Friends and Allies
"I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better."
A Few of Our Alumni
Investment Manager at Capital Aviation GroupAbout Alessandra
Investment Manager at Capital Aviation Group
Alessandra Christiani is an investment manager at Capital Aviation Group, where she leads business development efforts. Prior to CAG, she managed a $2 billion portfolio of debt and equity investments at Prudential. Alessandra obtained an undergraduate degree in Management with concentrations in Finance and Accounting from Boston College.
Analyst at the World BankAbout Alvaro
Analyst at the World Bank
Alvaro was born in Madrid, Spain, where he developed an interest in Science, Technology, and Space. He received a BSc in Aerospace Engineering at the Technical University of Madrid. After a year at the University of Glasgow, he returned to Madrid and obtained an MSc in Aeronautical Engineering and an MBA. He decided to focus on the public sector, economics and international development, first as a Multilateral Analyst at the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC, and currently as an Analyst at the World Bank.
Business Analyst at AXA XLAbout Charles
Business Analyst at AXA XL
Charles Busch is the Business Analyst for Political Risk, Credit and Bond at AXA XL. As a member of the Political Risk Team, he aids with the strategic operations of the business which underwrites political and financial risks for corporations and multilateral and government agencies. A native of Michigan, he earned his degree in economics from the Catholic University of America.
Infrastructure & Cybersecurity Planner for the Department of Homeland SecurityAbout Connor
Infrastructure & Cybersecurity Planner for the Department of Homeland Security
A proud native of Pennsylvania, Connor Xavios graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Criminology and Intelligence Analysis. He joined Northrop Grumman as a security professional holding positions in industrial security, executive protection, and business continuity and crisis management. Four years later he transitioned to the Department of Homeland Security as an operational planner supporting our nation’s critical infrastructure. Outside of his 9 to 5, he enjoys playing golf and piano, spending time with his friends, studying up on leadership and professional development, volunteering with the youth at his church, and visiting the Jersey shore with his family.
Academic Programs Specialist at the Institute for Humane StudiesAbout Dan
Academic Programs Specialist at the Institute for Humane Studies
Daniel Karns serves as an Academic Programs Specialist at the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University and helps a network of faculty across the country achieve their research and publication goals. As a Baylor University graduate, Daniel discovered his passion for economics and incorporating his faith into his everyday life. Outside of work, Daniel enjoys reading, cheering on the Baylor bears, and any activity outdoors.
Wealth Strategy Associate at UBSAbout Kevin
Wealth Strategy Associate at UBS
Executive Director of True Style Inc.About Laura
Executive Director of True Style Inc.
Sales and Account ManagementAbout Leah
Sales and Account Management
Financial Advisor at Morgan StanleyAbout Meg
Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley
Meg Gargulinski is a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley, specializing in client relations and financial planning. She graduated magna cum laude with her BS in Economics from Franciscan University of Steubenville and was a four year letterman for their NCAA Lacrosse team. Meg continues to stay involved with her sport, coaching at Oakcrest School and Next Level Club.
Ph.D. Candidate in Politics at Hillsdale CollegeAbout Nicholas
Ph.D. Candidate in Politics at Hillsdale College
Nicholas hails from the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, and is the oldest of six. With a background in accounting and economics, he now resides in the state of Michigan where he is pursuing his PhD in Politics while writing and brewing beer on the side. His love for Mumford and Sons is only to be matched by his attachment to a well-worn pair of Birkenstocks. Nicholas fosters a healthy hobby of cooking for his house as time permits, and building community wherever he resides. Joyfully alive, he firmly believes that life is too short to live poorly, and uses his love for hospitality to infuse the theme of passionately loving the world wherever he goes.
Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious FreedomAbout Peter
Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom
Peter Burns grew up in Southern Illinois, just outside of St. Louis, and attended Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. After campaigning for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Senator Marco Rubio, he finished his degree at Thomas Edison State University and then worked as the policy analyst for the Governor of Kansas. He moved to Washington, D.C., in 2017 to work as the Government Relations and Policy Director for In Defense of Christians, a non-profit lobbyist organization that represents Christians persecuted in the Middle East. He now works as the Special Assistant to the Honorable Sam Brownback, the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. He is a Philos Fellow and opinion writer for the Washington Examiner and Providence Magazine. A rabid Cardinal baseball and barbecue fan, he now enjoys introducing his visiting friends to the historic sites of Washington.
Some of Our Executive Speakers
Andrew Abela is the provost at The Catholic University of America. He also has served as the dean of the School of Business and Economics. His research on the integrity of the marketing process, including marketing ethics, Catholic Social Doctrine, and internal communication, has been published in several academic journals, including the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, the Journal of Business Ethics, and the Journal of Markets & Morality, and in two books. He is the co-author of A Catechism for Business (Catholic University Press, 2014), and the winner of the 2009 Novak Award, a $10,000 prize given by the Acton Institute for “significant contributions to the study of the relationship between religion and economic liberty.”
Abela provides consulting and training in internal communications to several major corporations, including JPMorganChase and Microsoft Corporation. Prior to his academic career, he spent several years in industry as brand manager at Procter & Gamble, management consultant with McKinsey & Company, and Managing Director of the Marketing Leadership Council of the Corporate Executive Board.
He holds a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto, an MBA from the Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland, and a Ph.D. in Marketing and Ethics from the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia.
He and his wife Kathleen live in Great Falls, Virginia, with their six children. He is a native of the island of Malta.
International Communications ConsultantAbout Rebecca
International Communications Consultant
Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla has been an international communications consultant for fifteen years, working with lawyers, executives, governments and politicians to improve their communication strategy and public speaking skills. A member of the Virginia State Bar, she also serves as an adjunct professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School and as a communications faculty member for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (“NITA”).
She consults with clients on presentation development and delivery. Diaz-Bonilla improves the substance and style of an individual’s oral communication skills, focusing on messaging and branding, voice, body language, and overall presence. Her consulting work ranges from expansive seminars to small group training sessions to one-on-one advising.
Her award-winning book, Foolproof: The Art of Communication for Lawyers and Professionals, and her new book, Point Well Made, are available through Amazon and Lexis Nexis.
Andy Perez-Benzo is the founder and executive chairman of AeroAnalytics, a technology company that provides drone services for industrial clients. The company operates in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is a director at InvestRes and Trustwork, and has supported many companies through investment and advisory. Andy has worked previously at IBM, Uber, and Goldman Sachs. He serves on the board of several educational institutions, including The Heights School in Potomac, MD, and the and Hawthorn Educational Group in NY. A graduate of Princeton University, he won a grant to study at the University of Oxford and has participated in seminars at both Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Personal BrandAbout Denis
Denis C. Mitchell is an experienced trial attorney and focuses his practice on representing individuals and families who have suffered life-altering injuries or who have lost loved ones. He has obtained many multi-million dollar verdicts and recoveries for his clients, including the largest verdict in a medical negligence case in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. He has handled cases before multiple state and federal courts. Mr. Mitchell’s fellow lawyers recognized him as D.C.’s Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2014, and he was selected as one of Washingtonian Magazine’s Top Lawyers in 2017. He has also been consistently recognized by Best Lawyers® and SuperLawyers® as a leading practitioner in medical malpractice since 2011.
Mr. Mitchell has held leadership positions in several organizations, including President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Chair of the D.C. Bar Tort Law Section. He writes quarterly publications and makes presentations on important cases handed down by state and federal courts in the District of Columbia. He is also an Adjunct Professor in Trial Advocacy at the Georgetown University Law Center.
Mr. Mitchell is fluent in Spanish, having spent a year teaching and studying in the Economics Department at the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain. Mr. Mitchell is also an active volunteer at his parish, coordinating service projects and coaching youth sports.
Honors and Awards
- 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year, an honor bestowed by the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
- Washingtonian Magazine 2018, 2017 Top Lawyers
- Best Lawyers® Washington D.C. (2011 to present)
- SuperLawyers® Washington, D.C. (2012 to present)
- Avvo Rating 10.0 out of 10, Top Attorney – Medical Malpractice
Director of Cloud Policy at GoogleAbout Lee
Director of Cloud Policy at Google
Lee Dunn is Director of Cloud Policy at Google and works directly with government and other public sector clients to assist in their use of innovative cloud technologies to transform government and citizen services. Lee has been at Google for over nine years and previously served as Google’s Head of International Elections Outreach working with governments, candidates and voters to engage with Google’s products and services ahead of an election. She has also served as head of the elections advertising sales team at Google and lobbied the Senate on behalf of Google. Prior to her time at Google, Lee spent close to ten years working for Senator John McCain (R-AZ) as his General Counsel and as counsel for the Senate Commerce Committee when Senator McCain served as Chairman. She also assisted on his 2008 Presidential campaign and his 2010 Senate re-elect campaign.
Prior to her time in the Senate, Lee worked for former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael K. Powell and the law firm Dow, Lohnes and Albertson. She served as a judicial clerk for the Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Virginia after graduating from The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, and received her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University.
She is a fourth generation Washingtonian, wife, daughter and mother of three children. Lee sits on the board of the Alexandria Little League, Inova Alexandria Hospital Foundation and the Catholic University Busch School of Business Ciocca Distinguished Fellows.
Project ManagementAbout Ed
Ed McCabe is a Management Consulting Senior Manager at Accenture, where he focused on digital process transformation for US Federal clients. A certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP), he has successfully led teams of over 70 people on complex, multi-agency projects. Ed graduated Cum Laude from the University of Dallas with a degree in Business Leadership, and has a Diploma of Spanish Language and Culture from the University of Navarre, in Pamplona, Spain. He lives in Great Falls, Virginia, with his wife Lianna and their four daughters.
Sales & MarketingAbout Mark
Sales & Marketing
Mark Weber is a veteran Executive with over 30 years of experience in technology sales and engineering. Mark has served in a variety of roles within the Information Technology space, most recently serving as Senior Vice President for the Americas at NetApp, leading channels, engineering, professional services, business development, finance, operations, and marketing across North America, South America, and U.S. Public Sector. Mark managed a strategic business unit aligned to serve customers in key segments including Global Accounts, Enterprise, Commercial, Telco/Service Provider, Healthcare, Financial Services, Government, and Education. Mark was responsible for growth and customer satisfaction across the Americas, committing himself to delivering exceptional customer experience and building strong partnerships. Prior to this role, Mark was President and General Manager of NetApp U.S. Public Sector for ten years. Mark managed all aspects of the public sector subsidiary leading the public sector team to a dominant market share position.
Prior to joining NetApp, Mark worked at Sun Microsystems for 13 years, serving in a variety of positions including regional executive director for federal, state and local government, regional sales director for commercial, and financial district sales manager. Before his time at Sun Microsystems, Mark began his career as a federal account manager for Hewlett-Packard. Mark is a proven leader in the Information Technology space and has received numerous recognitions during his career. He is the Institute for Excellence in Sales’ 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. He was also awarded the Wash100 Exec Ranks as an Innovative GovCon Technologist & Business Leader, the FedScoop50 Industry Leadership award in 2012 and 2013, and the Federal Computer Week’s Federal 100 Award in 2011.
Under Mark’s leadership, the Vienna NetApp office was ranked in the top 10 of Best Places to Work in Washington D.C. six times by the Washington Business Journal as well as repeatedly listed in the Washingtonian’s Best 50 Places to Work issue. Mark Weber is the first Executive-in-Residence for Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C. where he is teaches a course entitled “Professional Selling” and mentoring students. Catholic University has launched a new Sales Program lead by Mark which includes a minor in Sales. Mark also chairs the Virginia Tech Presidential Leadership Council.
Mark is the federal Advisor for Varonis, a Board Advisor for MemSQL, advisor to Big Swiitch Networks, and a Board Advisor in federal for Cohesity.
Mark holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the College of William and Mary and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Virginia Tech.
He currently lives in the DC Metro area with his wife and five children. Mark is a sports enthusiast who through the years has coached over 35 youth teams in four different sports for his children.
- Busch School of Business
- Organizational Behavior
Phil Brach is the Assistant Dean of the School of Business and an Adjunct Lecturer. His career has been characterized by innovation, strategic planning, and results. Over the course of more than two decades, Dean Brach has held several posts in the for-profit, non-profit and government sectors. As Assistant Dean, he oversees resource development for the school.
Dean Brach began his career with Mobil Oil in their Los Angeles downstream operations. He helped chart a 10-year strategic plan for Mobil’s West Coast operations that included market position, market expansion, mergers, and acquisitions. In 1995, Dean Brach became a marketing strategy consultant for Ernst and Young. In that capacity, he worked with clients to coordinate an integrated communication plan and helped define products and analyze pricing scenarios, competitors, and distribution channels.
Dean Brach left Ernst and Young in 1996 to help found the SQAD Company, of which he then became the Vice President and CFO. During his time there, he was awarded three patents for innovative marketing inventions.
Dean Brach sold his stake in the SQAD Company and turned his skills and energy towards the non-profit sector. He became the Director of Operations for the Midtown Center for Boys. His role later expanded to his being the Executive Director of the entire Midtown Educational Foundation, a Chicago-based non-profit organization. The Foundation sponsors programs to help inner-city youth achieve academic excellence and develop strong moral character.
In 2004, Dean Brach returned to his high school alma mater, St. John’s College High School, in Washington, D.C., where he served as Vice President. In this capacity, he oversaw all fundraising, alumni relations and external communications. He also directed the production of all external communications, including the publishing of an award-winning alumni magazine.
After seven years at St. John’s, he took a year sabbatical working as the Chief of Staff for Congressman Jeff Fortenberry. After spending time as the Director of Development for the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University of Maryland, he joined CUA in his current role.
Dean Brach, the father of eight children, resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Liz.
- PhD – International Relations, University of Oxford
- MBA, Cornell University
- MA – War Studies, King’s College London
- BA – Public Policy Studies and History, Duke University
The Honorable Dr. John Hillen is a highly accomplished CEO in the government contracting space and a former high ranking U.S. government official. A decorated combat veteran and noted national security scholar, he has led four defense and intelligence technology firms in Northern Virginia, most recently as President and CEO of Sotera Defense Solutions—awarded the 2012 GovCon Contractor of the Year award in the large company category. Hillen took Sotera public in 2009, one of the few successful IPOs in the American economy that year. He was confirmed by the Senate as the US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs in 2005 and served in that role until 2007.
In the MBA program at George Mason, Hillen teaches courses in leadership, strategy, international business strategy, and the general government contracting industry. In 2017-18 he was voted the Outstanding Professor in the MBA program by the students. A Forbes contributor (https://blogs.forbes.com/hillennevins), he also writes a column on leadership and strategy issues in Washington Technology magazine (https://washingtontechnology.com/articles/list/new/john-hillen.aspx). The author of several books, his latest work is What Happens Now? Reinvent Yourself As A Leader Before Your Business Outruns You (Select Books, 2018). www.whathappensnowbook.com
A recognized industry leader in the technology contacting space, Hillen served in 2012 and 2013 as the chairman of the Professional Services Council and currently sits on the boards of SOS International LLC, Software AG Government Solutions Inc., Cygnacom Solutions Inc., IAP Global Services LLC, Govini, Inc., and Atkins Nuclear Solutions. He previously served as President of CGI Federal. He has led several other companies in both the government contracting and financial services space.
Hillen received the Fed100 award twice – in 2011 and 2017 – has been the subject of cover stories in Smart CEO Magazine, Government Computer News, and Washington Technology. An experienced director of both public and private companies, he has served on the boards of over half a dozen federal contracting firms.
Dr. Sandra Lora Cremers is a board-certified ophthalmologist and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. She joined Harvard Medical School’s Department of Ophthalmology, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in 2000.
Dr. Cremers is co-editor of Ophthalmic Surgical Procedures, 2nd edition and the upcoming 3rd edition with Thieme Publishing: the 2nd edition has been translated into three languages and is considered one of the best teaching textbooks for eye surgery.
Currently Dr. Cremers is conducting research into the connection between screen time and severe Meibomian gland loss in children, which she was the first to describe on her YouTube channel, as well as doing research to see how to cure Meibomian gland loss and dry eye disease with platelet rich plasma injections into the Meibomian and Lacrimal glands.
Medical School: Dartmouth University, Brown University Joint Program in Medicine
B.A.: Columbia College, Columbia University, New York, NY
CEO MindsetAbout William
Bill Bowman was named Dean of the Busch School of Business in 2016. Prior to been named Dean, Bill has been involved with the School of Business as a Research Assistant Professor and member of the Advisory Board of the MSBA program. Bill has led companies as President or CEO for over 25 years. Bowman is currently the President and CEO of Core Values Group LLC in Boston, a consulting firm that works with employees to help them grow in the human virtues most important to their organization’s success.
Previous to launching Core Values Group, Bill was President and CEO of US Inspect in Chantilly, VA. US Inspect is the nation’s largest home and commercial inspection company. Before that, he served as President of ChildrenFirst Inc. (now Bright Horizons), the nation’s leading provider of backup child care services to corporations.
Bill brings deep experience in developing organizations through three past entrepreneurial ventures. In 1982 he co-founded Spinnaker Software Corporation, one of the nation’s first educational software companies. After selling Spinnaker to The Learning Company, Bill began the operations of Logal Software, Inc., another educational software company where he served as president and which he helped take public in 1996. His third venture was also in the educational field. In 1978 he co-founded The Montrose School, an independent day school for girls in grades six through twelve located in Medfield, Massachusetts, and voted in 2009 as one of Boston Magazine’s Top 10 Private Schools. He served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for ten years, recently stepping out of that post but remaining a Trustee.
Bill also worked for the Boston Consulting Group, and for the United States Public Health Service, and was appointed by the Governor as a Trustee of the five campuses of the University of Massachusetts, remaining on the board for six years. He was the co-founder of the Massachusetts Software Council, past Chairman of the software Publishers Association, and a former Director of the Massachusetts High Technology Council.
Bill is an engineering honors graduate of Northwestern University and received an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.
He is married to Leigh Bowman and they have nine grown children.
Our Coaches and Instructors
Entrepreneur | Professor | InvestorAbout Laurance
Entrepreneur | Professor | Investor
Over the last 10 years Laurance has been an entrepreneur and investor in several ventures, including health care software; strategy and management consulting; communication management software; industrial real estate technology; and aviation MRO capabilities in Southeast Asia. He is also the co-founder of a DC-based venture incubation organization. He has served in senior leadership positions in a NYC-based turnaround and restructuring firm and in a Dubai-based sovereign wealth fund.
Laurance spent 13 years with KPMG LLP (later BearingPoint), serving in positions such as Managing Director of the Middle East practice and Managing Director of Border Security and Transportation.
Laurance received his commission as an Air Force officer upon graduating from Texas A&M University in 1986 and earned his Masters from Troy St University while serving our country during multiple overseas tours of duty. He has also completed executive education at Columbia Business School.
He serves as a board member of Fertility Education and Medical Management (FEMM), and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), and serves as an advisor and board member of numerous Catholic organizations.
Laurance, his bride, Kathy, and their son reside in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He and his wife have been foster-parents to 16 children. He is an avid cyclist, has served as a crewman on a Dubai-based yacht racing team, and races sports cars.
Founder & CEO of Tenunto ConsultingAbout Regina
Founder & CEO of Tenunto Consulting
Regina Bethencourt is the founder and CEO of Tenunto (www.tenutoconsulting.com), a branding firm that specializes in visual identity, web development and content writing for small to medium-sized businesses. She has a decade of experience in branding, marketing and communications and formerly served as the Director of Marketing & Communications for Yuma Center, a women’s leadership organization. Regina started her career in political journalism, working for the Washington Examiner, before moving to the business side of communications. She still keeps her journalism roots alive as an occasional contributor to Verily Magazine (link to articles) and she volunteers for Girl Talk, a non-profit for high school and college women. Regina lives in Arlington, VA with her husband and two children ages 3 and 1.
Consultant, Gallup Inc.About Rob
Consultant, Gallup Inc.
Rob is an expert in innovation and change management for public sector institutions, globally and nationally. He has worked for government clients, higher education institutions, university hospitals, think tanks, international humanitarian organizations, community-based not-for-profits and Fortune 500 companies. Currently he is a consultant with Gallup who conducts surveys, one-on-one interviews and analysis of organizational performance. His areas of expertise include: cultural transformation, talent optimization, organizational effectiveness, manager training and customer centricity.
Prior to Gallup, Rob was part of change management and growth initiatives for the American Red Cross, a Latin American university hospital and a global think tank. He holds a Master’s in Organizational Culture and Governance from the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain, as well as a B.A. in Finance and International Business from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Rob lives in Petworth with his lovely wife and two wonderful daughters.
Lawyer and Writer, Davis Legal MediaAbout Alexandra
Lawyer and Writer, Davis Legal Media
Alexandra is an attorney and the founder of Davis Legal Media, a content marketing company serving law firms and legal service providers. A North Carolina native, she holds an undergraduate degree in English and Comparative Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill and a JD from Campbell University. Prior to launching Davis Legal Media in 2018, Alexandra worked as a litigation attorney at a reputable Raleigh law firm.
Alexandra is also a writer on issues at the intersection of culture, faith, and family life, and is a regular contributor to Verily Magazine. Her work has been featured in a variety of online and print outlets, including FemCatholic, Every Day Mamas, Above the Law, Attorney at Work, The Lawyerist, and many more. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and infant son.
Founder & Executive Director, Girl TalkAbout Julie
Founder & Executive Director, Girl Talk
Julie is the founder and executive director of Girl Talk, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to building a sisterhood of self-worth for women in middle school, high school, and college. She is a proud New Jersey native and graduate of The Catholic University of America, receiving her undergraduate degree in psychology and her Master of Science in Business. Motivated by her passion for creative entrepreneurship, she has spent the past few years working in startups, higher-ed, and non-profit management. Most recently, she has served as the Director of Operations for the Leonine Forum, a young professional fellowship dedicated to cultivating virtuous living in the nation’s emerging leaders.
Julie speaks to a variety of audiences on self-worth, confidence, and entrepreneurship, including the Busch School of Business, the Catholic Information Center (CIC), and the Yuma Center. She has been featured on EWTN News Nightly with Lauren Ashburn, and regularly speaks to middle school, high school, and college audiences with an emphasis on personal storytelling. Julie hopes to inspire every person to recognize and radiate his or her inherent dignity!
Project Manager, Resource Environmental SolutionsAbout Stas
Project Manager, Resource Environmental Solutions
Stas Cynkar is a project manager at Resource Environmental Solutions where he manages construction projects focused on ecological restoration. A certified Project Management Professional (PMP), he has managed teams that have restored streams and built wetlands throughout Virginia and Maryland. Stas graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Classics. He lives in Herndon, Virginia with his wife Mary and their three children.
Certified Life Coach and Resident CounselorAbout Ana
Certified Life Coach and Resident Counselor
Ana Yrausquin is a certified life coach, mentor, and resident psychotherapist. Ana holds a B.A. in Psychology from the Catholic University of America and a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Wake Forest University. Ana is passionate about mental health and is particularly interested in depression and anxiety. She has experience in leading group therapy sessions, individual therapy, and life coaching. Ana’s writing has been published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Journal of Public Child Welfare, and Child Trends. She is an occasional contributor to How She Does It: The Professional Woman’s Guide to an Inspired, Intentional, Integrated Life. She is a frequent speaker on topics relating to time management and work-life balance. She lives in Virginia with her husband and three little boys.
Teacher, The Heights SchoolAbout Bill
Teacher, The Heights School
Bill Dardis teaches English, history, science and religion at the Heights School in Potomac, MD. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Dardis worked as an IT consultant for Ernst & Young in New York City. He later founded UrbanFUTURE, a character-based mentoring program for inner-city youth in St. Louis. For the past 20 years he has run professional development programs for suburban and at-risk youth in St. Louis, Chicago, and Washington. A native of New Orleans, Mr. Dardis has enjoyed the District of Columbia for the past 7 years.
CEO of the Kilner Group and Founder of TowerHill RealtyAbout Pat
CEO of the Kilner Group and Founder of TowerHill Realty
Pat Kilner is the CEO of the Kilner Group Companies, which includes The Kilner Group Residential, KG Builder Solutions and TowerHill Realty. Additionally, Pat and his brother Michael are working to launch a training organization in the real estate space called the Indispensable Agent. Pat has served on a variety of boards and is the current Chairman of the Board at the Heights School. Pat has been called upon by numerous organizations in the for-profit and not-for-profit space to lead their strategic planning, goal setting, and visioning exercises. Pat graduated from the Catholic University of America in 2001 and earned his Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain in 2003. He currently resides in Potomac, Maryland, with his wife Elena and their six children.
Freelance Art Scholar with multidisciplinary backgroundAbout Natalie
Freelance Art Scholar with multidisciplinary background
Natalie Peters is a freelance art scholar, writer and editor. She has over seven years of experience in art research, curatorial, exhibition development, and project management. Natalie has a master’s degree in the History of Decorative Arts from George Mason University-Smithsonian Institution with a specialty in glass studies and design history. She has worked at various Smithsonian museums and art collections in DC. Her historical research and writing on American ecclesiastical mosaics was published in the exhibition catalog Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics in 2017. Prior to specializing in the arts, she worked in sales and management in the corporate and small business sector. She and her husband live in Washington, DC.
Principal, Strategy and New Ventures, EAB Global, Inc.About Apoorva
Principal, Strategy and New Ventures, EAB Global, Inc.
Apoorva Shah is a principal in the Strategy and New Ventures division of EAB, a best practice research and technology company serving the education sector. In this role, he leads efforts in firm strategy, new product development, and M&A. Some of his current project areas include data warehousing for universities, academic growth and innovation for professional schools, and adult learner marketing. Apoorva has supported the development of several EAB businesses including most recently Academic Performance Solutions, which helps university leaders use data and analytics to manage academic costs and improve program performance.
Apoorva holds a BA from Rice University. Prior to joining EAB, Apoorva was a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where his research focused on political economy and demographics. At AEI, Apoorva co-founded the institute’s India Studies program, the Banter podcast, and the American Enterprise Debates series.
Law Clerk to Hon. Joseph F. Falvey, Jr., U.S. Court of AppealsAbout Therese
Law Clerk to Hon. Joseph F. Falvey, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals
In 2012, Therese graduated from The Catholic University of America with a major in Philosophy. In 2014, she attended graduate school at the Pontifical Institute of John Paul II in Washington, D.C. and completed a masters degree in Biotechnology and Ethics. In 2018, she graduated from Ave Maria Law School and is currently a Law Clerk to the Honorable Joseph F. Falvey, Jr. at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. In August, she will clerk for the Honorable Joseph Toth. She is the creator of a new home textile company called Lovely Lady Linens. Therese lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband Vincent and her two year old daughter, Claire.
CEO of GuideQuestAbout Kumar
CEO of GuideQuest
Kumar is the founder and CEO of GuideQuest (www.guidequest.com), a company specializing in leadership consulting and coaching solutions. He has more than 13 years of executive experience in both government and business. Since graduating from West Point more than 30 years ago, he has consistently built and led highly successful teams as an airborne and ranger-qualified military officer, diplomat, special agent, government executive and startup sales executive. Kumar is a former U.S. Department of Homeland Security deputy assistant secretary, and served as chief operating officer of its largest criminal investigative agency. He received the Presidential Rank Award for his leadership of a global workforce consisting of 20,000 employees assigned to 47 countries. Kumar served in locations throughout the United States and Europe, leading operations to counter transnational threats. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from West Point and Johns Hopkins University. He and his wife Laura have been married for 30 years and are the proud adoptive parents of three children.
CEO of DC Accelerator
Financial Advisor at Merrill LynchAbout Eddy
Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch
Ed Moss is a partner of Clark, Moss & Associates, a wealth management and financial planning practice at Merrill Lynch that specializes in advising entrepreneurs and senior corporate executives. Ed graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Economics from the University of Dallas and holds the Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designations. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Ed worked as an analyst and consultant with various investment management and information technology firms in the US, Latin America, and Europe. His prior experience includes corporate finance, private equity investments, and systems integration. He lives in Great Falls with his wife Sarah and their two boys.
Barbara Brunner Pereira
International Commercial Property Financing ExecutiveAbout Barbara
Barbara Brunner Pereira
International Commercial Property Financing Executive
Barbara is a retired global investment banking executive and currently the Co-Founder of the Saxum Young Professionals (Saxum YPS) non-profit global initiative. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a BBA in Accounting and a Masters in Real Estate Economics.
Barbara spent 30 years in the global commercial property and structured financing sector, working throughout the USA, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe, Middle East and Africa. She was involved in creating and leading several firsts for the industry, including: the Investment Real Estate Research part of the National Association of Realtors; a hotel development in post-communist Nicaragua; the utilization of securitization to combine performing and non-performing commercial mortgage loans into one transaction while at the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC); a web-enabled platform (eZQuote) to automate the origination of large balance commercial mortgage loans for the global property industry while at JP Morgan; and the intermediary commercial property structured financing sector for EMEA while at CBRE. She was responsible for over $15 Billion USD of commercial property transactions during her career.
Barbara was a frequent speaker at global industry events and universities throughout the US and EMEA. She was involved with creating a women’s leadership center in Washington DC, the Yuma Study Center, as an Executive Director and Board Member. She has also been involved with helping the poorest of the poor in Nicaragua through the American Nicaraguan Foundation and Food For The Poor. She has been on the Advisory Board for the Real Estate School at Texas A&M University and an initial recipient of the The Texas A&M Women’s Legacy Award. Barbara is currently an Advisor for the Saxum Visitor Center in Abu Gosh, Israel.
Barbara lives with her husband of 28 years, Alvaro Pereira, in Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA. They are Co-Founders of the Legatus Fort Lauderdale Chapter and Founding Members of the Legatus Jupiter Chapter. Barbara and Alvaro have three children, Gabriel, Veronica, and Rebekah.
Director, Maximus Federal ServicesAbout Patrick
Director, Maximus Federal Services
Patrick Kane is a Director at MAXIMUS Federal Services in Falls Church, Virginia. A graduate of the University of Dallas, Patrick has 14 years of experience in program and project management, strategy, program analysis, strategic communications, management consulting, information technology, and client delivery. His clients include all branches of the military and a multitude of federal agencies; corporations such as Amazon, GlaxoSmithKline, and Dynamics Research Corporation; and nonprofits such as the Asian American Initiative and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). He lives in Falls Church with his wife and six children.