2014 PRESENTERS + PANELISTS
We’re bringing world-class entrepreneurial talent to our Hudson Valley backyard to inspire, engage and provoke. Each brings to SVI Hudson Valley an extraordinary story, a brave journey, a fresh take.
CEO / IceStone
Dal started Tweezerman in 1980 and built it into a multinational, premier personal-care-tool brand that practices responsible capitalism and corporate social responsibility. Part of the company's mission is to benefit all stakeholders: including financial partners, employees, customers, vendors, the community and the natural environment. Dal sold Tweezerman USA in December 2004 to the Zwilling, J.A. Henckels Company, a privately held German company. Dal's US employees kept their jobs and shared $10 million in capital gains because every one of them was a shareholder in the company.
Today, Dal is the CEO of IceStone, a company that makes counter tops out of recycled glass and cement in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He authored Raising Eyebrows, a Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets It Right, published in 2010.
Read this insightful Jan. 13, 2014, profile of Dal in Fortune magazine: "The rise of the Tweezerman."
He is a longstanding member of Social Venture Network (SVN), having served on its Board of Directors for two years. He is currently Board Emeritus of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), an MBA program that is "Changing Business for Good." He is on the Tweezerman International Board and is Board Emeritus of Yes Magazine.
Dal is an active investor in numerous small businesses, including: Bennett & Company, EO Naturals, the Clean Technology Fund, the Domini Social Equity Fund, Green Harvest, Earthstone, Growstone, Napo Pharmaceutical, Margaret O'Leary, Undercare, Cara Therapeutics and Cempra Pharmaceuticals.
Dal ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress twice in the 3rd Congressional District in New York, in 1996 and 2000. He received his MBA from Harvard in 1971 and a master's in public administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 2002.
Founder + CEO / DailyWorth
DailyWorth is the premier finance media company for women, serving millions of women and entrepreneurs monthly via its daily newsletters and website focused on money and career advice. Amanda is a thought-leader on the topic of women and money, working to advance women's financial confidence and wealth. She's an engineer by training, a sales woman by profession, and a serial optimist at heart.
Since its launch in 2009, Amanda and DailyWorth have been featured in the New York Times, TIME, Forbes, Parenting, Cosmopolitan and on NY1, CNN, FOX, ABC and NBC news. She is a graduate of Columbia University. While DailyWorth is headquartered in New York City, Amanda lives in Philadelphia with her two children and her iPhone.
Case Study Panelists
Principal + Chief Strategy Officer / BBMG
Raphael is a champion for a new approach to branding that puts values behind every marketing initiative. An expert in brand strategy, innovation strategy, cause marketing and public affairs, Raphael has led programs that are international in scope and diverse in terms of issues and industries. He has directed recent initiatives for clients such as Adidas, Eileen Fisher, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal USA, MillerCoors, Samsung and Target. He also has an extensive background in political communications and public affairs, serving a state governor, senator and U.S. congressman.
Co-founder / Impact Hub NY
Marissa recently launched Flockd, powering productivity and connectivity for innovation via low-tech tabletop pyramids. Some inspiration came from her former position at Felissimo, where she did Partnership Development in design for innovation.
As a 10+ year publicist and marketeer, she frequently speaks and teaches entrepreneurs PR for startups via Investor's Circle, Startup Leadership, NYC Fastrac, Skillshare & Parsons the NEW School for Design. She has also become a resource for how to make your office eco-friendly.
Marissa graduated from Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a bachelor's in public relations and minors in marketing & Spanish. During her free time, she serves on the boards of Green Map, Zoological Lighting Institute, EarthTechling, Toilets for People & NYU Stern's Annual Conference of Social Entrepreneurs and acts in independent film.
VP of Member Operations / Etsy
Heather leads the teams that provide support, business education and services to Etsy's international community of artisan entrepreneurs. She's been an entrepreneur for most of her working life, starting at the age of 23 when she opened an indie bookstore.
Years later Heather became a therapist with a practice focused on existential psychotherapy and coaching for entrepreneurs launching creative businesses. The productivity system she co-wrote (Reframe Productivity) has been used by creative types all over the world. She's a mom, a meditator, and a visual artist and lives in Hudson, NY.
Hudson River Ventures is a small business investment fund focused on the Hudson Valley. Founded by Sean Eldridge in 2011, the fund works to empower entrepreneurs and build thriving businesses throughout the region, making strategic investments ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 in the following industry sectors: food & beverage, agriculture, tourism & hospitality, innovative technology, and advanced manufacturing.
Mike was previously president and CEO of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation and VP of Empire State Development Corporation. Before that, he created, designed and implemented national marketing campaigns for some of the world's most popular brands as president of Creative Field Marketing.
Writer + Creativity Consultant / Tracking Wonder
Jeffrey researches, interviews, and works with creative innovators, scientists, and social psychologists to discover how creatives flourish in times of challenge and change. He mentors thought leaders to make a difference with their ideas and art.
Author of the groundbreaking book The Journey from the Center to the Page: Yoga Philosophies and Practices As Muse for Authentic Writing (Penguin 2004; Monkfish Publishing, updated & revised ed., 2008), he writes online columns for Psychology Today and The Creativity Post. His essays, articles, short stories, and poems appear in publications around the world. He recently served as Fiction Editor for Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature.
He has taught and spoken at NPOs, organizations, universities, conferences, and leading centers in four countries.
Founder/CEO / On Belay Business Advisors
Co-founder + Board Member / Re>Think Local
Co-producer / SVI Hudson Valley
Ajax is a well-known and respected serial social entrepreneur/CSR evangelist/ trusted generalist business advisor/global connector of confidential business transactions. He has turned his abundant creativity, talent and positive energy to building organizations and a community that expresses a deep commitment to being conscious of the triple bottom line of people, planet and prosperity.
Ajax has deep experience leading and advising organizations in a wide variety of industries, from fitness to pharma, retail to manufacturing, clean tech to e-commerce. Some highlights: doubling one company’s gross revenue while more than doubling profits, personally generating 70% of a startup manufacturer’s revenue, award-winning marketing programs, building highly regarded world-class teams and industry-changing strategic thinking.
Ajax is an accredited associate of The Institute for Independent Business and a longtime member of the Social Venture Network. As a former world-class rock climber and adventure athlete he understands commitment, drive and vision.
Yoga + Meditation Instructor / Resonant Heart Yoga
A yogi, seeker, movement-junkie and devout student of the mind-body connection, Amy is a New York-based instructor known for her expressive and authentic approach to the art of awareness. With extensive training in both the Integral and Anusara methods of hatha yoga, Amy offers her skills to a diverse range of students in a variety of settings: NYC Public Schools, NYU and Fordham, New York Foundling Community Services, Spuytin Duyvil Preschool, corporate events, public parks, yoga studios and private homes.
She’s a staff member of the Lineage Project, which brings mindfulness-based practices to vulnerable youth throughout NYC. Amy also leads regular “homemade” yoga retreats in the Hudson Valley and a series of workshops called Visioning + Yoga for Creators (with her partner Scott Tillitt), which aims, through awareness, exploration and visioning exercises, to help “creators” (all of us) develop and nurture a thriving relationship to their own ever-unfolding process.
Amy is also a singer-songwriter and will be performing during the Keynote + Cocktails event Saturday evening.
Founder / Antidote Collective + BEAHIVE
Co-founder + Board Chair / Re>Think Local
Co-producer / SVI Hudson Valley
Equal parts strategist, publicist, marketer, social entrepreneur, nonprofit leader and writer, Scott has nearly 20 years of experience and a broad perspective promoting ideas, products and services in various culture-shaping domains. He has an insatiable interest in big ideas and the behaviors that drive people, what resonates with them, and how to communicate with them.
Some years ago, he broke the trance of an increasingly cynical consumer culture and started applying his corporate skills to social impact. In that time, he's done media for the Dalai Lama and publicity for Phil Donahue’s anti-war film Body of War, PR for healthcare “whistleblower” Wendell Potter and groups like the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and Rainforest Action Network, branding for Rippel Foundation, strategic communications for the Local Economies Project of the New World Foundation. (In a rare lapse of socially-focused work, he did creative naming development for American Express and global visual rebranding support for Coca-Cola with Ogilvy & Mather’s Brand Integration Group.) He's helped clients on both US coasts and places in between, in Europe, and down under in Australia.
Scott is the co-founder and board chair of Re>Think Local and founder of the social venture BEAHIVE, collaborative spaces for work and community inspired by the coworking and Localism movements. He was the lead producer of TEDxLongDock in June 2013, a day-long event of stimulating and inspiring talks exploring the intersection of the creative economy and entrepreneurship and their impact on community vibrancy and economic development in the Hudson Valley.