OUR CREW

We are a team that believes in the hustle over the hype, that it’s just as important to be humble as it is to be hungry, that America is its most beautiful and prosperous when we utilize the contributions of all people. Our team works out of our headquarters in New Orleans, and our Entrepreneurial Engineers (coaches) live and work across the country.


The Camelback Team

 

 

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Aaron Walker

FOUNDER & CEO

Aaron is on a journey to live in the spirit of his baseball hero, Jackie Robinson, who said “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” With this ethos, Aaron taught ninth grade English in West Philadelphia, put together deals for companies large and small as a lawyer, and supported new ideas to improve education as a portfolio director for the NYC Fund for Public Schools. Aaron is humbled to say that he graduated from the University of Virginia and Penn Law School. He also knows that this doesn’t entitle him to anything and is ready to earn his keep.

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Elizabeth Bates

director of venture excellence

Elizabeth was born with entrepreneurship in her blood, having started her first business in middle school (which provided more disposable income than her allowance). She escaped Wisconsin winters to attend Loyola University New Orleans, where she earned her degree in Marketing. A founder three times, she built a residential services company which she sold five years later. She then started two e-commerce businesses, one of which continues to keep her skills sharp as a side hustle. 

When she is not nerding out on startups and social impact, Elizabeth is probably gushing over her rescue dog, Riley, and working to promote animal welfare.

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Amanda Tien

creative director

Amanda’s favorite movie is Stranger Than Fiction, partially because of a surprisingly heartfelt scene of sad Will Ferrell eating chocolate chip cookies but mostly because it is a story about storytelling. Growing up as a military brat, Amanda read voraciously to keep herself occupied on long drives. She fell in love with the grace and strength of narratives as a way to connect with new people and places. Amanda pursues this passion as Camelback's Creative Director where she does all things communications from creating branded swag to strategizing for digital marketing to editing blog posts. She graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Creative Writing where she co-founded a culinary arts magazine. She has worked in a variety of fields including book publishing, film and television, advertising, and education. In her free time, Amanda enjoys improv, dumplings, and excuses to have celebratory dinners. 

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Jon Losey

director of insights & strategy

Jon has an inquisitive mind. His quest to learn has taken him from questions around roasting a great cup of coffee to those that improve the experience and impact for Camelback’s fellows. His addition to Camelback has fostered the 'Camelytics' department where data and experiments help to inform the way that our fellows experience and succeed with their entrepreneurial journeys. Jon is a graduate from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy & Governance where he focused on nonprofit management. His career has spanned corporate finance, digital analytics, research and evaluation, and service in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia. His ultimate goal is to create an evaluation system around KPIs (key pun indicators) to determine levels of pun effectiveness.

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Jacob Pouncey

OPERATIONS & STRATEGY MANAGER 

Jacob is an operations ninja and disciplined strategist (aspiring to guru-level). Empowering underserved entrepreneurs has been his directive since college while finishing a degree in Finance at Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business. His passion for education and service often directs his weekend agenda. Jacob brings deep insight and a unique skill set to the Camelback Team. He helps drive strategic decisions and supports the fellowship program. When not dancing or talking about education, he is probably telling you how blockchain technology will revolutionize your industry.

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2017 Entrepreneurial Engineers

We call the 1:1 coaches who work with our Fellows “Entrepreneurial Engineers,” because of the precise skill and art that goes into helping our Fellows build their leadership and ventures. Our Engineers are individuals who provide careful and thoughtful counsel on all things business. Click here to learn more about our coaching, and the names below for each Engineer's background.

 
 
 
 
AMY LIN
Amy Lin is the founder of TES Teach fka Blendspace, a digital lesson platform acquired by global education company TES Global in 2014. She loves building products (and the teams behind them) to improve the world using technology.

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BOB LESSER
Bob Lesser is a coach working with clients to improve their personal and professional lives with a special focus on start-up entrepreneurs. Bob founded Mott Hall Charter School, an innovative public middle school serving low-income families in the South Bronx. He is also a trained psychotherapist.

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EARNEST SWEAT
Earnest is the Investor-In-Residence at Backstage Capital. Earnest is also a former edtech founder and avid tech blogger that is passionate about assisting founders with business operations and growth strategy. Sweat earned his BA in Economics from Columbia and has an MBA from Kellogg School of Management.

 
 
 
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KATHY SHIRIN BENEMANN
Kathy Benemann is Founder of Kiyo Innnovations, where she fuels teams to develop educational technology solutions for global students and educators across the lifespan. She currently resides in San Francisco, where she enjoys the rich culture of learning and diversity, as well as serves as an activist to equip under-served youth with accessible education and career opportunities.

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KERRIEN SUAREZ
Kerrien Suarez is a management consultant with expertise in strategic planning and change management, and supports social sector leaders and entrepreneurs as an executive coach. She is passionate about issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, and serves as director of Equity in the Center, an initiative working to create a more diverse and equitable talent pipeline in the social sector.

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MORGAN RIPSKI
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 worked at Collegiate Academies, the Foundation for Science and Math Education, and New Schools for New Orleans.