Keegan Evans, 25, is a co-owner of Wake Up Waffles; an online company that produces and sells high protein, gluten free waffle/pancake/baking mixes. Blending his passions for photography and fitness, Keegan embarked on the waffle journey with his fiancée/business partner Nicole in December 2016. They plan to expand their product lines and enter the retail market very soon. Keegan also co-owns Parker Lane Productions with his brother Colin where they produce Instagram content for a number of food companies.
Nicole Bergmann, 23, is a co-owner of Wake Up Waffles; an online company that produces high protein, gluten free pancake/waffle/baking mixes. Starting early on with a health and fitness-focused lifestyle she found the entrepreneurial bug and created the company with her fiancé Keegan Evans in December of 2016. With a successful 2 years and the ongoing ambition to build the company to its fullest, Nicole and Keegan plan on expanding in the near future.
I started my first business when I was 17 years old in my basement called Merch Buttons. I worked at Sears installing appliances in the day, played in a traveling band at night, then worked on Merch Buttons sales from 12am – 4am most nights. I made bulk order custom 1″ pin back buttons for Bands and Companies. After a while of being in business and hiring employees I decided to start offering Tshirts and Stickers to my customers. I outsourced to a company in Atlanta, GA for Tshirts. After a while I began to outsell the sales team in GA. They offered to buy Merch Buttons and move me to Atlanta to become head of sales at Terminus Tees. My first year there I doubled their yearly sales. After trying out Atlanta for a year and a half I decided the south was not for me and I would move back to upstate NY and start Upstate Merch in the fall of 2009. Since then Upstate Merch has had rapid growth each year. We are currently one of the larger apparel printing shops in New York. I am also a father of 2 kids, Rotarian, and an active community member.
He discovered his passion for health and fitness while playing various sports, mostly at Susquehanna-Valley High School. He graduated from SUNY Broome with a degree in Business, then attended the American Academy of Personal Training in Boston. He started his Personal Training business in the fall of 2012, and opened his first location of KW Fitness in Vestal in March of 2014. In October 2017, KW Fitness opened it’s 2nd location in Fayetteville, NY. KW Fitness prides itself on being the Premier Lifestyle Coaching Center for men and women who are frustrated with how far they have let themselves go. Unlike other gyms that pack classes and are lacking in support and accountability with programs that fail to deliver, KW Fitness ends the frustration by helping each client improve their quality of life through safe, effective personal training and nutrition programs that are customized to each individual, with guaranteed results.
Mandy Webb was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. When she was 19 years old, she began her first entrepreneurial venture by selling Cutco Cutlery: a high quality line of kitchen products. She was responsible for finding her own clientele, worked 100% on commission, and had to grow her business through referrals. She became one of the top all time sales reps for the company and, after 5 years, she moved to Binghamton to open her own district office and grow a team of sales representatives. Her team broke every territory record for the company and she taught hundreds of high school seniors & college students sales skills, public speaking skills, time management, mindset management, and goal setting. She closed her office in 2014 when KW Fitness #1 was opened and spent some time selling HR Software and Advertising for WBNG. Mandy jumped on board with KW Fitness full time in 2017 when they decided to open location #2!
Erin Elizabeth Cody is the Associate Director, Enhancing Student Experience at Binghamton University’s Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development where she leads the Enhancing Student Experience Team of the Fleishman Center staff to solidify and enhance holistic graduate and undergraduate student experiential education programming and curriculum such as the Passport to Career Success, Explore Program for First Year students, Career Development Centralized Internship Program, JFEW/Binghamton Leadership & Career Development Scholars Program, Student Employment Initiative, and partnering across campus to foster a “culture of career preparedness.” Erin is honored to supervise a team of dynamic internship and career consulting professionals, who deliver the Nationally Recognized Exemplary level of service as well as over 700 programs and events that were attended by over 10,700 Binghamton students last year that the National Career Development Association has honored the Fleishman team for as leaders in higher education in late 2017. Erin has helped Binghamton students and alumni reach their career goals since July 2006. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor who completed her MS in Community Counseling and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Professional Counseling at The University of Scranton and her Bachelor of Music in Music Education at Moravian College. Prior to working at Binghamton, Erin worked in Career Centers at Lafayette College, Penn State Altoona and The University of Scranton. Erin is honored to be a part of the Greater Binghamton community as a resident of Vestal, NY who engages in community service and is happy to join the YP Summit as a moderator today.
Richard (Dick) Orth is a Transformational Facilitator, having over 39 years’ experience with IBM as a change leader, facilitator, trainer, leadership coach and business analyst. Dick has a proven track record of helping organizations and individuals improve their capabilities in the areas of leadership development, cultural transformation and process excellence. He has led hundreds of organizational change engagements by developing capabilities in collaborative problem-solving, team-based decision-making, conflict resolution, constructive communications and process facilitation.
Dick is also an IBM certified IT Specialist, a volunteer community mediator, and is on the Board of Directors for several community organizations.
Ebony is a Certified Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, Writer, and the founder behind the empowerment brand Queens Recognize Queens®.She is a powerhouse of thought, light, and love, offering revolutionary insight into how changing ourselves little by little, IS the change we wish to see. She hosts & collaborates with other women to offer unique holistic workshops, events, and online classes, to assist women in their pursuit of their highest confidence and potential. Ebony shares the methods that have allowed her to thrive as a champion of life. Her passion comes in giving women the much-needed tools and perspective to shift their lives into gear of living up to their fullest potential.
Matt Feldman is a Financial Planner with Lesko Financial Services which is celebrating its 70th year serving the local community and was founded by Matt’s Great Grandfather. Matt graduated college Magna Cum Laude then worked in New York City for a fortune 50 company prior to joining Lesko. He is passionate about the community serving 2 years as President of the Southern Tier Young Professionals and a 2013 Broome Leadership Institute Graduate. Personally, Matt is married with two young children ages 4 & 7 – They are passionate season ticket holders to the Binghamton Devils. Matt is also an avid cook, golfer, and a self-proclaimed travel nut.
Mary May, Local Independent Franchise Owner of Cruise Planners has over 10-year experience in the travel industry. Mary believes vacations are investments. Just like wanting to hire a professional on your cash investment, you should consider using a professional travel agent to help with your vacation investment. With all the travel resources she has access too along with experience and understanding of the travel market, she will make you into an educated, savvy traveler that you desire to be.
Driven by an unwavering passion for the art of hairstyling Rashuna Durham is the proud owner and master hairstylist at Shuna’s hair studio, a global pro educator as well as beauty platform artist and co owner of William h construction with her husband William Durham. She has been in the beauty industry for 18years; always knowing that this is were she was destined to be from an early age. Rashuna loves the profession because of the connection she gets to make with every person that sits in her chair to help them feel great about themselves. She has a passion for making people see the beauty that is within starting with the physical and helping transform into the soul. Rashuna is also a dedicated wife and mother of four wonderful children. Besides the biggest role in her life as a wife and mother being a stylist, Getting get to meet so many new people every day all with different stories on their own personal journeys of beauty is what she feels so honored to be a part of all while leaving her mark in the beauty industry.
Rachel Jenks is the Founder and Art Director of Rtistry By Design, a brand strategy and graphic design studio based in Binghamton. She has been a professional graphic designer for more than 11 years. Prior to design, her unique journey spanned multiple roles in four countries, three cities, and two states – including professional ballet, management, copywriting, event production, business consulting, and national and international public relations.
She is a proud member of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, the Emerging Leaders Society, and the Broome County Arts Council, and is an active participant in the renaissance of the Southern Tier.
Dan Gannon is a high energy professional speaker and motivator. Dan grew up near Portland, Oregon. Realizing he didn’t have the grades or family finances to go to college, Dan enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 18. After his time in the military Dan accomplished his lifelong become the first of his family to receive a college degree. While attending Long Island University he become the Student Government President and was a fellow for The Center For the Study of The Presidency and Congress. He also received numerous academic and leadership awards including Most Outstanding Senior for his contributions to the LIU Community. Dan has been a key member for many small and start-up businesses ranging from performance supplements to commercial locks and doors.
Dan leverages his years of experience and personal story to inspire and educate people how to overcome barriers and find success in all areas of their life!
RJ has been awarded the ACCREDITED INVESTMENT FIDUCIARY® designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies™. The AIF® designation signifies a specialized knowledge of fiduciary responsibility and marks the culmination of an experience prerequisite, a rigorous training program and course study, successful completion of a closed-book proctored final examination, a signed agreement to abide by the Code of Ethics & Conduct Standards, and a commitment to an annual continuing education requirement.
He’s also been awarded the ACCREDITED ASSET MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST℠ and CHARTERED MUTUAL FUND COUNSELOR℠ designations from the College for Financial Planning. AAMS® and CMFC® designees must successfully complete an extensive education program and pass a rigorous examination, sign a code of professional ethics, and complete a disclosure form attesting to their professional conduct. All designees must sign a commitment to ongoing continuing education credit to ensure that they stay current in the field.
RJ holds a Bachelor’s Degree Cum Laude from Suffolk University (Boston, MA) and is a 2006 graduate of the Broome Leadership Institute, a leadership program of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. He maintains various securities registrations and insurance licenses in several states, is certified to offer the New York State Partnership for Long-Term Care Insurance and is a Notary Public in the State of New York.
Mr. Barber is an active member of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce where he has served on various committees. Recent community service includes the Board of Directors for the Broome Leadership Institute Alumni Association and past President of Broome Community College Alumni Association, Inc. He has also served in various capacities for organizations such as Rotary, the American Cancer Society, and the Dollars for Scholars. R J coaches baseball, soccer and is a regular sponsor for youth athletics.
RJ is a lifelong resident of Broome County and resides in the Town of Vestal with his wife Michele and their three children, Grant, Lily and Anderson
Christopher K. Kelly joined Chemung Canal Trust Company in 2011 as a Senior Retirement Plan Manager. Mr. Kelly was promoted to Assistant Vice President in 2013 and then to Vice President and Retirement Services Department Manager in 2014. He has been working with employer-sponsored retirement plans since 1996 with firms such as Aon Hewitt, Diversified Investment Advisors (Transamerica Retirement Services), Baker Tilly, and MetLife. Mr. Kelly holds the Qualified Plan Financial Consultant, Qualified 401(k) Administrator and Certified Employee Benefit Specialist designations, as well as the Series 6, 63, and 65 securities licenses. He earned an MBA from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Chris is a member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) and serves on the South Hill After-School Program Parent Advisory Board.
Ron is the Senior Manager of Engineering Development Programs. His primary responsibility involves program management of the Engineering Leadership Development Program (ELDP) and Advanced Technical Leadership Program (ATLP), with 240+ participants across 16 locations. He also has overall coordination responsibility for college recruitment and hiring activities. His professional career spans a period of over 30 years, during which he has had a diverse set of roles and responsibilities. He is recognized within Lockheed Martin as an expert in Workplace Generational Diversity, and lectures frequently on the topic across Lockheed Martin and his local community. Ron lives in Binghamton, NY.
Originally born and raised in Binghamton, NY, Mark Pierce charted a path through the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, CA before eventually settling into a career in music marketing. After initial attempts to break into the crowded filmmaking market, Mark instead changed direction to pursue his real passion of working with fellow musicians. Following a new path in the music industry, while building upon his experience in media, he is now positioned as the Director of Marketing for an international music instrument brand. Now finding his career path closely aligned with his personal passion, Mark is thrilled to have the opportunity to return home and share his experience and insight into striving to pursue what you love.
Ariel Tunnell is a Los Angeles based Fashion Stylist, who originally hails from Oklahoma. After receiving a degree in Television and Film Studies from St. John’s University, she realized her real passion was for the clothing worn on screen and the actors who bring these costumes to life. Having worked in various aspects of the entertainment industry in both New York City and Los Angeles, she found a way to bring her love of pop culture and fashion together by dressing today’s top celebrities. Ariel has worked for the biggest pop stars in the world – on everything from red carpets, award-winning music videos, world tours, commercials and major award shows.
Steve Campbell is a partner at S.E.E.D. Planning Group, LLC and serves as the Director of Community Engagement. Steve joined the firm in May of 2017 after spending five years acquiring financial planning and investment management experience at Morgan Stanley. A long-time resident of Broome County, Steve earned a BA in history from Rutgers University, where he played Division 1 Lacrosse for the Scarlet Knights. Steve then went on to earn a master’s degree in education from Binghamton University.
Steve has a passion for helping and serving people and is committed to helping his community flourish and prosper. By actively engaging other local leaders and professionals to form synergistic relationships, he is motivated by the belief that each individual can make a significant impact to the community.
Nathaalie Carey is currently the Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Chief Financial Officer for the New York State Department of Labor. In this role she manages the agency’s $4 billion portfolio and oversees all internal operations. Nathaalie is also very proud to serve on Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Pay Equity panel as they explore how to address closing the gender pay gap. Prior to this Nathaalie worked at the New York State Comptroller’s Office as an Assistant Comptroller for Local Government and School Accountability. There she oversaw the division’s Information, Research and Technology branch responsible for implementing the New York State property tax cap and developing the local government fiscal monitoring system. Nathaalie joined OSC after serving as the Director of Budget and Research for Broome County Government. There she managed a $450 million budget, $100 million capital improvement program and had fiscal oversight for over 30 departments with approximately 2,500 employees. Nathaalie served on the Council for her Alma mater, Binghamton University, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Leadership and Public Finance. She is an experienced executive at both the local and state levels of government and she has a strong background in finance, operations and technology.
Nathaalie is the mother of two silly, intelligent and loving children, Chloe Rose, 5 and Samuel IV, 3. This year she’ll celebrate 9 years of marriage to her childhood friend and amazing husband, Samuel.
Sean J. Britton, MPA, NRP is the Telehealth Program Manager at UHS. Sean’s nonprofit board experience includes the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, the United Way of Broome County, Broome County Community Organizations Active in Disaster, and the Susquehanna Regional EMS Council. Sean is a frequently published writer and conference speaker. Previous professional experience includes serving as the Director of Public Health for Broome County, New York and the Emergency Preparedness Planner for the Maryland Institute for EMS Systems.
Dan Mori has been an entrepreneur and business development expert since 2006. He has 12 years of experience in business development, recruiting, and organizational leadership. Under Dan’s leadership, Employment Solutions has expanded operations to 26 states and has generated over $150m in revenue. Dan is also the CEO of SpinGig, a software/technology company that brings on-demand recruiting resources to the food and beverage industry. Additionally, Dan is the inaugural director of the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator. Recognized as a successful business leader, Dan is booked to deliver over 20 keynotes and workshops annually. In addition to his US Army service, Dan has received professional training in sales, management, leadership, OSHA, LEAN, and earned Six Sigma Green Belt.
Dr. Nicole Sirju-Johnson is the Associate Chief Diversity Officer at Binghamton University. She is originally from Brooklyn NY. She graduated the Valedictorian from George Westinghouse High School (Brooklyn, NY) in 1993 and went on to attend SUNY College at Brockport where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. Upon graduation, she came to Binghamton University to pursue a Masters of Public Administration degree which she completed in 1999. While in the doctoral program, Nicole began to teach several of her own courses in feminism, American government and public administration. In 2005, Nicole accepted an administrative position with the Undergraduate Admissions office at Binghamton University. As an Assistant Director, she soon became the territory manager for the five boroughs of New York City. While Nicole retains a passion for the admissions process, she welcomed the opportunity to serve as Director of the Multicultural Resource Center in 2008, where her charge was to build an inclusive programming agenda for students and a diversity training program for university professionals and staff. While continuing her administrative career, Nicole earned a PhD in Political Science in May of 2011. 2014 was a great year, in that Nicole accepted the position of Associate Chief Diversity Officer with the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, a promotion at the university. In 2014, Nicole and her husband Jamar Johnson, also an alum of Binghamton, opened a food stand during the summer of 2015. The goal was to see if their product, American southern and soulfood would work in Binghamton, without having the overhead costs of occupying a building. The food stand was a trial run at operating a restaurant. The effort was met with great local response. In June 2015, the couple opened Jrama’s Soulfood Grille & Barbecue Pit on Upper Front in Binghamton. Since then, the couple opened Jrama’s Catering Hall & Event Center in September 2016. Currently, Nicole looks to expand the responsibilities of her division at Binghamton University while supporting the expansion of the Jrama’s brand locally.
Jamar Johnson has always had a passion for serving others. While in high school, Jamar’s first job was serving as an usher for the historic Apollo Theatre in Harlem NY. Jamar believes that experience of working with famous people at a young age afforded him great insight into how to not only serve people, but also taught him what great entertainment was all about. He graduated from Rice Academy, an all-male catholic school in NYC. He came to Binghamton to major in Sociology. Jamar began working for the Children’s Home of Wyoming Conference, in 2001. Upon graduation, he would later complete training to become a peace officer in Broome County, NY. Throughout college and after graduation, Jamar was a busy promoter and event planner, working with many local night clubs to plan events. He knew, while a student that he always wanted to go into business for himself. He did this while still working full time at the Children’s Home.
After 14 years of service to the Children’s Home, Jamar stepped out on faith and opened a food stand in 2014 in the parking lot of the American Legion, Post #80 in Binghamton. During the summer months, Jamar and his wife would run a street-side restaurant to assess whether southern soulfood would work in a northern NY community. The response was so well received that by the close of the summer season, Jamar and his wife began looking for a permanent home for a full service restaurant.
In June 2015, Jamar and his wife opened Jrama’s Soulfood Grille & Barbecue Pit on Upper Front St in Binghamton. Since then, the business has won Best Barbecue by the Press & Sun’s Reader’s Choice Awards for 2016 and 2017. Jrama’s has also been named one of the top 13 barbecue restaurants in upstate NY State open all year by UpstateNY.com
In September 2016, Jamar and his wife opened Jrama’s Catering Hall & Event Center on State Street in Binghamton. The venue caters weddings, funerals and everything in between from comedy shows to engagement parties and corporate events. This allows Jamar to not just provide a great food product but also to host great events.
Jamar’s immediate goals for the businesses are to continue to build and expand the brand in providing excellence in food and great events locally. He believes Jrama’s is unique and stands out among other local restaurants and wants the product to become a household name.
Noted educator, speaker, consultant, and author, Dr. Francis L. Battisti, offers individuals and organizations a pathway to explore their potential and move toward desired transformation. His national reputation in the fields of motivation, health enhancement, long-term care, and conflict disposition is manifest in his work with numerous corporations, major health-care organizations, and congressional, as well as governmental committees, with his workshops having been offered throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and the Caribbean.
Dr. Battisti is Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at the State University of New York at Broome Community College, where he was the 2011 Recipient of the State University of New York Distinguished Professorship for Service and a 1989 Recipient of the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has been recognized by “The Morning Knights Toastmasters Award” for Excellence in Communication and Leadership. The Alzheimer’s Association Central New York Chapter as the honoree of the “Memory Makers Award” for his efforts to make the Southern Tier a better place to live and work. He is also the recipient of “The David Malcom Award”, in recognition of his Exemplary Service to the Homeless. Francis is the creator of a number of DVD’s and CD’s and the book, Checchino: A Father & Son Journey Toward Dusk. In addition, Francis is co-author of the book, Tomorrow’s Weigh…The No-Diet Way to Lose Weight. His most recent articles, “Leveraging Workforce Research to Attract, Manage, and Retain High-Performance Employees”, were published in the July/August 2011 issue of Infusion & “Harnessing the Diversity and Power of Your Team! Developing and Sustaining Highly Effective Teams Ensures Your Competitive Edge”, was published in the July/August 2010 issue of Infusion & “Advancing the Bottom Line and Service Quality via a Culture of Employee Retention”, was published in the September/October 2009 issue of Infusion, the magazine of the National Home Infusion Association.
Dr. Battisti received his Ph.D. in Human Development from Marywood University with research titled “A Father’s Response To Having A Child Who Is Overweight
Dan Mori’s bio is in the shared google doc and below:
Dan Mori is the president of Employment Solutions, a national recruiting agency, with headquarters in Elmira, NY. Dan has been an entrepreneur and recruiting expert since 2006. He has 10 years of experience in organizational leadership, recruiting, and business development. Under Dan’s leadership, Employment Solutions has expanded operations to 28 states. Dan is also a partner in two other companies in the HR and Professional Development industries. Additionally, Dan is the Director of the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator. Recognized as a leader in recruiting and business development, Dan delivers keynotes and workshops nationally, as well as consults with senior leadership teams. In addition to his US Army service, Dan has received professional training in recruiting, sales, management, leadership, OSHA, LEAN, and earned Six Sigma Green Belt.
Brianna Barnett is a native of Binghamton, NY and the president/co-founder of Broome County Cleanup Crew (BCCC). BCCC is a local, all volunteer organization that aims to provide an outlet for community members to give back in a positive way, while enhancing the appearance of our town. The crew hosts weekly community cleanups during the summer, and monthly cleanups during the colder seasons. Brianna is also a local dance teacher in the Southern Tier, and holds herself to very high standards when it comes to being a role model to our community’s youth. Working as a professional cheerleader/model in NYC from 2012-2017, she experienced a fast-paced, “only look out for yourself” type of lifestyle. Though traveling the world and performing on numerous television shows was what she had always thought was her dream, actually living it out is what drew her back to Binghamton. She felt as though there was a pressure put on performers that allows them to believe that they can only be great if they leave Binghamton. Through her experiences, she made the decision that that is simply untrue. She decided that she was going to begin taking steps to help the community she grew up in thrive, and become a place where people don’t feel they need to leave to be great. She wants to bring the greatness here. Though to some picking up trash around town may seem like it won’t make a big impact, Brianna believes that it’s a way to teach our youth the importance of caring for humanity through kindness, community empowerment, and environmental awareness.
Rachel Jenks is the Founder and Art Director of Rtistry By Design branding and graphic design studio based in Binghamton, New York. She has been a professional graphic designer for more than 10 years. Prior to design, her unique journey spanned multiple roles in four countries, three cities, and two states – including professional ballet, management, copywriting, event production, business consulting, and national and international public relations
As a designer, she has had the opportunity to work with businesses of all sizes, start-ups, agencies, higher education institutions, and non-profits for projects in branding, brand strategy, print design, multi-media, advertising, digital design, presentation design, marketing, project management, live event production, e-learning, video, photography, art direction, and out-of-home. She also served as Marketing Director of Davis College in Johnson City, New York, before launching Rtistry By Design full-time in the summer of 2016.
Locally, Rachel serves on the board of AIGA Upstate NY as Binghamton Programming Director and organizes monthly “Coffee with Creatives” and “Cocktails with Creatives” networking events for designers, artists, writers, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, and creatives of all genres in the Greater Binghamton area. She is a proud member of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, the Entrepreneurs Alliance, the Emerging Leaders Society, the Broome County Arts Council, past Vice President and board member of BCCOAD (Broome County Community Organizations Active in Disaster), and an active participant in the renaissance of the Southern Tier.
When not partnering with clients to craft memorable brand experiences, Rachel can be found playing in her garden and kitchen, savoring the beauty of the outdoors, keeping up with her fur kids, and spending time with friends.
Arel Moodie is a national best selling author and has been a featured speaker at the White House and has been personally acknowledged for his insights on youth engagement by President Obama. He has partnered with NCCEP at national conferences and been a presenter at various GEAR UP conferences.
Inc. Magazine called Arel a “High-Energy, Motivator” and named him to their “30 Under 30 list” of top American entrepreneurs under 30 years old joining people like Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.
Essence Magazine said “Arel should be the poster boy for rags-to-riches stories… He is America’s Top Young Speaker.”
Arel has been quoted in The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Forbes,
Huffington Post, & USA Today.
Black Enterprise Magazine named Arel as one of their “Tycoons Under 35”.
Arel grew up on welfare in the projects of Brooklyn, NY where he witnessed those around him being murdered and imprisoned. College became his only way out. Using determination and applying what he teaches in his presentations he was able to build a million dollar event production and education company by his 30th birthday.
As a professional speaker he has spoken to over 200,000 students in 48 states and 5 countries.
For fun, Arel likes to dance; he has performed at Madison Square Garden and his wedding dance video on YouTube has over three million views.
Lea is an award-winning activist who has successfully bridged the gap between the community and government agencies to bring about positive and lasting change in her community. Her greatest achievement includes being elected as the first–and youngest–African-American representative in the Binghamton City Council. She has 20 years of experience as a Community Organizer leading efforts on various social justice issues; quality education, health care, access to fresh foods. She has also served on community boards and created task forces whose goals are to address cultural competency and anti-racism. She has passed legislation supporting equal pay for women, the creation of a city based human rights commission, establishing a city wide climate action plan, and other equity based legislation.
She is the Coordinator of the UDiversity Educational Institute at Binghamton University. This Institute develops and provides diversity and inclusion trainings and programs for faculty, staff, and students at Binghamton University. Through her consulting firm, Webb Consulting, she is working with non-profits, education institutions, and businesses in creating culturally responsive organizations. She was recognized as one of tomorrow’s leaders by Oprah magazine and the White House Project, and was honored with the President’s Award by the Broome-Tioga Branch of the NAACP for her significant contributions to her community.
She’s also the President of the Broome County Urban League Young Professionals, alumni of Vote Run Lead and the Young Elected Officials Network.
Andy is an Internationally Certified Executive and Leadership Coach receiving his formal training at the College of Executive Coaching in St. Pismo Beach, California. He is a Certified Trainer in Crucial Conversations, DiSC, Emotional Intelligence, Developing High Performance Teams, Improving Employee Engagement and Coaching for Behavioral Change.
He does dozens of workshops and trainings each year throughout the Southern Tier with many of them being sponsored by the Corning Area Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he has done trainings for organizations in Orlando, Florida and Shanghai, China.
Andy’s clients include
• Corning Inc.
• The Corning-Painted Post School District
• HUNT Architects and Engineers
• The Radisson
• Socha Financial Group
• Horizons Federal Credit Union
• And many, many others
He lives in Corning, NY with his family. His wife is a Biology teacher at the Corning-Painted Post High School. They have an 10 year-old son, Bobby, who just started middle school.
Andy is a proud member of Corning Rotary and the Corning Area Chamber of Commerce.
Amelia joined VINES as the organization’s first Executive Director in February 2016. As a volunteer, Amelia began working with VINES in 2007 as a founding board member and the coordinator of the Liberty Street Community Garden. Prior to joining VINES, Amelia worked for United Way of Broome County spearheading the Healthy Lifestyles Coalition’s Eat Well. Play Hard. Binghamton! project (a pilot initiative working to improve the health of families on the North Side of Binghamton) and the City of Binghamton as the City’s Sustainable Development Planner. Amelia holds a Master’s degree in Agriculture, Food, and the Environment from Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She completed dual Bachelor degrees at Binghamton University in Environmental Studies and Philosophy. Having grown up on a farm in Otisco, NY, she enjoys working with other community members to make space in the urban neighborhoods for people to grow their own food and connect with the local environment.
Erin Vilardi is the Founder and Director of VoteRunLead, a national organization leveraging technology and training to accelerate the number of women in civic and political leadership. She first launched VRL as Vice President of Program and Communications at The White House Project, establishing the largest national political training program readying women for public office and civic life, training over 15,000 women. She has served as a Leadership Development Consultant for a range of clients, including the Yahoo! Business and Human Rights division and Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she developed the Athena CORE10© – an innovative set of leadership competencies for 21st century women leaders based on the latest research and gender analysis. She has worked with a diverse range of clients including Fortune 100 companies, global girls’ initiatives and the U.S. Department of State, reaching women leaders in a dozen international cities. Vilardi serves on the Advisory Boards of Girl Meets World, the New American Leaders Project, and Democracy.com and is on the Leadership Teams of Vision2020 and Political Parity. She is an Executive Producer of Ann Richards’ Texas, a documentary about the late pioneering governor. She has appeared on CNN, BBC, and Fox News and her work was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine as well as numerous international and domestic articles on women and leadership.