Tim Armstrong, Co-Chair

Tim Armstrong is CEO of AOL Inc., a leading global media technology company headquartered in New York City and operating in over 20 countries worldwide. Today, AOL serves over 500 million consumers every month across the globe, and maintains partnerships with thousands of the world's leading companies. AOL owns, builds and operates global media brands and provides technology and services to over 10,000 other brands and media companies.  Under Tim’s leadership, AOL was acquired by Verizon for 4.4 billion dollars on May 12, 2015. 

Prior to joining AOL, Tim spent almost a decade at Google, where he served as President of  Google's Americas Operations and Senior Vice President of Google Inc. as well as serving on the company's global operating committee. Tim started in his career by co-founding a newspaper in Boston, MA before moving into the Internet industry, where he has worked as a team member, investor or co-founder at numerous companies, including Starwave (sold to Disney / ESPN / ABC Internet Ventures), Snowball (IPO), Associated Content (sold to Yahoo), and Patch (sold to AOL). 

Tim has also been an active investor in the start-up community, both on and offline.  Tim serves on the board of The Priceline Group, Inc., The Paley Center for Media, the New York regional board of Teach for America, the Waterside Charter School in Stamford, CT, as Chairman Emeritus for the Ad Council, and as a trustee for the United States Olympic & Paralympic Foundation. He also acts as an advisor to the McChrystal Group, a leadership consulting firm driven by former Commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, General Stan McChrystal. Additionally, Tim is the chairman of the IAB Education Foundation, a new non-profit working to improve diversity and close the skills gap across the digital media and advertising landscape. An ardent champion of community service, Tim was honored by the Ad Council with their 60th Annual Public Service Award in 2013.Tim is a graduate of Connecticut College and Lawrence Academy. He has served as a trustee for both.

 

 

Shana Fisher

Shana Fisher is the Managing Partner of HLVP, a NY Based venture fund focused on early stage investments. 

From December 2003 to June 2010, Ms. Fisher served as IAC's Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Mergers and Acquisitions, and prior to that as the Senior Vice President of Business Operations for IAC. Previously, Ms. Fisher served as Vice President and Director, Media and Technology Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Finance for Allen & Company, LLC. In this capacity she led principle investments and advised publicly traded technology firms, private telecommunications firms and media companies. Prior to Allen & Company, LLC., Ms. Fisher was a program manager for the Microsoft Corporation. 

Ms. Fisher received her B.A. from Hampshire College with a triple major in Sculpture, Philosophy and Linguistics and attended the Master of Arts program at New York University's ITP.

 

 

William Floyd

William Floyd is a public policy professional, issues management strategist and lobbyist with nearly 30 years experience working in government, private and non­profit sectors.

Currently Mr. Floyd is the head of external affairs for Google New York and responsible for managing the company’s outward facing presence in the state. His responsibilities include leading Google’s government and regulatory interactions, public affairs programs and community relations in New York.

Before joining Google, Mr. Floyd was a member of the Law Offices of Claudia Wagner, one of New York City’s leading government affairs firms, where he provided strategic counsel and government affairs support for a wide array of clients in the business and non­profit sectors. In 2010, the Law Offices of Claudia Wagner joined the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, where Mr. Floyd became a senior advisor in its Government and Regulatory Policy Division, representing clients on New York City matters.

In 2003, Mr. Floyd served as Executive Director of the New York City Districting Commission, a multi­partisan government agency charged with redrawing the City’s fifty­one councilmatic district lines. He, along with the fifteen­member Commission and staff of 18 professionals, crafted a final reapportionment plan that was approved by the U.S. Department of Justice without comment or change – an unprecedented event in New York City’s history.

Prior to the Districting Commission, he was the Director of Community Affairs for New York and Connecticut for Verizon Communications Inc., one of the largest telecommunications company in the country, with primary responsibility over each state’s philanthropic, economic development and community outreach efforts. Most notably, Mr. Floyd organized Verizon’s response immediately following the terrorist attacks on September 11th. In addition, he served as Verizon’s lobbyist, representing the company before local governments in New York State on regulatory and legislative matters.

Before that, Mr. Floyd held positions at the New York Building Congress, where he spearheaded several public affairs programs, and Winner/Wagner and Associates, a national public affairs firm.

During his nine years in New York City government, he worked at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the city’s lead agent for economic development, as well as in other City agencies, including the 1989 New York City Charter Revision Commission, the organization that dismantled the Board of Estimate and expanded the New York City Council.

A graduate of Columbia College, where he earned a B.A. in Urban Affairs, Economics and Education, Mr. Floyd is active on several non­profit boards: Vera Institute of Justice, the NYC Citizen’s Budget Commission and the Children's Museum of the Arts. William and his husband of 23 years, Jeremy Berman, live in Manhattan with their seven year old son, Elijah.

Desiree Gruber

Desiree Gruber’s passion for storytelling, fueled by 25 years of experience in fashion, entertainment, and technology, lies at the core of her success. She has built an extraordinary career out of helping people and brands connect, educate, and inspire through compelling stories. She has also, in her own continuing story and via her multimedia company, Full Picture, set a unique example of female entrepreneurship at the intersection of lifestyle and commerce.

 

In addition to guiding Full Picture’s collaborative public relations, brand management, television, and digital production divisions, Gruber is the co-creator and executive producer of Project Runway and the co-founder of Theodora & Callum, an accessories line sold in over 350 stores, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. She also consults for companies such as AOL, Condé Nast Entertainment, and Google’s Made with Code.

Gruber has received a Peabody Award, a GLAAD Media Award, and eleven Emmy nominations for executive producing Project Runway. She was selected as one of Harper’s Bazaar-Dolce & Gabbana’s Women to Watch of 2014, one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs of 2010, and has been honored with over twenty media industry awards. Additionally, she is an advisor to Jawbone, Fashion GPS, Cognite, and popchips. 

Gruber serves on the Boards of the US Fund for UNICEF in New York and God's Love We Deliver and has been profiled in numerous publications, including O: The Oprah Magazine, Variety, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, New York Magazine, and Women’s Wear Daily.

Rachel Haot

Rachel Haot is a Managing Director on the 1776 senior executive team. Prior to this role, Rachel served as Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Secretary for Technology of New York State as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Executive Chamber for two years, from January 2014 to December 2015. During her time in this role, landmark technology initiatives included Governor Cuomo’s historic $1 billion universal broadband plan, the $2 billion Smart School bond act to modernize education and the relaunch of official website NY.gov, the first update in 15 years.

Previously, Rachel served under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York for three years, from 2011 through the end of Mayor Bloomberg’s administration in 2013. There she she led initiatives including the redesign and rearchitecture of official website NYC.gov, .NYC top-level domain program, tech sector campaign We Are Made in NY, the Digital Ready tech curriculum for public school students, and the Reinvent hackathon series.

Earlier in her career, Rachel was founder and CEO of GroundReport, an early global citizen journalism platforms, from 2006 to 2010. She previously worked in business development for LimeWire and taught as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School. Rachel is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business and Chief Digital Officer of the Year by the CDO Summit. She lives with her husband Max and son Jack in Rockaway Beach, NY.

 

Dan Huttenlocher

Dr. Daniel P. Huttenlocher is the founding dean of Cornell Tech, Cornell University's new campus in New York City focused on developing pioneering leaders and technologies for the digital age. He led Cornell's winning bid in the international Applied Scieneces Competition in 2011 that resulted in the creation of the new campus. Dr. Huttenlocher is a renowed computer science researcher and educator, and a prolific inventor with two dozen US patents. He has held leadership positions in academia, corporations, startups, and the philanthropic sector, In addition to the positions as a professor and dean at Cornell he has served as Chief Technology Officer at Intelligent Markets, Inc., and as a principal scientist and member of the senior leadership team at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. He currently serves as a Director of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and of Corning, Inc. 

Dr. Huttenlocher holds a PhD in computer science and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Computer Science and Psychology from the University of Michigan.

 

Brian O'Kelley

Brian O’Kelley is the CEO and Co-Founder of AppNexus. As Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Brian leads AppNexus’ strategic initiatives culture. He has more than a decade of leadership experience in the online advertising sector, including his tenure as CTO of Right Media (later sold to Yahoo! in 2007), where he led the creation and commercialization of multiple real-time bidding technologies, including the invention of the world’s first online advertising exchange – the engine that powers and optimizes the real-time purchase and placement of digital advertising. Brian is an inventor of patents that enable AppNexus’ technology to power innovative trading solutions and marketplaces for Internet advertising.

Brian has been an active investor in and early-stage advisor to such startups as Invite Media (acquired by Google in 2010), MediaMath, Dstillery and Solve Media. Brian is also a regular contributor to Forbes on technology-related topics, and among other honors, he has been named to Crain’s 40 Under 40, Adweek 50 and Silicon Alley 100 lists, and was recognized as an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year in the New York region in 2012.

Brian holds a B.S.E. in Computer Science from Princeton University, where he is an active alumnus. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.

Michelle Peluso

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Michelle Peluso is the Chief Marketing Officer of IBM. She oversees all global marketing and brand initiatives, strategy, and execution for the IBM company, including stewardship of thousands of marketing professionals located in hundreds of countries worldwide. Michelle brings to IBM deep, customer-centric marketing and leadership experience as IBM accelerates its transformation into a Cloud and Cognitive platform company.

Prior to IBM, Michelle was CEO of Gilt from 2013 until the sale of Gilt to Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) in February of 2016, and a Board of Directors member since 2009. While at Gilt, she oversaw the expansion of the business and the drive to profitability. Prior to Gilt, Michelle was the Global Consumer Chief Marketing and Internet Officer of Citigroup from 2009 until 2013. In that role she was responsible for the digital experience for Citi’s 100 million consumers globally as well as for Citi’s global consumer marketing strategy and execution. She also led Citi’s effort to bring CitiBike to New York City.

Prior to Citigroup, Michelle was the CEO of Travelocity from 2002 to 2009. She joined Travelocity following the company’s acquisition of Site59, a travel site she created and launched in 1999 as CEO.

Michelle was a White House Fellow and Senior Advisor to Labor Secretary Alexis Herman and worked as a case leader for The Boston Consulting Group in New York and London. She serves on the Board of Directors for NIKE, Inc., nonprofit Technoserve, and Tech:NYC.  She also is a Strategic Advisor at Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), a Palo-Alto based venture capital firm that has backed companies like Facebook, Spotify, Netflix, and Zillow.

Michelle received an MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Pembroke College at Oxford University, where she was a Thoroun Scholar, and her BA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. She lives in Tribeca with her husband and two children.

Serkan Piantino

Serkan Piantino is an entrepreneur and leader in technology businesses in New York City. Currently he is Founder and CEO of Top 1 Networks. Previously he was Founder and Site Director of Facebook New York and Co-Founder of Facebook AI Research. During his 9 years at Facebook he also designed and lead the development of many of Facebook's products and infrastructure including News Feed, Edge Rank, Timeline and Messenger. 

Serkan is an active advocate for the technology industry in New York City, having previously served on Mayor Bloomberg's Council on Technology and Innovation and currently on the boards of Tech:NYC and AFSE. Serkan holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Jeff Reynar

Jeff Reynar is an Engineering Director at Facebook, where he works on location-oriented products and leads Facebook New York's efforts around community engagement and office culture. Previously, he worked on gaming as CTO of Mind Candy, social media as co-founder/CTO of Sulia, digital media as Head of Technology at Aol, social search as co-founder/CTO at VybeTrybe, web search as an engineering manager at Google and word processing and speech recognition as a lead program manager at Microsoft. He advises several startups and holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania.
 

Kevin Ryan

Kevin P. Ryan is one of the leading Internet entrepreneurs in New York, having founded and Chairman of several businesses, including Business Insider, MongoDB, GILT, Zola and Kontor. Combined, these companies have raised more than $500 million in venture capital funding and currently employ almost 2,000 people. Previously, Kevin helped build DoubleClick from 1996 to 2005, first as President and later as CEO. He led DoubleClick's growth from a 20-person startup to a publicly traded global leader with over 1,500 employees. In 2013, Kevin was named one of “The 100 Most Influential New Yorkers of the Past 25 Years” by the Observer.

Aside from his professional responsibilities, Kevin serves on the board of Yale Corporation and Human Rights Watch, is Vice Chairman of The Partnership for New York City, Chairman of the Partnership for New York City’s Innovation Council, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He previously served on the boards of INSEAD, the Direct Marketing Association, The Ad Council, HotJobs and the advisory board of Doctors Without Borders. He holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from INSEAD.

 

Julie Samuels, Executive Director

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Julie Samuels is Executive Director of Tech:NYC. Before that she was Executive Director at Engine, a nation-wide nonprofit focused on technology entrepreneurship and advocacy, where she remains a member of the Board. She is a frequent commentator on technology and policy issues for national media—particularly in the intellectual property space—and has filed briefs with the Supreme Court and testified before Congressional Committees.

Earlier in her career, Julie worked at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), where she was a senior staff attorney and the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents. Before joining EFF, Julie litigated IP and entertainment cases. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Julie spent time as a legislative assistant at the Media Coalition in New York, as an assistant editor at the National Journal in D.C., and worked at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in Champaign, IL.

Julie earned her J.D. from Vanderbilt University and her B.S. in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She serves on the Boards of Engine, and the Internet Education Foundation, TechCongress, and on various Advisory Boards, such as of the Defensive Patent License and the License on Transfer Network, as well as on ABNY's Steering Committee and Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Red Tape Commission. She lives in New York City with her family.

 

Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its Summer Immersion Programs and Clubs, Girls Who Code is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.

Started in 2012, Girls Who Code has grown to reach 10,000 girls in more than 40 states. In 2016, the organization will run more than 80 Summer Immersion Programs and 500 Clubs. The results speak for themselves: 90 percent of alumnae have declared or intend to declare a major or minor in computer science.

Reshma began her career as an attorney and activist. In 2010, she surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. During the race, Reshma visited local schools and saw the gender gap in computing classes firsthand, which led her to start Girls Who Code. Reshma has also served as Deputy Public Advocate for New York City and ran a spirited campaign for Public Advocate in 2013.

Reshma is the author of the groundbreaking new book, Women Who Don’t Wait In Line, in which she advocates for a new model of female leadership focused on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting your own course — personally and professionally. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law School. She’s been named one of Fortune’s 40 under 40, a WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year, one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in New York by the New York Daily News, CNBC's Next List, Forbes's Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People, Crain’s New York 40 Under 40, Ad Age's Creativity 50, Business Insider's 50 Women Who Are Changing the World, City & State's Rising Stars, and an AOL/PBS Next MAKER.

Kevin Sheekey

Kevin Sheekey oversees global government relations, communications, and marketing for Bloomberg LP, the media and financial information company founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Prior to joining Bloomberg LP, Kevin was Deputy Mayor of New York for Government Affairs where he managed local, state and federal government relations for the City of New York. Prior to his appointment, he was Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign manager in the 2005 mayoral election. Kevin served as President of the New York City Host Committee for the 2004 Republican National Convention. After running Michael Bloomberg’s successful 2001 campaign for mayor, Kevin served as a senior advisor to the Mayor. Kevin was the chief representative for Bloomberg LP in Washington, DC from 1997 to 2000, and prior to joining the company, Sheekey was Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Chief of Staff to Representative James H. Scheuer.

 

Ragy Thomas

Ragy is a technology visionary, entrepreneur, and investor who has played an instrumental role in the evolution of two business-critical channels for the enterprise: social media and email. As founder and CEO of Sprinklr – the world’s most complete enterprise social technology serving more than 1,000 enterprise brands globally – he is empowering companies to reimagine their customer-facing operations to manage consumer experiences across every touch point.
 

Prior to founding Sprinklr, Ragy was the president of Epsilon’s (NYSE:ADS) Interactive Services from 2006 to 2008, and the CTO of Bigfoot Interactive, an email marketing leader that Epsilon acquired in 2005.

Ragy earned his M.B.A. in Finance and Information Systems from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and his Computer Science Engineering degree from Pondicherry University in India. He serves on the board of directors at Kenscio, a digital marketing services company he co-founded in 2009, and Cloth, a mobile fashion application company.

Fred Wilson, Co-Chair

Fred Wilson has been a venture capitalist since 1987. He currently is a managing partner at Union Square Ventures and also founded Flatiron Partners. Fred has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Fred is married with three children and lives in New York City.

Carly Zakin

Carly Zakin is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of theSkimm, a company that makes it easier to be smarter and has reinvented morning routines for millions. Carly received a BA in Political Science and Film, with a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Pennsylvania, where she began interning for NBC News. Upon graduation in 2008, Carly began work for CNBC's primetime development division and went on to produce MSNBC news documentaries both in New York and DC. From breaking news and writing for the political unit, to personal finance and documentaries on the Kennedy family, and interviewing Tom Brokaw on the Berlin Wall, she made a career out of sharing stories. In 2012, Carly and her Co-founder Danielle Weisberg started theSkimm from their couch, and have since been honored in Forbes 30 under 30 in Media 2015, Adweek's Young Influentials 2015, and by Goldman Sachs Builders and Innovator Summit as one of the most 100 Intriguing Entrepreneurs in 2014, among others. Carly resides in New York, bakes a mean soufflé, and secretly watches marathons of "Golden Girls" and "Frasier."