Former CEO & Co-founder of Priceline.com
Jeff Hoffman is a successful entrepreneur, proven CEO, worldwide motivational speaker, and published author. In his career, he has been the founder of multiple startups, he has been the CEO of both public and private companies, and has served as a senior executive in many capacities. Jeff has been part of a number of well-known companies, including Priceline.com, uBid.com, CTI, ColorJar, and more. Today Jeff serves on the boards of companies in the US, Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. He supports entrepreneurs and small businesses on a worldwide basis, serving on the global board of directors of Global Entrepreneurship Week (supporting entrepreneurship in over 150 countries), the US State Department’s GIST program (Global Innovation through Science and Technology, working in 49 emerging nations), the APEC Startup Initiative (the Asia Pacific Economic Council’s 21-member nation association), and many others. He is a member of the board of directors of The Unreasonable Group, and a supporter of the White House - once serving at the pleasure of President Obama on the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, the State Department, the United Nations, and similar organizations internationally on economic growth initiatives and entrepreneurship programs. Jeff is a frequent keynote speaker, having been invited to speak in over 50 countries. He speaks on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship, and business leadership, and is the author of the book SCALE, a how-to guide for growing your business. Jeff also teaches innovation workshops to major corporations on a regular basis, and is a featured business expert seen on Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, CNN International, Bloomberg News, CNBC, ABC, and NPR, and in publications including Forbes, Inc., Time, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and more.
Founder & CEO, Veritaseum
CNBC Contributor, Block
Chain Technology Inventor
Reggie Middleton is the founder and CEO of Veritaseum, a company deploying smart contracts based on peer-to-peer software via blockchain technology. Ultimately, Mr. Middleton and his small team of independent analysts seek to facilitate the disintermediation of the financial markets. He founded Boom Bust Blog in 2007 and has since established an outstanding track record, including but not limited, to the call of the financial world’s most historic events. His research is widely circulated among banks, hedge funds, and institutional and individual investors. Reggie has appeared on Bloomberg Television, CNBC, BBC World News, and CNN among others, and his prescient investment calls have been detailed in publications such as Fortune and Crain's New York. Aaron Elstein of Crain's New York Business said "Mr. Middleton has been startlingly accurate in the past. He forecast the collapse of the housing market in 2007, and in early 2008 warned of the demise of Bear Stearns weeks before it happened. Earlier this year, he said that Ireland's finances were in terrible shape long before Standard & Poor's got around to downgrading that nation's credit rating.” Reggie won CNBC’s stock draft competition in February 2013 and again in 2014, both times beating out six other professional traders.
In 2017, he announced the crowdsale of a token for access to the services of Veritaseum. An estimated 1,926,109 VERI Tokens were issued of the 51 million offered. The remaining 100M tokens are reserved for future sale to interested parties. VERI Tokens are described as the software to unlock the services of Veritaseum.
Founding Partner of Next Street Financial
RONALD L. WALKER II
Secretary of Labor
Next Street was founded in 2005 with the goal of transforming the way finance and business advice are provided in under-served markets. It aims to maximize the growth, impact, and success of its clients, thereby driving economic development, and wealth and job creation in America’s cities. A modern version of the merchant bank, Next Street works with its clients as partners, serving as a trusted adviser throughout the life-cycle of the organization, and Ron focused on corporate finance, including debt and equity financing, investment strategy, investment management, and customer acquisition. Many of Next Street's clients are category leaders within their industries.
Ron Walker currently serves as COO at Rasky Partners where he plays a key role in operations, finances, and strategic growth. Prior to joining Rasky Partners, Walker was appointed in 2015 by Governor Charlie Baker as Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development for the State of Massachusetts after a decades long career in the banking industry; including most recently Executive Vice President and Regional Executive of Retail Banking for Sovereign Bank in Greater Boston, managing 200 employees in the bank’s 38 Business Banking Centers. As a senior executive, he was responsible for the overall management, revenue generation, customer acquisition, marketing, deposit growth, and small business lending activities of the bank in the Greater Boston region. With more than $1 billion in commercial and retail core deposits and loans, his region was the bank’s largest in size and scope, and generated over $100 million dollars in organic core deposit growth annually. In addition, he was appointed by the bank’s President to Chair the Sovereign Bank Massachusetts Advisory Board and lead the Business Banking initiative in Massachusetts to increase small business lending activities and commercial deposit generation there. Complementing his position as Executive V.P. for Retail Banking, he had portfolio oversight and senior credit authority for small businesses in the Greater Boston market, and thus directly responsible for the identification, approval, oversight and portfolio management for small business deals that required executive-level input. Before joining Sovereign in 2000, Mr. Walker held several senior-executive roles in commercial and retail banking. From 1990 to 2000, at Fleet Financial Group, he served as Senior Vice President, Retail Market Manager and Senior V.P. of Northern New England’s Business Banking Group. Ron Walker started his banking career in the commercial lending management program at the Bank of New England in 1988.
Chairwoman & CEO, Valmo Ventures
Former Senior V.P. & Partner, Wellington Management Co.
Valerie Mosley created Valmo Ventures to advise and invest in companies that add value both to investors and society. She currently serves on the board of Eaton Vance’s family of mutual funds, Dynex, a NYSE mortgage REIT, and Progress Investment Management Company, a privately held Fund of Funds. She advises Auditchain, the first decentralized, continuous audit and reporting protocol ecosystem, STEAM Role. She serves on New York State’s Common Retirement Pension Fund Investment Advisory Committee and the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust’s Investment Risk Advisory Committee. Formerly, Valerie was Senior Vice President, Partner, Portfolio Manager and Investment Strategist at Wellington Management Company LLP, a $900 billion global money management firm. During her 20-year tenure at the firm, Valerie directly managed billions for clients. She also chaired the firm’s Industry Strategy Group, comprised of thought leaders from across the firm charged with taking a long-term perspective to identify headwinds and tailwinds impacting industries. As a member of several investment strategy groups, Valerie helped established investment parameters to which team portfolio managers adhered. Valerie serves on the board of New Profit, a philanthropic venture firm, as part of her mission to help others grow their self-worth and net worth. Valerie created financial fluency courses and speaks about the “Parallels of Managing Money and Life.”
Valerie graduated in 1982 from Duke, where she served as President and Vice President of the student body. She received her MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1986 and served as President of The Wharton Club of Atlanta. Valerie was named UK’s Power List International Person of the Year 2017 and one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and Top 75 African Americans on Wall Street by Black Enterprise Magazine.
DR. BYRON C. CLAYTON
Robotics & Automation Expert
CEO, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (A.R.M.)
Dr. Byron C. Clayton has over 25 years of experience developing, commercializing and implementing advanced manufacturing systems and software for various industries. During that time, he facilitated the market entry of over 40 high-tech products and systems, published articles in academic and trade journals, and received patents for manufacturing optimization software used by numerous production plants across North America.
Since January 2018, Dr. Clayton has served as CEO of the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (ARM) located in Pittsburgh, PA. ARM is the newest of fourteen Manufacturing USA Institutes launched by the federal government to revitalize U.S. leadership in advanced manufacturing. ARM’s role is to:
Advance robotics technology to help small, midsize and large U.S. manufacturers become more globally competitive.
Advance robotics education and workforce programs to increase the skills, size and diversity of the U.S. workforce.
Create a world class knowledge center for what’s new and next in robotics manufacturing and education.
Dr. Clayton comes to ARM from Baton Rouge, LA where he was President and CEO of Research Park Corporation, a family of economic development organizations focused on helping Louisiana companies create tech jobs of the future. In prior years, he led Ohio-based innovation clusters in flexible electronics, advanced energy and water technologies.
WILLIAM M. CUNNINGHAM
Economist and Impact Investment Advisor
Founder & CEO of Creative Investment Research
William Michael Cunningham founded Creative Investment Research (CIR) in 1989 to expand the capacity of markets to provide capital, credit and financial services in minority and underserved areas and markets by creating new financial instruments and by applying existing financial market technology to underserved areas. Mr. Cunningham’s understanding of capital markets is based on firsthand
knowledge obtained in a number of positions at a diverse set of major financial institutions. Among them was Senior Investment Analyst for an insurance company, an Institutional Sales Representative in the Fixed Income and Futures and Options Group for a leading Wall Street firm, and he also served as Director of Investor Relations for a New York Stock Exchange-traded firm. In 1991, Mr. Cunningham created the first systematic bank analysis system using social and financial data, the Fully Adjusted Return® methodology.
He designed the first mortgage security backed by home mortgage loans to low and moderate income persons and originated by minority-owned institutions. (See: Security Backed Exclusively by Minority Loans, The American Banker.
Friday, December 2, 1994.)
Mr. Cunningham is an impact investing specialist who received his MBA in Finance and Masters in Economics from The University of Chicago. He is an Adjunct Faculty member at Georgetown University, and a strong advocate for the integration of human values in finance, and involves students in developing new ways to combine social values and investing. His professional interests include impact investing, blockchain, cryptocurrency in minority communities, environmental, social and governance investing, socially responsible investing and community development investing. He is the author of a book on the JOBS Act and Crowdfunding that provides comprehensive information on the topic. -
Mr. Cunningham serves as Managing Partner for National Crowdfunding Services. He launched his first website on November 16, 1995. Mr. Cunningham filed Case 98-1459 in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1998, opposing the elimination of Glass-Steagall and predicting the financial crisis of 2008. On June 11, 2016, his economic forecasting models predicted Trump's win:
Former Vice President, Supplier Success L.L.C
Business Diversity Consultant, Supplier Success L.L.C. / Rainbow PUSH
Glenda A. Gill is an advocate. A change agent. A thought leader. Gill a 21st century innovator, strategic bridge-builder and purveyor of economic equality who uses corporate board rooms as her field of battle. Gill currently serves as a business and social impact consultant with a focus and emphasis on justice and economic development with distressed and growth communities. Gill has served in a diverse capacity of roles throughout her life that has ranged from corporate, retail management, politics, production, entrepreneur, fundraising and non-profits.
Gill’s most recent role as vice president of Supplier Success LLC served as an outlet for her expertise in helping diverse businesses attain working capital. Prior to Supplier Success LLC, Gill served as the chief architect of Rainbow PUSH’s Automotive Project and established a playbook on how the global automotive industry should engage with ethnic communities and entrepreneurs by way of: HR/Corporate Leadership, Dealers, Suppliers, Professional Services, Advertising & Marketing, and Philanthropy.
Throughout her career, Gill has been driven by her ‘why’: an unyielding desire for fairness and equity for people of color in every facet of corporate life. That notion fuels her tenacity and guides her process, to the extent that 100-plus minority-owned businesses have, over the years, secured more than $9 billion in contracts due to Gill’s direct or indirect advocacy.
Gill is known for bridging the divide between the business community and communities of color, expertly crafting mutually beneficial agreements that help forge successful corporate partnerships aimed at, ultimately, strengthening the economic viability of people of color.
Gill’s heart passion and servant leadership led her to found “SAVE A GIRL, SAVE A WORLD”, a multi-faceted, multi-generational mentoring initiative for young women at high schools/HBCU’s. The program launched in 2011 with the primary goal of creating a mentoring, esteem building organization with a four-pillar emphasis that includes: Health & Wellness; Lifestyle/Leadership; Career & Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy.
Founder, CEO & Executive Director of Illuminate STEM
CEO & President of HarozTec
Mr. Southern is also CEO at HarozTec where his primary responsibility is consulting, mentoring, and managing entities by providing educational strategic planning, project management and research solutions. While this and his other corporate positions have been a source of great productivity and professional growth, Terrence’s heart has remained close to children living in communities where there is restricted access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. His own humble beginnings have fueled his passion to shed light on the possibilities of careers in the sciences for underprivileged children. From the heartbeat of this desire, Southern created iLLUMINATE S.T.E.M. to advance future workforce opportunities for K-12 students in related areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math through interactive curriculum and competitive project based learning concepts. He's determined to blaze the pathway for other African-Americans interested in robotics to follow in his footsteps.
Terrence Southern is a Robotics Engineer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Motivational Speaker. Formerly the Lead Global Robotics & Automation Engineer for GE Global Research, he was responsible for the automation strategy for all GE business units. Terrence’s passion for robotics rapidly grew and further propelled him into a nationally recognized leader in the field of Robotics Engineering after his keynote presentation at the 2012 Robotics Industries Association Forum. He was part of a distinguished panel discussing artificial intelligence and robotics at the recent TechConneXt Tech Summit. Throughout his 15 year career, Terrence worked for multiple Fortune 100 companies influencing the innovation and future of robotics while deploying nearly 2,000 robots nationally throughout his tenure.
Managing Member and President of SAA | EVI
Urban Real Estate
Investor & Developer
Mr. Ernst Valery is Managing Member and President of SAA | EVI and shares overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations and execution of SAA | EVI projects and relationships. Mr. Valery has successfully invested in and developed real estate in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Virginia, California, and New York. For the past 16 years, he has been involved with development projects ranging from mixed-use, multi-tenant rental properties, single-family renovations and condominium conversions.
Mr. Valery is also the founder and president of SAA | EVI affiliate Ernst Valery Investments Corp. (EVI), a private, minority-owned real estate investment firm established in 2001. EVI invests in select underserved and undervalued key emerging domestic real estate markets, defined as urban transitional areas with high residential and retail demand. Mr. Valery has extensive experience in affordable and market rate housing development and investment, including providing due diligence capabilities and extensive skills in budget planning, design development, marketing, and the supervision and guidance of contractors, architects and engineers. He is responsible for the securing and structuring of financing, including expertise in securing Historic and New Markets tax credits.
Mr. Valery is also active in social entrepreneurship and volunteer work, including a collaboration with a team of professionals and graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Community Innovators Lab (MIT CoLab) and Oxfam UK to address housing finance needs in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, as well as efforts at incubating businesses around the world that help alleviate poverty and increase the earning potential of low income individuals, families, and communities.
Mr. Valery graduated from Columbia University’s Master of Science program in Real Estate Development. He also obtained a Master’s Degree in Policy Analysis and Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a concentration in International Relations, both from Cornell University. Ernst is also a Mel King Community Fellow at MITs CoLab.