Edmodo is conveniently located, off US 101 Hillsdale Blvd. exit, near the intersection of Saratoga Drive and Park Place. The company is located in a mixed development with office buildings, a Whole Food supermarket, retail shops, and residential buildings. You can park your car in the garage next to Whole Foods.
This is a special dinner party to help Chicago Booth alumni get to know each other better socially and professionally. Alumni that graduated from 1980 - 1995 will get together as a group to enjoy an informal buffet-style taco bar at Edmodo, a social learning network company, in downtown San Mateo.
Michele Madansky, '90, media consultant, will moderate a panel discussion regarding technology innovations in the Silicon Valley:
• Manish Kothari, '90, General Manager of Platform at Edmodo, "A 21-year journey in entrepreneurship - raising money, going public, failed start-ups and Edmodo"
• Jo Anne Miller,'87, Managing Partner of Brown Dog Partners, "Innovations within large companies - my experience with Nokia"
• Preston Moore, '80, VP of Oracle, "How does start-ups change Silicon Valley and inspire market leaders to join the innovation race"
• Chris Russell, '89, President of Voqel, "The challenges of kick-starting Voqul -Youtube for audio"
The speakers will draw upon their experience working for different technology companies to engage the audience in a lively exchange about the essence of Silicon Valley and why some companies, ideas, and people succeed or fail. The goal is to leverage the collective expertise of the group to expand our horizons and transform the reunion dinner program into an innovative learning forum for Booth alumni.
We will start with cocktails from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. with dinner from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. You are welcome to bring your spouse or significant other to our reunion gathering.
Please help spread the word and invite your classmates to join our reunion party. The more the merrier!
Michele Madansky (Moderator)
Michele runs a media and market research consultancy specializing in online media and measurement. Her clients include Twitter, YouTube, BabyCenter, Chegg, Buzzfeed, Adara, Refinery 29, and SAY Media.
From 2003 to 2007, Michele was Vice President of Global Market Research for Yahoo! Prior to joining Yahoo!, Michele spent her entire career in advertising, focusing on quantitative research and online marketing. In New York, she worked at BBDO in their marketing sciences group and as the agency's first interactive media specialist. Prior to joining Yahoo!, Michele was managing partner at Grey Insight Partners, an analytics consultancy.
Michele holds a Sc.B. from Brown University, and an MBA and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has been a lecturer at Haas Graduate School of Business.
Manish Kothari (Speaker) '90
General Manager, Platform, Edmodo
Manish Kothari is General Manager of Platform at Edmodo. Edmodo is the world's leading social learning platform for educators, students and parents. He is responsible for platform partnerships, sales and business development. Manish was a co-founder of Root-1 which was acquired by Edmodo in 2013.
Prior to Edmodo and Root-1, Manish was President and co-founder of AlphaSmart. He was responsible for overall management of worldwide sales, marketing and operations. In addition to helping build a $40MM business, he was part of the executive management team during AlphaSmart's IPO and subsequent acquisition of AlphaSmart by Renaissance Learning.
Manish currently serves on the Board of MindCrest, a Chicago-based legal right-shoring service provider. He is a senior advisor for Cisco's Entrepreneurs in Residence program, and a member of the Advancement Council for the School of Engineering & Technology at Brigham Young University. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Brigham Young University.
Manish has a MBA from University of Chicago, a MSEE from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BSEE in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University.
Preston Moore (Speaker) '80
Vice President, Industry Strategy & Insight, Oracle
Preston brings more than 30 years of consulting and industry experience. While at Oracle, Preston has worked with many global companies including Xerox, Qualcomm, Boeing, ING, Delhaize, Herbalife and Vale.
Prior to joining Oracle, Preston was at McKinsey & Company for more than four years. At McKinsey he was a leader and a core member of McKinsey's Operations Practice. He was responsible for the development and implementation of strategic strategies for Fortune 500 manufacturing and service companies.
In addition to his consulting experience, Preston has worked for Quanex and Cummins Engine Company and held various operations and finance titles including Controller, Divisional Operations Planning Manager and Assistant to the President.
Chris Russell (Speaker) '89
Founder & President, Voqel
Chris Russell is a Bay Area software entrepreneur. He founded Voqel in 2012 to connect people through their stories and experiences in the sound of their voice. At Voqel, Chris has designed the initial product and is now launching the service with consumers.
Previously, Chris oversaw Product and Marketing for WageWorks and helped convert TRUSTe from a non-profit industry association to a for-profit venture-backed company. He previously worked on the executive team at Oracle for eight years where he served as SVP Industry Verticals and launched Oracle's first online business.
Chris has a MBA from University of Chicago and a BA in Accounting from the University of Washington.
Jo Anne Miller (Speaker) '87
Managing Partner, Brown Dog Partners
After successful careers as an engineer (Bell Labs, Tellabs) and entrepreneur (4 wireless startups), Jo Anne began working in early stage investing in 2003 for Nokia Innovent, a seed-stage investing team within the Nokia strategy organization. She subsequently sold the portfolio she helped build at Nokia to Milk Street Ventures; a secondary direct venture capital firm and as a Partner there has successfully managed a very profitable portfolio.
In 2008 she was asked to start a west coast branch of Golden Seeds, a nation-wide angel network that invests in women-backed businesses across all sectors. In addition to Golden Seeds, Jo Anne also invests with Sand Hill Angels in the Bay Area and is a co-founder of SLO Seed Ventures, an angel group in San Luis Obispo.
In late 2011, Jo Anne joined fellow San Luis Obispo investor/entrepreneur Jim Hale to form Brown Dog Partners, LLC, to commercialize research in the growing Agricultural Technology space. Ms. Miller joined the Founders Circle of the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2010 and has been a member of the Cal Poly Engineering Dean's Advisor Council since 2011 and the University of Colorado Engineering Dean's Council in early 2014.
Ms. Miller has a BS in Mathematics from the University of Michigan, an MS in Computer Science from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the University of Chicago.