The GREAT Tech Awards: Judges & Advisors


Ben Lerer, CEO/Co-founder of Thrillist Media Group and Lerer Ventures
Ben Lerer is the Co-founder and CEO of Thrillist Media Group, a digital media company converging leading men’s lifestyle brand and members-only shopping club Ben was among Forbes’ list of “America’s Most Promising CEOs Under 35”, Crain’s “40 under 40”, Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Top 5 Entrepreneurs of the Year,” and Silicon Alley Insider’s “100 Coolest People in Tech.” Ben is also the Co-founder of Lerer Ventures, one of New York’s most active Angel funds.
  David Matthers, CEO/EMS Merchant Solutions Provider
EMS CEO and Founder, David Matthers, is a web developer and entrepreneur born and raised in New York City. Matthers began his career as an intern at an animation company Frederator Studios and went on to work for online parenting forum Urban Baby until it was sold to CNET in 2006. Matthers then started his own software development agency, Davidville. In 2007 his team launched EMS, now the home and platform for over 14 million merchants and serving the needs of merchant accounts and ecommerce transaction companies worldwide.
  John Borthwick, CEO/Co-founder of Betaworks

John is the Co-founder and CEO at Betaworks. Prior to launching the firm, John served as the CEO at Fotolog. Before this, John served as SVP of Technology and Alliances at Time Warner Inc. He also served as a Director at Tumblr, Inc., since December 11, 2008. John is a Senior Advisor at RRE Ventures LLC; is on the Board of Directors of Center for Independent Media, Rhizome / New Museum, is an Advisor of Coburn Ventures and Human Rights Watch; and serves as a Member of Advisory Board of Entrust Retail Merchants Inc.

  Margaret Dohnalek, Global Head of Technology, PepsiCo
Margaret H. Dohnalek, Ph.D., holds the current role of Global Head of Technology Scouting for PepsiCo. In this corporate function, Dr. Dohnalek is responsible for building and managing a strategic, multi-disciplined approach to scouting technology worldwide from a variety of industrial, academic and private sectors; for open innovation and long term research strategy; and for building technology platforms that form the basis for innovation of the existing business and that will help define consumer-driven innovation opportunities of the future. Prior to joining PepsiCo three years ago, Dr. Dohnalek spent 23 years in various R&D and business development functions, while working for Nestle R&D, Abbott Laboratories and Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. At PepsiCo, Dr. Dohnalek also leads the research foresights activities, and is the R&D lead for PepsiCo's venture investment initiatives.
  Simon Bradley, Vice President, Marketing, North America, Virgin Atlantic Airlines
Simon Bradley is a travel marketer with over 15 years experience in international marketing for a range of organisations across the globe. He is currently VP of Marketing, N.America for Virgin Atlantic. His responsibilities include brand development, brand communications, partnerships, online and CRM. Previous to that Simon held a number of senior positions for VisitBritain, the organsiation responsible for marketing Britain for leisure and business travel. During his career he has worked in many countries in both Europe and the Americas including the Nordic region, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the UK.


THE GREAT Tech Awards Advisory Board:

Elizabeth Gould, Senior Producer at Bloomberg Media
Elizabeth Gould is the former Senior Producer of special projects at Bloomberg Television. She oversaw shows and series focused on the future of business, primarily covering innovation, technology, entrepreneurship, startups, venture capital, and sustainability. Some of her shows include Brink,TechStars, Titans at the Table, and Women to Watch. Prior to Bloomberg Media, Elizabeth was a reporter at News 12 Brooklyn, and a field producer at WNBC.
  Paul Murphy, Senior Vice President at Betaworks
Paul Murphy is SVP of Product at Betaworks. Prior to Betaworks, he was COO of Aviary and was previously Chief of Staff for Microsoft's Office product division. Paul is an active seed investor and board member for a number of startups.
  Shivon Zilis, VC at Bloomberg Beta
Shivon Zilis is a VC at Bloomberg Beta who focuses on data, media, and enterprise investments. Her previous experience includes building startups at Bloomberg Ventures, the firm's incubator, and developing new technologies for emerging market countries at IBM.
  Tarek Pertew, CEO/Founder of Wakefield Media and Uncubed
Tarek Pertew is the Co-founder of Wakefield, a digital magazine that delivers hard to discover stories and job opportunities from successful startups. Tarek is also the creator of Uncubed, Wakefield's widely popular tech event and the Co-founder of NYC Footy, an adult soccer league favored by many technology companies. Earlier in his career, Tarek co-founded MyWorkster, a highly curated job fair series that has evolved into one of the nation's most trusted career events for Universities and job seekers. Tarek also acts as a mentor for, an accelerator driving social entrepreneurship.
  Ziv Navoth, CEO/Co-founder of Paragraph and Tech City Investment Organization Advisor
Ziv is the co-founder and CEO of Paragraph, one of New York’s most innovative publishing companies. Prior to Paragraph, Ziv was SVP for Marketing & Partnerships at AOL through its acquisition of Bebo. At Bebo, he was responsible for marketing, business development and mobile as well as leading the company’s sale to AOL for $850M. Ziv is also the founder of Verve, a boutique management consultancy offering strategic advisory services to leading companies in the US, UK and beyond. Ziv was also Managing Director at Startup Station Plc and also served as the Executive Director at the Institute for Technology and Enterprise.


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