Mastermind Connect has teamed up with the Office of Equity and Access of the New York City Department of Education for a bi-monthly panel series dubbed “Breakfast of Champions," along with a series of supportive workshops. These panels and workshops are comprised of diverse professionals across business sectors who seek to expose the young men of the NYC Urban Ambassadors program to the many opportunities and paths available to them. Students get a glance into the lives of individuals who dare to make a change in their respective fields of expertise, while staying true to themselves.
This month's Breakfast of Champions panel will focus on “Careers in Technology.”
Mastering Your Craft: Engineering Manager Akil Ash, iOS Developer at Venmo, will lead a workshop on the ins and outs of App Development, and how to bring ideas to life in the tech world.
Travis Weekes - Brand Director at Driven Society
Travis Weekes developed his early client relations, marketing and business development skills through his first role as a real Estate Agent in NYC, and a part owner in a Martial Arts Studio in Long Island. He became adept at analyzing situations where improvements were needed and implemented strategies to solve them.
Travis is devoted to his passion for business development, marketing and events, which led to him founding Driven Society. Driven Society is an organization focused on building success for millennials and post-millennials by providing professional resources, mentorship, and specialized live events.. The company consists of cultural innovators that share a passion in music, technology, fashion and entrepreneurship.
Erick A Caceres - Founder Next Generation Financial Partners | Master Connector at Fintech Connector
Erick is an experienced enabler, specializing in positioning and distribution of Fintech products to LATAM via established strategic partnerships and existing distribution footprint. A Master Connector of the fintech industry leading "Real-world and Online Fintech Community," and versatile growth-oriented executive with an advanced vision for creating high-impact business development and project management policies, that promote institutional progress.
High-value track record reflected in continuous program improvements and company’s growth plans in the payments space. Manages business development goals through perceptive analysis of market trends and organizational capabilities. Broad experience in launching new markets by developing and managing programs from Beta to deployment.
Lemu Coker - Media and Entertainment Partnerships & Strategy at GoogLemu has held roles in biz dev and partnerships within companies such as Twitter, Google, Apple, MTV Networks and Myspace. He is a certified zombie apocalypse expert, independent film fanatic, english bulldog owner, and the Fermi Paradox keeps him up at night. He lives in Brooklyn, by way of Hartford, Connecticut.
Manuel Ruiz - Advisor / Investor at The Crowd's Line
Born in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, and raised by a single mother, this first generation Dominican specializes in agile technology deployments, cloud methodologies, strategy planning, and as a fanatical support lead.
Through his consulting firm, The Crowd's Line he serves clients such as IBM, Sony, and other technology companies looking to hire expert talent to supplement their in house staff.
Jamian Polk - Digital Transformation Leader at Microsoft
Jamian is an experienced proprietor with a history of building successful go to market revenue and sales strategies. His market focus has been in the hardware, software, SaaS and startup market research industries.
Jamian brings more than 13 years of sales and engineering experience in the digital marketing, SaaS, data analytics, data management and enterprise technology sector.
At Microsoft, Jamian manages strategic relationships with executives from Fortune 80 Global Financial Services and Insurance firms helping guide and pioneer digital transformation strategies across a cloud platform of productivity applications and devices.
Aishia Snider - National FS Industry Director at Microsoft
Aishia N. Snider is the US Director of the Financial Services Industry Group at Microsoft. This team is responsible for leading industry digital transformation engagements with Microsoft’s customers, using deep domain expertise. As industry solutions executives at the forefront of digital transformation, this team drives solution business development and field engagement while curating the industry partner ecosystem.
Aishia has successfully progressed her career to the intersection of financial services and technology. She brings 15 years of experience in financial services consultative sales, business development, account management, and strategy at top tier investment banks, while leading teams from 3 to 30. She began her career in sales and trading at UBS, Citi/Salomon Smith Barney, and Nomura Securities before transitioning to a career in technology at Thomson Reuters and Samsung SDSA. Aishia has a B.A. in Political Science and Asian Studies from Drew University, used extensively at UBS, Nomura, and Samsung.
Akil Ash, Engineering Manager, iOS at Venmo.
Akil Ash is a tenured Engineering Manager with a long demonstrated history of leading product engineering teams in a variety of industries. He has worked as a programmer for many years in developing and web applications, online e-commerce, developing digital video games and launching mobile applications to audiences in the tens of millions. Akil has previously worked and consulted for Venmo, PayPal (current), CNBC, NBCUniversal, The Huffington Post, ESPN, Scholastic, Sean John, Century21 Stores, Hugh Carey Battery Park and more.
In short, Akil is an avid technologist and mobile developer. He currently works for Venmo (owned by PayPal) as Senior Engineering Manager of the Commerce iOS team. He has spent nearly 5 years in media and has a diverse background in the Product, startup and digital agency spaces.
Volunteering and community is a significant factor in the way he spends his time outside of work. As a founding member of Mastermind Connect, he spends a lot of time volunteering, helping young students and the curious-minded learn about career prospects in technology and how to code. He also volunteers with dev/color and #BUILTBYGIRLS.