Word to the Wise
All organizations need advice sometimes, a team of mentors who guide an organization to evolve and transform. W@F is proud to present to you our 2015 Board of Advisors.
By Amy H. Fonseca
Who are the wisest people you know? What if you could gather those people, the ‘restless geniuses,’ the visionaries in business, the creative instigators and the champions of social entrepreneurs- and invite them to share their opinions and thoughts? What if the people you admired could facilitate and guide your decisions? How would your organization transform?
A couple of weeks ago, we introduced you to W@F’s 2015 Board of Directors. Today, we’re presenting the exceptional team who will advise and champion W@F into ‘the frontier’of 2015.
Ray Kurzweil is one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers and futurists, with a thirty-year track record of accurate predictions. Called “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes magazine, Kurzweil was selected as one of the top entrepreneurs by Inc. magazine, which described him as the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison.” PBS selected him as one of the “sixteen revolutionaries who made America.” Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Among Kurzweil’s many honors, he is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, holds twenty honorary Doctorates, and honors from three U.S. presidents. Ray has written five national best-selling books, including New York Times bestsellers The Singularity Is Near (2005) and How To Create A Mind (2012). He is a Director of Engineering at Google heading up a team developing machine intelligence and natural language understanding.
A visionary, Koplovitz was the first woman to head a major television network, USA Networks, and launch the popular SyFy Channel. Today, she is the bestselling author of Bold Women, Big Ideas, Co-Founder of Boldcap Ventures and Chairman of Springboard Enterprises. Koplovitz amplifies the portfolios of other women-led companies through investment, leadership and mentorship. An experienced public board member, Kay is currently the Chairman of the Board of Fifth & Pacific Companies (Formerly Liz Claiborne) and a board member of CA Technologies and ION media. She has served on the boards of Instinet, Oracle, Nabisco and General Re.
Band of Outsiders | JFE | Mammoth Records
Jay Faires has spent two decades as an executive, investor, entrepreneur, producer, advisor and board member in the entertainment industry. He was the President and founder of Mammoth Records – an independent record label, publishing and lifestyle marketing company, sold to the Walt Disney Company for a 65x return on initial capital. In 2004, Faires built his music publishing company, BNY Music, later acquired by Lionsgate. Jay has previously held senior executive positions at Warner Music, Walt Disney and Lionsgate. Throughout his career, he’s cultivated close relationships with artists, talent and songwriters, film producers, network executives, music festival, tv production companies and publishing company owners. He advises leading edge companies including Mind Body Green, Seed & Spark and the non-profits My Friends Place and Invisible Children.
Richard Demato is a Co-Founder of the consulting firm Project X, where he leads strategic planning, organizational design and innovation processes for global brands and venture backed tech start-ups such as Danone, Michael Kors, LVMH, Sarens and The Andela Institute. He is also a Co-Founder of The Workshop, a brand experience design agency that provides key creative services to ensure harmony across a diverse range of platforms, technology & media. Clients have included Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project, AOL, the WTA and the Dell Social Innovation Challenge. Previously, Richard was the Social Innovation Curator for GOOD magazine, and sparked their partnership with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. He was also the CEO of COMMON, helping social entrepreneurs and global brands such as Sodastream create new, profitable business models and creative approaches to marketing. Richard began his career at the Endeavor Agency before rising to partner at Fuse Entertainment, where he managed creators, producers and writers behind hit TV shows such as The Mentalist, Burn Notice, Prison Break and feature films such as Sherlock Holmes and LEGO.
Civic Incubator | Points of Light
Ayesha Khanna is the president of the Civic Incubator, which puts people at the center of change by supporting social entrepreneurs and early stage civic ventures around the world through programs such as the Civic Accelerator, Ventures in Residence and Global Service. The Civic Incubator is a division of Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. In 2012, she launched the Points of Light Civic Accelerator – in partnership with Village Capital and with founding support from PwC Charitable Foundation and Starbucks Foundation. Khanna has worked across sectors and led nonprofit, for-profit and political organizations. She is a Co-Founder of Fuse Corps, a nonprofit venture that matches experienced leaders with mayors to drive innovation as part of a12-month fellowship. Khanna has served on various community organization boards and currently serves on the Fort McPherson Local Redevelopment Authority, The White House Project in Georgia and Fuse Corps Board of Directors.
We can’t wait to see W@F’s future when these great minds collide in 2015!
Photos and bios courtesy of individual board members.