2017 Career Networking Panel

Investing in Technology: A Discussion Between Investors and Innovators on
What Makes a Career in Technology Desirable 
Monday, May 15, 2017 • 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Steelcase • 4 Columbus Circle, 7th Floor

The purpose of this annual event, hosted by the Alumni Association’s Career Committee, is to educate, inform, and connect members of the Riverdale community in a given field or industry. Riverdale is fortunate to have many esteemed alumni and parents from a wide array of occupations who serve as panelists and/or moderate the event each year. Typically 50-100 alumni, students, and parents attend the discussion, after which, guests are encouraged to network and mingle over wine and hors d'oeuvres. Past panel discussions have included topics such as: Entrepreneurship: What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business; The Digital Revolution: Social and Digital Media, Where it is Today and Where is it Heading Next; The Real Estate Market: Trends, Developments and Perspectives; The Art of the Deal: A Discussion with Riverdale Alumni from all Mediums; and Education: An Insight into the Diverse Careers within Education and the Evolution of Teaching.

This year’s moderator and panelists include:

Serial entrepreneurs Kass Lazerow (moderator) and Mike Lazerow are best known as co-founders of Buddy Media, a pioneering social marketing software company purchased by Salesforce.com in 2012. At the time, the sale was NYC’s largest software exit in the last decade. Prior to Buddy Media, Kass and Mike founded a string of Internet companies, including GOLF.com, purchased by Time Inc. in 2006 and now a core part of Time Inc.’s sports offering. Mike is the recipient of Ernst & Young’s coveted Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Both Kass and Mike were given the Leader of the Future Award by the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute as well as named #1 on Business Insider’s Silicon Alley 100 list. Today, Kass and Mike are among NYC’s most active startup investors having invested in more than 50 companies, including Facebook, Tumblr, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Domo, Dash Radio, Nourish Snacks and Scopely. Kass currently sits on the boards of both Riverdale Country School and the Stephen Gaynor School.  Mike currently sits on the boards of Superfly, Map Anything, and Odyssey. The Lazerows live on the Upper West Side with their three children, Myles, Cole RCS’22, and Vivian RCS’25, and two dogs, Brownie and Cece.  

David Politis '00 is founder and CEO of BetterCloud, where he oversees the day-to-day activities of the company and is responsible for the overall product vision and business strategy. As a pioneer in the cloud-services industry, David has vast experience launching and building high-growth technology companies and an immense passion for enterprise cloud technology. Before founding BetterCloud, David was an early employee of Cloud Sherpas (acquired by Accenture), a preeminent leader in cloud advisory and technology services. As the VP of SMB Solutions, David led Cloud Sherpas to become the leading cloud services partner to small and medium sized businesses worldwide. Prior to Cloud Sherpas, David was the founding employee and General Manager of Vocalocity (acquired by Vonage), which he grew into one of the top providers of cloud PBX technology. As General Manager, David ran day to day operations and led the company’s product strategy. David is a native of New York City and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Emory University. 

Michael Rudin '03 is Senior Vice President of Rudin Management Company. He has been with the firm since 2008 and, along with his sister Samantha, represents the fourth generation to work at the family business. Michael helps lead the venture capital arm, Rudin Ventures, which focuses on investing in real-estate focused technology start-ups. Michael has also been intimately involved in the creation of Nantum, a SaaS based building operating system that Rudin created in-house and is now a stand-alone business. Michael is also Managing Partner of Rudin West Development, which is based in Aspen, CO, and has completed two mixed-use projects totaling 50,000 square feet since 2009. Michael is a member of a number of industry-related organizations including The Real Estate Round Table Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee, the WiredScore Advisory Board, the NYU Furman Center Advisory Board and the Urban Land Institute and has had a New York State Broker’s License since 2008. He serves on the board of the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, The First Tee of Metropolitan New York, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Friends of the BQX and the Aspen Art Museum. Michael graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in May 2008 with a B.A. in Environmental Design and Planning with an emphasis in Real Estate and holds an M.S. in Sustainable Real Estate Development from New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Sabrina, and their son, Lukas.

Kimberly Skelton '99 is an Entrepreneur at Bionic Solution, a solutions company that installs a startup ecosystem into large enterprises, creating a permanent, always-on capability for growth. At Bionic she is currently working on new businesses with some of the largest cpg and energy companies. Prior to joining Bionic, Kimberly co-founded Parrable, a deterministic, proprietary identification platform that helps advertisers understand when they are seeing the same computers and mobile devices so they can customize content for each viewer. After leaving Parrable, she helped build new business units at IAC and Square. Kimberly's start up and technology experience spans direct to consumer commerce, on-demand mobile applications, health and wellness, financial technology, food, advertising technology, energy and real estate. Kimberly received a B.A. in Economics from Duke University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Ahmed Yearwood '91 is owner and founder of Y INTERACT, a New York City–based creative agency specializing in website development, video production, content strategy, and mobile apps.  Founded in 2001, Y INTERACT partners with brands in a range of sectors, including finance, sports entertainment, technology, not-for-profit, and more. Clients include the National Basketball Association (NBA), the WNBA, the Financial Times, Aberdeen Asset Management, Lenox Hill Hospital, and Covenant House, to name a few. Graduated from Harvard University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Ahmed has also studied Economics, Philosophy and European Union policy at University College, London University.


For More Information

Ann Grasing
Senior Director of Development

Robin Gottlieb
Director of Alumni Affairs

Gina M. Cantelmo
Development Officer

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