Volunteer Advisors

Volunteers of the Venture Jobs Foundation generously support the organization in areas of development, investment evaluation, partnerships, and financial operations.  We are very grateful for their contributions.

Omar Bakht, Venture Business Review and Investment

Omar Bakht is the Director of New Ventures and Technology Development at the University of Rochester.  Omar’s focus is identifying and developing innovations from the university.

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John DiehlSpecial Projects

John Diehl has practiced law for over 35 years, representing primarily nonprofit organizations.  He recently retired from his position as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Phoenix House Foundation, a large national charitable organization headquartered in New York City.  

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Jill FreemanStrategic Partnerships

Jill Freeman is a philanthropic consultant with twenty years of experience driving positive social impact. She is a skilled strategist, project designer, idea generator, speaker, fundraiser and facilitator who brings clarity to complex projects and communication efforts.

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Michael Kroft, CDFI Operations

Michael Kroft retired from Xerox Corporation in 2013 after a 32 year career in finance and accounting.  During this time he supported many key functional areas, including business group operations, product development, manufacturing, supply chain, and real estate. 

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Bob Lowenthal, Underwriting and Loan Management

Bob Lowenthal recently retired from Canandaigua National Bank and Trust Co. after a 42 year career in commercial and retail banking. Bob was active across multiple industries in client and loan management. Most recently he contributed to staff mentoring and as a member of senior management’s strategic planning group.  

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John McDermott, Director, Financial Services

John McDermott is an executive with over thirty years experience in general management and international business.  He has held positions across a broad range of business functions including marketing, strategy, supply chain, change management, and product development.  John has a Masters in International Management from Thunderbird School of International Business, as well as a BA from Carleton College, and a MA in Theology from St Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry.  

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