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Capital Region CATALYZE

Author: Greater Washington Partnership

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Catalyzing Solutions and Advancing Inclusive Growth. Welcome to a new podcast from Greater Washington Partnership! Hosted by CEO JB Holston, Capital Region Catalyze brings together leaders from Baltimore to Richmond who are working to make ours the most inclusive growth region in the country. Each month, we feature leaders from across the Capital Region in conversation about how business is taking a stand to catalyze solutions to close the racial equity gap.The Greater Washington Partnership is a civic alliance of regional leaders dedicated to ensuring that the Capital Region accelerates opportunity and equity for everyone, regardless of race, gender identity, or zip code.
19 Episodes
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This episode features a discussion about Access to Capital across the region. Host JB Holston is joined by Peter Scher (Vice Chairman, JP Morgan Chase & Co.) founder and the Chairman of the Greater Washington Partnership, in conversation with Ellis Carr (President and CEO, Capital Impact Partners & CDC Small Business Finance).Hosted by JB Holston. Produced by Maribeth Romslo and Nina Sharma. Edited by Christian Rodriguez. Engineered by Micah Johnson. With support from Jenna Klym, Justin Matheson-Turner, and Christian Rodriguez.SPEAKER BIOSPETER SCHERPeter L. Scher is Vice Chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and a member of the firm’s Operating Committee. Scher is the firm’s senior business executive for the Mid-Atlantic Region and oversees the firm’s global Corporate Responsibility department, including its public policy efforts, the J.P. Morgan International Council and Morgan Health, a new business unit focused on improving the quality of healthcare for the firm’s employees and creating new models for employer-based healthcare.Scher led the firm’s $200 million investment in the revitalization of Detroit, which has been featured on 60 Minutes, profiled by Fortune Magazine in ranking JPMorgan Chase number one on its list of companies “Changing the World” and chronicled by Harvard Business School as a case study for inclusive capitalism.Business Insider named Scher as one of 10 people “transforming how we think about capitalism” and Washington Life Magazine called him one of the most influential people in the U.S. Capitol. The Washington Business Journal recognized him as one of the top business executives in the Washington, D.C. region.Scher spent nearly a decade in public service. He was confirmed by the United States Senate as U.S. Special Trade Ambassador and served as one of the lead U.S. negotiators on China's entry into the World Trade Organization. He served as the Chief of Staff for the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Staff Director for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and Chief of Staff to former U.S. Senator Max Baucus.Scher is a founder and the Chairman of the Greater Washington Partnership and serves on the Board of Trustees of American University and a member of the Board of Directors of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., the Council on Foreign Relations and the Policy Advisory Board of the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware School of Public Policy.  Scher received his B.A. from American University and his J.D. from American’s Washington College of Law.ELLIS CARRCarr has served as Capital Impact Partners’ President and Chief Executive Officer since 2016. He became President and Chief Executive Officer of CDC Small Business Finance in 2021.Carr originally joined Capital Impact in 2012 as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Prior to joining Capital Impact, he held various positions in the investments, capital markets, strategy, and corporate finance areas within Freddie Mac, and in fixed-income fund management both domestically and abroad at Deutsche Bank.Carr is an Aspen Institute Finance Leader Fellow; serves on Morgan Stanley’s Community Development Advisory Board; is the Board Chair for Martha’s Table, Board Treasurer for HPN (the Housing Partnership Network), and a board member for the Marguerite Casey Foundation. In 2018, he was recognized on Washington Business Journal’s list of “Top Minority Business Leaders,” as well as being named among their “Top 40 under 40” business executives in 2015. Carr graduated from Towson University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and from Georgetown University with a master’s degree in Real Estate with a concentration in Finance.
This interview featured Beth Cobert, Chief Operating Officer, Markle Foundation. JB and Beth discuss the importance of skills-based hiring, training, and education practices through innovative cross-sector collaboration in the digital economy. Much like the Partnership's Capital CoLAB, it seeks to bridge the skills gap between employers and educators.Hosted by JB Holston.  Produced by Jenna Klym, Justin Matheson-Turner, Christian Rodriguez, and Nina Sharma. Edited by Christian Rodriguez. Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest:Beth Cobert is the Chief Operating Officer of the Markle Foundation and the Chief Executive Officer of Skillful, a Markle Foundation initiative, to create a skills-based labor market that empowers all Americans to succeed in the digital economy. Cobert is leading Skillful’s efforts to convene employers, educators, workforce centers, state government, and others to help job seekers and workers keep pace with the transformations automation and technology are bringing to the workforce landscape.Her deep experience in talent management and partnership development, as well as her acumen for harnessing the constructive potential of new technologies, uniquely positions her as an ideal leader for Skillful as the initiative seeks to foster skills-based hiring, training, and education practices through innovative cross-sector collaboration in the digital economy.Previously, Cobert served as Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) under President Obama. During her tenure, OPM not only embraced new technology to improve customer service and cyber security but also championed recruiting, development and advancement practices to support a talented and diverse federal workforce amidst rapid technological advancement. Before joining the Federal government, Cobert worked for nearly 30 years at McKinsey & Company as a Senior Partner in their New York and San Francisco offices, where she worked with clients across a range of sectors, including financial services, health care, real estate, telecommunications, and philanthropy. Cobert is currently a member of the Board of Directors of CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) and the Princeton University Board of Trustees. She has served as both board member and board chair of the United Way of the Bay Area, and as a member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council. Cobert received a bachelor’s degree in economics with high honors from Princeton University and an MBA from Stanford University with honors.
This interview featured Stephen Moret, President & CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership. JB and Stephen discuss Virginia consistently high ranks as a "top state for business" due to its high-ranking universities, workforce, and business-friendly regulations. Learn more about the Commonwealth's future and its intrinsic link to the Capital Region.Hosted by JB Holston.  Produced by Jenna Klym, Justin Matheson-Turner, Christian Rodriguez, and Nina Sharma. Edited by Christian Rodriguez. Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest:Stephen Moret is the President and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Before joining VEDP in January 2017, Moret served as chief executive of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Louisiana Dept. of Economic Development, as well as the LSU Foundation and its real-estate development arm. At VEDP, he has collaborated with state, regional, and local partners to craft an ambitious vision focused on transformational goals, including accelerating employment growth; enabling every region to grow; and moving back to the top of national business climate rankings. He led Virginia’s successful state-and-local team bid for Amazon’s HQ2 and is launching a world-class, custom workforce program along with the Virginia Community College System.For seven years, Moret served as secretary of Louisiana Economic Development, transforming it into one of America’s top state economic development agencies. While there, he led business development efforts and built higher ed partnerships that helped secure a variety of projects in urban and rural areas, including software/IT centers, food/agricultural processing facilities, and a few of the largest FDI projects in U.S. history. Prior to LED, Moret was CEO of BRAC, which he and his team transformed into a nationally competitive, regional EDO. He also served as a consultant with McKinsey & Company; a public policy fellow with the Public Affairs Research Council of La.; and a consultant to Harvard Business School.
This interview featured John Falcicchio, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Washington, DC. JB and John discussed reopening, inclusive recovery, and equitable economic development in the District and the Capital Region. As Deputy Mayor, John oversees the District’s portfolio of real estate development projects that drive economic development in communities and deliver affordable housing, jobs, and amenities to residents.Hosted by JB Holston.  Produced by Jenna Klym, Justin Matheson-Turner, Christian Rodriguez, and Nina Sharma. Edited by Christian Rodriguez. Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest:John Falcicchio serves as the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development in Washington, D.C. Mr. Falcicchio has also served as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff since the start of her Administration after volunteering as a campaign advisor and director of Mayor-elect Bowser’s transition. Mr. Falcicchio previously served as a Senior Vice President of DKC, a New York based public relations firm; as a Regional Political Director for the Democratic National Committee during the re-election of President Obama; and as a long-time aide to former Mayor Adrian Fenty.As Deputy Mayor, Mr. Falcicchio oversees the District’s portfolio of real estate development projects that drive economic development in communities and deliver affordable housing, jobs and amenities to residents. Those projects include the transformative developments at the St Elizabeth’s East Campus, the Parks at Walter Reed and Hill East as well as dozens of other projects across all eight Wards.
This episode features a robust conversation about Inclusive Growth across the Capital Region. Host JB Holston is joined by Tony Pierce, a GWP board member, in discussion with Sheila Johnson and Jason Wright, Co-Chairs of GWP's Inclusive Growth Strategy Council.Hosted by JB Holston. Produced by Maribeth Romslo and Nina Sharma. Edited by Maribeth Romslo. Engineered by Micah Johnson. With support from Francesca Ioffreda, Jenna Klym, Justin Matheson-Turner, Joe Maloney, Giardy Ritz, and Christian Rodriguez.SPEAKER BIOS TONY PIERCE Tony Pierce is the partner in charge of the Washington DC office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld LLP.  His clients span an array of industries, including technology, telecommunications, health care, energy, media and entertainment, financial services and government contracting. An experienced trial lawyer, Tony brings well-honed litigation skills, ingenuity and a vigorous presence.Throughout his career, Tony has been an active force in legal organizations, including the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia.  He is the past chair of the Greater Washington Board of Trade and serves on the board of the Greater Washington Partnership, a group of civic-minded business leaders investing in solutions that drive growth and create economic opportunity. He is also the General Counsel of the Economic Club of Washington and a member of the Executive Committee of the Federal City Council.SHEILA C. JOHNSONSheila Johnson is Founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, a collection of properties along the east coast and in the Caribbean that includes Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, which has been awarded the distinguished Forbes Five Star rating.As Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Ms. Johnson is the only African-American woman to have ownership in three professional sports teams: NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals, and the WNBA’s 2019 World Champions Washington Mystics, for which she serves as President and Managing Partner. Ms. Johnson is a member of the Collective Bargaining Committee of the WNBA. In 2016, she spearheaded WE Capital, a venture capital consortium that invests in female-led enterprises.Ms. Johnson is a founding partner of Black Entertainment Television. Ms. Johnson is founder and chair of the Middleburg Film Festival.  A supporter of education, the Sheila C. Johnson Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School supported a cohort of 50 fellows – emerging leaders dedicated to improving the lives of the underserved.JASON WRIGHTJason Wright is the President of the Washington Football Team. He is the first Black team president in the history of the NFL and currently is the youngest team president in the League. He is the fourth former NFL player to become president of a team.Prior to joining the Washington Football Team, Jason was a partner in McKinsey & Company's Washington DC office. His work focused on expanding the value of large, complex organizations through operations and culture transformations. Jason also led McKinsey's global inclusion strategy and recently spearheaded the rollout of McKinsey's anti-racism and inclusion strategy. He co-founded the Black Economic Institute, a research entity that analyzes the racial wealth gap, and is a prominent voice in public discussions regarding racial equity in corporate America. 
This interview features Mark Ein, Chairman of Kastle Systems. JB and Mark discuss growing the inclusive innovation economy in the Capital Region, Mark’s work with SPACs and Kastle, and other related topics for the region.Hosted by JB Holston. Produced by  Jenna Klym, Ian Lutz, Nina Sharma, and Justin Matheson-Turner. Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest:Mark Ein is a native of the Washington area, Mr. Ein actively supports many community, charitable and cultural organizations.  Through both his professional and philanthropic activities, he is committed to bringing his community together as well as helping those in need with a particular focus on the youth of the city.  Mr. Ein has been frequently recognized and honored for his contributions to his community including being named Business Leader of the Year by the Washington DC Chamber of Commerce in October, 2011 and the region’s Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) in 2009. He received his BS in Economics with a concentration in finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from The Harvard Business School.
This interview features Ellis Carr, President & CEO of Capital Impact Partners. JB and Ellis discuss inclusive growth, CDFIs, and economic empowerment in underserved communities.Hosted by JB Holston. Produced by  Jenna Klym, Francesca Ioffreda, Ian Lutz, Nina Sharma, and  Justin Matheson-Turner.Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest:Ellis Carr has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services and mortgage industries. Mr. Carr served as Capital Impact’s Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from July, 2012 until his appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer in May, 2016.Prior to joining Capital Impact, he held various positions in the investments, capital markets, strategy and corporate finance areas within Freddie Mac and in fixed income fund management both domestically and abroad at Deutsche Bank.Mr. Carr is a trustee of the NHP Foundation; the Treasurer and Board member of Martha’s Table; a Board member of Housing Partnership Network (HPN); and a Board member of the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). In 2015, he was recognized as one of the “Top 40 under 40” business executives by the Washington Business Journal. Mr. Carr graduated from Towson University with an undergraduate degree in accounting, and from Georgetown University with a master’s degree in real estate with a concentration in finance.
This week’s interview features Jeff Cherry, Executive Director of Conscious Venture Lab. JB and Jeff discuss the start-up community in Baltimore, conscious capitalism, the role of accelerators, and innovation across the region.Hosted by JB Holston. Produced by  Jenna Klym, Ian Lutz, Nina Sharma, and Justin Matheson-Turner. Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest:Jeff Cherry has roles as a CEO, hedge fund manager, designer, entrepreneur, educator, mentor and consultant Jeff has a diverse and unique career spanning more than 25 years of executive leadership. During his time as an executive and business consultant he has developed significant expertise in a broad range of operational disciplines and industries including: technology, design and construction, finance, hospitality and professional services.In his capacity as an executive and business strategist, Jeff has helped organizations from start-ups to established middle-market companies and government agencies create operational strategies and business ecologies aimed at inspiring knowledge worker performance. His diverse background and experience has helped companies create everything from new office environments and online offerings to completely new innovative business models.As a thought leader in the areas of stakeholder management and the emerging discipline of Conscious Capitalism®, Jeff had the honor of consulting with authors David Wolfe and Raj Sisodia on their book Firms of Endearment, How World Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose, which was published in 2007. Jeff later expanded on the ideas of Conscious Capitalism® to form Concinnity Advisors, a hedge fund focused on identifying and investing in companies operating from a more holistic, long-term value mindset.Prior to forming Concinnity Advisors Jeff was the co-head of research for Multi stakeholder investment strategies for a multi-billion dollar hedge fund based in Stamford, CT. Immediately before that Jeff spent 20 years as founder and CEO of Lloyd Lamont Design, Inc. a multifaceted management, architecture and technology consulting firm, which, after being named as one of the fastest growing privately held companies by Inc. Magazine was acquired by a strategic investor in 2006.Jeff received his Bachelors of Architecture and Masters of Science in Architecture from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He also completed extended executive study courses at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Program for Growing Companies. Jeff is currently a member of the Society of Human Resources Management, ANSI Investor Metrics Workgroup as well as the Industry Working Groups (IWG) for the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).
This interview features Carol Thompson Cole, President & CEO, Venture Philanthropy Partners. JB and Carol discuss inclusive growth in the Capital Region, impact investing, and economic empowerment in underserved communities.Hosted by JB Holston. Produced by Jenna Klym, Francesca Ioffreda, Ian Lutz, Nina Sharma, and Justin Matheson-Turner. Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest: Carol Thompson Cole is President and CEO of Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), a philanthropic investment organization that makes the future brighter for young people living in Greater Washington by tackling the largest barriers to their success and forging partnerships that bring the expertise, passion and reach necessary to achieve life-changing results.Under Cole’s leadership for the past 10 years, VPP aligns resources and actions to strengthen nonprofits to serve more youth. VPP’s philanthropy uses its convening power to work across sectors to create systemic change to help more young people succeed in school and gain the skills and confidence to attend college or start their career.Prior to VPP, Cole served in a wide range of leadership and management roles in both the public and private sectors. She served as Special Advisor to President Clinton on the District of Columbia and Executive Director of the DC Inter-Agency Task Force. Prior to serving in the Clinton administration, she was the Vice President for Government and Environmental Affairs at RJR Nabisco. Cole spent 12 years holding major management and staff positions in DC government, most notably as the only woman appointed as City Administrator.She is a member of numerous boards, including the Raise DC Leadership Council, the Greater Washington Advisory Board of SunTrust, the Kaiser Permanente Regional Advisory Board, the Federal City Council, and the Board of Trustees of Friendship Public Charter School. She also serves as a Lifetime Trustee of the Urban Institute. Cole has been recognized for her outstanding leadership and dedication to the region through service in government, business and the social sector.Cole earned a B.A. from Smith College, a master’s in public administration from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, and attended the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at Harvard University.
This interview features Dr. Kavita Patel, Nonresident Fellow at the Brookings Institution. JB and Dr. Patel discuss the federal government’s COVID-19 response, vaccine rollout, and ensuring our health systems are equitable and accessible to all.Hosted by JB Holston. Produced by Jenna Klym, Justin Matheson-Turner, and Colie Touzel.Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest:Kavita Patel is a Nonresident Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Previously, she was the managing director of clinical transformation at the Center for Health Policy at Brookings. Dr. Patel is an advisor to the Bipartisan Policy Center and a member of Health and Human Services Physician Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee.Dr. Patel is a primary care physician in Washington, D.C. She also served in the Obama administration as director of policy for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement in the White House. As a senior aide to Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s senior adviser, Dr. Patel played a critical role in policy development and evaluation of policy initiatives connected to health reform, financial regulatory reform, and economic recovery issues.She also has an extensive research and clinical background, having worked as a researcher at the RAND Corporation and as a practicing physician in both California and Oregon. She currently advises healthcare technology and services organizations through New Enterprise Associates.Dr. Patel is a previous Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, and while at Brookings returned to providing clinical care as an internal medicine practitioner. She earned her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center and her masters in public health from the University of California Los Angeles.
This Fresh Take interview features Tonia Wellons, CEO, Greater Washington Community Foundation. JB and Tonia discuss Greater Washington Community Foundation’s extensive work in the pandemic relief and recovery efforts and insights on how the region is doing as we work towards a more inclusive and equitable future for the region.Hosted by JB Holston.  Produced by Jenna Klym, Justin Matheson-Turner, Christian Rodriguez, and Nina Sharma. Edited by Christian Rodriguez. Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest:Tonia Wellons is the President & CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, leading an organization with a $335 million in assets under management, and $60 million in annual grants, Tonia oversees the day-to-day business of the organization, serves as chief development officer, and works with the Board of Trustees and staff to determine the strategic priorities of The Community Foundation. Tonia has successfully launched and led programmatic and development efforts for several key initiatives at The Community Foundation, including VoicesDMV, the Resilience Fund, and the Partnership to End Homelessness.Previously, she served as a political appointee for the Obama Administration as head of global partnerships at the Peace Corps. Tonia was responsible for leading the agency’s relationships with other federal agencies, the private sector, international NGOs, and donors. Tonia previously served as fund manager of a multi-donor initiative focused on financial access and inclusion at the World Bank Group. She also spent a significant part of her career working on USAID-funded capacity development initiatives during the immediate post-apartheid era in South Africa and the broader sub-Sahara region. In 2010, Tonia founded the Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund (PGCSIF) in an effort to 'shift the narrative' and build social capital in the County.Tonia has a master’s degree in Public Administration and International Development Policy from the University of Delaware, and a bachelor’s in Political Science from North Carolina A&T State University. 
This interview features Carmine Di Sibio, Global Chairman and CEO of EY. Carmine and JB discuss the COVID-19-era prevalence of remote work in the Capital Region. While this will likely not be maintained once the pandemic has subsided, data collected through external surveys as well as the Greater Washington Partnership (the Partnership) and EY Capital COVID-19 Snapshot shows greater levels of remote working will continue even after herd immunity is reached, relative to pre-COVID-19 levels.Hosted by JB Holston. Produced by  Jenna Klym, Ian Lutz, Nina Sharma, Justin Matheson-Turner. Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation and business, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest:Carmine Di Sibio is the Global Chairman and CEO of EY, one of the largest professional services organizations in the world with over 280,000 people in more than 150 countries. Prior to being elected to his current post, Carmine served as EY Global Managing Partner – Client Service, leading the execution of the global strategy in our four geographical areas and four service lines.Carmine has spearheaded our innovation efforts, including leading a US$1 billion investment in new technology solutions over a two-year timeframe announced in August 2018. He helped to create the Global Innovation team to redefine how EY uses technology to both transform existing services and create new solutions. As a leader of our acquisitions and alliances strategy, he has helped expand EY offerings in a wide range of new and emerging fields.Since joining EY in 1985, he has served as an Advisory and Assurance partner for many of our largest financial services accounts. He held several leadership positions, including Chair of the Global Financial Services Markets Executive and Regional Managing Partner for the Americas Financial Services Organization (FSO), where he started EY Risk Management and Regulatory Services.Carmine earned a BA in Chemistry from Colgate University as well as an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is a practicing CPA.
This week’s interview features Megan Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of shift7 and former US Chief Technology Officer. JB and Megan discuss innovation/collaboration, human-centered solutions, and how they tie into the sustainable development goals (SDGs).Hosted by JB Holston.  Produced by Jenna Klym, Justin Matheson-Turner, Christian Rodriguez, and Nina Sharma. Edited by Christian Rodriguez. Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest:In 2014, President Obama named Megan Smith the United States Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In this role, she served as an Assistant to the President. As U.S. CTO, Smith focused on how technology policy, data and innovation can advance the future of our nation.Megan previously served as CEO of PlanetOut, a leading LGBT online community in the early days of the web, where the team broke through many barriers and partnered closely with AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, and other major web players. Megan was part of designing early smartphone technologies at General Magic and worked on multimedia products at Apple Japan.Over the years, Megan has contributed to a wide range of engineering projects, including an award-winning bicycle lock, space station construction program, and solar cookstoves. She was a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student team that designed, built, and raced a solar car 2000 miles across the Australian outback.  Megan has served on the boards of MIT, MIT Media Lab, MIT Technology Review, and Vital Voices; as a member of the USAID Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid; and as an advisor to the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the Malala Fund, which she co-founded. She holds a bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where she completed her master's thesis work at the MIT Media Lab.
This Fresh Take interview featured Monica Dixon, President, External Affairs and Chief Administrative Officer of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Monica discussed the District’s path to reopening, diversity, and inclusion in the sports industry, and the future of cities in the post-pandemic era.Hosted by JB Holston.  Produced by Jenna Klym, Justin Matheson-Turner, Christian Rodriguez, and Nina Sharma. Edited by Christian Rodriguez. Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest:Monica Dixon currently serves  as President, External Affairs and Chief Administrative Officer, at Monumental Sports managing communications, government relations, strategic planning and project management throughout the organization.  spent her career providing strategic and management consulting for high-profile individuals and institutions, including the White House, national advocacy organizations, and candidates for federal office.  Monica has been a top strategist to the Vice President, CEOs, Corporations, Board of Directors, and campaigns and issue-based organizations on matters of management, strategic communications, and public affairs.Those who Monica has advised include the Clinton White House, where she served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Vice President Al Gore and as an Assistant to the President; the U.S. House Democratic Caucus, for which she served as Chief of Staff; as a Strategic Consultant to the Senate Democratic Leadership, as a Voter Communication’s Director of the leadership political committee; Americans Coming Together, a national advocacy group; and for Forward Together, a committee chaired by Senator Mark Warner, for which she was Executive Director.
This week’s interview features Patricia A. Brantley, CEO of Friendship Public Charter School. JB and Patricia discuss the impact of COVID-19 on schools, the role of testing, and the path to reopening.Hosted by JB Holston.  Produced by Jenna Klym, Justin Matheson-Turner, Christian Rodriguez, and Nina Sharma. Edited by Christian Rodriguez. Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest:Patricia Brantley is an education reformer, charter school advocate and supporter of the right of all children to receive a high-quality education. Two decades ago, she served with the founding planners of Friendship Public Charter School to create better opportunities for D.C.’s children.In 2003, Patricia became Friendship’s chief operating officer. In that role, she engineered the acquisition and development of six public charter school campuses in Washington, D.C., four partner schools in Baltimore, Md., and a new charter school in Baton Rouge, La.Patricia oversees all operations at Friendship, has secured more $95 million in public and private funding, effected cohesion among the 12 campuses, and established the Friendship Teaching Institute as a model of professional development. She spearheaded the takeover of Washington’s first multicampus charter management group, ensuring that hundreds of children could remain in their school of choice.Previously, Patricia served in corporate and nonprofit positions including founder of the Partnership for Academic Achievement; chief development officer and adviser at the National Council of Negro Women; executive director of the Dance Institute of Washington; and national marketing manager for the Black Family Reunion Celebration. She is a board member of the D.C. Association of Chartered Public Schools and a graduate of Princeton University.
This week’s interview featured Anna Mason, Partner at Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. JB and Anna discussed startup ecosystems, the startup community across the Capital Region, and the value of investing in inclusion/diversity.Hosted by JB Holston.  Produced by Jenna Klym, Justin Matheson-Turner, Christian Rodriguez, and Nina Sharma. Edited by Christian Rodriguez. Learn from leaders doing the work across the Capital Region and beyond. These conversations will showcase innovation, as well as history and culture across our region, to bridge the gap between how we got here and where we are going.About our guest:Anna Mason is a Partner on Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. In this capacity, she leads the investment process for select deals in the fund across a variety of industries. Anna also leads strategy and execution for the Rise of the Rest Network and Platform, including the annual Rise of the Rest Road Trip and annual Network Summit. Her passion for this work is centered around two core beliefs: investing in startups sits at the intersection of realism and optimism; Rise of the Rest is a platform that helps us see the country through the eyes of the entrepreneurs who are reimagining its future.Given her passion for helping early stage startups, since November 2015 Anna has volunteered as the Co-Director of the Washington Chapter of The Vinetta Project, a North-American organization that helps early-stage female founders in tech access capital and network connections. She is also on the advisory board of BEACON DC, a community-led campaign to make Washington, D.C. one of the most influential and supportive cities in the country for women entrepreneurs.Anna received her BA in Government from Harvard College and her MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business. Anna is also a certified health coach. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C.
This episode of Capital Region Catalyze features GWP CEO JB Holston in conversation with Jay Carney, SVP of Global Corporate Affairs at Amazon, and Matt De Ferranti, Arlington County Board Chair. Discussing everything from racial equity in Arlington to the potential for the region with Amazon's HQ2, Matt and Jay share insights and learnings that will help ours become the most inclusive growth region in the country.Hosted by JB Holston. Produced by Maribeth Romslo and Nina Sharma. Edited by Maribeth Romslo. Engineered by Micah Johnson. With support from Jenna Klym, Justin Matheson-Turner, and Christian Rodriguez.About our guests:Jay Carney joined Amazon in March 2015 to run the company’s new Global Corporate Affairs organization. In this role, he oversees Amazon’s Public Affairs and Public Policy divisions, and reports to CEO Jeff Bezos. From January 2011 through June 2014, Carney served as White House Press Secretary to President Obama. As press secretary, he was the primary spokesperson for the president, the administration and the United States government. In the first two years of the Obama Administration, Carney served as director of communications for Vice President Joe Biden. Before moving to the White House, Carney spent 21 years as a reporter, 20 of them at Time Magazine. From 2005 – 2008, he was Time’s Washington Bureau Chief. Earlier assignments for Time included stints covering the Clinton White House, the George W. Bush White House and Congress. He joined Time as its Miami bureau chief in 1988. From 1990-1993, he was a correspondent in Time's Moscow bureau, covering the collapse of the Soviet Union. His first job out of college was at The Miami Herald. Carney has been deeply involved in global policy and communications throughout his career. As a journalist, he wrote extensively on domestic and foreign policy issues, legislative battles and political campaigns. On September 11, 2001, he was one of just a few reporters on board Air Force One with President Bush. Carney later won the 2003 Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency. In government, he was a senior adviser to both President Obama and Vice President Biden, and represented each of them before the press and the public. Carney was raised in Virginia and earned a B.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and their two children.                                    Matt de Ferranti’s career, first as a teacher in a low-income community in Houston and later as a lawyer, has been dedicated to helping people build better lives for themselves and their children. As an attorney, Matt worked on land use and economic development issues for local governments. He subsequently served as an advocate for economic and educational equity at Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, and the Education Trust.First elected to the Arlington County Board in November 2018, Matt was unanimously elected as Chair of the County Board by his colleagues on January 4, 2021. Matt began serving on Arlington County’s Housing Commission in 2013. In 2014, he was appointed to the Arlington Public Schools Budget Advisory Council, where he served as Chair in 2017-2018. Matt also has served on the Joint Facilities Advisory Commission, which brings Arlington County, Arlington Public Schools, and the community together to plan for our future.A 2015 Leadership Arlington graduate, 2016 graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, and 2017 graduate of Arlington Neighborhood College, Matt grew up in neighboring McLean and lives in the Rock Spring neighborhood with his wife, Brooke.
In the second episode of Capital Region Catalyze, Greater Washington Partnership CEO JB Holston talks equity and inclusive growth with Katherine Bradley, Founder of CityBridge, Tony Lewis, Region Vice President at Verizon, and Russ Ramsey, CEO of Ramsey Asset Management. Our guests share insights and learnings from their efforts to develop and support a thriving and equitable education system in the Capital Region and the glaring inequities that COVID-19 has laid bare.Hosted by JB Holston. Produced by Maribeth Romslo and Nina Sharma. Edited by Maribeth Romslo. Engineered by Micah Johnson. With support from Jenna Klym, Ian Lutz, and Justin Matheson-Turner. About our guests:Katherine Brittain Bradley is the founder and chair of CityBridge Education. CityBridge makes early-stage investments to bring to market the next generation of innovative public schools in Washington, D.C. Focusing on new models that improve personalization, equity, and student achievement, CityBridge works with educators, school leaders, and school-based teams to launch brand-new schools and innovative education projects. Katherine serves as board chair of the KIPP Foundation, as well as a board member of Princeton University, the DC College Access Program, and the National Geographic Society. She is a former chair and current member of the Washington regional board for Teach For America. Katherine graduated from Princeton University in 1986.Tony Lewis is region vice president of state public policy and government affairs for Verizon. He oversees the corporations’ interests in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Mr. Lewis serves on various boards including Fight for Children, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the corporate advisory board of the Johns Hopkins University Cary School of Business, District of Columbia College Access Program, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, and KIPP DC. Mr. Lewis graduated from Elizabeth City State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business in 1986. He completed the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business Leadership Development Program and the Johns Hopkins Leadership Development Program in 1996. He obtained his MBA from the Johns Hopkins University in 2000.W. Russell "Russ" Ramsey is an American financier and philanthropist, and the founder, chairman, and CEO of asset management firm Ramsey Asset Management. He previously co-founded the Washington, D.C., investment firm Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group in 1989, where he served as president, secretary, and co-CEO through 2001. He also served as JV partner and a member of the Board of Directors until his retirement in 2007. He is also a founding investor in the non-profit investment organization Venture Philanthropy Partners. In 2014, Ramsey led an attempt to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to his native Washington, D.C., serving as chairman and CEO of Washington 2024. In 2016, Ramsey founded the Greater Washington Partnership, an entity consisting of CEOs and regional business leaders in the Capital Region from Baltimore to Richmond, to focus on large economic and social/community opportunities led by the business community.
In the first episode of  Capital Region Catalyze, Greater Washington Partnership CEO JB Holston talks equity and inclusive growth with Matt Kelly, CEO of JBG SMITH, and Sarah Rosen Wartell, President of the Urban Institute. From housing and gentrification to Amazon and leading through a pandemic, Sarah and Matt dive into personal narratives, the history and trajectory of the region, and the glaring inequities that COVID-19 has laid bare. Hosted by JB Holston. Produced by Maribeth Romslo and Nina Sharma. Edited by Maribeth Romslo. Engineered by Micah Johnson. With support from Jenna Klym, Ian Lutz, Justin Matheson-Turner, and Colie Touzel. About our guests:Sarah Rosen Wartell is the president of the Urban Institute, an economic and social science research and policy organization whose researchers, experts, and other staff believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. Previously, Wartell was deputy assistant to the president for economic policy and deputy director of the National Economic Council. She also worked in various roles at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Wartell currently serves on the boards of Enterprise Community Partners and the Georgetown Day School, Bank of America’s National Community Advisory Council, and The Sadie Collective’s Advisory Board. Her areas of expertise include community development, consumer finance, asset building, and housing finance. Wartell has a bachelor’s degree with honors in urban affairs from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. She has a JD degree from Yale Law School.Matt Kelly is the CEO of JBG SMITH. Prior to the formation of JBG SMITH, Matt served as a Managing Partner of the JBG Companies and was co-head of JBG’s Investments Group. Prior to that, he was a co-founder of ODAC Inc., a media software company, and worked in private equity and investment banking with Thomas H. Lee Partners in Boston and Goldman Sachs, & Co in New York. Matt serves on the boards of the Urban Institute and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He is Chairman of the Board of the Medstar Washington Hospital Center and serves as an Executive in Residence of the Steers Center at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.JB Holston is the CEO of the Greater Washington Partnership, a civic alliance of business leaders with the mission to foster unity and catalyze solutions to make the Capital Region the most inclusive in the country. JB has 30 years of success as a global scale-up CEO and entrepreneur and is active in a range of civic initiatives around innovation, open government, entrepreneurship, impact investing, and media. Prior positions include Dean of the University of Denver’s Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, founding Executive Director for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network and founding CEO for NewsGator (now Sitrion). He served as President of Ziff Davis International and senior executive positions at NBC and GE after starting his career with the Boston Consulting Group. JB has a BA and MBA from Stanford University.
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