Families in Business Conference Speakers

Adedoyin (Doyin) Adewodu is a Nigerian American technologist and business executive with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech, Master’s in electrical and Computer Engineering from UMD – College Park, and MBA from Cornell University.

Doyin is currently, Founder/CEO of INFRASI is a technology solutions provider that helps organizations with IT modernization, technology sourcing, and AR enabled digital transformation. INFRASI works with clients to find the best and most efficient way to use technology to achieve their business goals. Our mission is to help our clients achieve their desired outcomes through the effective use of technology.

His family is from Ogun State, Nigeria and he is the second oldest of four brothers. Doyin lives in Maryland with his wife and three children. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and attending live sport events as well as spending time with family.

A winemaker with a wide and diverse background, Cadamatre started in wine on the East Coast as a winemaking apprentice with Stargazers Vineyard in 2003.  After graduating from Cornell University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s in Viticulture, Nova moved to California.  During her time in California, she worked with fruit from all over the state eventually settling in Napa and focusing on Bordeaux and Burgundian varieties from some of the top vineyards in the area including To Kalon, Vine Hill Ranch, MacDonald, Detert, and Hyde Vineyard.  In 2015, she started her brand Trestle Thirty One in the Finger Lakes of NY.  In 2020 added Snowshell Vineyards for Naked Wines and in 2022 will be launching Fiadh Ruadh, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap AVA in Napa.  She currently goes back and forth between Napa and the Finger Lakes to manage both her CA projects and her projects in NY.

In 2017, Nova was the first female winemaker in the US to achieve the title of Master of Wine.  She has been named to Wine Enthusiast’s Top 40 under 40 list and has numerous 90+ scoring wines to her credit from both coasts.

Murray Hidary is a multi-disciplinary artist and tech pioneer. His purpose-driven approach is at the heart of his business success, acclaim as a visual artist and global recognition as a musician. Ever pushing boundaries and guided by a strong desire to help people find their purpose, Murray is now focused on touring his immersive musical experience MindTravel across the globe.

Growing up playing music since he was five years old, Murray began a deep inner journey of discovery as a teenager that led him to study eastern philosophy, Zen Buddhism and other wisdom traditions. His composing became deeply influenced by these teachings and provided healing through profound personal loss, grief and life’s tribulations. It became a voice he used to connect to his higher sense of purpose. A musical language and journey continued to emerge and evolve. He called it MindTravel.

Murray created the first MindTravel experience in 2013. He invited a group to his living room for a live performance of his provocative, improvisational, real-time compositions at the piano. Moved by their emotional response and the power of music to take the group on a deep inner journey, he moved forward to bring it to the world. Over the last decade, Murray has created over 500 MindTravel experiences for over 100,000 people in cities from Los Angeles to London, Paris to Pittsburgh, Berlin to Boulder; in venues such as Lincoln Center, The Theater at the Ace Hotel, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Grace Cathedral, and The National Arts Club.

Christina Keller is four years into her tenure as the leader of her family-owned private business founded by her father Fred Keller in 1973. With the experiences she garnered since joining the company in 2009, Keller’s aim is to ensure Cascade Engineering (CE) maintains a triple bottom line company. Before she was elevated to her current position in 2018, Keller served as the president for the Cascade Business Team for two years, overseeing five of Cascade’s nine businesses. She was named President of Noble Polymers in 2022 which is CE’s own custom compounder of plastic pellets. This business unit is a valued partner within the circular economy and sustainable plastics recycling. Between 2010-13, Keller was the business unit leader for Triple Quest, which produced and distributed the Hydraid filter. Keller also led the strategic integration of all Cascade Engineering’s North American operations. Prior to Cascade Engineering, Keller worked at Accenture and Polaris Management Partners in New York City and Environmental Resources Trust in Washington DC.

Veronica understands the differences between stewardship, ownership and management having experienced it herself over the past 20 years. She knows what it means to build, lose, and reconfigure one’s family business and legacy. Growing up as part of the fourth generation of a family that impacted Venezuela’s agricultural and industrial sectors, Veronica developed an understanding early on for the meaning of stewardship, and exemplifying values through one’s behavior.

Veronica is an advisor and head of coaching at Generation6 Family Enterprise Advisors, and she also serves as chair for the board of the GEM (Grupo Economico Maldonado) companies, a role she has had since July 2018. In addition, Veronica served as the Executive Director of the Family Office and Chair of the GEM Family Council. From 2002 -2021 she was the President of the Foundation, La Compañia Humana, which supports education, community development, music, and environmental awareness in Venezuela.

Years past, Veronica worked in the development of international business ventures at Phoenix Home Life Insurance Company in Connecticut and in the Daichi Life Insurance company in Tokyo, Japan.

She is a frequent speaker in family business matters and participates in advisory boards of the Family Business Network and the Business Families Foundation.

Veronica has completed various family business management programs and has extensive experience in corporate structures in US, Japan and Venezuela. She is a graduate from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and completed with honors an EMBA in Family Business in the Coles College of Business, Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Georgia. She is fluent in English and Spanish and conversant in Japanese.

Bio forthcoming

Dr. Mark Milstein is Clinical Professor of Management at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management and Faculty Director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University’s College of Business. He conducts applied research in and oversees the Center’s work on market and enterprise creation; business development; clean technology commercialization; and sustainable finance. Milstein has worked with more than 150 firms across a range of industries, including renewable energy and carbon markets, life sciences and sustainable agriculture, consumables, food and nutrition, health care and hospitality management, as well as finance and international development. His applied research has been funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, the National Science Foundation, the World Bank, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation among others. Professor Milstein’s work and perspectives have been featured in the media, including The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, Forbes, and The Guardian. His writings have appeared in a number of journals including Science, Academy of Management Executive, and Sloan Management Review.  Professor Milstein is a frequent speaker on the topics of strategy, organizational change and innovation related to business and sustainability, and consults with multi-national firms, small and medium sized enterprises, and NGOs.

Serdar is the Founder and CEO of Element Farms, an indoor farming company growing pesticide-free and local greens year-round. He is an entrepreneur and industrial engineer with professional kitchen training and a passion for food. Driven to produce the purest, safest, and best-tasting leafy greens for the most people possible. Serdar graduated from Sabanci University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering. He received his MBA from Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business in 2017.

Tiffany Norwood is considered one of the top innovators and tech entrepreneurs in the world. Seeing patterns of opportunities, Tiffany often creates years into the future and has been a pioneer in multiple industries from digital broadcasting, broadband internet, digital music, ed-tech, eSports, and more. Her start-ups have impacted billions of people in more than 150+ countries. Tiffany was recently named the 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year for Cornell University, the first black woman to receive this lifetime achievement award in its nearly forty-year history. Tiffany first became a CEO while a junior at Cornell University, filed for a patent at the age of 19, licensed her first software code for a multibillion-dollar bank merger at the age of 24, and by the age of 27, Tiffany did something that no other entrepreneur has done since– she raised over $670 million dollars to fund a start-up called Worldpace. As early space entrepreneurs, WorldSpace used that money to launch three satellites into space; build the first-ever global digital radio platform, including XM Radio; support the development of MP3/MP4 technologies; and, at the request of then-President Nelson Mandella, invest in a new generation of solar-powered satellite radio receivers to help in his campaign for truth and reconciliation. Currently, she is transforming education and disrupting sports, as the Founder and CEO of Tribetan, and a legacy Co-Founder of SimWin Sports.

Jennifer Risher is an author, speaker, philanthropist, investor, and collaborator on a mission to get more money moving. In response to COVID, Jennifer and her husband David co-founded #HalfMyDAF to inspire more giving. Over the last three years, through #HalfMyDAF, they have contributed millions in matching funds, rallied donors and nonprofits, and created a community that has put over $28 million to work at nonprofits. To create a more equitable society, Jennifer is investing in Black women fund managers and collaborating with organizations closing the racial wealth gap. She is also working to validate the emotional complexities of wealth to help wealth holders move out of shame, guilt, or a desire to keep money hidden and into a sense of purpose and action. Her book, “We Need to Talk: A Memoir About Wealth” tells her story and explores the impact of wealth on identity, relationships, and sense of place in the world. You can learn more about her work at: www.jenniferrisher.com and www.halfmydaf.com.

Zach Shulman has been Director of Entrepreneurship at Cornell since October 2013 and a Managing Partner at Cayuga Venture Fund since 2004. Prior to his current roles, Zach was a Senior Lecturer at Cornell’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management and headed up many entrepreneurship-related programmatic activities there. Prior to that, Zach was a corporate lawyer at Ropes & Gray in Boston and Harris Beach in Ithaca and also General Counsel at a tech company that raised boatloads of venture capital in 1999 and 2000; ultimately, Zach took that company through bankruptcy. Zach earned a Bachelor of Science from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and graduated from Cornell University Law School, magna cum laude.

Wesley Sine is a professor of entrepreneurship, innovation, and management at Cornell University. Professor Sine has been ranked as one of the five most published entrepreneurship scholars in the world.  His research focuses on global innovation and the emergence of new economic sectors and entrepreneurship in the United States, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. Specifically, he explores issues related to how institutional change leads to industry and technology evolution. Professor Sine has also studied Family Businesses and in particular how. Family funding affects new venture performance and how the inclusion of the family name in the business affects firm performance.  He has also studied how new venture structures and strategies can lead to more successful firms.

Professor Sine has examined a diverse set of Industries including the electric power industry, the emergence of the internet, automotive manufacturing, as well as science/technology start-ups in emerging markets. His teaching interests include entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, new venture growth, and the management of technology and innovation. Professor Sine has presented over 100 times at conferences throughout the world, including key-note talks at conferences in Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Puerto Rico, the United States, the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Colombia. In addition, Professor Sine has consulted and taught executives in the U.S., Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

Professor Sine has published papers in leading management journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Management Science, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, and Research Policy. He is currently a senior editor at Organization Science and the book review editor at Administrative Science Quarterly.

Jeremiah is the Executive Chairman of The Other Narrative Inc. (TON), a parent company and ideation house focused on pioneering at the nexus of cannabis and hospitality. He and another Cornelian co-founded The 8th Wonder Cannabis Company, a research-based cultivation brand to spearhead those efforts. Jeremiah is a 2020 MMH graduate from Cornell’s Nolan School of Hotel Administration. He earned his BBA in Finance from Morehouse College, and his Associates in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park.

Blair is Managing Partner of Continuity Family Business Consulting where she works with families who own and operate companies and/or share assets on issues related to succession planning, governance development, wealth integration and conflict management. Her expertise as a negotiator, mediator, and family business consultant is grounded in the study of strategic management and conflict resolution methodologies. She brings a highly specialized approach to the understanding of family systems and the relationship challenges encountered when families work and own together.

Blair is the co-author of Deconstructing Conflict: Understanding Family Business, Shared Wealth and Power. She also co-authored Mom Always Liked You Best – A Guide to Resolving Family Feuds, Inheritance Battles and Eldercare Crises. In addition, Blair contributed several chapters to Keith Whitaker and Tom McCullough’s books on Wealth of Wisdom and has published articles including in the International Family Office Journal, and The Negotiation Journal from Harvard Law School.

In addition to her consulting work, Blair served on the faculty of Family Enterprise Canada (formerly FEX) and is a nationally recognized speaker. She has presented at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, the Kellogg School, the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate at NYU, Cornell University, among others. She has been interviewed on television by Emily Rooney, Kathy Ireland, and the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, and has been quoted in several publications including the Financial Times.

Blair earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, a BA in psychology from Connecticut College and holds certificates in Structural Family Therapy, and in Mediation & Negotiation from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. She is a Fellow the Family Firm Institute, and serves on the Board The Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Tim’s career is centered around the development and implementation of elements that make a company successful. Utilizing expertise in wealth management, insurance advisory and real estate development allows him to tackle any challenge from all angles. As a lifelong learner and entrepreneur, the decisions Tim makes are guided by core principles of integrity, transparency, objectivity and empathy. These apply whether the focus is on managing wealth, helping families and their business enterprises thrive or restoring the aesthetics of a community through visionary, high-quality home building. He embrace a philosophy of servant leadership, finding great satisfaction in helping others excel in order to realize their highest potential.  Over the past 25 years, Tim have held key leadership positions with several not-for-profit boards, focused on community service, education, health and well-being. These include: Collaboration for Families Flourishing; Abzyme Research Foundation (NYC); National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center; Children’s Hospital at University of Illinois; Aspen Center for Integral Health; Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association; United Way of Laramie County, Wyoming.

Carol is a Visiting Associate Professor and Interim Associate Dean at St. John Fisher College where she is developing a Family Business Program and leads the MBA program.

She was appointed Professor Emerita at St. Bonaventure University in 2018. She taught Family Business, Organizational Behavior and Strategic Management and founded/advised the Family Business Club. She advised the SBU team at the 2015 Global Family Business Plan Competition (University of Vermont). The team won the Innovation Award. She started family business courses, a minor, seminars and an outreach program for family business students and parents. She helped develop the first student-led family business investment fund.

Carol was chair of the Family Business Group of the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship and was the coordinator for the Academy of Business Disciplines Family Business Track.

Carol is a faculty member for Loyola University Chicago’s Family Business Center, designing and delivering programs for their institutes, member families and associations. She is an academic advisor to Family Business Network North America and advised the NY Family Business Center.

As President of the Raymond Family Business Institute and a Visiting Professor at Babson College, Carol co-led a American Family Business Survey and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Family Business Research. Her current research includes family business case studies and a national study analyzing the benefits of family business successor outside work experience.

Wittmeyer worked in public accounting. She earned an Ed.D. (University of Rochester) and MBA/BBA (SBU), and certificates from Harvard’s Negotiations and Management and Wharton’s Strategy Programs.

Her family owns three enterprises in WNY and Dallas.