Livestream Recording

Overview of the Conference

The VE Executive Conference is an opportunity for VE student-executives to interact and engage with business professionals through a dynamic panel discussion and breakout mentor sessions. The program will consist of an executive panel discussion between C-suite executives and VE student CEO’s. Following the panel discussion, participating students will be matched with business executives for small group breakout discussions.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

11:00 AM – 11:15 AM ET

Welcome and Opening Remarks

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM ET

Executive Panel Discussion

12:00 PM – 12:45 PM ET

Small Group Breakout Discussions with Mentors

12:45 PM – 1:00 PM ET

Breakout Discussion Debrief and Closing

Executive Panelists

Michael Roberts
Chief Executive Officer
HSBC USA and Americas

Michael Roberts is President, CEO and Executive Director of HSBC North America Holdings Inc., and also serves as Chairman of HSBC Bank USA, N.A., and HSBC USA Inc. He is a Group Managing Director of HSBC Holdings plc and a member of the Group Executive Committee. His appointment to these roles took effect in October 2019.

Mr Roberts was appointed as CEO, Americas, with oversight responsibility for Canada and Latin America, with effect from April 2021.

He oversees HSBC Holdings plc’s Americas businesses which serve domestic and international customers across Wealth and Personal Banking, Commercial Banking, and Global Banking & Markets.

Previously Mr Roberts was at Citigroup, most recently as Global Head of Corporate Banking and Capital Management and Chief Lending Officer. In these roles, he managed 1,500 bankers across 100 countries, and was responsible for lending to institutional, private banking and retail customers globally. During his 33-year career at Citi, he held various senior leadership roles in the US and abroad, including Head of Global Financial Institutions, Head of Global Automotive and Industrials, CEO of Citibank Canada, and positions in France, Belgium and Turkey.

Mr Roberts holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Texas, Austin, and a master’s degree in banking and finance from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

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Lara Hood Balazs
Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, & General Manager of Strategic Partner Group

Lara Balazs is Executive Vice President and the Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of Strategic Partner Group for Intuit, the proud maker of QuickBooks, TurboTax and Mint. Lara joined in 2018 to lead Intuit’s Marketing and Communications community, responsible for driving company growth and building Intuit’s brands and corporate reputation in support of Intuit’s mission to power prosperity around the world. In 2020, Lara’s role expanded to include running the Strategic Partner Group, which includes identifying and integrating strategic partners with Intuit’s global platform to deliver the benefits that matter the most to our customers. In this expanded role, Lara also leads Intuit’s ProConnect group and Corporate Responsibility efforts which focus on diversity and inclusion, job creation and readiness, and making a positive impact on the climate. Lara serves as Chairman for the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation.

Lara has a proven track record of building world-class businesses and brands including Amazon, Visa and Nike. As Vice President, Worldwide Prime and Amazon North America Consumer Marketing, Lara was responsible for driving growth of the Prime membership program globally as well as the North America consumer business. Before Amazon, she held a variety of roles at Visa including Senior Vice President, Visa North America Marketing where she was responsible for all aspects of marketing for Visa’s largest revenue-driving region. In 2019, Lara was named as one of Forbes’ 2019 World’s Most Influential CMOs and in 2020, she was recognized with AdWeek’s CMO Vanguard Award. Lara has a BA in pre-law from the University of Washington, from which she graduated magna cum laude with Phi Beta Kappa distinction. She has an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University.

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Charles Best
Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Charles Best is the CEO and founder of DonorsChoose, the leading platform for giving to public schools. Charles launched the organization in 2000 out of a Bronx public high school where he taught history for five years. Teachers across America use the site to create projects requesting resources their students need, and donors of all sizes give to the projects that inspire them. To date, teachers at 85% of all the public schools in America have created classroom project requests, and 4.5 million supporters have given over $1 billion to those projects.

DonorsChoose is one of Oprah Winfrey’s “ultimate favorite things” and Charles made the cover of Fast Company as one of the “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World,” the first time a charity has received such recognition. In 2018, the New York Times covered Charles and the $29 million donation he secured to fund every DonorsChoose project in a single day, and ABC’s Good Morning America celebrated the funding of the first million DonorsChoose classroom requests in January.

As a former educator and the pioneer of crowdfunding, Charles has a wealth of knowledge on the power of connecting donors to classrooms in need, creating  movements, scaling an organization, and working with school districts. When DonorsChoose was founded in 2000, crowdfunding wasn’t yet a word. But as a public school teacher working hard to get the resources his students needed, Charles realized the core principle of crowdfunding: citizen donors around the country would want to help teachers like him, if they could see exactly where their dollars were going.

Charles has shared his story at a number of venues, including the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Fast Company Innovation Festival, and SXSW, including the 2015 keynote address at SXSWedu.

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Steve Abromowitz

Vice President HIM

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Mike Beck

Choice Logistics Inc. (ret.)

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Matthew Boone

Director of Finance & People
Openpath Security

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Keisha Buckanan

Regional Community Development Manager

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Matthew Chasin

Senior Vice President
Morgan Stanley

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Paul Cronin

Executive Vice President
Santander Bank, N.A.

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Joe Delaney

Director of Northeast Alumni Relations
Deloitte LLP (ret.)

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Justin Edelman

Senior Vice President, Corporate Partnerships
RWJBarnabas Health

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Derek Feinman

Vice President Enterprise Sales

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Ashley Fina

Founder & CEO
I.E. Ventures

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Gregg Fisher

Founder & Portfolio Manager
Quent Capital, LLC

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Scott Garrison

VP of Sales & Marketing
Stria, LLC

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Steven D. Goldstein

Engaged Leadership Advisors, LLC

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Cesar Gonzalez

Sailfish Royalty

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John Gustincic

Director, Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity & Enterprise
Northwood University

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Mary Haggerty

Managing Director
JPMorgan Chase (ret.)

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Dylan Huang

Senior Managing Director, Head of Wealth Management Solutions and Retail Annuities
New York Life

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Steve Israel

President and CEO
SMI Properties

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Sonni Johnson

Vice President Premier Remote Team Leader

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Mark Lipari

Operations Associate
Miura Global Management

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Dean McGee

Assistant Superintendent
Kern High School District

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Loralyn Mears


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Evan Mittman

Founder & CEO
Cipriani Accessories (ret.)

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Monica Paneque

Director, Business Innovation Academy
H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship

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John Partilla

Screenvision Media

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Emily Pickett

Senior Event Coordinator
National Diversity Council

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William Rose

9th Ward Alderman-Development & Housing Committee
City of Rockford Illinois

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Angelo Scialfa III

Fox Run Group

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Tom Smith

Managing Director
Deloitte & Touche LLP

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Lindsay Starr

Managing Director, Head of the Prospect Management & Client Coverage Group
Morgan Stanley

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Laura X. Wang

Senior Product Manager, Payments and Money Movement
Capital One

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Joseph Weitekamp

Architect, Professional Services
Amazon Web Services

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Judy Winter-Giella

VP Talent Management & Development

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Student Executives


These students will assist with moderating the Panel Discussion.

Youssf Hegazy
CEO of P.A.V.E.
Academy of Finance & Enterprise, Long Island City, NY

My name is Youssf Hegazy and I am a current senior at the Academy of Finance and Enterprise. This past year, I had the pleasure of being the CEO of PAVE or Peer Academic Virtual Education, which provides help to other VE students in college applications, financial literacy, and career success. In terms of my future plans, I will be attending Columbia University this upcoming fall as a Neuroscience Major on the Pre-Med Track.

Parker Lindsay
CEO of So’Flo Essentials
Fort Lauderdale High School, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Parker Lindsay is a senior in her class at Fort Lauderdale High School and is currently the CEO of the pilot VE program at her school for So’Flo Essentials. This is her first year in the VE program and she has been able to qualify for the National Business Plan competition and VE top 100 for her firm. After graduating, she plans on pursuing a masters degree at Fordham University in New York for Global Business and hopes to become an entrepreneur.


Abigail HumphriesCOOAceITJF Webb High SchoolNC
Amare HarrisCEOSSI - Succeeding Step IncorporatedJefferson High SchoolFL
AmyBeth SimbeckCEOThe Animal Kingdom, Inc.Loretto High SchoolTN
Ashlee KnoxCFOAmbivertEast Hamilton High SchoolTN
Aushleen SahotaCEOBake & TakeJames Logan High SchoolCA
Benjamin PoliCOO45NorthAlpena High SchoolMI
Brian HamCEOThe GreenhouseHomestead High SchoolCA
Brianna De La MoraCEOMighty MasksCarlsbad High SchoolCA
Brianna GarrisonCOOTeenyOppsArchbishop MolloyNY
Cade CowenVP of FinanceHT AdvertisingV.R. Eaton High SchoolTX
Cadyn RegerCAOWayBound, Inc.Fenton High SchoolMI
Carter KleinschmidtCAOMetaphor, Inc.Blackman High SchoolTN
Christian MorenoChief Executive OfficerSensory SerenityBloomington High SchoolCA
Christina LustilaMarketing SpecialistStyleGenieBuckhannon-Upshur High SchoolWV
Constance ParisCEONakamaBearden High SchoolTN
David BootleCEOEndless DesignsPalmetto Scholars AcademySC
Elisabeth JimenezPresidentSustainably FreshRidgeview High SchoolCA
eliysia leverCEOVE CateringPort Richmond High SchoolNY
Elizabeth RoldanCEOPaws & AwesDos Palos High SchoolCA
Elma VukelCEOVäritechAcademy of Finance and EnterpriseNY
Emily FischerCo-executive, marketingFly By FashionMount St. Mary AcademyNY
Emma AvchenCEOThe C.H.A.T.Cooper City High SchoolFL
Erin HoseinCEOPurrfect BrewsSheridan Technical High SchoolFL
Erin LochtfeldCEOLegacyNeuqua Valley High SchoolIL
Estephanie VelasquezCEOOutside the BoxFenton High SchoolIL
Hannah LacyCOOHT AdvertisingV.R. Eaton High SchoolTX
Isabella DadsereshtCEOHavluMurrieta ValleyCA
Issac LarroqueCEOSustainably FreshRidgeview High SchoolCA
Jason AnthonyChief Marketing OfficerAmbienteJP Taravella High SchoolFL
Jason KimCEOPebblySouth Pasadena High SchoolCA
Jeanette LunaCo-CEOSimply WellnessFashion High SchoolNY
Jesse AllenCEOPandora's BoxCookeville High SchoolTN
Jordan RasmussenCEOAbsideonCentennial High SchoolCA
Jordan SpeightCEOPlans N Things Event ServicesKIPP DC: College PreparatoryDC
Joshua CrawfordVP of Creative MediaHT AdvertisingV.R. Eaton High SchoolTX
Joshua RampasardVP MarketingPurrfect BrewsSheridan Technical HighschoolFL
Juan QuintoCEOMetaphor, Inc.Blackman High SchoolTN
Karlin DeckerCEO45NorthAlpena High SchoolMI
Kate BalcomCo-executive, operationsFly By FashionMount St. Mary AcademyNY
Kayla CurrenceCEOStyleGenieBuckhannon-Upshur High SchoolWV
Kaylin CampbellSales VPPandora's BoxCookeville High SchoolTN
Kenzy MostafaCEOThe Learning SpotSusan E. Wagner High SchoolNY
Kyler RowzeeCEOSole PurposeSan Juan HillsCA
Latrell DavinCFOPlans N Things Event ServicesKIPP DC: College PreparatoryDC
Manroop KaurCEOUnichipJames Logan High SchoolCA
Maria TranCEOGuardian InsuranceJacqueline Kennedy Onassis High SchoolNY
Mia VerrierCEOElectric AvenueSt. Charles EastIL
Michael PicenoCEOMaskMiUpAtwater High SchoolCA
Moiz SabirCEOHome Office101South River High SchoolNJ
Monserrat PerezCEOCart CareLa SernaCA
Nadine BoukhariCEOVE SecuritySussex TechNJ
Natalie PapazianChief Executive OfficerMINEDFountain Valley High SchoolCA
Nishka SinghChief Executive OfficerGet TogetherMorris County School of TechnologyNJ
Olivia ChristyManager - Legal Risk ManagementPlans N Things Event ServicesKIPP DC: College PreparatoryDC
Parker LindsayCEOSo'Flo EssentialsFort Lauderdale High SchoolFL
Paul CarcellarCEOBT EnterprisesSchool of Business & Tourism at Miguel ContrerasCA
Peter CorlessVP of MarketingHo'omahaV. R. Eaton High SchoolTX
Quentin HolmesCEOMy MealsSouth Pasadena High SchoolCA
Rilee VestChief Executive OfficerBags N' BoardsChester County High SchoolTN
Samantha ChoCFOUniChipJames Logan High SchoolCA
Sarah GuevaraCEOReCaseBerks Career And TechnologyPA
Shamonie RoseChief HR OfficerPlans N Things Event ServicesKIPP DC: College PreparatoryDC
Shawn RajkumarChief Operating OfficerLux DesignsFrancis Lewis High SchoolNY
Simon WazCEOLimitlessElmwood Park High SchoolIL
Stephanie GamezCEOVibe CorporationHigh School for Arts and BusinessNY
Sylvia BlodornCEOArachne ApparelStockdale HighCA
Taylor LarsonCEOHavluMurrieta ValleyCA
Teagan O’BryanCEOImagineersLapeer County Education and Technology CenterMI
Teja BasireddyCEOVibeStudioWaubonsie Valley High SchoolIL
Terrell LewisCEORoyal Renaissance:Bastion BoutiqueCrestwood High SchoolSC
Trinity BelleManager - Operations & ITPlans N Things Event ServicesKIPP DC: College PreparatoryDC
Trinity WalbesserCo-executive, merchandisingFly By FashionMount St. Mary AcademyNY
Vinh TranChief Executive OfficerFillosophyFountain Valley High SchoolCA
Xavier MarquezCEOInTouch inc.New Dorp High SchoolNY