Dear Friends,

Each school year is always filled with excitement and, most of all, countless possibilities as thousands of VE students across the nation take on the challenge of running business ventures in the classroom. As we look back on the past year in this annual report, we are proud to share the many achievements of students across the country who represent the future of our workforce and the innovators of tomorrow.

With the help of the business partners, supporters, board members, educators, mentors and advocates who are part of our mission, in 2016-17 we transformed 12,000 students across 400 schools in 19 states into business professionals and entrepreneurs. It is both exciting and humbling to know that VEI has impacted so many students who have developed the skills and competencies needed to be college- and career-ready while developing and executing business innovations.

Both our high school program and our recent VE Junior Ventures middle school program are steadily expanding to more schools, and we are witnessing incredible engagement and excitement among our 13- and 14-year-olds who have been given the opportunity to innovate and see the relevance of their school work to the real world of business. This past year’s stand-out VE enterprises included sneaker-cleats for the athlete who plays multiple sports and no longer has to purchase multiple pairs of sports shoes, backpacks with retractable earphones, and a motorized bed overlay to keep people upright who are bedridden due to illness.

Inspired by our forward-thinking students, over the past year we have continued to embark upon new ventures. We launched the inaugural VE Venture Challenge, providing budding entrepreneurs with opportunities to transform their concepts into viable businesses through mentorship, education, financial support, and real-world business partnerships. We also implemented the VE Career Readiness Framework, providing schools with career readiness standards to benchmark their students’ skill development as they transition to the next phase of their lives.

As we move towards our ambitious goal to serve over 20,000 students by 2020, we plan to continue to think big and aim high. We are grateful to each member of our growing global community for all that you have done and continue to do to help us prepare students nationwide to enter our rapidly-changing workforce.


Iris Blanc
Executive Director

Ashley Fina
Board of Directors, Chair


12,000 Students Became Business Professionals

22% of VE students served in Chief-Level roles

Brooke R., Chief Marketing Officer, Spire
Parkway West HS, Chesterfield, MO

18% of VE students served in Vice President-level roles

Chris Q., VP of Accounting, Repurpose
Greer HS, Greer, SC

12% of VE students served in Manager-level roles

Thomas C., Administration Manager, Poseidon Pure
Calhoun HS, Merrick, NY

37% of VE students served in Associate-level roles

Gabriela A., HR Associate, Pinya Linya
Murrieta Valley HS, Murrieta, CA

11% of VE students served in Other roles
(e.g. Assistant VPs and Specialists)

Deanna D., Design Specialist, Limitless
Elmwood Park HS, Elmwood Park, IL

500 Classrooms Became Workplaces

Students Prepared for Success in College & Career

Students Developed In-Demand Competencies

Throughout the year, students execute against role-specific goals and are evaluated against these expectations using the VE Career Readiness Framework. Students gain a range of skills across four competency dimensions highlighted in the Framework:

Leadership – Knowledge and capabilities required to establish direction, motivate self and others, assume accountability, and respond effectively to change. Competencies include demonstrating intrapreneurship and coaching others and managing conflict.

Professional – Non-technical, transferable knowledge, skills, and abilities required to succeed in a professional environment. Competencies include communicating effectively and collaborating with others.

Functional – Core business skills needed to perform within a specific industry or business function. Competencies include understanding and applying financial concepts and conducting research and analysis.

Core Technology Skills – Core technical skills needed to perform within a specific industry or business function. Competencies include using Microsoft Office and using department / function-specific technology (e.g., InDesign and QuickBooks).

View Career Readiness Framework here.

On average, each student gained 180 hours of work experience

This means VE students collectively gained up to 2.1 million hours of work experience during the 2016-17 school year.

Features of the VE Experience

VE Experience Icons-01

Assuming the Role

Students interview for departments, such as Finance and Marketing, and roles, such as CEO, VP, and Associate. Throughout the year, they execute against role-specific goals and are evaluated against these expectations.

VE Experience Icons-02

Virtual Economy

VE students buy and sell products and services, prepare their taxes, select insurance and retirement options, and experience financial market dynamics.

VE Experience Icons-03

Global Perspective

VE participants interface with students from around the world virtually throughout the program and in-person at the Trade Show, developing cross-cultural awareness.

VE Experience Icons-04

Day-to-Day Business Dynamics

Students work individually, in departments, and as a firm to develop a strategy and plan and roll up their sleeves to implement it. Each firm develops a distinct culture and faces unique challenges.

VE Experience Icons-05

Teacher as Consultant

VE is student-directed. There are no traditional lessons, and the teacher acts as an active observer and consultant.

VE Experience Icons-06

‏Industry Partnerships

VE industry partners provide skills-based mentoring, serve as judges for business plan competitions, and offer internships to students.

VE Experience Icons-07

Competitions & Events

The National Business Plan Competition and International Trade Show provide opportunities for students to present their work and network with other VE firms.


4,300 Participants in the 2017 Youth Business Summit

20 Exhibitors and Sponsors helped bring once-in-a-lifetime experiences to 4,000 students at the 2017 Youth Business Summit

VE’s Community Spent 1,811 Hours Evaluating Student Work Online

Hundreds of business partners, university and college partners, industry professionals and entrepreneurs, VE alumni, students, and teachers across the country generously gave their time to helping our students become business experts.

400 Teachers Helped Guide VE Students Through Meaningful Work and Learning Experiences

800+ Volunteers Helped VE By Serving as Class Mentors, Competition Judges, Curriculum Contributors, and More

Donors and Supporters

The generosity of many individuals and organizations makes it possible for us to provide students with the opportunity to experience the world of business firsthand and develop into talented professionals. We extend our thanks to each and every one of our FY2017 supporters for being a part of VEI’s growing global community.

Donations from July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017


New York Life Foundation




Capital One


American Portfolios
lllHoldings, Inc.
Nielsen (in-kind)


Angelo, Gordon & Co.
Bank of America
California Inland Empire
lllDoing What Matters
Matthew and Pamela Chasin
Credit Suisse

Dale Carnegie
The Fina Family
Gerstein Fisher
Grant Associates
Jay Lewis Family Charitable Fund
Long Island University

Jeffrey Taylor/Digital Risk
Vanguard Charitable Fund
Wells Fargo


Agent Support Group
CNY Group
Council of School Supervisors
llland Administrators
Culinary Institute of America
Joseph and Nancy Delaney
TJ and Stephanie Durkin
Moe Fodeman
Goldman Sachs
Steve Israel

JPMorgan Chase
Marc Lessner
Linda and Curtis Luckman
RJ Madden
Jesse Maffei
Thomas Marano
McKelvey Family Charitable Fund
McGraw Hill Education
Mercy College
New York City Department of Education
lllOffice of Postsecondary Readiness
North Bay/East Bay California
lllDoing What Matters

Jay Novik
Aaron Ong
Anthony Orso
llland Michael Lehrman/CCRE
Starwood Property Trust
Ryan Stroker
United Federation of Teachers
Steve and Sharkey Valentic
Kensington Vanguard
Debra Weiser
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich
lll& Rosati Foundation


AJF Financial Services, Inc.
Steven Alper
Jean Altier
American Endowment Foundation
Banker Construction Corp
Caroline Berley
Rebecca Bextel
Stephen and Lori Beyer
Jaime Blanc and Derek Feinman
Cindy Boyd
Stephen Breskin
Chris Burnett
Arvind Chary
Tracy Chinery
Christopher Whitehouse Foundation
Paul Cronin
CTE Technical Assistance
lllCenter of NY
Xavier Dailly
Brian D’Ambrosio
Jeffrey and Kay Dimodica
Guy Endzweig

Don and Cara Epstein
Daniel Ezra
Marla and Gregg Felton
Lynne and George Fina
Christopher Flatz
Fisher Family Fund
Christopher Flatz
G&G Planning Concepts, Inc.
Mark Gajowski
Carlos Garza
The Gassman Financial Group
Cheryl Glory
Mimi Grotto
Mary Haggerty
Zachary Herrera
Daniel Hoffman
Hofstra University
Joe Imbriano
The Intergrated Inc.
JCD Associates, Inc.
Yong Joe
John Keller
Michael Lascher
Lara Leaf
Ronald Madden
Magii, Inc.

Jeffrey Mayer
Douglas Millowitz
Moore Co.
Paul Nagai
Gabriella Nawi
New York University
lllSchool of Professional Studies
Aaron Ong
Stephen Orr
Paige Patton-Morris
Chuck and Carol Perl
The PIMCO Foundation
Promethean USA
David Rabuamo
Randy Reiff
Becky Schamis
Jerome Shapiro
Baron Silverstein
Andrew Solomon
Strategic Wealth
lllAdvisors Network LLC
Diane Terman
Steven Valentic
Carol Fuller Venezia
Steven and Helene Walsey
Jennifer Walsh
Ryan Walsh
Joshua Weintraub


Antarina Amir
Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP
Michael Bissmeyer
Sara Bonesteel
Howard Brathwaite
Lloyd Bromberg
Nancy L. Buc
Barbara Butler
Simon Chow
Michael Coneys
Ravi Desai
Michael Distenfeld

Scott Domansky
Arlene Fauser
Louise Phillips Forbes
Rachel Freedman
R.B. Fulton
Cesar N. Gonzalez
Beth Grossman
Michael Hamilton
Lesley Herrmann
Jeanne and Norton Juster
Samuel Kaufman
Lili Kong
Bernadette Kriftcher
Wendy and Jerry Labowitz
Adele Laboz

Marc Lessner
Julie Levi
Brittany and Brandon Levin
Robin Lewis
Kara McShane
Paul Motusesky
Muriel Siebert Foundation
Andrea Diana Nem
Donna Newman
Elizabeth Nicholas
Notre Dame Alumni Club
Office Equipment Company
Ellen Palazzo
Ujjval Patel
Maria Peterson

Stanley Rabinowitz
Anand Ravipatt
Rashaan Reid
Mary Roth/RIMS
Matt Schaffnit
llland Rachel Freedman
Gabe and Jayme Schneider
Brian Sigman
Nicholas Smith
Joe Steffa
Kathryn Swintek
John Templeton
Traust Sollus
lllWealth Management, LLC
Bill Verde
Michael Walmark
Alexandra Wilkis Wilson

$499 and below

Ross and Michelle Anderson
Stephanie Astic
Max Baumrin
Mike Beck
The Benevity Community
lllImpact Fund
Uri Ben-Ezer
Amanda Bloom
Jeffrey Bockian
Matthew Boone
Francesca Camilleri
Mary and Mark Canner
Bryn Canner
Niko Canner
Matthew Carr
Christy Chen
Connie Chen
Ken Colao
Andrew Corrigan
Sean Curran
Robin D’Elia
Corissa DeRose
Evan Dick
Stuart Farber
Farmingdale State College
Harriet Feiwel
Cindi Fisher
Jenine Fitter
Abigail and Eric Geller
Ronnie Giordano

Naomi Goldstein
Melissa Grappone
Karen Segal Green
Lee Green
Sarah Gurley
Josh Halegua
Alison Halpern
Jennifer Hammond
Brad Harris
Lauren Haskin
Adam Hirsh
Jeffrey Holmes
Bing Ying Hu
Gareth Hughes
Joe Imbriano
IO Education
Michael Israel
Rachel Jarrett
Richard Johnson
Tatiana Johnson
Teri Jones
Lindsay and Peter Kane
Kurt Kempkes
Oatty and Korki Kim
Kevin Klose
David Kornmeier
Tanya Krochta
Frances Kweller
Rob Lachenauer

Lynda Lazzari
Andrea and Ari Lefkovits
Naomi Lehrer
Donna Levitz
Francine Tomach Lifshey
Sara Lipman
Brooke and Paul Lipsitt
Jonathan Love
John Lucas
Ben and Sue Mandel
Joel and Riccy Mandel
Bonnie Mannfalk
David and Lisa Masarek
Peter McMullin
Dr. Eloise Messineo
Jayne Millard
Tammie Miller
Morris and Helen Messing
lllFamily Charitable Fund
Wendy Mure
Carol Mutterperl
Cheny Ng
Fukiko Ogisu
Bret Parker
Jared Parker
John Park
Jay Piazza
Susan Pravda
James and Nancy Quinn
Craig Rainer

Maria Rianna
Drummond Rice
Dan Ritchie
Daniel Rudin
Sarah Salanic
Christopher Salute
Leah Sanzari
Anthony Sfarra
Michael Sierko
David Sklar
Thomas Smith
Stephen Stabile
Paul Stanley
David Stein
Jeanne Strause
Abe Tawil
Elaine Taylor-Gordon
Lisa Teppa
Upasana Tyagi
Diane Weiser
Adam Wilkins
Kevin Wilson
Benjamin Wirtshafter
Monica Wood
Adam Yafei
Mei Zhang

Our Team

The people behind-the-scenes committed to helping transform students into business professionals.

From left to right: Nick Chapman, President and National Program Director, VEI; Bob Kerrey, Keynote Speaker for the 2017 National Business Plan Competition, Former U.S. Senator, and Executive Chairman, Minerva Institute for Research; Iris Blanc, Executive Director, VEI

Board of Directors and Officers

Matthew Boone
Financial Reporting Manager

Matthew Chasin
VEI Vice Chair

Michael Coneys
New York City Department of Education (ret.)
VEI Recording Secretary

Paul Cronin
National Director
KeyBank Business Capital

Joseph Delaney
Director of Northeast Alumni Relations
Deloitte LLP (ret.)

Jeffrey F. DiModica
Starwood Property Trust

TJ Durkin
Managing Director
Angelo, Gordon & Co.

Carmen Fariña
New York City Department of Education

Ashley Fina
Michael C. Fina & Company
VEI Chair

Morris Fodeman
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Charlotte Frank, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor
McGraw-Hill Education

Mary Haggerty
Managing Director
JPMorgan Chase

Dylan Huang
Senior Managing Director & Head of Retail Annuities
New York Life

Steve Israel
President and CEO
SMI Properties

John Lucas
Executive Vice President & Risk Chief Operating Officer
HSBC North America

Dean McGee
Assistant Superintendent
Kern High School District

Joe Perrone
District Manager

Matt Schaffnit
Chief Operating Officer
VEI Treasurer

Ash Sobhe

Jeffrey Taylor
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Digital Risk

Debra Weiser
Vice President, Head of Excess Casualty
Everest Insurance

National Staff

Iris Blanc
Executive Director

Nick Chapman
President and National Program Director

Bryn Canner
Director of Development

Tyler Fugazzie
Marketing and Communications Manager

Susan Chan
National Events Manager

Mohammad Hossain
Finance & Operations Manager

Amina Music
Special Projects Associate

Yuvaraj Dhir
Program Associate

Regional Staff

New York City
Paul Presti
NYC Regional Director

Gina Pol
NYC Program Coordinator

VE Fellows:
Abril Peña, Sonja Visser, Queenie Yang, Chi Zhang

Long Island
Ellen Palazzo
Long Island Regional Director

Irv Wortman
Long Island Program Coordinator

Kathy Gielow
Northeast Regional Director

Rhonda Doak
Mid-Atlantic Regional Director

Regional Staff

Great Lakes
Wendy Schmitt
Great Lakes Regional Director

Kendra Lee
Illinois State Coordinator

Cindy Boyd
Southern Regional Director

Penny Riddle
Program Coordinator

Mark Jones
North Carolina State Coordinator

Lisa Bonelli
Southern Region Technical Support Staff

Ronnie Giordano
Florida State Coordinator

Jake Stuebbe
Northern California Regional Director

Teri Jones
Southern California Regional Director


The First VE Venture Challenge

Through the new Venture Challenge, VE provides budding entrepreneurs with opportunities to transform their business concepts into viable startups through mentorship, education, financial support, and real-world business partnerships. Liza T. also secured a 1- year membership at WeWork Labs as she works to launch TredBed, a business venture that will help revolutionize the medical industry.

Titan Entrepreneurs of the VE Venture Panel

Gregg Fisher, Founder & Head of Quantitative Research & Portfolio Strategy, Gerstein Fisher
Miguel McKelvey, Co-Founder, Chief Creative Officer, WeWork
Jeffrey Taylor, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Digital Risk
Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Co-Founder, Fitz, Glamsquad, & Gilt

380 schools across 19 states implemented VE around the U.S.

Including the largest school districts in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami-Dade, and Broward County, Florida.

Expanded VE-Junior Ventures Middle School Career Academy across NYC, Long Island, California, and Florida.

Half of participating VE schools have 50% or more of their students on free and reduced price meals.

VE is an inclusive program which works for all students. Every $150 gift allows us to serve another student who needs it most.

11 Trade Shows

10,717 student participations in Trade Shows (some students participated in multiple shows)

  • Midwest Trade Show (Pigeon Forge, TN)
  • San Diego Trade Show (San Diego, CA)
  • Northeast Trade Show (Rochester, NY)
  • Long Island Trade Show (Farmingdale, NY)
  • California State Trade Show (Bakersfield, CA)
  • Great Lakes Trade Show (Chicago, IL)
  • Los Angeles Area Trade Show (Pasadena, CA)
  • Virginia Trade Show (Norfolk, VA)
  • North Carolina Trade Show (Stem, NC)
  • Bay Area Conference & Trade Show (Oakland, CA)
  • Youth Business Summit (New York, NY)

Winning Women

VEI’s first-ever Female Leadership Conference Series designed to support and prepare high-potential VE female students for future success. This conference series hosted by NBCUniversal, provided female VE students with leadership and early career development training. A special thank you goes to Alexandra Van Arkel, Founder of Winning Women, and her team of mentors at NBCUniversal who spearheaded this important initiative.

2016-17 VE News

Business Plan Competitions, International Trade Month, Leadership Events, National Teachers Conference, National Volunteer Week, Trade Show Recaps, VE Venture Challenge, Winning Women

View all VE news here.

2016-17 Social Media Activity

View Social Media Timeline here.

2016-17 Media Coverage

23ABC News, Bakersfield.com, Bernews.com, California Economic Summit, Chicago Daily Herald, Courier-Times, Education Update, Farmingdale Patch, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Granville County Public Schools, GreerToday.com, Hanford Sentinel, Herald Community Newspapers, KERN-AM, MiraCosta College News, Our Town NY, Pathfinder, Small Business Sector, Suffolk Times, The Royal Gazette (Bermuda Education), Tiger Newspaper, United Federation of Teachers, Valley Stream Central High School District, Westhampton Patch, Yahoo Finance

View all media coverage here.

Student Work

Annual Report


Nuapps Branding Package
Francis Lewis High School, NY

Signum Branding Package
Century High School, CA

DISCOVR Branding Package
Herricks High School, NY

Globalyze Web & Design Branding Package
Advanced Technology Center, VA

Pulse Branding Package
Oxford Academy, CA

Business Plan

Bakersfield HS, CA

Flip Chip
Syosset HS, NY

Pinya Linya
Murrieta Valley HS, CA

The Pyramid
Centennial HS, CA

ROC Security
G.W. Hewlett HS, NY

Francis Lewis HS, NY

Elevator Pitch

Employee Manual

Adventure Outdoors Company Employee Manual
Academy Of The Canyons, CA

Avant-garde Furnishings, Inc. Employee Manual
Ft. Hamilton HS, NY

Brooklyn’s Sweet N Savory Catering Employee Manual
Ft. Hamilton HS, NY

BundleBox Employee Manual
Liberty High School, CA

Gift Bundlr Employee Manual
Lakeland Regional High School, NJ


Vitality, Inc Newsletter
Bearden HS, TN

Legacy Newsletter
Neuqua Valley HS, IL

Nomad Newsletter
South Pasadena High School, CA

ReImagin3D Newsletter
Francis Lewis HS, NY

Eunoia Newsletter
Jefferson High School, FL

Trade Show

Midwest Trade Show
2016 Event Recap

Long Island Trade Show
2017 Event Recap

California Trade Show
2017 Event Recap

Great Lakes Trade Show
2017 Event Recap

Virginia Trade Show
2017 Event Recap

Video Commercial

Carlsbad High School, CA

Jefferson High School, FL

EVO Tech
Patchogue-Medford HS, NY

Imagination, Inc
HS For Arts, Imagination & Inquiry, NY

Greer High School, SC

James Logan High School, CA

The Animal Kingdom, Inc.
Loretto High School, TN


Geneva CUSD #304, IL

Millennial Money Management
Academy Of Finance & Enterprise, NY

The Animal Kingdom, Inc.
Loretto HS, TN

The Blend
Orange HS, NC

The Pyramid
Centennial HS, CA


Thanks to our VEI community, this year we invested nearly $2 million in creating the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Sources of Revenue (By Percentage)

  • Program Services - 30%
  • Corporations (includes in-kind support) - 15%
  • Special Events - 40%
  • Foundations - 15%

Expenses (By Percentage)

  • Program Services - 78%
  • Administrative and General - 12%
  • Fundraising - 10%

Social Timeline

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

The making of our board. #VIEWS #VEI

A post shared by Views (@viewsvirtualreality) on

Complete Look representing at Millikans school of choice #MHS #CompleteLook

A post shared by Complete Look (@completelook.vei) on

December 2016

January 2017

Behind the scenes shot of a student interview at Edward R. Murrow HS in Brooklyn, NY

A post shared by #veinternational (@veinternational) on

February 2017

@veimagination provides robots for personal use @movingimagenyc

A post shared by #veinternational (@veinternational) on

March 2017

April 2017

May 2017

June 2017


Give the Gift of VE