Meet our Consultants

2018 Mentors

Lauren Siegel

Advisor - trepwise llc

Lead Mentor for Water Sector

Lauren Siegel is an Advisor at trepwise with experience in marketing and operations management, as well as strategic planning and business development. She brings to the table a wealth of business knowledge and a vast network of local professionals and entrepreneurs.

Prior to joining trepwise, Lauren worked as a marketing and operations consultant for small and large ventures. She has created strategic marketing plans, systematized business policies & procedures, advised UI and UX design for web development projects, and manipulated and analyzed expansive data sets. She has experience in both for-profit and non-profit sectors, and has worked in a variety of industries including: food & beverage, fashion, digital media, public health, and healthcare.

Lauren is a second generation New Orleanian. Born and raised in the city by transplant parents, she has always seen herself as an integral link between the city’s historical culture and entrepreneurial rejuvenation post-Katrina. Lauren obtained her BA in French and MBA in Marketing & Strategic Management from Tulane University. Lauren is an active volunteer at the Louisiana SPCA and an empowerment coach for the You Night Breast Cancer Survivor Program.

Lisa Atia

Senior Creative Brand Strategist - Blavity

Lead Mentor for Health Sector

Lisa Atia currently works as Senior Creative Brand Strategist at Blavity, a venture-backed technology and media company aimed at building beautiful products and experiences for black millennials. Founded in July 2014, has quickly grown to become one of the fastest growing digital media outlets on the web, reaching more than 7M millennials a month.

Geoffrey Hamlyn

Advisor - trepwise llc

Lead Mentor for Education Sector

Geoffrey Hamlyn is an Advisor at trepwise who brings experience in program evaluation, nonprofit governance, strategic communications, and public policy. His background leading and consulting for a diverse array of organizations, including domestic and international nonprofits, federal agencies, and private hospitals, provides Geoffrey with a unique lens when approaching client challenges and crafting innovative solutions.

Prior to joining the trepwise team, Geoffrey worked closely with a large federal agency to develop and implement a communications and stakeholder engagement strategy for a multi-year technology transformation impacting over 200 million US taxpayers. Prior to that time, he served as Executive Director of a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission of supporting youth organizations in Haiti. During his tenure, he successfully scaled operations and secured funding to fully rebuild two earthquake ravaged facilities.

A native of El Paso, TX, Geoffrey is also an accomplished violist who cares deeply about the role of the arts in strengthening the fabric of communities. Geoffrey holds a B.M. from the University of Texas at Austin, Master of Music from the Juilliard School in New York City, and Masters in Public Policy from Duke University.

Blake Stanfill

Advisor - trepwise llc

Lead Mentor for Health Sector

Blake J. Stanfill is an Advisor at trepwise with broad experience at the intersection of the public and private sector, boasting a career in economic development, education and financial risk management, as well as startup growth strategy and analysis. Drawing from his varied perspective, Blake is dedicated to helping trepwise clients think outside-the-box and craft custom solutions for the problems businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies face.

Prior to trepwise, Blake co-founded an alternative lending start-up, LendStand, which provides working capital solutions to underserved businesses working on public contracts. Before that, he worked in education management at the Louisiana Department of Education and the Orleans Parish School Board. He was also a Mayoral Fellow with the City of New Orleans, where he played an integral role in the formation of the City’s public-private economic development partnership, the New Orleans Business Alliance. Additionally, Blake spent time in the private sector as a credit-risk analyst at Bank of America. Blake began his professional career as a teacher and administrator at St. Augustine High School, a historic New Orleans high school.

Blake is a fifth generation New Orleanian—born and raised in the Pontchartrain Park neighborhood of his favorite city in the world. As such, he is deeply committed to helping New Orleans—and all of its citizens—reach its full potential. In addition to giving talks to and mentoring students at local high schools, Blake coaches youth baseball & basketball. Blake was a 2016 New Leaders Council of Louisiana fellow and a founding cohort member of the New Orleans Black Male Achievement Network.

Blake earned his B.A. from Duke University, a Master of Finance from Tulane University, and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

When not on the grind at trepwise, Blake has a lot of time on his hands, particularly with three sons & a full-time, student doctor wife (superhero). With aspirations to moonlight as a DJ/dad emcee, Blake can regularly be found curating detailed Spotify playlists or dropping (embarrassing) freestyles.

Scott Price

Founder - Strategic Rise Partners

Lead Mentor for Food Sector

Scott has devoted his life and career to creating, selling and promoting high quality food and health services. As a 40 year veteran of the organic and natural foods industry and 23 years with Whole Foods Market, Scott has a wide range of business experience.

Scott stepped away from Whole Foods Market in 2009 and started SRP Consulting to help grow organic and natural product companies. HimalaSalt and Vital Farms were his original clients and over the years Scott worked with dozens of companies focused on quality product. Vital Farms was a shooting star client and the relationship grew to a full time position. As National Sales Director he grew their sales from less than a million to $40+ million in annual sales. But then, after a devastating flood to their home in Wimberley, Texas where Scott lives with his wife Carol, he stepped back to a consulting role at Vital Farms.

Sherif Ebrahim, Ph.D., MHA, FACHE

Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Education - Tulane University Freeman School of Business

Lead Mentor for Food, Water, Education, Health Sectors

Sherif Ebrahim is Chairman, Strategic Management Group and Managing Partner, SMG Capital, Health Care Private Equity Firms. He is a Fellow, American College Healthcare Executives, an NAPH Fellow, NYU and a Health Systems Fellow. His PhD, Strategy & Innovation from Oklahoma State University is focused on the moderating effects of context on strategic performance outcomes in innovative organizations. He is a recognized expert of Health Systems, Strategy and Innovation and has extensive CEO, senior executive, strategy, and operational experience with many large corporations, health systems, and organizations.

He is professor, Strategy & Innovation at Tulane University and Director, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Education. Professor Ebrahim has served as CEO of several large corporations and in a senior executive management position in a Fortune 100 company, Professor Ebrahim was nationally recognized for his work in healthcare and strategic leadership by two U.S. Presidents, the Secretary of the U.S. DHHS, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and a Fortune 100 Company.

He has also been appointed to professional leadership positions by two Louisiana Governors, and recognized on several occasions for his health care policy, innovation and leadership by the President of the United States.

Linetta Gilbert

Managing Partner - Gilbert & Associates

Lead Mentor for Education Sector

Linetta J. Gilbert serves as Managing Partner of Gilbert & Associates. A respected leader in the philanthropic community, Linetta provides consulting, coaching and network-building support to foundations, large and small non-profits and emerging thought leaders. Her areas of practice include strategy development/planning and technical assistance for advancing organizational and community wide racial equity outcomes; board development; strategic planning; leadership development; and group facilitation. Some of her current and recent clients include:

  • Baptist Community Ministries
  • Casey Family Programs
  • The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro
  • Efforts of Grace, Inc.
  • Greater Milwaukee Foundation
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network
  • Propeller | A Force For Social Innovation
  • United States Agency for International Development, Department of State

Linetta has held leadership positions with a number of notable foundations. She served as Senior Program Officer for Social Justice Philanthropy with The Ford Foundation, where, over nearly a decade, she invested, monitored and leveraged $1 billion in resources dedicated to transforming and strengthening community-based philanthropic organizations worldwide. In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Linetta helped guide decisions on philanthropic investments that would help to rebuild infrastructure and increase capacity in government, resident leadership, non-profit organizations and the business community and transition the region from recovery to transformation. She served as a place-based consultant in New Orleans to the Annie E. Casey Foundation for its Neighborhood Transformation Initiative. As the former Vice President of Programs for the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Linetta designed and implemented grant-making and programs for this regional foundation, expanding its programmatic reach to include critical issues such as housing and community development; work force development; violence prevention; neighborhood resident engagement; faith-based economic development; and rural development initiatives. She has also served as a national consultant on public policies in the fields of early learning/education, health, housing and child welfare services.

Linetta actively uses her years of development experience to help improve her community and currently serves on the boards of Agenda for Children, the Amistad Research Center and the Old Algiers Main Street Corporation, The Solutions Project. She is the immediate past Chairman and founding member of the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Louisiana, a statewide public charity that invests in people and practices working to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities. Additionally, she is a past board member of Good Work Network and served as a founding board member with Agenda for Children and the Louisiana Children’s Museum.

Linetta is a member of Christian Unity Baptist Church and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She and her family consider New Orleans home.

Morgan Ripski

Consultant - Scaling Edu-Orgs

Lead Mentor for Water Sector

Morgan Carter Ripski is an independent consultant working with charter schools, management organizations, and entrepreneurs to plan and implement scaling strategies, build fundraising plans and teams in support of growth, and manage projects. Previously, Morgan served as the President for Collegiate Academies, where she helped the growing charter management organization triple in size by successfully leading charter application processes to secure 9 charters, facilitating and authoring strategic growth plans, and securing $7.5M to support Collegiate’s 3 existing schools and an additional $5.8M to support the opening of 4 new schools in 2016 and beyond. Morgan has also served as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Science and Math Education (the former fundraising entity for Collegiate Academies) and the Communications and Development Director for New Schools for New Orleans. Morgan holds degrees from Stanford University and Bates College. She lives with her husband and two sons in New Orleans.

Ting-Ting Rivers

Advisor - trepwise

Lead Mentor for Water Sector

Ting-ting Rivers is an Advisor at Trepwise who brings a strong background in finance, operations and project management from both the public and private sectors.

Ting-ting previously served as the Chief Financial Officer for a $100+ million state agency tasked with turning around Louisiana’s lowest performing schools. She also scaled financial and operational systems for an education non-profit after revenue increased 200% and was on the founding leadership team for a start-up charter school in New Orleans.

Prior to moving to New Orleans, Ting-ting was part of the #1 housing finance group on Wall Street and helped bring $1.4 billion in debt issuances to market. She also worked on education policy for a New York State Senator and as a budget analyst for the largest municipal provider of affordable housing.

Ting-ting holds a B.A. from Yale and a M.P.A. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She is also a proud Fellow of the Louisiana Effective Leadership Program.

Lisa Amoss

Founding President - Broad Community Connections

Lead Mentor for Food, Water Sectors

Since 1975 Lisa Amoss has been a consultant to nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses and entrepreneurial ventures. She specializes in strategic planning and organizational development. She has worked with over 150 varied boards of directors in many different sectors, including social services, the arts, community housing, civic organizations, economic development, leadership and environmental groups.

Ms. Amoss has an MBA from Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business and an A.B. in psychology from Vassar College. She founded and was president of the board of directors of Broad Community Connections, the Broad Street Main Street organization. She has been a member of the boards of directors of the YWCA, the Southeast Louisiana Girl Scout Council, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Regional Loan Corporation, Education First, and the American Society for Training and Development, New Orleans chapter. She has been elected to Outstanding Young Women in America and was selected as an Achiever by the American Council for Career Women and a Role Model by the YWCA.

She lives in New Orleans with her husband and has two grown sons and three grandchildren.

Kevin Wilkins

Founder - trepwise llc

Lead Mentor for Education, Health Sectors

Kevin Wilkins is the founder of trepwise llc, a New Orleans based advisory firm with the vision of driving entrepreneurial success in New Orleans. Kevin has extensive experience in general management, marketing, and operations, and brings over 25 years of experience in corporate and entrepreneurial ventures.

A graduate of Dartmouth College, he began his career at The Procter & Gamble Company in brand management for new product development in the Household Cleaning Category. After graduating from Harvard Business School with honors, he ran High Net Worth Discretionary Management for Fidelity Investments, where he was also Vice President of Strategic Planning for customer acquisition. He transitioned to State Street Research & Management, Inc. where he ultimately became the Managing Director and President of the SSRM Distribution Company.

After leading the sale of State Street Research, he has been involved with several startups in the product and financial services sectors as an investor and operator. Since moving to New Orleans, Kevin served as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence and COO during The Idea Village’s 2012 and 2013 Entrepreneur Seasons, working with over 300 entrepreneurs in New Orleans.

Kevin sits on several non-profit boards including Collegiate CMO, City Year, Math and Science Foundation, Tulane Hillel, Pelican Bomb and Propeller. He is also a board member for Be Well Nutrition and Your Nutrition Delivered. In 2014, Kevin was a founder of the NO/LA Angel Network, an organization of accredited investors targeting early stage opportunities, and currently sits on the Board.

Kevin is married to Ginny Wise and has three sons, Jonathan (17), Benjamin (13), and Zachary (11).

Areas of Expertise:
• Strategic Planning
• Branding and Marketing
• Customer Acquisition and Retention
• Concept Development and Refinement
• Operational Efficiencies
• Org Structure and Metrics
• Business Plan Development
• Investor Readiness

Recent Press:
• The Times-Picayune, March 20th, 2013 Front Page Story: “The Brain Gain”
• Harvard Business Review, Fall 2013, Feature Story: Entrepreneurial Leadership in New Orleans
• Silicon Bayou: 100 Most Influential People in NOLA Entrepreneurial Ecosystem 2013