Inclusive Prosperity Conference



The 2018 Inclusive Prosperity Conference Speakers


Featured Lunch Speaker
John Hope Bryant
CEO, Operation Hope inc.

American Banker  magazine 2016  Innovator of the Year”, Inc.’s “The World’s 10 Top CEOs” (honorable mention), and one of  Time magazine’s “50 Leaders for the Future” named in 1994, John Hope Bryant  is an American entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, and prominent thought leader on financial inclusion, economic empowerment and financial dignity.

Bryant is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of  Operation HOPE, Inc.   the largest not- for-profit  and best-in-class provider of financial literacy, financial inclusion and economic empowerment tools and services in the United States for youth and adults; chairman and chief executive officer of Bryant Group Ventures and  The Promise Homes Company , the largest for-profit minority-controlled owners of institutional-quality, single-family residential rental homes in the U.S., and co-founder of Global Dignity.


Morning Session Speakers

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James R. Barger
President, Rochester Market, KeyBankPresident, Rochester Market KeyBank National Association 

James R. Barger serves as President of the Rochester Market as well as Commercial Banking Sales Leader. He oversees customer service and business development for the Rochester Market and manages a team of professionals dedicated to providing expertise and financial solutions to not only Middle Market clients, but he also collaborates with all Lines of Business Partners to grow the Rochester Market as a whole. 

Prior to joining Key, Barger held a number of positions in banking and industry. Earlier in his career, he was a Commander and nuclear submarine officer in the United States Navy. 

Barger holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Michigan and a master’s in business administration from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. 

Barger is a recipient of the “40 Under 40” Award in recognition of his business accomplishments and community service. 

Barger is a Board Member of the Memorial Art Gallery, the Rochester Museum & Science Center, and Rochester Prep. 

Barger has four children and resides in Pittsford with his wife, Rita. He is an avid bicyclist and skier. 


Dan Betancourt
President & CEO, Community First Fund

Daniel Betancourt has been President and CEO of Community First Fund since May 1999. He has more than twenty five years’ experience in small business and community economic development, built on a solid banking base including the management of a portfolio of deposits and loans over $100 million as an Assistant Vice-President of commercial lending. Under Dan’s leadership, Community First Fund has grown into a successful Community Development Financial Institution attracting multi-million dollar investments, including New Markets Tax Credits. Community First currently has over $80 million in total capital under management.

Dan has been a vocal advocate for funding for small businesses, having testified before both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House Small Business Committees; before then chairman Ben Bernanke and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve; and at an FDIC/CDFI Fund Conference in Kansas City. He has also presented at a Social Investment Forum in Washington D.C. and numerous times at both the OFN and AEO Conferences. He previously provided leadership to the Association for Enterprise Opportunity as its Chair and to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh as a member of its Advisory Board. He was awarded Small Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Millersville University (PA).


Ben Bissell
Executive Director, Westminster Economic Development Initiative, Inc. (WEDI)

Ben Bissell is the Executive Director of Westminster Economic Development Initiative, Inc. (WEDI) in Buffalo, NY, but began as WEDI’s only full-time staffer as an AmeriCorps member. Under his leadership of six years, Ben grew the grassroots organization to an outcome-driven operation of over 30 staffers and 200 volunteers who implement programs in the areas of Economic Development, Community Development, and Education.

He obtained a B. A. in Urban and Regional Analysis and Planning from Buffalo State College and did graduate studies in City and Regional Planning with a focus on International and Economic Development at Cornell University and the University at Buffalo. He has also worked for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Mayor’s Business/Residential Resource Center, Buffalo State College, and Wegmans. As a youth, he lived in Russia and has traveled to over 20 countries.


David Brown
Founding venture partner, nextGen venture partners

David Brown is an active startup investor and Founding Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners. David recently returned to Rochester from Boston, where he was Vice President of Innovation Leadership for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.  In this role, he led initiatives focused on accelerating business growth in the Greater Boston area, including increasing innovation pathways between startups and larger anchor institutions, growing internal innovation programs, branding Boston’s innovation community regionally and globally, and influencing public policy around innovation and emerging industries.

His work cut across major industries in Boston including technology, healthcare, clean technology, and social innovation.  Prior to the Chamber, David held roles running partnerships for ZappRx, a healthcare IT startup that has raised $41M to date, and as the Executive Director of Technology Underwriting Greater Good (TUGG), the philanthropic arm of Boston’s technology startup ecosystem.  David holds an MBA, summa cum laude, from Babson College, and a BA from Williams College.  In his spare time, aside from chasing around his two young boys, sits on numerous nonprofit boards, and is an avid skier.


Achille Cavatassi, Vice President, Chase Commercial Banking

Achille Cavatassi serves as a Commercial Banker for Chase’s Middle Market business, covering the Greater Rochester, NY area.

As a Commercial Banker, Achille oversees the delivery of treasury solutions, credit, and cash management products, to businesses with annual revenues ranging from $20 million to $500 million.

Achille has been with the firm since 2007. Prior to joining the Middle Market team Achille was a relationship manager for Chase’s Business Banking Group working with companies with annual revenues below $20 million.

Achille is a graduate of the State University of New York College at Potsdam.  He is an executive board member of SUNY Potsdam’s Business Administration departments advisory council and a Board of Director for IACKids (It’s About Caring for Kids).  Achille resides in Pittsford with his wife, Kristen and their two children


Tony Davis
Officer & Director, Community Engagement, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Tony Davis focuses on outreach and analysis related to community and economic development issues. Current projects include developing strategies to attract a talented workforce to the community development industry and analyzing poverty trends in inner city neighborhoods. He joined the Buffalo Branch as a community affairs analyst in April of 2006.

Prior to joining the bank, Tony was a program officer at Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit housing and community development intermediary. In this capacity, Tony managed a funding collaborative where he provided technical assistance to organizations on economic development, neighborhood planning, organizational development and faith-based related issues.

Tony graduated from Ohio University with a master's degree in international affairs. He also holds a master's in urban and regional planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he focused on housing and international planning. Tony completed his undergraduate degree in sociology at Georgia Southern University.


In 1997, Dennis DeLeo co-founded Trillium Group, LLC. Trillium is a Rochester-based venture capital and private equity firm. At Trillium, he is the fund executive of the Monroe Fund, LLC, an early stage venture capital fund now in its exit phase. The Monroe Fund targeted A Round investments in regional technology-oriented businesses in their startup and early growth phases.

Prior to founding Trillium Group, he was employed by Eastman Kodak Company, initially as a lawyer in the corporate legal division, practicing primarily patent law. Following his work in the legal division, he joined the Kodak Chairman’s staff and managed corporate business aspects of technology development, commercialization and protection. In that capacity, he was elected a Kodak Vice President and Director, Corporate Commercial Affairs, where he managed a corporate department responsible for a wide range of technology-based transactions, including licensing, business partnerships and acquisition and divestiture of technology, products and businesses.

DeLeo holds a B.A. from the University of Rochester, a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business. 


Jeanique Druses
Vice-President, ProGram Officer Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase

Jeanique Riche-Druses is a Vice President in Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co., a global leader in corporate philanthropy with more than $200 million invested in communities annually. In her role, she is responsible for the firm’s Small Business and Financial Capability philanthropic strategy for the New York Tri-State area. She joined the firm in September 2016.

Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase & Co., Riche-Druses was the Assistant Director of Resident Business Development in the Office of Resident Economic Empowerment & Sustainability at the New York City Housing Authority. There she designed and launched the Business Development Unit, providing access to business building services to over six-hundred thousand persons. In addition to overseeing the unit, Riche-Druses partnered with other city agencies and non-profit organizations to develop business programming, tailored to the specific needs of low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs.

A Wharton Business School Graduate, with a dual degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management, she also holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her prior board service includes the Leadership Board of the Council of Urban Professionals and Community2Community, Inc.


Bret Garwood
Chief Operating Officer, HoMe Leasing and Home Leasing Construction

Bret Garwood joined Home Leasing in 2017. He serves as Chief Operating Officer for Home Leasing and Home Leasing Construction. Bret provides executive leadership and oversees the day-to-day operations of the company.

Before Home Leasing, Bret served as Senior Vice President for Multifamily Programs for New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR). He oversaw the development and implementation of affordable housing finance and development programs, including Tax Exempt Bonds, 4% and 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), State Low Income Housing Credit (SLIHC), and capital grant and loan sources. While at HCR, Multifamily Programs financed 272 projects with more than 39,000 total housing units. These developments generated a total investment of $15.7 billion in urban, suburban and rural communities, and utilized $6.2 billion of tax exempt and taxable bonds, annual allocations of $296 million of LIHTCs and SLIHCs, and $636 million of capital grants and loans.

Bret served as Director of Business and Housing Development for the City of Rochester from 2007-2013. He directed the planning and implementation of the City’s economic development, housing and real estate functions under a mission to enhance Rochester through real estate development, neighborhood revitalization, business attraction, housing production and rehabilitation, and workforce development. Prior to that position, he worked with the Housing Council in community development, research and program development. He also served as Executive Officer of the Ithaca Board of REALTORS, Director of Housing Services for Tompkins Community Action in Ithaca, and as a private consultant.

Bret holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from Lehigh University and a Master of Science in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. He is a member of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, and a recipient of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) 2015 Advocate of the Year award and the 2012 Rochester Business Journal Forty under 40 Award.

Salin Geevarghese
Founding Director of the Mixed-Income Strategic Alliance and the Innovation and Action Network, Senior Fellow at Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP)

Salin Geevarghese is the Founding Director of the Mixed-Income Innovation & Action Network, and also serves as a Senior Advisor on issues related to housing and community development as a platform for building thriving communities at the Center for the Study of Social Policy.

Geevarghese helps align a research-based mixed-income network as a resource and collaborator with other existing community development networks and affinity groups.

Formerly, Geevarghese served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of International and Philanthropic Innovation at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Previous to that post, he helped lead the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities and HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities. Before coming to HUD, Geevarghese held many leadership roles in the private, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, serving as a senior program officer at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, in the management of the Harwood Institute of Public Innovation, as the co-leader of the corporate practice of the management consultancy TCC Group, and in management with the BellSouth Corporation, a Fortune 500 telecommunications company.


Jocelyn Gordon
Executive Director, Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation

Jocelyn Gordon currently serves as the Executive Director of the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation – “The Land Bank” and Vice Chair of the New York State Land Bank Association.   She has both a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo and a Master’s of Business Administration from Canisius College.  Jocelyn has spent more than two decades as an Urban Planner shaping revitalization efforts throughout the United States, Canada and the Middle East.   In addition to work, Jocelyn is a performing member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and sits on the Board of Directors of the King Urban Life Center of Buffalo.  She lives in Amherst, NY with her husband Charles – a Buffalo architect – and their 16 year old daughter Sophie. 

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Morning Keynote speaker
Colvin W. grannum
President & CeO, bedford stuyvesant restoration corporation

Colvin W. Grannum is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, the nation’s first community development corporation.  He has led the successful resurgence of Restoration, which serves over 50,000 people annually through its programs, events and facilities.  Restoration Plaza serves as Central Brooklyn’s town square receiving more than 1.5 million visits annually.  Restoration has attracted over $600 million to the community, helped more than 20,000 secure employment, and developed over 2000 units of affordable housing.          

Under Colvin’s leadership, Restoration has been instrumental in the formation of the Bedford Stuyvesant Gateway Business Improvement District and the Coalition for the Improvement of Bedford Stuyvesant (CIBS).  Restoration has also expanded community programming by deepening the organization’s capacities and outcomes related to health, arts and culture, workforce development, financial counseling and coaching, and mixed income housing development.

Prior to joining Restoration, Colvin served as the founding president and chief executive officer of Bridge Street Development Corporation, a community development corporation affiliated with Bridge Street AWME Church.  Colvin launched Bridge Street’s programs focused on promoting homeownership, technology education and entrepreneurship.

Before embarking on his career in community development, Colvin practiced law for over 17 years primarily as a litigation attorney in the public and private sectors, including the United States Department of Justice, Verizon, and the New York City Corporation Counsel.

Colvin earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.  He is Chair of Bedford Stuyvesant Early Childhood Development Center, Inc. which serves more than 500 youngsters, and is a member of the boards of directors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carver Federal Savings Bank, New York City Workforce Investment Board, Center for New York City Neighborhoods (CNYCN), Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. Grannum recently served as a member of the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform. He has also served on advisory boards for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and several financial institutions.


Kate Pope Hodel
SPEcial projects, KCSourceLink

Kate has had a front row seat for the entrepreneurial revolution, joining the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in 1991 when it was just beginning its involvement in entrepreneurship. She directed the Kauffman Foundation’s efforts to develop a national reputation around entrepreneurship, working with organizations such as National Public Radio, the national Entrepreneur of the Year awards and the international board for Young Entrepreneurs Organization.

Pursuing her passion for community entrepreneurship, Kate was the original program officer for the KCSourceLink founding grant. She went on to work for KCSourceLink and SourceLink as a consultant and eventually as staff, helping build networks across the state of Missouri and in select communities nationwide. Currently Kate works on special projects for KCSourceLink, include the We Create Capital effort, KCInvestED, Whiteboard2Boardroom and research into capital access and job creation by early-stage firms. She is the co-author of a new book, Beyond Collisions: How to Build Your Entrepreneurial Infrastructure (Amazon).

Kate also chairs the board for NetWork Kansas, a SourceLink affiliate, and serves on their Startup Kansas Loan and Capital Multiplier Venture Fund committees. She has been involved in fundraising for the Kansas City Symphony for more than 30 years as part of the Kansas City Symphony Alliance.

Kate spent part of her career heading up marketing for Rockhurst University and The Kansas City Symphony, and was executive director of Kansas City’s Ignatian Spirituality Center for six years. She holds a bachelor in journalism degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia and an MBA from Rockhurst University.


Jonathon LIng
Officer, PathStone Enterprise Center Inc.                                                                                                 

Jonathon Ling is a Business Development Officer for PathStone Enterprise Center Inc. Jonathon performs community outreach, organizes workshops, provides technical assistance, underwrites loans, and service loan clients. Jonathon's work focuses on the East Side of Buffalo, but he services all of Erie and Niagara County.

Before moving to Buffalo, Jonathon built a large start up agricultural business in Central New York. Under Jonathon's management the start up farm became profitable in its fifth year. While growing the multi-species operation, Jonathon and his partner also made strategic investments in small businesses through out New York State.

Jonathon moved to Buffalo to get his law degree from UB School of Law. During law school, Jonathon was the Treasurer of the Black Law Students Association, the President of the Law and Finance Society and a research assistant. Jonathon graduated in 2016 with a concentration in Economic Development.

Jonathon was most recently a volunteer and board member of Fillmore Forward where he volunteered to provide workshops and the Open Store Front Make Over Project. He currently sits on the boards of the Women's Business Center, the Broadway Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services and the Key Bank Regional Advisory Council.


Melissa Marquez
Chief Executive Officer, Genesee Co-op Federal Credit Union

Melissa Marquez is the Chief Executive Officer of Genesee Co-op Federal Credit Union in Rochester, NY, a 36 year-old low-income community development credit union with $21 million in assets and 4000 members.  Melissa has served on the Board of Directors of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and the Institute for Community Economics. She is the Board Treasurer of OWN Rochester, working on worker coop development and on the board of City Roots Community Land Trust.  Melissa has an MS in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University and a BS in Political Science from Santa Clara University.


Erin Horne McKinney
Managing partner, Inclusion for jumpstart, inc.

Passionate about emerging technology, entrepreneurship, and social justice, Erin Horne McKinney is the inaugural Managing Partner of Inclusion for JumpStart Inc. (JS). In this capacity, she serves as a national subject-matter expert and a diverse and inclusive high-impact entrepreneurial ecosystem builder on behalf of JS. Erin provides thought leadership across all of JS’s internal and external activities focused on advancing economic inclusion. Erin is a serial entrepreneur and intrapreneur with nearly two decades of tech policy, economic and business development, and marketing communications experience.

Erin is the founder of the global membership organization, Black Female Founders (#BFF), and the mobile app, KissIntel. She previously served as Senior Advisor on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Washington, D.C.’s Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity (DMGEO) and as the District’s Tech and Innovation Sector Manager within the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) representing technology firms, entrepreneurs, and organizations. Erin has held leadership roles with the National Association of Multicultural Digital Entrepreneurs (NAMDE), the National Diversity Council, and the Maynard Institute. Her telecommunications policy work includes research positions with TechNet, the National Telecommunication and Information Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. As a marketing and communications consultant specializing in the area of business development and diversity marketing, Erin produced programs for organizations such as General Mills, the City of Minneapolis, and IPX International. She also generated and managed millions of dollars in on-air/on-line/on-site/out-of-home/digital revenue for companies such as ABC Radio, CBS Radio, and Clear Channel Communications as a top national media strategist. Additionally, Erin worked in the communications and editorial departments of Marriott International, TIME magazine, BET News, and Knight-Ridder Newspapers.

Erin serves on the Media Image Task Force of the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) Mosaic Center for Multiculturalism, the advisory board of the Halcyon Incubator, and the board of Byte Back. Erin is currently pursuing her Ph.D. within the Technology, Policy and Society program at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She completed her BA in Journalism and MA in Mass Communications and Media Studies from Howard University

Marci Muller
Renewal Services Rochester, Renewal Property Maintenance Services, and Renewal Rehabs, LLC

Marci Mueller heads three partnered progressive organizations. She is the executive director of Renewal Services Rochester (RSR), a nonprofit designed to help disadvantaged individuals overcome barriers to finding and maintaining sustainable employment. She launched RSR in 2015, and her work largely serves former offenders and high school dropouts.

Marci is the owner and manager of Renewal Property Maintenance Services (RPMS), a for-profit company launched in partnership with RSR, and of Renewal Rehabs, launched in 2016. Both companies provide landscape and general construction services, and both were created to provide employment opportunities for RSR program participants.

The three organizations operate in progressive stages; participants first receive training at the nonprofit, then work as an employee receiving on-the-job training at Renewal Rehabs, and lastly as unionized employees at RPMS, earning a middle-class wage with benefits.

Marci previously owned a landscape company for 20 years. Following the sale of her business, she worked for Rochester Landscape Technicians Program, a nonprofit workforce development agency where she had previously volunteered. While there, she launched a transitional jobs program which combined work on a landscape crew with GED prep for disadvantaged young adults.

Marci earned her M.A. in Business and Policy Studies at the State University of New York, Empire State College. Her capstone project focused on transitional jobs for hard-to-employ individuals and social enterprise.

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Heidi Romer

Heidi Romer is a passionate and results driven community advancement professional with a proven track record for developing and implementing forward thinking strategies that improve the lives of employees and the communities they live in.  Formerly, Ms. Romer was the Community Advancement Liaison at a global medical device manufacturing facility where she created the social responsibility strategic plan and spearheaded revitalization efforts for a cross-sector initiative serving to address critical employee and community needs.

Ms. Romer has experience leading initiatives within the manufacturing, government, and health sectors.  Heidi continues to advocate for social change and build leadership capacity within diverse and underrepresented communities. Currently, Ms. Romer is managing a NYS Department of Health project to improve healthy food access in neighborhoods designated as food deserts throughout the eight counties in Western New York.

Ms. Romer is an active volunteer and member of several organizations focusing on leadership, improving food accessibility, supporting women and mentoring youth.  Ms. Romer earned her undergraduate degree in Business from SUNY Empire State College and is pursuing her MBA.  Ms. Romer is currently enrolled in the Harvard Business School Club of Buffalo and completing a certificate in Non Profit Management & Development.

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Thaddeus S. Schofield, Director of Strategic Business Development, The City of Rochester, Neighborhood & Business Development

Thad Schofield has over 20 years of experience within the City of Rochester’s Neighborhood and Business Development Department. Thad has assisted in the growth and development of both entrepreneurial and mature companies within the Rochester community. He has been a key player in several of the City’s largest development projects that include ESL Federal Credit Unions Headquarters, companies growth in the Rochester Science Park as well as many young entrepreneurial organizations. The expertise Thad is able to provide to businesses includes how they may potentially gain financial access to capital, complete real estate transactions and effectively partner with entities that can play a key role in their success. In earlier years, Thad’s roles have included being an Economic Development Project Manager as well as serving in the role as the City’s High-Tech Project Manager, responsible for assisting in the growth and development of technology and entrepreneurial related businesses.  He has been involved in several significant regional efforts including the redevelopment of the region’s largest industrial park in Eastman Business Park, home of Eastman Kodak, Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) and the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiatives. 

Thad received an MBA degree from the University of Rochester’s William E. SIMON Graduate School of Business Administration, with a double major in Finance and Computers and Information Technology in 1998. Also, has a BS degree in Marketing, obtained from Niagara University in 1989.


Matthew Tipple
Rochester Market Executive, Middle Market Banking, Chase

Matt Tipple is the Market Executive for Rochester, where he is responsible for the Chase Middle Market Banking team. Matt joined Chase in January 2014 and has worked in commercial banking 2012. Prior to commercial banking Matt managed institutional funds, mutual funds, and insurance companies, in Boston and London. 

Matt holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Rochester. He is from Rochester and a member of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Matt and his wife, Julie, reside in Brighton and have three boys.

Afternoon Session Speakers

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Andrew Brady
Chief Evolutionary Officer at The XLR8 Team, and Co-Chair of Conscious Capitalism Rochester

Can purposeful businesses that balance the needs of all their stakeholders compete with profit-driven companies that prioritize their stockholders above all? Conscious Capitalism has proved that they can…and the movement is growing!

In addition to co-founding a local chapter of this worldwide movement, Andrew is the Chief Evolutionary Officer of The XLR8 Team, where he works with leaders to evolve themselves toward realizing their purpose and evolving their company’s culture into a competitive advantage.

In 2015, he earned a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Andrew’s forthcoming book, For The EVOLution of Business, expands on his Masters thesis to explore how the principles of positive psychology and cultural evolution reveal the path toward a more “conscious” capitalism and why the only sustainable path to a thriving planet is through inclusive prosperity.

Andrew serves as President of Rochester Young Professionals and on the boards of Junior Achievement, the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation and Leadership Rochester. In addition to his work with Conscious Capitalism Rochester, he also helps to encourage inclusive prosperity by serving as a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs with the Venture Jobs Foundation, the RIT Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and as a Big Brother. In 2017, he was named to the Rochester Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list.


Afternoon keyn0te Speaker
Mike Brady
CEO and President, Greyston

As CEO and President of Greyston since 2012, Mike has continued to build on the company’s 35‐year heritage as a pioneering social enterprise. Greyston Bakery is best known for manufacturing brownies that go into the Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream and for its practice of Open  HiringTM, which embraces an individual’s potential by providing employment opportunities regardless of background or work history. Greyston has since become the first registered Benefit Corporation in New York State, running a profitable business that supports the most economically disadvantages residents of the community.

Mike led Greyston Bakery as President for four years, driving strategic business development to 100% revenue growth with long‐standing partner Ben & Jerry’s, along with new partners such as Whole Foods Market. Recently, Mike took responsibility for all Greyston programs and businesses such as Workforce Development, Community Gardens, Housing and Health Services and the Greyston Early Learning Center.

Prior to joining Greyston, Mike was a partner with BAO Food and Drink, where he oversaw the development of the first incubator in the country dedicated to organic food production and distribution. He has more than 20 years of experience in strategy and management, identifying business opportunities in high‐growth and transitional industries. Mike serves as a business advisor to the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA) helping to promote policies for a sustainable economy.

Mike earned an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania—the Wharton School. Mike grew up in Rochester, New York and now lives outside of New York City with his wife and two sons.

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Thomas H. BradY
Founder & Chief Awakening Officer,The XLR8 Team, Inc.

My own professional transformation started in the mid 90’s, as I discovered my unique ability:

Enthusiastic, positive, consensus builder who advocates fresh, but often unpopular ideas in a way that leads to self discovery & change. 

This lead me into the field of coaching as I left a 20+ year career as a Healthcare Executive to develop an executive coaching and consulting practice named The XLR8 Team in 1996. I have coached and facilitated 600+ executive leaders though our Evolutionary Leadership process including 250+ at Wegmans Food Markets over the past 17 years. 

My wife Elaine joined the practice from Xerox in 2003 and we were later joined by our son Andrew in 2012 who was named President and CEO in May 2015.  As Founder and Chief Awakening Officer my enthusiasm stems from sharing the wisdom of my life lessons while continuing my lifelong learning as Co-Chair of the Rochester Chapter of Conscious Capitalism.


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Justin Copie
Owner and CEO, Innovative Solutions

As CEO of Innovative Solutions, Justin Copie is leading the bold move forward: instilling growth in employees and inspiring change well beyond the four walls of Innovative. Yet the 65 people working at Innovative don’t work for him. He works for them.

As CEO and leader, Justin provides safety and direction: safety in voicing opinions, trying new things, and failing, and direction in where to go on the path to success. He serves others in cultivating a culture where people can come to work every day feeling safe and free to do what they love to do, and in turn help Innovative reach its vision.


Trish Donohue
Sustainable Supply Chain Program Manager and Senior Pollution Prevention Engineer, MeasureUp Finger Lakes

Patricia Donohue a senior pollution prevention engineer and the manager of the sustainable supply chain program. She provides technical assistance to businesses including manufacturing process assessment, supply chain optimization, material and energy balances, and evaluation of environmentally preferable and cost-effective alternatives. Prior to joining NYSP2I, Ms. Donohue worked at Xerox where she was responsible for global environmental project implementation and program oversight in energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction, sustainable supplier and vendor management, ISO 14001, and regulatory compliance for air, water, and hazardous waste. Trish is a recipient of the Xerox Performance Excellence Award and two Xerox Earth Awards in Resource Conservation and Source Reduction.

Ms. Donohue holds a BS in environmental management and a MS in environment, health and safety management both from RIT. Professional certifications include "Qualified Environmental Professional" from the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice, "Environmental Management System Lead Auditor" from ANSI-RAB, and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt from Xerox.

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Adrian Hale
Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

Adrian Hale is a native of Rochester, NY. Hale is the Manager of Strategic Initiatives at the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. In addition to his responsibilities at the chamber of commerce, Hale serves on a number of boards in the community. Most namely among them is his role as a community board member on the Democrat and Chronicle's Editorial Board. As a former United States Marine, he made two combat deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Afghanistan, and is a former member of the United States Air Force reserves. Hale is a graduate with distinction of Monroe Community College and a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s award. Hale holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Yale University.

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Ty Hookway
Founder & President, CleanCraft

Ty Hookway is founder and president of CleanCraft, a commercial cleaning company based in Rochester, NY and covering upstate NY. CleanCraft was founded in Rochester in 1995 with 4 employees. Thru the years CleanCraft has grown to employ almost 300 people in Rochester and Syracuse.

Thru out the years of growing and expanding Ty was, and continues to be, in awe of the numerous people he has worked with. He believes in the incredible talent and inherent good of CleanCraft’s employees. As a company CleanCraft strives to create life changing relationships by loving, coaching, mentoring and upholding best practices throughout the organization.

The company’s guiding tenet is that there is infinite power, dignity and healing provided by work and that gainful employment adds impressive and positive benefits to the human experience.

Ty and CleanCraft are pioneering social enterprise in Rochester with innovative hiring and employee development practices. In 2015 Ty felt a passionate desire to adjust the mission statement to better reflect his commitment to making a difference.

The mission of CleanCraft is: To create quality of life and peace for all.  Ty is certain that the mission statement and running a successful, profitable enterprise are not mutually exclusive.  Ty, and CleanCraft, support a conscious capital model and continually strive for a win/win relationship with all stakeholders.

Ty has a math degree from Holy Cross College; he grew up in Rochester and resides there with his wife Elizabeth and their children.  He enjoys golf, reading and is active within his church.


John Lee
Executive Director, New City Cafe, 441 Ministries

John got involved with 441 Ministries during the summer of 2012, at which time held a series of evening bible clubs at Grand Avenue Park. As he engaged with people in the Beechwood neighborhood of Rochester, John realized God had given him a passion for urban ministry, especially working with youth. John continued to volunteer with 441 Ministries and in March of 2015, 441 launched their Teen Club for kids 10 years and up. This grew to include a one on one mentoring component as well.

In early 2016 John began to dream of an avenue to continue teen engagement and further 441 Ministries’ teen program with formal job training. This dream began to manifest itself in the form of a specialty coffee shop, where at risk neighborhood teens could not only obtain employment with mentoring in life skills, but also work toward becoming certified baristas. By God’s gracious provision of finances and many skilled volunteers, New City Café, became a reality on June 9, 2017.

As a program of 441 Ministries Beechwood, Inc., New City Café furthers the overall ministry’s mission of bringing hope, healing, and holistic development to Beechwood. This is accomplished through providing jobs to young men and women in the community, training them holistically: mind, body, soul, and spirit, and through establishing a thriving café business that provides a great gathering space for the community. As the Executive Director of New City Café, John leads this ministry and continually pursues future opportunities for neighborhood-focused economic development and job creation in Beechwood.


Kit MilleR
director, the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

Kit Miller has served as the director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence since 2009. Her prior position was as director/celebrator of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication in Oakland, California. Kit has been learning about and organizing for nonviolence for the past 25 years. In addition to using the Institute itself as a learning laboratory for principled nonviolence with colleagues, she teaches and works on community projects related to restorative justice, sustainability and anti-racism as applications of nonviolence in Rochester. Kit has taught hundreds of groups world-wide and is proud to have spoken at the United Nations last fall on sharing nonviolence with youth in the 21st century.

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Miriam M. Moore-Burt
VP of Racial Equity Initatives, YWCA

With over 15 years of experience in media sales & marketing, Miriam Moore-Burt began her career as a Sales Associate at Katz Media Group in New York, N.Y.  After experiencing the horrific terror attacks of September 11, 2001—Moore-Burt returned to her hometown of Rochester, New York.  Moving to the other side of media buying, she joined the National Sales team at WUHF, Fox Rochester and the Democrat & Chronicle Media Group.  

Miriam served as the Chief Development Officer for the Settlement Houses of Rochester, where she was charged with streamlining the development efforts for the three largest settlement houses in Rochester.

In her current role as VP of Racial Equity Initiatives Moore-Burt engages the market around the programming that addresses racism and unconscious biases. Miriam developed a series of workshops suitable for college campuses, corporate settings and non-profit organizations.  The YWCA Racial Equity Programs have an underling concept of promoting inclusiveness, encouraging organizations to look at their processes and procedures through an equitable lens.  Miriam challenges organizational leaders to understand that they must own a piece of the solution, as implicit and explicit biases continue to penetrate the workplace.

Miriam has a Master’s of Science in Strategic Leadership from Roberts Wesleyan College and is a Doctoral Candidate in Executive Leadership at St. John Fisher College. 


Rick Plympton
CEO, Optimax Systems

Rick Plympton is the energy and drive behind Optimax. He began his career at Optimax in 1995 managing the sales and marketing activities as well as the QA department. Rick provides the leadership and vision needed to position Optimax as America’s largest prototype optics manufacturer.

Rick holds degrees in business administration, computer science and engineering science from Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) and was recently awarded the Distinguished Alumni award. He furthered his education at the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Science degree in optics and an MBA.

In 2012 he received the Small Business Administration (SBA) New York State Small Business Person of the Year award. He also sits on the Board for the Optics and Electro-Optics Standards Council and the NY Photonics Board. 

Rick also works with colleges and universities to strengthen the optics workforce. He is currently on the FLCC Foundation Board, University of Rochester Hajim School of Engineering  Advisory Committee, and the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences Development Board.


Karen E. Sammon
Chief of Staff & Strategy, PAR

Effective April 12, 2017, Karen E. Sammon was appointed Chief of Staff & Strategy in the Office of the CEO. During Ms. Sammon’s lengthy and successful tenure at PAR she has served in roles that included Executive Management, Corporate Counsel, Investor Relations, Chief Marketing Officer and President of PAR’s software organization.  Ms. Sammon spearheaded the efforts to increase the Company’s software and recurring revenues and managed the realignment of PAR’s restaurant technology business to maximize efficiencies and operational performance.  Ms. Sammon previously was Senior Vice President Operations at The CBORD Group.  CBORD operates as a unit of Roper Technologies, Inc., a diversified software technology company and a constituent of the S&P 500, Fortune 1000, and the Russell 1000 indices.

Karen attended Colgate University receiving a BA, History and the University of Cincinnati, College of Law where she received her J.D.

Karen became interested in the impact of culture on organization performance while attending the Harvard Business School Executive Education program where she studied the premise that strong and engaged stakeholders lead to a healthy, sustainable, resilient business. She remains personally committed to conscious leadership through which she is optimizing value for all of the stakeholders and joined the Board of Conscious Capitalism in January 2018. Conscious Capitalism helps companies become more conscious with transformational experiences that inspire, educate and empower them to elevate humanity through business.

Karen also serves on industry boards including Penn State School of Hospitality Technology Board of Directors and the FS TEC Advisory Board. Back at home, she contributes time to the Mohawk Valley Healthcare Foundation as a Board member and the Community Foundation.


Jes Scannell Rooks, Director
Career Empowerment Initiatives, ‎Foodlink

Jes joined Foodlink officially in January of 2017 after a year of volunteer and consulting work. She comes to the organization with 20+ years working in the nonprofit sector. Her experience is centered in social, environmental and economic justice in urban communities from Oakland California to Washington DC to the South Bronx. She brings a passionate commitment to supporting the educational and social advancement of individuals who may not have had success in traditional academic settings, or who have experienced significant barriers to employment opportunities. Prior to Foodlink Jes worked developing effective systems and progressive strategies for nonprofit organizations including leading business development for an independent, family foundation. Jes received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the City University of New York – Baruch College. She relocated from Brooklyn, NY and now lives in Honeoye Falls with her daughter, Zora, who is a constant reminder that the future is bright and yet there is more work to be done.


Kevin Schulte
CEO of GreenSpark Solar

Kevin founded GreenSpark Solar in 2002 with four roommates from James Madison University and continues to serve as our CEO. His leadership, vision and passion led our company to earn the #1 fastest growing, privately held business from the Rochester Chamber of Commerce in 2017 and Best Workplace (small business) in 2018. Kevin has built our passionate and experienced team and misses no chance to explain how our commitment to using our business as a force for good remains the reason for our achievements. Kevin guides us to be both profitable and collaborative—creating win-win partnerships that benefit the long-term health of our company along with our growing family of solar customers, vendors, subcontractors, community and our planet.

Kevin ‘s life work is helping his community understand that locally generated clean energy is a cost-effective, market-based solution to combat climate change and an important strategy to strengthen our local community. He has been recognized locally, state-wide and nationally for his contributions to the growth of the renewable energy industry.



Wynndy R. Turner, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
FIRO & MBTI Certified Practitioner, Chief Human Resources Officer, United Way of Greater Rochester

Wynndy brings a wealth of corporate and nonprofit leadership experience to the United Way of Greater Rochester.  Her career spans over 30 years – in Leadership and Organizational Development, Talent Acquisition, Employee Engagement and Diversity and Inclusion.

Wynndy’s breadth of experience, authenticity and her commitment to employee engagement and leadership are evident. She is committed to ensuring that an organizations culture, leadership, talent management and employee development are fully aligned with the organizations strategy.

Wynndy holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Canisius College and a Masters’ degree from State University of New York at Buffalo.  She is a certified FIRO and Myers-Briggs practitioner.

Wynndy is a member of AKOMA – Rochester’s African American Women’s Gospel Choir, National Black MBA Assocation, Society of Human Resource Management, National Human Resource Association (Rochester Affiliate), Workforce Diversity Network (Rochester Affiliate), graduate of United Way’s African American Leadership Development Program and the Phyllis Wheatley Literary Circle.

Wynndy is a board member at the Villa of Hope and serves on the Human Resources committee for the YMCA and  Mary Cariola Children’s Center.


Bob Whipple
CEO, Leadergrow

Bob Whipple is CEO of Leadergrow Inc., a company dedicated to improving leadership in organizations.  He is also a professional speaker and a member of National Speakers Association. When speaking, Bob uses the brand name of The Trust Ambassador.
Bob has been named by “Leadership Excellence Magazine” as one of the top 15 thought leaders on leadership development and by “Inc. Magazine” as one of the top 100 Leadership Speakers. He has earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from Trust
Across America: Trust Around the World and is a member of the “Trust Council,” an elite group of 12 worldwide experts on the topic of trust.

Bob has written four published books on the topic of trust, over 600 published articles, and more than 100 videos on various leadership topics. He has taught Leadership, Business, and Ethics at seven universities. As a consultant, he has worked with over
120 organizations to improve the level of trust. Bob is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Rochester Area Business Ethics
Foundation (RABEF). He is a member of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Council. He is also a Rochester Rotary member and a charter member of the Rochester Chapter of Conscious Capitalism.


Tammy Wilkes
VP of Human Resources, Mirror Show Management

Tammy Wilkes is Vice President of Human Resources for Mirror Show Management, a woman-owned customer experience agency specializing in trade shows, events and environments.  Tammy is responsible for overall HR strategy and during her tenure, the organization has achieved the Rochester Top 100 list eight times and in 2018 was named a five-time Rochester Top Workplace, one of eleven businesses to receive this accolade.

Tammy’s passion lies in talent acquisition; developing employee programs that strengthen the organization’s culture, while supporting talent recruitment and retention. Programs she has developed include Live Great, a program focused on promoting employee wellness, Give Great, focused on community wellness in the form of giving back, and an internal training and advancement program called Learn Great.

Having begun her career in HR at Conde Nast Publications in New York City, she then spent 14 years as the Human Interest Director at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising before joining Mirror Show in 2005.  Tammy is very involved in the community and has served on committees for Bivona Child Advocacy Center, the YWCA and most recently for Willow Domestic Violence Center.