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GATOR HALPERN Co-Founder & Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Coral Vita

Grate­ful for Phillip Halpern, his fa­ther and a fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor whose life lessons laid the foun­da­tion for Gator to pur­sue his pas­sion for en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivism. “My dad made it pos­si­ble for me to pur­sue an en­trepreneurial ca­reer, al­ways en­cour­ag­ing me to do some­thing that I care about, rather than some­thing that would make me suc­cess­ful or wealthy in a more tra­di­tional sense.”

DIANA RAU Co-Founder, Veterati

Grate­ful for Daniel Rau, her hus­band and a for­mer Marine with whom she started a com­pany that helps vets find jobs. “When we got mar­ried, we got match­ing tat­toos of an an­chor and wings. That’s be­cause he’s my an­chor, my source of strength. And he’s my wings, in­spir­ing me al­ways to fly higher.”

JAMES HELLER Founder & CEO, Wrapify

Grate­ful for Hugh Crean, an early Wrapify ad­viser who gave James a ‘kick in the pants’ when he needed it most. “His wealth of knowl­edge, busi­ness acu­men and hu­mil­ity serve as an ex­am­ple of how to be a great leader and how to tell some­one to go to hell in a way that they look for­ward to the trip.”

JEN­NIFER WONG Head of Mar­ket­ing, Con­voy

Grate­ful for Kieran Han­non, the award­win­ning CMO of Belkin whose ex­per­tise, in­sight and ad­vice have in­spired and guided Jen­nifer since early in her ca­reer. “A con­ver­sa­tion with Kieran will leave you with an 'aha!' mo­ment that opens your mind to new ways of think­ing. He is gen­uinely cu­ri­ous about what I want to ac­com­plish and tries to be help­ful, even when it’s out of his way.”

JA­SON TER­RELL Co-Founder, Pro­found Gen­tle­men

Grate­ful for Oluwa­toyin Ayan­fo­dun, a fel­low en­tre­pre­neur and cru­cial thought part­ner in Ja­son’s fight for ed­u­ca­tion equal­ity. “It is crit­i­cal to have friends in the same field to share the suc­cesses and chal­lenges, and push each other’s thoughts. He has helped me frame and shape how I see en­trepreneur­ship.”

COR­BETT DRUMMEY Co-Founder, Pop­u­lar Pays

Grate­ful for Al­lan Holmes, his co-founder, whose courage in­spired the duo to launch the mar­ket­ing plat­form. “Al­lan taught me how to take risks. We knew we had to quit our day jobs to pur­sue Pop­u­lar Pays full time, but by my­self I might never have taken the leap. Our com­pany would not be here with­out him.”


Grate­ful for Philip Faucette, a fel­low farmer and sup­porter of Steven’s mis­sion to help farm­ers make data-driven de­ci­sions. “Lead­ing a busi­ness is ex­haust­ing. You con­stantly pour your­self out for your em­ploy­ees, share­hold­ers and cus­tomers. If you don’t have some­one pour­ing back into you, you can make bad sit­u­a­tions worse.”

SEAN YORO Founder, Grow­ers Artist, Hula Stu­dios Inc.

Grate­ful for Gabriel Yoro, his twin brother and the only per­son he trusts to cap­ture the beauty of his mu­rals through pho­tog­ra­phy. “With my mu­rals of­ten be­ing in re­mote lo­ca­tions, it’s vi­tal to doc­u­ment the ad­ven­ture and sto­ries be­hind them. With­out Gabe, my mu­rals would have no way of be­ing ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic.”

RICKY ASHENFELTER Co-Founder & CEO, Spoiler Alert

Grate­ful for Emily Malina, a for­mer MIT class­mate turned Spoiler Alert co-founder who gave Ricky the con­fi­dence to dive into the risky world of star­tups. “She chal­lenges me to be a bet­ter leader and en­sures I main­tain a high bar when it comes to the qual­ity of our work and the strength of our val­ues.”

GRANT PINKER­TON Owner & Pit­mas­ter, Pinker­ton’s Bar­be­cue

Grate­ful for Sarah McQuil­lan, who, de­spite work­ing her own full-time job, was avail­able night and day to help launch Grant’s bar­be­cue busi­ness. “Sarah has been my mul­ti­pur­pose tool: a fill-in pit hand, pho­tog­ra­pher, cashier, bar­tender, line server and that per­son will­ing to step in, push her sleeves up and work.”

GEMMA SOLE Co-Founder, Nine­teenth Amend­ment

Grate­ful for Matthew DiBi­ase,a client who mor­phed into a men­tor for Gemma’s revo­lu­tion of the fash­ion in­dus­try. “It’s rare to find some­one who con­sis­tently makes a point to be in­volved and sup­port­ive, es­pe­cially when oper­at­ing a startup. You need peo­ple who be­lieve in your vi­sion to make an im­pact.”

Founder, PopSo­cial EVERETTE TAY­LOR

Grate­ful for Al­fred Glover, a loyal friend since col­lege whose in­fec­tious am­bi­tion and un­wa­ver­ing sup­port have guided Everette,s ca­reer. “He will al­ways make sure that I stay hum­ble and keep the im­por­tant things in life in per­spec­tive. I ap­pre­ci­ate hav­ing a real friend who,s been there through it all.”

ASHER LEVINE Founder, Asher Levine Fash­ion Com­pany

Grate­ful for Justin Stan­wix, a friend and ad­viser who has helped Asher trans­form the fash­ion in­dus­try by fus­ing de­sign and tech­nol­ogy. “Justin’s name should be a new syn­onym for ‘net­work­ing’ in Web­ster’s Th­e­saurus. He’s helped con­nect key dots in our strat­egy to rad­i­cally re­design the fash­ion in­dus­try.”


Grate­ful for Scott Mor­ris, his for­mer mu­sic teacher and a pil­lar in Drew’s per­sonal and pro­fes­sional lives. “At a for­ma­tive time in my life, I was in­spired by Scott to be the best in­di­vid­ual I could be — both in mu­sic and in life. Sim­ply put, Scott is ev­ery­thing an ed­u­ca­tor and a friend should as­pire to be.”

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