Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

Ashley N. Cloud (’09)

I am a native of Katy, Texas, a 2005 graduate of Katy High School and a 2009 Graduate of the University of Houston School of Liberal Arts. I am also the Founder and CEO of The Cloud Law Firm.

I was chosen as a Top 10 Finalist out of 4,500 applicants for the Barclay’s Small Business Big Wins Contest with a grand prize of $60,000.

Below is the press release about this award:

Howard Graduate and Houston Native Named Finalist in Barclays’ ‘Small Business Big Wins’ Promotion to Support Small Business Owners

The Cloud Law Firm is one of 10 finalists vying for the $60,000 grand prize, encouraging public to vote for their business beginning April 8

New York, New York (April 8, 2024) – The Cloud Law Firm, a virtual law firm founded by Ashley Cloud, Houston, Texas native and graduate of Howard University, has been named a finalist in Barclays US Consumer Bank’s “Small Business Big Wins” promotion with $255,000 in prize money to be distributed among small business owners who submitted a brief essay describing how their business is adjusting to the current economy. Members of the public are encouraged to vote for The Cloud Law Firm to help them win the $60,000 grand prize.

The Cloud Law Firm edged out more than 4,500 entrants to make it to the final 10!
Ashley founded The Cloud Law Firm to empower disruptors and visionaries who build generational wealth through innovation and creativity. We protect and leverage our clients’ empires by providing quality and accessible legal counsel in startup strategy, brand and content protection, contracts, and general counsel. You can follow Ashley on Instagram and TikTok @yourfashionattorney and check out her website at www.thecloudlawfirm.com.

Quote from Ashley Cloud:
“I’ve known since I was a teenager that I wanted to have my own law firm. The journey to get here has been full of twists and turns and ups and downs. I’ve wanted to give up more times than I care to admit. Growing up in a family with entrepreneurs, I knew what I was signing up for, and I understand how important it is to lean on your community for support. After all, it takes a village. It would mean the world to me if you’d support me as I work to keep my business afloat and hopefully take it to the next level. Please vote for me every day during the Small Business, Big Wins contest!! THANK YOU!!”

From April 8 through April 19, the public will have a chance to review the stories of the top-10 finalists and vote for their favorite small business at BarclaysSmallBizBigWins.com.
The total prize breakdown for the top 10 includes:
• One Grand Prize of $60,000
• One 2nd Place Prize of $40,000
• One 3rd Place Prize of $20,000
• Seven Runner-Up Prizes of $5,000 each

The announcement of contest winners for the top 10 will take place during the week of May 1 to coincide with National Small Business Week. In addition to the top-10 prize fund, all businesses outside of the top 10 that submitted qualifying entries were entered in a random drawing to win one of 50 $2,000 sweepstakes prizes.

“Over the past four years we have heard countless inspiring stories of resilience and perseverance from small businesses across the country,” said Angelo Disperati, Director of US Branded and Business Cards, Barclays US Consumer Bank. “As we’ve seen from previous winners, the most impressive stories are from businesses that have made good corporate citizenship a key element of their business model. Winning businesses view giving back to the community as the right thing to do and one of the most important ingredients to success. We encourage people to vote for their favorite entry today!”

For more information and to vote for the finalists, visit BarclaysSmallBizBigWins.com. For more information on Barclays’ business card offerings, visit BarclaysUS.com/Business.

About Barclays US Consumer Bank
Barclays US Consumer Bank is a leading co-branded credit card issuer and financial services partner in the United States that creates highly customized programs to drive customer loyalty and engagement for some of the country’s most successful travel, entertainment, retail, and affinity institutions. The bank offers co-branded, small business, and private label credit cards, installment loans, online savings accounts, and CDs. For more information, please visit www.BarclaysUS.com.
Today, many businesses utilize Barclays business credit cards and benefit from the reward dollars spent on business needs. For more information on Barclays’ business card offerings, visit Barclays.com/Business

Judy Haveson Cohen (’86)

Judy Haveson Cohen (’86) released a new book on September 28, 2022.

The publisher description follows:

Growing up in 1970s and 80s suburban Houston, Judy Haveson is funny, sarcastic, and fiercely loyal, especially to her family, friends, and big sister, Celia. When she suffers a series of unimaginable traumatic events, her seemingly idyllic childhood comes to a halt, changing her life forever.

In Laugh Cry Rewind, Judy takes readers on her journey of self-discovery, sharing funny, touching, and heartbreaking stories from her childhood all the way to the birth of her son. Her experiences serve as a reminder that while life is not always fair, ultimately, the choice to surrender or keep on living is ours. Her message to others who have experienced loss or tragedy is this: stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. Let life go on, and good things will be waiting for you on the other side of the pain.

https://books.apple.com/us/book/laugh-cry-rewind/id6443235191

On November 10, 2022, Judy returned to UH to share her story with a class at Valenti School of Communications.

Devika Kornbacher (’98)

Clifford Chance announced today that technology and intellectual property partner Devika Kornbacher will join its Global Technology Group in the United States. Kornbacher brings more than 15 years of experience in technology transactions, intellectual property, cybersecurity and data privacy.

Joining as Co-Chair of the Firm’s Tech Group alongside Jonathan Kewley (London) and Paul Landless (Singapore), Kornbacher will focus on advising clients on a wide variety of technology-related legal matters, including obtaining, protecting, licensing, and enforcing intellectual property rights, technology commercialization, data privacy compliance, and cybersecurity preparedness. She also has extensive experience across a wide array of transactions, including license agreements, procurement, supply, and distribution agreements, collaboration agreements, software development agreements and patent clearances.

Jonathan Kewley says, “The pandemic has accelerated the pace and scope of tech transactions, and cybersecurity and data privacy are now more critical than ever. Devika, with her deep knowledge of technology and the laws around these matters and her track record of excellence, will boost our focus on expanding our technology offerings in the US and globally.”

DC Office Managing Partner and a leader in the firm’s US Tech Group Megan Gordon adds, “Devika’s hiring realizes our ambition to grow our technology offerings in the US. Her deep knowledge of technology, connection with the unique challenges in the sector, and experience across the spectrum of technology, technology transactions and intellectual property will deliver immediate value to our clients in the US and across the wider network.”

Kornbacher, who joins from Vinson & Elkins, says, “Clifford Chance’s Tech Group has significant cadence in the global market, here in the US and particularly in Europe and Asia Pacific – I am proud and extremely enthusiastic to join this team and can’t wait to harness the power of an international tech practice and expand our presence in the US.”

Clifford Chance’s Tech Group serves as a single global team offering clients tech law advice across the spectrum on matters impacted by technology and its rapid transition, including on matters such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, blockchain, big data and cybersecurity.

Mohammed Abdul Quadeer Siddiqui (MS ’64, PhD ’67)

Dr. Mohammed Abdul Quadeer (MAQ) Siddiqui passed away on August 19, 2021 at home, surrounded by loved ones. He was 84 years old.

MAQ was born in Hyderabad, India and was the second oldest of fourteen siblings. As a young adult, he frequented the local United States Information Service (USIS) office where he voraciously read LIFE magazines and consumed information on life in America. He became fascinated with cowboy movies, the Beatles, and U.S. politics. It was also at the USIS library where MAQ first learned about DNA in a textbook, piquing his interest in the human body and biology.

After graduating from Osmania University with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, MAQ decided to pursue a career in scientific research – a decision that was met with hesitation as his family expected him to attend medical school. MAQ applied to multiple graduate programs in the United States and Canada and ultimately accepted an offer from the PhD program at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas.

To help finance his travel to the United States, MAQ worked as a field clerk for the local municipality’s Department of Agriculture, a job that required him to visit rural farmers and convince them of the benefits of using chemical fertilizers. Generally weary of the wilderness, MAQ was not fond of trekking to remote areas with no electricity and ample wildlife.

MAQ departed for America in December 1960 aboard the Neptune cruise ship, where he was to work on board in return for discounted fare. However, MAQ had only packed formal dress clothes which were inappropriate for his assigned job of cleaning the pool deck. After seeing him play table tennis, MAQ’s supervisor offered him a position scheduling and managing table tennis matches among the guests, in addition to providing lessons.

The Neptune sailed from Cochin, India to Genoa, Italy after which MAQ took a train to Calais, France and crossed the English Channel by boat. In Dover, England, he was completely unprepared for the winter weather and spent extra shillings to turn on the heater in the bed and breakfast where he was staying. After two days, MAQ flew to New York and stayed at a YMCA near 34th street. He then traveled to Houston, Texas, arriving at his destination 33 days after leaving India.

In Houston, MAQ found work as a gas station attendant but was fired on his first day for not knowing how to pump gas in unfamiliar American cars. He then started running biological samples between collection sites and the laboratory at the University of Houston, before eventually getting hired as a research assistant within the University’s Department of Biology. MAQ dove into his studies and found his passion in molecular biology, concentrating his doctoral research on the mechanisms by which antibiotics inhibit protein synthesis. MAQ was awarded a PhD in Biological Sciences in 1967.

MAQ completed post-doctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley amongst an inspiring scientific community of renown researchers. In 1969, he accepted a position at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, New Jersey where he rose to the rank of Full Member in the Department of Biochemistry. MAQ’s research at Roche focused on the role of small RNA in protein synthesis and other physiological functions. In 1975, his laboratory became the first to isolate and clone a cardiac muscle gene.

In 1987, MAQ was appointed as the Chairman and Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. Under his leadership, the Department grew to include over 30 researchers and secure $5 million in annual funding from the National Institutes of Health. MAQ also served as the Director of SUNY Downstate’s Center for Cardiovascular and Muscle Research. MAQ and his team conducted novel research to understand the molecular signaling pathways related to myocardial hypertrophy. His work led to two patents and formed the basis for future discoveries into the causes of left ventricular dysfunction and congestive heart failure.

Throughout his career, MAQ worked alongside several notable figures including Nobel Laureates, Dr. Severo Ochoa and Dr. Robert Furchgott. MAQ published over 150 papers and multiple book chapters on his research, many of which have greatly influenced the field of molecular cardiology. He was invited to speak at conferences and symposia across the United States in addition to Canada, Chile, Venezuela, China, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, India, Czech Republic, Russia, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, United Arab Emirates, Greece, Germany, Israel, and the Netherlands.

MAQ was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2003. When commuting from New Jersey to Brooklyn was no longer an option, MAQ continued to work from home, mentoring students over the phone and via email. He retired from SUNY Downstate in 2014.

MAQ’s natural mentorship abilities extended to family and friends as well. He regularly sent money to his family in India, beginning from his time as a loan-assisted student at the University of Houston. One by one, he paid the way for each of his twelve siblings to receive an education and move to the United States. MAQ was a patient and open listener for anyone that came to him for professional or personal advice. He provided heartfelt guidance to numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

As a scientist, MAQ was keenly aware of the nature of a progressive condition like Parkinson’s Disease. He faced a degenerative diagnosis with dignity and fortitude, never once allowing it to become a crutch.

MAQ was fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends from near and far, especially during the final years of his life. He will always be known as a brilliant, soft-spoken academic and avid tennis and cricket fan with a dry sense of humor and penchant for desserts. First and foremost, MAQ will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and dear friend.

MAQ is survived by his wife of 37 years, Samena Siddiqui; daughter and her husband, Norain and Montgomery; son and his wife, Umair and Flor; granddaughter, Serena; in addition to eight brothers, three sisters, and many nieces and nephews. MAQ is preceded in death by his parents, Mohammed and Quaderunissa; elder brother, Afzal; and younger brother, Akhlad.

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thasunda Brown Duckett (’96)

TIAA — Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America — has announced that Thasunda Brown Duckett will become the company’s new CEO, succeeding Roger W. Ferguson Jr. who announced in November 2020 his plans to retire. With her appointment, Duckett will join newly named Walgreen’s CEO Rosalind Brewer as one of only two Black women heading Fortune 500 companies. TIAA ranked No. 9 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.

Duckett will join TIAA on May 1 from JPMorgan Chase, where she was CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, leading a “banking network with more than $600 billion in deposits, 4,900 branches and over 40,000 employees.” In that role, “she undertook Chase’s first major branch expansion in 10 years to add 400 new branches in 20 new markets over five years” — a strategy that is said to have reflected “her commitment to improving the lives of individual customers and local communities by providing more jobs, neighborhood resources and access to financial services.”

In announcing her appointment, TIAA celebrated her successful career and also paid special attention to Duckett’s longtime support of diversity and inclusion efforts.

“Ms. Duckett has been a tireless and purpose-driven champion for change,” TIAA said in a press release announcing her appointment. “She was the executive sponsor of JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways program, an initiative aimed at helping Black Americans close historical achievement gaps in wealth creation, educational outcomes and career success. Ms. Duckett also sat on the steering committee for the bank’s Women on the Move initiative to help women advance their career and business opportunities, and she is committed to financial education for women, who account for a significant portion of the retirement investments TIAA stewards. Most recently, Ms. Duckett led Chase’s accelerated focus on communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and was the executive sponsor of the bank’s Fellowship Initiative, which offers young men of color academic and social support to help them achieve personal and professional success.”

Justin Baer of The Wall Street Journal wrote that Duckett “is leaving consumer-banking for a part of the financial world that is confronting many of the same challenges, albeit at a different stage. Technology and evolving customer tastes have driven down the costs of investing, squeezing money managers’ margins and forcing firms to consider mergers that give them the scale to compete.”

“Thasunda is widely recognized as an exceptionally dynamic and inspirational leader,” said Ronald L. Thompson, Chairman of the TIAA Board of Trustees. “She brings invaluable experience leading and growing large, complex businesses, setting and executing strategy, improving client experience and attracting and developing talent. Equally important, she is deeply mission-oriented, with values that reflect those of TIAA, including a passion for financial inclusion and empowerment.”

Following the announcement, Duckett reflected on her past and how it will guide her future, issuing a statement saying “I often think about the day my father asked me to help him plan his retirement, and I had to tell him, ‘Dad, your pension is not enough. Now, thanks to his work and sacrifices and the support of many others who have guided me throughout my life and career, I am blessed to join TIAA, which has paid out over $500 billion of lifetime income and other benefits since its founding in 1918. I am extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity to lead a company that has helped millions of people retire with ‘enough’ to live in dignity and excited about the opportunity to help TIAA chart its next 100 years.”

Christina Mevs (’17)

Mevs was promoted to an Integrated Data Specialist at McCann New York