Judith Curr is President and Publisher of the HarperOne Group, which was formed in 2018 when Judith joined HarperCollins. It represents a broad and diverse publishing landscape, bringing together four imprints, each with their own unique editorial vision: HarperOne, Amistad, HarperCollins Español, and HarperVia. Publishing books that appeal to readers across cultures, nations, languages and racial divides, the overall mission of HarperOne Group is to “publish for the world we want to live in.” Prior to joining HarperCollins, Curr founded Atria Books in 2002, overseeing its growth into a consistently successful and forward-thinking division. A native of Australia, Curr has been an executive in American publishing since 1996.
Born and raised in NJ, Gati is the daughter of Indian immigrants who spent her childhood balancing her Indian heritage and values with her American lifestyle and ideals. Since starting her career, she has focused on creating relationships with clients, partners and agencies to develop best-in-class marketing and communications. She has worked across a number of clients and categories including AT&T where we worked to elevate them from a phone company to a technology company and CVS Health, where they worked to transform them from a corner store to a health company. Currently Gati leads the Facebook Blue Global Team to help guide them through a challenging period as a brand, and future-proof them for the next phase of social media and connection. This past summer, she launched BBDO Good – a part of the agency dedicated to help everyone in the agency activate and leverage the resources at our disposal to do more good for more people. Her goal is to inspire and motivate everyone to use their skills and voice for good in their communities and beyond. Gati has three beautiful boys (2 human, one fur) and lives in Manhattan with her husband and family.
Bruce Morrow has over 20 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit management. He is the Director of Foundation & Government Grants at The Trevor Project and former Senior Director of Institutional Giving at GLAAD. He is a former fiction editor at Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts & Letters and co-editor of “Shade: An Anthology of Short Fiction by Gay Men of African Descent.” His writing has appeared in the New York Times, “Speak My Name: Black Men on Masculinity and thAmerican Dream,” “Ancestral House: The Black Short Story in the Americas and Europe,” and “Imagining America: Stories from the Promised Land: A Multicultural Anthology of American Fiction.” He has a B.S. in Biology from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and a MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. In 2007, he was a Revson Fellow for Mid-Career Civic Leaders at Columbia University.
Mustafa Topiwalla is Head of Healthcare Corporate and Investment Banking at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. He has over 15-years of experience in Finance and has covered a number of sectors over his career, including Healthcare, Media & Telecom, Consumer, and Industrials. Mustafa’s day-to-day job consists of covering clients and managing a team that delivers top quality ideas to and execution of financing solutions for corporate clients, which include mid-sized firms to Fortune 500 companies. Mustafa has been actively involved in Diversity and Inclusion by being a member of RBC’s US Diversity Leadership Council and an Executive Sponsor of the Multicultural Employee Alliance. Mustafa received an AB (honors) in Economics from Middlebury College and an MBA (honors) from Columbia Business School. He lives in New York City, with his wife Melissa Connor and daughters Layla and Yasmeen.
Cate Ambrose is CEO and Board Member of EMPEA, the global industry association for private capital in emerging markets. Members include 300+ fund managers, institutional investors, family offices, sovereign wealth funds, development finance institutions, and industry advisors who manage more than USD5 trillion in assets across 130 countries. Cate is a Steering Committee Member of the United Nations Institutional Investor Partnership for Sustainable Development (IIPSD) and on the Advisory Board of the Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America (LAVCA). She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Indian startup Masala Baby and a Board Member for Girls Write Now, a non-profit that mentors underserved young women in New York City. Prior to joining EMPEA, Cate was President and Executive Director of LAVCA. Cate was also previously the Chief of Advocacy for the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, a United Nations initiative where she spearheaded the commission’s work on business regulation and property rights in Africa, MENA, Asia, and Latin America. Until 2005, Cate was Executive Director of Programs for The Economist Group. Cate speaks and writes regularly on a range of topics related to public policy and private investment in Latin America. She is a commentator on CNN En Español, Bloomberg, and Fox Business and a guest lecturer at The Wharton School. Cate holds an MPA in International Economic Policy from Columbia University and received her BA in Latin American studies from St. Lawrence University and the University of Madrid.
Lynda Pak is Senior Vice President, Technology Leader for Global Brands and Corporate Functions at Estee Lauder Companies (ELC). Since joining ELC in 2016, she has been passionate about helping business leaders make smart technology investment choices to shape and accelerate value creation. With over twenty years of technology strategy and operational experience, she has collaborated with executive leadership teams at ELC, Bed Bath and Beyond (BBB), Borders Group (BGI), and other leading companies in the consumer products/retail industry. Prior to ELC, as the Vice President of eCom/Digital and Marketing Technologies for BBB, she successfully led the redesign of the digital customer experience and their next generation digital and marketing capabilities. At BGI, she served as Chief Technology Officer and VP of Applications, and as VP of eCommerce Operations. Additionally, with over 19 years of consulting experience with Deloitte Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers, she has demonstrated commitment and success as an advisor to senior executive business partners to define and curate their strategic initiatives to drive business value. Lynda has led the delivery of very large, complex, and global ERP programs for key clients. Finally, Lynda built Deloitte Consulting’s global ‘Green IT’ practice to help clients reduce their technology carbon footprint.
Lavaille Lavette is a New York Times best-selling author/editor, educator, producer and social entrepreneur. She is the President & Publisher and Managing Partner at One Street Books, Lavette Books, and Ebony Media Publishing LLC. She often describes herself as a story hunter and story teller. Her latest publishing successes include Finding Me by Viola Davis (#1 New York Times Best Seller) and Shut Up and Listen by Tilman Fertitta (New York Times Best Seller). Lavaille recently return to writing in the children’s book space with four upcoming Little Golden books: Beyoncé: A Little Golden Book Biography (Jan. 3, 2022), Harry Belafonte: A Little Golden Biography (Jan. 3, 2022), Jayylen’s Juneteenth Surprise (May. 2, 2022), and Jayylen’s Juneteenth Surprise (Sept. 3, 2022) Lavaille is also the author of the best-selling children’s book series, Steve Harvey presents The Adventures of Roopster Roux and The Adventures of Roopster Roux sports series. The Roux series has received numerous accommodations from cities around the USA and the first ever convenience store/gas station with a literacy purpose based on the Roopster Roux series (The Roux) launched in Chicago Summer 2022, with additional locations planned for various cities throughout the USA. With a Master’s in Education, Lavaille has worked as an investment broker, school teacher, school district administrator, speechwriter, marketing executive and served as special advisor to former US Secretary of Education, Dr. Rod Paige, (US Department of Education 2001 – 2005). She is a Founding Board Member and the first President of the Luanda Africa Sister City Association. Being of service to others is one of her greatest joys. Lavaille is a Casa Child Advocate court appointed volunteer, a mentor with The Hay center, often fundraises for foster care programs and she is involved in a number of international charitable ventures. Over the past 15 years Lavaille has used her branding, merchandising and sales expertise to manage a number of business ventures with well- known celebrities and athletes in the publishing, aviation, food, retail and sports industry. Beyond her work in publishing, community engagement, nonprofit and the marketing spheres, Lavaille is co-founder of Every Child An Author, (ECAA) Class-by-Class, School-by-School. ECAA is on a mission to make every child in America a published author, one grade level at a time! (everychildanauthor.com) In her leisure time, Lavaille enjoys skateboarding, cooking and spending time with her husband John, family and friends.
Stephanie Gordon is a Director in U.S. Public Finance, Corporate Banking at RBC Capital Markets. She is responsible for providing credit and structuring analysis for a broad range of balance sheet solutions that support capital improvement programs and infrastructure projects, primarily focused on the transportation, power & utilities, student loans, housing and prepaid gas sectors. Stephanie was previously in RBC’s Aerospace, Defense and Government Services Group underwriting acquisitions, project financings, leveraged transactions and general corporate purpose loans for large cap, small cap and private clients. Stephanie began her career in Bank of America’s credit training program where she worked as a Commercial Banking Underwriter covering diversified industries and ABL clients. Stephanie is active in many of RBC’s diversity initiatives with a focus on youth mentorship, outreach, and multi-cultural issues. She has been a mentor with Futures and Options and Big Brothers Big Sisters, volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House, and Council of Urban Professionals 2016 Fellow. Stephanie has 20 years of banking experience and graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and a citation in Spanish.
Over the past 25 years, Maya Nussbaum has grown Girls Write Now into one of the nation’s leading institutions creating change at the intersection of gender, race, age, and poverty. In addition to being the first writing and mentoring organization of its kind, Girls Write Now continually ranks among the top programs nationwide for driving social-emotional growth for youth. Under Maya’s stewardship, the nationally award-winning nonprofit has mentored the next generation of writers and leaders to impact businesses across industries, shape culture, and change the conversation. Maya has been distinguished three times by the White House, including by the President’s Committee on the Arts & Humanities and as a White House Champion of Change.
Ellen Archer is President of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media. Archer drives the strategic growth and expansion of the Company’s consumer publishing business—home to iconic properties, brands and authors from Curious George to The Hobbit to CliffsNotes. An experienced leader in publishing, consumer brands and multimedia, Archer spent 15 years at The Disney ABC Television Group. For five years she was President and Publisher of Hyperion Books, then a division of the Walt Disney Company, responsible for building the company’s digital business, spearheading cross-platform initiatives, and releasing over 100 New York Times bestsellers. Most recently, Archer consulted for start- ups and non-profits, providing strategic advice in content development, marketing, and business planning. Archer holds a BA in English Literature from Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. She served on the Foundation Board of New York Women in Communications and is a member of The Women’s Forum of New York and Golden Seeds, an early stage investment firm with a focus on women leaders. Archer is based primarily in HMH’s New York headquarters.
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