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Speaker Bios

Pam Allyn

Pam Allyn

Pam Allyn is a renowned Literacy Expert. She has been a powerful presence in the field of literacy education for over twenty years. Her life’s dream is to impact the world through the power of words and stories. She has created innovative programs, written many books on the subject of literacy education, and directs two internationally recognized organizations dedicated to building reading and writing cultures worldwide.

Daniel W. Bena

Daniel W. Bena

Dan Bena is currently the Director of Sustainable Development for PepsiCo, and serves as liaison between technical functions, government affairs, public policy, and field operations to develop substantive advocacy and messaging to internal and external stakeholder groups. Dan is former Chair of the Washington-based American Beverage Association’s (ABA) Water Resources Committee, and has been active in the International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT), serving as past Secretary of the Computer Applications Committee, founder and Chair of the Emerging Scientific Interests Subcommittee, founder and Chair of the Subcommittee for Sustainable Development, and a three-year elected term on the ISBT Board of Directors.

Bena also serves on the Board-sponsored Public Health Committee of the Safe Water Network, which is a not-for-profit organization for which PepsiCo was a founding member, dedicated to market-based, sustainable community-level solutions to provide safe drinking water in developing economies. He serves on the Leaders Group for Water of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Global Agenda Council for Water Security and Water Planning Board of the World Economic Forum, and the Steering Committee of the United Nations CEO Water Mandate. In 2009, he was invited by the mayor of his city to serve on a new Sustainability Advisory Board to develop a forward-looking sustainability plan for the city, one of only three nationwide selected to pilot a new sustainability planning tool kit.

Nancy Biberman

Nancy Biberman

Nancy Biberman, Founder and President of the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDCo), has worked in community development since 1976: a decade as a legal services attorney in Manhattan focusing on tenant protection and domestic violence, and then as a developer of the West End Intergenerational Residence in Manhattan, and of 23 abandoned buildings in the Bronx.

In founding WHEDCo in 1991, Ms. Biberman brought under one roof housing development, youth and early childhood education, health care, microenterprise and social work by restoring the abandoned Morrisania Hospital in the Bronx (now known as Urban Horizons). WHEDCo recently completed Intervale Green, the nation’s largest affordable Energy Star certified development. WHEDCo is also in the second year of a cellar- to- roof energy retrofit of Urban Horizons.

Nancy has been named a Revson Fellow at Columbia University School of Architecture and Planning, a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School and a Fannie Mae Foundation Johnson Fellow. A graduate of Barnard College and Rutgers/Newark Law School, she is a Board member of the Freelancers Insurance Company and the Hostos Community College Foundation.

Rohan Mathew

Rohan Mathew

Rohan Mathew is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Intersect Fund, a microloan fund headquartered in New Brunswick, NJ. Conceived in a dorm room in the fall of 2008, The Intersect Fund has empowered more than 200 low-wealth New Jersey entrepreneurs to build strong businesses and has a 100% repayment rate. Now working full-time for the Fund, Mathew is laying the foundation for a strategic expansion of the Fund's suite of services, which include access to markets, low-cost print and web design, and tax preparation. Mathew has been a leader in advancing the student-run microfinance field and helped form the Campus Microfinance Alliance, a coalition of a dozen student groups that make loans in their communities. Previously, Mathew worked for Obama for America and in the Mergers & Acquisitions group at Credit Suisse. Mathew has a degree in mathematics from Rutgers University.

Rebecca Tekula (Moderator)

Rebecca Tekula (Moderator)

Rebecca Tekula, PhD, Executive Director, Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship. (Moderator)

Rebecca Tekula is the Executive Director of the Helene and Grant Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship, an institute of Pace University aiming to serve students and nonprofit organizations towards the goal of more effective and efficient nonprofit management practices. Tekula completed her PhD in Economics at the University of Lugano, Switzerland. She earned her BA at Vassar College, her MPA from Pace University, and her MBA from the University of Oxford. She has an extensive background in New York City philanthropy and across the nonprofit sector.

Jessamyn Waldman

Jessamyn Waldman

Jessamyn Waldman is the founder of Hot Bread Kitchen, an award-winning social enterprise. Since its inception in 2007, Hot Bread Kitchen has grown from a visionary idea to a widely recognized bakery that hires and trains immigrant women to bake artisanal breads that reflect their countries of origin, as well as tantalize the palates of sophisticated New York foodies with products like hand-ground corn tortillas, Moroccan msmen, Armenian lavash, and Sephardic challahs. In 2009, Mayor Bloomberg awarded HBK “Best Small Business” for Queens. This year, they were awarded a $1.5 million contract to build a new training and baking facility to be completed in November 2010. Hot Bread Kitchen has quickly become a hot brand, gaining attention in such media outlets as the New York Times, Today Show, and Food & Wine Magazine.

In founding Hot Bread Kitchen, Jessamyn combined her passions for baking and social justice for foreign-born women. Her efforts have been recognized with an Echoing Green Fellowship who selected her from over 1500 social entrepreneurs, the Eileen Fisher Company that awarded her their Grant for Women Entrepreneurs, and Coro, which presented her with their inaugural Alumni Community Leadership Award. Jessamyn has an MPA from Columbia University and a BA from the University of British Columbia. Before starting Hot Bread Kitchen, she gained 10 years of experience in NGO’s, government, and the UN, focusing on human rights, education, and immigration issues. She worked in many places, including the US, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bosnia, Guatemala, and Chile. Jessamyn also has a Master Baker certificate from the New School University and was the first woman to be hired as a baker at Chef Daniel Boulud’s renowned Restaurant Daniel.