2019 GEA Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards
Since its founding in 2012, the GEA has officially represented the voices of entrepreneurs among close to 200,000 Georgetown alumni. The GEA is proud to confer the Entrepreneurial Excellence Award for Outstanding Alumni Entrepreneur and Excellence Awards by specific categories annually— celebrating the contributions of alumni entrepreneurs that embody and exemplify the spirit of men and women for others and a passion for innovation.
Thursday, October 10
The Loft at 600 F St
2019 Entrepreneurial EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS
Reggie Aggarwal is the CEO and Founder of Cvent, the leader in meetings, events and hospitality software. A lawyer by trade, Aggarwal founded Cvent in 1999 as a two-person startup, with the goal of making meeting planning easier for his peers in the business community.
The Cvent business idea first came to light after Aggarwal spent years painstakingly planning hundreds of events for the Indian CEO Network of which he was president. Aggarwal found early success as a pioneer in the event technology space but had to lay off nearly 80% of his employees during the dot-com burst in the early 2000s. During this time, approaching bankruptcy and facing the possibility of failure, Aggarwal and the core executive team focused on the two things that mattered most for a successful business: their employees and their customers.
Driven by the desire to transform the meetings and events industry, Cvent has grown to over 4,000 employees on 4 continents under Aggarwal's leadership, and the 2013 IPO boasted a market capitalization of more than $1 billion. In 2016, Cvent was taken private by Vista Equity Partners for $1.65 billion, providing a 70% premium for Cvent stockholders.
Cvent is now a leading meetings, events, and hospitality management technology provider, serving more than 27,000 customers and 300,000 users worldwide with the solutions organizations need to automate and simplify the entire event planning process and maximize the impact of their meetings program. The Cvent Hospitality Cloud partners with hotels and venues to help them drive group and corporate travel business.
Aggarwal graduated with a BS degree from the University of Virginia, a Juris Doctorate from Washington and Lee University Law School, and an LLM (post-law degree) from Georgetown University Law School. He has also received an Honorary Doctorate from Southeastern University for his contribution to the community.
Aggarwal has received numerous recognitions and accolades, including the #1 Top SaaS CEO, Most Admired CEO by the Washington Business Journal, Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, a rising star by Forbes Magazine, and a Tech Titan by The Washingtonian.
Aggarwal lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and three children.
Mary Giuliani is an author, party and lifestyle expert and founder and CEO of Mary Giuliani Catering and Events and Giuliani Social. Her newest book Tiny Hot Dogs: A Memoir In Small Bites, will be published April 9th, 2019 from Running Press (a division of Hachette Book Group). Mary has appeared on The Barefoot Contessa, The Today Show, Good Morning America and is a regularly featured guest on The Rachael Ray Show. Mary's first book, The Cocktail Party (Eat, Drink, Play, Recover) came out in 2015. A graduate of Georgetown University, Mary resides in New York's Chelsea neighborhood and Wooådstock, New York with her husband Ryan, and daughter Gala.
Bill Creelman is the Founder of Spindrift Beverage Co., Inc. and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Prior to Spindrift, Bill co-founded Stirrings which sold to Diageo in 2009.
Bill grew up on a farm in Western Massachusetts where all the food was unprocessed, seasonal, and fresh. In 2010, he began making his own sparkling beverages to help him kick his fiendish Diet Coke habit. He wanted something refreshing with real ingredients he could pronounce and enjoy with his young family. After much trial and error, he achieved this by combining 2 simple ingredients: fresh fruit and triple-filtered sparkling water. He named it Spindrift.
Today, Spindrift is made up of 80 passionate employees dedicated to changing the sparkling beverages. Spindrift is leading beverage into a new age of transparency and ingredient simplicity by offering no artificial sweeteners, no natural flavorings, and no essences. Spindrift was recently named to Inc. Magazine 500 fasting growing companies and 2 time recipient of Bevnet Product of the Year awards.
Bill lives outside of Boston with his wife, Harley (CAS’96), and 4 kids.
Following surgery and chemotherapy to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 28, Michael O’Neil emerged humbled and inspired, and ready to finish the graduate studies interrupted unexpectedly by cancer. Steering his final year into a life mission and business plan, Michael founded GetWellNetwork to tackle an unaddressed problem in healthcare: how to help people take a more active role in their health journey.
Nearly two decades later, Michael continues to lead GetWellNetwork as founder and chief executive officer. His vision launched a new healthcare technology segment called Interactive Patient Care© and has given millions of patients around the world a voice in their own care. In 2014, he founded the O’Neil Center, a first-of-its-kind think tank and research institute advancing the science of patient and family engagement. Today, the center continues to prove that a more active, engaged patient is a better patient and that, in turn, leads to better health outcomes at lower costs.
Michael is involved with several professional organizations and is an active leader in the DC-metro business community. He is a member of Mindshare, a network of high-tech CEOs fostering entrepreneurship and growth throughout the nation’s capital, and the Young Presidents’ Organization, a community of peer leaders committed to lifelong learning and idea exchange. He also serves as executive chairman of PerfectServe, a Tennessee-based clinical communications and collaboration software company, and is on the board of directors of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and The DAISY Foundation, a global organization dedicated to honoring nurses.
The Global Good Fund 2019 Social Entrepreneur of the Year and E&Y 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year recipient is also a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. In 2019, he was chosen to join The Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellowship’s fifth class of health care entrepreneurs and innovators who will embark on a two-year program that will strengthen their leadership and challenge them to develop new approaches to improve the health and well-being of Americans.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University.
Joel Montaniel is the CEO & Co-Founder of SevenRooms, where he leads business strategy and sales. Prior to founding SevenRooms in 2011, Montaniel served as Chief of Staff at LivePerson, leading strategic, operational and cultural initiatives. He started his career at Credit Suisse within the Real Estate, Finance & Securitization Group. He graduated with a B.A. from Georgetown University.
Courtney's background is strategy, sales and marketing, and operations in global markets.
Courtney recently completed her MBA at London Business School, where she focused on strategy and tech. During her first year she worked as VP Business Development at Soma Analytics, a mental health startup. She led a team to the final round in LBS’s first ever hackathon. And more recently, she worked at LinkedIn in an operations role.
Prior to this, she has 5 years of experience in global sales and brand building. At Celine, LVMH she oversaw sales of $ 52mn annually. After Celine, she joined The Row, a luxury startup, for a more entrepreneurial role. There she created a strategy that grew her division's global sales by over 100% in just one year.
Courtney holds an MBA from London Business School, a BA in Political Economy and Philosophy from Georgetown University, and an AAS from Parsons the New School for Design.
She speaks English, French, a bit of Swedish, Mandarin, Italian, Tagalog, and she’s learning Arabic.
PAST ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARDEES
Dan Berger (MBA'10), Social Tables
Doug Bouton (C’07), COO & President, Halo Top
Catherine Cook (B’11), My Yearbook
David Fogel (F’93, L’97, MBA’97), President & COO, IndexIQ
Randy Goldberg (B'00), Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Bombas
Nicolas Jammet (B’07), Jonathan Neman (B’07), Nathaniel Ru (B’07), Sweetgreen
Ted Leonsis (C'77), Founder & CEO, Monumental Sports & Entertainment
David McCourt (C'79), Granahan McCourt Capital
Craig Walker (MBA'91), Founder & CEO, UberConference
Amy Wright (MBA’92), Co-Founder & CEO, Macro Solutions
2018 GEA EXCELLENCE AWARDEES:
Best in Retail/Consumer Products/Services: Solemates, Monica Ferguson (B’00)
Rising Star: Lulu’s Ice Cream, Luisa Santos (C’14)
Best of Technology: Latch, Luke Schoenfelder (C’12)
Best Social Impact: Cradles to Crayons, Lynn Margherio (C’88)
Best in Hospitality/Restaurants: Sunniva Super Coffee, Jake Decicco (B’16)