Alumni/Partners Membership Directory
Alumni/Partners Membership Directory
Friends/Alumni and Strategic Partnerships of the IDR: A New Forum for Building Eco-Systems
The IDR experience is you. To establish a robust eco-system supporting student enrichment and professional development is the purpose behind the alumni and friends’ directory. These experiences include mentorship, designing and/or participating in our programs, providing scholarly and practitioner content to the IDR network, enhancing the global eco-system within the alumni and friends’ directory to foster collaboration and connect bridges through your contributions.
"Not only did the IDR provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience, learn & network amongst cultures at the global level, but it also set the foundation for one of the most under-appreciated skills in business: becoming an exceptional listener." – Jake Buck, The Chair of the Steering Committee of the Membership Directory 2020-2021
Michael is a law, business, and economics trained/experienced executive, who served as Gen. Mgr., Regional Development Facilities before retiring from The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. His law firm serves a wide range of domestic and international high and lowtech manufacturing, marketing and distribution, retail sales, and professional services businesses. A member of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms (INBLF), Michael and his colleagues bring an international perspective and cultural sensitivity in serving clients.
Michael has orchestrated private/public business arrangements involving multiple governmental jurisdictions. Effectuating such public/private (“PPP” or “P3”) arrangements involves negotiations, business development, marketing, planning, design, construction, operations, employment, financial, and legal activities. Internationally known as an urban and waterfront development expert, including serving as a founding Advisor to The Waterfront Center, Michael presents at international venues and has advised Mayors and international delegations.
Alumni & Friends
Thomas Barat, Founder, President of American Hungarian Chamber of Commerce | CCO of FIBRACO LLC | Founder - Editor in Chief of CCO Magazine / eCCO Magazine | Journalist/Photojournalist – N.Y. Bureau Chief of WBPI | Board Member – Executive Committee Member – Treasurer of the Association of Foreign Correspondents in the USA
Donna Bernard’s career journey spans 30+ years as a highly successful Sales Executive. Highlights include Thomson Reuters for 18 years, Bloomberg, Wolters Kluwer, and several High-tech AI software companies.
Donna started her career at Wolters Kluwer in 1987, selling software to Wall Street firms. She would often say it was time to replace the abacus. At Thomson Reuters, Donna exceeded sales goals, participated on the Sales Advisory Board, Woman of Thomson Reuters Board and worked to build Thomson Reuters to the powerhouse it is today.
Donna established a loyal following of clients, and colleagues that trust her insight, integrity, and relentless positive attitude. Clients often reach out to help solve an issue, or find a way.
Donna recently launched Donna Bernard Enterprises to work with Early Stage Innovation & Technology companies, provide Advisory to major corporations and collaborating with niche Consultants who share her vision and values.
Donna graduated cum laude from the State University of New York at Albany, with a degree in Economics, and Business.
Keimi Harada, Former Mayor, Minato City, Tokyo, PhD, Architect, Registered Engineer: President Space Endeavor Collaborates Architecture and Planning: Academic career: Waseda University, Tokyo, Bachelor & Master of Architecture Engineering, The College of Wooster, Ohio, USA, 1969-1970 as an exchange student; Carl Christiansson Architects and Associates, as a technical exchange student, Stockholm Sweden 1971; Master of Architecture in Urban Design, School of Architecture, Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA as a Fulbright scholarship exchange student; PhD Yokohama National University Japan; Council Member & Visiting Professor of International Academy of Architecture, Sofia, Bulgaria; Ex. Lecturer, Graduate School of Public Policy, Meiji University, Tokyo; Award by the President of Italy, Order of Star of Solidarity, Honorable Commander in 2005.
Prior to joining R.I.C.H. Planning Group, LLC, Amber enjoyed a successful 17-year career on Wall Street where she worked in institutional sales in fixed income derivatives. After leaving Wall Street, she found her passion and true value was in helping people with financial matters. Amber quickly realized that her biggest impact came from working with her clients to help them navigate and plan for the financial complexities that arise throughout all of life’s transitions. This involves working closely with her clients to identify what their financial goals are and then creating a comprehensive financial plan and strategy to achieve them. This process analyzes all the facets of finance-risk management, retirement planning, education planning, wealth management, cash flow analysis and budgeting, tax planning and estate planning.
“I am truly honored to be in a position to educate and offer people financial advice at any time in their lives, whether that is divorce, marriage, parenthood or retirement.”
Amber is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™) as well as a divorce mediator. She is also trained in collaborative law.
After growing up in Florida and the Bahamas, Amber earned her B.A. in Economics from Duke University and her M.B.A. in Finance from New York University. She also has FINRA registrations Series 7, 66 and NJ Life and Health Insurance licenses.
Eldonie S. Mason, Esq. is a native of the Caribbean island of Antigua. She is self-motivated, determined, solution-oriented, quick-thinking and can calmly juggle multiple responsibilities with precision. Never taking “no” for the final answer and striving to strike “can’t” from her vocabulary, she perseveres in the face of setbacks and continues on towards her goals.
Eldonie is an experienced entertainment, business and fashion attorney with Mason Firm, LLC and former arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association handling entertainment disputes and FINRA where she heard disputes involving brokers and investors. She is also a professor and taught Music Publishing, Licensing and Copyright at York College of Pennsylvania. She graduated magna cum laude from New Jersey City University with a BA in Political Science and cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law and is licensed to practice in NY, NJ and FL.
Tania Songini is a senior finance and non-executive director with international expertise. She worked as Finance Director for the Energy, Healthcare and Logistics divisions at Siemens for nearly 20 years. She has experience in customer relations, strategy, M&A, risk management, procurement, improving business performance, ensuring governance standards are met. Her responsibilities spanned a variety of geographies across Europe, USA, Africa and Latin America.
In recent years Tania has focussed on a portfolio career as a non-executive board director for companies operating in the renewable energy and infrastructure sectors. She also chairs ViaNiños UK, a charity helping street children in Ecuador.
Tania is a qualified commercial (CEDR), community and peace mediator, fluent in six languages. Tania has successfully negotiated contracts and settled claims with numerous customers, assisted with the resolution of internal disagreements within Siemens, and settled disputes in social housing communities.
Tania has a Master’s degree in Political Science (University of Rome).
The American Hungarian Chamber of Commerce strives to be a bridge connecting the American and Hungarian business world with a view to establish and promote prosperous business and trade relationships. AmHunCham would like to achieve mutual understanding and we want to establish the mutual beneficial relationship between the business people of the two countries.
Functions of the American Hungarian Chamber of Commerce
- Operate to increase the member businesses’ success and efficiency by establishing business and social contacts between members;
- Represent the member community by introducing their services, interests and presenting an informed opinion;
- Provide market-specific data, materials, and reports to the member community with an emphasis on the two countries’ economic performance.
The American Hungarian Chamber of Commerce is an independent, strictly neutral organization with no affiliation to political parties and/or authorities-fostering the goal to develop and improve the members’ business relationships and increase their reputation. The American Hungarian Chamber of Commerce is a Section 501 (c) (6) non-profit organization.
Fibraco is a management consulting company. The services of Fibraco LLC: Consulting on the field of management, corporate communication, internal and external Public Relations.
Fibraco's mission is "to provide to recommend management tools that help any organization to reach its targets and higher success. We work as team members of our partner organizations. We build strong trusted relationships with the highest standards of ethical conduct."
Michael Krieger, Esq., J.D., M.B.A., of Counsel, Dunn Lambert LLC.
- Founder of the L. M. Krieger Fellowship for Fair Dealings & Justice.
- Retired, General Manager, Regional and Economic Development, PANYNJ, and Founder, Deal Counseling Institute, LLC.
Dunn Lambert LLP
International Mediation Institute (IMI)
TiE – New Jersey Chapter
Affiliated Academic Faculty
John Laski, an Author and a Scholar, is a Tenured Full Professor of International Management and Finance at New Jersey City University, School of Business. Previously, Dr. Laski was an Associate Professor of Finance and International Management and Founding Director of the MBA Program at Nyack College, Nyack, NY and New York City.
Dr. Laski has authored numerous papers and three books entitled Capitalism & Christianity: A Moral and Ethical Struggle; Shantytown; and The Communist Republic of New Jersey.
Dr. Laski has worked in the field of manufacturing systems, robotics and factory automation before working on Wall Street for several major firms. Having run his own firm, Dr. Laski has also been an entrepreneur, and is a veteran of the Viet Nam Era.
"I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead - ahead of myself as well as you." - George Bernard Shaw
Usha Agarwal is a dynamic business leader, entrepreneur and management consultant. She is an innovative and resilient professional with deep expertise of co-founding and scaling multiple high-growth business in the technology and life sciences industries. Building strong employee and customer relationships with a focus on revenue generation, service delivery, increasing market share, and net profits has been her forte. A natural leader and the kind of personality that people gravitate to; she has the highest regard for truth, trust and building lasting relationships.
Usha was a co-founder of Nexage Technologies USA Inc. Her business focused strategies and people policies helped scale the company and was instrumental in the growth strategy that led to its acquisition by a larger, global company. She is currently engaged with various higher education institutions, in NJ and NY including NYU, Rutgers University, NJIT and NJCU as an adjunct professor and student advisor-mentor. As a mentor, she guides students to take their business ideas to start-ups and identify co-founders to support the formation and funding.
Usha earned her MBA from New York University, Stern School of Business with specializations in Finance, Business Strategy and Marketing and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI). Usha is a highly accomplished woman and tries to stay updated through self-learning, networking and class room training.
Usha lives in New York City. She is passionate about empowering women and children’s health and education. She serves on the board of several nonprofit, including New Women, New Yorkers, an organization that empowers immigrant women to get their first paying job, and to provide a safe, transformative space where they can build a community. Usha enjoys traveling and exploring the art and culture of countries she is visiting. She loves walking on the streets of New York City, observing people and life.
Michael O’Neill joined New Jersey University’s School of Business as an Assistant Professor of Accounting in Fall 2018. Prior to joining the faculty at NJCU, Professor O’Neill had several years of university teaching experience as an adjunct accounting instructor at two major local universities. Before joining academia, Professor O’Neill, as Vice President of Internal Audit for a major global media/entertainment company, helped build and lead a best-in-class internal audit function. During Professor O’Neill’s 22-year tenure at the media/entertainment company he partnered with senior management and solved real-world operational issues, managed risk, and also identified numerous cost savings and revenue enhancement opportunities. Earlier, as Division Controller for a major retailer Mike oversaw accounting and financial operations for department and specialty store lines. His global experience spans the consumer entertainment, media/advertising, manufacturing, online, and retail sectors. Professor O’Neill has a BS in Business and an MBA in Accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).
Arun Shroff is a serial tech entrepreneur and business leader. He is co-founder/CTO at Medindia, a leading health website, visited by over 15 million visitors each year. He is also founder/CEO of Xtend.AI, a startup using AI to solve challenges in health and other domains. He is a topic lead and member of WHO/ITU’s Focus Group on AI for Health and has been an invited speaker on AI at UN and WHO conferences. Arun has a MS in Computer Science from Penn State, MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, B. Tech from IIT Madras & certifications in AI and Machine Learning.
Michael Ehrlich, PhD, had an international business career before joining NJIT’s Martin Tuchman School of Management as assistant professor of finance. Ehrlich’s research focuses on financial markets and institutions, with an emphasis on market failures. He has written about the unintended consequences of financial market innovation with special attention to structured investment vehicles, the financial investment innovation which grew to more than $400 billion worldwide before collapsing in the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Journal of Business Venture, Advances in Financial Education, Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance and Coller Venture Review published his views on the structure of financial markets, financial education, and new venture finance.
He spent his last Wall Street years at Bear Stearns as senior managing director of the emerging markets fixed income business. Earlier stints included positions of increasing responsibility at Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb and Salomon Brothers, where he worked in the Government Arbitrage group with John Meriwether. Upon leaving Wall Street, Ehrlich started FineStar Imaging LLC, a small technology company that specialized in document production and management. He sold FineStar in 2007.
Today, along with teaching, Ehrlich participates in NJIT’s small business incubator program, the Enterprise Development Center (EDC). Ehrlich, who belongs to the New York Angels, works with start-up companies. His current research focus is on the commercialization of technology and new venture finance. He Co-Directs the New Jersey Innovation Acceleration Center (centers.njit.edu/njiac).
B.A. 1969 (Cum Laude) State University of New York, Buffalo; M.A. 1970 Boston University; J.D. 1976 (Magna Cum Laude), University of Puerto Rico; Diploma Fourth Course in International Law 1977 Gertulio Vargas Foundation and Inter-American Juridical Committee of the Organization of American States; Fulbright Senior Specialist 2001; Doctor of Law 2011 (Outstanding Cum Laude) Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Visiting Research Fellow Harris Manchester College Oxford University 20011, 2012.
Legal Advisor in the Office of Court Administration from 1977-78; Lawyer in Legal Services of Puerto Rico, Inc. from 1978-79 and Director of its Unit from 1979-81; O’Neill & Borges Law Firm from 1981-88; private practice from 1988 to 1994.
Associate Professor in this Faculty of Law from 1988-1994 in the Theory, Doctrine and Practice of Litigation, Consumer Law, Professional Responsibility and Alternate Methods: Mediation courses. Full-time professor at this Faculty of Law since January 1995 in the Theory, Doctrine and Practice of Litigation, Alternate Methods: Mediation, Legal Aid Clinic, Mediation Module, Professional Responsibility, Theory of Conflict. Dean of Studies from 1996 to 2002. Academic Coordinator of the Institute for Conflict Resolution at the Law School of the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, Inc.
He has cooperated with an initiative of the American Bar Association to develop mediation skills in Mexico and with a DPK project for the training of mediators in El Salvador. He has offered conferences and seminars on the topic of mediation for different private and governmental entities in Panama, Mexico, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Twenty years later he has published on this subject; mediation in Puerto Rico, UAD Magazine Department of Labor Year 5 No. 9 December 2003 and Civil and commercial mediation: its impact on Western European countries, Inter-American No. 6 Year 2013. He is the representative of Puerto Rico at the World Forum of Mediation.
She is an Assistant Professor at Eotvos Lorand University Budapest, Hungary, Faculty of Law. She has a PhD. in Law. She was responsible to coordinate the accreditation of the Criminology Master Programme at the Eotvos Lorand University, Faculty of Law. She completed a mediator training in 2010. She is interested in mediation applied in criminal cases, as well as in family law and commercial cases. She trained mediators at the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Since 2013 she has been the coach of the ELTE University Team at the International Chamber of Commerce, International Commercial Mediation Competition. In 2017 her Team went to the world's top 16 teams and finishing the competition at the 12th place. In 2019 they ranked as the 6th in the competition. And is 2020 her team hits the third place at the ICC Mediation Competition From the 1st of January 2020 she is the President of the Budapest Conciliation Board affiliated with the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She was appointed by the Minister for Innovation and Technology. She has been organized and talked numerous national and international conferences, workshops and round table discussions about the usefulness and the advantages of commercial mediation. She used to work as an external expert of the Ministry of Interior (previously the Hungarian Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement) where she was coordinating and monitoring general crime prevention projects in Hungary. She is an expert at the Hungarian Chapter of Transparency International.
In her opinion it is paramount important to make more awareness of the different ADR tools in Hungary. It would be interesting to let all the citizens know about mediation and conciliation as a cost-effective, time-saving, and business-friendly form of problem-solving. The parties involved in such a procedure gain much more than they would expect. These processes also have a positive effect on business life and domestic economic processes. She believes that Hungary can be a much richer, more successful and even economically efficient country by properly transposing international good practices of the different alternative dispute resolution skills.
The Hungarian born researcher and sociologist-economist completed his economic studies and university teacher program at the Budapest Business School, and the social studies program of the Institute of Human Development at Kodolányi János University. He also studied at Wageningen University & Research and the Utwente University of Enschede in the Netherlands. He earned his doctoral PhD degree at the Regional Sciences Doctoral School of the Szent István University of Gödöllő in the field of international health tourism and senior tourism.
He could utilize several decades of experience in the global hotel and tourism industry in quality-related inquiries of leisure time activities at companies like Princess Cruises, Marriott International Hotel and Intercontinental Hotels.
His current research theme is life quality and well-being at later life what based partly his tourism experiences. His research efforts have been acclaimed by numerous international and domestic awards and recognitions. In 2018 he was chosen as one of the most promising, early carrier researchers by the European Commission and the Regional Studies Association in the United Kingdom for his findings concerning the senior model of Nagykanizsa and the factors of success and happiness in old age. Because of his international success and achievement, he held a presentation as a key speaker at the end of the year gala of the New York Hungarian Scientific Society in New York City and received high-level recognition.
In addition to researching and teaching theory, he also works as an entrepreneur. He is busy developing the Matra Resort senior living and care homes project, which won the 3rd place at the Top Ten regional entrepreneur competition in London at the special event of Emerging Europe and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). His achievements in aging-related accessibility and the respective solutions were recognized by the MEREK. (National Rehabilitation Centre for the Disabled) and the Hungarian Society of Regional Sciences.
Throughout his academic career as an associate professor, he taught at several acclaimed and prestigious institutions in Hungary and abroad including the Corvinus University of Budapest (Hungary), Eszterházy Károly University (Hungary), Szent István University (Hungary), Kodolányi János University (Hungary), University of Economy Bydgoszcz (Poland), Universitá Roma Tre (Italy), Akdeniz University (Turkey) and Boston University (U.S.A).
As for volunteering experiences and social commitments he is a secretary of Gyongyos Matra section of Hungarian Geographical Association (est. 1882), board member of Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry and head of education and advisory board member of American Hungarian Chamber of Commerce of New York.
Dr. Dale G. Caldwell is a professor and the executive director of the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU). He is leading the Institute’s efforts to support, promote and research family, veteran and student entrepreneurship. In addition, Dr. Caldwell is the host of the TV show Family Business World (www.FamilyBusinessWorld.com). His research focus is on entrepreneurship and public policy. Dr. Caldwell is also the CEO of Strategic Influence LLC. This entrepreneurial organization uses the Intelligent Influence framework that he created to provide strategy, operations, coaching, business development and leadership training to clients.
Dr. Caldwell earned a BA in Economics from Princeton University, an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Doctorate in Education Administration from Seton Hall University. He also completed the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in State and Local Government program and the Rutgers Leadership Coaching for Organizational Performance program. He is an accomplished athlete who has completed three marathons and received national rankings in the United States in duathlon, tennis and triathlon.
Timur Pakay is Associate Director of Executive Education at Columbia University Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and oversees a portfolio of online executive education courses and technical boot camps for working professionals.
Prior to joining Columbia, Timur was Executive Director of the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University where he oversaw many outreach programs, including a veterans entrepreneurship program, business plan competitions, an entrepreneurship summer camp for high school students, executive workshops and roundtables, tech meetups, and large scale recognition events. Timur was instrumental in growing programs through fundraising and marketing efforts and worked with his Advisory Board and the Dean of the business school on a new strategic plan for the Institute.
Timur has over 12 years’ experience of working in higher education, is a fluent speaker in French and Turkish, and resides with his family in Riverdale, Bronx.
IDR Team Alumni
Dr. Jennifer McDevitt is an adjunct professor for the Latin American, Caribbean, & Latino Studies and Political Science programs at New Jersey City University. Her Ph.D. is in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a specialization in Cultural and Ethnic Conflict. She also holds an M.A. in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations, as well as, a B.A. in Anthropology with a certificate in Ethic Studies. She has focused her recent research on conflict in Latin America. Jennifer is a visiting scholar for the Institute for Dispute Resolution and is focusing her skills on the team’s project Engage Puerto Rico: A Case for Sustainable Mediation Culture, as well as, other academic articles.
Kelly McKenna is currently a third-year undergraduate student at NJCU, who is double majoring in Fire Science and Entrepreneurship. She is also an undergraduate research assistant at the Institute for Dispute Resolution that is currently working on academic articles along with the research team. Outside of academics, she is a volunteer EMT and firefighter. She is also fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and am involved in the Deaf community. Kelly is the co-founder/Vice President of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Club.
Kelly McKenna's IDR Experience
Darby Zelaskowski is a junior undergraduate student at Manhattan College majoring in English and Peace Studies, with a minor in Digital Arts and Humanities. She edits her school's literary magazine and loves working as a writing tutor in her school’s Center for Academic Success. She has become the press release content creator for the IDR in Spring of 2020.
Neel Patel is currently an MBA candidate at the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University. He earned his bachelor's degree in marketing and graduated Summa Cum Laude at New Jersey City University (NJCU). Neel has been a graduate teaching assistant at the Stillman School of Business and is working at The Career Center at Seton Hall University where he is a social media coordinator and an undergraduate student mentor.
Prior to his higher education experience, Neel worked at Macy’s in various departments, including sales, management and human resources. He is skilled in public speaking, team leadership, research, strategic planning, customer service, digital marketing, negotiation and problem solving.
At NJCU IDR, Neel was a project manager for several business conferences/events. He has traveled to Budapest and Paris to manage global conferences and participate in the 14th International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Mediation Competition through Institute for Dispute Resolution (IDR). In addition, in 2019, the NJCU faculty chose him to be the keynote speaker at the convocation ceremony. Neel has worked on projects ranging from colloquiums to international chamber of commerce events, domestic economic programs such as Select USA for N.J. as a spin-off state for promoting economic trade and commerce with Prof. David Weiss. Furthermore, he has participated in the logistics of an international trade and academic conference in 2018, and most recent as part of NJCU delegation to attend the Hungarian Central Bank Financial Arbitration Board Conference through NJCU IDR.
Neel Patel's IDR Experience
My name is Arbaz Sandhu, and I am a recent graduate from NJCU. I graduated with a master's degree in Data Science and Business Analytics. Understanding tasks are all data driven and patterning them can produce significant results, I want to be able to use my analytical skills to help businesses answer various questions promoting growth. I have learned many mathematical, statistical, and computer programming skills that I would like to employ to further gain me experience as a data analyst/scientist.
Taylor Oslacky: I’m a fourth-year undergraduate student at Manhattan College double majoring in English and Communication, with a concentration in journalism. I have also interned for Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand and studied abroad in Italy. I am a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America. I am graduating in Spring of 2021 and I plan on attending law school to pursue a career in criminal law.