"We are committed to fostering innovative ideas, promoting healthy economies and enabling social progress across the globe right now and for generations to come."
At Blackstone, we have a proud tradition of serving our communities. Through the Blackstone Connects program and targeted grantmaking, the Foundation supports organizations dedicated to improving the lives and livelihoods of our fellow global citizens.
The Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network takes a holistic approach to building thriving and inclusive entrepreneurship economies across the globe. We invest our time, resources and intellectual capital to empower founders and their communities. Our programs include mentorship, training and networking for founders, as well as strengthening the capacity of entrepreneurship support organizations (ESOs) to invest in a diverse and inclusive pipeline. We also convene leaders across stakeholder groups to break down barriers and collaborate in building a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem for all. We want the communities we serve to go fast and go far – and we give them the tools to get there.
Blackstone Connects is a global program that provides Blackstone employees with the opportunity to make a difference through community service, volunteer projects, mentoring and non-profit board service.
We also strengthen our community by investing both financial and intellectual capital in key non-profit partners. We achieve this through employee-driven service and giving, firmwide community grantmaking and learning and board service opportunities. Our objective is to make a meaningful difference in the communities we serve.
The Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge was launched in Chicago in 2017 to provide underserved entrepreneurs in that city greater access to resources and opportunities for growth by investing in the incubators and accelerators that specifically serve them. Through the program, we have funded and supported the work of eight outstanding organizations that work with women, communities of color, military veterans and diverse young people, with an eye towards regional and national impact.
Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars is available on 25 college and university campuses. Since inception, the program has launched over 17,000 ventures that combined have raised over $193 million.
Amy Stursberg is a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone. She serves as Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, where she leads Blackstone’s $45 million Entrepreneurship Initiative, bringing four innovative programs to twenty states across the country.
Prior to joining Blackstone in 2008, Ms. Stursberg served on the transition team for Governor Eliot Spitzer. From 2006-08, Ms. Stursberg managed the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s $90 million program in cultural and community grants in Lower Manhattan. Previously, Ms. Stursberg served as the final Director of the September 11th Fund. There, she helped to manage the $500 million fund to support communities, individuals and organizations impacted by the events of 9/11. Prior to that role, she held various positions at the Office of the Mayor in the City of New York, as well as at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Stursberg received her BA with honors from the University of Michigan and her Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Currently, she serves on the Partnership for New York’s Innovation Council and on the Board of Directors for the Tectonic Theater Company; formerly, she served on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE).
Erica Lock is a Vice President with the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. Ms. Lock joined Blackstone in 2019 to lead the Entrepreneurship Initiative, the firm’s philanthropic commitment to create and support programs that launch and accelerate entrepreneurs.
Before Blackstone, Ms. Lock worked at Echoing Green, the world’s leading leadership development accelerator for social impact entrepreneurs. There, she managed partnerships and strategy for their inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem work. Prior to that role, Ms. Lock led the Echoing Green Fellowship Program, where she oversaw the team managing the venture portfolios and producing global social innovation conferences. Ms. Lock also worked at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability in the Bloomberg administration, MTV Networks, and various marketing, branding and advertising agencies in research, operations and business development roles.
Ms. Lock has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BS in Economics from Wharton. When she isn’t supporting entrepreneurs, she is raising her two daughters and volunteering in her local community.
Takhani Kromah is a Director with Blackstone Charitable Foundation. Ms. Kromah joined Blackstone in 2019 to manage the Blackstone LaunchPad® powered by Techstars® entrepreneurship program. Before Blackstone, Ms. Kromah worked at The International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian, relief and development NGO. There, she coordinated government and academic grants to the Middle East, East and West Africa programs for the Research, Evaluation and Learning technical unit. Her international experience was honed at the British Red Cross and Humanity & Inclusion UK where she served in project and information management roles. She gained country management and corporate social investment experience as the country coordinator (Liberia) and later group corporate social Investment lead at African Petroleum. She holds a BA in Political Science and African Studies from Tufts University, an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from University of London: SOAS; and an MBA in Finance from Cass Business School in the City of London.
Joan Solotar is a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, Head of Global Private Wealth Solutions, and serves on the Management Committee. Ms. Solotar is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation and founded the Blackstone Women’s Initiative, a mentoring program and network that seeks to recruit, develop, and retain talented women across the firm’s global offices. Ms. Solotar is committed to making a significant multi-generational impact in the field of education. She serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of East Harlem Tutorial Program and East Harlem Scholars Academies, which will serve one-in-five East Harlem students by 2025, preparing them with academic skills, strength of character, and emotional well-being to excel in college, lead in their communities and realize their best possible selves. She is also Chair of the Campaign Executive Committee of her alma mater, the State University of New York at Albany. Ms. Solotar received a BS in Management Information Systems from the State University of New York at Albany and an MBA in Finance from New York University.
Sean Klimczak is the Global Head of Infrastructure and is based in New York. Since joining Blackstone in 2005, Mr. Klimczak has been involved in the execution of numerous Blackstone investments, including Tallgrass, Carrix, Cheniere Energy Partners, Sithe Global, Fisterra, Custom Truck One Source, Meerwind, Transmission Developers and American Petroleum Tankers.
Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Klimczak was an Associate at Madison Dearborn Partners. Prior to that, Mr. Klimczak worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions department of Morgan Stanley & Company’s Investment Banking Division.
Mr. Klimczak received a BBA in Finance and Business Economics from the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma, and an MBA with High Distinction from Harvard Business School, where he graduated with the highest academic standing in his class and was selected as a Baker Scholar, a John L. Loeb Fellow, a Henry Ford II Scholar and a William J. Carey Scholar. Mr. Klimczak serves as a director of Custom Truck One Source, Transmission Developers and The Blackstone Charitable Foundation. He also serves as a member of the Alumni Board of Harvard Business School, the Board of Trustees of Saint David’s School and the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business Advisory Council. Mr. Klimczak was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2015.
Brian F. Gavin is a Senior Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Hedge Fund Solutions Group.
Before joining Blackstone in 2002, Mr. Gavin was a Partner in Arthur Andersen's Hedge Fund Advisory and Capital Markets group.
Mr. Gavin received a BS in Accounting from New York University. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
John McCormick is the Global Head of Hedge Fund Solutions (BAAM) for Blackstone. Mr. McCormick is involved in overseeing the day-to-day activities of the group, including investment management, client relationships, product development, marketing, operations and administration.
Before joining Blackstone in 2005, Mr. McCormick was an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company, where he worked on senior level strategy issues for a wide variety of financial services industry clients. Mr. McCormick began his career as an attorney with Davis Polk & Wardwell and has also served at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Mr. McCormick received a BA from Vassar College and a JD from Yale Law School.
Christine Anderson is Senior Managing Director of Global Public Affairs and Marketing. She oversees Blackstone's public relations, branding, marketing and internal communications functions and advises on government affairs. She serves as the primary spokesperson for the firm, advising Blackstone’s senior leaders and business groups, as well as companies across Blackstone’s portfolio.
Before joining Blackstone in 2009, Ms. Anderson served as Communications Director and Director of Marketing to the former Governor of New York as well as Communications Director on the 2006 gubernatorial campaign. Before working in state government, Ms. Anderson was an Associate Director of Corporate Communications at UBS AG supporting U.S. media relations and serving as a spokesperson for the company’s Wealth Management division. During the 2004 U.S. Presidential election cycle, she served as a Deputy Press Secretary on the Kerry-Edwards campaign. Ms. Anderson also previously worked as an Account Director at the public relations firm Brunswick and as a Segment Producer for ABC News' “Good Morning America” after starting her career in the Press Office of the Clinton White House.
Ms. Anderson received a BA from The College of the Holy Cross, and serves on the Blackstone Women’s Network’s Steering Committee, as well as on the board of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.
Verdun S. Perry is a Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Strategic Partners, having joined Strategic Partners in 2000. Mr. Perry sits on the Investment Committee for each of the Strategic Partners funds and is currently an advisory board member of multiple funds.
Mr. Perry joined Credit Suisse in November 2000 when it acquired Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (“DLJ”), where he was an Associate in the Investment Banking Division before joining Strategic Partners the year it was founded. Mr. Perry sits on Strategic Partners’ Investment Committees and his current responsibilities include fundraising, deal-sourcing, negotiating and executing secondary transactions and co-investments, as well as various post-purchase fund monitoring activities. Previously, Mr. Perry worked in the strategic investments group at Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon and Eckhardt, Inc. and in the Investment Banking Division at Morgan Stanley & Co.
Mr. Perry received a B.A. from Morehouse College, where he graduated magna cum laude and was elected Phi Beta Kappa, as well as an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was a Robert Toigo Foundation Fellow. Mr. Perry serves on the boards of The Blackstone Charitable Foundation and Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO).
Paige Ross is a Senior Managing Director and the Global Head of Human Resources at Blackstone. In this role she oversees human resource management globally for the firm. Ms. Ross brings more than 25 years of experience in talent development and strategic planning across a multitude of industries and geographies.
Prior to joining Blackstone, Ms. Ross served as the Managing Director of Talent Management at Centerbridge Partners, with a focus on leading Talent Management across the portfolio companies.
She has also held senior human resources leadership positions at Pfizer, Avon and PepsiCo. Ms. Ross earned her BA at Stony Brook University and PhD in Applied Organizational Psychology at Hofstra University.
Matthew Skurbe is the Treasurer and Managing Director in Finance for Blackstone. Mr. Skurbe leads all Blackstone Treasury related initiatives, including cash and liquidity management, working capital management, bank and rating agency relationship management, balance sheet risk management, procurement, and vendor risk management. Before joining Blackstone in 2009, Mr. Skurbe was the CFO for Merrill Lynch Bank & Trust, a $35 billion bank housing several of Merrill Lynch's consumer lending and banking businesses. Prior to that role, Mr. Skurbe spent seven years supporting Merrill Lynch’s Treasury function and had previous roles with Amerada Hess and Arthur Andersen LLP. Mr. Skurbe is also a board member of Association for Financial Professionals, Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Project Sunshine, and Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation. Mr. Skurbe received a B.S. in Accounting from Rutgers University, achieved the Certified Public Accountant certification, and is a Certified Treasury Professional.
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