Joseph (Joe) Bronson is currently principal and CEO of The Bronson Group, LLC, a business advisory group focused on operational and financial consulting.
In addition, he is a strategic advisor and managing director of Cowen Group, Inc., a New York City based investment banking firm, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Fairfield University. Joe is a CPA and holds a BS in Accounting from Fairfield University and an MBA from the University of Connecticut. He was inducted into the UConn Business School Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Fairfield University Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in 2017.
Chris Hillock is the vice president and head of portfolio development at Dell Technologies Capital, the venture capital arm of Dell Technologies.
He is chartered with creating go to market partnerships and scaling strategies for portfolio companies within Dell Technologies' business units and partner ecosystem. Chris has 23 years of sales leadership and general management experience leading cross functional global sales teams and scaling emerging HW & SW solutions within enterprise accounts. Prior to joining DT Capital, Chris was a GM within the DT Select division of the Dell Technologies Global Accounts practice chartered with growing revenue, operating income, and building an integrated GTM model across the Dell Tech family of businesses. Chris holds a BS in Marketing and Information Systems from Fairfield University, an MBA in Finance from the University of Connecticut, is a graduate from the General Management Program from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mary Anne Rooke is the past president and Board Member of Angel Investor Forum, the Connecticut-based angel group. She also is founder of Rooke & Associates, a boutique management consulting firm that specializes in helping early stage technology companies on the verge of high growth.
Mary Anne is a partner in Mystic River Ventures (MRV) that serves as fund managers for the UConn Innovation Fund. She also advises and mentors startups in many regional accelerators and has held leadership positions in multiple industries ranging from startup ventures to Fortune 500 companies. Mary Anne graduated from Annhurst College with a BS in Accounting and has her MBA from Golden Gate University’s Executive MBA Program.
Packy Kelly is an audit partner with KPMG based in San Francisco serving tech companies in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, and Tampa Bay.
He recently completed a term as the overall leader of the firm’s Bay Area audit practice, which included the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Sacramento and Honolulu markets. Prior to leading the Bay Area, Packy was a leader of the U.S. Enterprise ventures practice that delivers the firm’s services to high growth, venture-backed startup companies. He has been the lead partner for several IPOs. Packy has served as an advisor to the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab and a board member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. He received a BS in Accounting from Fairfield, MBAs from both UC-Berkeley and Columbia University, and is a CPA. Packy has delivered guest lectures on the economics of raising venture capital to entrepreneur classes at Berkeley and Sant Clara, and during the 2023 Fairfield University Silicon Valley Immersion Trip. He credits his intermediate accounting professor at Fairfield as being instrumental to his successful career in public accounting.
Ted Yang is the founding CEO/trustee for 4-CT, the co-founder and board member of Purple Insurance/Gather, the founder/VP strategy and digital marketing of Highclere Castle Spirits, the founder and president of Cantata Media/Daily Voice, and the co-founder and partner of SVP-CT.
Ted began his career working in the banking industry with positions in Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan as an analyst and consultant respectively. Shortly after Ted founded his first company eTECHTRANSFER, went on to win the 2000 Wharton Business Plan Competition, and served as as co-head of FX e-commerce Technology at Citigroup Global Markets and CTO for Bridgewater Associates. As his career progressed he evolved into a serial entrepreneur, founding or serving in executive positions at over ten companies. In 2009 he formed TMYC Inc. as a holding company for his investments and advisory work. Ted is a graduate of MIT where he simultaneously pursued his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science and Master of Engineering in 1997.
GrasshoppHer co-founder and former Radio Disney Host Alexa Curtis was born and raised in Mansfield, Conn. From a young age she knew she was different and that she didn’t fit the “normal” social mold. Following being bullied in middle school Curtis needed an outlet to escape and in 2011, at just 12 years old, she started fashion blog A Life in the Fashion Lane.
The blog became a platform for her to express her feelings around topics relating to teens including body image and mental health. As Curtis evolved as a person her blog shifted to discussing sensitive topics that teens and young adults face, and the blog transformed into a lifestyle website and podcast for teens and parents called Life Unfiltered with Alexa Curtis. She also gained sponsorships from brands including British Airways, T-Mobile, Lands' End, and more.
In 2018, Curtis founded the Be Fearless Summit, a pop-up summit that first appeared at Drexel University in March, 2020 and has since premiered at UCONN, Vanderbilt, Central Connecticut State University, and UC Berkeley. Recently, the Be Fearless Summit was acquired by upskilling and mentorship platform GrasshoppHer. Curtis works with co-founder Heather Miller to develop GrasshoppHer’s membership model and to reinvent their career fairs. In October 2018, Curtis spoke alongside Amal Clooney and Serena Williams at Penn Women and in September 2018 launched and hosted her own radio show on Radio Disney called Fearless Everyday with Alexa Curtis.
Curtis has spoken at numerous colleges including Northeastern, UConn, Eastern Connecticut, and Rutgers – as well as at high schools – discussing topics including how to be fearless, mental health, and the impact of social media in these areas.