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Kweighbaye Kotee: MCCG & BFF - Founder & CEO

Kweighbaye Kotee is the Founder and Director of two Brooklyn-based organizations—Media Culture and Communications Group (MCCG) and Bushwick Film Festival (BFF). MCCG works in tandem with companies and rapidly changing neighborhoods to support artistic and cultural sustainability. Now in its tenth year, BFF is hailed as one of Brooklyn’s most celebrated events and recognized for its contribution to the borough’s artistic and economic growth. Passionate about community and arts, Kotee is a Bushwick Community Board member serving on the Arts & Culture Committee and the Housing & Land Use Committee. Born in Liberia, she and her family immigrated to the U.S. at the brink of the Liberian Civil War. She attended public school in Newark, NJ, was awarded a scholarship to attend Blair Academy for high school, and moved on to receive her B.S in Media, Culture and Communications from New York University.

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Eran Chen: ODA – Founder and Executive Director

Eran Chen, AIA, is the founder and executive director of ODA, a boutique architectural firm based in NYC. Chen is known for creating buildings that are radically innovative as well as fiscally and ecologically responsible. Since its inception in 2007, ODA has quickly become one of the most prolific and influential firms of its kind. Having developed groundbreaking residential projects in New York, Chen's work has been widely featured in such publications as The New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Spaces, Architectural Digest, Interior Design, and World Architecture News, among others. Chen's contributions to architecture have been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Boston Society of Architects (BSA). He received a B.Arch Diploma with Honors from the Bezalel School of Art and Design in Jerusalem, where he serves on the board and as guest lecturer.

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P. Christian Bailey: ODA – Founding Principal

P. Christian Bailey, AIA, LEED®, is the founding principal of ODA. He studied architecture at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. After graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture, he worked with design/build firms in Atlanta on various notable housing and furniture projects. Prior to ODA, Bailey was a senior associate at Perkins Eastman Architects in New York City. During his seven years at the firm, he provided project management and design leadership for multi-family housing, hospitality, interiors, healthcare, and educational projects. Bailey is a registered architect in the State of New York and D.C., a member of the American Institute of Architecture, and a LEED® accredited professional.

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Tom Nix: CDG - Founding Partner & CEO

Tom Nix is a pioneering digital technology executive specializing in out-of-home media, the Internet of Things, and Smart City solutions. Currently, Nix is Founding Partner at CDG Consulting Services, a management consulting firm enabling corporations to unlock growth and sustain a competitive advantage. Prior to launching CDG, Nix was Chief Executive Officer at Scala, Inc., the global leader in providing interactive digital experiences via digital displays. Nix has served as Vice President and General Manager at Dynamax Technologies. Before joining Dynamax, he was Director of Business Development at Main Street Direct, a media agency specializing in blue chip marketing campaigns. Nix’s early career included holding key roles in startup ventures and the founding of a successful multimedia production company.

Presently, Nix serves on the advisory boards for Predict Ventures and for EyeQ Insights. In addition to completing Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Growing Companies, Nix has participated on the boards of the Digital Signage Association and the New York Entrepreneurs Organization.

Fernando Schwartz, PhD: Prognos - Chief Data Scientist

Fernando Schwartz is a data science & analytics visionary and an accomplished mathematician. He is currently employed as Chief Data Scientist at Prognos, a healthcare artificial intelligence startup in NYC. Prior to that, Fernando worked at leading online advertising companies — first as Senior Data Scientist at AppNexus, and then as Chief Data Scientist at LiveIntent, both NYC-based ad tech firms. Before moving to the private sector, Fernando held research positions at Duke University and at the University of Warwick in the UK, then gained tenure at the Mathematics Department of the University of Tennessee, where he currently holds an honorary adjunct professorship.

Fernando obtained his BS in Engineering and MS in Applied Mathematics at the University of Chile, and his PhD in Mathematics at Cornell University. He has dozens of peer-reviewed publications in top academic journals, on topics ranging from black holes to paleobiology.

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Heidi theunissen: ODA - Project architect

Heidi Theunissen, LEED AP, is a Project Architect and sustainability coordinator with ODA. She received Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and a Master of Architecture from Ohio State University. Prior to ODA, she was a designer and researcher with Cookfox Architects, where she became skilled in environmentally responsible design, biomimicry and urban agriculture. Heidi is an adjunct professor at the New York institute of Technology, where she teaches Architectural History.

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Liane Stegmaier: Brooklyn Community Foundation - Director of Communications

Liane Stegmaier manages the Foundation's multichannel communications, public relations, and marketing strategies to build awareness, engagement, and partnership for their work throughout the borough. Liane joined the Foundation in 2011; previously, she oversaw communications for the Lupus Research Institute and the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, and was an intern with the NYC2012 Olympic bid. Liane graduated with honors from New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and is a proud decade-long resident of Brooklyn. She lives on Ocean Parkway (the country's first bicycle path!) in Kensington with her partner and their rescue dog, Arya.