Cal Simmons, co-founder of Blue Cotton Tech Services, will chair NFTE’s 16th Annual Dare to Dream Gala on April 10, 2013 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. The prominent DC angel investor will bring his business acumen to support the gala’s efforts to support youth entrepreneurship, which will continue the theme of “My Story” that was introduced in 2012.
“I’ve always been impressed by the Gala and the excellent work NFTE does with kids. Now I’m thrilled to be out front helping to expand their programs,” he said. Simmons, who currently chairs the DC Chapter of TIGER 21, is known for being a pioneer in the Washington area venture capital industry who sold his first company at age 25.
Simmons will share Gala Leadership chair duties with Vice Chairs Jane-Scott Cantus of ILEX Leadership Associates, Brien Biondi of The Biondi Group, LLC, and Minal Damani Kundra of NextGen Capital Ventures, LLC.
The team will be tasked with focusing the Gala’s fundraising efforts toward financing the expansion of Start Up Math (SUM), NFTE’s entrepreneurship program that uses business planning to teach mathematics. SUM specifically targets struggling middle-school students and encourages them to stay in school.
Tricia Granata, Executive Director of NFTE, DC Region, said that the combination of leaders from various companies will enhance the organization’s fundraising goals for this year’s Gala. “We are confident that their efforts will help NFTE to expand and strengthen the program throughout the DC Region and achieve our goal to more than double the number of students we serve next year,” she said.
Guests of the Gala will have an opportunity to hear brief first-person accounts from award-winning local NFTE students, teachers and principals, as well as the 2013 “Locally Grown” Honorees. The honorees were selected from a broad group of nominees who have started and built a business in the Washington region and who have an exemplary record of community service. The 2013 honorees are:
• Geoff Allen – ZipList, Inc.
• Theresa Daytner – Daytner Construction Group
• Alka Dhillon – Technalink, Inc.
• Christopher Hertz – New Signature
• Rick Toren – QPID, Inc.
“We’re proud to be recognizing such an outstanding group of business leaders who are also outstanding citizens,” said John Hasenberg of Merrill Lynch, Chair of NFTE’s DC Region Advisory Board. “We look forward to honoring them and to their future engagement as ambassadors for NFTE.”
The dinner and awards ceremony will begin at 7:00pm. To find more information about sponsorship and ticket sales, click here.