Rich Weissman is a data scientist, marketing executive, and was the founder and CEO of an award-winning data analytic company that serves financial institutions throughout the U.S. and Canada. Rich is recognized for his thought leadership and innovative ability to integrate analytics and marketing into new strategic and sustainability paradigms that can be successfully applied to business, finance — and now, politics.
The tech start-up company and think tank he created, and ultimately sold, became a leader in data analytics for financial institutions and other industries throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company uses novel risk algorithms to predict and mitigate failures through data mining, delivered through cloud technology. The company predicted the 2008 financial meltdown, helping financial services clients prepare for and manage through the impending crisis. Rich authored numerous published whitepapers and research, and is a sought-after speaker at national and international conferences/conventions.
Before launching his company, he served as Executive Marketing Director for Bank of America, U.S. Bank, and National Westminster Bank USA, in strategic planning, big data analytics, financial/economic/market research, product development, pricing, marketing, public relations, advertising, branding and direct marketing. He helped lead the introduction of many new technologies that have since become ubiquitous throughout the banking industry, including ATM’s, shared networks, automated credit scoring, online banking, debit cards, POS payments, check imaging, electronic statements, and automated business/commercial/corporate/international services.
He also spent time in the packaged goods industry for new consumer products, where he helped develop conjoint analytics in consumer market research to successfully bring new products to market.
Since selling his company, Rich worked as a volunteer Data Scientist at the Center for New Data, an organization fighting voter suppression nationwide. He helped develop new data sets and algorithms to better measure suppression at voting locations throughout the U.S., working with national organizations, legislators, and civil rights attorneys. Rich also oversaw the development of the online application tool for accessing data and reports from the Center for New Data.
Rich’s bachelor’s degree (Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa), two master’s degrees, and his doctorate program (ABD) — all from New York University — focused on the Social Sciences in Quantitative Analytics and Statistics. His graduate thesis postulated statistical interactionism as a basis of a new paradigm for understanding and diagnosing psychiatric disorders, moving from descriptive to inferential statistical analyses. He also completed studies in advanced business mathematics/statistics at the NYU School of Business, and in marketing at the Marketing Management Program at Stanford University.
Rich and his husband, J.D. Horn (a best-selling novelist, with eight published books in the fantasy/horror genre that have delighted readers internationally) divide their time between homes in Palm Springs and San Francisco, California, and in Central Oregon’s Black Butte Ranch. In 2015, Rich and J.D. formed a 501c3 charitable fund focused on empowering LGBTQ and other minority groups. He is heavily involved in the LGBTQ community, including supporting many LGBTQ state and national political candidates and campaigns as a volunteer professional. Rich and J.D. are the parents of three adult children, as well as their formidable rescue Chihuahua, Kirby.
Dr. Philip Hodges is a Managing Director at a large asset management firm. In this role he manages $20 billion of client assets using sophisticated quantitative techniques designed to extract signal from noise in the financial markets in order to accurately forecast asset returns. His passion is using advanced data and technology to better understand and solve the problems facing humanity and improve the effectiveness of leaders by providing them with data-driven analysis and solutions.
Philip's background is in the physical sciences. He served as a Junior Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Oxford, where he also earned his doctorate in Quantum Physics and his master’s degree in Chemistry. At Oxford, his research focused on using rotational spectroscopy of heavy transitional metal dihalides as a test-case to understand the quantum behavior of larger molecules. Philip is a published author in finance, economics, and the physical sciences.
Philip is a Board Member and Finance Chair for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Executive Sponsor for his company’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group. Philip and his husband, Scott Nevins, split their time between homes in San Francisco and Palm Springs, California along with their adorable and neurotic rescue Chihuahua, Wifi.
Maitri Goonewardena’s career spans many years as a corporate executive and business entrepreneur, working in the field of investment and financial advisory services, with an extensive experience in financial and accounting disciplines, including utilizing data analytics for assessing the financial markets for major corporations and organizations. He is currently Portfolio Manager and Financial Advisor at his firm, MKG Capital Management, which he operates. He is also the portfolio manager for AVEC LLC and portfolio consultant for Hawley Advisors, both of which are asset management companies.
He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Accounting at the University of Minnesota, and then received his master’s degree in Management as a Sloan Fellow at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Maitri began his career in accounting, working for a large regional CPA firm in Minneapolis. He then moved into higher level positions as auditor for the Defense Contract Audit Agency, served as Financial Analyst at the 3M company, a Fortune 500 corporation, and as Controller and Director of Asset Management at Whalen & Company in the wireless telecommunications industry. He is experienced in successful M&A transactions and has also served in financial consulting and advisory roles for start-up firms.
Maitri’s non-profit activities are extensive, including acting as Board Treasurer and serving as a direct care volunteer at Maitri Compassionate Care, a hospice and respite care residence focused on people with HIV/AIDS. He organized their Investment Foundation Board, and he continues to serve as Foundation Board member. He also served as a former Board and Finance committee member at San Francisco Zen Center for many years, and was Board analyst on the development of Enso Village, a Zen-inspired senior living center in Healdsburg, California.
Maitri lives in San Francisco. He is committed to helping advance liberal democratic values and quality governance.
Dr. K. Francesca Nisco is a highly accomplished global brand strategist, communications leader, and trusted advisor with extensive experience in the marketing industry. With a diverse background, spanning decades, she has held numerous pivotal roles such as Chief Marketing Officer, International Risk-Management Examiner, Board member, and volunteer for non-profit organizations. Driven by her passion for diversity, inclusion, and vulnerable populations, she has actively advocated for these causes throughout her career.
Throughout her professional journey, Francesca had the privilege of representing several renowned brands in sectors such as higher education, technology, finance, and consumer goods. Her expertise has proven invaluable in enhancing visibility, bolstering reputation, driving revenue growth, and cultivating inclusive and high-performing teams. She has excelled in overseeing branding efforts, marketing communications, global and start-up product launches, data-driven marketing research, and crafting compelling content and messaging that authentically encapsulates the mission of organizations and institutions. With a genuine interest in fostering international connections, Francesca's global experience and interactions have solidified her belief in the power of multicultural collaboration and her commitment to being accessible and supportive to the diverse workforce of today through her time, expertise, coaching, and presence.
For the past decade, Francesca served as a key executive for Marketing and Brand Management at Seattle University, where she spearheaded the university's overarching marketing strategy. Leading a team of dedicated marketing communications and creative services professionals in the Marketing Communications Division, she was responsible for the development, implementation, and integration of the institution's brand. Additionally, she orchestrated impactful marketing leadership initiatives across the university, leaving an indelible mark on its success.
Prior to her tenure at Seattle University, Francesca accumulated many years of experience in marketing and leadership positions within various industries, including consumer and B2B, e-commerce, wireless, software, and financial services. Notably, she made significant contributions at prominent organizations such as Microsoft, AT&T Wireless, U.S. Bank, and multiple digital and mobile technology start-ups.
Her educational background reflects her commitment to personal and professional growth. She holds a Doctor of Leadership degree from Seattle University, a master’s in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Seattle University, which included a transformative year abroad in Grenoble, France.
Residing in Seattle, Washington, and Santa Barbara, California, Francesca shares her life with her partner, Stephen Stanley, and she is the mother of an adult daughter. Francesca and Stephen actively contribute to justice and environmental related initiatives.
Patrick Stupek has decades of experience in marketing and communications in the energy and financial services industries. He has particular expertise in the areas of message development and management, speech writing, crisis communications, merger communications, human resources and bargaining communications, marketing, advertising, event management, video development, community engagement, strategic development, and employee communications and engagement.
He worked many years with Oregon’s leading and largest electric company, Portland General Electric (PGE), and with Enron (which served as the parent company of PGE prior to Enron’s 2006 collapse). He was responsible for oversight of executive communications, employee communications, public relations, and community outreach at PGE.
Before joining PGE, Patrick worked for nearly a decade in marketing, communications, and sales management for the financial services industry at Bank of America and Security Pacific Bank.
He earned his bachelor’s in Journalism from California Polytechnic State University, Humboldt, and worked several years as a reporter at California daily newspapers before moving to the corporate sector.
He is active in the Oregon community, having served on the Board and Resource Board for Profile Theatre Company, and as a volunteer with Portland Repertory Theater and the Democratic Party of Washington County.
Patrick lives in Portland, Oregon, and is planning to additionally live part-time in Palm Springs, California within the next year.
Jeff Larivee is the Executive Director of Equality PAC, the campaign arm of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Caucus. The small, but mighty, Caucus currently includes nine House Members and Senator Tammy Baldwin. In this role, which he has held since 2019, Jeff leads the organization's recruitment efforts, political activities and fundraising.
Jeff has played an unmatched role in making history for the LGBTQ+ community, helping to elect LGBTQ+ leaders at the federal level such as current House Members: Sharice Davis (Kansas), Ritchie Torres (New York), Becca Balint (Vermont), Robert Garcia (California), Eric Sorensen (Illinois), Angie Craig (Minnesota), Chris Pappas (New Hampshire), as well as former House Member Mondaire Jones (New York). He has been instrumental in winning key races that have determined control of Congress, recognizing that without pro-Equality majorities, the progress the LGBTQ+ community remains in jeopardy.
Jeff is also the Founder and Principal of Rolla Group, a Washington, D.C.-based boutique fundraising and political consulting firm. Since its founding in 2009, Rolla Group has helped raise more than $143 million for Federal candidates, Leadership and other PACs. Prior to founding Rolla Group, Jeff was a Senior Associate for a larger Washington, D.C.-based fundraising consulting firm, and also served as West Regional Finance Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2004 and 2006 election cycles, and as a Finance Associate on the John Kerry for President primary campaign.
Jeff is a graduate of Bowdoin College and of American University's Washington Semester Program. He is originally from southeastern Massachusetts. He and his husband, Brian Pryzbylski, live in Washington D.C.
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