s challenging environment such as Retransmission consents, over-the-top delivery and the shift to digital media. His experience overseas in the Firm’s London office has provided him with a broad perspective on doing business globally. He has assisted companies with capital market transactions, including acquisitions, divestitures, going private, going public, recapitalization and debt transactions. He successfully navigates complex business and accounting issues with his clients such as revenue transactions, license arrangements, investments, and joint venture arrangements. His experiences range from large multinational public companies to privately held entities. In addition, Scott has been involved with The Advertising Council and the Advertising Educational Foundation, two important non-profit organizations that support the Entertainment and Media industry.
Karen Gray is General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer – Americas at Christie’s Inc. Karen Gray joined Christie’s in 2008 as General Counsel. As General Counsel, Ms. Gray leads the legal team in the Americas, overseeing all legal affairs for Christie’s art-related activities. In April, 2013, Ms. Gray was appointed as Chief Administrative Officer for Christie’s Inc. In this role, in addition to her General Counsel duties, Ms. Gray has dotted line responsibility for all the support functions in the Americas, including Finance, Operations, Communications and Human Resources, and works closely with the President of the Americas in coordinating the day-to-day operations of the region. Prior to Christie’s, Ms. Gray was at Reuters America where she held the title of Senior Vice President and Principal Legal Counsel for the company’s Business Support Group. Before joining Reuters, Ms. Gray spent five years as a health care/not-for-profit attorney at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Ms. Gray graduated Cum Laude from Harvard Law School in 1995 and Cum Laude from Williams College with a B.A. degree in Religion in 19
Robert Hoglund is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer with Consolidated Edison. Mr. Hoglund joined Consolidated Edison in April 2004. He was previously employed from 1997 to 2004 at Citigroup and predecessor firms where he was a Managing Director in the mergers & acquisitions group and managed the firm’s investment banking coverage of North American utilities. Mr. Hoglund previously worked at Merrill Lynch, the former Barr Devlin, and at Morgan Stanley. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Juris Doctor, each from the University of Virginia.
Adam Karol is a Director at Silver Lake Partners, a global leader in technology investing, with over $23 billion in combined assets under management. Prior to joining Silver Lake, Mr. Karol worked at Silver Point Capital, L.P., where his investment focus included private equity, distressed debt financings, and direct lending. Previously, Mr. Karol worked at Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P., where he was involved with large-scale private equity investments across a wide range of industries. Prior to that, Mr. Karol worked as an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he focused on the technology industry. Mr. Karol received a B.S. in Finance and Management Information Systems from the Wallace E. Carroll School of Management of Boston College, where he graduated first in his class, summa cum laude, and was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma. Mr. Karol also received an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Karol is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relation
Daniel Maldonado is Vice President of Business Development at SKANSKA. In this role, he is responsible for ongoing analyses of the region’s real estate and construction market and for leveraging Skanska’s presence in the marketplace. Daniel, a 23-year veteran of the construction industry, has spent over 15 years working in various Skanska offices around the globe. He has served as senior project manager for a multi-million dollar infrastructure project on the East Side of Manhattan. He currently works with his team to solidify strategic partnerships and foster growth throughout the marketplace. Daniel has far-reaching experience in project management and business development both domestically and abroad. He has worked on projects in South America, and the Caribbean, where he played a key role in proposal development, operations, and negotiations to benefit Skanska’s clients. Daniel carries degrees in both, civil engineering and construction engineering. He also earned a degree in project management and received his master’s degree in business administration. He is a CORENET New York chapter member and serves on the New York Board of AGRION.
Marc Mastronardi is the Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager at Macy’s Inc, with responsibility for the Cosmetics, Shoes, Intimate Apparel, Handbags and Jewelry e-commerce businesses. He is responsible for business strategy, annual revenues and profits across multiple categories. He was previously Senior Vice President of Men’s responsible for the in-store apparel businesses. Over the course of his career, Marc has held a broad range of responsibilities including roles as Group Vice President in Merchandising functions for the Men’s and Accessories businesses; and Vice President roles in Planning functions within the Women’s and Children’s businesses. Prior to Macy’s Inc., Marc worked for May Department stores in Boston holding various roles, including the Assistant to the President from 2001-2004. In addition to the internal committee leadership roles at Macy’s, he serves on the Board of Governors and advisory committees of the not-for-profit Fashion Scholarship Fund responsible for developing and mentoring future leaders of the fashion industry. A native New Yorker, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Accounting from Boston College.
Esra Ozer is President of Alcoa Foundation, one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S. Alcoa Foundation plays a significant role in strengthening education and sustainability in Alcoa communities worldwide, investing more than $570 million since 1952. Over the span of her career, Esra has held numerous communications and foundation positions. Most recently, she was Assistant Secretary and Director, Ethics and Compliance Communications and Training. As Assistant Secretary, she was responsible for managing support to the Alcoa Board of Directors and the activities of the board and its committees. Previously, Esra was Director of Executive Communications, responsible for driving the communications activities of Alcoa’s Chairman and CEO, including speechwriting, thought leadership, stakeholder relationships and briefings, and executive communications. Prior to joining Alcoa in 2008, Esra was Senior Director of External Relations at Siemens Corporation, where she led U.S. media relations and issues management. She was instrumental in developing and leading programs that enabled the $20 billion U.S. subsidiary to build a stronger brand and reputation in the U.S. During her decade-long tenure at Siemens, Esra had diverse communications responsibilities, including managing programs to develop high potential Siemens U.S. employees; and internal and executive communications. She served as project manager in the design and launch of an $11 million Disney sponsorship that became Siemens' largest integrated marketing initiative, which showcased the Company's technologies. Esra began her Siemens career as Director of Communications for its non-profit Foundation, and launched its renowned national scholarship program - the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology – which is a pillar of Siemens' reputation in the U.S. Esra is a graduate of the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She was named to the 2013-2014 class of David Rockefeller Fellows, a civic engagement program of the Partnership for New York City. She serves as Chair of the Associate Board of City Year New York. She was a Young Leader of the American Council on Germany (2007) and is Young Leader of the American Turkish Society. Esra also serves on the Global Steering Committee of the Alcoa Women's Network.
William D. Rahm is Senior Managing Director at Centerbridge Partners, L.P. Mr. Rahm joined Centerbridge in 2006 and currently focuses on investments in the Real Estate and Gaming & Lodging sectors. Prior to joining Centerbridge, Mr. Rahm was a Member of Blackstone's Real Estate Private Equity group, where he completed investments in lodging businesses and real assets. Mr. Rahm graduated cum laude from Yale College. He received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School and his M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School. Mr. Rahm serves on the Boards of Directors of Carefree Communities Holdings, LLC, Extended Stay Hotels, Inc. and Brixmor Property Group, Inc. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of Kerzner International Holdings.
Kimberly Sherman Stamler is a Senior Vice President at Related Companies. Ms. Sherman Stamler’s responsibilities include development execution of luxury residential buildings in New York and Boston, oversight of the firm’s luxury residential rental portfolio, management of certain divisions in the firm and participation in corporate initiatives. Ms. Sherman Stamler is a PENCIL partner and sits on the Nontraditional Employment for Women’s Real Estate Developers Council. She graduated from The University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree, where she majored in Urban Studies.
Petra Slater is a Partner with Aon Hewitt a division of Aon plc. Ms. Slater leads the firm's New York City office and is a member of the Senior Leadership Team of Aon Hewitt. During her 17 years with the firm Ms. Slater has served in several leadership roles including Chief Commercial Officer, European Sales and Marketing, leading the Northeast region and working in Global Business Development. Petra has lived and worked in several regions including Europe as well as client/project assignments in Asia Pacific and Latin America. She has served as a member of the Hewitt Foundation Board of Directors as well as their Women in Leadership program. Previously she was a Vice President of National Accounts at Aetna for eight years. Ms. Slater currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Collegiate Chorale and is actively involved in the Jan Hus Food Kitchen.
Arthur P. Steinmetz is President and Chief Investment Officer at OppenheimerFunds. In this role, Mr. Steinmetz oversees equity and fixed income investment capabilities and serves as co‐manager of Oppenheimer International Bond Fund and Oppenheimer Global Strategic Income Fund. Before his current role, he headed OppenheimerFunds’ High Yield team and co‐managed Oppenheimer High Yield Fund and Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund. From 1987 to 1994, he served as portfolio manager for two of Oppenheimer’s U.S. Government Securities funds. In 1986, when he was a derivatives securities analyst at PaineWebber, Art helped pioneer strategic bond investing, a now‐common approach that combines high yield corporate bonds, U.S. Government and agency bonds, and foreign fixed income securities in a diversified portfolio. He received an M.B.A. in finance from Columbia University and a B.A. in Russian language and Slavic studies from Denison University. He has appeared frequently on CNBC and has been featured in numerous publications including Barron's, Investor's Business Daily and The Wall Street Journal.
Craig Vosburg is Group Executive, U.S. Market Development. In this position, he is responsible for building MasterCard’s relationships within merchants to expand acceptance, leading business development efforts with non-financial institutions, and managing pricing and interchange to support business growth. Previously, Mr. Vosburg led MasterCard Advisors’ business in the U.S. and Canada, with overall responsibility for the consulting and information products and services businesses in the region. Prior to this position, he led MasterCard Advisors’ business in Southeast Asia, Greater China and South Asia/Middle East/Africa, with similar responsibilities. Mr. Vosburg has more than 20 years of banking and consulting experience working throughout North America and Asia. Prior to joining MasterCard, he was a senior member of the Financial Services practices with Bain & Company and A.T. Kearney based in New York, Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong. Earlier in his career, he was a vice president at CoreStates Financial Corporation. Mr. Vosburg holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in business administration from Bucknell University.
Kathryn Welch is Executive Vice President of Retail at Forest City Ratner Companies. She has worked with the Company and its Cleveland-based corporate parent, Forest City Enterprises, for the past 27 years. Ms. Welch was responsible for project management and tenant recruitment at Forest City Ratner’s earliest developments in Brooklyn including One Pierrepont Plaza and several MetroTech Center buildings. In 1995, Ms. Welch was appointed Regional Director of Retail Leasing for Forest City Enterprises, and for fifteen years has played key roles in the development and operational lease-up of new retail projects such as Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Virginia and Promenade Bolingbrook near Chicago. In 2012, Ms. Welch re-joined Forest City Ratner Companies and is now overseeing the completion of Westchester’s Ridge Hill, a 1.3-million-square-foot mixed-use open-air shopping center in Yonkers, New York. She also manages the Company’s retail portfolio which at over 5 million square feet includes projects such as 42nd Street, East River Plaza and Harlem Center in Manhattan, and Atlantic Center and Atlantic Terminal Mall in Brooklyn. Ms Welch sits on the Board of Directors of The Hudson River Museum. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in New London, CT.
Linda Zhang is the partner in charge of KPMG LLP’s U.S.-China practice. In her role leading the U.S.-China practice, Linda assists many large Chinese and American companies with both inbound and outbound investment opportunities. Linda frequently meets with executives of Chinese companies and regulatory agencies in China to discuss relevant issues and trends that are significant to U.S. inbound investors. Linda also regularly hosts Chinese government, business and academic delegations in New York and provides insights on U.S. business and regulatory practices. Beyond her client service role, Linda is actively involved in several New York based Chinese business and civic organizations which focus on enhancing the U.S.-China commercial relationship to the benefit of both economies. Linda received a master’s degree in taxation from Fordham University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Baruch College, City University of New York.