Seed613 Mentors and Fellows, 2017
We are thrilled to introduce our Seed613 Mentors and Fellows for 2017. Here you can find out more about their diverse backgrounds and passionate drive to make a positive impact on our community.
Lauri Alpern is a leading social entrepreneurship strategist and organizational development advisor. She is principal of Open Door Advisors, which she founded in 2009 to help high impact organizations realize their social, economic and racial justice missions. Throughout her career, Lauri has led numerous companies through growth strategies, resulting in new levels of efficiency, revenue and impact. Lauri is an expert in the social entrepreneurship field working with clients to wisely plan and manage double and triple bottom lines of mission, money, and sustainability. Earlier in her career, Lauri served with distinction as assistant commissioner for the City of Chicago Department of Economic Development in the administration of Mayor Harold Washington with a portfolio centered on jobs and industrial development.
Lauri is currently a Ph.D. candidate in business psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology (completion mid-2017). She has a master’s degree in urban planning with a specialization in economic development from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Karen Berk Barak
Karen Berk Barak is an entrepreneur, musician and entertainer, co active coach, author, and public speaker. Karen founded several successful businesses since 1989 in the fields of hospitality, real estate, home automation, entertainment and coaching. Presently, Karen Berk Barak Productions creates performance experiences that are meant to educate, inspire and entertain. She also creates custom performances for tributes, memorials and personal events. Her private coaching practice, Alignlife Design, assists individuals of all walks of life taking them from where they are to where they want to be.
Andrea Corral splits her time between Chicago and Spain, and also between IT work and the wine business. A micro importer of Spanish wines, she keeps two laptops busy: one for her IT work, the other for her wine business.
David began his career in the automotive industry developing marketing technology for top automakers including General Motors and Ford. He’s traveled worldwide directing marketing programs for AstraZeneca and Pfizer, focusing mainly on event metrics and audience acquisition tools. He transitioned to business analytics, consulting for Cadillac and Motorola on their event programs worldwide.After working with large corporate clients, David transitioned to consulting for early stage startups and small businesses. He raised capital in excess of $15M for clients across the US. His experience spans many industries including manufacturing, logistics, mobile technology, and healthcare.
David currently works as a Business Analyst for the Duman Entrepreneurship Center at JVS Chicago. He oversees a microloan fund for startups and small businesses in the Chicago area. Since joining JVS, David has been a guest speaker for events in the startup space and small business finance.
Shalom Klein is an entrepreneur. He is known for the founding of Jewish B2B Networking and leading the Jewish Community Council of West Rogers Park.
One of Klein’s first jobs was project manager at Chabad.org and CEO at TheJMom.com. In 2009 he became a vice-president at the accounting firm Moshe Klein & Associates Ltd, co-founded by his father. He graduated from the Certificate in Jewish Leadership program from Northwestern University as a part of the program’s inaugural class, and received a Master of Arts degree in Jewish Professional Studies with a concentration in nonprofit management at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.
Natalia Petricek brings 20 years of finance experience working for a multi-billion dollar publicly traded international corporation and a prominent national non-profit organization. Her expertise is heading organization’s finance functions, managing delivery of multi-million-dollar projects and building high performance cross-functional teams through training and mentoring. Natalia works closely with Executive Management on strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting. In the past, she led system migration and system design/ implementation projects and performed internal audits. Natalia has a MBA in Corporate Finance, Risk Management, and International Business and a BA in Business Administration and Finance. Currently, she is the Finance Director at JCC Chicago.
Cindy Pogrund is President of Paradigm Pursuits, an executive coaching and business strategy consulting firm and founder of Growth on Purpose, whose first product is a framework to help employees grow as fast or faster than their company. Prior to these roles, Cindy was a founding member of the management team and Executive Vice President at DialogTech, formerly Ifbyphone, a call attribution and conversion software company. Prior to Ifbyphone Cindy spent the majority of her career in consulting including Senior Vice President for Metamor Worldwide (IT Consulting Firm). She has held multiple lay leaderships positions including President of Rochelle Zell Jewish High School and President and Chairman of the Board for The ARK. Cindy has an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and her MBA from Northwestern University. Her first and most memorable startup was her marriage to David, followed by the birth and raising of their children, Brian and Emily. In 2012 they had their first merger when their daughter-in-law Hannah joined their family. Cindy is an avid reader of fiction and business books and welcomes all reading recommendations.
Paul Sippil serves as a community builder, creator, and disrupter connecting people through shared meals as part of Community Dining, a group he started in March of 2015 aiming to stimulate substantive dialogue and strengthen social bonds. Paul is a former auditor, recovering CPA, and independent registered investment advisor who acts as a crime-fighter by day focusing on uncovering the fraud, corruption, and conflicts of interest in the retirement plan industry.
In 2006, Jessica Wayne formed the development consulting firm Jessica Wayne Consulting, Inc., focused largely on corporate and foundation fundraising, and has since worked with health organizations such as the American College of Surgeons Foundation, The Rosecrance Foundation and World Continence Week-USA. The consultancy was launched following a longstanding role with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as Director of Corporate Development. While there, she was responsible for generating over $4 million for the CSO’s operations annually. Prior to this, Jessica Wayne served as Director of Development for The Great American Children’s Theatre Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Jessica is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Women in Development Professions. Jessica’s love for music and playing piano guided her toward non-profit work. Though not performing these days, Jessica still loves playing piano and trying as many instruments as possible.
David is a real estate developer, innovative and experienced attorney and accountant with expertise in a wide range of areas including real estate transactions, business law, entrepreneurship, financial management and teaching. Among David’s accomplishments are: plaintiff in a case that changed the criteria that determine legal interest rates in the State of California, syndicated and developed a large business complex, general partner in many real estate projects, merged a photography business and took it public and led the construction of numerous homes and small apartment buildings. David has a JD in Law, an MBA in Business Administration and a BA in Liberal Arts.
Sarina Rosenberg Asher
Sarina Rosenberg Asher combines expertise in strategic communications, management, and public policy with a passion for service. As a consultant to the country’s top state lawmakers in the area of criminal justice, Sarina leads teams that develop and drive the implementation of innovative policies intended to improve public safety.
Public and nonprofit sector leaders are challenged to achieve greater impact with scarce resources now more than ever before. Sarina will be applying lessons learned from entrepreneurs to develop fresh approaches to her work leading public sector consulting teams across the country.
Danielle’s passion for social entrepreneurship is driven by her experience working in the education and healthcare fields. Throughout her life, Danielle has performed in musicals and practiced Shotokan karate. Grateful for the diverse communities that have embraced her, Danielle strives to ensure that individuals of all abilities have the opportunity to find their niche.
Our organization provides creative and supportive solutions to the challenges faced by individuals with special needs and their caregivers.
There are many fantastic resources available to individuals with special needs, but finding the right fit can be a daunting task. Our main objective is to connect individuals to appropriate programming and services. We also foster growth by providing individuals and organizations with the knowledge, training and tools necessary to support inclusivity.
After working at Accenture for three years in Washington, D.C., Daniel took some time to build on his enthusiasm for Judaism by studying at Pardes. This proved to be a life-enhancing experience, Daniel joined Measuring Success, a small firm that consults for non-profits across North America – many of which are in the Jewish community.
The mission of Chai Performance is to inspire enthusiasm for Judaism in adolescents by matching them with passionate young adults in year-round, side-by-side opportunities for Jewish learning and development of secular interests.
Sari & Lauren Feingold
Lauren is a passionate community builder and opportunity creator. With an intention to brighten people’s days and inspire others, she has enjoyed her freelance consulting work in PR, design strategy, and content production for nonprofit founders and small business owners.
Sari aspires to make a difference in people’s lives through creative thinking, asking thoughtful questions, telling great stories, sharing food, and smiling as much as possible. Sari has crafed big ideas for big brands through her work at ad agency Leo Burnett Chicago. She’s thankful for this opportunity to blend her entrepreneurial spirit with her passion for community-building and doing good.
Let’s initiate a new way of dining that helps people get more comfortable with meeting new people while enjoying a meal out on the town. Kindness towards the stranger is an important concept in Judaism, and so much opportunity is missed when we don’t take advantage of really getting to know the people around us. We are (twin) sisters on a mission to change that.
Sean has approximately three years of officiating and coaching (compassion, empathy, and relator strengths) experience. Through the Deerfield Park District, Sean coached and officiated 1st through 8th grade boys and girls (approximately 100) and volunteer parent coaches (approximately 20) about fundamentally sound skills and why violations were assessed.
“Rise UP, Reset, Persevere (Rise UP RP) is a career focused recruiting, professional development, networking, human resources, and consulting firm transforming restrictions/limitations into opportunities for all clients seeking to achieve their career aspirations.
Katia Kobylinski is an avid social entrepreneur. Her latest project – 2016 Brussels Summer School for Young Leaders – saw young professionals from more than 20 countries participate in discussions with Vice-President of the EU Commission and the NATO General. Katia is also a regular contributor to the EUbulletin.com, for which she interviewed Chief Rabbi of Poland and a leader of the Iranian opposition. An economist by profession and an analyst by nature, Katia has a great passion for data, stories, branding, media and the world around us. She has helped leading brands grow and drive marketing efficiency through data analysis and storytelling.
I am applying to this bootcamp because I want to sharpen my entrepreneurial skills to improve my existing venture – Global Learning (www.glstudyabroad.com) – and start a social enterprise in the area of marketing/advertising (still conceptualizing). I would like to create a platform for nonprofits to have access to commercial marketing/advertising tools to promote their causes.
Eliza is outgoing, driven and motivated. When she feels passion and purpose behind an idea, company or project, she will find ways to learn more and get it done, enlist help if needed and do everything to give her all! She is a self- taught marketer, food blogger and aspiring entrepreneur. She enjoys helping others and attending events, reading and taking on projects to expand her skillset.
I am hoping to develop a system or approach to help small and local businesses more effectively market themselves.
Before working in private equity, Jeff focused on analytics and data science throughout his career. He has championed several industries from capital markets to health care, helping transform both the corporate as well the technology landscape with some of the world’s leading top fortune 100 companies. Jeff attended Purdue as well as the University of Chicago focusing on operation research and analytics respectively.
Jeremy has been working in real estate for over seven years, specializing in revitalizing residential rental properties. His previous experience includes working as a management consultant for Treasury Strategies where he assisted Fortune 500 Corporations in developing innovative solutions for technology, operations, and financial strategy. In his free time, Jeremy enjoys volleyball and cycling.
Red Brick Analytics was founded by a real estate professional and a data scientist searching for a better way to identify great tenants. Driven by a lack of information on low income applicants using traditional credit scores, we developed a solution that gives under funded families the housing they deserve by providing a unique data-driven solution not available from the big 3 credit bureaus.
I’m currently a residential re-developer with Yellow Brick Properties. I work to bring new life to homes and neighborhoods that are considered lower value using sustainable models. I am passionate about redeveloping these types of homes in the Chicagoland area because I believe the home is reflective of the resident’s quality of life and in turn a reflection on the community. Recently, I joined the junior board called of I Grow Chicago, a non-profit organization that promotes healthy living using yoga, meditation and a community garden on one of the toughest blocks in Chicago. My drive to achieve in my profession is motivated by inspiring ventures who truly make an impact on the community.
My venture is to build new construction homes that revolve around healthy, safe, affordable, and comfortable living. By focusing on sustainable or green construction, I hope to promote a healthy and peaceful home and life.
Deborah L. Shub is the Assistant Director of Leadership Development at the Jewish United Fund (JUF) / Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, where she helps cultivate JUF’s volunteer leadership and ensures they have positive experiences and meaningful roles within the organization. She began her career at JUF in 2012 in the Planning & Allocations department, where she managed all of JUF’s Young Family and PJ Library events, and prior to that worked at two different synagogues in the suburbs. She has sat on the Board and volunteered with many organizations, including PAWS Chicago and The Anti-Defamation League, among others. Deborah earned her Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and holds a Masters in Jewish Professional Studies and Certificate in Jewish Leadership from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning & Leadership.
JPRO Chicago is a new initiative that will support individual career growth and the collective growth of our Jewish community by serving as a central resource for professional development. JPRO Chicago will connect Chicago’s Jewish professionals with each other, provide training and leadership development opportunities, inspire and strengthen individuals and their organizations, and empower professionals to make a difference in our community.
Adam Sobol is an innovative, passionate technologist focused on building products that help people live better lives. With experience in web development, he has successfully started 2 other software startups. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Adam studied at Indiana University where he completed his B.S in Informatics as well as his Masters in Information Systems and Cybersecurity.
CareBand is a wearable technology startup for seniors living with dementia in Assisted Living Communities. Our smart technology platform provides caregivers with insights into residents daily living activities and notifications for falls and wander events. CareBand enables seniors to maintain a high quality of life, stay safe and remain healthy for as long as possible.
After many years of organizing friends’ and relatives’ homes, Elesheva started Soloff Space Solutions in 2010. She loves working with clients to convert their home space frustrations into customized solutions. People often ask if her home is always perfectly organized. She tells them her space works for her, and her focus with her clients makes their spaces work for them. She has a BA in Cultural Anthropology and Art History from the Univerisity of Michigan.
Elesheva started Soloff Space Solutions in Boston and in 2014 moved her company to Chicago. She wants to grow it in Chicago to the point of being sustainable.
Jill Stein has a background in change management and social action. Jill is currently part of the risk and quality change management team at Accenture. For two decades, she was a social worker focused on positive change for families in Chicago. Jill is involved with Support the Girls-Chicago, and active in her neighborhood and synagogue. She and her husband are raising their three boys to be compassionate and empathetic up-standers.
A database or clearinghouse to connect nonprofit organizations with would-be donors who want to give items and volunteer time.
Cristy Steinberg & Julie Hirschfeld
Cristy Steinberg and Julie Hirschfeld have always had a passion for event planning. Wanting to add personal touches with a professional look, they make time outside their careers to develop something extra special for birthdays, holidays and special events. They take pride in creating feelings of happiness and leave a lasting impression, and they look forward to helping the community create these same traditions. Cristy is a physical therapist; Julie is an attorney. They each live with their husbands and two children, both 6 and 4.
From birthday parties and baby showers, from New Years to Hanukkah, we love planning our personal events. We bake custom cakes, design personalized invitations, and create special goodie bags and memorable tablescapes; and we are motivated to create the same lasting memories for other families.