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Emerging & Diverse Manager Exchange: Speakers

Where Minority and Women-owned Alternative Investment Managers and Investors Meet

Tuesday, May 12th 2020, Chicago, IL, USA

Produced by AlphaWeek and 50 Shades Of Green Capital


Keynote Speakers

Gillian Marcelle

Gillian Marcelle, Managing Member, Resilience Capital Ventures

Gillian Marcelle, PhD is a senior leader in economic development and international business with a proven track record in attracting investment to emerging markets. She is currently the managing member of Resilience Capital Ventures LLC, an advisory firm in the blended finance space where she has been successful in capital raising, deal
origination and guiding the business activities of commercial start-ups and social ventures. Her geographies of focus include the Caribbean, where she serves as Senior Advisor to MPC Renewable Energies GmbH which is raising a regionally focused, multimillion dollar fund for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Her Sub-Saharan
Africa activities include serving as a non-Executive Director of Tafari Capital Pty Ltd., an innovative fintech start-up in Joburg, South Africa. She has also established herself as a thought leader in the impact investment space, where her contributions and perspectives on diversity, inclusion, accountability and alignment with the SDGs are becoming influential.

Her finance background includes development finance with the International Finance Corporation, as well as, equities and capital markets with JP Morgan Chase. She has also advised the United Nations on impact investment and innovation for the benefit of the global South.

As a C-suite leader, in the role of Executive Director of the UVI RTPark Corporation, a specialist economic development agency for the US Virgin Islands, she successfully led a transformation program that doubled the number of technology and knowledge based investors in three years and achieved financial sustainability, while generating new social investment contributions for the local university.

She is a global citizen with wide networks and various communities of practice drawn from her personal and professional connections in Washington DC., London,
Johannesburg and Trinidad & Tobago. Her educational background includes earning degrees in Economics from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad&
Tobago, and the Kiel Institute of World Economics, Germany; an MBA with a specialization in high technology management from the George Washington University
and a doctorate in innovation policy from the Science and Technology Policy Research Unit, SPRU, University of Sussex. For her scholarly work, she is an affiliated researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT, Cambridge MA, working on public policy issues relating to low-carbon transition.


Panel Speakers


Kelly Chesney, Co-Founder, Pluscious Management

Bio to follow...


Lofton Holder, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Pine Street Alternative Investments

Bio to follow...



Shana Sissel

Shana Sissel, CAIA, CIO, Spotlight Asset Group

As Spotlight’s CIO, Shana will oversee all aspects of the investment platform ranging from overall strategy, implementation, and communication to clients and prospects.  As part of her role she will be responsible for leading the Investment Policy Committee and implementing enhanced due diligence for investment selection.

Shana has nearly two decades of industry experience at leading investment firms, primarily in Boston and Chicago. Prior to joining Spotlight, Shana served as Director of Investment Due Diligence & a Senior Portfolio Manager with Orion Advisor Solutions. At Orion, she was tasked with building the firm’s in-house due diligence group. Establishing the framework on investment strategy review & analysis for the Orion Portfolio Solutions Turnkey Asset Management Program & Model Marketplace. In addition, Shana served as co-manager for the firm’s tax-managed direct indexing suite of separately managed accounts & was the firm’s subject matter expert on Alternative Investments. Shana also brings a vast background in market research and analysis through various roles held at Ariel Investments, Fidelity Investments’ Strategic Advisor Inc., Mercer Investments, Peak Financial Management, and Russell Investments.

Shana is a sought after speaker & media contributor, appearing frequently at industry events and on major financial news outlets like CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business News.

Shana earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst before receiving her Master of Business Administration Degree from Bentley University’s McCallum School of Business. She is a proud holder of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation. Originally from the Boston area, she currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband & son.


Jeff Willardson

Jeff Willardson, CFA, CQF, Head of Investments, PAAMCO Launchpad

Jeff Willardson, CFA, CQF (Irvine) is a Managing Director and Co-Managing Partner of the firm’s Irvine office. He is currently Head of Investments for PAAMCO Launchpad, the firm’s early-stage manager seeding platform. Jeff is also the Portfolio Manager for several of the firm’s institutional custom hedge fund solutions. Throughout his career at PAAMCO Prisma, he has conducted research, due diligence and risk monitoring for managers across all PAAMCO strategies with an emphasis on credit strategies, emerging markets, and real estate. Prior to joining PAAMCO in 2007, Jeff spent five years at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in the Investment Management Division. He received his MBA (Dual Finance and Real Estate Major) from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and he holds a BS in Management (Finance Major) from Brigham Young University.