My Biggest Challenge: How Leading Business Professionals Overcame Adversity | Macaulay Honors College

My Biggest Challenge: How Leading Business Professionals Overcame Adversity

  • March 5, 2019
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Event Phone: (212) 729-2947

My Biggest Challenge: How Leading Business Professionals Overcame AdversityJoin us for a panel discussion featuring leading business professionals to hear about their career trajectories and the struggles, and challenges they faced along the way. Afterwards, students will get a chance to network with extraordinary professionals to continue conversations around overcoming adversity and leave feeling empowered.



  • Introductions by Dean Pearl
  • Panel Discussion moderated by Natalie Csak ’21 (Baruch)
  • Round Table Discussions & Networking

Paul Kim
Adjunct Lecturer, The City College of New York
Managing Member & CIO,, LLC
Co-Founder,, Inc.
Co-Chair of the Board of Directors, Career Gear

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Paul is an investor, educator, social entrepreneur, and filmmaker. He is a 20+ year veteran of Wall Street specializing in the global technology, media, and telecom sectors in prominent hedge funds such as SAC Capital (now Point72) and Omega Advisors, and in equity research departments in the investment banking divisions of Bank of America and PaineWebber (now UBS). Paul is the founder of, an investment fund that focuses on launching innovative social enterprise initiatives. He is also a co-founder of, a career fair technology platform provider for colleges/universities and workforce programs. Prior to his experience in finance and technology, Paul worked for a boutique publisher of magazines such as The Wine Spectator that specializes in the beer, wine, and distilled spirits industries. He is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at The City College of New York and he is a Research Scholar at Manhattan College, where he teaches an innovative finance curriculum in both institutions. He has directed and produced a documentary titled Dog Camp, which is about a dedicated community of people who rescue golden retrievers, and he is pursuing other projects that focus on unique communities. Paul received a BS double majoring in Marketing and Management and an MBA majoring in Finance and International Business from New York University Stern School of Business where he was the co-captain of the men’s varsity tennis team. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designate. Paul is co-Chair of the Board of Directors at Career Gear, a non-profit organization that provides professional clothing and job entry/reentry services to help men in poverty become stronger contributors to their families and communities.

Teresa Ho Kim

Teresa Ho Kim
Portfolio Manager at Jennison Associates LLC

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Teresa Ho Kim, CFA, is a managing director, a utility equity portfolio manager, and an income and infrastructure research analyst. She joined Jennison Associates in July 2006. She came to Jennison after three years with Saranac Capital Management, where she was a senior analyst responsible for electric and gas utility investment coverage. From 1999 to 2003, Teresa was an equity research analyst and associate at Banc of America Securities. She was the lead sell-side analyst for a number of selected utility stocks. Teresa also worked for Brown Brothers Harriman as a health care equity research associate. She has worked as a speech writer for the United States Treasury and was a legislative assistant for the United States Senate Banking Committee. She received a BA in economics from Wesleyan University and an MBA from New York University. She is a member of CFA Institute.

Vikki L. Pryor
Managing Principal & Founder, Change Create Transform LLC

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Vikki L. Pryor is Managing Principal Change Create Transform LLC, a mission driven organization founded in 2010. It leverages the intellectual capital of the ExpertTerre® Membership platform to help businesses, organizations, and individuals succeed and grow.A sought after Advisor and Executive Leadership Development Expert, Vikki has provided strategic vision, operating leadership, consulting, coaching, seminars, workshops, presentations and keynotes to a range of organizations and industries over the past twenty years. Using dynamic and engaging models and formats, she provides innovative, practical and experientially based support that gets results. Vikki is also an expert on a variety of topics including leadership, management, corporate governance, ethics, diversity, personal empowerment and financial management.Known for superior team building, as well as organizational and individual development, Vikki has held senior leadership positions with Oxford Health Plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Allstate, and the Department of Treasury. Vikki was President & CEO of SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company for 11 years. The first African American female CEO of a life insurance company, the company was twice named among the 50 best places to work in New York City. Leading a legislative mandate to turnaround a 60 year old organization, under Vikki’s tenure, assets increased, while she fostered a climate of innovation, creativity and inclusion. Women comprised 60 percent of the company’s board of directors, and 57 percent of its employees were women. Assets grew $200 million and reserves were rebuilt after a 10 year decline; the company served over 250,000 customers with $1.5 billion in assets.Vikki serves on the Boards of Sagicor Life USA, the University of Buffalo Foundation, Emeritus Dean’s Advisory Council at SUNY Buffalo Law School, The Quorum Initiative, and the Change Create Transform Foundation. She also served on the boards of NYISO, Keyspan, Riversource Funds, UST Bank, The Prim Board, the Small Business and Agricultural Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the New York Women’s Forum and the Partnership for New York City.

Over the years, Vikki has fostered philanthropic efforts which have included fundraising and volunteerism for many organizations. The Change Create Transform Foundation has provided leadership development training and funded over $300,000 in scholarships for over 80 students to attend college or professional school. Vikki has served on the National Board of the Girl Scouts of the USA and as Regional CEO of the American Red Cross in Greater New York.

Featured in The New York Times and Forbes Online, Vikki was twice named by Crain’s New York Business, as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in New York, and by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the 75 Most Powerful African American Women in Business.

Vikki holds a BA magna cum laude, and JD degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she has received its Distinguished Alumna Award. She is admitted to practice law in New York and Illinois. She holds an MBA degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Vikki is a CPA, CLU and ChFC, has honorary doctoral degrees from Sacred Heart University, The College of Mount Saint Vincent, the Presidential Medallion from Bronx Community College, and the Dean’s Medal from SUNY Buffalo Law School. She is the proud grandmother of Dakota and JayR.


Michael ChenMichael Chen
Founding Member & Partner of CWS CPA LLP

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Michael specializes in providing business advisory and tax consulting/planning services to individuals, family offices, businesses, trusts and estates.  His expertise covers various industries including financial services, real estate, start ups, insurance, manufacturing and professional services. Michael is known for his innovating, in-depth tax planning expertise as well as the ability to analyze, explain and implement sophisticated techniques for his clients.

Michael graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in Finance and Accounting. He is also on the Board of Directors for Apex for Youth which delivers possibilities to the underserved Asian youth in New York City.

Dana WillisDana Willis
Principal, Associate General Counsel at Bessemer Trust

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Dana Willis is Principal and Associate General Counsel at Bessemer Trust, a privately owned multifamily office that has provided investment management and wealth planning services for over 110 years to individuals and families of substantial wealth.  At Bessemer, Ms. Willis is responsible for corporate contract reviews and negotiations, trading desk support, review of account agreements and other written communications.  Dana earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a B.A. from Harvard.

Table Captains


Clara Chung
Media Consultant, Sockeye Media


Kevin Kim
Co-Founder, Tactile Brain LLC
Trustee, The City University of New York


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