Sponsors for educational opportunity
William Goodloe is President & CEO of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), a national nonprofit organization based in New York City, with offices in San Francisco and London, England. Under William’s guidance, SEO has gained widespread recognition for developing high-impact programs that prepare underserved and/or underrepresented young people for college and career success.Since William joined SEO in 2001, the number of young people served has quadrupled and annual revenues have increased more than $10 million. William also directed the launch of The Campaign for SEO, which allowed SEO to fully fund the purchase of a new headquarters.From 1996 through 2001, William was Executive Director of Inner-City Scholarship Fund, which supports Catholic schools serving children from low-income families. He oversaw a dramatic increase in scholarships to students and capital repairs to schools as a result of more than $100 million raised in annual and endowment funds.Previously, William served as Vice President of the Center for Youth Development after beginning his career in advertising and sales management, including positions with Procter & Gamble and Corning Inc.William is currently a trustee of the Altman Foundation and serves on the advisory board of Columbia University’s M.S. Program in Fundraising Management. He was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to serve on the NYC Commission for Economic Opportunity. William is former board President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater New York Chapter.William received his MBA from Columbia Business School and his undergraduate degree from American University.
As Executive Vice President, Julian Johnson oversees all program activities for SEO Scholars, SEO Career, and SEO Alternative Investments, in addition to all SEO alumni programming. Julian joined SEO in 2002, bringing over twenty years of experience in development and executive leadership to the organization.Shortly after joining SEO, Julian led the restructuring of all intern recruitment and training activities for SEO Career, resulting in a 40% increase in the rate of full-time job offers made to summer interns. In the early 2000’s, Julian also led the development of a corporate leadership internship track which provided opportunities for students of color to intern at Fortune companies. He restructured the law internship track and the development of an intensive Corporate Law Institute to enhance the academic performance of SEO Career interns in their first year of law school.In 2006, Julian assumed oversight of SEO Scholars and led the organization’s effort to re-think how out-of-school time could be used more effectively to close the academic achievement gap for low-income students. This led to the creation of the current SEO Scholars model which uses the equivalent of a sixth day of school per week to help low-income public high school students gain the needed academic skills for college readiness and success. The new model also provides comprehensive support for Scholars throughout college, until graduation. Since then, SEO Scholars has tripled the number of students served to more than 1,000 in the 2014-15 academic year. The program has also been replicated in San Francisco.In 2009, Julian oversaw the development of SEO Alternative Investments, which includes a fellowship program and an annual SEO Alternative Investments Conference.Previously, Julian was Director of Development and Corporate Partnerships at the Institute of International Education (IIE) where he helped to develop the IIE Scholar Rescue Fund. He has also held senior development and executive positions at Teach for America, Associated Black Charities of New York, A Better Chance and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. He holds Master’s Degrees in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University and in Non-Profit Management from the New School. Julian presently serves on the board of trustees of the Institute of International Education and on several scholarship and fellowship review committees.
Michelle DeFossett is SEO’s Vice President of Finance, Human Resources, and Administration. Michelle was previously the senior finance professional for the following non-profits: the Center for Reproductive Rights, Habitat for Humanity-New York City, and the Maple Street School. She has led long-term fiscal planning and growth for organizations with annual budgets of up to $23 million and oversaw HR and IT needs for entities with up to 110 professionals. She has also managed various aspects of domestic and international real estate transactions.Prior to her career in the non-profit sector, Michelle spent over 20 years in financial services. She began her career with a five-year stint at Chase Manhattan Bank, where she held roles of increasing responsibility within the Global Derivatives, Eurocurrency, and Latin American Debt divisions. After business school, Michelle moved into the asset management sector, working at JP Morgan Asset Management, Pareto Partners, and Stanfield Capital Partners.In her various roles, Michelle led teams that were responsible for new product development/distribution, business development, and process reengineering initiatives for domestic and international products and markets.
Michelle earned a BA in Economics from Vassar College and an MBA from Columbia Business School, where she was awarded the Robert F. Toigo Fellowship.
Michelle is a native New Yorker and resides in Fort Greene, Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
Kerry joined SEO as Vice President of Development in July 2015, bringing more than 25 years of experience in non-profit development and communications. Kerry’s prior experience includes senior positions at the Metropolitan Opera Association, New York City Opera, the Morgan Library & Museum, and most recently Third Street Music School Settlement. She has managed all areas of fundraising, positioned organizations for transformative growth, and has significant experience working with major donors. Her past responsibilities include major roles in developing and directing fundraising campaigns totaling over $400 million. Kerry graduated magna cum laude from New York University, majoring in art history and economics. Kerry is a native New Yorker and resides in Manhattan with her husband and two children.
Hau sweats the details—everything from operations, budgeting, teacher recruitment, badgering kids about homework and doling out granola bars. She reflects the culture of the program: simultaneously warm and demanding. She began her career as a middle school English teacher in Japan as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program followed by a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Korea. After attending graduate school at Columbia University’s Teachers College, she taught in a NYC public school and then moved into education administration at Berkeley College. Before becoming the head of SEO Scholars, she did teacher training and product development for educational software and textbook companies including Houghton Mifflin and Kaplan K12 Learning Services. Millie holds a BA from Bucknell University and an MA from Columbia University’s Teachers College.
As Vice President, Ays Necioglu oversees the highly-successful college support, retention, and success components of SEO Scholars including all college programming and advising, a model she built from the ground up when she joined SEO Scholars in 2006. Her work as resulted in phenomenal graduation rates for the underrepresented college students served: 95% graduated from college within six years and 80% graduated in four. To achieve these goals, Ays designed a specialized evidence-based advising technique and oversees the implementation of this technique across her team in addition to the conceptualization and development of annual workshops and seminars focused on academic achievement and career development. Ays and her team serve 413 college students attending 147 schools across 22 states, including SEO Scholars San Francisco college students.
Ays also oversees college support for JPMorgan’s The Fellowship Initiative participants in addition to the implementation of UBS NextGen Leaders, a collaborative venture with UBS in response to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. This partnership provides college success support to 125 college-bound African American and Latino 12th grade males from New York City, Newark, NJ, Weehawken, NJ and Stamford, CT starting in 2015.
Ays is a New York State Licensed Master Social Worker and a Field Instructor for graduate students from Columbia University School of Social Work and Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. Prior to joining SEO, she spent a year at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) headquarters researching post-crisis development indicators, held a one-year graduate internship at Planned Parenthood, and worked as a program development consultant at LearnServeEthopia. Ays holds an MS in Social Enterprise Administration from Columbia University, an Advanced Certificate in Clinical Practice with Adolescents from New York University Silver School of Social Work, and a BA from Vassar College. She is a member of National Association of Social Workers, National Network for Social Work Management, and the International Association for Youth Mental Health.
Mindy Davis serves as the Managing Director of SEO Career. Mindy is a senior leader with extensive experience in marketing and client services. She has built and mentored large teams at early-stage and traditional consumer companies. Mindy has held senior level marketing positions at Kraft, Bertelsmann Music Group, and Time-Warner where she developed strategic marketing programs and drove new product development efforts.
In the past 9 years, Mindy has held senior level client services roles at marketing technology start-ups. Most recently, she was the SVP, Professional Services at Crowdtap where she was recruited to build and significantly scale the team/service model for the business. She overhauled and standardized critical client program deliverables and project process to drive renewal rates. She led all strategic relationships with client partners including Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, and Pepperidge Farm.
Mindy holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Albany and an MBA from Columbia University.
Nicole oversees the Investment Banking, Asset Management, Sales & Trading, and Investment Research programs. In this capacity, she is responsible for intern selection, matching, training, and mentoring, as well as, partner communication, planning, and strategy. Nicole also manages SEO EDGE, SEO Career’s newly expanded talent development program. In addition, Nicole is responsible for SEO Career’s data management and internal operations and provides strategic direction on a number of projects.
Her relationship with SEO began as an intern in the summer of 2000. After an internship in Equity Research at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ), she joined Merrill Lynch. She spent five years at Merrill where she worked in Equity Capital Markets and as an associate in Equity Research. She joined the SEO staff in May 2006 and serves on the executive management team.
She seeks to share her professional experience and business acumen with other students seeking careers in corporate America and in public service. Nicole graduated from Emory University in 2001 with a B.A. in Sociology and Spanish. She received her MBA (Executive Program) from Columbia University in 2013.
SEO Alternative Investments
Menna is the Director of Alternative Investments at SEO. Under her leadership, the number of SEO Alternative Investments Fellowship Program partners has grown three-fold as well as the number of young professionals served. She joined the organization in 2014, though she has been a part of SEO since completing its internship program in 2005. Following two years as an investment banking analyst at Citi, she served as an investment professional with KPS Capital Partners, a leading private equity ﬁrm focused on implementing turnaround strategies in underperforming businesses.
Menna graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2007 as an Andrew Carnegie Presidential Scholar and later received her MBA and Masters in Education from Stanford University. Continuing her passion for education and coaching, Menna served as a Leadership Fellow at Success Academies as well as a Revive the Dream Fellow. She also previously served on SEO’s Junior Leadership Board, where she was a Founding Co-Chair of the Career and Alternative Investments Committee. Menna is a Founding Director of the Global Management Board and New York Regional Leadership Board for Stanford GSB Women’s Circles.