meet the speakers


Elle Macpherson,
Co-Founder and Creative Director,

“The Universe never puts anything in front of you that you can’t handle.”

Elle is an iconic figure in international business, fashion, film, and television with an inspiring career that spans more than 35 years. A mother to two sons, she resides in Miami and is passionate about wellness and beauty. Today, Elle, who is an advocate for beauty from the inside out, sits at the helm of an authentic growing global business as co-founder and shareholder of WelleCo, empowering people to positively influence their own health. Elle launched WelleCo on her 50th Birthday as a result of her own wellness journey. Realizing she could no longer rely purely on genetics, she sought the help of renowned UK nutritionist, Dr Simone Laubscher. With a view to redefine health and wellness they focused on replenishing the nutrients put into the body that have been depleted from conventional farming. Elle believed early on that wellness and beauty were going to merge and the modern beauty customer was always going to find ingestible nutrition compelling. WelleCo is now a bridge between the two. 


Amy Wu,
Business Lead,
Social Cipher 

Amy is the Business Lead at Social Cipher, an empowering, social skills building video game designed for children with Autism. She works across business, operations, and finance. Amy credits her time as a LearnServe Fellow for igniting her passion for social entrepreneurship.  


Claire Shipman,
The Confidence
Code for Girls

Confidence is what turns our thoughts into action.”

Claire is a journalist, author, and public speaker. An expert on confidence and women’s leadership, her latest book, The Confidence Code, was a New York Times best seller and the subject of an Atlantic magazine cover story.


Claire Sliney,
Executive Producer,
Period. End of Sentence

“Measurable impact can be achieved at a young age.”

Claire is currently a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania and the executive producer of an Oscar nominated short documentary, Period. End of Sentence. It was one of five nominated for the Short Documentary Subject category. The film focuses on the stigma of menstruation for girls in India and the work of The Pad Project, a nonprofit organization Claire founded in high school that raises awareness about the issue. 


Dayna Grayson,

Dayna is a partner at New Enterprise Associates, and is an engineer and product designer who invests in digital platforms for consumer services and products. Dayna is also a founding member of All Raise, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of female investors and founders. 


Elizabeth Galbut,
Founding Partner,
SOGAL Ventures

Elizabeth is a Founding Partner of SoGal Ventures, the first female led, millennial venture capital firm. Prior to finishing business school, she founded A-Level Capital, the first student-led venture capital firm powered by Johns Hopkins students. She was an honoree in the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Venture Capital list.


Kate Goodall,
Co-Founder and CEO, Halcyon

Kate is the Co-Founder and CEO of Halcyon, a non-profit dedicated to solving 21st century problems by providing space and access to emerging leaders in social entrepreneurship and the arts. Kate continues to grow Halcyon’s offerings with By The People, an international arts and innovation festival in partnership with the Smithsonian and numerous organizations throughout DC. 


Kori Hale,
Founder and CEO,

“Whenever you figure out your purpose or calling you will fulfill it eventually.  It just gets louder and louder until you have to do it.”

Kori is the Founder and CEO of CultureBanx, a multimedia organization redefining business, finance, and tech news for minorities. She has a background in investment banking and previously worked at UBS and Goldman Sachs. Kori is also the first black woman to anchor a daily news show from the New York Stock Exchange. 


Lauren & Carrie Dunne,
Varnish Lane

“We wanted this to exist so we willed it into existence.”

Lauren and Carrie are the Co-Founders and entrepreneurs behind Varnish Lane, a chic, waterless, and chemical free nail salon. The mother-daughter pair started Varnish Lane to create a safe, convenient, and relaxing nail care destination.  


Lesli Foster,

“Activism means you have to care beyond your comfort border.”

Lesli is an award-winning journalist and mainstay of Washington news as a weeknight anchor for WUSA9 evening broadcasts. She is also part of the WUSA9’s Special Assignment Unit where she leads the impact coverage that aims to tackle community issues. 


Natalie Mackay,
Founder and CEO,

“You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great.”

Natalie is the Founder and CEO of Winky Lux, an innovative and cruelty-free beauty brand. Winky Lux is an Instagram-driven, millennial makeup brand that launches products every 15 to 30 days and drives sales through influencer partnerships.


Ryan Ross,
Chief Innovation Officer, Halcyon 

Ryan helped launch the Halcyon Incubator in 2014, one of the leading incubators for social entrepreneurs in the world. Ryan supports the development of the Incubator fellows’ ventures and establishes collaborative relationships and partnerships in support of the creation, growth, and sustainability of the program. Ryan has been recognized as a Forbes 30 under 30 for Social Entrepreneurs. 

Scott Rechler, Director and CEO, LearnServe International 

Scott is the Director and CEO of LearnServe International, a non-profit organization that prepares high school and middle school students as community leaders, with a focus on social entrepreneurship and global awareness. Scott graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in social anthropology. 


Shizu Okusa,
Founder and CEO,
Wellthy & Co 

Shizu is the Founder & CEO of Wellthy & Co, a family of direct-to-consumer wellness brands, including JRINK, a cold-pressed juice subscription company, and Apothékary, a plant-based farmacy disrupting the healthcare space. She’s raised over $1.5 million in funding to date from angels and private equity growth funds. 


Vanessa Gill,
Narrative Designer and CEO, Social Cipher 

Leveraging her own experiences as an artist, neuroscientist, and an individual with Asperger Syndrome, Vanessa founded Social Cipher, an empowering, social skills building video game for children with Autism. The company has won multiple pitch competitions and was a finalist out of over 1,000 entries in the National Geographic Chasing Genius Challenge.