Chocko Valliappa

CEO of HireMee

Chocko Valliappa - Team Leader: Chocko is a social entrepreneur focused on education, mass skilling and democratizing recruitment. He is a Trustee/Vice Chairman of Thiagarajar Polytechnic & Sona College of Technology India’s leading community schools. Chocko founded SonaYukti an accredited chain of skilling schools across India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Passionate about providing youngsters jobs he founded HireMee a job platform. Chocko is a graduate of Business Graduate of Christ University Bangalore and is the only student in 50 years to lead its student council twice and he also has a Textile Management diploma.

Tom D. Dretler: Tom is CEO and Co-founder of Shorelight, an education technology company that helps U.S. universities to internationalize. He was also CEO of Eduventures, a best-practices research company that works with more than 500 top U.S. universities. Tom is Board Chair of US News Global Education and Board Member of the Johns Hopkins School of Education. He is co-author of the Bain white paper, The Financially Sustainable University. Tom is a graduate of Johns Hopkins where he was a Rhodes Scholar candidate and Phi Beta Kappa. He is an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School where he was awarded the Goldsmith Fellowship.

Tom Dretler

CEO of Shorelight

Shirish Pareek

Chair of Skills and Workforce commission

Shirish Pareek- Shirish is Managing Director of AMG Partners. An investment and advisory firm he founded that focuses on transforming US Manufacturing companies through Advanced Manufacturing and worker re-skilling. Previously, Shirish was a Management Consultant with McKinsey and Company and the CEO and Founder of Hydraulex Global, which he grew into the largest hydraulics re-manufacturing business in America. Mr. Pareek served two-terms on President Obama's Manufacturing Council, and in his second term he was Chair of Skills and Workforce commission. He is currently a Board Member at US National Digital Manufacturing Institute, MxD. Shirish earned a B.S. with University Honors in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. ir.Nirmalesh Kumar Sampath Kumar - Administration & Strategy : He is currently the Associate Director for Innovation and Strategy at Vee Technologies, India; Head of Knowledge Transfer and Valorisation at Sona College of Technology and heads social impact initiatives within the Valliappa Foundation. He is one of the youngest people to be both an Erasmus Mundus Scholar and a Marie S Curie Fellow. After having completed advanced degrees in Quantum Nanophysics and Science and Technology Management, studying at some of the leading universities across Europe and the UK, he founded his own technology start-up company Connectedness in Nice, France. Following this, he ventured into the field of Knowledge Transfer where he identifies R&D projects and ideas in the lab that can become potential startup companies in the future. He passionately works with the Sona Group and Mr. Chocko Valliappa on solving social issues affecting the rural communities in India. Nirmalesh aims to become a global leader in the field of innovation and valorisation in the future.

Dr.ir. Nirmalesh Kumar Sampath Kumar

Administration & Strategy

Komal Kaul

Engagement Officer

Komal Kaul: Is the Engagement Officer of the People Action Network, a social impact network in YPO. She is also Co-chair of the Indian American International Chamber of Commerce, DMV Tristate Chapter, and is responsible for all operations and growth of the IAICC. Previously, Komal founded and was the Executive Officer of the Sam India Project, an organization that applies proven and practical solutions to reduce acute malnutrition in India. For the past several years, she has worked with food scientists, non-profits, leaders and officials in the United States and India, on the severe issue of malnutrition amongst Indian children. In addition, she is an advisor for a few non-profit organizations, including Foster America and Street Level Awareness Program (SLAP)- India. Komal has a Masters in Physics from the University of Kanpur, India, and a Masters in Bio-Technology from the University of Maryland.

Phil Kranenburg is the COO/CFO for Cortex Composites. He is a founding partner of Kranenburg Certified Public Accountants, a tax, accounting and consulting firm. He has been an interim CEO and CFO for various companies and managed an ESG venture capital/private equity fund for ten years. Phil started his career at Price Waterhouse were his clients included companies in technology and industry. Phil was the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Member of the Finance Committee and Governance Committee at Teracycle, Inc. and Board Member and Audit Committee Member for Hydrogen Corporation. As the Director of Marketing/Partner Programs at Xcert International (NYSE: DELL), he enabled the growth of the business that lead to an all-cash transaction for 5x revenue from RSA Security. At VPC (NYSE: BAC), he was the VP of Marketing before the assets of the company were sold. While Director of Product Marketing at Gemplus International (OTCMKTS: THLLY), he managed $100 million of product line in over 35 countries. He was CEO and CFO at Framdrive, a solid-state disk drive company. Phil has led a major turnaround at the College of Marin with revenues of $80M and $0.5B in construction and modernization, as a Chairman and Trustee. He is a CPA and a graduate of Stanford University.

Phil Kranenburg

COO/CFO for Cortex Composites

Tony Parchment


Tony Parchment is an entrepreneur with over 20+ years experience starting and growing companies. Before Upstart Connectors, Tony worked in the information technology consulting industry for more than 25 years. In 1998, he co-founded Buchanan & Edwards, an IT consulting firm serving the federal government. He started Upstart Connectors to enable those with talent and determination to achieve their life goals.

Micah Chase - Micah Chase has been a founder and CEO for over 25 years successfully growing several startups into multi-million dollar companies. Experience in all phases of an enterprise, B2B, B2C, managing P&L, setting strategic direction, change management, product development, multichannel marketing, business development, contract negotiation, regulatory compliance, and M&A.

Micah Chase

CEO for over 25 years successfully growing several startups

Dr. Silpa Saladi

Operations Director for Vee Technologies

Dr. Silpa Saladi is the physician liaison and Operations Director for Vee Technologies, providing clinical leadership for all aspects of the delivery of care. After graduating from Deccan College of Medical Sciences, Silpa received her certification in Artificial Intelligence from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management.

J. Krish Krishnamurty is an accomplished, widely travelled executive with over 45 years’ experience in developing, executing, and managing projects in the Engineering/Construction industry, both in Canada and Internationally. A Chemical Engineer by background, with strong capabilities in project development & implementation, particularly in utilizing technologies in the oil/gas, power, industrial and chemicals sectors. Extensive International project development and execution achievements and possesses excellent people and communication skills. Personal network includes people, entrepreneurs, and companies in technology, manufacturing, project execution and project financing.

J. Krish Krishnamurty

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Marissa Jacobson

Engineering Client Operations Director

Marissa Jacobson serves as the Engineering Client Operations Director & BIM Manager at Vee Technologies. She has over 10 years of experience in architecture and engineering with extensive commercial, residential and institutional project portfolios with an emphasis on design and management. Marissa fosters an environment of teamwork and ensures that strategy is clearly defined while overseeing design, quality, technical performance and maintaining morale. Her strong communication and client relationships skills enhance a process-driven management style.

Allison King serves as Vee Technologies’ Marketing Manager. In this role, Allison guides and oversees marketing efforts to contribute to the overall growth and development of Vee Technologies. Driven by the understanding from both a business development and marketing background, she takes pride in delivering the most meaningful insights to the healthcare industry.

Allison King

Vee Technologies’ Marketing Manager

Louis Melbourne

CEO and co-founder of Aquire Solutions

Lois Melbourne: Louis spent eighteen years as CEO and co-founder of Aquire Solutions, a workforce analytics and talent management software company. While working with clients around the world to better understand and develop their workforce, she developed a deep curiosity around chosen career paths and the stories surrounding them. After her company being acquired Lois founded My Future Story and published children’s books designed to help kids explore career opportunities. My Future Story provides workshops and presentations for students, teachers and youth programs. They provide insights into careers, education paths and creative ways to make selections about both. Lois is now engaged in writing novels and is an advocate for voting rights and civic education. She volunteers with several organizations improving education and many other issues that matter to her communities.