Opportunity Summit Agenda

February 25-26, 2015: The National Opportunity Summit

All events took place in Washington, DC

February 25, 2015

*9:00 – 5:30 PM: Opportunity Leaders Training and Hill Day

*4:00 – 5:30 PM:  Opportunity Nation Coalition Meeting

*5:30 – 7:00 PM: Opportunity Nation Coalition Dinner

  • The Honorable Robert Portman, Senator, Ohio
  • The Honorable Michael Bennet, Senator, Colorado
  • Suzanne Clark, Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Chuck Todd, Moderator, Meet the Press; Political Director, NBC News
  • Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO, PolicyLink
  • Lexie Gruber, Student, Quinnipiac University; Opportunity Leader

*7:00 – 8:30 PM:  Networking Reception

*By special invitation only.

February 26, 2015

8:00 – 8:45 AM: Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 11:15 AM: Morning General Session

  • The Honorable Cory Booker, Senator, New Jersey
  • The Honorable Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Representative, Washington; Chair, Republican Conference
  • The Honorable Jack Markell, Governor, Delaware; Board Chair, Jobs for America’s Graduates
  • The Honorable Phil Bryant, Governor, Mississippi
  • The Honorable Michael Nutter, Mayor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • The Honorable William Bell, Mayor, Birmingham, Alabama
  • The Honorable Svante Myrick, Mayor, Ithaca, New York
  • John Engler, President, Business Roundtable; Former Governor, Michigan
  • Blair Taylor,  Chief Community Officer, Starbucks
  • Jim Tankersley, Economic Policy Correspondent, Washington Post
  • Tim Wolff, Vice President, Construction and Engineering, Southwest, AT&T
  • Elizabeth Palomo, Outside Plant Engineer, AT&T
  • Tim Mayorga, Genesys Works Student; Intern, AT&T
  • Alan Khazei, CEO, Be the Change, Inc.
  • Servon Lewis, Graduate, Per Scholas

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Breakout Sessions (Descriptions and Speakers Below)

1:00 – 4:00 PM: Closing General Session

  • The Honorable Thomas Perez, United States Secretary of Labor
  • The Honorable Seth Moulton, Representative, MA-06 (D-MA)
  • The Honorable Garret Graves, Representative, LA-06 (R-LA)
  • The Honorable John R. McKernan Jr., Senior Advisor, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation; Former Governor, Maine
  • Stacey Stewart, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide
  • Michael Tipsord, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer, State Farm
  • Kristin Oliver, Executive Vice President of People, Walmart U.S.
  • Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress
  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President, American Action Forum
  • Kerry Sullivan, President, Bank of America Charitable Foundation
  • Darlene Miller, CEO, Permac Industries
  • Danny Vargas, CEO, VARCom Solutions
  • Dr. Anne Kress, President, Monroe Community College
  • Louis Romano, President, ROMOLD Inc.
  • Matt Brooks, Supervisor, ROMOLD Inc.; Graduate of Monroe Community College
  • Robert Gordon III, President, Be the Change, Inc.
  • Anya Carthy, Graduate, Urban Alliance
  • Richard Young Jr., Associate, Citi Investment Banking
  • Jeron Davis, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Career Prep Program, Student, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Zandra Shelton, One Millionth Jobs for America’s Graduate Student; High School Senior

Breakout Sessions Descriptions and Speakers:


Young-Adult-Staircase-430Do you have an effective youth employment pathway in your company? Do you work with employers to help them source and place young adults? Come share your wisdom and experience with others through an interactive learning session.

Powered by: Grads of Life

Featured Speakers:

  • Kelli Brown, Pharmacy Technician, CVS Health
  • David L. Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health
  • Gerald Chertavian, Founder & CEO, Year Up
  • Lynette Correa, Opportunity Leader,  Founder and CEO, Career Coaching 4 Kidz and Chameleon Career Coaching, Opportunity Leader
  • Mon Lee, Global and North America Training Support, Expeditors
  • Kathleen McLaughlin, President of Walmart Foundation and SVP of Walmart Sustainability
  • Jodie Neville, Vice President Global Brand Marketing & Strategy, Hasbro, Inc.
  • Norka De La Rosa, US Marketing Intern, Hasbro, Inc.
  • Daniel Wall, Vice President, Ocean Services, Expeditors

Table Facilitators:

  • Gayatri Agnew, Director, Career Opportunity, Walmart Foundation
  • Michael Akin, President, Reingold LINK
  • Kelem Butts, Director of Charitable Operations, AT&T
  • Patrice Cromwell, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Center for Community and Economic Opportunity, Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Sherrice Davis, Vice President, Regional Community Reinvestment Officer, M&T Bank
  • Stephanie Gambone, Executive Vice President, Philadelphia Youth Network
  • Gail Gershon, Executive Director, Community Leadership, Gap Inc.
  • Julie Gehrki, Senior Director, Walmart Foundation
  • Jarvez Hall, Pacific Northwest Outreach Manager, Small Business Majority
  • Maureen Jules-Perez, Sr Technical Director, AOL, Inc.
  • Martha Laboissiere, Senior Expert, McKinsey & Company
  • Monique Rizer, Chief of Staff, Be the Change, Inc.
  • Willa Seldon, Partner, Bridgespan Group
  • Deborah Silcox, Partnerships and Community Engagement, Baltimore Public Schools
  • Sarah Smith, Business Partnerships Manager, REDF
  • Bill Symonds, Director, The Global Pathways Institute


This session will explore the power of an entrepreneurial mindset and how entrepreneurship can be harnessed to address the challenge of youth employment.

Sponsored by: The Case Foundation

Featured Speakers:

  • Chanté Goodwin, CEO, Your Way IT Solutions
  • Yscaira Jimenez, CEO, Plexx
  • Sarah Koch, Director, Social Innovation, Case Foundation
  • Joseph Kopser, CEO, RideScout
  • Shawn Osborne, President & CEO, Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship


  • Sarah Azizi, Head of Business Development and Partnerships, Degreed
  • Jessica Barrett, Head of Business Development, pymetrics
  • Abby Cheesman and Elena Valentine, Co-Founders, Skill Scout, Inc.
  • Patrick Dowd, CEO, Millennial Trains Project; Editor-at-Large, National Geographic Traveler
  • Daniel Freedman, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Business Development, Apploi
  • Johanna Gilligan, Founder & Director, Grow Dat Youth Farm
  • David Goldberg, CEO, CSMlearn
  • Jason Green, Co-Founder, SkillSmart
  • David Hammer, Executive Director, Alternative Staffing Alliance
  • Jessica Lin, Founder, Real Work Project
  • Patrick McAnaney, 2013 Fellow, Venture for America
  • Geordie McClelland, Founder & CEO, theThings.biz
  • Adrienne Mueller, Project Lead, Cambridge Youth Outreach Group Coordinator, CIC Innovation Communities
  • Maya Nitzberg, Entrepreneurship Education Coordinator, Possible Project
  • Nena Ugwuomo, Founder & CEO, Student Dream

Content Experts: 

  • Sara Arlotti, Executive Director, IF Hummingbird Foundation
  • Amy Bond, Chief Strategy Officer, Innovate+Educate
  • Sarah Currid and Lena Zamchiya, Regional Vice President, Business Development and Vice President, International Affiliate Division, Enactus
  • Rich Gardner, Vice President of Sales, HourlyNerd
  • Fagan Harris, CEO, Baltimore Corps
  • Kiva Iscol, Board Member, IF Hummingbird Foundation
  • Barbara Marder, Global Innovation Leader, Mercer Innovation
  • Marvin Mathew, Digital Engagement, R/GA; Product & Deisgn Alum, Start Up Institute NYC
  • Sean Daniel Murphy, President and Managing Director, Fund Good Jobs
  • Decker Ngongang, Senior Fellow, Frontline Solutions
  • Earl Robinson, President, PowerMoves.NOLA
  • Ayele Shakur, Regional Executive Director, BUILD Greater Boston
  • Nicole Smith, Assistant Director, Youth Entrepreneurial Leadership Programs, Babson College
  • Patty Sung, Principal, Innovation Hub, Mercer Innovation
  • Gino Pastori-Ng, Co-Founder & Co-Director, YouthSeed


What are the barriers faced by juveniles who have been through the criminal justice system and what can be done to get these young people into jobs? This session will explore these barriers and lift up programs that overcome employment barriers for youth.


  • Jamiel Alexander, President of the National Alumni Council, Member of the National Council of Young Leaders, YouthBuild; Opportunity Leader
  • Molly Baldwin, Founder and CEO, Roca
  • Mark Edwards, Founder and Co-Chair, Opportunity Nation
  • Jeff Fleischer, CEO, Youth Advocate Programs, Inc.
  • Ambika Howell, Program Coordinator and Adjunct Professor, Monroe Community College
  • Tani Mills, Chief of External and Legislative Affairs, Center for Employment Opportunities
  • Ernest Rose, Superintendent, Maricopa County Regional School District


Learn how you can support apprenticeships as an employer or nonprofit, the policies and models that are working to advance them, and hear from young adults whose lives and careers have been transformed by the opportunity.


  • Sarah Ayres Steinberg, Policy Analyst, Center for American Progress
  • Jason Cascarino, CEO, Spark
  • Maria Flynn, Senior Vice President, Jobs For the Future
  • Shaila Ittycheria, Co-Founder, Enstitute
  • Charlotte Newman, Advisor, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
  • Elizabeth Simmons, Education Legislative Assistant, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)
  • Jim Steinle, President, Atomic Plumbing & Drain Cleaning


Pathways to employment can begin with more than just a four-year degree. Many organizations have invested significant funding in developing credentials to measure and assess skills.



  • Jeff Barton, Center Director of the Earl C Clements Job Corps Center
  • Emad Bibawi, Partner, KPMG LLP
  • Allie Bidwell, Education Reporter, US News and World Report
  • Rob Denson, President, Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)
  • Blake Johnson, Lead Instructor of the NYC Web Development Fellowship, Flatiron School
  • Ngan Pham, Opportunity Leader; CALS Aspiring Entrepreneurs
  • Hillary Salmons, Executive Director, Providence After School Alliance


Today, some form of training, degree or credential after high school is essential in order to secure a job that pays family-sustaining wages.

Sponsored by: Apollo Education Group


  • Mark Mitsui, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges, U.S. Department of Education
  • Dr. Jill Wakefield, Chancellor, Seattle Colleges
  • Joshua Mbanusi, Opportunity Leader; Autry Fellow, MDC
  • Paige Ponder, CEO, One Million Degrees
  • Jon Marcus, Higher Education Editor, Hechinger Report


For more information, please contact events@opportunitynation.org.              

 View past Opportunity Summit speakers

Summit Co-Conveners


Summit Signature Partners

BOA-Logo-300px State-Farm-Logo-300px


Summit Champions

Annie-E-Casey-Logo-300 Walmart-200

Summit Leaders


Additional support provided by ACT Foundation, AT&T, Gap Inc., The Joyce Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.

Stay Informed