2023 Keynote Speaker
Nykia Wright T’09
Nykia Wright is the former CEO of the Chicago Sun-Times, the oldest, continuously published news publication in the state of Illinois. She was the first Black CEO of a major local news organization in the country. She is credited with turning the news organization around. In January 2022, she led the Chicago Sun-Times side of the merger with Chicago Public Media, to form the largest non-profit news organization in the United States.
She was a member of the Chicago Crain’s 40 under 40 class, recognized as one of the most powerful women in Chicago, Who’s Who in Chicago in 2023, and Who’s Who in America in 2023.
Her professional experience includes strategic advisory and growth planning, operational turnarounds, change and transformation, and process design and improvement for private equity acquisitions. Prior to joining the media industry, she was a strategic advisor to top universities and Fortune 500 companies. She has led executives through the process of launching global digital strategies, starting new business lines, authoring strategic plans, and initiating organizational redesigns.
Nykia has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. She lived and worked in England and received an international business certificate from the University of Cambridge and while at Dartmouth she studied one term at the Indian School of Business.
Nykia is a member of Chief, The Chicago Network, and The Economic Club of Chicago, and she sits on the board of the Better Government Association, Music of the Baroque, Choose Chicago, and the American Cancer Society (IL). She is a member of the Dean’s advisory council at Tuck and most recently, she left the Chicago Sun-Times to bring a technology startup that she co-founded to market.
Tuck Uplugged Session
Ramsey Jay Jr T’05
Ramsey Jay Jr. is the Founding Principal of Ramsey Jay, Jr. and Associates, a strategic consulting company specializing in corporate finance, commercial sales and marketing, business communications, human capital, enterprise team leadership, and diversity, equity, and inclusion programming. Ramsey is a seasoned executive, strategic thinker, and former Division 1 Track athlete with 20+ years of successful experience partnering with corporations across a myriad of industries, pension funds, professional trade organizations, and senior executives to solve multifaceted and complex business challenges.
Prior to founding his consulting company, Ramsey was a global investment management executive with a keen focus on both investing, and raising capital, in alternative assets (bank loans, high yield bonds, private debt, and private equity). His financial responsibilities required in-depth technical and fundamental analysis by constructing multi-scenario financial models involving recapitalizations, acquisitions, syndications, and re-financings to identify $25 - $200M high-yield debt investments, and simultaneously identified potential private equity buyout candidates. He raised more than $650 million in new client assets by marketing alternative investments in various fund vehicles directly to public and corporate plan sponsors, and nonprofits.
An MBA graduate of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Ramsey is a trusted voice of guidance and proficient communicator, having delivered more than 600 keynotes, seminars, and corporate trainings on financial engineering, strategy execution, and organizational leadership. Additionally, Ramsey has published two books, “Empowering Dreamers To Become Achievers” & “The Mentorship Engine” and has created proprietary training curriculums and technical models to optimize P&L performance. Civically, Ramsey is Chairman of Sigma Pi Phi’s Pacific Region Social Action Committee and Board President of the Gamma Zeta Boulé Foundation. This year Ramsey received the "2023 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteer Service" from AmeriCorps and the office of the President of the United States.
Tuck Alums for the Alumni Panel
Lisha Davis T’10
Lisha is an innovation leader, venture builder, startup investor, and business strategist who has served on all sides of the business table. Prior to launching Arable Ventures, Lisha served as the founder and CEO of Vanguard’s Innovation Studio, where she was responsible for identifying white spaces with the power to disrupt and for building successful ventures to fill those spaces.
Throughout her work, Lisha has led the venture studios and business teams in vision, strategy, operations, as well as the creation of powerful tech enabled solutions, with a high emphasis on growing the best functioning teams and company culture. Lisha is also an active investor with 37Angels, an early growth stage women syndicate focused on increasing representation of diverse founders and funders and serves as mentor and advisor to startups across the consumer, enterprise, and fintech sectors. She is an adjunct professor at Temple’s Fox School of Business. When not in NYC, Lisha travels often in pursuit of new adventures.
Alex Figueroa T’10
Alex is Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), focusing on capital raising, planning and analysis, accounting, and reporting. Alex is also a member of the Board of Managers for Verogy. Prior to Verogy, Alex was the CFO at Greenskies Renewable Energy. In his tenure as CFO, Alex closed over $360MM of project and corporate capital transactions. Alex was also a key member of the deal team that completed the sale of Greenskies to Clean Focus Corporation in 2017.
Prior to Greenskies, Alex spent nearly a decade at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he managed investment portfolios for the firm’s foundation, endowment, and ultra-high net worth clients.
Alex earned an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University at Albany (NY).
Alex lives in Bedford, NY with his wife, Raegan, and their two young daughters.
Koushi King T’13
Koushi King is the Founder and CEO of Stemless, a retail dispensary marketing platform used across the U.S. where medical and/or recreational cannabis is legal, and Canada. She has been featured as an industry pioneer in media outlets including TechCrunch, Marijuana Venture, and CheddarTV. Koushi received her undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Oregon’s Lundquist School of Business, where she currently serves on the school’s 40 under 40 Dean’s Advisory board.
Obi Ibekweh T’10
Obi Ibekweh is currently the Team Lead, Vaccine Adoption and Equity at Pfizer in NYC. In this role, she is responsible for building and executing on a health equity strategy centered around COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases within Pfizer’s vaccine portfolio. She is supported by a team that intersects between grassroots community engagement and culturally responsive and inclusive marketing.
Obi has been at Pfizer for 8 years and has held various roles across marketing, launch excellence, and business analytics & insights. In 2019, she was selected to participate in the esteemed Global Health Fellows program, which would have given her the opportunity to relocate to Kenya and work with a local non-profit to advance access to healthcare resources in the region. As luck would have it, those plans were thwarted (along with many others) because of the pandemic. But she is keeping hope alive.
Obi completed her MBA at Tuck in 2010, after traveling the world and spending some time studying abroad at London Business School. Immediately post-Tuck, she spent several years in the life sciences consulting learning the ins and outs of the industry. Her career began a very long time ago in pharmaceutical sales – an opportunity that took her outside of her comfort zone and exposed her to her future career path on the business side of healthcare.
Daniel Rodriguez T’09
Daniel Rodriguez is currently the Region Vice President (RVP) for the Northeast at Pabst Brewing Company. In this role Daniel leads a team of 15 who manage relationships with over 60 distributors across 10 states. Daniel devises and implements strategies to achieve the company’s sales objectives and foster profitable growth.
Prior to Pabst Daniel worked at Anheuser-Busch where he helped successfully launch the non-alcohol business in the U.S. In this role Daniel created and implemented the U.S sales strategy as well as led customer relationships for both national and regional accounts. Before his time at Anheuser-Busch, Daniel held various senior sales roles at Red Bull North America as well as at PepsiCo in the Frito-Lay North America division.
Daniel earned his B.A in Economics at Wesleyan University and his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He is an alumnus of MLT (MBA Prep & Career Prep) as well as The Consortium.
Damali Harding T’06
Damali Harding is a renewable energy and electric utilities expert with strategic advising experience at Duke Energy, National Grid, and other major U.S. and international energy firms. Previously, she advised utilities at Oracle (formerly Opower) and served as executive director of The Energy Co-op. She’s also held roles at Enviva LP, IBM Global Business Management services, and Deloitte Consulting. Damali is actively involved on the boards of the American Association of Blacks in Energy and Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy.
She’s a sought-after speaker on energy, management, leadership, and community building, holding degrees from Dartmouth College and Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. Proud member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.