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Recap Agenda:

Part I: Empowering Female Entrepreneurs 

A panel discussion moderated by Fred Schonenberg, Founder & CEO of VentureFuel and featuring: 

  • Diana Taylor, Vice Chair of Solera Capital and 
  • Leslie Abbey, CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen 

Part II: Future of Work

A panel discussion moderated by Laura Plunkett, Executive Director of Startup Engagement at Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs, featuring: 

  • Christina Choi, SVP of Gin, Rum & Tequila for Diageo NA
  • Gale Wilkinson, Founder & Managing Partner at Vitalize Venture Capital 
  • Dara Meath, Divisional CIO, Conair LLC
  • Shea Cole, VP Marketing, Fullscript

Part III: Family, Financial & Career Health 

A panel discussion moderated by Vanessa Rosado, Head of Brand Strategy, VentureFuel and featuring: 

  • Marie D. Quintero-Johnson, Vice President and Global Head of Corporate Development, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Jenny Barba, Founder of Features Capital 
  • Sandhya Padmanabhan, Chief Marketing Officer, Little Otter
  • Bec Jones, CEO, Clutch Wallet 

Part IV: Women & Wealth - A Roadmap for Financial Empowerment 

A fireside chat moderated by Caroline Lewis, Managing Partner, Rogue Women's Fund and featuring: 

  • Sallie Krawcheck, CEO & Co-Founder, Ellevest



Sallie Krawcheck, CEO & Co-Founder, Ellevest

Sallie Krawcheck is the CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, a tech-first financial company, built by women for women, to help her earn more money, save more money, and invest to grow her money — by providing the products and coaching to do so — from her first dollar through to Private Wealth services.  Ellevest is one of the fastest growing digital investment platforms and has been named a #24 on CNBC’s top 50 "Disruptor" list, #14 on LinkedIn’s 50 “Most Sought-After Startups” ( #2 in New York), and one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 100 Brilliant Ideas. Krawcheck is also the best-selling author of “Own It: The Power of Women at Work.”

Krawcheck, one of the few executives to find success in large complex companies and as a startup CEO, is widely recognized as one of the most influential women in business.  She has been recognized by Inc. as a “Top Female Founder”, called "The Last Honest Analyst" by Fortune magazine, was named the seventh most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, was # 9 on Fast Company's list of the "100 Most Creative People in Business and is considered one of the "Most Influential People in ESG Investing" by Barron's." She has been called one of the top 10 up and coming entrepreneurs to watch by Entrepreneur Magazine and has landed on Vanity Fair’s “The 2018 New Establishment List.”

Before launching Ellevest, Krawcheck built a successful career on Wall Street: She was the CEO of Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, US Trust, the Citi Private Bank, and Sanford C. Bernstein. She was also Chief Financial Officer for Citigroup. Prior to that, Krawcheck was a top-ranked research analyst covering the securities industry.

Krawcheck received a BA summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA with honors from Columbia Business School. She has two children and two cats.

Sallie Krawcheck-1
Diana Taylor

Diana Taylor, Vice Chair of Solera

Diana Taylor is currently Vice Chair of Solera. She previously served as managing director at Wolfensohn Fund Management L.P., a strategic consulting and investment firm. Prior to Wolfensohn, she served as New York State superintendent of banks and chairwoman of the New York State Banking Board. Before her government service, she worked in the private sector as vice president for KeySpan Energy and as an investment banker with Smith Barney, Lehman Brothers and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette. Diana serves on the boards of Citigroup, Brookfield Asset Management and Sotheby's. She also serves on several charitable boards. She chairs the boards of Accion and Hudson River Park Trust. Other board Memberships include Dartmouth College, the Mailman School of Public Health, the International Women's Health Coalition, and the Mayo Clinic.  She is also a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Economic Club of New York. She earned her AB from Dartmouth College, her MBA from the Columbia School of Business, and her MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia. 

Marie D. Quintero-Johnson, Vice President and Global Head of Corporate Development, The Coca-Cola Company

Marie D. Quintero-Johnson is Vice President and Global Head of Corporate Development for The Coca-Cola Company. In her role she leads the development and implementation of the company's global strategy through the identification and execution of transactions and partnerships that accelerate growth, efficiency and capabilities.  During her time in this role, The Coca-Cola Company has completed more than $40 billion worth of transactions in over 100 countries, significantly increasing the number of brands owned by the company, supporting the optimization of the bottling infrastructure, assisting with the launch of the innovation and venturing agenda, and greatly expanding the number of partnerships and relationships globally.  Prior to joining The Coca-Cola Company in 1992, Ms. Quintero Johnson Worked with Coopers & Lybrand. 

Marie is currently on the board of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, Coca-Cola Bottling of Egypt, Coca-Cola Femsa, Tattooed Chef, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, and Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School. She received her Master's in Business Administration from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting, International Business from Georgetown University. She is a Certified Public Accountant. 

Ms. Quintero-Johnson lives in Atlanta with her husband and twin daughters. She is a native of Miami, Florida and is fluent in Spanish. 

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Laura Plunkett-1

Laura Plunkett, Executive Director of Startup Engagement at Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs

Laura Plunkett is an Executive Director of Startup Engagement at Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs where she gets to meet and think with talented entrepreneurs and industry experts every day. 

Laura has worked in finance and strategy roles in the United States and abroad, including a very memorable few years in Shanghai, China working on sustainable development initiatives. 

Her experience in corporate development - including new market entry, new product/service development, technology commercialization, route to market optimization- enables her to forge pathways to cooperation between Comcast NBCUniversal and startups all over the world. 

She holds a BS in Business and Economics from Lehigh University and earned an MBA at INSEAD, a leading European business school based in Fontainebleau, France and Singapore. 

Christina Choi, SVP of Gin, Rum & Tequila, Diageo NA

Christina leads category strategy and brands such as Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Zacapa, Don Julio, and Deleon. In her role she leads the category vision and participation strategy, the development of commercially integrated marketing campaigns and innovation launch plans. 

Christina is a passionate marketer who thrives on building brands that connect with consumers and win in culture. Her experience spans across brand strategy, innovation, communications development and she has held both global and regional roles. Christian has extensive experience leading diverse global teams and is a champion of inclusion and diversity. 

Prior to joining Diageo in January 2019 Christina was Global Marketing VP at ABI. Over the 6 years at ABI she held roles in Innovation, led Stella Artois globally and most recently led Michelob Ultra globally. Before entering the alcoholic beverage industry, Christina was at Unilever working across multiple personal care brands in Global roles, as well as in the US and Singapore. 

Christina grew up in New York City and currently lives there with her husband Yusik and daughter Amelia. She loves to travel, is an avid scuba diver and her favorite cocktail is a Don Julio Blood Orange Margarita.

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Jenny Barba

Jenny Barba, Founder of Features Capital

Jenny Barba, Founder of Features Capital, is a venture investor with over twenty years of experience financing the growth of medical device and healthcare technology innovation. Jenny has executed over $4 billion in capital transactions across thirty lead-managed public and private equity offerings, M&A and alternative investments. 

Jenny specializes in deal sourcing, portfolio construction, harvesting growth and building management teams in medical technology companies across all stages of development and a broad spectrum of diseases. Jenny has a successful track record fundraising for shareholder value creation, and strategic planning for corporate development, market expansion, commercialization growth and exits. 

Jenny has a broad network of trusted relationships with senior leaders in venture capital, founders, executives, board members, innovation centers and economic development hubs. 

Jenny is a member of Kauffman Fellows Class 26, Board member of Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital, Steering Committee member of the Upper Valley MedTech Collaborative, guest speaker and advisor to several life sciences startup hubs. 

Jenny received her BA in Neuroscience from Colorado College and an MBA and MHSA from the University of Michigan. 

Leslie Abbey, Chief Executive Officer at Hot Bread Kitchen

Leslie Abbey, Esq. is an organizational leader and entrepreneur who has committed her career to supporting at-risk youth and families, social justice, and data-driven strategies to improve social service outcomes. As Hot Bread Kitchen’s CEO, Leslie will oversee execution of the organization’s three-year plan to support 1,000 breadwinners across New York City and expand its programs to all five boroughs.

Prior to joining Hot Bread Kitchen, Leslie was Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Covenant House New York, the City’s largest organization dedicated to serving youth experiencing homelessness. Having joined the organization in 2017, Leslie oversaw more than 260 staff at seven sites in Manhattan and the Bronx, and was responsible for all programs and operations, including innovation, compliance, performance measurement, and training. During her tenure, she implemented significant operational improvements, including the launching of multiple data-driven strategies to improve youth outcomes. Leslie also jointly oversaw development and communications for the agency. After creating an all-new development department in her first six months, Leslie led the team to increase government and private funding revenue, resulting in growth of the organization’s budget by more than 50%. Leslie also spearheaded a diversity, equity, and inclusion Steering Committee, which shepherded a DEI assessment of the organization and created an agency-wide DEI strategic plan. 

Leslie Abbey
Gale Wilkinson

Gale Wilkinson, Founder & Managing Partner at Vitalize Venture Capital

Gale Wilkinson is the founder and Managing Partner at Vitalize Venture Capital, a seed fund and angel community investing in transformative work-related technology. Previously, Wilkinson founded IrishAngels, one of the largest angel groups in the world. Gale has led $65M+ in early-stage deals across 80+ portfolio companies, and she has made over 30 personal angel investments. Her experience prior to VC includes founding two failed startups, consulting for new product launches with Nielsen, and strategy with Orbitz.

Wilkinson received a BBA with honors from Notre Dame and an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She was a founding Board member of the C200 Scholars Network, and she is currently a founding Board member of Chicago Blend, an organization focused on increasing diversity in VC and startups.

You can find her on Twitter @galeforceVC or on "The Vitalize Podcast." She lives in Chicago with her husband Matt and very lovable yellow lab Samson. 

Dara Meath, Divisional CIO, Conair LLC

Dara is the Divisional Chief Information Officer and leader of Digital and Ecommerce at Conair Corporation. She provides executive leadership and is responsible for all aspects of strategic IT planning, support, and implementation worldwide as an integral component of the business plan. She is also leading the digital and e-commerce planning and development.

Before devoting her work full-time to Conair Corporation, Dara served as vice president of The Camuto Group LLC. She has re-engineered, developed, and advised technology platforms globally.
Dara is also the owner of DestinyintheSkye, a local accessories business designed to give back the majority of sales to local and global organizations in need. The business was started for her two children, Destiny and Skye, to help them always be passionate in what they do and always give to those in need!
In addition, Dara sits on several advisory boards and is actively involved with over 30 organizations in technology and business. Dara continues to write for various magazines like CIO Review and Tech Reviews. She has also won numerous awards for her global IT leadership.
Dara Meath
Bec Jones profile Photo

Bec Jones, CEO & Co-Founder, Clutch Wallet

Bec Jones is the CEO and Co-Founder of Clutch Wallet, a next generation wallet ecosystem built to welcome participation of women into web3. She previously worked with National Australia Bank, Happify and across two different crypto companies: Vid (now Vybit) and Anon as their CMO's. Bec is a crypto and web3 content creator on Tik-Tok @cryptobec and upcoming speaker at NFT NYC. 

Sandhya Padmanabhan, Chief Marketing Officer, Little Otter

Sandhya is the Chief Marketing Officer at Little Otter, a pediatric mental health company designed by world experts in childhood mental health and delivered fully virtually to the comfort of your home.  Prior to joining Little Otter, Sandhya spent a decade in the beverage alcohol industry at Diageo, working on global and local brands, both in the US and in Africa.

Inc. Female Founders 100 recognized Little Otter co-founders, Dr. Helen Egger and Rebecca Egger, for making kids mental health services more accessible, as the pandemic and the stigma around mental health care have only made the need for Little Otter’s services more urgent.  Little Otter is growing and is fully remote.  Reach out via LinkedIn if you’re interested in working at Little Otter.



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Shea Cole

Shea Cole, VP Marketing, Fullscript

Shea Cole is the VP Marketing at Fullscript, an integrative medicine platform for personalized treatment planning, active wellness support, and high quality supplements and wellness products.

Fullscript was recognized as the #2 fastest growing company in Canada (Canadian Business 2020) and the Fullscript Marketing team has won numerous awards for content marketing.

Shea's team is always growing, and is fully remote friendly. Reach out via LinkedIn if you're interested in working at Fullscript.

Vanessa Rosado, Head of Brand Strategy, VentureFuel

Vanessa has spent her career working in marketing across brand management and media strategy, with a passion for digital platforms and emerging media.  She has led global centers of excellence in digital, brand, commercial strategy and creativity; designing and facilitating workshops globally for marketers at all levels, from college interns to the C-Suite. She is passionate about the role of creativity and innovation to unlock purpose driven growth.

She joined VentureFuel in 2021 as the Head of Brand Strategy where she focuses on connecting industry leading organizations with external innovators & facilitating conversations about the power of innovation to unlock growth. 

Vanessa holds a B.A. in Government from Harvard College and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She lives in New York with her husband, toddler and dog.  When she’s not building brands, Vanessa loves to read all kinds of books & learn new skills.

Caroline Lewis headshot

Caroline Lewis, Managing Partner Rogue Women’s Fund

Caroline is the Managing Partner of Rogue Women’s Fund and Kauffman Fellow. Caroline joined Rogue Venture Partners in 2018, leading a new strategy to focus on women-led tech companies. Prior to Rogue, Caroline was Senior Director in Strategy and Operations for Global Design, Product, and Merchandising at Nike where she managed a portfolio of strategic programs focused on consumer experience, digitization, and big data. Prior to being recruited to work for Nike, Caroline was a management consultant for Propeller and Hitachi Consulting, working with Fortune 100 companies on enterprise technology implementations and organizational restructuring. Her love for start-ups comes from her early career experience as a founder for an e-commerce business and as a leader at a consumer health product company. 

Rogue Women:

Rogue Women is a conference that exists to bring together the next generation of leaders, celebrating the trailblazers who have forged new paths, pushed up against societal boundaries and made the impossible possible.  It is produced by VentureFuel, in partnership with the Rogue Women's Fund.

About VentureFuel: 

Founded in 2014, VentureFuel is an independent innovation consultancy based out of New York City. It builds innovation programs by unlocking the power of external innovation through partnerships with startups for industry leaders. Its programs focus on unlocking new sources of growth.​

About The Rogue Women's Fund: 

Fiercely female.  Always rogue.  The Rogue Women's Fund is a Rogue Venture Partners fund investing in the best women-led startups across the U.S.​


Empowering Female Entrepreneurs
Women _ Wealth - A Roadmap for Financial Empowerment
Future of Work with Comcast, Diageo, Vitalize VC, Conair _ Fullscript
Empowering Female Entrepreneurs

We build innovation programs for established companies.

Founded in 2014, VentureFuel is an independent innovation consultancy based out of New York City.  We build and accelerate innovation programs for industry leaders by unlocking the power of what we call "external innovation" via startup collaborations.  Our programs focus on changing the behaviors and beliefs necessary to unlock new sources of growth.