Ryan adams

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Ryan Adams specializes in Profits and Prophets, helping small businesses, new ventures, politicians, and non-profits “grow mighty.” With his Master's degree in Theology from Harvard Divinity School and passion for business development, he leverages new and emerging technologies for use in daily operations. In doing this, he captures the specific target audience that makes your business or campaign tick.

He founded HZQ Consulting because, time and time again, he saw great companies and great ideas get hamstrung by costly consultants, runaway web development, directionless marketing, and unanalyzed strategies. It felt fundamentally offensive that someone could take the sweat, blood, and money that a person poured into their idea and run it into the ground to steal a little profit. So HZQ  wanted to empower people to take their ideas and run with them in a scalable way.  Ryan wanted his clients to never feel like they were stuck. He wants them to #GrowMighty.


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This mutli-talented artist: Actor, Director, Writer, Producer and Inspirer, is a bright and fearless creative spiritual being, who wears many hats. No matter what side of the camera or stage she’s on, a day with her is enlightening, entertaining, fun and more importantly highly productive. She believes that with creativity and imagination, sprinkled with a dash of strong passion, determination and belief in self, you CAN do anything. As one of six children, Michele easily found an audience to perform her many comedic or dramatic skits to. Even today, when not on a professional gig, she can be spotted acting out a Dramedy or two for friends and family. Michele lets nothing stop her from reaching her goals as a creative artist and is always working on a varied array of projects. Presently, she is in production with the web series An Actor’s Life: the Series, of which she is creator, producer, director and star, portrays Delilah in the Play Imperfect Women of the Bible, of which she is also co-producer, and is producer and AD on two upcoming feature films. Michele has been on several TV shows like, Wicked Attractions, One Life to Live, Law and Order CSI, and a few TV Pilots, in movies; independent shorts and features, and has graced many NYC stages: Ensemble Studio, Manhattan Ensemble, Hudson Guild, and 59E59 Theaters, Theater for the New City and New Federal Theater, as well as the internet and volunteering for film festivals such as, IFP, Tribecca Film Festival, Reel Sisters and Image Nation. Michele attains to do good in the world and has always been “A Star,” especially in the eyes of her beloved father, Thomas, whom she knows is happily smiling down on her. She is a member of: NYWIFT, SAG, AFTRA.


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Throughout his career, Jay Baney has bootstrapped his way through startups and worked for multi billion dollar enterprises.  Regardless of the size of the business, the mission has always been the same – build shareholder value.  Jay started and ran his own business for 13 years before building the e-commerce subsidiary for Haband Company, a family owned business that generated $250 million per year in revenue. After Jay and the rest of Haband’s executive team sold the business to a private equity firm, he went on to work with Haband's new ownership to purchase 4 other business groups and run the portfolio’s network of call centers.  After a brief stint with Affinion Group in Stamford, CT, Jay landed at Capturepoint, a cloud-based software firm based in Bergen County, NJ where he has been since 2012.  

Tyler brown

Tyler Brown, former Ailey II dancer and poster girl 2013-2014 , is a professional dancer living in Manhattan, New York. She danced as a principle dancer with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company where she performed in contemporary, modern, and jazz as well as traditional Chinese dance, internationally and nationally. Ms. Brown instructs, masterclasses in Jazz, Modern, and breathing oriented stretch classes. She also instructs at one of New York City's most elite health clubs, Manhattan Plaza Health Club.


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Stephen H. Chin established Financial Structures & Advisory, Inc. in 2003 after twenty three (23) years of banking experience in the corporate, capital markets and public sectors. The mission of Financial Structures & Advisory, Inc. (FSA) is to provide advisory services to private companies. Mr. Chin has extensive experience in corporate finance, including financing real estate properties and projects for corporations and public sector infrastructure. He has advised and assisted clients in raising funds for acquisitions, real estate projects, growth and recapitalization in the form of both debt and equity.


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Shem Cohen is an Organization Development consultant with over 20 years experience helping leaders forge new directions, create strategy, successfully resolve complex business and people-related challenges, focus, align and energize groups, greater develop their own leadership skills and lead results-driven change. Projects include: Visioning and strategic planning (Divisions, Business Units, Whole Systems); Leading organizational change; Consultative interventions to help clients resolve important business or human-system challenges;Development initiatives to align people, systems, goals, and strategies; improve work-flow;Leadership Development and Executive Coaching;Design/delivery of action-learning trainings, workshops and team building events. Consulting Experience includes (partial listing): The United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations; The British Consulate-General; The New York State Department of Labor; The Federal Reserve Bank; Heineken USA; Del Monte Foods; Church and Dwight; Soros Fund Management; Marriott; JPMorgan Chase; Capital District Physicians Health Plan; Doylestown Hospital; National Parks Conservation Association; Compaq; Xerox Corporation; The American Taekwondo Association/World Traditional Taekwondo Union; Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C.; Maynard, O’Connor, Smith & Catalinotto LLP; and the Civil Service Employees Association.

Amanda Crommett

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Amanda is a New York City native and graduate of Vassar College where she majored in Film and received high departmental honors for her work, which focused mainly on film theory. She became an avid photographer and her on–campus recognition for and success in photography led to off-campus opportunities in print, portrait, event and concert photography. After graduation, Amanda went on to work in a number of jobs to support her photography and love of travel, most notably as a digital archivist for private cliental across NYC. She returns New York City with an ever-growing portfolio, which includes everything from portraits of the late Pete Seeger, to high profile gallery events,to album cover design, to travel photography, to more personal prints from her own time on the road. All in all, Amanda hopes to continue to dedicate her life to exploring and sharing the world through art. She’s currently working on a long-term documentary portrait project about bliss that will explore dreams, passion and ambition in young people around the world through photographic prose and poem. In her spare time Amanda enjoys writing and shooting for Wildspice online magazine, fitness, yoga and finding new Gluten free and wholistic food recipes and photographing her friends and family.

Dr. Sonda Farganis

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Sondra Farganis is the former Director of the Wolfson Center for National Affairs at The New School, holds a B.A. from Brooklyn College, a M.A. from the New School, and a Ph.D. from the Australian National University. Before coming to the New School in 1988, she taught at CUNY, Vassar, and Hamilton. At the New School, she has been the Chair of the Social Sciences Department, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the founder and Director of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. Her books include: The Black Revolt and Democratic Politics; The Social Reconstruction of the Feminine Character; and Situating Feminism: From Thought to Action. She has written numerous articles for scholarly journals on subjects ranging from theories of liberty, identity formation, Hannah Arendt, intellectuals, and postmodernism. She has been president of both the New York State Political Science Association and the Northeast Political Science Association and has chaired the Theory Prize section of the American Sociological Association. Her current research is on the role of social movements and the cultural elite in the transformation of American society. She is also a Trustee of the Poughkeepsie Public Library.

Dr. Ruth Finkelstein

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Dr. Ruth K Finkelstein has devoted the last decade to transformation of our understanding of aging from a state of decline to a stage in the life course full of challenge and opportunity.  Most recently, she served as the Associate Director of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center as well as faculty member at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.  There, she was responsible for translation of research to policy and practice, particularly in the areas of work, engagement, and built and social environments promoting aging well.  She has been honored with a “Game Changer, 2012” award from Metropolis Magazine and as one of Next Avenue’s 2016 “Influencers in Aging.”  As the Rose Dobrof Executive Director of the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College, Dr. Finkelstein will engage our community as she conducts research and develops policy to enhance the quality of life for our aging population.

Dylan Gambardella 

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Dylan Gambardella is an accomplished entrepreneur, speaker, investor, and activist. Named a Wunderkind and Melissa & Doug Scholar, Dylan is the Co-founder of Next Gen Summit and previously Co-founded Students4Students. The 22-year-old Duke University alumnus has addressed global audiences at events including TEDx, Yale, and UCLA, and is passionate about supporting young people in creating lasting, positive impact in our world.


Melissa Gibson

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After over 25 years of strategic development consulting with grassroots organizations and independent businesses, a personal journey to improve her health inspired Melissa Gibson to shift professional gears at age 52, and dedicate her life to sharing the key to wellness that she has discovered. Leveraging her degree in Agriculture Economics from Cornell University and an MBA in Brand Management, Melissa founded Qple LLC, a quadruple bottom-line company, which focuses on hemp and CBD (cannabidiol) education. Under the brand name, hemp&humanity, her company curates the best hemp-based product available and teaches others of the power of hemp to improve the human condition. With a fresh and open view of life, Melissa identifies with what she has dubbed, “The Slash Economy” – she is an entrepreneur/mother/speaker/networker/community activist and a USA 50+ Snowboarding Champion.

Shelley Goldberg

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Shelley Goldberg, Principal & Founder, has served as a macroeconomic strategist, trader, and investment advisor for multi-asset, top-down portfolio managers. She managed her own energy fund, G3 Capital Partners, LLC, and ran the largest fund-of funds devoted to natural resources with Swiss private bank, Union Bancaire Priveé. She has also served as a trading and investments strategist for Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP, a multi-billion- dollar hedge fund manager, and for Roubini Global Economics. Since 2013 she has been channeling sector specific knowledge toward leadership roles in impact investing with the goal of monetizing developments in environmental sustainability. She also has had significant international experience. Currently a writer for Bloomberg Prophets, she publishes frequently on resource sustainability topics and is often invited to speak and serve on panels at industry conferences. She is featured on television and online forums as an expert in commodities and impact investing. Shelley graduated from Tufts University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and Spanish and received a Master of Business Administration from New York University Stern School of Business in finance and international business. Learn more at www.Invest-With-Purpose.com.

Shira Harrington

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Shira Harrington is Chief Engagement Officer of Purposeful Hire, Inc. She fulfills her career purpose through career coaching, recruiting and helping employers engage a multigenerational workforce. She recently launched a nonprofit, “BoomerWorks” helping people ages 55+ re-career into the freelance / small business economy. Her passion is helping job seekers and employers fulfill their mutual mission as she states in the tagline of her business: For every hire, there is a higher purpose.


Angela Heath 

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Angela Heath is a nationally-recognized expert on the gig economy, keynote speaker, trainer and author of "Do the Hustle Without the Hassle: A Quick, Simple and Affordable Way to Make Money Online at Age 45+." Her company, TKC Incorporated, designs training, programs and solutions for leveraging the gig economy. Angela is an award-winning entrepreneur with 25 years of experience. She earned a Masters Degree in Gerontology from the Miami University and maintains a solid reputation for meeting or exceeding client metrics.



Elizabeth Hulings 

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As the daughter of painter Clark Hulings, Elizabeth Hulings grew up knowing that it is possible for people to earn a living from the creation of art. To this day she manages her father’s estate, which keeps her in a unique position to understand the business needs and concerns of visual artists, and also to build strategies to help them succeed. In 2011 Elizabeth established the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists with her mother, Mary Hulingswith the aim of providing visual artists with access to the same kinds of tools and knowledge that helped her father successfully manage his own art business.    The fund was a natural outgrowth of Elizabeth’s own career trajectory. She is a born strategist. Her family designated her its official packer and navigator at the age of eight. As an adult, she’s dedicated decades to helping entrepreneurs, business owners, and artists see both forest and trees, and to make their way through them efficiently and effectively.    Elizabeth is the founder and a principal of the business-strategy consulting firm Counterpoise, where she has worked with startups to build their resources and infrastructure; helped long-established nonprofits expand their programs; guided corporations that were struggling with growing pains and outdated systems; and collaborated with sole proprietors, who must wear both business and creative hats simultaneously.   Before launching Counterpoise in 2001 and CHF in 2011, Elizabeth worked on (and lived through) five Fortune-500 mergers at the predecessors of Citigroup, Cendant, and Verizon Communications. She also honed her skills at several nonprofit organizations including the International Development Exchange, The Management Center/Opportunity Knocks, and Human Rights Watch. Born in New York and raised in New Mexico, Elizabeth speaks Spanish and French. She holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Stanford University, a B.A. in International Relations and History from Tufts University, and the Alliançe Française I.


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I’ve always been an activator and a connector. Today, my passion is to inspire and equip people to use their Creator-given creativity to affect societal change. I model myself after Dr. King who harnessed non-violent organizing into radical acts of service. I am a pioneer, collaborator and convener of social justice revolutionaries. Vulnerable communities are “hidden in plain sight” all around us. Social change champions have the power to make them visible, vocal… and valued.

Institutionalized discrimination is woven into the fabric our society. It can unconsciously clothe us in intolerant behaviors and affect the mental health and productivity of marginalized populations. When we teach our youth to know the difference between equity and equality, we will raise a generation who walks out the brotherly love our forefathers intended – a love that is interdependent not independent. It’s time to catalyze the next wave of the civil rights movement!

Jack Kupferman 

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Jack is the President of Gray Panthers NYC, an organization with a storied history of ensuring the rights and programs for all who are aging, especially older persons themselves. In addition to overseeing daily operations, he leads and/or participates in numerous important initiatives, such as ensuring that the concerns of older persons are included in numerous global frameworks at the United Nations (Sustainable Development Goals; Human Rights of Older Persons; Innovative approaches for older persons in the least developed countries); working toward better enforcement of violations against nursing homes; addressing explicit and institutional manifestations of ageism; reminding emergency planning efforts (at the local and global level) to include older persons; working toward intergenerational solidarity, and much more. Jack received his college degree from Colgate University and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School. A New Yorker by birth and choice, his childhood was spent at the family owned and run rest home for the elderly in Rockland County, NY. This is where the seeds of his passion were sown.

Justin Lafazan 

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Justin Lafazan (22) is an acclaimed entrepreneur, speaker, best-selling author, investor, and consultant. Co-founder of Next Gen Summit and best-selling author of What Wakes You Up?, he’s on a mission to inspire the world’s young people to design the lives they want to live, through entrepreneurship.


Shelli Lipton 

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Shelli Lipton is the director of the Woodstock Museum. The purposes for Woodstock Museum are: To gather, display, disseminate and develop the concept and reality of Woodstock, encompassing the culture and history of a living colony of the arts, with special emphasis placed on the exhibition of self-sustaining ecological technologies. To encourage and increase public awareness of Woodstock by providing information to the general public through cultural events, displays of artifacts, outreach programs, communication media events and personal experiences, and to contribute, as an international attraction, to the cultural life and prosperity of our region; and to engage in all lawful activities in pursuit of the foregoing purposes.




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Stela Lupushor is the founder and Chief Executive Re-framer of Reframe.Work Inc., a consulting firm advising organizations on workplace inclusion in order to create access to diverse talent in an environment disrupted by demographic shifts, technology, value chain disintermediation, and human behavior evolution. She is also the Program Director, Strategic Workforce Planning and HRBPs Council at The Conference Board and facilitating conversations with Fortune 500 corporations-members on building new global workforce strategies to deliver business performance. She also is the Human Capital Analytics Center Leader at the Conference Board shaping its research agenda. Stela is also the Founder, Chairperson of the Board of Directorsof amazing.community, a non-profit organization extending the work horizon for women, empowering them to thrive in the workplace of the future. Previously Ms. Lupushor established and led the People Analytics functions at Fidelity Investments, TIAA and IBM where she developed analytics capabilities across the organizations and enabled data-driven workforce decision making. She holds a diploma in Mathematics and Computer Science, speaks English, Romanian and Russian, has a patent pending for a social sentiment analysis tool, and is a sought-after speaker on the topics of People Analytics and the Future of Work. Follow Stela on twitter @slupusho and linkedin.com/in/slupushor.

Leslie Malin 

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A licensed Clinical Social Worker for 40 years, Leslie has worked with thousands of people as a psychotherapist, Life Transition Coach, and as a seminar leader for public groups, corporations, nonprofits and small business. In Fall 2018, she will be a presenter for a new course for Lifelong Learning Institute at Bard College for members 55 and up, “Well, Well, Well”, a program on emotional, spiritual, and, physical wellness in our older adult years . She was Clinical Director of a community mental health center on Long Island; a Senior Counselor for a boutique outplacement firm in New York City working with management and executive level individuals as they navigated finding their next endeavor. She was the Executive Director of Jewish Family Services of Ulster County, N.Y; and had the privilege of counseling military personnel and their families at Fort Drum in Watertown, New York. Presently she maintains a private psychotherapy and coaching practice with offices in Kingston, New York. She is a published author of “Cracked Open: Reflections on the Transformative Power of Failure, Fear, & Doubt” and her forthcoming book, “The Work-Life Principle: Pathways to Purpose, Passion, Authenticity, and Wisdom” to be released in 2019. Malin is also a watercolorist and a guild member of Cross River Artists of Rhinebeck, N.Y, Leslie is a graduate of Vassar College and holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Adelphi University School of Social Work.

Arthur Matthews 

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Arthur T. Matthews J.D is the Chief Operating Officer and principal partner of Matthews & Matthews Consulting aka diversityofficers.com www.diversityofficers.com which is a boutique firm specializing in divergent aspects of labor, human capital, organizational change and the workforce. His clients are primarily government entities, unions, and non for profit organizations. He currently serves on the faculty at NYU, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the University of Arkansas. He teaches workshop, seminar, certificate, boot camp, undergraduate, MPA and MBA courses in areas such as conflict resolution, labor & politics, communications, organizational change, human & civil rights, negotiations, mediation, arbitration, labor-management cooperation, bullying, diversity & inclusion, leadership, public speaking and ethics. Some of his clients include or have included the Cisneros Center for New Americans, City Harvest, the Ronald H. Brown Foundation, Levi Strauss, the Laborers International Union, the Communications Workers of America and the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas. His government clients include the EEOC, the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Center for Disease Control and the Federal Executive Board. Recently he was a Guest Lecturer at the Clinton School of Public Service and as a result, the School asked appointed him to their faculty during the 2016 academic year. He will be teaching mediation. Early in his career Arthur was featured on a CNN Special as a positive role model and consistently serves as a motivational speaker. He was a Congressional and Assembly aide and earned his Juris doctor (J.D) degree from Howard University School of Law where he was elected the President of the Student Bar Association. In was in this capacity that he led hundreds of law students in the march that helped enact MLK Day as a national holiday. Moreover he proudly hosted one of the last public appearances of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He obtained his undergraduate degree with honors from C.W Post College, Long Island University where he earned a Martin Luther King academic scholarship and a NCAA football scholarship. He is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Charlotte Pfahl, Esq.


Charlotte W. Pfahl received a B.A. cum laude from University of Denver in 1973 and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 1978. She also attended Oxford University, Oxford, U.K., the N.Y.U. School of Law, LLM in Taxation, and the World Trade Institute.

Ms. Pfahl specializes in private client matters (wills, trusts, family limited partnerships) and real estate law. She represents foreign and domestic clients – including individuals, trusts, partnerships and corporations in a number of jurisdictions – on a broad range of domestic and transnational business transactions. Her real estate clients include cooperative corporations, developers, foreign banking institutions, and private investors.

Ms. Pfahl is admitted to practice in the States of New York and Florida and to the Bars of the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Claims, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She is a member of the Financial Women’s Association and The International Alliance.

Michael Platner


Michael Platner serves as Chair of Lewis Brisbois’ Corporate Practice Group. Mr. Platner works with clients to develop and execute business savvy legal strategies for businesses from early stage through maturity and sale or merger, with a view towards maximizing benefit to their owners and investors. As an experienced corporate and finance “deals” lawyer and strategist, Michael often acts as primary outside counsel to middle market companies owned by private individuals , investment and private equity firms, and public companies. He also manages litigation matters strategically in the context of how the ultimate business goals can best be achieved and financial statement impacts and business solutions considered. His practice is focused on helping companies and their owners build value and manage risk. Michael also has personally founded or been an early stage investor in several businesses, particularly in software, internet infrastructure, new media and cloud computing, providing significant additional understanding important to entrepreneurs and Venture Capital investors. Michael speaks regularly nationally and abroad on applying merger and acquisition and partnering strategies to create value and liquidity and reduce or eliminate conflict.

Nana Ponceleon 

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Nana Ponceleon is an actress, producer, writer and director born in Venezuela and based in New York City today. She has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a minor in Computer Science from Pace University in New York. She worked in sales and marketing for many years, working in Microsoft for over 11 years among several others. After resigning from the corporate world she changed careers to become an actress.  She studied acting in Los Angeles and in New York City, where she recently graduated from Stella Adler Studio of Acting.   In just four (4) years in NY she has acted in 14 films (feature and short films), 6 television and web series and has performed in 7 plays. One of the feature films was a production for Spain’s television by director Mikel Rueda. The short film Let's Play Dead Girl has won over a dozen awards and has had more than 27 nominations. She also performed in 3 feature films in Venezuela and 2 TV mini-series. Her Venezuelan film “La Hora Cero” won international awards and was featured in HBO for almost a year. She has done several commercials like Clairol, Michelob, Zyretc, Thrive NYC/City of New York, Mercy College, among others.

Rose Rudnitski 

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Dr. Rose Rudnitski is Dean of the School of Education at Mercy College in New York. From 2012 to 2017, she was the dean of the School of Education at Felician University where she led successful accreditation and program improvement efforts and developed a culture of reflection, collegiality and continuous improvement. Before becoming a dean, Rose was a professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where she served as a department chair, associate dean, Ombudsman, and Presiding Officer of the Faculty. Rose is a member of Education Deans for Justice and Equity (EDJE) and serves as the president of the Collegiate Association of Departments of Educational Administration (CADEA), which brings New York State’s Educational Leadership programs together to collectively advocate for equitable policy and program quality. Rose’s work focuses on social justice and equity. She co-authored the National Council of Teachers of English’s Guidelines for Teaching about Genocide and Intolerance and she has written articles highlighting unsung women in education. Rose has consulted and conducted studies and reviews for school districts and colleges, most recently the doctoral program at Rider University and the teacher education programs at Montclair State University. When she is not working, Rose is a beekeeper, runner, artist, and musician. She plays the organ in churches in the Archdiocese of New York. Rose values, family, friends, and service to others, the community, and the world.

Dr. Sharna Striar 

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Sharna L. Striar, Ph.D., RN, PMHCNS is an expert in the area of human sexuality, intimacy, and relationships. Over the course of many years, Dr. Striar has studied and taught at leading institutions in her field, including the University of Michigan, Hunter College, and Seton Hall University. She is a Psychotherapist, an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, and an ANCC certified Psychiatric Nurse Specialist. Dr. Striar has lectured extensively, written and been quoted in many articles, and has been a frequent expert guest speaker on national radio and television. Her primary focus is counseling individuals and couples, many who are in their twenties and thirties, to effectively navigate the challenges of adulthood, social relationships, and a range of emotions. Many of her patients, especially those with mood disorders and concerns about intimacy have benefited from her training in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and mindfulness. 



Dan Schneider has been practicing entertainment, corporate, new media, intellectual property and real property law for more than 35 years in Manhattan and Woodstock, NY.   A graduate of Vassar College (AB, 1979, Evans Fellow in Law) and Emory Law School (JD, 1982, Emory Scholar), he is admitted to the New York and Georgia bars, as well as to the U.S. District Court (Southern District, NY). Dan serves as Executive Producer of Big Shoes Media, which creates and distributes transformative media that positively impacts people’s lives.

Dan has served as a member of numerous non-profit boards, including The America The Beautiful Fund, The Giulio Gari Foundation, the Creative Music Foundation, the Woodstock Soccer League, the Woodstock Youth Theatre, and Hudson Valley Technology and Commerce, the Woodstock Library Board, the Woodstock Democratic Committee, the All Rockaway Planning Council, and Manhattan Community Board #4. He is a member of the NYS Bar Association, the California Copyright Conference, the NY Vassar Club, and the Dramatists Guild.

Dr. Paul Tasner 

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Paul Tasner, Co-founder and CEO of PulpWorks, Inc., has 40 years of experience in all facets of supply chain management. He has held leadership positions in packaging, manufacturing, and logistics in ventures ranging from start-up to Fortune 100. For the past decade, his focus has been on supply chain sustainability. Paul’s corporate affiliations include The Clorox Company, Clif Bar, Method Products, Hepagen Vaccines and Unilever. He has authored numerous papers and presentations on supply chain sustainability and currently lectures on this subject in the MBA Programs at San Francisco State University and Golden Gate University as well as the Packaging Engineering Department at San Jose State University. He holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Boston University. Six years ago, Paul took a leap of faith. While his peers were contemplating retirement, he embraced the challenge of disrupting the traditional packaging industry. Appalled by the amount of plastic pollution on our planet and no longer content to accept the dangers of plastic packaging materials, he founded PulpWorks and set out to create safe, eco-friendly packaging for consumer products. PulpWorks uses paper and agricultural waste to mold compostable packaging and thereby diminish the waste deposited in our landfills, waterways and oceans. In 2016, PulpWorks was awarded a patent for their Karta-Pack™ – a compostable replacement for the toxic plastic blister pack. PulpWorks and Paul have been the recipients of more than 20 awards and the subject of more than 40 stories in the media. Paul was selected as a TED Resident in 2017. His TED Talk on sustainability, entrepreneurism, and ageism has been seen by more than 1.3 million viewers. PulpWorks - “Molding a Better World”!



As an Encore Fellow, Janet served as a Marketing and Resource Mobilization Fellow for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Her personal experience as a fellow informs her work as EFN Program Director, where she will continue to build and strengthen the current New York Encore Fellowships program. She will also help to build broader corporate and NGO partnerships and advance effective collaboration across the network of Encore Fellows programs.

Janet’s successful prior career in the medical communications industry included executive and general-manager level positions. When she left the industry, she was determined to give something back. Encore.org and the Encore Fellowships program helped Janet navigate a new path, reinforcing her commitment to work with others to help them do the same.

Mira Weiss

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Along with many members of the Sliver Fox Club, Mira B. Weiss is also an entrepreneur. She
founded her own law firm, the Weiss Law Group, PLLC, in 2010, building on more than thirty
years of experience dealing with almost every aspect of health law inside government, public
hospitals and private insurance companies. This background, and her sensitivity when engaging
with older adults, people with disabilities and their families, create a special understanding of
elder law, special needs, trusts and estate. Advocating for her clients' dignity and independence is one of her main priorities. Mira was Assistant to the President of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, and Deputy Director of Bellevue Hospital in New York, where she was responsible for a wide range of activities including medical staff licensing, risk management, and citywide clinical AIDS programs. She was also an attorney for Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and for health insurers in the New York metro area; including chief legal counsel for Horizon Pennsylvania based in Philadelphia and New York-based Touchstone Health. In addition to running her own law firm, she is a special counsel to Abrams Garfinkel, Margolis, Bergson, LLP, a full-service law firm based in New York and California. She is a frequent lecturer and panelist for legal and financial professional associations as well as community organizations and groups devoted to defending the rights of older adults. The president of the New York City Bar Association appointed Mira to the New York State Bar Association’s governing body, the House of Delegates, last year and she was recently appointed to the state bar’s Disabilities Law Committee and to the New York City Bar Association Committee on the Profession. She is recent past chair of the New York City Bar Small Law Firms Committee and a member of the Surrogate’s Court Committee, the state bar Section on Elder Law and Special Needs and the Trusts and Estates Section.

Dusty Wright 

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Mr. Wright is an edutainment (education + entertainment) content creator based in New York City. He’s been on the forefront of utilizing cutting edge technology for 30+ years. These past three years he’s immersed himself and brokered deals in AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality). He was the executive producer for campaigns for Magnolia Bakery using AR and Swarovsky using VR. He’s a co-founder and head of business development for disruptED — an immersive learning and development education platform using AR/VR. He is the owner/co-founder of the smart culture website CultureCatch.com — one of the first websites to post both podcasts and webcasts. As a podcaster, he's interviewed hundreds of celebrities including David Lynch, Gore Vidal, Bob Weir, Ron Howard, Kevin Bacon, Danny Glover, Tilda Swinton, etc. He’s the former editor of Creem and Prince’s New Power Generation magazines. As a writer, he’s developed multiple TV projects and pilots. He’s also written 8 feature film scripts and co-wrote the indie feature The Gentleman Bandit (staring Ed Lauter and Ryan O’Neil), produced the award-winning PBS documentary Wildwood Days (Bruce Willis, Dick Clark, et al), and worked as a segment producer for ESPN, Lifetime, etc. He got his start in entertainment as a TV variety agent at the William Morris Agency. And as critically acclaimed singer/songwriter (DustyWright.com), he’s released seven albums and has had his music featured in films, television and online. His next album Gliding Towards Oblivion will released on Nov. 2nd.  It features a cover of Donovan’s 1966 hit “Mellow Yellow” with the acclaimed Scottish bard on background vocals.