Johnson announces its 10 Under 10 notable alumni for 2022
The Johnson Recent Alumni Council celebrates 10 notable alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years.
A senior director of strategy and transactions at one of the largest global strategy consulting firms who is a champion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; a U.S. Marine Corps major who is an entrepreneur and venture capital advisor specializing in the energy, tech, and consumer sectors; a senior sales and partnerships manager who is global cochair of LinkedIn’s Hispanic Employee Resource Group and national board secretary of 100 Hispanic Women National; the executive director of the Revers Center for Energy, Sustainability and Innovation at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and cofounder of the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire—these graduates of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management are among the 10 Under 10 notable alumni selected as 2022 honorees by the Johnson Recent Alumni Council (JRAC).
“Disruptive definitely seems to be a theme for this year’s cohort of finalists,” says JRAC vice chair Angus McKenzie, MPS ’19, who earned his MPS in Management – Accounting Specialization at Johnson. “Whether they be entrepreneurs paving their own way or leaders guiding their institutions through large-scale changes, these finalists seem to thrive in living on the cutting edge, no matter the circumstances.”
JRAC created 10 Under 10 last year to honor notable Johnson alumni who have graduated within the past ten years. “It’s easy to forget that recent Johnson graduates can achieve success that is just as impactful as the achievements of alumni who graduated more than 10 years ago,” says McKenzie. “This annual campaign aims to ensure we engage and spotlight recent alumni in the manner they deserve.”
“Through their achievements, our 10 Under 10 honorees showcase the quality and diversity of the individuals that Johnson attracts, the relevance of our programs, and the near-immediate impact of our experiential learning model,” says JRAC chair Greg Gatta ’97, MBA ’12. “These recent alumni are making substantial contributions in their workplaces, their communities, and to Johnson. I am honored to call them fellow alumni.”
A wealth of high-performing alumni
This year, members of the classes of 2012 through 2022, numbering 7,551 recent graduates of Johnson’s degree programs, were eligible to be nominated as 10 Under 10 honorees. Each finalist was selected based on their professional success, engagement within their communities, and engagement with the Cornell community.
JRAC received more than 80 nominations for nearly 50 unique alumni from Johnson students, staff, faculty, and alumni in response to its 10 Under 10 call for nominations. Selecting finalists from so many stellar graduates was challenging, but the JRAC team is confident in the soundness of its selection process. “We’ve set up an insightful review and selection process that looks across the contributions alumni have made in their professional worlds, in their communities, and across Cornell,” says McKenzie. “We designed it to highlight nominees’ qualities and experiences to determine who is truly leading in the areas that JRAC looks to recognize.”
Meet the 2022 10 Under 10 honorees
Here’s a first look at JRAC’s 2022 10 Under 10 notable alumni. Be sure to watch for a series of Q&A profiles that will feature each one of them beginning later this month and running through March 2023.
Olga Abrosimova Juin, MBA ’17 (Two-Year MBA), is a senior director of strategy and transactions at EY-Parthenon in New York City, where she has held positions of increasing responsibility since graduation. While at Johnson, she completed a concurrent degree in public policy at Johns Hopkins University. Juin serves as a board member with Best Buddies International, a nonprofit that creates opportunities for friendship, jobs, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She also volunteers on the fund development committee of the New York Urban League and as a member of European Citizens Abroad. She hails from Saint Petersburg, Russia, and is fluent in Russian, German, and English.
Danielle Boris ’16, MBA ’21 (Johnson Cornell Tech MBA) is the founder and CEO of Sandbox, a SaaS platform that enables leaders to align employees’ skills and interests with project needs to drive purpose and engagement within the organization. She described a key product feature, ConnectFor Work, as a way “to ensure every employee is given an equal opportunity to love their work.” Boris is also a speaker and the author of The Energy of Weirdos: Tapping into the enthusiasm, creativity, and innovation that already exist on your team.
Patrick George, MBA ’13 (Two-Year MBA), is a managing partner at Beachwood Ventures, a venture capital and advisory firm specializing in the energy, tech, and consumer sectors. A Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow and a Nolan Scholar at Johnson, George is a U.S. Marine Corps Major who saw combat in Iraq from 2006 to 2010 and has served in the Marine Corps Reserves continuously since then. He was recognized in the Dallas Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 and in Oil and Gas Investor’s Top 40 under 40. In addition to serving as chair and founding member of the Johnson Recent Alumni Council, he serves on the board of Hover Energy, a wind technology company; as a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization; and on the National Council of the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank based in Washington, D.C.
Mariam Kalandarishvili, MBA ’15 (Two-Year MBA), is a director of investment banking at Citi, where she has held positions of increasing responsibility since graduation. Before joining Johnson, Kalandarishvili, a Forté Fellow, worked in Tbilisi, Georgia, in investor relations at the Bank of Georgia and as a credit analyst at JSC Bank Republic, a member of Société Générale.
Illianna Acosta, MBA ’17 (Cornell Executive MBA Metro NY) is a senior manager of channel sales at LinkedIn, managing global AdTech partnerships that accelerate innovation, revenue, and customer growth. She is also the global cochair of LinkedIn’s Hispanic Employee Resource Group (HOLA), national board secretary of 100 Hispanic Women National, and copresident of the Johnson Alumni Club of New York City. Hispanic Star, a platform to advance Hispanics in the U.S., named Acosta an exceptional Latina in celebration of Women’s History Month 2022. She recently launched a biweekly LinkedIn newsletter, “Lost in Translation,” to “shine a light on the challenges and limitations that we, the people from underrepresented groups, experience every day.”
Shawn Goldsmith ’12, MBA ’13 (Two-Year MBA), is founder and CEO of Markarie, a sales and marketing strategic consultancy; a managing partner at Pugnacious Chicken; and a partner at Matrix Insights, creator of a Leadership Dashboard designed to enhance leaders’ agility. A Certified Franchise Executive, Goldsmith serves on the executive board of the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives and writes that he relishes being “in the franchise arena.” A five-year bachelor’s + MBA graduate who earned his undergraduate degree at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, he has been a volunteer with Boy Scouts of America for more than 20 years.
Bahia Alyafi, MBA ’20 (Cornell Executive MBA Americas) is a managing director of the advisory services department at Alyafi IP Group, where she focuses on intellectual property and innovation consulting. Her commitment to impact investing and social entrepreneurship has led to setting up the Alyafi IP Group’s corporate social responsibility strategy, with key initiatives focused around empowering youth, women, and entrepreneurs in the Middle East in collaboration with several organizations. She is a member of several of intellectual property organizations, including the Middle East Advisory council at the International Trademark Association, and she serves as an advisory board member for Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property.
April Salas, MBA ’16 (Cornell Executive MBA Americas), is executive director of the Revers Center for Energy, Sustainability and Innovation at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth; interim executive director of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth; cofounder and founding board chair of the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire; and chief sustainability officer for the Town of Hanover, NH. She holds two master’s degrees in international security and economic development from universities in France and speaks Arabic, French, and Spanish as well as English. Salas serves as a board member of Clean Energy New Hampshire, on the Town of Hanover, NH, planning board, and is a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America.
Nikita Gossain, MBA ’20 (One-Year MBA), CFA, is director of Smokeshield, a company that offers security services and fire training products, and founder and director of PPR Capital, a private investment firm, both based in Melbourne, Australia. She is a board member of Western Edge Youth Arts, a nonprofit that brings performing arts to refugees and under-privileged children, and a volunteer for The Life You Can Save, a philanthropic fundraising services nonprofit focused on ending world poverty and simplifying smart giving.
Samuel Cho, MBA ’20 (Cornell Executive MBA Metro NY), is global head of client information product at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Before joining J.P. Morgan, he was a partner at NextGen Venture Partners and, concurrently, worked in strategy and operations and enterprise data at Bloomberg. Cho volunteers as a mentor and judge for the Queens Economic Development Corporation’s annual StartUP! Competition. He cofounded Grace-in-Motion to serve and empower marginalized individuals, families, and children by building relationships through community outreach, financial assistance, and educational programs.
Thriving as leaders
“Many of these alumni graduated in the middle of COVID, yet they have achieved remarkable success in such a short and tumultuous time,” says McKenzie. “The many hands-on leadership opportunities students engage in at Johnson instill a frame of mind, outlook, and disposition to think and act like leaders. Clearly, learning and applying those leadership skills in multiple situations has staying power. It’s heartwarming to see our alumni continue to lead after they graduate.”