One full day of

Eclectic Convergence

Cornell Entrepreneurship Summit

Experience this year’s eclectic mix of speakers and their personal stories and
perspectives on building their iconic enterprises.


Watch the speakers’ talk by clicking on their YouTube icon.

Susan Sarich in green design box

Susan Sarich ’91, Founder and CEO, SusieCakes

Combining her business savvy expertise with the treasured 3”x 5” recipe cards passed down from her grandmothers, Susan opened SusieCakes in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles in 2006. Serving up everything from classic layer cakes, to decadent cupcakes as well as seasonal pies, SusieCakes’ delicious desserts, superior service, and old-fashioned atmosphere quickly coined the bakery a neighborhood favorite along with a large celebrity following. The company has steadily expanded throughout California, and most recently, branched out to Texas for a total of 25 locations with sights set on further national expansion. 

Perhaps the only passion to rival Susan’s commitment to providing the highest quality baked goods is her dedication to creating progressive career opportunities for women in hospitality and food service. After witnessing women exit the industry due to the demanding hours, she developed a business model that helped support a work/life balance by providing operational days and hours different than those typically offered in food service.  

Susan has been honored on the 2022 Forbes 50 over 50, highlighting women stepping into their power. She is acknowledged in the Lifestyle category alongside other impactful entrepreneurs including Tory Burch and Martha Stewart. She is also the proud recipient of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ Award in the Hospitality category in Greater Los Angeles as well as the Junior League of Los Angeles Community Achievement Award. In her free time, she enjoys traveling in search of great baked goods and donating her efforts to supporting local animal and women’s causes. 

Barry J. Beck ’90, Founder, Bluemercury

2023 Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year 

Barry J. Beck is the Founder and current CEO of Evenly, the nation’s fastest growing telemedicine Orthodontic platform.  Mr. Beck is also the co- founder and former Chief Operating Officer of Bluemercury, the nation’s largest luxury beauty brand which was acquired by Macy’s [NYSE:M] in 2015. Bluemercury’s exponential growth was guided by his leadership and passion for innovation, and he is widely recognized for disrupting the beauty industry.  Prior to Bluemercury’s founding, Beck was a founder of Tower Systems, now U.S. Maintenance, a contract services business serving national retail chains, which was acquired by The Emcor Group [NYSE:EME]. Beck was named Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 by Cornell University and received the 2020 Cornell University Alpern Distinguished Alumni Award.

Mr. Beck also Founded M-61 Laboratories, creators of M-61 Skincare and Lune+Aster Cosmetics, the first clinical vegan and sustainable cosmetic brands.  As a serial entrepreneur, Mr. Beck is recognized as a visionary brand-builder known for leading rapid and transformative growth, creating enduring and authentic brands and has a significant track record of delivering value to private equity, venture capital and public company shareholders.

In September 2016, Mr. Beck established The Beck Entrepreneurship Fellows Program for Cornell students who wish to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas free from the concern of supporting themselves in a traditional paid job setting.  Mr. Beck was also named the 2017 Retailer of the Year and the 2016 Retail Innovator of the Year.  Mr. Beck serves on the Advisory Council of Cornell University’s ILR School and has served on the Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and the Board of Advisors of The Fashion Institute of Technology.

Barry J Beck in blue Eclectic Convergence themed graphic circle
Heather Friedland in red event themed graphic design

Heather Friedland ’99, CPO, Ancestry

As Chief Product Officer at Ancestry, Heather has more than two decades of experience in product management at some of the largest and most iconic global technology companies. She joined Ancestry in June 2019 as Vice President of Product for AncestryHealth, responsible for the health product vision and strategy.

Prior to that, Heather was CPO and SVP at Glassdoor where she led the product, design, international, and customer care and moderation teams, through a period of rapid growth and helped lead Glassdoor through its $1.2B acquisition by Recruit Holdings (parent company to Indeed).

Heather joined Glassdoor from eBay, where she served as Vice President of Local and Seller Experience. Before eBay, she spent 11 years at Microsoft, holding a variety of product and leadership roles.

As a leader in business and technology, Friedland was named one of Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Women of Influence for 2015. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Cornell University.

Jim Cavalieri ’91, SVP, Salesforce

Jim Cavalieri joined Salesforce in 1999 and has held a number of roles including VP of Systems Engineering, SVP of Service Delivery, Chief Information Officer, Chief Security and Risk Officer, and Chief Trust Officer. Jim currently supports the office of Salesforce’s Chair and CEO, Marc Benioff, driving the development of our annual strategic plan, quarterly operational reviews, and semi-annual global management meetings. Jim also supports Marc and the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) with development of their strategic plans and executive alignment around them.

Prior to Salesforce, Cavalieri worked at Oracle in various technical and management roles and at Electronic Data Systems (EDS) as a consultant and systems engineer. Cavalieri holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.

Jim Cavalieieri in red square design
Jennifer Dulski in blue circle event design graphic

Jennifer Dulski ’93, MBA ’99, CEO and Founder, Rising Team

Jennifer Dulski is CEO and founder of Rising Team, a SaaS platform that helps companies increase engagement and scale talent development by equipping managers to lead deeply connecting, interactive team development sessions without an outside facilitator. Her executive experience includes leadership roles at Facebook, Google, Change.org and Yahoo!, and she was the CEO and co-founder of The Dealmap, which she sold to Google in 2011. Her lifelong passion is centered around empowering people to reach their full potential.

In addition to her role at Rising Team, she currently teaches management at Stanford Graduate School of Business, serves on several boards, and writes about leadership and the future of work for LinkedIn Influencers and Fortune. Her first book, Purposeful, about how each of us can be movement starters, is a Wall Street Journal Bestseller.

Dulski is a graduate of Cornell University and received her BA in psychology and an MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management, where she was a Park Leadership Fellow.

Reggie Fils-Aimé ’83, Retired President and COO, Nintendo

Reggie Fils-Aimé is an award-winning innovator and disrupter most recognized as the retired President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America (NOA), the largest division of the Japanese entertainment company Nintendo Co., Ltd. (NCL). In this capacity, he helped bring Nintendo’s greatest successes to the global marketplace.

Fils-Aimé was the first American and African American to be President of NOA, and the first American and African American named as an Executive Officer of NCL. He retired in April 2019 and was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame later that year. Before Nintendo, Fils-Aimé graduated with distinction from Cornell University’s Dyson undergraduate business school which launched a 35+ year career as an operating executive spanning the consumer-packaged goods, restaurant, beverage, durable goods, and media/entertainment industries.

Since retiring, Fils-Aimé has focused his energy on cultivating the next generation of business leaders. In August 2019, he was named Dyson’s inaugural Leader in Residence for the 2019/2020 academic year, instructing students on leadership and innovation. He also founded Brentwood Growth Partners to help emerging companies scale and enable leaders to create world-class cultures.

Fils-Aimé currently is a non-executive director for Spin Master Inc. (TOY.TO), and Brunswick Corp. (BC). He is also a special advisor for Rogue Co., an innovative video games publisher and developer. Most recently, Fils-Aimé was named Chairman of the Board for a special purpose acquisition company (UTA Acquisition Corp.) focused on gaming and its adjacency markets.

Fils-Aimé’s first book, DISRUPTING THE GAME: FROM THE BRONX TO THE TOP OF NINTENDO was published by HarperCollins Leadership on May 3, 2022, and became a Wall Street Journal bestseller.

Reggie Fils-Aime headshot in green event themed circle
Headshot of Greg Morrisett with blue upper left corner enhancement

Greg Morrisett, Jack and Rilla Neafsey Dean and Vice Provost, Cornell Tech

Greg Morrisett is the Jack and Rilla Neafsey Dean and Vice Provost of Cornell Tech and a faculty member in the Computer Science Department at Cornell University. As Dean, he has overall responsibility for the campus, including the academic quality and direction of the Cornell Tech degree programs and research. Working with both internal and external stakeholders, he is developing approaches for working with companies, nonprofits, government agencies and early stage investors, as well as overseeing the faculty recruitment and entrepreneurial initiatives of the campus.

Prior to joining Cornell Tech, Morrisett was Dean of Computing and Information Science (CIS) at Cornell University from 2015-2019. Previously, he held the Allen B. Cutting chair in Computer Science at Harvard University from 2004-2015 where he also served as Associate Dean for Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Before Harvard, Morrisett spent eight years on the faculty of Cornell’s Computer Science Department. Morrisett’s research focuses on the application of programming language technology for building secure, reliable, and high-performance software systems.  He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and both his Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Carnegie Mellon University.

Scott Belsky ’02, Chief Strategy Officer and EVP, Design and Emerging Products, Adobe

Scott Belsky, Adobe’s Chief Strategy Officer and EVP, Design & Emerging Products, leads corporate strategy and development, is responsible for design across the Digital Media and Digital Experience businesses, and is driving incubation of some of Adobe’s fastest growing emerging products. Prior to this role, Scott was Adobe’s Chief Product Officer for five years.

Scott is a co-founder of Behance, an investor in numerous startups, and has been an advisor on design and product management for leading companies and organizations, including Adidas, Pinterest, and Facebook. He is the author of two bestselling books, Making Ideas Happen and The Messy Middle.

Black and white tone headshot of Scott Belsky inside of red enhanced graphic circle



Check-In & Breakfast



Opening Remarks

Zach Shulman ’87, JD ’90, Director, Entrepreneurship at Cornell
Greg Morrisett, Jack and Rilla Neafsey Dean and Vice Provost of Cornell Tech



Jim Cavalieri ’91

Fireside Chat



Susan Sarich ’91

Fireside Chat



Barry Beck ’90

Fireside Chat



Networking Lunch



Cornell Startup Pitches

MyLUA Health
Meili Technology
Fesarius Therapeutics, Inc.



Heather Friedland ’99

Fireside Chat



Pitch Winner Announced



Reggie Fils-Aimé ’83

Fireside Chat



Jennifer Dulski ’93, MBA ’99

Interactive Session on Leadership in an AI-Enabled World:

Jennifer will cover some history and pros and cons of AI and dive deeper into where AI can and can’t be helpful in supporting the skills of great leaders who build high-performing teams. Jennifer will end with a fun, interactive activity to build connections as a group in a way that AI can’t do.

Audience members get a free take-home process to use with their own teams!



Closing Remarks

Scott Belsky ’02, Emcee and Moderator, Entrepreneur, Author, Investor and CPO, Adobe and Zach Shulman ’87, JD ’90, Director, Entrepreneurship at Cornell




November 2, 2023

Networking Event

If you plan on being in NYC the evening prior to Eclectic Convergence, consider joining us for a networking event hosted by BRVentures followed by eLab Pitch Night, also in the Verizon Center at Cornell Tech!


4pm: Check-in and Networking
4:15pm: “What Makes a Business Venture Backable” Panel Discussion
5:30pm: Networking Reception
6pm: Check-in and Networking
6:15pm: eLab Pitches Begin


Separate registration (free) required at this link: NYC Networking Night: eLab Pitches and BRV Investor Panel Tickets, Thurs, Nov 2, 2023 at 4:00 PM.

PLEASE NOTE that registration for Thursday afternoon events will NOT get you into Eclectic Convergence on November 3rd.

Eclectic Convergence 2023 random event graphic parts


Verizon Executive Education Center
Cornell Tech
2 West Loop Road
New York, NY 10044












EY Building a better working world
Student Agencies Foundation

Series A

Cornell Entrepreneur Network
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
Triphammer Ventures

Series Seed

Armory Square Ventures logo
Center for Technology Licensing at Cornell University
Cornell Silicon Valley

Supporting Organizations

Blackstone Charitable Foundation
Upstate Capital Association of New York
Upstate Venture Connect

Prior Years

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