Lang Fund Mentor Network

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Alexandra Sheller ’98

Alexandra Sheller is the director of business strategy at DeskNet Inc. She negotiates partnerships and analyzes various market opportunities for DeskNet. Ms. Sheller most recently founded and served as chief operating officer of Aperture Inc., a financial services company that promoted and provided financial products for microsegments online. Prior to founding Aperture, Ms. Sheller worked as a management consultant in Cap Gemini Ernst & Young's financial services practice. Recent speaking topics include e-business trends and the evolving application service provider industry.

In addition to her MBA from Columbia Business School, she holds a BA from Wellesley College.

Orna Shulman

Orna Shulman founded her own investment company, OLS Ventures LLC, in 2000 to invest her own portfolio and advise third parties in alternative investments and opportunistic real estate situations. Between 1988 and 2000, Ms. Shulman was executive vice president, general counsel and COO of Intertech, a privately owned investment firm in which she was a partner. Ms. Shulman was responsible for a private equity portfolio consisting primarily of real estate, high tech and biotech. During her tenure, the return on equity increased eightfold.

Ms. Shulman led the acquisition and disposition of the HEI hotel portfolio first to Prudential and then to Starwood. Ms. Shulman was also the architect of the purchase and redevelopment of 1500 Broadway in New York City, the home of ABC’s Good Morning America, and was codeveloper of over 1.2 million square feet of commercial development in the Dulles corridor in Northern Virginia. Among other early stage investments, she invested seed capital in the Israeli high-tech company Exalink, which was sold to Comverse. Ms. Shulman was an early investor in the Internet company (which, she is happy to say, is still growing).
Ms. Shulman spends much of her time in the nonprofit and political worlds. She serves as a Dean Nye’s Advisor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and on the board of the Lang Institute for Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School at Columbia University. She also serves on the board of directors of New Yorkers for Children, Montclair Art Museum and the director’s council of the Whitney Museum. She is a trustee of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and serves on the board of the Middle East Forum.
Ms. Shulman graduated from Tufts University with a BA cum laude in history and received a law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University.

R. Adam Smith ’98

Adam Smith joined Caxton-Iseman Capital, Inc., as an associate in October 1999. Mr. Smith initiates, evaluates, and structures potential acquisitions, conducts due diligence and collaborates in the oversight and expansion of portfolio companies. Previously, Mr. Smith spent two years as an associate with Castle Harlan, Inc., where he was directly involved in the leveraged buildup of a Castle Harlan operating company, Matrix Global Investments. During business school, Mr. Smith was a summer associate with J.P. Morgan’s financial sponsors group. Prior to J.P. Morgan, Mr. Smith participated in the launching of Columbus Advisors, LLC, and the creation of its emerging markets hedge fund. Mr. Smith began his career as an analyst at Salomon Brothers, Inc., where his assignments included M&A advisory and global debt and equity financing for U.S. and Latin American institutions.

In addition to his MBA from Columbia Business School, he holds a BA in international relations and finance from Boston University.

Joshua Spodek

Joshua Spodek cofounded Submedia, LLC, in 1999, bringing to market a technology he conceived of while completing his doctorate in astrophysics at Columbia. Submedia is a unique, full-service media provider offering its proprietary motion-picture advertising to subway riders moving in tunnels between stations—a super-premium product with a large, captive audience.

He holds a BA in physics and a PhD in astrophysics from Columbia University.

Guillermo Suescum ’95

Guillermo Suescum is currently VP of new business development for Arcavista Corporation, a marketing communications technology company. In the past, he has served as vice president of strategy and finance for ShopGuide, an e-commerce portal. Prior to that he provided financial advice plus strategy and business development services to various technology companies, including Fusion Networks, BuyerWeb and EarthWeb. In the Republic of Panama, he worked in investment banking and was vice president of finance for a commercial teak business. Mr. Suescum has extensive engineering experience in heavy design and construction ranging from U.S. Navy ships to cryogenic gas separation plants.

William Susetka ’90

William Susetka currently serves as president of global marketing at Avon Products, Inc., and has over 24 years of experience in domestic and international product management. Mr. Susetka has worked for Clairol since 1975, when he began in retail marketing for hair care. Since then, he has held a variety of positions at Clairol including product manager, group director of hair color and business development, vice president for marketing, and, currently, president for Clairol International and U.S. retail.

In addition to his MBA from Columbia Business School, he holds a BS in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Helen Lang Suskin ’88

Helen Lang Suskin is currently the vice president for global market analytics within Pfizer's pharmaceuticals group. Ms. Suskin leads seven teams composed of 130 professionals who work with all

levels of management to develop optimal business solutions, leveraging market research data to provide cutting-edge analyses. Projects range from the sizing and structure of new field forces to positioning of marketed products to decisions around licensing candidates. Prior, Ms. Suskin headed the finance marketing group for U.S. Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. Her responsibilities included the management of U.S. budgets for Pfizer products and the determination of the optimal allocation of resources, as well as
their return on investment. She spent five years as an agricultural engineer, advising and applying modern scientific and commercial practice for Werthein S.A., one of the five largest farming conglomerates in Argentina.

In addition to her MBA from Columbia Business School, Ms. Suskin holds a BS in agricultural engineering from the University of Buenos Aires.

Michael Thiessen ’98

Michael Thiessen is currently a senior manager in the PricewaterhouseCoopers audit and business advisory services group, focusing primarily on technology and technology-related clients. In his tenure at PwC, Mike has served both large and small and both public and private companies in a variety of industries, and he has been involved in numerous initial public offerings, debt offerings, buy- and sell- side M&A transactions and complex technical accounting and financial reporting matters. He is a certified public accountant.

In addition to his MBA from Columbia Business School, Mr. Thiessen holds a BS in accounting from the University of Connecticut.

Jordan Turkewitz ’98

Jordan Turkewitz is a senior director at Ventures and is responsible for the venture capital and acquisition efforts of the east coast business development team. He has led investments in, and is a board observer of,,,, and

Prior to Ventures, he was an associate with Merrill Lynch’s media investment banking group and Goldman Sachs’ mergers and acquisitions group. Mr. Turkewitz was also one of the founders of the Student Advantage program, a fee-based membership program that provided students with official discounts at businesses throughout the United States and abroad. Student Advantage (Nasdaq: STAD) is now the leading offline and online portal to the higher education community.
In addition to his MBA from Columbia Business School, Mr. Turkewitz holds a BA in government from Cornell University.
Yongdong Wang ’02
Yongdong Wang is currently the director of science and technology (S&T) for PerkinElmer Instruments, a leading supplier of scientific instruments in chemical, environmental and biotech areas. The S&T group, under his direction, conducts internal technology development for next generation instrumentation, software and informatics products; evaluates external technologies for licensing and codevelopment; engages in joint research projects with universities and performs technical due-diligence for business development activities. Mr. Wang’s professional interests include novel mathematical algorithms and their applications to address issues in technology and business. He holds 20 patents and has published more than 20 technical papers in these areas.
In addition to his Executive MBA from Columbia Business School, he holds a BS and MS in metallurgy from Central South University (Hunan, P. R. China) and a PhD in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Washington.

Donald Weiss ’67

Donald Weiss is the owner of White Home Products, Inc., a manufacturer in residential moveable storage products, and Self Storage Depot, an operator of ministorage warehouses. He is also chairman of Altura, Inc., a manufacturer of specialty packaging products. From 1970 to 1996, he owned White Systems, Inc., the leading U.S. manufacturer of automated retrieval systems for the storage of small parts and documents. White Systems, selected in 1989 by the Business Journal of New Jersey as “One of the 10 Best Companies to Work for in New Jersey,” has been featured in the Los Angeles Times and on National Public Radio and ABC-TV’s Business World. Before joining White Systems in 1970, Mr. Weiss spent four years as assistant to the president of Hezeltine Corp., now a division of Emerson Electric.

In addition to his MBA from Columbia Business School, Mr. Weiss holds a BS from Cornell University.
Betty Melinda Ark Fung Wong ’82
Betty Wong’s experience includes advertising, sales, market research, public relations, finance, operations and marketing in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Ms. Wong is currently CEO and founder of CEO Global Resources Inc., which offers three services: 1) GENI Connects, an Internet networking and data-warehousing service, 2) Service Finders, a personalized business-to-business matchmaking and referral service and 3) a marketing consulting division.
Prior to her current activities, Ms. Wong was a co-owner of Corporate Communications Marketing Group, Inc., a. public-relations agency, for five years. Among her clients were AlliedSignal Inc., Colgate-Palmolive Company, the Rockport Company, New York State Department of Economic Development, the New York Times Magazine Group and Family Circle magazine. The agency was ranked among the top 100 communications agencies in the country in 1992, 1993 and 1994. Ms. Wong is currently on the board of the New York Chinese Culture Center.
In addition to her MBA from Columbia Business School, she holds a BS from New York University.
Musa Yenni
After having held various executive positions with the larger-bracket investment banks and with IBM and Intel, Mr. Yenni cofounded Yenni & Company, Inc., in 1991 and serves as its president. Yenni and Company is a boutique investment banking firm and has numerous contacts in the United States and globally with financial and strategic institutions, angel investors, private equity firms and venture capital firms. One area of concentration is raising capital for and providing mergers and acquisitions advice to qualified small companies, including health care and cutting-edge technology firms. Another area of specialty is international business and cross-border transactions, for which the firm solicits corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions advisory mandates from larger companies. Mr. Yenni received his BS in industrial and operations engineering, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan in 1980. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1984. Mr. Yenni has also had a long history of distinguished community service activities. Some highlights include chairing his Harvard Business School 15th year reunion and promoting American-Turkish-Israeli trilateral cooperation.

John Young ’00

John Young is an associate at Easton Hunt Capital Partners, L.P., a venture capital and private equity fund investing in early- and late-stage venture capital transactions, PIPEs and management buyouts. In the venture and private equity area, the fund has focused on life sciences, telecommunications infrastructure, industrial manufacturing and distribution, software and energy. In the buyout arena, the fund's focus has been much broader. At Easton, Mr. Young performs financial and operational analyses on a wide range of companies. Mr. Young has eight years of experience consulting with multinational companies about technological change. Prior to joining Easton, he initiated and ran J. Walter Thompson's interactive operations in Asia. He has worked with many companies on various operational, technical and marketing aspects of their strategies, including Reebok, American Express, CNBC Asia, Kodak, Hong Kong Telecom and One2Free.

In addition to his MBA from Columbia Business School, Mr. Young holds a BA in communications from Queen’s University in Canada.

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