A podcast for successful Penn Alumni to share their story, successes, failures and lessons.
Making Money Memorable with Ilona Limonta-Volkova
Ilona has worked in finance on Wall Street and Silicon Valley. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Born in Havana, Cuba, she immigrated with her parents to the United States at the age of 5, and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. In her free time, she hosts "Money Memories," a podcast that’s on a mission to make money conversations less taboo, one memory at a time. You can find the show wherever you listen to podcasts, and at www.moneymemoriespodcast.com.
Improving at Home Healthcare Through Technology with Raman Brar
Raman Brar graduated from Penn with two bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering and economics. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Pathwell Health, a tech-enabled home healthcare company. Before founding Pathwell, he spent a decade on wall street, primarily as a private equity investor.
A true entrepreneur at heart, he enjoys building things, pushing the boundaries of imagination, and getting the most out of people. He was the first non-founding employee at CIP Capital, a middle-market private equity fund. He enjoyed rolling up his sleeves and spending time at their portfolio companies, strategizing and getting involved in various special ops projects. His time at RevSpring, DriversEd, CoAdvantage, eDriving, and Affinitiv informed his approach to solving many complex business problems by building multidisciplinary teams and leveraging data and technology. Before CIP Capital, he was an investment banker at Wells Fargo in their Technology, Media, and Telecommunications group.
Besides championing home healthcare, Raman loves geeking out of history, policy, politics, Manchester United, and investing in funky trades/private investments.
Investing by the Molecule with Stephan Nicoleau
Stephan Nicoleau is a conscious investor with a 15-year career oriented towards positive social and environmental impact. Stephan is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and exited several businesses over his career, and a trusted advisor, having advised public sector and private sector on impact investments, inclusion and infrastructure development.
As a partner at FullCycle, Stephan heads the firm’s enterprise relationships and capital solutions for its $250M fund, which is focused on accelerating scalable solutions to the climate crisis. Early in his career he advised the executive teams at JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, and Barclays Capital as an embedded consultant, guiding these firms through the financial crisis and beyond. After an early exit, Stephan founded Critical Value Advisors, an advisory firm which focused on originating impact investments for family offices and institutions, based on the principles of inclusive wealth creation and capital stewardship.
He later founded LaGuardia Development Partners, an investment vehicle that shaped the effort to redevelop New York’s LaGuardia Airport, a $5B infrastructure project, to be climate-forward and more inclusive of minority and women-owned firms.
Stephan is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, an avid soccer player, enjoys classical music and resides in New York City with his family.
Narrowing the Educational Achievement Gap with Leanne Huebner
Leanne Huebner is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader and social entrepreneur. This first generation college graduate started a pioneering college access nonprofit Minds Matter right after her years at Penn. Now celebrating 30 years of getting 100% of its students into 4 year colleges, this now-national nonprofit serves students from low income families across the country in 14 cities and regions with over 2,500 volunteers involved. This lifelong advocate for educational equity also helped start a charter middle school in an under-resourced low income community in South Los Angeles as its Founding Board Chair and has served on various educational nonprofit boards as well. Along with serving on the Trustee's Council of Penn Women, Leanne successfully advocated for starting and expanding services for Penn's first generation college students, and was named Kickoff Speaker for the $4 billion Power of Penn Campaign in 2018. Her work has been recognized nationally, having been named a Daily Point of Light (an award established by U.S. President George H.W. Bush), a L'Oreal Women of Worth and a Distinguished Delta by Tri Delta National. She earned her B.S. in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Social Change & Inclusive Economic Growth with Phil Weinberg
An accomplished social sector leader, Phil’s career has spanned the public, private and nonprofit sectors, focusing on building pipelines of economic opportunity and mobility in underserved communities across the country. Since 2011, Phil has served as the President & CEO of STRIVE, one of the nation's leading nonprofit workforce development organizations, based in East Harlem, New York, and with operations in 12 US cities. During his tenure as CEO, Phil has led STRIVE through a period of significant growth and renewal, overseeing the design and launch of several innovative career pathway initiatives for both youth and adults, in partnership with leading philanthropic, government, corporate and civic partners.
Immediately prior to joining STRIVE, Phil served as President of the New York City Workforce Investment Board, appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to drive, coordinate, and oversee workforce development services in New York City, the nation’s largest workforce investment area. Phil’s deep commitment to economic opportunity and inclusive economic growthhas been informed by his prior leadership roles in the education reform arena, having led a business group focused on K12 education at the global education company Kaplan, Inc. and in driving school transformation and building a charter school network while at Victory Education Partners. Phil’s private sector experience also includes working at the management consulting firm, Bain & Company, and his government experience also includes working at the Illinois Department of Human Services, where he was part of overhauling the state’s human services system during the implementation of welfare reform.
Phil has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including as board chair of the NYC Employment & Training Coalition and on the Workforce Development Council of the US Conference of Mayors. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Northwestern University. Phil lives in New York City with his wife Jessica and two daughters.
Bringing Penn Alum Together with Jackie Einstein Astrof
Jackie Einstein Astrof, CAS’93, is the founder and executive director of PennPAC (Pro bono Alumni Consulting), a nonprofit organization (www.pennpac.org) that harnesses the intellectual talents and professional skills of Penn alumni in NYC, Philadelphia, the Bay Area, and beyond to help nonprofits with their business issues through short-term, well-defined, team-based consulting projects. In its first 10 years of operation, PennPAC has delivered pro bono services valued at over $7 million by engaging 1,000+ alumni-volunteers who have dedicated over 35,000 hours toward assisting 150+ nonprofit clients.
Prior to establishing PennPAC, Jackie spent 15 years in strategic planning, business development and marketing roles in the health care and nonprofit fields.
Jackie’s other Penn commitments include serving on the Trustees Council of Penn Women where she co-chairs the Student Life Committee; Penn Hillel’s National Board of Governors and its Executive Committee; and Community Service co-chair of her Penn class.
Beyond her Penn-related work, Jackie is involved in various other philanthropic initiatives, many of which are focused on poverty and food insecurity. For her commitment to civic engagement, she has been named a NY1 New Yorker of the Week and received various other awards including a Daily Point of Life Award and Volunteer Service Awards from the White House and NYC Mayor’s Office.
Jackie graduated Penn in 1993 and also holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. Jackie and her husband Josh live in New York with their two sons.
Love this series, great way to build community and highlight diverse voices!
You brought this to life!
Jake, it’s been awesome seeing you bring this to life! I enjoy getting inspired by these fellow Penn alum.
Jake has a way of eliciting the essence from each of his guests. I enjoy listening to these episodes and am excited to see all the magic that comes from bringing together a tribe of positive quaker-makers :)