Students Transformed into Young Professionals Speak at VEI’s 3rd Annual Gala

By October 30, 2015 News

On April 15th, a crowd of over 400 supporters from the business and education communities packed Tribeca Rooftop to celebrate VEI’s efforts to drive the future of business and innovation.

In the first part of the evening, VEI students from an international entertainment brand, a sustainable energy provider, an organic tea retailer, and an app development company presented the businesses that transformed them into young professionals.

Later in the evening, two students took the stage to share their personal stories of transformation.

Mike Claustro, CEO of City of Angels from School of Business and Tourism at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex in Los Angeles, CA, told the audience that VEI created a place where his entrepreneurial drive could flourish. Now launching his own clothing line is “no longer just a dream.”

VEI provided Richmond Anyetei, COO of T-Squared from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School in New York City, with the opportunity to gain control of his life and discover a capacity for leadership that he hadn’t realized he possessed.

This year’s honorees were HSBC (Global Citizen Award), Terry McGraw, Chairman of the Board of McGraw Hill Financial, (Crystal Leadership Award), and Dr. Kimberly Cline, President of Long Island University (Dr. Noel N. Kriftcher Service to Education Award).

In addition to celebrating these incredible business partners and educational leaders, we were honored to join the stage with the New York Life Foundation to announce that we are partnering to pilot a VE Junior Ventures Middle School Career Academy. The VE-JV Academy, for which New York Life is providing a $1 million grant, will give students like Mike and Richmond hands-on experience of the business world at a much younger age.

On behalf of VEI’s staff, board, and 11,000 students, we thank everyone who joined this special evening and supported our efforts to bring students nationwide the kind of inspired learning that changes lives and changes business.


Credits and Acknowledgments

Benefit Dinner Co-Chairs
Matthew Chasin, Royal Bank of Scotland
Joseph Delaney, Deloitte LLP , Ret.
Ashley Fina, Michael C. Fina
Jeffrey Taylor, Digital Risk

Cat Greenleaf, Host of “Talk Stoop” on NBC and USA Network

Dinner Committee
Eddy Bayardelle, Bronx Community College
Jaime Blanc, Sony Pictures Television
Jean Altier Bohm, Goldman Sachs
Matthew Boone, OpenX
Barbara Butler, Federal Reserve Bank of NY (ret).
Michele Chow-Tai, TIAA-Cref
Paul Cronin, First Niagara Bank
Melissa Dolber-Grappone, American Portfolios
Scott Eichel, Royal Bank of Scotland
Moe Fodeman, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC
Charlotte Frank, McGraw-Hill Education
Doug Goldfein, Goldfein Properties
Adam Gross, Citi Private Bank
Steve Israel, SMI Properties
Bob Miglani, Pfizer
Doug Millowitz, UBS
Bonnie Messing, Geller & Company
Nelly Palmon, Project Management Institute
Joe Perrone, FedEx
Mary F. Pisarkiewicz, PM+CO
Matt Schaffnit, Annaly Capital Management
Leslie Stubin, Green Chairs
Elaine Taylor-Gordon, Flashforce LLC
Richard Volpe, Royal Bank of Scotland


Premier Sponsors
Joe and Nancy Delaney
McGraw Hill Financial
Michael C. Fina
New York Life
Randy Reiff
Royal Bank of Canada

Eddy Bayardelle
Matthew and Pamela Chasin
Kimberly Cline and Peter Fishbein
Council of School Supervisors and Administrators
Paul and Niamh Cronin
Deloitte LLP
Digital Risk/Jeffrey Taylor
T.J. Durkin
Scott and Kate Eichel
Moe and Farin Fodeman
Charlotte Frank
Adam Gross
Steve and Marcee Israel
JPMorgan Chase
Long Island University
Mercy College
Morris and Helen Messing Family Charitable Fund
Michael Nierenberg
Jay Novik, SBLI USA Life Insurance Company, & Amerilife Group
Paul Richards
Royal Bank of Scotland
Elaine Taylor-Gordon
United Federation of Teachers
Joshua Weintraub
The Christopher Whitehouse Foundation