Melissa Bernstein, Co-chair (T’87; P’15 P’16)
Melissa is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO (with husband Doug) of Melissa & Doug LLC, a leading designer and manufacturer of educational toys. Started 26 years ago “in a garage” with their combined meager savings, Melissa & Doug has grown to become one of the most trusted names in preschool toys. Through its unique distribution network of over 15,000 retailers and presence in 80 countries worldwide, Melissa & Doug has sold over $3 billion of toys and has created 2,000+ proprietary products spanning virtually every category of children’s play. The company prides itself on successful relationships with both ends of the market, from giants such as Walmart, Target and Toys R Us to hometown specialty shops such as Learning Express, both of which have named Melissa & Doug their “Vendor of the Year” numerous times. Melissa lives with her husband Doug and their own personal “test market,” comprised of their six children in Westport, Connecticut.
Audrey Weil (T’82; P’17)
Audrey holds a B.A. in economics from Duke University. She was employed at AOL, serving from 1988-1998 in a variety of roles — spanning broadband, content, marketing and corporate development work – and closing out her career there as president of CompuServe, a more than half billion-dollar AOL division, steering the company to record growth in both revenue and membership. Audrey served on the board of directors for the Hirshhorn Museum (Smithsonian), the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, and the Columbus Technology Leadership Council. She was named to the board of directors of the AOL Time Warner Foundation and currently is a trustee at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Tatiana Birgisson (T’12)
Tatiana Birgisson is a growth leader marrying strategy, performance marketing, and creative problem solving to grow brands domestically and abroad. She is currently the Director of Growth Marketing at Ampush, a global marketing agency known for driving exponential growth at Dollar Shave Club, Uber, Casper, StitchFix, Starz and more. Prior to Ampush, Tatiana worked in the marketing& sales practice at McKinsey & Co. Tatiana’s passion for growth stems from herexperiences building MATI Energy, the first no-compromise energy drink (acquired in 2020), which she founded as an undergrad at Duke. In her spare time, Tatiana rock climbs, skis, coaches Duke student entrepreneurs, and fuels her day with MATI.
Lisa Blau (T’97)
Lisa Blau is a partner at __able, an investment partnership focused on supporting visionary, early stage brands in the positive, healthy living space. Lisa has spent the last decade as an active angel investor with a particular interest in supporting women-led entrepreneurial ventures. She is a Board Member of The New York Public Library, KIPP New York, and The Mount Sinai Parenting Center. She chairs the Investor Group of the Leadership Now Project, an organization committed to renewing democracy. Lisa has a BA from Duke and an MBA from Harvard Business School and lives in New York City with her husband and three children.
Jeff Eaton (T’98 B’04)
Jeffis a managing partner at Eaton Partners, a leading alternative investment fund advisory and placement firm that specializes in helping best-in-class asset managers found and build their businesses. Jeff has been instrumental in driving the growth strategy over the past fifteen years that ultimately resulted in the acquisition by Stifel Financial. He manages the consideration and acquisition of new clients across all investment strategies for the firm and also runs the real assets and energy groups. He has adiverse background in energy investments and over 20 years of experience in the financial industry. Prior to joining Eaton Partners, he was a Director at Constellation Energy Commodities Group leading principal transactions for their natural gas structuring and trading division.
Jeff graduated from Duke University with degrees in Economics and History, and received his MBAfrom Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.
Theresa Eaton (T’01 L’06)
Theresa heads SCF Partners’ Origination group and is responsible for identifying rising stars/entrepreneurs in the oilfield, negotiating growth-capital investment and providing these entrepreneurs/ businesses strategic oversight and capital to grow. Each investment is typically between $20 million and $150 million. Theresa sources these acquisition opportunities for SCF and works to shape their organizations through a combination of organic and acquisitive growth and participates in their ongoing oversight and development.
Theresa graduated from Duke with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Asian Studies with a concentration in Japanese. After graduating from Duke, she worked in the Institutional Securities Division at Morgan Stanley in Manhattan. She subsequently attended Duke Law School where she earned her J.D. and later worked in the Corporate and Securities group at Vinson & Elkins LLP. Prior to joining SCF Partners, Theresa worked at First Reserve Corporation, an energy focused private equity firm.
She serves on the board of the Center for Hearing and Speech and on the board of the Broach Foundation for Brain Cancer Research, an organization she co-founded and has jointly raised more than $4 million for glioblastoma research.
Aaron Enrico (T’93)
Aaron is the Founder and Managing Partner of Black Bear Partners, a growth capital investment firm located in Dallas, Texas. He has had a broad and expansive career in principal investing, marketing and strategy consulting, and general management.
Aaron served as a Principal with CIC Advantage Holdings LLC (CIC Partners LP), with a particular investment focus on restaurant, retail, consumer packaged goods and media. Aaron started his career with McKinsey & Company, and also served in senior marketing and management capacities with the sports marketing conglomerate International Management Group (IMG), the U.S. Olympic Committee and Genesco Sports Enterprises, Inc.
Aaron currently serves as a Director of Bitty Foods, Hail Merry Inc., Pathwater, Seven Mile Suites Ltd. (Comfort Suites Grand Cayman) and Wolf Manufacturing, and as a Board Member of Ecologic Brands, Inc. He formerly sat on the boards of giggle, MosquitoNix, Red Mango, Signstorey (CBS Outernet) and Yummy Spoonfuls. In addition, he has served in various advisor and board capacities with the Greenhill School, Duke University Annual Fund Executive Committee, Duke University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Board of Advisors, the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas and the AFI Dallas International Film Festival.
Aaron received his BA in History and Comparative Area Studies from Duke University and his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. He lives in Dallas with his wife Catie and their three children, Daniel, Joseph and Gisele.
Josh Felser (T’86 B’90)
Josh is a successful entrepreneur and investor with a passion for startups, mental health and the environment. He is a cofounder of Freestyle, an early stage venture capital firm. Prior to Freestyle, he started two successful Internet companies, Spinner and Grouper, which were acquired by AOL Time Warner and Sony for $320 million and $65 million, respectively. He graduated from Duke and Fuqua, where he’s currently on the board of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Task Force for Duke I&E. More recently, Josh has become an active investor in health and wellness and currently co-leads a task force for the State of California to assist with the COVID-19 crisis.
April Gargiulo (T’96)
April Gargiulo is the Founder and CEO of Vintner’s Daughter, a luxury skincare company committed to performance-driven quality-focused, non-toxic skincare. She launched her first product, Active Botanical Serum in 2012 bucking industry standards by using whole organic plants and methodical formulation methods versus low quality fillers and formulation short cuts. Vintner’s Daughter quickly became a benchmark for quality and performance in the beauty world and is coveted by top beauty connoisseurs and industry professionals around the world. Before starting Vintner’s Daughter, April spent 8 years at the helm of her family’s Napa Valley winery, Gargiulo Vineyards. There, she helped build the winery’s reputation for terroir-driven, “first growth” Cabernet Sauvignon. Before Napa, April spent 6 years in Manhattan where she worked for design leader Vitra. Through Vintner’s Daughter April commits 2% of every bottle sold to charities benefitting women and children worldwide. She is married to fellow entrepreneur, Mitch Lowe (also her co-CEO) and has two young daughters. April has an undergraduate degree from Duke University.
Nancy Go (T’00)
Nancy Tao Go holds a BS Economics from Duke University and MBA from Stanford University. She currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Devoted Health, an Andreesen Horowitz funded startup that improves healthcare for American seniors. Previously, Nancy was head of brand marketing for Wayfair, from the launch of Wayfair in 2011 to achieving 85%+ awareness by 2017. Nancy is a veteran of Procter & Gamble, where she worked on new launches for brands including Gillette and Venus, and the Parthenon Group/E&Y. Nancy is a marketing executive focused on launching new brands, including TV advertising, growth acquisition, consumer media, creative, UI/UX, measurement/ad tech infrastructure, and brand strategy. She currently serves on the board for Big Sisters Association of Greater Boston, and previous stints on the board of advisors for Chewy (NYSE: CHWY), Dia&Co (Sequoia Capital funded plus size fashion startup), and Tally (a16z funded finance startup). Nancy currently lives in Lexington, MA with her husband, another Duke grad, and two daughters.
Winston Henderson (E’90 L’96)
Winston Henderson is currently Vice President, General Counsel at Nano Terra, Inc., a nanotechnology company in Cambridge, MA.
For the past 10+ years, Winston has been instrumental in starting and running life-science and high-tech start-up companies in the Boston area. Prior to Nano Terra, Winston was General Counsel at Surface Logix, a life science company in Boston. Surface Logix invented a platform technology for developing improved drug therapies, and grew into a biopharmaceutical company with a substantial pipeline of drug candidates addressing Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular health and oncology.
Prior to moving to Boston to join the start-up economy, Winston was an attorney with an intellectual property law firm, Kenyon & Kenyon, and a consultant with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in its Advanced Systems and Technology Integration Services groups. During that time, Mr. Henderson consulted with and advised numerous international high technology, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, as well as various government entities, both domestic and international.
Mr. Henderson received his B.S.E. in Biomedical & Electrical Engineering from Duke University (where he was a Reginaldo Howard Scholar), and his J.D. from Duke University School of Law.
Sanjay Kamlani (T’91)
Sanjay is the Managing Director of 1991 Group Inc. a legal technology development and offshore services advisory firm serving law firms and legal technology businesses.
Previously, Sanjay was Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Pangea3, a Sequoia Capital portfolio company acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2010 and more recently by Ernst & Young. Pangea3 was the #1 ranked legal process outsourcing (LPO) provider worldwide, and grew to over 1,000 employees globally during Sanjay’s tenure. Pangea3 provides innovative global legal solutions to Fortune 1000 corporations, in-house counsel and law firms, and has received numerous accolades and industry awards.
Prior to forming Pangea3, Sanjay was a Co-Founder, Board Member, CFO & General Counsel of OfficeTiger, the pioneer in offshore professional support services outsourcing, acquired by RR Donnelly in 2006. Prior to OfficeTiger, Sanjay spent six years as a lawyer at PricewaterhouseCoopers advising US based multinationals on cross-border M&A transactions, green field projects, joint ventures and investments.
Sanjay speaks frequently and is quoted widely on entrepreneurship, cross-border business management, legal process innovation, and offshore outsourcing. He has been featured in numerous media outlets, including American Bar Journal, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, and CNBC. He has been recognized by The American Lawyer as a Top 50 Innovator in Big Law in the Last 50 Years and featured in the ABA Law Journal’s 100 Years of Law. Sanjay earned his BA from Duke in 1991 and his JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1994.
David Kelleher (T’94; P’22)
David Kelleher is CEO and co-founder of 4G Clinical, a venture-backed Randomization and Trial Supply Management (RTSM) company serving the global pharmaceutical market. Kelleher co-founded 4G to accelerate the commercialization of vital medications. Previously, David was principal and co-founder of ACME Business Consulting, a management, operations, project and strategy consulting firm headquartered in Portland, Oregon with offices in Seattle and San Diego. Kelleher formed ACME with his partners in 2002 to help organizations complete critical projects that advance, improve and streamline their ability to do business. Prior to ACME being acquired by North Highland in 2015, the firm was named to the Portland Business Journal’s list of “Fastest-Growing Private 100 Companies” for 8 of the previous 9 years.
Kelleher earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Duke University and is also a graduate of the United States Army Infantry Officer Basic School, Airborne School and Ranger School. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996 while serving in the 82nd Airborne Division in Vicenza, Italy, Kelleher is active in finding a cure for the disease. He served on the board of the Oregon Chapter of the National MS Society from 2005–2013 including a two-year stint as the board chair as well as multiple national roles. Kelleher has also served on the board of directors for Janus Youth Programs, Greater Portland, Inc., Junior Achievement and Home Forward (formerly Housing Authority of Portland). He resides in Northeast Portland with his wife, Kysa, and their six children.
Justin Klein (T’99 M’04)
Justin Klein, MD, JD is a co-founder and Managing Partner at Vensana Capital, a leading venture capital and growth equity firm dedicated to medtech innovation. Justin was previously a partner and leader of the medical technology investing practice at NEA, one of the largest and most active venture capital firms in the world. Justin also worked at the Duke University Health System where his experience included roles in strategy, finance and operations as Duke built one of the nation’s first integrated healthcare delivery systems. Justin currently or previously served on the board of directors of Cartiva (acquired), ChromaCode, CV Ingenuity (acquired), Epix Therapeutics (acquired), FIRE1, Intact Vascular, Metavention, Personal Genome Diagnostics, PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals (IPO), Relievant Medsystems, Senseonics (IPO), Topera (acquired), Ulthera (acquired), Vertiflex (acquired), Vesper Medical, and VytronUS. Justin graduated with an AB in Economics, a BS in Biological Anthropology & Anatomy, and a Minor in Chemistry from Duke University. He also concurrently earned his MD from the Duke University School of Medicine and his JD from Harvard Law School.
Ron Ludwig, Emeritus (T’65)
Ron Ludwig practiced law in San Francisco for 26 years in a boutique law firm that specialized in employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), corporate finance and corporate governance. He was instrumental in the development of the federal laws and regulations governing ESOPs, and he was the first professional to receive a Life Service Award from The ESOP Association. Following his retirement in 1999, Ron served on the Boards of Directors of five employee-ownership companies and invested in private equity through Ludwig Investment Partners. He has also served on the Board of Trustees of The Employee Ownership Foundation and the Board of Counselors of the Center for Economic and Social Justice.
Ron and his wife Carrie established the first endowment of an undergraduate study-away program in Duke’s history, the Ronald & Carrie Ludwig Duke in Silicon Valley Program. Situating students in the nation’s hub for innovative enterprise, the program is designed to give them an intensive four-week course experience in the creation of new ventures, both commercial and social.
Ron is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Michigan Law School. For the past six years, he has been a student at the University of San Francisco’s Fromm Institute For Lifelong Learning, where Carrie and he have recently endowed the Ludwig Chair in 20th Century Rock & Soul Music.
Les Ottolenghi (T’84)
As a C-level leader, Les brings 30+ years of experience as a Fortune 200 IT executive, an entrepreneur, and a creator of several of the travel and entertainment industries’ most game-changing technologies. Les’ expertise encompasses cyber security, big data, real time CRM, and consumer-centric mobile applications development. He’s been lauded by top executives at many of the world’s most respected technology companies incluing HP, Microsoft, Google, Dell, and Cisco as the best CIO they have ever seen and he’s earned the distinction of a top 50 CIO by CIO Magazine.
Currently, Les is Executive Vice President & Chief Information Officer at Caesars Entertainment Group and he was previously the CIO, CTO, and Chief Innovation Officer for Sands Corporation. He also spent several years in executive technology roles at top hospitality and travel brands Holiday Inn and Carlson Wagonlit. Les built three successful companies focused on leading-edge software applications and created the first search engine for the travel industry and the first platform for providing legal and authorized forms of downloadable media content to consumers.
Les holds an MBA in Decision Information Analysis from Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business and a BA from Duke University. He is passionate about social causes at the intersection of children and technology and he funded, wrote, promoted, and produced a cyberbullying documentary reviewed by HBO films, CNN, and the U.S. House of Congress and accepted at 38 film festivals.
Selwyn Rayzor (T’93)
Selwyn Rayzor received her A.B. in economics from Duke University in 1993. She is the founding board chair of the Great Plains Board for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and serves on the National Development Board for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. She has traveled with UNICEF to Nepal and Uganda and initiated the Let us Learn Campaign with North Texas donors and the Duke UNICEF Accelerator. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Family Gateway, a nonprofit organization striving to end child homelessness in Dallas, Texas and the community board for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas.
Selwyn Rayzor is president of the Rayzor Company, a privately owned investment company and a director of Suderman & Young Towing, a tugboat company servicing the Gulf of Mexico. She previously was a Managing Director with the investment banking division of ABN Amro Bank in London.
Matt Rhodes-Kropf (T’93, G’98)
Matt is a managing partner at Tectonic Ventures as well as a professor at MIT. Previously he founded RK Ventures, the predecessor to Tectonic, where he managed two successful funds. Matt invested in companies such as Rackspace, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Xenex, and Axioma among others. Matt was formerly the CFO of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, where he worked with the founder to launch the firm and the world’s first Alzheimer’s imaging agent. Matt also helped launch a hedge fund as the COO and advised in the creation and growth of Correlation Ventures. Matt is presently a director at Xenex, 55ip, Avant-garde Health and at Neighborhood Trust and an advisor to Kymeta, and Humatics.
Matt also enjoys teaching entrepreneurship and fin-tech in the Finance department at MIT, and is a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Matt’s research on venture capital and exits has been published in many leading finance and economic journals. Previously a faculty member in the Entrepreneurial Management department at Harvard Business School, Matt taught VCPE and published many HBS cases. His work has been profiled in the Financial Times, The Economist, the MIT Sloan Management Review, Kauffman publications, Institutional Investor’s Alpha Magazine, PeHub, etc., and many popular blogs. He is regularly quoted in major print media such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the Financial Times, etc., and has discussed his work on television, with appearances on CNBC, BBC and CNN. Matt gives talks throughout the world on the financing of innovation. Matt also oversees myriad student ventures and has advised literally hundreds of founders. Formerly a finance professor at Columbia University where he taught Entrepreneurial Finance.
A graduate of Duke University, Professor Rhodes-Kropf holds a BA in computer science and economics and an MA and Ph.D. in economics. Matt was formerly the chairman of the advisory board for Duke University’s Graduate School.
Sonya Schroeder (T’88)
Sonya recently joined Main Data Group, a corporate benchmarking and analytics company, as SVP of Marketing and Product Design. Previously, she cofounded iiWisdom, the leading provider of interactive governance solutions for companies and investors, which she and her team built in partnership with BlackRock.
Sonya has two decades of experience developing strategic, marketing, and research plans for leading corporate brands. She was a consultant at Bain & Company and held senior operating roles at American Express, Time, Inc and The Geppetto Group. She has been actively involved with Challenge Success, an organization devoted to redefining success for today’s teens, and volunteers with several arts organizations.
Sonya graduated with a BA in Economics from Duke and an MBA from Harvard. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and three children.
Ramy Brook Sharp (P’21)
Ramy is the founder, CEO and Creative Director of Ramy Brook, one of the fastest growing woman’s contemporary fashion brands. Ramy Brook is also a woman owned business. Ramy Brook is available at almost 400 locations of high end retailers worldwide, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s, top specialty stores, leading etailers, the flagship Ramy Brook store in Soho, New York City and ramybrook.com. Ramy has been honored for her philanthropic efforts with organizations such as the City of Hope, the UJA and the RENS. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Ramy built her career in advertising, and graduated with a BA in Political Science and Communications from Muhlenberg College. Ramy resides in New York City with her husband, three children and dog Baxter.