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Advisory Board Bios


Terrisa Duenas

Founder and President, ESTE Leverage 

Dr. Terrisa Duenas is a startup executive, founder, and board member for those navigating the scale up of high-risk high-return technologies into product-market fits.

As a seasoned executive Terrisa captures, incubates and accelerates emerging technologies through concept development, funding, and deployment. She does this for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and corporations who need to implement a problem solution that is immediate, impactful and sustainable. Her ability to be concurrently tactical, strategic, and visionary enables her to direct programs from any position or point of view in the organization that aligns to everyone's success.

She leverages her background as a Fortune 200 Division Chief Scientist and Startup Executive to guide innovation strategy. She was responsible for the merger of two technology production lines leading to increasing the P&L of the combined organization by $10mm. In her startup work she attracts investment, resources and assistance that launches teams from pre-revenue to accelerated growth.

Terrisa is a startup executive, founder, and board member for those navigating the scale up of high-risk high-return technologies into product-market fits.

As a seasoned executive Terrisa captures, incubates and accelerates emerging technologies through concept development, funding, and deployment. She does this for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and corporations who need to implement a problem solution that is immediate, impactful and sustainable. Her ability to be concurrently tactical, strategic, and visionary enables her to direct programs from any position or point of view in the organization that aligns to everyone's success.

She leverages her background as a Fortune 200 Division Chief Scientist and Startup Executive to guide innovation strategy. She was responsible for the merger of two technology production lines leading to increasing the P&L of the combined organization by $10mm. In her startup work she attracts investment, resources and assistance that launches teams from pre-revenue to accelerated growth.

Her latest project is an AI-assisted SaaS EdTech / Career Tech platform.

Alexandra Soleil Dumas

Account Executive, Google

Alexandra Dumas is an Account Executive at Google, where she consults with national and global retailers to build integrated digital partnerships. As a strategic business partner she’s responsible for helping retailers grow their business through a deep understanding of omnichannel industry trends and by aligning Google solutions to customer challenges. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Alexandra began her career in New York City with Macys.com, before transitioning to Google. A resident of Marina del Rey, Alexandra leads several of Google’s community engagement groups and is an active board member on C-Sweet, the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, and Pacific Asian Counseling Service.

Susannah Emami 

Senior Vice President and Private Wealth Advisor, Capital Group

Susannah is a Financial Advisor responsible for providing investment and wealth planning advice to individuals and families and their trusts, estates, foundations, endowments, and pension plans. In conjunction with Bernstein Private Wealth Management, she provides counsel to clients and their professional advisors on a variety of matters, including tax and estate planning, multi-generational asset allocation, individual and corporate retirement planning, and the sale of closely held businesses.


Veronica Lah

Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Veronica Lah is a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office. She focuses her practice on corporate and financial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets, corporate finance and general corporate representation.

Veronica represents clients on buy-side and sell-side acquisitions, divestitures, business combinations, restructurings and buyout transactions, public and private equity and debt offerings, including initial public offerings and SPAC transactions, and secured financings. She also provides counsel on formation, joint venture and other corporate matters.

She has represented companies, investors, private equity firms and investment banks in corporate transactions spanning numerous industries, including healthcare, financial services, media and entertainment, technology, retail and consumer products, real estate, energy, cannabis, manufacturing and insurance.

Prior to joining the firm, Veronica was an associate at an international law firm in its New York office, where she focused on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets, and general corporate governance.


Yiwen Li

Principal, Alumni Ventures

Yiwen has over a decade of experience in investing and operations and is well-versed in the venture landscape across the U.S. and Asia. She is currently Principal of Alumni Ventures, world's 3rd most active venture firm, and focuses on investing in web3, healthcare, fintech. She is also a venture partner at Revere VC and CerraCap Cares.

Yiwen was most recently Director for Corporate Strategy and Development at the global healthtech company Masimo (MASI).She started her career in equity research at the leading investment management company Capital Group, covering emerging markets stocks in Asia. Thereafter moved to venture investing with a focus on deep tech and healthtech at NantWorks, a global conglomerate at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and innovation.

Yiwen has been investing and building in the blockchain space since 2015. She is Co-Founder of Los Angeles Blockchain Lab (now part of Global Blockchain Business Council), a collaboration between academia, governments, investors, and entrepreneurs to innovate and elevate the blockchain ecosystem.

Yiwen received dual master’s degrees in economics from the London School of Economics and global studies from the University of Vienna. She is a recipient of the Erasmus Mundus scholarship from the European Union. She is fluent in Mandarin and German. Yiwen is passionate about connecting East and West, making social impact, and supporting women empowerment. She serves on the board of directors at several non-profits and foundations, including Give 2 Asia, Asia Society,and C-Sweet. Yiwen is the author of a best seller in China, Make the World Your Playground, inspiring Chinese women to follow their own unique paths.

Pandora Ovanessian

Technology Sr. Consultant/Board Advisor, CMTC

Pandora Ovanessian is a technology executive with over 22 years as a Chief Information Officer (CIO) experienced in startups, mid-size to multi-billion dollar global operations. Consulting career at Ernst & Young. She has diversified expertise in strategic planning and tactical execution, product development, ERP selections and implementations. She has extensive experience in selecting relevant innovative technologies, leading the technology lifecycle and cost-effective secure infrastructure.

She has proven abilities in driving agility with innovative technologies for quick returns on investments. She has diversified industry experience in manufacturing for medical device, pharmaceuticals, retail, aerospace and apparel. As CIO, she contributed in delivering on innovation and high growth for companies: Diality Inc., Community Pain Center, Thermo Fisher/One Lambda Inc., Golden State Foods, NASA JPL, Alpha Therapeutics/Baxter and ARAMARK.

Pandora currently serves as an Advisory Board member for Corenova Technologies and Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum.

At California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), Pandora is a Technology Senior Consultant leading the consulting practice and providing interim CIO services. She is dedicated to helping leverage technology investments, increase revenue and productivity for the manufacturing industry.

Pandora earned her MBA, Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management and BA from University of California, Los Angeles. Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, University of Redlands.

Deanna Rockefeller

New York Executive Committee, C-Sweet 

Deanna Rockefeller is an Emmy-award winning producer, education activist, and community-builder, no matter where in the world her dreams take her. Sarah Ban Breathnach once said, “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” That quote has both articulated and inspired how she aims to make her impact.

Currently, Deanna is Lockheed Martin’s corporate interface to the global science and technology community, where she collaborates with country, industry and academic leaders to develop programs spanning the globe.  Her work centers around a mission to increase opportunities through science and technology.  Projects have ranged from a Research and Development Center which creates new technologies in Australia, to a girls’ STEAM camp in Israel to an entrepreneurship program in India, and she recently launched science & technology seed funds in Israel and Germany.

She is a two-time NOVA award winner, Lockheed Martin’s highest recognition for individual and team achievements, a recent graduate of the Women’s Executive Leadership Program at the Impact Center, and a speaker at SXSW and Thrive NYC.

Her success comes from her passion for connecting community through storytelling, relationship and action, which has led to a nomination for a New York Festival TV & Film Award and a PR News Corporate Social Responsibility award for Nonprofit and Corporate partnership.

An active volunteer since age 16, she supports the local community through Restore NYC, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, the New York Public Library, the Alzheimer’s Association and is a long-standing mentor for veterans across the US.  In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, writing and is attempting to find her hidden artistic talents.

Deanna graduated from the Leadership Strategies program at Carnegie Mellon University, has an Executive Coaching degree from the University of California, Berkeley, an MBA from Baylor University, and a Project Management Certification from Boston University. She lives in NYC with her husband and lively rescue dog.


Nadia Xiaowan Tian

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Bridge Point Capital   

Co-founder and Managing Partner at Bridge Point Capital, focusing on private investment into late stage Consumer Health and MedTech companies. Leveraging her experience in cross-border investment between US and China, she worked with high net worth individuals, single family offices, and multi-family offices from the US, mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, to identify and invest into high growth deals with average exit time of 3-5 years. 

Managing Partner at Co.Fund, Inc., a cross-border co-investment platform headquartered in NYC, dedicated to creating an open and transparent cross-border financing & investment community between US and China. Worked with local Chinese government and technology parks to source deals, many of which were U.S & China cross-border. The overall funding capabilities of these technology parks exceeded ~200mm RMB each.

Business Unit Manager at Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Investment Management Division, where she was responsible for developing sales strategy and managing sales force for the Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and Banks channels in the mutual fund Third Party Distribution division. She also managed the launch of two Closed-End Funds from 2013-2015, each with over US$500 million AUM.

Was selected from 2,000+ applicants and started career with Goldman Sachs Asia (Hong Kong) in the Securities Trading Middle Office, covering 14 Asia Pacific markets and managing real time trading risk, trader surveillance, new product/new market entry for multiple trading desks. Identified as a high-potential analyst (top 5% performer) and was awarded to enter into the firm’s New Markets Mobility Exchange Programs in New York.

Advised both non-profit and for-profit businesses in Ghana, Tanzania, Haiti, Mexico and Swaziland to help improve operations, secure funding, and expand into new markets. Many of these companies went public through IPOs or RTOs.

Obtained an MBA degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business, where she concentrated in Finance and Strategy.

When Female Leaders Collaborate, We All Win!

When Female Leaders Collaborate, We All Win!

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